Friday Morning Report

By Craig Cmehil | a different view before the weekend

3 Years and Counting

It has been three years since we conducted our very SAP CodeJam in 2012 and I must say we have sure have come a long way since then. Since its …

SAP SE

Apple prepping thinner MacBook Pros with OLED screen above keyboard, Touch ID for Q4

According to a new note from reliable Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo at KGI Securities and corroborated by our sources, Apple plans to introduce a dramatically overhauled MacBook Pro later this year. Kuo says the device will have a new “thinner and lighter” design with design cues taken from the …

MacBook Pro

A Battery Made From Metal and Air Is Electrifying the Developing World

Is this brand new type of battery the key to clean energy and off-grid electricity?<p>Lithium-ion batteries are having a moment. After becoming the de facto battery in laptops and cell phones over the years, they’re now starting to power electric cars (like those made by Tesla) and plug into the power …

Energy

Scientists Have Actually Invented Sonic Screwdrivers And Levitation Gauntlets

Time Lords, rejoice. Scientists have invented what is essentially the prototype to a working sonic screwdriver, the device made famous by the …

French Billionaire Opens Free Coding University '42' In Silicon Valley

French technology entrepreneur and billionaire Xavier Niel (#129 in 2016 and #7 in France with a net worth of $8 billion) is investing $100 million of his own money to bring his Paris-based ’42′ coding school to Silicon Valley.<p>The name ’42′ is a nod to Douglas Adams’ science-fiction series <i>The</i> …

Silicon Valley

Cask from the past: archaeologists discover 5,000-year-old beer recipe

Chinese villagers could have been raising a pint 5,000 years ago, according to new research.<p>Archaeologists studying vessels unearthed in the Shaanxi province of China say they’ve uncovered beer-making equipment dating from between 3400 and 2900 BC - an era known as the late Yangshao period - and …

Beer

Display manufacturing supplier gives more evidence for OLED iPhone in 2017

Applied Materials, a firm that makes equipment to build screens for smartphones, is reporting a huge leap in orders, reports <i>Bloomberg</i>. The four-fold increase adds credence to a series of reports claiming that Apple is planning a brighter, 5.8-inch OLED display in an iPhone for a 2017 launch.<p>The …

iPhone

Archaeologists Unearth Tomb Of Genghis Khan

<b>Öndörkhaan| Construction workers employed in road building near the Onon River in the Khentii province of Mongolia, have discovered a mass grave</b> …

Genghis Khan

At the AT-AT’s birth: the improvising of a ‘Star Wars’ icon

The first thing the creators of “The Empire Strikes Back” snow walker scene want you to know: They were not inspired by the Port of Oakland cranes.

Star Wars

Meet The Forgotten Women Of NASA

Looking back, the technology that put man on the moon seems incredibly basic. In the early days of space exploration, when electronic computers …

Women's History

The Candy Man Can Make Drop Candy With a Victorian Era Machine

Never has a combination of gears and cranks looked so sweet.<br>On its YouTube channel, Lofty Pursuits, a candy and ice cream shop in Tallahassee, Fla. …

Victorian Era

Google is using radar to build Minority Report-style speakers, home controls, and smartwatches

Today, we tap and swipe to interact with our devices. But Google envisions a <i>Minority Report</i>-like future where people can control their phones, watches, and homes without touching them.<p>On the final day (May 20) of its I/O developer conference, Google showed off improvements to Soli, a radar-based …

Minority Report

Epic Games explains why its backing Google Daydream VR

When you’re getting into the blooming virtual reality market, you need strong partners. Few could be better than Epic Games, the developer behind the powerful game-making tool Unreal Engine 4 and decades of blockbuster hits.<p>Earlier this week, Epic Games announced that it created a plugin for …

Google

Minecraft is headed to China

Microsoft is bringing Minecraft, the insanely popular game it acquired when it bought Mojang for $2.5 billion, to China.<p>The U.S. firm announced today that it and Mojang, which continues to operate the world-building game, have struck a five-year agreement with top Chinese media firm NetEase to …

Asia

Microsoft vows to crack down on ‘terrorist content’ found on some of its services

<i>(Reuters)</i> – With the world growing more concerned about attacks by militant groups on civilians, Microsoft on Friday outlined new policies to crack down what it called “terrorist content” on some of its consumer services.<p>In a blog post, the company said it would ban what it called “terrorist …

Microsoft

Wrist-strap device for alcohol monitoring wins $200,000 prize

<i>(Reuters)</i> – A San Francisco-based company has won a U.S. government-sponsored competition with an alcohol monitoring devices that can be worn on the wrist, the latest milestone in the development of wearable technologies that monitor and diagnose medical conditions.<p>BACtrack, a privately held …

Alcohol

Google has showed a lot of stuff at its big conference each year — here are the hits and flops

Remember Nexus Q, Google's orb-shaped media player?<p>Probably not, since the baffling device never shipped after its unveiling at the company's 2012 developers' conference.<p>And Q isn't Google's only I/O flop over the years.<p>Now that this year's show has wound down, the folks at Venngage took stock of …

Google

3 Simple Reasons Google Home Won't Beat Amazon's Echo

<b>Alphabet</b> 's Google recently revealed Google Home, its response to <b>Amazon</b> 's Echo. Like the Echo, the Home is an always-on speaker which listens for search queries, plays music, and controls connected home automation devices.<p>Google Home. Image source: Google.<p>Home is powered by Google Assistant, which …

Amazon

The teenager obsessed with retro Apple tech

<b>Fifteen-year-old Alex Jason owns a vast collection of vintage Apple devices which he now plans to exhibit near his home in the US state of Maine.</b><p>Alex started collecting his "orchard" at the age of 10 and says he has around 1,000 items, stored in the basement of his family home.<p>He is currently …

Retro

Apple Never Wants You to Leave its New Store

The newest Apple Store highlights the future of one of the world's most successful retail operations<p>Apple’s new flagship store, in the center of San Francisco, will be opening to the public on May 21 — both in the sense of doing business and quite literally.<p>The cavernous two-floored space is a …

Northern California

Google's artificial intelligence chief says 'we're in an AI spring'

“We’re kind in an AI Spring,” says John Giannandrea, Google’s head of machine learning.<p>Giannandrea's statement — a reference to the term AI winter — sums up how the use cases, interest and research in artificial intelligence are really taking off.<p>During a Google I/O panel on Friday held at the …

Machine Learning

Google is bringing its futuristic gesture-sensing radar to actual products

MOUNTAIN VIEW, California — Google's closer than ever to making Project Soli, its experimental gesture-based radar project, a reality.<p>During a session at the I/O developer conference Friday, Google's ATAP (Advanced Technology and Products) group showed off two new products that have Project Soli's …

Google

Google’s modular Project Ara phone is shipping to developers this fall

On the last day of I/O, Google's ATAP division has finally given us some firm details on when it will release a very real Project Ara modular phone. A developer edition running Android with a 5.3-inch screen is shipping this fall, while a consumer version of the phone will be available some time in …

Google

IBM Scientists Achieve Storage Memory Breakthrough

For the first time, scientists at IBM Research have demonstrated reliably storing 3 bits of data per cell using a relatively new memory technology …

IBM

Indians demand government action after temperatures hit 51C

Residents of a city in the north-west of India have called for government action as temperatures reached a searing 51C (123.8F), the highest the country has experienced since records began.<p>Phalodi, in the desert state of Rajasthan, is suffering an unprecedented medical crisis as a result of the …

Asia

Uber riders are willing to pay up to 9.9x in surge pricing if their phone battery's low

We all give apps quite a bit of information about ourselves and our phones when we download them.<p>One of the things you may not realize is that Uber can tell when your phone battery is about to die. In an episode of NPR’s The Hidden Brain, Uber’s head of economic research Keith Chen says when you …

Batteries

These stick on lenses turn your smartphone into a digital microscope

It's a cliché to say that your smartphone is pocket-sized computer, but sometimes we forget exactly how powerful these devices are. BLIPS — a set of thin, stick-on lenses that turn your cell phone into a portable, digital microscope — are a brilliant reminder.<p>The lenses are currently available on …

Microscopes

Apple iOS 9.3.2 Has A Great Secret Feature

iOS 9.3.2 has a nasty surprise and my upgrade guide recommends you skip it for now. But if you have already installed the update (or will do regardless) there is good news: it hides a great secret feature…<p><i>‘Great Features’ and ‘Nasty Surprises’ are my regular columns investigating operating system</i> …

Apple News

Apple might let users unlock Mac via Touch ID on iPhone with OS X 10.12

An OS X feature under construction by Apple may let people unlock their Mac by way of Touch ID on a paired iPhone, a report said on Thursday.<p>A promo …

iPhone