Tech - Best Of The Day

By Jorin Cowley | The greatest technology stories found everyday. 24/7/365

Gene editing could create medicines and self-fertilising crops. But are we facing another GM food-style furore?

Outside Norwich, in a refrigerated cupboard in the basement of the John Innes Centre, racks of glass tubes filled with bright green shoots have been arranged in neat, carefully labelled layers. They look like salad pots at a fast-food outlet.

These young barley plants are special, however, and not …


The Hunt for the Algorithms That Drive Life on Earth

To the computer scientist Leslie Valiant, “machine learning” is redundant. In his opinion, a toddler fumbling with a rubber ball and a deep-learning …


There's a totally new way to genetically modify our food

Few topics in science are as hotly debated as that of genetically modified organisms, or GMOs.

These are foods — usually plants, though we're starting to see animals too — whose DNA has been modified to include genes from other organisms to produce a particular trait, such as disease or pesticide …


Brain damaged violinist makes music for first time in 27 years with mind-reading technology

Rosemary Johnson had made music for the first time since suffering a devastating car crash in her 20s.

Violinist Rosemary Johnson has spent the last 27 years coming to terms with the reality she would never make music again, following a devastating car crash.

A member of the Welsh National Opera …

The Brain

The next wave in storytelling is short-form video

Social video apps are nothing new. However, these video tools have been slow to gain widespread enthusiasm from brands as a serious content distribution channel — until now.

Meerkat and Periscope put instant video into the hands of the masses, but now we’re finally seeing the rest of the major …


Soft Robots for Surgery Are Just Around the Engineering Corner

Behind the collective cringe of surgery there's certainly many things: blood, lights, cold sterility, possibility of death. But the whole ordeal is symbolized perfectly by its tools, the rigidity of steel in hyper-intimate contact with the profound squish of the human body.

Fortunately, this jarring …


Apocalypse, Or How I Learned To Stop Worrying And Love AI

The force has been strong for artificial intelligence over the last few weeks, what with Slack announcing a fund for bots, Elon Musk announcing OpenAI and, of course, the release of Star Wars. This has given all of us new hope — and even more reason to talk about AI and bots controlling every …

Artificial Intelligence

Here's how Twitter's new algorithmic timeline is going to work

Twitter went into an uproar Friday after a BuzzFeed report that the social network was on the brink introducing an algorithmic, more Facebook-style feed. Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey tried to calm fears this morning in a series of tweets, but he did not deny the substance of the report. High-profile …

Social Media

Watch This Guy Summon His Tesla With An Apple Watch

Tesla recently added a feature to its Model S allowing users to summon their car like an obedient dog, and now the Apple Watch is on board too. Other …


5 Ways Twitter Has Changed Since Jack Dorsey Returned As CEO

A rundown of the changes we've seen at Twitter since Jack Dorsey returned to the helm

It's been only seven months since Twitter cofounder Jack Dorsey returned to the company as interim CEO—and three months since that role was made permanent—but we've already seen major changes taking shape at the …

Jack Dorsey

Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey denies timeline changes (sort of), talks #RIPTwitter

All the hashtag angst and insider commentary regarding Twitter's potential timeline changes finally came to a head on Saturday, forcing the company's CEO, Jack Dorsey to finally weigh in on the matter.

Directly addressing the #RIPTwitter hashtag that has been trending worldwide for the last 24 …


Asteroid mining could be space’s new frontier: the problem is doing it legally

When Buzz Aldrin and Neil Armstrong hoisted the Stars and Stripes on the moon, the act was purely symbolic. Two years earlier, mindful of Cold War animosity, the 1967 Outer Space Treaty (OST) had decreed that outer space, including the moon and other celestial bodies, “is not subject to national …


Here's how much the iPhone's software has changed over time

Apple released the first version of iOS, called iPhone OS, in 2007. It shipped on the original iPhone and was based on OS X, the operating system that runs on the Mac.

Apps like Safari, Mail, and Messages were reminiscent of the Mac counterparts, giving the phone a PC-like feel.

Over time, Apple has …

iPhone Apps

The Future Of Astronomy: The Giant (25 Meter!) Magellan Telescope

Throughout history, there have been four things that have determined just how much information we can glean about the Universe through astronomy:

The size of your telescope, which determines both how much light you can gather in a given amount of time and also your resolution.
• The quality of your …

Space Science

Automakers in the age of extinction

In the next few decades, the transportation sector is going to be blown up in every conceivable way. This isn't some sort of idle, dramatic prediction: we're already hitting the leading edge of it, fueled by a convergence of technology, vast climate change, urbanization, and a generation ambiguous …

Automotive Industry

A new MIT computer chip could allow your smartphone to do complex AI tasks

Yesterday, a team of researchers from MIT introduced a new computer chip optimized for deep-learning, an approach to artificial intelligence that is gaining popularity. The chip, dubbed "Eyeriss" could allow mobile devices to perform tasks like natural language processing and facial recognition …

Artificial Intelligence

Genetic Engineering Now Allows Parents to Select the Gender and Eye Color of Their Children

The premier episode of the fourth season of HBO's mini-documentary series Vice will include a segment on genetic engineering that examines what researchers and doctors around the world have achieved with technologies like CRISPR. Clustered Regularly-Interspaced Short Palindromic Repeats is a …


This Power Plant Can Turn A Third Of Shenzhen's Trash Into Energy Every Day

A group of Danish architects is designing the largest waste-to-energy plant ever built.

In December, dozens of people were killed in Shenzhen when a landslide of refuse and construction waste from the Hongao Construction Waste Dump collapsed. Shenzhen, a city that has grown faster and bigger than …


U.S., Britain consider letting spy agencies, police seek email, chat data from companies

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. and UK spy agencies and police may soon be allowed to directly ask media companies in each others' countries for email and online chat data for people being investigated, under a tentative bilateral deal, officials said on Friday.

As governments worldwide and online …


New Air Force Satellites Launched To Improve GPS

This morning, the United Launch Alliance (ULA) successfully launched a Boeing-built satellite into orbit as part of the U.S. Air Force’s Global Positioning System (GPS).

This $131 million satellite was the final addition to the Air Force’s most recent 12-satellite GPS series, known as the Block IIF …


Why These Big Companies Want a New 3D File Format

The likes of Microsoft, GE, and HP want a new file format to streamline 3D manufacturing.

Despite an anemic 2015 in the 3D printing world, economic predictions for the industry’s overall growth remain bright. But in the eyes of large businesses with a stake in the expansion of the 3D printing market …


The British want to come to America — with wiretap orders and search warrants

If U.S. and British negotiators have their way, MI5, the British domestic security service, could one day go directly to American companies like Facebook or Google with a wiretap order for the online chats of British suspects in a counter­terrorism investigation.

The transatlantic allies have …


It looks like Google wants to charge its self-driving cars wirelessly

FCC filings spotted by IEEE Spectrum suggest that Google is in the process of installing wireless charging systems at its headquarters campus and the nearby Castle facility — a former Air Force base where the company tests its self-driving cars.

The documents point to installations from Hevo Power …


The International Space Station is getting its first BBC live stream this weekend

Tim Peake became the first official British astronaut when he launched to the International Space Station in December. Now, as he floats 250 miles above the Earth, he gets to take part in another first for the UK. On Saturday the BBC will beam its first ever broadcast to the ISS — the Six Nations …


Let's help this psychotic Smart Home kill its owner

If you were an artificially intelligent Smart Home, how would you murder your master? That's the question posed by a recent post on StackExchange's WorldBuilding forum. The basic parameters are simple: you control all household items in a conventional home, but your existential servitude fills you …

Internet of Things

Apple now selling a classic take on the virtual reality headset with the new View-Master

Apple today has started selling the View-Master Virtual Reality Starter Pack on its online store. With all the news about the company building out and prototyping virtual reality tech, it’s interesting to see it offering a glimpse at what that future tech may be by selling the device on the online …

Augmented Reality

Apple is selling View-Master's iPhone VR headset

One week ago, Apple CEO Tim Cook mentioned to investors that he finds virtual reality "really cool" and believes it won't remain "a niche." And now a week later, a lot of people are noticing that Apple actually sells a virtual-reality headset on its website.

"[Virtual reality] has some interesting …


The Apple Watch got me hooked on mechanical watches

I’m Marco Arment: a programmer, writer, podcaster, geek, and coffee enthusiast.

I never thought I’d be a watch person. (Or that I’d wear blue …

Top Tech Expert: The Next Trillion-Dollar Industry Will Be Built on Genetic Code

Alec Ross served as former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's senior advisor for innovation. During that role, he earned unique insight into the changing nature of technology. In his new book, "The Industries of the Future," Ross not only lays out the key industries that will shape the 21st