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Tuesday - October 28, 2014
elon-musk-artificial-intelligence-demon
Elon Musk fielded questions for more than an hour on electric cars, Mars colonization and his Hyperloop idea, but it was the seconds he devoted to artificial intelligence that got his MIT audience sitting up straighter. Musk called for regulatory oversight to "make sure that we don't do something very foolish," characterizing AI as a demon that might not be subdued by sprinkling holy water. [More...]

Tuesday - October 28, 2014
Malware writers behind Koler, a bad app that attacks Android devices, have upped their game with a new variant of the pernicious program. In its original version, Koler hijacked phones it landed on and wouldn't set them free until a ransom was paid. This latest strain of the malapp also does the ransomware thing, but it takes its malignancy a step further. [More...]

Tuesday - October 28, 2014
ikea-motorized-sit-stand-desk-ergonomics
There are all sorts of contraptions available to raise desktop equipment to standing work level, but they tend to be awkward or expensive. That's changing, as a simple motorized push-button desk from IKEA suggests. "Everyone is finally getting onto the bandwagon," said furniture industry analyst Mike Dunlap. "Every company I know that makes the mechanics can't keep up with the demand." [More...]

Monday - October 27, 2014
fitbit-charge-hr-surge
With smartwatches providing all sorts of health and fitness options, and activity-tracking gadgets selling for as little as $12 -- that's Pivotal Living's Life Tracker -- is there a place for the pricey dedicated bands Fitbit offers? Possibly. Serious fitness enthusiasts may not need or want all the bells and whistles of a smartwatch, but they might appreciate Fitbit's feature-rich alternatives. [More...]

Monday - October 27, 2014
amazon-fire-tv-stick
With Chromecast lording over streaming online content devices, Amazon decided to bring its own Fire TV Stick to market. It has more storage and RAM than Google's Chromecast, and it's more powerful than the Roku Streaming Stick. "Amazon loyalists and prime members will buy this -- and because of its price, it could be broadly successful with the general public," said tech analyst Greg Sterling. [More...]

Monday - October 27, 2014
tesla-s
In every industry, there are pivotal moments when influential people decide to go one way or another, and the industry changes forever. I think the auto industry has reached the moment when it can decide either to embrace the future and improve, or fight the future and be crushed by it. I'm afraid the industry is making the wrong choice, and I doubt it will get another government bailout. [More...]

Saturday - October 25, 2014
hendo-hoverboard
Hendo's hoverboard actually works. Albeit only over certain metallic surfaces -- because it works using magnets. And only an inch above the floor. And for about 15 minutes before the battery dies. We were so close, science. The creators admit this is more a proof of concept than anything else, with possible practical applications like shifting heavy goods around a factory floor more efficiently. [More...]

Friday - October 24, 2014
aero-robot-wpi-ebola
The good news is there are robots in development -- such as WPI's Aero, pictured here -- that could give help aid workers who are fighting the Ebola crisis, performing some of the tasks that present the highest risks for exposure. The bad news is the robots won't be ready in time -- unless current efforts to stop Ebola fail, and it becomes a much more widespread and persistent pandemic. [More...]

Friday - October 24, 2014
Google on Wednesday introduced Inbox, a free mobile app that aims to separate the email wheat from the chaff. It's currently available to Android and iPhone users on an invitation-only basis. The software is aimed at managing email on small screens, although once set up and running on a phone, it can be accessed through Google's Chrome browser on a desktop. [More...]

Thursday - October 23, 2014
hi-seas-mars-mission-simulation
They may never actually go to Mars, but the HI-SEAS crew will come closer than anyone who actually does to learning what it would be like. The three men and three women will spend eight months together in a small dome on the slopes of a Hawaiian volcano, with only limited excursions outside in simulated spacesuits. Researchers will study their psychology and social dynamics, among other things. [More...]

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