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August 24, 2014

Weekly Byte : 17/8/14 ~ 24/8/14


In today's tech news, giant flying puppets , sitting on thin air , Google searching for the answer to the universe and many more!

Hello , ladies and gentlemen! This is Jack from Tech-Critter and welcome to another Weekly Byte , your weekly byte sized summary for everything tech related. Same as last week , the tech industry seems to be buzzing with news this week too so lets dive right in!

Google's self-driving car prototypes:
Google has rolled out self-driving car prototypes that is a cute two-seater with a front that looks like a smiley face.This pleasant looking car initially came with only buttons that controlled the self-driving software , but due to The California Department of Motor Vehicles issuing rules that states drivers must have "physical control" of a vehicle Google will now include steering wheels , brake and accelerate pedals and the likes into newer prototypes.
Read up more about this from the original article here.

Samsung Gear 3 might have a curved screen:
Rumours suggest that the 3rd iteration of the Samsung Gear will have a curved AMOLED screen that will be more rectangular than square in shape. Is this actually true , there isn't any official statement from Samsung about this , but we will know soon enough since the Samsung Gear 3 is planned to be launch at IFA 2014 which is happening in a few days.

New USB  type will take over by storm?:
Have any of you ever got frustrated due to not getting the USB plugged in on the first attempt? Or maybe the 5Gbps USB 3.0 just isn't cutting it for you anymore? Well have no fear because USB Type-C is here. Finalized just earlier this month , the USB Type-C (USB 3.1) will have a top speed of 10Gbps which doubles the top speed of USB 3.0 that was released in 2008 , and can be plugged in both ways so you can get it right the first time now! USB Type-C will be used universally and will simplify the way we work with devices , the only thing left is the time it will take to take over the current USB in terms of popularity. What are your thoughts on this , how long do you guys think it'll take? Read up more on this here.

Smarter and greener lightbulbs:
Eco-friendly lightbulbs are nothing extraordinary, but larger manufacturers seem to favour using apps to control the brightness of the bulbs. Gimmy Chu , Tom Rodinger and Christian Yan seems to have a different approach towards this subject. They reckon the Nanoleaf Bloom that is invented by them is a better alternative. The Nanoleaf Bloom is a dimmable lightbulb containing 33 omni-directional LED lights that lets you adjust the brightness with your existing ON/OFF switch. Their project which is crowdfunded via popular crowdfunding site Kickstarter can be found here.

Windows 9 preview coming sooner than we think:
Windows 9 which is codenamed "Threshold" will be the successor of Windows 8 which was released a mere two years ago. It might coming sooner than we think , Tom Warren , a well-known Microsoft watcher from The Verge states that the company is planning to unveil the new revision of Windows at a media event on September 30th, of course the date might be subjected to change but multiple sources confirmed that they would make a preview of it late September through early October. Read up more on this in an interesting write up by Tom Warren here.

#Icebucketchallenge apparently not only for humans:
The popular ALS Ice Bucket Challenge which goal is to raise awareness of the disease is apparently not only for humans. Samsung's Galaxy S5 took up the challenge and nominated the iPhone 5S , the HTC One M8 and the Nokia Lumia 930 which happen to be lacking the water resistant feature that the Galaxy S5 has. Will the phones step up to the challenge? If so , how well will they fare against a bucket of ice cold water? The original video and tweet from Samsung Mobile UK can be found here.

Disney patented drones to pilot giant puppets and become a flying gigantic TV screen:
As the title above stated , Disney recently patented a few patents that might potentially allow drones to work together and  pilot humongous puppets. Another patent also shows that a bunch of drones that carry lights around can group together and change colour to act as a giant TV screen. Does this sound like something straight out of science fiction? Will Disney achieve this seemingly unlikely feat? More on this here.

Potential facelift for power banks:
The QBracelet , which is the brainchild of new startup Q Designs gives a facelift to power banks , bulky charging cases and the likes a facelift by having the form factor of a wearable bracelet as the name of the product suggests. It achieves this by using an innovative way of charging your phones known as Qi charging . More about Qi charging can be found here and more on the QBracelet can be found here.

Google's "Knowledge Vault" seeking the answer to essentially everything:
Google's "Knowledge Vault" , which Google researchers will present a paper on next week in New York uses machine learning to automatically learn , grow and update itself. But of course , this comes at the cost of privacy since your data would probably be gathered amongst many others as the "Knowledge Vault" attempts to learn and grow. More about this can be found here.

"Chairless Chair" lets you sit anywhere anytime:
A Swiss startup that goes by the name Noonee has came up with an exoskeleton of sorts that lets you sit down anywhere at anytime. Aptly named the "Chairless Chair" , this exoskeleton will theoretically let you sit on , well , thin air. Using a locking mechanism to hold the position of the exoskeleton to your liking , it will direct the load on your back and transfer it directly down into your heels. More information can be found that Noonee's official site here.

Moto 360 rumoured to be priced at 250 USD:
The Moto 360 smartwatch showed up on Best Buy under the listed price of 250 USD for a brief moment before being taken down. What do you guys think of the potential pricing of the smartwatch , is it too steep for what it offers or is it a great deal? More info about this can be found here.

Creator of pop-up adverts apologises:
Ethan Zuckerman , the inventor of the Internet's most dreaded way of advertising which is known as the "pop-up" apologises for it. He is incredibly sorry for coding it , but states that his initial intentions for it were good. More background story about this can be found here.

Another eventful week for the tech industry , but I think that is all that happened this week! I hope you guys have a nice weekend, once again this has been Jack bringing you the Weekly Byte. Stay tuned next week for more tech news, thanks for reading!

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