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September 21, 2014

Weekly Byte : 14/9/14 ~ 21/9/14

In today's tech news, Apple tried to hide an embarrassing bulge?! MIT created a huge tentacle robot?! Google bought a company that makes vibrating spoons?! (my apologies for I simply couldn't pass up the opportunities for innuendos) All this and many more this week!

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. Another eventful week within the tech industry , so without further ado lets jump right in.

The Facebook of high-rollers?:
Are you incredibly wealthy? Are you annoyed by the things common folks share on social media sites? Are you looking for some way to assert your wealthy status? If you answered yes to any of the above then this might just be right for you. Known as Netropolitan , it initially has a sign-fee of $9,000 , yes you read that right , nine thousand dollars , and for each following year you will have to pay an additional $3,000 per year. As for what justifies the high cost of the membership , I honestly have no clue , Netropolitan has so far been quite secretive about what they actually supply. One thing has been clear though , they are not a concierge service , it is clearly stated on the website's About section. Interested in this particular social media site , read more about it here.

Fomer NBA player stealing $14,000 worth of products from the Apple Store:
Rex Chapman , the former NBA player has stolen $14,000 worth of products from the Apple Store by pretending he was using the iPhone-based Easy pay system. He would then pawn the stolen goods at a local pawn shop to earn some easy money. Recently discovered by local policemen , he was arrested on nine counts of organized retail theft and five counts of trafficking stolen property. Read up more about it here.

eBay log-in page imposters arise in attempt to phish your usernames and credit card numbers:
Reports have claimed that some eBay auction listings are redirecting users of said service to a fake eBay log-in page that will steal the unknowing user's information , log-in passwords , and credit card credentials. Most of the listings with said malicious attempts of phising have been removed , and eBay is still actively seeking out these scam attempts. However , just to be safe , always make sure to check the URL in your address bar to ensure you're logging into an official site and not giving your info away to scammers! Read up more about this here.

Talking to dolphins now made available by technology:
Ever wished that you could talk to the cute and friendly mammal of the sea known as dolphins? Well now through technology you actually can! Using an underwater computer known as the CHAT interface , it essentially examines the frequency of the sound that a dolphin makes and cross reference it to a pre-installed database , and translates it into human words. Awesome isn't it? As of right now , it is still undergoing the testing phase but eventually the computer might also be programmed to work with other animals too. Read up more about this here.

Patent filed for virtual reality helmet to enhance in-flight experience:
A newly filed patent by Airbus suggest that plane manufacturers include virtual reality helmets that are built in to your seats and can be pulled over your heads to be activated , just like what we see in sci-fi movies. The aim of this is to enhance in-flight experience as some passengers tend to feel discomfort being stuck in a seat with nothing to do for hours on end , this virtual reality helmet will transport them into a whole world figuratively speaking. However I am a bit sceptical as to whether it will work for everyone because I tend to be on the short side of the human height spectrum and I just don't see this working as intended for shorter people or children whose head don't reach the headrest. Read up more about this here.

India aims to cover rural areas with massive digital infrastructures by 2019:
With a $17 billion government program , India aims to build massive digital infrastructures that will provide internet connectivity to an estimated 800 million rural citizens by the year 2019. Just approved by the Indian cabinet last month , this is certainly no small feat to be achieved. India , which just so happens to be one of the fastest growing smartphone markets in the world , aims to achieve this goal in three years , and if they do it will certainly be a game changer! Read up more about it here.

China creates the first every "no cellphone" sidewalk lane:
Have you ever been in the situation where you're in a hurry to somewhere and you're met with this eerily zombie like human slowly shuffling about as they stare blankly at their smartphone screen? I'm sure you have , and I'm also fairly sure that is why China has created a pedestrian sidewalk with two lanes , one for the humans and one for the "zombies". This sidewalk is located at the Chinese city of Chongqing and has a length of 50 metres. Will this seemingly funny idea work out , and set an example for future sidewalks? Would it even be implemented within our nation where "zombies" are increasing at an alarming rate? Who knows , there's always the possibility. Read up more about it here.

MIT invents tentacle robot that can squeeze into tight spots:
This tentacle robot is believed to be better suited to move through human environments compared to our traditional concept of what a robot looks like. Invented by MIT's Computer Science and Artificial Lab (CSAIL) , this tentacle and the motors that power it is mostly made out of silicone. As of right now members of MIT's CSAIL are working on implementing "fingers" of sorts to allow the tentacle robot to pick up and manoeuvre objects. They are certainly creative in their ways I must say , read up more about this here.

What is the Seatylock:
Seatylock , a Brooklyn-based Kickstarter aims to remove the hassle and trouble of bringing a bicycle lock whenever you want to take your bike out for a ride. They do this by designing a bike seat which can be easily detached and be used as a bike lock. This also prevents your bike seats from getting stolen! Read and check out their Kickstarter campaign here.

Apple tried to hide an embarrassing bulge?!:
No , it isn't what you thought it was , Apple did not hide any sexual organs of sorts , however they seemed to have tried to hide the bulge of the cameras that are found in their newest iteration of the iPhone. Quite a few images of said product seem to be missing the camera bulge found on the actual product. Could it be clever placement and lighting , or have they just edited the bulge out? Read up more about it here.

Logitech announces their new mechanical gaming keyboard:
Logitech has recently announced the G910 Orion Spark gaming keyboard. The keyboard which Logitech claims to be the "most advanced mechanical gaming keyboard in the world" uses exclusive Romer-G mechanical switches that reportedly better for gaming. This keyboard also has RGB lights so that you can customise the colour to your personal preference , it also has a smartphone app to complement the keyboard , the app named "Arx Control Intelligence" will provide system information , in-game information and media controls just to name a few. Read up more about it here.

Samsung announces their 27" curved monitor:
Samsung has announced the Samsung SD590C , the 27" inch curved screen with a resolution of 1920x1080 pixel and 4 millisecond delay time. It aims to increase the feeling of immersion for the users of said monitor. The monitor has gone on sale in South Korea but no details can be found on whether this monitor will hit the worldwide market anytime soon. As usual , stay tuned and we will let you know as soon as we do!

DARPA testing jetpacks that will help soldiers run faster:
The first thing that comes to mind when we think of jetpacks are these modules that we strap to our backs and it propels us high up to the sky , well , it's actually a pretty accurate description for the DARPA funded project known as the 4 minute mile. What is different is that this particular project aims to help future soldiers run a mile in 4 minutes equipped fully with their heavy combat gear by giving them a boost not directly upwards , but more of a 45 degree angle. Read up more about it here.

The Smart Gun that is only usable by the owner of said gun:
Invented by 17-year old Kai Kloepfer for the Smart Tech for Firearms Challenge , this gun can only be unlocked by the fingerprint of said gun's owner. It keeps all the data within the gun itself and not uploaded to anywhere so it would be pretty resistant to hacking attempts. With this amazing invention , Kloepfer has won $50,000 in said challenge. Read up more about it here.


Microsoft acquiring the hit sandbox game Minecraft for $2 billion:
Even if you are living under a rock , you've probably heard about this by now. But if you haven't , Microsoft is acquiring the makers of Minecraft - Mojang AB for a total of $2 billion dollars. Analyst speculate that this unlikely acquisition's main goal is to boost the sales of Microsoft's own line of smartphone aptly known as the Windows phone. This has also created a huge wave within the gaming community and some extremist has taken initiative to call the founder of Mojang AB Markkus "Notch" Persson a sellout for letting the company go. Read up more about it here.

Google shows interest in the field of biotech and acquired startup company Lift Labs:
Google has recently acquired startup company Lift Labs , which has invented a high-tech spoon that counteracts the tremor of Parkinson's disease victims. They achieve this by distinguishing which movements are essential and which are unwanted , then the spoon vibrates slightly to counteract the unwanted movements. This produces a smooth and fluid movement for spoons to travel from hand to mouth. Read up more about it here.

Well , that's about it for this week folks ! I hope you guys had 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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