Huawei’s Mate S pips Apple to the Force-Touch-enabled smartphone postIFA 2015 is underway in Berlin, Germany and has already been full of surprises, like the announcement of Sony’s 4K-display-touting Z5 Premium phablet and Huawei releasing a gold smartwatch that costs as much as Apple’s top-end Watch Edition (it starts at $10,000). But the Chinese electronics company had another surprise up its sleeve: it’s released a phone with Force Touch — a touch screen that can distinguish between different degrees of pressure — a feature that’s found on the Apple Watch and that’s widely rumoured to be making its way to Apple’s next iPhones… which, of course, aren’t out yet. Oh, and it can also be used to weigh things, like oranges (and, presumably, apples). But buyer beware, the Force Touch functionality doesn’t come standard across the range, so if you want it you’re going to have to make sure you pick the right model and you’re going to have to pay a premium for it.
AIs and robots may soon learn from missteps in real-time (uh-oh)As things currently stand, artificial intelligences tend to need a bit of time to process an error, mistake or other misstep. But that could soon change thanks to a technique called Integral Reinforcement Learning that’s been patented by a team of researchers at the University or Texas at Arlington. There are all sorts of real-world applications for this, from autopilot systems to car emissions systems, but we can’t help thinking it’s exactly these sorts of advances that are going to bring our robot overlords’ ascension that much closer.
Google, now with added triviaDays after Google unveiled its updated logos the company has added another feature to its search engine. Search for “fun facts” or “I’m feeling curious” and Google returns Q&A style trivia. Like “How many countries are in Africa?” With the answer, “There are 47 countries on the African continent, including the disputed territory of Western Sahara. However, the islands off the coast are also usually listed as African, bringing the total to 53. The island nations are Cape Verde, São Tomé and Príncipe, Madagascar, the Comoros, the Seychelles, and Mauritius.” Each fact also includes a link to the source, and the sources seem incredibly diverse, not that we lost half an hour repeatedly clicking the “Ask another question” button that show up beneath each trivia snippet or anything.
The MacGyver of jackets is the best clothing Kickstarter everFrom remembering your travel pillow to hoping the airline gives you an eye mask and trying to remember everything you need out of your carry-on before you sit down, lest you have to clamber over the passenger you’ve just finished a passive aggressive battle for the armrest with, travel can be the worst. Clothing company Baubax wants to change that with its range of travel jackets for men and women that include a built-in neck pillow, gloves, drink pocket, earphone holders, a range of pockets designed for tech like smartphones and tablets and even offer a pen-and-stylus-combo on the zip pull-tab. Sadly, there’s no Swiss Army Knife pocket or built-in Leatherman, but then, airlines don’t take kindly to that sort of thing. The garment is available as a blazer, windbreaker, bomber or sweatshirt and has managed to raise almost $9 million on crowdfunding platform Kickstarter. It’s fundraising project ends later today, so if you’d like to get in on the ground floor, best you hurry.