10 must-read articles for 18 August (Wired UK)


Project Ara
Project Ara

Google’s modular phone could show the way for multiple other technology ventures

Google


Your WIRED.co.uk daily briefing. Today, CCTV is going automated, Google delays modular phone and age ratings come to music videos. 

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1. ‘Automated CCTV’ could revolutionise UK surveillance

Despite the proliferation of CCTV, technology for handling the petabytes of data collected is still little more than human eyeballs and lots of patience. That might be about to change. New technology could allow police and security services to quickly analyse CCTV footage to look for movement, faces and track suspects across the world. (WIRED.co.uk)

2. Google delays Ara modular phone

Google’s conceptual modular phone, designed to allow users to upgrade their camera or processor without exchanging their whole handset, has been delayed. A trial intended for Puerto Rico is now scheduled for 2016 at the earliest. The search giant said that it had been set back by “lots of iterations… more than we thought” but insisted it remained committed to the idea. (BBC)

3. Age ratings coming to online music videos

UK-produced music videos will be asked to feature clear age ratings on YouTube and Vevo. The British Board of Classification worked with the British Phonographic Industry on the new ratings system, which will be voluntarily applied by the music industry as part of a government initiative. (The Guardian)

4. Darkode hacker pleads guilty

One of the 12 people charged with sharing stolen data from at least 77,000 computers on the Darkode forum has pleaded guilty in the United States. Eric Crocker, 39, admitted violating CAN-SPAM Act, a federal law on violations of Internet communication, and now faces up to three years in prison, a fine of $250,000, or both. Crocker and his Darkode colleagues were paid up to $300 for every computer their compromised with the Facebook Spreader hacking tool. (Reuters)

5. The Moon has a neon atmosphere

Nasa’s Lunar Atmosphere and Dust Environment Explorer crashed into our Moon back in 2014, but it’s still yielding interesting science. The latest findings show that the Moon’s extremely thin atmosphere contains abundant amounts of neon. Though not enough to make the Moon glow on its own, the neon peaks on the Moon around 4am while argon spikes at sunrise, and helium at 1am due to the interaction of particles from the Sun with the Lunar exosphere. (Nasa)

6. Google launches Hangouts website

Google has built a standalone website for chatting to and talking to your Google contacts, in what appears to be another effort to extract its core products from the clutches of Google+. The Handouts website does not separate Gmail and Hangouts entirely, but lets you use one without using the other. The heavily-visual website gives straightforward access to video calling, chat and voice calls. (Engadget)


7. Android M is actually named ‘Marshmallow’

The confectionary name for the next version of the world’s most numerically popular smartphone OS has been revealed: Marshmallow. Google said that Android 6.0, which was revealed at its annual I/O conference in May and will be released in the Autumn, will be represented by the gooey, meltable treats rather than M&Ms or Mars bars, and has uncovered a statue to that effect on its campus. (The Verge)

8. Brain-controlled exoskeleton unveiled

A South Korean and German research team have developed a direct brain control interface for an exoskeleton. The system allows users to control the lower-body exoskeleton, with movements including walking, turning and sitting, without having to directly control each limb’s actions. Published in the Journal of Neural Engineering, it is hoped the technique could lead to more effective exoskeleton-based systems to help disabled or ageing people to remain more mobile. (Phys.org)

9. Superconductivity record hailed as ‘historic’ step to energy revolution

Researchers have demonstrated superconductivity — conducting electricity with zero resistance — at the highest-ever temperatures. While the record, using hydrogen sulphide, was achieved at a still-chilly -70 degrees C, it has sparked a “wave of excitement” in the science world as the search continues for a superconductor which could be operational at room temperature. (Nature)

10. Motorola’s next smartwatches briefly revealed

The next line-up of Moto 360 smartwatches is not far away from being released, and the rumours are that at least two variant sizes of the device will be revealed at launch. A Brazilian FCC listing shows that Motorola Mobility has registered a ‘360S’ and ‘360L’ device, with roughly the same battery capacity as the previous, well-received wearable. (Gizmodo)

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Inflatable, 20km tall ‘space elevator’ could replace rocket

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18 August 2015 | 6:46 am – Source: wired.co.uk

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