1. It’s difficult to discern what Apple is these days, besides a place for the Apple faithful to congregate.
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    Seriously, what’s the point of the Apple Watch?

    The tech company’s latest offering is little more than a fashion accessory

     

  2. Newly crowned “Sexiest Man Alive" Kim Jong Un isn’t the biggest fan of Park Sang-hak, an anti-Pyongyang defector now living in South Korea who’s near the top of North Korea’s hit list. The outspoken activist was recently the target of a would-be assassin equipped with three seemingly innocent, easy-to-conceal weapons plucked straight from a 007 script. A South Korea “investigation official,” speaking with CNN, described the weapons thus: A poison-tipped device built to look like a Parker ballpoint pen; a second pen equipped to shoot poison-filled bullets directly into the skin; and a small flashlight rigged to fire three bullets at close range. “You’d notice a gun,” said Park, “but these weapons are so innocuous [they could] easily kill someone [without warning]. I’d be dead immediately.” Park is hardly the first to be the target of top-secret spy weaponry. 

    8 real-life spy weapons

    (Source: theweek.com)

     

  3. "As much as it seems like some greedy ploy by Apple to screw you over and force you into buying another set of expensive toys," the truth is that "any innovative, forward-looking company has to make these difficult breaks with the status quo." Adrian Covert, Gizmodo

    A new reports suggest that Apple is shrinking its dock connector — rendering iPhone users’ current accessories frustratingly obsolete.

    (Source: theweek.com)

     

  4. MIT Researchers programmed a group of humanoid robots from Aldebaran Robotics to dance in unison to Michael Jackson’s “Thriller” by sensing their environment and coordinating their movements through a central server — rather than trying to awkwardly follow one another directly. This way, even if a robot gets out of step, it can catch up with its peers by communicating with the hub. Bacteria and some insects employ a similar technique called quorum sensing

    Watch the amazing robots that do the ‘Thriller’ dance in sync

    (Source: theweek.com)

     

  5. Step aside, Rosie there’s a new bot in town. Cornell roboticists have built and successfully tested a canny new housecleaning bot. Of course, building a machine that “knows” where to put your things isn’t easy: The robot has to survey a room, identify the components of the mess you’ve made, and figure out where everything belongs — before actually getting to work.

    Cornell’s robo-housekeeper uses advanced algorithms and a 3D Kinect camera to identify misplaced dishes, groceries, books, toys, and trash before putting them in their proper places with a mechanical arm.  

    See this robo-housekeeper in action

    (Source: theweek.com)

     

  6. Like Xerox, Kleenex, and Google, Sony’s Walkman was the rare brand that was so popular it became the thing itself. The Japanese electronics giant was ubiquitous in other ways, too, and there was a time when it seemed as if everyone owned a Sony device, whether it was a television, a camcorder, or a stereo. But in the iPad age, Sony seems to have all but disappeared from the marketplace for must-have gadgets. 

    The company is set to post a loss of $2.7 billion for the current fiscal year. It was worth $100 billion in 2000, but since then has lost 80 percent of its value. And it’s even struggling in its native Japan, where for the first time, Apple was just voted the country’s top consumer brand.

    What happened? And how can its new CEO, Kazuo Hirai, turn the company around? 

     

  7. Researchers at South Korea’s Sungkyunkwan University have discovered a technique that could use the sound of your voice to charge your phone. Although for now you really have to shout to give your battery much of a boost. A prototype needed 100 decibels — the equivalent of noisy traffic or a jet passing overhead — to generate 50 millivolts of electricity. That’s enough to give a smartphone battery a lift, but far from the 5 to 12 volts needed to properly charge the typical mobile device.