Tech Talk

• GOOGLE is expected to unveil its new flagship smartphone next month in San Francisco.

The October 4 media event was announced on Monday night in a new YouTube video that showed the web giant’s familiar horizontal search bar slowly morphing into the outline of a vertical, phone-shaped rectangle to the sounds of Redbone’s “Come and get your love”.

The video does not reveal a name for the expected device but does close with the company’s familiar G logo flanking one side of the phone outline. There is speculation the phones will be called the Pixel and Pixel XL.

• A NEW device developed by researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) can detect a person’s emotions using wireless signals reflecting off a person’s body to measure human behaviour.

Researchers from MIT’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory say their EQ-Radio device is 87 per cent accurate in telling if someone is excited, happy, angry or sad. It’s as accurate as an electrocardiogram monitor, which uses a sensor on the body, in measuring heartbeats.

They say it could one day be used by film studios and advertising agencies to gauge audience reaction, in homes to adjust temperature based on mood, or in health care.

• THE web-browsing feature of New York City’s sidewalk Wi-Fi kiosks will be disabled after critics complained that homeless people were monopolising them and using them to charge their phones and watch pornography.

The consortium that installed 400 LinkNYC kiosks across the city said it will remove web browsing from the kiosks while it works with city officials to explore potential solutions to their abuse. The kiosks will still provide free domestic calls, phone charging and fast Wi-Fi with the user’s own device.

• A NEW Twitter app is coming to Xbox One, Apple TV and Amazon Fire TV, where viewers will be able to watch NFL games on Thursday nights. The short-messaging service secured the rights to stream 10 Thursday night games this year as it attempts to broaden its appeal. It’s hoping that live video of sports and other events will help stimulate more interest in its service. The apps, which are free, will have all the live-streaming video available on Twitter. Besides the football games, this includes content from the NBA and Bloomberg News.

• A TALL buoy off the coast of Hawaii is providing the first wave-produced electricity to go online in the United States. The current generated travels through an undersea cable for a mile to a military base, where it feeds into Oahu’s power grid.

By some estimates, the ocean’s endless motion packs enough power to meet a quarter of America’s energy needs and dramatically reduce the nation’s reliance on oil, gas and coal.

The US Navy has established a test site in Hawaii, with hopes the technology can someday be used to produce clean, renewable power for offshore fuelling stations for the fleet and provide electricity to coastal communities in fuel-starved places around the world.


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