In the tech world, a lot happens in a week. So much news goes on that it’s almost impossible for mere mortals with real lives to keep track of everything. That’s why we’ve compiled a quick and dirty list of the top 10 tech stories from this week. Everything from Carrie Fisher’s death to the worst tech fails in 2016, it’s all here.
Star Wars actress Carrie Fisher passed away Tuesday morning at the age of 60, according to a statement from her family. Fisher had been hospitalized following a “cardiac episode” that occurred during a flight from London to Los Angeles on Friday. She was previously listed in stable condition, with her brother reporting that she was “out of emergency” to the Associated Press on Friday evening.
This year has also been an eventful year in tech. While there has been a lot of growth like the rise of Facebook Live, the popularity of AI assistants like Google Home and Amazon’s Alexa, and advances in the self-driving market — we’re taking a look at some events and products that didn’t have such a grand time (in no particular order).
As the fastest-growing app of all-time, it’s no surprise that fans have taken their enthusiasm for Super Mario Run to the streets — quite literally in the case of YouTuber Devin Super Tramp. Known best for his series of Ultra HD parkour videos, Super Mario Run Meets Parkour in Real Life! in 4K! sees a real-life Mario impersonator run, jump, and roll his way to saving Princess Peach from a dubious gang of Shy Guys.
The gadget paradise CES comes to Las Vegas every January for just four short days. Fortunately, the stuff unveiled there continues to dazzle and delight us for the rest of the year. It may not officially be the biggest, but it’s easily the most important tech show of the year. And biggest or not, it’s certainly enormous: CES 2016 saw 177,393 attendees and spanned 2.47 million net square feet of exhibit space. What will 2017’s show hold? Here’s my list of the 9 biggest trends to watch for –what you’ll see in the year ahead — as well as a few tips about which companies you should keep an eye on.
As the devices around us continue to get smarter, there is an increasingly slippery slope regarding an outsider’s access to its owner’s private information. With no specific precedent established, each instance of a request for information expectedly stirs the proverbial pot. In December, the police department in Bentonville, Arkansas decided to dip into this ongoing debate by requesting access to an Amazon Echo device it believes harbors information pertaining to a 2015 murder.
A city comprised of roughly 860,000 residents, San Francisco is also home to a staggering amount of homeless people. According to Bay Area-based housing firm Panoramic Interests, roughly 7,000 people consider the streets of San Francisco their home, however, it’s just debuted a plan to help combat this growing issue. Referred to as a MicroPAD, as in prefabricated affordable dwelling, Panoramic’s solution is a 160-square foot, pre-fabricated abode capable of stacking 12 units tall and costing no more than $1,000 per month — paid for by the city, of course.
Back in June of 2016, we featured Skinners as an awesome piece of new tech that wasn’t available for purchase yet. Having recently exceeded their Kickstarter funding goal by leaps and bounds, Skinners are now being shipped to backers around the world and are available for preorder on their Kickstarter page. Designed to be an ultraportable, multi-function footwear option, Skinners offers a surprising amount of benefits for such a minimalist item.
In our ongoing series, Tech That Changed Us, DT writers will share personal tales of how tech has truly reshaped their lives for the better. “I’m thankful for technology because it saved my life,” writes Kevin Parrish. Check out his touching story of tech’s effects on his existence, and that of our other writers’ too.
Outdoor enthusiasts have seen a lot of innovation in tent design over the years, as backcountry shelters have gotten lighter, stronger, and easier to assemble. The same can’t be said about the tents used for car camping, however. But a new company called Alien Buffalo is looking to change that with a line of shelters built specifically for use while traveling and at outdoor festivals, where weight takes a backseat to overall comfort and ease of use.
Something as simple as knowing when the stoplight coming up is going to change can have a profound effect on the way you choose to drive. Audi recently became the first automaker to offer Traffic Light Information as a fully integrated feature available on selected new vehicles including Audi A4, Q7, and A4 Allroad models. Other automakers (notably BMW) work with smartphone apps that provide similar information, but Audi’s solution does not depend on a paired phone running an app. It’s native to the car’s driver information system.