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Weekly Rewind: Vertical forests, vaping safety, and vending machines for cars

top tech stories 02 10 2017 wr 09 feat
A lot can happen in a week when it comes to tech. The constant onslaught of news makes it nigh impossible for mere mortals with real lives to keep track of everything. That’s why we’ve compiled a quick and dirty list of this week’s top 10 tech stories, from the best ads from Super Bowl LI to breathing buildings — it’s all here.

How to root your Android phone or tablet in 2017 (and unroot it)

Is the allure of being a superuser tempting you? Android rooting opens up a world of possibility, but it can also void your warranty, or even leave you with a bricked device. Yes, when it comes to rooting your Android, you’ll want to know the benefits as well as the risks. This guide will walk you through the necessary steps to root your phone. Some devices can be rooted in minutes, while others take a bit more time and research. One thing is clear: Rooting your phone can be one of the best ways to tap into the deep potential of your Android device.

Read the full story here.

Long-term study shows that vaping really is safer than regular smoking

E-cigarettes are are gaining popularity and social acceptance, but is vaping provably any safer than smoking? According to a new in-depth study, which analyzed the quantity of cancer-causing chemicals in the bodies of smokers, the answer is a definite yes. “To date, most studies on e-cigs have either looked at the product itself, [by analyzing the vapor/aerosol] or e-liquid, or investigated its effects on animal and cell models,” Dr. Lion Shahab, one of the investigating scientists from University College London, told Digital Trends.

Read the full story here.

Watch the best Super Bowl commercials of 2017

Great news! It’s time for the annual pants-wettingly exciting, must-watch TV segment where the latest and greatest commercials are aired over the space of several hours during the biggest televised sporting event of the year. The biggest attraction comes in the form of the advertisements, and we’ve compiled all our favorites here.

Read the full story here.

Finally, a public place to put your pee: Paris introduces ‘pavement urinal’

Paris is a beautiful place full of great food, great people, and great scenery. However, anyone who has actually visited Paris knows that underneath all that glamor lies a problem. In any given day, Parisian sanitation workers wash the sidewalks of Paris in their attempt to fight the smell and damaging effects of public urination. To help combat this problem, Laurent Lebot of the French product studio Faltazi has designed a simple solution. The Uritrottoir, which roughly translates to “pavement urinal,” is essentially an eco-friendly place to pee.

Read the full story here.

Groundbreaking new prosthetic translates spinal cord signals into movement

Scientists at Imperial College London have developed smart sensor technology that allows a robot arm to be controlled via signals from nerves in the spinal cord. In order to use the prosthesis, wearers think of actions, which are then interpreted as commands courtesy of electrical signals sent from the spinal motor neurons. The robotic arm potentially represents a significant step forward from existing robot prostheses, which often rely on users controlling them via commonly damaged remnant shoulder and arm muscles.

Read the full story here.

Hate car dealerships? Try Carvana’s 5-story tall car vending machine

Two months after debuting a coin-operated car vending machine in Houston, Texas, Carvana has launched another site — this time in Austin. The all-glass structure stands five stories tall, contains three delivery bays, and stores up to 20 vehicles that are loaded in advance of a customer’s pickup. The point of the service is so customers won’t need the hassle of dealing with salespeople, but Carvana reps are available on-site to help with the process.

Read the full story here.

As Apple pursues perfection, new campus frustrates builders and officials

Apple has long been lauded for its attention to detail and emphasis on build quality, and it seems that ambition extends to the construction of its facilities. According to Reuters, the company made numerous demands as it prepares Apple Campus 2, more colloquially referred to as the “spaceship campus,” to ensure a level of craftsmanship more befitting of a phone or watch than a building meant to employ 14,000 workers.

Read the full story here.

Refugees need computers, and The Global Good Project ensures they get them

if you have recently searched for a new coat or pack, you may have seen some very colorful ads from Cotopaxi pop-up in your social feeds. Those ads usually include some smiling adventurer wearing sunnies in some amazing landscape wearing a vibrant jacket with a llama logo. At first glance it may seem like a brand catering to nostalgic color-blocking of the 80s and 90s, but if you scratch through the surface, Cotopaxi is more than an apparel company. It wants to be a force of good.

Read the full story here.

Beleaguered BlackBerry rolls out its latest plan to make some money

As it witnessed its share of the smartphone market slide unceremoniously into a dark hole, BlackBerry switched its focus several years ago in a bid to keep the company alive. Software and services would save the company, CEO John Chen told anyone who cared to listen, and more recently BlackBerry has once again been showing signs of life. One of its latest plans is to offer many of the design and security features of its enterprise-grade BBM technology to developers.

Read the full story here.

Buildings that breathe: Italian architect’s ‘Vertical Forest’ to sprout in China

Italian architect Stefano Boeri has a penchant for designing living, breathing buildings. It began in Milan with the Bosco Verticale (Italian for “Vertical Forest”), two looming skyscrapers covered in thousands of trees, shrubs, and flowering plants. The environmental idea was simple: grow the number of plants on the building that would otherwise grow on the ground it will occupy.

Read the full story here.

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