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

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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)

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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.

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

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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.

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Watch the best Super Bowl commercials of 2017

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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.

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

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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

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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.

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