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 everything you need to know about Samsung’s latest hardware problems to a new superfluid — it’s all here.
Dozens of Samsung Galaxy S7 owners have reported shattered camera lenses on their phones without any actual impact occurring, potentially indicating a weird flaw in the device. But Samsung tells Digital Trends that the incidents are few and far between, and the company stands behind the quality of the very popular smartphone. As for why the weird incident is happening, nobody knows — and a law firm says it is investigating the issue.
There’s a new version of the Dodge Challenger Demon muscle car that’s even more extreme than the vaunted Hellcat. The aptly named Challenger SRT Demon is the company’s latest hot rod, and it finally broke cover at a private event in New York after a teaser campaign that lasted a whopping 13 weeks. That was the first record the Demon collected, but it very likely won’t be the last.
It is safe to say that smartwatches, the once-derided mash-ups of digital guts and analog bodies, have graduated from passing fad to budding business. You need look no further than timepieces like Tag Heuer’s $1,500 Connected 2, Movado’s $700 Bold, and Michael Kors’ $350 Access for evidence that smartwatches aren’t just novelties anymore — they’re functional accessories. And they’re also a market that Chinese smartphone maker ZTE can’t wait to break into. ZTE’s Quartz, which leaked prematurely a few weeks back, is a first step in that direction.
At one point, nearly everyone leaves their family for an extended amount of time. However, whether moving across the country, studying abroad, or going on an adventure, families will want to stay connected. Typically, people choose to chat over the phone or on video, but OhmniLabs developed something with presence. Ohmni is a home robot that allows families to stay connected more naturally than any typical video call. Even from across the word, users can control the robot and have it travel around the house.
Arguably one of the Google Assistant’s best features is the ability to respond hands-free. On Google’s Home speaker and supported smartphones, shouting, “OK Google” wakes Google’s artificial intelligence-powered service in a jiffy. But as Google Assistant users who watched a new ad spot from Burger King recently found out, that convenience can be a curse. The 15-second advertisement features an actor standing next to a television and a Google Home.
Imagine a new type of powered wheelchair that’s totally waterproof, weighs just one-third of a regular powered wheelchair, and doesn’t need its batteries to be replaced at great cost every couple of years. That’s what researchers at the University of Pittsburgh Human Engineering Research Laboratories (HERL) have created with a new wheelchair design that’s powered by compressed air.
Shoot first, shots later. That’s how Charlize Theron’s character plays it in the second trailer for Atomic Blonde, throwing back some vodka after taking out a trio of guys with guns. Based on Antony Johnston and Sam Hart’s graphic novel The Coldest City, the movie stars Theron as Lorraine Broughton, an undercover agent for British intelligence service MI6. It’s just before the fall of the Berlin Wall, and someone’s hunting operatives. John Goodman’s character tells her to “trust no one” (though that doesn’t necessarily translate to “Don’t sleep with anyone”).
Tesla boosted its solar catalog with new panels that blend into your roof with no visible hardware. The low-profile panels will be manufactured by Panasonic in Buffalo, New York, at Tesla’s Gigafactory 2 starting this summer, Tesla told Electrek. The new panels will be exclusively for Tesla’s distribution. The panels are rated at 325 watts and will be in addition to, not a replacement for the 160- to 250-watt panels Tesla has available from other manufacturers.
It sounds impossible, but apparently it’s not: Scientists at Washington State University have created a superfluid that appears to move counter to the laws of physics. That means that when you push it, it doesn’t accelerate in that direction, but rather accelerates backward instead. “We have demonstrated that lasers can be used to design systems in which cold atoms behave as if they have a negative mass, [meaning that] if you push or pull them, they accelerate in the wrong direction,” Michael Forbes, assistant professor of physics and astronomy, told Digital Trends.
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