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Weekly Rewind: Brain mapping, a possible cure for blindness, and more

top tech stories 07 23 2016 wr 01 24
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 Sting’s first pop album in over a decade to a new brain map, it’s all here.

Carpool Karaoke reveals that Michelle Obama knows all the words to Get Ur Freak On


The first lady and Corden drove around the White House grounds in an extended circle, singing everything from Stevie Wonder’s classic Signed, Sealed, Delivered I’m Yours to Beyoncé’s Single Ladies. After a few songs, female rap hero Missy Elliott hopped in the back seat for a surprise version of the Obama collaboration This Is for My Girls, which in turn led to a karaoke rendition of Get Ur Freak On — a song the first lady knew all the words to. Now, that’s just good television.

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The Army is reportedly swapping its buggy Android devices for iPhones


Changes are afoot in U.S government … in its choice of handset, that is. Just this month, U.S. congressional staffers received the disheartening news that they’d no longer have their pick of BlackBerrys, and now the U.S. Army is reevaluating its options, too. According to DOD Buzz, the Army’s Special Operations Command (SOC) will soon eschew the Android phones it uses operationally for a platoon of iPhones.

Read the full story here.

Sting’s first pop album in 13 years will include songs about Prince, refugees


Pop icon Sting has announced plans to release his first pop album in 13 years, after having spent that time working on symphonic, musical theater, and lute-based material. The legendary English bassist’s newly announced record will be called 57th & 9th — a name borrowed from an intersection near the New York studio where much of the material was recorded, according to Rolling Stone.

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Elon Musk’s second master plan for Tesla is even more ambitious


Almost exactly 10 years ago, Elon Musk released Tesla’s first “secret master plan.” It called for the nascent company to start with a low-volume electric car, and then use the money it earned to gradually develop less-expensive cars that would sell in higher numbers, all while providing solar power on a significant scale. A decade later, Tesla is close to meeting most of those goals — Musk felt it was time to draft another “master plan.”

Read the full story here.

Samsung vows to fix a flaw with the Galaxy S7 Active’s water resistance


Samsung bills the Galaxy S7 Active as the rugged, tough big brother to the S7; one that is able to take drops to the concrete and handle liquid poured directly onto it. Memorable commercials featured rapper Lil Wayne completely dousing an S7 Edge with champagne and even submerging it in a fish tank to show the phone’s extreme water resistance. Usually, when a company is confident enough to base commercials on the feature of a product, that product is actually as capable as advertised. The phone failed tests, though, and now Samsung has vowed to fix the flaw.

Read the full story here.

Three blind mice just got their vision restored — could humans be next?


Three blind mice are no longer blind. No, not the three blind mice (your nursery rhyme is safe), but rather a group of rodents at Stanford University. These three lucky mammals represent the first success stories in “restoring multiple key aspects of vision,” the Stanford news center reports, and it may be the first step in restoring sight for blind humans.

Read the full story here.

People are now buying and selling their Pokémon Go accounts for cash


We can once again add to the list of Pokémon Go’s ubiquity, as the game that is redefining the world “popular” now has users swapping their accounts for cold hard cash. The competition between friends and gamers around the world is at a high, so it was only a matter of time before people began selling user credentials to power-hungry Pokémon hunters.

Read the full story here.

LG is reportedly taking on Samsung with a foldable phone of its own


Looks like Samsung may not be the first to come out with a flexible phone after all — or at least not the only one to do so. According to recent reports, LG is preparing to commercially release devices with flexible displays as early as next year. Of course, the company is no stranger to the flexible display — we’ve seen plenty of flexible prototypes from the company over the past few years, and while certainly not ready for consumer devices, they have been getting better.

Read the full story here.

Astonishingly detailed brain map doubles the number of known areas in the cortex


This is a good week to be interested in all things brain science. That’s because researchers involved with the Human Connectome Project have announced that they’ve created a brand new map of the brain that doubles the total number of known areas identified in the cortex.

Read the full story here.

Your butt just might thank you for getting a bidet from Tushy


We need to talk about your business. Yes, that business. Nature’s call, if you will. And we want to address that business with another b-word — the bidet. Meet Tushy, described by its developers as “a lil’ bidet that clips onto your toilet and sprays your butt super clean.” Hey, those are their words.

Read the full story here.

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