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Weekly Rewind: Milk replaces plastic, humidity slows phones, wicked supercars

Porsche 918 Spyder
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 when Xiaomi will finally enter the U.S. market to the iPhone of the future, it’s all here.

Pokémon Go technology is everywhere


Pokémon Go has caught on with the masses because of its accessibility and easy-to-understand concept — but that doesn’t mean it’s the first app to use augmented reality technology. In fact, it’s far from revolutionary — results from Deloitte’s fourth annual survey of mid-market technology trends shows just how ubiquitous the technology is. Of the 500 mid-market companies surveyed, 89 percent of them said they were already using AR in their business.

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Hold on to your butts: These are the 20 fastest cars in the world


There are many ways to measure automotive excellence, but top speed is the one everybody secretly cares about the most. Aldous Huxley was right about speed being the only truly modern sensation. He left out the part about how much fun it is. These 20 cars are more than just fun, though, they’re the fastest production cars in the world. The emphasis here is on “production;” racers and one-off custom jobs need not apply.

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Facebook testing Messenger feature that could signal the end of friend requests


Facebook is reportedly carrying out a Messenger experiment that brings the app even closer to a standalone messaging service. The social network has confirmed that it is testing an “add contact” feature on Messenger. The function will allow the messaging platform’s 1 billion users to request connections without the need to become friends with the selected person on Facebook, reports BuzzFeed.

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If it seems like your apps run slower when it’s humid – you’re right

Developers so far haven’t taken the weather into account when testing mobile apps, but that may change. A report from Apteligent says apps run slower in the summer, according to the IEEE Spectrum. “On average, your apps will run about 15 percent slower in the summer!” reads the report. “The explanation is due to the science behind the propagation of radio waves. Increases in water vapor cause attenuation of the waves, especially at higher frequency bands.”

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Milk may replace plastic when it comes to wrapping our food


The best way to protect your leftover food? By wrapping it in more food. According to new research presented at the National Meeting & Exposition of the American Chemical Society (ACS), we’ll soon be doing away with that pesky cling wrap that seems to stick to everything but what you’re trying to cover (and apparently, doesn’t do that great of a job of keeping your food from spoiling, either). Instead, we’ll be turning to “an environmentally friendly film made of the milk protein casein.”

Read the full story here.

Smartphone speech recognition can text 3 times faster than you can type


Computer dictation is a whole lot better than it was a decade ago, but exactly how much better? That was a challenge computer scientists from Stanford University, the University of Washington, and Chinese tech giant Baidu recently took on in an experiment pitting humans against the latest cutting-edge speech recognition software in both speed and accuracy.

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YouTube to launch the social networking features you’ve always wanted


YouTube will soon let you interact with creators like never before thanks to the rollout of a new social timeline. The feature, which is internally known as “Backstage,” allows users to share a host of multimedia content including photos, polls, links, text posts, and videos with subscribers. YouTube plans to launch Backstage by the end of the year, and as early as this fall, to a select number of influencers on mobile and desktop, according to VentureBeat.

Read the full story here.

Get ready to see Xiaomi phones offered the U.S. ‘in the near future’


Up until now, Xiaomi has taken baby steps when it comes to the U.S. phone market, with the company launching its online store as a way to test the waters. Now, however, Xiaomi looks interested in taking a much larger step and has its eyes set on the U.S., Xiaomi vice president Hugo Barra told Bloomberg. “We will lead with social media, with the channels that allow us to get in touch with the young generation that is enthusiastic about technology,” said the former Google executive. “We are definitely going there.”

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Forget ‘great,’ presidential hopeful Zoltan Istvan wants to make America immortal


A square-jawed Presidential candidate with an embedded RFID microchip in his hand which opens doors for him, riding around the United States in a coffin-shaped vehicle called the “Immortality Bus,” sounds like a scene out of a David Foster Wallace novel.In fact, it’s the real-life world of Zoltan Istvan, leader of the Transhumanist party and independent candidate for the forthcoming U.S. elections. Istvan’s platform? That he wants you (yes, you!) to live forever.

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The iPhone of the future may be smart enough to figure out exactly who stole it


One of the biggest theft problems around the world involves smartphones. They’re compact, light, and easy to swipe — and can be worth a lot of money too. So it’s no wonder they’re a common target for pickpockets and thieves the world over. Catching smartphone robbers is a major focus of law enforcement and manufacturers, and the iPhone of the future may help in that effort by identifying the person who stole it.

Read the full story here.

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