In the tech world, a lot happens in a week. So much news goes on, in fact, 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 the first week of January. Everything from the best of CES 2016 to a Netflix petition — it’s all here.
After years of restless nights spent questioning when the Oculus Rift would arrive, we’re finally one step closer. Pre-orders for the wildly anticipated VR headset opened up on Wednesday, January 6 at 8 a.m. Pacific. We also caught word that every Oculus Rift unit will ship with a complimentary download of one of its flagship launch titles, dogfighting shooter Eve: Valkryie.
A Ukrainian power outage in late December is now suspected to be the result of a cyberattack, making the blackout the first ever caused by malware. Tens of thousands of people were left without power for several hours after the computers used to control the national grid were infected with the BlackEnergy Trojan malware, and many security experts have expressed concern over the implications of this recent attack.
A Chinese UAV company named Ehang just unveiled the world’s first autonomous flying taxi. The plainly-named 184 drone is essentially a giant quadcopter designed to carry a single passenger — and it needs no pilot. Inside the cockpit, there are absolutely zero controls. No joystick, no steering wheel, no buttons, switches, or control panels — just a seat and a small tablet stand.
Pinterest has hired its first ever diversity chief as it pursues its public goal of hiring more women and underrepresented minorities. The new top-level recruit, Candice Morgan, previously worked for almost a decade at Catalyst Inc., a non-profit dedicated to expanding opportunities for women in business. Morgan’s most recent role at the organization was as a senior director.
There’s plenty of reason to believe that virtual reality will finally make its mark on mainstream audiences in 2016 — but a functional headset is only the first step to a truly immersive experience. To ensure that users really feel like they’re a part of the game they’re playing or the movie they’re watching, a new device casts its attention towards your seat.
Next page: 5 more tech stories you might have missed this week
The line between art and life is starting to get lost in the Netflix streams. A Change.org petition calling for the release of convicted murderer Steven Avery, and subject of Netflix true-crime documentary hit Making a Murderer, has garnered more than 250,000 supporters.
Two years ago, Audi rocked CES with the “virtual cockpit” display that eventually went into production, starting with the recently redesigned TT. “Virtual cockpit” replaces conventional gauges and infotainment screens with a single digital display that does both. Now, is considering taking things a step further.
The Yezz Sfera, a crazy device by the relatively unknown company, has two cameras as well, but it’ll capture not only your primary subject, no matter whether you point it in that direction, plus the entire world around at the same time. That’s because it has the first 360-degree camera put into a smartphone, capturing VR-style immersive video and stills on the move. It’s revolutionary enough that it may change the way we take photos and video using a smartphone.
Before CES 2016 officially kicked off this week in Las Vegas, many pointed to connected and smart products as the presumed stars of the show. So, when CES Unveiled debuted the world’s first connected (and 3D-printed, mind you) road bike, all eyes were squarely on Internet-connected consumer electronics developer Cerevo. Along with the bike (dubbed the Orbitrec), Cerevo also unveiled its Ride-1 clip-on sensor, which offers the same sensor capability for a fraction of the price.
A puddle in the north of England became an Internet star on Wednesday after around half a million people, including Twitter boss Jack Dorsey, hit live-streaming app Periscope to watch it. No, it wasn’t doing anything. It was just being puddle-like. Sort of wet. In a small pool. Like a puddle.