Skip to main content

Weekly Rewind: Humanoid robots, the best ski gloves, our take on the iPhone X

Apple iPhone X Review
Julian Chokkattu/Digital Trends
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 tech stories, from what we think of the Apple iPhone X to a secret-laden USB stick — it’s all here.

Apple iPhone X review

Apple iPhone X Review
Julian Chokkattu/Digital Trends

Apple’s 10th anniversary iPhone X sets a new gold standard for the next decade of iPhones. Coming hot on the heels of the iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus, the iPhone X steals the show despite sharing nearly identical internal hardware. The X (pronounced “ten”) is a beautiful, modern sculpture, and iPhone owners finally have a reason to show off their phones again. We’ve only had our iPhone X review unit for a few days, so this review is very much a work in progress. We’ll expand on our evaluation of the phone as we continue to put it through its paces.

Read: Apple iPhone X review

New algorithm helps turn low-resolution images into detailed photos, ‘CSI’-style

Anyone who has ever worked with image files knows that, unlike the fictional world of shows like CSI, there’s no easy way to take a low-resolution image and magically transform it into a high-resolution picture using some fancy “enhance” tool. Fortunately, some brilliant computer scientists at the Max Planck Institute for Intelligent Systems in Germany are working on the problem, and they’ve come up with a pretty nifty algorithm to address it.

What they have developed is a tool called EnhanceNet-PAT, which uses artificial intelligence to create high-definition versions of low-res images. While the solution is not a miracle fix, it does produce a noticeably better result than previous attempts, thanks to some smart machine-learning algorithms.

Read: New algorithm helps turn low-resolution images into detailed photos, ‘CSI’-style

How Blizzard turned a ‘Tonight Show’ studio into an esports arena

blizzard esports

Esports have become a huge attraction that can rival more traditional sports. With annual events larger than ever, prize pools breaking records every year, and pro players becoming stars, professional gaming has never been more respected or supported. There’s even talk that a few games will make it into the Olympics.

One of the most impressive dedicated esports centers is the new Blizzard Arena. Recently opened at the Burbank Studios in California, the facility houses everything from player practice areas to multiple sound stages, plus large spectator arenas where fans can come to watch their favorite players take part in the latest Blizzard pro gaming tournaments.

Read: How Blizzard turned a ‘Tonight Show’ studio into an esports arena

Bored this winter? You can now build yourself a humanoid robot assistant


Ever wanted to own your very own 4-foot humanoid robot? If so — and if you have access to a 3D printer, a whole lot of free time, and a couple thousand dollars to cover materials — then robotics startup Choitek has the do-it-yourself “maker” project for you. Newly launched on the website Instructables, the Autonomous Support and Positive Inspiration Robot (ASPIR, for short) can be built using a tutorial that will lead you through every phase of making your dream robot a reality.

“ASPIR’s spiritual successor is Halley, the Ambassador Robot 001,” John Choi, founder of education robotics company Choitek and a former computer science and arts student at Carnegie Mellon University, told Digital Trends. “Created with the generous support of the Frank-Ratchye Studio for Creative Inquiry at Carnegie Mellon University in 2015, Halley was originally built to be a robotic student that could go to class so I wouldn’t have to. Now that I have graduated, ASPIR’s role is to aid me as a robotic teaching assistant with my educational technology company, Choitek. We are currently doing research to see how humanoid robots like ASPIR can be used to inspire more girls into STEM (the science, technology, engineering, and mathematics fields).”

Read: Bored this winter? You can now build yourself a humanoid robot assistant

Elon Musk offers first look at Boring Company’s futuristic freeway under L.A.

Boring Company's first photo
The Boring Company
The Boring Company

Yes, it’s definitely a tunnel. Elon Musk has just posted the very first photo of a tunnel dug by his Boring Company beneath the streets of Los Angeles as the billionaire entrepreneur goes after his dream of building a subterranean — and speedy — transportation system to help reduce traffic congestion on the busy streets above.

Snapped over the weekend, the image shows something far beyond a simple muddy hole that some of you may have been expecting to see. Rather, it’s clear the team has been doing some serious work on its debut tunnel, fully building out the section with all the necessary bells and whistles.

Read: Elon Musk offers first look at Boring Company’s futuristic freeway under L.A.

A language for legumes: Can the Internet of Food help us know what we eat?

Internet of Food

In a classic Portlandia sketch, Fred Armisen and Carrie Brownstein badger a waitress to find out about their chicken’s diet, the amount of acreage it had to roam around in, and whether it had other fowl to pal around with. But knowing more about your food’s origins has benefits even if you’re not a locavore.

While you might be able to learn if your chicken was named Colin, food scientist and informatician Dr. Matthew Lange thinks the Internet of Food (IoF) can help everyone make better informed choices about what they eat. Ahead of his appearance at the upcoming  reThink Food conference in Napa Valley, California, we asked Lange about the benefits of digitizing food.

Read: A language for legumes: Can the Internet of Food help us know what we eat?

As ‘House of Cards’ comes tumbling down, rumors of spinoff series mount

tv villains house of cards frank underwood
Amid Kevin Spacey’s unfolding scandal, Netflix announced that production on House of Cards season 6 — which was announced to be the final season after news of the allegations broke — has been suspended indefinitely.

Netflix’s announcements regarding the series status came after Spacey was accused of sexual assault by Star Trek: Discovery actor Anthony Rapp in an interview with BuzzFeed. Rapp alleges that Spacey made unwanted sexual advances while Rapp was a minor. While House of Cards collapses under the weight of its own real-world scandal, rumors have begun the surface that we haven’t seen the last of the series’ dark political universe, Variety reports.

Read: As ‘House of Cards’ comes tumbling down, rumors of spinoff series mount

Keep your hands warm and toasty with the best ski gloves

There is no faster way to ruin an awesome powder day than with frozen hands. Rather than basking in glorious face shots, you’ll spend the entire day removing your gloves every time you get on the chairlift just to rub your hands together to warm them up. If you’re participating in other snow-related activities — like snowshoeing or cross-country skiing — it’s no better; when your hands are cold, you can’t focus on anything else.

So, if you’re someone who plays outside in the snow a lot, it’s essential for you to own a pair of top-of-the-line, oven-warm gloves. We’ve rounded up six of the best ski gloves with the most deluxe technology to ensure you’ll keep your paws warm while shredding the slopes.

Read: Keep your hands warm and toasty with the best ski gloves

USB stick found in street contains Heathrow Airport security information


We know all too well that sticking a found USB flash drive into your computer carries big risks, and in a worst-case scenario, it could fry your machine.

Perhaps that’s why one curious guy in London recently headed to a library with a stick he reportedly found in the street. But instead of ruining one of the library’s computers, the USB stick revealed highly confidential information linked to the security procedures of one of the world’s busiest airports, according to the Sunday Mirror.

None of the 2.5GB of data on the flash drive was encrypted or password protected, allowing the man to explore 76 folders holding sensitive security information for London’s Heathrow airport.

Read: USB stick found in street contains Heathrow Airport security information

Editors' Recommendations

Lulu Chang
Former Digital Trends Contributor
Fascinated by the effects of technology on human interaction, Lulu believes that if her parents can use your new app…
The best grocery list apps for iPhone and Android in 2023
Walmart Grocery 2

As we've started moving away from paper in favor of jotting down notes on our phones, grocery lists have begun to migrate from small handheld notebooks and scraps of paper to become permanent residents of our phones' home screens. Staying properly organized, however, can be a little trickier than simply asking Siri or Alexa to make a list of the things that are on the top of your head. That's where the best grocery list apps come into play.

There are plenty of apps that can help you stay on top of your grocery list-making while also providing plenty of other great features like budgeting assistance, list organization, and coupon gathering. Here are the best grocery list apps to use for iPhone and Android for making lists to help you with your shopping. If you're looking for more productivity apps, check out our list of the best iPad Pro productivity apps, too.
Apple Notes

Read more
The best iPhone games in 2023: 31 games you need to play right now
Playing Asphalt 9: Legends on the iPhone 14 Plus.

When you have the best iPhone, you pretty much have infinite possibilities to keep you busy and entertained, no matter where you are. Sure, the iPhone may not be marketed as a gaming phone specifically, but it's pretty powerful — especially with the A16 Bionic in the latest iPhone 14 Pro.

But when the App Store has over a million apps, how are you supposed to find the best games to play? Don't worry, we're here to help! Since there are a ton of games out there — and not every game is a winner — it's definitely hard to find games that are worth your time and energy. Whether you're looking for a simple match-three, an MMORPG, a dungeon crawler, or even something to just relax with, here are the best iPhone games.

Read more
The best iPhone apps in 2023: 50+ apps you need to download now
iOS 14 App Library

When you have an iPhone in your hands, you can pretty much do anything. After all, if you can think of it, there's probably an app for that. Whether you just want to doomscroll all day, communicate with others, check the weather, or even find your next soulmate, there's going to be some kind of app to help you satisfy those digital cravings.

But the App Store is filled with thousands of apps — where do you even begin? Don't worry, we're here to help. We've gone through the many apps on Apple's digital storefront so you don't have to. Here are the best apps for your iPhone, whether it's an iPhone 11 or an iPhone 14 Pro.

Read more