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 Cyber Monday deals to the history of killer robots — it’s all here.
The best Cyber Monday tech deals
Black Friday sales are everywhere. Whether you’re listening to the radio, watching television, or just casually walking down the street, you can expect to be bombarded with advertisements for the annual event. Which is why it can be so easy to forget the online phenomenon that follows: Cyber Monday.
The deals don’t have to end with the passing of the weekend, and neither does your excitement for them. Cyber Monday is filled with great savings and sales, sans the lines and negative social implications that come with Black Friday. If you’re looking to do your shopping online this year, make sure to check back here for the latest offers. We will be scouring the depths of the web to bring you the best Cyber Monday deals as they go live.
Palaces in the sky: The world’s most expensive helicopters
There comes a point in every millionaire’s life when they need a change of perspective. After building your own island fortress and breeding a frenzy of mutant sharks, it becomes difficult to view the world the same way most people do. Even driving in a supercar may leave you feeling blasé. The average person sees the world from ground level, but wouldn’t it be grand to get the view from Mount Olympus?
Thankfully, through the power of engineering, you can cast side earthly tethers and survey the world from on high. All you need is enough money to buy your own private helicopter. Check out the list below for a closer look at some of the most expensive helicopters available for private use. If you need to save up for a few more years before buying one, might we recommend a drone instead?
Read: Palaces in the sky: The world’s most expensive helicopters
Move over, Amazon Key — BoxLock Home protects the packages left at your door
Are you worried about “porch pirates” stealing packages that get left outside your door? BoxLock Home could come in handy. It’s the first internet-connected smart security padlock that caters specifically to residential customers looking to protect their packages. While Amazon Key allows delivery drivers access to a user’s front door, BoxLock offers a more nonintrusive solution.
BoxLock Home only opens when an “out for delivery” package is scanned. Setup is quick, with users simply downloading the mobile app and locking the BoxLock around the preferred delivery receptacle (anything that comes with a hasp for use of a padlock). The box can only be opened when a delivery shows up. The delivery driver will scan the package and follow a two-step verification process to unlock the box and leave the package inside. Once all this happens, the user gets an automatic notification that the package is waiting for them safely in the box.
Read: Move over, Amazon Key — BoxLock Home protects the packages left at your door
Inside the hack Uber didn’t want 57 million users to know about
Another day, another massive data breach. This time around, Uber was the target, but unlike other hacks, it took the company more than a year to disclose the hack to its customers.
According to a blog post from Uber, hackers managed to steal the personal data of a whopping 57 million Uber users in a data breach. Among those compromised, according to a Bloomberg report, were 7 million drivers, of which around 600,000 had their drivers license numbers stolen. Uber says that the information did not include things like Social Security numbers or credit cards.
Read: Inside the hack Uber didn’t want 57 million users to know about
Google finally breaks ground on its impressive ‘landscraper’ campus in London
For years, the plans for Google’s London campus were just that: plans. The ambitious project stayed stuck on the drawing board, with the web giant abandoning parts of the original plan and then swapping architecture firms as it dithered over the final look.
Having finally settled on a striking design that’s become known as the “landscraper” — for being much longer than it is tall — the company’s CFO Ruth Porat and its U.K. managing director Ronan Harris on Tuesday broke ground at the site in the city’s vibrant King’s Cross district.
Read: Google finally breaks ground on its impressive ‘landscraper’ campus in London
How did we get here? 9 major milestones in the history of killer robots
The idea of robotic warfare has been a sci-fi staple for ages. Decades before Terminator invoked a hellish world pitting man against machine, the 1920s play which introduced us to the word “robot” predicted the end of humanity at the metallic hands of murderous bots.
Lately, however, the topic has became a much bigger issue as science fiction has become science reality. The likes of Elon Musk of Tesla and Mustafa Suleyman of Google have written to the United Nations urging a ban on the development and use of autonomous “killer robots” such as drones, tanks, and machine guns.
But while the pace of this “third revolution in warfare” is speeding up, interest in similar weapons dates back years. Here are nine important milestones that set us on the path to where we are here in 2017.
Read: How did we get here? 9 major milestones in the history of killer robots
Alternate-dimension adventure ‘A Wrinkle in Time’ gets a trippy new trailer
Walt Disney Pictures released a new trailer for A Wrinkle in Time, and if the film does indeed live up to the promise of the latest preview, the live-action adaptation of Madeleine L’Engle’s classic novel is going to be one truly trippy, reality-bending cinematic spectacle.
Directed by Academy Award nominee Ava DuVernay (Selma) from a script penned by Jennifer Lee (Frozen), A Wrinkle in Time follows a young girl who’s recruited by a trio of eccentric interdimensional travelers to rescue her father, an astrophysicist trapped on a far-off planet. She’s joined on her adventure by her genius younger brother and her high-school classmate, and the three set off on a fantastic quest that spans planets and alternate dimensions and tests with the foundations of reality as we know it.
Read: Alternate-dimension adventure ‘A Wrinkle in Time’ gets a trippy new trailer
Walmart looks to keep store floors squeaky-clean by using self-driving robots
Cleaning the floors at Walmart isn’t exactly an enviable job, and now it’s becoming one that humans no longer have to do. The world’s largest retailer is applying some high-tech to a generally low-paying task. Walmart now has self-driving machines of its own, but you won’t see any of them on highways. Rather, these bristle-wielding devices, designed by Brain Corp. are autonomously rolling themselves around Walmart stores, cleaning up after customers and employees.
The autonomous floor cleaner is currently being tested in five stores in the vicinity of company headquarters in Bentonville, Arkansas. With its sensors, cameras, and even Lidar, the floor scrubber features all the bells and whistles of a self-driving car, though for different purposes. The machine exists somewhere between a Roomba and a Tesla. And while a human is needed to first show the scrubber the ropes (guiding it on its path, alerting it as to when the store is busiest and emptiest), the autonomous vacuum otherwise works on its own.
Read: Walmart looks to keep store floors squeaky-clean by using self-driving robots
Facebook applies new authenticity tools and expose Russian-controlled pages
What do you get when you mash up a pedal-free exercise bike, a rowing machine, and a balance board? Quite possibly something like the RipRow, the mountain biking training tool you never knew you wanted, but now may find yourself desperately keen to get hold of.
Now that we’re firmly out of summer and veering rapidly in the direction of winter, the thought of using your cold and wet weekends to go mountain biking suddenly becomes a lot whole lot less appealing for most of us. It’s also important to hold onto your core strength, coordination, balance, and sense of confidence on a bike during the off-season months. This is where the rugged-sounding RipRow comes into play. While stationary gym bikes have been around for a long time, a machine that’s built specifically with mountain biking in mind has been in much shorter supply. Until now, at least.
Read: Facebook applies new authenticity tools and expose Russian-controlled pages
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