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This Week in Tech: April 15th, 2016

2016


04.15

This Week in Tech: April 15th, 2016

Stephen Hawking’s Starship

Sci-fi childhood dreams are coming to life: Stephen Hawking and Russian billionaire, Yuri Milner, are building an interstellar spacecraft. Announced at One World Observatory in New York this week, Milner and Hawking revealed the groundwork for this unprecedented expedition through the stars.

The technology prototype behind it include a “Starship” with cameras, navigation, power supply, communication and photon thrusters. Essentially, a fleet of mini science labs traveling through space. Even with obstacles, the technology might not be too far off in the near future. I’d certainly watch that episode of Bill Nye.

 

Facebook’s F8 Updates

Facebook’s F8 conference divulged new additions to its platform and guided us through a roadmap of social networking goals and future development plans. Updates include a new Facebook messaging system, complete with bots at its core. (Who wouldn’t want Poncho the Weather Cat giving a daily forecast update?) Additionally, as mobile traffic is gearing more and more towards video, you can now build Facebook Live into apps and devices with their new Live API. As we’ve seen at Facebook’s recent conferences, much of what they’re working on is geared towards and focused on AI and VR.

In their biggest unveiling yet, the tech giant unleased the Surround 360 camera, a digital mecca that holds 17 cameras and captures 360 degree videos. Overall, Zuckerberg painted a focused vision of better connecting and uniting the world with social sharing and technology.

 

Technology to Transform Thought into Movement

Doctors have successfully helped a man paralyzed in both arms and legs regain control over his right hand and fingers. Implanting a chip in Ian Burkhart’s brain two years ago, doctors used technology to bypass his spinal injury and transmit thoughts directly to his muscles. Although this development is not a paralysis cure, it’s a huge leap for neural engineering. There’s still much to be done, and Burkhart needs a lab computer connection to utilize the chip, but it most importantly shows that movement can be restored in limbs that aren’t directly linked to the brain.

 

Amazon’s Kindle Oasis E-Reader

The new Amazon Kindle Oasis, on pre-sale as of Wednesday, gives a new look and feel to the Kindle we know and love. Rocking a six inch screen and super thin 3.4-mm width, it’s designed for one-handed reading (adjustable side grip) and has an added month-long battery life, according to Amazon. While its release is to mixed reviews, Amazon is still continuing to control and stay ahead of the e-reader business.

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