Sunday, 15 February 2015

Silicon Saturday: February 14th

Due to a hand injury sustained while my amazing goalkeeping skills were put to the test in a football match yesterday, this week's Silicon Saturday is a day late. Still, in a way it's a good thing, since there was some huge news that dropped yesterday....

Apple's Electric Car
One of Apple's sensor-laden vans, spotted in Hawaii by AppleInsider reader matthawaii.
According to the Wall Street Journal (Which requires AN ACCOUNT TO READ. A step too far) Apple are currently working on their own electric, self-driving car, after the above picture surfaced. The photo reveals that their car could take the form of a minivan or people-carrier, a weird move for Apple considering how slick and stylish they like their products, but then again this is a very early prototype: it's only been going for a year, what with Apple trying to hire employees from companies such as Tesla. Like Google, Apple seems to want to branch out from consumer electronics, and the car of the future is a great way to do it.

Damn The Farmers
Image from
On the surface, this news is great: after BT revealed they were working on superfast 1Gbps internet last week, Virgin Media have stepped up to the plate, announcing that they're investing £3 million in broadband development. They've said that "Approximately 4 million more UK homes" will be receiving "speeds of 152Mbps", a win for basically everyone; except for the cider drinkers and barleyjacks of the rural community: BBC news were told by the Country and Land Association that Virgin and BT needed to "look beyond the cityscape" after both companies announced that they had no plans to expand broadband in the countryside.

Self-Driving = Self-Satisfaction
MIRA cooperative vehicle
Image from
The UK Department of Transport have started to lobby for even more changes in the Highway Code to test out more self-driving cars on UK roads. Starting in Milton Keynes and Coventry, self-driving cars will be tested this spring, and by 2017 the laws will be fully reviewed and legislated. The government are investing £19 million in the development of these cars, and in Greenwich, self-driving shuttles will be tested as public transport. Hopefully they won't become as self-aware and evil as these next gadgets...

"My God.... They're Revolting"
Image from
You've probably heard how Samsung slyly remarked in their Privacy Policy that, if the voice command option is on on your Samsung TV, all of your conversations will be recorded and will be "transmitted to a third party". Who needs voice control anyway? It's not like I'm going to put loud music on when I discuss "business" around my TV!
Turns out that wearables just can't stand being near you as well: Fitbit announced in a press release that their Surge device can cause skin rashes. Still, it's not some evil chemical Fitbit in the Surge to forever bond it to your skin: it's only causes by sweat or water being trapped against it, so just wash your wrist like a normal person or TAKE IT OFF ONCE IN A WHILE.

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