The Digital Language Divide

The Digital Language Divide

How does the language you speak shape your experience of the internet?

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In shadow of Android Pay, Google Wallet evolves to stay alive

In shadow of Android Pay, Google Wallet evolves to stay alive

Remember Google Wallet? With all the fanfare surrounding Google's new digital payments system, Android Pay, it's easy to ignore the fact that Google already launched a different payments system — four years ago — called Google Wallet. That earlier service was unceremoniously snubbed during the Google I/O developer conference Thursday, without any references to it during the Android Pay announcement at the event's keynote presentation.

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New Shape-Memory Metal Practically Never Wears Out

New Shape-Memory Metal Practically Never Wears Out

A new shape memory material stays strong even after tens of millions of transformations. It may finally pave way for widespread usage of the futuristic materials. In theory, shape-memory metals ought to be revolutionizing every corner of technology already, from the automotive industry to biotech. These futuristic metals—which can be bent and deformed but pop back to their original shape when heated or jolted with electricity—have already existed for decades.

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A Short History of Unnecessarily Terrifying Toy Patents

A Short History of Unnecessarily Terrifying Toy Patents

Google does a lot. Search, email, translation, browsers, phones, chat, docs and much, much more. And if its most recently published patent application is any indication, it’s thinking about getting in on the high-tech, creepy toy game. Said patent is for a connected “anthropomorphic device” that will respond to “social cues” to control media devices in the home, likely with the intention of becoming an integral part of the Internet of Things.

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U.K. wants to force Internet companies to decrypt messages

U.K. wants to force Internet companies to decrypt messages

The U.K. government has not given up on the idea that its secret services must be given access to communications between individuals who are suspects in an ongoing investigation, even if said communications are protected by encryption. Under the proposed new law, intelligence agencies including MI5, MI6 and GCHQ will be able to obtain a warrant from the Home Secretary that will force an Internet company to “break down its encryption protection” for a suspect’s communication.

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Immortal But Damned to Hell on Earth

Immortal But Damned to Hell on Earth

Imagine a supercomputer so advanced that it could hold the contents of a human brain. The Google engineer Ray Kurzweil famously believes that this will be possible by 2045. Organized technologists are seeking to transfer human personalities to non-biological carriers, “extending life, including to the point of immortality.” My gut says that they’ll never get there. But say I’m wrong. Were it possible, would you upload the contents of your brain to…

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Understanding Tesla’s Potemkin Swap Station

Understanding Tesla’s Potemkin Swap Station

The return of battery electric vehicles (BEVs) to the US market nearly a century after internal combustion technology swept them aside is one of the most compelling automotive stories of the last decade, bringing a much-needed injection of fresh ideas and enthusiasm to an increasingly mature and commodified industry. Though BEVs remain less than 1%…

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