Paris tests new bubble-shaped water taxi

SeaBubbles co-founder Sweden’s Anders Bringdal stands onboard a SeaBubble, Wednesday Sept. 18, 2019 in Paris. Paris is testing out a new form of travel – an eco-friendly bubble-shaped taxi that zips along the water, capable of whisking passengers up and down the Seine River. Dubbed Seabubbles, the vehicle is still in early stages, but proponents… read more »

Virtual assistants with personality can help with mental illness

Credit: CC0 Public Domain Computer scientists have pioneered a new method that could be used to develop more “natural” automated virtual assistants to help people suffering from mental illness. The new method, called SMERTI (pronounced: “Smarty”), enables virtual assistants (VA) to use natural language and emotional cues that change depending on the relationship and situations… read more »

Superblocks currently transforming Barcelona might work in Australian cities, too

The benefits of ‘superblocks’ for Barcelona include better health, access to green space and other public space, and more transport-related physical activity. Credit: Orbon Alija/iStock The Spanish city of Barcelona has pioneered an innovative approach to managing traffic, freeing up public space and promoting walking and cycling. The “superblocks” model produces considerable health and economic… read more »

Wi-Fi Alliance’s certification program sees Wi-Fi 6 as game-changer for advanced connections

Credit: CC0 Public Domain Wi-Fi 6 certification is here. On Monday, an announcement from the Wi-Fi Alliance datelined Austin, Texas said the Wi-Fi CERTIFIED 6 certification program from Wi-Fi Alliance was now available. Edgar Figueroa, president and CEO, Wi-Fi Alliance, said, “Wi-Fi CERTIFIED 6 will deliver improvements in connectivity, including in high density locations and… read more »

Facebook auto-generating pages for Islamic State, al-Qaida

Pages from a confidential whistleblower’s report obtained by The Associated Press, along with two printed Facebook pages that were active on Tuesday, Sept. 17, 2019, are photographed in Washington. Facebook likes to say that its automated systems remove the vast majority of prohibited content glorifying the Islamic State group and al-Qaida before it’s reported. But… read more »

The long road to clean energy

Old and new: a wind turbine and a coal-fired electricity plant in Germany The vital transition to a zero-carbon economy is likely to be a long and rocky road. So-called green energy is booming, but not fast enough to curb climate change, which is accelerating at an alarming pace as oil, gas and coal consumption… read more »

new Facebook panel can overrule him

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg says he won’t be able to overrule a new independent oversight panel on questions of content moderation at the social network Facebook said Tuesday it has finalized its charter for its “independent oversight board,” giving the panel the authority to overrule chief executive Mark Zuckerberg on questions of appropriate content. The… read more »