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Have smartphone, will travel: How far can you get with just passport, wallet and phone?

The Independent - Tech

Sure, you know your mobile phone is essential, but exactly how much can you rely on it? A few days ago in Japan, Google threw down a gauntlet: how far can you get in a foreign country, where you can't be sure of finding an English speaker, where the words, even the alphabet, are unfamiliar, and where the address system is notoriously tricky? So there I was, in Tokyo, charged with solving a series of puzzles using a smartphone and nothing more. First, I had to get myself from bustling Tokyo (where English speakers are plentiful and, because they are Japanese, endlessly helpful) to the distant city of Kanazawa. I had a JR train pass, which is the best way to get around Japan for a foreigner and which offers fantastic value, though you must buy it before you arrive in the country.


Porn websites in the UK will be banned from showing a huge range of sex acts under new law

The Independent - Tech

A new bill will ban huge swathes of sex acts from UK porn. The Digital Economy Bill looks to ban anything that wouldn't be allowed on a commercially-available DVD. That seems to limit adult content in a number of ways, banning things including female ejaculation and the sight of menstrual blood from all pornographic videos. While there are no strict guidelines as to what acts and images can't be shown on commercial DVDs, adult film producers have found that they have had to cut almost all kinds of non-conventional videos from their films. Such restrictions include the "four-finger rule", for instance, which limits the number of digits that can be placed into any orifice while on video.


How Casper and other mattress companies made beds into the hottest new tech product

The Independent - Tech

The new, hippest technology product comes in innovative packaging, is very expensive and comes with an advertising campaign that boasts of how its obsessive engineering makes it the best in the world. Casper is the company at the forefront of a technology (and marketing) revolution that's seeing perhaps one of the most domestic and boring of products – bedding – become this year's must-have tech product. And that's entirely on purpose: the company is being advertised on tech podcasts, and promotes its mattresses with the kind of fun marketing that would usually be reserved for a phone or a computer. It hasn't come easily, and it hasn't been as much of a trick as it might seem. Instead, the company says that it really is a tech company – and that it has the product to prove it.


Google results claim that the Holocaust didn't happen, and company won't change it

The Independent - Tech

Google's search results currently tell people that the Holocaust didn't happen, and aren't going to be changed. Searching for "did the holocaust happen" on Google brings up a first result from Stormfront, the neo-Nazi website. The title of the piece is "Top 10 reasons why the holocaust didn't happen", and anyone clicking through sees a list of Those proclaimed reasons include a suggestion that since "there were survivors", nobody can have been killed in the supposedly fictional mass execution of Jews during the Second World War. In its facilities, JAXA develop satellites and analyse their observation data, train astronauts for utilization in the Japanese Experiment Module'Kibo' of the International Space Station (ISS) and develop launch vehicles 32/39 The robot developed by Seed Solutions sings and dances to the music during the Japan Robot Week 2016 at Tokyo Big Sight. At this biennial event, the participating companies exhibit their latest service robotic technologies and components 33/39 The robot developed by Seed Solutions sings and dances to music during the Japan Robot Week 2016 at Tokyo Big Sight 34/39 Government and industry are working together on a robot-like autopilot system that could eliminate the need for a second human pilot in the cockpit 35/39 Aurora Flight Sciences' technicians work on an Aircrew Labor In-Cockpit Automantion System (ALIAS) device in the firm's Centaur aircraft at Manassas Airport in Manassas, Va.


Amazon Prime Air will now deliver things to people on a drone, almost straight away

The Independent - Tech

Amazon will now fly things to people's houses to deliver them. The company has completed the first ever Prime Air delivery, dropping an order off at someone's house just 13 minutes after they'd ordered it. For now, the drone deliveries are in a private – and largely mysterious – testing process. It is trying a range of different drones, it has said, flying them around different environments in the UK as part of its secretive tests. But eventually the company intends to roll out drone deliveries to everyone across the world.