The Independent


Why Nike thinks the future of its stores is an app

The Independent

For something that ends with something so pleasant, shoe shopping can sometimes seem like the worst kind of work: concern that a shop won't have your size, asking to find out if they do and try it on, only to discover that size doesn't fit and being forced to trudge back ashamed and ask for a different size, before being forced to wait all over again as you try and check out. Nike, it turns out, wants to put a stop to that kind of shopping just as much as you do. And with its latest additions to its app, it appears to have succeeded. The company is just one of a range of firms betting that the future of retail looks a little like its past, and that traditional shops aren't being killed by technology but enhanced by it. The company's new update – known as Nike App At Retail, and newly launched at its London Store right on Oxford Circus – allows you to shop right from the app, choosing your size and style and having it checked out seamlessly.


Bloodhound SSC: 1,000mph car secures funding for world record bid

The Independent

The Bloodhound SSC world record bid is back on after the 1,000mph land speed record car received the investment needed to push forward with its attempt. A shortage of funds had forced the Bristol-based project to go into administration in October, with the company saying it needed around £15 million to continue with the project and break the current record. Earlier this month, administrators of Bloodhound Programme, the company behind Project Bloodhound, announced that efforts to secure the funding had not been successful. Following the announcement, the company said Yorkshire-based entrepreneur Ian Warhurst came forward and agreed to buy the business and its assets for an undisclosed amount. "We have been overwhelmed by the passion that clearly exists for Bloodhound and are thrilled that we have been able to secure a buyer who is able to give this inspiring project a future," Andrew Sheridan, a joint administrator of Bloodhound Programme, said in a statement on Monday.


Tumblr porn ban goes into effect as huge numbers of posts disappear from site

The Independent

Tumblr's ban on pornography is now in place, with a huge number of posts being wiped off the site entirely. Users will see their previously public posts disappear as the ban goes into effect. Many users have already indicated they are planning to leave the site because of the ban, and a movement known as the "log off" protest has tried to encourage even more. Tumblr announced the ban earlier this month. It was initially met with a vast backlash, by users who said it would penalise the substantial number of sex-positive, LGBT and sex worker communities that have unified around the site, which has traditionally been less conservative than other social networks.


Nasa scientists plan to send a nuclear robot drill to hunt for aliens on Jupiter's moon

The Independent

Scientists including researchers at Nasa have proposed a plan for a nuclear-powered robot drill that would dig into a moon in an attempt to find aliens. The plan, nicknamed "tunnelbot", would offer an opportunity to delve deep beneath the distant world of Jupiter's moon Europa and check whether there are aliens hiding beneath its surface, as some researchers suspect. The water hidden beneath Europa is considered one of the most promising places to find alien life in our own solar system. But it is stuck beneath a crust of ice, making it difficult to explore directly. Now scientists have suggested that they could send the drill to dig into that crust and explore to try and find extraterrestrial life.


NES and SNES Classic consoles to stop being sold, Nintendo confirms

The Independent

The NES and SNES classic are about to be killed off – and will not be coming back, Nintendo has confirmed. The tiny consoles had become beloved for their miniature recreations of Nintendo's classic systems, available at a relatively limited price. As soon as they came out they were hugely popular, and spurred a growth of classic consoles that also included the new PlayStation Classic. But that popularity led the consoles to quickly sell out, amid confusion about how many the company had produced and whether more would arrive. Now Nintendo of America's president Reggie Fils-Aime has confirmed that there is only a limited number of those consoles being made, and that when they are sold out no more will be made.


Apple plans software update to get around Chinese iPhone ban

The Independent

Apple has found a way to circumvent a Chinese court ban preventing it from selling iPhones in the country, the firm said. US chip maker Qualcomm claims Apple violated two of its patents, which resulted in two preliminary injunctions in China earlier this week that force Apple to stop selling a wide range of iPhones there. The ban accounts for almost every smartphone Apple has made in the last three years, including the iPhone 6s, iPhone 6s Plus, iPhone 7, iPhone 7 Plus, iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus and iPhone X. In order to get around the ban, Apple said in a statement it would carry out software updates next week that will "address any possible concern" about the company's compliance with the order. The alleged intellectual property infringement relates to features allowing iPhone users to adjust pictures and manage applications.


Chinese tech workers told not to travel to US 'unless it's essential' after Huawei exec arrested

The Independent

Technology researchers in China have been ordered to not travel to the US unless it is absolutely necessary, amid rising tensions between the two countries. Staff working in sensitive tech sectors were given the warning following the arrest of a Chinese tech executive in Canada, a source told the South China Morning Post. Workers at a research agency were also told to remove any sensitive data from laptops, mobile phones and other devices if travel to the US was essential. The warning comes after a similar order from US tech giant Cisco to some of its employees, which asked them the to any non-essential travel to China. Cisco has since said the email to its employees was "sent in error."


People are slashing tyres and throwing rocks at self-driving cars in Arizona

The Independent

Vigilante citizens in a town in Arizona have slashed tyres, thrown rocks and even pointed guns at self-driving vehicles being tested in their neighbourhood, an investigation has revealed. Police in Chandler recorded 21 incidents over the past two years in which the autonomous vehicles and their test drivers were targeted by local residents. One incident on 24 October saw a man emerge from a park and slash the tyres of a Waymo vehicle stopped at an intersection. Earlier this year a Waymo test driver reported a man in shorts aiming a gun at his car when it passed the man's driveway. Police reports also show that rocks were thrown at Waymo's fleet on at least four separate occasions, according to The Arizona Republic, while other incidents include people yelling at the vehicles, chasing them and forcing them off the road.


Samsung Galaxy S10 will have 'incredible' camera feature, latest leak hints

The Independent

One of the stand-out features of Samsung's forthcoming flagship smartphone, presumably called the Galaxy S10, is expected to be the camera, with the latest rumour suggesting an ultra-wide lens that will significantly improve image quality. The new camera feature was spotted in a beta version of the Android Pie mobile operating system, which includes an option for "Ultra wide lens correction" within the camera settings. Several rumours surrounding the Galaxy S10 camera have already hinted at a multi-lens setup, both on the front and rear of the device. Last month, a report claimed that the successor to the Galaxy S9 will feature twice as many cameras as Apple's latest iPhone, with two on the front and four on the rear. The Galaxy S10, set to launch on the 10th anniversary of Samsung's first Galaxy flagship smartphone, is also expected to shun the precedent set by Apple by using a "hole-punch" instead of notch in order to incorporate a front-facing camera.


Pokemon Go players can finally battle against each other, as PvP arrives years after game's release

The Independent

It's the feature most players will have been waiting for so long they'll never actually get to use it, but Pokemon Go has finally allowed players to battle in the game. The introduction of player versus player fights arrives in the latest update to the game and lets Pokemon trainers use the creatures and skills they've honed over more than two years to take on friends. Battles had been a notably missing part of the game since it was released in the summer of 2016. Now developers say they have finally arrived, with players receiving special rewards for playing them. Developers are clear that the matches won't only reward players who have the strongest Pokemon and the best moves, privileging those who have been playing for a while.