features

At Christmas Time, Check Your Power Boards And Double Adaptors

With Christmas lights and glowing decorations already up in houses across the country, this is the time of year that we bring out those rarely-used extra power boards and overload them with double adaptors on top of other adaptors. The ACCC wants you to check those boards for defects, though, with over 200,000 unsafe power boards and double adaptors sold across Australia within the last few months.


How One Company Spent Millions On A Gaming Mouse

There’s a room on Logitech’s bright, modern-looking campus in Lausanne, Switzerland full of contraptions specifically designed to torture PC hardware.


Photos: Inside Tesla Motors' First Australian Showroom

Tesla Motors’ first Australian showroom, in Artarmon on Sydney’s north shore, is about to throw open its doors to the public. Ahead of its official opening, we got the chance to take a look inside and snap some photos.

(56K and mobile warning: heaps of images inside!)


Is Stephen Hawking Right? Could AI Lead To The End Of Humankind?

The famous theoretical physicist Stephen Hawking has revived the debate on whether our search for improved artificial intelligence will one day lead to thinking machines that will take over from us.


Inside The Colourful World Of Animal Vision

As humans, we live in a colourful world, but differences in visual systems means that not all animals see the world in the same way. Unlike other aspects of an object such as size or mass, colour is not an inherent property of an object but a result of the sensory system of the viewer. In other words, colour is a construct of the mind.


5 Space Travel Accidents That Shaped The Modern Era

Last week was a particularly grim one for private space flights. Virgin Galactic’s SpaceShipTwo crashed in the Mojave Desert, about 150km north of Los Angeles, killing a pilot, Michael Alsbury, and seriously injuring another, Peter Siebold.

Although the US National Transportation Safety Board investigation is ongoing, there have been reports the “feathering” system that SpaceShipTwo uses may have been prematurely activated, leading to the crash.


What Do Self-Driving Cars Mean For Personal Privacy And Data Security?

Autonomous vehicles, or self-driving cars, are likely to be seen more widely on roads in 2015. Already, legislation authorising the use of autonomous vehicles has been introduced in the US states of Nevada, Florida, California and Michigan, with similar legislation being planned for the UK.

To date, these laws have focused on legalising the use of autonomous vehicles and dealing, to an extent, with some of the complex issues relating to liability for accidents. But as with other emerging disruptive technologies, such as drones and wearables, it is essential that issues relating to user privacy and data security are properly addressed prior to the technologies being generally deployed.


25 Horrible Things That Happen If You Don't Get Enough Sleep

In our 24/7 culture, sleep loss is a major problem. Back in 1942, we averaged almost 8 hours of sleep a night — now that’s down to 6.8. (Seven to 9 hours per night are what’s generally recommended.) Almost 40 per cent of Americans get less than seven hours of sleep a night, a recent Gallup poll found, and an estimated 70 million Americans have a sleep disorder. Everyone knows that it’s important to get enough sleep — but you may not realise just how many things can go wrong when you don’t.


We Need To Talk About Upload Speeds

Opinion: Australia is home to some incredible high-tech businesses, and Aussies can access some technologically amazing services — take video on demand, for example — with the quality of internet that we already have. Our download speeds, on the world stage, are okay. In the long and ongoing and convoluted and annoying argument about the National Broadband Network and about our countrywide internet, though, we’re all getting caught up talking about downloads, and it’s uploads that really matter.


Inside The Booming Business Of Kickstarter Coaches

Here’s a staggering statistic: Kickstarter backers pledge roughly $US1.5 million every day. Crowdfunding is a big business, despite its image as a folksy, grassroots-style approach to money. It’s so big, in fact, that it’s spawning a cottage industry of professionals who can help you cash in on your idea. For a fee.