Electroville News and Blog

Speech Recognition Now As Good As A Human

It has been reported that Microsoft’s speech recognition system has reached its lowest ever Word Error Rate (WER) of 5.1%, a rate that puts it on par with humans. What Speech Recognition System? For the last 25 years, reaching human parity with a speech recognition...

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Tougher Sentences For Online Abusers

The UK’s Director of Public Prosecutions, Alison Saunders, has said that the Crown Prosecution Service will treat online hate crime as seriously as offences carried out face to face, and will seek tougher penalties and sentences for online abuse on social media...

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68% of UK Firms Not Trained Against Cyber Attacks

The annual Cyber Governance Health Check has shown that 68% of the UK’s top business board members have received no training in how to respond to a cyber attack. No Plan For One In Ten FTSE Companies Also, according to the report from The Department for Digital,...

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Closing Time For Lovefilm’s Postal DVD Service

Lovefilm has announced that it will be ceasing its postal DVD rental service on 31st October this year, as the format is being superseded by streaming services. Streaming Kills DVD Demand A decrease in demand for DVD and Blu-ray rentals, caused by the huge increase in...

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Tech Tip: Two Handy Right-Clicks

There are two handy right mouse click tips on Windows 10 that can help you save time and personalize your desktop. Right-Click To Personalize Tiles To personalise your tiles, simply right-click on them to prompt a pop-up menu. This will enable you to un-pin them from...

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Tech Tip: Setting A Picture Or PIN As Your Password

As traditional passwords have become less secure options, Windows 10 offers you the chance to sign-in by using a picture (annotated by you), or a PIN as your password. Here's how: Click the Start button and select Settings from the menu. Choose Accounts. On the left,...

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Li-Fi Could Boost Wi-Fi

Upcoming wireless protocol Light Fidelity or Li-Fi could be used to complement and boost Wi-Fi by turning special LED light bulbs into network access points, and by co-existing in mobile devices to improve performance. What Is Li-Fi? Light Fidelity or Li-Fi is a...

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Cryptocurrency Scam Foiled By London Police

A scam which involved duping investors out of £160,000 by selling fake cyber cash has been foiled by London police and has resulted in the arrest of one man. What Is A Cryptocurrency? A cryptocurrency is a digital (virtual) currency which uses encryption techniques to...

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Blockchain Links Students To Employers

A new Sony Global Education (SGE) service uses Blockchain to enable students to more easily share their qualifications with employers. Building on IBM’s Blockchain SGE, the international education services development subsidiary of Sony, will use IBM’s Blockchain to...

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Encoded DNA Used To Carry Computer Malware

Researchers in the US have used digitised human DNA loaded with malware to infect a computer as part of an experiment to demonstrate that open-source programs used by laboratories worldwide are vulnerable to hackers. What? It has been reported that researchers at the...

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New Windows Eye-Tracking Feature

Microsoft Windows Insiders are reported to have been trying out a new eye-tracking feature that enables users to type and even draw the shapes of letters just using their eye movements. Why? Development of the eye-tracking feature started back 2014, when ex US NFL...

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Your Amazon Echo Could Be Used To Spy On You

A British security researcher is reported to have said that malware can be installed on an Amazon Echo along with code that could allow the device to eavesdrop on your conversations. Who & How? Security expert Mark Barnes has made the news by saying that anyone...

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AI Can Defeat Anti-Virus Software

The potential of AI to be used against businesses when in the wrong hands has been highlighted with the news that an AI robot has been able to crack open a safe and that AI can be used to create custom malware that can defeat antivirus software. Safe Cracking Robot...

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VPNs Blocked In China, Banned In Russia

Global Internet freedom has experienced some setbacks recently as Apple pulled VPNs from its Chinese App Store, and Russia has banned VPNs completely. What Are VPNs? VPN stands for ‘Virtual Private Network’ and a VPN allows a user to connect to the internet via a...

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Google Stopping Instant Search

With the huge rise in the use of mobile devices, and to promote design consistency across platforms, Google has dropped its Instant Search feature for desktops. What Is Instant Search Introduced in 2010, Google Instant Search offers pre-emptive, dynamically generated...

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EE Clutches Onto No.1 Spot

The level of competition in the mobile network market has now become so fierce that O2, Three, and Vodafone have made inroads into EE’s lead in overall market share. EE Still Leading The latest mobile network performance report from RootMetrics, which covers the first...

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Tech Tip: Useful Windows 10 Keyboard Shortcuts

Keyboard shortcuts are a fast way to carry out specific tasks and access certain modes and features. Here are a few keyboard shortcuts that you may find useful in Windows 10: To snap a window: WIN + LEFT or RIGHT, can and be used with UP or DOWN to get into quadrants....

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Drones To Be Registered, Users To Be Tested

The UK government announced last week that drones need to be registered and users may have to undergo safety awareness tests soon. Accountability and Responsibly New government rules mean that drones weighing 250 grams and above now need to be registered online....

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House of Lords Investigating AI ‘Ethics’

With the advancement of artificial intelligence, the House of Lords Select Committee on Artificial Intelligence (AI) is calling on academics, experts, industry insiders, and the public for feedback on the social, economic, and ethical implications of the technology....

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Mobile Banking Iris-Scanning

This September, TSB customers will just have to look at their phone’s camera to access mobile banking services thanks to the introduction of iris-scanning authentication. Iris-Scanning Access TSB customers with Samsung Galaxy S8 or S8+ will be the first in Europe to...

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New ‘Pay To Read’ Facebook Content Model

It has been reported that in a move to satisfy the publishers on its social network, Facebook may soon be moving over to charging its users for reading news on its platform. Keeping Publishers Happy Facebook is reported to be in the early stages of talks with various...

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A Great Example Of Video To Engage With Your Market

In the interest of starting the kids early with life skills, The Halifax is enlisting the help of young YouTube stars / ‘vloggers’, to help teach other children about basic money management. Halifax and the Young Vloggers What better way is there to communicate with...

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MoneySuperMarket Fined For Sending Emails

The Information Commissioner’s Office has fined MoneySuperMarket £80,000 for sending 7 million emails to former subscribers who had already opted out of receiving communications from the company. What Happened? It has been reported that MoneySuperMarket sent 7.1...

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Tech Tip: Stop Default Microsoft Edge

In Windows 10, the Microsoft Edge Browser has a habit of trying to open everything as the default app. To stop this, and to be able to re-assign your own defaults for many different services and applications: Open Settings and go to System. Find "Default Apps” (near...

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Age Checks To View Porn To Be Compulsory

The Digital Economy Act, which comes into force in nine months, will mean that those trying to view pornography on any commercial website or online platform available people in the UK could face a compulsory age check. What Is The Digital Economy Act? The Digital...

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AI Growth – A Risk To Human Civilisation

In a recent meeting with the National Governors Association, the US bi-partisan body dealing with state and national public policy and governance, Tesla and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk reportedly described ‘Artificial Intelligence’ (AI) as a "fundamental risk to the...

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Tech Tip: Annotate Web Pages With Windows 10

One great feature of Windows 10 is that Edge allows you to mark up web pages with your own notes and drawings. To add annotate, write, highlight, and even type directly on a website: Click on the Edit image at the top right. Use the purple bar that appears. The tools...

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Unlimited Streaming Deals Contributing To Piracy

As Three becomes the first network provider in the UK to launch a tariff that lets its customers use unlimited streaming services without it affecting their monthly data allowance, some media commentators are concerned that more streaming services of this kind could...

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News Bots to Flood UK with 30,000 Articles a Month

Google’s has awarded €706,000 ($800,000) to the UK’s Press Association (PA) so they can develop robot reporters or news-bots that can generate 30,000 articles a month Digital News Initiative The funding is part of Google’s €150m Digital News Initiative, a three-year...

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Smart Pest Control System Outsmarts Rats

A smart new system from Swedish company Anticimex is now using smart technology to bring pest control into the 21st century by tracing rats and revealing vital information about where they converge or nest. Used To Be Manual Like many companies in that industry...

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Hologram Phone Launched

Hollywood-based, high-quality camera manufacturer ‘Red’ has surprised the tech world by producing a holographic, virtual-augmented and mixed-reality-ready smartphone. Hydrogen One Red, a developer and manufacturer of high-quality cameras used in Hollywood blockbusters...

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Rogue Drone Over Gatwick Causes Flight Diversions

It has been reported that a drone being flown dangerously close to Gatwick airport was the reason why four Easyjet flights and one British Airways flights had to be diverted. Runway Operations Suspended Reports indicate that runway operations at Gatwick for two...

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NHS & Google Data Sharing Not Compliant Says ICO

A deal which led to the sharing of healthcare records of 1.6 million patients in the UK with Google’s AI company ‘DeepMind’ has been judged by the UK’ data protection watchdog the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) to have not complied with the Data Protection...

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AA Website Shop Data Breach

Reports have surfaced of data breach in April this year in the website shop of motoring / breakdown company the AA which left a large (13 gigabyte) cache of data, including personal customer data viewable online for several days. What Happened? Security researcher...

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Tech Tip: Create Your Own Customised Theme

We all like to customise parts of our work environment, particularly when it comes to the computer. Customising your computer's theme on Windows 10 is straightforward. Here's how: Collect your own favourite wallpapers into a folder (right click in file explorer >...

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Amazon To Revolutionise Grocery Delivery?

Amazon is entering the grocery delivery business with its bid to buy Whole Foods Market Inc. for $13.7 billion but industry insiders say that it’s going to be a long and costly process for Amazon to revolutionize grocery delivery the way they revolutionized online...

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Gmail Ads Will Not Be Scanned Anymore

Google Cloud Computing Chief Diane Greene said in a blog post on Friday that Google will stop scanning Gmail content for creating personalized ads. This move, due to happen later this year, is in line with Google’s enterprise offering, G Suite. G Suite Gmail Already...

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Cyber Attack on Parliament – Emails Compromised

Parliament’ s IT system was hacked last Friday, compromising the email accounts of almost 1% of the 9,000 users of the system according to the latest reports. Remote Access Disabled After the sustained cyber attack, which some media commentators have already blamed on...

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EU Roaming Charges Finally Finished

After a decade of campaigning by EU citizens and after 2 years of preparing the mobile networks for the change, The European Commission has announced that there will be no more EU roaming charges. What Does This Mean? The abolition of roaming charges applies to calls,...

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Most UK People Trust AI Says Research

New research from US CRM and strategic applications company Pegasystems has found that 60% of UK people would use more Artificial Intelligence (AI) if it saved them time and money. Real World Value The UK results are drawn out of a larger survey which involved 6,000...

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SAP Driven Change At Greggs

The baking and retail high-street chain Greggs is reported to have undergone a £25m change programme for its 1,500 outlets, using a range of SAP software to simplify and better integrate its business processes, and make it more competitive in the lucrative...

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WannaCry Came From North Korea Say Experts

The UK’s National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) led investigation into the origins of the WannaCry ransomware attack that crippled NHS systems last month has concluded that it came from a hacking group in North Korea. What Happened? The WannaCry global cyber attack...

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Secret Desktop Button On Windows 10

If you’d like a fast way to minimise all your open windows to clear the desktop on Windows 10, you can use the ‘secret’ desktop button. Here’s how: Look all the way to the bottom and right of your screen, to the side of the date and time. You will see a button (which...

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UK Attracting Non-EU IT Talent

One of the biggest challenges to the IT sector over many years has been a skills gap but new research from IT contractor services provider SJD Accountancy into Home Office figures appears to show that the skills gap has been a magnet for the UK attracting non-EU...

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Renewables Beat Coal & Gas For The First Time

National Grid figures show that renewable sources of energy such as wind farms, solar panels, hydro and the burning of renewable biomass / wood pellets have, for the first time, produced a greater energy output than coal and gas in the UK. Record Breaking It is...

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Virgin Patches Wireless Security Flaw

Virgin Media have developed and distributed a security patch for their Super Hub home routers after a potentially serious security flaw was uncovered by cyber security consultancy ‘Context Information Security’. What Security Flaw? The flaw was found to be an...

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First Arrest Made Via Facial Recognition Technology

The first arrest made using facial recognition technology took place in Cardiff two weeks ago, just days after trialling of the technology at the Champions League final at the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff. Local Man Despite police using the technology at the match,...

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Death Penalty For Facebook Blasphemer

A 30-year-old man has been sentenced to death in Pakistan after being convicted of the crime of blasphemy over his Facebook and WhatsApp posts. Unpardonable Under current laws in Pakistan, blasphemy ranks alongside the most serious offences, and has been described by...

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Tech Tip: Disable Wi-Fi Sense

If you’re worried about the security implications of Wi-Fi Sense on Windows 10, and if you’d like to wipe off any details of any Wi-Fi networks you've signed into in the past, you can disable Wi-Fi Sense.Here’s how: Go to Start. Click on Settings. Select Network &...

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Apple HomePod “Different”, Says Apple

Apple is reported to be launching its “HomePod” Siri-controlled smart speaker in December this year, and although it’s in the same market as Amazon’s Echo and Sonos, the marketing message is that it’s more about music and sound quality. What Is Siri? Apple’s Siri is...

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Uber Refunds Terror Escapees

After a barrage of bad publicity over surge pricing, ride-hailing company Uber has announced that it has refunded those affected by inflated prices while trying to escape from the London terror attack. Surge Pricing The ‘surge pricing’ which can be turned on or off...

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Turn Off Your Ad Blockers … Or Pay Google

Google’s new “Funding Choices” initiative will directly ask web users who encounter sites where content is funded by adverts to turn off their ad blocker or pay a subscription to view the content without adverts. Why Ad-Blockers? Ad-blockers are programs that work...

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Amazon Grocery-Collect Shopping Launched

Amazon is reported to have extended its business reach into fresh grocery provision and is operating a trial of the ‘Amazon Fresh Pickup’ service from two ‘bricks-and-mortar’ locations in its home city of Seattle. Order Online and Pickup From Fresh Food Warehouse The...

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Cash Second To Contactless Payments

Projected figures from payments industry trade body ‘Payments UK’ have shown that by as soon as next year, more payments will be made using debit cards than using cash. Driven By The Popularity of Contactless Payments The convenience and effectiveness of contactless...

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Is GDPR More Opportunity Than Threat?

With UK businesses needing to comply with the European Union’s (EU’s) General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) by 25 May 2018 (when enforcement begins), should it be seen by businesses as an more of an opportunity to get the data protection house in order, and find...

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Are YOU The Best Defence Against Cyber Attack?

In the wake of the crippling WannaCry ransomware attack, experts at the UK’s National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) are keen to point out that a technology-led approach to cyber security means that the strengths of staff in the fight against cyber-crime are being...

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BA Says ‘Never Again’ After Weekend Meltdown

BA has moved to try and mitigate some of the damage caused to its reputation as a result of an IT systems meltdown that left 75,000 passengers stranded at airports and separated from their luggage over the busy Bank Holiday weekend, by announcing that it will never...

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Tech Tip: The Malicious Software Removal Tool

While Windows Defender (that comes with Windows 10) offers some virus and malware protection, if you are unlucky enough to pick up a computer virus that has somehow circumvented your anti- virus, you can download the post-infection ‘Malicious Software Removal Tool’ to...

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UK Tech Industry To Be ‘Taxed On Talent’?

The changes outlined by Prime Minister, Theresa May, to government employment policies in the recently published Conservative manifesto have led to fears that the UK tech industry could be a hit by a so-called ‘tax on talent’. Immigration Skills Charge If implemented,...

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Who Really Benefits From Accelerated Mobile Pages?

Back in October 2015, Google announced that it was introducing a new open source initiative called Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) in order to dramatically improve the performance of the mobile web. In May 2017, AMPs are still attracting criticism and the accusation...

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No … For Net Neutrality

The current Net Neutrality regulations, set in 2015 and designed to force ISPs to treat all data traffic as equal, have been overturned by two-to-one in a vote by the US Federal Communications Commission (FCC). What Is Net Neutrality? The idea of having an Open...

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Dump Your Provider By Text

If Ofcom’s new automated 'text to switch' plan comes to fruition, mobile phone customers will be able to ditch their current provider just by sending them a text. What’s The Problem? Delivering exceptional customer service is now a key differentiator in business, and...

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New 160 Terabytes Memory Machine

Hewlett Packard has reportedly unveiled a prototype computer with a massive 160TB of memory, enough to analyse the equivalent of 160 million books at the same time. World’s Largest Simply named “The Machine”, the Linux-based computer is thought to be the world’s...

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Bank’s Voice Recognition Fooled By Twin

Last week, BBC Click reporter Dan Simmons reported that he had been able to fool HSBC’s biometric voice recognition system by passing his brother’s voice off as his own. What Happened? In an experiment that was filmed for the BBC Click technology digest TV programme,...

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Tech Tip: Snap Windows For Multi-Tasking

Windows 10 has a handy feature that allows you to snap the current window to one side of your screen, and simultaneously open a second one on the other side, thus enabling the often elusive multi-tasking! Here’s how: To activate the feature, and to enable able you to...

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Protecting Your Business Mobile From Junk Calls

Your phone rings and you pick up. Instead of a warm voice on the other end, you get the cold, robotic tones of an automated message trying to sell you something you probably don’t want. So, how can you make sure that your mobile is protected from disruptive and...

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Five-Minute-Charge Mobiles By 2018?

Israeli company StoreDot have reportedly claimed that their innovative “FlashBattery” technology means that five-minute charging smartphones could be on the market by 2018. Minutes Rather Than Hours On average it takes most of us anywhere between one to three hours to...

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Ransomware – To Pay Or Not To Pay?

Ransomware such as WannaCry is used to extort money from people and organisations who are told that their important data is locked away until they pay a ransom. If you become a victim of ransomware, should you pay? Even if you do, will you get all of your data back?...

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Hunt for WannaCry Ransomware Attackers

As organisations around the world recover and begin to count the cost of the biggest ransomware attack in history, cyber security and law enforcement agencies around the world have turned their attention to tracking down the perpetrators. Cruel Irony The irony of the...

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Tech Tip: Set Power Button to Turn Off Monitors

If you have the Windows 10 Creators Update, you can make your computer power button into a monitor switch that lets you turn off all your monitors. With this tip you can turn off your monitor and still leave your computer running. Applications won’t be closed, and...

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Touch Sensitive “Paint” Opens New Doors

A new system called Electrick (developed by Researchers at Carnegie Mellon University Pittsburgh) uses conductive spray paint and electrodes to turn any surface into an electronic touch sensor. Electric Field Tomography The revolutionary new system was created by...

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