tech and geek stuff
Why the ThinkPad TrackPoint still a thing, according to Lenovo’s chief designer
For those that didn’t come up in the professional world during IBM’s heyday, yet work on one of Lenovo’s ThinkPad laptops today, might wonder why the TrackPoint is still around. After all, it was IBM’s...
Looking at the OnePlus 5, it’s hard to believe that the company that made it is less than four years old. This is a phone that manages to hold its own alongside flagship devices from companies that have...
How did London tower block fire spread so fast and kill so many?
Fire rapidly engulfed Grenfell Tower in LondonGuilhem Baker/LNP/Rex/ShutterstockBy Feng FuIn the middle of the night, while most residents were sleeping, a devastating fire started at Grenfell Tower,...
Onda Xiaoma 31
The success of the MacBook Air range has spawned more copycats than we care to recall. To swiftly name a few, the Yepo 737S, Jumper EZBook 2 and to a lesser extent the Xiaomi Air 12 have all attempted...
Anyone can create a robot with this simple design tool
Making a robot is hard. Don't take my word for it, take the word of Stelian Coros, assistant professor of robotics at Carnegie Mellon University. "The process of creating new robotic systems today is...
Cooler Master’s eye-catching MK750 mechanical keyboard comes with its own CPU
Over at Computex, Cooler Master has revealed a host of new peripherals, led by a rather tasty-looking mechanical keyboard, alongside some mice, a gaming headset and fresh PC cases.The headline revelation...
MSI goes big with its latest gaming desktop
MSI might be known for producing some of the smallest gaming desktops like the Trident 3 and VR-One Backpack PC, but at Computex 2017 it’s bringing out a big mid-tower system.The Infinite A is part of...
HTC turns 20: two decades of headline hits and flagship flops
Date of launch: March 2015 | Dimensions: 144.6mm x 69.7mm x 9.6mm | Weight: 157g | Screen size: 5 inches, 1080 x 1920 pixels | Launch OS: Android 5.0 Lollipop | CPU and RAM: Octa-core 2.0GHz processor,...
The HTC U11 is a very different phone to others on the market. It’s the result of HTC needing to do something big to convince you that it’s the phone you should buy over the Samsung Galaxy S8 or forthcoming...
iPhone SE 2: what we want to see
Last year’s introduction of the iPhone SE showed us a side of Apple that hadn’t been seen before: one that revives old, unchanged designs. By keeping the look of the popular iPhone 5 and iPhone 5S intact,...
How Logitech brings sophistication to PC gaming accessories
Gaming hardware these days seems to be louder than ever, with exaggerated designs and enough RGB lighting to make the Vegas strip look dull. Thankfully, that doesn’t apply to all gaming hardware, with...
Here's another look at the potential design for the iPhone 8
With only five months to go until the expected big reveal, it's fair to say the 2017 iPhone rumor mill is very much up and running - and this weekend we've got another image leak that gives us clues about...
New iPhone 8 leak touts bezel-free design and other bold changes
As we get closer to the for-real reveal of the iPhone 8, speculation continues to grow over what major changes await Apple's next smartphone.In one of the more interesting (and odd) leaks we've seen,...
Galaxy S8 and S8 Plus make strong first impressions
Samsung’s new Galaxy S8 (and its bigger sibling, the Galaxy S8 Plus) are designed to reintroduce the public to Samsung as the company tries to put the fiery death of the Galaxy Note7 behind it. Given...
Best business headphones and earphones
Getting a pair of top quality headphones or earphones for your business is essential if you make and receive a lot of voice and video calls. That#s why we've put together this guide of the best business...
Early Snapdragon 835 benchmarks show mixed results from semi-custom design
Qualcomm reader comments 10 Share this story When it announced the Snapdragon 835, Qualcomm promised that the latest in its family of ARM systems-on-chips would boost performance by 27 percent with a...
Cheerleading company can get copyrights, pursue competitors, Supreme Court says
Enlarge reader comments 18 Share this story The Supreme Court issued a 5-2 opinion (PDF) today allowing cheerleading uniforms to be copyrighted. The case, Star Athletica v. Varsity Brands, is expected...
ARM readies for the inevitable AI takeover with new processors
ARM, the name behind the processors within much of our smartphones and tablets, is preparing for the imminent artificial intelligence (AI) revolution with a brand-new chip design. The firm calls it DynamIQ...
Our new (mixed) reality: Early adopters have become HoloLens believers at work
Enlarge / Increasingly, businesses are adding this ol' thing to their workflow. Luka Kojima St-Laurent / Finger Food reader comments 2 Share this story It’s been roughly two years since Microsoft unveiled...
How a design maven helped TiVo, Kindle with names
Hibma and her team plumb a client’s history and values to home in on a “strategic identity” for a new product, a new company or to help focus a major change in corporate direction. An art student in the...
Porsche Design Book One
Some pairings look weird on paper, but the result winds up something that makes total sense the moment you lay eyes on it. The Porsche Design Book One is one of those results.Teamed up with Microsoft...
Huawei P10 Plus
What’s better than the Huawei P10? Depending on who you ask, they might say “a bigger P10” and wouldn’t you know it: Huawei has announced the P10 Plus. The larger sibling borrows the same, cohesive design...
The Nokia 3 is the entry-level smartphone in the brand’s new trio of devices, offering up a solid design, a pure Android experience and a super low price tag. It may not turn many heads, but the Nokia...
LG rather needs a win in the smartphone game – its mobile division is losing revenue in the face of strong competition from Apple and Samsung, and the G6 is clearly an attempt to deliver that win for...
The G6 is the sophisticated phone we've been hoping LG would make
To use a really antiquated English phrase, LG is a curious fish in the mobile world. A brand that’s got the worldwide prestige and presence that many rivals would love, yet is struggling badly in the...
Have you looked at your windshield wipers lately?
Enlarge / I was the only person in the car. Try not to consider the circumstances for how I got this shot.Basheer Tome reader comments 9 Share this story The next time you're in a parking lot, or when...
Side on: photo shows just how thick the LG G6 is going to be
We got our first clear look at a phone believed to be the LG G6 a few days ago, and now another shot of the phone has leaked out, but this time showing it from the side.The new image, shared by underkg,...
Ars Technica Live: The hardware challenge of making a quality vibrator
reader comments 0 Share this story Ars Technica Live 9: Filmed by Chris Schodt and produced/edited by Jennifer Hahn. Vibrators have been such a popular gadget that nineteenth century inventors turned...
The LG G6 is one step forward, but two steps back
The LG G6 needs to restore some faith in the LG smartphone brand, as a faltering couple of years has seen it lose ground on Apple and Samsung.However, with the former still insisting on iterative updates...
LG G6 case renders suggest it isn’t waterproof
We’re expecting a lot of things from the LG G6, but one thing it might not be is water-resistant, as new renders show it in a waterproof case – something which wouldn’t be necessary if the phone itself...
A toolkit for transformable materials
Researchers have developed a general framework to design reconfigurable metamaterials. The design strategy is scale independent, meaning it can be applied to everything from meter-scale architectures to...
MIT researchers design one of the strongest, lightest-known 3D structures
Engineers at MIT have designed one the most lightweight yet strong 3D structures using graphene, the strongest material known to man. Story continues below In its 2D form, graphene (a thin layer of pure...
Bay Area: Join us next week 1/18 to talk about very intimate hardware design
Enlarge / At the Crave factory in San Francisco, Q/A tests the products' components.Jordan Kushins reader comments 1 Share this story The first 2017 episode of Ars Technica Live is next week on January...
“Neon” screenshots leak, showing off a refreshed Windows 10 look and feel
Enlarge / Neon introduces the use of transparency, such as on the left panel of Groove Music.MSPoweruser reader comments 31 Share this story After reports last year that Microsoft was going to revise...
This week's sponsor: ZARGET
Settle design debates with data. Crafting great design involves two parties, the designer, and the user. Good design is flashy and impressive, but great design provides users with a seamless experience...
Favorite holiday gifts for the kids
Favorite holiday gifts for the kids Classic Edition Cnet rating: 4 stars out of 5 Authentic-looking, throwback design; comfortable controller; the best value for a bunch of Nintendo’s classic 8-bit games;...
Supreme Court hands Samsung a victory in Apple patent fight
WASHINGTON — A unanimous Supreme Court ruled Tuesday that Samsung may not have to give up $399 million in profits for copying parts of the distinctive look of Apple’s iPhone. A federal law says that companies...
Court backs Samsung in Apple case
A unanimous Supreme Court sided with smartphone maker Samsung in its high-profile patent dispute with Apple over design of the iPhone. Picture: AP. THE US Supreme Court has tossed out a $US399 million...
NASA's Mars simulation space suit just got a redesign
PROVIDENCE, R.I. — When scientists are trying to figure out how to live in near-isolation in a dome to simulate a Mars mission, the last thing they’ll need is an ill-fitting space suit. So one of the nation’s...
Troubled Navy ship class design infringed on patent, lawsuit claims
The USS Freedom (LCS-1), designed by Lockheed Martin... or perhaps by a jilted British designer who is pressing IP theft claims against the Navy.US Navy reader comments 22 Share this story This has not...
Fuji's goes after new users with the X-A10
We're still waiting to get our hands on Fuji's latest X-A3 that was announced at Photokina, but that hasn't stopped the company launching an even more affordable mirrorless camera, the X-A10.Sharing a...
The best on-ear headphones available today
Between two extremes, there's usually a middle ground. Between small and large is medium, and in the case of headphones, on-ear headphones exist between over-ear and in-ear headphones.While similar to...
New design of neutron spectrometer being tested for manned spaceflight
The Fast Neutron Spectrometer (FNS) is now aboard the International Space Station. Neutrons contribute to crew radiation exposure and must be measured to assess exposure levels. The FNS uses a new instrument...
LG may be developing four new smartwatches for 2017
LG is behind some of the most stylish and interesting smartwatches around, including the LG Watch Urbane – which makes our best smartwatches list. Despite that, there hasn’t been much smartwatch activity...
A new JBL speaker is the ultimate gift this Black Friday or Christmas
Want to be blasting out Christmas songs from a brand new speaker on December 25 this year? Black Friday is the perfect time to grab a new JBL speaker or ask someone else to get you one as a present. JBL...
Owl-inspired wing design reduces wind turbine noise by 10 decibels
Many species of owl are able to hunt in effective silence by suppressing their noise at sound frequencies above 1.6 kilohertz (kHz) - over the range that can be heard by humans. A team of researchers studying...
Apple’s latest product is a $300 picture book of its hardware designs
Enlarge / A picture of some of the pictures in Apple's picture book.Apple reader comments 62 Share this story Further ReadingReview: Touch Bar MacBook Pros give an expensive glimpse at the Mac’s futureMove...
Apple releases $300 book containing 450 photos of Apple products
Running out of Christmas ideas for that diehard Apple fan in your life? Well, how about a $299 coffee table book filled with 450 photographs of Apple products. The iPhone-maker unveiled just such a tome...
This week's sponsor: ADOBE XD
Design. Prototype. Share. All in one app. Go from idea to prototype faster with Experience Design CC (Beta), the first all-in-one tool for designing and prototyping websites and mobile apps. Test drive...
The HTC 10 is a phone that's the product of years of learning, which is why the company has created a phone that's big on design, strong on camera and brings a very user-friendly interface into the mix.The...
Samsung Galaxy S5
The Samsung Galaxy S5 can be defined by one word: evolution.The camera was evolved to give clearer, faster snaps. The fitness-tracking abilities of the S5 are enhanced over the Galaxy S4 by packing in...
Third time's a charm, right? Well that's what OnePlus will be hoping with its third-generation flagship smartphone, the OnePlus 3.True to its 'Never Settle' mantra, OnePlus is pushing forward with its...
Huawei Mate 9 Porsche Design is beautiful - but inexplicably expensive
As expected the Huawei Mate 9 has launched in Germany - but it's come alongside a much better phone that's been created by Porsche.Well, we say created, but it's essentially the same phone with slightly...
Apple receives patent for foldable devices
Could the iPhone of the future have a bigger screen that folds in half when you’re not using it? A site called Patently Apple uncovered a patent granted by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office for a mobile...
Modern twist: Samsung is selling these sleek accessories globally
Samsung is taking six previously Korean-exclusive products, ranging from stylish wireless speakers to minimalist phone chargers, and putting them up for sale worldwide.Among the first of the devices Samsung...
Jony Ive: the Touch Bar is “just the beginning” of a new direction for Apple
In a recent interview with CNET, Apple’s Chief Design Officer, Jony Ive, has said that the Touch Bar which features in Apple’s redesigned Macbook Pro laptop line is “just the beginning of a very interesting...
Samsung Galaxy S7
Update: Features from the defunct Note 7 are appearing on the Samsung Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge in a forthcoming update.We won't beat around the bush: needing to improve upon a stellar phone in 2015's Galaxy...
iPhone 5S, first launched in 2013, was Apple's first phone with the Touch ID fingerprint home button and a 64-bit processor, and the last new iOS phone to feature a smaller 4-inch screen, at least until...
Apple and Samsung in ultimate showdown
Apple and Samsung’s patent battle has entered the US Supreme Court. Picture: Jack Taylor/Getty Images THE epic patent clash between Apple and Samsung went before the US Supreme Court on Tuesday, as the...
Supreme Court may reel in Apple v. Samsung damage award
Apple v. Samsung Apple got its verdict back—$120M against Samsung Supreme Court takes up Apple v. Samsung, first design patent case in a century As 4th trial nears, Samsung asks judge: Make Apple stop...
Cramer: This market is scared of Amazon, and it's fighting back
In a market that has plenty to worry about, whether it be the Senate health care bill, retail's demise, or impending deflation, Jim Cramer says it is preoccupied by one thing only: Amazon. "I think the...
Amazon aims to charge $2.8 million for NFL ad packages: Sources
For each game, Amazon can sell 10 30-second spots, one of the sources said. The spots run on the live-stream while local ads air on network TV. Under the terms Amazon is offering, buyers also get to run...
We now have a closer look at how Alexa will look on the Echo Show screen
Thanks to an Amazon developers kit, we now have a good idea how Alexa will look on its new smart speaker/screen the Echo Show.The developer kit has been released so that developers can start programming...
Amazon Fire 7 (2017)
We’ve built up some pretty straightforward expectations for a new Amazon Fire 7 tablet. Each iteration is going to be a solid but basic mini tablet that acts as a 7-inch window onto the sprawling Amazon...
I regard the brain as a computer which will stop working when its component fail. There is no heaven or afterlife for broken-down computers. That is a fairy story for people afraid of the dark