Lenovo settles with the FTC over Superfish adware In 2014, Lenovo began bundling a third-party adware program called "Superfish" into its consumer PCs. Now, nearly three years later, the company is facing the consequences. Today, Lenovo settled a lawsuit by the Federal Trade Commission over the Superfish adware, agreeing to get affirmative consent for any future adware programs, as well as audited security checks of their software for the next 20 years. The Verge

How much does screen size matter in comparing Ryzen Mobile and Kaby Lake-R battery life? As we've continued testing AMD's Ryzen 5 2500U APU over the past few days, we've been confronted with the problem of comparing battery life across laptops with different screen sizes. Many readers suggested that I should take each machine's internal display out of the picture by hooking them up to external monitors. The Tech Report

Announcing the initial release of Mozilla's open source speech recognition model and voice dataset With the holiday, gift-giving season upon us, many people are about to experience the ease and power of new speech-enabled devices. Technical advancements have fueled the growth of speech interfaces through the availability of machine learning tools, resulting in more Internet-connected products that can listen and respond to us than ever before. Mozilla

Artificial muscles give soft robots superpowers Soft robotics has made leaps and bounds over the last decade as researchers around the world have experimented with different materials and designs to allow once rigid, jerky machines to bend and flex in ways that mimic and can interact more naturally with living organisms. However, increased flexibility and dexterity has a trade-off of reduced strength, as softer materials are generally not as strong or resilient as inflexible ones, which limits their use. Wyss Institute

Underscores, optimization & arms races This is all ancient tech history now, but content management systems used to be one of those competitive markets that tech people watched avidly. (CMSes are the tools people use to publish stuff on the Internet --- Medium, where you're reading right now, is one, and some of the big ones people use today are WordPress or Drupal.) Medium

New study finds that most Redditors don't actually read the articles they vote on It's probably not at all surprising that most content posted to Reddit is voted on more or less blindly. I'll cop to liking articles that friends have shared on Facebook without reading, let alone evaluating them. I'd say there's even sort of an aggregation myth that pervades our view of social media, that buried within discussions of fake news and social media corporate responsibility is this assumption that people are actually reading the articles... Motherboard.Vice

Firms team up on hybrid electric plane technology Airbus, Rolls-Royce and Siemens are to develop hybrid electric engine plane technology as part of a push towards cleaner aviation. The E-Fan X programme will first put an electric engine with three jet engines on a BAe 146 aircraft. The firms want to fly a demonstrator version of the plane by 2020, with a commercial application by 2025. BBC

You had to be there There's a question going around on Twitter, courtesy of the writer Matt Whitlock: "Without revealing your actual age, what's something you remember that if you told a younger person they wouldn't understand?" This simple query has received, at this date, 18,000 responses. Here is just a tiny selection... The Atlantic

Open source innovation is now all about vendor on-ramps In the enterprise world, open source has long been a bit tentative. Starting in the early 2000s, various vendors started contributing bits and pieces of code, careful not to give away anything too valuable, all while hoping for positive marketing effect. It was, as Stephen Walli wrote in 2007, a matter of gifting complementary technology to secure potential customers' interest in the core of your business. InfoWorld

MIT's new desktop 3D printer technology increases speeds up to 10x There are plenty of reasons desktop 3D printing never really took off with consumers. Speed isn't the main one, but it's certainly up there. If you've ever attempted to print anything larger than a penny, you know that, as a late, great philosopher once said, the waiting is the hardest part. Tech Crunch

Behind the scenes at Xerox Parc's futures day---40 years ago When we look back at history making tech demos, first on the list is typically Doug Engelbart's 1968 "Mother of All Demos" that introduced windows, video conferencing, and the mouse. Next on the list? How about Xerox Parc's "Futures Day"? Futures Day wasn't widely recognized before last month, but thanks to a couple of 40-year-commemorations, it is claiming its place in history. IEEE Spectrum (Xerox PARC: A Nod to the Minds Behind the GUI, Ethernet, Laser Printing, and More)

The best monitor for programming: A cheap 40″ 4K TV I used to have a 28″ 4K monitor, but everything was too small and I hated it and never used it. Recently I picked up a 40″ 4K TV, the Sceptre U415CV-UM, for under $300 and, with a few minutes of work, some adapters, and a pair of yoga blocks, it works great with both my laptop and my Hackintosh. This is truly an awesome setup and it costs less than my previous, smaller monitor. Weird huh? Mason Simon (also, Using a 4K TV as a Desktop Monitor)

Google's artificial intelligence built an AI that outperforms any made by humans In May 2017, researchers at Google Brain announced the creation of AutoML, an artificial intelligence (AI) that's capable of generating its own AIs. More recently, they decided to present AutoML with its biggest challenge to date, and the AI that can build AI created a "child" that outperformed all of its human-made counterparts. Futurism (also, Building the hardware for the next generation of artificial intelligence)

The $80 power supply for almost everyone: The Corsair TX550M 80Plus Gold PSU Review Corsair started off as a high-performance computer memory manufacturer, but they evolved into one of the largest and most recognizable companies in the consumer PC market. Today the company markets an immense variety of products, including practically everything short of motherboards and processors. AnandTech

Some brilliant Toronto residents fixed this intersection with chalk and leaves Where Regal Road and Springmount Avenue meet in Toronto, there's quite a bit of pavement, and, importantly, all-way stop signs. The problem is that not a lot of drivers stop, probably in part because of all that space, and because it's a rush-hour alternative to busy streets nearby. Some residents recently took it into their own hands to change that. Jalopnik

The poor man's 3D camera Each of us have our own giants to face. This is a story about one of my giants. Something I never imagined could make a grown man cry, until it did. A 3D camera. No one can face your giants for you. This is a story, not a walkthrough. Expect no useful information. For that I recommend 50 Game Camera Mistakes by thatgamecompany's John Nesky. His job title is literally "camera designer". Evan Todd

Vision kit This project lets you build an image recognition device that can see and identify objects, powered by TensorFlow's machine learning models. All you need is a Raspberry Pi Zero W, a Raspberry Pi Camera 2, and a blank SD card. A free Android app is coming soon to help you easily control your device. AIY Projects