Tech universe: Tuesday, 10 August

By Miraz Jordan

A round-up of the latest technology news from around the globe.

Ageing irises could confound biometric checks. Photo / Mark Smith
Ageing irises could confound biometric checks. Photo / Mark Smith

AN EYE OR AN EYE?: The iris of the eye has unique patterns so it's great for identity confirmation. Until it isn't. Scanners expect small differences between scans but aren't calibrated for bigger differences as our eyes age. That's bad news for India, thinking of using iris scans in identity cards. "Well, lookee here, an imposter." More at NewScientist.

VACUUM TUBES: China needs to move a lot of people around every day, and fast. They're working on maglev trains to travel up to 1,000 kph through vacuum tunnels. At $3 million extra per Km there's serious money involved. It's not the length of travel that slows you down, but the stopping. Details at Engadget.

I THOUGHT IT MOVED: The Modular Prosthetic Limb includes 22 degrees of motion, has independent control of all 5 fingers, and weighs the same as a human arm.

It's controlled by a surgically implanted microarray in the brain. The wearer thinks and the hand responds. Just like a bought one. More at SingularityHub and video on YouTube.

MIND YOUR SPAMMERS: A security firm analysed spam and found 'please' was the top word for targeted attacks, and in the top 5 for phishing and malware spam. As Mum always said: "If you want someone to do something, you have to ask nicely." More at V3.

aiBIKE: Apple are developing a Smart Bicycle System, according to a Patent application, that could help teams of cyclists communicate about the track or road. It could integrate an iPhone with bike sensors and a holographic display to monitor and report speed, altitude, incline, cadence, heart rate and other vitals. "From my bike to your bike..." Read more at PatentlyApple.

- Miraz Jordan

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