Techwaways – The week best bits in 4 bites

Techwaways – The week best bits in 4 bites

Acoustic tractor beams could levitate humans

Source: University of Bristol 

The idea of sound taking you higher and higher might not be limited to the dancefloor. Scientists at the University of Bristol in the UK have found a way to trap and move objects with an acoustic tractor beam.

The technique is not new, but this is the first time it’s been demonstrated with objects bigger than the wavelength of the sound waves doing the lifting.

Right now, acoustic beams are limited to levitating 2mm polystyrene balls, but researchers think it’s only a matter of time before much bigger objects – and even humans – could be floating around on sound.

So if scientists find a way to turn the volume up to 11, we could soon all be dancing on the ceiling.

Torturing scumbag targets human rights group over loss of Instagram account

Source: Yelena Afonina/ Tass/ Getty Images

Snaps of the leader of the Russian republic of Chechnya Ramzan Kadyrov dressing up as a chicken or a medieval lord and cuddling a tiger cub made him an IG superstar, with over three million followers.

But thanks to his record of (strictly offline and physical) abuse, Instagram recently shut down his account.

This infuriated Kadyrow, who immediately blamed Memorial – the only human rights organization in Chechnya. Memorial has since had its offices torched and one of its senior members arrested on trumped-up drug charges.

It seems the right to express yourself freely in Chechnya is limited to the leader himself. Say or do the wrong thing in his fiefdom and you could find yourself imprisoned and tortured

Amazon Go is the retail giant’s cashless (and cashierless) new store

Source: David Ryder / Getty Images

There’s no cash, no waiting, and no opportunity to shoplift at Amazon’s new pilot store – but you will need an Amazon account to shop there, plus the Amazon Go app.

Just waltz in, scan a QR code at the turnstile, and take what you want. The store’s electronics will know exactly what you picked up, and will bill you and provide a receipt electronically.

Not happy with your purchases? The Amazon Go app should reimburse you without even a return visit. And of course, if you’re looking for a career in retail, there will still be plenty of shelves to stack and floors to mop.

But for cashiers, it’s a matter of Amazon Go find yourself another job.

Your face pasted onto a porn star? Don’t look to the law for protection

Source: Motherboard (Screenshot from SendVids)

If you’re thinking that life online is becoming unbearable, here comes another digital trend that will encourage you to unplug, head for the hills, and live in a tinfoil-lined yurt.

AI and machine learning make it possible to swap people’s faces on porn movies, so you can barely see the join. As a result, Taylor Swift, Gal Gadot and others have already become unwitting skin stars.

Now the technical threshold for producing Face/Off filth has been lowered to the point where we’re expecting an avalanche of the stuff – plus a brand-new wrinkle on revenge porn.

But unlike traditional revenge porn (did I just write that phrase?) there is no legal protection – in the US, at least.

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