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02 Jun

If taking underwater selfies is your thing, you’ll want to check out this new watertight case for the iPhone. It addresses one shortcoming with many of the water-friendly cases that are on the market today: the need to actually use the touchscreen on a phone while underwater. The upcoming Amphipac uses a patent-pending AirScreen, which puts a low-pressure air pocket between two layers of film to provide the touch sensitivity necessary to send text messages, snap photos, type descriptions, and whatever else you need to do while swimming.

In addition to touch sensitivity, the Amphipac will also cause your iPhone to float on the water’s surface if you accidentally drop it. As with most waterproof cases, though, you’ll be limited in how deep you can dive. The Amphipac is only rated to go 16 feet below the surface. So, if you’re searching for a case you can use while scuba diving, you’ll need to keep looking.

31 May

The ring appears to be the next big accessory to go smart. A new Kickstarter campaign introduces the Xenxo S ring, which makes it easy to answer calls, store files, control your music and more. One of the most notable things about this ring, though, is the intense interest it has gotten from the public. In just a short time, the ring has already raised five times its goal and is well into six figures in funding.

Inside the ring is a powerful microcomputer that has more than 94 components, four sensors, and a 32-bit controller. Press the ring in the right area and you’ll be able to take a call, send for emergency help, access files, and more. You can also use the ring to make payments at the cash register and set silent alarms. If you get separated from your phone, the ring will alert you.

29 May

When pressed to name the one most powerful piece of military hardware devised, many people might be inclined to name an atomic bomb or nuclear missile.

Truth be told, though, that distinction belongs to the submarine, of which one of the modern nuclear types holds more firepower than was used by all of the armed forces combined during World War Two.

And while submarines have always played a critical role in warfare ever since their invention -- largely because of their developing ability to move and strike without being easily detected -- what role do they have in 21st-century armed conflicts, which seem increasingly focused on using space-based technology that, from a celestial distance, could wind up being how Earthly nations wage war?

27 May

The retailer, plagued by a troubling 10-quarter decline in same-store sales, has decided to take advantage of Artificial Intelligence (AI) to get a better handle on what people actually want to buy.

By using so-called Big Data, the company hopes to be able to avoid having to take steep markdowns on items; instead, AI algorithms will analyze store receipts to better clarify how customers use their loyalty programs as well as which items they tend to return.

The new technology is currently being implemented at a store in one of Stockholm's upscale neighborhoods. So far, H&M has been able to harvest data that indicates its customer base is largely female, and that higher-priced items and pastel-ish floral skirts have tended to sell better than others. As a result, reports Retail Dive, sales at the store have gone up dramatically.

25 May

Choice, an Australian consumer group, recently launched a service that permits customers to price-shop electricity retailers for 12 months. During that time, customers can keep on eye on the providers and automatically switch their subscriptions to obtain the best deal. The service costs $99 AUD per year.

Specifically, consumers can visit Canisavenergy.com.au, where they can upload power bill PDFs and compare prices from among 33 different providers. They'll be informed how much they could save by switching their services, but will need to pay the annual fee in order to find out who is hawking the cheapest price.

But here's a twist on what might seems a pretty standard "catch" -- once the annual fee is paid, Choice will automatically switch those customers to the electricity service with the best price.

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