Friday Five: Gadgets, grammar gaffes and robot wars

1. Old gadgets could jeopardise smart future

How many old phones have you got gathering dust in that kitchen drawer you do your best never to look in? Not to mention old laptops, tablets and so on. A study has estimated that 40 million unused gadgets are languishing in UK homes, and to be honest even that sounds like a conservative figure.

2. Grammar gaffes grounded by Gmail

Ever dashed off a quick email then realised with horror you’ve put “next weak” or muddled up there/their/they’re? Well, help is at hand from Gmail, which is rolling out a new update that’ll point out spelling and grammar mistakes as you type. For basic typos, Gmail will automatically correct the spelling, while grammar gaffes will be marked with a squiggly blue line.

3. Brits happy to click, less so to actually collect

Click and collect is on the rise in the UK, with 71% of shoppers using the service for at least some of their online shopping, but it seems a lot of us are forgetting to do the ‘collect’ part. A survey of 2,000 people found that 15% had failed to collect their items from the store, with a total of £228m having to be refunded back to shoppers.

4. Robot fighting back on YouTube — for now

We all knew the day would come when robots were considered to be sentient beings, but it’s come a bit earlier than expected, with the news that YouTube removed several videos of robots fighting in Robot Wars-esque battles because of rules prohibiting ‘the deliberate infliction of animal suffering’.

5. FogCam set to drift into the mists of time

After 25 years of continuous operation, the internet’s longest-running webcam is shutting down. Jeff Schwartz and Dan Wong set up the San Francisco FogCam on the State University campus in 1994 as an experiment when they were learning to script.



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