Apple Will Start Phasing Out Plastic Bags This Month

Buying an Apple product is almost as symbolic as the illuminated apple located on the back of your device, with the whole experience of walking out the store reminding you of that new gadget feel before you’ve even opened the box. Part of this experience is the bag you get the new product in, a plastic bag emblazoned with the Apple logo. This part of your experience may be changing with Apple looking to phase out plastic bags later this month.

Revealed by 9to5Mac, a note sent to employees reveals plans for the bags to be replaced by paper bags. The new paper bags will be made with 80 percent recycled materials, a move intended to further Apple’s goal of leaving the world “better than we found it”.

The change will start on the 15th April, with stores looking to use up their plastic bags as soon as they can. Much like when you go shopping customers are now also going to be asked if they want a bag and being given the choice between medium and large sizes, both of these actions look to help reduce the number of bags used and the amount of material given away in the form of bags.

If this wasn’t enough, people who are looking to recycle their iOS devices will get a new “Apple Renew” card, a gift card made out of recycled paper.

With Apple already running their facilities on renewable energy and now using recyclable materials for their stores, leaving the world better than we found it is a step closer to being a reality.

Monopoly Money Goes Electronic!

People enjoy playing video games, but often you just want to sit down at a table with friends and family and play a game, something that is known to cause conflict or start arguments. No game is more famous for this than Monopoly, the game where you use your money to buy, sell and charge rent for properties across famous locations. You could soon see the game change though with the new Ultimate Banking edition.

More than often enough you would find yourselves shoveling notes from one player to another, with a dedicated banker to not only play but handle the cash. The latest game though does away with everything involved with that corrupt and sly banker, instead replacing it with an ATM and debit cards.

Each player will be able to use their debit card to purchase properties by scanning a properties bar codes then their debit card. A second later and you’re the proud owner of the property, with your bank account showing the natural damage.

The game even allows you to transfer money from one player to another, to pay those high-end rents that often end games and friendships. The new version of Monopoly will set you back $25 (roughly £17.5), enough to let you buy it without breaking your own bank.

Epson Create First In-Office Recycling System

So you’re in the office and you print off several pages for a meeting or a project, once you’re done with them though you find the green bin and place them in the recycling. Weeks and weeks later that paper is being recycled and used in something else. Soon though you could find it all happening from inside the walls of your office.

Epson is best known for making printers, but this printer is a little different. Instead of taking those memes or cute kitty pictures you like so much, after putting in some of your used paper, within minutes, this printer will return you perfectly white paper ready for use.

By breaking down the input paper into the fibres that make it up before building them up into sheets, either A4 or A3 and with varying thickness and density settings, while making recovering the original document is pretty much impossible. Want some thicker paper for business cards? Why not something light for quick notes in an office? All made from last weeks paper, no problem.

The current printing rate is about 14 A4 sheets per minute, meaning in an eight-hour day you will create around  6,720 sheets of A4 paper all from the stuff you no longer want to use. By reducing the amount of water required the PaperLab is said to use a “dry process”, meaning a little water can create a large amount of paper rather than having to have the system build into the plumbing like more traditional recycling machines.

Scholars Ask US Psychologists to Stop Demonising Video Games

A recent study by the American Psychological Association suggests that there is a connection between video game violence and real-world violence. The inflammatorily-named “Task Force on Violent Media” paper, released by the APA, states:

“The research demonstrates a consistent relation between violent video game use and increases in aggressive behaviour, aggressive cognitions and aggressive affect, and decreases in pro-social behaviour, empathy and sensitivity to aggression.”

The APA, however, has a sordid history of attacking video games, and by using less than scientific methods to facilitate its smears. Thankfully, a group of 230 academics have been paying attention, and have written an open letter to the APA asking it to stop its biased attacks on video games, calling its accusations “misleading and alarmist”.

The letter accuses the APA of cherrypicking data to support its pre-existing position, a trick that is not only unethical but fundamentally unscientific:

“The entire article of studies absolutely ignores all the contrary studies – something that seems wildly ethically unsound. It’s certainly relevant to gather together studies on the subject, but such selective choosing implies something else is afoot.”

Amongst the ‘papers’ cited by the APA study, very few were related to its conclusion, while one wasn’t even a scientific paper but rather a parents’ guide to Christmas shopping for their kids. The objecting scholars also attack a 2005 paper published by the APA, entitled “Resolution on Violence in Video Games and Interactive Media”, which served as a jumping off point for “Task Force on Violent Media”:

“We express the concern that the APA’s previous (2005) policy statement delineated several strong conclusions on the basis of inconsistent or weak evidence. Research subsequent to that 2005 statement has provided even stronger evidence that some of the assertions in it cannot be supported.”

The letter, though polite and non-confrontational (the writers don’t play video games, obviously), absolutely owns the APA, exposing its bias, poor science, and unethical behaviour, and all without writing a paper called “Being a Member of the American Psychological Association Makes People Lie”.

Thank you Rock, Paper, Shotgun for providing us with this information.

Image courtesy of GameSkinny.

Google’s Search Practices go Under the Microscope

Do you find that when you use a search engine that all of the results come from a single source or are favoured from a particular review site? Well, that’s what Tim Wu, Columbia Law School Professor, has set to prove in his latest research paper.

What Wu has aimed to achieve is that whenever you use Google based search engines, the results given are curved relating to Google+ reviews and information. In some ways this is great, however, you are not receiving the full spectrum of truth (or lies) from the rest of the internet.

By testing each term twice, once in Google’s Universal search and another by using a plug-in called Focus On the Users; Wu was able to retrieve the information that he was looking for. The additional plug-in can utilise the original search engine algorithm without the additional information from Google+.

As you can see from the results, the same search had two very different yields.

Generally papers like this wouldn’t carry much weight, however, Wu was a Google and net neutrality proponent. If you wish to read the entire paper, here is the 46 page embedded version for you.

I personally never look at the Google suggested reviews whenever I look for information, I use dedicated websites and forums. What are your thoughts on this? Let us know in the comments.

Thank you to ZDNet for providing us with this information.

Apple Pay Will Be Available in the UK Sooner than Expected

Apple is going to announce something the UK will look forward to at its WWDC, among other annual things the company usually reveals each year. But seeing how digital currency is favourable in both US and UK, we might see Apple announcing the introduction of Apple Pay in the UK.

It is said that there have been multiple attempts in introducing the latter technology, but so far it was met with conflicts within the industry or lack of interest from consumers. But Apple is not about to back down from a 40% smartphone market dominance in the UK just yet.

The company has been in talks with banks and retailers to kickstart the Apple Pay feature release in the country and we might see it in action this summer. It would make sense for them to force Apple Pay into consumers’ lives given that the UK has a big market for digital purchases.

Statistics show that iPhone users are big spenders and prefer digital currency compared to paper money. Last year, £2.3 billion digital purchases were recorded in the country and the number is likely to increase this year. But we also like to hear your opinion. Are you an iPhone user? How likely are you to use the feature once it is available?

Thank you The Telegraph for providing us with this information

Apple Aims to Protect the Environment by Buying 36,000 Acres of Forest

We all know that Apple is concerned with the environment from its device recycling program and its components used in their products. But a recent collaboration between the company and The Conservation Fund takes it to a whole new worldwide level.

Apple is also using renewable energy to power their US headquarters and plants, as well as striving to use renewable paper for their packaging and paper. However, a study shows that large chunks of forests, namely 23 million acres, in the US have been lost to private companies in the last 15 years who do not give back as much as they take.

An estimate of 45 million more are said to be lost in the following years if nobody does anything about it. This is why Apple has stepped in and formed a partnership with The Conservation Fund, attempting to stop this lack of respect for nature that feeds egos and fills up pockets.

The partnership seems to be extremely beneficial for both parties, having Apple increasing its green footprint by managing its paper and packing more thoroughly, while The Conservation Fund can then target and conserve more forest lands in the US.

This move not only helps ensure that a lot of endangered species will still have homes in the future, but will also help keep an estimate of 2.8 million jobs in logging towns.

Apple and The Conservation Fund currently help protect over 36,000 acres of forest in the US and hope that they will keep the number rising in the future. How concerned are you with the environment?

Thank you Medium for providing us with this information
Image courtesy of MacWallpapers

New Website Lets You Browse Einstein’s Papers Free

Digital Einstein is a new website that opens up all of Einstein’s papers for free. The site includes not only scientific papers, but personal letters, memos and even divorce papers.

The New York Times reports that all of the documents are personal papers either sent or received by Albert Einstein himself and form part of Caltech’s Einstein Papers Project. The 5000 items that are online come from the 13 volumes that have been archived, with 7 more to come.

“[Visitors] can dance among Einstein’s love letters, his divorce file, his high school transcript, the notebook in which he worked out his general theory of relativity and letters to his lifelong best friend, Michele Besso, among many other possibilities.”

All of the articles written in German (most of them) have been carefully translated to English and the site offers both versions to visitors.

Source The New York Times

Meet The World’s Most Dangerous Toilet Roll Dispenser

Do you find pulling toilet paper off the roll the most laborious task of your day? Have you ever wondered why a machine can’t do it for you?

Well The Useless Duck Company has come up with this incredible innovation in toilet roll technology. It rolls paper off so you don’t have to, using its highly safe and incredibly sharp blade to slice the perfect portion of paper for your toiletry needs.

Ensure it’s switched off when you grab that paper, otherwise you might just lose your arm. Still, that’s one tiny drawback for a device that could revolutionise our daily lives.

Source: Gizmodo

Sony Said to be Planning E-Paper Watch

Sony is said to be planning a watch made entirely from ‘e-paper’.

The entire band and watch face will function as a display, according to Bloomberg. E-paper can display images akin to those seen on Amazon’s Kindle – digital images that display like they would on real paper.

The watch is said to display simple images and be low powered, but uses e-paper in a way that is unique compared to other display technologies.

The new watch is said to be coming from Sony’s experimental efforts, with them attempting to create more innovative products that can compete with competitors.

This is a good move too, as we reported yesterday on how Sony is planning to slash its TV and smartphone product lines, all thanks to declining profits and falling market share, something Sony is eager to turn around.

 Source: Bloomberg

Scientists Create Transformers-like Self-Building Robots

With all the cheap 3D printing methods out there, anyone can make anything with a little bit of imagination. This is how a few researchers from Harvard and MIT have created cheap, self-assembling complex robots that can transform from a something that looks like a sheet of paper to a fully fledged walking robot.

The scientists have said that they got the inspiration from the ancient Japanese art of origami. This, along with some children toy ideas and Transformer fan imagination, they were able to create the robots that can build themselves.

[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0Die6iwC4Z0[/youtube]

The robots are said to be built out of hobby shop materials that cost around $100, having tiny motors and batteries power them up. With this, a paper robot is said to transform to a four-legged automaton in just four minutes.

The self-assembling robots are said to benefit space exploration missions, dangerous environments, search-and-rescue missions and much more. Sam Felton, robotics researcher at Harvard, stated that this technology could be as technology-changing as the 3D printer. Having robots which can be built in your home for as little as $100 is everyone’s geeky dream come true.

Thank you Yahoo for providing us with this information
Video courtesy of YouTube

Australia Wants To Cut Internet Connection for People Downloading from Torrent Websites

There have been some talks about the high number of pirates in Australia, having the government worried about what to do in response to the piracy activity. Earlier this year, Australia is said to have had the highest number of illegal downloads of Game of Thrones: Season Four.

A leaked document entitled “Online Copyright Infringement Discussion Paper” appears to show some of the government’s future consideration towards piracy. The document is said to point out the main reasons why Australians choose to download content illegally, which are cost and availability. The government however appears to be more keen on enforcing the law instead of addressing the real reason which leads to piracy in the first place.

The document is also said to be discussing the role of the ISPs to place restrictions, such as lowering downloads speeds or blocking internet availability in some cases, on customers who are accessing and downloading content illegally. The ISPs however cannot do anything about it, according to the paper, since if they were to allow their customers access to pirated content without punishing them, it is said that rights holders can then take legal action against the ISPs themselves.

“The Copyright Act would be amended to enable rights holders to apply to a court for an order against ISPs to block access to an internet site operating outside Australia, the dominant purpose of which is to infringe copyright.” the paper states.

Experts say that the options outlined in the paper are too harsh compared to international standards and are not addressing the problem of Australians being unable to access content legally when it is currently available in other markets. They say that the law enforcement underlined in the paper would only give power to copyright owners over consumers, while also having large-ranging impacts on the free and open internet.

Thank you Mashable for providing us with this information

Free Toilet Paper Or Inexpensive Advertising Star Toilet Paper Has Your Behind

Tired of paying for toilet paper, I sure am, that is why I am always looking for a deal or coupons for toilet paper, after all it just goes down the toilet with the other waste!

We use toilet paper for many different things, from packing material, cleaning eyeglasses, nose care, removing make-up, to cover the toilet seat, and of course the most common use to wipe our hineys! How many rolls of TP do you use each day? I have seen a single person use an entire roll in one day, just on their nose. While I have seen others who have used up entire rolls in the bathroom. What would you do if you could get your TP for FREE? I would get the free TP, but that is me, I of course would prefer the soft multi-ply TP, though anything will do.

[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u_9gvyMPwUk[/youtube]

Star Toilet Paper is a great way to keep consumers looking at their advertisements, since customers will likely be stuck in some stinky situations with only the TP to read. Though there are likely to be some awesome coupons, and even some cool QR codes for those of you with smart phones. At the same time, if you have a venue, you could have the opportunity to get the FREE toilet paper! So if you are looking for a new way to advertise, or if you’re looking to keep costs down, check out their website.

Get a FREE SAMPLE, don’t forget to let them know that eTeknix sent you haha!

[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XKq2EaGDTdI[/youtube]

Image courtesy of Star Toilet Paper.