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FCC proposes doubling speed requirement for rural broadband

The Federal Communications Commission is looking to raise the minimum rural broadband speed standard to 25 Mbps, more than doubling the current requirement. In general, this would boost speeds in rural areas that receive broadband through government-subsidized programs. Those government subsidies come from the FCC’s Connect America Fund (CAF). The …

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Ford dreams up a way to kill ‘new car smell’

Car companies often tweak their vehicles for different markets in order to comply with regulations or serve varying customer tastes. But Ford is apparently considering a novel change to cars bound for the Chinese market: removing the “new car smell.” Yes, the fresh but sometimes dizzying smell of a brand-new …

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Amazon just opened Alexa to all Bluetooth headphone makers

Amazon’s Alexa voice assistant is about to expand to a new class of devices, especially hands-free listening and communications. In a blog post published today, Amazon says it’s made its Alexa Mobile Accessory Kit tool widely available to developers. First introduced back in January, the software development kit was designed …

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Teens are trying marijuana before alcohol and tobacco

Teens used to try alcohol first, then tobacco, and then marijuana. Now, marijuana is increasingly the first “gateway” substance for adolescents, according to new research. This trend is not because teens are smoking cannabis more than ever. Rather, the change is because teens are smoking cigarettes and drinking less while …

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Google is patenting a pair of motorized VR roller skates

Do you want to really, physically walk around in virtual reality? Is an omnidirectional treadmill too bulky for your taste? A giant hamster ball too confining? Redirected walking too trippy? An empty warehouse too expensive? If so, I’ve got good news: Google is trying to patent a design for VR …

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