UK design student creates a smart chest binder for trans people

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Loughborough University

A UK design student created a smart wearable that could make chest binding safer, easier and more comfortable for transgender men and non-binary people. Chest binding is the act of flattening one’s breasts using a tight garment in order to make the chest appear more masculine. While it can have immense mental health benefits, it can take a physical toll. Many people have reported broken ribs from too-tight wraps, and binding can be especially difficult in the summer, when the wearer is at risk of overheating. With this garment, called Breathe, Loughborough University industrial design student Miles Kilburn hopes to address many of those of common issues.

Breathe looks like a thin, cropped tank top with mesh panels to keep the user cool. While it’s normally tight fighting, Breathe contains a smart alloy material called Nitone that, when electrified, loosens the garment. It’s battery operated and can be adjusted with a remote controller, so the user can discreetly change how tight the binding is — there’s no need to change their clothing or go into a private space in order to take a break. There’s also an optional feature that will automatically loosen the device when the user is playing a sport.

Most alternative chest binding options are rather analog, and some DIY solutions resort to duct tape, plastic wrap or bandages. Kilburn hopes the technology in Breathe will make it easier and safer for people to bind. While he recognizes that it will be too expensive for many, Kilburn also plans to make the device available for rent. That would make repairs free, in the event the tech stops working, and include free replacements if the owner grew or gained weight. While tech companies from Apple to Google, Facebook and Tinder have vowed to support LGBTQ+ users, many solutions have been digital. Breathe takes a different approach, putting tech to use in a physical device that addresses an everyday issue.

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Domino's will use self-driving vehicles to deliver pizza in Houston

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Domino’s

Domino’s is determined to make autonomous pizza delivery a practical reality. The chain has unveiled plans to deliver pies to “select” Houston customers later in 2019 using Nuro’s self-driving R2 vehicle. If you order online from a participating store and have a little bit of luck, you’ll get the choice of a robotic courier — pick that and you’ll get a PIN code to unlock a compartment on the R2 and grab your meal. While this doesn’t bode well for human delivery drivers, Domino’s is betting that this could help stores deal with the crush of orders and bring your pizza on time.

This isn’t a shocking move for Domino’s. It’s fond of technological solutions for ordering and delivering pizza, both for its own convenience as well as a selling point. For Nuro, though, it’s something of a coup. The company’s early driverless delivery projects have so far focused on groceries. Now, it’s poised to deliver food for a major restaurant. You could see its vehicles roaming the streets far more often (where it’s legal) if the Domino’s team-up proves successful.

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Germans can soon use their iPhones as virtual ID cards

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AP Photo/Gero Breloer

iOS 13’s newly expanded NFC support will be useful for more than just hopping on the subway. Germany is taking advantage of the upcoming software’s support for Apple-approved NFC identification documents to let residents scan their ID cards and use them both online and for check-ins at international airports. You’ll need to wait for both the release of iOS 13 (likely in September) and the German government’s AusweisApp2 to make everything work, but this might just save you the trouble of pulling out your wallet to prove who you are.

This isn’t the first announced identification support, either. Japanese will also have the option of scanning their NFC-equipped identity cards, while the UK will use it to let EU citizens scan passports whether or not Brexit takes place.

This won’t necessarily see widespread use. While the NFC system should be secure, Germany is well-known for being privacy-conscious — people might not be comfortable with storing their ID cards on their iPhones, even if they’re locked down tightly. You’ll at least have the option, though, and this should be good news for iPhone owners around the world who’d like to use NFC for more than just shopping.

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Comcast built an eye-control remote to help users with movement issues

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Comcast

in an attempt to improve the accessibility of its services, Comcast announced today the launch of a feature that will allow users to control their television using only their eyes. The Xfinity X1 eye control will give Comcast customers the ability to do things like change the channel, set up recordings, search for a specific show and more just by moving their eyes. The feature is free and accessible through xfin.tv/access.

Gallery: Comcast Xfinity X1 Eye Control | 8 Photos

Xfinity X1 eye control works by presenting users with a web-based remote that pairs to their set-top box. The remote is compatible with existing eye gaze hardware software, as well as Sip-and-Puff switches that are controlled using air pressure and other assistive technologies. It allows users to navigate by simply gazing at a button, which the remote then processes the same as pressing a button on a physical remote and sends the command to the television.

According to Comcast, the Xfinity X1 eye control remote service will allow users to control their television, turn on the X1 Sports app to see scores and updates, open the accessibility menu to turn on features like closed captioning, video description and voice guidance and type out specific commands like “watch ABC” or “action movies.

Comcast isn’t alone in its push toward expanding accessibility features for customers who are unable to use traditional controls. Microsoft has heavily invested in eye-tracking technology and other advancements meant to help people use the company’s products. Likewise, companies like Google and Apple have updated their services to support non-traditional controls that expand access.

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The Morning After: 'Pokémon Go' cheaters never prosper

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AP Photo/Amr Alfiky

Over the weekend, cheaters never prosper as the creators of Pokémon Go sues a group of cheaters who used hacked apps to breeze through games. (Conveniently, we also run through the history of video-game cheating through the decades.) And, while it may not be cheating, spies may have used an AI-generated face to infiltrate US politics. That’s a little more involved than the Konami code.


It might be your best chance to get the EV you want.
Tesla starts selling used Model 3 cars online

The EV maker has started selling used Model 3s online in the San Francisco Bay Area, and some of them are potentially good deals (if not as good as you often see with used cars). There’s some extra peace of mind here, too. As with Tesla’s existing in-person used-car sales, each vehicle goes through a 70-point inspection and comes with either a four-year, 50,000-mile warranty or a two-year, 100,000-mile warranty.


One selection of hacked apps is apparently ruining Niantic’s games.
Niantic sues group of alleged ‘Pokémon Go’ cheaters

Niantic is holding Global++ to account for its unauthorized versions of Pokémon Go, Ingress and even Harry Potter: Wizards Unite — which isn’t even out yet. The company says the modified mobile apps not only violate intellectual property rights but “undermine the integrity of the gaming experience.”


It’s all to allow teams to focus on the development of ‘New World’ and ‘Crucibles,’ apparently.
Amazon Game Studios reportedly lays off dozens in shake-up

Timing is everything, so why did Amazon decide to lay off dozens of its Game Studios employees on the last day of E3, the world’s biggest gaming show? The company reportedly told affected employees that they only have 60 days to find new positions within Amazon. If they fail to do so within that period, they’ll have to leave the company with (thankfully) a severance package in tow.

The company’s statement reads: “Amazon Game Studios is reorganizing some of our teams to allow us to prioritize development of New World, Crucible and new unannounced projects we’re excited to reveal in the future.”


We’ve come a long way from unplugging your sibling’s controller.
A brief history of cheating at video games

Andrew Tarantola takes us through the history of video-game cheating, from the Konami code all the way up to Valve’s Anti-Cheat system.

But wait, there’s more…


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