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Lexus RX 450h F Sport – IMPRESSIVE!

The Lexus RX 450h F Sport is a fantastic car, a real powerful SUV. It’s the 4th generation of Lexus’ range of the Lexus RX Luxury SUV. Furthermore it has been significantly updated for 2020, with brand new styling, technical and dynamic upgrades. One of which is that it has self charging hybrid power. We also loved the fact that it has a generously proportioned cabin which provides comfort and plenty of leg room for all passengers! Feel even safer with Lexus’ upgraded safety system+. It has advanced safety and driver assistance features, which is provided as standard on all versions of the RX. The RX F Sport the one that we had, comes with sportier styling, adaptive variable suspension, performance dampers and optical active stabiliser system.

Lexus RX 450h F Sport

The original RX was a unique proposition in it’s day. It was an SUV that was luxurious, comfortable and easy to drive in. Especially in the city. Across 2 decades, Lexus has improved constantly and it became the worldwide best selling model. Cumulative global sales to date have reached 3 million! It is so important to Lexus that it became it’s first luxury self charging hybrid vehicle.

Now in it’s 4th generation the RX has pushed what it means to be an SUV further. The new RX has benefited from further improvements with a series of design, technical and dynamic upgrades.

These changes are led by evolutionary styling which maintains what it means to be an RX. What it means to look powerful and sporty. Furthermore more elegant elements and a cohesive flow from front to the rear of the vehicle. All contribute to a stronger look.

The front maintains the signature Lexus grille, slimmer headlights, more rounded edges to the front bumper. Furthermore an extended line from the rocker panel than connects with the bottom of the grille. Therefore projecting strength and stability.

 

 

 

 


While at the rear of the RX, a more elegant and powerful look has been created via a redesigned lower bumper. This links together smoothly with the rear wings. Elements such as the lights, reflectors and under guard and exhaust outlets are arranged specifically. To emphasise the vehicles width and sense of purpose. Consequently the LED combination lights feature a series of L motifs for the brake, tail lights and indicators.

 

 

Inside

Inside the car the cabin has been vastly improved. Now there is a brand new 12.3 inch central touchscreen display. The screen has been has been moved further forward on the center console to help usage. Plus giving a wider viewing angle and ease of use for both the passenger and driver. The multimedia functions can be used via a trackpad of Lexus’ Remote touch interface or even with voice control! Furthermore you can use your smartphone with Apple CarPlay or Android Auto.

The suspension has been improved, alongside a stiffer rear anti-roll bar, more rigid hubs and a Friction Control Device in the shock absorbers. What does this do I hear you ask! Well this helps to absorb and reduce high frequency vibrations from small imperfections on the road. Therefore making a much more smoother and enjoyable ride!

Plus on the RX F Sport the adaptive variable suspension provides almost constantly variable damping control at the wheel. The new RX’s also have Active Cornering Assist, this automatically suppresses understeer if the driver steps on the throttle while cornering.

Safe

It is also very safe to drive! The Lexus Safety System+ has been upgraded to provide additional protection to help prevent an accident happening. Furthermore it could also lessen the consequence if the vehicle is involved in an impact. Not only that there’s a Pre-Collision System has been increased with pedestrian detection and bicyclists. Also, the the new RX is available with a BladeScanTM Adaptive High-beam System (AHS), which uses a rapidly rotating blade-shaped mirror to direct light from the LED. This allows finer and deeper automatic forward illumination. Therefore providing better vision, making it easier to see pedestrians on road margins. Not only that it doesn’t cause dazzling for other drivers.

Inside the vehicle to RX’s seats support and give comfort with ergonomic design and quality. They’re also low set allowing for excellent headroom. The position of the steering wheel closer to the drive, plus at a lower angle create a much more enjoyable driving position.

 

 

 

 

 

RX F SPORT

There are quite a few special and visual performances that help separate the Sport from the other models.

Such as a jet black finish to the F Sport exclusive spindle grille mesh. A new black frame, an aluminum-look lower bumper edged in black and underguard. The RX F Sport also has beastly 20-inch F sport wheels with a multi-spoke design.

 

 

 

Inside the vehicle the style compliments the F Sports character. Such as highly supportive seats with quilted upholstery. New F brushed aluminum trim inserts. Also the choice of Black, Black with white accents and Flare Red with Black Accents for choices of colours. The shift lever and three spoke steering wheel is also exclusive to the F Sport. They’re all covered in a tactile perforated leather. Furthermore the pedals are also drilled and non slip aluminum!

The instrument cluster is also different to the other models. The 8 inch display is dominated by a larger circular gauge, which combines the functions of a tachometer and speedometer.

Power

The RX 450h is a self charging hybrid system, with a 3.5l direct injection V6 petrol engine. It has a maximum output of 259bhp/193kW/262 DIN hp at 6,000rpm with 335Nm of torque at 4,600rpm. The total system output (engine and electric motor combined) amounts to 308bhp/230kW/313 DIN hp. The fuel consumption is from 35.3 to 35.7mpg.

The powertrain has been improved, the key components and control systems in the Lexus Hybrid Drive System to deliver better fuel economy and minimal emissions. The front transaxle gained a new water cooled transmission oil cooler for the electric motor. Plus a pre-loaded differential to improve performance and straight line stability.

Furthermore other updates to the system include a Power Control Unit and HV Engine Control Unit. This allows for better energy efficiency, more driver friendly operation and more refined performance. Plus the RX 450h has a E-Four All Wheel Drive System!

E-Four all-wheel drive

The RX 450h uses Lexus’s proactive E-Four system. What this is, is a system which locates an additional motor/generator on the rear axle. This leads to fuel and energy use to be reduced. Why? Well the AWD operation is limited to only when necessary. Which allows the rear-mounted motor to act as a generator to charge the battery when the vehicle’s regenerative braking system is operating.

Friction Control Device

A new friction control device has been introduced in the RX. THey’ve been placed at the front and rear shock absorbers. This helps to provide a better ride on roads with slightly uneven surfaces. Furthermore it helps to improve steering responsiveness.

Drive Mode Select

The RX’s Drive Mode Select system allows the driver to choose from a variety of different settings to suit their preferences:

  • The standard system provides Normal, Eco and Sport modes, while versions of the RX fitted with Adaptive Variable suspension additionally feature Sport S, Sport S+ and – an established Lexus first – Customise modes.
  • Eco mode moderates throttle response and engine power output and adjusts climate control operation to support fuel economy.
  • Normal mode provides an even balance between engine performance and fuel economy. Together with Eco mode, it provides a suspension setting that prioritises comfort.
  • Sport mode ramps up performance with sharper throttle response and acceleration and adds weight to the steering.
  • Sport S sets an even higher performance level, with revised throttle mapping and quicker powertrain response. In the RX 450h, the hybrid system allows for enhanced accelerator response and a feeling of more powerful acceleration.
  • Sport S+ combines the powertrain enhancements of Sport S mode, while sharpening the feel of the electric power steering and initiating stiffer suspension for flatter cornering.
  • The Customise mode lets the driver combine their preferred settings for the engine/hybrid system, chassis and air conditioning to suit their preference. This can be accomplished in an easy-to-follow process using the RX’s central display screen.
  • The driver can also make use of an EV mode which switches the vehicle to all-electric operation, shutting down the petrol engine until the limit of battery charge or speed is reached.

 

ADVANCED SAFETY FEATURES

Lexus Safety System+

The new 2020 Lexus RX comes equipped with an upgraded version of the Lexus Safety System+. Which include a whole host of features such as:

The Pre-Collision System (PCS) this uses a front mounted camera and a millimeter wave radar. This detects vehicles and pedestrians on the road ahead. If there is a risk of collision, the car automatically warns the driver and provides extra braking force the moment the brake pedal is pushed. However if the driver does not react and the car thinks a collision is imminent, the brakes will be applied automatically to reduce speed. While the seatbelts are tensioned to brace passengers for potential impact. This system has also been updated to be capable of better detecting pedestrians in both day and night time situations.

The same radar used in the PCS also will provide Dynamic Radar Cruise Control. This helps to maintain a safe distance from the vehicle in front. While once the way head is clear the car will accelerate to it’s cruising speed. The system is also intelligent enough to provide low-speed following. Making driving more enjoyable in stop start situations.

Assists

Lane Tracing Assist (LTA) will detect when you deviate from your lane. Without the indicators being used. It will provide a warning and steering inputs to help keep the vehicle centered. As it can detect the markings on the road surface.

The RX also has this amazing system where it can assist reading road signs. The Road Sign Assist system uses a camera to recognise principle warning and command signs. Therefore reducing the risk of the driver not being aware of road speed limits.

Lexus Safety System+ further includes Automatic High Beam (AHB), which detects oncoming traffic and vehicles ahead and automatically switches the headlights between high and low beam.

Sway Warning

The cameras used in the RX’s Lane Tracing Assist will also provide a Sway Warning function. The car will monitor it’s lane position and the drivers steering inputs. The vehicle can detect the vehicle swaying caused by drowsiness or even distraction. If it thinks so, it will alert and display a warning on the display. Suggestion that the driver takes a break.

Panoramic View Monitor

Sometimes it’s difficult to park in tight spaces. Or drive over rough and uneven surfaces. Well this got a whole lot easier and safer with the 360 degree Panoramic View Monitor. While not standard on the F Sport. You can add it to the vehicle with the Takumi Pack option.

The system uses an array of cameras to give a driver an all round view of the vehicles location. Not only that you get a bird’s eye view for a better look at your surroundings. The Panoramic View Monitor also allows for better look at obstacles and hazards, eliminating any blind spots. For example the car can help the driver steer into a parallel parking spot, adding guidelines to the real-time camera images to help the driver steer precisely.  Furthermore front and rear sensors will sound an alert when the vehicle moves closer to an obstacle.

Blind Spot Monitor and Rear Cross Traffic Alert

The RX has a Blind Spot Monitor uses rear mounted radars to detect vehicles in adjacent lanes. Plus it can also detect objects behind the RX when reversing. Also the Rear Cross Traffic Alert will warn drivers of traffic or people approaching from either side when reversing out or into a parking space. These functions are standard on the RX Takumi and available in the Tech and Safety and Takumi Pack options.

Parking Support Brake

The RX makes it easier and safer to park and complete low speed manoeuvres, with the Parking Support Brake. If the RC detects a risk of the vehicle making contact with something, infront or behind, it will automatically provide drive and brake control to help avoid a collision and reduce damage risks.

The Parking Support Brake system also includes the functions of the Intelligent Clearance Sonar and Rear Corss Traffic Auto Brake. To enhance visibility and make operation easier!

MULTIMEDIA AND AUDIO SYSTEMS

The RX has a 12.3inch touchpad, which allows users to swipe, pinch and flick, like we are all used to on our smartphones. The screen has been moved forward so it is easier to reach for both the driver and the passenger.

Two USB ports have been moved to the front of the center console and two others have been located at the rear of the unit.

While the standard Lexus multimedia system features an eight-inch TFT display on the centre console. This is operated by the Remote Touch Interface.

This can be set to display a single panel for example a map. Two panels for example half a map and half information or three panel, such as half a map and two information screens. The information that can be shown can be navigation, fuel consumption and audio details.

LexusLink

LexusLink gives the new RX excellent connectivity, accessed via an app. It allows access to useful functions, including: –

  • Find my Car, including the option to share locations with friends
  • Share to Car, to send navigation destinations to the car
  • Last mile guidance
  • Driving Analytics, including speed, distance travelled, time in vehicle, idle time, top speed, severity of braking and acceleration and percentage of time spent in motorway driving
  • Online service bookings and reminders
  • Active Safety Plan to automatically notify a chosen contact via SMS in the event of an accident

The new RX comes with a WiFi hotspot. As standard too! When you purchase an RX you get a complimentary three- month/24GB data plan!

Pioneer 12-speaker audio

Inside the RX is Pioneer’s 12-speaker system which comes as standard on the RX and F Sport. It also comes with a single DVD player and has Coherent Source Transducer (CST) technology which gives high quality and extremely realistic sound reproduction. It includes 200mm subs and 180mm woofers in the front doors.

A Price List of all models can be found here!

Find the FULL Equipment list by clicking here and FULL tech specs by clicking here!

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The Testicuzzi!

This little device is designed for a gentleman’s intimate area. The balls to be specific. As the name would imply, it’s a jacuzzi for your nuts. It’s called the Testicuzzi. A Hot Tub for your nuts is the way the guys from Testicuzzi call it.

It comes in a two different of colours too! Black or White. Also, you can even get a gift set which comes complete with bath bombs and essential oils: Cedar Wood for your wood. (Furthermore, there’s a 24 Karat gold version one too worth $10K if you so fancy)

While, it may look like a gag gift, but you can actually use this one!

What is the Testicuzzi exactly?

This is how they describe it on their site:

Testicuzzi is a personal hot tub for your testicles. Testicle health is very important. Making sure your testicles are happy is even more important. The Testicuzzi ( testicle hot tub) is a great way to show your testicles that they are loved. Measuring 3.5 inches wide, 3.5 inches tall and 5 inches from front to back, the Testicuzzi is ergonomically designed for the greatest testicle comfort. This hot tub for your testicles is battery powered and produces and wonderful, gently bubbling massage. Water is added by the user of the Testicuzzi and is pre-heated by the user to the desired temperature. Some like it hot. Some like it cold. It’s really a matter of what testicle hot tub experience you are in the mood for. 

So, how do you use it?

Using the Testicuzzi is quite simple. Once you have received your Testicuzzi simply heat some water to the desired temperature for your testicle bath, and fill the Testicuzzi to the desired level. Flip the switch and get those bubble going. Dip your testicles into the bath and let them soak up the pleasure for however long you desire. Also, The soothing bubbles from your new testicle hot tub will have you relaxing in just moments. There is nothing like the soothing releif you feel from a nice soak of the family jewels. It is unlike anything else you’ve experienced. Some have called the feeling of the Testicuzzi as “Magical!”, “Out of this world!”, “Refreshing!”……

 

(Testicuzzi)

Consequently, we know you want to, so purchase one by clicking here!

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Jackpotting = Free Cash!? Malware + Hackers

Malware called “Cutlet Maker” is designed to make ATM’s eject all of the money inside them according to a law enforcement official. Thi is called Jackpotting.

“Ho-ho-ho! Let’s make some cutlets today!”

Curlet Maker’s control panel reads the above. It shows cartoon images of a chef and a cheering piece of meat. This means in Russian, a cut of meat. However it also can bean a bundle of cash.

Jackpotting

A joint investigation between our friends over at Motherboard and the German broadcaster Bayerischer Rundfunk (BR) looking into “jackpotting”

A spate of attacks on ATM’s in Germany in 2017 saw thieves make off with more than 1M Euros.

Jackpotting is where cybercriminals use malware or hardware to trick ATM’s into ejecting all of the money inside of them. No need to use a credit card either. They’ll install the malware onto an ATM by prying open a panel and loading it on using a USB stick and USB port.

Although a European non profit said that Jackpotting attacks have decreased, multiple sources tell Motherboard that attacks in other parts of the world have gone up. Such as the US, Latin America and Southeast Asia. Impacting both the banks and ATM manufacturers.

“The U.S. is quite popular,” a source familiar with ATM attacks told Motherboard.

(Motherboard and BR granted multiple sources, including law enforcement officials, anonymity to speak more candidly about sensitive hacking incidents.)

Showing off…

During an annual Black Hat cybersecurity conference in 2010. Late researcher even demonstrated live on stage his own strain of ATM malware. His malware displayed JACKPOT on the ATM as it threw out the cash in a steady stream.

Christoph Hebbecker, a prosecuting attorney for the German state of North Rhine-Westphaila told Motherboard that his office is investigating 10 incidents between February and November 2017. Hackers stole 1.4M Euros, Hebbecker said. He continued that because of the similar nature of all the attacks. He believes that they could be linked to the same criminal gang.

Multiple sources told Motherboard that the attacks in 2017 impacted Santander; two sources said they specifically involved the Wincor 2000xe model of ATM, made by the ATM manufacturer Diebold Nixdorf.

A Santander spokesperson said in an emailed statement to Motherboard,

“Protecting our customers’ information and the integrity of our physical network is at the core of what we do. Our experts are involved at every stage of product development and operations to protect customers and the bank from fraud and cyber threats. This focus on protecting our data and operations prevents us from commenting on specific security issues.”

Furthermore, officials in Berlin, said they had seen at least 36 jackpotting cases since Spring 2018. With 1000’s of Euro’s stolen. Across Germany over the past several years 82 attacks have occured, according to police spokespeople. While not all of them were successful cash outs.

Aging ATM’s

ATM Jackpotting isn’t limited just to a single bank or ATM manufacturer. “You will see this across all vendors; this is not dedicated towards a specific machine, nor towards a specific brand, and definitely not a region,” Redecker said.

A reason for the security issue is that ATM’s, for many of them, are aged Windows computers.

“These are very old, slow machines,” the source familiar with ATM attacks informed Motherboard.

While many ATM manufacturers have made improvements to their devices, it doesn’t mean that all ATM’s will be up to the same standard, Redecker from Diebold Nixdorf stressed.

Furthermore responsibility on securing access to the ATM’s is the banks responsibility too.

“In order to execute a jackpotting attack, you have to have access to the internal components of the ATM. So, preventing that first physical attack on the ATM goes a long way toward preventing the jackpotting attack,” David N. Tente, executive director of USA, Canada & Americas at the ATM Industry Association (ATMIA), said in an email to Motherboard.

Redecker said he’s been witnessing Jackpotting attacks across the globe since 2012. Germany suffered it’s first Jackpotting in Berlin in 2014.

Cheap Software

In 2017, around the same time as the attacks, researchers at Kaspersky, a cybersecurity firm. published research showing Cutlet Maker for sale on hacking forums. It seemed like anyone with the money could buy the software and try Jackpotting for themselves.

“The bad guys are selling these developments [malware] to just anybody….That has enabled smaller outfits or enterprising criminals to start targeting ATMs..Potentially this can affect any country in the world,” David Sancho, senior threat researcher at cybersecurity firm Trend Micro, and who works with Europol on jackpotting research, said to Motherboard.

Motherboard spoke to one cybercriminal claiming to sell the Cutlet Maker malware.

“Yes I’m selling. It costs $1000,” they wrote in an email, adding that they can offer support on how to use the tool as well. The seller provided screenshots of an instruction manual in Russian and English, which steps potential users through how to empty an ATM. Sections of the manual include how to check how many banknotes are inside the ATM, and installing the malware itself.

The European Association for Secure Transactions (EAST), a non-profit that tracks financial fraud, said jackpotting attacks decreased 43 percent over the previous year, in a report published this month. But it’s worth stressing that EAST’s report only covers Europe.

“It happens in parts of the world where they don’t have to tell anybody about it,” the source familiar with ATM attacks added. “It’s increasing, but, again, the biggest problem we’ve got is that nobody wants to report this.”

Heading to the US?

Such a lower barrier of entry into ATM malware, you could argue as being the reason as to why there’s a rise in Jackpotting attacks. While in January of 2018, the secret service began warning financial institutions of potential Jackpotting attacks in the US.
Although those used a different piece of ATM malware called Ploutus.D.

“Globally, our 2019 survey indicates that jackpotting attacks are increasing,” Tente from ATMIA wrote in an email to Motherboard.

As the source familiar with ATM attacks said, “There are attacks happening, but a lot of the time it’s not publicized.”

(VICE)F

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Electric Cars aren’t new!

Electric cars are not new!

That’s right I said it. Electric cars aren’t a new phenomena. In 1899 90% of New York City’s taxi cabs were electric vehicles. These cabs were built by the Electric Carriage and Wagon Company of Philadelphia.

Furthermore, in 1899 and 1900 electric cars outside all other types of cars. This includes gas and steam powered ones! The Baker Torpedo, an 1902 electric vehicle became the first car to have an aerodynamic body which enclosed the driver and the platform.

The Baker Torpedo also reached 80mph in a speed test too! (However it did kill two spectators) On a second test it reached speeds of 120mph.

Going further back electric cars got their start in the early 1800’s. While early efforts were just ‘proof of concepts’ as they had limited speed and non rechargeable batteries. So you can go from A to B, but not back again unfortunately.

Fast forward to 1842 and two inventors separately invented electric cars which had rechargeable batteries, and they were practical! American Thomas Davenport and Scotsman Robert Davidson were their names. Improvements were eventually made by various other inventors. They improved the charge capacity and improved the electric motors.

Popularity

The popularity of electric cars really propelled in 1880, when Thomas Edison invented the lightbulb. The lightbulb increased the distribution of electricity and providing the infrastructure needed for the electric car to be viable for the public.

Even then there were advantages for the electric car over gas and steam. Electric cars had no vibrations like their gas and steam counterparts. They were also very quiet. They also didn’t smoke or backfire as often. Furthermore they could go right away when you get in the car. Which is a huge advantage as gas powered cars needed to be cranked by hand. Which is not only dangerous but very difficult!

Furthermore steam powered cars took up to 45mins on a cold day to get going! Electric cars also didn’t need to have gear changes. Which isn’t that difficuly nowadays but back then it was very hard!

Only advantages gas cars had over their electric cousins was that they had larger tanks and they could fill up quicker. While at the time there really wasn’t that many well developed roads to drive on. So most people drove in the city. Rarely going that far.

Popular electric cars

The following cars were popular in the early 1900’s:

  • Columbia Runabout, which could go 40 miles on a single charge and run at average speeds of 15 mph (which wasn’t that bad at the time).
  • 1914 Detroit Electric car, which had a range of 80 miles on a single charge and was the favorite car of none other than Clara Ford (Henry Ford’s wife; he bought the car for her despite the fact that at the time his company was presently breaking the balls of the electric car industry).
  • Another great one was the American Morrison electric car which was capable of ranges of 182 miles on a single charge!  It was also capable of 14 mph, which again isn’t notable by today’s standards, but that 182 mile range certainly is.

Cost

Cost for a basic model of an electric car in the early 1900’s was around $1K. More lavish models were $3K.

Then came Henry Ford.

In 1915 Henry Ford was able to offer cars for $500 (in todays money $10,000). His hugely innovative assembly line construction was the main reason for offering his cars so cheaply compared to the electric vehicles. Making his cars very affordable to the average person.

By this time, electric cars had actually risen in price to $1700.

Another nail in the coffin was crude oil, crude oil was discovered in Texas and Oklahoma. This again, made costs lower. Gas became lower in price. Plus Charles Kettering invented the electric starter. This eliminated the need for cars to be cranked by hand. Roads then began expanding. Which made gas powered cars more attractive as they could travel further distances. Not only that gas cars were also becoming a lot faster then their electric counterparts.

Death

So, by 1935, the electric car was officially dead. It did make a comeback in the 1960’s but this was unsuccessful. To date all attempts to make a commercially successful EV failed.

However, the Tesla Model S, is looking to change that. It has a range of 250-300miles. Can seat 7 and be charged in 45 minutes. Electric cars such as the Model S are also said to save owners anywhere between $10K – $15K over the lifespan of a car in gas. Maintenance cost is also lower.

The Nissan Leaf is also attractive at 100mile range and 30minutes to charge. May look small range but it is very cheap at around $30K. Which is a lot cheaper than a Tesla! May be good for consumers or a run around car!

While the electric car seemed to be ahead of it’s time in the 18oo’s, we have made huge improvements over the years and we may well see an electric car takeover in the next 10 years.

(todayifoundout)

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Exoskeleton

Exoskeleton helps man walk again!

 

Technology is amazing. A paralysed man has been able to move all of his limbs for the very first time in 4 years. All thanks to a mind controlled exoskeleton suit French researchers are reporting.

Thibault, 40, said that his first steps felt like “the first man on the moon”. While his movements, are far from perfect, the robo-suit can only be used in the lab. While researchers are saying that this could one day improve patients quality of life.

Thibault had surgery to place two implants on his brain. Which cover part of the brain that control movement. A total of 64 electrodes on each implant read brain activity and beam instructions to a computer nearby. Software on the computer then reads the brainwaves and sends the instructions back to the exoskeleton. The exoskeleton isn’t light, Thibault has to be strapped into the exoskeleton to use it. All he has to do is think “walk” and it will set off a chain of movements in the suit to move his leges forward. He can even control each of the arms too!

Ease of use

Thibault fell from 15M at a nightclub 4years ago, this left him paralysed. He spent the following 2 years after the accident in hopsital. However, in 2017 he took part in an exoskeleton trial with Clinatec and the University of Grenoble.

At first he used the brain implatns to control a virtual character in a computer game. Before moving on to walking in the suit.

“It was like [being the] first man on the Moon. I didn’t walk for two years. I forgot what it is to stand, I forgot I was taller than a lot of people in the room.

It took a lot longer to learn how to control the arms.

“It was very difficult because it is a combination of multiple muscles and movements. This is the most impressive thing I do with the exoskeleton.”

The exoskeleton

The exoskeleton weighs 65kg and is very sophisticated, however it won’t completely restore function just yet. Yet it displays an advance on similar approaches which allows people to control a single limb with thoughts.

Thibault needs to be strapped in and attached to a ceiling harness. This minimises the risk of him falling over. Therefore while amazing, the device needs a lot of work before can be used outside the lab.

“This is far from autonomous walking,” Prof Alim-Louis Benabid, the president of the Clinatec executive board, told BBC News.

“He does not have the quick and precise movements not to fall, nobody on earth does this.”

Thibault was successful 71% of the time where he needed to use the exoskeleton to move his upper and lower arms and rotate his wrists to touch specific targets.

“We have solved the problem and shown the principle is correct. This is proof we can extend the mobility of patients in an exoskeleton….This is in [the] direction of giving better quality of life.”

Prof Benabid, who developed deep brain stimulation for Parkinson’s disease, speaking to the BBC.

What next?

French scientists say they’ll continue to refine the tech, at the moment they’re limited by the amount of data that they can read from the brain. Send to a computer, interpret that data and then send it back to the exoskeleton.

The amount of time they have is very miniscule. They’ve got 350 milliseconds to go from thought, to movement. Otherwise operating the system becomes difficult to control.

The good news is that out of the 64 electrodes available on each implant to the researchers, they’re only using 32. This means that there is a lot of potential to read the brain in much more detail. Using more powerful computers and sophisticated AI to interpret the data from the brain.

While it’s not possible to move fingers with the exoskeleton, they hope to advance it to such a stage they can move and pick up objects. While he has already used the implant to control a wheelchair.

Dangers

Transhumanism is ways of using exoskeletons to enhance human abilities. This includes military applications.

Professor Benabid told the BBC his thoughts on this:

“We are absolutely not going in the direction of these extreme and stupid applications..

Our job is to repair the injured patients who have lost function.”

The Experts…

Professor Tom Shakespeare from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine was very complimentary of the technology. Stating that the study presents a “welcome and exciting advance”.

While also stating that the tech may be a while off before becoming a viable alternative:

“A danger of hype always exists in this field. Cost constraints mean that hi-tech options are never going to be available to most people in the world with spinal cord injury.”

Tom Shakespeare also said that only 15% of people with disabilites have a wheelchair or other assistive devices.

Details of the exoskeleton have been published in The Lancet Neurology journal.

 

 

 

(BBC)

 

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Condom delivery service!

Ever get into the heat of things and you reach over for a condom and you have none. Nada. Zilch. Well Durex were teasing Brits with a condom delivery service. Helping us Brits to get laid 24/7. Therefore means you won’t be having to need to head to the shop too.

Way back in 2013 Durex ran a marketing campaign called “SOS Condom” it showed a GPS locator app which located you and delivered you a rubber.

It showed a whole host of people. Such as police officers to pizza delivery guys (of course) rushing to help in your time of need.

It’s a real thing elsewhere!

It was a stunt but it may actually become a thing in China and parts of Latin America.  Lovers in Colombia, Argentina, Brazil, Peru and Mexico can get rubbers delivered in 3o minutes.

While in Shanghai, Alibaba, a HUGE retail company are delivering condoms between 10pm and 7am. Huffington Post are reporting that the peak ordering time is midnight and the average user is 40)

While there’s not even a whisper of it being launched here in the UK. Declining condom sales were cited as a motivator to bring it to our shores! Reckitt Benckiser, which owns Durex, said that increasing competition in Asia and Latin America. By local condom brands diminished their share of the market and caused the roll out of a delivery service.

It would most likely be a success if it were. Deliveroo, were on course to hit 6M UK customers at the end of last year. So maybe it would work? Would it be awkward though? Maybe they should make the box small enough to fit in the letterbox. No need to answer the door half naked or make awkward eye contact with the delivery driver. After all, they’ll most likely know what you’re about to do. Brings a whole new meaning to “Ding Dong”

While 30mins is a long wait for delivery, it may delay things and the moment may go. What if the delivery driver gets lost and needs to call you? What if they get stuck in traffic? Guess some planning will be needed to be done to get them delivered just in time. but if you’re doing all that, why not just prepare normally and get some rubbers just in case. Always have condoms on you people!

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Self Lubricating Condom?!

A Self Lubricating Condom. They’re a thing now. They’ve come a long way since using livestock intestines. Condoms can come ribbed for the lady in your life. They can even glow in the dark. Also, they can come with self-warming abilities. But now they can also self lubricate!

The Bill and Melinda Gate’s Foundation’s ran a competition to build a better condom. Well boy did they. A research team have created a condom which gets slippery when wet. A specially-designed layer of hydrophilic polymers coats the condom’s surface. Which when activated with moisture becomes slick. (How many of you cringed at the word ‘moist’ there?

Some condoms already have lubricant applied to it but it wears off during sex. This special condom never runs out! (Well it has a 1,000 thrust limit, while the study says typical intercourse is anywhere between 100-500 thrusts) Say that’s a thrust per second, that’s 16minutes plus of straight thrusting before the lubricant where’s off. Jeez! The researchers were awarded a cool $100,000 grant for their research.

The study, published in the Royal Society Open journal, outlines how they created this special rubber. It assessed “frictional performance” against a variety of different lubricated and non lubricared condoms. Using a machine not humans you dirty lot you!

Though they did use touch tests with human participants to determine how they perceived slipperiness. (You would think during sex, not just how slippery the rubber is)

73% of the 33 who participated, said they preferred the new condom design. They also said they’d be more likely to use a condom if it was inherently slippery. While those who never used condoms stated they’d consider using one if this special self lubricating condom existed.

(VICE)

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Weed + Church, getting high with God!

In a strange turn of events, two altar boys from Spain have been arrested and detained for putting weed into a censer during mass. The censer is a device or tool that is similar to a incense burner)

The devil’s lettuce wasn’t noticeable at first and many of the church goers were unawares. However, after a few moments, the distinct weed aroma soon flooded the cathedral.

One churchgoer was quoted as saying ”

“It did not smell as always. It was a familiar smell, but I could not relate it to anything…but my son’s bedroom would sometimes smell like that.”

The two boys responsible were arrested after the service. However, they were freed without charge later on in the day.

Is this true or is it a hoax? While it sounds very plausible, it could also very easily be fake. We’ll let you Snopes it or go about your day believing it. We mean it is a pretty cool story to tell isn’t it?

(Mandatory)

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Boiling Steel – SCI FI VR Madness

 

MicroWin Studio, the studio behind Guns ‘n’ Stories: Bulletproof VR, have announced an amazing Sci-Fi VR shooter. It’s called Boiling Steel and will come to Steam Early access on December 5th 2019.

Boiling Steel has been in development since early 2018. It’s made for gamers who love fast-paced action! Which is also wrapped in a complex story rich setting. It’s written by a member of the team behind the S.T.A.L.K.E.R. series.

From what we can see this game has some beautiful graphics, smooth controls and a lot of action! Boiling Steel has an arsenal of upgradable construction tools too. Which provide a truly unique experience!

Boiling Steel: Plot

The story of Boiling Steel is set far in the future and centered around a colonized planet. This planet has been designed to be a bastion of scientific research and development. Furthermore it is free of bureaucratic, religious, and legal restrictions and the technology is very very advanced.

So, by utilizing the ability to transfer a human consciousness to a robotic shell (how cool does that sound!). Players are able to do hazardous work in mines and factories without the need to worry about danger. You are eager for the chance at a better life. Therefore you get really excited about working for the Engineering Corps.

However, radical fanatics with unknown motives launch a virus into the system. Messing things up real bad. Empty shells run rampant as they’re controlled by the virus. Murdering anyone they can find.

This leads players to a number of questions such as:

Who is behind the virus attack and why?
Why haven’t the military arrived to rescue the colonists?

You get inquizitive and it’s up to you, even with your construction equipment, to get to the bottom of the issue.

Included in Boiling Steel:

  • 9 tools, each with unique playstyle, upgrades, and handling
  • Experience upgrade system: The more you use a tool, the more powerful it becomes.
  • Furthermore, be rewarded for sticking with a favorite.
  • Non-story missions are randomly generated to make each playthrough exciting and unique.
  • Plus, more than 40 combat missions! Equaling over 10 hours of action-packed VR shooting goodness.
  • A variety of enemy shells with a multitude of armaments, configurations, and combat style.
  • Overcome planetary security systems! Such as automated turrets, minefields, energy barriers. Achieve even more with smarts, quick reflexes, and puzzle-solving ability.
  • Also, explore cloud-city complexes, frozen structures, sandy mining platforms, and more.

Purchase via Steam here!

Early Access Release Date: Dec 5th 2019

Price: $19.99

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Black Friday, a wonderful customer experience

Us Brits are predicted to have spent a whopping £5.6Billion combined on Black Friday and Cyber Monday this year. With the average spend also predicted to be £251.20 each. Why the shift in behaviour? The digital era. Shoppers are now preferring speed and convenience rather than going into a brick and mortar store.

92% of those surveyed by PwC claim that they will have bought at least 1 item over the internet between Black Friday and Cyber Monday. This number includes 56% of all customers who intend to do all their shopping on the net!

Black Friday Human Interaction

Despite this HUGE increase in online shopping. The PwC survey discovered that 75% of consumers desire human interaction as part of the digital journey. Therefore more retailers are investing in assisted intelligence solutions.  Which therefore will create a seamless brand experience in order to compete in such a competitive online environment, this is according to Sameer Parvez, Head of Retail & Ecommerce at Teleperformance:

With sales predicted to be 800 per cent more than a regular Monday, it is imperative retailers have a digital customer experience in place that integrates chatbots with their existing customer interaction channels, alleviating pressure from customer service agents. The demand for chat services is significant, with over 50 per cent of consumers preferring this method of instant communication.

As more and more consumers go online, companies that adopt an omni-channel customer engagement strategy can retain an average 89% of their customers, deepening the relationship between the brand and the consumer.”

In order to stay relevant to consumers who now expect 24 hour communication, retailers must respond to this need and boost their digital online experience by considering a High-Tech, High-Touch approach. This gives shoppers the option to speak to a customer service advisor as well as round-the-clock online chat services.

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