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Dublin: 11 °C Tuesday 7 July, 2020
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Weird Wide Web: Thinking caps, the bionic Olympics and energy-creating blimps

All of your essential tech and social media news for the week in one byte-sized portion.

WELCOME TO THE WEIRD Wide Web – where we take a look at the week’s best offerings in tech and social media news.

Thinking cap development of the week

Two psychologists in Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee, have designed a thinking cap that can help improve or hinder a person’s ability to learn by sending a mild electrical current to the brain.  While it could help you learn that new language, the researchers say that the research could have clinical benefits in the treatment of conditions like schizophrenia and ADHD.

(Video: Vanderbilt University/YouTube)

‘Spooked out by Facebook’ reaction of the week

So you may have heard the news that Facebook bought virtual reality company Oculus VR for $2 billion earlier this week. Before that, we were looking forward to playing Half Life 2 and Minecraft on it,  but the latter isn’t going to happen as its creator, Markus Persson, announced on Twitter that he canceled the deal. Nooooooooooo!

image(Image: Markus Persson/Twitter)

Our only hope now is Minecraft will make its way over to Sony’s own VR offering, Project Morpheus.

Energy-generating blimp of the week

Your next electricity source could come from a wind turbine inside a floating blimp. At least that’s the idea from US company Altaeros which introduced the Buoyant Airborne Turbine (BAT), a 60-foot-diameter helium aerostat with a three-blade-rotor spinning inside.

According to Fast Co, it rises 1,000 feet off the ground and sends back power via high-strength tethers.

(Video: altaerosenergies/YouTube)

Smart bulb of the week

LG just launched its own smart bulb which can be controlled by your smartphone. You can customise them so they flash whenever you get a phone call or getting them to turn on slowly to wake you up in the morning.

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Best nap spot locator of the week

Two Dutch programmmers have given Google Maps its best use yet. Google Naps will help you find the best napping spots in the world, or let you share the best ones. The most popular spots being the middle of the Atlantic ocean, outside the White House and Monaghan for this gem.

image(Image: Google Naps)

Bionic Olympics announcement of the week

A Swiss organisation has announced the Cybathalon, a new sports competition much like the Olympics, but for athletes using prostheses and other assistive devices with robotic technologies.

Hosted by a Swiss robotics labs and taking place in Zurich in October 2016, the event will feature different competitions featuring wearable arm prostheses, powered exoskeletons, powered wheelchairs, and power knee prostheses.

(Video: rienerr/YouTube)

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About the author:

Quinton O'Reilly

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