The fake girlfriend you’re bound to click with

It’s the digital equivalent of sending yourself a dozen roses and pretending that they came from a mysterious lover. An online service, which was launched in test form this week, promises to give singletons a weapon against prying parents and friends who pester them about their relationship status. The “Invisible Boyfriend” and “Invisible Girlfriend” websites invite you to create a romantic partner. This fake lover will then chat with you via text message, leave you voicemails and even write postcards — all for a fee. These communications can then be shown as “proof” that you are in an exciti

Sociopathic robots must be taught to serve

Stephen Fry and Hugh Laurie as Bertie Wooster and Jeeves

Artificially intelligent robots should be the Jeeves to humanity’s Bertie Wooster, a leading computer scientist has said, warning that humans risked a showdown with “sociopathic” machines unless they were taught to be subservient. Stuart Russell said that the long-suffering valet in PG Wodehouse’s novels — in which stories were often set in the fictional Drones Club — did not need to be told what his master wanted. Their relationship, therefore, should be used as a blueprint for humanity’s interaction with artificially intelligent beings. Professor Russell, of the U

Out-of-date software puts credit cards at risk

A woman shopping with a credit card in a store

Retailers are putting their customers’ credit card details at the mercy of computer hackers because they have failed to upgrade an obsolete version of the Windows operating system on their machines, a leading online security researcher has warned. A significant number of stores continue to run Windows XP even though Microsoft stopped providing security updates for the software almost nine months ago, James Lyne, the head of research at Sophos, said. Windows XP, which was released in 2001, was one of the most popular operating systems in the world and many companies built their computer networ

Too much screen time causing depression

A young child using a tablet device

Children are spending longer in front of screens every day than experts believe is healthy, according to research. Guidelines on screen time were drawn up when tablets, mobile phones and similar devices were not as prevalent, and may need to be reconsidered, experts said. Research found that screen time increased with age, with girls particularly drawn into social media as they reached their mid-teens. The American Academy of Pediatrics published recommendations in 2001 that children under the age of two should have no exposure to screens, and those over the age of two

‘Smart’ scarf heats to soothe stressed wearers

A mood-enhancing ‘smart’ scarf that warms or cools its owner according to their emotional state is being developed by researchers at Microsoft

Why Facebook is landing users in divorce court

Lawyers have said the social network is being cited in many divorce cases and is relied upon as proof of inappropriate behaviour

New radar lets the FBI see through walls

Hand held radar

Handheld radars that can scan buildings for human life are being used by the FBI to peer into American homes in pursuit of wanted men

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Kai joined the RAF Reserves

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Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker

The mushroom-headed Captain Toad and Toadette finally star in their own adventure, breaking away from Super Mario

Game of Thrones: Iron from Ice

This point-and-click episodic adventure takes place after the somewhat eventful wedding towards the end of series three

Lara Croft and the Temple of Osiris

Fans of the originals may not like the gameplay, but it’s a worthy Tomb Raider title with good multiplaying challenges

Smart pedal puts brake on bicycle thieves

An attendee rides a bicycle equipped with a yellow Connected Cycle smart pedal

A “smart” pedal that helps to trace bicycle thieves has been unveiled at the world’s largest gadget show in Las Vegas