The Lexus Hoverboard Is Dumb, Epson Kills Ink Cartridges… [Tech News Digest]
Another disappointing hoverboard, endless printer ink, Apple Music makes the charts, Netflix plans more launches, proof that you are terrible at driving, and Homestar Runner loves Flash.
The Lexus Hoverboard Is Real, Kinda
As promised, Lexus has unveiled its Hoverboard to the world, in a video titled Slide. However, while it is indeed a working hoverboard capable of floating an inch off the ground, its limitations mean the Lexus Hoverboard is a huge disappointment.
The Lexus Hoverboard looks like a bulky skateboard without wheels. It hovers just above the ground thanks to containing a series of superconductors which are continuously cooled by liquid nitrogen. Hence the visually impressive vapor which could be seen in the teaser posted at the end of June . So far, so good.
Unfortunately, using superconductors means the Lexus Hoverboard only works on a specially created custom skate park in Barcelona, Spain. The skate park includes 200 meters of magnetic track, installed at what must have been phenomenal cost. The liquid nitrogen is also only effective at freezing temperatures, meaning the Hoverboard only works for 10-20 minutes before crapping out.
This would all be fair enough if the Hoverboard was actually useful, but even pro-skateboarder Ross McGouran had trouble getting the thing to work properly. Hence the multiple cuts in the video above. Last but not least is the fact the Lexus hoverboard is only ever meant to be a promotional prop, and you’re never going to be able to buy one.
See, I told you it was dumb.
Epson Swaps Cartridges for Tanks
3rd parties have been offering contnuous inkjet systems with external ink reservoirs for years and at prices lower than what Epson proposes.
— Vote now or forever hold your peace (@Infoseepage) August 5, 2015
Printers are one of the most annoying pieces of consumer technology in existence. They often refuse to work, they’re made to be disposable, and the ink cartridges most of them eat for breakfast are unnecessarily expensive. It’s about time we found an alternative.
Epson may have just done so, with the announcement of a series of printers called EcoTank. They look the same as ordinary printers , and cost slightly more upfront, but the big difference is the amount of ink they’re capable of holding.
The EcoTank printers feature four-chambered reservoirs which you fill with ink from the plastic containers included. According to the Wall Street Journal, once filled, the EcoTank is capable of printing up to 35 black-and-white pages and 60 color pages every week for two years.
After that impressive amount of time and work, replacement canisters can be purchased for around $50. This is not only cheaper than traditional cartridges, but should affordable enough to dissuade ordinary consumers from dumping their old printer in landfill .
The EcoTank printers aren’t cheap to buy, with prices starting at $379. But that higher initial asking price is surely preferable to being stung for costly ink cartridges for many years to come.
Apple Music Beats Billboard Charts
The Billboard charts now include data from Apple Music. This means that every time you listen to that terrible new Taylor Swift song , you’re helping her dictate the Billboard 200 and Hot 100. Apple Music has joined other streaming music services such as Spotify, Tidal, and Rdio in helping shape the charts.
It has also been revealed that Apple has struck a deal with the music labels to expand on its curated radio offering. This means Apple could launch five more Apple Music stations along similar lines to Beats 1. That is if anyone carries on listening once the 3-month free trial of Apple Music comes to an end.
Netflix Finally Lands in Asia
Netflix has announced it will launch in Japan on September 2nd, finally gaining a foothold in Asia. The company announced its plans to launch in Japan way back in February, but it has taken this long for Netflix to figure out the complexities of launching in a new region.
Next on the agenda are Spain, Portugal, Italy, and Iceland, all of which are expected to launch before the end of the year. The Czech Republic will be added early next year, with Netflix committed to disrupting everything by being available in more than 200 countries by the end of 2016.
Self-Driving Cars Win Error-Prone
It’s looking increasingly likely that one day (relatively) soon self-driving cars will ferry us all to work and back on a daily basis. This prospect may fill you with dread, either because you like driving or you have safety concerns.
There isn’t much anyone can do about the former, but Google and others are actively trying to figure out the latter. A simple online game called Error-Prone should help too, as it shows just how much more efficient self-driving cars are than us error-prone humans.
Essentially, the only way to win is to not play at all. So why not play Angry Birds 2 instead?!
Homestar Runner Tackles Flash
And finally, even Homestar Runner is tackling the tricky issue of Adobe Flash. Flash has been under increasing attack of late, with multiple companies threatening its very existence. Which has Strong Bad worried.
This isn’t surprising really, as the Homestar Runner website relies heavily on Flash. So Strong Bad’s fears that the death of Flash means the death of him and his cronies are somewhat justified. Still, there’s always HTML5, so there’s no need to panic quite yet. [H/T A.V. Club]
Your Views on Today’s Tech News
Are you as disappointed as I am by the Lexus Hoverboard? Is it time to ditch printer ink cartridges? Are you actively using Apple Music? Will you be subscribing to Netflix in one of its new regions? How well did you do at Error-Prone?
Let us know your thoughts on the Tech News of the day by posting to the comments section below. Because a healthy discussion is always welcome.