Staff picks for the week of Nov. 7, 2016

Staff Picks GeneralHappy Friday! Here are the most interesting tech stories our staff read this week.

This clever remote redefines point and click (Read by Camillia S.)

Would you pay $299 for a remote to control all of your devices? I wouldn’t, but if you have a lot of smart gadgets in your house and are tired of searching for each remote, this device may be for you. The Smart Remote is a compact remote control that displays the functions of the specific device it’s pointed at. For example, aim the Smart Remote at your smart TV, and you’ll see the controls for volumes and channels. Point it at your light fixture, and you’ll see an on/off switch or a slider to dim the lights. While the price tag is hefty, the Smart Remote takes universal remotes to the next level. If this device is for you, you can preorder it via the company’s crowdfunding campaign. Otherwise, you’ll have to wait until the Smart Remote hits retail stores next fall.

Adobe is working on ‘Photoshop For Voices,’ and its uncannily good (Read by Alexandria H.)

Photoshop and similar photo-editing tools have made it harder than ever to determine the authenticity of a photo. To muddle things even more, Adobe is working on a new technology called Project VoCo that allows users to manipulate voice clips. The technology lets users not only rearrange the order of words in an audio clip, but even add words that weren’t used in the original recording! The article’s author points out that voice technology like this could come in handy for film voiceovers, but I’d say it introduces ethical questions if used for anything outside of that. Check out the article to see the demo video.

This app uses a selfie to try to diagnose genetic disorders (Read by Alexandria H.)

A new app called Face2Gene claims it can diagnose genetic disorders simply by looking at your selfie. Although geared toward physicians to assist with diagnoses, anyone can download the app. Its technology uses deep learning and artificial intelligence (AI) to analyze facial features, compare them to a database of faces with various syndromes, and diagnose conditions that might not be easily spotted by the naked eye. Not only does the app potentially make it easier to identify health conditions, it does so more quickly than traditional methods. It was only a matter of time until AI made its way into the medical field.

Nintendo might just rule the holidays with its NES Classic stocking stuffer (Read by Heidi B.)

Some of my fondest childhood memories involve the Nintendo Entertainment System (NES). Now, some of my fondest adult memories can involve it too! Nintendo recently unveiled its very first plug-and-play console that, loaded with a slew of 8-bit games like Super Mario Brothers and The Legend of Zelda, is more like a time machine than a 21st century video game system. Virtual reality is cool and everything, but at only $60, I need this retro gaming system in my life – ASAP.

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