Staff picks for the week of April 11, 2016

 In News, Staff Picks

Technology is now ready to lace our sneakers and paint like the masters. What’s next? Read on for your weekly dose of tech news, including these stories and more!

Staff Picks General

Nike unveils its first self-lacing sneaker (Read by Camillia S.)

Great Scott! Remember Marty McFly’s futuristic kicks with self-tying shoe laces? Nike released a limited edition of the sneaker last year, but they were reserved for Michael J. Fox and those with a considerable amount of disposable income. Well, you’ll soon be able to get your own pair of (probably more affordable) self-lacing sneakers. The sportswear brand also released other innovations at a recent media event in New York, including anti-clog traction technology for soccer cleats and a new Nike Plus app. I’m an avid Nike fan, and from the looks of the sneaker in the video, I’ll definitely be getting my hands on a pair.

Start-stop technology is spreading (like it or not) (Read by Camillia S.)

Imagine being in stop-and-go traffic and every time you put your foot on the brake, your car shut off. As ludicrous (or not) as it sounds, this feature will become standard in most vehicles in the next few years. Car manufacturers are under increased pressure to make cars more fuel efficient by 2025, and this new technology could help — the fuel savings average between 3 and 5 percent, but increase with longer stops like traffic lights and heavy traffic. This seems like a huge inconvenience, so why not just go electric? Hopefully these engine restarts are smooth and quiet, to the point that they’re barely noticeable. For now, this feature can be turned off, but how long until it becomes mandatory?

People are reportedly sharing fewer personal updates on Facebook (Read by Alexandria H.)

Who would have thought that this generation of over-sharers actually isn’t sharing enough? Turns out, Facebook has reported a decline of personal shares by 5.5 percent between 2014 and 2015. So, if personal posts aren’t being shared anymore, what exactly is being shared? If your Facebook feed is anything like mine, it will come as no surprise that memes, articles, and company paid posts have taken over. Perhaps this doesn’t sound like a big deal since the company reports that the overall level of sharing is consistent. But if the social networking platform designed to bring people together through shared experiences is no longer facilitating user sharing, what does the future of Facebook look like?

This computer can paint as well as Rembrandt could (Read by Heidi B.)

I never used to think technology and classical paintings were related, but that changed when I came across this video segment showing how a Dutch financial institute paired 3D scanning with data handling and analysis to create a Rembrandt-style painting. The project, appropriately named “The Next Rembrandt,” boasts impressive results — side by side, it’s hard to tell which portrait was painted by Rembrandt himself and which was painted by the computer system. Check it out, and if videos aren’t your style,  read the corresponding article about the project.

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