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Sir Elton John to receive inaugural Brits Icon award, slow reader returns library book after 41 yrs, ‘Pay by face’ technology makes archaic PIN history and ‘Touchy-feely’ robos come closer to reality

world Updated: Jul 24, 2013 01:44 IST

Sir Elton John to receive inaugural Brits Icon award

London: Sir Elton John has been announced as the first ever recipient of the new Brits Icon award, for his contribution to the field of music.

The veteran singer will be presented with the prize, which has been created by the music industry’s trade body - BPI, at a show in September that will be broadcasted later by ITV, the BBC reported.

The award was made to recognise an artist, whose writing, recording and performances have made a ‘lasting impact’ on British culture. The ‘Rocket Man’ hit maker recently had to cancel his headline appearance in Hyde Park in June as he was being treated for appendicitis.


Slow reader returns library book after 41 yrs

New York: A self-confessed slow reader has handed back an overdue library book that he had issued a staggering 41 years ago - along with a fine of $299 and an apology letter.

Library director Ty Henderson said the book should have been brought back by July 17, 1972. The unnamed borrower returned ‘The Real Book About Snakes’ to Champaign County Library in Urbana, Ohio, last week alongside a note of apology and a fine amounting to $299.30 in cash.

He told WDTN that he was pleasantly surprised by the unexpected return, the New York Daily News reported.

Henderson asserted that he appreciated the honesty as the borrower not only returned the book, but also paid the fine. He also termed the unexpected return as “awesome”.

The borrower confessed to being a slow reader in the note of apology.


‘Pay by face’ technology makes archaic PIN history

Melbourne: A Finnish company has created a technology which makes it possible for people to pay for the goods with their face. After a customer gazes into camera, the company Uniqul then links the recognition to their bank account, the Daily Telegraph reported.

The company has claimed that their services are secured with military-grade algorithms. The new tech is similar to facial recognition identification which is used by international travellers at airports in Australia.


‘Touchy-feely’ robos come closer to reality

Washington: Researchers have developed a flexible sensor, which can detect temperature, pressure and humidity simultaneously, and more accurately than currently existing devices.

In addition to improving robotics, the sensor could one day be embedded into the ‘electronic skin’ of prosthetics, to help amputees sense environmental changes.

Prof Hossam Haick said that the sensor is “a huge step towards imitating the sensing features of the human skin.”


First Published: Jul 24, 2013 01:39 IST