Fully Charged: Wirelessly charged electric buses, Oculus Rift takes you to Mars, and Facebook improves its News Feed

Give your brain a morning boost with today's top tech headlines

Facebook outlines News Feed changes

Facebook is rolling out “improvements” to its News Feed in the coming weeks, and yesterday outlined some of the changes. The main change will be an algorithm-based system that bumps up older stories you may have missed – but that Facebook believes you’ll be interested in.

Facebook is basing the changes on the idea that users are missing out on too many important stories by not scrolling down the News Feed far enough (the average user has 1,500 potential stories flowing through their feed every day) so it’ll rank stories higher if they come from people you interact with more often, or if they receive a lot of likes and shares. The system is already in effect on the web version of Facebook, and is currently rolling out to mobile apps. [Source: The Verge]

Oculus Rift teams up with Curiosity for a VR tour of Mars

Chances are you won’t be taking a stroll on the Martian surface any time soon, but NASA has turned to the Oculus Rift headset to give a few lucky people the next best thing: a virtual reality walking tour of the red planet. The landscape is based off a 360-degree panorama taken by the Curiosity Rover, plus satellite images, and the ability to wander as well as look around comes courtesy of the Virtuix Omni VR treadmill. And if would-be explorers aren’t satisfied with Mars, they can also take a self-guided tour of the International Space Station. [Source: Gizmodo]

More after the break...

Twitter’s iOS and Android apps get better security and new photo gallery

Twitter has just updated its mobile apps for Android and iOS, and among the handful of changes are improvements to login verification. You no longer need to use your phone number to verify logins (this can be done via push notifications and in-app approval now), and login requests will include location data to help prevent phishing. There’s also a new photo gallery in Twitter’s search section, making it possible to view a gallery of all photos related to your search terms, not merely a set of swipe-able thumbnails. [Source: Twitter blog]

These electric buses get their power directly from the road

In general, the main problem with electric vehicles is that they need their batteries topped up, and that requires hours of remaining stationary. Not so with these ingenious new buses that have just rolled out in Gumi, South Korea: they are charged wirelessly from the road itself.

Cables installed beneath the roads use Shaped Magnetic Field in Resonance (SMFIR) tech to charge the battery, which is a third the size that used in most electric buses and able to absorb a startlingly efficient 85 percent of the power output by the cables. Because the buses still have batteries, the cables don’t need to be laid down the entire route – just enough of it to provide enough power for the journey. [Source: Gizmodo]