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Visiting a large desert in person can be difficult. Roads will only take you so far, and you probably aren’t used to navigating gigantic sand dunes. Thankfully, you no longer have to plan a whole adventure just to see this austere beauty at ground level. Google has used camel-mounted Trekker cameras to bring Street View to Liwa, an oasis-laden desert in the southern end of the United Arab Emirates. The move gives you 360-degree panoramas of everything from massive dunes (up to 131 feet high) to date farms. This won’t compare to making the trip yourself, but it’ll probably be much more comfortable.
Via: Google Maps
Source: Google Views0
HTC revealed its plan to turn Sense feature Zoe into a full-on social network a couple months back. Today, the company announced that the photo and video-sharing app is exiting its open beta, and is available for compatible Android devices (4.3 and above). If you’re in need of a refresher, Zoe lets you turn snapshots and video clips into highlight reels (Zoes) with music included. It also allows your pals to “remix” photos and videos with yours for collaborative efforts that can now be 7, 15 or 30 seconds in length. And as you might expect, Zoe works with footage from the company’s newfangled RE action cam to produce the final product, should the need arise. So what about the iOS app? While the Android faithful can nab the software today, HTC says that the version for Apple’s gadgets will arrive “later this year.” For now, the curious can take a closer look at the iOS app in the gallery down below. %Gallery-slideshow231391%0
Many folks who reside in South East Asia will agree that during the summer, air conditioners can be temperamental at times — your room’s either too cold or not cold enough. As a result, users — including this author in Hong Kong — end up having to pick up the remote control every now and then to adjust the temperature. This is exactly what Hong Kong’s Ambi Labs is trying to solve: This startup has just launched its Ambi Climate device on Kickstarter, and the idea here is that you’re adding a small hub that uses local weather data plus sunlight, air flow, temperature, humidity and movement detection, in order to adjust the air conditioner accordingly with its infrared transmitter (Ambi Labs says it can quickly add your remote to the database if it’s missing). With the room temperature staying more consistent, you’re saving both energy and the hassle of finding the remote. %Gallery-slideshow230935%
Filed under: Household
Back at Moogfest, the synth maker for which the event is named held a workshop where it debuted the Werkstatt-Ø1 analog kit. The patchable analog instrument was built for hacking, so folks could explore Moog’s circuitry (including Ladder filter) in a portable package. After the success of that event back in April the kit is being released to the masses, and the North Carolina-based company is offering up a hub for projects, tutorials, lesson plans and more. The Werkstatt Workshop is similar to libraries that littleBits and Makerbot have for users to find ideas, with a full list of instructions and supplies for each — including 3D-printing files and Arduino integration as needed. “We’d like to share our legacy of learning, music, and electronics to empower a new generation of makers to expand on our work and take it to levels we can’t yet imagine,” said Moog Music CEO Mike Adams. Not familiar with the Werkstatt-Ø1 synthesizer? No worries, Chromeo’s Patrick “P-Thugg” Gemayel demos the instrument on the other side of the jump, alongside the how-to for building an Arduino Arpeggiator. If you’re looking to snag one and get started with the experimentation, it’ll set you back $329 at your local Moog dealer.
Filed under: Misc
Syfy is now home to two zombie series but no one can replace the king — The Walking Dead returns on AMC Sunday night. Naturally, that also means the return of Talking Dead with Chris Hardwick, which we’ve grown to like. As we’ve settled into the new fall shows (Discovery’s Tethered is just about as good of a gimmick as their previous Naked and Afraid), this week has some big movie and video game releases. That includes the excellent Edge of Tomorrow aka Live Die Repeat starring Tom Cruise and Emily Blunt, Disney’s Sleeping Beauty and the 30th Anniversary release of The NeverEnding Story. Gamers have yet another excellent racer to look forward to in DriveClub on PS4 while Xbox One launches the innovative Project Spark. For your cross-platform enjoyment, there’s NBA 2K15 and Alien: Isolation. Hit the gallery or just look after the break to check out each day’s highlights, including trailers and let us know what you think (or what we missed).%Gallery-slideshow230470%
Filed under: HD1 karma points
You’ve probably seen plenty of Google’s stock Android L interface by now, but custom interfaces are another story. What will the OS look like when device makers get hold of it? If SamMobile‘s experience with an early, leaked version of Samsung’s TouchWiz software is any indication, it will be… remarkably familiar. At least on the Galaxy S5, it looks like the current front-end with splashes of Google’s Material Design philosophy thrown in. Core apps and notifications are now full of card-like, colorful elements, but the home screen, app tray and many other elements resemble what you’ve seen on existing Samsung hardware.
DJI has just shown off one of the most spectacular drone videos we’ve ever seen of an erupting volcano, so close it resulted in a melted a GoPro camera. The pilot, Eric Chang, captured the footage at the Bardabunga volcanic system in Iceland using an off-the-shelf DJI Phantom 2 drone equipped with a GoPro Hero 3+ camera. After an eleven hour journey over nearly impassable terrain, his team arrived to within 2 km of the volcano, which was spewing lava as high as 150m (460 feet) in the air.
Filed under: Cameras
Source: DJI Feats (YouTube)0
If you’re one of the many who fear needles, you might be in luck. Researchers at MIT and Massachusetts General Hospital are working on an oral alternative to injections, and it involves the use of a capsule. On the pill’s surface, tiny needles inject drugs directly into the lining of the stomach once it’s swallowed. During trials, insulin was delivered more efficiently, and the capsule didn’t cause any issues as it passed through the digestive system. While insulin was used in tests, the delivery system is said to be most helpful for antibodies to treat cancer and autoimmune disorders. At any rate, those of us who prefer to avoid shots entirely may soon have one less source of anxiety during doctor’s visits.
[Image credit: Christine Daniloff/MIT]
Filed under: Science
We hate to be the bearer of bad news, but one of your fondest childhood traditions has kicked the bucket: Saturday morning cartoons are no more. The CW has aired its last batch of Vortexx programming, leaving American kids without any animated broadcast TV to start their weekends for the first time in decades. From here on out, young ones glued to the tube will mostly be watching educational shows.
The staff changes, massive layoffs and the shutdown of its entire Boston office over the years make the One Laptop Per Child program sound like a huge failure. But this documentary by filmmaker Michael Kleiman shows that OLPC really did change some of its recipients’ lives, particularly those who’ve never heard of computers and the internet before the organization gave them laptops of their own. The documentary, called WEB, looks at the OLPC rollout in the poor areas of Peru, showing kids typing on their small laptops in dingy classrooms and teaching their parents how to use Google underneath trees. It’s been shown in several film festivals before, but it’s now available for download from iTunes, Google Play, Amazon Instant Video, Xbox Video, Sony Entertainment Network and Vudu.
Filed under: Laptops
Source: WEB the Film0
Not too long ago Vine blessed iOS users with the ability to import pre-existing videos into the app, and now Google fans can get in on the action. Any clips in your Android camera roll are viable subjects to be trimmed down to six seconds or shorter now, and you can activate your device’s flashlight to work as a flash in low-light situations. There are a few other features too, and you can check those out on the app’s Google Play page. Now all that’s separating your from internet stardom is, well… you.
Via: Android Central
Source: Google Play0
How does one introduce an original web series like #Weirded?
For one, it’s not tech news — at least, not in the way you’re used to seeing. So scrub that notion from your brain. It’s more like a constant channel change; like pressing the seek button on a car radio and catching tidbits of the noise filling the tech industry’s airwaves. It’s light, but biting in a way we hope’ll make you ask for “more, please!” It’ll skewer and shine a light on the more outrageous news and comments of the week. But it will always be in good fun (and in very bad taste). It’s a guilty pleasure; our tongue-in-cheek gift to you.
This week’s inaugural episode is pretty fruity: It’s nearly all about Apple, with some Blackberry crumble on the side. The full episode’s just after the break. Enjoy the feast!0
Late last week, ex-NBA player Rex Chapman was picked up by Scottsdale, Arizona police on felony charges of theft and tracking in stolen property. According to the police, that’s because Chapman made off from the local Apple Store with over $14,000 worth of gear over several visits occurring in the last few months. As you can see in the raw security video footage of some nine visits released by the police today, he would browse around, pick up an item (headphones, although from the video we can’t tell if they’re Beats), pretend to check it out with Apple’s EasyPay app and put it in a white Apple sales bag. Finally, all he had to do was walk out before selling the goods at a pawnshop.0
Those claims that HTC is making an action camera just got much more concrete. The company has posted both a RECamera teaser site and a video (below) which not-so-subtly hint that the adventure-oriented shooter should launch on October 8th, the same day as HTC’s “Double Exposure” media event. While there aren’t many giveaways in the clip, it shows both a swimming pool dive and a wide-angle lens — this is undoubtedly a waterproof device meant to take on the likes of GoPro. There’s nothing here to confirm rumors that the camera will have a 16-megapixel sensor and wireless networking, but you’ll only have to wait a couple of weeks to get the full scoop.
Via: Android Central
Thanks to the expanded third-party integration in iOS 8, app developers are able to take advantage of things like extensions for that Photos library. It also allows access to the iPhone’s camera settings, and a new piece of software offers another option for sorting just that. Manual, a $1.99 add-on for Apple’s handsets, allows you to tweak variables in a similar fashion to how you would with a DSLR. There are options for controlling shutter, ISO, white balance, focus and exposure bracketing. On top of all that, a rule of thirds grid keeps compositions in order, a live monitor eyes exposure and a fill flash mode tackles lighting woes. All of that may sound complicated, but the interface is quite simple, so you should be easily making your tweaks in no time — as long as you have the latest version of iOS, of course. Other apps, like Camera+, tackle manual controls too, so you’ll be able to take your pick when it comes to fine-tuning those photos.
The United Arab Emirates’ pre-planned Masdar City is supposed to be a shining beacon of technology between its clean energy and automated cars. However, it has hit a few roadblocks, including the financial crisis from the last decade — and the result is less of a Utopia and more of a ghost town. If you need proof, Quartier Libre has posted an eerie video tour (below) of Masdar as it stood this summer. With just a few thousand residents, many of the buildings and high-tech facilities sit unused; it’s as if everyone suddenly went on vacation. The city should be more welcoming once it’s completed sometime after 2020, but for now it’s not exactly a tourist’s dream. Not unless you really enjoy haunted houses, that is.
[Image credit: Jan Seifert, Flickr]
Via: The Verge
Source: Quartier Libre (Vimeo)0
Contour came back from the dead this spring, but the first action cameras it sold upon its revival were simply old models from 2012 — that’s not much help if you’re a loyal fan looking to upgrade. As of today, though, there’s finally a brand new Contour cam to buy: meet the ROAM3. It’s not a huge break from the ROAM2 at first glance, as it can still record 1080p video at 30fps (720p video at 60fps) with its 270-degree rotating lens. However, it’s much more resilient than its ancestor; it can survive 30 feet underwater without using a waterproof case, which could make it a good match for your next surfing movie. It’s hard to say if the ROAM3 can lure you away from GoPro’s offerings, but its $200 price (which includes an 8GB memory card and two mounts) is low enough that it won’t hurt too much to give Contour another try.
Filed under: Cameras
Not sure if you want to hide your shiny new iPhone’s newfangled design in a bulky case? Maybe you should — apparently, it’s quite pliable. iPhone 6 and 6 Plus users on Twitter seem to be finding small, but noticeable bends just south of the handsets’ volume controls. Front-pocket storage is all it takes to give the handset a gentle slope, according to some users, but it can be bent other ways too. Back pockets and malicious YouTube users (video from Unbox Therapy after the break) can both bend the device to their will.
Update: Just for kicks, the same guy tried the same thing with a Galaxy Note 3, and while its plastic frame gave some squeaking under the pressure, it showed only slight warping after two attempts. There’s the difference in materials to account for, but of course we’re not surprised — we’ve seen how Samsung tests its large phones under pressure.
Source: Unbox Therapy (YouTube)0
After surfacing on April Fools’ Day, ThinkGeek made its gadget-charging Flux Capacitor into an actual product. Sporting all of the details of the full-sized power plant, this diminutive option leverages your car’s cigarette lighter to juice up a pair of devices via two USB ports. Of course, those 1.21 gigawatts of power are reduced to 2.1 amps, and there’s an on/off switch for the $25 time-traveling accessory’s lights. And yes, they actually pulse just like you hoped. Of course, if you’re looking to splurge for the real deal, you’ll need to shell out a bit more dough.
Many smart light bulbs… well, aren’t. You can control them, but they’re often blissfully unaware of what’s going on in your home. Stack aims to change that with its recently unveiled Alba bulb. This sensor-packed illuminator changes brightness and color based on the time of day, location and who’s present in the room. It’ll start with cooler, more natural white hues when you’re just waking up, but will switch to relaxing warm colors when it’s late. It will also dim or shut off the lights when there’s a lot of ambient light, or if you’ve left for work; alternately, it will come to life when there’s a big commotion. There’s a mobile app if you need to tweak settings, but the goal is to avoid using it as much as possible. Much like a Nest thermostat, Alba will learn appropriate behavior and (hopefully) let you keep your phone in your pocket.
Filed under: Household
Having just discovered that Halo’s Master Chief is actually Chinese, we were about to call out the irony of the Xbox One’s delayed launch in mainland China, but now we have some good news. According to our brethren over at Engadget Chinese, Microsoft has just confirmed that its latest console and Kinect sensor will be on sale in China on September 29th, which means local gamers will be able to enjoy them over the week-long national holiday commencing on October 1st. Alas, only 10 games — including Forza Motorsport 5, Dance Central: Spotlight and Neverwinter — have been approved by the authorities in the first batch, but the company claims that over 70 titles are already “in development.” There’s still no word on what caused the original delay; our guess is Microsoft initially felt there aren’t enough approved launch titles, but there’s always the grey market, of course. Sony, your move now.
Source: Engadget Chinese0
New team collaboration / messaging apps are seemingly everywhere, from Trello to Slack to (now Microsoft-owned) Yammer. A new entrant Talko is interesting not only for its pedigree — the team is led by Lotus Notes co-creator and former Microsoft Chief Technical Officer / Chief Software Architect Ray Ozzie — but because it marks a return to the days when our phone was a tool for voice communication, instead of primarily text or pictures. In an introductory blog post, the Talko team describes an app that lets users talk, share and do. The idea is that communicating by voice while everyone is online is easier and others can catch up with the conversation at any time since the data is cached on Talko’s servers — Danny Ferry would probably not approve. Right now the app is iPhone only, while Talko says Android and web apps are on the way.0
UPS’ experiment with in-store 3D printers apparently went off without a hitch — the shipping service has expanded the availability of 3D printing services from six test markets to nearly 100 locations across the US. While the hardware is still concentrated in a relatively small batch of cities, such as New York and Chicago, there’s now a much better chance that a shop near you has the gear for printing everything from prototypes to a one-of-a-kind phone cases. There’s no word of any additional rollouts at this stage. However, it’s reasonable to presume that more stores will get on-the-spot object making if it proves popular with crafters nationwide.
Filed under: Peripherals0
Welcome to the fall premiere season. We’re welcoming back familiar shows like Key & Peele, Person of Interest, The Simpsons and The Big Bang Theory, as well as some of last year’s holdovers like Sleepy Hollow, Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., Brooklyn Nine-nine and The Blacklist. So what about this year’s newcomers? First up tonight is Gotham, an interesting Batman prequel, along with CBS’ first attempt at a hacker drama/action show called Scorpion (CSI: Cyber starring Luke Perry and Bow-Wow aka Shad Moss will debut in midseason). ABC will tie the new comedy Black-ish to its long-running hit show Modern Family, and on Amazon we’ll get the next block of episodes for its new show Transparent. The How I Met Your Mother complete series boxed set arrives on Blu-ray, along with a 25th anniversary edition of Ghost in the Shell, and FIFA 15 on almost all videogame consoles. Oh – and on Saturday Night Live you can expect Star-Lord himself Chris Pratt. Hit the gallery or just look after the break to check out each day’s highlights, including trailers and let us know what you think (or what we missed).%Gallery-slideshow225321%0
Autonomous aircraft are likely to be the future of air travel, but we’re not quite there yet; even with autopilot systems in place, most airplanes are designed with human pilots in mind. South Korean researchers may have a clever robotic stopgap, however. Their tiny PIBOT automaton uses a mixture of flight data and visuals to fly using real controls. It still needs intervention shortly before touchdown, but it can otherwise take to the skies as well as many organic air crews — it may even be a bit better in a few areas, since it uses its camera to align neatly with the runway on takeoff and landing.
Source: IEEE Spectrum0
There was no shortage of VR headsets at the Tokyo Game Show this year — but that didn’t stop the lines forming endlessly over the weekend. Hidden, at least slightly, in Hall 8 was Cyberith, demonstrating their now successfully crowdfunded VR gaming mat, the Virtualizer. It pairs a second-generation Oculus Rift headset with three different sensor arrays, which, with the assistance of a low-friction mat and some “rental socks” from the Cyberith team, we got to test it out. How does it work and (most importantly) when can the rest of you play it? Well, for the latter, a commercial product is planned for launch in 2015 and for the former, we’ll let the founders do some of the explaining in a quick video after the break. We’ll fill you in on the rest. %Gallery-slideshow224788%0
If Vimeo’s determined to develop a pay-per-view streaming service, then the outfit is going about it in a rather strange way. The website has signed a deal with Mystery Science Theater 3000‘s distributors to bring 80 “cleared” episodes to the site’s on-demand platform. Because of the myriad rights issues that surround the show, more than half of the episodes aren’t legally available. Of course, that doesn’t mean that you can’t find them if you’ve got some time, a lax attitude to intellectual property and don’t mind typing in phrases like “mst3k.s08.e20” into YouTube. If, however, you’d prefer to get your stuff through legitimate channels, you’ll be able to rent each movie for $3, buy them for $10 or purchase the whole collection for a heavily discounted $300.
Via: The AV Club0
It’s easy to indulge your Commander Keen nostalgia with most of the game series, but the “lost” Keen Dreams episode has proven elusive outside of less-than-official copies. As of now, though, you can do something about recreating those adventures through Tuberia — Javier Chavez and team have fulfilled a crowdfunding promise by publishing legal source code for Keen Dreams‘ original DOS version. If you want, you can now port the game to newer platforms and otherwise tweak the code to your heart’s content. Chavez and crew have yet to get their own ready-to-play edition going, but it’s already up for consideration on Steam Greenlight. Consider giving it a thumbs-up if you want to resume your fight against the spud soldiers.
[Image credit: Steve Hall, MobyGames]
Via: Hacker News0
While Opera Max is slowly making official launches around the world, this cloud-based data-compression service has just nabbed another partner — and it’s a pretty big one, too. Today, the Norwegian company announced that MediaTek will be embedding its app in two of its LTE-enabled 64-bit chipsets: the octa-core MT6752 and the quad-core MT6732. What this means is that should manufacturers want to integrate Opera Max into their MediaTek-powered devices (our understanding is that this feature is optional), they wouldn’t have to spend time on testing the app, ergo shorter time to market. And of course, the end user gets to load pages, music and video clips faster anywhere on the device (unlike how the Opera browser only compresses data that are loaded within it), while also saving “up to 50 percent” of bandwidth, courtesy of Opera’s cloud servers. That said, the service doesn’t process encrypted links, for obvious reasons. For those who aren’t familiar with Opera Max, feel free to check out the new video after the break.
To say that Apple’s doing things differently would be an understatement. With the 4.7-inch iPhone 6 and the 5.5-inch iPhone 6 Plus, the company introduced two new high-end phones at the same time, both with a complete redesign and a much larger screen size than any iPhone that came before. Gone are the days of 3.5-inch and 4-inch phones that, at one time, seemed to provide more than ample amounts of screen space. Now, the new iPhones make their predecessors look like the tiny handset Ben Stiller used in Zoolander. The market has changed, and it was high time Apple did the same.
Even though this is Apple’s first attempt at building large phones, it’s not breaking new ground — in fact, it feels more like the company is catching up than innovating. To be fair, finding a fresh take is a difficult thing to do in this crowded space: Samsung’s Galaxy Note series, which started out at 5.3 inches and is now up to 5.7, is selling by the millions, and most competing flagships aren’t much smaller. Basically, Apple would be leaving money on the table if it didn’t address this segment of the market. So how did the company do on its first try at large phones? Pretty well — mostly.%Gallery-slideshow223116%1 karma points
When we first saw Polaroid’s Socialmatic camera, the obvious conclusion to make was that the company had simply decided to turn the Instagram logo into a device. Of course, given that the social network’s logo was based on Polaroid’s device designs, it’s a surreal case of pop culture eating itself. Polaroid’s jumping on the bandwagon of connected cameras – devices that straddle the line between point-and-shoot snapper and smartphone, but there’s one small tweak that’ll see this hardware stand out against the Lumix CM1 and Lumia 1020: this one’s also got an old-school photo printer tucked inside. %Gallery-slideshow222895%
Filed under: Cameras0
When you’re looking to buy a camera, the physical size of the sensor — not the megapixel rating — is what you want to keep an eye out for. The larger the better, of course, and while we may never see pocketable full-frame cameras with powerful zoom lenses, some manufacturers are getting close. Sony was the first such camera maker to debut a camera with a 1-inch sensor, the RX100, and now Canon’s trying to reclaim some of that high-end point-and-shoot market share with a model of its own. The PowerShot G7 X is Canon’s first 1-inch sensor camera, and while it costs a pretty penny ($700), you do get what you pay for.%Gallery-slideshow217852%0
The wait is over. Canon’s long-anticipated EOS 7D Mark II is here, shipping in November for $1,799, without a lens. With a price tag that high, you’d think it’d be safe to assume that the company’s consumer flagship sports a full-frame sensor. It does not. It does, however, represent an enormous step up from the original model — the Mark II includes just about every feature a pro photographer (and video shooter) could hope for, excluding a 35mm sensor, of course, and integrated WiFi. Instead, there’s a 20.2-megapixel APS-C CMOS sensor, which, despite a similar spec, is an improvement over what you’ll get with the 70D. You can also take advantage of a new 51,200 top ISO and a 10 fps continuous shooting mode (at full resolution, of course), powered by the dual DIGIC 6 processors.%Gallery-slideshow217851%0