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So far, smartwatches have existed fundamentally as extensions of your phone their primary value is in alleviating the need to pull your phone out of your pocket every time anything happens. But Timex’s new IronMan One GPS+ is designed to let you forget your phone at home: with a 3G radio inside and a number of built-in communication tools, it’s a fully independent device.
The $399.95 One GPS+ looks a lot like Timex just strapped a chunky, ugly computer on your wrist. It has an always-on Mirasol display just like the Qualcomm Toq, and an icon-based homescreen. Timex says it’s every bit as rugged and water-resistant (up to 50m) as its other IronMan models. In every other way, though, it’s nothing like anything Timex has done before. It…0
One of the most trusted companies on the internet has been owned by a teen.
We learned this morning that Paypal’s two-factor authentication setup has a fairly major hole in it, detailed here. The researcher who found it, a 17-year-old who has done impressive work spotting vulnerabilities in Australian government sites, first reported the bug to Paypal back in June, but after two months of radio silence, he went public.0
Video game levels are dangerous: Mario has to deal with lava-spewing pits, while Solid Snake slips through heavily guarded enemy buildings in Metal Gear Solid. Metrico for the PS Vita, on the other hand, puts you in a world made of something much more mundane: infographics. The game asks you to navigate puzzles made of bar graphs and pie charts. It’s not the most obvious inspiration for a game, but it works. “It is all about communication in composition,” Geert Nellen, one-third of Dutch game studio Digital Dreams, says of infographic design, “which makes it perfect for games.” And despite its seemingly strange concept, Metrico is an impossibly stylish and uniquely challenging experience.
Metrico looks and controls like a traditional…1 karma points
Can you make a 3D-printed saxophone that’s a fraction as heavy as a “normal” one but sounds, to the untrained ear, virtually the same? Yes. I mean, you probably couldn’t, but luthier Olaf Diegel has done exactly that. Diegel took a break from making high-end 3D-printed guitars and tried his hand at the complex key structure of an alto saxophone, producing a prototype that’s made almost entirely of printed plastic. It requires a bigger, better printer than most consumers will ever own, and Diegel’s still working on integrating 3D-printed springs instead of metal ones. As he admits, there are already plastic injection-molded saxophones. But that doesn’t make this anything less than an impressive feat, and it opens up a world of new design…1 karma points
Jan Dawson at Jackdaw Research has a great post about Samsung up today, arguing that the company’s future rests on turning around the struggling mobile division. It’s an interesting argument, but this insane chart in the middle is the real story: there isn’t a single consumer electronics company or major division that’s posted above a 10 percent operating margin for the past two years. Everyone’s fighting for scraps in a crowded market that’s getting even tighter as more and more individual devices get rolled up into mobile phones.
Meanwhile, Apple’s operating margin has averaged around 30 percent for the past two years, falling to a low of 27 percent in Q2 2013 and most recently coming in at 28.84 percent.0
If you’ve heard of FKA Twigs by now, it’s likely thanks to music sites like Pitchfork, which have been featuring the singer’s warped, R&B-infused tracks as she’s quickly gone from self-releasing her first EP to planning one of the more exciting LPs of 2014. She’s now a week away from releasing her first album, the descriptively titled LP1, and it’s just become available to stream on iTunes. LP1 is a must listen, filled with carefully moody tracks that make as impressive a use of empty space as they do of noise. And if you haven’t seen it, there’s an incredible music video to back up one of the best of them. Put on some good headphones and get listening.0
Tor has been a thorn in the side of law enforcement for years now, but new work from Wired‘s Kevin Poulsen shows the FBI has found a new way to track users across the network. Poulsen looks at the 2012 case of Aaron McGrath, who agents found hosting child pornography on a network of servers in Nebraska. Looking to expand on the bust, agents got a warrant to track anyone who visited the website at its Tor address, and infected servers with tracking malware to identify the root IP of anyone who visited the site. As a result, agents were able to track at least 25 users back to home addresses and subscriber names.0
With his latest album, Lazaretto, Jack White wanted to prove there was still life in vinyl records. And it turns out he was right: the album is the best-selling vinyl in two decades. According to Billboard, the album has sold 60,000 units to date on vinyl, the biggest single-year vinyl sales since Pearl Jam released Vitalogy in 1994. The number also represents a quarter of all Lazaretto sales, with the album selling a total of 238,000 units across all platforms.
Of course, Lazaretto is far from a standard vinyl release, as White and Third Man Records have produced an album with an assortment of unique features for music nerds. Dubbed an Ultra LP, the album features tracks hidden under the center label, a locked outer grove so that one…0
Kodak will keep on producing movie film in the near future, after several noted directors lobbied Hollywood studios into striking an agreement with the storied American company last week. But why is film worth saving in the first place, when digital technology makes major strides in convenience and quality every year? Legendary Taxi Driver and Raging Bull director Martin Scorcese has a few answers.
Scorcese, who himself switched to digital with The Wolf of Wall Street, has issued a passionate statement firmly in favor of preserving film, noting its “richer visual palette,” its reliable archival properties, and its important role in the history of cinema. “Would anyone dream of telling young artists to throw away their paints and…0
An arm of the hacking/activist group Anonymous claims to have been conducting a digital attack on Israel’s government websites for over a week now, continually knocking them down and watching them come back online again. The attack is an act of protest against Israel’s treatment of Palestinians, and though the group, AnonymousGlobo, largely hasn’t gone into detail about its views, it’s been tweeting the hashtag #FreePalestine in support of Palestinians’ human rights. So far, websites including those from Israel’s intelligence agency and its Ministry of Justice have been brought down, according to Black Bag, though both have since come back online.
Standing in solidarity with the people of world struggling peacefully for their basic…
None of Marvel Studios’ films are entirely original. That isn’t a criticism: the storyline and characters are adapted from years of comic books, films, TV shows, etc. Each film embraces the past with an insane number of Easter eggs that acknowledges both the source material and the other films in the wholly-interconnected Marvel Cinematic Universe. In a 13-minute montage, MTV breaks down all the Easter eggs from 2008’s Iron Man through 2013’s Thor: The Dark World meaning no Captain America: The Winter Soldier, no Guardians of the Galaxy, and nothing from Marvel’s Agents of SHIELD television show. Is it complete? “Absolutely not,” say someone who knows comic books way better than us. But we still enjoyed watching.0
In a discussion with reporters today, Verizon Wireless CEO Dan Mead hedged Comcast’s claims that LTE is a viable competitor to traditional landline cable modems. Anyone who uses both knows that it’s a ridiculous argument LTE service is usually slower, less consistent, and comes with deeply restrictive data caps but Comcast has been leaning on it as a supposed example of why competition is healthy in the broadband internet market. The end goal for the cable giant is to convince regulators that there’s enough competition in high-speed internet service that its pending acquisition of Time Warner Cable won’t create a monopoly or have a serious impact on consumer choice.0
Verizon Wireless has officially responded to FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler and his data throttling concerns. The Verge has obtained a copy of the carrier’s response, which was written by Kathleen Grillo, the company’s SVP of Federal Regulatory Affairs. In it, Verizon underlines the notion that customers will only experience slowdowns “under very limited circumstances.” It will only happen at “particular cell sites experiencing unusually high demand,” the letter reads. We’ve outlined the other factors that could result in reduced data speeds previously.
Verizon notes that any throttling will cease immediately when demand on a strained cell site returns to normal. “Our practice is a measured and fair step to ensure that this small group of…0
It’s tough out there for Twitter users. Some days, you’re unstoppable, racking up favs and retweets faster than you can count. It feels like the internet is hanging on your every word. Most days, however, it’s another story altogether. Your witty observations, hilarious links, artfully-shot food photos, and cryptic messages land with a thud, bouncing off the craniums of your followers (half of which may or may not be robots) without leaving an impact.
If you want to relive your most abject Twitter failures (and if you’re like me, you have a lot), the recently-launched Sad Tweets site will serve them up to you for critique and judgement. After logging in with your Twitter credentials, Sad Tweets surfaces tweets you’ve made that don’t…0
Explaining Snapchat to a friend who’s never tried it can be a challenge, but explaining the ephemeral messaging app to a grown-up is almost impossible. Someday, however, these grown-ups are going to foot the bill for sponsored content or ads on Snapchat, so the company is starting early and sharing an instruction manual with advertisers for understanding the service. Digiday got its hands on the deck, also embedded below, which covers the in’s and out’s of Snapchat in greater depth than anything else the company has released.0
Windows Phone isn’t setting the world alight just yet, but it continues to show signs of promise in the cheaper end of the smartphone market. Microsoft knows this. It’s why the first Windows Phone 8.1 device is a low-end Lumia 630. With Windows Phone still struggling to make a significant dent in a market full of Android handsets and iPhones, the Lumia 630 and Lumia 930 are the first handsets designed to showcase the new 8.1 update an update that could improve things. This is even more…0
The NFL is coming to Apple TV, but not in the way that most fans really want. A new NFL Now app is due later this month for Apple’s set-top box, and it promises to offer original content, game highlights, plenty of video from the NFL’s archives, and live streams for press conferences and other off-field events. That’s all well and good, but there’s no way to watch live games. And it won’t be coming. Not this year. DirecTV has outright said that Sunday Ticket won’t support Apple TV for the 2014 season. That hurts, and it’s especially disappointing since you can watch all of the NFL’s weekly action live pretty much everywhere else.1 karma points
The weekend before last I retreated into the woods, far away from New York City, but this past weekend I was back and needed something to do. So, naturally, I downloaded Kim Kardashian: Hollywood on my Nexus 5.
If you haven’t heard about the Kim Kardashian game by now I just, like, can’t even. Even I’m late to the party. It’s one of the most popular games on Google Play and the App Store right now, and it’s reportedly raking in unfathomable amounts of cash for creator Glu up to $200 million a year. I can’t stop playing it, and that’s a big problem, because the game would be amazing if it wasn’t so goddamn terrible.
I’ll happily confess that I love games like Kim Kardashian: Hollywood. Roleplaying is fun. I’ve been doing it for as…0
A lot of music has been made since “Axel F” the relentlessly cool electronic jam from Beverly Hills Cop was first played, and yet very little of that music has reached the level of total sweetness that it manages to hit in just seconds. But finally, there’s something better than just playing Harold Faltermeyer’s classic track on repeat again: you can now listen to a cover of “Axel F” from Arcade Fire. The band played part of the track in LA over the weekend, switching from “Axel F” into their own song “Normal Person.” The intro to “Welcome to the Jungle” also makes its way in there at the end of the video.0
Instagram was always one of Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey’s favorite apps. The story goes that Dorsey just barely missed his opportunity to acquire the company, which had seemed to be such a natural fit for Twitter. But two years after being acquired by Facebook, Instagram is starting to look more and more like the big brother it almost had.
When you follow someone new, Instagram now shows “Suggested” users to follow, just like Twitter. Follow Mac Demarco, and Instagram suggests his label and bandmates. Follow the Carolina Panthers and Instagram suggests you follow Cam Newton and the Charlotte Hornets. Sources tell The Verge that they’re algorithmic, not hand-curated either way, they should dramatically increase the follower counts…0
This is what a map should look like inside of a sci-fi film’s futuristic war room. For the installation “Polyscape,” artist Shunsaku Ishinabe projects a map onto a grid of tiles and then has those tiles flex up and down based on the landscape’s actual height and depth. When it’s displaying a mountain, the map raises to a point, and when it’s displaying a depression, the map sinks. Ishinabe published a video demonstrating a prototype of “Polyscape,” last year, at which point it already looked like it was in good, working shape including some flashy effects that truly make it look like it’s come out of science fiction.0
Any way you look at it, Tim Wu is an unlikely candidate for public office. The Columbia law school professor who coined the term “net neutrality” is a public intellectual better known for his academic work than his political activism. But he entered New York’s Democratic primary when Zephyr Teachout, a fellow law professor and activist, asked him to be her running mate in a long-shot challenge to incumbent Governor Mario Cuomo. The current lieutenant governor, Robert Duffy, is not seeking reelection, so Wu faces Cuomo’s chosen successor, former Congresswoman Kathy Hochul.
Internet activists have long supported Wu’s writing; now he’s asking them to support his campaign. Cuomo has challenged the petitions that Wu needs to get on the…0
Microsoft’s first update to Windows Phone 8.1 is rolling out to developers today. While it’s technically a developer release, anybody with a Windows Phone can register freely to install the update through Microsoft’s App Studio program. If you’re an App Studio participant then you won’t need to pay the $19 fee to be a Windows Phone developer, and you’ll still be able to get early access to Update 1.0
Of all the things Samsung has copied from Apple over the years, the polished metal edges introduced with the iPhone 5 have been one thing the Korean company hasn’t yet reproduced. At least not in any officially announced devices. New images of the rumored Galaxy Alpha handset show a white phone that seems to be a blend between the Galaxy S5 and Apple’s latest iPhone models. A metal band runs around all sides of the device, featuring a prominent chamfered treatment that grows larger at the top and bottom. The simple one-button front layout and dimpled back cover have been retained from the S5, though the overall shape is a bit more rectangular. These photos appear to show a subtly more refined design than the black Galaxy Alpha that had…0
Rich tourists will soon be able to enjoy the Northern Lights from within a floating, snowflake-shaped resort located in the waters near Tromso, Norway. The 86-bedroom Krystall hotel is being marketed as a “scarless development,” according to The Telegraph. In other words, the glass-roofed luxury property is not only intended to be “self-sustainable” but also to have a minimal impact on its environment.0
Britain’s New Forest National Park wants to take away your cellphone, your tablet, and your car keys. The park, in southern England, has started a new scheme in which visitors can deposit their electronic devices at a dedicated “Tech Creche.” Smartphones and iPads are kept in device daycare while their owners roam the park, supposedly freed from the tyranny of screens, push notifications, and GPS directions.
Participating people can print off vouchers that promise they’ll “swap screen time for family time.” The park also suggests visitors leave their cars at the visitor center, travelling instead on foot or by open top bus to lessen the environmental impact on the park. The scheme is designed to reconnect children and parents on family…0
Google is celebrating the 180th birthday of John Venn, creator of the Venn diagram, with a special doodle on its front page. The interactive doodle allows you to choose from ten subjects in order to find the correlation between them. Choosing “sea life” and “has wings,” for example, will bring up a cutesy illustration of a flying fish. It’s a neat illustration of what a Venn diagram is, even if it doesn’t quite cover the breadth of the diagrams’ uses. It’ll be up on Google.com for the rest of the day, after which you can check it out at Google’s Doodle archive.0
If the robots take over, at least Elon Musk will be able to say “I told you so.” The billionaire inventor loves to make the impossible possible, but he is deeply afraid of artificial intelligence (AI). On Twitter this weekend, Musk said that “we need to be super careful with AI,” adding that they are “potentially more dangerous than nukes.”
If that weren’t concerning enough, Musk followed up his statement with another tweet that read: “Hope we’re not just the biological boot loader for digital superintelligence [sic]. Unfortunately, that is increasingly probable.” Both are scary enough one compares sentient networked robots with the most dangerous weapon on earth, and the other suggests we’re merely the fleshy precursors to robot…0
A new Ghostbusters film is supposed to start shooting next year, and it might look a lot different than the wisecracking crew from the first two films. The Hollywood Reporter says that Sony is considering Paul Feig to direct a new Ghostbusters movie and that the film will be a “reboot focusing on female Ghostbusters.” Feig previously directed Bridesmaids and The Heat, and while THR says nothing serious has been worked out yet, Feig is Sony’s first choice for the job.
Rumors of a third Ghostbusters movie have been around for a long time, and the death of Harold Ramis this year seemed to throw a wrench in the plans; Ramis co-wrote and famously starred in the first two movies as the team’s intellectual powerhouse, Egon Spengler. But the…1 karma points
Let’s face it: your kid probably doesn’t need another set of Star Wars-themed Lego especially since there’s a lot of damn cool stuff going on in the real world. Like science. Science is cool. Lego has put together this $20 “Research Institute” set to let young’uns act like scientists. And the figurines are all women, to boot! It’s just too bad it looks like everyone else is having fun other than the chemist.0
It seems software updates can solve just about anything. LG has issued a patch for its G Watch to address mounting complaints that the charging connectors on the bottom of the device are rapidly corroding. Early adopters of the Android Wear-powered watch have reported that the terminals have corroded in as little as a week. At best, the corrosion simply discolors the connectors, but some say that the corrosion is so bad that their watches will no longer charge. Others say that the corrosion causes discomfort.
“LG will be rolling out a maintenance release over the next few days that will disable the current when the G Watch is not in the charging dock,” a support representative told a G Watch owner over web chat. The owner posted the…0
Apple’s “You’re more powerful than you think” series of ads continues with a new one, dubbed “Dreams.” While the first one featured the Pixies and creativity, the latest shows the iPhone’s humanitarian uses. Doctors, veterinarians, environmentalists, and fireman all use the iPhone to make other people’s lives better in this ad, to the tune of Jennifer O’Connor’s “When I Grow Up.” 9to5Mac has identified the apps and accessories features in the spot, including a Vaavud wind meter and the Response Deck app.
Apple’s last ad in the series, “Parenthood,” was more focused on health and home, but the whole series has a remarkable consistency: each tends to be about people you’d admire who just happen to use iPhones instead of being about the…0