Friday, March 07, 2014

drag2share: Go Inside A Tech CEO's $22 Million Mansion That's Entirely Controlled By 15 iPads

Source: http://www.businessinsider.com/energy-efficient-home-in-newport-beach-2014-3

solar panel house

This is one mansions that's seriously energy-efficient. 

A home in Newport Beach, Calif., with a 3,000-square-foot solar panel has hit the market for $22 million, according to the Wall Street Journal

The home belongs to Stephen Rizzone, CEO and chairman of Pleasanton, Calif.-based tech company Energous Corp. which makes wireless routers.

Rizzone said that the solar panels provide about 95% of the home's power, though their appearance hasn't always been appreciated by the neighbors.

"The house gained some notoriety, good and bad," Rizzone said to the Wall Street Journal. "But we were able to work through that."

The 11,740-square-foot home sits on an amazing lot overlooking Newport Harbor.



Here's a look at those solar panels, which Rizzone says provide about 95% of the home's energy.



According to the listing, this was the first U.S. home over 10,000 square feet to be LEED Platinum-certified.



See the rest of the story at Business Insider
    






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drag2share: The Best Smartwatch On The Planet Just Got Better For Android Users

Source: http://www.businessinsider.com/pebble-smartwatch-for-android-2014-3

Pebble Steel

Pebble has announced new official partner apps for its smartwatch and is opening the Android arm of its app store.

This news comes just one month after the company launched its app store for iOS devices.

The new app partners are eBay, Evernote, and Time Warner Cable.

Pebble's app store runs on your iOS or Android phone as an app unto itself. A few of our favorite app offerings so far are Tiny Bird for getting a quick Flappy Bird fix on your watch, and 7-Minute Workout for breaking a sweat.

When not running apps, the Pebble lets you view incoming tweets, emails and text messages right from your wrist.

Pebble first gained attention back in 2012 when it raised more than $10.2 million on Kickstarter from almost 69,000 people. Last May, Pebble raised a $15 million Series A round led by Charles River Ventures.

SEE ALSO: REVIEW: The best smartwatch in the world

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drag2share: Punching virtual sharks for points with the Oculus Rift and Leap Motion

source: http://www.engadget.com/2014/03/07/punching-virtual-sharks-for-points-oculus-rift-leap-motion/?utm_source=Feed_Classic_Full&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Engadget&?ncid=rss_full

"This could be a science lesson on the innards of sharks."

Chance Ivey, game design lead for Chaotic Moon's whimsical Oculus Rift demo SharkPunch, was only half-joking when he made that comment to me as I exploded a megalodon with my fist in virtual space. That's because the minigame, which incorporates a visor-mounted Leap Motion controller to let users punch sharks in 3D, actually has firm roots in an educational simulator the Austin, Texas-based company's been developing for prospective clients. Yes, that connection may be hard to swallow at first -- after all, how does a frenzied, and fun, game of shark carnage assist players with learning? The simple answer is that it doesn't, but by no means does that lessen SharkPunch's educational origins in the slightest.

Chaotic Moon's proper Oculus Rift education demo begins by placing a user within a virtual classroom. At the front of this room is an interactive periodic table that the "student," acting on instructions from a nearby teacher, uses to pull elements together and create a molecule of H2O, also known as water. Once that goal's been achieved, the molecules begin to multiply in a chain filling the room and, eventually, transforming into water; water which then floods the classroom. It's at this point the student finds him/herself immersed in an undersea environment populated by swimming fish. Chance told us that it was this tempting virtual environment that prompted a multitude of users to wonder aloud, "Can I punch those fish?" If you've ever submerged yourself in the Oculus Rift's VR world, you'd understand the impulse.

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drag2share: Samsung Just Launched An Ad-Free, Free Music Service

source: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/businessinsider/~3/AukMgXgWEAA/samsung-launches-milk-2014-3

Milk Music in Note 3 Fine Tune Lorde

Samsung is diving into the music space with its launch of Milk, an ad-free radio service available exclusively for its flagship Galaxy devices.

Milk has 200 genre-based radio stations and 13 million songs. It's powered by Slacker – a radio app pre-programmed onto some Android phones. Galaxy users can download Milk for free. 

Samsung says that its trying to make new music discovery simple and organic. You don't have to sign up or log in when you use Milk: Music just starts playing. 

The user interface revolves around a dial that displays up to nine genres at once, ranging from rap to classical. But you can also create your own personal stations based on your favorite song or album, just like you would on Pandora (but without the ads).

When explaining the name of the app to Business Insider, a Samsung representative said that it wanted its music experience to be rich and fresh. It should make you feel a satisfied "warm and fuzzy" feeling like you would with a tall glass of milk.

Presumably, Samsung wants users to ditch Pandora or Spotify to use Milk, as it positions itself more and more as a multimedia giant. 

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Article: Google updates Text-to-Speech engine with new and high-quality voices

Text-to-Speech version 3 brings news languages and higher-quality voices for English US and English UK. If you use the voice synthesis capabilities of your smartphone, for things like reading books aloud or interacting with Google Now, you probably use Google’s Text-to-Speech engine, although Sam...

http://www.androidauthority.com/google-text-to-speech-high-quality-voices-354394/

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Article: Bosch And Hillcrest Make A Bet On Wearable Head-Mounted Computing With New All-In-One Sensor System

Head-mounted computing probably still seems a bit far-fetched to most every day users, but component manufacturers and tech suppliers are already gearing up to provide a future supply chain with the parts it needs to build such devices affordably and easily. Bosch Sensortec and Hillcrest Labs are...

http://techcrunch.com/2014/03/06/bosch-and-hillcrest-make-a-bet-on-wearable-head-mounted-computing-with-new-all-in-one-sensor-system/

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Article: Two college students invented an adapter that allows 3D printers to print in full color for less than $100

3D printing is generally a monochrome affair. Full-color printers are expensive, so the more casual user is likely stuck printing in one or two colors. C├ędric Kovacs-Johnson and Charles Haider, both chemical engineering undergraduates at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, say they have come up ...

http://gigaom.com/2014/03/06/two-college-students-invented-an-adapter-that-allow-3d-printers-to-print-in-full-color-for-less-than-100/

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Article: Beats Music opens up, making its API public

The music streamer gives outside developers access to programming that will let other applications integrate the new subscription-only music service, hoping to get Beats Music in your car, your home, everywhere. Streaming-music service Beats Music is opening up some of its programming to outsider...

http://news.cnet.com/8301-1023_3-57620039-93/beats-music-opens-up-making-its-api-public/?subj=cnet&tag=title

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drag2share: Scientists unlock mystery of out-of-body experiences (aka astral trips)

Source: http://sploid.gizmodo.com/scientists-unlock-mystery-of-woman-who-sees-herself-out-1538196076/@jesusdiaz

Scientists unlock mystery of out-of-body experiences (aka astral trips)

Some people claim that they have experienced out-of-body experiences—aka "astral trips"—floating outside of their bodies and watching themselves from the outside. A team of scientists found someone who says she can do this at will and put her into a brain scanner. What they discovered was surprisingly strange.

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drag2share: EdX expands range of institutions that can offer free online courses

Source: http://www.engadget.com/2014/03/06/edx-expands-range-of-institutions/

Students participating in online education

EdX's open online education system has drawn a lot of interest -- enough interest that the non-profit has just loosened up its membership structure to allow for more participants. The revamp lets 12 additional organizations offer free internet-based courses, including schools as well as non-academic outlets like the International Monetary Fund, the Linux Foundation and the Smithsonian Institution. Details of the new programs aren't available beyond the Linux Foundation's plans for an introductory Linux course, but edX's move is bound to improve the diversity of things you can learn without spending a dime on tuition.

[Image credit: TU Delft, Flickr]

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Source: EdX

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drag2share: Sharp's near-4K TVs are now available, starting at $2,500

Source: http://www.engadget.com/2014/03/06/sharp-aquos-near-4k-tvs/

Even though CES 2014 is long gone, some of the stuff announced there is just now starting to become available for purchase. Case in point: Sharp's Quattron+ lineup, a series of 2014 AQUOS televisions featuring the latest and greatest, including a revamped SmartCentral platform. But that's not what's interesting here. Instead, it's the Quattron+ technology, one that Sharp describes as being able to "accept a 4K signal and play it back at near-4K resolution, with an effective resolution of 3,840 x 2,160."

The company says this is possible thanks to its Revelation Upscaler, which takes HD content and "optimizes it for the higher resolution screen, so that it's sharper and more vivid." By building Q+ TVs on 1080p panels, Sharp claims it's then capable of pricing these lower than some of its would-be competitors. Now, is that enough to get you to buy into it? If so, you'll have quite a few options to choose from -- they're up for grabs now in 60-, 70- and 80-inch flavors, with prices ranging from $2,500 all the way to a cool $6,000.

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Source: Sharp

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drag2share: HP quietly launches an 8-inch Android tablet for $170

Source: http://www.engadget.com/2014/03/07/hp8-8-inch-android-tablet/

HP 8 tablet

Hewlett Packard is trying to pull off a flanking maneuver on the Android market, through low-profile launches of low-cost devices. We recently came across the company's VoiceTab phablets during a side-show at Mobile World Congress, and now we're looking at a more traditional 7.85-inch tablet called the HP 8. In return for $170, you'll get a plain-looking device that, aesthetically, has more in common with last year's Slate 7 than with the faux-metal VoiceTabs. However, since we're making comparisons, we should also point out that the HP 8 has a worse display than both the Slate 7 and Dell's rival Venue 8, with fewer pixels (1,024 x 768) spread out over a larger area. The software and internals seem functional enough, though: Android 4.2.2 running on a quad-core ARM chip made by the Chinese company Allwinner, with 1GB of RAM, 16GB of expandable storage, stereo speakers, and a just-about-okay 3,800mAh battery that promises up to seven hours of use.

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Via: PhoneArena

Source: HP

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drag2share: Preschoolers Figure Out How New Things Work Faster Than College Students

Source: http://www.businessinsider.com/preschoolers-learn-gadgets-faster-than-college-students-2014-3

In a new study, preschoolers outperformed college students in figuring out how to make an novel and unusual gadget operate.

The researchers say that the kids get the advantage because adults — with all their age and wisdom — have amassed biases and prior assumptions that make them less willing to consider unconventional options when dealing with a new problem.

Here's how the study worked: researchers gave preschoolers a gadget that lights up and plays music when you place a certain combination of "blickets" (clay pieces formed into various shapes) on top of it.

Unusual combinations of the "blickets" could make the gadget work. Children caught on to that pattern, but adults took much longer to figure it out.

"These children unconsciously are making inferences, drawing conclusions, solving problems, the same way in many ways that a very intelligent scientist would. But they aren't self conscious about it. They couldn't tell you that that was what they were doing," study researcher Alison Gopnik, from UC Berkeley, says in the video below.

The adults, on the other hand, ignored the training that didn't match what they'd previously experienced about the world. That led them to make mistakes and have a harder time developing the new skills.

The study notes: "The very fact that children know less to begin with may, paradoxically, make them better, or at least more open-minded, learners. The plasticity of early beliefs may help to explain the bold exploration and breathtaking innovation that characterizes children’s learning."

The study will be published in the May issue of the journal Cognition. This video from UC Berkeley shows some of the experiments (and adorable kids) that went into the paper:

SEE ALSO: New Marshmallow Study Challenges Conventional Thinking About Willpower

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Thursday, March 06, 2014

drag2share: Emotient's Google Glass app tells you how others are feeling

source: http://www.engadget.com/2014/03/06/emotient-google-glass-app/?utm_source=Feed_Classic_Full&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Engadget&?ncid=rss_full

Emotient face tracking on Google Glass

It's not always easy to read someone's emotions -- and that's a problem for retailers, which can't easily tell if their products intrigue you or simply confuse you. They may not have to guess for much longer, though, as Emotient has launched the private beta for a Google Glass app that identifies feelings using the device's camera. The software scans faces for emotional cues that reflect an overall sentiment, even if it's subtle; the app can tell if you're mildly pleased, for instance. Privacy shouldn't be an issue, since the app is only saving anonymous data, not images.

Emotient is testing its app with just a handful of companies right now, but the finished app should help stores please customers in the future. There's also a chance you'll see the underlying technology in something you can try for yourself. The company tells The Next Web that its emotion detec! tion will reach Intel's RealSense platform, so don't be surprised if your next webcam can tell that you're in a good mood.

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drag2share: Customize Every Detail of These Gorgeous Prefab Houses

Source: http://gizmodo.com/customize-every-detail-of-these-gorgeous-prefab-houses-1528153817

Customize Every Detail of These Gorgeous Prefab Houses

If you fancy yourself a designer of sorts, you're going to love Blu Homes. This California-based company makes beautiful, incredibly customizable prefab houses that also happen to be environmentally friendly. You can design your own without leaving the comfort of your couch.

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drag2share: The Co-Founder Of Flickr Made A New Personalized Version Of Yelp

source: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/businessinsider/~3/oscofhRCQ-k/how-to-use-findery-app-iphone-2014-3

Caterina Fake, the co founder of photo site Flickr, unveiled a new app today called Findery.

iPhone owners can use this free mobile search engine to discover and share interesting notes about locations they visit.

"It's not about reviews or venues. Its really about the meaning of the place, spirit of the place. We're trying to make technology more human" Fake told to Business Insider over the phone.

Findery identifies your current location and will send you a slew of public or private notes written by other people in the app's network relating to a restaurant or bar.

These notes can range from personal stories or historical information instead of generic restaurant reviews.

It launches today for iPhone. See below to learn how to use it.

Here's the main page of the app.

How To Use Findery

The app will take you through a brief demo before taking you to the account page. Create a username and password but the username has to be comprised of numbers and other characters.

How To Use Findery

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drag2share: Samsung's wearable blitz may not be over: here comes the 'S-Circle'

Source: http://www.engadget.com/2014/03/06/samsung-s-circle-fitness-wearable-leak/

Samsung S Band

Compared to the glitz surrounding its latest Gear smartwatches, Samsung's more basic fitness bands have so far failed to garner much attention. The electronics giant doesn't seem to be giving up on this cheaper sort of wearable, however, because an unannounced model called the "S-Circle" has just cropped up at the FCC, having already appeared at the Bluetooth SIG a while back. The FCC paperwork confirms the device's model number (EI-AN900A) and description as an "activity tracker," as well as its inclusion of Bluetooth Low-Energy, and all of this points to it being a member of the same family as the S Band (shown above) and Heart Rate Monitor Band that launched with the Galaxy S4 last year. There's at least some chance that the S-Circle will combine these functions into a single low-cost device, transmitting both movement and heart rate data to Samsung's S-Health app, but that's just optimistic speculation on our part. Either way, it looks like Galaxy S5 owners who care more about muscle tone than Moschino may have the option of another accessory pretty soon.

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Via: Samsung Updates

Source: FCC

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drag2share: Opera's Android browser catches up to rivals with support for webpage video chats

Source: http://www.engadget.com/2014/03/06/opera-android-browser-version-20/

Given Google's Chrome dominance, it's easy to forget that there are other Android browsers. Opera is one of the also-rans, and it's just brought a new version with a nice round number, 20, for your consideration. It's touting WebRTC as the main hook, which lets you do video calls straight from Opera to any recipient with another WebRTC browser. That includes Opera, Chrome or Firefox, since the latter two apps have actually supported WebRTC on Android for quite awhile. Other additions include a new UI layout that you can customize for tablets or phones, an update to the Chromium 33 core (yes, Opera now uses WebKit), search improvements and a new download manager. It still claims to use less data than other browsers thanks to its off-road function, so if you're pushing that hard carrier limit, check the source.

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Source: Opera

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