Posted by Augustine at 1:40 PM
The Silk Road trial is over. A jury found Ross Ulbricht guilty
Posted by Augustine at 3:45 PM
For nearly 50 years, Gore-Tex has defined rainwear. But now, thanks to an innovative new process that builds water resistance straight into any item of clothing, Voormi is aiming to end that domination. Here's why their material keeps you so dry.
Posted by Augustine at 3:45 PM
It's been a long time coming, but finally Canonical is ready to release its first Ubuntu phone. After teaming up with Meizu and BQ almost a year ago, we're getting a (sort of) new handset from the latter; it's actually a repurposed version of its Aquaris E4.5, a mid-range smartphone that normally ships with Android. The new "Ubuntu Edition" keeps all of the same hardware, which is nothing to write home about. It has a 4.5-inch, 540x960 resolution display, a 1.3GHz quad-core MediaTek Cortex A7 processor, 1GB of RAM and 8GB of internal storage. For shutterbugs, there's also a 8-megapixel rear-facing camera and a 5-megapixel snapper on the front. At €169.90 ($195), the specs are pretty unremarkable.
Where Canonical and BQ are hoping to break the mould is with their software and sales strategy. Taking a page from the playbook of Chinese firms such as Xiaomi, the first Ubuntu handset will be sold, at least to begin with, through a series of online flash sales. The first of these is next week and a handful of European carriers will be offering special SIM bundles to early adopters. But here's the bad news: BQ currently has no plans to sell the phone outside of Europe. Canonical has stressed that it's still "actively working on a US device strategy" and that its flash sales are a deliberate move to target early adopters.
You might be thinking that this all sounds a tad underwhelming. After all, the Ubuntu Phone platform was first shown off more than two years ago, and since then we've seen Canonical attempt to crowdfund its premium Ubuntu Edge smartphone. That campaign ultimately came up short though, and last year Meizu and BQ's Ubuntu phones missed their target 2014 launch window. Nevertheless, Canonical is adamant that its mobile OS can have an impact. The software experience is certainly unique, and the company's work around Scopes -- categorised home screens that aggregate content from multiple sources -- sets it apart from iOS and Android. "We are going for the mass market," Cristian Parrino, VP of Mobile at Canonical says. "But that's a gradual process and a thoughtful process. That's something we're going to be doing intelligently over time -- but we'll get there."
Posted by Augustine at 3:44 PM
It looks like Samsung plans to release multiple different versions of its Galaxy S6, including one with a curved screen just like the Note Edge. Photos obtained by CNET Korea reportedly show five different variations of the phone, which is scheduled to be unveiled on March 1.
Two of the phones in the image are covered with cases, so it's difficult to tell what they look like. Samsung usually releases a more durable version of its flagship phones called the Active, so it's possible that one of those devices is the Galaxy S6 Active.
The photo lines up with previous leaks we've seen so far. It looks like Samsung plans to use a smooth, polished back for the S6, unlike the dimpled rear panel and glossy plastic it's used in the past.
The curved edition looks almost identical to the Galaxy Note Edge, which has a secondary display that curves around one edge. It looks like the curved Galaxy S6 is only rounded on one side, which would contradict earlier reports that suggested it would curve on both sides.
Other than a new design, the Galaxy S6 is expected to come with a sharper 5.1-inch screen that packs 577 pixels per inch, a new mobile payments system created by Samsung, and a fresh version of Samsung's TouchWiz software that's more basic and similar to stock Android. We expect to learn more next month.
Posted by Augustine at 9:30 AM
Canon is determined to leave no camera niche uncovered, it seems. Just a month after it kicked out an avalanche of PowerShot point-and-shoots, it's back with two more that fill what few holes are left. The SX410 IS super-zoom is the darling of the two, and improves on the still-young SX400 IS with an even longer-ranged 40x stabilized lens and a sharper 20.2-megapixel sensor for a modest $280 -- slightly more than the $250 SX400, but arguably a better deal if you just have to get up-close photos. There's sadly no WiFi or NFC, though, and you'll have to be content with recording 720p movies. The SX410 IS should hit shops in March.
The PowerShot ELPH 350 HS, meanwhile, is more of a straightforward replacement for last year's 340 HS compact cam. You'll still get a 12x stabilized lens, 1080p video, WiFi and NFC, but you now have a higher-resolution 20.2-megapixel sensor to bring out more detail. The 350 HS will arrive in April, and its $210 price makes it ever so slightly more expensive than its predecessor.
Edgar Alvarez contributed to this report.
Posted by Augustine at 6:55 AM
If you're into high-end compact cameras, you'll have another one to choose from soon -- we just don't know how soon. Interestingly, Canon has revealed that it is working on the PowerShot G3 X, but the company wasn't willing to share many details about it. What we do know, however, is that the G3 X point-and-shoot camera is slated to feature a large (for its size) 1-inch CMOS sensor with a 24-600mm (35mm-equivalent), 25x optical zoom lens. The company says this model will fit right between the G1 X Mark II and G7 X, as it looks to expand its offerings for people who want a well-specced, premium compact shooter. Canon's calling this a "product development announcement" for now, but we'll know more about the G3 X at the CP+ imaging event in Yokohama, Japan, next week.
Posted by Augustine at 6:54 AM
Step aside, graphene, "silicene" is the trendy new nano-material in town that could one day supercharge future tech. Scientists have created the world's first transistor out of the silicon-based material, and it's a mere one atom thick. Unlike its much-maligned graphene cousin -- which has yet lived up to its vast potential -- silicene is a much more interesting material for computer scientists. Thanks to the silicon base, it can form "band gaps" necessary for transistors, which could one day lead to faster chips that consume less power.
The feat came as a surprise to many observers, despite the fact that the "chip" only lasted a few minutes to due its instability. Up until recently, silicene was only a theoretical material and nobody expected a transistor to be built from it anytime soon. But the team succeeded by condensing an atom-thick layer onto a block of silver in a vacuum, then sealing it with alumina. Afterwards, they peeled away the silicene material from the silver block, leaving thin layers of silver and aluminum as protection. Scratching away portions of the silver resulted in a rudimentary, but functional transistor.
Up until recently, silicene was only a theoretical material and nobody expected a transistor to be built from it anytime soon.
The scientists plan to hone the process to create longer-lasting, functional chips in the near term. However, there's still some serious barriers, given the instability of silicene in the real world and difficulty in working with it. But as one scientists said, "The major breakthrough here is the efficient low-temperature manufacturing and fabrication of silicene devices for the first time." That's still quite a feat, but whether it leads to useful gadgets or not is a wide open question.
[Image credit: Argonne National Laboratory/Flickr]
Posted by Augustine at 2:42 PM
Image created by @IdeasFisherman.
Posted by Augustine at 2:32 PM
Like a game of Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon, these interactive maps show the relationship between all the inventors listed in Apple's patents and its Wizard of Oz: Steve Jobs—the big red dot. He's connected to almost every patent and team, from industrial design to hardware to user interfaces to music to security.
Posted by Augustine at 11:40 AM
The best materials are, by and large, the most expensive: carbon fiber, diamond and scandium all have properties to lust for, but an eye-watering price tag to match. Now, material scientists have tweaked an iron-aluminum alloy at the nano-scale to make a material that's as strong and light as titanium, another expensive material, but just a tenth of the cost.
Posted by Augustine at 11:39 AM
It may look like some kind of holographic AI, but this is actually Wikipedia's 100,000 most popular articles in 2014, mapped out as a galaxy.
Posted by Augustine at 11:39 AM
Olympus just announced a new Japan-only product that mimics what Sony did last year with their QX line. It's a camera sensor and lens mount that's controlled completely by your smartphone. The Air A01 uses a hot 16 megapixel micro four-thirds sensor and is compatible with all lenses for that system.
Posted by Augustine at 11:36 AM
The original OM-D E-M5 has had a great run since being announced roughly two years ago, but it's time for an upgrade. Accordingly, Olympus is taking the wraps off of the E-M5 Mark II, a Micro Four Thirds camera that aims to go head to head with the likes of Sony's recently released A7 II and other similar mirrorless shooters. Olympus says that the second-generation E-M5 isn't here to replace its flagship OM-D camera, the E-M1 -- though it very well could, at least on paper. And even though it is very similar in looks to its predecessor, the E-M5 Mark II brings enough internal changes to make it a worthy successor. For starters, it packs a redesigned 16-megapixel Live MOS sensor, coupled with a TruePic VII image processor, an upgraded 81-point autofocus system, a 40-megapixel high-res shot mode, a 3-inch (articulating) touchscreen and WiFi.
Where the E-M5 shines, however, and how it differentiates itself from the first model, is with the video-focused specs it features. This time around, Olympus has added support for 1080p shooting at 24/25/30/50/60 fps; it can handle up to 77 Mbps bit rate at 30 fps, which is great news for those of you who are into that sort of thing. Naturally, the company betting big on its in-body five-axis image stabilization system to help with video -- this is similar to what's found on the Sony A7 II, with Olympus emphasizing that it was the one to pioneer such technology. What's more, photography-wise, the E-M5 Mark II, which is dustproof and splashproof, has a max ISO of 25,600, a 9 fps sequential-shooting mode (with focus locked) and a battery rating of 470 shots.
The OM-D E-M5 Mark II will be available, in black and silver, later this month for $1,100 (body-only).
Meanwhile, if you already own the top-of-the-line E-M1, you should expect to get a firmware update over the next few days, which Olympus says is due to enhance the camera's overall performance and bump its sequential shooting support from 6.5 to 9 fps.
We knew it was coming, but it's finally here. Not to be outdone by Sony, Olympus revealed last year, during Photokina 2014, that it was working on a lens camera of its own. And now we're starting to learn more about it. Meet the Olympus Air, the company's first attempt at this type of remote device. Aside from being able to connect with your iOS or Android smartphone wirelessly, the Olympus Air has a 16-megapixel Live MOS sensor and can take up to 320 shots on a charge. Interestingly enough, Olympus is pegging the Air as an open-platform camera, since the company does plan to allow third-party developers to create applications for it.In addition to that, Olympus says the Air is capable of producing "SLR-quality" images and can hook up with any Micro Four Third lens. Unfortunately, the company is only bringing it to the Japanese market for the time being, but we wouldn't be surprised to see it make its way to the US in the near future. There's no word on pricing at the moment -- however, we do know that it'll be up for grabs in the Land of the Rising Sun next month.
There's no doubt that the E-M5 II is Olympus' big reveal of the night. Still, there are people out there who are just looking for something simple, like an all-terrain digital camera. Here's where the newly announced Stylus Tough TG-860 hopes to come in. While this compact shooter won't blow anyone away with the internal features it boasts, interested parties would likely care more about its ruggedized features than anything else.The TG-860, which succeeds last year's TG-850, is waterproof (up to 50 feet) and shockproof (up to seven feet), but those aren't its only notable attributes. There's also a 16-megapixel CMOS sensor with a 21mm ultra wide-angle lens; a selfie-friendly, 180-degree adjustable screen; WiFi; GPS; and 1080p/60fps video. Olympus says the Stylus TG-860 is scheduled to launch in April, at which point it's set to be priced for $279.
Paper by FiftyThree is the best iPad app out there for creatives to illustrate their ideas, and as of Thursday, all the drawing tools that used to be in-app purchases are now free.
Paper has always been free to download, but the app's drawing tools — called Draw, Sketch, Outline, Write, and Color — were previously only available as in-app purchases costing $0.99 each or $3.99 for the bundle.
FiftyThree recently revealed that Paper has been downloaded 13 million times. With the move to make all drawing tools free, FiftyThree is hoping that more people will give the app a try with all the tools at their disposal.
Removing in-app purchases does means closing the door (at least temporarily) to revenue from in-app purchases, but FiftyThree also has a thriving physical Bluetooth stylus business selling "Pencils," which retail for $49.99 to $59.99
Posted by Augustine at 11:21 AM
Jeffrey Zurofsky has the distinction of being one of the select restaurateurs who has not only survived the harsh New York City restaurant business but has figured out how to make a name for himself.
Along with his business partners, including celebrity chef Tom Colicchio, Zurofsky cofounded the gourmet sandwich chain 'Wichcraft and the fine-dining restaurant Riverpark and its accompanying urban farm. The two also cohost the new Bravo television series "Best New Restaurant."
Zurofsky tells Business Insider that part of his success is due to the sustained energy he gets from the huge, carefully concocted breakfast he eats each morning and the routines that surround it. "I'm an animal about my rituals," he says.
Zurofsky likes to think of his morning ritual starting the night before. Before going to bed sometime between midnight and 2 a.m., he writes out his to-do list for the next day on a small slip of paper he can carry around. The small size also ensures that he keeps his list focused.
Then he'll go through his emails, replying to the most important and moving important but non-urgent messages to a folder he'll go through when he starts work the next morning. He also gives his calendar a quick look.
He makes sure to eat two scoops of almond butter before calling it a day, a trick that "4-Hour Workweek" author (and Zurofsky's favorite writer) Tim Ferriss recommends as a way to provide sustainable blood sugar while sleeping. Ferriss found that for him, it "eliminated at least 50% of 'feel like shit'" awakenings.After Zurofsky wakes up at 5:30 a.m. (he makes up for the limited sleep with a nap later in the day), he walks his dog and does some exercise, whether running, gym training, or squash. He follows it up with meditation, and then he's ready for an intense meal.
He changes up the cuisine and preparation of his breakfast each morning, but it always contains 1,000 calories and 30 grams of protein. It includes the following:
Zurofsky showers after breakfast and then walks or bikes to work, often listening to an e-book during the commute. When he arrives at the office sometime between 7:30 and 8:30, he gets through two hours of uninterrupted work before he takes any meetings or calls.
The point of this structured, approximately two-hour morning ritual is to build sustainable energy and diminish stress.
"It's just about keeping your mind clear and staying focused on the most important work of the day," he says.
Posted by Augustine at 11:30 AM
ARM holdings, the company behind the mobile processor architecture that powers the iPhone and iPad, unveiled its next generation processor blueprints today that it says will increase performance three fold compared to its current designs. The new Cortex-A72 chips aimed at smartphone and tablets w...
Posted by Augustine at 8:54 AM
Move over graphene, today is silicene's day to shine. Silicene is a single-atom thick layer of silicon, whose theoretical properties could have exciting applications
Posted by Augustine at 6:54 AM
If you own a new car, there's a good chance that it features some form of keyless security. Whether it helps unlock your car or lets you start it with the push of a button, it makes driving all that bit easier. That's unless it's the reason your car gets stolen. Police forces all over the UK are reporting a rise in keyless car thefts, but a new report released by the Metropolitan Police today suggests that it now accounts for over a quarter of all vehicle thefts across London.
According to the Met, 6,283 cars and vans were pinched in the capital last year by crooks without the owners' key. That works out at 17 vehicles a day. Gangs reportedly use devices (which are originally intended for mechanics) that "bypass the vehicle's electronic information as the owner locks it" or are physically breaking into cars to gain access to their OBD port, which then allows them to download the car's information and imprint it on a new key in no time at all.
Posted by Augustine at 6:52 AM
You've probably heard no end of hype for 4K video on TVs and computers, and now it's about to invade your phone... at least, so long as ARM has its way. The company just took the wraps off of Cortex-A72, a processor reference design that promises a huge boost to computing power, especially when graphics come into play. Thanks to updates that include optimizations for an efficient 16-nanometer chipmaking process, 30 percent more memory performance and an 80 percent speedier graphics core (the Mali-T880), the A72 is about 3.5 times more powerful than ARM's earlier Cortex-A15. That's beefy enough to record 4K video at an extra-smooth 120 frames per second -- many current smartphones only manage 30FPS at best. You should get "console-class" gaming, too, and there's a promise of Google Now-style natural voice commands that don't depend on a distant server to interpret what you're saying.
The design should be more miserly across the board, too. It uses about 75 percent less energy than its A15 ancestor when it's at a similar performance level, and even the graphics use about 40 percent less power. And as you might expect, it's built to take advantage of both ARM's established big.LITTLE tech (which switches to lower-power CPU cores for lighter workloads) and 64-bit platforms like Android 5.0 Lollipop.
You'll have to be patient if you want to try any of this first-hand, though. Huawei (HiSilicon), MediaTek and Rockchip have already signed up to make A72-based processors, but ARM doesn't expect the first shipping hardware until sometime in 2016. This is more of a preview of what's possible than anything else. It's up to chip and phone builders to translate what ARM has made into something you'll appreciate, whether you're making 4K home movies or playing intensive shoot-em-ups.
Posted by Augustine at 6:51 AM
You no longer have to fire up your computer just to give your children some programming lessons from Doctor Who. The BBC's educational coding game, The Doctor and the Dalek, is now available on iPads and Android tablets (both through Amazon and soon Google Play). You'll get largely the same instruction-based Boolean logic puzzles as before, but with a few new levels and new abilities for your one-of-a-kind Dalek companion. The catch? While the game is still free, it's only available in the UK for now -- here's hoping that the BBC makes it available worldwide so that more kids can help their favorite Gallifreyan.
Posted by Augustine at 12:27 PM
While Raspberry Pi fans were told to expect a brand new board somewhere around 2017, it turns out that wasn't quite true. This is the Raspberry Pi 2 Model B: a substantial upgrade from the Model B+ that will go on sale later today for $35/£25. The new board has some fundamental upgrades that could well warrant the upgrade for existing Raspberry Pi dabblers -- that is, if smaller wasn't better. Raspberry Pi Foundation lead Eben Upton told The Register that the new Model B "is a usable PC now." A fact borne out by official support for Windows 10.
"You could use a Raspberry Pi 1 as a PC but you had to say 'this is a great PC in so far as it cost me 35 bucks'. We've removed the caveat that you had to be a bit forgiving with it. Now it's just good."
How much better? Well, the team's upgraded the processor on-board to a 900MHz quad-core chip and have loaded in 1GB of RAM, which the foundation reckons will offer at least six times the performance of the old Model B+. It may look the same, but the board (with that processor which has apparently been in development for years), also has a special a tweak connecting to the quad-core brains to ensure it handles the gig of RAM on board. Naturally, it'll be up to the Raspberry Pi community and makers to show what is possible with this sequel PC -- but we're assuming the specification bump will mean "a whole lot more". Older boards will likely get cheaper over time, but the Raspberry Pi 2 will still go on sale for the same price as last year's B+; $35/£25. Just like its predecessor, at launch, it's only available via a limited number of partner outlets on either side of the Atlantic.
Via: The Register
Source: Raspberry Pi
Posted by Augustine at 8:08 AM
A British company has launched an innovative boiler that could totally change the way people pay for their energy and heat their homes.
The Flow boiler provides both hot water and heat for the flats and apartments it is installed in but, on top of that, it also produces electric energy that can power household appliances.
It aims at covering several energy needs with one single energy source, potentially allowing customers to generate their own power inside their homes. The more people will be able to generate electricity on their own, the less demand there will be on the national grid.
Flow believes that its boiler can reduce a household's emissions by 20%.
By switching electricity sources from an external service to the Flow boiler, a family can save up to £80 a month, according to the developers.
Here is how it works: In a traditional boiler, gas is burned to heat water, which then passes through the home's pipes and radiators.
The Flow boiler instead uses the gas to heat a high-pressure liquid coolant that is sealed inside the system. The vapour created then moves through a dynamo called a "scroll expander," which spins and acts as a mini electric generator.
The hot vapor then moves through a heat exchanger, heating up the hot water for the house. The vapor returns to the boiler as the hot water is pumped around the house.
The Flow is using gas from the national grid to do two jobs (create heat and drive a turbine) where a normal boiler does one, in other words.
The product was 10 years in development. Flow CEO Tony S tiff is looking forward to seeing how it performs in the market. "I think it is a game-changer for a family," he said to Business Insider.
Stiff said that the company has stocked up interests for 15,000 boilers prior to launch, but the company has the capacity to produce 200,000 units per year. If that is the case, the company will be able to hire 700 people at its headquarters in Ipswich, the Ipswich Star reports.
The boilers are also produced in the UK: in Livingston, Scotland, by the American manufacturer Jabil.
Posted by Augustine at 8:05 AM