Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Predator drones could soon hide under dielectric 'invisibility cloaks'

Source: http://www.engadget.com/2015/09/21/predator-drones-invisibility-cloak/

America's fleet of Predator UAVs could soon become even harder to shoot down (or even detect for that matter) thanks to a new kind of camouflage developed at UC San Diego. UCSD professor Boubacar Kante and his team published their findings last month in the journal Progress In Electromagnetics Research and will submit a separate report to the Department of Defense later this month, according to reports from the Army Times. The material, dubbed the "dielectric metasurface cloak," builds on earlier work from Duke University in 2006. It's essentially a thin layer of Teflon studded with ceramic particles and capable of modulating wavelengths of energy along the electromagnetic scale (including both visible light and radar).

The technology isn't exactly new but it is a heck of a lot better than what the DoD has access to now. "Previous cloaking studies needed many layers of materials to hide an object, the cloak ended up being much thicker than the size of the object being covered," Li-Yi Hsu, the study's lead author said in a statement. "In this study, we show that we can use a thin single-layer sheet for cloaking."

The current generation of Teflon camouflage has to be literally slathered onto drones. For example, to block out a missile's guidance radar using a 3 cm wavelength, the Teflon coating would need to be ten times as thick as the wavelength, or 30 cm. A dielectric metasurface cloak, on the other hand, would provide the same degree of protection but only require a 3mm-thick coat, one tenth the thickness of the incoming signal.

The new material isn't perfect just yet. Since its thickness determines which wavelength it can block, the material can currently only cancel a single wavelength at a time. And even with the appropriate wavelength, the system only works if the incoming signal hits it at a 45 degree angle (within 6 degrees or so). Despite these shortcomings however, the DoD is reportedly very keen on implementing the camouflage system. Barring any setbacks the camo could enter active service within five to ten years, Kayla Matola, a research analyst for Homeland Defense & Security Information Analysis Center, told the Army Times.

[Image Credit: top art - DoD, inline - UCSD]

Via: Washington Post

Source: Army Times, UCSD


Omate has a smartwatch that runs Lollipop and makes phone calls

Source: http://www.engadget.com/2015/09/22/omate-truesmart-plus-smartwatch/

Let's face it: deep down we probably all have wanted a smartwatch made by wearables company Omate that runs Android 5.1. Okay, that's an overstatement. But there are at least a few folks out there that fit this bill and they'll likely be pretty pleased about the news that the new call-capable TrueSmart+ is Lollipop flavored. The company took to Facebook to announce that both the TS+ and its slightly cheaper sibling will hit sometime either late October or in November for $169 and $149, respectively. Oddly enough, the pricier model doesn't have a built-in camera like its predecessor but Omate says it has a TSi model with one.

What the TS+ does pack, however, are fancy rubber straps that do double duty concealing WiFi, 2G and 3G antennas. Oh, and that 1.54-inch screen's been upgraded to 320x320 resolution , while the Android 4.4-powered TSi rocks a 240x240 display of the same size. Preorders open September 22nd and that window closes on Halloween.

We are excited to announce two newborns in the Omate family: the TrueSmart-i and the TrueSmart+ are going to leave the...

Posted by Omate on Monday, September 21, 2015

Source: Omate (Facebook)


Thursday, September 17, 2015

Kardashian website security flaw exposes data for over 600,000 users

Source: http://www.engadget.com/2015/09/17/kardashian-websites-security-flaw/

Celebrity Sightings In New York City - September 15, 2015

The Kardashian's new mobile apps may be extremely popular, but the websites recently launched alongside those offerings had a major flaw. An open unsecured API provided developer Alaxic Smith access to the names and email addresses of hundreds of thousands of subscribers when poked around Kylie Jenner's site -- over 600,000 on that site alone. What's more, Smith discovered that the same API was used across the other sister's sites, too. However, no payment info was accessible due to the fact that the sites themselves don't handle any funds, leaving that up to app stores and third-party services.

Whalerock Industries, the company that runs both the Kardashian sites and apps says that it was alerted to the issue just after launch and the API was "promptly closed." Whalerock also says that Smith, who authored a blog post on the whole thing, was only able to peruse "a limited set" of user info and that access to passwords and payment info wasn't touched. Smith has since pulled his post and Whalerock is in the process of finding out just what he saw and if he actually archived the findings. It turns out stumbling upon a security flaw and posting about it when some of the biggest celebs are involved could get you more than you bargained for.

[Image credit: James Devaney/GC Images]

Source: TechCrunch


Monday, September 14, 2015

VLC's media player app will launch on Apple TV

Source: http://www.engadget.com/2015/09/14/vlc-for-apple-tv/

The new Apple TV

Plex isn't the only one bringing a fan-favorite media app to the new Apple TV. Jean-Baptiste Kempf has quietly revealed that VLC, VideoLAN's signature media player, will reach Apple's latest set-top box. It's still early, but this could open up your playback options for music and video -- you may have more choices for formats and sources than you get out of the box. While you aren't going to get total freedom (you certainly won't be playing DVDs on an Apple TV), this beats having to rely primarily on streaming services.

Filed under: , , ,


Via: VentureBeat

Source: Jean-Baptiste Kempf

Tags: app, apple, appletv, hdpostcross, internet, streaming, videolan, vlc


Sunday, September 13, 2015

Radeon R9 Nano Review: Mini 4K Gaming

Source: http://kotaku.com/radeon-r9-nano-review-mini-4k-gaming-1729828941

Over the past few months AMD has been focusing its efforts on the high-end GPU fight with its ‘Fiji’ line up. The Radeon R9 Fury X lead the charge armed with 4096 stream processors and AMD’s cutting-edge high-bandwidth memory technology (HBM).



Canon's 120-megapixel camera plumbs the depths of your pores

Source: http://www.engadget.com/2015/09/11/canon-120-megapixel-camera/

EOS 120M

In case you thought current cameras didn't expose your physical flaws enough, this week's Canon Expo featured a prototype of the company's EOS series packing a whopping 120 megapixels. For contrast, Canon's current offerings top out around 20 to 50 megapixels. But 120? That's enough to capture every pore, wrinkle and even distinct reflections in a person's eyeball. Slideshow-318809

The EOS 120M Camera System (also known as the Y038) may have not have been consumer-ready, but it certainly acted the part. The camera was hooked up to a 24-70mm lens and set up to capture images of artfully arranged knick-knacks like antique books, playing cards and a feather. The resulting photos, displayed on a monitor nearby, seemed almost surreal -- they were sharp, incredibly detailed and colorful, but something about them felt more like realistic paintings. I found myself looking between the physical objects and the digital image, not sure if they were the same thing. Zoom in on the photo, though, and every blade of straw and speck of dirt could be picked out in fine detail.

Another image on display was that of a young girl and, while she wasn't physically there for comparison, there was an incredible sense of intimacy as I zoomed in on her face, making out blonde hairs on her cheek and small creases in her skin. Look into her eyes and you could make out a reflection of the lighting equipment, stands and all, behind the photographer. You know how in crime shows they'll "enhance" a photo of a murder scene, to the point where they can now identify the killer via the reflection in the victim's eye? This could make that a reality.

However, as the 120MP EOS camera is only a prototype, we won't be seeing consumer models heading into creepy hyperrealism any time soon. But, given that Canon also announced a 250-megapixel APS-H CMOS sensor this week, it won't be long before we all have good reason to be self-conscious about our microscopic faults.

[Image credit: Canon]

Filed under: ,


Tags: 120megapixels, canon, CanonEOS, CanonExpo, CanonExpo2015, EOS, EOS120M, EOSY038, photography, Y038


Thursday, September 10, 2015

FCC listing hints at an Amazon Fire TV with microSD slot

Source: http://www.engadget.com/2015/09/10/fcc-amazon-fire-tv-microsd/

Amazon FireTV

Amazon hasn't announced anything official about a next-gen Fire TV yet, but blogger Dave Zatz has spotted what could be an FCC filing for one. The documents call the device an "HDMI Digital Media Receiver" and were filed by a "Quill Royal LLC," though it's worth noting that Amazon uses shell names all the time. If this is indeed the next-gen Fire TV, then you can expect a more powerful device all around. It has an Ethernet and a USB port that can read flash drives, as well as a microSD card slot. The media player also supports 802.11ac WiFi and Bluetooth 4.1.

Back in July, some leaked benchmark results included those of a mystery gadget called "Amazon AFTS" with a chip that supports 4K video. It's still unclear if that gadget and the device represented by this filing are one and the same, but people have been expecting a new Fire TV ever since the company stopped selling the first iteration. If you want to see a next-gen version of the media player, you may want to cross your fingers and hope that Amazon didn't put a stop to its development like it did many of its other hardware projects.

Pretty sure I found the next Fire TV... sadly, the filings don't cover video resolution, so 4k remains a question. http://t.co/6ujmBeMWH7

— Dave Zatz (@davezatz) September 9, 2015
[Image credit: John Holzer/Flickr]

Filed under: ,


Via: Liliputing, AFTVNews, The Digital Reader

Source: Dave Zatz (Twitter), FCC

Tags: amazon, FCC, firetv


Tuesday, September 08, 2015

Article: Raspberry Pi gets an official touchscreen display

Although it's pretty easy to hook up a Raspberry Pi to a screen using its HDMI port, it's not exactly the most portable of solutions (especially if there isn't a TV or monitor around). The Raspberry Pi Foundation recognized this, so it set about finding a "simple, embeddable display" capable of g...


Monday, August 24, 2015

LG's latest 10-inch Android tablet comes with a sharper screen

Source: http://www.engadget.com/2015/08/24/lg-g-pad-ii-10-inch-android-tabelt//

G Pad II

Still (still?) looking for the Android tablet that fits your lifestyle? Maybe LG will capture your imagination, / wallet with a G Pad sequel that cranks up the processor speed (now a quad-core Snapdragon 800) while pairing it with a battery that's actually smaller (7,400mAh) than its name-based predecessor. It's now got a sharper 10.1-inch 1,920 x 1,200 display and while there's an LTE option, there's only a single color choice: Brilliant bronze. We'll ignore those with third-place connotations from the outset, but it otherwise sounds like pretty inoffensive Android tablet. LG says that price (even though it's noted in the press release that it will cost the same as its predecessor) and launch dates will be detailed locally when it launches across Asia, the US and Europe. The company added that we'll be able to paw at it at IFA in Berlin early next month. Wurst things have happened.

Filed under: ,


Source: LG

Tags: android, gpad2, gpadii, ifa, ifa2015, lg


Friday, August 21, 2015

MIT figured out how to 3D print using glass instead of plastic

Source: http://www.engadget.com/2015/08/21/mit-figured-out-how-to-3d-print-using-glass-instead-of-plastic//

Researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology unveiled a new 3D printing method on Friday that employs transparent glass as precursor instead of plastic. The method, called 3DGP, works basically the same way that conventional 3D printing does though the team found that they could modulate the light transmission, reflection and refraction qualities by precisely varying the thickness of the print.

The system uses a pair of heated chambers stacked atop one another; the 1900-degree F upper chamber acting as a Kiln Cartridge and the lower chamber serving to anneal the constructed structures. Researchers at MIT Media Lab collaborated with the school's Mechanical Engineering Department, the MIT Glass Lab and Wyss Institute to create the 3DGP. The team believes that method could eventually lead to better quality and less expensive fiber optics.

GLASS from Mediated Matter Group on Vimeo.

Filed under:


Via: SlashGear

Source: MIT

Tags: 3Dprinting, glass, MIT, plastic


Thursday, August 20, 2015

Playdate: Walking blindly into 'Everybody's Gone to the Rapture'

Source: http://www.engadget.com/2015/08/20/playdate-everybodys-gone-to-the-rapture//

Welcome back to Playdate, where Engadget runs through the latest games while broadcasting them live on Twitch. If you're feeling a bit of déjà vu that's entirely natural; you have been here before. Whereas JXE Streams was our awkwardly named show while we figured out what was going to happen with streaming moving forward, well, we've figured out what we're doing with streaming moving forward. Mostly. Hence us going back to the moniker we started with last year. Think of this as a vote of confidence from us that we're moving toward consistency and normalcy for our broadcasts. It's a good thing!

And what better way to do that than by exploring the mystery of Everybody's Gone to the Rapture? Tune in at 6 pm ET/ 3 pm PT (barring any jank) as Sean Buckley and myself plod through developer The Chinese Room's latest game absolutely blind. Neither of us have played it before, read any reviews or know really anything about the game other than it looks absolutely stunning thanks in no small part to the developer's use of Cryengine. Oh, and as an extreme juxtaposition, we're breaking Rapture's tranquility to give away five codes for the incredibly frantic Call of Duty: Black Ops 3 multiplayer beta on PlayStation 4. There may be a haiku contest involved so get your syllable-counting fingers ready.

So, join us here on this post, twitch.tv/joystiq or the Engadget Gaming homepage and follow along as we try to figure out exactly what happened and how to get to The Rapture.

We're streaming Everybody's Gone to the Rapture through OBS at 720p on PS4, so rest assured that the game looks much prettier in your house and on your TV.

Filed under: , ,


Source: Twitch

Tags: beta, callofdutyblackops3, cryengine, EverybodysGoneToTheRapture, gaming, giveaway, hd, hdpostcross, playdate, PlayStation, ps4, sony, streaming, thechineseroom, twitch


Monday, August 17, 2015

LG bets that OLEDs are the future of displays

Source: http://www.engadget.com/2015/08/17/lg-invests-billions-in-oled//

LG's 105-inch OLED TV

It's no secret that LG has been fond of OLED screens as of late, but the company is now proving that it's committed to those organic displays for the long haul. It's investing the equivalent of $8.5 billion into developing OLED technology over the next three years for everything from TVs to cars to wearables. LG only describes this as a bid to "pioneer this untapped OLED market" and "keep the competitors at bay," but it's not hard to see a few reasons why it'd pour cash into this relatively exotic technology -- and it's not all about one-upping Samsung.

The move is certainly necessary for cars and wearables, where flexible OLED is important for putting displays on less-than-flat surfaces. However, LG is also doing this to resist the race-to-the-bottom trend in screen pricing, especially in the TV space. Like 3D and 4K, OLED gives LG a reason to ask a premium for that giant TV or banana-shaped smartphone -- it doesn't have to compete as much on price. That effect will only last for so long -- OLED TV prices have fallen rapidly in the past few years -- but it could keep LG ahead of the pack (or at least, near the front) for a little while longer.

Filed under: , , , , , ,


Source: Bloomberg

Tags: display, hdpostcross, lg, lgdisplay, oled, smartphone, television, tv, wearable


This drone can steal data while hovering above your office

Source: http://www.engadget.com/2015/08/17/hacking-drone//


It's the job of a security researcher to figure out how the company they are working for could be compromised. Apparently that now means using a drone sniff out vulnerabilities a few dozen feet off the ground. The Aerial Assault drone houses a raspberry Pi running Kali Linux, a distro built specifically for penetration testing (also known as pen testing) of networks and devices. Once in the air, the spy drone can detect insecure devices and networks and store that information locally or beam it back to the pilot.

The Aerial Assault drone is built on top of open source technology so researchers can purchase and adjust it to work in a way that suites their needs. Because it uses GPS, in addition to hanging outside of skyscrapers collecting unencrypted data, it can also be sent out to multiple buildings in areas that would be inaccessible by a person. For example; a courtyard in the middle of a complex or building behind a very large fence with razor wire.

While the craft is intended for researchers, there's always the possibility that someone with fewer scruples could purchase it and use it to steal data from an individual or company. So if you're feeling a bit safer about your system because you're 30 floors up, think again. The $2,500 drone should be on sale in the next few days at Wall of Sheep. If you're super impatient, you can hit up the site's sales team via email.

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Tags: AerialAssualt, DefCon, Drone, PenTesting, security, Wallofsheep


Saturday, August 15, 2015

Finally, A Convincing 3D Display That Doesn't Require Glasses

Source: http://gizmodo.com/finally-a-convincing-3d-display-that-doesnt-require-gl-1724239441

Viewing 3D content without glasses or goggles has proved to be one of the toughest things for interface designers to achieve—it never really looks right. At this year’s SIGGRAPH, a group of researchers presented a display that creates a 3D human in stunning detail using a cluster of 216 projectors.



AMD's R9 Fury X is a beast, but 4K gaming is still a waste

Source: http://www.engadget.com/2015/08/14/amd-r9-fury-x-irl//

Since the rise of 3D graphics cards, the inexorable trend in PC gaming has been around getting bigger, better and faster. That led to a culture of PC gamers obsessing over frame rates and doing whatever it took to push their hardware as much as possible. But now that even relatively affordable graphics cards can hit a silky smooth 60 fps at 1080p, there's only one big mountain left to climb: 4K gaming. And that's exactly what a powerhouse card like AMD's new Radeon R9 Fury X ($650) is poised to tackle. The only problem? 4K gaming still isn't worth your time and money.Slideshow-312778

The Radeon R9 Fury X is the sort of thing that's built expressly to make PC gamers salivate. While the card itself is relatively minimalist with a jet-black design, once it's turned on you get a blingy glowing "Radeon" logo and LEDs that show off how hard the GPU is working. But, most impressively, the card also has an external water cooler attached, which takes the place of a rear fan in your computer case. It's not the first video card to ship with water cooling, but it's an impressive setup nonetheless (although it will make installing the card a bit more complex). It's also worth noting that the R9 Fury X's direct competitor, NVIDIA's GTX 980 Ti, ships with air cooling. That's a sign of much more power-efficient hardware. (I would have liked to compare the two cards directly, but I'm still waiting on review hardware from NVIDIA.)

While the R9 Fury X can achieve speeds of up to 1050MHz out of the box, its water cooling setup could lead to some decent overclocking potential down the line. I didn't want to risk harming my loaner card from AMD, but initial overclocking attempts by AnandTech led to modest (75Hz) gains. With some more tweaking, though -- especially going beyond the limits AMD implements in its desktop software -- I wouldn't be surprised if you could reach higher speeds. Then again, given how fast the card is already (it also packs in 4GB of "high-bandwidth memory" RAM), you might not want to bother with the whole mess of overclocking.

On my gaming rig -- which consists of a 4GHz Core i7-4790K CPU, 16GB of 2400Mz DDR3 RAM and a 512GB Crucial MX100 SSD on a ASUS Z97-A motherboard -- the R9 Fury X didn't break a sweat when gaming in 1080p with every setting on high. No surprise there (and if that's all you're looking for, consider the plethora of sub-$300 cards out there). But once I started testing out games in 4K (with a Samsung UE590 monitor loaned by AMD), the card truly started to shine. Both The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt and Batman: Arkham Knight got around 35 fps on average with high-quality settings, and while that might not sound like much, the fact that they're both beyond 30 fps is a decent show of progress from last year's cards. It means you can actually play those games in 4K without any noticeable stuttering.

But enough of the numbers: How do games look in 4K? For the most part, pretty darn great. For The Witcher 3, in particular, I was able to make out even finer detail in character models, their clothing and the overall environment. But I also quickly realized that minor bump in fidelity wasn't worth the drop from the 1080p 60 fps I was used to, which looks a lot smoother. Moving The Witcher's Geralt of Rivia around the game's incredibly detailed environments was less jerky and more life-like than in 4K. Basically, It's hard to get used to lower frame rates when 60 fps was the ideal I was striving toward for years. There were also occasions where games dipped below 30 fps, which was hard to stomach on a $650 video card. [Check out 4K screenshots from The Witcher 3 here.]


On a broader level, 4K isn't really worth the investment for most PC owners; 4K monitors are still relatively expensive, starting at around $400 to $500 for 27-inch models (1080p screens are around half that), and their panels typically aren't as high-quality as lower resolution screens. Some 4K monitors only offer 30Hz refresh rates, which limits your gaming to 30 fps and leaves little room for graphics upgrades down the line. (The monitor I'm using advertises 60Hz 4K, but I've been unable to reach that with multiple cables.) And, perhaps most damning, Windows 7 and 8 still isn't well-suited to 4K screens. You'd have to upgrade to Windows 10, which offers much better high-resolution scaling, for a decent 4K experience.

I found that gaming at a 2,560 x 1,440 (WQHD) resolution was the best compromise between fidelity and frame rate. It's sharper than 1080p (which runs at 1,920 by 1,080), and the R9 Fury X was able to reach 60 fps in that resolution easily. You'll still pay a premium for WQHD displays, but models like the Dell UltraSharp U2715H (which our friends at The Wirecutter recommend as the best 27-inch monitor) sport high-quality IPS panels, so they'll look a lot better than many 4K monitors. Plus, 2,560 x 1,440 on a 27-inch monitor is also a usable resolution for desktop work -- no microscope required.

At this point, 4K gaming feels like the worst aspects of PC gaming: expensive and counterintuitive, with radically diminishing returns. It's a badge of honor if you have a system that can actually play games in 4K, and nothing more. It could eventually become commonplace for gaming, especially as VR headsets demand more pixels, but for now you'd be better off trying to get the highest frame rate you can with a lower resolution.

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Tags: 4K, amd, ArkhamKnight, engadgetirl, hdpostcross, irl, R9FuryX, TheWitcher3, videocards