Tuesday, November 03, 2015

AT&T offers its first smartwatches that share your phone number

Source: http://www.engadget.com/2015/11/03/att-numbersync-smartwatches/

LG Watch Urbane 2nd Edition LTE

If you've wanted a smartwatch that could take its own calls without having to use a separate phone number, relief is in sight... as long as you're willing to subscribe to AT&T, anyway. The carrier has revealed that it will start taking orders for its first two NumberSync-capable smartwatches, the LG Watch Urbane 2nd Edition (above) and Samsung Gear S2, on November 6th. The LTE-equipped LG watch will ship first, arriving in stores on November 13th for either $15 per month (on a 20-month plan) or $200 on a contract. The 3G-based Gear S2 will cost you the same amount when it arrives a week later, on November 20th. You'll still have to tack on $10 per month to your shared data plan to get either watch online, but that could be worth it if you no longer have to worry about missing conversations when you leave your phone at home.

Source: AT&T


FreedomPop is building a 'WiFi-first' smartphone with Intel

Source: http://www.engadget.com/2015/11/03/freedompop-intel-smartphone-2016/


Budget carrier FeedomPop has signed a deal with Intel that will see it introduce a "WiFi-first" smartphone next year. The phone will use Intel's low-cost "SoFIA" Atom x3 processors and leverage WiFi hotspots wherever possible instead of mobile data, even for things like texting and calling. The phone will "seamlessly" switch between WiFi and cellular networks with no discernible difference to the user, and when it does connect to cellular it'll apparently be free. FreedomPop already offers a similar service -- its big selling point is that calls and texts are sent via mobile data or WiFi rather than traditional means -- but this will be the first phone purpose-built for its virtual network.

Source: FreedomPop


Monday, November 02, 2015

This Dramatic High-Speed Drone Chase Is Actually a Demo of MIT's Self-Flying UAV

Source: http://gizmodo.com/this-dramatic-high-speed-drone-chase-is-actually-a-demo-1740135957

UAVs are great, but most of them are also dumb as a sack of batteries and plastic. So dumb, in fact, that they have a whole chapter of YouTube devoted to their crashes. But a PhD student at MIT thinks he’s figured out a way to give them brains–or the next best thing.



Sunday, November 01, 2015

A Simple Filter Change Could Make Low-Light Photography Much Better

Source: http://gizmodo.com/a-simple-filter-change-could-make-low-light-photography-1739915206

Good low-light photography is one of the toughest nuts to crack: to get good pictures in the dark normally requires some combination of fast lenses and big, expensive sensors. But tweaking one filter that lives inside the camera could help big time.



Friday, October 30, 2015

Tor Messenger makes chatting off the record easier

Source: http://www.engadget.com/2015/10/30/tor-messenger-beta/

Security concept, encrypted binary code with encrypt word inside

Tor has finally released a beta version of the cross-platform chat program it's been working on for quite a while. The client works with several chat services/protocols such as Jabber, IRC, Google Talk, Facebook Chat, Twitter and Yahoo, but its main draw is definitely the privacy features Tor is famous for. It uses Off-the-Record (OTR) protocol to encrypt your IMs, which pass through Tor's network of volunteer computers for security and anonymity. According to Wired, it even has chat logging disabled as a default setting. "With Tor Messenger, your chat is encrypted and anonymous... so it is hidden from snoops, whether they are the government of a foreign country or a company trying to sell you boots," Kate Krauss, the company's public policy director, told the publication.

Via: TheNextWeb

Source: Tor


Monday, October 26, 2015

Picobrew takes a stab at automated counter-top homebrew beer

Source: http://www.engadget.com/2015/10/26/picobrew-takes-a-stab-at-automated-counter-top-homebrew-beer/

PicoBrew is hoping to do for homebrewed beer what Keurig has done for coffee. It tried previously with the Zymatic, but the $2,000 price tag, intimidating size and complexity limited its appeal. Really the Zymatic ended up being for professional brewers to experiment on and for people with deep pockets looking to dip their toe into homebrewing with the least amount of effort possible. The company's new machine, the Pico attempts to address some of those hurdles. First, off, it's dropped the price dramatically. If you move quickly to pick it up through the Kickstarter campaign launching today it will only cost you $500, though it will climb to $1,000 at retail. Second the Pico is roughly half the size of the Zymatic, and can actually fit on an average counter-top. Though, does still take up a significant amount of space and probably wouldn't find a permanent home next to your coffee machine.


Monday, October 19, 2015

Amazon sues 1,114 people offering fake product reviews

Source: http://www.engadget.com/2015/10/18/amazon-sues-fiverr-based-fake-reviewers/

Amazon Unveils Its First Smartphone

Amazon isn't just content to chase down the larger outfits offering fake reviews on its store... it's pursuing individuals, too. The internet retailer has sued 1,144 people who used Fiverr's gig marketplace to peddle bogus Amazon reviews. They're only mentioned in the lawsuit by their user names, but it's clear that Amazon wants to get their real info from Fiverr's logs. Moreover, it suspects that there's more to the story than some unscrupulous writing -- it wants these sellers' client lists.

There's a real chance that Amazon will take down at least some of its targets, since Fiverr has cooperated on takedowns in the past. Still, the sheer scale of this latest case underscores the problems with keeping a lid on fake reviews, especially on gig sites where it's not always easy to spot shady dealings. It may take a long, long while before these false authors are forced to go elsewhere.

[Image credit: David Ryder/Getty Images]

Source: TechCrunch


Xiaomi will let you replace the brains in its new smart TV

Source: http://www.engadget.com/2015/10/19/xiaomi-mi-tv-3/

Xiaomi is more than just a phone manufacturer -- it makes almost every kind of consumer electronics now, including Segways, wearables and GoPro-style action cameras. Today, the company is expanding its living room lineup with a 60-inch 4K TV, which measures 11.6mm at its thinnest point and costs only RMB 4,999 (roughly $786). That's a lot of display for your money, although it's not quite as sleek as the $645 Mi TV 2S Xiaomi announced in July.

Plenty of dongles and set-top boxes can transform your old TV into a "smart" one -- but what if you could do away with them entirely, and get the same features out of a TV speaker instead? That's the idea behind Xiaomi's "Mi TV Bar," anyway. To the naked eye it looks like a classic soundbar, but inside there's a MStar 6A928 processor, 2GB of DDR3 RAM and 8GB of flash storage. Once connected through the Mi Port -- which also carries power -- you'll gain access to MIUI TV, Xiaomi's Android-based smart TV platform.

It's designed to work in conjunction with the Mi TV 3, although you can also buy it separately and hook it up to any TV, monitor or projector. According to Xiaomi, a TV's motherboard usually accounts for 20 percent of its overall cost -- and it's also a part that customers have to replace every 18 months. By taking the related components out and putting them in a separate device, Xiaomi hopes they'll be easier to upgrade and replace -- meaning you, the consumer, can just focus on buying (and keeping) a stellar display. It's the same argument behind modern TV set-top boxes, although here you're also getting a beefy speaker thrown in too. It'll set you back RMB 999 ($157) on its own -- for comparison, the new Apple TV costs $149 in the US, while Amazon's 4K Fire TV is up for $100.

These devices are meant for China, however, and we don't expect either of them to be sold in the US or Europe anytime soon. Xiaomi might have online accessory stores for both of these markets, but it's a long way off selling all of its electronic wares to the world.

Source: Xiaomi


Friday, October 16, 2015

Intel throws its tiny Curie module in an Arduino board

Source: http://www.engadget.com/2015/10/16/intel-arduino/

The low-power Curie from Intel helps developers quickly prototype a device with turn-key access to Bluetooth, a six-axis sensor with gyroscope and accelerometer and the 32-bit SOC Quark micro-controller. It's main focus has been the wearable market and since its introduction at CES 2015, it's has been used in sports bras, creepy robot spiders and to measure wicked-cool bike tricks. Now it's being included in a new Arduino board. The Arduino 101 (internationally it'll be called, Genuino 101) is the first widely available development board for the tiny chip. Priced at a reasonable $30 and using the same open-source platform as the rest of the Arduino line, the 101 is targeted at students and makers looking to add some connectivity to a project.

Source: Intel


Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Sony's RX1R II full-frame camera stuffs 42MP into a small body

Source: http://www.engadget.com/2015/10/14/sony-rx1r-ii/

As far as compact cameras go, Sony is undeniably the best at making them. But in case that RX100 IV point-and-shoot wasn't good enough for you, the company is now introducing the RX1R II, a full-frame pocket-sized shooter with a 42.4-megapixel Exmor R CMOS sensor. If you're keeping tabs at home, then you'd know that's similar to the one featured in the recently announced A7R II mirrorless camera. Another highlight of the second-gen RX1R is its retractable, 2.4-million-dot XGA OLED viewfinder, as well as what Sony's calling the "world's first" optical variable low-pass filter -- which you can turn on or off based on the sharpness strength you want on certain images. The fixed lens, meanwhile, is a 35mm (f2.0) ZEISS Sonnar T*. What you won't find here is 4K video recording. Instead, you have the option to shoot up to 1080p at 24, 30 and 60 fps, while the ISO is set at a maximum of 102,400 when expanded. Like what you see? Then be ready to have your jaw drop, as the RX1R II will cost a wallet-clinching $3,300 when it hits stores in November.

Source: Sony


Monday, October 12, 2015

Windows 10 didn't stop PC sales from dropping this summer

Source: http://www.engadget.com/2015/10/10/pc-sales-drop-in-q3-2015/

Microsoft Windows Q and A

Windows 10 may have breathed new life into your PC, but it didn't do anything to juice PC sales this summer. Both Gartner and IDC estimate that computer sales dropped several points year-over-year (between 7.7 and 10.8 percent) in the third quarter, right when the new Windows arrived. That's one of the steeper drops in recent memory, in fact. Not that it comes as a complete surprise. As the analyst firms explain, Microsoft's fast-tracked release left many PC makers shipping existing systems with Windows 10, which weren't going to drive demand as much as brand new models. You're not going to buy a months-old laptop just because it's running new software, are you? The big question is whether or not the wave of new Windows 10 PCs launching this fall will make a difference -- if there's still a sharp decline, the industry is really in trouble.

The new platform wasn't the only factor at work, of course. The researchers blame the downturn on a combination of a stronger US dollar (which hiked PC prices in many other countries) and a transition away from old Windows 8 PCs. Some vendors fared better than others, though. As a rule, big-name brands like Apple, Dell, HP and Lenovo (the market leader) have emerged relatively unscathed -- it's the smaller, more vulnerable companies that are shedding legions of customers. Even Acer and ASUS saw sales plunge by over 10 percent. It's too soon to say if Windows 10 will stop the bleeding, but the days of booming computer businesses appear to be long gone.

[Image credit: AP Photo/Jeff Chiu]

Gartner's PC market share estimate for Q3 2015

IDC's PC market share estimate for Q3 2015

Source: IDC, Gartner


Thursday, October 08, 2015

Adobe's Monument Mode Removes People Walking Through Your Frame in Real Time

Source: http://gizmodo.com/adobes-monument-mode-removes-people-waking-through-your-1735371997

At last night’s MAX conference, Adobe gave a sneak-preview of a real-time camera feature it’s been working on called Monument Mode. It seems to remove people walking through the frame of your picture, there and then, as if by magic.



Nanowire technology will improve brain-stimulating implants

Source: http://www.engadget.com/2015/10/08/nanowire-brain-implants/

Scientists at Lund University have published a paper about a new nanowire thread (only 80 nanometres in diameter) that will work to strengthen brain implants. Neuro-prostheses are currently used to stimulate and collect information from the brain of those with Parkinson's disease, along with other illnesses. However, one of the biggest problems that current tech faces is that the brain identifies the implant as a foreign object and uses cellular material to surround the electrode, resulting in a loss of signal. With the newly developed technology, this will (hopefully) no longer be the case.

"Our nanowire structure prevents the cells that usually encapsulate the electrodes – glial cells – from doing so", says Christelle Prinz who is the co-creator of this technology. The structure is made out of a gallium phosphide semiconductor with nanowires sticking out. While glial cells can grow on the flat semiconductor, neurons can grow on the nanowires. This way they're close, but not so close that the neurons are affected, which leads to better, longer lasting implants. So far the nanowire has only been tested in cultured samples, but because of the positive results, tests should begin in live subjects soon.

Via: Medgadget

Source: Lund University


Tuesday, October 06, 2015

Microsoft's 5.7-inch Lumia 950 XL is liquid cooled and $649

Source: http://www.engadget.com/2015/10/06/microsofts-lumia-950xl-is-the-latest-supersized-windows-10-phon/

While the Surface Pro 4 may garner the bulk of the attention from today's Microsoft event, the folks in Redmond had other stuff to reveal, too. Those other announcements include a pair of smartphones, one of which is the supersized Lumia 950 XL. Thanks to a handful of leaks, we already had an idea what the handset would look like and some details of its spec sheet. The 950 XL features a larger OLED screen than its sibling, measuring 5.7 inches at 518 ppi. It also offers 32GB of storage that you can expand via microSD card up to a whopping (theoretical) 2TB. There's a 20-megapixel camera with a Zeiss lens around back with triple LED RGB natural flash, optical image stabilization and a dedicated camera button as well, continuing to leverage the photo chops from Nokia. That wordy flash description basically means people will look more natural in photos where you have to employ said feature. And, of course, all of that runs on Windows 10. Slideshow-326502 Slideshow-326469

The new Lumias both pack in adaptive antenna tech that works to give you the best connection possible at all times. The 950 XL also carries a 2GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 810 octa-core processor and liquid cooling that was originally developed for the Surface tablet. Microsoft gave both of the new Lumia phones something it calls Glance Screen technology that'll show you missed calls, emails, time, date and more just by taking a look at the display. The duo also features USB Type-C connectors for 5 Gbps transfer speeds and quick charging that can hit 50 percent in 30 minutes. There's also a Display Dock that has connections for HDMI, DisplayPort and three USB jacks that'll allow you to use the handset with a monitor. And thanks to Windows 10 universal apps and Continuum, you can employ those handy Office apps to get work done at your desk... with your phone. If all of that sounds too good to pass up, you'll have to wait until November to get your hands on the 950 XL. When it arrives, expect to shell out $649 to nab one.

Get all the news from today's Microsoft event right here.

Source: Microsoft


Here's our first look at the Surface Book, Microsoft's answer to the MacBook Pro

Source: http://www.engadget.com/2015/10/06/microsoft-surface-book-hands-on/


Wow. Microsoft finally did it. After years or rumors and speculation the company finally unveiled its very own laptop. Not a tablet that could replace a laptop (though there's that too), but a bona fide laptop, with an attached keyboard. Well, almost. The Surface Book at first glance looks like a traditional clamshell notebook with a touchscreen. In fact, though, it's more like a lovechild between the Surface and Lenovo's Yoga line. Which is to say, it has a removable display that supports pen input but, when attached, it can also flip back 360 degrees into tablet mode. Oh, and on the inside, it has enough horsepower to take on the MacBook Pro. I just got my first look here at Microsoft's "Windows 10 Devices" keynote in New York City. Here are some hands-on photos for now -- I'll update this post soon with impressions.Slideshow-326504

At three and a half pounds, the Surface Book feels heavier than I expected. But then I remembered it's been a while since I've reviewed a Windows laptop like this. Most of the Windows notebooks that cross my desk these days compete on thinness and lightness, sometimes at the expense of performance. Microsoft is taking a different approach: the Surface Book is as well built as any MacBook, and claims to be as powerful too, but the tradeoff is that it's also about as heavy as a MacBook Pro. If you compare it to the Dell XPS 13 or Lenovo Yoga 3 Pro you might be disappointed by its heft, but then, you'd also me putting it in the completely wrong class of product.

Before I get to performance, though, I do want to linger on the design. The Surface Book is gorgeous. Solid. Yes, its aluminum design and blunt edges bear some similarity to the MacBook Pro, but it still feels every bit worth its $1,499 price tag. It belongs in a small echelon of truly premium, luxurious-feeling computers, with the MBP and even the Chromebook Pixel making for some good company.