Thursday, May 28, 2015

360 Degree GoPro

Now that Google has announced Jump, a new VR technology platform that lets you create and share 3D content, you're probably wondering how you can do exactly that. Well, Google has partnered with GoPro to come up with a solution: a 360-degree camera array built out of 16 GoPros. The circular rig boasts camera syncing, multi-camera control and a super-long battery life so it can stand out there to capture as much crazy 3D footage as you can conjure up. From there, you can just hand over the video to Google's Jump software and it'll process it for you. And, if you like, you can share it with the world so that anyone with a VR headset -- Cardboard or not -- will be able to see it. We're hearing from Google that the 360-degree camera will be seeded out to a few select YouTubers at least initially, but it'll eventually be up for purchase to any and all wannabe VR content creators. Meanwhile, you should check out the video below to see an interactive (use your keyboard or mouse to look all around you) 3D video shot with the GoPro 360-degree camera array.


his telescope is really just 10 Canon lenses strapped together

Hunting for extremely dim galaxies is especially difficult with single-lens telescopes. That's because, no matter how technologically advanced, the device's design cannot fully eliminate detail-obscuring scattered light from the resulting images. The University of Toronto's Dragonfly Telephoto Array, however, deftly avoids that issue. This array -- one of the smallest multi-lens astronomy telescopes in use today -- is comprised of 10 Canon 400mm f/2.8 L IS II USM telephoto lenses, each costing $10,000. What's more, each lens is coated in a unique subwavelength nanomaterial that drastically reduces light reflection within the optic. And, like its insect inspiration, the Dragonfly's ten eyes can work in concert with one another to further reduce unwanted illumination in the resulting image, bringing out otherwise unseen detail in cosmic structures. According to the University of Toronto spokesman Roberto Abraham, this $100,000 system is ten times as accurate as its nearest rival.

[Image Credit: U of Toronto]


Thursday, May 14, 2015

I Can Barely Watch This Video of the World's Longest Skywalk


You’ll want to read the rest of this post with your eyes shut if you have even the remotest fear of heights: This is the world’s longest skywalk, which recently opened in China. The skywalk allows crazy people to walk 87 feet off a cliff for spectacular vomit-inducing views. Don’t worry, it’s only about a half-mile down to the valley floor.



Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Article: Samsung will make its smartphone chips available to developers of wearables, drones, and more

Smartphones, smart TVs, smart refrigerators, smart washing machines. Samsung Electronics wants to put a chip in everything it makes—and in things made by other companies, too. The world's largest smartphone maker today debuted a new series of all-in-one chip modules, called Artik, that help devel...

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NVIDIA's GRID cloud gaming service gets 1080p 60 FPS streaming


NVIDIA just flipped on a major upgrade for its GRID cloud gaming service: Full 1080p support at a blistering 60 frames per second. That's the same resolution and frame rate as many games running on the Xbox One and PS4, and it's pretty much the gold standard for PC gamers. And most importantly for NVIDIA, the update makes it the first company to offer game streaming at such a high resolution over the internet. To take advantage of the new streaming feature, you'll need to grab one of the company's SHIELD gaming devices (either the original handheld console or its gaming tablet), sign up for the SHIELD Hub beta group and have at least a 30 Mbps internet connection. We'd imagine it'll likely be a compelling draw for the company's upcoming SHIELD Android set-top box.

So far, NVIDIA is offering around 35 games for free streaming over GRID, including Ultra Street Fighter 4 and Batman: Arkham Origins. Come June, it'll also debut a premium option (no, we don't have pricing details yet).

While you can get 1080p/60p game streaming within your local network in a variety of ways -- including Nvidia's own GeForce Experience offering on PCs and Valve's Steam platform -- offering it remotely over the internet will be the holy grail for plenty of game companies. At this point, Valve's got a major head start -- and it's still making progress. The company also announced today that it's opening up two new GRID data centers in the southwestern US and Central Europe. It's currently running six data centers around the world, offering GRID to gamers in 20 countries.


Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Article: This Crazy Camera Rig Takes Wildly Realistic 3D Pictures

Welcome to the (almost) holodeck We've all seen basic 3D pictures before. There are those distorted picture-globes you can take with your phone, or Google's Street View photospheres. They're impressive in their own way, but they're just 2D images arranged in a slightly 3D-ish manner. Pretty, but ...

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Thursday, April 30, 2015

Microsoft shows off Windows Holographic running Windows 10 apps


When Microsoft debuted its Windows Holographic software and HoloLens headset a few months back, Windows 10 apps were mentioned as a possibility. Well, at Build 2015 today, the folks in Redmond offered a look at Windows 10 Universal apps in holographic action. During the onstage demo, apps could be placed on walls or set to float in space, and resized based on the user's needs -- something we'd only seen in videos up to this point. Of course, this means that users in different locations can collaborate on 3D models without having to be in the same room. Any Windows 10 app can be used as a hologram with the headset, so getting work done at a place other than your desk will soon be a possibility.

With those apps in play, you can overlay a hologram on top of a physical object and make tweaks without heading back to the keyboard. Just like the real and virtual robots we saw onstage, you wrangle simple changes, like the color of an LED, with gestures and the projected UI. Microsoft partnered with Case Western Reserve University to develop medical solutions for the platform, and those were shown off, too. Up-close examinations of the nervous and skeletal systems are now possible without the use of cadavers, and each of the body's systems can be displayed as a separate model in seconds. For architects, Windows Holographic brings the ability to walk through buildings without leaving the office, or through those projects that are still just blueprints. Of course, we'll have to wait and see what the final version looks like, but Microsoft's vision for how we'll work in the near-future is pretty enticing.

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3 atom-thick transistor promises ultra-thin electronics


Elektronik Platine Leiterplatte

Researchers from Cornell University announced a breakthrough in transistor technology in the latest issue of the journal, Nature. The team has reportedly developed a novel and highly efficient method of producing an experimental material known as transition metal dichalcogenide (TMD). TMD is an exceedingly thin (but highly conductive) film, which makes it useful in many high-tech applications -- everything from solar cells to flexible, wearable gadgets -- but also makes it a huge pain to produce in appreciable quantities. That is, until now.

"Our work pushes TMDs to the technologically relevant scale, showing the promise of making devices on that scale," Saien Xie, one of the paper's lead authors. TMD, like the similarly touted wonder-material graphene, could help extend Moore's Law by providing a stable and compact substrate onto which engineers can pack an ever-increasing number of circuits. However, since it's only three atoms thick, TMD production typically suffers from a high rate of breakage and failure. The new method from Cornell, which mixes diethylsulfide and a metal hexacarbonyl compound atop a silicon wafer and then bakes them for 26 hours in hydrogen gas, has proven far more successful.

Out of a batch of 200 such wafers created for the study, only two failed -- that's a 99 percent success rate. With these results in hand, the research team hopes to streamline the manufacturing process as well as improve the consistency of the resulting film. The technology is still at least a few years away from being commercially viable but when it is, we could see it usher in a new era of paper-thin, super-powerful electronics.

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Via: The Verge

Source: Nature


Get your Windows 10 preview for Raspberry Pi 2 while it's hot


Day one of Microsoft's Build 2015 conference is in the books, but that doesn't mean the news has stopped. The Windows 10 IoT Core Insider developer preview (phew!) has launched for small devices including the Raspberry Pi 2. Redmond admits that it's still pretty rough around the edges, but it's hoping that the maker community can provide feedback for how the platform's turning out along the road to a full release. What's more, the software giant is partnering with Arduino for a series of "Arduino Certified" products to bring the ubiquitous DIY boards into the Windows family and take advantage of all that the software has to offer. For example, cloud computing, a familiar user interface, image processing and a ton more. It follows the theme of bringing everything under one roof that Nadella and Co. have been so vocal about lately, and should hopefully help tinkerers develop some pr! etty pow erful stuff in their garage.

The Windows IoT shell is a Universal app like any other on Win10. That's all your RPi will do :D

- Steve T-S (@stroughtonsmith) April 30, 2015

This is what your Raspberry Pi 2 running Windows 10 will boot up to (you can run the x86 version on your desktop):

- Steve T-S (@stroughtonsmith) April 30, 2015

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Source: Windows Blog, Steve Troughton-Smith (Twitter) (1), (2)


Thursday, April 23, 2015

Take notes on your wrist with Google Keep and Android Wear


Keep, Google's cloud-based note taking app, has always been pretty handy. But having to pull out and unlock your phone, then launch the program, open a new note and finally type in your thought is often enough to make anybody yearn for a pencil and pad of paper. Luckily, Google has a newly updated means of jotting down ideas as easy as talking to the back of your hand -- you just need to shell out a couple hundred bucks for an Android Wear watch to use it.

According to the official Google Android Blog, Android users with devices running Ice Cream Sandwich and newer will be able to access the Note app directly from their wristwatch while leaving their phone in their pocket. Users can activate the app with "OK Google, open Keep" or jump directly to dictation with the command "OK Google, take a note." Existing features like swipe-and-tap navigation and adding reminders to existing notes directly from the watch are still supported.

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Source: Official Android Blog


Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Zeiss's latest full-frame Sony lenses have OLED screens


Sony's full-frame Alpha cameras have serious game, and their only weakness -- a lack of lenses -- is quickly becoming a non-issue. Zeiss has just added a couple more full-frame "Batis" AF lenses that have a singular feature: an OLED display. That lets the 25mm f/2 wide angle and 85mm f/1.8 portrait lenses show the lens' focal plane and depth of field, two pieces of info your camera normally can't. That'll be of dubious utility for casual photographers, but could help pros who like to fine-tune shots. The price to be on the bleeding edge of lens tech? $1,199 and $1,299 for the 85mm and 25mm models, respectively, according to Adorama.

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Via: Sony Alpha Rumors

Source: Zeiss


Monday, April 20, 2015

Stunning elevator ride up One World Trade Center shows 515 years of NYC


Beautiful. Breathtaking. Tragic. Saddening. Historic. The new One World Trade Center’s observatory has elevators that display a 515-year visual timeline of New York City’s skyline and it’s an incredible view. Like if you were in a glass elevator and watching history unfold right before your eyes.



drag2share: Our diets have drastically changed since the 1990s and we're drinking 4 times more alcohol


Over the past few years, our diets have changed a lot. For one, we're consuming significantly more alcohol than we were in the 1990s.

The world is also eating way more meat, cheese, milk, and sugar than we were just two decades ago — and way less rice, cereal, and wheat.

Here's a table from a recent Bank of America Merrill Lynch report showing some of the most powerful trends in agriculture and food between 1992 and 2014. The green rectangles show products that we've started eating way more of; the red ones show products we've started eating less of.

Screen Shot 2015 04 17 at 12.59.22 PM

The chart brings good and bad news.

Here's the good: Globally, people are eating more protein, an ingredient critical to healthy muscle and tissue development. 

And the bad:

1. Most of that protein is coming from animal sources. 

A big uptick in the amount of animals we raise for food can also put a strain on global resources of water and energy. It takes far more water, land, and energy (in the form of carbon and methane, two gases that contribute to climate change) to raise cattle that are slaughtered than it does to raise crops for people to eat.

2. Wealthy countries — where people already eat too ! much pro tein — account for most of the increase.

The countries that account for the majority of the uptick are wealthy countries, where people are actually eating more protein than they need. According to the report, developed countries like the US and the UK already eat about twice as much meat compared with the global average, and it predicts this trend will continue until well into the 2020s.

3. People are drinking way more alcohol and eating way more sugar.

The consumption of alcohol and sugar worldwide has spiked. People are drinking more than four times as much as they were in 1992 and eating nearly twice as much sugar.

Too much sugar causes your blood sugar to spike and then drop a short while later, leaving you hungry for more.

4. People are eating way less grain.

Contrary to what low-carb and paleo diets might have you think, grains are a vital part of any healthy diet.

Whole grains like brown rice, whole wheat, and cereals (as opposed to processed grains like the kind found in white bread or white rice) are rich in fiber, which helps keep your digestive system running smoothly. Some of these grains even contain enough protein to make them competitive with meat, even while being far less harsh on the environment.


Sony's new flagship smartphone has an image-stabilizing selfie camera


Sony's unveiled its new smartphone in Japan, the Xperia Z4, and like you might tell from the press images, it's a mighty familiar-looking one from a company still looking for its next big hit. Yep there's a lot of similarities compared to the Z3 (a phone that we were pretty happy with), including a 5.2-inch screen, metal frame, support for Hi-Res audio and the same wide-angle 25mm lens on the main camera. Upgrades since last year's model include a frame that's both thinner (down to under 7 mm) and lighter, while camera upgrades are focused on the front, which now gets the same wide-angle lens of the primary shooter as well as digital image stabilization to keep your selfie game completely on point.

Sony's also added timer functions for improved posing and group selfies - with or without a stick. The phone launches this summer in Japan, in four shades of metal finish, but no word on where (or if) it'll start its world tour after that. However, we'd put money on a very similar smartphone appearing at some point.

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Via: Engadget Japanese

Source: Sony Mobile Japan


Sunday, April 19, 2015

Michelin-starred chef takes organic quality to 'fanatic' extremes


Italian chef Paolo Sari cooking in

Roquebrune-Cap-Martin (France) (AFP) - France has many restaurants claiming the "bio" label, but only one to earn a star in the fabled Michelin Guide: Elsa, a Riviera eatery run by an Italian chef, Paolo Sari.

Sari boasts he takes the credo to such lengths that his 40-seat restaurant barely outside Monaco's border is "the only certified 100-percent bio establishment in the world".

Certainly he is inflexible in ensuring his Mediterranean cuisine, mixing French and Italian recipes, is entirely organic and sourced from local and near-local producers. 

That means his asparagus comes from a village in Provence, his saffron from a mountaintop village near Nice, and seafood direct from fishermen. His almonds come from Sicily and go to make a diabolically delicious souffle.

Beef, though, is one ingredient that doesn't feature on his menu because there is no organic cattle farm nearby.

"Each ingredient, each supplier, even each transporter needs to have a certification," Sari told AFP.

Organisation is key, with records provided on every menu and the percentage of dishes sold, "because an inspector could come to check at any moment".

"I let the ingredients be the star, after a fanatic search for good products," the chef said. He then adds his own "little touches". Three years of that approach earned Elsa -- which is part of a resort called Monte-Carlo Beach -- its Michelin star last year.

- Higher prices -

Maintaining the all-bio standards, though, doesn't come cheap. Supplier costs are 20 percent higher than for food coming from traditional sources using industrial techniques.

"In the beginning, it was expensive. Scarcity makes for expense," said Daniele Gercelon, the director of Monte-Carlo Beach. 

"Then we expanded the range of suppliers for greater reliability, choice and volume." 

Now, she added, she is looking to implement the bio approach to the other eateries at the resort, which is part of a bigger, Monaco-based group managing several restaurants and hotels.

The winter closure of the Elsa restaurant between October and March means Sari only needs to find fresh seasonal produce in the warmer months, when it is at its most abundant.

He also has access to a three-hectare (7.5-acre) small, private farm in Roquebrune-Cap-Martin, the French village where the restaurant is located which butts up against Monaco. It also relies on another two-hectare plot of land in San Remo, a town just over the Italian border 20 kilometres (12 miles) away.

Sari, 45, said his experience working in restaurants in Japan, South Korea, China, Switzerland, London, New York, Los Angeles, Moscow and Venice gave him a broad range of influences, but he preferred an Asian "simplicity" in the presentation of his dishes.

Among his fare is an entree of green asparagus with generous slices of black truffle on a bed of potatoes. There is also a risotto made golden with saffron and a touch of bone marrow, and roast lamb ribs coated with acacia honey and accompanied by knob celery.

The wine, naturally, is all bio as well, with nearly 100 choices to match the meals.

Diners have a choice of desserts: a tarte tatin/creme brulee fusion, mini crepes Suzette with caramelised pears, or -- France and Italy united -- a Saint-Honore puff pastry cake married with tiramisu.

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