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Ready for a robot smackdown? 'BattleBots' returns to TV - CNET

DIY metal machines fight to the death. Real-life rock 'em sock 'em competition "BattleBots" to air on ABC after a 12-year hiatus.

This tiny wearable robot can zip your jacket for you

DARPA's Atlas robot can respond to disasters, and the US Navy's SAFFiR can put out fires, but what about robots that can perform the necessary but mundane tasks of daily life? MIT's Personal...

'At Home With Tone' is the new web series with a perfect Tony Abbott impersonation

A new video series titled "At Home With Tone" takes a satirical look at Australia's Prime Minister Tony Abbott.

Here's a Terrifying Robot Dog to Ruin Your Day

We tried to warn you.

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2
Hold on for dear life: driving the incredible, terrifying Tesla Model S P85D

There’s the Model S’ recently added autonomous driving hardware, too. A parking lot is no place to put something like that to the test, but the company had set up a 25 mph speed limit sign just to show that the car can read it and warn you that you’re going too fast. As CEO Elon Musk said at the P85D’s introduction last year, the hardware’s all there, but the software has to catch up — dynamic cruise control was recently rolled out as an over-the-air update, for instance. The eventual goal is what Tesla calls "on-ramp to off-ramp" autonomous driving, meaning you basically never need to touch the steering wheel while you’re on a highway.

3
The life, death, and rebirth of BlackBerry's hometown

As it grew, RIM bought up more and more real estate in Waterloo—roughly 15 buildings in all—and the local headcount swelled to more than 10,000. Its prosperity spread to everyone else in town. Restaurants dedicated private rooms to RIM business dinners, and filled their coffers catering the many in-house functions it held. Hotels opened up to accommodate out-of-town visitors, and housing prices in the region rose. With their mega-millions, “Mike and Jim,” as Lazaridis and his longtime co-CEO Jim Balsillie are called here, funded a cancer care center at the local hospital, built a world-class theoretical physics institute in town, and helped pay for everything from summer camps for college students to RIM Park, a collection of hockey rinks and baseball diamonds just east of the company’s campus. A hot tub vendor down the street held a sale every June, right around the time that RIM bonuses hit executive bank accounts.

4
France can now block suspected terrorism websites without a court order

A new  decree that went into effect today allows the French government to block websites accused of promoting terrorism and publishing child pornography, without seeking a court order. Under the new rules, published last week by France's Ministry of the Interior, internet service providers (ISPs) must take down offending websites within 24 hours of receiving a government order. French Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve says the decree is critical to combatting terrorism, but civil rights groups say it gives the government dangerously broad powers to suppress free speech.

5
Adobe’s Kickbox: The Kit To Launch Your Next Big Idea

I can’t help but to think about this scene as I open the sample Adobe Kickbox that I’ve been sent—a mystery box for Adobe employees’ next big ideas. It’s a simple red cardboard box, sealed by a fire alarm graphic that reads "pull in case of idea." Inside, you’ll find a set of instructions to "beat" the box, a Bic pen, two sets of Post-it notes, a timer, a Staples mini notebook for "Bad Ideas," a slightly larger spiral notebook, a World Market caramel and sea salt chocolate bar, and a $10 Starbucks gift card.

6
Teen faces murder charges after Snapchat selfie with victim's body

is a leading source for news, information and resources for the Connected Generation. Mashable reports on the importance of digital innovation and how it empowers and inspires people around the world. Mashable's record 42 million unique visitors worldwide and 20 million social media followers are one of the most influential and engaged online communities. Founded in 2005, Mashable is headquartered in New York City with an office in San Francisco.

7
Who has more friends: Marnie the Dog or Taylor Swift?

is a leading source for news, information and resources for the Connected Generation. Mashable reports on the importance of digital innovation and how it empowers and inspires people around the world. Mashable's record 42 million unique visitors worldwide and 20 million social media followers are one of the most influential and engaged online communities. Founded in 2005, Mashable is headquartered in New York City with an office in San Francisco.

8
The Best iPad Sketch App, Paper, Is Now Completely Free

FiftyThree’s evolving business model stems from the fact that it’s a somewhat atypical company. While even big tech companies like Twitter, LG, Facebook, Samsung, and, to a large extent, Google, will specialize solely in software or hardware, with 53 employees, FiftyThree has both software and hardware specialists recruited from companies like Microsoft and Sonos. Strategically speaking, this allows them to rely on both hardware and software to generate meaningful revenue—and so far, we’ve already seen FiftyThree go from leaning their business on in-app purchases to a tool sold on store shelves.

9
7 Key Habits For Building Better Relationships

We all know people who tell us their whole life story in the first five minutes of meeting us, totally oblivious to the fact that we likely have absolutely no interest in hearing it. To build strong relationships we need to be able to pace ourselves and share when it’s appropriate and at a level that is consistent with the depth of the relationship.

10
Nintendo reportedly wanted to make Harry Potter games back in 1998

If Nintendo had its way, Harry Potter might just have been added to its huge cast of iconic video game characters. According to  a new report from Unseen64 — a site dedicated to uncovering cancelled, lost, and otherwise unreleased games — at one point Nintendo was itching to secure the exclusive video game rights to the Harry Potter franchise. And in 1998, just a year after the first book was released, Nintendo's American division reportedly put together a pitch in hopes of securing them.

11
Remixed "50 Shades Of Grey" Posters Show Abuse, Not Romance

I work at a domestic violence/sexual violence organization and I support different sorts of sexuality as long as consent is freely given by a party that hasn't been coerced into giving it. That being said, I have not read the books, but I know from BDSM practitioners that this is not a representation of healthy practices in their community, and from what others have said, not only is it incredibly violent but triggering for victims/survivors of domestic and sexual violence. It's a piece of trash that normalizes abuse.

12
Don't Make a Three-Parent Baby. Adopt Instead | WIRED

What could justify that preference? Would I love a genetic child more? Is a genetic child somehow more valuable than an adopted one? Even asking these questions is offensive to an adopted parent (and most of us, I would hope). Making a genetic child and adopting are different, but equally valuable ways of forming a family. And once we see this, the effort and resources that we put into creating genetic children begins to look worrisome; our valuation of the genetic relationship starts to look less like a mere preference and more fetishistic—that is, more like an extravagant, irrational devotion. And this kind of fetishism is not benign, as the intense focus within reproductive technology on making new, genetic children perpetuates and normalizes a system in which we ignore the suffering of existing children and view non-genetic families as abnormal and maybe even less valuable.

13
Photographer highlights New Zealand's beauty on 3-month camper trip

is a leading source for news, information and resources for the Connected Generation. Mashable reports on the importance of digital innovation and how it empowers and inspires people around the world. Mashable's record 42 million unique visitors worldwide and 20 million social media followers are one of the most influential and engaged online communities. Founded in 2005, Mashable is headquartered in New York City with an office in San Francisco.

14
Xiaomi's MIUI 6 OS Adds Style and Function To Android

I like how MIUI is different enough to feel novel, yet familiar enough for any smartphone user to dive into. As with earlier versions of the OS, you can tap and hold the menu hardware button on the home screen and shake the device to neatly arrange your icons. MIUI 6 also lets you move and delete multiple apps at once, which works very well and makes a stronger case for doing away with the app drawer.

15
Drones in police departments raise red flags for privacy advocates

For the time being, privacy advocates are not focusing on fighting for federal legislation. "For activists, it's generally easier to do things at the local and state level," says Nadia Kayyali of the Electronic Frontier Foundation, a privacy and free speech advocacy organization. "Any fight at the local level is more likely to see results, but also does take a much more significant investment in time."

16
MacBook Air survives 1,000-foot plunge out of plane | Cult of Mac

Imagine cruising low around South Africa in your small plane at 105 knots. You’re enjoying the scenery below when all the sudden your plane’s canopy pops open just wide enough to send your bag with a MacBook Air plummeting 1,000 feet to its death.

17
500px on Twitter

When you tweet with a location, Twitter stores that location. You can switch location on/off before each Tweet and always have the option to delete your location history. Learn more

18
SMS vs. Push vs. Email: When Should You Use Which?

A main concern for many companies is evaluating the best communication technique to increase customer engagement. How do you convince customers to interact with your product in the most contextual manner?

19
What It's Like to Regain Your Sense of Hearing, Smell, or Touch | WIRED

You know what seeing is like—or hearing, or feeling. But for people who are learning (or relearning) those senses anew, they don’t work in quite the same way. Prostheses, bionic implants, and drugs are creating new neural signals and novel experiences of the world. And it turns out, discovering how to build a sense from scratch is one step closer to amplifying it. Infrared vision, hypertactile sensitivity, and Jaime Sommers-level hearing, here we come.

20
This App Tells You What Kind Of Wine To Drink With Your Pizza

Let's say you order a Meat Lover's pie and are in the mood for a red. All you'll need to do is to highlight those two selections on Vine Pair's ingenious tool and hit "show me my wine pairing." In less than half a second, that little blue button will inform you that a bottle of Cabernet Sauvignon would take your dinner to new heights. All that's left is for you to text your beau to pick up this very wine and for you to smile while you wait for the pizza to arrive. Effortlessly, you've transformed your ordinary dinner into something exceptional.

21
Albuquerque hopes for another tourism hit with 'Better Call Saul'

is a leading source for news, information and resources for the Connected Generation. Mashable reports on the importance of digital innovation and how it empowers and inspires people around the world. Mashable's record 42 million unique visitors worldwide and 20 million social media followers are one of the most influential and engaged online communities. Founded in 2005, Mashable is headquartered in New York City with an office in San Francisco.

22
Win an Apple Watch and be Your Company's Recruiting Hero!

Your company has been growing exponentially, and along with your success comes the realization that your existing team of engineers, developers and programmers is no longer enough. Not only do you need more tech talent, you need a better way to source and screen them.

23
Netflix launches service in Cuba

Zac Goldsmith has issued a statement regarding the HSBC claims. "It has never been a secret that I am a beneficiary of a trust set up by my late father and administered by a family office in Geneva," writes the Tory MP. "To be clear, my very numerous family members around the world who are beneficiaries of the same trust do not own or control it, but like me, they receive income from it. I have never had a Swiss bank account, and do not control any Swiss bank accounts. I have never sought or been given tax minimisation advice by HSBC, directly or indirectly."

24
Android OEM profitability, and the most surprising number from Q4's smartphone market

HTC, say, is 100% proprietary components, so their value added in each device is substantially less than either Apple’s or Samsung’s would be. However, Samsung value-added in semiconductors will be accounted for in the semiconductor division, not Sammy Mobile, and therefore that will understate their profitability per device to some extent. This factor will be bigger now they’ve gone for the in-house chip for the S6. To estimate it you’d have to know how much of their chip output is going into their own devices, which is likely to be a huge pain in the arse, as frex GS 4s for the ROK and Japan had an Samsung-made Exynos, North American ones a Qualcomm Snapdragon, and European ones? It depends!

25
GoDaddy is about to buy Node startup Nodejitsu

It’s clear that at least some people within GoDaddy know about the Node movement. In 2013 the company open-sourced its Node Cluster Service, which enables engineers to “restart or hot upgrade your web servers with zero downtime or impact to clients,” according to a description on the project’s GitHub page .

26
At This Office, The Break Room Is A Giant Ball Pit

"Play provides emotional and physical outlets and this is just as necessary for adults as it is for kids," she says. "Arguably adult play time does exist, it has just been re-branded as happy hour, or in the form of relaxation initiatives such as spas or sport. But this kind of release and relaxation can also be found in its purest form in simple and childlike playtime activities."

27
The Onion imagines Uber's next luxury service: hijacking

In the video above, The Onion does what it does best: takes a plausible occurence about two steps too far and lands on ridiculous comedic gold. The clip's faux newscast introduces Uber's newest high-end car service, Uber Seize, as a luxury option that allows users to stop and hijack nearby vehicles.

28
Watch How a Real Kidney Grows From Cells Into an Organ

We all grow from small bunch of cells into fully-fledged adults, but rarely do we get to see the process in action. In this video, researchers have peered into a mouse kidney, to watch how cells branch out to form the organ's internal pipework.

29
Engadget UK giveaway: win a Surface Pro 3 courtesy of Misco

There's nothing we enjoy more, dear readers, than kicking the week off by giving you the chance to win some free, tasty tech. And we've got an especially delectable prize for you this time around in the form of a Surface Pro 3 tablet, Microsoft's most recent attempt at crafting a slate with enough computing power to replace your laptop. It's not any old Surface either, as our generous friends at computing superstore and IT service provider Misco have only gone and hooked us up with a top-of-the-pile Core i7 model , replete with 8GB of RAM and a 256GB SSD. That's over a grand's worth of hardware we're looking forward to sending one lucky reader's way, and while it runs Windows 8.1 Pro out of the box, it'll be treated to a free upgrade to Windows 10 when Microsoft releases its latest OS revision to the masses. If you don't know the deal already: check out the rules and submit up to three entries via the Rafflecopter widget below. Then, cross your fingers and hope a card from that special someone isn't the best piece of correspondence you end up receiving this Valentine's day.

30
Kenji Ekuan, industrial designer of bullet trains and soy bottles, dies

Japanese industrial designer Kenji Ekuan, whose works ranged from a bullet train to the red-capped Kikkoman soy sauce dispenser as familiar as the classic Coca-Cola bottle, has died, his company said. He was 85.

31
A Second Panel Will Probe the FCC’s Net Neutrality Plan

Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Chairman Ron Johnson (R., Wis.) is said to have sent Wheeler a letter directly, asking him to provide documents related to the proposal within the next two weeks. He also asked him to provide a written explanation of "what new factors" led him to make the decision to reclassify broadband under Title II, discarding earlier proposals as "no longer appropriate."

32
Apple seeds first iOS 8.3 beta to developers

Apple has just seeded the first developer preview for iOS 8.3, which will in all likelihood be the next major update for the platform in 2015. With this update, it’s believed that support for the Apple Watch will see the light of day, as Apple tests the software ahead of a public launch. As far as this beta release goes, it’s the first of what will probably be many, as Apple’s CEO Tim Cook previously confirmed that the Apple Watch is on schedule to begin shipping in April.

33
Tech Leaders Rank High Among 2014's Biggest Philanthropists | WIRED

There was a time, not so long ago, when the country’s leading philanthropists were the oil barons and industrialists who helped build the nation’s infrastructure. Today, they’re the people building mobile messaging apps and the tiny waterproof cameras that you strap on your head before going skydiving.

34
The Invention of the Cardboard Box

The cardboard box goes largely unappreciated. Yet, it is indispensable to our daily living. It holds all of our knick-knacks and personal mementos when we move or have things shipped. It holds our breakfast cereal. It has been used for countless children’s art projects; fashioned into a robot head or a horse’s body. Heck, it is even in the International Toy Hall of Fame in Rochester, New York . As with a lot of things that have become commonplace, hardly any thought has been put into how and why it is was invented and by whom. In fact, the history of the cardboard box, besides rarely being talked about, isn’t particularly well documented either. However, cobbled together through several sources,  patents, and old forgotten texts, we can start to piece together the story of the ubiquitous cardboard box.

35
Samsung Elec 2015 dividend payout likely less than 2014: source

Samsung Electronics last month announced an end-2014 dividend of 19,500 won per common share, an increase of 41 percent from a year earlier. Factoring in an earlier interim dividend, the total 2014 payout was up 40 percent, at 20,000 won per common share.

36
Peek inside the most expensive puppet ever created: Jabba the Hutt | Cult of Mac

In this new documentary from London-based Jamie Benning, you’ll get a literal inside look at how this immense, multi-person operated puppet was put together and performed by the two to three men inside the Hutt, as well as the various people controlling the eyes via radio control outside.

37
Hands on with OS X's new Photos app | Cult of Mac

I really can’t say that i find either OS X or iOS “buggy and unusable”, for most of the issues a clean install is quite effective remedy; I have two Macbook Pros and an iMac, the only bug I have is “wake from sleep” crash I experience on the iMac (disabled sleep altogether). It’s a bit annoying, but apart from that I have no other problems, and the same goes for iOS. The iMac is now running 10.10.3 with Photos, and both the OS and the app are working quite well. Photos is fast and crashed only once in several days of heavy use, which is less aggravation than I can say for iPhoto. Too much unused white area is the only complaint – iOS paradigms don’t always work on a big screen, Apple – but it’s somewhat remedied by turning on sidebar; also, editing images in Photos is quite impressive “just works” Apple-like experience and made me quite enthusiastic about their software after a long while.

38
Softcore Ruin Porn: Abandoned Buildings Made Sweet, Not Scary

These images of crumbling architecture devoid of human life are still a bit post-apocalyptic, but peacefully so: Shards of sunlight fall on dilapidated pews in an old Christian chapel; a couch hemorrhages stuffing into a once-cozy living room; a broken chandelier dangles above decaying movie theater seats. In most of his photographs, ornate details from the structures’ better days peek through dust and grime: elaborate frescoes, curly moldings, marble pillars, vibrant paint colors. If Villette’s ruin porn were actual porn, it would be the soft-lit romantic kind.

39
The fake city helping create tomorrow’s cars

Detroit may have been the heart of America’s car industry, but a short drive away is where the cars of the future may just take shape. Jack Stewart pays this stunt city a visit.

40
Grammys are latest forum for fight over music payments

Last night’s Grammy Awards served up the usual hoopla and back-patting. But a policy plea from singer Jennifer Hudson also underscored how 2015 is likely to be the year when a long-brewing fight comes to a head over how — and how much — musicians should be paid.

41
These Streetside Video Chats Connect Rich And Poor Oakland Neighborhoods

It's safe to say that some Rockridge residents never go to San Antonio, and vice versa. But for a week in January, the neighborhoods were linked. Two video screens, mounted on a hardware store in Rockridge and a nonprofit in San Antonio, played real-time footage of each street, so residents could get a glimpse of each other's lives and even talk to someone new.

42
Armed With Lasers, Scientists Are Closer To A Cure For Jet Lag

The idea could also be useful for more than jet lag. "I would imagine that it would be used as a preventative treatment—preventing misalignment between the clock and the daily light cycle brought about through shift work, the use of bright electronics at night, or cross-time-zone travel," Tackenberg says. For people who suffer from seasonal affective disorder, the stimulation could make trick the brain's clock into thinking that a gray day in February is actually a long summer day.

43
Engadget on Twitter

@engadget @danielwcooper No. It was a Sony "attack" launched (or allowed) in the wake of planning for a cyberwarfare agency.

44
App will bring blood-glucose monitoring to the Apple Watch

To check their glucose levels now, people must use a handheld device that transmits data from the monitor and resembles an earlier version of an iPod Nano, he said. Using the app doesn’t mean a diabetic can ditch the handheld device. That equipment uses Bluetooth to send data from the monitor to an iPhone and Apple Watch. However, instead of pulling out the handheld or an iPhone to get a glucose reading, diabetics can look at the watch.

45
ARM unwraps its most powerful mobile chip yet, headed for phones and tablets next year

ARM says the A72 will provide 3.5 times the performance of its current Cortex-A15 design, which is widely used in phones and tablets today.

46
Cortana on the PC: Can We Talk?

It's still difficult for a computer to discern the meaning of either voice or typed words in the context a human intends, Gold said. "Many different users ask questions in different ways, so being able to parse natural language inquiries is important but very hard to do," he said. "It is the quest for parsing of natural language, written or spoken, that will be the key to whether products like Cortana move away from novelties and into the mainstream, or not, for business users. I want a true digital assistant that can understand what I say and it won't matter how I say it, and that's the ultimate challenge."

47
Shell to allow customers to pay for petrol on their mobile phone - Telegraph

Michael Hominick, Retail Marketing Manager at Shell UK, claimed “Customers will now have the flexibility and convenience of paying without having to leave their car. Those who want to go in store and pay or purchase other items will still be able to, with the benefit of reduced queues.”

48
“Anonymous” hackers attack European Parliament president’s site

On Friday someone posted information on Pastebin indicating that they had retrieved database and password information from the martin-schulz.info website. A spokeswoman for Schulz stressed that this was not a page on the European Parliament website itself (although Schulz’s personal sites are now redirecting to his official page there.)

49
The Verge on Twitter

When you tweet with a location, Twitter stores that location. You can switch location on/off before each Tweet and always have the option to delete your location history. Learn more

50
TechRadar on Twitter

When you tweet with a location, Twitter stores that location. You can switch location on/off before each Tweet and always have the option to delete your location history. Learn more

51 Diamond Ecstasy iPhone 6 could top $3.5 million in bling - CNET