Sphero's BB-8 is the ultimate Star Wars droid
What is more exciting to me is whether Sphero can deliver on its promise of bringing a consumer companion robot that evolves thoughtfully and can eventually become autonomous. The company spoke vaguely of the updates that will come to BB-8 in the near future: particularly programmability, which will allow users to construct full routines for BB-8 to do by himself. But I’m looking forward to seeing whether different BB-8 droids differ in personality when they’re next to each other, whether the droids can talk amongst themselves, or whether BB-8 will be able to immediately respond to environmental actions like the sudden playing of music.
Lenovo announces powerful new Skylake-based ThinkPads
The 14-inch E460 and the 15.6-inch E560 feature Intel Skylake processors coupled with discrete AMD Radeon graphics cards, extensive memory and storage options, and your choice of HD or Full HD displays.
$399 Moto X Pure Edition is now available for pre-order
Motorola says the new Moto X is its fastest charging phone to date, boosting up to 10 hours of use in a 15-minute charge. A turbo charger will be included with the device, and it’s expected to ship in mid-September. You can also find the Moto X Pure Edition on Amazon, Play Store and Best Buy later this month.
The Best Cheap Mini Laptop Just Got Some Competition
Oh, we can’t say for sure till we’ve put them both through their paces, but the Lenovo IdeaPad 100S is definitely shooting for the same budget notebook audience—and I wouldn’t be surprised if it hits the mark. For just $190, this Windows 10 machine is thinner at 0.69 inches, notably lighter at 2.2 pounds, and comes equipped with a surprisingly decent matte 1366 x 768 screen and a quad-core Intel Atom Z3735F processor.
Samsung announces first Ultra HD Blu-ray player, launches in Europe in early 2016
The new Ultra HD format comes a decade after the first Blu-ray discs went to market. However, the video entertainment landscape has changed since then, with the likes of Netflix, Amazon, and Hulu bringing streaming video to the online masses. While some of these services also offer Ultra HD streaming, it can lead to bandwidth congestion and “buffering,” which is why a physical format disc for Ultra HD could gain some traction.
Sony's Xperia Z5 family includes the world's first 4K smartphone
Sony says that, thanks to the phase-detection pixels, the Z5 family can autofocus in as little as 0.03 second, claiming it's the "world's fastest autofocus in a smartphone." All we can say is it's very quick. The actuator helps with this by swiftly moving the lens to focus, and because it's closed-loop, it'll also offer better image stabilization, especially for video. As you'd expect, all three will shoot movies in 4K, although evidently the Z5 Premium is the only one capable of playing footage back natively on the phone itself. Sony says the new sensor is capable of oversampling images (PureView style) for digital zoom "without loss of image quality." Take that claim with an ocean's worth of salt, of course, but the zoomed images definitely seemed good enough for a Facebook or Twitter share.
Google Docs gets Google search integration, speech recognition, and automatic chart generation
Google is introducing today several nifty features for its widely used Google Docs suite of web services. Most importantly, you’ll now be able to search for information and photos with Google search and easily add it into documents right from within the apps on Android. Also, you’ll now be able to use Google’s speech recognition system to dictate words and put them into your documents.
Own a historic NASA manual featuring 'the worm' - CNET
It won't teach you how to build a rocket or fly to Pluto, but this manual is a fascinating part of NASA's history, and it's seeking funding on Kickstarter now.
Estimote scales beacon technology to track any person or object that moves
Estimote stickers were already great for tracking the whereabouts of people using iBeacon technology. Now, those same stickers can track each other — even when moved — with the same underlying software.
Making a stock photo your own
Searching for the right stock photo can be rewarding when you find the perfect one that fits your design needs. Often, however, designers are interested in making the stock photo their own by adding unique techniques or styles to add personality or keep within an organization’s visual identity guidelines.
How Colin the Caterpillar spent his drunken 25th birthday
To celebrate his 25th birthday, Colin was given a party hat and some chocolate-coated popping candy by Marks & Spencer. It was a small gathering with a few friends. They all stood around him in the office while Danny the Dinosaur led the Happy Birthday singalong. It was nice. Then 9 p.m. hit, Colin said his goodbyes and jumped on the next tube to meet Harry the Hedgehog and the gang.
March of the Asus ZenFones (pictures) - CNET
Asus isn't a big name in phones, but we always appreciate seeing the company's many variations on its phones. Although it didn't announce a new phone for the show, we got a chance to get to know these current handsets. Here, for example, we have the ZenFone 2 (R).
Learn the fundamentals of professional IT with this bundle
The tuition starts with a look at how to set up new laptops and PCs, and the basics of networking. The second course focuses on how to configure desktop operating systems and commonly used features on mobile devices. Both of these courses work toward professionally recognized CompTIA A+ certification.
Google revamps Search and Now cards for mobile with new gestures and categories
Starting today on mobile, users will see a simplified way of searching. What will happen now is that when you come across images, videos, news stories, and other content, you can swipe and tap to access it. No longer will you have to specify a filter to pull up the information. Conduct a search of the Mars Curiosity rover and you’ll see the results page segmented by categories — news, tweets, apps, images, etc. — with most of them allowing you to swipe to view more.
Lenovo's Surface Pro Alternative Looks Like One Sweet Tablet
The Lenovo Miix 700, hitting shelves this November for $700 and up, might not be the perfection I’m looking for, but it certainly looks like a great start. Just like the Surface Pro 3, it’s got a gorgeous 12-inch, 2160 x 1440 touchscreen with a remarkable 3:2 aspect ratio which is more totable and lets you see more of your favorite webpages than your standard 16:9 tablets and laptops.
Think Today's Internet Is Weird? Check Out This Madness From Back In The Day
And if nothing else: Show them to your kid the next time they complain about how slowly their high-definition video is loading on the iPad. It's kind of the "I walked 15 miles in the snow, uphill both ways" of our modern age.
Apple Adds More Publishers for Its News App, Which Will Launch Soon
That doesn’t mean Apple isn’t interested in getting the word out about the app, which it has been fixing up since debuting a rough-around-the-edges beta a few months ago. It has also signed up more publishers for the launch, which will likely be in the next few weeks. When it announced News at WWDC in June, Apple had 18 publishers on board; now it says it has more than 50.*
Internet-connected baby monitors are vulnerable to attacks
Rapid7 warns that it's not just pervs with lots of time on their hands parents should be worried about. Industrial spies could also take advantage of the devices' flaws to steal secrets or keep an eye on high-profile execs who use their phones or computers to connect to their kids' internet baby monitors. You can read the full report on the firm's website, containing a list of products they tested and their corresponding weaknesses.
Easter Eggs - Metal Gear Solid 5: The Phantom Pain Wiki Guide - IGN
This page contains information on the easter eggs and secrets found in Metal Gear Solid 5: The Phantom Pain. It's one part of IGN's guide showing you the strategies, collectibles, and locations you need to know to beat every MGS 5 mission. Check our more of our Metal Gear 5 Walkthrough for more Cheats , Easter Eggs , and Tips and Tricks .
Acer's coolest new PC lets you build a computer like Lego bricks
In addition to its Aspire V laptops, Acer is introducing several new Windows 10 machines with more interesting form factors. The Aspire R 13 is a convertible with a display that can be flipped over the keyboard so that it can be used like a tablet. It has a Core i5 or Core i7 processor, a 1080p or Quad HD display, and up to 8GB of RAM. The R 13 also includes the same connectivity features as the Aspire V machines. Additionally, there's the Aspire Switch 10 V and 10 E, two convertible Windows 10 machines that can work as a laptop or break free from their keyboard to become a tablet. These are low-power systems with 10-inch displays, Atom processors, and 2GB of RAM. The R 13 will go on sale in October for $899, but Acer gave no pricing or availability for the Switch line.
Twitter expands its self-service ads platform to more than 200 countries
Twitter is bringing its self-service ads platform to more people around the world. The company announced that small- to medium-sized businesses (SMBs) in more than 200 countries and territories can now advertise and reach their target audience on Twitter in 15 languages.
What to expect at Apple's September 9 event: iPhone 6S, Apple TV, and more (roundup) | ZDNet
Along with the new iPhone, the company's mobile operating system iOS 9 is also expected to land at the event. The software, first announced at Apple's developer conference in June, comes with a familiar look and feel, but with a wealth of new features.
Steven Spielberg says superhero movies will die like Westerns - CNET
Spielberg, though, sees it like this: "These cycles have a finite time in popular culture. There will come a day when the mythological stories are supplanted by some other genre that possibly some young filmmaker is just thinking about discovering for all of us."
Samsung and Barnes & Noble launch the Galaxy Tab S2 Nook, a $400 8-inch tablet for readers
While the tablets are like most other Android tablets in many ways, the tie-up with Barnes & Noble means the devices come heavily layered with reader-focused tools and icons — for example, the Nook Shop and Search functions are front and center. And there’s a shortcut taking readers directly to their current book of choice.
The FDA May Add a Life-Saving Vitamin to Tortillas
About six months have passed since mixing day, and Dunn says the stability results so far are encouraging. Midway through the test, he and his students took over an industrial kitchen to make tortillas and corn chips from the fortified corn masa flour, checking to see how the folic acid fared. “The one thing that did surprise us is the tortilla chips,” he says. “That’s pretty harsh, with wet dough going into super hot frying oil. We thought we’d see a hefty loss and we didn’t.” They’re collecting the last of the data to submit to the FDA, but a final decision from the FDA will at the very least take months more.
Samsung launches SleepSense, a smart sleep-tracker that connects to your home appliances
With the burgeoning Internet of Things economy, where personal gadgets and home appliances can talk to each other, Samsung is looking to tie together these numerous strands to build a more holistic picture. However, in its presentation at IFA, the company made no mention of how it plans to tie this data in with activities outside the home — those walks to work, runs around the park, and trips to the gym. We can only assume there will be a way to integrate with third-party activity tracking tools, perhaps with RunKeeper, Fitbit, or Withings, though details of any such tie-ups have not been revealed.
Technology Is Forever Changing How We Pray
Maxwell's guests included Donald Cyprian, developer of a new religious app; Tim O’Malley, director of the Notre Dame Center for Liturgy; Heidi Campbell, a communications professor at Texas A&M University; and Dr. Pauline Hope Cheong, an associate professor of communications at Arizona State University. Each weighed in on how technology is changing the way we pray -- and why this might not be a bad thing.
Our 10 Favorite Windows 10 Universal Apps for PCs and Phones
Windows 10 lets you get apps that run on differing device sizes from phones to high-powered desktop PCs. Here are the best of these apps we've found.
You won't believe what Sony named its new $200 Hi-Res Audio headphone - CNET
But Sony says the h.ear on "headband-style" headphones have Hi-Res Audio chops, with 40mm HD drivers that reproduce sounds up to 60 kHz, augmented bass that's "complemented by lightweight CCAW voice coils which yield high-linearity responses in high-pitched sounds" and domes of the acoustic diaphragms have been titanium-coated to minimize unwanted vibrations. Additionally, a ground separated cable "reduces cross talk and is balanced compatible for balance output supported equipment."
Royal Jelly Isn’t What Makes a Queen Bee a Queen Bee
We’ve known for a while that bees’ diet is involved in building different kinds of bee bodies. Science is still figuring out just how that happens. Queen larvae are surrounded by royal jelly; they float on a sea of sugary bee gland snot in enlarged cells. Worker bees eat beebread (a type of fermented pollen) and honey. Nurse bees mash this into a “worker jelly” and add glandular secretions as a garnish. Workers don’t get the special stuff in queen jelly, and their ovaries shrivel.
Bring Home Your Own Star Wars BB-8 Droid, Thanks To Sphero
When Sphero’s Chief Creative Officer Rob Maigret demonstrated the BB-8 for me, he used his iPhone like a remote control, rolling the droid around the room. He also used his iPhone to give it voice commands — for example, telling it to go on patrol. (At that point it started moving around the room on its own, looking for enemies.) And through his iPhone camera, we could actually watch BB-8 broadcast holographic messages recorded by other users — perhaps inevitably, the message riffed on the “Help me, Obi-Wan scene” from the original Star Wars .
Airbnb's new Apple Watch app lets you message your host
Airbnb is trying its hand at the Apple Watch, with a new app that aims to provide a quick and easy way for hosts and guests to message each other.
Hands-On: Samsung’s Gear S2 Classic May Be the First Great Smartwatch
Within the new watch lineup, it’s still a mystery as to how the Gear S2 Classic will be priced and positioned. Samsung hasn’t announced pricing or availability details for any of the watches yet. In terms of specs, the Classic is a step-down from the fully loaded version of the more-futuristic Gear S2 Sport. The Classic doesn’t offer a 3G-connected option, so it isn’t as much of a standalone device as the e-SIM-equipped version of the Gear S2 Sport. It’s also the smallest watch in the lineup, with a 40mm case as compared to the Gear S2’s Sport’s 42mm and 44mm options.
Millions Affected By The U.S. Government Hack Haven't Been Told Yet
WASHINGTON — The U.S. government has not yet notified any of the 21.5 million federal employees and contractors whose security clearance data was hacked more than three months ago, officials acknowledged on Tuesday.
It’s Now Possible to 3-D Print Transparent Glass | MIT Technology Review
To achieve this, the printer needs separate heating systems for each stage of the manufacturing process. The molten glass ink is housed in a crucible above the nozzle, where heating coils maintain the desired temperature. The glass flows from the crucible into a custom nozzle, where separate heating coils keep it hot enough to flow and without sticking to the inside. Finally, objects are built inside a third heating chamber, which is kept just above the temperature at which the glass turns solid. This allows the printed objects to be cooled in a gradual, controlled way so that they don’t break.
Hand-Drawn Map Captures the Frenetic Energy of London
The images above are details from a new map of London drawn by Fuller (aka Gareth Wood), a British map artist. The goal, Wood says, was to capture his relationship with the city over the past 10 years. “It’s about documenting a particular time and experience,” he says. “Our existence is so inconsequential in the grand scheme of things, that in a way what I feel like I’m doing is creating an artifact, something I can leave behind. There’s a certain romanticism to it.”
Traditional looking Huawei Watch on sale September 17, priced from $350 to $800
Huawei today announced the U.S. availability and pricing of its Huawei Watch, a large-ish metal smartwatch that runs on Android Wear. The watch will go on sale September 17 and will come in models ranging from $350 to $800.
Intel preps wireless charging system with enough juice to power a laptop
A wireless charging system that packs enough power to replenish a laptop battery should hit the market in 2016, helping realize the long-held dream of a cable-free desk, Intel said on Wednesday.
Acer’s Windows 10 phone will morph into a PC thanks to Continuum
Acer has unveiled its first "PC Phone" — a Windows 10 phone that will function as a PC thanks to Microsoft's Continuum . The device, named the Jade Primo, will ship with a suite of accessories including a dock, keyboard, and wireless mouse. The phone itself has a 21-megapixel camera with a dual-LED flash, a super AMOLED 5.5-inch display, and is powered by a Qualcomm 808 Snapdragon processor. Acer hasn't said anything about when the device might ship or for how much, but it looks like the Pocket PC dream might be getting a revival. We're on the lookout for any more information about this device, so stay tuned.
Bench Power Supply
This is a design for an open source, modular bench power supply with enough features to compete with the mid-range commercial units in the $1000-ish range. This project includes features such as software calibration, programmatic control via USB Raw HID, etc. In its simplest form, it is very affordable, but can be easily scaled up to a larger, more powerful unit.
Discuss your projects, get feedback and find collaborators in the HackChat this week
Asus Previews Water-Cooled Gaming Laptop, More at IFA
The ROG G20, meanwhile, is a new high-end gaming PC that Asus claims is the "most dominating" PC under 10 liters. It boasts an Intel Core i7-6700 and Nvidia GFX Titan graphics card. It shares the vaguely triangular shape of previous ROG desktops, and features custom colored lighting and a music mode that moves in time with audio. Asus claims it's capable of outputting 4K games at ultra-high graphical settings and 50 frames per second, but that number will vary wildly depending on the game in question.
Apple TV 4 hardware revealed: A8 chip, black remote, 8/16GB storage, same ports, no 4K
I get it. You don’t like 4K. That’s fine, that is an argument — it’s not about that. It’s coming whether you like it or not, that’s just how it is. But really, this is about including it on the phones and not putting it in the ATV; that’s the issue here. If they left it out of the iPhones then I would say fine, Apple doesn’t think 4K is viable, yet, they’re holding off. But this mixed message that they are sending supporting it with the left hand and the right hand saying nope, sorry, is just stupid — which is why I personally do not believe this claim. Yes, your third point is a very small benefit that maybe 10% of people will take advantage of. And this is the reason why they upgraded the camera, and spent all that R&D money on making sure the GPU and CPU can handle recording in that resolution, along with whatever software changes that had to be made as well? So people can zoom in and crop and still have it look good at 1080p? Come on…I don’t even think you believe that. Yes, this is absolutely a benefit, but it’s also a benefit for people that actually own 4K televisions, who create 4K content on their phones, to be able to watch it in it’s native resolution…especially if they want to purchase a new gen ATV — that would actually be an incentive for them to buy one, since using AirPlay to watch their newly shot 4K videos would be a positive experience.
Samsung launches next-gen SmartThings smart home hub
But the hub and the sensors are now available for purchase on shop.smartthings.com and Samsung.com and will be rolling out on Amazon.com and retail stores across the U.S. In the U.K the products will be available at select Currys PC World stores and online at Samsung.com. Next year they will become available in more European countries, as well.
Acer Revo Build (M1-601) Preview - CNET
The idea of a modular PC, where different sections and components can be swapped out quickly and easily, has been talked about for a long time, without ever being commercially viable. Acer is taking a new stab at the idea with its Revo Build Series, a stackable set of PC parts that come together to form a small desktop computer.
Net-A-Porter founder leaves abruptly ahead of merger
PARIS/MILAN Natalie Massenet, founder and executive chairman of online fashion group Net-A-Porter, said on Thursday it was the right time to leave after she resigned abruptly ahead of the completion of a planned merger with Italy's Yoox.
Sony, former workers in deal to settle lawsuit over 'Interview' hacking
Sony Pictures Entertainment Inc has reached a settlement agreement with nine former employees who had filed a lawsuit claiming that their personal data was stolen in a 2014 hacking tied to the studio's release of a comedy film set in North Korea, "The Interview."
Sony Xperia Z5 Compact puts high-end camera tech in a tiny frame (pictures) - CNET
Sony's newest Compact has the same 23-megapixel camera you'll find in its Z5 flagship, but without the massive size. Click through for hands-on snaps.
New Google Street View app lets you add your own 360-degree photos
Once you've shot your photos you can keep them private or share them to Google Maps. Google tells us it will review user submitted photos — primarily to ensure the images are of actual places, not people — so your photos won't be viewable to others right away, though you can keep tabs on all your own photos from the app's profile section.