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 .
Here's why sometimes we need to see horrific images of death
Others, however, argued that we do need to see them, and that it’s quite easy to become inured to the death toll and other repercussions of European political decisions. But the sight of a tiny boy’s lifeless body washed up on the sand in Turkey makes an incredibly powerful statement about personal loss. Even some parents with children of similar ages — whom you might think would be the most hard hit by such an image — said that they believed it was necessary. The Independent said:
Amazon Acquires Elemental Technologies for a Reported $500 Million, In Cash
Elemental Technologies is the leading supplier of software-defined video solutions for multiscreen content delivery. Founded in 2006 and headquartered in Portland, Oregon, the company pioneered the use of software-based video processing to distribute and monetize video over IP networks. Solutions from Elemental provide the flexibility, scalability and performance required to transform high quality …
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.
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."
IBM And Chip Designer ARM Want To Monitor Every Device They Can
The term "Internet of things" is a bit like "Web 2.0" was a decade ago—a buzzword for some big change in the Internet that no one can clearly describe. But as the Supreme Court once said of pornography, you know it when you see it. On a fundamental level, the IoT is about collecting data from everything—fitness bands, smoke alarms, weather sensors, cars, oil wells, even TVs and cellphones—and analyzing it to provide insights for people, companies, or marketers.
Get help organizing the files on your Mac with Big Mean Folder Machine - CNET
Lastly, Big Mean Folder Machine asks you if you want to move your files or copy your files. It recommends the latter because you can make sure you like the results without losing any data. And if you like what it did, you can always run the same job and choose to move the files instead of copying them.
Hands On With Acer's Magnetic, Modular Revo Build PC
The Revo Build has a little base chassis that's 4.92 inches square, with an Intel Pentium or Celeron processor, up to 8GB of RAM, 32GB of flash storage, and a bunch of ports on the back: 3 USB 3.0, HDMI, SD, and an audio jack. But the port that's important is on top: a little magnetic connector to attach "blocks," or rectangular black boxes containing other components. Acer showed me a hard drive block (500GB or 1TB) with a USB 3.0 port on the back, a graphics card block (the base unit has pathetic graphics) and a wireless charger block that lets you sit your phone on top of your PC for charging. A "voice block" with a speaker and microphone, and a "projector block" will come as well, Acer says.
FTC settles with Machinima for paying YouTube influencers to endorse Xbox One
The Federal Trade Commission has settled charges with Machinima, which had been accused of deceptive advertising by paying “influencers” to post YouTube videos that endorsed Microsoft’s Xbox One video game console.
Netflix teases second season of 'Narcos' a week after its debut
Netflix's newest original series, Narcos, just hit the streaming service last week, and the early reviews have been positive. The company seems to think pretty highly of the show, too. In fact, it's already teasing us with word of a second season. There's no info on a premiere date or additional details right now, but we'd expect it to ship sometime next year. Until then, get to watching if you haven't. It's really quite good.
U.S. judge approves $415m settlement in poaching lawsuit involving Apple
U.S. district judge Lucy Koh has granted a $415 million settlement to end a poaching lawsuit in which workers accused Apple, Google, Intel, and Adobe of conspiring to hold down worker salaries and prevent engineers from taking jobs with rival companies.
All your favorite characters walk in the club like
I took a college class on avant-garde filmmaking — let's not dwell on the economic value of my decisions as a young adult, okay, thank you — and each week the professor would roll a television into the class room, unsheathe a VHS tape from its musky packaging, press play, and blow our damn minds out the back of our heads, all over the person sitting behind us and onto the wall behind them. This was before YouTube, when the best way to see Un Chien Andalou was at a repertory screening or in a university library. I loved that class, and I love how now I come to work and see weird experimental films as part of my daily duties.
Intel ponies up $50 million for quantum computing research
There are a number of practical problems to be overcome before such computers become more than lab curiosities, including building them at scale, and dealing with cooling. Today’s quantum computing systems contain only a few qubits, but systems will have to have thousands of qubits to be really useful. And cooling them takes more than a big fan or a cold aisle in the data center: To reveal the quantum behavior of the materials they are made from, qubits need to be cooled to within a few degrees of absolute zero—to around -270C.
Google’s Street View App Pairs With This 360-Degree Camera
Google’s been constantly capturing this kind of imagery with its wild camera-enabled cars, and funneling it into Street View. But ever since Google released its Photosphere app, there’s been a surprisingly large group of people creating their own 360-degree photos and sharing them via Google Maps and Street View. They’re not just sharing photos of the view from the cliff, they’re helping you feel what it’s like to be standing on the edge. Google’s noticed the phenomenon, and today is launching a dedicated Street View app for iOS and Android that will give armchair travelers a chance to see what it looks like to be standing just about anywhere.
Ad agency 6S Marketing wants Apple to call their next phone the 'iPhone 7'
Right now, the agency is running a marketing campaign to bring to light the similar names, and even an open letter to Apple to try and dissuade the Cupertino-based company from naming their next phones iPhone 6s. The company has even taken out several different billboards, one of which is positioned in Times Square in New York City (as pictured above), to show that they’d really, really like the next phone to be called the “ iPhone 7 .”
Why Power BI is the future of Excel
“Instead of saying ‘it slices, it dices, it does julienne fries, you don’t need anything else,’ we’re keeping Excel good at what it’s good at,” Philips says. “Excel offers unbelievably powerful ad hoc analysis. It’s great for analyzing any kind of data. It’s effectively a programming environment for data. Really, it’s beautiful! But the interactive designer, where you can slice and dice and do visualizations for your reports, is Power BI Desktop.”
Sphero BB-8 Review: This Is the Coolest Star Wars Toy Ever
BB-8 also tends to wobble a lot, especially when rolling around on hard, smooth surfaces. We’re assuming the original Sphero has the same problem, but because it’s a perfect sphere you probably don’t notice the wobble when it comes to a sudden stop, or when it’s suddenly changing directions. However with the added weight of BB-8’s head on top, the back and forth motion of the toy while it’s shaking off inertia is very noticeable. It doesn’t really affect how the toy moves, but it does tend to make BB-8 look like he’s been out partying with the other droids all night long.
Discuss your projects, get feedback and find collaborators in the HackChat this week
Valve's testing a new look for Steam on TVs
The November release Valve's fancy Steam Controller is right around the corner, and the company seems to be getting the rest of its platform ready for launch day. Specifically, Valve is giving Steam's Big Picture Mode a visual overhaul, redesigning UI navigation in the TV-interface's game library with a more dynamic layout, making tweaks to game-specific pages within that library and updating the look of user profile pages. Valve is also adding FLAC, OGG, Vorbis and M4A support to its music player , as well as experimental Streaming-host support for Macs. Curious? Try it out for yourself by opting into the Steam beta client in your settings menu, or simply check out the gallery below.
Steam's new beta client UI
Theo Rossi and Rosario Dawson join the cast of Marvel’s Netflix series Luke Cage
“When I look at the scripts, I’m really pleased with it because it’s a slow-burn,” said Colter about the upcoming series to IGN . “There’s nothing happening really fast that gets ahead of itself. I’m really with where they’re taking it and how they’re developing the characters, because it’s really cool and it’s geared towards an adult audience, which is something that will be different from the Marvel Cinematic Universe you’ve seen before on the big screen.”
iPhone or iPad's storage almost full? Tips on how to free up space
It becomes quite annoying when your iPhone and iPad runs out of storage space and you can’t do things like install new apps, click more photos or upgrade to iOS 7, since the OTA requires at least 3.1GB of free storage space. So here are some tips on how to free up space on your iPhone, iPad or iPod touch.
Microsoft's new Edge browser: Boon, bust or both?
The reports from both Net Applications and StatCounter are puzzling in that they show Edge being used by a minority of Windows 10 users and generating an even smaller fraction of Windows 10's online usage. Because Edge is set as the default browser during Windows 10 setup -- even if another had been tapped as the default in Windows 7 or 8.1 before upgrading to 10 -- and since the general belief is that defaults of any kind are rarely changed by users, the expectation was that Edge would be the browser of choice on Windows 10.
The tech that brings 'Star Wars' droid BB-8 to life video - CNET
Move over, R2-D2. BB-8, a new droid in the upcoming "Star Wars: The Force Awakens" movie, has already captured the attention and imagination of the sci-fi franchise's fans. CNET's Brian Tong explains how a robotics startup called Sphero helped bring the new droid to life and create what will likely be one of the hottest toys this holiday season.
Two graphic designers are trying to preserve NASA’s famous 1970s 'Worm' logo
A logo should immediately convey a company’s identity. With the right visual style, it can communicate the goals and ambitions of an organization without the use of words. But as crucial as it is to pick the right logo, these graphics aren’t unbending. Companies change or update their graphics over the years, often at times when they are headed in new directions. Google demonstrated that this week, when it unveiled a new look for the company’s transition into Alphabet . A new logo often symbolizes a new era for an organization.
Rival traffic app PhantomAlert wants to shut Waze down after alleged theft
“I started PhantomAlert seven years ago as an entrepreneur with a dream, and now that dream has been crushed by companies that are profiting from the years of blood, sweat and tears our team put into our product," Joseph Scott Seyoum, PhantomAlert's CEO, said in the same statement.
Apple starts Twitter account dedicated to gaming
The company launched @AppStoreGames on Twitter today as a place where it will share information about new releases and deals. This feed will deliver content directly from Apple’s App Store editors, which is the same group of people who determine the Featured Apps you see when you boot up the marketplace. So far, the account has made references to Zelda (a series that is not yet on iOS) and shared promotions from mobile developers.
How does 'Star Wars' droid BB-8 work? This site explains
We’ve just got a close look at Sphero’s BB-8 toy – and we love it. If you feel the same, here’s another brilliant resource for BB-8 fun, an entire site focused on finding out how the droid works .
Apple May Introduce iPad Pro, iPad Mini 4 At September 9 Event: Report
Beyond the iPad Pro, Apple is reported to have plans to unveil the iPad mini 4 at the September 9 event. According to rumors, the iPad mini 4 should be thinner, with a more powerful chipset that can support split-screen apps.
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.
Introducing JetBrains Toolbox, easier access to your coding tools, more control and flexibility, and a lower entry price
At JetBrains we believe that software developers are some of the most forward-thinking people in the world. They are the drivers of the incredible pace with which technologies are developed today. The progress made in software development in the last decade alone is unbelievable and software has become core to so many things today, from pens to spaceships. For us, being a part of such a diverse group of developer communities for over a decade has been a really exciting and enlightening journey.
Mobile App Letgo Raises $100 Million From Naspers To Take Over Classifieds In The U.S.
Can a mobile classified app topple the behemoth that is Craigslist? A company called letgo aims to find out. Its app, which lets users buy and sell items locally, has quietly grown to over 2 million downloads since its launch earlier this year. And today, the company is announcing having raised $100 million in Series A funding from South African media company and tech investor Naspers Limited, which also has stakes in a number of sizable tech companies, including China’s Tencent , India’s Flipkart , Russia’s Mail.ru , and classifieds platform OLX .
Daily App Deals: Grab these limited time discounts on Fantastical 2 , Tower Madness 2 and more (September 3)
We have some great apps for you today that are discounted for a short duration in the App Store, including Fantastical 2 , Tower Madness 2 and others. Some deals may expire quickly — even on the same day of this post. If there is a discounted app that you like, grab it while it is still on sale.
NASA starts testing light and flexible plane technology
NASA has successfully completed a series of tests making sure that the X-56A Multi-Utility Technology Testbed (MUTT) aircraft can withstand flights up to 130 knots in speed. See, the X-56A isn't your typical aircraft: it's a remote-controlled test model the space agency's using for the development of flexible flight tech, which will be used for lightweight, eco-friendly planes . NASA needs to test the technology extensively, since planes with pliable wings are typically more susceptible to strong winds and vibrations. In fact, this recent round of testing only completed all of the agency's "stiff wing objectives." X-56A 2.0 -- yes, this is the second version, as developer Lockheed Martin already put the first one through the wringer in 2013 and 2014 -- doesn't have its flexible wings yet. Those special airfoils will be attached in the next few months before the aircraft takes off for its first flexi-wing flight in early 2016.
First Look at Intel's Laptop Wireless Charging
Intel is doing pilot projects with Hilton, Marriott, Emirates Airlines, Land Rover, and the San Francisco airport, Skaugen said, and Intel's magnetic resonance charging technology can work through wood or Corian countertops. I saw it working here at IFA, and it was compelling: it provided enough power for a laptop, and you could slide smartphones around on a magnetic resonance table and they would keep charging. It's a lot more flexible, both in device positioning and in power levels, than the inductive charging we currently see in phones like the Samsung Galaxy S6 .
Ready to Waste Your Day? Google 'Fun Facts'
We have all been there, randomly Googling terms or browsing Wikipedia in a futile effort to entertain ourselves. Now, Google has made wasting time easier than ever with "fun facts."
LG's new G Pad II really isn't anything new
Of course, not every tablet has to push the boundaries of design, specifications or feature set, but it's hard to consider LG's latest effort as anything but "just another option." And without conclusive pricing for either the WiFi-only or LTE variants, which launch in the US later this month before rolling out to other markets in due course, we can't really speculate on who it'll appeal to most. We've poked LG for more info on this important missing piece, and we'll be sure to update you if we hear anything more. On first impressions, at least, the Bluetooth keyboard launching alongside the G Pad II is more interesting than the new tablet itself. Whoops...
3D-printed Maze hairbrush is a breeze to clean - CNET
So in an effort to keep all those hairbrushes out of landfills, and to make life a little easier for the full-head-of-hair-havers among us, Shim and former graduate student Morris Koo invented -- and then 3D-printed -- what they dubbed the "Maze hairbrush." It gets its name because the paddle part of the brush looks a bit like a maze with individual sections that flex forward and backward to make removing hair a cinch.
Why the ants in this video kept crawling around an iPhone
However, Simon Robson (a social insect researcher) says ants are prone to crawling around in circles even without a gadget in the middle. Plus, it could be the result of losing the pheromone trail they need to follow the rest of the group. That's just the way their species are wired, so we might merely be seeing ants being ants doing an ant-y thing. Whatever the real reason is, you can watch the insects worship swirl around the device below.
Panasonic is reviving Technics' legendary DJ turntables
That's not the only Technics-badged device making a debut today, either. Panasonic has unveiled a trio of devices geared towards the home audio crowd. The highlight is arguably the EAH-T700, a set of closed-back headphones with large 50mm main drivers and 14mm "super-tweeters" that theoretically give you a very wide sound range. There's also the Grand Class G30 series, which includes both a "reference-class" amp and a networked music server, as well as the Ottava Premium Class C500 HiFi system and black C700 speakers. While you'll have to wait for release dates and prices, it's evident that Panasonic is paying more than lip service to the Technics name.
Weird workplaces: Working on a refurbished Tube train - BBC News
What is it like to work in a refurbished tube train car or carriage? For a group of people in Shoreditch, in east London, this is a daily reality, as they explain.
You can now buy Star Wars' adorable BB-8 droid and let it patrol your home
As with past Sphero products, your smartphone is essential to interacting with BB-8: all interfacing (and indeed all of the sound effects) happens via an iOS or Android device. BB-8 can be imprecise — I dare say "moody" — in how it responds to manual driving. That’s especially true when you first get it moving; there seems to be a preprogrammed maneuver where it goes backwards for a few seconds too long, as if it’s "winding up" to move (and to be fair, this thing's top speed is pretty damn fast). Once it’s in motion, however, steering becomes fairly intuitive. BB-8 also has several patterns you can trigger, such as a figure eight, but more importantly, it can be prompted to convey several "emotions" like nodding yes, shaking its head no, and something that’s either joy or panic, I’m still not sure which. You can reportedly use voice commands to drive it as well, although we couldn’t get it to work in the early build of the app we used.
Apple, Google, Other Silicon Valley Tech Giants Ordered To Pay $415M In No-Poaching Suit
Perhaps the victory that results here on behalf of the working portion of Silicon Valley is moral, but it still feels light. The dollar figure, before taxes and the like, is just under $6,500 apiece. The amount is based on the individual base salaries between 2005 and 2009 of the workers listed in the suit.
Next’s Clever New iOS Keyboard Has Almost Everything You Want
The keyboard has also introduced its own version of the Shift key, which addresses the concerns users had with the default Shift key in iOS 8 which made it harder to tell when you had Shift turned on. In the Next keyboard, the Shift key’s arrow is outlined and the letters are small, but when pressed, the arrow is filled in with a solid color (depending on your theme) as the letters on the keys become capitalized. (Of course, Apple is finally fixing the Shift key problem with iOS 9 , whose release is right around the corner.)
IFA Day 1: 4K Smartphones and water-cooled laptops
IFA started with a bang as Sony whipped out the Xperia Z5 Premium , a smartphone that comes with the "world's first" 5.5-inch 4K display. That was swiftly followed by the launch of Huawei's Mate S , a phone that's designed to kill the iPhone 6 Plus by basically copying its every design feature. Then there was ASUS' new gaming laptop that's so powerful it needs its own water pump to keep it cool. We took some time to bring you the most exciting announcements from the show floor, so don't hesitate before hitting that play button.
Belkin Router Vulnerable to Hacks
Stephanie began as a PCMag reporter in May 2012. She moved to New York City from Frederick, Md., where she worked for four years as a multimedia reporter at the second-largest daily newspaper in Maryland. She interned at Baltimore magazine and graduated from Indiana University of Pennsylvania (in the town of Indiana, in the state of Pennsylvania) with a degree in journalism and mass communications.
Justice Department tightens cellphone tracking rules
WASHINGTON U.S. prosecutors and some federal law enforcement agencies will need to obtain a search warrant to use devices that track cellphone locations, under a policy announced by the U.S. Justice Department on Thursday.
IBM is bringing sports into the digital age, starting with the U.S. Open
For over two decades, IBM has stood in partnership with the USTA with one goal in mind. As Noah Syken, vice president of global sponsorships at IBM, said Tuesday, that goal is simply making “the fan experience as amazing as possible.” As a company that has been in existence for over a century, IBM has consistently asked two major questions when it comes to its collaborations, Syken noted: “How do we help our partners come into the digital age?” and “What does the digital platform look like today?” When it comes to tennis, that answer is pretty exciting.
Chrome 45 will drastically reduce RAM usage by clearing memory from idle tabs
Chrome users love it for its simplicity and power. Users lament it because it’s power consumptive and uses far too much memory. With Chrome 45, all that changes as the browser will now be proactive about how it uses your computer’s resources.