Verizon's $70 Gigabit internet plan misses both targets
Apr25

Verizon's $70 Gigabit internet plan misses both targets

Share on Facebook.Share on Twitter.Share on Google+Share on StumbleUponShare on Twitter. Yesterday Verizon announced the launch of Fios Gigabit Connection, as “the nation’s largest deployment of gigabit Internet connection service.” It even promised a $70 per month price standalone, however, as people tried to sign up a few shortcomings have become evident. First of all, it’s not quite 1Gbps speed, with downloads reaching a maximum 940Mbps and uploads stopped at 880Mbps. Further, its pricing scheme is more complicated than the announcement advertised, with that $70 price (that doesn’t include the charge for a modem or other fees) only available to new customers. Ars Technica heard from a reader who tried to upgrade from $150 750Mbps “Instant Internet” that their price would go up to $200 per month, but it appears it won’t be that expensive. We confirmed what they heard from Verizon PR, which is that the price for existing customers can vary based on what they have right now. The confusion appears to come from the application of promotional rates that may not be updated in its billing system yet, and it’s unclear whether they will expire or remain in force for as long as users keep their service. Either way, as of April 30th, existing customers with 100Mbps speed can upgrade for $30 per month more, while 150Mbps customers can upgrade for an additional $20 per month. What we’ve been told by Verizon is that in many cases, existing customers will be in the $95 range for Gigabit service, while the press release says Instant Internet customers should see their prices lowered automatically. Simple, right? The improvement over 750Mbps Instant Internet is apparently the result of “fine tuned” diagnostics and network hardware, and it will be available in over 8 million homes across “New York, New Jersey, Philadelphia, Richmond, Va., Hampton Roads, Va., Boston, Providence and Washington, D.C.” Verizon: Fios Gigabit Connection service bundled with Fios Custom TV and Digital Voice service is available online for $79.99 in year one and $84.99 in year two, with a two-year agreement. In areas where Fios Gigabit Connection service is available, Verizon now offers two tiers of standalone Internet service – 50 Mbps for $39.99 a month and Gigabit Connection for $69.99 a month when ordered online. Existing customers who wish to upgrade to Fios Gigabit Connection will be able to do so online starting April 30. Customers with Instant Internet service today will soon automatically receive Fios Gigabit Connection and will see their bills lowered. Source: Verizon Share on Facebook.Share on Twitter.Share on Google+Share on StumbleUponShare on Twitter.Follow @DailyTechWhip Source: Engadget - Read the full article...

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Netflix gets its shows into China through iQiyi licensing deal
Apr25

Netflix gets its shows into China through iQiyi licensing deal

Share on Facebook.Share on Twitter.Share on Google+Share on StumbleUponShare on Twitter. While Netflix has dominated much of the streaming content market, it’s been blocked by regulators in a major region: China. The company found a stopgap method to get its material into the country by way of a new licensing deal with the Beijing-based video service iQiyi, which is a subsidiary of Baidu. Obviously, this isn’t the unfettered broadcasting access that Netflix would prefer, but it allows them to start distributing content into the region. This will grow awareness of the streaming service’s unique content and brand, a Netflix vice president told The Hollywood Reporter. Netflix didn’t offer any further details, like what content would be distributed through iQiyi or when it would be available. The company expanded into East Asia in 2015, but despite its efforts, strict regulation has kept it and other content providers like Amazon from expanding into China. Licensing content through subscriber-based distributors is a viable alternative, but iQiyi faces stern competition in the streaming content market from Tencent Video and the Alibaba-owned Youku Tudou. Source: The Hollywood Reporter Share on Facebook.Share on Twitter.Share on Google+Share on StumbleUponShare on Twitter.Follow @DailyTechWhip Source: Engadget - Read the full article...

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Scientists successfully grew fetal lambs inside 'uterus-like' bags
Apr25

Scientists successfully grew fetal lambs inside 'uterus-like' bags

Share on Facebook.Share on Twitter.Share on Google+Share on StumbleUponShare on Twitter. Doctors at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia have developed a new artificial womb that could soon be helping the tens of thousands of critically preterm (younger than 26 weeks) births in the US each year. According to a new paper published in the journal Nature Communications, the research physicians successfully kept fetal lambs alive inside a “uterus-like” plastic sack for up to four weeks — longer than any similar device before it. The concept behind the new artificial womb is fairly simple: fetal lambs were placed inside a soft, temperature-controlled plastic bag filled with amniotic fluid to mimic a real uterus and their umbilical cords were hooked up to a blood oxygenating machine. Unlike previous devices, however, the Philadelphia team’s artificial womb uses the animal’s own heart to circulate blood, rather than mechanical pumps which can hurt the animal and lead to development problems or lung issues later on. As Alan Flake, the director of the hospital’s Children’s Institute for Surgical Science, told reporters, the device won’t replace a real, living uterus just yet because it can’t replicate the earliest stages of development. But for infants born around 22 or 23 weeks — the earliest a premature child can be expected to survive outside the womb — the new device presents a better solution than the incubators currently in use in neonatal wards. At the start of the test, the fetal lamb test subjects were roughly the same gestational age as a critically premature human fetus. After four weeks, however, eight lambs were “born” out of the sacks with normal, healthy development and lung function on par with a mature infant. According to Flake, his research team has already been in contact with the US food and Drug Administration and trials of the device could start sometime in the next three to five years. The device itself, however, will likely get a less alarming and more “parent-friendly” redesign in the process, Flake said. Via: MIT Technology Review Source: Nature Communications, Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia Share on Facebook.Share on Twitter.Share on Google+Share on StumbleUponShare on Twitter.Follow @DailyTechWhip Source: Engadget - Read the full article...

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Fans resurrect 'Tomb Raider' in your web browser
Apr25

Fans resurrect 'Tomb Raider' in your web browser

Share on Facebook.Share on Twitter.Share on Google+Share on StumbleUponShare on Twitter. If you need a reminder of how far video games have come since the mid-90s, look no further than OpenTomb. Over the past four years, a handful of devoted developers have been rebuilding the original five Tomb Raider games from scratch, and the City of Vilcabamba level is available in your browser right now (heads up, game audio auto-plays from that link). The OpenTomb team wasn’t able to retrieve the original Tomb Raider source code from Square Enix, so developers simply decided to re-make the game from the ground-up. They built their own engine and wrote their own code designed to take advantage of modern CPUs, graphics cards and gameplay features. Release the classic #tombraider source code! Read our new statement here: https://t.co/FXTOPu6u7Z — OpenTomb (@open_tomb) December 21, 2016 This open-source, from-scratch model sets OpenTomb apart from existing Tomb Raider mods and patchers that clone the original game engine. “The older [an] engine gets, less chance it’ll become compatible with further systems; but in [the] case of OpenTomb, you can port it to any platform you wish,” the developers write on GitHub. Their post continues, “No matter how advanced your patcher is, you are limited by original binary — no new features, no graphic enhancements, no new structures and functions. You are not that limited with [an] open-source engine.” OpenTomb is an ambitious project and so far the City of Vilcabamba is its only result, but it’s an encouraging start. The team is active on the Tomb Raider forums, if anyone is interested in following Lara Croft on this brand new, yet shockingly familiar, adventure. Via: Polygon Share on Facebook.Share on Twitter.Share on Google+Share on StumbleUponShare on Twitter.Follow @DailyTechWhip Source: Engadget - Read the full article...

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Campy, live-action horror game 'Night Trap' heads to PS4
Apr25

Campy, live-action horror game 'Night Trap' heads to PS4

Share on Facebook.Share on Twitter.Share on Google+Share on StumbleUponShare on Twitter. After 25 years, a browser port and a failed Kickstarter, cult classic FMV (full-motion video) game Night Trap is finally getting making its way back to living rooms. Thanks to the folks at developer Screaming Villains and publisher Limited Run Games, the interactive tale of teenage girls stuck in a house under attack by vampires will be released on disc sometime this spring for PlayStation 4. Based on the trailer below, the video footage isn’t pristine, but it looks about as clean as it probably ever will. Considering that watching video makes up a bulk of the gameplay, that’s pretty important. It isn’t up to the level of the Alien or Jaws remasters on Blu-ray, of course, but the source material wasn’t aiming for high art or box office glory. The “control room” UI (you’re a security guard monitoring the house remotely via closed circuit cameras) you play from looks super slick, too. Our Night Trap release will be available with three different covers, each based on one of the three US Sega CD releases. pic.twitter.com/4fascjPaBq — Limited Run Games (@LimitedRunGames) April 25, 2017 On Twitter, Limited Run said that its version will be available with three different cover styles based on the trio of US Sega CD releases — replete with the diagonal stripes and off-center art placement. More than that, the cover art is missing one key thing: An ESRB rating. Along with Doom and the original Mortal Kombat, Night Trap and its “violent” content was partly responsible for Entertainment Software Ratings Board and its age-ratings for games. Currently, the remaster is rated T for Teen for violence, blood and suggestive themes. Pricing and an exact release date aren’t known, but based on Limited Run’s previous releases the disc shouldn’t cost more than $25. If you’re itching for something similar, maybe give Until Dawn a shot if you haven’t yet. It’s a slightly different take on teenage horror than Night Trap, but the PS4-exclusive dishes out scares and laughs while serving as a loving homage to the genre. Via: Limited Run Games (Twitter) Source: PlayStation (YouTube) Share on Facebook.Share on Twitter.Share on Google+Share on StumbleUponShare on Twitter.Follow @DailyTechWhip Source: Engadget - Read the full article...

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AT&T's faux 5G network launches in Austin
Apr25

AT&T's faux 5G network launches in Austin

Share on Facebook.Share on Twitter.Share on Google+Share on StumbleUponShare on Twitter. At last, 5G wireless is here… sort of. As promised, AT&T has launched its pre-standard 5G network, starting with certain parts of Austin. So long as you have a Galaxy S8 or S8 Plus, you can get speeds that should leave LTE in the dust. Expect downloads about twice as fast on average, the carrier says. Indianapolis is due for the next rollout in the summer, and there will be 20 total areas covered (including Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles, Nashville and San Francisco) by the end of 2017. And if you’re not inclined to Samsung hardware, you should see “numerous other devices” this year that take advantage of the new network. The launch will certainly give you some bragging rights if you’re an early smartphone adopter, but we wouldn’t quite call it the dawn of the 5G era. As we hinted earlier, the wireless industry is still hashing out the details of 5G. You won’t get “real” 5G until there’s a standard, and that could change both the performance you expect as well as compatibility with early pseudo-5G devices. This doesn’t mean your S8 will lose 5G-like speeds the moment there is a standard, but we wouldn’t count on full support. Arguably, AT&T is launching its 5G network to shout “first!” — it wants to one-up Verizon’s 5G plans and show that it’s ahead of the game, even if it’s only by a matter of a few months at most. Source: AT&T Share on Facebook.Share on Twitter.Share on Google+Share on StumbleUponShare on Twitter.Follow @DailyTechWhip Source: Engadget - Read the full article...

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New 'Sonic Forces' footage feels a lot like 'Generations'
Apr25

New 'Sonic Forces' footage feels a lot like 'Generations'

Share on Facebook.Share on Twitter.Share on Google+Share on StumbleUponShare on Twitter. For the last few months, SEGA has been playing coy with Sonic Forces— first only little else beside the game’s name and the usual promises of greatness. Then, earlier this month, a new trailer teased new levels for “Classic Sonic,” the 1990s version of the character that co-starred in 2011’s Sonic Generations. Today, Sega Europe uploaded a new gameplay video to YouTube confirming what many fans suspected: Sonic Forces is basically going to be a Sonic Generations sequel. It’s not an unexpected revelation, but it’s a nice thing to know for sure. Generations was generally well reviewed, and did a great job both establishing and celebrating the differences between “Classic” and “Modern” Sonic — but some fans saw it as a jack of all trades, but master of none. To its credit, the new gameplay trailer looks like a competent recreation of Green Hill Zone. Fans of the original Generations game, at least, have something to look forward to. Source: Sega Share on Facebook.Share on Twitter.Share on Google+Share on StumbleUponShare on Twitter.Follow @DailyTechWhip Source: Engadget - Read the full article...

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DC is launching its own streaming service with a show TNT killed
Apr25

DC is launching its own streaming service with a show TNT killed

Share on Facebook.Share on Twitter.Share on Google+Share on StumbleUponShare on Twitter. DC Entertainment is getting into the streaming space with help from Warner Bros., according to The Hollywood Reporter. What’s more, the company’s own service is said to be launching with a Titans live-action show, as well as the third season of Young Justice. If you recall, a pilot for Titans, which centers around characters like Dick Grayson (aka Robin), Arrow, Flash and Supergirl, had been in the works at TNT before the network decided to kill that project unexpectedly. But now it looks like you’ll have a chance to watch it come 2018, when DC Entertainment and Warner Bros. are rumored to be introducing the product. In 2015, Time Warner CEO said certain seasons of DC Comics shows could be slow to hit services such as Netflix and Hulu, claiming that cable customers would have dibs on them. Thanks to the popularity of online streaming, though, things are changing. As for how much DC Entertainment’s offering is going to cost, there are no details yet, but it’s only a matter of time before that starts coming out. For now, fans who have been waiting for a Titans show at least have something to look forward to. Source: The Hollywood Reporter Share on Facebook.Share on Twitter.Share on Google+Share on StumbleUponShare on Twitter.Follow @DailyTechWhip Source: Engadget - Read the full article...

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Sling tries to lure customers with an AirTV bundle
Apr25

Sling tries to lure customers with an AirTV bundle

Share on Facebook.Share on Twitter.Share on Google+Share on StumbleUponShare on Twitter. Sling has realized that it also needs a dirt-cheap hardware offering to help hook wary users into cutting the cord. That’s why it’s heavily discounting the AirTV Player, which lets you access local channels and Netflix, from a single, Roku-esque box. Normally, the device would set you back $130, including three months of Sling service, but can be yours for $50, depending on your subscription fee. If your base rate is $20 a month, then you just need to pre-pay for three months to be eligible for the discount. Similarly, if you spend $15 a month, then you’ll need to pay for an extra month to take part in the offer. And yes, if you spend less than $15 a month, the company will ask for six months’ worth of prepayment before the box can be yours. Sling is also making a play for the cord cutter dime by offering what it considers is the only “A La Carte TV” package worth a damn. Unfortunately, it appears as if the company’s big claims don’t extend to the packages themselves, since you can’t actually choose your channels a la carte. The service confirmed to Engadget that nothing about its pricing or structure is changing and that the “A La Carte TV” label is more a reference to how Sling has been set up from the beginning. In other words, the ability to have a core package and then pick and choose from a range of add-on channels and genres. Sling Orange remains $20/month and Sling Blue is still $25/month with whatever additional channels and bundles you want to tack on to that fee. The cardinal sin of TV, at least according to Sling CEO Roger Lynch, is that you can’t simply pay for what you use. If you watch one channel in a family of 10, then you can bet your bottom dollar you’ll be shelling out for all of them. Lynch believes that it’s a crucial mistake that even brand new TV companies are making when trying to snag that cord-cutter cash. After all, most insist on selling you a skinny bundle of channels, many of which are the same crap you resented paying for as part of a cable subscription. No matter how Sling sells it, you’ll still have to wait to select your ideal lineup of channels from scratch. Billy Steele contributed to this report. Source: Sling (1), (2) Share on Facebook.Share on Twitter.Share on Google+Share on StumbleUponShare on Twitter.Follow @DailyTechWhip Source: Engadget - Read the full article...

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'Heroes of the Storm' adds everyone's favorite 'Overwatch' hero
Apr25

'Heroes of the Storm' adds everyone's favorite 'Overwatch' hero

Share on Facebook.Share on Twitter.Share on Google+Share on StumbleUponShare on Twitter. Last month, Blizzard announced it would revamp its MOBA game, Heroes of the Storm, in a huge patch released in April. Its 2.0 update, which is live in North America, promised to upgrade its player progression system and added random-reward loot boxes, a staple of the free-to-play model. But the studio had a few other surprises to drop today, including adding a new hero to the nexus, Overwatch‘s teen mecha-piloting pop star, D.Va. D.Va will be the fifth character from Blizzard’s hero shooter to make the jump to Heroes of the Storm, after Tracer, Zarya, Lucio and the just-announced Genji. The 2.0 update also adds the Overwatch location Hanamura as a Heroes map, which adds a few new gameplay mechanics to the mix. Now the MOBA’s players can live the agony of being the only one pushing the payload. As we’ve known since they announced it a month ago, the 2.0 update’s switch to a loot box system brings a slew of new expression options, like emojis, banners and sprays. Detractors lamented that these would clog loot box drops and make it even harder to get more desirable rewards like new characters and skins. Like its sister game Hearthstone — and many other free-to-play games — Heroes has its own in-game currency and rewards to stem that sting. Plus, they’ve introduced another Nexus Challenge play-to-earn reward series that will run over the next four weeks, so queue into games on Heroes with a friend to get bonus goodies for it and Overwatch. Finally, Blizzard recently introduced a new charity challenge for its Heroes streamers: Tryhard — For Good! Fans can cheer their favorite top players while they climb the ladder of Hero League. The higher they go, the more Blizzard will donate to the Make A Wish Foundation and JA Worldwide. Source: Blizzard (Twitter) Share on Facebook.Share on Twitter.Share on Google+Share on StumbleUponShare on Twitter.Follow @DailyTechWhip Source: Engadget - Read the full article...

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YouTube Kids brings cartoons and bright colors to your smart TV
Apr25

YouTube Kids brings cartoons and bright colors to your smart TV

Share on Facebook.Share on Twitter.Share on Google+Share on StumbleUponShare on Twitter. YouTube Kids’ mobile app is fine if your young ones are content to watch videos on a tablet, but what if you just want to plunk them down on the couch to watch on the big screen? You can after today. YouTube is trotting out a version of the Kids app for many LG, Samsung and Sony smart TVs (more details below) in all 26 countries where the child-ready viewer is available. The interface isn’t exactly a radical departure, but that’s the point, isn’t it? Ideally, this lets little tykes watch videos with minimal help from their parents. How easy it is to load the app depends on your manufacturer. LG is making YouTube Kids available on all 2015 and newer webOS TVs through its content store, and you can check it out on a 2013 or newer Samsung sets as long as you have access to Samsung’s app store. Things get trickier on Sony TVs, though: it’s only compatible with 2016 and newer models after a firmware update, and the Android TV version is “coming soon.” While YouTube is covering a broad range of hardware, you can’t quite assume that your TV is good to go. Source: YouTube Official Blog Share on Facebook.Share on Twitter.Share on Google+Share on StumbleUponShare on Twitter.Follow @DailyTechWhip Source: Engadget - Read the full article...

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Nastier version of IoT botnet could brick your smart toaster
Apr25

Nastier version of IoT botnet could brick your smart toaster

Share on Facebook.Share on Twitter.Share on Google+Share on StumbleUponShare on Twitter. Two new versions of a nasty botnet called BrickerBot were spotted in the wild by researcher Pascal Geenens, who reported the latest attack for security firm Radware. Permanent denial-of-service botnets like these can infect poorly-protected IoT devices like smart toasters and web-enabled vibrators to bring down various connected web servers. These new BrickerBot iterations use scripts with even more commands and almost four times as many actual attacks as previous iterations to completely overwhelm their targets. The IoT devices used in this most recent denial-of-service attach are the same type as those targeted by Mirai, the botnet software that shut down most of the web last year. BrickerBot seems to target IP cameras and DVRs, essentially bricking the devices. That means any any IoT device with factory default credentials could be targeted. Of course, the makers of iOT devices need to get serious about security, but there are things you can do to protect yourself from this type of attack. Radware recommends several fixes, with the obvious “change the default password” at the top of the list. Via: ArsTechnica Source: Radware Share on Facebook.Share on Twitter.Share on Google+Share on StumbleUponShare on Twitter.Follow @DailyTechWhip Source: Engadget - Read the full article...

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A Doritos bag is all you need to play the 'Guardians 2' soundtrack
Apr25

A Doritos bag is all you need to play the 'Guardians 2' soundtrack

Share on Facebook.Share on Twitter.Share on Google+Share on StumbleUponShare on Twitter. Doritos is teaming up with Marvel Studios to promote Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 in an unusual way. They’ve created a custom-designed, limited edition series of Doritos bags with a built-in, rechargeable cassette deck-inspired player that plays the movie’s full soundtrack. The 14-song album features ’60s and ’70s pop and rock songs from artists like Fleetwood Mac, George Harrison, Cheap Trick and David Hasselhoff. Yes, the Hoff. He’s recorded an original song for the movie alongside a band call The Sneepers (the band’s name is an obscure Marvel reference), and it’s full of glorious disco cheese. Take a listen. This isn’t the first time chip maker Frito-Lay has used technology in its efforts to sell more snacks. During this year’s Superbowl, it came out with a limited-edition Tostitos “Party Bag” equipped with a sensor that can detect alcohol on your breath. It also had an NFC chip that would hail you an Uber when you tapped your phone to it. The Guardians bags will be available to buy on April 28th via Amazon while supplies last. There’s no word yet on how much they will cost, but can you really put a price on the magnificent trifecta of nacho cheese, nostalgia and David Hasselhoff? Source: Billboard Share on Facebook.Share on Twitter.Share on Google+Share on StumbleUponShare on Twitter.Follow @DailyTechWhip Source: Engadget - Read the full article...

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Spotify took its sweet time getting Behind the Lyrics on Android
Apr25

Spotify took its sweet time getting Behind the Lyrics on Android

Share on Facebook.Share on Twitter.Share on Google+Share on StumbleUponShare on Twitter. Over a year ago, Spotify rolled out a slick new Behind the Lyrics integration on iOS that connected the song you were currently listening to with annotated lyrics from Genius. Like a cross between VH1’s Pop Up Video and a karaoke machine, Behind the Lyrics draws on Genius’s extensive database of music trivia to give you a bit of the track’s backstory. Unfortunately, it took Spotify a solid 18 months to bring those features to everyone on Android. According to an announcement from Spotify, Behind the Lyrics has “just landed” on Android. If you, devoted Android user, feel like you’ve been left out of the music trivia party, Spotify suggests the best way to check out the feature is to jump into their curated Behind the Lyrics: Hip Hop and Today’s Top Hits playlists, which include artists’ notes, fun facts and other lyrical excerpts. They’re also doing a promo around the release of R&B star Khalid’s latest album American Teen. “You listen to a record, and you interpret it your own way,” the 19-year-old Khalid said. “But with this, you can see what the artist felt. ‘You know what? Maybe it doesn’t mean what I thought. Maybe it means this.’ But at the same time, music is universal. Music can mean anything you want.” Share on Facebook.Share on Twitter.Share on Google+Share on StumbleUponShare on Twitter.Follow @DailyTechWhip Source: Engadget - Read the full article...

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Samsung's emoji chat app helps people with language disorders
Apr25

Samsung's emoji chat app helps people with language disorders

Share on Facebook.Share on Twitter.Share on Google+Share on StumbleUponShare on Twitter. It seems like emoji has become a language of its own, but each symbol is really a stand-in for a wide array of thoughts and emotions. This shorthand can be useful for someone who struggles to digest written words — like those with aphasia, a language disorder that impedes people’s ability to read, talk and write. To help this group, Samsung developed Wemogee, a chat app that translates written phrases into emoji bursts to enable fluid conversation. For neurotypical users, the app changes words into a series of emojis: “How are you?” becomes a smiley face, an “okay” hand gesture and a question mark. Those with aphasia go the other way, selecting groups of emoji symbols that convey the statement they’re trying to make, which gets translated into words. While Weemogee is obviously intended for typical digital chatting, it’s also helpful for in-person conversations: Passing a device back and forth might be cumbersome, but unlocking communication for those who struggle with words and diction is worth the inconvenience. Samsung worked with professors and neursurgeons from the University of Milan to refine the emoji selection and translation, narrowing the choices down to 140 key phrases. The app is available now on Google Play, with iOS and Samsung Galaxy App versions coming soon. Via: Ars Technica Source: Wemogee Share on Facebook.Share on Twitter.Share on Google+Share on StumbleUponShare on Twitter.Follow @DailyTechWhip Source: Engadget - Read the full article...

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'Star Wars: Episode IX' ends the trilogy on May 24th, 2019
Apr25

'Star Wars: Episode IX' ends the trilogy on May 24th, 2019

Share on Facebook.Share on Twitter.Share on Google+Share on StumbleUponShare on Twitter. Modern Star Wars movies have had a bad habit of slipping into December, but that isn’t stopping Disney and Lucasfilm from wanting the space epic to become a summer blockbuster once again. The two have announced that Star Wars: Episode IX will debut on May 24th, 2019 — just three and a half years after The Force Awakens first hit theaters. You might not want to base your schedule around that date knowing the history of previous delays, but it might come as a relief if you’re tired of freezing in lineups for midnight showings. As for details? There still aren’t many. Right now, the only concrete facts are the director (Jurassic World‘s Colin Trevorrow) and that, despite rumors, the late Carrie Fisher won’t make an appearance. The one certainty: given that Episode IX is the final movie in the current trilogy, it’ll have to tie up whatever loose ends are left after The Last Jedi. Source: Star Wars Share on Facebook.Share on Twitter.Share on Google+Share on StumbleUponShare on Twitter.Follow @DailyTechWhip Source: Engadget - Read the full article...

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Watson could be the key to smarter manufacturing robots
Apr25

Watson could be the key to smarter manufacturing robots

Share on Facebook.Share on Twitter.Share on Google+Share on StumbleUponShare on Twitter. Some reports predict that robots will replace 5 million jobs in the next couple of years. Bill Gates thinks we need a “robot tax” to compensate for those losses. A new partnership announced today between Swiss automation firm ABB and IBM’s Watson initiative could hasten that future while it seeks to improve efficiency in on the manufacturing floor. Swiss company ABB makes a ton of things, including electric vehicle power, industrial automation systems and manufacturing robots. It’s biggest sales, though, come from software that enables communication between machinery and centralized control centers. It’s looking to further this growth (and boost its sales) via this new partnership with Watson, IBM’s artificial intelligence technology. Imagine an automotive assembly line, full of robots that build cars without any human intervention. Someone has to monitor and inspect the machinery for defects, ensuring their safe and efficient operation. ABB’s technology can gather real-time images and then get Watson to analyze them for potential problems, something a human previously needed to do. While calling it the “Fourth Industrial Revolution” might be overstating things, the connection of world-class AI to ABB’s installed base of 70 million connected devices could truly help industrial manufacturing be much more efficient. Replacing human beings, however, may be the true cost of doing business this way. Via: Reuters Source: ABB Share on Facebook.Share on Twitter.Share on Google+Share on StumbleUponShare on Twitter.Follow @DailyTechWhip Source: Engadget - Read the full article...

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Streaming is boosting the music industry worldwide
Apr25

Streaming is boosting the music industry worldwide

Share on Facebook.Share on Twitter.Share on Google+Share on StumbleUponShare on Twitter. The music industry has struggled to adapt to the digital world over the past couple of decades, but it might just be hitting its stride again. The International Federation of the Phonographic Industry (IFPI) has published its annual Global Music Report for 2016, and it notes that music revenue increased 5.9 percent — that may not sound like much, but it’s the best since the IFPI started its tracking in 1997. And not surprisingly, streaming music played a large role. On-demand listening revenue shot up a whopping 60.4 percent, more than making up for steep drops in downloads (down 20.5 percent) and physical copies (down 7.6 percent). As is often the case, though, the industry is quick to blame ‘rogue’ internet elements for limiting the growth that could take place. The IFPI singles out YouTube and similar services for contributing to a “value gap” where artists aren’t paid as well as they are on dedicated music portals. Supposedly, they use their lack of liability for uploaded material as a “shield” that lets them avoid licensing music on “fair terms.” This would be fixed by using liability laws “correctly and consistently” to force them to pay for music at the same rates as other services. Naturally, the organization was also quick to blame search engines for not doing enough to remove pirate sites from search results. IFPI and other groups spotted 19.2 million sites with alleged pirate material, and sent 339 million takedown requests to Google alone. Even with the gripes, the figures suggest that the music business might finally have a stable digital foundation to work from.. at least, so long as drops in downloads aren’t too severe. The stats also suggest that artists may hamper themselves if they choose the wrong streaming exclusives. Beyoncé’s Lemonade topped the download and physical album sales chart, for example, but the decision to stream exclusively on Tidal meant that she was a no-show in the streaming single charts. Drake, meanwhile, limited his exclusive to a short-term Apple Music deal and reaped the benefits: he was the IFPI’s top artist, led the streaming charts and still placed third in the download/physical rankings. In short, it’s still in the best interests of big-name musicians to make their work available wherever possible. Via: Variety Source: IFPI (PDF) Share on Facebook.Share on Twitter.Share on Google+Share on StumbleUponShare on Twitter.Follow @DailyTechWhip Source: Engadget - Read the full article...

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IBM's Watson looked into my soul and 'drew' my portrait
Apr25

IBM's Watson looked into my soul and 'drew' my portrait

Share on Facebook.Share on Twitter.Share on Google+Share on StumbleUponShare on Twitter. Since its introduction to the world in 2011, IBM’s Watson supercomputer has been crushing humans in Jeopardy, helping chefs make food with unconventional recipes and even offering tech support. But what happens when the artificial intelligence machine puts its own spin on a photo booth? To find out, I checked out IBM’s “Art with Watson: Hidden Portraits,” an exhibit that’s being displayed in New York City until May 7th. The gallery features portraits of historic personalities like Marie Curie and Nikola Tesla, which Watson helped artists create by feeding them data collected using its natural language and personality insights APIs. As part of this project, IBM is also showing off the Watson cognitive photo booth. The idea here is for the supercomputer to compose a portrait of you based on five different aspects of your personality: anxiousness, openness, agreeableness, extraversion and conscientiousness. After stepping in the photo booth, Watson asked me a set of questions, such as “Who is your favorite artist and why?” “What did you want to be when you grew up and why?” and “If you could be a movie character for a day, who would it be and why?” Based on my responses, relying on the same APIs mentioned above, Watson took a picture of me and made a portrait represented by tiny icons of each of my traits. In the lead image above, for example, the color pink represents my levels of anxiety. According to the supercomputer, my anxiousness was 81 percent, which I can’t refute given my unfortunate history of anxiety attacks. Watson also found me to be 88 percent “open,” something I definitely agree with since I consider myself quite a transparent and honest individual. When you think about it, it’s both impressive and scary that an AI could (sort of) figure me out in just a few minutes, and inside a photo booth of all places. But, somehow, I feel at peace with that, especially since the portrait looks pretty damn good. If you’re in NYC and want to experience it yourself, the Watson cognitive photo booth will be at the Hidden Portraits exhibit at the Cadillac House in Manhattan’s SoHo neighborhood. As for the rest of you, IBM says it plans to bring it to more places in the future, while an online experience that uses your computer’s webcam will also be available in the coming days. The company says this is just another way for people to interact with Watson and see its potential across more serious industries and businesses, including education and the medical field. Share on...

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Amazon's latest Dash button orders you fresh undies
Apr25

Amazon's latest Dash button orders you fresh undies

Share on Facebook.Share on Twitter.Share on Google+Share on StumbleUponShare on Twitter. Living in an apartment without an in-unit washer and dryer means that occasionally you go to great lengths to avoid carrying all your dirty clothes to the basement’s laundry room. Every now and then that entails saving time ahead of a date or trip (but not necessarily money) by buying new underwear instead of washing what you already have. Amazon is making that slovenly life a little more stylish and easier by offering a slew of new Dash buttons, including one for Calvin Klein undies. That’s right: One press is all it takes to get a fresh pack of Calvins delivered straight to your door. Other new one-press shopping-widgets include AMP Energy, Lactaid, Listerine, Mountain Dew, Tropicana and, just in time for allergy season, Zyrtec. Amazon says that the Dash buttons have become pretty popular too, and that today’s addition brings us up to some 300 of the branded items in the retailer’s stable. “Just a year ago, orders via Dash Button were occurring more than once a minute, now that rate has increased to more than 4x a minute,” Amazon said a statement. For some items, like Folgers coffee grounds and Glad garbage bags, Amazon says “more than half” of their orders are made via Dash Button. Now, depending on where you live, you’ll still have to plan ahead a bit. If you have less than a few clean pair of drawers left in your, err, drawer and a busy social calendar, you might want to hit a local store if two-day Prime shipping is your only option. Or, you know, you could scrounge up a few bucks in quarters and actually do laundry. The choice is yours. Source: Amazon Share on Facebook.Share on Twitter.Share on Google+Share on StumbleUponShare on Twitter.Follow @DailyTechWhip Source: Engadget - Read the full article...

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Flying, spherical displays are coming to a halftime show near you
Apr25

Flying, spherical displays are coming to a halftime show near you

Share on Facebook.Share on Twitter.Share on Google+Share on StumbleUponShare on Twitter. Pepsi’s drone show at the Super Bowl this year was impressive, sure, but imagine what those UAVs would’ve been capable of with more than one pixel. To wit, Japan’s Docomo has designed a 144 x 136-pixel spherical LED screen that can display images while in flight. And to give the illusion that the image onscreen is holding still while the drone zips about, “the LED frame spins on its axis in a rapid horizontal motion, forming an afterimage effect to create the illusion of a solid sphere of motionless LEDs,” according to a press release. The company says that because the display uses a hollow frame, there shouldn’t be any issues with it obstructing a drone’s propellors or weighing the contraption down. If you’re getting giddy thinking about what this could do for your next concert or maybe a massively-watched sporting event, you’ll have to wait a bit. Docomo says that it plans to start selling the displays sometime after next March. At least that should give you some time to figure out what you’ll put on yours for its maiden voyage. Source: Docomo Share on Facebook.Share on Twitter.Share on Google+Share on StumbleUponShare on Twitter.Follow @DailyTechWhip Source: Engadget - Read the full article...

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Apple sees its redesigned retail stores as community spaces
Apr25

Apple sees its redesigned retail stores as community spaces

Share on Facebook.Share on Twitter.Share on Google+Share on StumbleUponShare on Twitter. Apple’s retail stores have long had a social side. You might not visit just to hang out, but the combination of free workshops and an abundance of connected devices gives you a reason to stay besides gawking at the latest products… if just to check up on Facebook. And now, Apple is banking on that social aspect as a selling point. The company is both redesigning its 100 largest stores and launching new “Today at Apple” workshops to turn its stores into community spaces of sorts. The shops are still very much geared toward sales, but you’ll have more reasons to swing by on a frequent basis. The bigger stores are now changing their Genius Bars into “Genius Groves,” complete with lines of trees. We doubt the flora will help you feel better when your iPhone is broken, but they’re at least more inviting. You’ll also see new conference and meeting spaces alongside new video screens. The workshops, meanwhile, revolve around new in-store Creative Pros who host free sessions based around Apple tools and Apple-friendly devices. There are 90-minute Studio Hours that let you bring in your own project for advice (or simply work outside of your usual space), music and photography labs, a Kids’ Hour with programmable Sphero robots and pro-specific sessions. You’ll even see photo and sketch walks that take you outside of the store. All stores are getting new mobile screens to help present “Today at Apple” sessions, as well as the seating and sound systems to match. The new workshops will be available by the end of May. As for the larger stores’ upgrades? That’s likely to vary by location, but it’ll likely be impossible to miss. Apple retail chief Angela Ahrendts tells CBS that this isn’t so much a reinvention as a logical extension of what the tech giant has already been doing in its stores. And yes, she imagines that people might soon decide to meet at Apple instead of the nearby coffee shop. That may be a tad optimistic when the workshops are clearly tailored to rookies and niche pros. However, the shift is still important — it suggests that Apple will fight retail competition from Microsoft and even Amazon by turning stores into regular destinations rather than strictly functional shopping hubs. If you keep coming back, after all, it increases the odds that you’ll buy an iPhone or Mac for your next tech upgrade. Via: The Verge Source: Apple, CBS Share on Facebook.Share on Twitter.Share on Google+Share on StumbleUponShare on Twitter.Follow @DailyTechWhip Source: Engadget - Read the full article...

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Uber wants to test its flying taxis by 2020
Apr25

Uber wants to test its flying taxis by 2020

Share on Facebook.Share on Twitter.Share on Google+Share on StumbleUponShare on Twitter. Today in Dallas, Uber is taking the wraps off its flying car plans. The company’s three-day “Elevate” summit is meant to discuss all things relating to vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) craft and how Uber sees them as a major part of its future strategy. Probably the biggest news coming out of the opening keynote, which just wrapped a few minutes ago, is Uber’s ambition to demonstrate its Elevate Network in 2020 — an aggressive goal, to be sure. Most of the other announcements this morning focused on the partnerships needed to make the Elevate Network a reality. Uber is working with the cities of Dallas-Fort Worth and Dubai to get pilot programs launched. Dallas mayor Mike Price and Fort Worth mayor Betsy Price both had expressed support in making the metropolitan area the first to experiment with VTOL and Uber’s Elevate pilot program. Uber also entered into a partnership with Dubai’s road and transportation authority to study demand in the region to work on pricing and network optimization. Dubai is also where Uber will attempt at unveiling the first public demonstration as part of the 2020 World Expo. Other partnerships include one with ChargePoint, which will develop the Uber Elevate battery charger so the VTOL vehicles can be quickly topped up after every landing. Uber is also working on partnerships with local real estate companies to figure out suitable sites to build vehicleports. Naturally, the company is also making deals with a number of “experienced aircraft manufacturers” who are already developing electric VTOL vehicles. The five companies include Aurora Flight Sciences, Pipistrel Aircraft, Embraer, Mooney and Bell Helicopter. They were chosen for their expertise that’ll enable Uber to get its Elevate network up and running as quick as possible. During its opening keynote, chief product officer Jeff Holden outlined his vision for the VTOL program, painting a picture of customers landing at an airport and taking a VTOL to their ultimate destination. He imagined it taking just a few minutes to get from the airport to a hotel instead of a half-hour or more, and the company wants to target pricing that’s competitive with Uber X right now for a trip of the same distance. That seems wildly ambitious given that Uber X relies on a decades-old transportation model and not new technology that has numerous technical, safety and regulation challenges to meet. Uber’s Elevate event will be continuing for the next few days, and we’ll be keeping an eye on all the news to see what else the company has to announce regarding its VTOL ambitions....

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The Avengers take on gaming icons in 'Marvel vs. Capcom: Infinite'
Apr25

The Avengers take on gaming icons in 'Marvel vs. Capcom: Infinite'

Share on Facebook.Share on Twitter.Share on Google+Share on StumbleUponShare on Twitter. After a year of silence, Capcom has announced eight new characters for its crossover fighter — Marvel vs. Capcom: Infinite. Doubling down on Marvel’s Cinematic Universe, Hulk, Thor, Hawkeye, Ultron and Rocket Racoon join the playable roster. On the Capcom side of the fence, the publisher has revealed that players will be able to duke it out as Street Fighter‘s Chun Li, Resident Evil‘s Chris Redfield, and Strider‘s Strider Hiryu. The trailer also announced that the game will be launching on PS4, Xbox One and PC on September 19th for $59.99. As expected, gamers can also preorder a ‘Deluxe Edition’ which grants them access to future character DLC and two exclusive costumes. Die-hard fans can also opt to splash out on the eye-wateringly expensive $199.99 Collector’s Edition, which includes: plastic character dioramas of Iron Man, Captain Marvel, Mega Man X and Chun-Li, a case filled with six Infinity Stone replicas and a Steelbook game box. Fans who pre-order any edition of the game will get access to two special character skins – Warrior Thor and Evil Ryu. Featuring a cinematic story mode and two-on-two battles for the first time in the franchise’s history, Marvel vs Capcom: Infinite looks to be a fairly radical departure for the series. With Marvel villain Ultron and Megaman X’s Sigma merging into the imaginatively named Ultron Sigma, both universes find themselves teaming up to defeat him. Thankfully, it looks like Capcom has acknowledged how silly it all is, with the trailer showing Rocket Racoon annoying a bemused looking Megaman. Abandoning the previous game’s cel-shaded aesthetic for a more ‘realistic’ art style, Capcom looks to be following Marvel’s cinematic look. With the comic giant’s movies continuing to dominate our screens, the franchise’s current gen revival could see the series gain a bigger audience than ever. Yet, with Marvel still bitter that Fox hold the movie rights to franchises like X-Men and Fantastic Four, it’s still unclear whether fan favorite characters like Wolverine will return. Share on Facebook.Share on Twitter.Share on Google+Share on StumbleUponShare on Twitter.Follow @DailyTechWhip Source: Engadget - Read the full article...

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I smelled and hugged a tree in VR, because art
Apr25

I smelled and hugged a tree in VR, because art

Share on Facebook.Share on Twitter.Share on Google+Share on StumbleUponShare on Twitter. At the Tribeca VR arcade this year, there were displays ranging from the harrowing to the distracting, but few were as eye-catching as Treehugger:Wawona. It’s an interactive art installation that had headset-wearing participants hugging and caressing a giant foam sculpture with cutouts (oblivious to how silly they looked). Naturally, I had to check it out, and came away intrigued by its implications for art and museums. As with other works of art, Treehugger’s meaning lies beneath its surface, requiring a prodding mind to uncover. At its heart, the installation asks if we can use technology to reconnect with nature. “Can we make the invisible visible,” the project’s creative director Ersin Han told Engadget. Some messages are immediately obvious, though, such as the need to preserve our environment and the interconnection between plants and humanity. As you approach the tree, enter it and witness its life force swirling around you and spreading through its branches to the rest of the forest, you (hopefully) realize that those colored specks eventually reach you, too. But before we get into that, here’s how it’s set up: I was directed to a tree stump-esque seat, where I strapped on a SubPac vibrating backpack, an HTC Vive and a pair of noise cancelling headphones. I was also given two handheld controllers that were mounted on fingerless gloves, so I didn’t actually have to hold on to anything. Once I had run through the simulation’s setup and calibration, I saw a large tree in front of me and walked towards it. As I very carefully made my way to the foam sculpture, I realized that a stream of lightly scented air was wafting up my nose. The woody fragrance was pleasant, but at times I felt like I might choke on the air blowing up my nostril. Upon arriving at the tree’s base, I stuck my head inside the trunk’s hollow, and watched as swirling blue and orange lights circulated around the tree. After a few seconds, the environment started moving, and I was led on a journey up to the treetop. Throughout the virtual ride, I reached out and swept aside the light particles, looking around wildly as I grabbed onto the real-world sculpture for dear life. But there was nothing to worry about; the entire simulation is drawn-out and somewhat anti-climactic since there really isn’t a goal or objective. To be clear, the graphics here are not photo-realistic. You’ll be looking at a render of the tree, and the swirling lights look a lot like data-visualization animations, except they flow in an artistic,...

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MTV's 'Catfish' will introduce internet trolls to their victims
Apr25

MTV's 'Catfish' will introduce internet trolls to their victims

Share on Facebook.Share on Twitter.Share on Google+Share on StumbleUponShare on Twitter. MTV’s Catfish: The TV Show, a documentary series that brings together online couples who have never met in real life with sometimes disastrous results, is branching out. Instead of pursuing potential romances, the broadcaster is seeking people who would love to square up to their online rivals in the hope that it’ll make engaging TV. The Verge reports that for the remainder of its sixth season, MTV wants to bring together people who answer yes to questions like: “Do you have an online rival?”, “Do you find yourself arguing with them all the time?”, “Does this person drive you up the wall?” and “Think it’s time to finally meet in person?” That’s exactly what it’s put a call out for on its official Facebook page. Make no mistake, MTV is actively looking for people that most internet users refer to as an online troll. “Have you been drawn into online debates over topics like veganism, feminism, LGBTQ rights, body shaming, politics, race, religion and other hot button social issues?,” another notice reads. Believe it or not, Catfish: The TV Show does have its share of happy couples. However, the idea of combining two opposing online personalities — you could even say enemies — isn’t always going to end in a joyous reconciliation. Especially when the beef may continue after the show airs and hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of people have watched it all unfold. Via: The Verge Source: MTV Catfish (Facebook) Share on Facebook.Share on Twitter.Share on Google+Share on StumbleUponShare on Twitter.Follow @DailyTechWhip Source: Engadget - Read the full article...

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Google refines its search results to curb fake news
Apr25

Google refines its search results to curb fake news

Share on Facebook.Share on Twitter.Share on Google+Share on StumbleUponShare on Twitter. Google’s quest to fight fake news isn’t stopping with identifying bogus stories and an emphasis on fact-checking. The internet giant is rolling out changes to its search results in hopes of curbing both fake news and offensive material. To begin with, it’s tweaking its “signals” (such as freshness and the frequency of a site’s appearance) to promote more authoritative sources while downplaying the junk. Also, Google’s human Search Quality Raters now have new guidelines to help them spot false stories and ultimately influence search algorithms. You’ll have more opportunities to influence the results, too. It’s now much easier to flag sketchy material when it pops up in either the search box’s autocomplete results or Featured Snippets (the prominent text box that sometimes appears at the top of results). If you get a conspiracy theory snippet or a racist autocomplete suggestion, you can let Google know by tapping a simple feedback link. Google is quick to emphasize that these dodgy results are relatively rare — just 0.25 percent are either “clearly misleading” or “offensive.” However, it’s not so much the frequency of these results as the image they convey and their potential for impact. The company was publicly embarrassed in December when search results for the Holocaust were topped by a white supremacist site, and there are concerns that letting fake news thrive could jeopardize real news or even skew elections. If Google can do something to thwart these fraudsters, it both looks good and helps avert disasters. Via: The Verge Source: Google Share on Facebook.Share on Twitter.Share on Google+Share on StumbleUponShare on Twitter.Follow @DailyTechWhip Source: Engadget - Read the full article...

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Engadget giveaway: Win a Glyph video headset courtesy of Avegant!
Apr25

Engadget giveaway: Win a Glyph video headset courtesy of Avegant!

Share on Facebook.Share on Twitter.Share on Google+Share on StumbleUponShare on Twitter. If you enjoy the movie theater, but can’t stand crowds, Avegant’s Glyph could be your saving grace. This rechargeable audio/video headset projects a 720p private screening experience onto each of your eyeballs via compatible devices and a microHDMI connection. We’d have to say it’s a viewing rig first and foremost, but it can double as standard headphones when flipped up. Not only is it great for movie viewing, but it’s also a capable drone companion, letting you enjoy first-person perspectives and even leverage its 9-axis head tracking for flight control. You can also enjoy a variety of 3D PC games, as well as 360 video experiences. This week, Avegant has provided a Glyph headset for one lucky reader, but that’s not all. Anyone can enjoy a $100 discount at the company’s website with the code ENGADGET through April 27th. To enter, all you need to do is head to the Rafflecopter widget and get up to three chances at winning a free Glyph video headset. a Rafflecopter giveaway Entries are handled through the Rafflecopter widget above. Comments are no longer accepted as valid methods of entry. You may enter without any obligation to social media accounts, though we may offer them as opportunities for extra entries. Your email address is required so we can get in touch with you if you win, but it will not be given to third parties. Contest is open to all residents of the 50 States, the District of Columbia, and Canada (excluding Quebec), 18 or older! Sorry, we don’t make this rule (we hate excluding anyone), so direct your anger at our lawyers and contest laws if you have to be mad. Winners will be chosen randomly. One (1) winner will receive one (1) Avegant Glyph personal theater and headphone device. If you are chosen, you will be notified by email. Winners must respond within three days of being contacted. If you do not respond within that period, another winner will be chosen. Make sure that the account you use to enter the contest includes your real name and a contact email. We do not track any of this information for marketing or third-party purposes. This unit is purely for promotional giveaway. Engadget and AOL are not held liable to honor warranties, exchanges or customer service. The full list of rules, in all its legalese glory, can be found here. Entries can be submitted until April 26th at 11:59PM ET. Good luck! Share on Facebook.Share on Twitter.Share on Google+Share on StumbleUponShare on Twitter.Follow @DailyTechWhip Source: Engadget - Read the full article...

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Facebook is tweaking the News Feed to make room for fact checkers
Apr25

Facebook is tweaking the News Feed to make room for fact checkers

Share on Facebook.Share on Twitter.Share on Google+Share on StumbleUponShare on Twitter. In its own way, Facebook is taking responsibility for the spread of misinformation and changing how its products deliver news. The next phase of that is a test that “might” populate the News Feed with articles related to the one all your friends are sharing. As the GIF below illustrates, there’s a box below shared news story and it has a handful of links to articles about the same subject, but from different publishers and even fact checkers. The idea here is to give people more information on a topic before they mash the “share” button. “That should provide people easier access to additional perspectives and information, including articles by third-party fact-checkers,” product manager Sara Su writes in a blog post. This move sounds like Facebook is trying to chip away at the echo chamber that social networks can become while also offering up objective facts related to a politician’s wild claims, for example. Is it going to be effective? That’s anyone’s guess right now, but it should be easier for Facebook to track than full-page newspaper ads. Source: Facebook Newsroom Share on Facebook.Share on Twitter.Share on Google+Share on StumbleUponShare on Twitter.Follow @DailyTechWhip Source: Engadget - Read the full article...

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Juicero's unnecessary complexity makes it unnecessarily pricey
Apr25

Juicero's unnecessary complexity makes it unnecessarily pricey

Share on Facebook.Share on Twitter.Share on Google+Share on StumbleUponShare on Twitter. Juicero came under fire after Bloomberg showed that you don’t need its $400 (previously $700) machine to squeeze juice out of its proprietary fruit and vegetable packets. All you need are your hands and a bit of force. But why is the company’s WiFi-connected juicer so expensive anyway? Ben Einstein, a product designer and founder of venture capital firm Bolt, has taken a Juicero apart to figure out what’s underneath its glossy white plastic exterior and found a machine of “unnecessary complexity.” Einstein, who examined every part of the juicer, says over 50 percent of its manufacturing costs came from painstakingly machined components. These are large custom parts made using expensive equipment that most startups avoid. If they have no choice, startups typically customize just one or two components: Juicero apparently has eight of them. They include a custom motor and power supply, which isn’t commonly found in startups’ products, because it requires additional certification. Another aspect that added to its costs is its “beautifully engineered” plastic parts. Einstein says some of them were made using an expensive process called overmolding that molds two hard plastic parts together with a rubber-like polymer. Its various components also seem over-engineered — it takes over 20 parts, for instance, just to keep its door closed. “It’s clear that cost savings was not anywhere near a top priority for Juicero when designing this product,” Einstein concluded. “[If] it was,” he added, “something went horribly wrong.” Things might have been different if the company’s target audiences are businesses and corporations. No matter how beautiful Juicero is, most consumers don’t need complex machine that costs an arm and a leg just to make some juice, especially when they can use their hands to do what it does. As for those who already bought one and regret having done so, the company is thankfully offering a full refund until around May 20th. Source: Ben Einstein Share on Facebook.Share on Twitter.Share on Google+Share on StumbleUponShare on Twitter.Follow @DailyTechWhip Source: Engadget - Read the full article...

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