Top tech stories of the day for Wednesday 8 January, 2014

CES rampages on. It’s no surprise that today’s tech news is dominated by product announcements.

 

Following the attack on the Google Bus they’re now ferrying workers in a private catamaran – As criticism of Google’s private shuttle bus service for employees living in San Francisco has reached new heights, the company quietly turned its eyes to the sea.

CBS is reporting that Google has contracted a private catamaran called “The Triumphant” that ferries workers from San Francisco bay to Redwood City, California, about halfway to the company’s global headquarters in Mountain View, California. Presumably, then Google employees hop out and take a bus the remaining 14 miles.

Following the attack on the Google Bus they’re now ferrying workers in a private catamaran

 

 


Streaming service ‘PlayStation Now’ actually works! (hands-on) – You’ll excuse us if we didn’t expect PlayStation Now to work so well. It’s a game streaming service, and the history of game streaming services is littered with dead bodies. When Sony spent an unbelievable $380 million on Gaikai, it seemed impossible that the service could ever live up to that incredible sum. While PlayStation Now may not live up to that massive payout, it does, in fact, work. And it works really well.

Streaming service ‘PlayStation Now’ actually works! (hands-on)

 

 

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The body scanning Tricorder from Star Trek is (finally) real – First made famous by medical staff on Star Trek, a tricorder is a device that can that can track a person’s heart rate, breathing rate, body temperature, pulse transit (essentially systolic blood pressure) and blood oxygenation. It’s like a fitness tracker on steroids (if you’ll excuse the problematic simile).

It’s been a long time coming, but a real, functioning tricorder is here, and we got to see the final hardware for it today at CES.

The body scanning Tricorder from Star Trek is (finally) real

 

 

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Lenco’s glass top USB turntable is a gorgeous version of your parents’ record player – Lenco’s old-fashioned turntables were not only extremely popular in the 1960s, but they remain sought out today for their vintage design and modernized technology. At this year’s CES, Lenco revealed its L-175 glass top turntable that connects via USB to your computer so you can play or sync your vinyl records.

The design is a modern take on the classic, wooden Lenco turntable, made with a smooth glass top and a 300mm aluminum platter.

Lenco’s glass top USB turntable is a gorgeous version of your parents’ record player

 

 

Samsung’s ridiculously loud Giga speaker is kind of awesome – Two years ago Samsung introduced the GIGA, a speaker system designed to be used for impromptu parties, and now it’s back with one you can roll with you down the street.

The GIGA MX-HS8500, which is being shown off at CES, builds off the old model by adding wheels on the bottom and controls to the top. That includes a DJ fader that can adjust any music that’s playing using a big circular knob, and an array of buttons to turn on different EQs like “football mode” and a big bass boost.

Samsung’s ridiculously loud Giga speaker is kind of awesome

 

 

FINsix laptop adapter is tiny yet powerful, arriving in time for summer – It’s 2014, and while some of you have already upgraded to an Intel Haswell laptop, many still have to carry a bulky power adapter for the more demanding machines. Luckily, MIT spin-off FINsix has come up with a breakthrough technology that dramatically reduces both the size and weight of laptop adapters.

FINsix laptop adapter is tiny yet powerful, arriving in time for summer

 

 

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Neptune’s Pine isn’t a smartwatch, it’s a smartphone that sits on your wrist – The Neptune Pine isn’t really a watch in any sense of the word, but considering that the Pine raised eight times its goal on Kickstarter, there’s clearly a desire for this sort of hardware.

Even with the pictures, it’s hard to get a sense of the scale of this thing. Imagine something the size of a deck of cards that’s strapped along your wrist and you’re almost there. The three Android navigation buttons run down the right side of the 2.4-inch, 320 x 240 TFT screen.

Neptune’s Pine isn’t a smartwatch, it’s a smartphone that sits on your wrist

 

 

Sony’s XSP-N1BT turns your smartphone into an in-car entertainment system – Sony has shown off its new XSP-N1BT smartphone cradle receiver at CES. The device sits in your car’s dashboard, where it uses your smartphone to interface with your vehicle’s audio system, becoming a head-unit that can play music, stream internet radio, and make hands-free calls.

The cradle replaces your smartphone’s native interface, replacing it with Sony’s App Remote 2 when connected. App Remote 2 might not look as stylish as other smartphone interfaces, but it does offer voice control, allowing users to “hear and compose text messages and emails, obtain mapping information, and listen to notifications” without needing to move their hands.

Sony’s XSP-N1BT turns your smartphone into an in-car entertainment system

 

 

Thanks for reading,
Andrew Richardson

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Author: Andrew Richardson

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