Items tagged with Misc

Ever been off the beaten path and discovered an amazing craft beer that isn't available locally? If you owned a SYNEK machine, you could bag it and tag it for consumption at home, right from your countertop. That's the general idea behind this Kickstarter project, which wants to do for beer what Kuerig did for coffee. It's the first ever countertop beer dispenser, an accomplishment in and of itself. But what really makes the SYNEK worthy of attention is that the vacuum bags it uses can be filled from any tap using a special hose that never comes into contact with air, thereby giving you access... Read more...
Google Maps’ Street View has helped completely change how we’re able to see the world. Indeed, Street View makes navigation far easier than ever before, but it also allows us to see into places from the comfort of our own homes. For instance, there’s the “Skyfall” island in Japan, the Grand Canyon, and more, and the search giant is also now mapping Ellis Island and Liberty Island, site of the Statue of Liberty. According to the New York Times, it’s taken a long time and a lot of complication to gain access to Liberty and Ellis Islands, both of which are operated... Read more...
While the Xbox-versus-PS4 push and pull endures, Microsoft is doing one thing that helps keep its customers happy and may bring in a few more: Constantly rolling out updates. The company has had an update each month since February, and Xbox Chief Phil Spencer tweeted that they’ll continue at least through October. “We've worked through the feature list through October,” reads the post. “MUs will continue and features look good.” Xbox now has a feedback channel called Xbox Feedback that allows users to pitch things they want to see, thus ensuring that Xbox owners have... Read more...
Lyft announced that its was pushing into Brooklyn and Queens, places where its chief competition, Uber, already has a foothold, and it now has the green light to launch in all five boroughs after coming to agreements with the state and with local entities. That’s a huge deal for the rideshare service, of course, but there are caveats. One is that, according to a statement from New York Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman and New York State Superintendent of Financial Services Benjamin M. Lawsky, Lyft must use only commercial drivers. Additionally, Lyft has to cease operations in Buffalo... Read more...
Driverless, autonomous car technology is quickly proliferating as multiple companies have stated publicly that they’re planning to roll them out within the next several years. Other companies such as Intel are working hard on technology to go in autonomous cars, too. But it’s not just American and European companies diving in--China’s Baidu says that it’s developing its own (mostly) self-driving vehicle, too. Baidu, you may note, is not a car company; it’s a tech company, similar in many respects to Google, and it’s unclear who Baidu would partner with on the... Read more...
Tesla’s proposed “gigafactory”, a massive production facility that would make batteries for the company’s electric cars, is looking for a state to call home, and you can count California among those campaigning hard to be chosen. According to USA Today, the California state legislature is working on a bill to speed an approval process to persuade Tesla to come to the state; this follows an earlier measure designed to give Tesla property tax breaks. Model S Other states in the mix include Arizona, Nevada, New Mexico, and Texas. KTVU in Concord, CA reports that one nagging... Read more...
A man named Duff Watson nearly got himself and his two young sons (ages 6 and 9) thrown off of a Southwest Airlines flight out of Denver over an angry Tweet. He was upset that the gate agent wouldn’t let his kids board early with him even though he had priority status and posted on Twitter, “RUDEST AGENT IN DENVER. KIMBERLY S. GATE C39. NOT HAPPY @SWA” according to Reuters. The crew then pulled him off of the plane and made him delete the post before letting him back on, even threatening to call the police unless he complied. He relented, deleted the Tweet, and flew on to Minneapolis.... Read more...
Google’s acquisition of Twitch, the increasingly popular video game broadcaster, is complete. The deal was first announced back in May, and Google has signed the all-cash offer of a billion dollars. Suddenly, the YouTube juggernaut is even more powerful and expansive. According to VentureBeat’s sources familiar with the matter, the exact price is unknown but Twitch’s early investors are pleased with the manifold return on investment they’re now enjoying. Twitch has some exciting days ahead. Amid acquisition talks, the company announced plans to build a studio in San Francisco... Read more...
While the FCC has come under fire for its stance on net neutrality of late, it has also been on the offense against ISPs. For example, the agency has stated that it will look into the bad service finger-pointing between Netflix and Verizon in hopes of adjudicating the dispute and discerning the underlying problems, and it’s also giving ISPs a warning about their level of transparency. “Consumers deserve to get the broadband service they pay for,” said FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler in a Rule Enforcement Advisory. “The FCC’s transparency rule requires that consumers get the... Read more...
A company called littleBits has taken the hobby DIY kit to a whole new level with its Internet of Things-friendly cloudBit and Cloud Starter Bundle that allow you to add connected intelligence to any number of otherwise “dumb” items. The $59 cloudBit is designed to work without any need for wires or soldering, and it’s technically its own tiny computer board running Linux and packed with a FreeScale i.MX23 ARM926EJ-S processor, 64MB of RAM, a 4GB SD card, and an 802.11b/g USB adapter. There are also ADC and DAC I/O pins, as well as GPIO. littleBits mentioned a number of applications... Read more...
For as ubiquitous as Facebook is and for as many features as the social network has, there are a few much-needed items that the company just hasn’t gotten to over the years. (For example, why can’t you comment on a comment?) Facebook is taking care of one of those long-needed features today, though, by introducing Save. Save lets you mark all sorts of content such as links, places, movies, TV, and music to get back to later. No one can see what you’ve saved unless you allow them to, and Facebook stashes them for you and categorizes what you’ve saved so you can easily find... Read more...
Whether you’re disgusted by the prospect of Facebook owning an exciting grassroots-type product like the Oculus Rift or believe, like John Carmack and Michael Abrash, that combining Facebook’ big moneybags with Oculus’ know-how will make possible all the promise of VR technology, Facebook’s blockbuster deal to acquire Oculus VR is now complete. Several months in the making, the $2 billion deal which included $400 million in cash has cleared all regulatory and practical hurdles. In a joint statement, Facebook and Oculus said, “We’re looking forward to an exciting... Read more...
Although Netflix’s system for tracking what you’ve viewed and offering up suggestions accordingly is a fine way to discover new movies or TV shows you may want to watch, it can also be annoying when you watch something that turns out to be awful (or embarrassing). Worse, your friends or family members who see your account can see that thing you wish they couldn’t--doubly bad if you allow Netflix to share your viewing habits on social media. The company is testing a new feature called Privacy Mode that would let users hide a movie or TV show. “Choosing that option means the... Read more...
Did you ever go on a big family road trip where there were two or more cars in the caravan, and you brought along walkie-talkies so you could communicate on the drive? Now, of course, nearly everyone has cell phones to accomplish the same thing more easily, but there’s a problem: When you don’t have service, you’re hosed. And of course, it’s not just on long drives where a lack of service can be problematic. If you don’t have an international plan when in another country, or you’re in the woods, or wherever, you may find yourself with a need to connect with others... Read more...
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