Items tagged with Misc

The White House wants to see more people connected to the Internet, and to that effect President Obama put forth the ConnectED initiative to bring broadband to more teachers, students, and schools last year. Sprint is plugging into the effort by pledging to connect up to 50,000 kids by providing Internet access outside of the classroom. “Helping to close the digital divide is an issue of great importance to Sprint, and we believe schools and students will benefit from using our new wireless network for mobile learning opportunities beyond the classroom,” wrote Sprint CEO Dan Hesse. Schools can apply to Sprint’s ConnectED application and information portal to receive up to four... Read more...
In case you hadn’t noticed, ISPs and Netflix aren’t exactly friendly right now. In addition to bowing to Comcast and paying extra fees (that surely stuck in Netflix’s craw), the video streaming provider passive-aggressively accused Verizon of delivering substandard network performance, and Verizon countered by blasting Netflix for what amounts to lying (allegedly). The situation is only going to get worse and uglier, and the FCC is stepping in to investigate what’s boiling under the surface. FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler “Consumers must get what they pay for,” wrote FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler in a letter. As the consumer’s representative we need to know what... Read more...
The Internet is as wide and wonderful as it is dark and dangerous. So many individuals and groups use it as a powerful platform for advocacy, raising awareness, disseminating “dangerous” (to tyrants) ideas, and more, but all too often those entities face threats from actors looking to censor them, knocking them offline using DDoS attacks. Cloud provider CloudFlare has unveiled something called Project Galileo that seeks to protect against those threats. “CloudFlare is partnering with NGOs and civil society groups to identify outlets for free-expression online,” reads the website. “Once identified, CloudFlare will extend our Enterprise-class DDoS protection to ensure... Read more...
Remember how the old NES game Excitebike was amazingly cool because you could make your own courses? It took Nintendo 29 years to follow suit, but now you can actually design your own levels of Super Mario Bros. with the company’s upcoming “Mario Maker” on the Wii U. Nintendo is showing off the--game?--at E3, and judging by the trailer, it’s something that you can spend endless hours getting into. Using the Wii U’s GamePad touch screen, you can drag and drop all sorts of familiar pieces and characters into blank levels to create your own masterpieces. “Place blocks, pipes, lifts and enemies anywhere and play through the level,” teases Nintendo. “Want... Read more...
Privacy has become an incredibly hot topic in the tech world as cloud computing and online services of many kinds proliferate rapidly while concerns of snooping by the U.S. government escalate. To engender some good faith from its throngs of customers, Microsoft has revamped its service agreements to enact more privacy, better transparency, and increased protections while also being simpler to read and digest. One of the primary features of the new agreements is that Microsoft pledges not to use your personal content to target advertising. “We do not use what you say in email, chat, video calls, or voice mail to target advertising to you. Nor do we use your documents, photos, or other personal... Read more...
The EU does not fool around when it comes to handing out fines, and it also apparently does not second-guess itself. The European Commission levied a hefty fine of 1.06 billion euro (or roughly $1.44 billion USD) at Intel for anti-competitive practices back in 2009, and after years of legal supplication, the decision has been upheld according to Reuters. Intel was found to have unacceptably fought rival AMD in the processor market by giving rebates to PC makers in exchange for those companies using primarily CPUs made by Intel--and concealing it. European Commission building "The General Court considers that none of the arguments raised by Intel supports the conclusion that the fine imposed is... Read more...
Slowly but surely, Amazon is inserting itself into every part of our daily lives. The site is already a terrific place to buy products of every kind, and Amazon has also made forays into grocery home deliveries, delivery by robot helicopter, and local deals, but now a report indicates that Amazon is planning to roll out a local services marketplace, too. According to Reuters’ unnamed sources, Amazon wants to become a middleman between consumers and those providing services--”anything from babysitters to handymen to birthday clowns”--not completely unlike what Yelp and Angie’s List offer. The service would start in a single market and expand from there, assuming demand... Read more...
When it comes to NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden, opinions vary, with some people viewing him a traitor to the U.S. and others viewing him as a hero for shining a light on the shadowy practices of the government. Former vice president Al Gore is on record with his take on Snowden, and although he wouldn’t specifically say that he’s a whistleblower, he did make it clear that he didn’t believe Snowden was a traitor. “What he revealed in the course of violating important laws included violations of the US constitution that were way more serious than the crimes he committed,” he told the Guardian. Edward Snowden (Credit: The Guardian) Further, Gore said that what Snowden... Read more...
“Doom” is one of those titles that is both legendary and also has been a frustrating tease. Back in 2012 “Doom 3” was remastered (we guess) for the Xbox and PS3, and earlier this year you could get access to a new Doom beta if you preordered “Wolfenstein” (what?). But now, in conjunction with QuakeCon 2014, it seems that an actual Doom game is coming. Or at least, there’s a trailer, so that’s something. Unfortunately, the trailer shows us next to nothing about the actual gameplay, but you can see a very dark, very frightening emergence of a beast--”an unholy union of flesh and metal”--that definitely wants to kill things. If you’re... Read more...
The 3D printing market is a growing yet nebulous one, populated by a many different types of printers of varying quality. There are lots of players already, but it’s still a wide open market as each manufacturer looks to find that special sauce that entices the most users. Formlabs is updating its offering, the Form1, a 3D printer that uses laser stereolithography technology. Now you can get the Form 1+, and Formlabs says that among the upgrades is up to 50% faster performance. The Form 1+ also features a higher-power second-gen laser; greater precision and accuracy thanks to a new galvanometer; a new resin tank for better print consistency; and overall more durable mechanical components.... Read more...
Netflix and Verizon are in a bit of a spat at present. The issue is that some Netflix users on Verizon networks started seeing an error message when experiencing a laggy connection that said “The Verizon network is crowded right now” followed by a note that said Netflix was “Adjusting video for smoother playback”. It certainly seemed to be a direct shot at Verizon by Netflix, and the former was (predictably) none too pleased. In addition to a scathing blog post penned by Verizon’s David Young--”This claim [of the Verizon network being the cause of lag] is not only inaccurate, it is deliberately misleading”, he wrote in part--the company actually sent... Read more...
Back in March we posted an article about GTA V and said that one of these days we’d post a piece stating that the title is finally available for the PC. Well, today is that day. Rockstar posted the news that Grand Theft Auto V is indeed coming to the PC, this fall. It’s also going to be available on Microsoft’s and Sony’s next-gen Xbox One and PS4 consoles. “Grand Theft Auto V will take full advantage of the power of the PlayStation 4, Xbox One and PC with across-the-board graphical and technical improvements to deliver a stunning new level of detail,” reads a news post. “Increased draw distances, finer texture details, denser traffic, and enhanced resolutions... Read more...
Among places to not feel safe, the foothills of the Himalayas, in a bus with a monkey, at a checkpoint manned by rifle-wielding militiamen, with a psycho in a helicopter coming in for a landing, would be close to the top of the list. Yet that is exactly where we find ourselves in the 5-minute trailer for Far Cry 4, a game that takes place in the wild environs of the mountains. Ubisoft unveiled the trailer at E3, and it’s captivating. And brutal. Do yourself a favor and check it out. (Warning: NSFW. Mountain despots tend to use strong language.) If that doesn’t get your blood pumping, you’re not human. As we previously reported, Far Cry 4 will be out November 18th in the U.S.... Read more...
Kids are great. Their optimism, unique view of the world, and relentless energy are refreshing, and Google tapped into that with its Doodle 4 Google contest, which was won this year by an 11-year-old. “For our 7th annual Doodle 4 Google competition, we asked kids, grades K-12, to draw an invention that would make the world a better place,” reads the contest page. “Out of more than 100,000 submissions, 250 state finalists, 50 state winners, and 5 national age group winners, we are excited to present the 2014 Doodle 4 Google winner: 11-year old Audrey Zhang of New York!” Audrey’s drawing was of a “transformative water purifier” that would quickly process... Read more...
Logitech has added more functionality to some of its remote control products, and with them the company is aiming for a smarter home. The Logitech Harmony Ultimate and Logitech Harmony Smart Control now have the ability to control SONOS wireless HIFi System speakers and Philips Hue lights, and they offer speech-to-text capabilities through the associated Harmony App. The speech-to-text functionality is particularly useful for searching for content on your set-top device such as the new Amazon Fire TV, and the app uses Siri or Android Speech Recognition (depending, obviously, on your device). This update also grants the Harmony Hub remote setup to a number of devices including Roku boxes as well... Read more...
We’ve been getting used to billion-dollar-plus acquisitions lately, and thus a rumor that Google is in talks to buy streaming music service Songza for just $15 million doesn’t quite make ones eyes pop, but it’s still noteworthy that the search giant is working to enhance its product offerings. It would seem that the current Google Play Music streaming service, with its $9.99 per month All Access plan, needs some spicing up in the form of better playlists. With oceans of music available, many people rely on pre-curated playlists--sometimes made by celebrities or popular musicians--to keep up on the hottest new tunes. Songza has evolved into a music streaming service that only... Read more...
Apple CEO Tim Cook toured an Austin, TX facility that manufactures the new Mac Pro, and his crew predictably used the visit as a photo op, snapping an image of Cook peering over the shoulder of a worker soldering something and posting it on Twitter. “Watching the Mac Pro come together in Austin yesterday,thanks to a team loaded with American manufacturing expertise,” reads the Twitter post. However, a number of people noticed something humorously off about the photo: The computers in the background appear to be running Windows. Thus, it would seem that Apple is using Windows software to help create its Mac Pro machines. It’s more of a simple PR gaff than anything else, but it’s... Read more...
Rideshare services Lyft and Uber (“hipster taxis”, a friend calls them) are facing some backlash over their business model of peer-to-peer ridesharing, particularly in the state of Virginia. The Virginia DMV has made it clear that this ridesharing paradigm is against current law. There’s a provision in the law for ridesharing in the case of, for example, carpoolers trying to save a buck getting to work, but Uber and Lyft violate the part of the law that applies to “any business that receives compensation to provide or facilitate transportation”. The Virginia DMV has sent cease and desist letters to both companies, warning them that after months of warnings and civil... Read more...
We first got a glimpse of the second generation of Microsoft’s Kinect sensor for Windows back in March, and now the device is available for preorder for $199 in the U.S. (It’s also available in a number of other countries.) “The Kinect for Windows v2 sensor gives developers more of the precision, responsiveness, and intuitive capabilities they need to develop interactive voice and gesture-based applications,” reads the post. The device is intended to be used with the Windows SDK 2.0, which will be out in beta form in July. As previously reported, the new Kinect for Windows sensor v2 is a bit more demure than its predecessor, with the big glowing “X” logo gone... Read more...
Facebook rolled out a new mobile feature that uses your device’s microphone to “hear” a song you’re listening to or a TV show you’re watching so you can append that item to a status post. Predictably, a lot of people believe that this is a feature designed for snooping and are not happy that it exists. They’re so unhappy, in fact, that they’ve created an online petition to get Facebook to remove the feature from the Facebook app. To date, there are over 580,000 signatures. “Facebook just announced a new feature to its app, which will let it listen to our conversations and surroundings through our own phones’ microphone. Talk about a Big Brother... Read more...
The age-old question asks: If you replace every part of a ship, is it the same ship? Converted into 21st-century tech, the question becomes whether a 3D bioprinted ear created in part from Vincent van Gogh’s s great-great-great nephew’s DNA is actually the famous painter’s ear. The answer is that we don’t know, but it sure is gross and weird. Yet that is exactly artist Diemut Strebe has done in collaboration with scientists with the piece “Sugababe”, now on display at the Zentrum für Kunst und Medientechnologie (ZKM) in Karlsruhe, Germany. You can “talk” to the ear because software converts input sound to stimulate nerve impulses. And here’s... Read more...
The U.S. government is somewhat like that older family member you have that understands the importance of social media but is rather baffled at how to actually use it effectively. Particularly, the Secret Service is trying to find a tool that analyzes social media such as Twitter and Facebook, and it includes a rather long list of sought-after capabilities. The most amusing in the long list is “Ability to detect sarcasm and false positives”. (Hey look, Secret Service, if you figure that one out please let everyone know.) The full list is as follows: Real-time stream analysis; Customizable, keyword search features; Sentiment analysis; Trend analysis; Audience segmentation; Geographic... Read more...
First ... Prev 2 3 4 5 6 Next ... Last