Items tagged with Misc

3D printing is quickly evolving, and a group called Rabbit Proto is pushing that evolution onward with its 3D printer attachment that lets you print 3D electronic circuits on or within an item while that item itself is being printed. Put more simply, Rabbit Proto makes it possible to print electronic devices and their cases simultaneously using capacitive “ink”. What they’ve developed is a print head add-on that plugs into your 3D printer (with software and documentation to go along with it). The team says that the Rabbit Proto works with RepRap printers that have dual-extrusion boards, a Rostock Max, and a Mendel Prusa V2, although it can certainly work on other 3D printers,... Read more...
Lumped on top of the many engineering challenges that Tesla has had to solve while bringing all-electric vehicles to market is a problem with its sales model. Tesla wants to sell its cars directly to consumers, which seems like a sensible, simple thing to do, but there are laws and regulations all over the country that prevent just that, and some states including New Jersey, Virginia, and Maryland have specifically prohibited Tesla sales. Fortunately for Tesla, three FTC officials co-wrote a blog post backing the electric carmaker’s business model and explaining why it should be allowed to stand. Tesla Model S “When the automobile industry was in its infancy, auto manufacturers recruited... Read more...
The sudden retirement of the man behind Google+, Vic Gundotra, was emotional and certainly appeared genuine, but there have been an additional impetus behind Gundotra’s decision to call it a career at Google. According to a TechCrunch report, Google+ is being dismantled--or at least, Google is completely changing how it views and uses the social network. The report says that Google+ will be considered as more of a platform than a product, a backbone as opposed to a front end. Somewhere between 1,000 to 1,200 Googlers work on G+, but many of them are being reassigned to other groups. For example, the Google Hangouts team is being moved over to the Android group, and the Google+ Photos folks... Read more...
The Heartbleed Bug illustrated just how vulnerable our global communications structure really is, and now a glut of important tech companies in collaboration with the Linux Foundation are launching a new initiative called the Core Infrastructure Initiative to better support the open source projects and technologies that keep the Internet afloat. Image Source: Flickr (snoopsmaus) The first item on the docket is increased support for OpenSSL, which if you’ll recall was the source of the Heartbleed problem. OpenSSL “could receive fellowship funding for key developers as well as other resources to assist the project in improving its security, enabling outside reviews, and improving responsiveness... Read more...
The process that began back in September is now complete: Microsoft has finished subsuming Nokia’s Devices & Services business. Nokia said in a statement that the final transaction price will be slightly higher than the originally-announced 5.44 billion euros. Among the adjustments to the final details, Microsoft is not getting Nokia’s manufacturing facilities in Chennai, India nor Masan, Korea. The Chennai plant is having tax problems, and Indian authorities have frozen its assets; instead of Microsoft taking it over, Nokia has agreed to make mobile devices for Microsoft. The Masan facility, which employs some 200 people, is simply going to close down. Nokia has pledged to provide... Read more...
Lest anyone carp about tax dollars being wasted on such a seemingly ridiculous endeavor as recreating the entire country of Denmark in Minecraft--which is an actual thing that the Danish Geodata Agency (Geodatastyrelsen) did--note well that the project is intended to be as educational as it is awesome. First of all, the Geodatastyrelsen had enough data to be able to recreate the country in Minecraft blocks, which is something remarkable in and of itself, but the world is available to schoolchildren and anyone else with access to the server and a license, although they removed the ability to dynamite things, which is probably just as well. The download is reportedly 1TB. You don’t have to... Read more...
Microsoft has done a good job of embracing the cloud as it pertains to its lucrative consumer products--look no further than Office 365 and the free online Office suite at Office.com as proof--but the Redmond company may be taking things even further by rolling out a cloud-based operating system, too. The information is from Russian leaker WZOR, which noted that rumors that Windows 9 or Windows 8.2 will be free could actually point to a free version that would actually be cloud-based. It’s somewhat difficult to parse the language of WZOR’s post on the matter with a rough Google translation, but it appears as though users could download and install the so-called “Windows Cloud”... Read more...
Google Maps has been around for a good long while now, and the search (er, maps) giant is still updating its images of the whole world in order to keep those Street View shots as current as possible. Now, with a catalog of aging photos, Google has opted to make something cool out them instead of just dumping them into the abyss of history. “Starting today, you can travel to the past to see how a place has changed over the years by exploring Street View imagery in Google Maps for desktop”, wrote Vinay Shet, Google Street View Product Manager in a blog post. “We've gathered historical imagery from past Street View collections dating back to 2007 to create this digital time capsule... Read more...
It’s Earth Day, and Apple is marking the occasion with some good PR, announcing a new free recycling program on its Environment website. Starting now, you can take your old Apple products to any Apple store, and they’ll recycle the product(s) for free, and responsibly. Apple also said that occasionally, it will hold events where you can bring in other company’s products for free recycling. (There’s no word on whether Apple will gleefully dispose of those competitor products and then hard sell you on the latest Apple gear.) Even better, if a given product has any value left and can be resold, Apple will give you some money back for it, too. Apple is also promising that... Read more...
It should come as no surprise that Netflix is doing well, and indeed the company’s Q1 earnings report evinces just that. Revenues are up across the board--with the lone exception of its international streaming business, which is still less in the red than ever and will turn black sometime this year--and Netflix has successfully cracked into the difficult original content business, but even so, new customers will likely see a rate hike. “Our current view is to do a one or two dollar increase, depending on the country, later this quarter for new members only,” reads the report. “These changes will enable us to acquire more content and deliver an even better streaming experience.”... Read more...
UberX, the non-professional version of driver service Uber, is a rideshare service wherein any Tom, Dick, or Harriet can sign up to be a driver and offer themselves and their vehicle for hire. The whole thing runs on mobile apps; riders use an iOS or Android device to book rides, and drivers use the same to accept a gig, process payments, and of course, navigate. Like other similar rideshare services, there are obvious (and serious) pitfalls to this sort of paradigm. To help things a bit, Uber is introducing a $1 Safe Rides Fee to uberX fares in the U.S., which gives riders the peace of mind that their drivers has undergone “an industry-leading background check process, regular motor vehicle... Read more...
We live at a quizzical time in technology. The tech boom has revolutionized the world, and the innovations that are pouring out of brilliant minds are incredible in both their frequency and content. But there is also a backlash against a lot of technology, perhaps highlighted best by the curious rage that Google Glass seems to engender in a startling number of people. To gauge attitudes about technology’s future, the Pew Research Center did what it does and conducted a survey. Primarily, the study looks at our collective level of excitement or fear over current and future technologies. “Overall, most Americans anticipate that the technological developments of the coming half-century... Read more...
West Des Moines Mayor Steve Gaer has a plan for his city, and it involves attracting major technology companies to Central Iowa. So far so good: Microsoft is going to spend $1.13 billion on building a data center in West Des Moines to support its online services. Dubbed “Project Alluvion”, the data center will be phased in over a 4-5 year span and will create some 84 jobs and generate $8.2 million in annual property tax revenue for the city, schools, and county and represents a total investment in the area by Microsoft to nearly $2 billion. (Credit: State of Iowa) In conjunction with the data center construction, the surrounding area will see infrastructure upgrades including roads,... Read more...
Microsoft has a new wireless All-In-One Media Keyboard that offers solid functionality for not a lot of cash, and it looks like an ideal accessory for anyone with a multimedia setup in a rec room or simply anyone who wants a smoother way to control a smart TV. In addition to a full-size set of typical keys, the device offers an integrated multitouch trackpad with a pair of flat built-in mouse buttons and supports a number of gestures including tap, swipe, drag, zoom, and click. There are volume controls on the left side of the All-In-One Media Keyboard as well as a host of controls across the top that you can access with the Function key. Above the trackpad, there are three customizable media... Read more...
We love a good gaming mouse around here, and Logitech unveiled a doozy with the G502 Proteus Core, which is designed to let you tune the mouse to your preferred weight, balance, tracking speed, and more--as well as a given gaming surface “unique physical and reflective characteristics”. There are a series of 3.6g weights, 11 programmable buttons, a quick scroll wheel, 3 onboard profiles, mechanical microswitches, and a 1-millisecond report rate. It sports a Delta Zero sensor with a DPI range of 200-12,000. The Logitech Proteus Core Gaming Mouse will be available this month for $79.99 with a 3-year warranty.... Read more...
Apple’s CarPlay looks to be one of the more innovative products that the company has created since the passing of Steve Jobs, and although it’s likely that we’ll see new cars on the lot with CarPlay technology built in yet this year, Pioneer is offering an aftermarket CarPlay product that you can pop into the car that you already own. The in-dash multimedia system will be available this summer on Pioneer’s NEX receivers via a firmware update and should offer all the features promised by any Apple CarPlay system. “Pioneer’s years of expertise integrating smartphone connectivity into the automotive environment has provided us the opportunity to be among the first... Read more...
There’s a new battlefront in the tech field, it involves air space and the Internet, and it’s an exciting front. Google and Facebook are forerunners here, and the former just snapped up drone maker Titan Aerospace, which the latter was reportedly interested in buying recently. Facebook ended up with drone maker Ascenta, and now Google has reportedly secured Titan Aerospace for an undisclosed sum, according to the WSJ. Both purchases are aimed at developing new ways to bring Internet access and related technological perks to areas of the world that don’t already have it, and the Titan purchase would also aid Google in collecting images. Titan Aerospace's Solara (Credit: Titan... Read more...
As the Heartbleed bug inflicts damage in absentia (or not, there’s no way to tell), Google Security wrote a blog post letting users know that although the company has actively patched to numerous Google services, some important Google products are immune to the bug including Chrome, Chrome OS, and all versions of Android--except for Android 4.1.1. “All versions of Android are immune to CVE-2014-0160 [Note: That’s the Heartbleed bug] (with the limited exception of Android 4.1.1; patching information for Android 4.1.1 is being distributed to Android partners),” wrote Google Product Manager Matthew O’Connor in a blog post. Image Source: Flickr (snoopsmaus) O’Connor... Read more...
If you’ve been digging Titanfall but have exhausted all the maps, here’s some good news for you: The game is getting three new maps with the "Expedition" DLC next month. According to CinemaBlend, Expedition is one of three DLC packs coming soon, and each will cost $10 each, or you can get them for “free” if you have the $24.99 Season Pass. Upcoming Game Mode updates will be true freebies, though. The three DLC maps will include the marshy “Swampland” alien ruins; “Runoff”, which will have a similar feel; and a sort of training simulator for pilots called “War Games”. The eagerly-anticipated title, which officially landed last month,... Read more...
For an agency that’s quite stern about deadlines (reminder, by the way: tax day is on Tuesday), the IRS missed a big one. Perhaps you saw this one coming a mile away, but the IRS has failed to migrate all of its systems from Windows XP to Windows 7. (So we’re officially skipping Vista then, right? Right.) Because Microsoft ceased support for XP a few days ago, that could leave the agency’s systems vulnerable, so the IRS has reportedly asked Microsoft to continue special support until it can finish upgrading all of its machines. ComputerWorld reported that the IRS has has about 110,000 Windows computers, 52,000 of which have been upgraded to Windows 7 so far. The IRS is pulling... Read more...
If you were one of the early believers in the Virtuix Omni virtual reality treadmill, your faith will finally be rewarded when the company ships a unit to your front door starting in July. The earliest adopters who secured their treadmills back during the halcyon Kickstarter days will be the first in line, but even if you preorder now, you’ll get yours as early as September. Virtuix has missed its initial planned ship date of March 2014, but considering what the company is trying to do with this VR treadmill, that’s not such a bad miss. The device promises to let you run, jump, squat, and otherwise move through virtual worlds, and it’s designed to be paired with the Oculus Rift... Read more...
Chances are, you’ve noticed a gradual uptick in the amount of spam in your Facebook Newsfeed. You know the stuff--"like-baiting", spammy links to trick you into clicking on a junk website, and even seeing the content over and over again--and Facebook is trying to get rid of it. “A smaller set of publishers who are frequently and intentionally creating feed spam will see their distribution decrease over the next few months,” wrote Facebook’s Erich Owens and Chris Turitzin in a blog post. “We’re making these changes to ensure that feed spam content does not drown out the content that people really want to see on Facebook from the friends and Pages they care about.”... Read more...
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