Wednesday, 30 April 2014

Up in the Air: Using Tethered Balloons to Photograph the Future City

Up in the Air: Using Tethered Balloons to Photograph the Future City

Sometimes even the most visionary architects need a little perspective—a way to see what's just over the horizon. To show them what's coming, photographer Curt Westergard delivers a peek at the near-future using one of the oldest, most low-tech solutions on the planet: Balloons.

23 Amazing Landscape Photographs That Are Actually Renderings

23 Amazing Landscape Photographs That Are Actually Renderings

It can be difficult to know what's real and what's fake when it comes to digital art these days. But don't torture yourself worrying about it now: Here are 23 of the most amazing photorealistic 3D renderings of landscapes on the web. Each one is completely synthetic; every single detail generated by madly talented 3D artists. Enjoy.

Tinitell Is A Wearable Phone And GPS Tracker For Kids


Wearables continue to be an area of focus for device makers, large and small. Here's another would-be entrant to the space: Tinitell is a wearable phone and GPS tracker for kids, with electronics small enough for the whole device to be strapped to a toddler's wrist. Read More

Q App Aims To End Queuing At The Bar At The Royal Albert Hall, Among Others


In the age of the smartphone, queuing for stuff shouldn’t really exist. Why can you not be alerted when it’s your turn to be served or to be seated? A number of startups are looking into this idea, but most are tackling it from the consumer end, trying to get us to download an app which has no partners. Q App (an app for iPhone or Android) is doing something different – slowly… Read More

Sony's Evolution UI tries to make learning Android fun

Ever get "ghost hands," where you're always trying to take the smartphone away from a novice to show them how it's done? Well, Sony is working on something a little more polite. The company has announced Evolution UI, an intentionally hobbled Android... read more

These Lamps Blow Up Just Like Balloons

These Lamps Blow Up Just Like Balloons

These LED lamps don't have much to them—because most of their integrity is supplied by the air from your lungs, which fills their polyethylene skins.

OnePlus One release date for general sale confirmed for June

OnePlus One release date for general sale confirmed for June

The OnePlus One has caused quite a stir since its announcement, but worries about actually being able to get hold of one have been put to bed.
Writing on its forum, OnePlus has clarified its plans for the rollout of its first smartphone - the incredibly high spec, yet low cost One.
OnePlus says it has "been frantically adjusting [its] production schedule" after "we realized that far more people wanted the One than what we originally anticipated."
That means if you've bagged yourself an invite to buy early you'll still have to wait longer for the 64GB model, as OnePlus says it was also surprised by the popularity of the larger option.
The plan
Ready now
 - 100 for phone smashers
Mid-late May - Large batch of 16GB Silk White for first batch of invites
Early June - Large batch of 64GB Sandstone Black
Later in June - Increased general availability, people who want it should be able to get an invite without much trouble
It's interesting that OnePlus will still require people to gain an invite when it reaches general availability, suggesting it may not make its way into stores and rather be an online-only product.

Photo switcharoo hints that Touchwiz-less Google Play Edition S5 is imminent

Photo switcharoo hints that Touchwiz-less Google Play Edition S5 is imminent

We've just had a big hint that the Google Play Edition Samsung Galaxy S5 is imminent.
Someone has replaced the photo of the Google Play Edition S4 on Google Play with a picture of the S5. Simple mistake or huge clue that we're about to see the new version go vanilla? The latter, we say.
While the photo snafu doesn't tell us exactly when we'll see the S5 Play Edition on sale, it does at least just about confirm that the handset exists.
Google Play Editions are popular Android handsets released with raw Android, so the GPE S5 will come without TouchWiz or any of Samsung's bells and whistles.

Google stops scanning student Gmail accounts following privacy concerns

Just days after Microsoft launched a special ad-free version of Bing for schools, search rival Google is making some ad changes targeted at classrooms. In a statement to The Wall Street Journal, Google says it has stopped scanning student Gmail accounts for advertising purposes. The data-mining practice was central to a Microsoft-backed privacy bill that has seen Google face a lawsuit in a US court case. While Google Apps for Education is free from ads, the search giant still scanned more than 30 million accounts so that it could potentially target ads to students on other Google properties.
While the practice is being killed off for education accounts, Google is also reportedly planning to disable email scanning on its Google Apps...
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Supreme Court backs EPA crackdown on cross-state pollution

The US Supreme Court this week ruled that the federal government can impose limits on power plant pollution that crosses state lines, marking a victory for the Obama administration and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). In a 6-2 ruling handed down Tuesday, the court upheld an EPA regulation that requires 28 states to cut emissions from coal-burning plants that pollute the air in downwind states.
The Cross-State Air Pollution Rule was met with lawsuits from power companies and more than a dozen states when it was implemented in 2011, and was blocked by a federal appeals court in 2012. The Supreme Court has now reversed that decision, ruling that the EPA has the authority, under the Clean Air Act, to impose emissions reductions in...
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PS4 Update: Enhanced Video Editing, Advance Downloads of Games, More

PS4 Update: Enhanced Video Editing, Advance Downloads of Games, More

Sony's PlayStation 4 console gets its first major update since its November launch today, with the release of the 1.70 system software. For those that love compiling brag clips, this one will be just what you've been waiting for, as it brings the comprehensive SHAREfactory video editing and sharing suite to Sony's new console.

This Japanese House Is Entirely Clad in Aluminum

This Japanese House Is Entirely Clad in Aluminum

Talk about tin foil hats: this house is for the truly paranoid. Sitting in a small provincial town near Tokyo, this house is clad entirely in a soft metallic coat of aluminum.

DreamWorks: Films of the Future Will Be Paid For By the Inch

DreamWorks: Films of the Future Will Be Paid For By the Inch

Watch films on your TV instead of your tablet? It might cost you—at least, that's if Jeffrey Katzenberg, the CEO of DreamWorks Animation, is right about a future where films are priced according to screen size.

In Depth: Sensory overload: how your smartphone is becoming part of you

In Depth: Sensory overload: how your smartphone is becoming part of you
Your mobile phone already knows where it is, how you're holding it, what you're saying to it and how fast you're moving.
Yet with significant improvements in mobile sensor technology just around the corner, this is only the beginning chapter in the era of self-aware devices and continuous data logging. There's much more to come.
We're now used to phones and tablets recognising when they're being held upside down and flipping the screen accordingly, but even this kind of technology is a relatively new innovation that has only become commonplace in the last three or four years.
One of the earliest consumer products to showcase these sensors wasn't a phone at all, but the Nintendo Wii games console.

Making sense of sensors

The sensors we've grown accustomed to, and which you can find in almost every new device on the market, include the accelerometer, for measuring movement and orientation, and the gyroscope, for measuring angular rotation across three axes and giving more accuracy to the accelerometer reading.
Location services are taken care of with a magnetometer for detecting magnetic North and some form of GPS chip or a related variant to plot your position on the map.
On top of this there's the proximity sensor for recognising when you move your phone up to your face during a call and an ambient light sensor for boosting brightness levels in dark environments.
iPhone 5S
Like every electrical component, these sensors continue to get smaller, more powerful and cheaper. The total cost of all the sensors inside your brand new mobile phone is probably less than a handful of pounds, though as with any other hardware there are budget and premium options available.
The list price of the accelerometer in the new iPhone, for example, is $1. Whatever the cost, they've become an integral part of the mobile experience: imagine a tablet that doesn't change orientation when you rotate it, or a phone that can't give you directions back home.

The cutting edge

As 2013 draws to a close, there are yet more sensors marking their ground. Apple's iPhone 5S and iPad Air come with an M7 tracking chip, which adds to the motion sensing capabilities of these devices. In practice, it can tell the difference between walking and driving, and take certain actions (such as switching off Wi-Fi) if you haven't moved for a while.
If you're on a train, the M7 chip can be used to tell the phone to stop trying to attach to public networks as they whizz by. Fitness apps, meanwhile, can access accurate data about your movements with no need for a wristband.
Samsung isn't shy of throwing everything it can into a handset, and this is certainly the case when it comes to the sensors packed into both the Galaxy S4 and Galaxy S5 handsets.
These phones includes both temperature and humidity sensors, the data for which you can access through the S Health app, enabling the phone to keep an eye on the state of the environment around you.
There's also a barometer for measuring atmospheric pressure and a gesture sensor that detects hand movements through infrared rays.
Galaxy S4
So much for the here and now: what about the months and years to come? In short, more sensors and greater accuracy.
We spoke to Emiliano Miluzzo, Senior Member of Technical Staff at US mobile giant AT&T, to get an insight into what could come next. As part of his role at AT&T Labs Research, he specialises in mobile sensing systems and big data analysis. "The trend of adding more sensors to mobile devices will continue," says Miluzzo.
"It would be great to have air and water quality sensors, some forms of medical sensing, 3D/stereo cameras, even radar and sonar... the wishlist could certainly grow if we could have an understanding of how quickly sensor miniaturisation will proceed."

Sensory overload

How would you like a phone that could track your heart rate and emotional state, perhaps putting on some soothing music as soon as you start to get anxious?
According to Freescale Semiconductor director Kaivan Karimi, this is possible using sensors that cost just a few pounds.
"Your device will get to read your emotions," Karimi told the GigaOM Mobilize Conference in October. "That means you can track people's emotions remotely... your device will know you significantly better than you do."
The microelectromechanical systems (MEMS) built into our phones are made of silicon, but scientists are now experimenting with MEMS running on an organic polymer more suitable for implanting in the human body.
Once the cost and time taken to manufacture these components comes down, we could be able to monitor health and activity from inside our own bodies. They could even be used to control bionic limbs.
Skin sensor
UV light sensors are also in the stages of early testing by manufacturers including ROHM. Find out how much sun cream you need, or how clean your hands really are, or how much you've had to drink, all courtesy of your phone.
Imagine the difference it would make to a check up at the doctor's if you had two months' worth of data on file rather than relying on your own memory and a quick five minute conversation.
On a broader level, disease and health patterns can be tracked more accurately across countries and continents.
Researchers at the University of California, Berkeley have built a working prototype of a pollution sensor small enough to fit inside a mobile phone, giving governments and health officials the opportunity to measure smog and dangerous chemicals across cities (as well as giving you a warning when it's time to don a face mask). Mobile air monitoring sensors are also being developed by the US Environmental Protection Agency.
Credit: William Griswold/Jacobs School of Engineering at UC San Diego
Meanwhile, Antonio D'Alessandro and Giuseppe D'Anna, seismologists at the National Institute of Geophysics and Volcanology in Italy, have run tests on the iPhone 4 and 5 to demonstrate how mobile phones could be used to detect earthquakes.
The sensors within our handsets need to improve, but eventually they could act as early warning systems and get aid to those in need more quickly.
Next-generation sensors will make a difference on a local and a global scale. AT&T's Emiliano Miluzzo again: "By turning a smartphone into the equivalent of a Swiss Army knife, we could change lives in both high-tech and developing countries because what people need would be in the palm of their hands anytime and anywhere.
"Not only will users get immediate answers to their problems, but governments too will be able to run their infrastructures more efficiently."
"Medical data could be continuously streamed back to the cloud," continues Miluzzo. "If something was flagged as anomalous, it would trigger an alert for medical intervention.
"Governments could rely on crowdsourced 24/7 pollution level measurements, people in developing countries could rapidly check the quality of their water, EEG headsets could let people control their devices simply through their thoughts, and radar and sonar sensing could let people be more aware of their surroundings."

The smarter home

As sensors become smarter, so will all of the other gadgets and equipment in our homes. The sensor-packed smartphone of the future won't work in isolation, but as part of a larger network of devices, whether it's the thermostat at home or the Wi-Fi enabled lamppost out on the street, each with their own integrated miniature monitoring components.
STMicroelectronics is one of the companies leading the charge in sensor development. It's working on technology that combines readings from an accelerometer, magnetometer, pressure sensor and Wi-Fi scanner to accurately pinpoint your location indoors.
That means whether you're trying to find a bookshop in a shopping centre or a restaurant in a hotel, the tech can make life much easier when you can't get a GPS lock.
Samsung, meanwhile, is currently showing off a Home Innovation Space at Harrod's, featuring smart, Internet-enabled washing machines, fridges and other electrical goods.
Once your phone has the ability to work out which floor you're on, you might never have to press a light switch again, whether you're at home or at a hotel. What's more, your Internet-enabled fridge could suggest a meal based on the nutritional value of the food you've already eaten, as tracked by your phone.
Then there's your weekly trip to the gym — the MyoLink muscle sensors from Somaxis can detect how well your workout is going, while the Cardiio app is able to measure your heart rate through your iPhone's camera.
This tech is already in the early stages of development as of today, and it shouldn't take long before gym equipment can automatically adapt to your fitness levels without any input from you.
Cardio app
Let's not forget gaming either — the Samsung Galaxy S4 can already tell when you're looking away from the screen, and once mobile cameras are smart enough to detect your mood, then the gameplay could adapt accordingly to make life easier or slow you down.
As 3D and stereo cameras become the norm, so gesture and facial recognition will improve.

Brave new worlds

A final look ahead from Emiliano Miluzzo: "What's exciting is that smartphones and tablets will turn into our personal assistants, ready to sense our surroundings and take actions on our behalf.
"To achieve this, new and advanced sensing capabilities will be always needed — a process that hardware miniaturisation will only accelerate. And it's fascinating to see how researchers and developers exercise their creativity to come up with unthinkable apps and ideas with the sensors available today.
"We measure this by the very large community participation in what it is known as smartphone sensing research."
Phone sensors offer portability backed up with computing power and the ability to report back from the remotest of locations. Whether it's monitoring your blood sugar levels or warning about an impending avalanche, nothing is beyond the realms of possibility when it comes to future innovations.
Smartphones have already revolutionised many aspects of our lives, and they're only just getting started.

HTC One M8 rumoured for reboot already with 'Prime' version

HTC One M8 rumoured for reboot already with 'Prime' version
Despite only launching the One M8 a few weeks ago, HTC could be back with an upgraded 'Prime' version of the phone.
This comes from tipster @evleaks, who usually has a good track record with such things, saying that attention shouldn't be focused on the rumoured 'HTC One M8 Ace' handset, supposed to be the current device with a plastic shell, and instead get ready for a new, more powerful, phone:
"Forget the Ace. What y'all are really waiting for is codenamed M8 Prime."

Well, if Samsung's doing it…

Given Samsung is hotly tipped to be launching the Samsung Galaxy S5 Prime in June, which is rumoured to come with a new super high resolution QHD screen and all metal body, the notion of HTC doing the same is less far-fetched.
However, where can the brand go from the One M8 apart from whacking in a next generation display? And more saliently, why would it do such a thing when it's already focused on trying to deliver better battery life?
A QHD display would have many, many more pixels to drive than the current iteration, and would have a direct impact on battery life. It would also cannibalise sales of the One M8 as it stands, which is hardly something HTC would want at such a critical point of the sales cycle.
More likely the M8 Prime will be the codename of the HTC One M8 Max, which is almost certainly going to be refreshed in the coming months, and would see the M8 specs wedged into a larger chassis to satisfy the phablet market.
We'll keep an eye on this one, but don't hold your breath for an upgraded One M8 any time soon.
  • But what about a smaller version? Check out what we know about the HTC One M8 Mini

LG G3 launch date set for May 27

LG G3 launch date set for May 27
The LG G3 has be rumoured for some time now, but finally it seems the Korean firm has confirmed its launch date as May 27.
LG sent out a cryptic save the date etched the with words "to be simple is to be great", a quote from American poet and Transcendentalism leader Ralph Waldo Emerson, and all signs point to the G3.
With the Samsung Galaxy S5HTC One M8 and Sony Xperia Z2 already on the market LG is lagging behind in the flagship race, although leaks surrounding the G3 suggest it could pack a punch.
As well as a beefy quad-core processor, 3GB of RAM and Android KitKat interface, the main attraction tipped for the G3 is a QHD display.
LG G3 launch invite
With a rumoured resolution of 1440 x 2560 it would trump its rivals in the screen department - although we wonder what effect this would have on battery life.

Baby got back (buttons)

It seems LG is set to continue the trend of placing the power/lock and volume keys on the rear of the device after a recent photo leak from @evleaks showed exactly that.
That image looks very similar to another shot claiming to show the back of the handset and the new, rounded button configuration.
LG hasn't actually confirmed what it will be announcing at the May 27 event, but it's difficult to see what else it could be other than the G3.
TechRadar, as ever, will be there to bring you all the news as it breaks.

When It Comes to Technology, It's Best to Bow Out Gracefully

When It Comes to Technology, It's Best to Bow Out Gracefully
Maybe you should stop using Facebook while the going's good? [XKCD]

Tuesday, 29 April 2014

MIT club giving every undergrad $100 in bitcoin

A club at MIT wants to see what will happen when an entire community has access to a digital currency, and to find out, it plans to give every undergraduate student on campus $100 worth of bitcoin this fall. The MIT Bitcoin Club says that it's raised a half million dollars from alumni and the bitcoin community, which it plans to use to cover the cost of bitcoin for the campus' more than 4,500 undergrads and to finance informational programs about bitcoin. The group also plans to work with researchers on campus to study how students are using the new currency.
"Giving students access to cryptocurrencies is analogous to providing them with internet access at the dawn of the internet era," Jeremy Rubin, a sophomore computer science student...
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Google's Nexus phones will reportedly be replaced by premium Android Silver handsets

The Android Silver project, which was rumored earlier this month, has today been corroborated by four fresh sources, all of whom point to a major shift in Google's mobile strategy. The Informationreports that the current scheme of offering Nexus-branded handsets with Google's unadulterated vision of the best Android user experience will be scrapped, to be replaced by a set of high-end Silver phones that will closely adhere to it. The change is both expansive and expensive, as Google is said to be planning to spend heavily on promoting these devices in wireless carriers' stores and through advertising, essentially subsidizing the development and marketing costs for its hardware partners.
In exchange for this new contribution, Google...
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Sprint announces Spotify partnership, special edition HTC One M8 Harman Kardon smartphone

Sprint today announced a special edition of the HTC One smartphone that includes special audio technologies tuned for better music playback. The HTC One M8 Harmon-Kardon edition uses two technologies to restore the frequencies lost during compression and provide better audio quality for streaming music. In addition to the special audio technologies, the Harmon-Kardon edition One has a unique black finish with champagne highlights.
Harmon CEO Dinesh Paliwal says the technologies in the One can bring back the highs and lows lost during the compression required for streaming music, and it can better replicate the sound of a live concert through multiple channels. The phone also comes with a set of Harmon-Kardon headphones, said to be worth...
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Nod Gesture Control Ring Is Designed For Continual Wear, Starts Selling Today For $149

Nod_Glamour shot

Gesture control devices are a big new area of interest among hardware startups, and a Bluetooth-enabled ring that makes it possible to control connected devices with a wave of your hand is nothing new. But the Nod is different from many of the other solutions out there we’ve seen, in that it’s already in the advanced prototype phase, has serious high-profile VC backing, and in that… Read More

A Plane Fuelled By Rubbish Could Soon Fly You From New York to London

Apr 29th 2014, 14:40, by Sarah Zhang

A Plane Fueled By Garbage Could Soon Fly You From New York to London

British Airways has an ambitious and smelly plan: convert municipal waste into 120,000 metric tons of jet fuel. By 2017, they say, the first factory in the world to turn garbage into jet fuel will be up and running. Waste-fueled transatlantic flights could come soon after.

Firefox gets a big redesign that's all about customisation

Firefox has had a tough time standing out among browsers -- Chrome gives you Google's ecosystem, while both Internet Explorer and Safari have the luxury of being system defaults. Why would you choose Mozilla's software over the others? As of today,... read more

Acer outs Iconia Tab 7 phone-tablet hybrid, upgrades its 7-inch Android tablet

Another day, another tablet launch. Just a few months after announcing the 7-inch B1-720 Android tablet at CES, Acer has decided it can do better. The company just announced the Iconia One 7 (aka the B1-730), another 7-incher that brings a sharper... read more

Acer's Aspire Switch 10 tablet has a detachable keyboard, can be used in four modes

You gotta hand it to Acer for giving its products self-explanatory names. The company just announced the Aspire Switch 10, and it's pretty much exactly what it sounds like. Which is to say, it's a 10.1-inch Windows device that switches (get it?) from... read more

British Businesses Can Now Register "Dot London" URLs

British Businesses Can Now Register "Dot London" URLs

Starting today, London businesses are able to apply for .london top-level domain names. With this, London joins Berlin, NYC, Paris, and other cities that offer region-specific URLs for businesses connected to those cities. It's the start of an interesting interplay between physical geography and virtual identity, a topic explored by our own Geoff Manaugh.

This Sticker Adds Four Customizable Buttons To Your Android Device

This Sticker Adds Four Customizable Buttons To Your Android Device

Most Android devices don't have a physical home button like the iPhone or iPad, and while it reduces manufacturing costs and is one less thing to break, sometimes it's nice to have that tactile feedback. So not only does the Dimple give you a real home button, it also gives you three others that can be customized to do whatever you need.

SOLS, Maker Of 3D-Printed Shoe Insoles, Raises $6.4M Series A


SOLS, a 3D-printing company which is today focused on custom printed shoe insoles that help with foot pain and other ailments, has raised $6.4 million in Series A funding, in a round again led by the startup’s seed investor lead, Lux Capital. In addition, new investor Founders Fund also participated, along with existing investors RRE, Rothenberg Ventures, Felicis Ventures, FundersGuild, and… Read More

Apple Charts A Path To Slimmer iPhones With New Camera Autofocus Tech


Apple has a new patent granted today by the USPTO (via AppleInsider) which describes a means for reducing the size of a key component of the iPhone (and iPad), making it possible to create ever-smaller gadgets with thinner frames. The piece in question is a camera autofocus module, and the patent describes use of a micro-electro-mechanical system (MEMS) which improves greatly in terms of both size… Read More

This Brain-Inspired Microchip Is 9,000 Times Faster Than a Normal PC

This Brain-Inspired Microchip Is 9,000 Times Faster Than a Normal PC

You're looking at Neurogrid: a slab of silicon inspired by the human brain, which is 9,000 times faster than a normal computer brain simulator and uses way less energy to boot.

Microsoft builds gesture-sensing PC keyboard

Microsoft is experimenting with ways to combine trackpad gestures on traditional PC keyboards. In a research paper published recently, the software maker reveals a prototype that combines an Apple keyboard with an array of infrared proximity sensors that are mounted above the key caps. No external sensors are required, and the end result is something similar to Leap Motion. The prototype keyboard, which looks like a regular thin keyboard, supports gestures like swipe and pinch-to-zoom to navigate documents.
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A scientists puts the finishing touches to a space launcher thrust chamber at EADS Airbus Space Tran

scientists puts the finishing touches to a space launcher thrust chamber at EADS Airbus Space Transportation in Ottobrunn, Germany. If it looks a lot like science fiction, that's because... well, it is.[ESA]

Monday, 28 April 2014

EE chief says Orange and T-Mobile 3G contracts are safe for now

EE chief says Orange and T-Mobile 3G contracts are safe for now

The leader of the UK's biggest 4G network, Everything Everywhere, says the firm has no plans to stop offering 3G data contracts despite the explosion of next-gen speeds.
EE chief executive Olaf Swantee says the firm will continue to sell contracts and provide support for customers on its Orange and T-Mobile brands.
He said: You still have the Orange and T-Mobile products, but we are one company with one network. All our employees work for EE, and across our call centres, our retail store and our websites, we are EE.
"But we have millions of customers on Orange and T-Mobile accounts and we will continue to serve those and sell to them. We still see significant demand for Orange and T-Mobile products, but it's clear that 4G is growing, especially as more handsets are becoming 4G-enabled."

Dramatic uptake increase

The clarification from Swantee comes as EE once again saw a dramatic uptake of 4G contracts during the last three months.
The firm acquired another 889,000 customers between January and the end of March, taking the total 4G subscriber base to 2.9 million.
During that period, half of all new and renewing customers selected 4G contracts over the cheaper 3G alternative.
With the tech continuing to boost speeds and roll out to new towns and cities across the UK, that number is likely to grow further in the coming months.
EE assures current 3G subscribers that their service is safe for now, but how long will it be until those customers are ushered onto those more expensive monthly contracts?

Facebook Plans To Break Ground On A Second Iowa Data Center Soon


Facebook is just about ready to finish construction on its 476,000-square-foot data center in Altoona, Iowa. Even before this new facility goes online, though, the company today announced that it plans to build a second data center right next to it. Read More

Microsoft Boosts OneDrive Storage For Corporate Clients From 25GB To 1TB Per User

In the cloud storage wars, capacity is a weapon, and one that is rapidly losing its dollar value. Put simply: Companies that offer cloud storage are scrambling to add value on top of stored gigabytes, as the marginal dollar price that can be charged for that storage is rapidly dropping to zero. Microsoft, making that point even more explicit today announced that it is bolstering its provided… Read More

AT&T Plans to Bring You LTE on Airplanes

AT&T Plans to Bring You LTE on Airplanes

With the FCC blessing the use of smartphones —and their wireless plans—on planes, perhaps it was only a matter of time until carriers started designing services tailored for the skies. Re/code reports that AT&T wants to bring you 4G/LTE connectivity at 35,000 feet.

Exploring the Decaying Ruins of Brother Island, NYC's Last Unknown Place

Exploring the Decaying Ruins of Brother Island, NYC's Last Unknown Place

Surrounding the bustling island of Manhattan are countless lesser-known landforms . One of the most unique is North Brother Island. Sitting in the East River between the Bronx and Rikers Island, this unassuming chunk of land once housed a hospital where the city quarantined sick patients.

Github apologizes for vagueness, reveals new details about sexism investigation

GitHub has just apologized for not being transparent enough about its internal investigation into claims of sexism and harassment by former employee Julie Ann Horvath.
GitHub CEO Chris Wanstrath offered new details about what happened before, after, and during the investigation — although the full story is still withheld, he says, due to confidentiality promises to employees. "We failed to admit and own up to our mistakes, and for that I'm sorry," he wrote. "GitHub has a reputation for being transparent and taking responsibility for our actions, but last week we did neither. There's no excuse. We can do a lot better."
Last week, the company announced that an inquiry by a third-party investigator had produced no evidence of a hostile...
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U.S. Commandos To Get This Stealthy Hybrid All-Wheel Drive Motorcycle

U.S. Commandos To Get This Stealthy Hybrid All-Wheel Drive Motorcycle

When it comes to military special operations, getting there can be more than half the battle. America's elite commandos insert deep into enemy territory often undermanned and outgunned, so getting in and out without getting caught is key. Enter DARPA's hybrid-electric AWD stealthy motorcycle.

Resilient Birds In Chernobyl Are Actually Adapting to Radiation

Resilient Birds In Chernobyl Are Actually Adapting to Radiation

Chernobyl is a scary, seemingly sinister place, where trees don't decay and plants glow. A newly published study, however, shows that not all living things are necessarily doomed in this radioactive wasteland. Some birds in the exclusion zone are actually adapting to the harsh environment.

HTC's plots a high-end, plastic 'M8 Ace' to take down the Samsung Galaxy S5

HTC's plots a high-end, plastic 'M8 Ace' to take down the Samsung Galaxy S5

HTC made a name for itself producing some truly gorgeous all metal phones but soon it could release a plastic version of its current flagship device, the HTC One (M8).
Engadget has it on good authority from one of its "reliable sources" that HTC's upcoming M8 Ace will feature a fully plastic unibody.
The plastic shell aside, HTC supposedly will outfit its ace almost exactly as the all-aluminum One (M8). The new phone will purportedly inherit the Taiwanese flagship's 5-inch screen and 2.5GHz quad-core Snapdragon 801 processor.

Attack on titans

Supposedly the new plastic version is being made specifically to undercut the Samsung Galaxy S5. Aside from the cost cutting plastic body, it's still uncertain if the original HTC One M8's Duo Camera feature will carry over to the M8 Ace.
Earlier the phone was rumored to arrive for an unsubsidized price of CN¥3,000 (about $480/£285/AU$518), which would make it an extremely affordable device considering its top of the line specs.
While the price looks enticing up until now we've only caught one blurred out glimpse of HTC's plastic handset courtesy of @evleaks. If anything the handset looks a bit too similar to the Red HTC One (M8) that's coming exclusively to Verizon customers.
If the M8 Ace truly becomes a reality, it would be an extremely attractive package even with the toy like plastic body. Stay tuned to this space as we're sure to have more to report on this affordable handset.

NPR Got the Internet 20 Years Ago: Read the Memo

NPR Got the Internet 20 Years Ago: Read the Memo

Exactly 20 years ago, NPR staffer Dennis Fuze circulated a memorandum to his colleagues announcing that the venerable public broadcasting powerhouse would be getting something called "internet." In 2014, the memo seems adorably naive—which just shows you how much technology has evolved since 1994.