Saturday, 31 May 2014

You Have The Right To Manage Your Own Online Persona


Kids today have pretty much had their entire lives on public display from the time their mother posted their first embryo shot on Facebook. And currently there’s no way in the US to erase yourself, embarrassments and all, online. But with the rise of anonymous apps, there is a way to separate who you want to be publicly from who you are and what you think about privately. This concept… Read More

Studio plans to remake ‘90s Stallone action flick 'Cliffhanger'

It seems cheesy ‘80s and ‘90s action movies aren't doomed to late night TV anymore. Cliffhanger, a 1993 action flick starring Sylvester Stallone as a mountain climbing rescuer, is in discussions to be "reimagined" according to Deadline. The report says that production company StudioCanal has a screenwriter on board to bring the movie back to life, though few details are available.
Cliffhanger is certainly a surprising film for a remake, though it did do well back in the early ‘90s. The story centers on Stallone, who gets tied up in a heist of a US Treasury plane carrying millions. Stallone is sent in to rescue the thieves when the plane goes down on the mountains — but he has no idea what he's in for. Stallone actually had a hand in the...
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The Forgotten History Of CGI

The Forgotten History Of CGI

The roots of CGI lie in the first mechanical aids to drawing and painting. The earliest of these were developed to help solve a problem every artist has found to be sticky: perspective.

What the Synapses in Your Brain Actually Look Like

What the Synapses in Your Brain Actually Look Like

Without synapses, your neurons wouldn't be able to communicate and your brain would be little more than a ball of meat. Exactly what synapses look like has been a mystery until now, and it turns out that even though their job is simple, they're complicated as hell.

Two Dots, The Sequel To Betaworks’ Dots, Is A Beautiful Monster


My highest score on Dots — the original Dots — is 414. I achieved this respectable, albeit relatively average, score about a year ago, just after Dots was first released. When I open up the app now, I never play for more than a few tries. I can never get anywhere close to 400. I can’t even get close to 300. Which brings me to Two Dots, the latest generation of the… Read More

Do You Ever Snoop on Friends' Phones?

Do You Ever Snoop on Friends' Phones?

If you've ever disabled the PIN on your lock screen (hi, hello), or lent your phone to someone, you know the feeling. Oh shit I left my phone in there with them! I hope I don't have anything embarrassing on there. Shit, did I leave that tab open? It's OK. I can trust them, right? Can I trust you? Time to fess up.

This ugly plant is truly one of a kind

There's nothing else on the planet like the plant called Welwitschia mirabilis. The ancient tree looks like little more than a pile of leaves, and it's only found in the extremely arid desert regions of Namibia. But the species has managed to live on for many millions of years, perhaps because of its unassuming nature. The Welwitschia is the only species in its genus and its order, making it incredibly unique — check out NPR for the full story on this remarkable organism.
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The Big Picture: Exploring the deep blue in a wearable submarine

Developed and built by Nuytco Research, this exosuit is made from hard metal and allows divers to operate safely down to a depth of 1000 feet. The suit has four 1.6 horsepower propulsion thrusters, fiber optic gigabit ethernet, and a host of... read more

The Five Tough Truths Of Cybersecurity Software


Building a successful security software company is notoriously hard to get right over the long haul. Computer security is a fast-moving target. You still need anti-virus software, for instance, but it won’t necessarily keep you safe. The same is true for firewalls, and malware detection, and spam blockers, and various other security measures. For better or worse, there is never-ending… Read More

Google Receives 12,000 Requests To Be Forgotten From Europeans On Day One


Google has officially confirmed that it received 12,000 requests to be forgotten from EU citizens on the first day that it offered the ability to do so, according to a report from the AFP. The requests were submitted Friday, after Google offered up an online form for users to fill out in order to ask that search results related to their name be removed from Google’s listings. The… Read More

Google's Stealthy Logo Update, Beats by Apple, Pink Slime, and More

Google's Stealthy Logo Update, Beats by Apple, Pink Slime, and More

WWDC is on the horizon, and we're waiting with bated breath about what iOS 8 might bring. But in the meantime Google tweaked its logo ever so slightly, Apple bought Beats f'reals, we tried out the Surface Pro 3, pondered pink slime, and saw some new self driving cars. Check out all that and more below!

Thursday, 29 May 2014

Intel Will Let You 3D-Print Your Own Robot This Year

Intel Will Let You 3D-Print Your Own Robot This Year

Your very own Wall-E? It may not be too futuristic a prospect if Intel has anything to do with it. The company just showed off a DIY kit at the Code Conference that will let you 3D-print your very own robot for $1600.

Track the majesty of outer space with SkyWatch

Staring up at the night sky can give you a sense of galactic FOMO, since none of the celestial bodies bother to update their Twitter accounts. What if, however, you could keep track of the ongoing drama from your phone? That's the idea behind...

New Tracking Software Lets Leap Motion Keep Track Of Every Bone In Your Hands

leap motion demo

Leap Motion, the company behind the desk-mounted sensor that lets you control you computer like Tony Stark in the “Iron Man” films, has today released a major update to its software development kit that lets those making apps for the device track the location of individual fingers and joints in your hands. According to Leap Motion CEO Michael Buckwald, the software was previously in… Read More

Jawbone Patents Body Fat Percentage Measurement Using Smartphones, Tablets And Wearables

Jawbone Up24 

Device makers are increasingly looking for ways to move the health tracking market forward, and a new patent filing from device maker Jawbone offers a clue to what might come next. Jawbone had a patent application published by the USPTO recently that describes a method for measuring body fat percentage with existing devices, including smartphones and tablets, or a wristband like the UP24,… Read More

Apple Silently Becomes One Of The Most Influential Companies In The Smartwatch Industry

Screenshot 2014-05-28 10.53.55

Somehow, despite the fact that Apple hasn’t even announced a smartwatch product, the company is still the second-most influential corporate entity in the smartwatch industry, just behind Samsung. Samsung has already released a handful of different Smart Watch offerings, and Google, ranking third on Appinions Smart Watch Influencer report, has also shipped various hardware products.… Read More

Open APIs Fuel Creation Of New Cloud Services Ecosystem

Windmill in front of huge white fluffy clouds against an incredibly blue sky.

There is obviously a growing market related to moving traditional on-premises enterprise software to the cloud, but what you might not know is that beyond that group of products, there is a whole other category of services being developed to support those top-level companies, whether that’s security, authentication, monitoring, back up or billing and customer retention. And… Read More

The $199 MOD-T Printer May Not Amaze, But It Points Towards The Future Of Home 3D Printing


When netbook prices fell below $200 around 2010, it was a big deal. This milestone meant that the race to the bottom had started, but the resulting firestorm of popularity brought about the rise of the tablet ecosystem as well as the rise of slim, high-powered machines like the Macbook Air. The MOT-t, a new printer backed by Idealab, aims to repeat history with its $199 New Matter MOD-t… Read More

College Student Discovers a Second Ebay Security Flaw

College Student Discovers a Second Ebay Security Flaw

Just a few days after discovering a flaw that compromised millions of user accounts, a 19-year-old British college student found another flaw in Ebay's website. It's not as bad as the one that forced pretty much everybody to change their Ebay passwords. But it's not good, either.

Wednesday, 28 May 2014

Apple's lost future: phone, tablet, and laptop prototypes of the ’80s

Apple's focus on design has long been one of the key factors that set its computers apart. Some of its earliest and most iconic designs, however, didn't actually come from inside of Apple, but from outside designers at Frog. In particular, credit goes to Frog's founder, Hartmut Esslinger, who was responsible for the "Snow White" design language that had Apple computers of the ’80s colored all white and covered in long stripes and rounded corners meant to make the machines appear smaller.
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Google is building a hardware empire, and this is what it looks like

Google began the 21st century as a small but growing search engine. 14 years later, the California-based company has built smartphones, mapped the globe, purchased a firm that makes advanced smoke detectors, and obtained a veritable army of robots. It's sometimes tempting to still think of Google as a search engine, but the strides the company has made into a huge range of hardware markets show that Google's search history won't define its future.
At yesterday's Code Conference, co-founder...
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'Battlecry' is a multiplayer action game without any guns

Battlecry sounds like yet another generic shooter, but it has the potential to be something much more interesting — a multiplayer action game without any guns. Developed by Bethesda studio Battlecry, the game takes place in an alternate reality where gun powder has been banned, and warring factions are forced to do battle using swords, shields, and crazy-looking bows. There's even a brawler with a mechanical arm. It features many of the aspects you've come to expect from multiplayer shooters like Team Fortress 2, including different factions and multiple units to play as, but the lack of firearms could give it a very different flavor. It will support battles of up to 32 players at a time.

In addition to the unique setting, Battlecry a...
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iPlayer app refresh makes it easier to find the shows you want

iPlayer app refresh makes it easier to find the shows you want

The BBC has introduced its new iPlayer app and, oddly enough, it was Windows Phone 8 users who were first to get it.
But iOS and Android fans can also now go and update to the new iPlayer, which brings with it a new home screen design that generally makes it easier to find your way about.
Users will be met with a selection of the most popular BBC programmes available, a range of curated content, and improved Category and Channel pages.

Grand design

Meanwhile, a new feature called 'Collections' lets you group together shows of the same series or a similar theme.
The Beeb has also included subtitles for all downloaded programmes and better switching between landscape and portrait orientations.
As for the Windows Phone users out there, your update has introduced the welcome ability to stream live TV for the first time.

    LG G Flex 2 is on its way to a late 2014 launch

    LG G Flex 2 is on its way to a late 2014 launch

    At the Korean launch of the LG G3, the company let slip that the LG G Flex 2 should be released before the end of 2014, alongside the LG Vu 4.
    The original G Flex came out in February and we deemed it to be an expensive extravagance with the potential to evolve into a game-changer - will the G Flex 2 be the revolutionary bendable phone that we anticipated?
    Hard to say at this point, with little-to-no specs to go on. The only other detail that LG deigned to reveal was that it will also release the LG Vu 4 tablet this year (although it's not clear if it'll make it out of Korea).
    Previous word of the G Flex 2 came from smartphone soothsayer Evleaks, who claims that it may be one of the first premium Android Silver devices and come with a feature "even more unique than self-healing plastic" of the first one.
    Rest assured we'll bring you more news of the G Flex 2 when we have it.

    Amazon's Hit List: Which Books Are Screwed, and By How Much

    Amazon's Hit List: Which Books Are Screwed, and By How Much

    As of today , Amazon's crusade against book publisher Hachette is no longer an open secret, it's outright confirmed. Shipments are being delayed, prices are elevated, and some listings are unavailable altogether. But how extensive is the fallout? Here's your comprehensive look at the carnage.

    ASUS' modular PadFone X is finally coming to AT&T for $199

    AT&T promised back in January that it would launch ASUS' PadFone X hybrid, but the device has been stuck in limbo ever since -- the carrier hasn't given out much more than specs for the phone-and-tablet combo. Today, though, there's finally a date to... read more

    Leap Motion's latest motion tracking tech can see your joints

    The Leap Motion controller is a curious little motion sensor, but it isn't always easy to use. The hand-sensing tech has a tendency to lose sight of your fingers are and almost every application that uses it has its own learning curve. Soon, that... read more

    This Bike Started Life As a Wheelchair

    This Bike Started Life As a Wheelchair

    To promote an upcoming charity bike ride for the local Heart and Stroke Foundation, Toronto-based ad agency Agency59 turned a wheelchair into a fully functional bicycle. It took the brains (and fabrication know-how) of an expert designer, but the finished product is completely rideable, as its creator demonstrates in this video.

    Tuesday, 27 May 2014

    Firefox OS Flame Developer Phone Pre-Orders Kick Off Today For $170


    Firefox OS seems like it’s had a number of different and distinct launch-type occurrences, but for what it’s worth this is the first time an official “reference device” has been made available. The Mozilla Flame, made through a partnership with T2Mobile and Mozilla, is now available for pre-order for $170 unlocked, complete with free global shipping. The Flame is a… Read More

    Fake App Reviews Are More Common On iTunes, But Google Play Has The “Worst” Offenders


    Contrary to popular opinion, iOS applications have more fake reviews than apps on Android. According to a new analysis of both app stores from Apptentive, a company which offers feedback and retention tools for developers, 55% of apps containing fake reviews were on iTunes, while 45% were found on Google Play. The company speculates that Google Play’s requirement of a Google+ user… Read More

    Drupal Platform Acquia Raises $50M Funding Round Led By NEA


    Acquia, the digital business solutions provider for Drupal launched by Drupal founder Dries Buytaert, today announced that it has raised a $50 million financing round led by New Enterprise Associates, with participation by new investor Split Rock Partners and existing investors North Bridge Venture Partners, Sigma Partners, Investor Growth Capital and Tenaya Capital. NEA general… Read More

    Songkick Passes 10M Monthly ‘Fans’ And $100M Revenue To Date


    Former YC startup Songkick, which makes tickets for music gigs social, claims it is now bringing in 10 million “unique fans” every month. Unfortunately that term is rather vague – when asked what this meant co-founder Ian Hogarth said it was a mix of unique users on the site and actual logged-in Songkick users going on to buy tickets. However, that might be a little harsh… Read More

    LG's G3 sets the new benchmark for overpowered smartphones

    If it were a laptop, its Quad HD resolution would be impressive. If it were a camera, its laser autofocus would be an advantage. But the LG G3 is a smartphone, and as such, it's the most advanced one we've seen yet. If you are the sort of person who values top-end specs above all else, LG is ready for you.
    Like the G2 before it, the G3's front is almost all screen. Thanks to thin bezels on all sides, almost 77 percent of the device's footprint is occupied by its 5.5-inch IPS display. With a...
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    HBO's 'True Detective' season two will include three lead characters

    When it returns to HBO for a second season, True Detective will feature three main characters. Show creator and writer Nic Pizzolatto revealed that key detail in an interview with To The Best of Our Knowledge. Those characters will be new to the show — true to its anthology format — with casting slated to kick off in the coming weeks. Anyone joining True Detective will have big shoes to fill as they set out to follow the stellar performances delivered by Matthew McConaughey and Woody Harrelson in season one. The internet has already thrown out countless possibilities with the #truedetectiveseason2 hashtag, though most have taken the duo approach; now they'll need to dream up the ultimate trio.
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    FTC calls for Congress to regulate companies that mine your data

    The Federal Trade Commission is still pushing the data broker industry to open up about its practices. After announcing an inquiry two years ago that focused on nine notable data collection companies, the FTC has now released a new report in an effort to push Congress to make the industry more transparent to consumers.
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    Apple will livestream WWDC 2014 next week

    Apple today revealed that it will livestream the keynote for WWDC on June 2nd, starting at 10am PST. Apple has by now made a habit of streaming its tentpole events, so the choice to stream the event comes as no surprise. However, with the Beats deal still seemingly up in the air, viewers may expect to see more than the usual crop of software and developer-centric announcements.
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    Monday, 26 May 2014

    Moto E review: Where very good meets very cheap

    After Motorola released the well-received Moto X into the world last year, most of us had just one question: What's Google's expensive mobile division doing next? Then-chief Dennis Woodside was surprisingly forthcoming for a tech CEO -- he said... read more

    Home Alone?


    Connected devices company Nest, now owned by Google, has been lauded — mostly, it must be said, by the tech press — for turning its attention to the utilitarian devices in your home. The ones no-one loves. The no-frills, (usually) beige plastic devices that squat on the wall or ceiling of your home doing one thing and one thing only, and thus ungraciously limiting possibilities… Read More

    Affordable plastic HTC One M8 Ace goes 'Vogue' in latest leak

    Affordable plastic HTC One M8 Ace goes 'Vogue' in latest leak

    Get ready for a change in smartphone if cost is the one thing stopping you from jumping on the HTC One (M8) wagon.
    HTC is said to be working on a cheaper version called the HTC One (M8) Ace, and now a new report reaffirms that it's launching June 3.
    This report also gives the plastic HTC One (M8) a new name: the HTC One (M8) "Vogue Edition."
    It's unclear whether this is the official name for the device, the name of the Chinese variant (the report comes from Chinese site ifanr), or simply a code name, but what evidence exists points to the Vogue and the Ace being one and the same.

    Plastic world

    Confirming what we've heard before, the latest report says the more affordable HTC flagship will pack a Snapdragon 801 chip and a 5-inch 1080p display.
    However this report also adds 2GB of RAM and HTC givens like Sense 6.0. and BoomSound to the Ace/Vogue's specs.
    Its innards seem to be all but identical to the standard One (M8)'s, the main differences lying in the Ace/Vogue version's plastic-covered on body and lack of a second rear camera, bringing the price way, way down.
    It's said the One (M8) Ace or One (M8) Vogue, whatever it winds up being called, will launch June 3 for 3,000 RMB, or about $480/£285/AU$520.

      Giant underground ice wall approved to protect Fukushima plant water

      Japan intends to move forward with an ambitious plan to freeze the ground around its damaged Fukushima nuclear plant, creating a so-called underground ice wall to prevent water that's been contaminated with radioactive materials from escaping and entering the broader water supply. Japan adopted the plan in September of last year, and the AFP reports that its nuclear regulator has now approved it, with construction scheduled to start next month.

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      Watch how these intelligent birds have learned to open automatic doors

      Watch how these intelligent birds have learned to open automatic doors

      By learning to open the automatic doors enclosing their home, the behavior of these intelligent swallows proves yet again how smart and adaptable nature can be. The nesting birds found out how to fly up close to trigger motion detectors on doors, allowing them to go in and out of this building as if it was their own.

      Watch a Robo-Crocodile Sneak Around Hippos to Study Their Poop

      Watch a Robo-Crocodile Sneak Around Hippos to Study Their Poop

      Like most creatures, hippos do not fancy being followed around by humans as they poop. But a robot boat carefully disguised as a crocodile? Why not.

      China tries to make artificial lake, fails and creates desert instead

      China tries to make artificial lake, fails and creates desert instead

      Officials in Zhengzhou, China, wanted to build an artificial lake on the outskirts of the city but everything went wrong. The source of water they intended to use dried up and the hundreds of thousands of tons of sand destined for the artificial beach began to spread, covering an area the size of four football fields.

      Fly Or Die: Microsoft Surface Pro 3

      Forget everything you thought you knew about the Microsoft Surface tablet, as the latest generation of the Windows-powered Surface Pro is a clear step up from the Microsoft slates of yore. In terms of specs, the 12-inch tablet packs a Core i7 processor, and is thinner, lighter, and more powerful than anything Microsoft has put on the table. The Surface Pro 3 also sports a brand new… Read More

      Samsung Wearable Patents Feature Circular Face, Gesture Controls And Image Recognition


      Samsung has a group of new patent applications it filed recently related to wearable tech (via 9to5Google), and these could describe an initial foray into Android Wear, which Samsung has said it would support in addition to its Tizen-powered Gear devices depict a device with a circular face, much like the one featured in Motorola’s Android Wear-powered Moto360, and can work with a variety… Read More

      'Edge of Tomorrow' clips show Tom Cruise fighting, training, and dying over and over again

      Edge of Tomorrow is shaping up to be one of the most thrilling films of the summer. It's a sci-fi Groundhog Day that finds Tom Cruise in a mech suit battling off aliens, dying again and again only to find himself back where he started, free to train until — presumably — he's capable enough to fend them off once and for all. We've already seen a few great trailers for the film, but now a number of new clips have been released showing Tom Cruise fighting off aliens and going through some intense and dangerous training.
      While there don't appear to be specific spoilers, be warned that at this point you're effectively watching a few minutes of the movie by checking out the clips below. That said, they're intriguing, just a little bit funny,...
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      Crazy plan to cover the nation's roads with solar panels raises $1 million

      Idaho couple Julie and Scott Brusaw of Solar Roadways have raised more than $1 million on Indiegogo to pursue the extremely ambitious goal of replacing the nation’s roads with solar panels. The design will now move from prototype to manufacturing, a dangerous phase for any technology project — and while the dream is exciting, the logistics of actually pulling it off are less so.
      The Brusaws are not scammers or wackos. Scott has an electrical engineering background and the project has gotten two rounds of funding from the Federal Highway Administration. They’ve built a prototype parking lot made of solar panels, microprocessors, and LEDs encased in a textured glass that they say can withstand the weight of a 250,000-lb. truck.
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      WWII Germany Hunted Tanks with Explosive Goliath Beetles

      WWII Germany Hunted Tanks with Explosive Goliath Beetles

      While the Russians were busy training dogs to deliver their tank-stopping charges (like a bunch of assholes), Nazi Germany took a more technocentric approach to its anti-armor efforts. The result: a deadly R/C mini-tank laden with more than 200 pounds of explosives. Thank goodness these things were so easy for the Allies to disarm.

      The iPhone Is Still The Best Smartphone


      I see a lot of phones in my work here at TechCrunch, and I’m genuinely impressed with where the average level of quality is at compared to where it was even just five years ago. I’ve seen Android mature so much in that time that it’s amazing – but for all the work Android OEMs have done in terms of narrowing the gap with the iPhone, which had a considerable lead on… Read More

      Apple Said To Be Prepping Smart Home Software Platform For WWDC Reveal


      Apple is going to make a big play in the connected smart home space, according to a new report from the Financial Times. The company is planning a platform that would turn its iOS devices, including the iPhone, to control their smart home devices, doing things like controlling lights, security systems and connected appliances. This platform would be built into the iPhone, centralizing… Read More