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Archive for January 9th, 2014

9
Jan
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Live from the Engadget CES stage: Sling Media VP Michael Hawkey


CES is always a big show for big TVs, and this year’s is certainly no exception. Coming up next, we’ll be joined by Sling Media VP and General Manager Michael Hawkey to discuss the ways his company is bringing media to your set.

January 9, 2014 4:00:00 PM EST

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9
Jan
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Engadget Mobile Podcast 198 – CES Edition – 1.8.14


Brad and his team of mobile-centric pals sit down for some deep talk about feelings and, of course, smartphones. Sony has launched its Xperia Z1 Compact, which scales down size but not specs, and its compatriot, the Z1S, which takes the standard Z1 into waterproof territory. Not to be outdone, Samsung delivers some new tweaks on the Galaxy series, with its Note Pro and 12.2-inch Tab Pro. It’s definitely a fun atmosphere on stage, but this is one party that T-Mobile’s John Legere failed to crash — although his hijinks did get a mention. Hop on down to the streaming links below for the full Mobile Podcast show!

Hosts: Brad Molen

Producer: Jon Turi

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Contact this podcast:
podcast (at) engadgetmobile (dot) com

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9
Jan
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ModiFace uses Kinect to give you a digital nose job


ModiFace uses Kinect to give you a digital nose job

ModiFace has been giving women digital makeovers for a while now, with apps for iOS and Android, but now it wants them to start scrutinizing themselves in public, too. The company just announced something called the “Anti-Aging Beauty Mirror,” which is really just a Windows PC with a Kinect sensor mounted on top, allowing shoppers to try on makeup (and experiment with brow lifts) while they’re in-store. As with the existing app, you can try on eyeshadow, lipstick and blush, only this time, you’ll see the brand and color overlaid in the upper left-hand corner. (Maybe it’s the technology, or maybe it was just my choice of green eyeshadow, but I looked like a clown.) You can also experiment with plastic surgery “anti-aging” effects including nose reshaping and a cheek lift. There’s even a before and after view, reminding you your real jaw line is actually quite weak. It’ll roll out this spring, starting with the Sephora in Milan — not that this will deter women from trying on the real makeup and then high-tailing it out of the store. Let us have our fun, people.

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9
Jan
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Hands-on with Audi’s all-digital dash for the 2015 TT and likely home for its Smart Display tablet


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Audi’s TT, considered by the German maker as its design icon, gets revamped for 2015 and its dash and all-digital cluster made a break from cover at CES. What’s immediately apparent when you hop into the curvy leather-wrapped interior setup at the booth is that the traditional center stack is completely absent. All the information that was once viewable by the entire cabin now seems reserved for the driver alone. It’s decidedly odd that the front passenger no longer has access to the display so we’d suggest that the mysterious Audi 10.2-inch Smart Display we saw earlier this week will feature prominently in the next TT, possibly as standard equipment.

The entire system is simple to use with the 12.3-inch TFT displaying bright colors and easy-to-read fonts. The display features two main modes, including a driving-centric mode where the tach and speedometer are in the foreground; when in navigation mode, they move out to the edges of the screen to offer as much real estate to the maps as possible. The digital dash navigation is done via either steering wheel-mounted controls or the redesigned rotary push-button control mounted on the center tunnel console. A really swish feature of the jog dial sees the top surface of the control act as a touch surface for entering text by scribbling with a finger when required. Now we just need to see the car to wrap around this interior and we’ll be all set, but until then, have a look of the video of the next TT’s infotainment equipment in action.

Jamie Rigg contributed to this report.

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9
Jan
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Live from the Engadget CES stage: WobbleWorks CEO Maxwell Bogue


It’s been quite the year for WobbleWorks. The robotics toy combo made a mint on its Kickstarter campaign for the 3Doodler, a $100 3D printing pen, and now the combo is marking CES with the announcement of retail availability through Brookstone.

January 9, 2014 4:30:00 PM EST

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9
Jan
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Epson won’t make a consumer 3D printer, but promises big, industrial ones within five years


Epson’s presence at CES 2014 this year focused on its surprising push into wearables. But the company name remains almost a synonym for printers — the two-dimensional ones at least. There are plenty that reckon the likes of Epson, HP .etc will soon weigh in with their multinational clout on the 3D printer market, slashing the average price with everyman models, but Epson won’t be doing that. President Minoru Usui told us that probably wasn’t going to be the case, at least for them. “We are developing our own printers, but our aim is to change everything. When it comes to 3D printing… we want our machines to make anything.”

Breaking it down into three issues he saw with 3D printing as it stands, he said that printing materials were not at a high enough standard, that the precision was simply not there for what the company would like to be creating and productivity was simply not efficient enough. We’ve had some experiences that mirror these criticisms. But wouldn’t a printing giant like Epson entering the 3D printing arena make it more of a realistic proposition? Mr. Usui responded by describing how the company claimed a lion’s share of the photo printing years earlier, citing better print quality and hardware. “Not many people need to print a plastic figure.”

“Not many people need to print a plastic figure.”

That said, Epson is working hard developing its 3D printing tech, but fixing that list of problems is going to take time — especially when it comes to materials. Usui wants the company to be able to print “anything” and reckons that could take around five years from now. And anything really means anything: the president mused on printing cars, which would make that eventual manufacturing hardware a fair bit bigger than a Cube 3. The results need to be as precise as current (c’mon, more boring) moulding production, where templates are measured in microns: that’s where Epson needs 3D printing to reach.

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9
Jan
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These Cookoo analog smartwatches take a minimalistic approach to viewing notifications


Looking for a nice-looking smartwatch but not interested in having the kitchen sink? Cookoo’s new set of analog timepieces are about as minimalistic as you can get without removing the “smart” element entirely. The Cognito lineup consists of two models, and although there really isn’t much difference between the two, the more expensive one is the more elegant option. The watches promise to be extensions of the phone, rather than replacements, and each features a series of LED icons that light up when you have a notification waiting for you on your handset. The company believes this is the ideal use for a smartwatch, since many people don’t care to interact with the notifications that start buzzing on their wrists.

The higher-end Cognito differs from its counterpart by offering Caller ID and giving you the option to mute incoming calls, as well as the ability to tap the watch to light it up so you can see your alerts. Cookoo reps boasted that both watches will easily last up to a year before you need to replace the battery, a remarkable length of time that’s likely the result of Bluetooth 4.0+LE support. The watches are compatible with iOS 7 and Android 4.3+, and watch (pun not intended but welcome) for the Cognito Pop to come out near the end of next month for $129, and the Cognito original mid-March for $179.

Joseph Volpe contributed to this post.

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9
Jan
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Macintosh 30th Anniversary Celebration Event Planned for January 25 [Mac Blog]


The original Macintosh Development Team, along with the Computer History Museum, is leading a special event at the Flint Center in Cupertino, California on January 25 to celebrate the thirtieth anniversary of the introduction of the Macintosh. The Flint Center is the since renovated auditorium where Steve Jobs first introduced the Mac.

30th Anniversary

In a series of panel discussions, members of the original team will share memories about the conception, birth and coming of age of the Apple Macintosh. Previously unreleased video will recreate those early days. And Ridley Scott will participate regarding the iconic “1984″ commercial conceived by Steve Hayden, Brent Thomas and Lee Clow. Stage events, testimonials and surprise guests will offer a treasure trove of recollections about the era.

In some of the evening’s highlights, Mike Markkula will be part of a presentation acknowledging the unsung heroes of the computer revolution—the original Mac team. Currently there are 7 of the 10 single digit original Apple Employees confirmed and over 17 double digit badge numbers.


The team behind the event, led by Daniel Kottke, is asking for images and anecdotes from early Macintosh developers to feature at the show. More details can be found on the 30th Anniversary Celebration website.

Tickets are available via Ticketmaster starting at $109.75 each. All proceeds after expenses will be donated to charity.

    



9
Jan
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’7 Minute Workout Challenge’ Available for free From Apple Store App [iOS Blog]


Apple today updated its Apple Store app in the U.S., replacing the previously available Holiday Playlist with a new free app, the 7 Minute Workout Challenge. Seven minute workouts gained popularity in 2013 as a quick way to complete a rigorous workout, and 7 Minute Workout Challenge is one of the more popular fitness apps in the category, with a 4.5 star rating and a $1.99 price tag.

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The app includes a random selection of 12 different exercises that are each performed for 30 seconds with 10 second rest intervals in between. According to research, this seven minute workout is the equivalent of working out for more than an hour and it requires no specialized equipment.

There are both male and female trainers that guide app users through exercises using video, audio, images, and text. There’s also an included weight tracker and activity calendar to keep track of fitness levels, and the app includes achievements to motivate its users.

To get a free copy of 7 Minute Workout Challenge, iPhone owners will need to download the Apple Store app and click on the “Jump into the new year” section. This will take users to the iTunes Store, automatically inputting a code for the app download.

7 Minute Workout Challenge will be available until February 20, 2014, before being replaced with a new offering. The free app is limited to the iPhone version of the Apple Store app and is not available in the iPad version.

The Apple Store app can be downloaded from the App Store for free. [Direct Link]

    



9
Jan
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‘Super Stickman Golf 2′ Available for Free for a Limited Time [iOS Blog]


Noodlecake’s popular game Super Stickman Golf 2 is currently available for free for the first time since its March 2013 release.

Super Stickman Golf 2, which is normally priced at $2.99, is a golf-based physics puzzler where players navigate through wacky mini golf courses aiming to land their ball in the hole in as few swings as possible.


The game includes 30 different golf courses, a range of customizable characters, and multiple achievements to earn. It also offers two different multiplayer modes, including turn-based and race mode. Our sister site Touch Arcade reviewed Super Stickman Golf 2 when it was first released and called it both “awesome” and a “fun and compelling puzzler.”

Super Stickman Golf 2 is at its best once you’ve unlocked a few different ball types and set foot in the more challenging courses. You might need to smack an ice ball against the wall to send it arcing over your avatar and sailing into the pond below, which freezes over, setting up your next shot. On another occasion, you could use the sticky ball to pull a Spider-Man and take your next shot hanging from a wall or ceiling, or use the magnets adorning the walls to repel your ball straight to the hole. Pursuing and finally capturing elusive hole-in-ones is addictive, and you’ll often find yourself playing courses over and over to knock a single point off your total score.

Super Stickman Golf 2 can be downloaded from the App Store at no cost for a limited time. [Direct Link]

    



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