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11
May
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Feedback Loop: Street photography, using Flickr, mouse shootouts and more


Welcome to Feedback Loop, a weekly roundup of the most interesting discussions happening within the Engadget community. There’s so much technology to talk about and so little time to enjoy it, but you have a lot of great ideas and opinions that need to be shared! Join us every Saturday as we highlight some of the most interesting discussions that happened during the past week.

This week, we take a look at the perfect camera for inconspicuous street photography, discuss how we’re currently using (or not using) Flickr, speculate on the Microsoft Surface 3, ask about mouse recommendations for FPS games and get advice on fitness trackers for tennis players. And that’s just a handful of the conversations happening in the forums. Head past the break to discover what everyone’s talking about.

Getting down with street photography

Back in my day, street photography meant grabbing my Canon AE-1, stuffing a cheap roll of black-and-white film inside, cranking up the exposure and then running around framing shots with a 50mm lens. Nowadays, folks have it easy! Grab a nice digital camera and, a click or two later, you’ve got something worthy of being featured on Instagram’s Explore page. Jon Fingas is looking to get into the street shooting scene and wants to know which camera he should use. Head on over to the forums and help him out.

How do you use Flickr?

Last month, Flickr updated its mobile app in a bid to stay competitive with services like Instagram. Did it work? Nicole Lee took a look at Flickr’s struggle with Generation Selfie and examined what it’sll take for it to maintain relevancy. Over in the Engadget forums, I shared how I currently use Flickr and how I’ve struggled to find a place for it in this age of mobile phone photography. How do you use Flickr? Head over and let us know.

Mouse recommendations for FPS games

Those of you with first person shooter skills are blessed with fast reaction times and the good fortune to have time to practice your craft. However, having the right tools in your arsenal is also important. That’s why Glider9 wants some recommendations for gaming mice. Which rodent does he need to get the drop on his opponents?

Fitness trackers for tennis

Last week, we discussed fitness trackers for running. This week, Philip wants to know about devices that measure activity and calories burned while playing tennis. What’s out there that’ll help justify (and quantify) his baseline flailing and help turn him into the next Rafael Nadal?

Speculation and wishes for the Surface 3

Spiderkid is looking to replace his Chromebook and Pavilion 13 with a hot new tablet. The only problem? He needs an x86-powered model and doesn’t want to drop a ton of his hard-earned cash. Should he hold out for the rumored Microsoft Surface 3, or is there another device deserving of consideration? Let him know!

That’s all this week! Do you want to talk about your favorite gadget or have a burning question about technology? Register for an Engadget account today, visit the Engadget forums and start a new discussion!

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11
May
image-201884.jpg

Sky’s Now TV woes continue as streams go down before the Premiership finale


Sky’s Now TV streaming service has experienced its fair share of issues in recent months, but today it couldn’t have picked a better time to leave users in the lurch. While previous hiccups took the premiere of Game of Thrones offline, Sky Sports streaming went down just minutes before the final ten games of the Premiership season kicked off. That meant many were left without the chance to watch Manchester City secure their second title in recent years. To save face, Sky has begun contacting all Sports Pass customers to issue refunds, whether they were affected or not. While Entertainment subscribers can gain access to Sky’s crown jewels for £4.99 a month, Sky protects its TV sports revenue by pricing a one-off Sky Sports Pass at £9.99 per day. The broadcaster will have lost a significant chunk of change trying to put things right, but it may need to invest more in its streaming infrastructure if it wants to stop customers from switching off completely.

[Image credit: W Hannabuss, Flickr]

Filed under: HD

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Via: BBC News

Source: Now TV Community

11
May
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Joystiq Weekly: overdrive the sunset, a million dark souls and sample Destiny


Welcome to the Joystiq Weekly wrap-up where we present some of the best stories and biggest gaming news from our sister-publication.

Flat surfaces, be they canopies or car roofs, give you a sky-high bounce with well-timed button press. You can grind on railings, Jet Set Radio-style, on top of power lines, or swing beneath them while your other hand fires a weapon into the snarling crowd below. You have to jump with effective timing and read the environment as a series of vectors – bounce on that car, hit that power line, flip over that billboard there and then whip out a baseball bat for a shocking ground-pound finale.

Now that you’re caught up on gaming, go spend some time with your mom — today is her day! Check back next Sunday for another recap, or head over to Joystiq and catch the news as it happens.

[Image credit: minusequalsplus/Flickr]

Filed under: Gaming, Home Entertainment, HD

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Source: Joystiq

11
May
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California Senate does about face; “Kill switch” bill approved


Evidence photos show property recovered by Port St. Lucie police

After revising the cell phone kill-switch bill that was rejected at the end of April, it appears that the California Senate has approved the controversial bill.

The key changes made were items like giving the carriers a six-month extension to the deadline for compliance and to clarify that tablets are not included in the rules. This comes on the heels of the announcement just last month that carriers and manufacturers have agreed on the standard to be implemented on all devices manufactured after July 2015.

In this bill, there are four main components to the kill switch:

  • Software must make it impossible to use the device after it has been lost or stolen; and cannot be overcome by forcing a hard reset;
  • Only the owner can reconnect it to a network;
  • It covers any smartphone sold in California manufactured after July 1 of next year;
  • Manufacturers will be fined $2,500 per-device if they sell smartphones without the kill switch installed

What isn’t clear is why, after the manufacturers and carriers agreed amongst themselves to hold nearly the same standard on the same date of July 1, 2015, that the State of California felt it was necessary to create another law. The only difference is it would burden smaller manufacturers that were not apart of CTIA’s initial agreement to obliged by the nearly-identical requirements as well.

According to the San Jose Mercury News, Senator Jim Beall told the newspaper that Apple and Microsoft played a huge role in getting it passed changing the previous 19 – 17 vote last month into a 26 – 8 vote this month.

The bill doesn’t have universal support though. CTIA Wireless Association came out against the bill basically saying that if all states were to create their own “kill switch” laws, uniformity would be threatened. Other concerns were of the system being abused in instances such as domestic abuse where the phone is “killed” by the abuser to prevent the individual being abused from seeking help.

Time will only tell how this will play out, not only in California, but what effect it has nationally as well. What do you think? Should California regulate the “kill switch”?

Source: Fox News

The post California Senate does about face; “Kill switch” bill approved appeared first on AndroidGuys.

11
May
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Samsung may soon launch Tizen phones in Russia and India


​Remember Samsung’s Tizen operating system? It’s not a household name, but it did make an appearance on the second wave of Galaxy Gear devices. We’re still waiting for a full-fledged phone running the open-source OS, though, and we may just see one this year. According to sources who spoke with the Wall Street Journal, Samsung will launch a Tizen handset in Russia “in the coming weeks,” and a Tizen device will reach India soon after. While that’s about it in terms of details, one thing is clear: Samsung will look outside the US and Europe to get its fledgling operating system off the ground and into phones.

Earlier this year, Japanese carrier NTT Docomo canceled plans to launch a Tizen smartphone, explaining that the timing wasn’t right. Other international telecoms, including Orange in France, have also stalled in releasing their own Tizen-powered devices. Given the troubles Tizen’s faced in Asia and Europe, a United States launch doesn’t seem to be in the cards any time soon. By introducing Tizen smartphones in Russia and India, among other so-called emerging markets where software is less important than features and affordability, Samsung could have more success — or at least that seems to be the thinking behind this strategy. Here’s hoping we’ll be tuning into a Moscow-based Samsung “Unpacked” event soon.

Filed under: Cellphones, Software, Mobile, Samsung

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Source: The Wall Street Journal

11
May
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Self-healing plastic bleeds when cut, and that’s a good thing


Wouldn’t it be great if everything was as good at healing itself as our own skin? That’s the concept behind a new self-healing plastic that’s been developed over at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Unlike ordinary plastics, this one contains a thin network of tubes, aping the human vascular system, containing two separate gels that react when they come into contact with each other. When the surface of the plastic is punctured, for instance if shot by a bullet, the two gels pour out, mixing to form a surface roughly 60 percent as strong as the original — just like a blood clot would on our bodies.

Unfortunately for now, the system only works with holes smaller than eight millimeters, and since it took around three hours to harden, it can’t yet be used to save a punctured aircraft while in flight. That said, the team is already working to improve matters, and plans to swap out the gels in favor of foams, which may cover larger areas and harden a lot faster. The Air Force, which funded the research, is hoping that we may eventually see self-healing spacecraft and other heavy equipment where it’d be too dangerous or difficult to send an engineer, like deep-sea drilling. The only downside is that the more vascularized the systems become, the weaker they get overall — but then that’s hardly been a big problem for our bones.

[Image credit: Nathan Bajandas]

Filed under: Science

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Via: New Scientist, Gizmodo Australia

Source: Science, University of Illinois

11
May
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HP tablet render leaks with way too much bezel on it


HP logo_

You all know of a company called Hewlett-Packard, or HP for short, a California based tech giant founded in 1939. Well, they’re back in business, sort of, considering they never went out of business… oh well, let me explain.

Let me clear up the above sentence. Basically every person who knows something about technology knows of HP, but they didn’t make much noise in smartphone/tablet industry in the last few years. HP is constantly trying to leave their mark but it’s just not working for them. They introduced a few devices for Indian market a few months back, something between a smartphone and a tablet, you can read more about it here.

This time around they’re going to try leave their mark with yet another tablet, if evleaks are to be believed that is. Images below reveal an unknown HP tablet and there’s not much to go on here, but that doesn’t seem to be Android KitKat running on the device, rather something that came before it. If it’s any consolation at least it looks like a near-stock Android experience. Front side of the devices looks hideous, I’m not one to hate on imperfections, but this is just awful. The bezels are way too thick and it just looks… well, not good. Back side of the device is somewhat better though. We’re really rooting for HP, competition is always good, but they have got to step up their game. What do you think about these images?

HP tablet bezel bezel bezel

VIA: AndroidCentral

The post HP tablet render leaks with way too much bezel on it appeared first on AndroidGuys.

11
May
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Gadget Rewind 2005: Lenovo X41 Tablet


Lenovo made headlines earlier this year when it took Motorola Mobility off of Google’s hands, giving it a boost in smartphone markets outside of its usual stomping grounds. But that wasn’t the first time it snatched up another company for industry leverage. In 2005, IBM gave up majority control of its PC business, allowing Beijing-based Lenovo to take over and effectively expand its reach to a global audience. The timing of the deal was a little bit off, however. One of the first products to launch under Lenovo’s new ownership was the ThinkPad X41 Tablet, a laptop/tablet hybrid, which had already rolled off the assembly line and was still sporting an IBM logo.

It was a niche product back in 2005, but if you were an early adopter, it might have been the perfect tool. Though the X41 wasn’t the first hybrid tablet/PC to debut in the ThinkPad line, it did arrive with significant upgrades over its predecessors, like wireless networking, a 12.1-inch display, vastly improved processor capability and a 180-degree rotatable display.

The X41 Tablet also sported many familiar ThinkPad flourishes, including the iconic red TrackPoint nub, a stowable stylus and an irksome display latch that got caught on just about anything when the device wasn’t snapped shut. Lenovo eventually eradicated that latch from the ThinkPad’s oeuvre of quirks during its 2013 overhaul, and continues to make progressive changes to the line’s design.

At the time of its launch, consumers appreciated the X41′s relatively slim 3.5-pound weight and the pleasant paper-like feel of its screen when used in tablet mode. Its software experience, however, wasn’t exactly polished — it was the first ThinkPad to run Windows XP Tablet PC Edition software. Sure, it had a dose of digital pen support, handwriting recognition and speech input added to the mix, but it was still undeniably Windows XP underneath. Some users who tried the X41 Tablet remember it more for its glitchy software experience than the convenience of its combined form factors.

The X41 Tablet may have been an ungainly oddity when it first launched, but its hybrid form has gone on to become something of an industry standard for today’s post-PC devices.


Did you own a ThinkPad X41 tablet PC? Add it to your Engadget profile as a device you had (or still have) and join the discussion to reminisce or share photos of your device with other like-minded gadget fans.

Filed under: Laptops, Lenovo

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11
May
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Facebook reminds you to celebrate your first friend this Mother’s Day


Every now and again, Facebook likes to wheel out a clip to celebrate a special event, and today is no exception. If you are a mom, then congratulations, and if you have one, then why not take the Zuck’s advice and wish them a good one. Just remember, if you forgot to get a present, then breakfast in bed will do as a short-term solution until you can get to the store.

Filed under: Internet, Facebook

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11
May
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Inhabitat’s Week in Green: Flux, smart parking meters and 1,600 paper pandas


Climate change isn’t some abstract future — it’s already here. And the federal government is finally acknowledging that. Last week, the White House issued a landmark 1,300-page report identifying climate change as a clear and imminent danger. The US government isn’t the only body that’s concerned about climate change; the United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon is calling on countries around the world to take strong measures to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and fight global warming. In higher education, Stanford University is leading the charge, becoming the first major US university to divest from coal companies. It will take significant investment in alternative energy to reverse course, and several major projects are paving the way. An American energy company is planning to build a gigantic tower on the Arizona-Mexico border that could tap solar and wind resources to generate 500 megawatts of energy. And a Spanish island with 10,000 residents is planning to sever ties with the traditional power grid and move to 100 percent renewable energy, making it entirely energy independent.

Spain continues to be a leader in green transportation: Madrid is launching the first smart parking meter system that will charge drivers based on vehicle emissions. Beginning on July 1st, diesel and other high-emission vehicles will pay more to park. A team of university students in Canada has developed a bicycle that can warn you if a car is about to hit you. The bike’s handlebars vibrate when it senses a nearby vehicle. Folding bikes have been around for quite a while, but here’s one that’s different from the rest: The amazing Sada Bicycle can fold down to the size of an umbrella. And in Bristol, artist Luke Jerram shut down an entire street for a day and transformed it into a massive water slide. About 100,000 people applied to be able to ride the slide, but only a few made the cut.

Billboards tend to pollute the visual landscape of cities, but a team of Peruvian students is seeking to transform them into giant air purifiers. The University of Engineering and Technology of Peru has developed new pollution-fighting billboards that can purify 100,000 cubic meters of air every day. In other green design news, architect Michelle Kaufmann and three ex-Google engineers have founded Flux, the first startup to spin out of Google X. Flux will merge big-data technology with the construction process to help architects and developers build energy-efficient, site-specific buildings at a fraction of the cost. Cannata Fernandes Architects has created the Self Sustained Module, a sleek, modern, prefabricated building that can be used for everything from emergency housing to a visitor center. And if you’re looking for a truly rugged camper, look no further than Australia, where you’ll find the UEV-440. This amazing off-road camper packs all the comforts of home — including wine glasses and flat-screen TVs.

Artist Paulo Grangeon wanted to raise awareness for endangered species, so he did what any conservation-minded person would do — he created 1,600 paper mâché pandas (roughly the current population of pandas around the world), and set them up in the streets of Hong Kong. 3D printing is all about streamlining the manufacturing process and eliminating waste, so the makeup industry (which produces a massive amount of waste) is a natural target. To deal with the problem, inventor Grace Choi has created a 3D printer that allows you to pick any color in the world and print it as eye shadow, blush or lip gloss. Animal protein is expensive, and producing it takes a heavy toll on the environment, but insects are much less resource-intensive. With that in mind, Icelandic design student Búi Bjarmar Aðalsteinsson has created a “Fly Factory” that produces everything from pâté to desserts from fly larvae. If bugs give you the creeps, here’s another one for you to chew on: Super hearty microbes might be powerful enough to hitch a ride on a space shuttle and survive in outer space. Recent studies suggest that some bugs are so resilient that they could survive on Mars, and they might even fool scientists into thinking they were there all along.

Filed under: Misc, Science

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