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NASA wants to launch its asteroid capture mission in 2019

NASA Asteroid Redirect Mission

NASA’s plans to snag an asteroid just got a little more concrete. The space agency has narrowed down the launch of its Asteroid Redirect Mission to 2019, with the choice of rock coming a year before that. At the moment, the administration is torn between two potential destinations. One proposed mission plan has the vehicle bringing back a tiny asteroid less than 32 feet across; another would scoop out a “boulder-sized” chunk from a larger target. Officials expect to make a decision late this year, though, and five years is trivial in light of NASA’s more ambitious projects. And don’t worry if that’s still too long to wait — the folks behind Kerbal Space Program are more than happy to sate your appetite for asteroid retrieval.

Filed under: Transportation, Science


Via: TechnoBuffalo

Source: NASA


Upgrade your calender to Sunrise Calender [App of the Day]


I’m always a fan of switching up my routine apps, including the default message app, email app, file manager, etc… But now I’d like to switch it up with the new Sunrise Calender app, which promises a new experience and will make your life easier.

The app connects to your Google Calender and you can also connect with Facebook and a number of other apps for a full range of events and deadlines. Coonected with Facebook, I can see all the upcoming birthdays and graduation parties, and I can even RSVP to them right from the app.

Features of the app include 

  • A flat, redesigned calender experience showing the perfect amount of information.
  • A simplified 3-day view shows when you are busy and when you are free.
  • A beautiful transparent widget.
  • Events and birthdays of the people you know as well as integrated Map locations.
  • Available on the desktop as well
  • Compatibility with Evernote so all your reminders will show up on Sunrise

The post Upgrade your calender to Sunrise Calender [App of the Day] appeared first on AndroidGuys.


HTC Volantis tablet details leaked

htc volantis

We’ve seen lots of Nexus rumors in the last few months, both smartphone and tablet line. On one hand reports have been saying that the Nexus line is coming to an end in favor of Android Silver, on the other hands however we’ve seen leaks of Nexus 6 and Nexus 8. Nexus line may or may not be coming to an end, but even if that happens it doesn’t mean it will happen this year.

Be that as it may, newest report shows us a render of Nexus 8 tablet made by HTC and its specs, although they refer to it as Nexus 9. The device’s name is HTC Volantis (earlier mentioned as “Flounder”). This report is coming from Android Police and they seem rather certain that the device is coming.

Talking about specs, according to the report the device will feature an 8.9″ display 2048×1440 in resolution (281ppi). It will be powered by Tegra K1 64-bit processor (Nvidia Logan) along with 2GB of RAM. The device will sport an 8MP OIS rear shooter while the one on the front will be 3MP. The device will come with either 16 or 32GB of internal storage and will have stereo front-facing speakers as well as an Aluminum zero-gap construction and should weight 418 grams. There will also be a LTE version of the device and its measurements will be 22.63×15.19×0.79cm or in inches 8.91×5.98×0.31.

htc volantis_1

Note that the renders doesn’t seem to be final, although the device looks rather Nexusy as it is. 16GB version of the device should cost 399$ while the 32-gig model will be a 100$ more expensive, which brings it to $499. LTE version will raise the price for an additional $100+. The report also says we won’t see this device at Google I/O, it should be release in Q4.

These are some detailed information and they seem quite legit. What do you think of all this?

The post HTC Volantis tablet details leaked appeared first on AndroidGuys.


IRL: IK Multimedia’s iLoud portable Bluetooth speaker

IRL: IK Multimedia's iLoud portable Bluetooth speaker

I’ve secretly desired a portable Bluetooth speaker for a while now, particularly the Beats Pill. But the problem was (and still is) that I can’t justify adding yet another wireless music streaming option to my relatively small abode, which is already outfitted with an Apple TV and Pioneer SX-218. Sure, a Bluetooth speaker is handy for the occasional barbecue cookout on your front porch. But any other time, I’d rather just pop in a pair of ‘buds and get the entire stereo effect. However, being the fan of IK Multimedia’s Apple-centric iRig line that I am, I bit the bullet and opted for the iLoud.

As a portable Bluetooth speaker, the iLoud has served me well. I have no trouble pairing it with my MacBook Pro, iPhone 5 or HTC One. Once I’m about 20 feet away from the unit, however, the audio suffers minor yet distinct dropouts. Not too bad, really. As far as build goes, the iLoud is wonderful on the road. Mine found a daily home in the bottom compartment of a Mercedes-Benz Sprinter for 18,000 miles of (mostly) horrible road conditions. Nonetheless, it emerged with only minor scratches to the exterior — it helps that the drivers are hidden behind a hefty black metal grille.

All told, the iLoud drives 40 watts of total audio force through two 2 x 3-inch woofers and two 2 x 3/4-inch tweeters, all in a package about the size of a large paperback novel. Now, watts don’t directly translate to decibels. But in comparison, that’s as much electrical force as a Fender Hot Rod Deluxe III tube amp, which holds its own in any small-to-medium-sized venue. I can’t crank the iLoud all the way up within the confines of my home without my ears feeling seriously uncomfortable. And there’s surprisingly little distortion at such insane levels. The top end is crisp and tight (as is the nature of small speakers), and the bassy synth swells in Ellie Goulding’s “Hanging On” and “Figure 8″ are fantastically beefy. I’ve actually used the iLoud as an extra stage monitor during performances of my own by routing my personal mix to its 3.5mm input jack. Crazy, right?

On its backside there’s an additional quarter-inch analog input jack for an guitar or mic. The extra circuit allows me to plug in both my guitar and iPhone, pull up IK’s AmpliTube app and start jamming. Having an actual speaker makes it much easier to mess around with new AmpliTube presets or jam alongside your favorite tunes than with a regular iRig interface and the mess of cables alongside it.

Obviously, the iLoud is geared toward the musician or GarageBand artist rather than passive listeners. But for $300, the iLoud brings me extra features and much more sound than an equivalently priced Beats Pill XL.

Filed under: Portable Audio/Video



Next Generation iPad Mini Depicted with Touch ID [iOS Blog] shares an image of what appears to be models of the next generation iPhone, iPad Mini, and iPad Air.

The iPhone 6 models have already been covered extensively, while we got the first glimpse of the purported iPad Air 2 just last week. The iPad Air 2 model was shown to depict Touch ID, changed speaker grille, and recessed volume buttons.

The new image doesn’t reveal any more details except the depiction of Touch ID on the new iPad mini. This year’s iPads have been widely expected to gain Touch ID capabilities. Apple first introduced the Touch ID fingerprint scanning system with the iPhone 5S, and will be extending it to allow Apps to begin using it with iOS 8.


Gadget Rewind 2008: T-Mobile G1 (HTC Dream)

In 2005, a small Palo Alto-based mobile software company called Android Inc. was quietly folded into Google’s growing empire. The acquisition led to the release of the company’s first-ever “Google phone” three years later: the T-Mobile G1 (or HTC Dream as it was mostly known outside of the US). Google’s philosophy for the G1 centered on one-click search and a rich web experience, and leveraging T-Mobile’s 3G network was essential to its success. The G1 was also the first smartphone to run the open-source Android operating system and after just six months on the market, it earned a fifth-place spot amongst top-selling smartphones in the US.

Andy Rubin, one of the co-founders of Android who went on to become SVP of mobile and digital content at Google, wasn’t new to the mobile device game. His earlier venture, Danger Inc., had found success in 2002 with its Hiptop smartphone, which was rebranded by T-Mobile as the Sidekick. It’s not surprising then that the G1 ended up as a T-Mobile exclusive — after all, its pop-out keyboard was reminiscent of the Sidekick’s swivel screen design. And for consumers in search of an alternative to the BlackBerry smartphones that dominated at the time, the G1 was a welcome option.

The T-Mobile G1 was an odd-looking duck. It was chunky due to the phone’s pop-out keyboard, with slightly larger dimensions than the sleek iPhone 3G released the same year. The G1′s physical keyboard was a necessary evil considering the inaugural Android operating system (1.0) didn’t include a virtual one — this despite its 3.2-inch capacitive touchscreen. That wasn’t the G1′s only design quirk: It also featured a slanted “lip” on its front face that housed a trackball and physical navigation buttons.

Its unique build aside, the G1′s main attraction was its open-source Android environment. With it, Google aimed to stimulate app development and “future proof” the OS with developer contributions over time. The Android Market (now known as Google Play) also debuted in tandem with the G1, offering around 50 applications at the time. All those apps were free, too, since the Market had yet to implement a payment system.

Multitasking, copy and paste, pull-down notifications and home screen widgets: These were some of the fresh features the G1 ushered in. It also, unsurprisingly, came deeply integrated with Google services such as Gmail and Maps. And without a proprietary music application of its own at the time, Google turned to Amazon to provide an MP3 app.

The G1 may have been an unfinished product when it was released, but Google addressed its shortcomings with iterative software updates — now a common and accepted practice for Android devices. Early OS fixes tackled glaring oversights like the G1′s missing virtual keyboard and lack of video-recording ability for its 3-megapixel rear camera.

A T-Mobile rep compares Apple’s iPhone 3G (at left) with the G1.

A year after the G1′s launch, Verizon released the massively popular Motorola Droid with a slightly tweaked version of Android; a device that would prove a boon for Android device sales and mindshare. Still, Google continued on its own parallel path with HTC, releasing the MyTouch series and the G2. Eventually, however, Google abandoned its partnership with T-Mobile and HTC in favor of its Nexus line: reference devices that would run the latest, unadulterated versions of the Android operating system.

Google’s G1 smartphone holds an important place in the company’s history. Not only was it the first of many devices to run the Android OS, but it also stood out as an open-source alternative to Apple’s iPhone and closed iOS ecosystem. Android’s openness and flexibility led to its rapid adoption by a variety of manufacturers seeking to topple Apple’s success — it also helped that it was free to license. The G1, though primitive in comparison to the current crop of Android devices, was Google’s first step toward the mobile phone market domination it enjoys today.

Did you own a T-Mobile G1? 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.

[Image credit: T-Mobile / HTC (G1 front view); JENS SCHLUETER/AFP/Getty Images (iPhone/G1)]

Filed under: Cellphones, Mobile, Google, T-Mobile



This is ESPN’s new home for SportsCenter

After breaking ground on it more than two years ago, ESPN is finally ready to show viewers its Digital Center 2. In the 194,000-square foot building, the sports media giant plans to have a total of five studios, one of which is now officially the new home of SportsCenter. As part of the move, the popular up-to-the-minute news show will be waving goodbye to the old Digital Center 1, a 10-year-old, 120,000-square foot space that has been its home for the past few years. “DC-1 was opened 10 years ago; we were only built for [broadcasting] 4 to 5 hours a day, now we’re doing like 17 hours,” Rob King, senior vice president at ESPN, told Engadget. “It’s been seven years in the making; DC-2 was built to be future-proof.” With this in mind, King says the new building is prepared to handle the next wave of technology, whether that be producing content in 4K and 8K, or doing things like adapting shows to be interactive with social media.

“We see this studio as giving us more opportunities to do different things. The look and feel of each show will be different.”

And, also thanks to DC-2, ESPN’s set to broadcast shows filmed there in 1080p instead of 720p, which the company states is only the beginning of a new era: “The facility is format agnostic … and can handle all existing media formats and future industry standards capable of carrying data/signals at various rates, that haven’t been adopted by the television industry yet.” Aside from SportsCenter, Digital Center 2 will be host to the main studio for NFL shows, though that particular space is still a work in progress and won’t be complete until the fall. “We see this studio as giving us more opportunities to do different things. The look and feel of each show will be different,” King stated.

“We want to present information, but it’s about doing it in a dynamic way.”

To give you an example of the sheer magnitude of the newly minted place, ESPN went from having 15 screens total inside Digital Center 1 to 115 in Digital Center 2. That includes a video floor that anchors can interact with; two vertical touchscreens capable of moving around the studio; and a set of 56 screens as the main attraction, which was initially known as “Project Loom” and eventually turned into “The North Wall.” One of the reasons to have so many monitors around was to give the on-air talent more room for creativity: “The DC2 set is very important to make our talent interact better with the viewers,” King said. “We want to present information, but it’s about doing it in a dynamic way. Getting those personalities into the show is a huge part of what we are trying to achieve with this,” Jeff Schaetzel, ESPN’s senior coordinating director, added.

There’s no doubt ESPN is using Digital Center 2 as a stepping stone into the future, which ultimately should provide a better experience for you, the sports fan. As King puts it, “The sky is the limit once DC-2 opens. It has changed the way everyone does their job. We are perfectionist; we want to make great shows.”

Filed under: Misc, Home Entertainment, HD



Hey Whatcha Playin?: Clash of Puppets by Crescent Moon Games

Image courtesy of Crescent Moon Games

Image courtesy of Crescent Moon Games

In the past, when a game was made, they were often only one genre, familiar genres like hack and slash, role playing games (RPG), or platformer. After a while, to keeps things still feeling fresh, developers would mix and match different types of games to create a new experience. Some of these games are blockbuster hits, while others seem more like a jack of all trades but master of none. While Clash of Puppets is a mix of two types of my favorite games, it fails to satisfy either for me.

Image courtesy of Play.Google.Com

Image courtesy of Play.Google.Com

What The Game Is About?
You play as a janitor that fell asleep during a b-rate monster movie marathon whose dream then becomes monster themed. You control the janitor as you fight various movie monsters in various themed monster movie stages. As you make your way through each themed movie nightmare stage you acquire different weapons that aid with taking care of whatever happens to get in your way. At the end of each themed nightmare there is a boss battle, that leads to the next themed nightmare stage.

Image courtesy of Play.Google.Com

Image courtesy of Play.Google.Com

Who Is This Game For?
Clash of Puppets is for those that like a mix of 3D platforming, and 3D hack and slash. The 3D platforming part has you jumping around avoiding various traps or look for a key to progress. The 3D hack and slash has you using melee, ranged weapons, and traps that can be used in however combination that is most suitable for the player. Just keep in mind that both the ranged weapons and traps have a set number that can only be replenish by either finding ammo or making it to a stash point.

Image courtesy of Play.Google.Com

Image courtesy of Play.Google.Com

My Thoughts?
Meh. Clash of Puppets is not for me. I cannot point to any particular reason why, it is just the way the game feels. The game looks nice and has a theme I could enjoy but I feel the games falls extremely short. To add to why I did not enjoy the game was the controls. I could not get far with the touch controls and had to rely heavily on a game controller. Sadly even though I could play the game with a controller and made great progress the game was still not enjoyable for me.

Image courtesy of Play.Google.Com

Image courtesy of Play.Google.Com

In conclusion, in no way shape or form am I calling Clash of Puppets a bad game. This game I feel is the very reason why I do not have a rating system. The articles I write are for recommendation, for those who want to hear more about a game before taking the plunge and committing to buying it. As I stated before Clash of Puppets is not for me, however this game can be perfect for someone else and I hope that person find this game. Just keep in mind to have a controller ready, just in case. Let me know your thoughts on Clash of Puppets, as well as any suggestions that you might have for next time in the comments.

Play Store Link: Clash of Puppets

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Big Bang researchers aren’t so sure they have proof of cosmic ripples

View of the known universe

Remember that evidence of the early gravitational waves formed by the Big Bang? Apparently, it’s not as surefire as scientists once thought. The newly peer-reviewed findings note that there’s “unquantifiable uncertainty” in the source data; cosmic dust in the astronomers’ map of the universe may have skewed the results. More recent mapping efforts also suggest that there might have been a false signal.

This isn’t to say that the earlier conclusion was flat-out wrong. It’s still possible that researchers proved the existence of post-Big Bang ripples, bringing gravitational waves into the classical physics model. However, it does mean that the would-be discoverers will have to cross-check their info with experiments at other telescopes before they can brim with confidence. For now, at least, our understanding of space hasn’t quite been turned on its ear.

Filed under: Science


Via: New Scientist

Source: Physical Review Letters


FCC proposal would fund WiFi networks in schools

iPad with a textbook peeks out from a library

The FCC’s E-rate program has been funding classroom internet access for a while, but it’s focused on wired connections; that’s a bit short-sighted in an era where many laptops and tablets are WiFi-only. Agency officials are keenly aware of this need to catch up, as they’ve proposed a plan that uses some of E-rate’s funding for wireless networks in schools and libraries. FCC staffers estimate that they could get over 10 million students online in 2015 through the effort, which would devote both $1 billion and modernize E-rate’s broadband distribution rules.

There’s no guarantee that the proposal will get the green light. However, FCC head Tom Wheeler is pushing hard for action on the proposal this summer — the consequences could be “huge” for students if there’s a delay, he claims. Whether or not the situation is truly that dire, the strategy could go a long way toward connecting kids in class, rather than making them flock to the computer lab.

[Image credit; Johan Larsson, Flickr]

Filed under: Networking, Internet


Via: Recode

Source: FCC (1), (2)

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