You can’t complete Super Mario 64 in under 10 minutes. Okay, it’s technically possible, but you almost assuredly cannot. That’s okay! We can’t either, but groups like Games Done Quick make it so we can watch the best of the best without any of the hard work. Of course, it’s not just Super Mario 64; as the group’s name implies, they play all types of games, and they play them quickly. Maybe you’ve heard of this practice before? It’s called “speedrunning,” and the result of said practice is, naturally, “speedruns.” We’re gonna just be straight up here: we heart speedruns. They’re the best. And twice each year, Games Done Quick has a week-long blowout where they stream live speedruns of awesome games all day, every day. But why? For charity! This summer, it’s Doctors Without Borders.
As such, we’re dropping this pin in Engadget for you to watch the stream all week. Lest you forget, we’ll remind you daily on social media that the madness is still going. Head below and see for yourself!
Wondering when your favorite game is coming? The schedule is right here, and the stream runs non-stop until June 29th. If the games don’t do it for you, the amazing commentary should. And hey, it’s for charity you monster!
Source: Games Done Quick
If you looked at Amnesty International’s new (and free) Panic Button app for Android, you wouldn’t even bat an eyelash. That’s precisely the point. It’s meant to help human rights activists around the world subtly seek help when things take a turn for the worse, and that’s why it’s disguised as the most banal mobile utility you could probably think of: the humble calculator app.
The app — which has been in development for over a year now — adds, subtracts, multiplies and divides just like you’d expect it to after a bit of onboarding. Hell, the app icon even changes after setup is complete to keep an even lower profile. Invoking its true purpose requires you to wail on a digit key or mash your phone’s power button. It’s only then that this unassuming number cruncher fires off a distress message and your location to three preset emergency contacts, with further updates to follow every five minutes until your phone runs out of juice.
Clever, no? The app’s thoughtful design means you can very quietly reach your closest allies without arousing suspicion, or even removing your phone if your pocket if things are seriously dire. It’s under a megabyte in size, too, not to mention dead-simple to set up and compatible with all versions of Android newer than Gingerbread. Oh, and it’s open source (you can dig through the source code on GitHub), just in case you want to implement some more specific modifications. Really, there’s only one rub here. The Panic Button is a nifty little tool, but it’s ultimately useless unless your chosen contacts are actually in a position to help. Amnesty International insists that the Panic Button should be but a component of a broader contingency plan for activists who may cross paths with jackbooted thugs. Choose your confidants wisely, dear friends, and be ready.
Source: Panic Button
Nope, that isn’t a grainy leaked photo from a new Lord of the Rings spin-off up above; it’s actually an image of a space-dust ring surrounding nearby star HR 4796A. The star is part of the Centaurus constellation, and this picture was taken by the European Southern Observatory’s (ESO) Very Large Telescope that’s been recently outfitted with a SPHERE instrument. What’s the SPHERE? According to the ESO, it’s the Spectro-Polarimetric High-contrast Exoplanet Research tool that has a main objective of studying extra-solar planets that orbit nearby stars. As Space notes, not only does this picture capture a very Eye-of-Sauron vibe overall, but it’s also a showpiece for just how powerful the SPHERE tool is. Namely, it’s able to kill enough of the glare to make the actual fiery ball of gas visible, something Space says is essential to discovering more and more celestial bodies.
Microsoft today announced that it will provide up to $650 in store credit for select MacBook Air models, in an effort to get MacBook Air owners to switch to the company’s new Surface Pro 3, which it claims has the “power of a laptop in a lightweight, versatile form.” Trade-ins must be conducted within a Microsoft retail store.
First announced in May, the Surface Pro 3 offers a 12-inch display, a thin design, Core i3, i5, or i7 processors and a new Surface Pen stylus with 256 levels of pressure sensitivity, aiming to compete with Apple’s ultra thin MacBook Air. Previous Surface tablets were designed to take on Apple’s line of tablets, but Microsoft is poising its newest version as a MacBook Air competitor.
The entry-level Core i3 Surface Pro 3 retails for $799, with improved versions sporting a Core i5 and Core i7 processor available at prices between $999 and $1949. With the discount for turning in a MacBook Air, customers could pay just $150 for an entry-level model.
According to the terms of the deal, trade-in values may vary, which suggests that only good-condition current-generation MacBook Airs will be eligible for the full $650 credit. It is not clear how much Microsoft is offering for older models at this time.
MacBook Airs eligible for trade-in must power on and be in working condition. Water-damaged devices and those with cracked screens may not be traded in. A purchase of the Surface Pro 3 is also required to get the maximum trade in value, and Microsoft plans to run this deal through the end of July.
Americans: you no longer have to flock to AT&T to get a Galaxy S phone that can handle your outdoor adventures. Sprint has unveiled the Galaxy S5 Sport, a spin on the Galaxy S5 Active’s formula that revolves around fitness. It’s not as tough-looking as the Active, but it still offers both a grip-friendly shell and mechanical buttons that are easier to use when you’re on a run. The real highlight, though, is the software. The Sport is the first phone with Sprint’s Fit Live, an app and services bundle meant to get you moving. It includes a year’s worth of Under Armour’s MapMyFitness MVP, which brings custom audio coaching and training plans on top of the usual working stats. You’ll also get half a year’s worth of Spotify Premium music to amp yourself up, and there’s an avalanche of health content that you can plaster across your home screen.
Don’t expect any big hardware advantages. Aside from supporting faster Spark LTE data, this is much like the GS5 Active on the inside (and by extension, the regular GS5). You’ll still get a 5.1-inch, 1080p display, a quad-core Snapdragon 801 processor, a 16-megapixel camera and a heart rate sensor. Not surprisingly, you won’t pay a premium over the ordinary model as a result — the Sport will go on sale July 25th for a familiar-sounding $650 off-contract, or $27 per month for two years. That’s a lot to spend just to get a handset built for exercise, but it might be worth investigating if you were already bent on using your next phone as your fitness instructor.
We first played with the MYBELL, a customizable digital horn for your bike, several months ago at Engadget Expand NY. Now, the device has hit Kickstarter, and it’s packing a new housing that makes the device both sleeker and stronger. The team behind the gadget, led by founder Peter Pottier, has also increased power efficiency. As before, though, MYBELL’s all about biker safety, with a horn that can blast your choice of audio at more than 105 decibels. Its array of programmable LEDs is strong as well, letting you set your own pulse patterns to announce your presence at night.
Ditching the block-color design was definitely a good call on the MYBELL team’s part — the streamlined body looks more professional, and you’ll have your choice of black, blue and red, among other yet-to-be-decided options. Not that looks are the main draw here; the horn straps on to nearly all bikes or Scooters, allowing cyclists the world over to get the attention of drivers and pedestrians. Day On mode lets you trigger a sound with one or two taps (depending on which sound file you’d like to play), while the Night On option will activate the LEDs as well. Especially in a city like New York, where the MYBELL team is based, a little extra safety never hurts. Those interested can click the source link for more info– a $99 pledge will get you an advance unit, while a donation of $119 earns you a bike horn in one of a few crowd-sourced color options.
Dolby’s Atmos technology, which bombards you with sound from all directions, was undoubtedly built with movie theaters in mind; few have the money or space for that many speakers. However, the company has at last devised a way to bring Atmos to your living room. While the solution will let you hang speakers from the ceiling if you’re so inclined, it will primarily rely on audio systems that produce overhead sound through physics tricks. This could get expensive, as you might imagine. On top of an Atmos-capable receiver, you’ll need either speakers with native Atmos support or modules that add to your existing setup. Thankfully, you probably won’t have to toss out everything — the Blu-ray spec can already handle Atmos, so most existing disc players should work.
The Dolby crew isn’t showing off any devices yet, but you won’t have to wait long to give extra-immersive audio a shot. Studios plan to release Atmos-ready movies on Blu-ray and streaming services starting this fall. Logically, supporting hardware will also surface in the “next few months.” We suspect that many will be happy to get by on ‘just’ conventional surround sound, but this might be right up your alley if you want to recreate as much of the theatrical experience as possible.
Source: Dolby Lab Notes
Over the weekend, Apple’s chief designer Jony Ive and musician Bono attended the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity, where Bono was honored with the LionHeart Award for his work with the (Product) RED campaign to raise money for the fight against AIDS.
Ive during his interview at the Cannes Lion Festival
During their appearance, Ive and Bono sat down for a 45 minute interview. While the entirety of the interview has not yet been shared, Cannes has posted a short highlights reel, with the first two minutes of the video featuring Bono. In the spot, Bono describes working with Steve Jobs on (Product) RED, recounting a particular conversation with Jobs over the parentheses that are part of the (Product) RED name logo.
Jobs initially wanted to forgo the parentheses to keep anything from “interfering with the logo”, but after a disagreement with Bono and some time to sleep on it, he conceded to the parentheses but never in Apple Stores.
As described by AdWeek, though Ive and Bono are old friends and Apple has worked with (RED) for many years, Bono went on to complain on stage about Apple’s quiet involvement in the project and the company’s reluctance to put (RED) branding on products.
Bono went so far as to stand up, pull out an official (Red) iPad cover and remove the device, illustrating to the audience that the only actual nod to the nonprofit was inside the cover and therefore always obscured by the tablet.
“Where’s the (Red) branding?” he asked Ive. “Nobody can see that. This is modesty run amok. This is the Apple way. They’re like a religious cult.”
Ive seemed unfazed by Bono’s slights, noting that Apple and Product (RED) have a strong alliance. “We started in 2006 with one (RED) product, a nano, and now we’ve got well over half a dozen. It’s been really, really special for us.”
Over the course of Apple’s partnership with (RED), the company has released (RED) iPod nanos and shuffles, iPad Smart Covers, iPhone Bumpers, and iPhone 5s cases, with a portion of each sale going directly to the charity.
Last year, Ive even teamed up with designed Marc Newson to create multiple one-of-a-kind products that were auctioned off by Sotheby’s, with proceeds going to (RED). A range of items including solid gold EarPods and a red Mac Pro were auctioned, bringing in nearly $13 million.
To date, Apple has raised approximately $70 million for (Product) RED, with 100 percent of that money going towards HIV/AIDS programs in Africa. The full interview may be shared by Cannes in the future, but in the meantime, a slideshow created on Storify gives the highlights of the event.
Sprint on Monday announced the exclusive availability of the Samsung Galaxy S5 Sport. Internal specifications from the flagship models remain unchanged however the outside of the device gets a sporty punchup that includes rubber grips and physical buttons. Indeed, this one is also water and dust resistant. But, it’s not about the hardware, here, as the device is more of a kick-off for some of Sprint’s fitness-related services.
Included apps and services:
- Activity Zone: Pre-loaded app offering a barometer, compass, flashlight and stopwatch from a single screen
- S Health: An integrated mobile health platform to access health info, map out workouts and make healthier eating choices
- Heart Rate Monitor: Track your rate before and after your workout
- Sprint Fit Live: Pre-loaded app providing access to fitness applications and activities in addition to delivering relevant health information
Sprint Fit Live is a mobile health and fitness package that offers users instant access to their favorite fitness applications and activities,and more. Going forward, Sprint Fit Live will be available on all new Sprint Android-powered smartphones.
Key features of Sprint Fit Live :
- Track, monitor, and share workout activity with 12 months of free MapMyFitness MVP, which includes premium content such as customized audio coaching, training plans, live tracking and more. MapMyFitness is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Under Armour, a leading performance and innovation brand.
- Access Spotify Workout playlists with free Spotify premium for six months for customers who are on Sprint Framily plans or three months for other Sprint customers.
- Live the Healthy Lifestyle by receiving updated smart, contextual health and fitness content.
- Customize the look and feel of fitness tracking, education, music and healthy living content displayed on the wallpaper or full screen experience.
Shipping on July 25, the Galaxy S5 Sport will retail for $650 or $0 down with 24 monthly payments of $27.09 each. Color options include Cherry Red and Electric Blue. For a limited time, customers who purchase a Samsung Galaxy S 5 Sport will get $50 off Samsung Gear Fit.
Sprint, having a busy day to kick off the week, has announced the expansion of 4G LTE to another 28 markets. What’s more, the tri-band Spark service is getting three more areas of its own. While the former eclipses the 470 market threshold, the much faster Spark LTE now reaches 27 cities.
Today also sees Sprint announcing international Wi-Fi calling to more than 100 countries. Slated to roll out in the coming weeks, the service lets users send texts and make calls across their Wi-Fi connections.
As if that weren’t enough, Sprint has confirmed the nationwide availability of HD Voice. With more than two dozen smartphones to choose from, the HD service provides a more natural and much clearer voice with noise-cancellation. According to Sprint’s math, there are roughly 16 million customers using HD Voice today.
Sprint, so confident in its services and offerings, is now offer “risk-free’ 30 day trials. Those who sign up for a Framily plan or one of the carrier’s other services can cancel within 30 days; the cost of the device, activation fees, and service charges are waived. The deal kicks off June 27.
Oh, and don’t forget, there’s a new Samsung Galaxy S5 Sport coming to Sprint as well!
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