When Fabien Cousteau embarked on a month-long underwater mission at the Aquarius science lab, Time wanted readers to enjoy as much of the journey from the comfort of their PC as possible. The solution? An interactive 360-degree video. Easy to say, less so to achieve. It took three shoots with strong currents working against them, and a special 360-degree underwater rig to get the footage they needed. But as you’ll see, the result is totally worth the effort.
[Image: Edward Linsmier / TIME]
Filed under: Science
Snapchat’s first Our Story collaborative photo experiment was strictly an opt-in affair where you had to add a user to see it at all. However, the ephemeral image service is now trying something much more ambitious: it’s giving every user access to Brazil Final Live, a group photo album that lets sports fans share pictures themed around the World Cup match between Argentina and Germany. Snapchat tells The Verge that it’s curating the images to keep them on topic, but it’s otherwise taking a relatively hands-off approach; while you’ll automatically see the Brazil feed in your friend list, you’re not encouraged to use it.
The messaging firm hasn’t outlined its long-term plans for Our Story, but it’s easy to see where this could go now that it’s testing the concept on a grand scale. At the least, it’s a way to get you coming back by giving you a peek into exciting things that other Snapchat members are doing. In the long run, though, it could theoretically generate cash — don’t be shocked if advertisers either launch their own ad-laced story feeds or pay for (hopefully temporary) placement.
Source: The Verge
Samsung’s Galaxy S4 Active smartphone was announced about a year ago. Buffed up Galaxy S4 got some attention in the past year, although probably not as much as Samsung would have liked. We have a rather interesting story for you about the adventures of this phone.
Reddit user yapinjapin1 claims his friend’s S4 Active “met” the lawnmower. Here’s the gist. his buddy was mowing the lawn and listening to some music on his device, at one point the device fell out of his pocket and ended up under the lawnmower. He turned off the lawnmower and pulled the device out of there just to notice that it was hit by the lawnmower’s blade and damaged it significantly. The phone itself was still operational, even though the blade took off a part of the upper right corner of the phone. Music was still playing after it happened and he claims the phone functions just fine, there are even some pictures to prove that as you can see.
FIrst thing that came to my mind when I saw this was: “Ouch!”, and immediately after that initial shock: “if I stumbled upon this on YouTube in a video format I’d laugh my a** off”, even though I’d be incredibly upset if something like this happened to me. In any case, it’s an interesting story. Did something like this even happened to you? Any accident including your phone you’d like to share perhaps? I personally only dropped a phone a few times without damaging it significantly, nothing to write home about.
Not everyone’s compelled to backflip across a canyon on a BMX bike or dive from suborbital space in search of extreme sports thrills. In fact, most of us armchair enthusiasts prefer to get our kicks secondhand. And, more often than not, that footage comes from the likes of a helmet-mounted GoPro camera. Action sports enthusiasts have been wearing these nearly “invisible cameras” (as GoPro calls them) since the company launched in 2004. It’s proven to be a very a lucrative niche for founder and CEO Nick Woodman, too, considering the company’s recent IPO filing pegged its valuation at $3.86 billion dollars.
Woodman’s success grew out of his love for surfing and desire to capture that action when he was out riding the waves. He first experimented with self-made wrist straps and casings that held a variety of cameras, but eventually decided to go all-in and sell the whole package. This led to the company’s first product: the GoPro Hero. It was a wrist-worn camera encased in a waterproof housing that let users snap up to 24 shots on 35mm color film. To get sales rolling, the company targeted surf and action sports shops, but eventually branched out to QVC television shopping network, with Woodman making a personal appearance to promote the brand.
Shortly after the flagship model hit the market in 2004, GoPro set about rapidly improving its product line. The company’s short-lived reliance on physical film was eventually phased out in 2006 when it introduced the first Digital Hero, although the new format wasn’t without its limitations — it captured standard-definition video, had no audio and could only be recorded in 10-second bursts. GoPro moved to quickly address the line’s shortcomings in successive years, adding in audio, increased storage and the signature 170-degree wide-angle lens.
In late 2009, GoPro finally graduated to high definition with the arrival of the HD Hero. These cameras offered up to 1080p video quality and swapped out earlier models’ use of AAA batteries for lithium-ion rechargeables. The HD Hero also marked a significant turning point for the company: Without much competition in the, then-nascent market, GoPro’s business began to attract the attention of professional film and TV production crews in the entertainment industry. The cameras’ portability and light weight made for an attractive alternative to traditional shoulder-carried cameras and retailed at a far lower price.
GoPro’s tradition of fast-paced innovation continues to this day. The company’s HD Hero2 line featured a sensor with twice the photo resolution of the first HD Hero model. And its current top-of-the-line Hero3+ Black Edition camera pushes the tech even further in anticipation of the next TV boom, adding in the ability to record video at resolutions up to 4K (or Ultra HD). GoPro’s done all of this while still retaining a focus on compact size and portability, making the company’s “invisible camera” claim very nearly a reality.
Did you own a GoPro HD Hero? 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: Cameras
We’ve got a twofer this week, folks. As that lead shot up there suggests, we’ll be revisiting the Retina display MacBook Pro — the 13-inch version, to be exact. And then, past the break, we’ll also give you a mini-review of Sony’s SRS-BTX300 Bluetooth speaker.
Apple MacBook Air
My history with laptops reads like a Goldilocks tale: some were too big, some were too small and some were definitely too hot (hello, 12-inch PowerBook). However, I might have found something “just right” in the 13-inch MacBook Pro with Retina display that I bought at the end of 2013.
To me, it’s a good balance between size and power. It’s portable enough that it’s no major burden in my bag — important when hiking around trade shows — but there’s still plenty of screen area and performance (at least on my unit with a 2.4GHz Core i5 and 8GB of RAM) when I need to do some serious media editing. The Retina screen also gets around the limited workspaces that I’ve seen on many small laptops. While the computer isn’t going to have as big a virtual workspace as some of its rivals, there’s still plenty of room to breathe.
The real highlight, though, is the battery: it’s a monster. I have yet to run low on power when unplugged, even when I go out of my way to drain the energy cells dry. At Expand New York, I only managed to use half a charge after five hours of near-constant writing, chatting and media editing. Even the wireless display support doesn’t tax the battery all that much. There are other laptops that manage this kind of longevity, but most of them are Ultrabooks that won’t be as quick.
It’s not quite a jack of all trades. I’d rather have a 14-inch Razer Blade if I were looking for a small gaming rig, and Samsung’s ATIV Book 9 Plus has both a higher-resolution screen and touch input. For me, though, the MacBook Pro ticks a lot of checkboxes. It can do everything I want it to do for as long as I need on any given day. I’m sure I’ll eventually need to replace it, but for now, I can’t ask for much more.
– Jon Fingas
Sony SRS-BTX300 bluetooth speaker
Bluetooth speakers have become increasingly popular over the past few years, but I for one didn’t learn how handy they could be until fairly recently. And while the Sony SRS-BTX300 I’ve been using isn’t nearly as portable as, say, the Jawbone Jambox or Beats Pill, I could still easily fit it in my messenger bag and carry it with me if I wanted to. To put its size in perspective, it’s about as long as a 13-inch MacBook Air and wee bit shorter than an iPhone 4s, while its weight clocks in at nearly four pounds. Needless to say, it’s a solid piece of hardware.
Looks aside, the SRS-BTX300 can push out some very loud sound, so much so that I never turn the volume to more than 50 percent when listening to music — it’s one of those things you have to hear to believe. The full-range 70mm speaker has a few different audio settings to choose from, including a Mega Bass mode that’s intense enough to make the tenant below my apartment throw a temper tantrum and think about filing a noise complaint.
What I love the most about the BTX-300 is that I can pair devices via Bluetooth, NFC or an audio jack to play my tunes, allowing me to seamlessly switch between my HTC One, iPad and sixth-gen iPod nano at any given time. Sony claims around eight hours of battery life, which is on par with what I experienced, and sometimes even longer if I use it periodically rather than in one long jam session. For $200, its appearance may be utterly subtle, but there’s no doubt the SRS-BTX300 sounds just as good if not better than all those other wireless speakers it’s up against.
– Edgar Alvarez
Samsung Galaxy TabPRO 12.2 was announced half a year ago and it is still top of the line device. This device had a rather low selling price to begin with so every chance the deal comes our way we do our best to let you know about it. We already did that about a month ago and here it is again on eBay.
This tablet is now available for $369.99 which is 47% off its price (
$699.00). As far as specifications go we’re talking about a whopping 2560×1600 12.2″ display, Exynos 5 Octa, octa-core chip, 3GB of RAM and 8MP rear facing camera while there’s a 2MP shooter on the front.
This tablet is shipping all around and the shipping is free for U.S. residents. If you’re interested just follow the link below and get one of these, this is a great offer if you’re in a market for a high-end tablet.
The post [DEALS & STEALS] Samsung Galaxy Tab Pro 12.2 32GB (Wi-Fi) available for just $369.99 at eBay appeared first on AndroidGuys.
Each week our friends at Inhabitat recap the week’s most interesting green developments and clean tech news for us — it’s the Week in Green.
Self-driving cars are set to become a common sight on roads and highways around the world in the coming years, and Daimler, the parent company of Mercedes-Benz, is taking the lead. The company recently announced plans to launch a self-driving semi truck on the market by 2025. In architecture news, this week a large lotus flower-shaped building sprouted in Wujin, China. The striking building is located in the middle of an artificial lake, and it is cooled with geothermal piles.
Chartier-Corbasson just unveiled plans for a massive skyscraper in London that would be made entirely from its residents’ waste. Meanwhile in Japan, the world’s largest indoor farm is up and running — and it uses low-energy LED lights to produce 10,000 heads of lettuce a day. Speaking of food, a rocket scientist just developed the saucepan of the future — and it cooks up meals 40 percent faster while saving energy.
The Solar Decathlon Europe, one of the world’s most exciting green architecture events, just wrapped up in France, where 20 student teams from around the world competed to produce the most efficient sun-powered homes. A team of Spanish students from Barcelona Tech and Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya took the architecture award at this year’s contest for producing a house that’s wrapped in a translucent shell that harvests solar energy and rainwater. Team Mexico took the engineering prize for building the tiny, space-saving CASA home; the magnificent modular Solar Philéas project received top marks in energy efficiency; and the solar-skinned Prêt-à-Loger home took home the prize for sustainability. Walking away with this year’s grand prize was a jubilant Team RhOME! Their design utilized a traditional Italian loggia — an open, shaded gallery — to make the most of passive solar principles.
Last year, Toyota unveiled its innovative i-ROAD electric vehicle, a funky three-wheeler that is easy to maneuver and park. Now, Toyota is taking the i-ROAD to the streets as part of a new car-sharing program in France called “Smart City.” Electric vehicle entrepreneur Elon Musk made headlines by donating a whopping $1 million to fund the construction of a Nikola Tesla museum. And one of the biggest green transportation stories in the country isn’t a vehicle at all — it’s a building. San Francisco’s $1.9 billion Transbay Transit Center is currently under construction, and Inhabitat donned a hardhat and visited the construction site. The massive bus and train terminal will connect eight Bay Area counties, and it will be topped with a 5.4-acre rooftop park.
Are you worried that your kids are spending too much time hunched over a laptop or iPad? Aside from missing out on real-life experiences, there’s another serious risk: According to one chiropractor, many young children are developing a syndrome known as “iPosture” from spending too long hunched over electronic devices. In other tech news, Apple just raised the bar for renewable energy use by announcing plans to build its third enormous solar farm in North Carolina, and scientists at Princeton University have succeeded in creating super-efficient solar-powered fuel cells that convert carbon dioxide and water into energy-storing formic acid. Researchers at the University of Sydney’s robotics department have invented a solar-powered farm robot that can detect vegetables, trace out crops and even remove weeds with its robotic arms. Inhabitat also caught up with Boyan Slat, the 19-year-old who invented an array that he claims could remove 72.5 million tons of plastic from the world’s oceans. In the interview, Slat talks about both the support and the criticism his invention has received, and he gave us a status update on recent tests. And would you buy accessories made from human hair? If you answered, “Yes,” you’re in luck. The London-based design firm Studio Swine has produced a line of objects made from resin-embedded strands of dip-dyed human hair, and they’re surprisingly popular.
Digital Revolution is an art exhibition currently running at London’s Barbican Centre. Part of the exhibition is Google’s “DevArt” project — a selection of code-based installations. Google commissioned three established artists for the show, and ran a competition to find an up-and-coming artist to join them. Below we take a look at how an idea goes from concept, to code, to creation.
Navigation apps can tell you how to get across town using only public transportation, but they don’t make it a seamless experience. Wouldn’t it be nice if you could pay for bikes, buses and trains from a single app? If Helsinki has its way, you might. The Finnish city plans to test a transportation mesh that will not only show you how to get from point A to point B using multiple public methods, but let you pay for it all in one shot through software or a website. A few companies will help launch the trial run in the Vallila neighborhood around the end of the year, with expansions to other areas over time.
As a city-commissioned study notes, that kind of tech-savvy integration could be necessary to keep up with demand. Younger locals don’t dream of owning cars like they once did, so there’s likely to be much more strain in the future. It might not be easy to implement. There are concerns that a unified system would need more competition, and that providers would have to use flexible rates (like Uber’s surge pricing) to prevent commuters from overwhelming any one transportation method. All that effort could be worth it, however, since it could reduce traffic congestion and pollution — not to mention save travelers some cash.
[Image credit: Michael Day, Flickr]
Source: Helsinki Times
FCC filings discovered by electronics company Securifi (via TUAW) have revealed Apple’s plans for first-party iBeacon hardware to go along with the microlocation technology found in iOS. The transmitter is registered as the “Apple iBeacon” and carries a model number of A1573, which is in line with the company’s other products.
According to the documents filed by Apple, the iBeacon was tested in collaboration with China-based Audix Technology from April 30 to May 13, 2014. The beacon tested has a diameter of 5.46” and has a highest working frequency of 2.4GHz, which is in line with modern Bluetooth standards.
Originally introduced at WWDC 2013, iBeacon technology enables iOS devices to communicate with transmitters through Bluetooth in order to deliver relevant information to apps and services when a user is nearby. Apple introduced a “Made for iPhone” iBeacon specification in February, signaling a more primary role for the technology in its devices and services.
So far, however, companies have used third-party transmitters, like the Estimote Beacon to work with the technology and iOS devices. Shopping app Shopkick and Macy’s partnered during the holiday season last year to integrate the technology into stores, while Major League Baseball and the National Basketball Association have used iBeacons to enhance live events.
Apple has also integrated iBeacons into its own retail stores to notify customers about picking up online orders and special upcoming events. Internationally, Virgin Atlantic integrated iBeacons into London’s Heathrow Airport to notify users of promotional deals and areas of interest.
While it is unknown as to whether Apple will actually launch iBeacon hardware or not, the product could integrate with the company’s other platforms and services. Apple’s iBeacon could be the company’s first product to integrate with its HomeKit initiative, which allows home automation devices and their apps to work with iOS.
It is likely that HomeKit integrated hardware would come further down the roadmap in Apple’s future product lineup, as that lineup is expected to include the iWatch, perhaps a 12-inch Retina MacBook Air and a next-generation Apple TV.