DARPA’s new Ground X-Vehicle Technology project aims to design tanks with less armor, but are faster and more agile as a result. Now, in the movies, we always see these beefy military vehicles rolling along slowly to action, so faster, grenade-dodging tanks might be a bit hard to imagine. Thankfully, the agency released a concept video that shows how exactly its advanced tanks can avoid getting shot at. Apparently, they will have the capacity to duck (fold low into the ground) and swerve out of the way the moment they detect threat coming their way. DARPA will work on designing these vehicles for the next 24 months, so hit play on the video below, because it’ll take a long time before you see the real deal.
Filed under: Misc
Source: Defense Tech
Do you remember Ringly? The idea behind it was that people would use a vibrating ring to alert you about incoming calls, emails or text messages. If you can imagine that same concept, albeit in a smaller and less gendered package, then you have the starting point for the MOTA Smart Ring. Silicon Valley design outfit MOTA believes that in order to stop people checking their phone during conversations, notifications need to be buried somewhere even less obtrusive (and visible) than on a smart watch, and hey, it’s pretty easy to look at your hands, right?
The idea, very simply, is that the screen of the device would face in toward your palm, and whenever you received a call, it would vibrate to let you know. When you got an email or text message, the text would be scrolled across a small OLED touch display that you could read simply by looking at your hands. Once you’ve digested the contents, you can dismiss it with a swipe and continue to go about your day, and most importantly, not stopping to check your smartphone. Additionally, the SmartWatch will last 36 hours on a single charge, but in order not to compromise its water resistance, would replenish its reserves of power on an inductive charging plate.
I’ll admit, that when I first saw the renders and promo video for this device, I was skeptical that squeezing the required technology into a such a small piece of hardware would be possible. After all, if these displays were easily achievable, plenty of other smart wearables would have shaved plenty of heft from their sizes already. Then there’s our wariness about how a battery would sit inside this hardware, given that there doesn’t seem to be enough space. Unfortunately, while the company does have finished dummy units to show, the working prototype is a little less powerful. In fact, the one model that actually has any technology inside it looks more like this.
So far, the device can only light up one of four different-colored lights, depending on the type of message that you receive. Those wires that are coming out of the back, for your information, are running to the battery terminals, which remains outside of the hardware itself. Given that the company is hoping to have the SmartRing manufactured and mass-produced by January, there isn’t a lot of time to resolve these fundamental issues.
Then, there’s my objection to the idea that staring at your hand while a ticker-tape scrolls slowly across your finger is somehow less rude than checking your watch or phone. Of course, being distracted and looking at other things during a conversation is rude, no matter the medium, but I’d imagine that reading every word slowly scrolling out would take far more time than a quick glance at a 2-inch display located on your wrist.
Still, we’re at such an early stage in the SmartRing’s life that we can only be hopeful that MOTA can demonstrate some real innovation here. If you’d like to get on board, then the device will retail for $100, but if you pledge to the company’s $150,000 Indiegogo campaign, you’ll get a SmartRing for $75. The clever jewelry will be available in “Midnight Black” or “Pearl White,” and if you’re worried about the one-size-fits-all approach, don’t be: the company promises that a sizing accessory will enable all shapes and sizes to wear the device.
Filed under: Wearables
You’ve probably heard or Dig Dug, and if you were born before 1983, you might even remember seeing a bizarre, upbeat commercial for the game in movie theaters — but did you know that the video game miner’s theme song was almost sung by Chubby Checker? It totally was. Matt Osborne, son of former Atari VP of coin-op marketing Don Osborne, recently uncovered an alternate version of the commercial’s catchy song with the iconic singer’s vocals. “The only info that I have about it was that Atari had envisioned a somewhat ’50’s styled take on the song, inspired in part by Chubby Checker’s hit ‘The Twist.’” Apparently, Osborne’s father managed to get the man behind the twist to sing his own rendition, but until now it was lost to the ages. That may have been young Matt Osborne’s fault.
“I’m not sure how I actually ended up with it,” he wrote in an Facebook Atari Museum group post, “but he may have lent it to me and I just never gave it back or he never asked for it to be returned.” Osborne found the song languishing on an old cassette tape, and says he can’t find any other information about Chubby’s recording elsewhere on the web. “How funny would it be that the only reason they never used Chubby’s version of the Dig Dug song was because I never got the only known recording of it back to my dad?” Osborne has recorded the cassette to his PC and uploaded the song to SoundCloud. There was probably a better master of the song somewhere, but he says he doesn’t know where it is — he’s asking former employees and diehard fans in the Atari Museum group to offer any information they might have.
Check out the full, ridiculous track on Osborne’s SoundCloud account, or at the embedded player below. Want to compare it to the version used in the commercial? We’ll embed that too — but make sure your speakers are on: audio only comes out of the right channel.
Motorola has launched a bunch of new devices at this year’s IFA. Their new Moto X and Moto G smartphones along with the long-awaited Moto 360 smartwatch and Moto Hint bluetooth headset. Moto X is Motorola’s new flagship and sports a 5.2-inch 1080p AMOLED display along with 2GB of RAM and 16 or 32GB of non-expandable internal storage. The device is powered by Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 801 chip clocked at 2.5GHz and comes with Adreno 330 GPU for graphics processing. 13MP camera can be found at the back of the device while there’s 2MP shooter up front. Android 4.4.4 KitKat and a 2,300mAh battery are also part of the package.
Many of you are probably interested in the wallpapers which come with the phone itself while you don’t plan to buy the phone (it’s not even available just yet). You can get those wallpapers if you follow THIS link. Note that the download size is approximately 37MB.
Source: Android Central
It would seem that when Iran isn’t busy putting the kibosh down on social media, its architects are designing some pretty crazy ways to beat the weather. Case in point: a seven-floor house in Tehran with three rectangular rooms that can rotate up to 90 degrees in accordance with the season. As Slate tells it, the design was inspired by Iranian mansions of yore that had separate living rooms for both summer and winter. When extended outward, the spaces offer each floor its own terrace. Besides being one hell of a bragging right for its homeowner, the rooms serve a functional purpose as well: the lowest is a breakfast area, the middle a home office and the top was planned as a guest room. How’s it all work? Custom CNC-machined mechanisms that function a lot like the turntables used at auto shows do the heavy lifting… err, turning. This isn’t the firm’s first project to push architectural boundaries, either — it’s also done some bananas design on a house with curved concrete façades and interiors.
[Image credit: NextOffice]
The US Federal Bureau of Investigation may have seized the Silk Road and sold off its horde of ill-gotten Bitcoin, but the case isn’t over yet — the dark web site’s creator still has to face trial. The defense of Ross Ulbricht, the man allegedly behind the Silk Road, is doing its best to discredit the FBI’s evidence; specifically, its accusing the bureau of sniffing out Silk Road server’s location through illegal means. The FBI says that couldn’t be further from the truth. In a court rebuttal, the FBI claims that the IP address of the server was “‘leaking’ from the site due to an apparent misconfiguration of the user login interface by the site administrator.” Basically, FBI officials exploited a glitch to get the server to cough up its hidden location.
Officials found that the login page could be coaxed into producing an IP address that didn’t match TOR standards. When this address was used in a non-TOR browser, it produced an element of the login page, confirming that it represented the server’s true location. If this rebuttal is accepted, it will dismiss the defense’s accusations that the FBI used the NSA to illegally hack into the server to find its location. This would ensure that most of the FBI’s evidence is admissible and possibly seal Ulbricht’s fate. Check out the FBI’s full rebuttal in the court document below.
The wait is almost over: Destiny, former Halo-developer Bungie’s ambitious shooter, releases this coming Tuesday. If you’re holding out on it because you don’t have a PlayStation 4 or Xbox One, though, there’s no reason. Bungie has announced that should you purchase the game for PlayStation 3 or Xbox 360, until next January 15th you’re eligible for a free upgrade to a current-gen digital copy. That’s as long as you within the console family you bought the game for originally. Meaning, if you buy the game for PS3 you’ll get a download of it on PS4, gratis. Any extra content like season passes will carry over too — just like your character’s progress and gear.
This goes way beyond what we saw a handful of titles offer around this time last year in a few different ways. For starters, this costs 100 percent less than the upgrade program for, say, Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag or Call of Duty: Ghosts did. The other thing is that you won’t have to start from scratch (regardless of how many hours you’ve invested) when you jump to new hardware; Bungie is making the transition as painless as possible.
Speaking of transitions, Bungie hopes to make Remote Playing its latest effort on the PS Vita simple too. Sony’s handheld may be a capable piece of kit but it’s lacking total parity with the PlayStation 4’s DualShock 4 when it comes to controls. To make up for the handheld’s shortage of buttons, Bungie designed a control scheme specifically for playing Destiny on the portable. While the DualShock 4 has a touchpad, the Vita has an entire touch-friendly screen. Bungie has assigned ancillary tasks like tossing grenades, summoning the floating and robotic Peter Dinklage and executing wicked melee attacks to the left, center and right portions of the Vita’s display. And, as Eurogamer noticed, since the portable’s analog sticks don’t click in like their PS4 counterparts, running in-game is handled by pressing down on the system’s D-pad.
Why the extra effort? Well, according to the PlayStation Blog, the short-lived Destiny beta was the number one game Remote Played of any PS4 games for all of this past July. Excited? Well, NeoGAF has noticed you can start pre-loading right now.
It was only a few weeks ago that Chromecast support was spotted in Firefox for Android’s nightly builds — now it’s one step closer to primetime: the feature is now a standard part of the browser’s beta package. This means that Mozilla fans eager to stream from their favorite browser can access the experimental feature from Google Play, rather than manually installing the update. It gets better, too: the official beta also has support for Roku streaming, assuming your set top box has the Firefox channel installed. Finally, Mozilla quietly announced that its bringing WebRTC support into the main beta channel of its desktop browser. All of these features are still in their early stages, of course, but if you want a sneak peek at what’s next for Mozilla’s stable releases, the source links are below.
As Apple prepares to unveil the iPhone 6 and its much-rumored iWatch at its September 9 event, TechCrunch reports that the Cupertino company has once again booked a high amount of shipping space out of China. The company’s shipping volume is reportedly so high that it’s begun displacing competitors attempts at shipping during the fall.
Apple shipments via major concerns like FedEx and UPS are said to be ‘unprecedented’ for the holiday quarter, pointing to a massive number of iPhones and whatever other devices Apple announces for the fall season. The company is apparently flooding its channels with devices, causing shipments for other ‘top tier’ device makers to be delayed to make way for Apple products.
Competing manufacturers have apparently been told by shipping companies that they cannot fulfill their deadlines because they were being booked by a “very important customer”, which is likely to be Apple.
Last year, a report indicated that Apple begins moving new iPhones from Foxconn and Pegatron factories to distribution centers around the world through shipping companies with extra security detail. Once they’re in distribution centers, Apple begins managing the flow of the devices to the people who want them based on device color and size.
Similarly, MacRumors reported in 2012 that Apple had been moving buying up shipping space in high volume in advance of the launch of the iPad 3, also moving them to distribution centers around the world before its official launch.
Ahead of Apple’s September 9 event, it’s highly likely iPhone 6 models are stealthily being moved across the world, ready for deployment as soon as orders begin.
Today, we go hands-on with the new Moto X, investigate the ugly truth about wearables, learn what happens when you illegally download The Sims 4, order a Moto 360, and more! Read on for Engadget’s news highlights from the last 24 hours.