The Videogame History Museum has found a home in Frisco, Texas
Making a pilgrimage to the Videogame History Museum has been tough so far; most of its collection is in storage, and what little you do see has been going on cross-country tours. Pretty soon, though, it will have a permanent public display. A Frisco, Texas community board has approved a deal to give the Museum a 10,400 square foot location inside the city’s Discovery Center by this April. That’s not gigantic — a little larger than a baseball diamond — but it means that you can easily revisit some of the consoles that defined your youth. This venue is just the start, for that matter. After launch, the founders hope to raise enough cash from corporate sponsors to get a far larger base of operations. While Frisco isn’t the easiest place to reach unless you live in the Dallas area, it sure beats hoping that the existing nomadic exhibit will eventually reach your ‘burg.
Filed under: Gaming
Source: Dallas Morning News, Videogame History Museum (Facebook)
Sound off! Is the end of the portable MP3 player nigh?
It’s no secret the number of iPods that Apple has sold has significantly decreased over the last few years. As our smartphones have become more powerful and the types of tasks they’re capable of have grown, there’s been less of a need for having a device dedicated to only one type of activity. Is a dedicated portable MP3 player past its prime or does this type of device still have some life left? Visit the Engadget forums and let us know if you think the MP3 player can be saved.
From paper to pixels: the arrival of the e-reader
Ray Bradbury, the author of Fahrenheit 451, once said: “Nothing a computer can do can compare to a book.” For some, the pleasure of flipping through a paperback may never change, but pragmatism is starting to take hold. More people than ever are opting for e-books; the benefits of having a virtual library in your pocket outweigh the nostalgia for physical books. And although modern e-readers have been around in some form or another for over two decades, the evolution and adoption process has been a long and complex one. Join us as we take a look at some of the key moments in the e-reader’s history.
Filed under: Tablets, Samsung, Sony, Amazon
With Cyberith’s Virtualizer, you can run around wearing an Oculus Rift (video)
There was no shortage of VR headsets at the Tokyo Game Show this year — but that didn’t stop the lines forming endlessly over the weekend. Hidden, at least slightly, in Hall 8 was Cyberith, demonstrating their now successfully crowdfunded VR gaming mat, the Virtualizer. It pairs a second-generation Oculus Rift headset with three different sensor arrays, which, with the assistance of a low-friction mat and some “rental socks” from the Cyberith team, we got to test it out. How does it work and (most importantly) when can the rest of you play it? Well, for the latter, a commercial product is planned for launch in 2015 and for the former, we’ll let the founders do some of the explaining in a quick video after the break. We’ll fill you in on the rest.
Running while strapped into the Virtualizer takes some skill — we weren’t entirely satisfied with our zombie-like gait. That said, we didn’t realize this until we saw the video above: the team is getting the immersion part very right. To ensure you’re able to rotate around and slide-jog in any direction, the wiring for the Oculus Rift headset is attached to an arm, meaning no wire-based mishaps, and making it feel kind of wireless — even though it’s still very much tethered.
Let’s break down the sensors at work inside the Virtualizer itself: there’s six holes in the flat base plate, with optical sensors tracking your feet. As they trace over these holes, the computer does the math to work out which way you’re attempting to virtually go. These sensors also work in tandem with those found in the ring that goes around your torso, monitoring the positioning and adjusting your in-game movement to match. The clever thing about Cyberith’s gaming setup, however, is the third sensor group, inside the trio of pillars keeping that torso ring up. Inside, sensors also monitor the height of the player — and because it’s sensor based, crouching becomes less of a toggle-based function, but something that could (depending on games that choose to use it) be an analogue range of motion.
Playing a demo inside the system was, well, fun. The horror-based demo we (literally) walked through, however, didn’t entail any sort of in-game controls: movement was all done through your legs and we liked the fact that you could also walk backwards, once you got the knack of walking-jogging on the spot. Depending on the movement speed of your feet, this directly translates to the game, although turning gently while moving appears to be something that needs a little training. This particular game wasn’t compatible with virtual movement, so we couldn’t crouch while strapped into the manbaby-bouncer, but Cyberith informs that it’s working to add full support to all movements inside virtual gaming worlds — and other VR-powered projects. Although you’re strapped into the thing, it doesn’t drag or weigh you down that much, as the pillars around the ring keep it supported for you. Kickstarter shipments are scheduled to arrive in March 2015 and to see some early demos of what they’re already working on, we’d advise taking a look at the team’s crowdfunding pitch below. 180-degree mid-game jumps are the future of gaming. We hope.
Filed under: Gaming, Wearables
Inhabitat’s Week in Green: hydroelectric house, human hamster wheel and a saltwater-powered car
Salt water covers the vast majority of the Earth’s surface, making it one of the most abundant and under-appreciated resources on the planet. Taking advantage of this resource, Nanoflowcell has developed the world’s first saltwater-powered electric car! The vehicle, known as the Quant e-Sportlimousine, can accelerate from 0-62MPH in an impressive 2.8 seconds, and it just received approval for testing in Europe. In other green transportation news, designer Dominic Wilcox just unveiled a self-driving car with a bed inside — so you can catch up on sleep while you commute to work! The real kicker? It’s made from gorgeous panels of stained glass.
Meanwhile, the Arizona-based company Local Motors built the world’s first 3D-printed car at the International Manufacturing Technology Show in Chicago. The car is made up of about 40 components (far fewer than the thousands of parts that go into a typical car), and it was printed and assembled in 44 hours. And if you’ve ever dreamt of keeping up with the fastest humans in history, DARPA has created a jetpack that can help you run a four-minute mile. The jetpack contains small turbines that propel its wearer forward, and it’s intended to help soldiers who are weighed down with lots of equipment and gear, but are expected to move quickly over long distances.
Many homes these days are powered by solar panels, but few are powered by the ocean. Architect Margot Krasojević just unveiled designs for a futuristic hydroelectric house that is shaped like a spiky sea urchin. The tidal-powered home features an electromagnetic turbine system that uses neodymium magnets and copper wire coils to induce an electric current when the waves push and pull against the extruded chambers. In other clean energy news, Wildpoldsried, a Bavarian village of about 2,600 residents, produces 500 percent more energy than it needs from renewable sources. The tiny town makes a profit by selling the surplus power back to the grid. The NYC-based tech startup Volta Group has just installed its first EnGo public charging station, which powers mobile devices with a clean energy combo of kinetic tiles and solar panels in St. Louis. And speaking of photovoltaic panels, we just published a fun DIY that shows how to make your own solar power generator! The rise of wind energy is one of the biggest clean tech success stories of recent years, but animal lovers and conservationists worry that turbines are a major contributor to bird deaths. A massive study supported by the American Wind Wildlife Institute sheds some light on the situation — wind turbines account for 214,000 to 368,000 bird deaths each year, while radio and cell tower collisions kill 6.8 million and cats kill up to 3.7 billion.
Buildings account for about 40 percent of US energy consumption, but new green building techniques are looking to make a dent in that. One super-efficient passive house in Wisconsin is able to stay warm using less energy than a typical hair dryer — and that’s especially important in a part of the country where it can get as cold as 30 degrees below zero in the winter. Another way to cut down on energy use is to just build smaller. A team of Chinese students recently unveiled a 43-square-foot house that fits a bed, a kitchen, a bathroom and storage space. The house will be made from prefabricated materials and mass-produced to provide affordable housing for cash-strapped students, migrant workers or even the homeless. And to achieve maximum relaxation while spending time in the outdoors, nothing beats a tree tent. A UK-based husband-and-wife team recently unveiled a set of colorful tree tents that look like a cross between a hammock, a tepee tent and a tiny tree house. In the world of interior design, 3D printing is starting to make its mark: The German company LimeMakers just unveiled a new line of 3D-printed products at this year’s London Design Festival, including a fruit bowl, geometric lamps and vases. UK furniture designer Paul Kelley just unveiled magnetic modular furniture made from copper-clad cubes that be can reassembled in dozens of configurations. And if you think your office is a rat race, we’ve got the perfect desk for you: A giant human hamster wheel!
Moto X (2014) coming to Verizon on September 26th
The eagerly awaited next-generation Moto X will be arriving on Verizon next week, Friday 26th September, according to sources.
The leak suggests the information came straight from an internal Verizon document meaning the information is probably pretty accurate.
Along with the launch, Verizon are expected to offer the White/Bamboo version for the base price of $99 with a new contract, which is a discount of $25.
Are you awaiting the Moto X? If so, what back are you going for?
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Home Depot reportedly got warnings about its data security in 2008
Home Depot may have only recently had to cope with a massive data breach, but it reportedly knew that it had to step up its computer security much, much earlier. The New York Times claims that there had been calls for tougher safeguards as far back as 2008, and that the big-box store has been lax about protecting its network for “years” despite plenty of warnings from its security team. It didn’t watch for unusual activity, infrequently scanned for weak points and ran antivirus tools from 2007. Even a network manager hired in 2012 went to prison this year for disabling systems at his previous job — not something Home Depot would have necessarily known about at the time, but still a problem.
For its part, the retailer says it’s running “robust security systems” and has closed off attack avenues by both encrypting its cash registers and embracing chip-based payments. It’s also reportedly meeting credit card standards that let it safely skip certain vulnerability scans. The network updates should help prevent any future data disasters, but the real question is whether or not Home Depot will do more to thwart hackers in the future. If it simply repeats history and doesn’t adapt to new threats, your payment info could still be at risk.
[Image credit: Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images]
Via: The Verge
Source: New York Times
Peugeot’s new hybrid concept is half SUV, half sports car
If you had any lingering concerns that hybrid cars were boring, Peugeot just smashed them to bits. Its new Quartz crossover concept blends the muscular, offroad-ready profile of a small SUV with green powerplants and aerodynamics that could give better hybrid sports cars a run for their money. The 270HP turbo gas engine is nothing special, but it’s mated to two 114HP electric motors that either give you a heap of extra performance or else move the vehicle by themselves. Peugeot reckons that you’d get 31 miles of purely electric driving — that’s not spectacular, but it’s solid for an all-purpose ride that’s equally at home on gravel roads and racetracks. The French automaker isn’t giving any hints that the Quartz will reach production, so don’t expect to get the keys to this exact machine any time soon, if ever. If nothing else, though, the concept is proof that you don’t have to give up speed or flexibility when you’re getting an eco-friendly car.
Filed under: Transportation
Instapaper Updated for iOS 8 With Enhanced Saving Features, Now Free to Download [iOS Blog]
Popular read-it-later app Instapaper today received a significant update for iOS 8, bringing a redesigned user interface, enhanced saving capabilities, and deeper integration with notifications. The app is also now available for free, as users also have the option to pay for premium features.
Users can now save content to Instapaper from any application that supports iOS’ built-in share functionality by way of a new app extension. The app also includes text-to-speech functionality, and curates saved articles in iOS 8’s Notification Center on a daily basis. A $2.99 per month or $29.99 per year subscription to Instapaper Premium unlocks a number of other features, including full-text search, unlimited highlighting in articles, and text-to-speech playlists.
Instapaper is a free app for iOS devices and can be downloaded from the App Store. [Direct Link]
Microsoft will double your free OneDrive storage if you auto-upload photos
Microsoft has been rather generous with free OneDrive storage lately, and that doesn’t seem to be changing anytime soon. Now Redmond is bumping the previous gratis 15GB up by 100 percent, to 30GB. What’s the catch? There isn’t much of one, really. All Redmond says you have to do (regardless of if you’re a new user or seasoned veteran) is activate auto-upload on your device of choice’s camera roll between now and the end of the month — even on a Windows PC. Seems simple enough. The announcement focuses on the storage woes that’ve been associated with upgrading to iOS 8, and given the iPhone 6 Plus‘ fancy video tricks like HD time-lapse capture we’d imagine the off-device storage should come in pretty handy.
Filed under: Cellphones, Desktops, Storage, Internet, Mobile, Microsoft
Source: The OneDrive Blog