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27
Sep

Yahoo’s old web directory still exists, but not for long


Way before Yahoo launched Search, it offered people from a different era a more primitive way to find websites: a web directory. While the advent of sophisticated search engines likely means you haven’t seen that directory in a decade or so (confession: we didn’t even realize it was still around), it apparently still exists… though not for long. Yahoo has just announced that it’s finally shutting down the service on December 31st, 2014, 20 years after company founders Jerry Yang and David Filo first put it together. For the young ‘uns who’ve never had to use it, the Yahoo Directory is exactly what it sounds like: a directory of websites you can browse to find the info you’re looking for, something we clearly don’t need anymore. Let us have a moment of silence as this relic of the early internet bids farewell and (along with Yahoo Education and short movie creation service Qwiki) joins the 60 other services Yahoo has recently killed in an effort to find its focus.

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Source: Yahoo

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27
Sep

Sony is shutting down PlayStation Home in North America, too


It was only a matter of time. When word came down that Sony was shuttering the PlayStation 3 virtual space, PlayStation Home, in Japan earlier this year, the service’s domestic days were likely numbered as well. Citing a “shifting landscape” as the cause (and likely no public outcry that the oft-laggy environment was missing from the PlayStation 4), senior community manager Paul Sullivan writes on the PS Blog that the last day to run around the hub will be March 31st of next year. Don’t start fretting just yet, however, as the electronics giant plans to release new downloadable content for the quasi-Second-Life experience ahead of that. Perhaps it’s time to do a mournful diva dance in your virtual domicile to commemorate this event. A bit rusty with the proper moves? Check the video after the jump for some inspiration, then.

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Via: Gamasutra

Source: PlayStation Blog

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27
Sep

Recommended Reading: André 3000 chats ‘Jimi: All Is by My Side’


Recommended Reading highlights the best long-form writing on technology and more in print and on the web. Some weeks, you’ll also find short reviews of books that we think are worth your time. We hope you enjoy the read.

2014 Osheaga Music And Arts Festival - Day 1

Billboard Cover: Andre 3000 Talks Playing Jimi Hendrix, His Seven-Year Disappearing Act and Outkast’s Future
by Lang Whitaker,
Billboard

It has been an eventful for year for André Benjamin. Perhaps better known as half of the hip-hop duo Outkast, Benjamin — or André 3000 — rejoined Big Boi on a globe-trotting festival tour this year for the pair’s 20th anniversary performances. If that weren’t enough, Jimi: All Is by My Side, the film where he stars as Jimi Hendrix, is set to hit theaters this weekend. The artist and actor opened up to Billboard on the role, life and rumored new album.

Ex-Employees Say Home Depot Left Data Vulnerable
by Julie Creswell and Nicole Perlroth, The New York Times

Last week, Home Depot revealed that details of 56 million customer credit cards were compromised in a massive data breach. That’s even larger than Target’s woes last year. As it turns out, the chain was easy game.

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The Evolution of Flying Lotus
by Joe Zadeh
, Noisey

If you don’t immediately recognize the name Flying Lotus, you’ve likely heard some his work. The great-nephew of John Coltrane has a list of collaborators that includes the likes of Kendrick Lamar, Thom Yorke, Erykah Badu, Herbie Hancock and many more.

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Project Titan: A Brief History of a Game that Doesn’t Exist
by Mike Foster, Joystiq

With the official word from Blizzard that its Titan MMO had been canceled coming this week, now’s a good time to revisit Joystiq’s piece from last year detailing the project.

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iPhone 6 Plus Camera Review: Iceland
by Austin Mann

Pro travel photographer Austin Mann trekked through Iceland for a few days to put the new iPhone camera features through their paces. Mann’s findings were part of a feature for The Verge, but he further detailed the trip on his own website.

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[Photo credit: Mark Horton/WireImage]

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27
Sep

MIT’s underwater robot can sniff out contraband hidden underneath ships


That object above might look like a benign, slightly deformed bowling ball, but it’s actually something far more advanced. It’s an aquatic robot designed by a couple of MIT researchers, which can surreptitiously inspect the hulls and propeller shafts of ships at port to bust anyone trying to smuggle contraband. The device is perfect for the job, not only because it’s small, but also because it doesn’t leave visible bubble trails as it moves underwater. Also, its propulsion system’s housed within the permeable half of the device itself, so it can potentially hide in clumps of algae to avoid being spotted without getting itself tangled when it starts up. The other half is watertight and houses its circuits, batteries, antenna and other electrical components.

Its creators, graduate student Sampriti Bhattacharyya and Ford Professor of Engineering Harry Asada, recently presented it at the 2014 IEEE/International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems. Bhattacharyya says that if he manages to get this device out for around only $600 each, port authorities could get a whole fleet to do collaborative inspection. The duo used a 3D printer to make the device’s main components, but in order to offer the device at that price point, their mass production process needs to be low-cost, as well. Right now, though, the two are focused on making a second prototype with wireless charging capabilities, longer battery life and the ability to perform ultrascans on ships without having to touch their barnacle-encrusted hulls.

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Source: MIT

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27
Sep

Bid adieu to ‘Airplane Mode’ on European airlines


Settings: Airplane Mode Activated

Want to continue that scintillating game of Words with Friends throughout the entire flight? Well, that might soon be a possibility if you’re flying in European airspace. Late last year, the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) had decided to permit personal electronics like smartphones and tablets to remain on during takeoff and landing as long as it was in “Airplane Mode.” Now, even that restriction has been lifted. Yep, the EASA has deemed “Airplane Mode” no longer necessary, thus allowing for true “gate-to-gate” electronics use. Of course, even if the EASA permits it, each airline will still have to take an assessment test to make sure it won’t negatively affect aircraft communications. Turning off Airplane Mode is still a no-no for US flights, though most airlines do let you use your gadgets during takeoff and landing thanks to last year’s FAA ruling. Maybe if Airplane Mode becomes unnecessary some day, we’ll rename it to something that makes more sense, like “The Mode that Doesn’t Suck Up All Your Battery.”

[Image credit: pouwerkerk/Flickr]

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Via: Business Insider

Source: EASA

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27
Sep

Cheero Energy Plus 12000mAh Review: a very solid package which you can get for ridiculously cheap right now



Cheero Energy Plus 12000mAh ReviewThere are an almost limitless number of portable battery chargers out there at the moment, with various shapes, sizes, and capacities. So when one comes up with a ridiculous price tag, we just had to take a look. We’ll be taking a look at the Cheero Energy Plus 12000mAh today – you may recognize the brand cheero after our last video review of their Danboard themed battery packs (check out that review here). This time we have a much more ‘normal’ battery pack, but much of the same solid design and value for money we’ve come to expect from cheero. Check out our video review of it below:

 As you can see, a very decent package with a very attractive price tag – yes, that was $29.49 USD in case you missed it. Before we go on to giving you the links on where to get one, I just wanted to briefly mention the performance of the Energy Plus when it comes to real world recharging. In my brief tests using the Battery Monitor Widget app as my tool on my Galaxy Note 2, I found that the peak charge rate of the battery pack was around 75% per hour, although you can probably expect closer to 50% per hour – this equates to about 1,550mAh/hr given my battery capacity of 3,100mAh.


Cheero Energy Plus 12000mAh Review Cheero Energy Plus 12000mAh ReviewThe charging abilities of the Energy Plus are pretty much the normal, and at 12,000mAh, you can expect to charge a few devices more than a few times before needing to charge up again. And that’s when you factor in the price of $29.49 USD again. While you can get other battery packs with similar amounts of capacity for a similar price, I doubt many will offer the quality of the cheero Energy Plus, so if you’re interested in picking one up, cheero is only offering this price to the first 3,000 customers, with 1,000 confirmed to have been sold already. Visit http://www.cheero.net/usa/lp/ep12000/ to purchase, or hit the Amazon link provided below.

http://ws-na.amazon-adsystem.com/widgets/q?ServiceVersion=20070822&Operation=GetAdHtml&ID=OneJS&OneJS=1&source=ac&ref=tf_til&ad_type=product_link&tracking_id=wwwandcom-20&marketplace=amazon&region=US&placement=B00LAEBJNM&asins=B00LAEBJNM&show_border=true&link_opens_in_new_window=true&MarketPlace=USWhat do you think about the cheero Energy Plus 12000mAh battery pack? Let us know your opinion.


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The post Cheero Energy Plus 12000mAh Review: a very solid package which you can get for ridiculously cheap right now appeared first on AndroidSPIN.

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27
Sep

Snakebot and quadcopter combo makes for a go-anywhere rescue drone


Everyone has different ideas on what the perfect search-and-rescue robot is, and for a University of Pennsylvania Mod Lab team, it comes in the form of a snake drone-quadcopter chimera. The Hybrid Exploration Robot for Air and Land Deployment or H.E.R.A.L.D. is composed of two snake-like machines that attach via magnets to a UAV. After being carried to the site by the quadcopter, the snake bots can detach themselves, slip through the holes and cracks of a collapsed building, for instance, and slither to their destination. The researchers have been working on H.E.R.A.L.D. since 2013, but now that all its components can properly merge and work together like the robots in Power Rangers, they presented it at the 2014 IEEE/RSJ International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems. You can watch the machine ace the tests its creators put it through in the vid after the break, including a part where a researcher used an Xbox controller to navigate a snakebot through a pipe.

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Source: University of Pennsylvania, Science News, PopSci

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27
Sep

Unbox Therapy sets the record straight by bending iPhone 6 Plus and tries a Moto X 2014 to compare



moto x 2014If you have been following tech news this week, you might have heard about ‘Bendgate’ which is the alleged weakness of the newly released iPhone 6 Plus to resist fairly ordinary handling and bend quite severely. And not that good type of bending demonstrated by the LG G Flex; this looks to be a design flaw in the iPhone 6 Plus and looks like it will undermine Apple’s first attempt at a phablet device. The Apple faithful have been putting on a brave face and claiming that this is either untrue or those who have been testing it have been using excessive force. YouTuber Unbox Therapy has gone on record today to prove exactly how easy this bending occurs, and promptly tries to bend the new Moto X 2014 to show exactly how a normal phone should work.

Suffice to say that Apple probably needs to go back to the drawing board and try again. Quite a contrast to the Moto X 2014, which held its own in this brief test, and yet another feather in Motorola’s cap for making another robust device. The Moto X 2014, which was announced during IFA 2014 just a few weeks ago, combines much of the latest tech available to smartphones including a 5.2-inch display powered by a Snapdragon 801 processor. While that might not be the absolute newest processor available, the original Moto X proved Motorola can do a lot with a supposedly “underpowered” processor, let alone one of the best available. We can’t wait to see more of them in action.


What do you think about the Moto X 2014 and this whole ‘Bendgate’ ordeal? Let us know your thoughts.

Source: YouTube


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The post Unbox Therapy sets the record straight by bending iPhone 6 Plus and tries a Moto X 2014 to compare appeared first on AndroidSPIN.

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27
Sep

Science! New research in nanotechnology could mean more efficient, clearer LED screens on smartphones



nanotechnology

Image credit: Wikipedia

I don’t know terribly much about LED lights, but enough to know that they are quite a lot more efficient that conventional lighting, hence why household and personal lighting has largely adopted it as well as portable devices, most notably smartphones. LED screens are all the rage now, but apparently even they are quite inefficient themselves – light that is emitted by the diode can potentially get trapped within the LED’s structure, causing not only wasted energy but creates heat within, reducing its overall lifespan. Thankfully though, some nanotechnology researchers at Princeton University have used their know-how and created a new nanoscale structure which can allegedly increase the brightness and efficiency of LEDs by 58 percent.

The research also shows that with this improvement in brightness and efficiency comes a 400% increase in picture clarity, courtesy of some manipulation of light at a level only nanotechnology has enabled us to use. It’s pretty incredible stuff and you can read their full findings here if you’re particularly interested. But for the rest of us, what tangible differences could this potentially have for our smartphones? Increased battery life is probably going to be a big consequence of this, as will general screen clarity if these findings are true – who needs 2K displays anyway? – and perhaps most importantly, these new methods could potentially make smartphone screens cheaper, and presumably, smartphones cheaper as well.


What do you think about clearer, cheaper, more efficient smartphone screens? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.

Source: Phys.org via Phone Arena


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The post Science! New research in nanotechnology could mean more efficient, clearer LED screens on smartphones appeared first on AndroidSPIN.

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27
Sep

Consumer Reports weighs in on iPhone 6 bending


As much as Apple would like for this discussion to be over, controversy and conversation over whether the iPhone 6 / 6 Plus has a durability problem is continuing. Just as it tested out antenna reception for the iPhone 4, Consumer Reports has forced Apple’s newest mobile devices into its torture testing chambers, measuring them along with several other devices to see how much pressure they can really take. You can see the tests for yourself in a video embedded after the break, but according to CR, the larger iPhone 6 Plus is actually stronger than its counterpart, only deforming under 90 pounds of pressure, more than the 70 it took to bend the standard iPhone 6 and HTC One (M8). Meanwhile, Unbox Therapy gave a brand new iPhone 6 Plus another go in its less-scientific test, and bent it once again, while a Moto X withstood the challenge.

[Image credit: Consumer Reports]

The toughest phone in the test proved to be the Galaxy Note 3, which didn’t deform or suffer case separation until it hit 150 lbs of pressure. According to Consumer Reports, one of Apple’s tests uses a similar machine and method but only goes up to 55 lbs, about the pressure it says is needed to break three pencils. Ultimately, it gauged all of the phones capable of withstanding normal usage, but go ahead and press play if you need some more convincing.

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Source: Consumer Reports, Unbox Therapy (YouTube)

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