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6
Oct

HTC tweets teaser for October 8 event


Screen Shot 2014-10-06 at 20.54.51

We might not have to wait to see HTC’s GoPro competitor as the company have just tweeted a teaser for an event on October 8th.

Quite possibly focused on the Desire Eye, HTC tweeted out the following:

Of course, it could also be the Nexus 9, but I wouldn’t want to speculate…

AndroidGuys will be live on the ground to bring you the latest coverage from the HTC event on the 8th October.


Deals, Discounts, Freebies, and More! Click here to save today!

The post HTC tweets teaser for October 8 event appeared first on AndroidGuys.

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6
Oct

Detailed iPad Air 2 Claims Likely Based on Circulating Rumors, Not Genuine Leaked Information


Apple is expected to hold an event on Thursday, October 16, where it will unveil the second-generation iPad Air, Retina iMacs, and OS X Yosemite. Ahead of that event, The Michael Report claims to have acquired “pictures and illustrations” of the iPad Air 2 from “sources within Apple,” although it has opted not to share such evidence publicly.

While the site goes into significant detail about the iPad Air 2, it appears to be largely aggregating existing rumors about the device, adding little new information. Overall, the site claims the iPad Air 2 will have a slightly thinner body, something that has been claimed in previous reports and perhaps enabled by a new integrated display, as shown in early part leaks from April.

Along with its display prediction, The Michael Report details several minor design changes that have previously been seen in an iPad Air 2 dummy unit, which MacRumors also has had on hand for several months, suggesting the site may be basing much of its information off of a replica device rather than actual information.

For example, the site suggests that the second-generation iPad Air 2 will do away with the mute switch to “achieve [a] thinner profile,” but that is likely an erroneous conclusion based on the unfinished design of the circulating dummy units rather than a legitimate leak as claimed by the site. On the iPad Air 2 dummy units, there is indeed a hole where the mute switch would normally be located. The Michael Report suggests this may be a microphone, but more likely, it is a pilot hole marking the location for the mute switch. Similar pilot holes have been seen for larger physical features such as SIM card trays in other dummy units and unfinished prototypes.

ipadair2dummymuteRecessed volume buttons and pilot hole for mute switch from MacRumors’ dummy unit

The mute/vibration switch is completely gone in the new redesign, with sources from within Apple telling us that it was a necessary move to achieve the thinner profile of the new tablets. […]

The microphones on the iPad Air 2 have been relocated from the top of the iPad Air (where it currently is; within the antenna band) to next to the back camera modules. One of them is to the right of the camera module, the other is to the left — on the sides of the iPad Air.

Other predictions from The Michael Report include recessed volume buttons, a redesigned speaker grille, and a microphone hole relocated near the rear camera, all design elements that have been previously seen in the iPad Air 2 mockups. When examining the dummy device, MacRumors did notice that the recessed volume buttons and hole for the mute switch had been moved higher on the device than on the original iPad Air, nearly in line with the rear camera. The reason for this design change is unclear.

Echoing other previous rumors, the site’s predictions include an upgraded A8 processor, an 8-megapixel camera, support for Touch ID and Apple Pay, and 2 GB of RAM, which has not been confirmed but is a rumored upgrade to support split-screen multitasking.

Many of The Michael Report‘s predictions are based on previous rumors and are likely to be accurate, but some of the more unsubstantiated claims, like 2 GB of RAM and the lack of a mute switch are somewhat more nebulous.

ipad_air_touch_id_mockup_2Another image of the iPad Air 2 mockup with Touch ID
Ahead of the launch of the iPhone 6, The Michael Report came out with a similar roundup that it claimed was based on contact with Apple employees, but several of the predictions (seemingly based on rumors circulating at the time) turned out to be wrong, including “a waterproof and dust-proof enhanced sapphire glass screen” and an “iPhone 6L” nomenclature, among other things.

Apple is expected to unveil its second-generation iPad Air on October 16, and it is possible the second-generation Retina iPad mini with support for Touch ID will also debut at that event. Apple is also expected to unveil Retina iMacs and provide a final look at OS X Yosemite before its public launch.




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6
Oct

1Password Updated With iPhone 6 and 6 Plus Support, Improved Touch ID Functionality [iOS Blog]


AgileBits today updated its 1Password app for iOS to version 5.1, adding support for the larger-screened iPhone 6 and the iPhone 6 Plus. With native support for the two new devices, the app is no longer zoomed in and is now able to display more information on the screen.

Along with built-in support for the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus, 1Password has also been updated with improved Touch ID and PIN functionality. Before the update, it was unclear why the Master Password would often be requested when Touch ID integration was enabled, but the Auto-Lock settings have now been retuned to remove confusion.

1passwordupdate1Password on iPhone 6 Plus Before 5.1 update on left, after 5.1 update on right
The app has gained a new setting that allows users to disable third-party keyboards within 1Password to keep passwords more secure, and several bug fixes have been implemented.

– The iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus are out. Were you one of the lucky millions who got one already? 1Password 5.1 has been updated to give you a beautiful experience on these new devices with 3x images and improved rich icons.

– Touch ID and the PIN Code have been significantly improved. The Auto-Lock timeout will now function across both the Master Password and Touch ID/PIN Code, removing the confusion the separate settings caused. The iOS Keychain will be used to store the Master Password when Touch ID/PIN Code is enabled, allowing Touch ID/PIN Code to be used reliably in the 1Password Extension. Configure what works best for you in Settings->Security.

– Tag you’re it. You can now add brand new tags to your items.

– Customer keyboard preference. Choose to enable or disable 3rd party custom keyboards within the Advanced Settings.

– Many fixes for the most popular issues and crashes

1Password can be downloaded from the App Store for free, with the app’s full functionality unlockable through a $9.99 in-app purchase. [Direct Link]




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6
Oct

Walter Isaacson’s ‘The Innovators’ Charts the History of Computing and the Internet


the_innovators_coverMore than a decade ago, Walter Isaacson began working on a book to highlight the history of computers and the Internet, but the project was sidelined in early 2009 when he took on the task of writing Steve Jobs’ authorized biography. That book, which debuted just weeks after Jobs’ death in October 2011, topped best seller charts and revealed a number of interesting details about Jobs and Apple.

Following the publication of Steve Jobs, Isaacson returned to his earlier project of documenting the history of computing, and that work debuts tomorrow as The Innovators: How a Group of Hackers, Geniuses, and Geeks Created the Digital Revolution. While Apple and Jobs play relatively minor roles in the book, overall it offers an interesting look at how computers and the Internet developed into what they are today.

Isaacson breaks his book into nearly a dozen different sections, highlighting a number of advancements along the way. It begins with Ada Lovelace and Charles Babbage outlining their thoughts on a mechanical “Analytical Engine” in the 1830s and 1840s before jumping ahead nearly 100 years to Vannevar Bush and Alan Turing and their visions for the earliest computers that would follow soon after. Further sections address advances in programming, transistors, microchips, video games, and the early Internet before broaching the topics of the modern personal computer and the World Wide Web.

Throughout the book, Isaacson focuses on the importance of teamwork rather than individual genius in the development of computers, frequently involving contrasting but complementary personalities of visionaries, technical experts, and managers. Popular examples include Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak at Apple, or Bob Noyce, Gordon Moore, and Andy Grove at Intel, but the observation extends further as time and time again teams have been responsible for many of the biggest innovations.

Innovation comes from teams more often than from the lightbulb moments of lone geniuses. This was true of every era of creative ferment. […] But to an even greater extent, this has been true of the digital age. As brilliant as the many inventors of the Internet and computer were, they achieved most of their advances through teamwork.

Isaacson also emphasizes the importance of building on previous discoveries, including collaboration both within and between generations of scientists. A number of characters in the book appear at multiple stages, often first as innovators themselves and later helping to foster discoveries by the next generation.

Other observations include the various roles of government, academia, and business in the development of computing and how they frequently came together, particularly in the early days, to lead advancements. Isaacson also uses several cases to argue that innovation works best when different business models compete against each other, particularly in software development as with Apple’s integrated systems vying with Microsoft’s unbundled model while the free and open-source approach maintained its position in the market.

Each model had its advantages, each had its incentives for creativity, and each had its prophets and disciples. But the approach that worked best was having all three models coexisting, along with various combinations of open and closed, bundled and unbundled, proprietary and free. Windows and Mac, UNIX and Linux, iOS and Android: a variety of approaches competed over the decades, spurring each other on — and providing a check against any one model becoming so dominant that it stifled innovation.

Packing the entire history of computing into 500 pages leaves some topics feeling brief or left out altogether, but Isaacson’s book gives an interesting overview for those who may not be familiar with the technical advances stretching back decades that have given rise to the current state of the art. Focusing more on the people and relationships than the technical details, it offers some insight into how breakthroughs have been made and how some innovators have gained fame and fortune while others slipped into near obscurity.




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6
Oct

Exploring modern Paris to find the roots of Assassin’s Creed Unity


The French Revolution! The only part of history class you didn’t sleep through, thanks to the drama, intrigue and of course, Reign of Terror. Paris circa 1790 is undoubtedly the star of Unity, Ubisoft’s next Assassin’s Creed chapter. Sure, the game looks damn nice and brings new gameplay elements like four-player “Brotherhood” co-op missions, murder mysteries, heists and so on. But Ubisoft did extensive research on the period to bring historically accurate details of iconic spots like the catacombs, Notre Dame Cathedral and even the Bastille, which was destroyed over 300 years ago. To show how far it went, the French game company gave us an inside look on the art direction, level design and more, topping it off with a tour of the centerpiece — Paris. To see if it succeeded, read on.

Unlike past Assassin’s Creed (AC) chapters, Ubisoft told me that it aimed for real-world scale to enhance detail in the core section of the game. About a quarter of the buildings are playable, with about a fifth of those containing mission content. In other words, there’s a lot of space to just wander around revolutionary Paris and skip busywork mission tasks, if that’s your thing.

Given the open-world ambitions, Unity‘s designers made its version of Paris a compelling place to hang out. They aimed for historically accurate housing styles, interiors designs, textures and atmospheric elements like smoke and mist. At the same time, the team didn’t want to get bogged down in minutiae and took artistic license when needed to add drama and style.

Another new aspect of the game is seamless interior transitions. Rather than an awkward loading “ellipse” between indoor, underground and outdoor scenes, Unity players will be able to directly enter and exit buildings with little to no break in play. The idea is to encourage exploration while making missions move along briskly. In addition, you can look into and out of windows for another dose of realism.

During the Paris tour, Ubisoft stopped and compared gameplay video on a tablet to real life monuments. Many of the 3D landmarks are dramatically similar to the real deal, with the added touch of grit and atmosphere from 1790s Paris. For instance, Notre Dame (top image) is a drop-dead match to its real life doppleganger. But Ubisoft’s historians learned that the Cathedral was used for stocking arms and livestock during the revolution — so the interior is loaded with weaponry and cows.

History buffs might also appreciate Unity‘s take on the Bastille, the building that sparked the revolution when it was destroyed by an angry crowd in 1789. All that’s left now are a few bricks at the Bastille metro and a monument at Place de la Bastille (above, right). However, the designers took advantage of numerous plans on the historical record to generate a highly believable version of the ominous, hulking fortress (at left).

Other highlights include the Louvre, Hotel de Ville (city hall), le Marais district and Place de la Concorde — the spot where King Louis XVI was guillotined. All those sites look like the were faithfully executed, which begs the question: what if you don’t even want to bother with the gameplay? We could see folks whiling hours away just ducking into all the buildings or taking a tour of one of the three different underground levels. It might be a nice break from the violence, anyway — and art direction aside, the game looks like it has the bloodshed part part of the revolution, in spades. For (many) more pics, check out the gallery above, or the Unity gameplay video below.

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6
Oct

At last, phones will get ultrasound gesture control in first half of 2015


We’ve been following Elliptic Labs’ development on ultrasound gesture control for quite a while, but no time frame was ever given until now. Ahead of CEATEC in Tokyo, the company finally announced that its input technology — developed in partnership with Murata — will be arriving on phones in the first half of 2015. But that’s not the only good news: On top of the usual swiping gestures for images, games and navigation (we saw some of this last year), there’s now a new capability called “multi layer interaction,” which uses your hand’s proximity to toggle different actions or layers. It’s potentially useful for glancing at different types of messages on the lock screen, as demoed in the video after the break.

Compared to its optical counterparts, this ultrasound solution is more convenient for everyday use, as it has a 180-degree active area around the entire face of the device. The others need your hand to be positioned in front of a camera or a dot sensor, which can be easily missed if you’re not waving carefully; though in their defence, the laser-based gesture cameras capture more detail, which is useful for other applications like 3D scanning plus precise point-and-click. At the end of the day, it’s all about who can perfect the basic user experience, so stay tuned as we hit the show floor tomorrow to see if this is as good as it claims to be.

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6
Oct

Tesla could soon start selling its own used cars


The second-hand business for most consumer products, including automobiles, is constantly booming. It doesn’t matter if you go through the actual manufacturer or websites like Craigslist and Ebay, the marketplace certainly exists. Knowing this, it looks as if Tesla is prepared to offer more than just a brand new, hot-off-the-press option on its vehicles — something that’s typical among car manufacturers. According to Automobile News, Elon Musk & Co. are already working on a plan to sell the Model S used in the near future, as a way to compete against OEMs with similar alternatives in place.

Tesla’s Certified Previously Owned initiative has reportedly been confirmed by Simon Sproule, the company’s vice president of communications, who said, “With the Model S fleet now heading toward the first cars hitting three years old, we are looking at CPO and how to best structure.” The plan, per the report, would begin in the spring of 2016, right when Model S early adopters are scheduled to qualify for the Tesla buyback guarantee program.

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Via: Business Insider

Source: Automotive News

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6
Oct

Plex brings it media streaming magic to Xbox


Plex has more than its share of fans thanks to its powerful and versatile streaming media capabilities. If you’ve got a video file (regardless of how you obtained it) there’s a good chance Plex can play it. And play it anywhere — on your Roku, on your tablet, you smartphone, and now on your Xbox. Starting tomorrow Plex Pass subscribers will be able to pull up their Plex library on their Xbox One. And soon enough Xbox 360 compatibility will be added as well. If you’re not a subscriber you’ll be able to buy the Xbox apps for a one time fee (how much remains to be seen, but probably around $4.99) after the preview period ends. This is also the first time that Plex has been available on a game console, at least as a native app. You could pull in video to your Xbox over DLNA, but this is much easier and cleaner. And yes, you can control your library with voice controls or gestures thanks to Kinect support.

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Source: Plex

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6
Oct

The first ‘Smash Bros.’ in six years is available now, and you should play it


Smash Bros.-themed 3DS XL

There is a new Smash Bros. game, and it’s available as of last Friday. You know when the last game, Super Smash Bros. Brawl, was released? In 2008! Six years ago! So today is a pretty exciting day, at least for me. Hi, I’m Ben Gilbert, and I’ve been playing Smash Bros. with far too much sincerity for 15+ years. The new Smash Bros. for 3DS, however? I’ve only been playing that for about two weeks. The reviews are out! Our sister site Joystiq is pretty into it. I am also way into it, and I want to tell you why.

Look, we don’t do this — whatever “this” is — at Engadget very often (ever?). In leading our game coverage, I’ve intentionally skipped previews, reviews and other standards of game coverage; our sister site Joystiq does a great job with that, and only so many of you want to know about the minutia of every video game. I’m making an exception for Smash Bros., mostly for selfish reasons: I desperately want to talk about the best game Nintendo’s released this year.

WHAT IS IT?

Don’t know what Smash Bros. is? Here’s the launch trailer for Super Smash Bros. for 3DS:

Smash Bros. is a Nintendo-made fighting game starring everyone’s favorite game characters. The cast ranges from Mario to Mega Man, and even includes recent cult classics like Xenoblade‘s Shulk. The latest game has “over 40″ characters in total: the rest of the experience is tailored around supporting and extending the nostalgia conjured by those dozens of characters.

If nothing else, Smash Bros. is a trip down gaming history’s memory lane. No other game allows you to pit Sonic the Hedgehog against Pac-Man, on a stage based on Pikmin, while deploying Pokémon balls as weapons. You know how mash-up artists take hit songs and turn them into something new? Smash Bros. is that, but with video games, and it’s made by the company that created most of those games.

Rather than mashing up the gameplay systems from those various games, though, Smash Bros. takes the characters, their characteristics, and some of their game worlds, and brings them into a 2D, four-player fighting game. Players take those characters into one of many game-themed arenas and fight until time or lives run out.

Here’s where things get a little weird: rather than a life meter, Smash Bros. relies on a percentage meter. The higher your percentage, the more likely your character is to be knocked out of the ring. If your character is knocked out of the ring, you either lose a point or a life. Here’s a video that helps to explain:

Like much of Nintendo’s best work, Smash Bros. is blessedly simple: there is one set of moves that applies to every character in the game. The challenge isn’t in memorizing move lists, but in applying one set of basic controls across a vast swath of variables: which character you’re fighting, the items on-screen, and how much more your character can take before being knocked out (among many other things). It is simple to understand, challenging to master.

MORE THAN WARM MEMORIES

Smash Bros. for 3DS is the richest addition to the franchise’s history in over 10 years. It’s a game focused intently on catering to both casual Mario fans and tattooed Nintendo hyper-loyalists. One mode allows you to quite literally fight your way through gaming history, era by era. You start by battling Mario and Donkey Kong, and end up facing off with Wii Fit‘s demo trainer. Yes, really. It’s a game where you’re just as likely to see Brain Training‘s Dr. Kawashima referenced as you are to see Super Mario Bros.‘s iconic goombas.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Beyond the initial hook of nostalgia, enthralling as it is, lies a game of immense complexity. Smash Bros. is a game of variables, and knowledge of those variables makes a huge difference in how you play the game.

If you’re new to the series, the bare bones variables are all you need to know: which buttons do what actions. It’s entirely possible to have a great time playing Smash Bros. with a base level knowledge about its many, many systems.

Perhaps you play as Starfox‘s Fox McCloud, and you enjoy firing lasers at your friends as they engage in hand-to-hand combat. Plenty of fun to be had there! But maybe a Pokémon ball lands next to you — one of the random items that drops mid-battle — and you decide to pick it up. You throw it in the general direction of your friends, and a massive Snorlax erupts, sending your friends sky high and netting you two knockouts. Now you know a new variable!

Smash Bros.’s greatest asset — beyond the all-star cast and rich library of worlds to draw from — is its fighting system. It’s no surprise that in tournaments Smash Bros. is played with all items turned off, primarily in an arena known as “Final Destination”: a flat plane. That’s because, though there are only two action buttons and jump, each character is highly nuanced in battle. More than simply replicate reminiscent actions from their respective games, each fighter has a wide variety of moves that are tuned to precision.

Yes, Mega Man has his traditional blaster and Link carries the Master Sword, but it’s what you do with those weapons that makes playing Smash Bros. so fun. For instance, learning which moves have “priority” over your foes is just one of dozens of systems underlying the games’ combat. “Priority” is knowing that your strike is going to beat out your opponent’s strike — if you nail the timing, that is — and it’s that stuff that hooks longtime players like myself.

FRESH CLASSICS

Smash Bros. on 3DS is a game you should play. There! I said it! Did you grow up with video games? Then you should play it. Don’t like fighting games? That’s okay! It’s still a ton of fun, and there’s plenty of stuff to do that isn’t fighting.

Simply put, Smash Bros. on 3DS is the best game Nintendo’s released this year (and that’s saying a lot considering how good Mario Kart 8 is!). It’s the best Smash Bros. game since the last best entry, Super Smash Bros. Melee.

No, it’s not the full console game we’re all waiting for on Wii U (where is that, Nintendo?). And yes, your hands do occasionally get cramped from playing a fighting game on a handheld console (even the 3DS XL). And yeah, the online still isn’t where it should be (nowhere near as good as Mario Kart 8, anyway). Despite all that, Smash Bros. for 3DS is a fresh addition to the franchise, an excellent game, and an easy suggestion to both newcomers and longtime fans. It is the full console Smash Bros. we’ve all been waiting for, only it’s available on your 3DS right now.

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6
Oct

‘Twin Peaks’ returns in 2016 after 25-year hiatus


Ready for a slice of pie and a cup of damn fine coffee? Twin Peaks creators David Lynch and Mark Frost sure are, as they’re reviving the show for a third season that’s due to air on Showtime in 2016. The duo announced as much via Twitter with a characteristically-vague trailer (see it below). In it, Laura Palmer stands in the red room, stares into the camera, and snaps her fingers. Sure! At least someone isn’t speaking backwards, right?

Variety says it isn’t a remake of the original series, but rather a modern day continuation of storylines from the second season. Lynch is signed on to direct the entire season, which is said to be nine episodes. And no, there’s no word yet if Detective Dale Cooper (Kyle McLachlan) is returning, but when handed such pleasant news, it seems wrong to immediately demand more. As Coop put it, “Every day, once a day, give yourself a present.” We’ve already indulged.

[Image credit: Showtime]

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Source: Showtime

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