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19
Oct

[APK Download] Play Games gets the Material Design treatment


 

google_play_games_material_design_update

A fair amount of updates are expected over the coming weeks as Android 5.0 Lollipop revamps the recommended design for applications. Of course, Google leads the way by updating its stock apps first. Here we have Play Games getting an update that brings the brand new Material Design look. When Google rolls out updates to its apps, it can take a very long time for it to reach everyone; therefore, you can go ahead and grab the file and do take care of everything yourself. That way you can enjoy the new flatter, more animated look of Play Games as quickly as possible.

Source: AndroidSPIN [APK Download Link]

Come comment on this article: [APK Download] Play Games gets the Material Design treatment

19
Oct

Lollipop’s keyboard can now be installed on any Android device without root


Android-5.0-Lollipop

If you’re hankering for a taste of Android L but don’t have a Nexus device to install the SDK on, you can check out its awesome new keyboard, which is now available for almost any Android-powered device running Ice Cream Sandwich or later.

A third-party developer has extracted the keyboard APK from an official Android L developer preview build and made it available to download from a secure file sharing website. It’s free, has no ads, and does not require root access.

Hit the break for the download link and instructions on how to install the file on your smartphone/tablet.

Installing the keyboard is easy. Simply navigate to this page, tap the download button and click install when you’re prompted to do so. You may have to allow installations from third-party sources if you haven’t already. To do this head into settings, then security and check the box entitled ‘Unknown sources’ and you’re good to go.

If you happen to run into any issues along the way do be sure to drop a comment in the section below, and we’ll do our very best to get you back on track.

Download: AndroidFileHost
Via: XDA

Come comment on this article: Lollipop’s keyboard can now be installed on any Android device without root

19
Oct

[APK Download] Play Movies & TV joins the fun with Material Design update


google_play_movies_and_tv_material_design_update

Alongside Play Games, the Play Movies & TV app is getting a new look. The app has been flattened and there are now large graphics for content. The icon has been altered and the red color found throughout the app is brighter with the update. Rather than waiting for the update with Material Design in the Play Store, you can download the file yourself.

Source: AndroidSPIN [APK Download Link]

Come comment on this article: [APK Download] Play Movies & TV joins the fun with Material Design update

19
Oct

Late 2014 Mac Mini Benchmarks Indicate Decreased Multi-Core Performance


The newly refreshed Mac mini is seeing improved single-core performance over the previous models, but decreased multi-core performance, according to a newly released GeekBench benchmark. John Poole of Primate Labs says that the upper tier Late 2012 Mac minis, which had quad-core Ivy Bridge processors, saw better multi-core performance than the new Late 2014 models, which have dual-core Haswell processors.

macmini2014

Unlike single-core performance multi-core performance has decreased significantly. The “Good” model (which has a dual-core processor in both lineups) is down 7%. The other models (which have a dual-core processor in the “Late 2014″ lineup but a quad-core processor in the “Late 2012″ lineup) is down from 70% to 80%.

Poole notes that Apple may have switched to dual-core processors in some Late 2014 Mac minis because Haswell dual-core processors use one socket to connect the logic board and processor while Haswell quad-core processors use different sockets. This would mean Apple would have to design and build two separate logic boards specifically for the Mac mini, while other Macs use the same logic boards across their individual line.

This trade-off didn’t exist with Sandy Bridge and Ivy Bridge processors because both of its dual-core and quad-core processors used the same socket. Another option, according to Poole, is that Apple could have went quad-core across its new Mac mini line, but it would have made it difficult for Apple to hit the $499 price point.

Despite the decreased quad-core performance, the single-core performance of the new Mac mini is in line with other Macs’ performance jumps from Ivy Bridge to Haswell.

Base configurations for the Mac mini are currently available for purchase on Apple’s online store with pricing starting at $499 and will ship in one to three days. Custom configurations ship within three to five days.



19
Oct

Inside Seattle’s invitation-only VR summit


Tech aficionados have been flocking to Seattle’s Living Computer Museum for the past few years to get up close and personal with relics from computer technology’s past. For one night earlier this month, though, I got a chance to peek at its possible future. Nearly two dozen exhibitors filled the museum’s first floor for SEA VR, an invite-only event meant to highlight some of the field’s biggest names and showcase the VR community.

Envelop VR played host for the evening, in part, to introduce itself. The new company is looking to both develop its own VR software and help other companies come to grips with what CEO Bob Berry called the next great wave of computing. In gathering some of the VR community’s brightest stars to the Pacific Northwest, the hope, he said, is to establish the Seattle area as a VR hub.

“Seattle is a hotbed of video game development,” Berry said. “It’s going to be a hotbed of VR development.”

Berry moved to Japan in 1998 to study VR as part of his Ph.D. work. After getting a good look at what passed for “state of the art” in the VR world of the late ’90s, he quickly realized virtual reality just wasn’t ready yet. It was only in the last year or so, he said, that various technologies started combining to make VR feasible — headlined, of course, by Oculus’ work. The next major step, he added, is developing and refining software that takes advantage of those hardware advancements.

Attendees check out Oculus VR's DK2 headset.Attendees check out Oculus VR’s DK2 headset.

But words can only convey so much. As Berry notes, with virtual reality: Seeing is believing. And there was plenty to at SEA VR. Oculus was there showcasing its Development Kit 2 (DK2) headsets, but its gear wasn’t confined to the company’s demo area.

Atomic VR’s holodeck-style setup featured an older DK1 headset and a camera array to track users in one corner of the museum. A pair of PlayStation Move controllers became virtual lightsabers “energy swords” in a battle with a floating droid. After employees helped me put on the headset, equipment-filled backpack and headphones, I set about exploring the demo’s virtual arena.

The lag between my movements and those shown onscreen was noticeable, but hardly a distraction. After a few seconds, I was successfully blocking incoming laser blasts with my swords and dodging slow-moving missiles. The full-body tracking kept up admirably and I never felt disoriented — a significant plus considering the limited area I could explore.

“VR’s going to impact various industries; not just entertainment.”

Still, the relatively low-resolution screens and the buzz of the show floor prevented me from reaching the level of “presence” that VR developers strive to attain. Atomic VR mentioned that it hopes to increase realism when it switches to Oculus’ more advanced DK2 kit — including the use of haptic feedback in the vest and possibly the floor to provide a more immersive simulation.

The game-like applications are obvious, but the company envisions similar setups in showrooms at retailers like Home Depot, where customers can preview home remodels and landscaping projects before breaking out the hammers and shovels.

“VR’s going to impact various industries; not just entertainment,” Berry said. One look at the show floor was enough to prove that statement. While there were plenty of examples of VR as a gaming tool, there were exhibitors using it in other settings, too.

Leap Motion showed off its finger-tracking tech.

Retailer Nordstrom showcased its Virtual Customer Experience Center, created by the company’s Innovation Labs. The software complements a real-world Customer Experience Center housed in a renovated warehouse not far from the Living Computer Museum. The Innovation Lab’s virtual version lets designers use tools like Unity and 3ds Max to create and try out new floor layouts, store designs and other physical structures before committing to actually building anything.

Elsewhere on the show floor, DeepStream VR demonstrated its work in pain research and using 3D and VR to aid in patient rehabilitation.

“The virtual world is a motivator,” DeepStream VR CEO and founder Howard Rose said. The company has been exploring different methods of incorporating virtual reality into therapy, including combining a treadmill-walking regimen with a projected screen so patients can go on a “walking meditation” through a computer-generated trail.

The company also showed off its DeepStream 3D Viewer, a shroud that attaches to a laptop screen, a Retina display MacBook Pro in this case, to provide panoramic 3D movies and environments. The viewer splits the screen into a pair of 2,600 x 900 images — one for each eye. Users can adjust the eyepieces as they would for a pair of binoculars and a nearby Leap Motion controller is used to interact with the world. In one example, I used my left hand to gather fireflies to fill a lantern. Rose said using an attachment to a laptop screen (and, later, tablets) can sometimes make more sense than the headset approach Oculus and others are taking.

DeepStream VR’s 3D Viewer attached to a Retina display MacBook Pro.

When it comes to patients struggling with constant pain, he said, “Helmets don’t work very well.” Indeed, placing my face up to the 3D Viewer’s eyepieces and manipulating objects with a Leap Motion controller was a great deal easier than strapping on a headset and grasping physical input devices.

A quick scan across the show floor makes it clear there’s no single way to approach VR. While Oculus’ gear was certainly prevalent at various booths, Kinect sensors, GoPro cameras, PS Moves and Leap Motion Controllers spread throughout the area indicate that developers are still very much in the exploration and experimentation phase.

And while some companies are working to create fantastical environments filled with spaceships and lightsabers, others are figuring out ways to showcase parts of the real world. In one corner of the show floor, Jaunt offered up a multi-scene demo of its real-world VR capture tech. Its approach includes a multi-camera setup to record 3D video in all directions. After putting on the headset and over-ear headphones, I started out with a scene from a skate/bike park, as a bike-riding enthusiast whizzed around me. I could turn my head in practically any direction to keep track of him, while positional audio accurately clued me in to where he was.

“The VR community needs to collaborate … No company, not even (Oculus) can do it alone.”

A later scene of the Golden Gate Bridge demonstrated the powerful effect accurate audio can have in VR. Wind noise was present throughout the area, but I had no trouble pinpointing a ship’s horn blaring on the far right. I turned my head completely away from the vessel and, sure enough, the horn sounded like it was coming from behind me. Clearly, high-resolution displays aren’t the only requirement for convincing VR presence.

One thing was readily apparent at SEA VR and it didn’t require a headset or fancy camera setup. It was a sense of community. From booth to booth, company representatives chatted with one another, happily trying out competitors’ gear and sharing notes. I got the sense that many of the attendees are motivated more by the fun of experimentation and discovery than they are by the thrill of ruthless competition.

To Rose, it reminds him of the early stages of the internet, “when it was fun and exciting.” Seeing companies explore VR from different angles and coming up with new solutions, he said, is part of what he loves about the virtual reality community right now. After numerous false starts over the past few decades, it’s this cooperative, diverse approach, he said, that will be key if VR is truly going to be the next big thing.

“The VR community needs to collaborate,” Rose said. “No company, not even (Oculus) can do it alone.”

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19
Oct

Sony accidentally confirms PS4 Remote Play is en route to Xperia Z2 and Z2 Tablet


remoteplay_Z3-sony

Back in September, Sony announced PS4 Remote Play — a revolutionary new feature which equips users with the facility to take a PlayStation 4 controller and stream games from their console to an Xperia smartphone or tablet that supports the service.

At the time, the Japanese company revealed that the application would be an exclusive to the Xperia Z3, Z3 Compact and Z3 Tablet Compact. But now, thanks to a blunder on the ‘Xperia Lounge’ app, it appears that Remote Play will be coming to the Xperia Z2 and Xperia Z2 Tablet after all, when the app launches next month.

Hit the break below to see the slip-up in all its glory.

Xperia-Z2-and-Z2-Tablet-PS4-Remote-Play-315x504

 

Source: Xperia Blog

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19
Oct

Motorola DROID Turbo for Verizon leaks once again, this time in black and red


motorola_droid_turbo_verizon_black_red

In less than nine days, Motorola will be unveiling another handset to put on the market. This one, however, is expected to be a carrier exclusive. We are talking about the DROID Turbo that is heading straight to Verizon. A few images were found within the coding for the Verizon’s page teasing the device. It shows the device in black and in red. Regardless of the back panel color, the front remains black.

Hit the break for more.

motorola_droid_turbo_verizon_black_rear

motorola_droid_turbo_verizon_red_side

Source: GadgetzArena
Via: Android Headlines

Come comment on this article: Motorola DROID Turbo for Verizon leaks once again, this time in black and red

19
Oct

The computer as copilot: Charting the growth of navigation tech


Pretty soon, we may not even have to drive ourselves, but we’ll still need to rely on the incredibly complex infrastructure of satellites and gadgets to get us from point A to point B. In this week’s Rewind, we look at some highlights in the evolution of in-car navigation technology, from old-school cartography to today’s digital tools.

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19
Oct

TalkAndroid Weekly Recap for October 13 – October 19, 2014


TalkAndroid_Weekly_Recap

Yup, this week was a little crazy, but a good crazy. Google announced the Nexus 6, Nexus 9, and Nexus Player (Android TV) and kicked off the “Be together. Not the same.” campaign. That wasn’t it as Android L was officially named Android Lollipop and given 5.0 for the version. The OTA update won’t take place till next month, but the developer preview is already live. We reviewed the Galaxy Note 4 and were quite impressed. Nearby multiplayer hits Google Play Games and more Google apps adopt Material Design. The DROID Turbo gets a launch date, and so much more. It’s time to get caught up and get ready for what is sure to be another exciting week in the Android world.

Reviews

Samsung Galaxy Note 4 review: The best Samsung smartphone ever

Accessories

OnePlus announces JBL partnership and E1+ Earphones

Best Buy now stocks official Moto 360 chargers

MHL Adapter Charges your phone and Sends out 4K Video

Android TV

Google’s Nexus Player is Google’s first Android TV device

Plex announces its support for Android TV and the upcoming Nexus Player

AOL jumps on the Android TV bandwagon

Nexus 9 and Nexus Player are now up for pre-order in the Google Play Store

Nexus Player pre-order facility withdrawn from the Play Store

Nexus Player passes through FCC, may go on sale again soon

Android TV Developer Kit able to sideload Android 5.0 Lollipop

Android Wear

Gameboy emulator comes to Android Wear because a watch needs those sort of things

Apps – New

OnePlus sends Cyanogen Camera app to the Play Store

Skype launches new video messaging app called Skype Qik

Androidify update overhauls with new design, GIFs, and new items

Apps – Updates

Dropbox offers a free year of Dropbox Pro to users affected by Selective Sync bug

Facebook slaps its stickers into comments for all users

Dropbox usernames and passwords leak online, Denies responsibility and says passwords expired

Messenger application will not replace Hangouts on Nexus 6

HTC Dot View app gets third-party notifications, music controls, and holiday surprises

Facebook ‘Safety Check’ lets friends and family know you’re safe during a disaster

CBS All Access launches for $5.99 a month, offers full seasons and episodes on demand

Twitter adds new audio feature to mobile client

Firefox Beta update brings ‘tab casting’ & more!

Twitter adding suggested Tweets to the timeline based on user interest

Swiftkey updates for Halloween with spooky new themes

Cameras

India gets the HTC One (M8 Eye), Desire Eye, RE Camera, and a few more devices

Carriers

Nexus 6 to be available on all major U.S. carriers

The ASUS PadFone X mini is coming to AT&T on Oct. 24, $199 contract free on GoPhone

AT&T introduces new Passport plans for international travelers

Special Beats Music offer from AT&T comes to an end

AT&T Hints at Imminent Nexus 6 Release

Sprint’s HTC One (M7) update fixes Miracast

According to a new FCC filing, Sprint will carry the Galaxy Note Edge

Samsung Gear S will have own Plan on Sprint

T-Mobile Galaxy Note 4 receiving minor update

Sony Xperia Z3 coming to T-Mobile October 29

Iliad moving on after T-Mobile declines acquisition offer

T-Mobile now rolling out Android 4.4.4 KitKat update for Galaxy Note 10.1 (2014 Edition)

Samsung Galaxy Note 4 coming to U.S. Cellular on October 17th

Verizon to launch Motorola Droid Turbo at an event on October 28th

New image and details for Verizon’s DROID TURBO surface

Verizon soak test for Droid Ultra, Maxx and Mini brings VoLTE

Verizon Increases Edge Upgrade Time and some Pricing Points

Moto X now $50 on-contract with Verizon

Chrome

Google releases new Translate extension for Chrome

Google’s Earth View extension brings a touch of satellite imagery to Chrome

Shuffle in positions may signal more Android/Chrome consolidation

Chromebooks

Samsung’s Intel-based Chromebook 2 availability and pricing announced

Chromecast

Next version of the Chromecast hits the FCC

Deals

Sony offering student discount on Xperia Z3 Compact

Expansys now offering refurbished Nexus 4 from $149

Gaming

Amazon Games Studio Announces Three new Upcoming Games

NBA 2K15 for Android exclusively available from Amazon

Nearby Multiplayer comes to Google Play Games

Humble Mobile Bundle 9 gets two new games for the big donors

Ghostbusters-themed Fruit Ninja update hits the Play Store just in time for Halloween

Google

Google teases Android L in latest YouTube video

Google Shopping Express shortens name and launches in three more cities with more retailers

Teenagers use voice commands most often and really want to order pizza

New Poodle Bug Revealed by Researchers

Google Classroom getting several improvements for students and teachers

Google Play Store downloads beat out iOS App Store downloads in volume by 60%

Android 5.0 Lollipop is official, includes full Material Design overhaul and tons of new features

Google posts video showing how Lollipop name was decided on

Android 5.0 Lollipop statue arrives at Google headquarters in Mountain View

Google posts Android Lollipop Statue Unwrapped video

Android Lollipop features “Factory Reset Protection” to stop thieves from wiping stolen phones

Google to eventually back off on control of Android Wear, Android TV, and Android Auto

Nexus device packaging to get new look

Shuffle in positions may signal more Android/Chrome consolidation

Google releases video covering speech recognition and how we communicate with technology

Google updates Material Design guidelines with new resources

Google Glass

Google Glass Launches Notification Sync

Hardware

Samsung SDI develops new batteries that are both flexible and rollable

The newly announced Exynos 7 is 57 percent more powerful than the Exynos 5

Phones – ASUS

The ASUS PadFone X mini is coming to AT&T on Oct. 24, $199 contract free on GoPhone

Phones – HTC

India gets the HTC One (M8 Eye), Desire Eye, RE Camera, and a few more devices

HTC pushing Eye Experience update with Android 4.4.4 to unlocked One (M8) on Tuesday

HTC reaffirms promise of Lollipop to the M7 and M8 in 90 days

Sprint’s HTC One (M7) update fixes Miracast

Phones – Huawei

Huawei announces limited edition Glory 6 Extreme Edition with pre-orders launching October 21st

Huawei Ascend Mate 2 now available from Newegg for $300

Phones – LG

LG aims to improve camera in next flagship device

Phones – Motorola

Verizon to launch Motorola Droid Turbo at an event on October 28th

New image and details for Verizon’s DROID TURBO surface

Motorola announces which devices will get Android 5.0

Verizon soak test for Droid Ultra, Maxx and Mini brings VoLTE

Moto X now $50 on-contract with Verizon

Phones – Nexus

Nexus 6 with Android Lollipop officially unveiled, pre-orders start late October for $649

Nexus 6 to be available on all major U.S. carriers

Google shows us what the Nexus 6 and Nexus 9 have to offer in a couple of new promotional videos

Here are the first camera samples from the Nexus 6

Nexus 6 poses with the iPhone 6 Plus

Google releases animated ads showing off the Nexus 6 and Nexus 9

Expansys now offering refurbished Nexus 4 from $149

Phones – Oppo

Oppo N3′s camera shown off in teaser

New details emerge about OPPO N3 camera

Oppo N3 smart rotating camera gets a demo video

The Oppo N3 will have a fingerprint scanner on its back

Phones – Samsung

Google Hints at a Galaxy S5 Google Play Edition

Galaxy Golden 2 user manual leaks showing off some impressive specs

The Galaxy Note 4 gets firmware update in time for worldwide launch

Samsung Galaxy Note 4 coming to U.S. Cellular on October 17th

Samsung Galaxy Note 4 to go on sale in India on October 17

Samsung announces its latest “Galaxy Gifts” campaign for the Note 4 & Note Edge

T-Mobile Galaxy Note 4 receiving minor update

According to a new FCC filing, Sprint will carry the Galaxy Note Edge

Phones – Sony

Sony Xperia Z4 to be a hardware juggernaut according to tipster

Sony Xperia Z3 coming to T-Mobile October 29

Xperia Z3 and Peek help doctors diagnose eye conditions around the world

Sony offering student discount on Xperia Z3 Compact

Sony is updating their entire Xperia Z line to Android Lollipop

Security

Dropbox offers a free year of Dropbox Pro to users affected by Selective Sync bug

New Poodle Bug Revealed by Researchers

Smartwatches

Blocks modular smartwatch will use Samsung’s Tizen OS

Best Buy now stocks official Moto 360 chargers

Will.i.am reveals Puls, a monstrous smart-cuff with a focus on fashion

Samsung Gear S will have own Plan on Sprint

Google Play lists Sony SmartWatch 3 as “coming soon”

Tablets

The ASUS PadFone X mini is coming to AT&T on Oct. 24, $199 contract free on GoPhone

Lenovo to launch tablets under Motorola’s name once acquisition completes

Google releases animated ads showing off the Nexus 6 and Nexus 9

HTC’s Nexus 9 is official, complete with brushed metal design and BoomSound speakers

Google shows us what the Nexus 6 and Nexus 9 have to offer in a couple of new promotional videos

Nexus 9 finally shown off in real pictures and videos with keyboard case

HTC Nexus 9 pre-order goes live one day early on Amazon

Nexus 9 and Nexus Player are now up for pre-order in the Google Play Store

T-Mobile now rolling out Android 4.4.4 KitKat update for Galaxy Note 10.1 (2014 Edition)

Updates

Android 5.0 Lollipop is official, includes full Material Design overhaul and tons of new features

Developers will be able to grab the Android 5.0 SDK on October 17

Android Lollipop features “Factory Reset Protection” to stop thieves from wiping stolen phones

Google releases Android 5.0 Lollipop SDK and other tools

Lollipop to be Released November 3th for Wi-Fi Nexus Devices

Get the Android Lollipop look and sound with wallpapers and sounds

Get ready to tap with Android 5.0 Lollipop Easter egg

Motorola announces which devices will get Android 5.0

HTC reaffirms promise of Lollipop to the M7 and M8 in 90 days

Sony is updating their entire Xperia Z line to Android Lollipop

The Galaxy Note 4 gets firmware update in time for worldwide launch

HTC pushing Eye Experience update with Android 4.4.4 to unlocked One (M8) on Tuesday

Samsung set to roll out Android 4.4.4 update to 9 models of the Galaxy range

Verizon soak test for Droid Ultra, Maxx and Mini brings VoLTE

Sprint’s HTC One (M7) update fixes Miracast

T-Mobile Galaxy Note 4 receiving minor update

T-Mobile now rolling out Android 4.4.4 KitKat update for Galaxy Note 10.1 (2014 Edition)

Virtual Reality

Archos plans to release low-cost virtual reality headset

Wallpapers

Get the Android Lollipop look and sound with wallpapers and sounds

Miscellaneous

Samsung announces development of commercially-viable 60GHz Wi-Fi technology

Former Google executive hired by Xiaomi for push into India

Samsung and Facebook strengthening relationship, but what’s in store?

Standalone streaming service from HBO coming in 2015

Lenovo to launch Chinese direct-to-consumer smartphone company

Come comment on this article: TalkAndroid Weekly Recap for October 13 – October 19, 2014

19
Oct

Inhabitat’s Week in Green: Fusion power, Drop-a-Brick and settlements on Mars


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.

Why can’t Tesla‘s sales model catch a break? The automaker is paving the way for the future of electric vehicles, however states keep stepping in the way. This week, Michigan passed legislation that essentially bans Tesla from selling cars in the state due to a last-minute addition by a legislator who receives contributions from the Michigan Automobile Dealers Association. In other transportation news, Italy has long been the Mecca of souped-up sports cars, but surprisingly the country has never produced a fully electric supercar. That all could change soon, now that the Italian company Tecnicar has unveiled a new electric car with a 789-horsepower electric motor.

Meanwhile, back here in the US, General Motors is working on a slightly less glamorous, but probably far more practical, all-electric vehicle with a range of 200 miles. Details about the new EV are scarce, but it’s expected to carry a price tag of about $30,000. What would the roads look like if bikes took up as much space as cars do? Last month, a group of Latvian cycling advocates rigged up car-shaped frames to their bikes for a visual demonstration of how much space cars take up. On the public transit front, Marc Mimram just unveiled plans for a light- and garden-filled train station in Montpellier, France. The gorgeous new TGV station will feature an ultralight roof crafted from a fiber-reinforced, high-performance concrete. Also in France, Barcelona-based architecture firm EMBT and architect Elizabeth de Portzamparc have been selected to design two new train stations in Paris. And Inhabitat recently launched its annual Halloween costume contest — this year’s grand prize is a Vanmoof B6 Bike worth $848.

Wind is all around us. It’s powerful, plentiful and, oh yes, cheap: This week, the European Commission found that onshore wind power provides the cheapest source of energy. When hidden costs, like air quality and health impacts are taken into account, wind energy costs $133 per MW/h to produce — while coal costs $295 per MW/h. In other clean energy news, researchers have developed a super-efficient battery that can charge to 70 percent capacity in just two minutes, and it lasts 20 times longer than a typical battery. The battery, which could charge a car in just 15 minutes, could reach the market in just two years. Are we on the cusp of a fusion energy revolution? Last week, Lockheed Martin announced a major breakthrough in fusion technology that could provide the world with clean, affordable energy. Buildings are some of the biggest energy consumers, but architect Vincent Callebaut is turning that trend on its head by designing a cluster of skyscrapers that actually produce more energy than they consume. Callebaut’s DNA-inspired Citytree towers combine passivhaus principles with renewable energy technology. And Czech architects Atelier 8000 designed a solar-powered cabin in the mountains of northern Slovakia that looks like a huge ice cube.

3D printing appears to have limitless potential — both on Earth and in space. Last week, news broke that a team of British amateurs is about to launch the world’s first 3D-printed rocket. It took 30 team members — including doctorate aeronautical engineers — four years to complete the project. Meanwhile, designer Kovács Apor has dreamed up a device that could turn used plastic bottles into brand-new clothes. It’s called the Pete, and it’s one of six finalists in this year’s Electrolux Design Lab competition. Did you know that if you drop a brick in the back of your toilet, it could save your household up to 50 gallons of water per week? But there’s a problem: Standard bricks crumble and disintegrate, causing plumbing problems. To solve that, one company created Drop-a-Brick, a rubber, brick-shaped option that’s filled with eco-friendly hydro gel that solidifies when water is added to it. In lighting news, PEGA Design & Engineering has created a new lamp that can mimic the color of any object, allowing you to customize your lighting to fit the mood of a room. The world has been rather captivated with news of Mars One, a Dutch plan to develop a permanent settlement on Mars. But researchers at MIT poured some cold water on the plan this week. A new paper identifies several deathtraps within the proposed habitat system, and it suggests that the first astronaut fatality could occur as early as day 68 due to low oxygen levels in the artificial environment. Tech companies are generally pretty progressive, but activists are taking e-commerce giant eBay to task for supporting climate change denial. The group Forecast the Facts is calling for eBay to step down from the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) — a group the supports teaching climate change denial in schools.

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