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Tiny trackpad uses your thumbnail to navigate devices

Several companies are working on eye-tracking tech as a way to navigate devices. A team of MIT researchers, however, have their eyes set on another body part: the thumbnail. Graduate students Cindy Hsin-Liu Kao and Artem Dementyev are developing a tiny trackpad that fits over your thumbnail. They’re calling it NailO, and it was inspired by colorful nail stickers popular in Kao’s native Taiwan and many other Asian countries. The duo envisions NailO to be used in situations where both your hands are occupied — for instance, you can use it to scroll down a website page to check recipes while cooking. They also think it could be used to control other wearables, such as smart jewelry.

Kao and Dementyev have already managed to build a prototype with swappable membranes on top, so you can change designs whenever you want. Like other inventors, though, they’re working to improve the technology further. The duo recently found a supplier that makes batteries only half a millimeter thin and might incorporate those into the device. Plus, they’re looking for a multi-purpose chip that works as a microcontroller, a radio and a capacitive sensor, all of which are needed for Nail-O to work properly. Since that won’t happen anytime soon, make sure to watch the video below to see how the tiny thumbnail trackpad works.

Filed under: Science


Via: TechCrunch

Source: MIT


OnePlus hosting an event on April 20th

oneplus one inviteIn just a few days, OnePlus will be holding an event for some upcoming product announcement. the company posted an “invitation” on Google+ and Twitter with the comment “from here on out, anything can happen.” Yep, pretty vague.

There are no details on what this event is going to be, although we’re expecting a new OnePlus device soon, and the company is planning some video game accessory, too. My money’s on the game device, but hey, anything can happen, right?

source: OnePlus [2]

Come comment on this article: OnePlus hosting an event on April 20th


Google Play Service 7.3 update brings trusted places UI [APK Download]

Google_Play_Services_Splash_BannerGoogle has updated their Play Services app to version 7.3 with a few new features, notably one adding a user interface for trusted places.

This UI will let you select an area as “trusted” within a ring, which will disable security features in that zone. This would be useful if you wanted to remove your password on your lock screen at home but keep it on everywhere else.

Another new trick is the ability to dismiss Android Wear notifications. Prior to this update, a connected Android Wear device would put a permanent notification in your notification bar. This might not have bothered some people, but others like a clean notification shade, so being able to swipe it away is handy.

If you don’t want to wait for the update to roll out to your device, you can grab the apk below.

source: Android Police

APK Download

Come comment on this article: Google Play Service 7.3 update brings trusted places UI [APK Download]


If you want to chat on Steam, spend at least $5

Earlier this week Valve introduced Steam Guard Mobile Authenticator as a means to keep its users safe from phishing attempts, and now it’s taken another step in that direction. From here on out, until you spend a minimum $5 with your account certain features are blocked. What’re you going to miss out on? Friend invites, opening group chat, the Steam discussion boards and voting on Greenlight games among other things. But, considering that most people use the service for, you know, buying and playing games, this really should only affect those who’re actively using the service for nefarious purposes.

Valve says that the easiest way to identify malicious users from folks who are genuinely using the service is comparing spending habits to account age. “Typically, the accounts being used for [phishing] have no investment in their longevity,” Valve writes. So, if you’re a typical Steam user you shouldn’t notice a difference aside from a hopeful decrease in spam in your inbox.

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Source: Steam Support


Justice Department may try to block the Comcast / TWC merger

It’s been more than a year since Comcast announced its plan to buy fellow cable giant Time Warner Cable in a $45 billion deal, but it still hasn’t received the blessings of various regulators. Now, word is leaking out from unnamed sources to Bloomberg and the New York Times that suggests Justice Department lawyers will recommend blocking the merger. Many consumer groups, politicians and executives from other companies have raised concerns over the last year that the combination would put too many customers, and too much of the nation’s internet under one banner, despite a promise by Comcast to divest itself of some 3 million customers. Struck by multiple PR disasters, Comcast is trying to improve customer service and reassure skeptics that it will be a friendly giant telecommunications company, but hasn’t had much success convincing anyone that its plan will make cable TV better.

The NYT report mentions that while Comcast could potentially negotiate potential conditions to place on the deal — a key part of its NBCUniversal acquisition a few years ago — that process hasn’t started yet with the Justice Department or the FCC. Execs for both companies are still publicly confident the deal will go through, and fellow cable giant Charter has already made alternative acquisition plans. No one knows how long it may take for the various reviews to come to a conclusion, and even if the report recommends blocking the deal, it could be overruled by the division’s senior officials. For now, we wait, but an update could come when TWC reports its quarterly earnings April 30th, or during Comcast’s earnings report May 4th.

Filed under: , ,


Source: New York Times, Bloomberg


Which should you buy: the Samsung Galaxy S6, or the S6 Edge?

After a rough year, Samsung is doing what they can to remind consumers why they believe to be the manufacturer of choice. Their arguments, the Samsung Galaxy S6 and the Galaxy S6 Edge, has certainly done pretty well to impress reveiwers that Samsung still has what it takes. However, this presents another question: should you get the regular S6, or the S6 Edge? Lets take a look at the differences.


Galaxy S6 Edge unique features

First and foremost, it makes sense to describe how the Galaxy S6 Edge is different from the regular S6. The S6 Edge (pictured above) has tapered glass going off either side of the phone, so that it is curved downward. First presented in the Galaxy Note Edge, this helps provide some unique features Samsung thinks make a unique smartphone experience.

First, while you have the screen on, you can swipe over the edge to display your favorite contacts, and then interact with them. This will display any missed notifications you have from them, or enable you to call, text, or email them from here.

The next thing the edge can do is display information while the screen is off, such has missed notifications, or news and weather.

Lastly, the “edge” can display the time while the screen is off, and if the phone is face-down, the edge can glow a certain color to notify you of a missed call or message.

Other than that, the edge only acts as a display of technological prowess. And, it certainly looks cool, and is bound to draw attention.

If any of those things are enough to get you the S6 Edge, than more power to you. If you’re still on the fence, consider the following thoughts…

The point I’m trying to make here is the S6 Edge doesn’t offer much in the way of unique functionality, but more in unique look and feel.galaxy_s6_wide

Galaxy S6: same experience, lower price

Unless you think those features will contribute to a life-changing smartphone experience, than the S6 Edge is probably not for you. The regular S6 is going to give you the same overall software experience, but without any chance for an odd experience.

Based on some things I have read, the edge can sometimes make typing difficult if you don’t use Swype. The keyboard actually goes off the edge, so some keys are difficult to press. This also can make viewing weird, as an image or video might go off the edge.

Also, the ability to swipe and bring up your favorite contacts isn’t a functionality unique to the edge. You can install a widget or app that does the same thing, just not on a curved screen. Also, the ability to view news and weather would be an odd way to consume this information, as you might as well turn on the screen at that point to look at the info.

Another thing to consider is the S6 Edge is $100 more expensive than the S6. Considering the S6 is already at a flagship price, that is a lot of money to drop for a couple of features than can be achieved without an “edge”.

Furthermore, having the “edge” gives more room for you to drop the phone and crack the screen. Goodbye, $100.

In the end, you should try both

At the end of the day, the decision is up to you. The best way to truly know which you think you’ll like better is to go to your carrier’s local store and hold both in your hands. The point I’m trying to make here is the S6 Edge doesn’t offer much in the way of unique functionality, but more in unique look and feel.

Which would you choose if you had to?

The post Which should you buy: the Samsung Galaxy S6, or the S6 Edge? appeared first on AndroidGuys.


Google+ gets a Material refresh animation and updated Community page view in new update

Google+ version 5.3

A new update to the Google+ Android app is rolling out now, bringing a few user interface tweaks to our favorite social networking app. For folks who are members of a Google+ Community, you’ll quickly notice that the page layout is much different. Instead of showing a small white banner with the Community title on the top of the screen, you’ll now see a much larger Community title, complete with a big banner image and a sleek gray/blue color. While these UI changes are nice, the big banner images displayed on the top are very pixelated in this update.

Side note: Want to join the Android Authority Google+ Community? Head here!

The last change we’re seeing in this update is the addition of a Material Design refresh animation. When Google updated the app with its Material Design guidelines a few months ago, pulling to refresh a page would result in a colorful loading bar scrolling across the top of the screen. Thankfully Google is now adopting its own guidelines and has done away with the loading bar. The Material refresh animation can be found in the third screenshot attached above.

The update to version 5.3 is rolling out now in the Play Store, so check out the link below if you haven’t updated yet. If you’d rather sideload the APK, you can do so by following this link.

Get it on Google Play


Jony Ive Reveals Exclusive Apple Watch Sport Bands at Milan Design Week

Earlier today the Apple Watch went on display at Milan’s Salone Del Mobile Design, with Apple SVP of worldwide marketing Phil Schiller and design consult Marc Newson in attendance. Now, it appears that Jony Ive also made it to the event, revealing exclusive sport band colors for the Apple Watch at the same time.

custombandImage via Umberta Gnutti Beretta Instagram
Art enthusiast and philanthropist Umberta Gnutti Beretta posted a photo of a tray holding the new band colors on her Instagram account (via 9to5Mac). The colors include what appears to be two shades of blue, the custom red band seen earlier today and a range of “skin-tone” colors, going from darker browns to lighter tans and peaches. This marks the third time exclusive new Apple Watch band options have been seen in the wild, with the previous two being the custom red band and the custom gold link bracelet Karl Lagerfeld received.

Milan is known as one of the more important cities in the fashion world, and an important destination for Apple as it continues to court the fashion world to its brand new product. While it’s unknown whether Apple will release these brand new and never-before-seen sport bands for the general public, it’s been rumored that the Cupertino company is looking to introduce additional casing materials for the Apple Watch later this year, suggesting that new band options are also in the cards.


Scientists want to blast space debris with frickin’ lasers

Satellite Reentry

To combat the increasingly dense layer of dead satellites and miscellaneous space debris that are enshrouding our planet, no idea — nets, lassos, even ballistic gas clouds — seems too far-fetched to avoid. Now, an international team of researchers led by Japan’s Riken research institute has put forward what may be the most ambitious plan to date. They propose blasting an estimated 3,000 tons of space junk out of orbit with a fiber optic laser mounted on the International Space Station.

The plan is simple. The team first wants to adapt the EUSO’s (Extreme Universe Space Observatory) existing infrared telescope to track chunks of space trash moving at very high speeds. Then they propose employing a fiber optic CAN laser, formerly used in powering particle accelerators, to fire upon the object until its orbit degrades and the junk burns up during reentry. The researchers estimate that the combined system could effectively hunt particles as small as a centimeter in diameter.

The Riken team recently published its initial plan in the journal Acta Astronautica. Next, they hope to install a small, proof-of-concept system aboard the ISS using a 20 cm telescope and 100 strand laser.”If that goes well,” Riken team leader Toshikazu Ebisuzaki said in a statement, “we plan to install a full-scale version on the ISS, incorporating a three-meter telescope and a laser with 10,000 fibers, giving it the ability to deorbit debris with a range of approximately 100 kilometers. Looking further to the future, we could create a free-flyer mission and put it into a polar orbit at an altitude near 800 kilometers, where the greatest concentration of debris is found.”

Filed under: Science


Via: Science Daily, Gizmag

Source: Science Direct


Adobe pledges to bring better support to its Creative Cloud service for Android this summer


We should all know by now that Adobe is no stranger to the Android ecosystem. The company already offers 25 great applications in the Google Play Store, but a good amount of mobile advances Adobe has recently made have unintentionally been limited to the iOS ecosystem.

Adobe’s Creative Profile, which is encompassed by the Creative Cloud service, allows users to take advantage of presets, brushes, colors and image profiles when switching between applications. This handy feature has yet to make its way to Android, but in a blog post sent out earlier today, Adobe assures us that Creative Profile for Android is in the works.

While we initially launched these apps on iOS, we didn’t forget you Android. We’re working hard to develop Android phone support for some of our most popular apps. But we want to do it right, in a way that complements the strengths of the Android user experience and design.

Adobe explains that while it can’t give out any specific release dates, we can expect to see the first of these apps come to our favorite mobile OS in the summer of 2015.

Adobe is also developing an Android version of the Creative SDK, which powers both Adobe and third-party applications. Once the SDK is finished and developers start using it, you’ll be able to integrate your Creative Profile into more applications.

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