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26
Apr

ZTE Spro 2 giveaway!


Welcome to the Sunday Giveaway, the place where we give away one of the best Android phones or tablets each and every Sunday.

A big congratulations to last week’s winner of the OPPO N3 is Maple A. (Vietnam). Congratulations, Maple, enjoy your new OPPO N3!

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This week we’re giving away a ZTE Spro 2! 

ZTE’s Spro 2 is a portable smart projector with WiFi hotspot capabilities. It beams a 720p image onto whatever you’re pointing at, features auto-keystoning, and is compatible with every Android device, or anything that outputs via HDMI. We gave it an 8.4 out of 10 and had a lot of fun in our review with it.

ZTE Spro 2 Giveaway!

Terms & Conditions

  • The giveaway is an international giveaway (Except when we can not ship to your Country.)
  • If we can not ship to your country, you will be compensated with an online gift card of equal MSRP value to the prize.
  • We are not responsible for lost shipments.
  • You must be age of majority in your Country of residence.
  • We are not responsible for any duties, import taxes that you may incur.
  • Only 1 entry per person, do not enter multiple email addresses. We will verify all winners and if we detect multiple email addresses by the same person you will not be eligible to win.
  • We reserve all rights to make any changes to this giveaway.
  • The prize will ship when it is available to purchase.

Full terms & conditions and FAQ | Past giveaway winners [Gallery]

Good luck, everyone!

 

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26
Apr

NASCAR’s first hydrogen-powered pace car hits the track


Toyota's Mirai NASCAR pace car

NASCAR may be dominated by gas-guzzling racers, but its pace car this weekend is decidedly kinder to the environment. The motorsport league’s Sprint Cup race in Richmond on the 26th (delayed from the 25th due to rain) has Toyota’s hydrogen-powered Mirai as its pace car — the first time a fuel cell car has had that distinction at a NASCAR event. This is largely a publicity stunt to build up hype for the Mirai’s Californian launch later this year, but it shows that hydrogen cars have the performance needed to keep up with stock cars during yellow flags. The real challenge will be getting the actual competitors to go green. While there have been hydrogen-fueled race cars before, the odds are that NASCAR and its fans aren’t eager to abandon roaring V8s any time soon.

Filed under: Transportation

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Via: Green Car Reports, SlashGear

Source: Toyota

26
Apr

‘Call of Duty: Black Ops 3’ is fast, frantic and adds a co-op campaign


Developer Treyarch has a good record of keeping things fresh in Call of Duty. The company started working on the franchise back in 2005. With World at War it added zombies, Black Ops went to Vietnam, Black Ops 2 traversed time and added branching narratives. For its next installment, Treyarch is, once again, trying something new. Call of Duty: Black Ops 3 (set to arrive November 6 on PC, Xbox One and PS4) brings campaign co-op to the franchise for the first time. The entire campaign will be playable co-operatively by up to four players online (or two players locally). The addition of up to three campaign players meant building bigger combat arenas, better AI, and adding social features for showing off medals and achievements.

“This Call of Duty campaign is all about choice. Your investment in your character is going to mean something more than it ever has before in any Call of Duty game,” Studio Head Mark Lamia says. He hopes that with upgradeable abilities and the opportunity to play campaign missions with friends will lead to more replayability in the game’s narrative-driven mode. “Narratively? It’s just mind fuckery,” Lamia laughs, saying he wants to keep a shroud of mystery around the story in Black Ops 3. What is known is the campaign will continue the story of Black Ops 2, in a near-future war where soldiers have begun to augment their bodies to become more lethal killing machines.

For the first time in the franchise’s history, the campaign’s protagonist is fully customizable. In addition to upgrading abilities, changing your character’s appearance and tweaking weapons, players can pick the gender of their Call of Duty hero. “It’s not just a female head on a male body. It’s a different set of animations for the entire game,” Lamia says. Character interaction will even differ based on the protagonist’s gender. “We knew we were going to do fully unique male, fully unique female for all scenes and all the customization that goes for both. Thank God for Blu-ray, right?” Campaign Director and Senior Executive Producer, Jason Blundell, jokes, adding the game’s protagonist is fully voiced regardless of gender.

There are more tricks up Treyarch’s sleeve for its sixth Call of Duty title. While much of the game is still “classified,” Lamia was quick to tease the game’s core features during a day-long reveal meeting at its Santa Monica studio. For example, the return of Zombies mode, which will include a dedicated progression system and be more accessible to players that found previous iterations too difficult.

Game Design Director, David Vonderhaar, says there is renewed focus on “winding the combat loop extremely tight” for the multiplayer mode in Black Ops 3. The loop, as he calls it, refers to continuous combat action. Anything that slows down the pace of action has been deleted, Vonderhaar says.

The first major shift is the removal of sprint limitations. While unlimited sprint had been a special elite upgrade in the past, it is now the norm for all. Jumping over objects has been overhauled as well, as a player moves toward cover they will now automatically mantle over it regardless of the angle (whether the cover be in front, behind or to the side) without relinquishing weapon control. You can aim down sights as you move over objects now. Traversal, Vonderhaar says, can cut into what he calls “Call of Duty time.” You don’t have time to run up to a piece of cover, look down, press a button to vault and make it to the other side. In game, that motion takes split seconds, but it only takes split seconds to be killed.

“Thrust-assisted jump” is the second major change in Treyarch’s Call of Duty multiplayer overhaul. A slow-burning meter tracks Black Ops 3’s thruster, which allows players to gain altitude and boost in any direction. The thrusters here feel more natural than the sudden momentum changes found in Advanced Warfare.

Power sliding is another new addition. The slide’s boost of speed makes movement far faster than before, while never taking weapon or equipment control away from the player. You could, for example, slide around the corner staring down the sights of a sniper rifle for a devious trick shot.

Following the lead of other recent shooters, such as Titanfall, Black Ops 3 adds wall running. It too maintains the game’s philosophy of never taking control away from players. As you run across walls you still have full access to your weapons (hip-fire or aiming down the sights) and equipment (you can plant explosives on the wall as you run across them).

The last addition is some what puzzling: Swimming. Nobody was clamoring for the ability to backstroke through a round of Call of Duty, but it does add another layer to the complex game world. Movement underwater is slightly slower, but you still maintain complete control of your weapons and other equipment. Since only one of the maps available during our demo had an underwater component, it’s tough to judge whether it will drastically affect gameplay.

Timing of the new traversal options — chaining an unlimited sprint, into a power slide around a corner, into a thrust jump toward a wall, and then zigzagging through structures — took less time to get used to than you’d think. These are fundamental changes to the speed and pacing of way Call of Duty matches progress, adding a new sense of complexity to both strategy and danger. Vonderhaar says the new features allowed Treyarch to reexamine how it creates multiplayer maps. Now there are elevated plateaus to reach with boosts, underground canals to fight over while swimming, dangerous paths to wall run in between.

There are still a handful of familiar features found within Black Ops 3’s multiplayer. Player and weapon progression is still the driving force behind multiplayer replayability. Black Ops 3 attempts a few new wrinkles, including a gunsmith mode, which allows players to build unique-looking weapons in an attempt to give some identity to the inanimate objects.

Treyarch is also introducing Specialists. Black Ops 3 Specialists are pre-set characters in multiplayer with a unique name and backstory. Of the nine that will be available in the game, Treyarch revealed four. Each character offers a unique play style and has a devastating special weapon, such as the Outrider’s compound bow, and an ability, like Ruin’s speed boost. However, players can only bring either the weapon or special ability into combat.

“I think one of the things that makes Call of Duty, year after year, interesting and exciting is [each game in the franchise is] not the same. I mean, there could be things that are the same but each team has the ability to drive its own vision,” Lamia says. Even though Lamia emphatically proclaims Black Ops 3 is “the deepest and richest Call of Duty ever,” Treyarch is eager to prove it. For the first time since 2008’s World at War, Activision will give players an opportunity to beta test Call of Duty. The publisher says the beta will be available to pre-order customers on PC, Xbox One and PS4 — though it wouldn’t confirm any timed exclusivity for Xbox One owners, which is generally how franchise content is distributed.

“This being our third Black Ops game, we like to look at this as ‘the best of everything’ we’ve had, going back even a decade,” Lamia says. “That’s what Black Ops 3 is all about.”

Filed under: Gaming

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26
Apr

iTunes Store Facilitating Donations to Support Nepal Earthquake Relief Efforts


Apple today rolled out a feature through the iTunes Store that allows users to contribute to the American Red Cross in support of relief efforts following the Nepal earthquake that has killed over 2,400 people.

itunes_nepal_earthquake
The feature leverages the hundreds of millions of credit cards already on file to allow iTunes users to easily donate $5, $10, $25, $50, $100, or $200 to the relief efforts. Apple will be passing along 100 percent of the donations to the Red Cross.

This is not the first time Apple has used to iTunes Store to raise money for charity, with the company most recently raising money for City of Hope last October. Other previous relief effort fundraising campaigns have included the 2013 Philippine typhoon, the 2011 Japanese earthquake and tsunami, and the 2010 Haitian earthquake.



26
Apr

Inhabitat’s Week in Green: Chevy’s concept car, LED bulbs and solar lanterns


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.

Inhabitat's Week in Green

Tesla made headlines again this week with the official (sort of) announcement that it will be unveiling a battery that can power your entire home at the end of the month. In autonomous vehicle news, some of the biggest automakers are starting to roll out self-driving concept cars. Just a few weeks after Mercedes-Benz revealed a self-driving concept, Chevrolet has now rolled out the FNR, a futuristic autonomous concept car of its own, at the Shanghai Motor Show. In other automotive news, automakers from around the world are continuing to roll out more efficient electric vehicles and hybrids. Volvo has announced plans to release hybrid versions of its entire lineup, beginning with the 2016 Volvo XC90 SUV, which is slated to hit the road with a new plug-in hybrid powertrain.

In a coup for electric vehicles, Motor Trend has named the sporty and compact VW Golf family (including the e-Golf electric car) its Car of the Year. In Montreal, Mayor Denis Coderre wants to create an electric vehicle-sharing program, with the goal of putting 1,000 EVs on the road by the year 2020. In other green transportation news, Japan’s maglev train broke the world speed record when it traveled at an astounding 375MPH on a test track. To put that in perspective, Amtrak’s Acela service from Washington to Boston tops out at 150MPH. And after a three-week delay, the Solar Impulse airplane has launched the sixth leg of its round-the-world journey. The solar-powered plane departed from Chongqing, China, on April 21st, and is headed for its final stop in China before crossing the Pacific and heading to Hawaii.

Could bacteria-grown materials be used by the construction industry in the future? Designers Stefan Schwabe and Jannis Hülsen think so. The duo has been using bacteria to grow materials that are very strong, moldable and that have the ability to hold water. In other green tech news, lighting company Philips announced it will begin selling the most affordable LED lightbulb ever, with a retail price of just $5 for a two-pack, and solar lantern company SolarPuff launched a Kickstarter to raise funds for its ingenious portable solar lanterns. The Finnish company Solar Fire Concentration has launched a campaign to build solar concentrators around the world, which use solar thermal devices to power stoves.

An unlikely person has stepped in to try and solve California’s water woes — William Shatner. The man who played Captain Kirk has proposed building a $30 billion pipeline from the Pacific Northwest to funnel water to the increasingly thirsty Golden State. We also saw a petition making the rounds across the internet calling for the ban of glyphosate, the main ingredient in Monsanto’s herbicide Roundup, which has been linked to both cancer and autism. Refrigeration has radically changed the way we eat, but it takes a ton of energy to keep a fridge running around the clock. To address the problem, a Dutch company has created the Groundfridge, a modern take on the root cellar, allowing you to keep your produce fresh without traditional refrigeration. And on the 3D-printing front, Disney has partnered with Cornell and Carnegie Mellon to build a 3D printer that uses fabric as an alternative to plastic. Disney will use the printer for its own purposes, and while it’s unlikely that this technology will come to market any time soon, it’s another example of how 3D printing is quickly evolving.

On the green architecture front, design firms Snøhetta and SANAA have won a competition to design the Budapest National Gallery/Ludwig Museum — one of the largest museum developments in Europe. Snøhetta’s original proposal called for joining the gallery and museum under one cascading roof that would function as a public terrace. In Australia, Make Architecture has created a playful, new gable-roofed extension for a family in Melbourne, transforming the house into an architectural icon. In a different home-renovation project, design firms March Gut and Wolfgang Wimmer renovated and enlarged an Austrian home, transforming it into the face for Clemens Strobl, an Austrian boutique winery. The sleek, contemporary house contains a large wine cellar in the basement.

Milan Design Week wrapped up last week, and Inhabitat was on the scene to check out some of the top green furniture innovations at the show. Among the showstoppers on display was Japanese designer Kappes’ mesmerizing Continuum lamp, an ethereal light animated by the movement of small wires. Some of the best new lighting designs in the world were on display at Euroluce, Design Week’s annual international lighting exhibition. Inhabitat took it all in and rounded up the top 15 lighting innovations at the Euroluce show. Other green lighting and furniture designs were also on display at Milan’s Brera Design District. That show featured lamps made from recycled plastic cutlery and chicken wire. And finally, the Spazio Rossana Orlandi show was a lesson on how versatile recycled and upcycled materials can be. Looking beyond Milan Design Week to the upcoming Milan Expo 2015, new reports have raised concerns that pavilions won’t be completed in time for the May 1st launch.

Filed under: Household, Transportation, Science, Internet

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26
Apr

Nokia denies that it will resume making phones


Nokia Lumia 735

We hope you weren’t counting on Nokia reviving its phone business. The Finnish firm is now bluntly denying claims that it’s planning to return to making phones — there are “no plans” to make or sell any, Nokia says. That’s not surprising given both the company’s expansion of its networking efforts and an agreement with Microsoft that it won’t make phones until at least 2016. Simply speaking, Nokia wouldn’t have the cash or permissions to build these devices in the near future. With that said, the company mentioned this fall that it was considering licensing its storied name to a third party handset maker. If you don’t mind buying a Nokia-approved phone, there’s still a chance (however small) that you’ll get your wish.

Filed under: Cellphones, Mobile, Nokia

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Source: Reuters

26
Apr

Your Tor-based email isn’t as secure as you think


Tor in Tails

A recent security breach just provided a painful reminder that Tor’s anonymity network isn’t completely foolproof against truly determined intruders. The email service SIGAINT is warning users that someone recently launched a sustained attempt to break into its servers and snoop on messages. While that direct attack wasn’t successful, the culprit also tried setting up malicious exit nodes (where data reaches the normal internet) in hopes of spying on messages the moment they left Tor. The chances of actually connecting to one of these rogue routers was slim (about 2.7 percent), but you clearly wouldn’t have enjoyed winning this lottery.

The kicker? The campaign was probably avoidable. SIGAINT doesn’t encrypt its normal website, which let the perpetrator get away with the impersonation necessary for this campaign. The service tells Motherboard that it doesn’t lock this site because it’s both a hassle for users and ineffective against fake security certificates, but that’s not much consolation if you’re affected. SIGAINT hasn’t said exactly what it will do, but it’s looking at either encrypting its page or pulling the public Tor link to reduce the chances of this kind of assault.

It’s not clear who’s responsible, and there’s no clear evidence that this was a government agency trying to spy on drug dealers and terrorists. Given the low odds of intercepting any useful messages, the attack could just as easily be the work of criminals hoping to get lucky, or even someone holding a grudge. Whoever’s at fault, the incident suggests that you’ll want to be careful about sending sensitive messages, no matter how secure you think a service might be.

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Via: Motherboard

Source: Tor Project

26
Apr

Huawei P8 Lite now available to pre-order through independent retailer in Germany


Screen Shot 2015-04-26 at 10.43.54

Today, the scaled-down variant of Huawei’s flagship smartphone of 2015, the P8, popped up for pre-order in Germany. The P8 Lite is available in either black or silver, and carries a price tag of €249 ($270).

With regards to specifications, the P8 Lite packs a 5-inch display with a resolution of 1280×720 pixels, a Kirin 620 System-on-Chip (SoC) with an octa-core CPU, 2GB of RAM and a 13-megapixel rear-facing camera.

According to the listing, the device will ship to customers from May 15.

Hit the source link below to find out more.

Source: Saturn.de

Come comment on this article: Huawei P8 Lite now available to pre-order through independent retailer in Germany

26
Apr

Police can spot differences between identical twins by melting DNA


Identical twin women

Believe it or not, police have a real problem with identifying suspects who are identical twins — unless you’re willing to spend a month sequencing genes, DNA samples are all but useless. They may be far more effective in the future, though, as British researchers have developed a technique that melts DNA to identify what few differences exist. The team has determined that heating genes will break hydrogen bonds that form due to a person’s environment and habits. Unless the twins live eerily similar lives, those bonds will snap at different temperature points and quickly identify who’s who.

The technique requires a relatively large sample, so it wouldn’t work if there’s just a scant amount of DNA at a crime scene. However, it should only take a few hours to get a result. So long as the technology reaches the field, law enforcement would have a relatively easy time determining the evil twin (and exonerating the good one, of course) while the accusations are still fresh.

[Image credit: AP Photo/M. Spencer Green]

Filed under: Science

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Via: NewScientist

Source: University of Huddersfield, ScienceDirect

26
Apr

Samsung is opening a new production line to accomodate Galaxy S6 Edge demand






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By now, many of you will have heard that demand for Samsung‘s latest devices, the Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 Edge, has been considerably more than Samsung, or really anyone, anticipated. Keeping up with supply of the Galaxy S6 doesn’t appear to be an issue for the Korean manufacturer, however, the manufacture of the curved display for the S6 Edge isn’t something that Samsung is able to ramp up without additional help. To that end, Bloomberg has been made aware that Samsung has opened a third factory, referred to as the A3 production line, which will give Samsung 2.5 times the production capacity to make these curved displays and keep up with Galaxy S6 Edge demand.

In real numbers, Samsung’s previous output of curved displays was about 2 million per month, and this A3 line will allow them to get out 5 million screens every month. If that’s not enough of an indication of how much Samsung is under the pump to keep up with demand, the A3 line wasn’t supposed to be opened for another two months – the original plan was to open the plant in June. While we don’t expect the S6 Edge to sell quite as many devices as the vanilla Galaxy S6, we’re genuinely floored by its popularity so far – maybe Samsung really is on to something this time.


What do you think about Samsung’s ability to keep up with Galaxy S6 Edge demand? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.

Source: Bloomberg via SamMobile

The post Samsung is opening a new production line to accomodate Galaxy S6 Edge demand appeared first on AndroidSPIN.

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