Skip to content

Archive for


Netflix reportedly pays $90 million for Will Smith and ‘Bright’

A couple of weeks ago rumors surfaced that Netflix was in the lead to sign its biggest movie deal yet, and now Deadline says it is the winner of a bidding battle (over Warner Bros./MGM and PalmStar) for Bright. Pitched as an R-rated thriller with fantasy elements, it carries a reported price tag of about $90 million — $30 million or so more than it paid for War Machine with Brad Pitt. In it, Smith is apparently playing cop partnered with an orc (Joel Edgerton) Alien Nation-style. That includes $45 million to shoot it, with another $45 million used to pay the talent and buy out back end residual fees that they won’t get because of its anticipated limited theater release.

Max Landis wrote the script, while David Ayer (who just finished working with Smith on Suicide Squad and is on deck to produce a sequel for that movie) is attached as director. For all that cash, Netflix has obtained a high-profile exclusive with a recognizable face to advertise on its (now-worldwide) streaming service — just the kind of thing that might attract some of the millions of people who don’t already have an account to sign up and try it out. Also, it’s supposed to launch a franchise, which would help keep those subscription fees rolling in for years to come.

Source: Deadline


Blackberry revived on the Samsung Galaxy S7 edge: Keyboard Cover review

One of Samsung’s less talked about accessories is the Keyboard Cover designed for the S7 and S7 edge. It’s obscure because many get by with the keyboard on the full


Nexus devices to get a mid-month security patch after critical Linux kernel exploit discovered


App used to root Nexus 5, Nexus 6 found to have exploited ‘local elevation of privilege vulnerability,’ but .

Google has issued a supplemental update to its monthly Android Security Advisory after a critical flaw in the Linux kernel was found to be exploited in a rooting app. The flaw as originally reported was scheduled to be patched in a coming monthly security update, but that changed once researchers from Zimperium were able to demonstrate an exploit, and an application using it to root a Nexus 5 and a Nexus 6 was found in the wild. (Google did not name the rooting application in question.) The issue was then rated as a Critical severity issue, and the patch has been sent to AOSP and Android partners.

While software exploiting the issue is available, Google reminds us that it has checks in place — in Google Play itself (which doesn’t allow rooting apps), as well as outside the Play Store — that will keep any possible consumer impact low. Verify Apps (Google’s “Bouncer”) already has been updated to detect and block installation of apps that are attempting to exploit this vulnerability both within and outside of Google Play. In addition, any Android device using Linux kernel version 3.18 or higher is not vulnerable. (The new Samsung Galaxy S7, for example, is on kernel version 3.18.20.)

Writes Google:

To provide a final layer of defense for this issue, partners were provided with a patch for this issue on March 16, 2016. Nexus updates are being created and will be released within a few days. Source code patches for this issue have been released to the Android Open Source Project (AOSP) repository.

While the potential impact from this particular issue seems low, it’s nice to see any critical issue being addressed in a timely manner and outside of the normal patch schedule. Interested parties can learn more at Google’s security advisory page.



Microsoft is trying to make Chrome extensions work on Edge

Microsoft’s very first batch of Edge browser extensions is small, but it seems the company’s taking steps to make sure Windows users get more in the future. According to Microsoft Senior Program Manager Jacob Rossi, the tech titan is developing a “porting tool to run Chrome extensions in Edge.” It will presumably make things even easier for developers to create Edge versions of their extensions, though Rossi clarified that it doesn’t support all APIs. The tool isn’t finished yet, as well, but it’s not like most users can start installing plug-ins on their browsers anyway. Redmond has just begun testing the feature, and for now, only Windows Insiders in the Fast ring can enjoy it.

Lots of questions on this: yes we’re working on a porting tool to run Chrome extensions in Edge. Not yet finished and not all APIs supported

— Jacob Rossi (@jacobrossi) March 18, 2016

Via: Windows Central

Source: Jacob Rossi (Twitter)


Steam is ready to play all your games in VR

Not too long ago Valve announced that it had a way to play all of your Steam games in virtual reality, rather than just those built solely for the medium. Well, it’s officially out in beta form and if you’re one of the lucky folks who already has an Oculus Rift or Vive Pre, you can take it for a spin right this moment. Valve says that any game that supports Steam Broadcast should work with Desktop Game Theater, but you might have to fiddle with graphics settings on a per-game basis to get everything working properly. Consider it the modern analog of jiggling the handle to get the giant virtual screen working in your VR cave.

With the Rift releasing March 28th and the Vive coming out in April, this essentially amounts to the PC gaming giant prepping the runway. If you can’t get enough news about VR today, then you should definitely check out our feature on how cellphone maker HTC and Valve collaborated to bring the Vive to the world.

Source: Steam Community


Johns Hopkins’ drone flies straight from an underwater station

A UAV developed by a Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Lab team can stay underwater for months, waiting out of sight until it’s called to duty. When the machine does get deployed, it can swim up and fly into the air, just like any other quadcopter. The team calls their creation the KRAKENS CRACUNS or Corrosion Resistant Aerial Covert Unmanned Nautical System, made using additive manufacturing (3D printing) and other techniques. It can stay submerged hundreds of feet beneath the water’s surface, thanks to its composite airframe that can withstand the pressure.

In addition, the engineers sealed its most sensitive components inside a dry pressure compartment. They also painted its exposed parts with commercially available coatings that can protect them against the corrosive properties of saltwater. Both measures seem to have worked well during their experiments: the drone the researchers kept in sea water for two months showed no signs of damage.

CRACUNS doesn’t have any metal parts that can rust and malfunction in the water — best of all, it’s lightweight and doesn’t cost much. Those factors make it a good candidate for big research or military operations. Not to mention, if the company/government agency/university operating a fleet of these machines lose some to inclement weather or high-risk missions, it wouldn’t hurt too much.

Source: Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory


Live in a yellow submarine on Google Maps

Google wants to help you remodel your house one sticker at a time. Okay, maybe that’s a bit of a stretch, but the search giant is adding options to customize locations (including your abode and where you work) within Google Maps by adding a whimsical icon to it. You can totally tell people you work in a lighthouse, pirate ship or a even live in yellow submarine, so long as you don’t mind sharing it with a few musical insects, that is. What’s more, you can add labels to just about any destination now so can get push notifications about what traffic and travel time will be like to, say, the grocery store during rush hour.

However, based on what Google says, it sounds like you can only apply stickers to where you earn and bake your bread — nowhere else. Folks with iOS devices will have to wait for this because it’s only available for Android users at the moment.

Source: Google Latitude blog


Five for Friday: Apps to keep your days straight.

Many of us live by a schedule. We have many things to do, and most of us are not lucky enough to have a personal assistant or a secretary to


Jenn-Air Connected Double Oven Release Date, Price and Specs – CNET


The Jenn-Air connected oven is available, but its integration with Nest won’t begin until summer 2016.

Sarah Tew/CNET

Does it get a little too hot in the kitchen when you cook? A new smart home collaboration will help keep things cool automatically.

A connected wall oven from luxury appliance brand Jenn-Air will work with the popular Nest Learning Thermostat beginning this summer, the company announced Thursday at the Architectural Digest Design Show in New York City. This means you can set the Nest to turn down the temperature by a degree or two if the thermostat detects that you’re using the oven, which ranges in price from $3,549 to $5,199. The Nest will also work with the Jenn-Air Connected Double Wall Oven’s app to send you an alert if your oven is on, but the Nest detects that you’re not home.

This collaboration is a natural evolution for Jenn-Air’s parent company, Whirlpool, which announced at CES 2016 that a Whirlpool range and dishwasher would work with Nest. The Whirlpool Corporation’s partnership with the smart thermostat, along with the Whirlpool dishwasher’s compatibility with the Amazon Dash replenishments, show that the company is aggressive in integrating its kitchen products (from the luxury lines to the more mainstream brands) into the larger concept of the connected home.


The Jenn-Air connected wall oven ranges in price from $3,549 to $5,199 depending on finishes and whether you pair the single oven with a built-in microwave or another wall oven.

Sarah Tew/CNET

Whirlpool’s choice of companies to work with is also (for lack of a better word) smart. Amazon recently announced new developer tools for its virtual assistant, Alexa, that will let you sync Alexa-powered gadgets like the Amazon Echo smart speaker with the Nest. It’s not too much of a stretch to wonder if you’ll eventually be able to ask Alexa if your oven’s on.

Jenn-Air began shipping its connected oven in December. Even without the integration with Nest, the oven has an impressive app and interface. You can use a feature called the Culinary Center that will ask for information about what you’re cooking (from your desired level of doneness to the type of pan you’re using) and recommend cook settings for the dish. From the app, you can send those settings directly to the oven so it will be ready to cook to your preferences when you get home. These features are promising, but the connected oven’s price will put them out of reach for a lot of folks. I’d like to see the Whirlpool Corporation incorporate some of the features from the Jenn-Air’s app into the app for the connected and less expensive Whirlpool connected oven when it’s released late this year.


  • 7-inch LCD touchscreen
  • Oven available as a single unit or paired with a built-in microwave or second wall oven
  • Users can set a cooking sequence (for example, bake for an hour, broil for five minutes, keep warm for 20 minutes) directly on the oven or the app
  • Includes connected temperature probe

Breville Barista Express review – CNET

The Good The semi-automatic Breville Barista Express brews better espresso than more expensive machines. It’s comparatively easy to use and keep clean, plus it has an attractive stainless-steel design. It also has a built-in burr grinder for hassle-free coffee ground dosing.

The Bad The Breville Barista Express requires some effort to operate compared with fancy super-automatic machines.

The Bottom Line The attractive, user-friendly Breville Barista Express makes delicious espresso, with outstanding value in a pricey category.

In my experience, there are two types of espresso drinkers. The first set doesn’t care where their elixir comes from, how much it costs or how it’s made, as long as they get it fast. A second group dreams about duplicating espresso alchemy at home, on the cheap, and are more than willing to get their hands dirty. If the latter sounds like you, then the semi-automatic $600 Breville Barista Express espresso machine is a dream come true.

The Barista Express offers just enough adjustable controls and manual settings that you feel like a real barista when using it. It’s also simple to operate, performs as well as machines costing hundreds more, and grinds beans right into its portafilter. Of course a gadget like this isn’t for everyone since it requires some effort and patience to operate. Those who demand their concentrated coffee fix with a minimum of fuss (and who are willing to pay for it), a fully automatic machine like the $3,000 Philips Saeco GranBaristo Avanti and $2,500 Krups EA 9010 will be more your speed.

Breville’s Barista Express makes premium…
See full gallery



12 of 13


Design and features

Measuring 16 inches tall by 13.5 inches wide and reaching a depth of 12.5 inches, the Breville Barista Express is roughly the size of a standard drip coffee maker but about twice as wide. Compared with compact espresso machines such as the De’Longhi Dedica and Mr. Coffee Cafe Barista, Breville’s espresso maker is larger and physically more robust.

Aside from its girth, on looks alone Breville’s machine gives the impression that it means business.The stainless-steel chassis, and the the hefty steel portafilter and handle attachment help its appearance, but the large bean hopper, companion burr grinder, and pressure gauge really seal its serious looks. You usually only see those features on premium semi and super automatic espresso makers.


This machine has a real pressure gauge.

Chris Monroe/CNET

It’s the pressure gauge that most communicates the Breville’s brewing chops. Placed front and center on the control panel, the circular dial displays whether the internal pump is pushing hot water through your coffee grounds within the optimal pressure range.

Too little force and water will flow through the grounds too quickly, missing much of its potential flavor, and resulting in under extracted and sour-tasting espresso. Too little hot water flow under high pressure will likely yield espresso liquid with a bitter flavor. Cheaper espresso machines tend to lack pressure gauges either to cut costs, or mask that they have inconsistent performance.


Adjust the grind amount.

Chris Monroe/CNET

To the left and right of the dial are large circular buttons for “Power,” “Filter Size” and “Program,” along with two for choosing to brew single or double espresso shots. Here too is a knob for setting the amount of coffee grounds the grinder will produce automatically for either single or double-sized espresso filters.

To make life easier, ground coffee drops directly into the Barista Express’ steel portafilter. From there it’s a cinch to gently press (or tamp) the portafilter’s contents down (Breville includes a metal tamper) and twist the entire apparatus (handle, filter and all) into position under the machine’s single brew head.


Grounds drop right into the portafilter.

Chris Monroe/CNET

A swivel-joint mounted steam wand along with a hot water nozzle live to the right of the brew head, both activated by a large knob on the machine’s right side. On the far left of the unit sits a grind size selector that boasts 18 settings including “coarse” on one end and “fine” on the other. Other thoughtful touches include a drip tray that’s easy to clean and a removable water tank with its own sturdy handle.

Pull shots like a barista

I admit that at first all the Breville Barista Express’ knobs, buttons, and dials were intimidating. Thanks to the detailed manual, after pulling just a few practice shots I had the basic process down. First I filled the bean hopper and the water tank. Next I dropped a double-walled, double-shot filter into the portafilter basket (I always prefer double shots) and pushed it backward into the grinding cradle.


Fill the grinder’s bean hopper.

Chris Monroe/CNET

One short push and release hits a button at the back of the cradle telling the grinder to automatically fill the filter basket to the size you’ve selected, single or double. Also factored in is what grind amount setting you’ve selected, controlled by the grind amount dial. You can grind manually into the portafilter too by pushing it back and holding it in place. Releasing backwards pressure off of the portafilter handle stops the grinder.

Finally you tamp down your grounds, swivel the portafilter into place to lock it under the brewhead, then hit the single or double espresso button. With any luck a thick, concentrated stream of espresso liquid will flow into your glass or cup. Keep in mind that many factors can affect your espresso pull quality. These include the coarseness and amount of grounds used, how hard a tamp you exert, and whether the machine has been properly primed right before you brew.

%d bloggers like this: