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20
Mar

Finger vs Farmers: Finger-swiping madness [Review]


Overview – Finger vs Farmers is a step into the shoes of a God who enjoys toying with his subjects. Developer: Brutal Studio Highlights: Graphically nice Free (ads and in-app

20
Mar

Autoblog drives the world’s fastest motorized log


Translogic host Jonathon Buckley takes a ride in the Cedar Rocket, the world’s fastest log. Built by reality TV star Bryan Reid, Sr., of Timber Kings, the Cedar Rocket is powered by two electric turbines and an electric motor.

“We were going to spend 50 or 60 hours and put a couple axels onto a log and laugh about it,” said Reid, Sr. “It ended up [taking] thousands of hours.”

So why do it?

“You need a goal in life no matter what you do. Our goal was to build the fastest motorized log in the world.”

Mission accomplished for Reid, Sr., and crew. The Cedar Rocket captured the Guinness World Record for ‘fastest motorized log,’ and will be auctioned at Barrett-Jackson to benefit various veterans charities.

“More or less, this is for awareness to show that there [are] soldiers coming back with problems, whether it’s physical problems or mental problems, and we want to help them out.”

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  • Click here to learn more about our host, Jonathon Buckley.
20
Mar

Lyft drivers would make more as employees, estimates show


Critics claim that ridesharing companies stiff drivers by labeling them as contractors rather than full employees, but how much are they losing out on, really? Quite a bit, if you ask those drivers’ lawyers. In the wake of Lyft’s proposed lawsuit settlement over worker statuses, the attorneys have produced a court-ordered estimate showing that the average driver would have made an additional $835 in expense reimbursements over the past 4 years if treated as full-fledged staff. That may not sound like much, but most of the drivers covered in the lawsuit worked just 60 hours over those years — that’s a lot of money for relatively little effort. Particularly busy drivers would have earned considerably more, according to the calculations.

Whether or not the estimate is on the mark isn’t clear. We’ve reached out to Lyft for its take, and we’ll let you know if it has a response. However precise the figures might be, they could have a big impact on the proposed settlement. It reckons that there would have been a total of $126 million in expense reimbursements, or more than 10 times the $12.25 million Lyft has agreed to pay so far. Although lawyers on both sides are currently fine with the deal, both the Teamsters union and five drivers already object to it — and they’re likely to be that much angrier knowing that the lost income estimate is so high.

Source: Reuters

20
Mar

Apple’s March 2016 Media Event: Spoiler-Free Video Stream


Apple’s March 2016 media event will be kicking off at 10:00 AM Pacific tomorrow, and as is tradition some MacRumors readers who can’t follow the event live are interested in avoiding all of the announcements and waiting until Apple posts the recorded video of the event so as to experience it without already knowing the outcome.

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For those individuals, we’ve posted this news story, which will be updated with a direct link to the presentation once it becomes available from Apple. No other news stories or announcements will be displayed alongside this story.

Apple has become quicker about making event videos available for replay over the past several years, and videos are now frequently available within an hour of an event’s conclusion.

Users waiting for the video to be posted are welcome to gather in the thread associated with this news story, and we ask that those who follow the events refrain from making any posts about Apple’s announcements in this thread.

Tags: spoiler-free, March 2016 event
Discuss this article in our forums

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20
Mar

From the Editor’s Desk: The silliest argument in all of Android (this week)


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Not having an app drawer isn’t exactly a new phenomenon, nor is it something any self-respecting smartphone nerd should ever worry about.

Spend, oh, more than 30 seconds on the Internet and you’ll quickly learn that folks love to argue. We’ll argue about anything and everything. We’ll argue over whether we actually do love to argue, who argues the best, and whether the only way to win an argument online is to not argue in the first place. (“A strange game …”)

Smartphone nerds in particular have their fair share of back-and-forths. I’m as guilty of it as anyone. (Though I have the luxury of being in charge and therefore have an unfair advantage, especially since I can post gifs in the comments.)

But there’s one bone of contention lately that’s had me shaking my head even more than usual.

I’ve used a lot of phones in my time with Android Central. A lot of phones. And it’s good to get out of one’s comfort zone from time to time. In the early days it’d be Korea-specific phones from LG. More recently it’s been China-specific phones from Huawei. I need to get into Xiaomi. And one thing Huawei and Xiaomi have had in common is that they’ve eschewed the traditional Android launcher for something more akin to the iPhone’s Springboard.

That is, no app drawer.

North America is getting its first real taste of phones without app drawers.

And now with the LG G5 (as well as the Nextbit Robin, which I’m finally taking a good look at), we’ve got some North America-friendly phones that are going the same route. No app drawer.

The nerds are not pleased.

Zachary Boddy in our G5 forums wrote “I believe it should be an option. I love the App Drawer but I understand why some people would want it to be removed. It’s unfortunate that so many manufacturers seem to be drifting in that direction, however.”

Fair enough.

Mike-Mike in the comments on our initial LG G5 hands-on chimed in “Also no app drawer blows my mind, don’t think I like that.”

OK, fine. But here’s the thing:

Of all the things to worry about when it comes to what makes a smartphone good in the eyes of someone who (let’s be perfectly honest here) obsesses over such toys, the absence of an app drawer may be the silliest concern in recent memory.

An app drawer is part of the launcher. And launchers are better than ever — and just a download away in Google Play. Google’s own launcher is available for download. There’s the uber-popular Nova Launcher. I’m still a huge fan of Action Launcher. There are others. I know this. You nerds out there know this.

I’ve been using a pre-production model of the LG G5 for a few days. I’ve been playing with the Nextbit Robin as well. I’ve used the Huawei Mate 8 and Mate S at length, as well as their cousin, the Honor 5X. Nary an app drawer to be seen. And it took all of 2 minutes to fire up my launcher of choice. So what the hell are we so worried about?

App drawers are better to have than not. They’re also just a download away. No big deal.

Purple Zebra got it in the comments of our hands-on. “Comment sections everywhere are full of people saying they won’t buy it because of the lack of app drawer. I’m getting repetitive facepalm injuries.”

Exactly.

For the record, I’m a fan of having some kind of app drawer — if for no other reason than it makes it easier to rearrange the home screens the way you want. You don’t have to have a “shit apps” folder. (LG at least lets you hide apps on the G5.) Nextbit gets this, too, even including the Google Now Launcher as a pre-load.

But not having an app drawer doesn’t doom a phone to uselessness. It just means you’ll probably want to download a new one — something most of us reading this are probably doing anyway.

A few other things I might or might not be worried about …

  • I’ve had to put down the Galaxy S7 already. Not because there’s anything wrong with it — I still think it’s the best phone you can buy. But a pre-production LG G5 beckons. As does the Nexbit Robin, which finally arrived.
  • Apparently we have to keep saying this: If you want something cool and fun and unlocked, you have to avoid CDMA.
  • But Robin is still a very nice phone, even if I’m not all that sold on the “cloud” aspect of it yet.
  • Nothing looks quite like it. The nearly square corners take a little getting used to. But different is good.
  • Fine. I’ve added a 10th podcast to my subscriptions. West Wing Weekly.
  • I’ve somehow neglected to abuse this space to say this previously, but the new Anthrax record is killer.
  • (Yes, I still say “record” — because I am old.)
  • (And they sound better.)
  • Sorry to see good guy John V getting out. He’s been a staple at pretty much every U.S. event.
  • Hate to see Rick Osterloh leave Motorola, but it’s not all that surprising, either.
  • It’s worth revisiting our interview with him from Mobile World Congress in February.

That’s it for this week. See ya’ll Monday, app drawer in hand.

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20
Mar

The After Math: It’s virtual insanity


Between SXSW and GDC, Virtual Reality has been front and center in the public eye (and not just the folks wearing prosthetic penguin appendages). Sony’s PSVR headset finally received a price tag and shipping window, Sulon Technologies introduced its wireless hybrid AR/VR goggles and the UK’s first VR-enhanced roller coaster is now open for business.

20
Mar

Inhabitat’s Week in Green: A solar-powered plane, and more!


Everyone’s heard of hybrid cars, but what about hybrid airplanes? A solar and biofuel-powered plane is set to make history this June by completing the world’s first zero-carbon trans-Atlantic flight. We also spotted an incredible underwater exosuit that allows you to fly through the ocean like Ironman. In other transportation news, Mexico City banned over one million cars as air pollution levels skyrocketed. And a Swedish company created an amazing bicycle cafe that actually purifies city smog.
The Sahara Desert is the last place you’d expect to find a flourishing farm, but Tunisia is investing $30 million in a groundbreaking project that will produce solar power, food and fresh water. Have you always wanted to start a garden, but lack the space? IKEA just launched an indoor garden that lets you grow food all year-round. Even if your room doesn’t have any windows, you can still grow plants: Check out these amazing pendant lights that double as terrariums. And designer Elizabeth Esponette has created a sprout-covered “Chia Vest” that produces fresh oxygen while absorbing toxins and pollutants.

In design and technology news, Elide has created a magical ball that can extinguish any fire in an instant. Dutch designer Daan Roosegaarde outfitted wind turbines with laser lights to create a mesmerizing art installation. London released flocks of pigeons outfitted with tiny sensor backpacks to track pollution. And the Maldives just installed the world’s largest underwater restaurant.

20
Mar

Your old Amazon Kindle needs an update to stay online


Most Kindle updates focus on nice-to-have improvements, but this is one you won’t want to ignore. Amazon is warning owners of pre-2013 Kindles (that is, the original Kindle Paperwhite and earlier) that they need to update to recent software before March 22nd if they want to stay online. If you’re rocking one of the older e-readers and don’t heed the advice, you’ll lose access to the Kindle Store, your books in the cloud, and anything else that depends on Kindle services — basically, some of the reasons you bought a Kindle in the first place.

You’re not completely out of luck if you miss the deadline, as you can still recover if you’re willing to manually update with a USB cable. Suffice it to say that this isn’t the best way to remain current — you’re better off going wireless if you can. However you upgrade, the alert is a blunt reminder that cloud-connected devices won’t work forever unless they have the long-term support to match.

Source: Amazon

20
Mar

New studies detail just how complex Pluto and its moons are


Before New Horizons started sending back data and close-up images of Pluto, we barely knew the dwarf planet. We were like a love-sick fool who could only observe from afar. Now, the New Horizons scientists have enough material to publish five new papers that detail the probe’s findings on the dwarf planet and its moons in Science. One of its most important discoveries is that Pluto has been geologically active for 4 billion years. Its heart-shaped region’s western lobe, the Sputnik Planum, however, is relatively young at only 10-million-years-old.

The reason why Sputnik Planum is all smooth and intact is because the dwarf planet doesn’t release as much nitrogen into the atmosphere as we thought. One of the possible explanations for that is that its upper atmospheric temperature is about 70 degrees Fahrenheit colder than scientists assumed in the past. The team also found a plausible explanation for the hazy outline blanketing Pluto’s surface, which you can see in the image above. They believe it could be a collection of haze particles suspended in the air due to the winds blowing over Pluto’s numerous mountains.

Besides publishing information about the dwarf planet itself, the team also revealed new findings about its moons. Charon, the celestial body’s largest moon, apparently has a surface that’s just as ancient. Plus, they found evidence that its fellow (but smaller) satellites Styx, Nix, Kerberos and Hydra weren’t captured from the Kuiper Belt. They were likely the products of a collision that formed the whole Pluto system instead. NASA has listed the most significant information in the papers on its website. But if that’s not enough and there’s nothing better than spending a weekend poring over scientific papers, you can access all five right here.

Source: NASA (1), (2), Science (1), (2), (3), (4), (5), (6)

20
Mar

‘Destiny’ spring update arrives on April 12th


Bungie hasn’t been shy about teasing Destiny updates in between The Taken King and its sequel, but what are those going to look like, exactly, and when is it arriving? The studio isn’t spilling all the beans just yet, but it’s now offering a few clues. As part of a multi-post preview, Bungie has revealed that Destiny’s first big post-TTK update (aka version 2.2) will launch on April 12th with at least a few sweet offerings. There’s a new quest that revolves around the mysterious Blighted Chalice strike, as well as additional player-versus-environment challenges. Also, you can anticipate a smattering of new and updated gear, Crucible updates and an increased maximum Light level with rewards to match.

As mentioned in the past, the April update is free so long as you have TTK — you won’t be paying for a costly season pass like you did last year. The catch, as you may have noticed, is that there’s no mention of new maps, enemies or other meatier content additions. While that was expected, it leaves this update appealing primarily to serious fans who need just a bit more content to keep coming back.

Via: GameInformer

Source: Bungie

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