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9
May

Now you can Periscope directly from your drone in the sky


Periscope, the live video streaming service, has announced a number of updates including a cool drone partnership with DJI. Now you’ll be able to broadcast live from your drone as it flies.

Periscope says that users will not only be able to transmit live drone footage from the DJI camera but can switch back to the phone that’s controlling it for video from there too. On top of that it’ll even switch to your GoPro too allowing for huge production potential.

Other updates include details on the ability to record live video beyond 24 hours using the #save feature that’s incoming. This can be set to certain broadcasts to automatically save and will even allow the user to set them to delete after 24 hours, should they want. They can also delete the broadcast at anytime too.

Periscope will also now allow for broadcast searching using pre-populated topics like #Food, #Travel, #Music and so on. Users can browse these topics to find new content and can also choose how they want their videos found and viewed. This should help bring the service a step closer to more friendly browsing accessibility.

All these features will be rolling out to the app in the coming weeks.

READ: What is Periscope?

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9
May

Creative pushes for US bans on several smartphone makers


Creative has a long history of wielding its patents against other tech companies (just ask Apple), but its latest effort might top them all. The US International Trade Commission is investigating Creative’s complaints that seven smartphone makers (BlackBerry, HTC, LG, Lenovo/Motorola, Samsung, Sony and ZTE) violate its patents. Allegedly, all of the companies are imitating Creative’s hierarchical menu system for media playback, much as the iPod supposedly duped Zen players a decade ago. If successful, the ITC dispute would ban the sale of at least some of these companies’ devices… and given the sheer scope of the complaint, you’d probably notice the absences on store shelves.

None of the companies involved have commented on how they’ll respond to the move. Also, it’ll be a while before there’s a conclusion — as with any other ITC case, the Commission will have to review any initial decision. However, Creative’s strategy is already fairly clear. It’s gambling that at least some of its targets will settle rather than risk seeing some of their most important products banned in the US. It’s not as though there’s a simple fix, either — the media interface that Creative describes is both very generic and near-ubiquitous, so avoiding it would require a major software redesign.

Via: Reuters

Source: US ITC

9
May

Google tries turning search links black


As much as Google has changed over the years, there have always been certain constants in its search results: a plain white background, 10 results per page and blue site links. However, some users have had to cross that last one off their list. The Telegraph has noticed that Google recently started testing black links, giving the page a certain This is Spinal Tap (or maybe goth) flair. There doesn’t appear to be a clear pattern that determines who gets picked, but some test subjects have reported that the links revert to blue when you log out of your Google account and sign back in.

Google has declined to comment so far (we’ve asked for a statement regardless). However, as with most such experiments, it’s safe to say that those black links aren’t guaranteed to reach everyone. Their fate likely depends on both raw test data and public feedback. The links may get the A-OK if Google sees more people clicking results, or fade into oblivion if there’s enough of a public outcry. One thing’s for sure: the very fact that this is even an issue shows just how much people take Google’s design for granted.

Google saw my blue links and they’ve painted them all black,
No colours any more, they want them to turn black! pic.twitter.com/NItnW8NF05

— Mark Summerfield (@patentology) May 9, 2016

Via: Reddit

Source: Telegraph

9
May

Researchers develop a drug-sniffing car that can pinpoint your stash


A chemistry professor in Texas has equipped an electric Ford sedan with a unique (and possibly unconstitutional) aftermarket upgrade: a drug-sniffing device that can recognize small amounts of illegal substances in the air and locate the source with surprising accuracy.

The device, designed by Dr. Guido Verbeck of the University of North Texas and East Syracuse-based Inficon, was originally intended to measure highway pollution and other environmental applications, Vice News reports. But Verbeck and his team quickly realized it “could be used to precisely determine the source of any unique chemical profile traveling through the air — including those associated with many types of drugs.”

To test the device, Verbeck set up a Breaking Bad play set fake mobile home meth lab and pumped “drug fumes” out off the air vents. The device was able to detect the fumes from a distance of a quarter-mile. “When certain types of chemical strains are detected, the computer kicks on and starts calculating where that strain is coming from,” Verbeck told Vice News. “Within a matter of minutes, the location is pinpointed within a 4 percent error.”

The device is essentially a more durable, road-ready version of a mass spectrometer that sits in the passenger seat of a hybrid sedan. The delicate instruments are isolated from the road thanks to an electromagnetic suspension system and air vent near the rearview mirror sucks in outside air through a small intake. Once an offending substance has been identified, the onboard computer calculates the location by measuring diffusion in different locations and accounting for weather factors like wind speed and temperature.

While the most practical application here would be to track down large-scale manufacturers of synthetic drugs, Verbeck says it could even be used to find something as mellow as a burning joint. Although drug-sniffing tech like this isn’t out in the wild just yet, Verbeck believes a commercial version could cost as little as $80,00 to $100,000. Naturally, law enforcement agencies are excited by the prospect of car that could detect grow houses and meth labs simply by driving around a neighborhood, even if it could constitute an illegal search and seizure under the fourth amendment.

While legal experts say its anyone’s guess how a court would rule on the matter, one DEA agent quoted by Vice News didn’t seem to see a problem here. “If it’s in the air, it’s like the air waves,” Special Agent Patterson explained. “They’re not owned by anybody.”

9
May

Periscope will add DJI drone streaming and broadcast saving soon


Today Periscope announced that later this week it will be implementing support for live streaming from DJI drones via iPhones and that it will soon start saving all videos by default. The Twitter-owned service also said that users will be able to search for broadcasts based on topic hashtags like #Travel, #Music and #Food. It will also launch special topics like “GoPros and Drones” and “First Scope.”

The drone feature will work just like broadcasting from a GoPro — a feature that was introduced back in January. Users will be able to switch on the fly from the DJI Drone, a GoPro and an iPhone. While video is being shot, people will be able to narrate and sketch on the footage from their handsets.

For folks who want their broadcasts to last longer than 24 hours, the upcoming saving feature will not only save the video but also the chat and likes. Periscope recently implemented a beta version of the upcoming save feature that required users to add #save to the title.

The search feature should help those looking for a certain type of live video. Currently the app only lets you search for users or scour a global map. Users can add their lives stream by adding a hashtag to the title or launching a broadcast from the search results page.

Source: Periscope

9
May

Netflix nabs ‘Ultimate Beastmaster’ reality competition show


Ultimate Beastmaster is what happens when someone tries to make Ninja Warrior more epic. It adds Sylvester Stallone and The Biggest Loser creator David Broome as executive producers, throws in a healthy mix of 108 competitors from six countries, and, since it’s a Netflix original, all 10 episodes will land on the streaming service simultaneously across the globe.

Competitors from the US, Brazil, South Korea, Mexico, Germany and Japan will take on a ridiculous obstacle course called The Beast over nine episodes featuring 12 people each (that’s two from each country). The final episode pits all nine champions against each other for the chance to be crowned the Ultimate Beastmaster.

Plus, Ultimate Beastmaster is localized in all six participating countries, featuring unique hosts and commentary in each region. The US gets Brooklyn Nine-Nine’s Terry Crews and Fox Sports’ Charissa Thompson, while Mexico gets journalist Ines Sainz and actor Luis Ernesto Franco, for example.

“The world will watch in awe as amazing competitors from around the globe overcome grueling physical challenges — and in the process become champions and heroes,” Stallone says. “The course is unequaled in its daring creation and I am excited to be a part of it.”

Netflix has been expanding its lineup of original programming with shows like Chelsea, a talk show featuring Chelsea Handler that’s due to premiere on May 11th. Ultimate Beastmaster, a competitive reality series, marks another new style of show for Netflix.

There’s no word on when Ultimate Beastmaster will land on Netflix, but if we had to guess, we’d say 1982.

Update: Ultimate Beastmaster executive producer David Broome tells Engadget, “This series is much more than a very cool physical competition — the graphic should tip that off and the mythology behind all of this should excite lots of fans around the world.”

The tagline on the show’s official page (it’s just a teaser for now) reads, “The ultimate competition of man vs. beast.” We are now revising our speculated release date to 1995.

Source: Netflix

9
May

Virtual Boy emulator digs up VR’s embarrassing past


The Virtual Boy is often considered a bit of a failed experiment for Nintendo, but an intriguing collector’s item for gaming enthusiasts. Unfortunately, it’s never been comfortable or enjoyable by any means to actually sit down and play one unless you want to invite eye strain or other physical irritants, until now. One crafty Reddit user has brought the Virtual Boy catalogue to Google Cardboard and the RetroArch emulator.

The-King-of-Spain has detailed instructions on how to follow in his footsteps in the Reddit thread. You’ll need to pick up an Android smartphone, RetroArch emulation software and roms, and Google Cardboard or similar VR headset. From there, you’ll have to alter a few settings, and you’ll be on your way to playing Waterworld or Mario Clash.

This could very well be the optimal way to enjoy Virtual Boy titles, as the games are played via RetroArch in grayscale rather than the classic red and black scheme. The-King-of-Spain himself also confirms that after “about 30 minutes of play time” he hasn’t yet experienced any of the system’s trademark motion sickness. If you’ve ever been curious about the Virtual Boy but didn’t want to subject yourself to physical ailments, this might be the best way to experience it.

Via: The Verge

Source: Reddit

9
May

Possible iPhone 7 Dummy Unit Showcases Removed Antenna Bands, Smart Connector, and Flush Camera


An anonymous tipster has submitted a photo of a possible preproduction iPhone 7 dummy unit that could easily be fake, but offers a good visual representation of rumors surrounding the next-generation smartphone.

The unverified photo shows what appears to be a silver iPhone 7 with a similar form factor as the iPhone 6s, beyond at least three notable differences.

The first is the absence of rear antenna bands, giving the rear shell a cleaner all-metal look. Earlier this year, a previously reliable source informed us that Apple would indeed remove the antenna bands across the rear of the iPhone 7.

The antenna bands would instead be repositioned along the top and bottom edges of the iPhone, as shown in a number of mockups such as our own below. The bands slightly extend to the side edges of the iPhone akin to the current design.

iphone7mockupantennabands
The second is the inclusion of a Smart Connector, first introduced on the iPad Pro, that could allow for both data and power transfer between the iPhone 7 and accessories. Speculation about the port’s exact role on the iPhone 7 has ranged from battery case connectivity to wireless charging.

Multiple reports have claimed the next iPhone will feature a Smart Connector, supported by a purported image of the iPhone 7 Plus featuring the port, but the latest word from oft-reliable Japanese website Mac Otakara suggests Apple may have ditched those plans until at least next year or perhaps indefinitely.

A third difference is what appears to be a flush camera lens, without the infamous protruding ring found on the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6s series. Early rumors pointed towards a flush design, but more recent rumors suggest the camera could remain slightly convex. The photo does not depict a dual-lens camera system, which could be exclusive to the iPhone 7 Plus. The microphone and LED flash remain unchanged.

A possible fourth but less distinguishable change may be the absence of a 3.5mm headphone jack, which multiple sources claimed would be removed on the iPhone 7. This rumor also carries some uncertainty with it after images of a possible Lightning cable assembly with a headphone jack, considered to be appropriate for the next iPhone, surfaced last week.

However, despite rumors claiming the iPhone 7 could also have stereo speakers, there still appears to be only one grille to the left of a Lightning port and microphone on the bottom. If ever realized, dual speakers could possibly be exclusive to the larger iPhone 7 Plus/Pro or delayed until the 2017 iPhone with an OLED display and glass casing.

Earlier today, a claimed design drawing of the iPhone 7 pointed towards the next-generation smartphone having the same length and width as the iPhone 6s. The device’s overall form factor is expected to resemble the iPhone 6 from 2014, resulting in three consecutive generations of the same design beyond minor tweaks.

Other rumored features for the iPhone 7 series include a faster TSMC-built A10 chip, touch-sensitive home button, waterproofing and dustproofing, faster Intel LTE modems, and a slightly larger battery. At this point, however, it is still not entirely clear which features are designated for the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus, expected to be announced in September, or the OLED-based iPhone due in 2017.

Related Roundup: iPhone 7
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9
May

You can now enjoy Nintendo Virtual Boy games on Google Cardboard


virtual-cardboard.jpg?itok=RRJS0DEr

The Nintendo Virtual Boy was ahead of its time, sort of. It was a VR system by Nintendo that essentially flopped badly. Some titles from the old 3D console were actually pretty good and now you can enjoy them on your Google Cardboard setup thanks to a modified unofficial Virtual Boy emulator. Reddit user The-King-of-Spain has managed to get a selection of old titles working on Cardboard. To work the magic you’ll need the Android vintage emulator RetroArch, including ROMs you wish to load up), Google Cardboard VR headset and a compatible smartphone.

What makes this rather awesome is how you’ll be able to experience titles like Wario Land on Google Cardboard. There’s little investment aside from configuring the emulator on your smartphone. Here’s a video of it all in action:

Thankfully, The-King-of-Spain notes that he has not experienced motion sickness or any issues while enjoying certain Virtual Boy titles on Google Cardboard. As noted in the Reddit post:

“After about 30 minutes of play time, I’m not experiencing any of the Virtual Boy’s trademark motion sickness. There’s also something to be said for playing the games in grayscale instead of the headache-inducing red. It’s pretty cool to see Virtual Boy games in their full stereoscopic glory, but the added depth doesn’t seem to add much value gameplay-wise.”

There are some detailed instructions available for those who wish to take the plunge. Be sure to read through them all carefully to get everything working right. Have you managed to enjoy Virtual Boy titles on Google Cardboard? If so, let us know in the comments!

9
May

T-Mobile customers will be able to use their phones in Cuba this summer


T-Mobile has announced it has signed a interconnect and roaming deal with Empresa De Telecomunicaciones De Cuba. It will allow T-Mobile customers to use their phones for calls, texts and data while they are traveling in Cuba sometime later this summer.

T-Mobile-Store-Hero-Web.jpg?itok=2Arp-gg

T-Mobile’s press release states the new agreement will also allow T-Mobile Simple Choice customers to call landlines and wireless phones in Cuba from the U.S. for just $0.60 per minute if they are signed up for the “Stateside International Talk” feature, which costs $15 a month. It added:

More than a third (36.6%) of Cuban-born wireless customers are with T-Mobile, more than AT&T and triple the number of Verizon customers. And, customers in Cuban-American hubs like Miami are choosing T-Mobile and MetroPCS nearly twice as often as AT&T or Verizon. Not surprisingly, Cuba is the #1 requested addition to T-Mobile’s international roaming on social media. Naturally, the Un-carrier is listening and responding to its customers.

There’s no word yet on what the roaming rates will be for T-Mobile customers traveling in Cuba.

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