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23
Jun

Nissan drone can go 115mph, watch it race the 2017 Nissan GT-R


As part of the launch of the new, 2017 model of the Nissan GT-R, the Japanese car manufacturer built one of the world’s fastest accelerating first-person view drones.

The Nissan GT-R Drone is capable of a top speed of 115mph (185kph) and can accelerate from 0-60mph in under 1.3 seconds.

That’s why Nissan pitched its super speedy talents up against the 2017 car. Considering the latter is capable of speeds up to 195mph, you’d think it was no contest, but the drone’s turning circle is 0.3m in comparison to its far heftier counterpart’s 12.2m.

Nissan

Nissan Nismo driver Ricardo Sanchez was behind the wheel of the car, while James Bowles, 2015 British National Drone Racing champion, took control of the GT-R quadcopter. They raced around a dedicated track layout at Silverstone.

Watch the video to find out what happened.

The Nissan GT-R drone was designed by Tornado XBlades Racing, the team that would the World Drone Prix Championship recently. It utilises four propellers driven by 2,000kV XNova motors and a race-specification Sky-Hero quadcopter frame.

Both machines are on display at the Goodwood Festival of Speed this weekend. Pocket-lint will be reporting back from the gathering with even more exciting car news. Who knows, maybe there’s an additional gadget or two there too.

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23
Jun

Honeywell Lyric ecosystem: What is it and what does it work with?


With so many smart home platforms, ecosystems and products available, the terminology can get confusing, especially as many require an investment of time, money, and brainpower.

It’s not all complicated though. Honeywell’s Lyric system, for instance, has the capacity to equip your house with a smart thermostat, smart leak detector, smart security and more. As Honeywell Lyric works with platforms including IFTTT and Amazon Echo however, you don’t have to worry about whether it’ll play nice with competing services and products.

Here is everything you need to know about Honeywell’s Lyric system, including how to remotely control Lyric products with the Lyric app and what other systems it works with.

What is Honeywell Lyric?

Honeywell Lyric is a Wi-Fi connected platform. It consists of connected smarthome products designed to simplify home comfort, security, and awareness.

You control these connected smarthome products with a single app (meaning you can control them with your smartphone or tablet), enabling you to keep tabs on your home even when you’re away. Each product works individually, but they can also work simultaneously.

What is the Honeywell Lyric ecosystem?

An ecosystem in the world of technology simply means all the hardware, software, and services that contribute to a platform.

The point of an ecosystem is to offer a seamless end user experience. Using products from one company that work together takes away the headache of using multiple products from multiple companies. Apple, for instance, has an ecosystem that consists of Mac, iPhone, iOS, MacOS, and several other apps and products. The idea is, if you were in Apple’s ecosystem, you perhaps wouldn’t need or want an Android phone or Chromebook or whatever because using what you know is easier.

Honeywell Lyric’s ecosystem includes the Lyric Round Wi-Fi Thermostat, Lyric Water Leak and Freeze Detector and the Lyric Home and Control System, all of which can work individually or in tandem with one another.

The thermostat uses the location of your smartphone to trigger changes in its set temperatures and calculate energy savings, while the Lyric Water Leak and Freeze Detector detects water leaks, freezing temperatures and excess humidity, allowing you to remotely monitor temperature, humidity, battery life, and device status.

The Lyric Ecosystem of course also includes the Honeywell Lyric app and there is also an additional cable sensor for Lyric Wi-Fi Water Leak and Freeze Detector. You can learn more about the Lyric ecosystem of connected products from here.

How does the Honeywell Lyric app work?

Once you buy a Honeywell Lyric product, you’ll need to downlodd the Lyric Thermostat app from the Apple App Store or the Google Play store for your smartphone or tablet.

The app has a guided walkthrough that will help you with setup, including how to get connect it to your home’s Wi-Fi network, then pair it with your wireless Lyric products, and take control of your Lyric products, and subsequently your smarthome.

Using the Lyric app, users will be able to adjust temperatures for the Lyric Round thermostat and control it from anywhere, as well as control the functions of the Lyric Water Leak and Freeze Detector, including the setting up of alerts to notify a neighbor or friends if a leak was to occur when you aren’t around. The idea is that even when you are away, someone you trust can take action to ensure your home avoids flooding.

There is more information about how to use the Lyric app on Honeywell’s Contact Us page.

Does Honeywell work with other ecosystems and services?

Yes. The Lyric Round Wi-Fi Thermostat, for instance, works with Apple HomeKit, Samsung SmartThings, and other ecosystems. You can also pair the Lyric system with other products and services like IFTTT and Amazon Echo (from June 2016).

That means, even if you’re partially invested in an alternative manufacturer’s ecosystem/Wi-Fi connected platforms, you can still embrace Lyric and get it to work with those products and services.

For a complete list of current integrations, visit the Honeywell partner page.

The Honeywell Lyric Water Leak and Freeze Detector is an early warning system that notifies you on your smartphone when a leak is detected or the temperature drops below a temperature of your choice. By catching it early, you may be able to avoid expensive repairs and loss of treasured items. To find out more visit Honeywell.com

This article was created in association with Honeywell.


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23
Jun

BitTorrent Now is an open, ad-supported music and video platform


Chances are, most people still think of BitTorrent as a tool to pirate the latest Game of Thrones episode — but for several years now, the company has been using its peer-to-peer internet technology as a platform for independent musicians, filmmakers and other artists to distribute their work. The resulting BitTorrent Bundle network has played host to projects from Madonna, comedian David Cross and Radiohead’s Thom Yorke as well as a host of smaller, lesser-known people.

Since debuting in 2013, the ways artists can choose to be compensated for their work has evolved too. Originally, BitTorrent Bundle content was free (after you signed up with your email address), and then Thom Yorke’s album introduced the “paygate,” which let artists offer a preview and put the rest of their work being a paywall. Today, BitTorrent is introducing a new way for artists to get paid: BitTorrent Now is a new, ad-supported service that’ll let users stream any participating artist’s content to iOS, Android and the new Apple TV. The Android app launches today, with the iOS and Apple TV apps to follow soon.

The new ad-supported business model may be a big change for how artists will be compensated, but what matters most for users are these new apps. Previously, you had to visit BitTorrent’s Bundle site to browse and purchase content; the files could be downloaded and played on any device, but the experience wasn’t the seamless mobile-first experience we’ve all come to expect in 2016. That changes with today’s launch. All of the apps will let you stream any content available on the platform; if it’s ad-supported, you’ll see a video ad before the song or video starts. Things you buy outright using the “paygate” will also be available, ad-free.

While some big-name artists have distributed their work through BitTorrent, most of the content is under the radar. As such, BitTorrent has a team working to curate music and film for its users; there are also trending tabs to let you see what’s most popular on the service and a “new releases” section. When you start finding things you want to keep, you can just add them to a favorites list, and the mobile apps will let you make those available offline for when you want to watch without a signal. The Apple TV app seems to be particularly necessary for a platform heavily built on video, and BitTorrent says that it’ll look to bring the service to other set-top boxes in the future.

In keeping with BitTorrent’s ethos of freedom, artists can decide whether or not they want to participate in the ad-supported offering. At this point, those using the BitTorrent Now platform can go with the free, email-signup option, the “paygate” or having their work be supported by ads. The company says that artists will receive 70 percent of the revenue generated from ads on their videos, to go along with the 90 percent they already receive from items being a paygate.

While it shouldn’t make a difference to end users, it’s worth noting that BitTorrent Now will not initially use the distributed peer-to-peer sharing system that the company pioneered. Instead, they’ll be using a more traditional client / server streaming scheme, with plans to move towards its standard distributed downloads technology later. A BitTorrent spokesperson told me that was because they wanted to get BitTorrent Now launched quicker and this simply made things faster and more consistent for the launch.

The last question is who will be interested in trying BitTorrent Now. The company says that more than 30,000 artists have released content with the old BitTorrent Bundle program, with a whopping 200 million fans having used it to watch a film or download some music in the past. That’s an impressive number when considering the fact that BitTorrent has never had a Beyonce or Taylor Swift-level release. The long tail of the internet is very much alive, and BitTorrent doesn’t seem to need a mainstream success story to be successful. If lots of smaller creators use BitTorrent Now and their audiences seek them out, it can all add up in a big way.

Source: BitTorrent (1), (2)

23
Jun

Check out the BBC’s new ‘Robot Wars’ House Robots


After a long hiatus, the much-loved gladiatorial game show Robot Wars is returning to the BBC. The new series, which will consist of six hour-long episodes, is bringing back the old House Robot gang to smash, drop and ultimately humiliate contests. Only this time, they’re bigger and stronger than before. Sir Killalot weighs a whopping 741 kilograms and can lift 300 kilograms — roughly the weight of three competitor robots — with each arm. Dead Metal’s circular saw spins at 4000RPM and can cut through almost anything. Shunt’s axe takes a quarter of a second to fire. Matilda’s tusks can flip up to 1.5 tonnes. Together, they’re a formidable bunch.

Fans of the original series will be saddened to hear that Craig Charles and Philippa Forrester won’t be returning as presenters. Instead, the BBC has appointed Irish duo Dara Ó Briain and Angela Scanlon, with veteran commentator Jonathan Pearce narrating each battle. The format for each show should be familiar though — as Wired reports, the roboteers will be facing off in three-minute battles until one is destroyed or left unable to continue. In the event of a tie, a panel of judges will decide the victor.

We can’t wait. Let battle commence.

Source: BBC (Twitter), Wired

23
Jun

‘Vampyr’ and the gender politics of 1918 London


Vampyr, the next game from Dontnod Entertainment features a white, male protagonist. For any other studio, this is de rigueur, something dictated by the gaming industry’s presumed demographic. But for the team behind Life is Strange and Remember Me, it’s the first time they’ve delved into the male mindset. And it wasn’t the result of market research either: It’s because Vampyr’s story wouldn’t have worked any other way.

The PC, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One game takes place in London, circa 1918. World War I has just ended, the Spanish Flu pandemic is killing thousands, the first wave of feminism has begun and women were recently made eligible to hold seats in Parliament. Elsewhere, communism is beginning to spread outward from Russia. As Dr. Jonathan Reid in Vampyr, you’re caught in the midst of all this and more.

“We needed that kind of setting to make [the story] believable,” said art director Grégory Szucs. “With what we needed from the character at the time, it was perfect to pick a male. It was more interesting and more fitting to pick a woman for Life is Strange.””

Vampyr is a story of duality, according to Dontnod. You play as Reid who believes in science and helping people as a doctor, but you’re also a supernatural being who must take lives and feed on the living to survive. Narrative director Stéphane Beauverger said that there were a few cases of female doctors during this time period, but the vast majority of people with a scientific or medical background were white and male.

“To be historically accurate, if we’d created a female character, each time she went to a house and said ‘Hello, I’m a doctor,” she wouldn’t be believed,” Beauverger said. This plays a direct part into vampire fiction in general: Unless a bloodsucker is invited inside, they can’t cross the threshold of someone’s door.

“Normally as a doctor at this time, when you knock on the door you’re invited in. That makes it very easy for a vampire to enter a house,” he said.

“We needed [Reid] to already have influence over people because of where he comes from and here he was born, his place in society, his being a doctor, all before he was a vampire,” Szucs added.

That’s not to say that there aren’t prominent female characters in Vampyr. Your main point of contact with the underworld, for instance, is an ancient vampire named Lady Ashbury. She’s a sort of matriarch who’s dealing with sexism even in the game’s vampire society. Her role here is to guide Reid through his new life. She’s essentially his moral compass.

“She’s independent,” Beauverger said. “She tries to shake things up.” Sometimes, it’s in subtle ways that we’d overlook today, but were radical ideas in Vampyr’s setting. Like Ashbury wearing something other than a skirt or dress. “It was illegal at the time for women to wear pants,” Beauverger said. But still, Ashbury does.

What’s been shown off of her at this point is minimal, but, given Dontnod’s history, it’s highly unlikely that she’ll be left on the sidelines.

“As a doctor, when you knock on the door you’re invited in. That makes it easy for a vampire to enter a house,” Beauverger said.

Speaking to the studio’s past work and exclusively female protagonists, Beauverger mentioned that story has always dictated who you’re playing as — not his own desires as an admittedly white, male narrative director. Take Dontnod’s first game, Remember Me from 2013. You play as Nilin, a multi-racial woman who, by story’s end, discovers the evils she’s been fighting all game long have been constructed by her parents. Beauverger said that the team didn’t create Nilin because her being a woman would tick a certain box, but because her being a woman was the right fit for their first game.

“That’s why we created that character; not because we wanted to show that a woman can be strong — we know that a woman can be strong.”

“The problem was when we realized that we had negative answers from the marketing team,” Beauverger said. “That’s when we realized we had to fight for this. For us, it was just natural.”

With Vampyr’s main character and Dontnod’s track record of success, however, there likely won’t be much of a pushback from the marketing department ahead of the game’s 2017 release.

Follow all the news from E3 2016 here!

23
Jun

T-Mobile will offer unlimited data for European travel


T-Mobile is continuing its practice of proving to everyone why it should be worthy of the “Un-carrier” moniker. This time around, the company is offering unlimited data with up to 4G LTE speeds throughout Europe for the rest of the summer.

If you’re planning on traveling overseas this summer, you’ll be able to catch up on all your shows and stay in touch with family without worrying about running out of data, just as you’ll be given a free hour of Wi-Fi via Gogo domestic flights — if they happen to offer it, that is. This offer extends even to Verizon and AT&T customers, so if you haven’t quite been convinced that T-Mobile is the carrier for you after all this flash and showmanship, you can at least reap some of the benefits for the weekend.

T-Mobile has also announced that its customers will be able to roam without special charges in Belize going forward, so if that happens to be one of your destinations as you get away for vacation, you’ll hopefully be paying significantly fewer fees, for that area of your trip at least.

T-Mobile is bent on proving its worth by giving its customers special rewards and promotions, though previously they were more focused on goodies and deals (even stocks) rather than expanding data or alleviating charges. It should be interesting to see where it aims next when it comes to pulling in customers.

Source: T-Mobile

23
Jun

Solar Impulse makes first sun-powered Atlantic crossing


The Solar Impulse has become the first aircraft to cross the Atlantic on sun power alone. Piloted by Bertrand Piccard, it arrived in Seville, Spain this morning at 1:38AM ET, and was dramatically greeted by the nation’s Patrulla Águila aerobatic formation team. The 71 hour flight, which started Monday in New York, is the second longest so far. However, it was undoubtedly the most symbolic, coming just over 89 years after Charles Lindbergh’s historic “Spirit of St. Louis” Atlantic crossing.

“It is symbolic because all the means of transportation have always tried to cross the Atlantic, the first steamboats, the first aeroplane, the first balloons, the first airships and, today, it is the first solar-powered aeroplane,” Piccard told the Guardian.

Spectacular #selfie moment over the #AtlanticOcean. Share it if you think the #futureisclean pic.twitter.com/JwOqeFa7Qe

— Bertrand PICCARD (@bertrandpiccard) June 23, 2016

While the Solar Impulse team’s main goal is to cross the world, it has set multiple marks on the way. On top of the record Atlantic crossing, pilot André Borschberg set a record for the longest solo flight ever at 117 hours, besting the previous mark by a prodigious 41 hours. The team has also set night flying records, ironically, thanks to the one-ton lithium battery charged by 17,000 solar panels.

The 236-foot-wide plane can theoretically stay aloft forever, weather and pilot endurance permitting. The lengthy flights aren’t exactly dull, though; Piccard said it’s a roller coaster of tension and work, mixed with awe from the sights like islands, whales and icebergs. “Every minute is a minute of suspense, a minute of challenge, and the fact I can stay [aloft] without fuel or pollution for four days and four nights is something so new.”

The team has now made 90 percent of its trip, and will finish in Abu Dhabi, where it started. It has just a few flights left, and will stay in Saville for a few more days before lifting off toward either Egypt or Greece.

Source: Solar Impulse

23
Jun

AP: VW will shell out $10.2 billion to settle emissions claims


Volkswagen is set to pay $10.2 billion to settle claims in the emissions-dodging scandal, the AP reports. Last year, Volkswagen was caught using software that disguised the true emissions output of 600,000 of its diesel vehicles sold since 2008, and the scandal may affect as many as 11 million automobiles worldwide. So far, the boondoggle has cost Volkswagen an estimated $18.2 billion and it led to the resignation of CEO Martin Winterkorn, among other executives.

Reports surfaced in April that Volkswagen would buy back roughly 500,000 affected vehicles, plus offer extra cash to their owners from an apology fund totaling $1 billion.

Source: The AP

23
Jun

Instagram adds more video channels to your ‘Explore’ feed


Back in April, Instagram added a channel feature to the “Explore” feed inside its apps. Those video channels are getting a lot more options today, displaying content based on the topics that interest you most. In fact, there are 23 different categories total, ranging from baking to hair and makeup tips, trick shots, dancing, art, travel and more. The new channels get pretty specific too, as dog lovers can expect dedicated feeds for Pitbulls, for example. Instead of the broad “Videos You Might Like,” you’ll be greeted with a “Picked For You” feed that fits one of nearly three dozen topics.

Instagram says that the time users are spending watching videos in the app have increased 150 percent in the last 6 months. That’s a period that includes the company bumping the time limit for footage to a full minute. These new channels offer a way to cut through the clutter and find posts you’ll be interested in quickly and easily. Like the initial “Explore” video channels, these new ones are only available in the US for now, but Instagram says it plans to ship the feature to the rest of the world “soon.”

23
Jun

FAA fines Amazon for two more shipments of unlabeled chemicals


Last week, the FAA announced a $350,000 fine for Amazon after the retailer mishandled chemical shipments that resulted in injuries to UPS workers. Today, the agency hit the company with two more fines totaling $130,000 for similar incidents. In 2014, Amazon shipped separate packages, corrosive rust remover and a flammable gas used to clean air conditioners without properly labeling the boxes or sending along the required paperwork. Failure to do so violates the FAA’s hazardous materials guidelines. The box containing Rid O’ Rust Stain Preventer Acid leaked through, but there were no injuries reported.

These two new fines come just days after the FAA cited Amazon for shipping commercial-strength drain cleaner without the appropriate markings and papers. In that case, nine UPS workers had to be treated with a chemical wash after the container leaked and exposed them to the contents. The two penalties come from incidents at FedEx and UPS facilities in which the FAA says Amazon not only failed to mark the boxes and include paperwork, but it also didn’t include emergency response instructions in the event of a chemical spill or leak.

Via: Wall Street Journal

Source: FAA (1), (2)

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