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Homido’s V2 headset shows mobile VR doesn’t have to be basic

Virtual Reality’s main players might be household names (or owned by them), but scratch under the surface, and there’s a bustling bevy of lesser-known names jostling for your attention. Usually these fall into two camps, those with quirky features, or deluxe versions of Google Cardboard. Homido’s first headset was more the latter, with the distinction of having its own app hub for VR movies and games, and IPD (Inter Pupil Distance) controls, something even Gear VR doesn’t have. The French company’s back with a new version (called V2) that’s sleeker and compatible with more phones. What makes it interesting is the “family” of accessories that will complement it, including a Kinect-like motion sensor — making Homido’s little slice of virtual reality more than just a bourgeois take on bare-bones VR.

The good news is, the improved V2 costs the same as the original Homido VR headset. The less good news, if you’re on a budget at least, is that the original cost $80. Not the most expensive mobile VR headset, but still a jump if you were looking to get an upgraded cardboard viewer. The new design promises to be more comfortable, with better ventilation and a more premium feel along with an all-important capacitive button (no more pressing play, then quickly shoving the phone in the viewer). It’ll also support large phones including the iPhone 6s Plus.

Homido doesn’t want to just be known as a fancy phone holder, though. It’s Homido Center app might not be quite the same as Samsung’s Gear VR in terms of razzle-dazzle software stores, but it’s a start. Despite not having the influence of the Korean giant, CEO Mathieu Parmentier tells me his goal is to offer the best mobile VR experience possible. “We’re the only company to focus this hard on mobile VR and nothing else, and that’s how we’ll stay. We’re specialists.”

Parmentier also argues that making a headset that works well with many phones is actually more of an accomplishment. “It seems simple, no electronics etc., but actually the challenge is much harder than making a Gear [VR] for three Samsung smartphones, without adjustable IPD.”

The reveal of new accessories for the V2 is proof Parmentier wants to make Homido more of an ecosystem. The new additions include a 360-degree camera ($200), Bluetooth game controllers (Android/iOS costing $40/$60 respectively) and an as-yet-to-be-announced motion sensor. The controllers aren’t all that remarkable, but the addition of a 1080p/30fps VR camera plus app for converting videos into a Facebook or YouTube-friendly format (handy in its own right) would make Homido an easy entry introduction to VR video and photos.

As for the motion sensor, less is known. This would be something of a first for a headset at this price, though. Earlier this year, the company demoed it at MWC, allowing users to interact with games physically — like boxing with your fists. Rumours suggested the sensor might debut alongside the V2, but it looks like this might have been delayed. Once it does arrive, though, this would make Homido an unusually complete, if unconventional little VR ecosystem. That said, only the V2 is available now, everything else will follow “soon.”

Source: Best Buy


Web hosting made easy: Get a yearlong subscription to the A2 Hosting Swift plan (88 per cent off)

Who has time for a slow-loading website? Choosing the right hosting plan for your needs is essential in the performance, convenience, and ultimately popularity of your site.

For a limited time, you can enjoy super-fast speeds and high-grade hosting for unlimited websites and databases with the A2 Hosting Swift Plan: 1 Year Subscription + 1 Free Domain deal, now just £11.44 ($14.99) on Pocket-lint Deals.

Since launching in 2003, A2 Hosting has spent over a decade earning widespread acclaim as an industry-leading web hosting provider. This trusted service deliver faster speeds than the competition, and provides unlimited storage and transfer for your data in the process.

Hosting and domain fees can get exorbitant when searching for the right plan for your needs, but A2 Hosting provides guaranteed fast-loading speeds and functionality for your website at a highly reasonable cost. You’ll also access a free domain name of your choice, and full hosting services for an entire year on A2’s exclusive SwiftServer platform.

A2 Hosting has received 4.5/5 stars on 150 customer reviews from, a true testament to the quality and efficiency provided in their services. It’s quality hosting you can trust, available at a price you can’t ignore.

You can finally take the hassle out of web hosting with the A2 Hosting Swift Plan: 1 Year Subscription + 1 Free Domain deal, a limited-time offer at 88 per cent off from Pocket-lint Deals.


These Steamcrate subscriptions deliver 10 games a month to your inbox (57 per cent off)

If the idea of 10 new games a month hitting your inbox sounds appealing, we’ve got a fantastic Steamcrate subscription offer for you on Pocket-lint Deals. Get 10 Steam games delivered to your inbox every month for one low cost, with no further commitment or the bulky inconvenience of physical media.

And for a limited time, Pocket-lint Deals is sweetening their already-appealing offer by taking 57 per cent off a range of subscription options!

Your Steamcrate subscription offer provides 3 appealing choices: The 3-month plan will run you £20.42 (U.S $28.99), while a 6-month plan is just £41.58 ($54.99) and a full-year subscription will run you £79.38 (U.S. $104.98). Take your pick from the menu on the deal page and get gaming!

When you sign up, you’ll receive a new monthly delivery of Steam Crate includes 10 Steam games, randomly selected from their stock. The titles are guaranteed to hold a value of up to £521.61 ($700) per crate, which means your dud factor will be minimal.

You can count on a wide range of unique titles to explore each month, with a good chance of picking up the latest and greatest blockbuster as well – past crates have included such revered titles as Mortal Kombat X, Bioshock Infinite, Batman Arkham Origins, and more. It’s a surprise every time!  

No restrictions or download hassles will slow you down, and the games are yours to keep for life. Pocket-lint readers who pick up this great deal will also be entered into the Uber Crate giveaway held every month!

Get started today with your choice of Steamcrate subscription options, now 57 per cent off from Pocket-lint Deals.


Build apps for the upcoming iOS 10 with this complete development bundle

With the release of iOS 10 set for a September launch, the timing has never been better to get ahead of the curve and build apps for the latest big mobile operating system. With more engaging features than ever before, Apple is set to change the game yet again with iOS 10.

You can learn to make the apps that the world is hooked on, and get in the door early with The Complete iOS 9 and 10 Development Bundle, now 94 per cent off from Pocket-lint Deals.

This fantastic bundle will help you get ahead of the iOS 10 learning curve with two courses by top-rated instructor Rob Percival. Through nearly 60 total hours of video instruction, you’ll develop key skills to maximize the potential of iOS 10. Learn what it takes to build the apps that have taken the world by storm: Tinder, Uber, Snapchat and beyond!

Your training will prep you for a myriad of updated iOS 10 features, with deep-dive resources on SiriKit, Messages, and Maps. You’ll learn coding in Swift, Apple’s official programming language, and build 18 apps from scratch with Xcode 7 to put your newfound training to use.

You’ll utilize watchOS 2 to create a range of engaging apps for Apple Watch, and learn to create incredible games with SpriteKit’s latest evolution.

Your bundle also includes over 1,000 design assets (backgrounds, buttons, icons) to use in the apps you create, as well as unlimited web hosting for 1 year to help get your projects off the ground. You’ll also receive a copy of Rob’s book, “How to Earn $10,000 While Learning to Code,“ as well as $50 of AWS credit for an added boost.

Get ahead of the game with The Complete iOS 9 and 10 Development Bundle, now 94 per cent off from Pocket-lint Deals.


Apple buys a Seattle-based AI startup for $200 million

Apple has snapped up a Seattle-based startup called Turi that specializes in machine learning, likely in an effort to boost its products’ AI capabilities. Ever the secretive corporation, Cupertino hasn’t released details about the acquisition besides confirming it to Recode and other publications. A spokesperson merely answered all questions with this statement: “Apple buys smaller technology companies from time to time, and we generally do not discuss our purpose or plans.” According to GeekWire, though, the company bought the startup for around $200 million.

It’s still unclear what Apple plans to do with Turi, but a Bloomberg source said its machine-learning technology could give Siri new ways to interact with people. Since company also uses AI to recommend songs and apps, predict words you’re about to type and to recognize images, among other things, it could do a lot more than improve Apple’s voice assistant.

The source added that the acquisition would enable Apple to connect with the growing community of AI researchers, as well. Unlike the tech titan, which is very tight-lipped when it comes to the products it’s developing, Turi has a better relationship with third-party researchers. It even held a machine-learning conference for data scientists in July.

Machine learning & artificial intelligence startup Turi has been acquired by Apple, sources close to the deal tell CNBC. $AAPL

— CNBC Now (@CNBCnow) August 6, 2016

Source: GeekWire, CNBC


Hackers arrested after stealing more than 30 Jeeps in Texas

This article has been updated with comments from FCA.

It seems the news regarding vehicle hacking continues to get worse, especially when it comes to products from Fiat Chrysler Automobiles. Last year, a Jeep Cherokee in St. Louis, Missouri, was wirelessly hacked from Pittsburgh. Nissan had to shut down its Leaf app because of vulnerabilities. Now, a pair of hackers in Houston, Texas, stole more than 30 Jeeps over a six-month period. The two were arrested by police last Friday while attempting to steal another vehicle.
ABC 13 in Houston reports that police had been following Michael Arcee and Jesse Zelay for several months but were unable to catch them in the act until now. The two were using a laptop to connect to and start a vehicle. It’s unclear if the connection was through OBD II or USB or, but FCA says that these thefts were not related to the UConnect remote hacks from last year.

In April, this surveillance video showed the theft of a Jeep Wrangler Unlimited. It was this footage that first led the police to Arcee and Zelay. The police began to follow and record the pair. That investigation eventually led to Friday’s arrest. Both are charged with unauthorized use of a motor vehicle. In addition, Arcee is charged with felon in possession of a weapon and possession with intent to deliver a controlled substance.

According to ABC 13, Homeland Security is investigating more than 100 stolen FCA vehicles that they believe were hacked using similar software. After their theft, the vehicles were brought across the border to Mexico. FCA is currently conducting an internal investigation into the matter.

After this article was posted, the company reached out to Autoblog, stating “FCA US takes the safety and security of its customers seriously and incorporates security features in its vehicles that help to reduce the risk of unauthorized and unlawful access to vehicle systems and wireless communications. FCA US has been cooperating with Houston Police Department since they first started the investigation. This investigation is ongoing and as such, the Company has no further comment.”

Related Video:

FCA Uconnect Hack Fix

Source: ABC 13


3 ways cordcutters can still watch the Olympics – CNET

The world is watching this summer’s Olympic games…unless you are in the US and don’t pay for a traditional television subscription.


Is the antenna really the only way to watch the Olympics without a television subscription nowadays?

Sarah Tew/CNET

NBC, the network that has the rights to air the international event in the United States, will be offering live internet streams through its website, mobile and television apps — but only if you subscribe directly to a supported television provider such as cable or satellite.

But I — like a growing number of Americans — am forgoing expensive cable subscriptions to be a cordcutter, opting for a wide variety of online streaming options from Netflix, Hulu and YouTube to “skinny bundles” of channels like Sling TV or PlayStation Vue. In fact, I’m paying as much as $50 less than equivalent cable subscription prices that I’ve seen.

However, live events such as the Olympics are exactly the type of watching that still eludes those who have moved all of their television watching to the internet. While some sports organizations offer their own internet-only subscription services such as the WWE Network, NFL Sunday Ticket and MLB.TV, the Olympics are not currently available as part of an a la carte subscription model.

So until the theoretical day comes that NBC offers either its own subscription for the Olympics or finds a way to broadcast them for free online, there are a few ways to get an Olympics fix without committing to a cable or satellite provider:

Buy an antenna, if you have the signal

NBC is one of the “big four” broadcasters, and still has a free over-the-air signal in many parts of the US. (Fox, ABC and CBS — the owner of CNET — are the others.) So, if you live in an area with good reception, nearly any TV can pick up the signal with the addition of a TV antenna. (A notable exception: new 2016 Vizio TVs are among the few models without support for over-the-air TV, but you can buy a compatible DVR or tuner box.)

Antenna prices start dirt cheap for the decent options like the Channel Master Flatenna 35 ($10 directly from Channel Master, closer to $22 with shipping from Amazon). My colleague Ty Pendlebury found that the trade-offs for that antenna’s low price are a short, nonreplaceable cable and plasticky construction, but is otherwise almost as good as slightly costlier options.

The best option he found while testing out eight different indoor antennas was the $39 Antennas Direct ClearStream Eclipse, which pulled in the most channels in our Manhattan location while offering a good mix of features including a detachable cable and a set of sticky pads to attach the antenna to your window or wall.

That said, your mileage for picking up channels may vary based on where you live. In my day-to-day usage of an antenna, there are usually a number of channels I have difficulty picking up. From my apartment in Queens, I just can’t pick up CBS, and my signal for NBC can be unstable. When I lived in the suburbs about an hour’s train ride outside of Manhattan, my indoor antenna could only pick up three channels, and none of them were NBC.

And even if you do have a clear signal for NBC, you will not be able to watch games broadcast on the network’s cable channels, which include Bravo, CNBC, Golf Channel and USA Network.

To get those, you may want to eye two other streaming services…

Try PlayStation Vue or Sling TV

Sling TV and PlayStation Vue both offer streaming alternatives to cable service at prices starting at around $20 and $40 per month, respectively. The services are available for broadband customers on mobile devices and most living room streaming gadgets, including Roku and Fire TV (both), Apple TV and Xbox One (Sling TV) and PS3 and PS4 (Vue, naturally).

PlayStation Vue customers can watch most of the games using the Access tier at $39, or grab the Golf Channel as well using the Core tier at $45. Sling pricing is similar, with the Blue tier at $40 offering everything but the Golf Channel, which comes in the Sports Extra bundle for an additional $5.


PlayStation Vue (pictured here), along with Sling TV, are both available on Roku.

David Katzmaier/CNET

PlayStation Vue customers, however, get the added ability to use their log-in in order to access NBC’s website and apps for on-demand viewing on additional devices. Sling currently doesn’t offer that feature.

One other benefit to these services, if you haven’t given them a try yet, is that you may be able to watch most of the Olympics using the free trial period for each of them. Just start with one, cancel when the trial is ending, then sign up for the other. Then after trying both, keep the one you want, or cancel both — there’s no contract, and no long-term commitment.

And if you absolutely must watch the Olympics, and refuse to add additional equipment nor new services into your life, there is a more social option…

Hit the sports bar

While you might not want to pay for the Olympics, perhaps you can instead buy a beer and watch it at a bar that has cable instead. The benefits are obvious: be surrounded by other Olympics fans and cheer for athletes as if you are in Rio. On the other hand, that rowdiness might be why you prefer to stay at home. And your tab for drinks and wings could exceed the monthly streaming service bill mentioned above in one night.

That said, maybe your sports bar is also a PokeStop for Pokemon Go!

What to wish for in 2020

So what would be the most ideal situation for the Olympics to grab cordcutters? Maybe an ad/subscription-supported service that both pays for the service while getting as many Americans watching whether or not they pay for cable? Or (and this will probably never happen) a cable-provided Olympics-only package that cancels by itself after the end of the games? Tell us what you think should be the best, legal way to stream the Olympics come 2020 in the comments.

Jacob Krol contributed to this story.


This Galaxy S7 Edge gets into the Olympic spirit


The Public Access Weekly: Squad goals

Happy Friday everyone! This week has pretty much zoomed by, so let’s dive right in: Tomorrow, I’ll be the guest host on ICYMI so look for my mug to show up on the Engadget home page. A hearty thank you to everyone in the comment system who has been diligently flagging spam. That is genuinely helpful, so please keep it up! Also, a quick heads up to those who are registering for Public Access — some of our reply emails with your confirmation codes are getting caught in spam folders, so if you’ve registered and haven’t heard back from us please check there! (And if you still haven’t received anything, give us a holler here for assistance.)

Speaking of Public Access, how about some stats from last month?

  • 174 posts went live on Public Access in July, making it our best month ever! That’s even better than June, when 125 posts were published. I can’t lie — I’m pretty excited to see what y’all put up in August, so keep ’em coming!
  • 65 total Public Access members wrote and published stories, including 34 new members. Congrats and welcome to those folks!
  • The Public Access member with the most posts published in July is: Dianna Labrien (again!) with 13 posts, followed closely by Amit Sen with 11, and Allan Smith and Lovisa Alvin who are tied at 9.

The top 10 most read Public Access posts for July (not counting the Public Access Weekly posts) were:

How Technology Has Evolved in 2016? by James McArthur
Employee Tracking Tech by Leona Henryson
Taping Over Your Laptop Camera – Paranoia or a Smart Move? by Michael Harris
Pokémon Go is a Nightmare for Driving by Andrew Ressler
6 Coolest Cameras Available Today by Dianna Labrien
4 Tech Tips to Help Millennials Get Off Their Assets and Start Investing by Cosette Jarrett
Things That Suck About The Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge by Chandrakant Isi
The Tech Guide To Living a More Mindful Lifestyle by Dianna Labrien
A Closer Look at the Reality of Cord-Cutting by Sarah Pike
DMCA And Copyrights Claim – Is There Need For A Revision? by Lou Rushford

Congrats everyone!

Looking for something to read? Checkout:

Sometimes I get a ride home with Roberto Baldwin when he’s testing new cars. Sadly, I did not get to experience the passenger seat of the Tesla Model X SUV he just reviewed, so I guess “Exit a car with Falcon wing doors in slow-mo while a Jay-Z song plays in the background” is still on my bucket list.

Kris Naudus reviewed the “Impossible Burger”, a lab-developed patty that contains no actual meat (just plant proteins). Whether you’re a hard-core carnivore or a Level 5 vegan, you know you want to find out what it actually tastes like.

Our review of the Xbox One S discussed the upgrades to the new system, which include 4K Ultra-HD Blu-ray player, as well as the console’s physical characteristics and the differences between the One S and the older systems. It also, predictably, ruffled a few feathers in the comment system. Overall, the system scored an 85 from our editor — but if you would like to submit your own review, you can do that here.

Looking for something to write about? Mull over:

Facebook is increasing its efforts to detect and demote articles that are considered ‘clickbait.’ In this instance, Facebook considers something clickbait-y if the headline appears to withhold information or is misleading. What do you consider to be the definition of clickbait? How do you avoid clickbait? And, since so many folks are eager to call us out, what is the most clickbait-y story you’ve ever seen on Engadget? Bonus: What information or details would you have added to keep the story from delving into clickbait territory?

Apple recently made some emoji upgrades, which included switching out the revolver emoji for a bright-green water pistol instead. This… was not a popular decision if the comments to that story are any indication. Meanwhile Microsoft went the opposite route and changed its toy gun emoji to an actual pistol. Weigh in with your thoughts: Should the revolver emoji be changed or phased out? Why or why not? Is a gun emoji of any kind an issue, or just silliness to argue over?

Okay, I know I’m about to open a Costco-sized can of worms with this one but: GIF or JIF? How do you pronounce the acronym for Graphics Interchange Format?


Disney Channel to release 12 original short films online

In an effort to better engage with young audiences, Disney Channel is set to release 12 short-form movies online. The original content is part of a new collection called “Free Period,” which will hit Disney Channel’s website as well as its apps on mobile devices, connected TVs and set-top boxes like the Apple TV. Free Period (also the name of one of the shorts) will have a presence on YouTube too, where movies are rolling out daily now through August 21st. Disney Channel says these short films offer something for every kid, since they include comedy, mystery and more.

Via: Variety

Source: Disney Channel

Aug quietly shuts down its torrent search engine

Popular Poland-based torrent meta-search site has removed its key functionality, effectively shutting down a major portal for finding pirated material on the web. According to a message on the site, which refers to itself in the past tense: “Torrentz was a free, fast and powerful meta-search engine combining results from dozens of search engines. Torrentz will always love you. Farewell.” A click on the search box currently re-directs to a pop-up ad from Alibaba.

The end of Torrentz comes after the world’s biggest torrent site KickAssTorrents was shut down by the feds in July. The proprietor of KickAssTorrents, 30-year-old Ukrainian Artem Vaulin was arrested in Poland and charged with criminal copyright infringement and money laundering. Vaulin is accused of illegally reproducing and distributing more than $1 billion worth of pirated media. In 2014, the founders of the popular Pirate Bay torrent site were also rounded up and the site struggled to stay online as it was raided several times.

As for, the site managed to stay in the game a little longer because it didn’t host torrent links directly — only made it easier to find them elsewhere. As Variety notes, the site was moved to the .eu top-level domain after its .com was seized by the US Department of Homeland Security. The domain is also blocked in the several countries, including the UK.

Torrenting as a means of pirating material may generally be in decline, however. A study by a UK-based antipiracy firm found that most online piracy activity has shifted to streaming sites. And BitTorrent itself has already gone legit.

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