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30
Sep

Chromebox vs Chromebit — Which should you buy?


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They’re two awesome devices that don’t get the attention they deserve. Knowing which one you should buy is all about knowing what you want to use it for.

Most of the time when we’re talking about Chrome OS, we’re talking about Chromebooks. The lightweight operating system is perfect for smaller, more inexpensive laptops because it’s just not very resource intensive. Those same qualities make it perfect for the Chrome-branded devices that don’t get as much attention as they deserve — Chromeboxes and Chromebits.

A Chromebox is a concept most people will be familiar with. Think of a small computer designed to have a stand-alone monitor, mouse, and keyboard attached. If you pictured a Mac Mini or Intel NUC, you got it. A Chromebox is simple a compact desktop computer that runs the same Chrome OS as a Chromebook does. A Chromebit is a little different. It resembles a first generation Chromecast because it’s essentially an HDMI stick PC. Everything needed to power the OS is inside the ultra-small casing and it plugs directly into an open HDMI port on a television or monitor. It has all the features you need to operate it — Bluetooth, WiFi, and a USB port built right in.

Both the Chromebox and Chromebit (as well as a Chromebook) run the same operating system and can do the same things within the limits of the hardware. The prices are even close. The differences between the two, and how you’ll be using it, are what determines which is best for you.

Why a Chromebox is great

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A Chromebox has a couple very strong points, and both are based on the hardware. You’ll find that most Chromeboxes use higher-powered Intel Celeron or “i” model processors like traditional PCs or higher-end Chromebooks. These chips are known as solid performers and can power “regular” Windows computers, so they breeze through Chrome OS when mounted inside a bigger box with room for better cooling. I have an old Samsung Chromebox here with an Intel i5 processor here, and it can still keep up with anything I throw at it. Especially because of the next “pro” in the list.

A Chromebox makes for an almost perfect media center PC.

Most Chromeboxes use hardware you can upgrade. I don’t mean the CPU or the disk controller or any random EEPROM on the board, but the storage and RAM can be swapped out for more capacity. Using off-the-shelf parts, you can drop a bigger solid-state disk drive and up to 16GB of RAM for most models. Some of the Intel “Core i” models can use even more RAM. You’re only limited by what the motherboard supports (usually two 1.35 volt DDR3 SODIMM slots). The storage is usually a standard SATA M2 SSD and is an easy upgrade. Realistically, a Chromebox with 8GB of RAM and 256GB of storage is cheap and easy to build. Since everything on the board is Linux compliant (Chrome OS is Linux) you have yourself a great dual-boot machine that’s about $600 cheaper than an equivalent Mac Mini, or a drop in the bucket compared to an Intel NUC that can run as well.

Which makes it hands-down the best way to HTPC. You’ll have the horsepower to run any Ubuntu-based media center OS, and with two to four USB ports, you can attach almost limitless storage for your own media. Plug it into your receiver or TV, set up a wireless keyboard and mouse and off you go. And you can always boot back to Chrome if you only want to surf the web. Facebook never felt so fast.

Why a Chromebit is great

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A Chromebit is the king of portable. It’s about the size of a disposable lighter, and you can pair it with a small Bluetooth remote/mouse/keyboard combo that isn’t much bigger. It’s literally a full computer that will fit in your pocket, ready to use anywhere there is a television. There are a lot of people who love HDMI stick PCs, and usually, this is one of the biggest reasons.

A Chromebit is a great way to take everything with you.

Everything works and feels the same as a Chromebook, or even a souped-up Chromebox when you’re using Chrome OS. Yes, the less-beefy ARM or mobile Intel processor can struggle a bit here and there when trying to render a full HD YouTube video, but for the most part, the experience is enjoyable. All your apps and extensions will load right up and run the same way they would on any other Chrome device, and you even have a USB port for extra storage if you need it and want to carry it along. You can still load a media center operating system on a Chromebit. (Some people are doing just that.) A Chromebit, a small keyboard combo and a cheap 250GB external drive filled with movies and music would make for a great vacation carry-along. It would also be an awesome tool to give a Google Docs or Google Sheets presentation in class or a meeting. For taking it with you, a Chromebit is great.

That’s not to say a Chromebit can’t be pretty cool at home, either. It’s basically a plug and play option if you want the internet on any TV. Plug it into a free HDMI port, power it up and switch inputs. Many are CEC compliant and they boot in under 10 seconds, including wireless connectivity and paired with your keyboard and mouse. If you don’t have room for a Chromebox or just don’t want to see one in your entertainment center, a Chromebit might be just the thing for you.

The Chromebit, Chromebox, and Chromebook all do the same things the same way.

In the end, the Chromebit, Chromebox, and Chromebook all do the same things the same way. Much of the internet talk about Chrome OS is centered around Chromebooks because they are a cheap portable solution that’s perfect for many. But all of the same things apply to the other Chrome devices, too. If Chrome is all you need, and you don’t want to use a tiny screen, you should check a Chromebox or Chromebit out.

30
Sep

India’s aviation ministry lifts Note 7 ban


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Note 7 is ready to fly in India.

India’s aviation ministry — the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) — has eased restrictions on Galaxy Note 7 usage aboard flights. Following the global recall, Samsung has issued an update to the Note 7 to distinguish safe units from those that are still faulty. Essentially, new units with batteries from a different supplier will come with a green battery icon, whereas older defective units will retain the traditional white icon.

The DGCA has announced that Note 7 units with the green battery icon are safe to use on flights. Technically, Samsung didn’t commence sales of the Note 7 in the country before the recall was initiated, instead choosing to defer the launch date. It looks like Samsung sent out a few pre-orders and demo units, but has retrieved them. The company is now planning to launch the Note 7 on October 7, and is rolling out a massive ad campaign to allay fears over exploding batteries.

Here’s the statement issued by the DGCA:

Aviation regulator DGCA has eased restrictions on use of Samsung Galaxy Note 7 on flights, allowing passengers to use the ones purchased after September 15 which have green battery icon.

The ban remains on Galaxy Note 7 devices purchased before September 15 which have seen battery overheating and have a white battery charge indication on the screen.

According to the latest DGCA notice, Samsung has recalled Galaxy Note 7 sold before September 15 that have white battery charge indication on their screens.

A Samsung spokesperson also issued a statement reflecting the ruling:

The Director General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) has issued an advisory to the travelling public and airline companies today, lifting the restrictions on in-flight use of the new Samsung Galaxy Note7, purchased after 15th September, 2016.

Customers can identify the new Galaxy Note7 with the ‘green battery icon’. Devices displaying this visual icon are safe to charge and use during the flight.

It is important to note that Samsung has not sold a single unit of Galaxy Note7 in India so far. The ‘green battery icon’ will apply to all Galaxy Note7 units that will be sold to customers in India when it is launched.

We recognize the inconvenience this has caused to customers, flyers and airline authorities, and remain committed towards customer safety.

While the Note 7 is cleared for usage, the DGCA is working with Samsung over a Galaxy Note 2 that caught on fire aboard an IndiGo flight last week. Based on preliminary findings from the investigation, it looks like external damage was the cause behind that particular device exploding:

The public notice, issued on Thursday, comes days after Samsung executives met DGCA officials. The meeting happened against the backdrop of a Samsung Galaxy Note 2 catching fire on an IndiGo flight from Singapore during landing at Chennai airport on September 23.

Meanwhile, the investigation is progressing on the fire incident involving Galaxy Note 2.

Sources said initial findings indicate that the incident happened due to “some external damage” to that particular Galaxy Note 2.

30
Sep

Digital Offers: Pay what you want to learn how to code Java for Android!


Getting into Android app development in 2016 might seem daunting, especially if you have no previous coding experience. To get all the training needed to get up to speed, you may think you’d be looking at a semester or two of schooling at a technical college.

That’s simply not the case. You can learn everything you need to know about coding apps for Android all over the internet and at your own pace via engaging and interactive online courses. And that’s exactly what Android Central Digital Offers has for you today: The Android Expert’s Coding Bundle. Instructed and curated by qualified experts, the full bundle includes five courses, which have been designed to give coding novices the tools and knowledge required to become proficient app developers.

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With the full bundle, you’ll learn the basics of Java programming, the Java essentials required for coding for Android, and a course on mastering Marshmallow app development for using Java. Combined these courses would typically cost nearly $400, but for a limited time only you can pay less than 25% of the full price and get lifetime access to these valuable teaching materials.

What you get and what you pay is ultimately up to you. With this pay what you want offer from Android Central Digital Offers, the power is in your hands. You have three options for payment:

Pay only what you want (minimum 1$) and if that’s less than the average price, you’ll still get two valuable courses: “Build Android Apps with the Marshmallow Studio Course” and “Learn to Reskin Android Apps for Fun and Profit”.
Pay more than the average price and you’ll get the entire bundle of courses!
Beat the Leader’s price to get the entire bundle, along with entry into our epic giveaway — plus be featured on the Leaderboard!

That’s right! All you have to do is pay more than the average price (currently under $20!) and you’ll get the entire bundle! Hurry now, because the longer you wait on this incredible offer, the greater the chances of that average price going up.

See at Android Central Digital Offers

30
Sep

Best GoPro: Which GoPro should you choose?


GoPro is a well-known brand in the action camera world and despite other companies like Sony, Panasonic and TomTom hoping for a slice of the pie, GoPro is still the go to camera for many looking to capture their best moments. 

The range of models has been expanding over the past few years though and while GoPro itself now only offers its latest models, the Hero5 Black and Hero5 Session, along with the Hero4 Session, older models are still available to buy elsewhere, making the choice vast.

There’s plenty of accessories for all the models, thanks to that mounting system, but you need to make sure you have the right camera for the job. This is a guide explaining all the GoPro models and what each of them does.

What are the differences between the high-end GoPros?

GoPro

Hero5 Black

The Hero5 Black is the flagship Hero that costs $399 or £349. It is available from GoPro from 2 October 2016.

It supports up to 4K (30fps) video, 12MP (30fps in burst) photos, and SuperView (dynamically stretches a 4:3 aspect ratio to 16:9). It also has an ultra wide, medium, narrow and a new linear field of view, built-in Wi-Fi and Bluetooth, waterproofing up to 10-metres without housing, microSD memory up to 64GB, and a 1220mAh battery.

The Hero5 Black offers the following video resolutions:

4K (30, 25, 24fps), 4K SuperView (24fps), 2.7K (60, 50, 48, 30, 25, 24fps), 2.7K SuperView (30, 25fps), 2.7K 4:3 (30, 25fps), 1440p (80, 60, 50, 48, 30, 25, 24fps), 1080p (120, 90, 60, 50, 48, 30, 25, 24fps), 1080p SuperView (80, 60, 50, 48, 30, 25, 24fps), 960P (120, 60, 50fps), 720P (240, 120, 60, 50, 30, 25fps), 720P SuperView (120, 100, 60, 50fps), and WVGA (240fps)

Other features include: voice-control, video image stabilisation, professional-grade low light performance, various burst rates, time lapse intervals, continuous photo rates, compatability with GoPro’s Protune software and app, an auto low-light mode, night mode, and time lapse mode, and support for simultaneous video and photo shooting, looping video, and auto image rotation. It also supports high bitrate video (up to 60Mbps) and an external studio mic.

It has a built-in touch display and it is compatible with the Karma drone.

GoPro

Hero4 Black

This is the two-year old Hero that costs $434 or £329.99. It is no longer available through GoPro, but can be found on Amazon and in other places.

It supports up to 4K (30fps) video, 12MP (30fps in burst) photos, and SuperView (dynamically stretches a 4:3 aspect ratio to 16:9). It also has an ultra wide, medium, or narrow field of view, built-in Wi-Fi and Bluetooth, waterproofing up to 40-metres with housing, microSD memory up to 64GB, and a 1160mAh battery.

The Hero4 Black offers the following video resolutions:

  • 4K (30, 25, 24fps), 4K SuperView (24fps), 2.7K (60, 50, 48, 30, 25, 24fps), 2.7K SuperView (30, 25fps), 2.7K 4:3 (30, 25fps), 1440p (80, 60, 50, 48, 30, 25, 24fps), 1080p (120, 90, 60, 50, 48, 30, 25, 24fps), 1080p SuperView (80, 60, 50, 48, 30, 25, 24fps), 960P (120, 60, 50fps), 720P (240, 120, 60, 50, 30, 25fps), 720P SuperView (120, 60, 50fps), and WVGA (240fps)

Other features include: professional-grade low light performance, various burst rates, time lapse intervals, continuous photo rates, compatability with GoPro’s Protune software and app, an auto low-light mode, night mode, and time lapse mode, and support for simultaneous video and photo shooting, looping video, and auto image rotation. It also supports high bitrate video (up to 60Mbps) and an external studio mic.

It doesn’t have a built-in touch display but it is still compatible with the Karma drone.

You can also get it in Surf (includes mounts for your surfboard) and Music (includes mounts made for music) editions.

GoPro

Hero4 Silver

This is model down from the Hero4 Black that costs $389.95 or £259.99. It is no longer available through GoPro, but can be found on Amazon.

It supports up to 4K (10fps) video, 1080p (60fps) video, 12MP (30fps in burst) photos, and limited SuperView. It also has an ultra wide, medium, or narrow field of view, built-in Wi-Fi and Bluetooth, waterproofing up to 40-metres with housing, microSD memory up to 64GB, 1160mAH battery, and a built-in touch display.

The Hero4 Silver offers the following video resolutions:

  • 4K (15, 12.5fps), 2.7K (30, 25, 24fps), 1440p (48, 30, 25, 24fps), 1080p (60, 50, 48, 30, 25, 24fps), 1080p SuperView (60, 50, 48, 30, 25, 24fps), 960P (100, 60, 50fps), 720P (120, 60, 50, 30, 25fps), 720P SuperView (100, 60, 50fps), and WVGA (240fps)

Other features include: professional-grade low light performance, various burst rates, time lapse intervals, continuous photo rates, compatability with GoPro’s Protune software and app, an auto low-light mode, night mode, and time lapse mode, and support for simultaneous video and photo shooting, looping video, and auto image rotation. It also supports high bitrate video (up to 45Mbps).

It doesn’t support an external studio mic but like the Hero5 Black and Hero4 Black, the Hero4 Silver is compatible with the Karma drone.

You can also get it in Surf (includes mounts for your surfboard) and Music (includes mounts made for music) editions.

GoPro

Hero5 Session

The Hero5 Session is the newest of the two smaller cameras offered by GoPro. It costs $299.99 or £249.99.

It supports up to 4K (30fps) video, 1080p (90fps) video, 10MP (30fps in burst) photos, and SuperView. It also has an ultra wide, medium, narrow and new linear field of views, built-in Wi-Fi and Bluetooth, waterproofing up to 10-metres, microSD memory up to 64GB and a 1000mAh battery.

The Hero5 Session offers the following resolutions:

4K (30, 25fps), 2.7K (48, 30, 25, 24fps) 2.7K SuperView (30, 25, 24fps), 2.7K 4:3 (30, 25fps), 1440p (60, 50, 48, 30, 25, 24fps), 1080p (90, 60, 50, 30, 25, 24fps), 1080p SuperView (60, 50, 30, 25, 24fps), 960P (100, 60, 50, 30, 25fps), 720P (120, 60, 50, 30, 25fps) and 720P SuperView (60, 50, 30, 25fps).

Other features include: voice-control, video stabilisation, consumer-grade low light performance, various burst rates, time lapse intervals, continuous photo rates, compatability with GoPro’s Protune software and app, an auto low-light mode, time lapse video, night photo, night lapse, advanced wind noise reduction, and auto image rotation. The battery is built-in and charged via USB Type-C. It supports an external mic and it also supports high bitrate video (up to 60Mbps).

GoPro

Hero Session

The Hero Session is the older of the two smaller cameras offered by GoPro. It is designed to be compact for greater versatility and it is still available alongside the new model from GoPro. It costs $199.99 or £179.99.

It supports up to 1440p (30fps) video, 1080p (60fps) video, 8MP (10fps in burst) photos, and limited SuperView. It also has an ultra wide and medium field of views, built-in Wi-Fi and Bluetooth, waterproofing up to 10-metres, microSD memory up to 64GB and a 1000mAh battery.

The Hero Session offers the following resolutions:

  • 1440p (30, 25fps), 1080p (60, 50, 30, 25fps), 1080p SuperView (48, 30, 25fps), 960P (60, 50, 30, 25fps), 720P (100, 60, 50, 30, 25fps), 720P SuperView (60, 50, 30, 25fps), and WVGA (120, 100fps)

Other features include: consumer-grade low light performance, various burst rates, time lapse intervals, continuous photo rates, compatability with GoPro’s Protune software and app, an auto low-light mode, and auto image rotation. It has a dual mic configuration and doesn’t need a separate waterproof housing. The battery is built in and it doesn’t support an external mic. It also supports high bitrate video (up to 25Mbps).

You can also get it in a Surf edition, with a mount for your board.

What are the differences between the mid-range GoPros?

GoPro

Hero3+ Silver

This model kicks off the Hero lineup’s midrange (for people in between professionals and consumers). They are no longer directly available from GoPro, but are stocked in many locations like the Hero4 models.

It costs $254.99 or £289.99 and supports up to 1080p (60fps) video, 10MP (10fps in burst) photos, and limited SuperView. It also has an ultra wide, medium, or narrow field of view, built-in Wi-Fi, waterproofing up to 40-metres with housing, microSD memory up to 64GB, and a 1160mAH battery.

The Hero3+ Silver offers the following video resolutions:

  • 1440p (48, 30, 25, 24fps), 1080p (60, 50, 48, 30, 25, 24fps), 1080p SuperView (60, 50, 48, 30, 25, 24fps), 960P (100, 60, 50fps), 720P (120, 60, 50, 30, 25fps), 720P SuperView (100, 60, 50fps), and WVGA (240fps)

Other features include: prosumer-grade low light performance, various burst rates and time lapse intervals, compatability with GoPro’s Protune and app, and supports high bitrate video (up to 25MB/s). It doesn’t have a built-in touch display or Bluetooth. It also doesn’t support support auto-low light, night mode, simultaneous video and photo, continuous photo rates, auto image rotation, or an external mic.

GoPro

Hero3 White

This model closes the Hero’s mid-range. Again, no longer sold by GoPro, but it is still available.

It costs $250 or £290 and supports up to 1080p (30fps) video and 5MP (3fps in burst) photos. It also has an ultra wide, medium, or narrow field of view, built-in Wi-Fi, waterproofing up to 40-metres with housing, microSD memory up to 64GB, and a 1050mAH battery.

The Hero3 White offers the following video resolutions:

  • 1080p (30, 25fps), 960P (30, 25fps), 720P (60, 50, 30, 25fps), and WVGA (60, 50fps)

Other features include: consumer-grade low light performance, various burst rates and time lapse intervals, and support for looping video as well as high bitrate video (up to 15Mbps). It doesn’t have a built-in touch display or Bluetooth. It also doesn’t support SuperView, auto-low light, night mode, simultaneous video and photo, continuous photo rates, auto image rotation, or an external studio mic.

What are the differences between the entry-level GoPros?

GoPro

Hero+LCD

This is GoPro’s entry-level Hero model with a touch display. It isn’t sold through GoPro anymore, but like others, it is available elsewhere.

It costs $242 or £219.99 and supports up to 1080p (60fps) video, 8MP (5fps in burst) photos, and limited SuperView. It also has an ultra wide field of view, built-in Wi-Fi and Bluetooth, waterproofing up to 40-metres with housing, microSD memory up to 64GB, 1160mAh battery, and a built-in touch display.

The Hero+LCD offers the following video resolutions:

  • 1080p (60, 50, 30, 25fps), 720P (60, 50fps), and 720P SuperView (60, 50fps)

Other features include: consumer-grade low light performance, various burst rates and time lapse intervals, and support for looping video, high bitrate video (up to 25MB/s), and auto low light. It doesn’t support GoPro’s Protune software, the night mode, simultaneous video and photo, continuous photo rates, auto image rotation, Micro HDMI, or an external studio mic.

GoPro

Hero+

This is GoPro’s entry-level Hero model without a touch display.

It costs $183 or £169.99 and supports up to 1080p (60fps) video, 8MP (5fps in burst) photos, and limited SuperView. It also has an ultra wide field of view, built-in Wi-Fi and Bluetooth, waterproofing up 40-metres with housing, microSD memory up to 64GB, and a 1160mAH battery.

The Hero+LCD offers the following video resolutions:

  • 1080p (60, 50, 30, 25fps), 720P (60, 50 ps), and 720P SuperView (60, 50fps)

Other features include: auto low light performance, various burst rates and time lapse intervals, and support for looping video. It doesn’t support GoPro’s Protune software, night mode, simultaneous video and photo, continuous photo rates, auto image rotation, Micro HDMI, or an external mic.

Oh, and it is mountable and compatible with GoPro’s accessories.

GoPro

Hero

This is GoPro’s most basic Hero model.

It costs $167 or £169 and supports up to 1080p (30fps) video, 5MP (5fps in burst) photos, and limited SuperView. It also has an ultra wide field of view, waterproofing up to 40-metres with housing, micro SD memory up to 64GB, and a 1180mAH battery.

The Hero offers the following video resolutions:

  • 1080p (30, 25fps), 720P (60, 50fps), and 720P SuperView (60, 50fps)

Other features include: consumer-grade low light performance, various burst rates and time lapse intervals, and support for high bitrate video (up to 15Mbps) and auto low light. It doesn’t support built-in Wi-Fi and Bluetooth, GoPro’s Protune software, the night mode, simultaneous video and photo, continuous photo rates, auto image rotation, looping video, Micro HDMI, or an external studio mic.

Which GoPro should you buy?

We’d recommend the Hero5 Black, not only for 4K-recording powers and fast frame rates offered elsewhere, but for the additional features it provides over the Hero4 Black. You get video stabilisation, waterproofing up to 10-metres without a housing, a built-in touchscreen that makes control much easier, voice-control functionality and improved audio. 

If money is a concern however, you could opt for the Hero3 White, which is capable of shooting in 1080p, or the Hero4 Black that will most likely see a drop in price in the next couple of months as the Hero5 takes over. The Hero+LCD is also not a bad option with its built-in touch display and 1080p video recording capabilities. The only model we’re most weary of is the Hero, simply because it lacks wireless connectivity.

The Hero5 Session is also worthy of consideration, especially as it offers a lot of the same functionality as the flagship Hero5, such as voice control, waterproofing without a housing and up to 4K video capture. It is a good option if you want to mount it on a helmet and it’s smaller and lighter than others, so easier to manage.

Ultimately, it’s up to you and your action camera needs. You can read more about GoPro cameras via Pocket-lint’s GoPro hub, where you’ll find news and reviews, including the preview of GoPro’s Karma drone.

30
Sep

ICYMI: Channel your Wall-E future with self-driving tech


ICYMI: Channel your Wall-E future with self-driving tech
Today on In Case You Missed It: Nissan created smart chairs that autonomously move themselves while people are seated in them, modeled off of the car maker’s ProPILOT driving system. The chairs are being used in Japan to keep people neatly in line outside of restaurants and when one chair has been vacated, it will move itself to the end of the row, while everyone else is bumped up.

Meanwhile, Elon Musk inspired and frustrated with his new plan to get folks to Mars on the largest rocket ever constructed, which he’s calling the Interplanetary Transport System. The announcement was made with few details, but he’s the original Tony Stark so we’re willing to give him some room on it.

The Komatsu autonomous dump truck video is here, but if you need a break from all this technology, bliss out to a coral timelapse video that will make you appreciate them anew. As always, please share any interesting tech or science videos you find by using the #ICYMI hashtag on Twitter for @mskerryd.

30
Sep

The Engadget Podcast Ep 8: He’s Simple, He’s Dumb, He’s the Pilot


On this week’s episode managing editor Dana Wollman, reviews editor Cherlynn Low and senior editor Devindra Hardawar join host Terrence O’Brien to discuss Elon Musk’s plans to colonize Mars, racing 3D boats in Red Hook and the over-simplification of “the cyber” at the first presidential debate.

The Flame Wars Leaderboard

Wins

Loses

Winning %

Chris Velazco
3
1
.750
Christopher Trout
2
1
.666
Dana Wollman
4
2
.666
Devindra Hardawar
7
6
.538
Cherlynn Low
6
7
.461
Nathan Ingraham
4
6
.400
Michael Gorman
1
2
.333

Relevant links:

  • Yahoo confirms over 500 million users affected in 2014 breach
  • Roku’s new players start at $30, and they make 4K and HDR cheaper
  • Elon Musk’s grand plan to colonize Mars
  • This is how SpaceX plans to send people to Mars
  • How a 3D-printed boat race united a Red Hook community
  • In hacking, the blame game is purely for entertainment
  • Engadget’s guide to the 2016 presidential candidates

You can check out every episode on The Engadget Podcast page in audio, video and text form for the hearing impaired.

Watch on YouTube

Subscribe on Google Play Music

Subscribe on iTunes

Subscribe on Stitcher

Subscribe on Pocket Casts

30
Sep

Google search cards help you choose a college


Search for a college or university with Google and you’ll soon see a new results card. These small, mobile-friendly summaries include graduation and acceptance rates, the average post-grad salary and the normal fees for undergraduate tuition. All of the stats are being pulled from the US Department of Education’s “College Scorecard” site, meaning they’re reliable and easy to compare. Of course, you’ve always been able to find this information yourself — it just took a little longer rooting around the web. Now, it’s easier to retrieve some quick, top-level information.

So whatever you value the most — be it projected earnings, or cheaper fees — you can surface this information almost immediately. Which sounds pretty useful, whether you’re just starting to think about your options, or narrowing down some colleges you’ve been deliberating for months.

Source: Google (Blog Post)

30
Sep

Cybersecurity firm offers $1.5 million for iPhone exploits


A previously undisclosed (aka zero-day) exploit can fetch enough money to buy its finder a house. Zerodium, a firm that buys security exploits, has announced that it’s paying $1.5 million for one that can be used to take over iPhones and iPads. That’s thrice what the company used to offer, though it did up the bounty to $1 million last year for a limited time. While that very much smelled like PR stunt, Zerodium did end up having to pay one group the full amount. Unlike that time, this price bump is permanent. Anyone who’s OK with the fact that Zerodium will sell their find to the government and to various corporations can cash in anytime.

Apple launched its own bounty program back in August, promising to reward researchers with up to $200,000 in cash. That’s far from the $1.5 million Zerodium offers, but as Ars Technica notes, the firm has more demands than a corporation-run program. It will only pay that much for an exploit that’s guaranteed to give attackers complete control over the device they’re targeting. The programs are also after different types of vulnerabilities.

As for why Zerodium decided to triple its bounty, company founder Chaouki Bekrar told Ars that it’s merely a response to how secure the latest versions of mobile platforms like iOS and Android are. And the reward for iOS exploits is a whole lot more than the $200,000 it’s offering for Android hacks either because it’s harder to crack iOS 10 than Android 7 or because the demand is higher. “The reality is a mix of both,” he said.

As you can imagine, companies like Zerodium are highly controversial. When it announced its million-dollar reward last year, Lance Cottrell, chief scientist of security firm Ntrepid, told us that whatever it snaps up is “almost certainly going to be used against people’s best interests.” The government could use it to monitor people other than terrorists and criminals. Companies could use it to keep an eye on their competitors. Bekrar argued, however, that the government and law enforcement agencies such as the FBI need these exploits for the sake of national security.

For the record, @Zerodium iOS bounty does NOT compete with @Apple as we focus on browsers+kernel while they focus on secure boot and enclave

— Chaouki Bekrar (@cBekrar) September 29, 2016

Source: Ars Technica, Wired

30
Sep

iPhone 7 Arrives in More Countries Starting October 7


Apple has announced that iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus launch in India on October 7 and in Macao, Macedonia, Malaysia, Montenegro, South Africa, and Turkey on October 14.

The smartphones also launch in Ukraine on October 7, and in South Korea and Thailand on October 21, according to local news reports.

In India, the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus will be available through online shops Flipkart, which began accepting pre-orders earlier today, and Infibeam. Pricing starts at Rs 60,000, with trade-in deals available.

In South Africa, the smartphones will be available through Cell C, iStore, and select other carriers and resellers in the country. Pricing starts at R12 999 for iPhone 7 and R15 499 for iPhone 7 Plus.

iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus launched in the United States, Australia, Canada, France, Germany, the United Kingdom, and other first wave countries on September 16, followed by over 30 more countries on September 23.

Additional countries will likely follow.

Related Roundup: iPhone 7
Tags: India, Thailand, Turkey, Macau, South Africa, Malaysia, South Korea
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30
Sep

HTC launches Viveport for virtual reality “experiences”


HTC’s Vive virtual reality headset offers one of the best VR experiences currently available. It may be a bit tricky to set up and you’ll need plenty of space to get the full effect, but if you do, you’ll be well rewarded.

  • HTC Vive review: An experience that’s out of this world

Of course, the majority of people who buy a Vive will want it for the gaming experiences, but virtual reality can offer more than just games. That’s where HTC’s new Viveport comes in, which has launched in 30 countries today.

The Viveport store will be home to a wide range of apps that will provide “immersive experiences across categories where you can explore new worlds, create things, connect with friends and experience stories in new, immersive ways”. Categories will include art, creativity tools, design, education, fashion, music, sports, travel, video and more.

Some of the first content to launch with Viveport will be titles from HTC’s Viveport Premieres range, which includes titles such as Everest VR, in which you can scale Mount Everest, The Music Room, which lets you play instruments without needing the space or annoying your neighbours, and a new version of theBlu, which immerses you underwater. Select titles will be available to buy for $1 for the first 48 hours.

  • Oculus Rift review: The VR revolution begins here
  • PlayStation VR preview: Affordable virtual reality for gamers

You can order a Vive headset for £759 and HTC provides a tool for you to test your PC to make sure it’s powerful enough.

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