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14
Oct

Ken Bone learns about election cycle scrutiny the hard way


Ken Bone became an internet sensation literally overnight following last Sunday’s presidential debate, and as such he’s been making the media rounds in a big way (and trying to cash in on his celebrity). Doing the Reddit AMA is a big part of the cycle for internet celebrities — but Bone made the epic mistake of not realizing that your internet past follows you everywhere you go. He’s under a major microscope right now, and he made the huge mistake of doing that Reddit AMA under the same Reddit profile he’s been using for several years. That turned up some quotes from our red sweater hero that make him look… a little less appealing.

As noted by The Daily Beast, Bone’s Reddit history was available for all to comb through, and he’s unsurprisingly made some unflattering comments over the years. Probably the most egregious is a lewd remark about the nude photos of Jennifer Lawrence that were released in the infamous 2014 celebrity hack.

Some of Bone’s other comments included a disclosure that he committed “felony insurance fraud” in an effort to make it look like he had car insurance and a statement that the killing of unarmed teen Trayvon Martin was “legally justified.” That’s technically accurate, as shooter George Zimmerman was acquitted of any wrongdoing. Bone also called Zimmerman a “big ole shit bird,” so it seems we shouldn’t assume that he’s in favor of excessive brutality.

Beyond the unsurprising revelation that Bone has done some unsavory things online, this shows just how well the average citizen isn’t aware of their online “paper trail.” If Bone had thought for a minute about the kind of scrutiny he’d be under, he likely would have made a new Reddit account for this AMA — but going from completely anonymous, fairly average citizen to massive internet celebrity in the span of a few hours is something that most people aren’t prepared for.

Indeed, some saw this downfall coming a mile away — just take this tweet:

y’all don’t mess up this ken bone thing by interviewing him or finding out anything about him. thanks

— 🇺🇸 (@theshrillest) October 10, 2016

Turns out that Ken Bone isn’t all that different from other citizens of Reddit after all.

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14
Oct

Even Windows 10 tablets get an Instagram app before the iPad


Instagram brought its filter-driven social network to Windows 10 mobile back in the spring and now it’s doing the same for PCs and tablets running Microsoft’s OS. The photo and video app is now available for desktops and slates, meaning its now an option across all Windows 10 devices and a true universal app. Just like the versions for other operating systems, Direct, Explore and Stories are all tools here for viewing photos and videos alongside capture and editing features.

There is one caveat with the Windows 10 version of Instagram. You’ll need a PC or tablet with a touchscreen in order to upload your images or videos. Yes, it sounds strange, but at least Microsoft’s Surface line will give you full functionality. “Keep in mind that other devices running Windows 10 may not support certain features, like the ability to capture and upload photos and videos,” the app’s page in the Window’s Store explains.

While Windows 10 users are able to use the app across all of their devices, iPad owners are still dealing with the iPhone version for Instagram on Apple’s slates. Further proof we can’t always get what we want, I suppose.

Via: The Verge

Source: Windows Store, Instagram

14
Oct

It’s hard not to love Anki’s adorable Cozmo robot


As someone raised on science fiction and the dream of advanced artificially intelligent robots, I couldn’t help but fall for Anki’s Cozmo. But really, that’s not much of a surprise. The tiny bot already won me over when I first saw it in action back in June, and since then it’s been one of my most anticipated gadgets this year. Having a robot pal with the spunk and wit of a Pixar character simply feels more exciting than the prospect of yet another smartphone. And after playing with Cozmo for a few days, I’m even further enamored with the little guy. It’s bursting with potential, though the high $180 price means it’s not for everyone just yet.

You might already be familiar with Anki’s smartphone-powered remote control cars, but Cozmo is something else entirely. Rather than just being a competitive toy, it’s a robotic companion that gets smarter over time. Most important, it’s full of personality. Cozmo’s diminutive size, expressive LED eyes and boisterous voice (which harks back to Star Wars droids like R2-D2 and Pixar’s Wall-E) make it instantly endearing. It moves around with tiny tank treads (a subtle nod to Short Circuit’s Johnny 5) and it interacts with the environment using a single articulating arm, which you’ll eventually be able to swap out for other appendages. There’s also a camera that sits right below its eyes that lets it recognize people and its surrounding environment.

Setting up Cozmo is fairly straightforward: Place it on its charger, install the app and connect to it using the app. You’ll be asked to connect to Cozmo’s WiFi network during the setup process, which is something you might have to do several times if you have to install any updates. While the robot itself is kid friendly, you’ll definitely need a patient adult to deal with the initial setup. I also had to type in a lengthy password to connect to Cozmo’s WiFi network the first time, but hopefully that’s something that’ll be simplified by the time it reaches consumers.

Once you’re connected, Cozmo “wakes up,” leaves his charger and starts to explore his environment like a curious child. From the start, it’s clear that Anki paid plenty attention to the smaller details of Cozmo’s behavior. Former Pixar animator Carlos Baena heads up the company’s animation team, which uses Maya 3D software to design how the robot moves and interacts. In many ways, Cozmo feels like a cartoon character who’s invaded the real world, which goes a long way towards making it likable. You’ll hear lots of impassioned “whoa!” shouts as it moves about and “awww” groans when it encounters obstacles. Pick it up, and Cozmo will start to act frustrated like a small child or overzealous puppy.

At one point, Cozmo fell off a coffee table and said “ow!” — to the amazement of several Engadget editors. It feels more like a robotic pet than a gadget that’s been programmed to be likable. You’ll easily lose plenty of time watching it wander around and play with its block toys.

Cozmo is powered entirely by its mobile app, which also plays a soundtrack for your play sessions. The home screen shows off the current Cozmo apps you have installed, a collection of daily goals, and the amount of “bits” and “sparks” you’ve earned through your play sessions. You’ll use the bits to unlock more apps and upgrades for Cozmo, while the sparks are used to unlock new tricks. Basically, they’re a way to gamify Cozmo’s progress from a bumbling child to a slightly more intelligent being.

At first, you’re guided to the “Meet Cozmo” app to have the robot learn your face. After typing in your name, you just have to stare at Cozmo for 10 to 15 seconds in a well-lit room. Once it’s captured your mug, it also says your name aloud a few times in its adorable robot voice. And yes, it even managed to phonetically say my name (better than many humans, I might add). Afterwards, Cozmo will recognize you and repeat your name whenever you play with it.

Once it knew who I was, I challenged the bot to a game of “Quick Tap.” It’s pretty much what it sounds like: With one of Cozmo’s blocks in front of it, and another in front of me, we raced to see who could tap our blocks the fastest when they lit up with the same color. At first, Cozmo was slow and would get frustrated easily. But after a few rounds, it got faster and didn’t mind gloating whenever it won. Anki actually programmed Cozmo to be a bit of a jerk, and that in a strange way makes it even more endearing.

Eventually, I unlocked the ability to play “Keepaway” with Cozmo, which is particularly fun if you enjoy frustrating the bot as much as me. There’s also an explorer mode, allowing you to remotely control Cozmo while looking through its camera on your phone. I was surprised to see it still had plenty of personality even when I was driving it. If you make it go fast, Cozmo sounds excited, and when you back up it makes a “beep beep” noise like a large truck.

Cozmo was typically able to last for 60 to 90 minutes of playtime, depending on what you’re doing. But you’ll still have to return the robot to its charging cradle to have it “wake up” for future play sessions. I really wished Anki included a longer USB charging cable, since you’ll often want to wake up Cozmo on a table top away from outlets. (That’s something that could be solved with a cheap USB extension cable, though.)

While Cozmo scratches a geeky itch for me, it’s still a tough sell for most people. Its $180 price is still far beyond impulse-buy territory, though that’s still only a bit more than the $150 Star Wars BB-8 toy that was all the rage last year. I didn’t have a chance to test Cozmo out with kids, but I’d imagine they’d warm up to it pretty quickly too. At the very least, I can confirm that it really freaks cats out. Anki is also opening up Cozmo’s SDK, so we’ll hopefully soon see plenty more apps built for the wily bot.

14
Oct

Iron Man volunteers to voice Zuckerberg’s JARVIS assistant


Mark Zuckerberg famously set himself a New Year’s goal to create an AI assistant to control his house, and now that it’s almost ready, he needs a voice for it. Naturally, Zuck enlisted Facebook’s billion-plus users, saying “it’s time to give my AI JARVIS a voice. Who should I ask to do it?” Someone suggested “Robert Downey Jr. or Benedict Cumberbatch,” and another suggested Paul Bettany, the actual actor who plays Iron Man’s JARVIS AI. Much to everyone’s surprise, Downey Jr. himself replied.

“I’ll do in a heartbeat if Bettany gets paid and donates it to a cause of Cumberbatch’s choosing … that’s the right kind of STRANGE!” he said, tying the suggestions together and seemingly plugging Cumberbatch’s upcoming Dr. Strange Marvel Studios film. Zuckerberg replied in like fashion, saying “this just got real.” There’s no word on whether he intends to take Downey Jr. up on the offer, though the charity angle gives him a graceful way to do it.

Zuckerberg revealed recently that the assistant can control lights, open his gates and change the temperature around the house. If he can enlist the Iron Man actor, it’ll at least make those mundane tasks a bit more dramatic.

Via: The Verge

Source: Facebook

14
Oct

Drones are delivering blood to hospitals in Rwanda


In Rwanda, transporting critical medicine and blood can be difficult if the patient is in a remote location. Heavy downpours can wash out the roads, and local hospitals are often too small to stock everything their doctors might need. Now, the Rwandan government is side-stepping the problem with a drone delivery program. In the western half of the country, 21 transfusion clinics can request batches of blood via text. The order will be picked up by Zipline, a California-based robotics firm, at its “nest” base in Muhanga. A small drone will then be deployed and, upon arrival, swoop down low to drop the package off at a designated “mailbox” area.

The new “Zip” drones can carry up to 1.5KG of blood — enough to save a person’s life — over 150KM. Zipline is starting with 15 drones which will make 50 to 150 emergency flights each day. Each delivery should take 30 minutes, bypassing any problems or poor infrastructure down below. In the future, the government hopes to expand the scheme and offer different types of medicine and lifesaving vaccines. The first step, in early 2017, will be to offer similar blood deliveries in the eastern half of the country too.

Over the course of the next year, Zipline — along with its partners, UPS and Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance — will look to see whether the deliveries can be replicated in other countries across Africa and the Americas. Eventually, the group wants to serve Indian reservations in Maryland, Nevada and Washington state. “The hours saved delivering blood products or a vaccine for someone who has been exposed to rabies with this technology could make the difference between life and death,” Dr. Seth Berkley, CEO of Gavi said. “Every child deserves basic, lifesaving vaccines. This technology could be an important step towards ensuring they get them.”

14
Oct

The best webcams


By Kimber Streams

This post was done in partnership with The Wirecutter, a list of the best technology to buy. Read the full article here.

If you need a webcam for video calls, streaming, or recording, we recommend the Logitech HD Pro Webcam C920. It’s by far the best we’ve found after researching 16 top models and testing five over countless video calls. It has sharp, 1080p video at 30 frames per second with fast autofocus and quick, accurate auto white balance, giving it the best video quality of any webcam we tested. The C920 is easy to set up on both OS X and Windows and it has handy (but entirely optional) software for both operating systems.

Who this is for

Most recent laptops and all-in-one desktops have a decent—sometimes even great—built-in camera, so many people don’t need a stand-alone webcam. But if your laptop’s integrated webcam is really bad (or broken, or in a dumb place), or if your desktop or display doesn’t have a camera, a USB webcam that sits on top of your screen is the best option. A stand-alone webcam can provide better quality for video calls, recording videos, and streaming games, events, porn—you name it!

How we picked and tested

A great webcam should have at least 1280Ă—720 resolution—1920Ă—1080 is ideal—and support autofocus and automatic white balance. It should be easy to set up and should sit securely on a wide variety of monitors and laptops, and any included software should be intuitive to use. Tilt, pan, zoom, and other framing adjustments (either in hardware or in software) are optional, but are nice perks available in most webcams above $40. We didn’t look at any webcams that cost more than $100 because you don’t need to spend that much to get a great one.

With these criteria in mind, we researched 16 best-selling and well-reviewed webcams, and narrowed that group down to five for testing: the Logitech HD Pro Webcam C920, the Logitech Webcam C930e, the Logitech HD Webcam C615, the Logitech HD Webcam C525, and the Microsoft LifeCam Cinema. We tested each on OS X and Windows with Skype calls, Google Hangouts, and Zoom meetings; we explored the included software; and we mounted each on several monitors and laptops.

Our pick

The Logitech C920 has great image quality and is easy to set up. Photo: Kimber Streams

The Logitech HD Pro Webcam C920 is the best option for most people who need a stand-alone webcam, thanks to its superb image quality, ease of setup, and helpful (but optional) software. Its video—1080p at 30 frames per second—was crisp and clear in our testing, and the autofocus and auto white balance worked better than those of any of the other webcams we tested. Logitech first introduced the C920 back in 2012, and there’s still nothing better for the price.

This webcam had the best image quality of the five webcams we tested, and it produced sharp, 1080p-resolution video both locally and streamed through video services such as Skype, Google Hangouts, and Zoom. The C920’s autofocus feature was faster at changing focus between faces and other objects than autofocus on the competition. And this webcam accurately autocorrected white balance, even in a testing environment with sunlight streaming through a window and a warm LED bulb overhead. Other webcams handled this situation poorly, either making faces too bright or everything else too dark.

After testing with a Wirecutter writer over video chat, we concluded that the C920’s built-in microphone produced the “least problematic” audio of the five webcams we tested. He described audio from the other webcams as “more compressed,” “more staticky,” or “boomier,” and said they “picked up more ambient noise.”

In addition to the software settings that allow you to zoom and pan, you can physically tilt the webcam up or down to control what’s in frame. However, the C920 doesn’t let you swivel the camera left and right. This isn’t a dealbreaker, because you can always slide the webcam around or change the framing within the software, but if you need that feature, take a look at our budget pick.

Budget pick

The Logitech C615 has the best image quality you can get for less than $50. Photo: Kimber Streams

If you don’t want to spend more than $50 on a webcam, we recommend the Logitech HD Webcam C615. Its video quality, autofocus, and auto white balance aren’t as good as the C920’s—and most people should spend the extra $30 or so to get that better performance—but the C615 is just as easy to set up and has the best video quality of any webcam we tested under $50. Plus, the C615 can do a couple of things the C920’s can’t: It lets you manually pan and tilt—the C920 can only tilt—and you can fold it up, protecting the lens, to shove it in a bag.

The C615 is capable of 1080p video, but in our tests the image quality and frames per second didn’t match those of the C920; to match the C920’s 30fps, you have to drop the C615’s resolution all the way down to 480p. The C615’s video quality was, however, better in both local and streamed tests than that of the 720p Logitech C525 and Microsoft LifeCam Cinema. The C615’s autofocus was a bit slower to respond than the C920’s and occasionally didn’t quite focus on faces. Finally, though the C615’s auto white balance was more effective than that of the other sub-$50 webcams, the sunny side of faces were still blown out—the C920 didn’t have the same issue.

The Logitech C615 conveniently folds up to protect its lens if you need to take a webcam with you. Photo: Kimber Streams

The C615’s microphone is passable for casual chats, but it sounded “warblier” and “more staticky” than the C920, according to our tester. If you need high-quality audio for streaming or podcasting, we recommend using a separate USB microphone.

This guide may have been updated by The Wirecutter. To see the current recommendation, please go here.

14
Oct

Brain-fixing injectable wires will soon be tested on humans


Last year, a team of Harvard University researchers revealed that they created a wire mesh doctors can inject into the brain to help treat Parkinson’s and other neurological diseases. They already successfully tested it on live mice, but now that technology is ready for the next stage: human testing. The mesh made of gold and polymers is so thin, it can coil inside a syringe’s needle and doesn’t need extensive surgery to insert. Once it’s inside your head, it merges with your brain, since the mesh has spaces where neurons can pass through.

A part of it needs to stick out through a small hole in your skull so it can be connected a computer. That connection is necessary to be able to monitor your brain activity and to deliver targeted electric jolts that can prevent neurons from dying off. By preventing the death of neurons, which triggers spasms and tremors, the device can be used to combat Parkinson’s and similar diseases. Eventually, the wire mesh could come with an implantable power supply and controls, eliminating the need to be linked to a computer.

The team believes their creation also has a future in mental health, since it can deliver a more targeted treatment for conditions like depression and schizophrenia than medications can. They’ll definitely find out more once human trials begin, and it sounds like it could take place in the near future. According to MIT’s Technology Review, the researchers have begun working with doctors at Massachusetts General Hospital and will soon perform experiments on patients with epilepsy.

Source: MIT Technology Review

14
Oct

Tim Cook Confirms Yokohama Facility in Japan Will Be Completed by December


While on a trip that’s taken him to Shenzhen, China and Nintendo’s offices in Kyoto, Japan, Apple CEO Tim Cook today met with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe discussing topics related to the importance of the country in Apple’s ongoing market strategy. Specifically, Cook was said to confirm that an advanced R&D center in Yokohama was on track to complete construction by December (via Xinhua).

The Yokahama facility has been two years in the making, and was originally reported to “center around health.” During the meeting, Cook said he and Abe discussed “doing great things together,” and reiterated “how important the country is to Apple.”

“We talked about the future and doing great things together. I shared with prime minister Abe our love for Japan and how important the country is to Apple,” Cook, who is currently on a tour of Asia, was quoted as saying at the prime minister’s office following their meeting.

Abe said that he hopes Apple will continue to generate relationships with other companies and manufacturers in Japan, in order to contribute to the overall technological boom in the country. On the same topic, Cook mentioned that Apple is aware of “a number of manufacturers of all sizes” that could result in a mutually beneficial partnership moving forward.

After the original announcement in 2014, Abe described the upcoming Apple facility as “among the largest in Asia,” where Apple plans to “conduct the most advanced research and development in Japan.” According to sources near the site’s development, Apple’s plans for Yokohama “are evidence the maker of the ubiquitous iPhone has plans connected to Japan that extend well beyond just end user sales.”

Tag: Japan
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14
Oct

Best Buy Discounts iPad Air 2 by $75, Offers Deals on iPhone 7 and iPhone SE


Best Buy is currently holding an Apple Shopping Event, offering significant discounts on a range of Apple products, including the iPhone 7, iPhone SE, iPad Air 2, and select Mac models.

Best Buy’s best deal is on the iPad Air 2, which is available at a $75 discount, dropping the price on the entry-level 32GB WiFi-only model from $400 to $325. The higher-capacity 128GB WiFi-only model is available for $425, down from $500.

There are decent discounts on some Mac models, but now is not a good time to buy a Mac because updates are likely coming before the end of the year. The 27-inch iMac with 8GB RAM and a 1TB Fusion Drive is available for $1,899, a $100 discount. Apple is also selling two models of the MacBook Air at a $100 discount, dropping the price of the 128GB model to $900 and the 256GB model to $1,100.

Deep discounts are available on some original Apple Watch models with Sport devices available at prices as low as $189 and stainless steel models available at prices as low as $249.

Customers who purchase a 64GB iPhone SE on either Verizon or Sprint will pay the price for a 16GB device thanks to a $50 discount on a monthly installment plan. For AT&T customers, Best Buy is offering a $50 Best Buy gift card with the purchase of a 64GB iPhone SE.

For the iPhone 7 and the iPhone 7 Plus, Best Buy is dropping the price by up to $300 with the trade-in of an eligible smartphone. For the entry-level 32GB iPhone 7, that drops the price from $649.99 to $349.99. Trade-in value for devices varies by model and condition.

Best Buy is also offering a free $100 Best Buy gift card with the purchase and activation (with a monthly installment plan) of a 256GB iPhone 7 on either Verizon or Sprint.

For more discounts on Apple products, accessories, and apps, make sure to check out our full deals roundup.

Related Roundup: Apple Deals
Tag: Best Buy
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14
Oct

Digital Offers: Learn to code Java for only $39


In today’s modern age, understanding coding is becoming more and more essential. So much so that some school districts are adding coding classes to their curriculum. Those who dove into the world of Java and other coding languages via a Computer Science degree or by self-taught methods a decade ago are well-positioned for a sustaining career.

Are you second guessing your own career path, or simply interested in learning the basics of coding? Maybe you’re considering heading back to school to study Computer Science, but really who can afford to put their life on hold for more schooling? Even if you’re knowledge of computer programming could fit on the back of a postage stamp, you can still learn everything you need to know to get started coding with Java.

complete-java-boot-camp-hero.jpg?itok=8G

That’s where this great deal from Android Central Digital Offers comes in. You can get lifetime online access to the Complete Java Programming Bootcamp for just $39. This package includes 10 courses taught over the course of 561 lessons.

The first course offers up the core understanding of how any computer program works, including how data structures organize information so it can be used efficiently and how algorithms work to manipulate this data — basically Computer Science 101. But that’s just the starting point. Throughout the remaining 70 hours of course material, you’ll go from a beginner to a pro.

Each course is curated and instructed by folks with years of experience and knowledge under their belts. The first seven courses were created by Loonycorn, a team of four experienced coders who have worked Google and Flipkart, and tries to distil complicated tech concepts into funny, practical, engaging courses. Because let’s face it – if you’re just dipping your toes into coding for the first time it’s going to be pretty dry if not taught in an engaging and humorous manner.

An online course load like this would typically cost over $700, but for a limited time you can get the whole package at a steep 94% discount — you’ll pay only $39!

Buy now and you’ll be on your way to being a coding pro in no time.

See at Android Central Offers

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