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Best Battery Packs For Your Galaxy S6


The Galaxy S6 is still a great phone, but you might find its battery life to be lacking.

Still loving your Samsung Galaxy S6? That’s fantastic. But what might not be so fantastic is your phone’s battery life. Its 2,550mAh battery was never a strength so you might be struggling to make it through your day without relying on your charger. That’s really inconvenient, as you can’t utilize a regular charger just anywhere. That’s where having a battery pack for your Galaxy S6 comes in handy.

We’ve selected our top four favorite battery packs for the Galaxy S6 that range from 3,000 mAh all the way up to 25,600 mAh. That means you’ll have enough battery life to get you through the most demanding of days, no matter which option you go with.

  • TYLT Energi (3,000 mAh)
  • Aukey Quick Charge Battery (10,000 mAh)
  • KMASHI Quick Charge Portable Charger (20,000 mAh)
  • Anker E7 Battery (25,000 mAh)

TYLT Energi (3,000 mAh)


Not every portable battery has to be huge and unwieldy, but you still want it to charge up your phone quickly and efficiently. The TYLT Energi 3K battery walks the line nicely with a compact case that’s made of durable hard plastic and contains 3,000 mAh of capacity. A built-in MicroUSB cable means you don’t have to bring one of your own to charge up your phone, and an additional standard USB port means you can charge two devices at once if you need to in a pinch.

The capacity is just right for giving your Galaxy S6 a full charge, and when you get back home it won’t take long at all to get the Energi 3K itself juiced back up and ready for your next outing. What’s more, the price is just right at the moment at under $20.

See at Amazon

Aukey Quick Charge Battery (10,000 mAh)


We might sound like a broken record suggesting this portable battery, but when it comes to quickly charging the Galaxy S6 you want a battery that can stand up to the challenge.

After our initial hands on review of the Aukey 10,000mAh Quick Charge Battery, we determined that its sleek design, Quick Charge 2.0 capability and 10k battery capacity was simply a must-have for anyone in the fast charging club. We’ve seen it in action with the Galaxy S6, too — and it works great.

This Quick Charge battery comes with a white micro-USB cable, and is available for under $30 on Amazon.

See at Amazon

KMASHI Quick Charge Portable Charger (20,000 mAh)


KMASHI’s external battery bank has a capacity of 20,000mAh and can charge two devices simultaneously. It’s got one regular USB charging port, and another Qualcomm Quick Charge 2.0 port which is compatible with your Galaxy S6.

This battery pack comes with a built-in LED flashlight for emergency situations and offers a sleek, somewhat rugged design, which means you can take it with you anywhere. Coming it at around 6 inches by 4 inches, it’s about average size for a portable battery pack of this capacity. Given its size you’ll be be able to fully charge your Galaxy S6 multiple times with this battery pack. You can get yours for under $50 on Amazon.

See at Amazon

Anker E7 Battery (25,000 mAh)


Saving the beast for last, Anker’s Astro E7 has an impressive 25,600mAh battery inside and offers an incredible charging speed of 3A per USB port or 4A using all 3 ports.

Packed with Anker’s PowerIQ technology, it will automatically detect the fastest possible charging speed when plugged into the Galaxy S6 — that goes for any device, too. It even comes with an LED flashlight built-in which could prove useful for camping trips among many other low light situations.

If you’re after a battery pack for your Galaxy S6 that’ll outlast the rest, this is a keeper. It comes with a micro-USB cable, travel pouch, and is available in black or white right now for $79.99.

See at Amazon

Samsung Galaxy S6

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Ben Heck’s multi-system retro controller

The Ben Heck Show - Episode 260 - Ben Heck's Multi-System Retro Controller

Using a build idea from the element14 Community, Ben takes an ESP8266 module and creates the ultimate all-in-one retro gaming controller for the Super Nintendo, Sega Megadrive / Genesis and Nintendo Entertainment System. To get the digital signals from the buttons across the wireless transmission to the receiver, Ben will have to use shift registers such as the 74HC595 to combine the bits into a data stream. It’s not all straightforward, though: Felix steps in to help with LUA scripting and the team hits a snag with the programming. Fortunately, designing the enclosure is a lot simpler thanks to Autodesk Fusion 360. After a lot of testing, soldering and taking apart a Sega controller, the team creates a controller of wonder. Which consoles would you control? Would you design it any differently? Suggest a build on the element14 Community.


SpaceX is ready to resume testing rockets following its accident

SpaceX hasn’t yet pinpointed the ultimate cause of its Falcon 9 explosion from September, but it’s far enough into the investigation that it’s ready to get back to business. The private spaceflight firm now says its inquiry is in an “advanced state,” and it’s confident enough that it plans to resume stage testing in Texas within the “coming days.” The company still hopes to resume flight by the end of the year.

As for the accident? SpaceX has narrowed down the likely cause to one of the composite overwrapped pressure vessels inside the liquid oxygen tank. Investigators can consistently reproduce a problem solely through the pressure and temperature conditions experienced while loading helium. Appropriately, SpaceX is improving its helium loading conditions so that it can “reliably” service Falcon 9 rockets going forward.

The updates are good news for SpaceX in more ways than one. It’s in a scramble to regain trust from partners worried that they’ll lose payloads in the future — they need to know that explosions like this are unlikely to happen again for a long, long while. SpaceX also needs to show that its long-term plans for manned flights and Mars colonization won’t face similar setbacks.

Via: Ars Technica

Source: SpaceX


Best Photo Editor for your Chromebook


Polarr Photo Editor is the best way to edit pictures on your Chromebook.

One of the most often asked questions about Chromebooks we get is how to edit photos. You see the same questions in the comments of Chromebook posts and in forums and everywhere else. It’s a valid question.

One of the biggest holes in the Chromebook toolbox has always been content creation apps and utilities. If you need to edit video or audio or do more than some quick touch up work on photos, you likely looked towards a Windows or Mac laptop instead of a Chromebook because the tools were few and far between and many of the available ones were little more than a link to an online utility.

That’s starting to change. The old adage of “if you build it they will come” rings a little true. Chromebooks are selling well even with a down market for traditional computers, and more and more schools are giving students a Chromebook to help them with their schoolwork and get them ready for the “outside world.” This puts more eyeballs on great apps, and developers like to have eyeballs on their stuff. Add in Android app support through Google Play and you have a ton of choices to sift through to find the best. We did it for you.

If you’re looking for the best photo editor for your Chromebook you should install Polarr Photo Editor.

Polarr is a stand-alone program developed for Android, iOS, Windows, Mac, Linux, and Chrome. There is even an online version you can use through your web browser. It’s a full-featured program, and not what many people imagine when they think of a Chrome app.

Simply put, it’s the real deal. In fact, it’s one of the best Chrome apps you’ll find and an example of how just good things can be.

Polarr is one of the first Chromebook apps that’s as good as anything on Windows or the Mac.

The feature set is the perfect mix for casual to advanced work, which is exactly where a Chromebook shines. If you just want to add a filter so your photo stands out a little on Instagram, they are there and can be applied with one click. If you just want to let the app do some automatic magic fixes, Polarr can do that, too, and it does a great job smoothing out the noise and sharpening your photo while not destroying the color balance. When you want or need to do more, Polarr has you covered there, too.

You can adjust the color, lighting, detail, vignetting, HSL (hue, saturation, and luminance), RGB channel curves, toning, and distortion. You can even apply photo effects like fringing or film grain. And you can do this on a RAW file up to 40MP in size.


The controls are simple and perfect for anyone who doesn’t have to use Photoshop five days a week to earn a paycheck. All adjustments are in real time so you can see what effect each has and you have a full history panel to undo any or all the changes. You can even drag and drop the controls so the toolboxes work the way you want them to.

Polarr on my Chromebook makes my workflow easy again.

Here at AC taking photos is part of the job, and a big part of that is trying to make sure the stray piece of dust or eyelash doesn’t ruin a photo and the bright screen on Android phones isn’t washed out. That means most of the time our pictures of phones need run through an editing program. I’ve been using Polarr on my Chromebook to do it without any problems. In a lot of ways, I prefer Polarr to Lightroom — I like the tools interface better and the file handling is much better if you only have a few pictures to work on. Most importantly, Polarr does a good job balancing the exposure and cleaning up the noise that gets left behind when your adjusting it.

If you have a Chromebook or Chromebox — especially if you’re all-in and it’s your only computer — you need to try it. You can install Polarr for free from the Chrome Web Store and get most of the experience. All the tool features are available but some of the advanced adjustments are locked. What you get for free is very usable and works great. If you like what you see and want the rest the program is $20. That’s about $100 cheaper than Lightroom and the things most people who don’t need Lightroom would want to do are easy with Polarr. I feel like I got my money’s worth.

Download Polarr Photo Editor for Chrome (Free / full version $19.99)



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After Math: Well that’s terrifying

Halloween is tomorrow so here are some stories to scare the pants off you. Google’s AI can now encrypt its thoughts from its human handlers, Turkey’s descent into a police state is accelerating, Twitter straight up murdered Vine and, horror of horrors, Gilmore Girls is somehow back on television. Numbers, because how else are we going to track the body count?


A real-world Hyperloop preview, and more in the week that was

The Hyperloop cometh: Danish architecture firm BIG just gave the world a sneak peek at a 93-mile track designed to connect Abu Dhabi and Dubai, while the University of Waterloo is set to test the world’s first levitating pneumatic system next week. Tesla is having a great month as it turned a profit for the first time in two years and unveiled its next-generation Powerwall 2.0 system. Meanwhile, Henrik Fisker gave the world a first look at his upcoming ‘Tesla-killer” supercar, which is set to launch next year. And Otto delivered the world’s first shipment by a self-driving truck: 51,744 cans of Budweiser beer.

2016 is on track to be the hottest year in recorded history, but fortunately clean energy is on the rise. According to a new report, the world’s total capacity for generating renewable electricity is now higher than coal. Sunflare debuted a new type of ultra-thin solar “wallpaper” that sticks to just about anything, while Singapore is getting ready to launch a massive floating photovoltaic array. Iceland is sourcing clean energy from another source: the center of the Earth. The nation is drilling the world’s “hottest hole” to harvest geothermal energy from liquid magma.

Could seaweed-eating supercows save the world? A team of Australian scientists found that adding dried seaweed to cattle feed can cut methane emissions by 70 percent. Meanwhile, a futuristic new farm in Indianapolis is able to grow veggies with 100% renewable energy and 90% less water. In other design and technology news, researchers developed a wave-powered desalination buoy that cuts the price of clean water production in half, and the TetraPOT uses mangrove trees to protect seashores from storms and rising tides. Air Shepherd is using drones to hunt poachers poisoning wildlife with cyanide, and a new 3D-printed heart on a chip could end animal testing for good.


The bottom line: Our quick verdict on the ASUS ZenBook 3

ASUS’s latest ultraportable the ZenBook 3 is often compared to Apple’s 12-inch MacBook. And can you blame people? The laptop is even thinner and lighter than Apple’s two-pound wonder, but just as fast and with longer battery life. And it comes with a mini dock in the box, adding precisely the sort of ports you’d be missing on the MacBook (and would only have access to if you paid extra for an adapter). On paper, then, it’s precisely the computer Windows-using travelers have been looking for.

Depending on your needs, that may still be the case, but in practice we found the ZenBook 3 isn’t everything we hoped it would be. In particular, we found the keyboard and trackpad uncomfortable to use, and we had some concerns about the build quality too. It’s possible you’ll disagree with us there, but you owe it to yourself to get some hands-on time with the machine at a local store before buying, if at all possible.


Starbreeze deal gives you more freedom to move in VR

If Starbreeze is going to get you wearing VR headsets in IMAX theaters and pods, it’ll have to create a wow-inducing experience… and it might have taken one step closer toward that goal. The company has bought Nozon, a visual effects house whose recent breakthrough is an interactive parallax effect that gives you more freedom when watching computer-generated or 3D-scanned VR video. You ideally get quality closer to pre-rendered 3D, but the freedom to tilt your head and otherwise look around more naturally. You should feel more like you’re present in a given scene, instead of staring at a giant video wall.

You don’t need Nozon’s tech to have freedom of movement in VR tracking — just ask HTC. However, existing approaches are generally designed for gaming, not the pay-per-view experiences Starbreeze wants. This could help studios produce VR recreations of movie and TV scenes that you’d actually want to watch, or guided tours that are more immersive than the usual 360-degree video clips. It’ll take a while for this technology to find its way into something you can watch, but it should give you a better reason to leave home for a VR extravaganza.

Via: VentureBeat

Source: Starbreeze


Terahertz scans could save male chicks from an untimely end

Chicken hatcheries often grind up male chicks as soon as they break out of their shells — they don’t produce enough meat as adults, so they’re considered useless compared to the egg-laying females. It’s not exactly compassionate, and it wastes money as hatcheries incubate eggs they’ll never use. However, technology might just have a way to prevent such a horrifying fate. Vital Farms and Novatrans are partnering on TeraEgg, a technology that uses terahertz spectroscopy to identify the sex of a chicken well before it hatches. The technique traps and analyzes the gas emanating from the pores of eggs, identifying the sex (or infertility) within seconds. You can use it as soon as 2 days after the hen lays her eggs, or early enough that you can sell the male eggs as food.

TeraEgg is starting out slowly with “scaled tests,” and a full launch is expected by late 2017.

The terahertz technology could be tremendously appealing to animal welfare advocates, who are understandably upset by the mass deaths of chicks (up to 7 billion every year, Vital Farms says). It won’t make you completely happy if you object to eating any animal products, but it would be far kinder than what you see today. And the egg industry should save money in the process. Along with making better use of each egg, it’d let hatcheries reduce the number of inspectors and spend less energy heating eggs. It’s theoretically a win for everyone, no matter what you prefer to eat.

Via: NPR

Source: BusinessWire


Scientists find the first known dinosaur brain tissue fossil

That lump you see above many not look like much at first blush, but it’s a big deal for paleontology: scientists say they have discovered that the sample has the first known example of a dinosaur brain tissue fossil. The team used a scanning electron microscope to detect mineralized blood vessels, collagen, membranes and possibly brain cortex in the remains of an iguanodonid that lived about 133 million years ago. The findings suggest that the dino’s brain had a lot in common with those of modern birds and reptiles. Instead of completely filling the cranial cavity, the brain matter significant space for blood vessels and sinuses.

Researchers may understand more about the evolutionary link through technology, too. While the team has already conducted a CT scan, there are hopes of performing future 3D scans that help compare the iguanodontid’s brain to that of present-day creatures.

Don’t expect to see too many discoveries like this in the future. The scientists believe they got lucky — they theorize that the dinosaur’s brain was preserved in highly acidic water (possibly from a bog or swamp), protecting its form before the whole animal was buried. However, the revelation may prompt other paleontologists to revisit fossils they already have in case they missed something.

Via: National Geographic, Reddit

Source: University of Cambridge (1), (2)

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