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13
Apr

Bose SoundLink Revolve speakers pump sound out in 360 degrees


It’s been a couple of years since we’ve heard about new SoundLink speakers from Bose, but now the company has announced two new wireless Bluetooth speakers; the Revolve and Revolve+. Bose boasts they’re their “best Bluetooth speakers ever” and have been designed to give out full 360-degree sound.

  • Bose Soundlink adds Colour Bluetooth speaker and on-ear headphones

To achieve the 360-degree sound, the SoundLink speakers have undergone a major design change. Instead of being square and rectangle-shaped, the new Revolve and Revolve+ are cylindrical, and made from a single piece of aluminium.

Because of the new shape, Bose says you’re able to place the speakers anywhere in the room and you’ll always get the same sound, there’s no ‘front’ or ‘back’. Inside the new cylindrical bodies are dual-opposing passive radiators connected to an ultra-efficient transducer, and this is positioned face down. The Revolve speakers also get a new patented acoustic deflector and a “pressure trap”, which promises to eliminate any distortion. 

Bose claims the sound the Revolve speakers are able to produce is “spacious, clear and remarkably loud”.

Bose

They’re portable too, and can be taken outside where they’ll be able to shield themselves against the odd spill, rain shower or water splash thanks to an IPX4-rating. What’s more, they’re rugged enough to withstand knocks, drops and bumps. You can elevate the sound too by mounting the Revolve speakers on a tripod using the quarter-twenty thread on the bottom.

The standard Revolve speaker measures 152 x 82mm and weighs 0.66kg and has a battery that can keep the music playing for up to 12 hours. It’s bigger brother, the Revolve+ measures 184 x 105mm, weighs 0.9kg, and can last longer with a 16 hour battery life. Both can instantly connect to compatible NFC devices, and can understand commands using Siri and Google Assistant thanks to built-in microphones.

The companion Bose Connect app can be used to connect two SoundLink speakers together, starting with the SoundLink Colour II to create a stereo pair, or the party mode lets you play the same song on both speakers for a multi-room style effect.

  • Bose SoundLink III speaker for £260 offers Bluetooth connectivity and colourful scratch-proof cases

The Bose Revolve and Revolve+ Bluetooth speakers are available to pre-order now in Triple Black and Lux Grey for £199.95 and £279.95 respectively. 

13
Apr

Japan’s volleyball team test their spikes against robot blockers


In a bid to give its national volleyball team an edge, Japan has enlisted the help of high-tech training robots. According to New Scientist, these bizarre-looking bots are used to mimic the opposing team’s defense and are made up of three pairs of hands attached to a mobile torso. Mounted to a track, these new digital defense droids slide up and down to pre-set positions, allowing players to test out their spike shots against many different team formations.

Known as the “block machine” these rapid robots can travel at speeds of up to 3.7 meters per second, easily outpacing human players. So far these training machines have been used successfully in several of training sessions for Japan’s national woman’s volleyball team. Yet, with these robots only currently capable of moving in predetermined directions, coaches are looking into equipping them with motion sensors for more lifelike and unpredictable training sessions.

This phenomenon has started to gain traction across the globe, with the NFL already experimenting with training dummies that are remotely controlled from the sidelines. With the blocking machines freakishly long limbs, these robots could also be perfectly suited to helping teams with similar basketball exercises or even used for martial arts training. Still, even if these bots fail to win Japan any medals, they’ll at least have a place in Nintendo’s bizarre new floppy-limbed fighting game, ARMS.

Source: New Scientist

13
Apr

DJI refreshes the Phantom 4 with ‘Advanced’ entry-level model


While DJI’s Phantom 4 Pro strictly targeted filmmakers, folks who wanted that form factor were stuck paying the long dollar ($1,500 – $1,800) for it. Sure, it might’ve been overshadowed by the company’s less expensive Mavic Pro ($749 – $999), but not everyone wants a foldable UAV. That’s where the newly announced Phantom 4 Advanced and Advanced+ come in, offering sizable improvements for less money. Oh and if you were a fan of the base Phantom 4, know that it’s being discontinued soon.

The Advanced’s onboard camera has a 1-inch, 20-megapixel image sensor, larger than the standard Phantom 4’s and inline with the Phantom 4 Pro. Like the Pro, it can shoot 4K video at 60 frames per-second. The Advanced also can process 60 FPS H.264 4K footage and 30 FPS H.265 4K footage at 100Mbps. So regardless of frame rate, your video should look nice and detailed.

From the sounds of it though, the Pro still has an advantage, and that’s in terms of sensors for obstacle avoidance; the Pro has six sensors, whereas the Advanced has five and the base model only has forward and downward obstacle detection. DJI says that flight time has been rated up to 30 minutes now and that you can slot a 128GB microSD card into the unit.

Feel the need for a screen larger than your phone provides? Then go for the Advanced+, which features a 5.5-inch 1080p display built into the controller. That spacious screen will cost you a bit more: the Advanced is priced at $1,349, while the Advanced+ will set you back $1,649. Both start shipping the day the Phantom 4 reaches DJI’s planned death this April 30th. But people shouldn’t be too disheartened over the base model’s disappearance when the Advanced is better than it in basically every way.

Source: PR Newswire, DJI

13
Apr

Trump’s transition team asked NASA about mining the moon


President Donald Trump’s proposed 2018 budget calls for big cuts to the EPA and Department of Energy, but NASA’s budget would only be cut by one percent. It looks like Trump has had designs on NASA that include potential moneymaking activities as well as mining the moon for resources. This comes from documents obtained by Motherboard through a freedom of information act request. According to those documents, Trump’s agency review team (ART) asked NASA to “provide data and examples of how NASA does technology development (perhaps even in the form of products) when working with industry — for example, types of contracts/partnerships and IP arrangements.”

In its response, NASA noted that as its technologies mature, “appropriate technologies are transferred to industry and commercialized through multiple programs and approaches to benefit a wide range of users ensuring the nation realizes the full economic value and societal benefit of these innovations.” The agency also made it clear that it was in favor of for-profit space exploration — indeed, NASA has worked with plenty of commercial space enterprises in recent years, particularly in the low Earth orbit.

“NASA envisions a future in which low Earth orbit is largely the domain of commercial activity while NASA leads its international and commercial partners in the human exploration of deep space,” the agency wrote. So while Trump’s motivations may sound a bit sinister on the face of things, it’s about getting as much back as possible from the research and investments NASA makes and not necessarily about Trump lining his pockets with cash from commercial space endeavors.

Similarly, Trump’s ART also asked about what sort of resources could be mined from the moon. NASA noted that getting a sample from the moon’s south pole was a “high scientific priority.” That area of the moon is believed to have water, hydrogen and methane that is relatively easy to mine; NASA called those resources a “critical long-term resource” that can benefit future human missions to the moon and potentially beyond.

However, the catch with this potential plan is the Outer Space Treaty, signed by the US and 104 other countries. That treaty states that “the exploration and use of outer space, including the Moon and other celestial bodies, shall be carried out for the benefit and in the interests of all countries, irrespective of their degree of economic or scientific development, and shall be the province of all mankind.” If Trump wants the US mining valuable resources from the moon, it sounds like it needs to be ready to share its learnings with the rest of the countries who’ve signed the treaty.

Motherboard uploaded the entire 94-page response it received to its FOIA request here. One overarching theme that Motherboard found was that while NASA was open to discussing commercial endeavors, the agency also tried to emphasize the fact that its research was primarily for scientific purposes — something that may seem obvious to most but that nonetheless needed to be noted.

The agency’s Science Mission Directorate “works to answer fundamental questions about the earth, our solar system and the universe” — NASA also said that “answering these questions will have transformative impacts on our scientific understanding and on our human culture.” Those goals might not align with money-making endeavors — but fortunately NASA’s budget is largely intact under Trump thus far, so hopefully the agency will be able to do most of its work without interference.

Source: Motherboard

13
Apr

Luxury AGA ovens aren’t safe from hackers


In the kitchen, nothing screams “I have money” like an AGA. The expensive British-made cast-iron stoves (or cookers, depending on where you’re from) have barely changed in terms of looks much over the last century, but they have got smarter. Thanks to the company’s iTotal Control technology, owners of certain models — costing $10,000 and upwards — have been able to switch their oven on and off via an app or by sending it a simple text message. It’s no doubt helped them remotely prepare dinner, but a security flaw in the system has also left them open to mischievous third parties.

A new report from security experts Pen Test Partners takes issue with some AGA models that come with a built-in SIM card and mobile radio. Each oven has its own mobile phone number, which owners must pay an extra $7.50 or £6 a month for. Due to a lack of security on the Aga web app, attackers can effectively spam the login form to gain a list of eligible phone numbers and send requests to unsuspecting households. As the company doesn’t check who is sending the text request, attackers potentially have full control.

To be clear, the exploit isn’t going to cause much harm. However, AGA are notoriously power hungry and take a long time to heat up. The likely damage would be an inflated power bill or a ruined dinner party. Pen Test Partners notes that a simple WiFi module and mobile app would do the trick, rather than a system that can be impacted by poor mobile signals and unauthenticated text messages.

AGA initially neglected to address the concerns but has today issued a statement saying that the platform is supported by a separate company and that it’s looking into the issue: “We take such issues seriously and have raised them immediately with our service providers so that we can answer in detail the points raised.”

Via: The Telegraph

Source: Pen Test Partners

13
Apr

Finally, a good digital masturbator


NSFW Warning: This story may contain links to and descriptions or images of explicit sexual acts.

As a kid, I suffered from phimosis, an overtightening of the foreskin that required medical circumcision to correct. The procedure is common in the US but, for me, the knock-on effect was dramatically reduced sensitivity. On one hand, it’s great for stamina, because the amount of stimulation you need to get going means you’ll always be coming last. But it means that sex (and everything else) can sometimes be painful, prolonged and unfulfilling.

This quirk of my biology means that some of the sex toys I’ve tried have done nothing for me. I threw a lot of opprobrium toward Kiiro way back in 2015 when I reviewed its teledildonic sex kit. For the uninitiated, teledildonics is technology that enables you to have sex while on opposite sides of the internet. The Onyx male masturbator, which came with a Fleshlight-branded internal sleeve, did nothing for me despite prolonged and aggressive use. Not to mention that the whirring and clanking the device made while in use made the whole thing more like a child’s toy than a sex toy.

Two years later, Kiiroo is back with a new device and a stronger relationship with Fleshlight. The Fleshlight Launch, Powered by Kiiroo, is an enormous male masturbator that looks like a cross between a sci-fi arm cannon and the cleaning dock for a Braun shaver. Made with black ABS plastic and chrome-effect accents, it’s the dashboard from an eighties mid-level sedan come to life with a newfound hunger for cock.

In the older device, Kiiroo was responsible for everything but the latex sleeve that lined the inside of the Onyx. Here, the division of labor sees the Dutch startup cede control of the messy, sexy business to its partner, Fleshlight. The Launch itself, then, is just a glorified electric milking machine that you can pair with a smartphone over Bluetooth. All you have to do is screw in any standard-size Fleshlight and get to work, without the fear of risking forearm strain (yes, it is an issue).

In manual mode, the Launch simply operates as an up-and-down pump for you to sit back and enjoy while you hold it over your lap. It’s so large that it requires two-handed operation, and there are capacitive touch sensors where your thumbs are naturally designed to fall. The sensors on the left control the speed of the stroke, up to 180 thrusts a minute, while the right controls each stroke’s length.

When connected to your smartphone, and therefore the internet, the Launch can be used in two other ways. First up, you can hook it up to a Kiiroo Pearl vibrator and have teledildonic sex, replacing the earlier Onyx device. Second, you can watch specially shot porn movies synced to the on-screen action with data that connects to the Launch. So, if you’re watching someone getting a hand job on your monitor (or a VR headset), then the machine will follow along at home.

I should add that none of this is a new idea. A while back, I profiled RealTouch Interactive, a company that built this same device some years ago. That firm, too, devised a connected vibrator-and-masturbator pairing that enabled users to watch movies that synced with the action. In addition, the company offered a “digital brothel,” enabling webcam performers to provide sexual services through the internet using the platform. All of that can be done here, too, although there’s no indication that Kiiroo or Fleshlight will run the platform itself.

For the purposes of the review, the company sent me a Launch, as well as a Fleshlight that was modeled on the genitals of adult performer Dillon Harper. The first company offering adult movies that sync with the hardware is FeelMe.com, which made four clips available to test — two straight and two gay. Suitably lubed up, I went through the easy, yet opaque, process for setting up the device and got to work.

The first film I sampled was Crazy Head, starring performers Bobbi Eden and Milena Star. The clip is shot from the point of view of the unnamed male recipient of fellatio as Bobbi goes to town on his Johnson. Infrequently, she stops long enough to let Milena take over, or for them to kiss, with the action going on for around 13 minutes. As Eden and Star stroked their hands up and down the anonymous male’s penis, the Launch went along in tandem.

There were a few seconds when Eden would look into the camera and meet my eyes, and I felt that pang of genuine connection. Those moments were brief, however, and the pair would go back to joylessly kissing each other or mechanically pumping the genital in front of them. The video included moments of edging, where Eden would halt the action to drag out the session and heighten the tension. That, I’m sure, is great for most people, but if you’re missing a chunk of your nerve endings, you don’t need a fucking rest stop.

After I’d watched the first clip in full, I scrubbed through the next three in the hope of finding something that would enable me to finish. Unfortunately, it wasn’t going to be my day, and after about 20 minutes I decided to re-lube and double down by watching the original film again. It was fun, for sure, and an enjoyable experience, but I wound up spending 40 minutes inside the device without ejaculating. Unlike last time, however, this wasn’t the Launch’s fault, but a problem with the content.

Whether in 2D or VR, the sort of films that are going to obviously suit the Launch are within a very narrow genre. Specifically, if you’re using a Bluetooth male masturbator, the films that pair best are going in the hand-job or vanilla-sex categories. If, like me, your tastes are more esoteric and unconventional, then you’re always going to be left unsatisfied by the mainstream content on offer.

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You will need to be careful, because at higher intensities, this thing will smash against your balls.

So, after hunting around for a clip that I actually enjoyed — the details of which shall remain private — I switched it into manual mode. It’s probably worth mentioning here that there is something gently ridiculous about holding this massive 4.4-pound machine over your pelvic bone. And it is massive, standing 12.5 inches tall and 6.5 inches deep (320mm x 167mm deep), whirring away like a digger as its driver falls asleep at the wheel. It’s also worth saying that you will need to be careful, because at higher intensities, this thing will smash against your balls.

I came, by the way, because the extraordinary stimulation that the Fleshlight offers, coupled with the Launch’s intensity, really does work. For that reason alone, it’s a winner in my book, since it’s rare that a sex toy can bring me off without additional help. It’s one of the reasons I’ve always had a soft spot for Tenga’s Egg, which enhances the natural experience without mechanizing it completely. It’s also comforting to know that there is a digital toy out there that can make me come, because I was worried it would never happen.

Fundamentally, though, I’m a simple creature with simple needs, and the Launch satisfies them pretty damn well. It turns out that a milking machine with a Fleshlight screwed in is the most pleasurable robotic sexual experience I’ve ever had. The fact that it connects with Kiiroo’s platform — meaning you can connect with loved ones and paid performers all around the world — is pretty exciting. Now that the hardware actually makes sense, and works, I’m much more confident about the future of teledildonics.

The Fleshlight Launch, Powered by Kiiroo, will set you back $200 once it is available, although the first batch of devices have already been sold out.

Source: Kiiroo

13
Apr

More people use Instagram Stories than Snapchat itself


The common belief is that Snapchat rules all when it comes to evaporating photo essays. But the numbers don’t quite back it up. Instagram has announced that over 200 million people are using Stories every day to share quick moments from their lives — almost 50 million more than Snapchat as a whole sees in an average day. Snapchat’s 158 million count is from its IPO filing in February, but, the app’s entire user-base cresting 200 million in two months seems pretty unlikely. Of course, 200 million is still only a third of Instagram’s user-base, but those aren’t bad numbers either considering the feature launched last August.

More than bragging about numbers, Instagram says that it’s adding even more stickers. That includes selfie stickers (so you can quickly put your face anywhere) and a quartet of new Geostickers. Chicago, London, Madrid and Tokyo have their own, and they’ll be rolling out in the next few days. Oh, and if you wanted quick access to your most-used stickers the photo-minded social network, that’s en route as well.

So yeah, Instagram might be new to the ephemeral scene, but it’s already making some pretty big headway. What was that adage about imitation being the sincerest form of flattery? Maybe people prefer Instagram’s version because the Facebook-owned app doesn’t roll out offensive filters on the regular. Just a thought.

Source: Instagram, iTunes, Google Play

13
Apr

Netflix will premiere movies at Cannes for the first time


After years of ignoring streaming services, Cannes is finally recognizing both Netflix and Amazon’s original work. With several Amazon funded-movies debuting at last year’s event, Cannes’ 2017 programme reveals that Netflix original movies will also finally be joining the festival. Netflix will be premiering The Meyerowitz Stories at the festival, starring Adam Sandler and Ben Stiller. It will also be debuting Okja for the first time, Netflix’s new Korean-directed monster movie featuring Tilda Swinton and Jake Gyllenhaal. Amazon movies will be featured for a second year, with Wonderstuck and You Were Never Really Here getting first screenings.

Screening movies funded by streaming sites isn’t the only notable change for Cannes’ 17. This year’s festival also steps away from cinema for the first time in its history, choosing to also recognize television. Alongside the big names in cinema, Cannes will also debut the first two episodes of Twin Peaks’ long-awaited new season. All six hours of Jane Campion’s Top of the Lake season 2 will also be screened at the event for the first time.

This will be the first time the international film festival has recognized streaming services, showing a marked shift in how the world consumes cinema. Whether this is simply because of the caliber of directors Amazon and Netflix attract rather than the services remains to be seen, but with more and more Hollywood talent flocking to streaming services – they’re becoming increasingly difficult to ignore.

Source: Entertainment Weekly

13
Apr

Amazon offers its voice-recognition smarts to other companies


Amazon’s Alexa has become the flag-bearer for AI assistants. Not only does she possess an exhaustive list of useful skills, but she’s also started finding new homes in everything from phones to cars, watches, little robots and even refrigerators. There’s a reason Amazon’s Echo and Echo Dot speakers are particularly suited for ordering Alexa around at home, though. They both feature a fancy far-field, seven-microphone setup and audio processing smarts that help Alexa understand your muffled commands shouted from the downstairs bathroom. Today, Amazon’s announced it’s releasing this mixture of hardware and software in a new development kit, so other companies can build Alexa prisons that recognize you want to add mixed spices to your shopping list, and not listen to a Spice Girls mix (liar).

The seven microphones take care of omnidirectional listening, while Amazon’s proprietary noise reduction, echo cancellation and wake-word recognition software turns your mumbling into intelligible commands. For reference, Google Home uses just two microphones, while Lenovo’s Smart Assistant (with Alexa) features eight. Amazon’s development kit isn’t available to workshop hobbyists, instead being reserved for “commercial device manufacturers through an exclusive, invite-only program.” Still, between this and Intel’s smart speaker reference design, companies pretty much have everything they need to quickly develop their own Echo-like hardware and give consumers even more ways to ask Alexa to play that Spice Girls mix already.

Source: Amazon

13
Apr

Shield your address from Uber by using cross streets


If you haven’t deleted Uber yet, the ride-hailing service has actually added a pretty useful feature today designed to protect user privacy. When you’re typing in either a destination or pickup location, you can now enter two cross streets and get picked up or dropped off there. This helps shield your actual home address or destination from the driver. Of course, you’ve been able to do this when getting picked up by simply dragging the map pin to a specific location, but that doesn’t help you when you’re heading home.

Uber says it’s making this change at rider request– the company says that many riders have wanted to not share any private information when using Uber, including specific requests. And if you’ve set up a home or work address in Uber to make it quicker to get where you’re going, you can change that to an intersection if you prefer, as well. Uber says this is rolling out to every city in the US that the company operates in, but it also notes that not all combos may immediately show up. In that case, you’re advised to put in your exact address and then drag the pin to where you want to go.

Lyft has supported intersections for a while now — its mapping system is powered by Google Maps, which has long recognized dropping two streets into its search. Regardless, there are still plenty of Uber users out there who can benefit from increased privacy features. The new features is live now in the Uber app for iOS and Android.

Via: Techcrunch

Source: Uber

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