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12
Aug

Yes, Big Baller Brand shoes will be in NBA 2K18


As the fall sports seasons draw closer, we’re also getting more information about the fall sports games. NBA 2K18 has highlighted its position as the dominant hoops game — and squelched the release of NBA Live 18’s demo — by drip feeding tidbits like player ratings and screenshots. This means that not only are players excitedly tweeting out their ratings to start this year’s game, but we’re also getting a look at what they’ll wear on their feet.

We’re excited to announce the @bigballerbrand shoes will debut in #NBA2K18 & be laced up on @ZO2_ at NBA Season Tip-Off! pic.twitter.com/X4NcMS1aNH

— NBA 2K 2K18 (@NBA2K) August 11, 2017

For the Lakers’ attention-grabbing rookie Lonzo Ball, gamers wanted to know if he will wear his family’s Big Baller Brand sneakers, or the Kobe A.D.s shown in screenshots so far. Today the NBA 2K Twitter account cleared things up, confirming that his signature shoe will be included when 2K18 hits shelves on September 19th (customers who pre-order can get access starting on the 15th).

Last year 2K took its shoe realism to the next level with 3D-scanned shoes, while this year’s game relies on new photo and laser scanning techniques to make sure the player’s faces get the same treatment. Before the full game is released, there will be another NBA 2K Prelude demo/MyPlayer teaser released, which is due on September 8th.

NBA 2K18 Player Ratings

Via: Sole Collector

Source: NBA 2K18 (Twitter)

12
Aug

Weekly Rewind: Trippy tech, mind zappers, and password regrets


A lot can happen in a week when it comes to tech. The constant onslaught of news makes it nigh impossible for mere mortals with real lives to keep track of everything. That’s why we’ve compiled a quick and dirty list of this week’s top tech stories, from a fat-burning headband to Facebook’s take on Netflix — it’s all here.

Modius is a neurostimulation wearable that tricks your body into burning fat

Wear this headset for 45 minutes a day, and you could hack your body into burning more fat, resulting in a leaner, meaner look. No, it’s not a “miracle” cure ad for the terminally podgy, but the pitch for the Neurovalens Modius, a neurostimulation device that sounds almost too good to be true. For less time that one would normally spend in the gym, this piece of tech fools your body into thinking it’s exercising, and decreases appetite, all to help you achieve those hard-to-reach weight-loss goals without much effort.

Suspend your disbelief for a second. Here’s how it works. The Modius is a headset worn like a pair of headphones, just without the cups over your ears. Instead, two pads sit just beneath your ears and zap low-power electrical impulses to your vestibular nerve, activating the hypothalamus. Neurovalens says this fools the body into thinking you’re a physically active person, even though you’re on the couch binging on some Netflix.

Read: Modius is a neurostimulation wearable that tricks your body into burning fat

Man responsible for strong password requirements regrets his 2003 guidelines

The man responsible for your requirement to use a combination of lower-case letters, upper-case letters, numbers, and symbols in passwords at least eight characters long is now regretting his advice. Former National Institute of Standards and Technology manager Bill Burr recently admitted in an interview with The Wall Street Journal that his 2003 document about crafting strong passwords and changing them every 90 days was somewhat off the mark.

At the time, he said that users will choose an easily remembered, easily guessed password, and likely one stemming from a batch of “a few thousand commonly chosen passwords.” In turn, hackers trying to gain access to user accounts, computers, and so on would try the most likely chosen passwords first. But even though services would reject specific passwords given their common use, Burr suggested a more secure alternative.

Read: Man responsible for strong password requirements regrets his 2003 guidelines

Trying trippy tech beneath the experimental domes of The Lab

Last year, Goldenvoice, organizers of the popular Coachella festival, installed a huge dome full of tech experiences at the inaugural Panorama Music Festival in New York City. The Lab, as it was known, blew people away. This year it’s back, and three times larger than before.

It’s also more immersive, as artists were required to increase interconnectivity, according to Justin Bolognino, founder and CEO of META — the company that curated the artists featured in The Lab. “Eight people, minimum, had to be able to interact with an installation at the same time,” he told Digital Trends.

We stepped inside The Lab, explored its exhibits, and spoke with the lucky fans who experienced it alongside us. Here’s what we saw, heard, and yes, smelled.

Read: Trying trippy tech beneath the experimental domes of The Lab

Police photo shows maniac driver using a phone in each hand at 60mph

Driving while holding and using a mobile phone is dangerous, stupid, and in the vast majority of places, illegal. However, people still do it, and in the U.K. a particularly keen phone user was caught on camera using not one, but two phones while driving. He wasn’t juggling one phone with the other, but was holding a device in each hand, leaving no hands available for steering the car. He was also traveling at 60 mph.

It’s hard to believe someone would do something so dangerous, but the news comes from a very reliable source — the local police force that caught the maniac driver. Surrey Police posted a photo on its Twitter account, taken with a police camera through the driver’s side window of the vehicle.

Read: Police photo shows maniac driver using a phone in each hand at 60mph

Put down the controllers! Players navigate this VR game using only their minds

From allowing people to pilot drones using only their mind to medical applications involving the control of smart prostheses, the ability to use brain activity to directly control technology is a field that’s advanced significantly in recent years. At the recent 2017 SIGGRAPH conference, tech company Neurable and VR graphics company Estudiofuture teamed up to show off something new: brain-controlled virtual reality.

In a tech demo, the companies demonstrated how a VR game created by Estudiofuture could be intuitively controlled by swapping out the regular hand controls from an HTC Vive headset for technology developed by Neurable; tech that monitors a user’s brain activity to determine their intent.

Read: Put down the controllers! Players navigate this VR game using only their minds

Meet TIKAD: the gun-toting drone that can aim, fire, and compensate for recoil

Have you ever looked at a drone and thought, “Yeah, that’s kind of neat, but I sure wish it came with some mounted firearms?” If so, you may be interested to hear about the TIKAD: a new drone that’s described by its Florida-based creators Duke Robotics as the “Future Soldier.”

Intended for military deployment, TIKAD is an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) designed to replace boots on the ground in some of the toughest warzones on the planet. It weighs 110 pounds (50kg), can fly at an altitude of anywhere from 30 to 1,500 feet and — oh yes — did we mention that it can sport a plethora of semi-automatic weapons, and a 40mm grenade launcher for good measure?

Read: Meet TIKAD: the gun-toting drone that can aim, fire, and compensate for recoil

Thync Relax Pro review

There’s something pleasingly sci-fi about the Thync Relax Pro, just like there was about the original Thync. It’s a wearable in the true sense, in that it fixes directly to your body and doesn’t do anything at all when it’s not. It’s designed to help the stressed relax, the anxious become calm, and the sleepless get more rest, which it does by stimulating nerves in the back of your neck using subtle-but-tingly electrical stimulation. It’s the wearable the crew of the Enterprise might choose, and the stuff of cyberpunk dreams.

 Before we go any further — yes, it’s safe. The original version, which uses the same low electrical output signal, has logged 2,500,000 minutes of use, backing up studies and surveys all indicating the safety of nerve stimulation. There’s no reason to worry it’ll burn you, cause your head to explode, or otherwise disfigure you during your quest for a bit of relaxation.

Read: Thync Relax Pro review

If you are thinking about buying a Fitbit, these deals make it the perfect time

Amazon is offering discounts on select Fitbit fitness tracker models, and to help you find the best Fitbit for your lifestyle, we created a rundown of the ones on sale. If you’ve been on the hunt for a wearable to accompany you on your workouts, now is a great time to score a deal on a brand-name activity tracker.

Read: If you are thinking about buying a Fitbit, these deals make it the perfect time

Facebook mounts assault on Netflix and Amazon with new ‘Watch’ platform

Facebook is revamping the way its users view video on its social network, beginning with the launch of a new platform called Watch. The move, which will bring with it a growing amount of original content, is part of a grand plan by the social networking giant to better compete with video-streaming rivals such as Netflix, Amazon, and YouTube.

The new platform for Facebook’s mobile, desktop, and television apps will start to show up this week for select users in the U.S. before hitting more locations “soon.”

Watch promises to be a more structured version of the video tab that the company launched last year, and will offer suggestions for new shows based on what your friends and communities are enjoying.

Read: Facebook mounts assault on Netflix and Amazon with new ‘Watch’ platform

T-Mobile Revvl, Revvl T2, and Revvl T3 Pro news and rumors

T-Mobile may be readying an entire self-branded lineup of affordable smartphones, and the first has been revealed. In early May, details of the T-Mobile Revvl, Revvl T2, and Revvl T3 Pro began to surface. The company announced it is officially releasing the first of the lineup — the Revvl — but we have yet to hear about the other models.

TCL-owned Alcatel is designing and producing the Revvl phones, and they are all expected to be cheaper than Apple’s entry-level iPhone (less than $650). They will also launch alongside a commitment-free T-Mobile service that comes with a lifetime warranty and insurance included.

We don’t know much about the entire T-Mobile’s Revvl lineup, but we’re learning more every day. Here is what we have so far.

Read: T-Mobile Revvl, Revvl T2, and Revvl T3 Pro news and rumors




12
Aug

Weekly Rewind: Trippy tech, mind zappers, and password regrets


A lot can happen in a week when it comes to tech. The constant onslaught of news makes it nigh impossible for mere mortals with real lives to keep track of everything. That’s why we’ve compiled a quick and dirty list of this week’s top tech stories, from a fat-burning headband to Facebook’s take on Netflix — it’s all here.

Modius is a neurostimulation wearable that tricks your body into burning fat

Wear this headset for 45 minutes a day, and you could hack your body into burning more fat, resulting in a leaner, meaner look. No, it’s not a “miracle” cure ad for the terminally podgy, but the pitch for the Neurovalens Modius, a neurostimulation device that sounds almost too good to be true. For less time that one would normally spend in the gym, this piece of tech fools your body into thinking it’s exercising, and decreases appetite, all to help you achieve those hard-to-reach weight-loss goals without much effort.

Suspend your disbelief for a second. Here’s how it works. The Modius is a headset worn like a pair of headphones, just without the cups over your ears. Instead, two pads sit just beneath your ears and zap low-power electrical impulses to your vestibular nerve, activating the hypothalamus. Neurovalens says this fools the body into thinking you’re a physically active person, even though you’re on the couch binging on some Netflix.

Read: Modius is a neurostimulation wearable that tricks your body into burning fat

Man responsible for strong password requirements regrets his 2003 guidelines

The man responsible for your requirement to use a combination of lower-case letters, upper-case letters, numbers, and symbols in passwords at least eight characters long is now regretting his advice. Former National Institute of Standards and Technology manager Bill Burr recently admitted in an interview with The Wall Street Journal that his 2003 document about crafting strong passwords and changing them every 90 days was somewhat off the mark.

At the time, he said that users will choose an easily remembered, easily guessed password, and likely one stemming from a batch of “a few thousand commonly chosen passwords.” In turn, hackers trying to gain access to user accounts, computers, and so on would try the most likely chosen passwords first. But even though services would reject specific passwords given their common use, Burr suggested a more secure alternative.

Read: Man responsible for strong password requirements regrets his 2003 guidelines

Trying trippy tech beneath the experimental domes of The Lab

Last year, Goldenvoice, organizers of the popular Coachella festival, installed a huge dome full of tech experiences at the inaugural Panorama Music Festival in New York City. The Lab, as it was known, blew people away. This year it’s back, and three times larger than before.

It’s also more immersive, as artists were required to increase interconnectivity, according to Justin Bolognino, founder and CEO of META — the company that curated the artists featured in The Lab. “Eight people, minimum, had to be able to interact with an installation at the same time,” he told Digital Trends.

We stepped inside The Lab, explored its exhibits, and spoke with the lucky fans who experienced it alongside us. Here’s what we saw, heard, and yes, smelled.

Read: Trying trippy tech beneath the experimental domes of The Lab

Police photo shows maniac driver using a phone in each hand at 60mph

Driving while holding and using a mobile phone is dangerous, stupid, and in the vast majority of places, illegal. However, people still do it, and in the U.K. a particularly keen phone user was caught on camera using not one, but two phones while driving. He wasn’t juggling one phone with the other, but was holding a device in each hand, leaving no hands available for steering the car. He was also traveling at 60 mph.

It’s hard to believe someone would do something so dangerous, but the news comes from a very reliable source — the local police force that caught the maniac driver. Surrey Police posted a photo on its Twitter account, taken with a police camera through the driver’s side window of the vehicle.

Read: Police photo shows maniac driver using a phone in each hand at 60mph

Put down the controllers! Players navigate this VR game using only their minds

From allowing people to pilot drones using only their mind to medical applications involving the control of smart prostheses, the ability to use brain activity to directly control technology is a field that’s advanced significantly in recent years. At the recent 2017 SIGGRAPH conference, tech company Neurable and VR graphics company Estudiofuture teamed up to show off something new: brain-controlled virtual reality.

In a tech demo, the companies demonstrated how a VR game created by Estudiofuture could be intuitively controlled by swapping out the regular hand controls from an HTC Vive headset for technology developed by Neurable; tech that monitors a user’s brain activity to determine their intent.

Read: Put down the controllers! Players navigate this VR game using only their minds

Meet TIKAD: the gun-toting drone that can aim, fire, and compensate for recoil

Have you ever looked at a drone and thought, “Yeah, that’s kind of neat, but I sure wish it came with some mounted firearms?” If so, you may be interested to hear about the TIKAD: a new drone that’s described by its Florida-based creators Duke Robotics as the “Future Soldier.”

Intended for military deployment, TIKAD is an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) designed to replace boots on the ground in some of the toughest warzones on the planet. It weighs 110 pounds (50kg), can fly at an altitude of anywhere from 30 to 1,500 feet and — oh yes — did we mention that it can sport a plethora of semi-automatic weapons, and a 40mm grenade launcher for good measure?

Read: Meet TIKAD: the gun-toting drone that can aim, fire, and compensate for recoil

Thync Relax Pro review

There’s something pleasingly sci-fi about the Thync Relax Pro, just like there was about the original Thync. It’s a wearable in the true sense, in that it fixes directly to your body and doesn’t do anything at all when it’s not. It’s designed to help the stressed relax, the anxious become calm, and the sleepless get more rest, which it does by stimulating nerves in the back of your neck using subtle-but-tingly electrical stimulation. It’s the wearable the crew of the Enterprise might choose, and the stuff of cyberpunk dreams.

 Before we go any further — yes, it’s safe. The original version, which uses the same low electrical output signal, has logged 2,500,000 minutes of use, backing up studies and surveys all indicating the safety of nerve stimulation. There’s no reason to worry it’ll burn you, cause your head to explode, or otherwise disfigure you during your quest for a bit of relaxation.

Read: Thync Relax Pro review

If you are thinking about buying a Fitbit, these deals make it the perfect time

Amazon is offering discounts on select Fitbit fitness tracker models, and to help you find the best Fitbit for your lifestyle, we created a rundown of the ones on sale. If you’ve been on the hunt for a wearable to accompany you on your workouts, now is a great time to score a deal on a brand-name activity tracker.

Read: If you are thinking about buying a Fitbit, these deals make it the perfect time

Facebook mounts assault on Netflix and Amazon with new ‘Watch’ platform

Facebook is revamping the way its users view video on its social network, beginning with the launch of a new platform called Watch. The move, which will bring with it a growing amount of original content, is part of a grand plan by the social networking giant to better compete with video-streaming rivals such as Netflix, Amazon, and YouTube.

The new platform for Facebook’s mobile, desktop, and television apps will start to show up this week for select users in the U.S. before hitting more locations “soon.”

Watch promises to be a more structured version of the video tab that the company launched last year, and will offer suggestions for new shows based on what your friends and communities are enjoying.

Read: Facebook mounts assault on Netflix and Amazon with new ‘Watch’ platform

T-Mobile Revvl, Revvl T2, and Revvl T3 Pro news and rumors

T-Mobile may be readying an entire self-branded lineup of affordable smartphones, and the first has been revealed. In early May, details of the T-Mobile Revvl, Revvl T2, and Revvl T3 Pro began to surface. The company announced it is officially releasing the first of the lineup — the Revvl — but we have yet to hear about the other models.

TCL-owned Alcatel is designing and producing the Revvl phones, and they are all expected to be cheaper than Apple’s entry-level iPhone (less than $650). They will also launch alongside a commitment-free T-Mobile service that comes with a lifetime warranty and insurance included.

We don’t know much about the entire T-Mobile’s Revvl lineup, but we’re learning more every day. Here is what we have so far.

Read: T-Mobile Revvl, Revvl T2, and Revvl T3 Pro news and rumors




12
Aug

Weekly Rewind: Trippy tech, mind zappers, and password regrets


A lot can happen in a week when it comes to tech. The constant onslaught of news makes it nigh impossible for mere mortals with real lives to keep track of everything. That’s why we’ve compiled a quick and dirty list of this week’s top tech stories, from a fat-burning headband to Facebook’s take on Netflix — it’s all here.

Modius is a neurostimulation wearable that tricks your body into burning fat

Wear this headset for 45 minutes a day, and you could hack your body into burning more fat, resulting in a leaner, meaner look. No, it’s not a “miracle” cure ad for the terminally podgy, but the pitch for the Neurovalens Modius, a neurostimulation device that sounds almost too good to be true. For less time that one would normally spend in the gym, this piece of tech fools your body into thinking it’s exercising, and decreases appetite, all to help you achieve those hard-to-reach weight-loss goals without much effort.

Suspend your disbelief for a second. Here’s how it works. The Modius is a headset worn like a pair of headphones, just without the cups over your ears. Instead, two pads sit just beneath your ears and zap low-power electrical impulses to your vestibular nerve, activating the hypothalamus. Neurovalens says this fools the body into thinking you’re a physically active person, even though you’re on the couch binging on some Netflix.

Read: Modius is a neurostimulation wearable that tricks your body into burning fat

Man responsible for strong password requirements regrets his 2003 guidelines

The man responsible for your requirement to use a combination of lower-case letters, upper-case letters, numbers, and symbols in passwords at least eight characters long is now regretting his advice. Former National Institute of Standards and Technology manager Bill Burr recently admitted in an interview with The Wall Street Journal that his 2003 document about crafting strong passwords and changing them every 90 days was somewhat off the mark.

At the time, he said that users will choose an easily remembered, easily guessed password, and likely one stemming from a batch of “a few thousand commonly chosen passwords.” In turn, hackers trying to gain access to user accounts, computers, and so on would try the most likely chosen passwords first. But even though services would reject specific passwords given their common use, Burr suggested a more secure alternative.

Read: Man responsible for strong password requirements regrets his 2003 guidelines

Trying trippy tech beneath the experimental domes of The Lab

Last year, Goldenvoice, organizers of the popular Coachella festival, installed a huge dome full of tech experiences at the inaugural Panorama Music Festival in New York City. The Lab, as it was known, blew people away. This year it’s back, and three times larger than before.

It’s also more immersive, as artists were required to increase interconnectivity, according to Justin Bolognino, founder and CEO of META — the company that curated the artists featured in The Lab. “Eight people, minimum, had to be able to interact with an installation at the same time,” he told Digital Trends.

We stepped inside The Lab, explored its exhibits, and spoke with the lucky fans who experienced it alongside us. Here’s what we saw, heard, and yes, smelled.

Read: Trying trippy tech beneath the experimental domes of The Lab

Police photo shows maniac driver using a phone in each hand at 60mph

Driving while holding and using a mobile phone is dangerous, stupid, and in the vast majority of places, illegal. However, people still do it, and in the U.K. a particularly keen phone user was caught on camera using not one, but two phones while driving. He wasn’t juggling one phone with the other, but was holding a device in each hand, leaving no hands available for steering the car. He was also traveling at 60 mph.

It’s hard to believe someone would do something so dangerous, but the news comes from a very reliable source — the local police force that caught the maniac driver. Surrey Police posted a photo on its Twitter account, taken with a police camera through the driver’s side window of the vehicle.

Read: Police photo shows maniac driver using a phone in each hand at 60mph

Put down the controllers! Players navigate this VR game using only their minds

From allowing people to pilot drones using only their mind to medical applications involving the control of smart prostheses, the ability to use brain activity to directly control technology is a field that’s advanced significantly in recent years. At the recent 2017 SIGGRAPH conference, tech company Neurable and VR graphics company Estudiofuture teamed up to show off something new: brain-controlled virtual reality.

In a tech demo, the companies demonstrated how a VR game created by Estudiofuture could be intuitively controlled by swapping out the regular hand controls from an HTC Vive headset for technology developed by Neurable; tech that monitors a user’s brain activity to determine their intent.

Read: Put down the controllers! Players navigate this VR game using only their minds

Meet TIKAD: the gun-toting drone that can aim, fire, and compensate for recoil

Have you ever looked at a drone and thought, “Yeah, that’s kind of neat, but I sure wish it came with some mounted firearms?” If so, you may be interested to hear about the TIKAD: a new drone that’s described by its Florida-based creators Duke Robotics as the “Future Soldier.”

Intended for military deployment, TIKAD is an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) designed to replace boots on the ground in some of the toughest warzones on the planet. It weighs 110 pounds (50kg), can fly at an altitude of anywhere from 30 to 1,500 feet and — oh yes — did we mention that it can sport a plethora of semi-automatic weapons, and a 40mm grenade launcher for good measure?

Read: Meet TIKAD: the gun-toting drone that can aim, fire, and compensate for recoil

Thync Relax Pro review

There’s something pleasingly sci-fi about the Thync Relax Pro, just like there was about the original Thync. It’s a wearable in the true sense, in that it fixes directly to your body and doesn’t do anything at all when it’s not. It’s designed to help the stressed relax, the anxious become calm, and the sleepless get more rest, which it does by stimulating nerves in the back of your neck using subtle-but-tingly electrical stimulation. It’s the wearable the crew of the Enterprise might choose, and the stuff of cyberpunk dreams.

 Before we go any further — yes, it’s safe. The original version, which uses the same low electrical output signal, has logged 2,500,000 minutes of use, backing up studies and surveys all indicating the safety of nerve stimulation. There’s no reason to worry it’ll burn you, cause your head to explode, or otherwise disfigure you during your quest for a bit of relaxation.

Read: Thync Relax Pro review

If you are thinking about buying a Fitbit, these deals make it the perfect time

Amazon is offering discounts on select Fitbit fitness tracker models, and to help you find the best Fitbit for your lifestyle, we created a rundown of the ones on sale. If you’ve been on the hunt for a wearable to accompany you on your workouts, now is a great time to score a deal on a brand-name activity tracker.

Read: If you are thinking about buying a Fitbit, these deals make it the perfect time

Facebook mounts assault on Netflix and Amazon with new ‘Watch’ platform

Facebook is revamping the way its users view video on its social network, beginning with the launch of a new platform called Watch. The move, which will bring with it a growing amount of original content, is part of a grand plan by the social networking giant to better compete with video-streaming rivals such as Netflix, Amazon, and YouTube.

The new platform for Facebook’s mobile, desktop, and television apps will start to show up this week for select users in the U.S. before hitting more locations “soon.”

Watch promises to be a more structured version of the video tab that the company launched last year, and will offer suggestions for new shows based on what your friends and communities are enjoying.

Read: Facebook mounts assault on Netflix and Amazon with new ‘Watch’ platform

T-Mobile Revvl, Revvl T2, and Revvl T3 Pro news and rumors

T-Mobile may be readying an entire self-branded lineup of affordable smartphones, and the first has been revealed. In early May, details of the T-Mobile Revvl, Revvl T2, and Revvl T3 Pro began to surface. The company announced it is officially releasing the first of the lineup — the Revvl — but we have yet to hear about the other models.

TCL-owned Alcatel is designing and producing the Revvl phones, and they are all expected to be cheaper than Apple’s entry-level iPhone (less than $650). They will also launch alongside a commitment-free T-Mobile service that comes with a lifetime warranty and insurance included.

We don’t know much about the entire T-Mobile’s Revvl lineup, but we’re learning more every day. Here is what we have so far.

Read: T-Mobile Revvl, Revvl T2, and Revvl T3 Pro news and rumors




12
Aug

Researchers create flexible battery that can run on salt water


When it comes to making batteries for wearables or implantable medical devices, there are a few features that have to be incorporated. The batteries need to be flexible and remain functional while being bent or twisted, and ideally, they’ll be absent of harmful chemicals. So far, batteries developed for these uses don’t meet that latter requirement and instead pack on extra material to keep the chemicals from leaking and coming in contact with human tissue. But that often makes them bulky and rigid. However, a research team in China has developed a new type of flexible battery that doesn’t require dangerous chemicals.

Instead of packing electrolytes that are corrosive or toxic, the team used sodium-based chemicals like sodium sulfate, which was once used as a laxative, as well as saline and a solution used for cell culture. While it’s still preferable that those solutions don’t leak out of the batteries and onto or inside of a human, if they do, it wouldn’t pose the same risks that other batteries’ chemicals do. Because excessive leakage-prevention measures — and therefore, added materials — aren’t required, the battery can easily maintain flexibility.

The research team created two versions — a belt-shaped model and a nanotube. The sodium sulfate electrolyte worked best of the three solutions tested and its function held up against similarly-sized lithium-ion batteries currently used in wearables. And the performance of the belt-shaped version wasn’t impacted even after it was bent 100 times at different angles.

That these batteries can function off of sodium-based liquids means that in the future these devices might be able to run off of body fluids like sweat. And the researchers discovered that the nanotube batteries might have an additional unforeseen use. After observing that the nanotubes were accelerating the conversion of dissolved oxygen into hydroxide ions, which isn’t great for battery power, they realized that this could be a feature if the devices were used in a slightly different way. “We can implant these fiber-shaped electrodes into the human body to consume essential oxygen, especially for areas that are difficult for injectable drugs to reach,” researcher Yonggang Wang said in a statement. “Deoxygenation might even wipe out cancerous cells or pathogenic bacteria since they are very sensitive to changes in living environment pH. Of course, this is hypothetical right now, but we hope to investigate further with biologists and medical scientists.”

The work was published this week in the journal Chem.

Via: The Verge

Source: Chem

12
Aug

Facebook acquires a German computer vision startup


Facebook’s latest startup acquisition is German computer vision company Fayteq, a company that develops plugins for editing applications like Adobe After Effects that let you add or remove objects from existing video. After the purchase, Fayteq added a note on its website notifying customers that its products and services were no longer available for purchase.

Other recent Facebook acquisitions include Source3, the expertise of which Facebook plans to direct towards hunting down video piracy, and AI startup Ozlo. Fayteq’s technology could be put to use in various video features like Facebook Live or Stories or it could be worked into the company’s Camera Effects Platform, which includes a developer tool for generating AR effects.

Details about the acquisition are slim, but Facebook did confirm the deal to numerous sources after German publication Deutsche Startups first reported the news.

Source: Variety

12
Aug

Netflix’s ‘Gypsy’ won’t be getting a second season


Gypsy was initially poised as another prestige drama for Netflix — with a star-filled cast including Naomi Watts and Billy Crudup, and some intriguingly dark material. Unfortunately, it didn’t quite live up to its potential, according to early reviews. Now, it looks like Netflix is ready to pull the plug. The company has canceled Gypsy, even though it was discussing a second season with producers, according to Deadline. Sources at Netflix also confirmed to us separately that it won’t be returning.

While it’s a shame for fans of the show, it was likely a victim of a slightly more selective Netflix. The streaming service used to be known for greenlighting practically any crazy idea, but earlier this year it cancelled Girlboss and Sense8 (though the latter is getting a two-hour finale next year, thanks to fan outcry). The Get Down, which was spearheaded by director Baz Luhrmann, was also axed after significant delays and a budget that skyrocketed to $120 million. Those cancellations are a bit hard to stomach, though, since Netflix thinks the world actually wants a second season of The OA. But hey, at least we’re getting more GLOW.

Source: Deadline

12
Aug

Coveting that canvas bag? Asos’ visual search tool will now find it for you


Why it matters to you

Don’t want to scroll through an inventory list of 85,000 items? Just upload a photo to find your desired piece of clothing instead at Asos.

Visual search is nothing new these days, but its application in the fashion industry may be one of its most useful manifestations. And jumping on the bandwagon is British ecommerce giant Asos, which has rolled out a new visual search tool that allows you to find your latest statement piece by using your smartphone camera. After all, if imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, then taking a photo of your friend’s shoes and then uploading it to Asos’ app and buying a pair for yourself is paying your friend a serious compliment.

Perhaps the most impressive thing about this new visual search tool is the sheer amount of inventory it is able to comb through in order to find you a matching handbag, blouse, or pair of pants. Given that Asos has around 85,000 products on its online store, and adds about 5,000 new products every week, it certainly comes as a relief that you can now find what you’re looking for simply by snapping a photo — either in the wild or via a screenshot online — and uploading it through the app.

Previously, in order to find an article of clothing or accessory on the site, users had to scroll through thousands of products, searching either by category or keyword. But now, the company has updated its iOS app to make it possible for you to perform an image-based search for similar items.

Asos didn’t actually develop the technology for this tool itself, but instead relied on a third-party provider. But regardless of who built it, Asos hopes that its customers will use it. After all, the company noted, the visual search function becomes increasingly robust as it learns users’ tastes.

Ultimately, Asos says, the addition of such a tool is all about discovery.

“If you know what you want, you can quite simply get to what you’re looking for. But what we’re trying to find is more of that discovery use case – if you’re not quite sure what you want, or you’ve seen something that’s inspired you, visual search is designed to kickstart that discovery,” Richard Jones, head of product at Asos, told Forbes. “It’s about getting as close as possible to giving you something that is visually similar.”

The visual search function is now available for iOS users in the U.K., and an international and Android launch is expected soon.




12
Aug

No more blinds! Stanford’s smart windows rapidly go from clear to dark


Why it matters to you

Smart self-tinting windows will allow you to control the amount of light in your room — no blinds required!

Searching for one final flourish to turn your smart apartment into the high-tech, minimalist dream home you’ve always wanted? If so, you may be interested in a new smart window prototype developed by engineers at Stanford University. Instead of making you clutter your ultra-chic rooms with anything as mundane as blinds, Stanford’s dynamic smart windows are capable of transitioning from transparent to opaque, or back again, in less than a minute. And all with the touch of a button.

The prototype windows are made of conductive glass that are outlined with metal ions spread across the surface and block light as a response to electrical current.

“Sunglasses that automatically change color use photochromic class,” Professor Michael McGehee told Digital Trends, comparing the new material to the well-established technology. “While it is great that these glasses require no electronics or power, it is unfortunate that the user has no control over the tinting. Moreover, these glasses do not work inside of a car because they respond to ultraviolet light, which does not get through a car window. The tinting of our windows, and electrochromics in general, is controlled electronically — and the users can specify whatever level of tinting they want.”

Other companies are already selling self-tinting smart windows. However, these are typically expensive, have a blue tint, take more than 20 minutes to dim, and become less opaque over a period of time. Stanford’s windows feature a more neutral color, are cheaper to make, and do not degrade in the same way. When the windows are in clear mode, they allow 80 percent of surrounding natural light through. In dark mode, that figure drops to less than 5 percent.

“We are working on making larger windows,” McGehee said. “Literally making them larger is quite easy, but it is a challenge to have large windows switch quickly because the degree of tinting depends on the voltage, and there can be a voltage drop across a large transparent electrode. We also need to demonstrate that our windows are going to be stable under real-world operating conditions. We have shown that we can cycle the device between the transparent and dark states more than 5,000 times without any degradation, but we have not yet run tests to see what would happen to the device at relatively high temperatures over long periods of time, or under exposure to sunlight.”

The team is currently speaking with window, automotive, and aerospace companies about commercialization. While Stanford’s not the only university to be investigating smart tinting windows, this is certainly one of the most promising demonstrations we’ve come across.

A paper describing the research was recently published in the journal Cell Press.




12
Aug

Moto E4 Plus Review


Research Center:
Moto E4 Plus

How do you stand out among a sea of devices all priced roughly the same, with similar spec sheets and features? It’s a question many budget phone makers have a difficult time answering – though we found Motorola did a pretty good job of it with the recently released $130 Moto E4. Just a few months later, the Lenovo-owned company has returned with yet another reasonably priced handset, starting at just $180 unlocked. In our Moto E4 Plus review, we found the phone to offer similarly compelling value, with one major benefit you’ll struggle to find anywhere else.

Uninspired but quality design

The E4 Plus is rather thick and hefty, with large bezels on the top and bottom. If you’ve seen the Moto E4, you’ve almost seen the E4 Plus. The major differences are the larger size and the back cover being made of metal, rather than plastic. It’s still removable, and underneath you’ll find access to the SIM card and MicroSD slots.

The phone feels big in the hand, but it’s not too unwieldy. The metal lends a high-end feel, and the volume rocker and power button are easy to locate on the right side. The fingerprint sensor is mounted below the screen like on other Motorola devices, and you can program it to serve double duty as the home button.

Adam Ismail/Digital Trends

Adam Ismail/Digital Trends

Adam Ismail/Digital Trends

Adam Ismail/Digital Trends

Adam Ismail/Digital Trends

Aesthetically speaking, the Moto E4 Plus is unremarkable, but not at all offensive. It’s chunky for good reason — the Moto E4 Plus has a massive 5,000mAh battery (more on that later).

The display is adequate for a budget device. The E4 Plus’ LCD panel borrows the 1,280 x 720 resolution of the smaller model, but enlarges the screen from 5 to 5.5 inches. It looks surprisingly sharp on the standard E4, but at half an inch larger, it’s easy to see more pixels.

Considering what you’re paying, 720p is by no means a deal breaker, and the color reproduction and viewing angles are satisfactory. If you want a sharper screen, at only 267 pixels-per-inch, the E4 Plus isn’t going to impress.

Surprisingly smooth performance

When paying low-end prices, you typically have to settle for low-end hardware. While that may be true of the E4 Plus on paper, we were impressed how well the device performed in spite of its modest processor.

The Moto E4 Plus is among the best sub-$200 phones on the market.

The E4 Plus comes in two configurations. Both feature Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 427 system-on-chip alongside 2GB of RAM, though you have the option of paying $20 more for 32GB of internal storage as opposed to 16GB. There’s a MicroSD slot to expand storage, so you can house extra media, apps, and games.

Simply put, it exceeded our expectations. There are devices priced $100 higher, with more capable silicon that don’t feel as smooth and lag-free as the E4 Plus in most cases.

Some resource-intensive apps, like Google Maps, displayed occasional stuttering. While Super Mario Run ran flawlessly, you’ll have trouble running a graphics-heavy game like Need For Speed No Limit at an acceptable framerate. Those limitations were evident in some of the benchmark results:

  • AnTuTu: 36,586
  • Geekbench 4: 651 single-core, 1764 multi-core
  • 3DMark Slingshot: 61

The AnTuTu score is a little better than the regular E4’s 35,056, but still a ways off from the Moto G5 Plus’ 63,190, which starts at $50 more than the E4 Plus. If you’re a heavy gamer, or find yourself often jumping back and forth between recent apps, you’d be better served by the G5 Plus. Otherwise, the E4 Plus is one of the best performing devices at this price range.

The E4 Plus also offers one of the finest software experiences you’ll find among sub-$200 handsets. Motorola has always kept its Android customizations to the bare minimum, allowing a fresh, fluid, user-friendly experience. The E4 Plus continues this trend with zero bloatware atop Android 7.1.1 Nougat – just a couple convenient user interface options tucked away in the Moto app.

There’s the handy Moto Display that automatically shows the lockscreen when when you lift the device or pull it out of your pocket. It’ll show discreet notifications and provide shortcuts to the relevant apps when applicable. You can also activate Moto Actions for one-button navigation, eliminating the on-screen buttons so you can maximize all the available real estate of that large screen.

Like most of Motorola’s budget Android devices, there’s no NFC in the Moto E4 Plus, meaning you won’t be able to make contactless payments with Android Pay.

Two-day battery life – and then some

The design is fine, and the performance is respectable, but the humongous battery is the real reason you’d buy an E4 Plus. It doesn’t disappoint.

The battery will last you two days without even trying. Three isn’t out of the question.

At 5,000mAh, the E4 Plus’ battery does take quite a while to top off – three hours from completely empty, even with the included 10-watt charger. But in return, you get fantastic longevity. Combined with the E4 Plus’ power-sipping processor and display, the battery will last you two days without even trying. Three isn’t out of the question.

We watched YouTube videos, browsed Facebook, Twitter, and the web, streamed Spotify over Bluetooth for multiple hours, and could only kill 20 percent over half a day. At 36 hours off the charger, we were still a hair over 50 percent. Most phones that cost four times as much can’t even manage that.

Keep in mind, the standard E4 was no slouch in the battery department either. But with just a 2,800mAh unit, it’s absolutely blown away by its bigger sibling.

A middling camera experience

Like most other budget phones, there’s not a whole lot to say about the E4 Plus’ 13-megapixel rear camera. It tends to produce muted images in most scenarios, except when in the presence of the best lighting, and the lack of optical image stabilization leads to some unintended blur.

That said, the f/2.0 aperture is a welcome sight on such an inexpensive device, and it helps the E4 Plus capture occasionally satisfying shots with proper depth-of-field.

On the front, the 5-megapixel selfie camera benefits from an LED flash, and the results are just acceptable.

Warranty information

Motorola’s warranty is standard for the industry – it lasts 12 months, and covers production defects, but not accidental drops and water damage. You can guard against those eventualities with Motorola Care Accidental Protection, which runs $70 for 15 months, or $100 for 24 months.

The Moto E4 Plus starts at $180 unlocked. For that price, you get 16GB of internal memory. Spend $200, and Motorola will double that capacity. Verizon is offering the 16GB model for $130, but the device will be locked to its network.

Moto E4 Plus Compared To

OnePlus 5

Moto Z2 Force

Asus Zenfone 3 Zoom

Moto Z2 Play

Huawei Nova 2 Plus

ZTE Blade V8 Pro

Xiaomi Redmi Note 4X

LeEco Le S3

LeEco Le Pro3

HTC Bolt

Lenovo Moto Z

Alcatel Idol 4S

Meizu M3 Note

Oppo F1 Plus

LG G4

Amazon is selling a Prime Exclusive version for customers of the online retail giant’s subscription service. You can save $40 on either the 16GB or 32GB version, in exchange for lockscreen-filling ads.

Our Take

The Moto E4 Plus is the best sub-$200 phone on the market, and certainly the longest lasting on a charge.

Is there a better alternative?

Possibly, and ironically, it comes from Motorola. Spend $50 more over the base E4 Plus, and you can have the next step up – the G5 Plus. The G5 Plus is better in almost every way, trading the E4 Plus’ Snapdragon 427 processor for a markedly more powerful 625 chipset, 32GB of storage as standard, a full HD screen, and improved camera.

Unfortunately, the G5 Plus misses out on the benefit of a huge battery, opting instead for a 3,000mAh unit. That makes the decision a bit of a toss-up, and which way you lean will ultimately depend on what you demand more from your phone: Battery life or performance.

At the other end of the spectrum is the standard E4, starting at just $130. If you have the extra $50 to burn, get the E4 Plus – it’s worth it for the battery alone, but the slightly better processor and camera are welcome additions as well.

There are even more options out there, and you can read about them in our handy best cheap phones guide.

How long will it last?

While Motorola has squeezed as much performance as possible out of the E4 Plus’ measly silicon, we don’t expect the device to last much longer than two years. With how little you’re paying, that could be enough. The company’s track record with issuing Android updates has fallen somewhat astray recently, which also isn’t particularly encouraging.

In terms of physical longevity, we like the metal build, and the water-repellent nano-coating may help in the event of a spilled drink or a little rain. Don’t expect the E4 Plus to survive a swim in the pool – it’s not IP-rated water resistant.

Should you buy it?

Yes. The Moto E4 Plus is one of the best devices at its price point, offering unparalleled battery life and performance that defies its modest hardware. While the G5 Plus is certainly worthy of consideration, the E4 Plus is more budget-friendly.

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