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Google Now wants to help protect your eyes from eclipses

Engadget - Thu, 23/10/2014 - 10:54
Google Now has just added more cards to its ever-increasing arsenal, and this time, they'll help you prepare for eclipses and possibly dangerous situations. The new eclipse card lists almost everything you need to know about the phenomenon, including...

Machine Learning Expert Michael Jordan On the Delusions of Big Data

Slashdot - Thu, 23/10/2014 - 10:34
First time accepted submitter agent elevator writes In a wide-ranging interview at IEEE Spectrum, Michael I. Jordan skewers a bunch of sacred cows, basically saying that: The overeager adoption of big data is likely to result in catastrophes of analysis comparable to a national epidemic of collapsing bridges. Hardware designers creating chips based on the human brain are engaged in a faith-based undertaking likely to prove a fool's errand; and despite recent claims to the contrary, we are no further along with computer vision than we were with physics when Isaac Newton sat under his apple tree.

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Hungary needs cash, so it wants to tax internet traffic

Engadget - Thu, 23/10/2014 - 09:53
It's probably a good thing that Google got its Street View surveil of Hungary in when it did, because a new tax being proposed could make internet traffic in the country more expensive. A tax bill draft sent to parliament could impose a 150 forints...

Windows 10 has new ways to protect you against internet data breaches

Engadget - Thu, 23/10/2014 - 08:54
There are plenty of online services that use two-factor authentication to reduce the chances of someone hijacking your account after a data breach, but what about the operating system on your PC or phone? You'll get that safeguard if you use Windows...

B&O Play have made a portable Bluetooth speaker, no, we're not kidding

Engadget - Thu, 23/10/2014 - 08:00
It's the last press day at German trade show IFA, and I should be hauling ass across the show floor. Instead, I'm waiting outside by the taxi rank, sucking down secondhand smoke of the booth attendants on their breaks and hoping that my ride hasn't...

U.K. Supermarkets Beta Test Full-Body 3D Scanners For Selfie Figurines

Slashdot - Thu, 23/10/2014 - 07:59
Lucas123 writes Walmart-owned ASDA supermarkets in the U.K. are beta testing 3D full-body scanning booths that allow patrons to buy 6-in to 9-in high "selfie" figurines. Artec Group, a maker of 3D scanners and software, said its Shapify Booth, which can scan your entire body in 12 seconds and use the resulting file to create a full-color 3D printed model, is making its U.S. debut this week. The 3D Shapify booths are equipped with four wide view, high-resolution scanners, which rotate around the person to scan every angle. Artec claims the high-powered scan and precision printing is able to capture even the smallest details, down to the wrinkles on clothes. The scanning process generates 700 captured surfaces, which are automatically stitched together to produce an electronic file ready for 3D printing. Artec offers to print the figurines for booth operators (retailers) for $50 for a 6-in model, $70 for a 7.5-in model, and $100 for a 9-in figurine.

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'SimCity BuildIt' lets Canadians play urban planner before anyone else

Engadget - Thu, 23/10/2014 - 07:18
While Canada is the brunt of countless jokes, it seems like our friendly neighbors to the north have the last laugh this time. At least when it comes to playing SimCity on the go, that is. The folks at EA have recently soft-launched SimCity BuildIt...

Yahoo's mail app has notifications for flights and events too

Engadget - Thu, 23/10/2014 - 06:37
Yahoo has just released a new Mail update for iOS and Android that integrates event and travel notifications within the app... whoa wait, why does that sound familiar? Another tech company with a name that starts with a G might have announced...

Hybrid Play clips turn playground toys into videogame controllers

Engadget - Thu, 23/10/2014 - 05:58
A group of developers thought it would be fun to merge playground activities with mobile gaming -- so they did. They've created a system called Hybrid Play that lets kids (or adults, no judgment here) control games on their phones with see-saws,...

New Microsoft Garage Site Invites Public To Test a Wide Range of App Ideas

Slashdot - Thu, 23/10/2014 - 05:30
An anonymous reader writes Microsoft today launched a new section on its website: The Microsoft Garage is designed to give the public early access to various projects the company is testing right now. The team is kicking off with a total of 16 free consumer-facing apps, spanning Android, Android Wear, iOS, Windows Phone, Windows, and even the Xbox One. Microsoft Garage is still going to be everything it has been so far, but Microsoft has simply decided it's time for the public to get involved too: You can now test the wild projects the company's employees dream up.

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Ford's next cars will brake by themselves to avoid collisions

Engadget - Thu, 23/10/2014 - 05:01
Automakers like Subaru and Volvo have had automatic anti-collision braking for a while, but what if you're a Ford fan? You won't have to wait long. The Blue Oval has revealed that it's adding its own smart braking system (Pre-Collision Assist) as an...

Sonos sues Denon for allegedly copying its wireless speaker tech

Engadget - Thu, 23/10/2014 - 04:12
If you thought Denon's Heos wireless speakers were a little too similar in purpose to Sonos' range, you're not alone. Sonos has sued D&M Holdings (the company that owns Denon) for allegedly violating "at least" four patents. The audio gear maker...

Hear the space age unfold on NASA's historic SoundCloud account

Engadget - Thu, 23/10/2014 - 03:29
If you've ever wanted to cobble together a really wicked EDM track comprised mostly of sound bites from NASA's Mercury missions, well, now's your chance. Everyone's favorite beleaguered space agency has been posting a treasure trove of audio clips...

Will Fiber-To-the-Home Create a New Digital Divide?

Slashdot - Thu, 23/10/2014 - 03:04
First time accepted submitter dkatana writes Having some type of fiber or high-speed cable connectivity is normal for many of us, but in most developing countries of the world and many areas of Europe, the US, and other developed countries, access to "super-fast" broadband networks is still a dream. This is creating another "digital divide." Not having the virtually unlimited bandwidth of all-fiber networks means that, for these populations, many activities are simply not possible. For example, broadband provided over all-fiber networks brings education, healthcare, and other social goods into the home through immersive, innovative applications and services that are impossible without it. Alternatives to fiber, such as cable (DOCSYS 3.0), are not enough, and they could be more expensive in the long run. The maximum speed a DOCSYS modem can achieve is 171/122 Mbit/s (using four channels), just a fraction the 273 Gbit/s (per channel) already reached on fiber.

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See what makes the iPad Air 2 so skinny

Engadget - Thu, 23/10/2014 - 02:43
It's safe to say that you don't buy most Apple devices these days with the expectation that you can open them up, and it looks like the iPad Air 2 is no exception. Do-it-yourself repair shop iFixit has torn down the new tablet and found that it's...

Tickets for Sony's PlayStation gaming show go on sale Friday

Engadget - Thu, 23/10/2014 - 02:04
So, you put in for the time off from work to hit December's PlayStation Experience event in Las Vegas. The next logical step, of course, is buying tickets and come Friday you can do just that. As previously reported, a single day pass will set you...

Oldest Human Genome Reveals When Our Ancestors Mixed With Neanderthals

Slashdot - Thu, 23/10/2014 - 02:03
sciencehabit writes DNA recovered from a femur bone in Siberia belongs to a man who lived 45,000 years ago, according to a new study. His DNA was so well preserved that scientists were able to sequence his entire genome, making his the oldest complete modern human genome on record. Like present-day Europeans and Asians, the man has about 2% Neanderthal DNA. But his Neanderthal genes are clumped together in long strings, as opposed to chopped up into fragments, indicating that he lived not long after the two groups swapped genetic material. The man likely lived 7000 to 13,000 years after modern humans and Neanderthals mated, dating the mixing to 52,000 to 58,000 years ago, the researchers conclude. That's a much smaller window than the previous best estimate of 37,000 to 86,000 years ago.

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Xbox Music ditches free desktop streaming on December 1st

Engadget - Thu, 23/10/2014 - 01:12
If you're hooked on Xbox Music's free desktop-based listening, you're going to have make some backup plans very shortly. Microsoft has announced that it's dropping the no-cost web and Windows streaming option as of December 1st; after that, you'll...

Two Exocomet Families Found Around Baby Star System

Slashdot - Thu, 23/10/2014 - 01:10
astroengine writes Scientists have found two families of comets in the developing Beta Pictoris star system, located about 64 million light-years from Earth, including one group that appears to be remnants of a smashed-up protoplanet. The discovery bolsters our theoretical understanding of the violent processes that led to the formation of Earth and the other terrestrial planets in the solar system. "If you look back at the solar system when it was only 22 million years old, you might have seen phenomena that's a like more like what's happening in Beta Pic," astrophysicist Aki Roberge, with NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Md., told Discovery News.

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Xiaomi is moving some of its users' data out of China

Engadget - Thu, 23/10/2014 - 00:43
Xiaomi's a force to be reckoned with in China -- its new phones routinely sell out online in seconds -- but its influence is steadily growing outside its native home. That's why the company's infrastructure has been quietly shifting these past few...