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Square's cash register app now handles your purchases worldwide

Engadget - Thu, 20/11/2014 - 17:50
Square's Register app has done a lot to drag stores' payment systems into the modern era, but only in the US -- venture elsewhere and you've usually had to pay at a conventional (and often very limited) terminal. That might not hold true for much...

Interviews: Ask Adora Svitak About Education and Women In STEM and Politics

Slashdot - Thu, 20/11/2014 - 17:48
samzenpus writes Adora Svitak is a child prodigy, author and activist. She taught her first class on writing at a local elementary school when she was 7, the same year her book, Flying Fingers was published. In 2010, Adora spoke at a TED Conference. Her speech, "What Adults Can Learn from Kids", has been viewed over 3.7 million times and has been translated into over 40 different languages. She is an advocate for literacy, youth empowerment, and for the inclusion of more women and girls in STEM and politics. 17 this year, she served as a Youth Advisor to the USA Science and Engineering Festival in Washington, DC. and is a freshman at UC Berkeley. Adora has agreed to take some time from her books and answer any questions you may have. As usual, ask as many as you'd like, but please, one per post.

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Trippy Kinect-powered art disintegrates a man

Engadget - Thu, 20/11/2014 - 17:28
Though many folks are meh on Microsoft's Kinect 2 for gaming, in the hands of a 3D animator it can do wondrous things. Case in point is the Momentum art project from a group called Schnellebuntebilder. Using custom software, they captured a live...

Dropbox Carousel comes to iPad and web today, Android tablets soon

Engadget - Thu, 20/11/2014 - 17:05
Ever since the first cloud storage services hit the web, they've been a prime destination for thousands upon thousands of uploaded photos. Unfortunately, many of those services don't have polished user interfaces that allow for easy viewing and...

As Amazon Grows In Seattle, Pay Equity For Women Declines

Slashdot - Thu, 20/11/2014 - 17:05
reifman writes Amazon's hiring so quickly in Seattle that it's on pace to employ 45,000 people or seven percent of the city. But, 75% of these hires are male. While Seattle women earned 86 cents per dollar earned by men in 2012, today, they make only 78 cents per dollar. In "Amageddon: Seattle's Increasingly Obvious Future", I review these and other surprising facts about Amazon's growing impact on the city: we're the fastest growing — now larger than Boston, we have the fastest rising rents, the fourth worst traffic, we're only twelfth in public transit, we're the fifth whitest and getting whiter, we're experiencing record levels of property crime and the amount of office space under construction has nearly doubled to 3.2 million square feet in the past year.

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YouTube Music Awards return in March 2015 sans stage show

Engadget - Thu, 20/11/2014 - 16:48
Just about this time last year, the folks at YouTube took over Pier 36 in Manhattan to put on an hour-and-a-half-long awards show to celebrate the musicians that blew up the internet in 2013. It was... alright at best (unless you really like watching...

"Barbie: I Can Be a Computer Engineer" Pulled From Amazon

Slashdot - Thu, 20/11/2014 - 16:24
New submitter clcto writes Back in 2010, Computer Engineer Barbie was released. Now, with the attention brought to the Frozen themed programming game from Disney and Code.org, unwanted attention has been given to the surprisingly real book "Barbie: I Can Be a Computer Engineer". So much so, that Mattel has pulled the book from Amazon. The book shows Barbie attempting to write a computer game. However, instead of writing the code, she enlists two boys to write the code as she just does the design. She then proceeds to infect her computer and her sister's computer with a virus and must enlist the boys to fix that for her as well. In the end she takes all the credit, and proclaims "I guess I can be a computer engineer!" A blog post commenting on the book (as well as giving pictures of the book and its text) has been moved to Gizmodo due to high demand.

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Britain's first 'poo bus' hits the streets

Engadget - Thu, 20/11/2014 - 16:23
Thanks to a range of new technologies, Britain's buses are steadily swapping traditional fuel for greener alternatives. Over in Bristol, however, Wessex Water believes more can be done with the brown stuff. That's why it's today put the UK's first...

Basis Peak to get its smartwatch-like features in December

Engadget - Thu, 20/11/2014 - 16:00
In our recent review of the Basis Peak, we pointed out its potential to be a pretty good smartwatch, just as it is a fitness tracker. And, thanks to a firmware update set to arrive next month, Basis, which is now owned by Intel, will be making its...

Engadget giveaway: win a SnapRays Guidelight set courtesy of Snap Power!

Engadget - Thu, 20/11/2014 - 15:55
Whether you're looking to deter monsters lurking in the shadows or just trying to save your toes from another late night thrashing, a little light goes a long way. If you don't want to blow your nightlight budget on outlet filling beacons, you may...

Google Maps Crunches Data, Tells You When To Drive On Thanksgiving

Slashdot - Thu, 20/11/2014 - 15:42
Nerval's Lobster writes Whatever your plans for Thanksgiving, Google can offer some advice: try to avoid driving anywhere the day before. Analysts from the search-engine giant's Google Maps division crunched traffic data from 21 U.S. cities over the past two years and found that the Wednesday before Thanksgiving is by far the worst traffic day that week, with some notable exceptions. (In Honolulu, Providence, and San Francisco, the worst traffic is always on Saturday; in Boston, it's Tuesday.) Unfortunately, Wednesday is often the only available travel day for many Americans—but Google thinks they can beat the worst of the traffic if they leave before 2 P.M. or after 7 P.M. on that day. Traffic on Thanksgiving itself is also light, according to the data. When it comes to driving back home, Sunday beats Saturday from a traffic perspective. According to Google Maps' aggregated trends, Americans also seek out "ham shop," "pie shop," and "liquor store" on the day before Thanksgiving, as they rush to secure last-minute items.

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Revamped Turing test expects computers to show imagination

Engadget - Thu, 20/11/2014 - 15:34
In June, the developers of a Russian chatbot posing as a 13-year-old boy from Ukraine claimed it has passed the Turing test. While a lot of people doubt the result's validity because the testers used a sketchy methodology and the event was organized...

People Trained To Experience an Overlap In Senses Also Receive IQ Boost

Slashdot - Thu, 20/11/2014 - 15:21
Zothecula writes Tasting lemons when they see a number seven, regarding a certain letter as being yellow in color. Not a great deal is known about why some people experience an overlapping of the senses, a phenomena known as synesthesia. But a new study conducted at the University of Sussex has suggested that specific training of the mind can induce the effects of the condition. The study even suggests that such training can boost a person's IQ.

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Lessons Learned From Google's Green Energy Bust

Slashdot - Thu, 20/11/2014 - 15:02
the_newsbeagle writes In 2007, Google boldly declared a new initiative to invent a green energy technology that produced cheaper electricity than coal-fired power plants. Sure, energy researchers had been hammering at this task for decades, but Google hoped to figure it out in a few years. They didn't. Instead, Google admitted defeat and shut down the project in 2011. In a admirable twist, however, two of the project's engineers then dedicated themselves to learning from the project's failure. What did it mean that one of the world's most ambitious and capable innovation companies couldn't invent a cheap renewable energy tech?

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'The Imitation Game' puts the spotlight on Alan Turing and his groundbreaking machine

Engadget - Thu, 20/11/2014 - 15:00
It is the height of the Second World War. A group of codebreakers stands in a dimly lit warehouse 50 miles northwest of London, a giant machine composed of spinning drums and wires looms in front of them. It's taken years of work -- as well as a few...

Ricoh's new Theta camera delivers (relatively) simple 360-degree video

Engadget - Thu, 20/11/2014 - 14:30
Ricoh's original Theta camera did a curious thing: it took instant 360-degree stills, courtesy of two hemispherical lens positioned either side of stick camera. We weren't completely sold on the initial model, which was also hampered by a $399 price...

WhatsApp To Offer End-to-End Encryption

Slashdot - Thu, 20/11/2014 - 14:20
L-One-L-One (173461) writes In a surprise move, nine months after being bought by Facebook, WhatsApp has begun rolling out end-to-end encryption for its users. With true end-to-end encryption data becomes unaccessible to admins of WhatsApp or law enforcement authorities. This new feature first proposed on Android only has been developed in cooperation with Open Whisper Systems, based on TextSecure. With hundreds of million users, WhatsApp becomes by far the largest secure messaging application. FBI Director James Comey might not be pleased. Do you have a current favorite for encrypted online chat?

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AT&T refreshes its GoPhone lineup with $45 option and unlimited data

Engadget - Thu, 20/11/2014 - 13:52
AT&T is expanding its GoPhone prepaid choices by adding a $45 tier for those who think the $60 plan's offerings are too much, and the $40's not enough. The company originally launched this option back in April, though you could only get it at...

US Gov't Seeks To Keep Megaupload Assets Because Kim Dotcom Is a Fugitive

Slashdot - Thu, 20/11/2014 - 13:49
mrspoonsi writes with this excerpt from Billboard: 'On Tuesday, the U.S. Department of Justice told a Virginia federal judge that Kim Dotcom and cohorts have no business challenging the seizure of an estimated $67 million in assets because the Megaupload founder is evading prosecution. The government brought criminal charges against Dotcom in early 2012, but he's been holed up in New Zealand awaiting word on whether he'll be extradited. The government got antsy and this past July, brought a civil complaint for forfeiture in rem, a maneuver to firmly establish a hold over money from bank accounts around the world, luxury cars, big televisions, watches, artwork and other property allegedly gained by Megaupload in the course of crimes. Dotcom is fighting the seizures by questioning the government's basis for asserting a crime, saying "there is no such crime as secondary criminal copyright infringement," as well as challenging how the seized assets are tied to the charges against Dotcom. But according to the U.S. government, Dotcom doesn't get the pleasure of even making the arguments. In a motion to strike, the government cites the doctrine of fugitive disentitlement, which bars a person from using the resources of the court if that person is aware of prosecution and is evading it.

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HBO Go is now available for Xbox One

Engadget - Thu, 20/11/2014 - 13:09
After many, many promises, HBO Go is now available on Xbox One. The app is already available for Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3, but the Xbox One launch marks the first time the premium streaming service is accessible from a current-gen console. The app...