Your Next Passport Could Be On The Blockchain

See the original posting on TechCrunch

Passport-Layout-01 A blockchain tinkerer named Chris Ellis has created a system to build an actual digital passport that, through use of the Bitcoin blockchain and some encryption, will allow you to identify yourself online and off. Called World Citizenship, the project just launched on Github and shows some definite promise. “The goal of this project is to learn and layout a simple process for anyone in… Read More

‘One Minute to Midnight’ turns political uprisings into a real-time strategy game

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It didn’t exactly create a genre, but Papers, Please — a game about immigration and bureaucracy that puts you in the role of a border guard — and other projects by its creator Lucas Pope exemplified a particular style of socially aware game. Papers, Please combined a weighty subject with gameplay that was fast, challenging, even mildly addictive — it made you want to learn how to do things right, even if you were hurting people in the process. You felt invested in a way that a noncompetitive, free-form game couldn’t have managed, and unlike any number of AAA blockbusters that give you fun ultraviolence and then tell you to feel bad for enjoying it, cognitive dissonance was what made the game work. You were learning to do a repetitive…

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Why I don’t finish most video games

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My friends keep venting to me about the ending of Shadow of Mordor, the new video game set in the Lord of the Rings universe. I can’t relate. I never finished it. In fact, I rarely finish any game.

Shadow of Mordorfor all its flaws, is an excellent adventure, one of the better video games I’ve played this year. Its open-ended mission structure, that lets the player decide the order of who gets killed and when, is a dark, but refreshing departure from the “guide you from room to room” adventures that compose the majority of AAA gaming’s catalogue.

But after a couple dozen hours of hunting, killing and ultimately enslaving the Uruks, I had had enough. The game’s story, while passable, wasn’t enough to pull me to the finish line. This…

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“VideoSelfie” Scores $1.2 Million For Its App Offering Real-Time Filters, GIFs And More

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selfie But I thought we were recording our video selfies on Instagram and Snapchat now? A soon-to-launch mobile application called VideoSelfie, whose founders participated in the 500 Startups accelerator last year, has raised $1.2 million for its forthcoming mobile application that lets you edit your videos (of yourself, duh) in real-time. You can add filters, decorations and GIFs, hit record,… Read More

Why Online Retailers Continue To Open Brick-And-Mortar Stores

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shutterstock_137342978 In an age when new technology and the growth of pure online-only retailers have industry analysts questioning the future of brick-and-mortar stores, what are online retailers doing to grow their businesses and gain market share? Why, opening up physical storefronts of course. The benefits that physical spaces provide make up three of the top reasons why online retailers are setting up shop… Read More

Court rules that Touch ID is not protected by the 5th Amendment

See the original posting on Boing Boing

“A Virginia Beach Circuit Court this week ruled that an individual in a criminal proceeding cannot be forced to divulge the passcode to his cellphone as it would violate the self-incrimination clause of the Fifth Amendment. At the same time, the Court held that an individual can be compelled to give up his fingerprint to unlock Touch ID, or any fingerprint protected device for that matter.” – The Unofficial Apple Weblog

Microsoft releases new Outlook for Mac, other Office updates coming in 2015

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There’s a reason Microsoft’s latest version of Outlook for OS X leaked before the rest of its Office suite: the email client is ready, but other apps like Word and PowerPoint aren’t quite finished yet. Today Microsoft is launching a brand new Outlook for Mac, and Office 365 subscribers can download it right now. The company is promising “improved performance and reliability and a fresh look and feel that is unmistakably Microsoft Office,” and says this refresh brings Outlook on OS X closer in line with what users of the PC, web, and iPad Office apps have come to expect.

The user interface has been updated with a more modern look, smoother scrolling, and improved “agility” when switching between Ribbon tabs. It also delivers full push…

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This Ambulance Drone Can Fly Into Trouble With First Aid

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Screen Shot 2014-10-31 at 11.14.40 AM A Dutch engineer has created a flying defibrillator for emergency situations. The drone, called the Ambulance Drone, would be stationed at various points in the city. In an emergency, people on the scene can call it in and it arrives a few seconds later. The built-in defibrillator unit can be used by anyone and it allows doctors to monitor the situation after the shocks are administered. The… Read More

Zotac ZBOX CI540 nano Review: A Fanless Haswell-Y mini-PC

See the original posting on Anandtech

Over the last couple of years, mini-PCs in the ultra-compact form factor (UCFF) have emerged as one of the bright spots in the troubled PC market. Zotac is no stranger to this segment. In fact, their nano xs units came to the market before the Intel NUC, even though the NUC is credited with kickstarting the UCFF trend. Starting with Ivy Bridge, Intel also began to experiment with Y series CPUs to bring the Core family to the fanless tablet market. Unfortunately, the impact of these SKUs in the tablet market has been minimal. However, Zotac has repurposed the Y series CPUs for the ‘ZBOX C Passive Cooling Series’ of mini-PCs. The ZBOX CI540 nano, equipped with a Core i5-4210Y, is currently the most powerful unit in the lineup. Read on to identify what Intel’s Y series brings to the table for the mini-PC market.

Samsung’s Galaxy A5 and A3 smartphones are its thinnest ever

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In light of disappointing earnings, Samsung just told the world that it’s planning to “fundamentally reform” its take the smartphone. But it’s fair to say that the company may have changed its thinking long before yesterday’s dire report. Today Samsung announced a pair of metal smartphones that have seemingly been designed for social media addicts and selfie takers. Aside from their premium unibody builds, the Galaxy A3 and A5 won’t blow anyone away in terms of what’s inside, but they’re nothing to scoff at either. Unwilling to let Apple win the thinness war, Samsung says these are the slimmest smartphones it’s ever made. Despite housing a 5-inch display, the A5 is just 6.7mm (0.26 inches) thick, enough to best the iPhone 6. The A3…

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‘The Colbert Report’ gets a date for its final episode

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The Colbert Report has a date for its final episode. On December 18th, one of the best political satires ever will conclude its nine year run.

The show, a spin-off of the long running comedy news program The Daily Show, features the character “Stephen Colbert” played by the comedian of the same name. Stephen Colbert, the character, is a pompous, boisterous, loudmouth inspired initially by the conservative talk show hosts on FOX News, though the character now parodies all types of political talking heads. Less is known about Stephen Colbert the person, who has taken the back seat to his character for nearly the past decade.

We’ll have a chance to learn more about Colbert when he takes over hosting duties on The Late Show on CBS in 2015….

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Former Grooveshark Execs Raise $950K For E-Commerce Customer Intelligence Startup Tandem

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Screen Shot 2014-10-31 at 10.34.49 AM A team of early Grooveshark employees who left the company a couple of years ago to pursue their own startup ambitions have raised a little under a million for Tandem, a service that helps e-commerce companies better understand their customers shopping behavior and interests by combining analytics data, surveys and sales information. Explains co-founder and CEO Isaac Moredock, previously… Read More

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