BMW’s i3 electric car is getting a bigger battery, 114-mile range

See the original posting on The Verge

BMW’s i3 electric car will have a little more juice for 2017, gaining a bigger battery to boost its electric range from 80 to 114 miles. It’s all thanks to a 50 percent increase in battery capacity. Thanks to denser lithium ion batteries, the i3 goes from 22 kWh to 33 kWh without physically increasing the size of the battery pack.

The fuel tank on the Range Extender model, which uses a 650cc two-cylinder gasoline engine to charge the battery on longer journeys, also sees a small increase in capacity, going from 1.9 to 2.4 gallons. Somewhat oddly, BMW isn’t yet releasing the total range of a fully charged 2017 i3 with the Range Extender. The old i3 could go 150 miles with a full charge and full tank.

Support for faster charging allows a…

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Windows Desktop Market Share Drops Below 90%

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An anonymous reader quotes VentureBeat’s new article about desktop operating systems: Windows 7 is still the king, but it no longer holds the majority. Nine months after Windows 10’s release, Windows 7 has finally fallen below 50 percent market share and Windows XP has dropped into single digits. While this is good news for Microsoft, April was actually a poor month for Windows overall, which for the first time owned less than 90 percent of the market, according to the latest figures from Net Applications.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

What Happened to Google Maps?

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Google Maps has reduced the number of cities it shows by up to 83% over the past few years, according to Justin O’Beirne. Maps, in addition, has increased the number of roads it showcases. O’Beirne, who writes about digital maps, in a blog post outlines the changes Google has made to its mapping and navigation service over the years. The side-by-side screenshots comparison on his blog post shows that Google has largely abandoned labelling towns and cities in favor of showing as many roads as it can. He has also looked into several elements of Maps from the design standpoint, and questioned Google’s decision. He writes: If these roads were so important that they deserved to be upgraded in appearance, why weren’t they also given shield icons? After all, an unlabeled road is only half as useful as a labeled one. […] [Comparing Google Maps to a paper map] Even though it’s from the early 1960s, the old print map has so much more information than the Google Map. So many more cities. So many more road labels. And the text size is comparable between the two. O’Beirne believes that Google has made these changes to better serve mobile users. “Unfortunately, these ‘optimizations’ only served to exacerbate the longstanding imbalances already in the maps,” he writes. “As is often the case with cartography: less isn’t more. Less is just less.”

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

SAM Labs raises $4.5M to turn kids into IoT-mavens

See the original posting on TechCrunch

ezgif.com-optimize London-based SAM Labs just announced that it raised $4.5M from a group of investors led by Imperial Ventures. In addition, the round was padded out with smart money from a number of angels specializing in high growth education technology. The investment will help the company continue its mission to introduce the Internet of Things to kids. Read More

SpaceX updates the capabilities of its Falcon rockets on its website

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This weekend, SpaceX made a few updates to its website, changing the launch capabilities of its Falcon rockets. The company claims its Falcon 9 rocket can transport nearly twice as much weight into lower Earth orbit as originally thought. The upcoming Falcon Heavy — a much bigger version of the Falcon 9 that’s currently in development — will be able to carry even more than the company said previously.

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This Week in Making: VR Gets Serious, Hoverbikes Are Real, and Cheese Whiz!

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12909544_1014206518662502_3132813532866371975_oThis week in making we got excited about hoverbikes, looked at a more serious side of VR, and learned Star Simpson’s tips for electronics.

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The post This Week in Making: VR Gets Serious, Hoverbikes Are Real, and Cheese Whiz! appeared first on Make: DIY Projects and Ideas for Makers.

Bing for iOS now lets you search images by taking a photo

See the original posting on The Verge

A new update for Bing on iOS includes a neat little trick. Take a picture right inside the app, and Bing will send back a search for similar images.

Google, of course, has long had something similar: reverse image search, available for both desktop and mobile. But the mobile search is focused on images already on the web, while Bing’s update seems more focused on searching for something you just discovered.

As VentureBeat points out, this may be more in line with Google Goggles, an image search app that similarly allows users to search after taking a photo. But that only provides informative suggestions, and hasn’t been updated in some time, so if it’s a feature you’re after, Bing might be worth a shot.

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