War breaks out in the final trailer for ‘Dawn of the Planet of the Apes’

Rise of the Planet of the Apes surprised everyone in 2011 by being the rare reboot that actually had something to say. Now it’s time for the inevitable follow-up, only this time Matt Reeves (Cloverfield, Let Me In) is the person in the director’s chair. Andy Serkis, the talented actor behind memorable motion-capture performances like Gollum and King Kong, returns as the ape Caesar, and from the looks of things tensions between humanity and the hyper-intelligent apes have only escalated in the years since the first film. Dawn of the Planet of the Apes opens on July 11th.

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Blogging History: Max Barry’s Lexicon; Discover Electronics kit; Kottke reads DRM talk

One year ago today

Lexicon: smart, sharp technothriller from Max “Jennifer Government” Barry: Max Barry’s new technothriller Lexicon is a gripping conspiracy novel about a cabal of “poets” who have mastered the deep language of the human brain and can use it to boss the rest of us around.

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Apple is providing T-Mobile with free iPhones for ‘Test Drive’ program

Just who is providing all the iPhones that will be offered to potential T-Mobile customers as part of a new program that lets people test drive the carrier’s network for a week? Apple. That’s according to T-Mobile CEO John Legere, who said Cupertino is doling out the now nine-month-old handsets free of charge.

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Court Rules That Non-Relevant Files Seized Under A Warrant Cannot Be Held Indefinitely

Screen Shot 2014-06-18 at 5.34.55 PM Say the government gets a warrant for some of your data. They come to your house, image your computers, and then hold that data — even the data that isn’t pertinent to their warrant — for several years. That’s not okay, the Second Circuit Court of Appeals recently ruled. This is a good ruling, as it limits the ability of the government to hold files that are not party… Read More

A close-up look at Amazon’s Fire Phone

Amazon’s smartphone is no longer a rumor. The device, which was announced at an event earlier today in Seattle, is very real and coming to the US beginning July 25th on AT&T starting at $199.99 with a two-year contract. The handset is a first for Amazon, which so far has only dabbled in Kindle e-ink readers and tablets. The Fire Phone is the logical next step in that process, and has a lot in common with its Fire tablets, which also run a heavily modified version of Google’s Android.


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Harley-Davidson is making an electric motorcycle

Harley-Davidson appears to be just a day away from unveiling an electric motorcycle, and it’s teasing the new bike on YouTube. In a video, a (relatively) quiet motorcycle whizzes down a highway, letting out a sharp, almost sci-fi sound that you certainly don’t hear from noisy gas vehicles. That it’s an electric cycle is all speculation for now, but there’s some reason beyond the video to suspect that this is in fact what’s coming. Fueling the suspicion are spy shots published from the set of the next Avengers film that show a stunt double riding an electric bike from Harley-Davidson, which auto publications seem to think looks street legal and surprisingly realistic for a supposed prop.

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Amazon Fire Phone: hands-on with the ultimate buying machine

Amazon stepped into the smartphone race this afternoon with the unveiling of the Fire Phone, its very first attempt at building a smartphone. By most outward appearances, it’s a strong first attempt: the 4.7-inch phone has a simple black body, a 720p display, a fast 13-megapixel camera, and plenty of processing power to keep things moving. Naturally, it’s running a version of Fire OS, the highly modified version of Android that Amazon has been using on its Kindle Fire tablets for a couple…

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AT&T offers customers affected by data breach one year of credit monitoring

Last week, AT&T revealed that personal customer data was exposed in a breach that occurred thanks to a service that unlocks phones for its customers. Now, the carrier is sending out letters to its customers confirming the hack — in a document posted to the state of California’s site, AT&T notes that one of its service providers “violated our strict privacy and security guidelines by accessing your account without authorization.” The breach took place between April 9th and 21st, and at that time the unnamed service provider was able to see customer social security numbers.

As is commonplace with security breaches like this (which are becoming more and more common), AT&T will be offering its customers one year of free credit monitoring to…

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Amazon’s Fire Phone doesn’t include Bluetooth LE, and that’s bad news for wearables

For its first attempt at a smartphone, Amazon’s Fire Phone includes a lot of interesting features — but it also left out one surprising one: support for Bluetooth LE, the type of connectivity that’s made wearables like smartwatches and fitness trackers so powerful lately. Mashable first pointed out the strange omission, noting that it’ll be bad news for anyone who wants to use buy a Fire Phone and regularly use a wearable. It doesn’t mean that it’ll be impossible, but you’re likely to see a lot more issues with battery life, which Bluetooth LE mitigates most issues with (the LE stands for “low-energy,” after all).

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Björk will get her own exhibit at MoMA next year

The Museum of Modern Art will host an all-encompassing retrospective next year on Björk’s eccentric career, covering her music, outfits, performances, videos, and everything else that has gone along with them over more than 20 years of her work. The exhibition will include her seven solo LPs, from 1993’s Debut to 2011’s Biophilia, as well as her collaborations with fashion designers, directors, photographers, and much more. A new work of music and film will be on show too.

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The Cloud Is Key To Amazon Fire Phone’s Ambitious Plan To Win Over Smartphone Photographers

img_4418 Amazon unveiled its new smartphone today, the Amazon Fire Phone, and the first thing it talked about after going over the design specifics was the camera. Jeff Bezos said that “our phones are also our primary cameras,” and went on to describe the Fire Phone’s camera hardware, which includes a 13-megapixel, rear-facing shooter. Read More

Here Are The Startups From Hardware Accelerator Highway1?s Second Batch

highway1 demo day Hardware is hot, and nowhere is that more evident than in the startup scene. But most startups don’t have the requisite experience needed to handle sourcing materials and managing a supply chain — basically taking their products from prototype to mass market product.
To help them out, consumer electronics manufacturing company PCH International announced last summer that it was… Read More

Amazon’s Fire Phone Introduces Firefly, A Feature That Lets You Identify (And Buy!) Things You See In The Real World

IMG_4446 With the debut of the Amazon Fire Phone this afternoon, the company introduced a new feature called Firefly, which is largely designed to let you identify — and then, of course, buy — things you see out in the real world. Firefly takes advantage of the smartphone’s camera to let you identify things like phone numbers, movies, books, games, CDs, food and more just by pointing… Read More

Amazon’s Fire Phone Uses Depth And 3D Effects To Stand Out

Screenshot 2014-06-18 14.31.27 We’ve been hearing about head-tracking technology on phones for a long time now. Some have ventured into this territory already, with Samsung releasing camera-based head tracking in earlier generations of the Galaxy S phones.
Today, Amazon is trying out its own version of the gimmick with new 3D effects enabled by four cameras on the front of the phone. (We totally called this, btw.) Read More

Amazon’s Mayday Service On Fire Phone Means It Might Be Able To Sell Its Unique New Features

img_4442 Amazon has brought Mayday to the Fire Phone, it announced today. The Mayday service offers one-tap access to customer service agents who can talk to phone users via video chat, and take over the screen on their devices to show them exactly how to do something, complete with annotations. The service is available 24 hours, and service representatives will respond to requests within 15 seconds… Read More

With Firefly & Dynamic Perspective, Amazon Just Opened Up All New Categories For App Developers

IMG_4475 With the introduction of the Firefly and Dynamic Perspective SDKs, mobile app developers who have grown tired of iterating on activities like messaging, photo-sharing, socializing and more now have new ways to differentiate themselves from a growing number of app store competitors. With Amazon’s newly opened up visual recognition technology, developers will not only be able to make… Read More

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