Google’s new Android ads appear days before rumored Nexus launch

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Google has launched three new Android ads with what looks like a new slogan for the mobile operating system. “Be together. Not the same,” appears at the end of each ad, complete with animated characters and a playful take on the message of Android for everyone. As Google prepares to launch Android L, its latest release of Android, the ads clearly enforce the idea that there’s multiple Google-powered handsets out there from the likes of Samsung, LG, and others, but they all run Android.

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Colin Kaepernick tapes over Beats logo to appease #brands

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See that? No, not the #brands so conspicuously splattered across the press conference backdrop. Look closer, at the headphones… the Beats headphones draped around San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick. The logo has been taped off after the QB received a $10,000 fine for brandishing the Beats logo just last week.

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Colin Kaepernick is wearing the pink Beats by Dre with tape covering the logo. He was fined $10K last week. He is appealing.

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Bose, as you’ll recall, is the official headphone sponsor for the NFL, taking over the role from perennial sponsors Motorola. Kaepernick, meanwhile, has an endorsement deal with Beats. Proof that NFL sponsorship or not, playas gonna play…

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Alleged Bitcoin ‘creator’ is crowdfunding his lawsuit against Newsweek using Bitcoin

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Newsweek may soon be sued for alleging Dorian Nakamoto is the creator of the cryptocurrency Bitcoin. Money is being raised through the Dorian Nakamoto Legal Defense Fund in order to file a lawsuit against Newsweek, which has not retracted its initial article about the 65-year-old man. The fund is taking contributions through credit or debit card, as well as Bitcoin.

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Stan Lee is working on his first Bollywood superhero movie

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Stan Lee is going to Bollywood. The Hollywood Reporter writes that the legendary creator is in the process of developing a live-action superhero movie based on Chakra the Invincible, the Indian superhero he created in 2011. While details are currently scare, Lee is already meeting with top Bollywood directors and actors for the eventual adaptation.

Chakra the Invincible follows the adventures of Raju Rai, a tech genius living in Mumbai. Using a power suit designed to convert his body’s chakras into superpowers, he defends the city from threats like his arch-enemy Boss Yama. The property has already seen success in India, with an animated series launching on Cartoon Network India last year. The film, tentatively scheduled to start…

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America’s biggest police departments are getting spy gear through private charities

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Many Americans have recently expressed concerns with the increasing use of military gear by police departments in this country, especially in the wake of the police response to protests in Ferguson, Missouri (protests that were themselves sparked by a lethal police shooting). While it is very easy to focus on militarization after seeing jarring pictures of police pointing automatic rifles at demonstrators, a separate but no less questionable practice has been quietly taking root at some of America’s biggest police departments in the past decade. As ProPublica reports, the police departments of New York City, Los Angeles, Atlanta, and Oakland have all turned to private police foundations in recent years to acquire new crime fighting and…

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Anki Drive’s AI-powered racing game arrives on Android

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As it promised last month, Anki is making its artificial intelligence-powered racing game available on Android. Owners of the Samsung Galaxy S4, S5, Note 2, 4, or 10.1 (2014 edition) can download the app and use it to control the game’s race cars for the first time. The game will also work on the Nexus 5, and Anki says they will support more devices over time.

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Apple might fine its sapphire supplier $50 million for every secret it leaks

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It’s well known that Apple takes secrecy quite seriously, but we’re now learning just how seriously that is: it apparently may fine a partner that reveal its secrets up to $50 million for every slip up. That figure comes from a court document filed by Apple’s sapphire glass supplier, GT Advanced Technologies (GTAT), which is currently going through bankruptcy proceedings that are, in part, related to what it calls “oppressive and burdensome” agreements with Apple.

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Federal lawsuit alleges highway guardrails can kill people

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The guardrails that line US highways are meant to protect drivers in the event of a crash, but many that have been installed over the past decade may also present a danger. The manufacturer of those guardrails, Trinity Highway Products, is heading to court this week facing allegations that it changed its guardrail design without informing the Federal Highway Administration and has been improperly accepting federal money ever since, according to The New York Times. Separate lawsuits reportedly allege that those changes have led to five deaths and many other injuries in at least 14 accidents across the US.

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Making the best out of bad CGI

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The ‘90s were an excellent time for special effects, unless you were trying to work with water. Huge budgets and major advances in rendering technology brought us realistic dinosaurs, an exploding white house, horrific natural disasters, and better aliens, but digitally rendered H20 from the era of JNCO jeans looks more like something you would slap onto a nasty wound than, like, drink. Think the laughable mud-tsunami in Deep Impact or the taunt silver goop into which both Alex Mack and TLC (see right) morphed. 

CGI water was also, somehow, the most futuristic effect imaginable circa 1998. I actually have no idea if Hype Williams was thinking about how forward-thinking CGI goop was when he directed the sci-fi masterpiece that is…

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1 million people are helping Microsoft test Windows 10

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Microsoft released its first Windows 10 Technical Preview at the beginning of October, and the company is now revealing that 1 million people are helping test the upcoming operating system through the Windows Insider Program. “That equates to a lot of people using the Windows 10 Technical Preview and sending us feedback,” says Microsoft’s Joe Belfiore. The software maker has received over 200,000 pieces of feedback on the early version of Windows 10, with top requests that include options to remove the new search and task view buttons, as well as requests for a Start Menu animation or transition.

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French telecom company Iliad gives up on trying to buy T-Mobile US

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Don’t expect any huge changes in the US mobile industry for the foreseeable future — at least when it comes to acquisitions. The Iliad Group has abandoned its pursuit of T-Mobile US, issuing a press release today that says Deutsche Telekom and “select” T-Mobile board members “have refused to entertain its new offer.” The French telecom company originally showed interest in T-Mobile back in July, but its initial offer, which would have given Iliad a 56.6% stake in the fourth-place US carrier, was quickly rebuffed.

But Iliad recently put in a second try and was ready to purchase as much as 67 percent of T-Mobile US’s capital. Offer two was “about USD $36 per share,” Iliad said today, but apparently that wasn’t enough for the top brass at…

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It’s time for the FBI to put up or shut up on encryption

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FBI Director James Comey is on quite a media blitz. In the month since the iPhone 6 launch, he’s appeared on television and radio over and over again, talking up the supposed dangers of Apple’s new encryption standards. After a televised press conference in September, he’s appeared in countless articles criticizing Apple’s new measures, which would automatically encrypt data held on the iPhone, and prevent Apple from decrypting it for law enforcement. Last night, Comey showed up on 60 Minutes to do it again. It’s enough for the AFP to dub it Crypto Wars 2.0, a rehash of the struggle for legal cryptography that played out in the ’90s.

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Hyperlapse’s secret best feature: fixing your shaky hands

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Hyperlapse, Instagram’s standalone video app that debuted this past August, is touted for its ability to make dead simple time lapses. But if you really want to enjoy the best feature of Hyperlapse, don’t speed up the footage. The result is some of the smoothest video we’ve seen from a phone — the kind of stuff that could otherwise take thousands of dollars in professional equipment to achieve comparable results. Student art films will never be the same again.

Instagram calls its technology Cinema Stabilization, and outlined the overall idea in a blog post. Whereas a tool like Adobe’s warp stabilization has to calculate the shake using only pixels in the footage, Hyperlapse has the benefit of gyroscope data — basically, it knows how…

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Is Snapchat’s unofficial API just too easy to hack?

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Last Friday, tens of thousands of pictures pulled off a third-party Snapchat app began circulating on the internet, raising privacy alarms and drawing new criticism of the supposedly ephemeral nature of the popular photo-sharing app. Snpachat quickly declared that the problem was not their own security. “We can confirm that Snapchat’s servers were never breached and were not the source of these leaks,” a Snapchat representative said in a statement. “Snapchatters were victimized by their use of third-party apps to send and receive snaps, a practice that we expressly prohibit in our Terms of Use precisely because they compromise our users’ security. We vigilantly monitor the App Store and Google Play for illegal third-party apps and have…

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Samsung’s new Wi-Fi tech is five times faster than what you’re using

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Samsung has announced that it is working on new Wi-Fi technolgy that is theoretically up to five times faster than what we use today. The new 60GHz Wi-Fi technology has a maximum throughput of 4.6Gbps or 575MB per second, compared to the 108MB per second speeds we’re limited to now. The company notes that it would take three seconds to transfer a 1GB video file over this new technology and uncompressed high-defnition video can be streamed between mobile devices and TVs with no delay.

Of course, all of this is theoretical, and the 60GHz frequencies that Samsung’s new 802.11ad technology relies on come with their own unique challenges compared to the 2.4GHz and 5GHz networks we use today. 60GHz waves don’t penetrate walls or buildings…

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French bank will allow you to send money over Twitter soon

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A penny for your Tweets? Your 140-character messages could be worth real money soon, at least in France. Groupe BPCE, the second largest bank in France in terms of customers, is poised to announce a new service tomorrow that will let French customers send money over Twitter, according to Reuters. It’s unclear exactly how the service will work — whether it will use Twitter’s limited direct messaging service or replies, for example — but Reuters points to a statement from Groupe BPCE made last month that says the new service, which will fall under the umbrella of the bank’s existing mobile payments system S-Money, will allow person-to-person payments no matter what bank the sender and recipient are using.

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Microsoft is ‘coaching’ NFL announcers not to call the Surface an iPad

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Microsoft’s Surface is the “official tablet” of the NFL, and it’s trying to make sure that sportscasters get the message. After it became clear that announcers may not know what the Surface was — with one announcer referring to it as an “iPad-like tool” — Microsoft has been working with broadcasters to make sure that mistake doesn’t happen again. “It’s true, we have coached up a select few,” Microsoft tells Business Insider. “That coaching will continue to ensure our partners are well equipped to discuss Surface when the camera pans to players using the device during games.”

You can’t fault Microsoft for trying: it’s reportedly paying the NFL about $400 million over the next five years as part of a wide-ranging partnership that promotes…

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T-Mobile to sell Sony Xperia Z3 this month

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T-Mobile announced today that it would begin selling the Sony Xperia Z3 later this month. The Z3 will be available for $26.25 per month for 24 months on T-Mobile’s installment plan, with presales starting on October 15th. General online and instore availability will begin on October 29th.

T-Mobile’s announcement follows Sony and Verizon’s announcements last week for the Z3v, a variation of the Z3 for Verizon’s network. The Z3 is the most impressive smartphone Sony has ever released, with a 5.2-inch, 1080p display, 20.7-megapixel camera, and waterproof construction. It is also compatible with Sony’s PS4 remote play, which lets you play your PS4 games on your smartphone. Unfortunately, there’s no word on whether or not the Z3’s smaller…

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Flight attendants want to ban electronics during takeoff again

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Flight attendants aren’t happy with the Federal Aviation Administration’s new rules that allow phones, tablets, and other small electronics to be used during takeoff and landing. According to the Associated Press, the largest flight attendant’s union in the US — the Association of Flight Attendants-CWA — is suing the FAA in hopes of having its new rules overturned. The union argues that use of small electronics is a danger because they can become projectiles during turbulence and because they may cause passengers to pay less attention during safety announcements.

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