Giant floating snowflake will offer a five-star view of the Northern Lights

See the original posting on The Verge

Rich tourists will soon be able to enjoy the Northern Lights from within a floating, snowflake-shaped resort located in the waters near Tromso, Norway. The 86-bedroom Krystall hotel is being marketed as a “scarless development,” according to The Telegraph. In other words, the glass-roofed luxury property is not only intended to be “self-sustainable” but also to have a minimal impact on its environment.

Continue reading…

Google’s Venn diagram doodle makes correlation cute

See the original posting on The Verge

Google is celebrating the 180th birthday of John Venn, creator of the Venn diagram, with a special doodle on its front page. The interactive doodle allows you to choose from ten subjects in order to find the correlation between them. Choosing “sea life” and “has wings,” for example, will bring up a cutesy illustration of a flying fish. It’s a neat illustration of what a Venn diagram is, even if it doesn’t quite cover the breadth of the diagrams’ uses. It’ll be up on Google.com for the rest of the day, after which you can check it out at Google’s Doodle archive.

Continue reading…

A British national park is using ponies to fight smartphone addiction

See the original posting on The Verge

Britain’s New Forest National Park wants to take away your cellphone, your tablet, and your car keys. The park, in southern England, has started a new scheme in which visitors can deposit their electronic devices at a dedicated “Tech Creche.” Smartphones and iPads are kept in device daycare while their owners roam the park, supposedly freed from the tyranny of screens, push notifications, and GPS directions.

Participating people can print off vouchers that promise they’ll “swap screen time for family time.” The park also suggests visitors leave their cars at the visitor center, travelling instead on foot or by open top bus to lessen the environmental impact on the park. The scheme is designed to reconnect children and parents on family…

Continue reading…

Israel eavesdropped on Secretary John Kerry during Middle East negotiations in 2013

See the original posting on The Verge

The US and Israel have been staunch allies for decades, but that doesn’t mean that the two nations aren’t keeping an eye on each other. Der Spiegel reports that Israeli intelligence agents wiretapped US Secretary of State John Kerry the last time he tried to broker a peace deal in the Middle East, in 2013. The German paper cites “reliable sources” who say that some of Secretary Kerry’s negotiation efforts between Israel, Palestine, and Arab states were carried out using unencrypted telephone equipment. Apparently the calls were intercepted as they were transmitted by satellite. The Israeli government then used the information it obtained to try “to reach a diplomatic solution in the Middle East.”

It seems everyone spies on everyone,…

Continue reading…

Elon Musk says artificial intelligence is ‘potentially more dangerous than nukes’

See the original posting on The Verge

If the robots take over, at least Elon Musk will be able to say “I told you so.” The billionaire inventor loves to make the impossible possible, but he is deeply afraid of artificial intelligence (AI). On Twitter this weekend, Musk said that “we need to be super careful with AI,” adding that they are “potentially more dangerous than nukes.”

If that weren’t concerning enough, Musk followed up his statement with another tweet that read: “Hope we’re not just the biological boot loader for digital superintelligence [sic]. Unfortunately, that is increasingly probable.” Both are scary enough — one compares sentient networked robots with the most dangerous weapon on earth, and the other suggests we’re merely the fleshy precursors to robot…

Continue reading…

US aid worker infected with ebola is now being treated at an Atlanta hospital

See the original posting on The Verge

On Saturday, Dr. Kent Brantly arrived in Atlanta, Georgia. He is understood to be the first person carrying ebola who has been inside the United States. Dr. Brantly, of Texas, contracted the highly contagious virus while working in Liberia to help treat ebola patients, and he has been brought back to the US for intensive care at Emory University Hospital. The university is equipped with a special facility — designed in partnership with the US Centers for Disease Control — made to treat patients with extremely contagious conditions. Dr. Brantly’s co-worker, Nancy Writebol, also contracted ebola at the same clinic in Liberia. She is expected to return to the US for intensive care in a few days, according to The New York Times.

Continue reading…

Lego set shows there’s cool stuff happening in the real world, too

See the original posting on The Verge

Let’s face it: your kid probably doesn’t need another set of Star Wars-themed Lego — especially since there’s a lot of damn cool stuff going on in the real world. Like science. Science is cool. Lego has put together this $20 “Research Institute” set to let young’uns act like scientists. And the figurines are all women, to boot! It’s just too bad it looks like everyone else is having fun other than the chemist.

Continue reading…

Hunters may be hired to kill 2,800 deer on Civil War battlefields

See the original posting on The Verge

Civil War battlefields may soon light up with gunfire once again if a new plan to “reduce” deer populations gets approved. The US National Parks Service has proposed a $1.8 million plan to hire sharpshooters to hunt and kill white-tailed deer at three Civil War battlefields over the next five years.

Deer populations at the Antietam and Monocacy battlefields, located in Maryland, as well as the Manassas battlefield in Virginia, are far above desired levels. The public is prohibited from hunting on the parkland, and populations have reached as high as 230 deer per square mile at Monocacy. The Parks Service hopes to bring those numbers down to 15 or 20 per square mile, reports the Associated Press.

The proposed plan would call for a…

Continue reading…

LG says new software should stop G Watch from corroding

See the original posting on The Verge

It seems software updates can solve just about anything. LG has issued a patch for its G Watch to address mounting complaints that the charging connectors on the bottom of the device are rapidly corroding. Early adopters of the Android Wear-powered watch have reported that the terminals have corroded in as little as a week. At best, the corrosion simply discolors the connectors, but some say that the corrosion is so bad that their watches will no longer charge. Others say that the corrosion causes discomfort.

But how, exactly, will a software update solve a hardware problem? “LG will be rolling out a maintenance release over the next few days that will disable the current when the G Watch is not in the charging dock,” a support…

Continue reading…

Crimeans are now using the Russian internet

See the original posting on The Verge

Russia may have claimed Crimea as its own, but it takes much more than annexation to truly integrate the peninsula into the mainland. One of those steps has just been completed, as a large portion of Crimean internet traffic is now being routed through Russia for the first time. According to research from internet analysis company Renesys, internet signals started flowing through a newly-constructed submarine cable connecting Crimea to Russia on July 24th.

The process didn’t happen over night. After Russia annexed Crimea in late March, officials started work on bringing the peninsula into the fold. Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev was quoted on March 24th saying that “It is necessary to ensure that [state-owned Russian…

Continue reading…

The Weekender: the week of finger implants and smelly fears

See the original posting on The Verge

Another week has come and gone. The 31st week of the year 2014. We on this planet are nearly two-thirds of the way in transit around the life-giving star we call “the Sun,” a star that will swell and envelope our world in several billion years — quite soon, in cosmic time. But fear not, summer remains. The best days of the year are still to come. It is now August, the month of corn on the cob, carnivals, and last-minute road trips. If the weather is gentle where you are this weekend, you…

Continue reading…

Siri won’t let Beats into Dr. Dre’s party in bizarre new ad

See the original posting on The Verge

Beats officially became part of Apple today, and the companies are celebrating with a strange new ad in which no one gets to celebrate at all. In the 30-second spot posted to Twitter, Siri overhears two Beats spokes-speakers happily discussing the news about their new corporate owners. Siri’s disembodied voice lets them know that Beats founder Dr. Dre is hosting a party tonight, leading to much rejoicing. “I gotta go get my hair and nails done,” shouts the lady Pill, who is named Tina and has a Twitter account. The man Pill asks for directions, but Siri shoots him down. “Sorry, Mikey and Tina,” Siri says, not sounding sorry at all. “Dre’s party is invitation only.” The Pills get sad. They’re out of luck. Fade to logos!

Continue reading…

One of Google’s two mystery barges is being dismantled and sold for scrap

See the original posting on The Verge

So much for Google’s barge project, it seems. One of the only two multi-level barges owned by Google has been sold by the company, and the rest is headed off to a scrapyard, reports The Portland Press Herald. Earlier this week, Google quietly sold off the barge that was holding up the mysterious four story structure. The floating vessel had been harbored in Maine since last October, with Google planning to eventually use it as “an interactive space where people can learn about new technology.” A counterpart on the West Coast was originally docked in San Francisco bay, though was moved inland back in February.

Continue reading…

PlayStation Now is a glimpse at the future of gaming — for a price

See the original posting on The Verge

“Honey, can you turn off Netflix? I’m trying to play Twisted Metal.”

In my life, I never thought I’d utter those words. But that’s the future, according to PlayStation Now — that’s the name for Sony’s streaming games service that launched this week in open beta on PlayStation 4. The “Netflix for games” truly is the future of gaming — but that future comes with a whole new vocabulary of gripes and concerns, all of which will be familiar to anyone who uses Netflix.

PlayStation Now is a cloud gaming service that lets you rent games by the hour, day, week, or month. There is no processing done locally on a game console or computer; you’re essentially streaming the game from a server far away, with your button presses passing from the…

Continue reading…

Flappy Bird is back, but only on Amazon’s Fire TV

See the original posting on The Verge

After several months flying under the radar, Flappy Bird creator Dong Nguyen is back with his latest game: Flappy Bird Family. The game is, oddly, only available to download on Amazon’s Android App Store, and only works with Amazon’s Fire TV set-top box. In our tests, we couldn’t install the game on an Android phone. The new game also features multiplayer and more obstacles, according to Amazon.

In interviews and tweets, Nguyen often got cagey when people asked him about the millions of people worldwide suffering from Flappy Bird addiction. Perhaps with his latest title, he wanted to ensure that gamers only play in the safety of their homes. “Enjoy playing the game at home (not breaking your TV) with your family and friends,” reads the…

Continue reading…

This is HTC’s One M8 running Windows Phone

See the original posting on The Verge

The HTC One M8 running Windows Phone is real, and you need only follow a Verizon URL to prove it. HTC hasn’t yet announced the rumored device, but a photo sitting right on Verizon’s servers seems to confirm that the phone is indeed coming — and likely soon. WP Central‘s original report says the “One (M8) for Windows” will be available from Verizon on August 21st. Hardware-wise, it’s probably the same M8 that’s been running Android for a few months now, but this one’s clearly aimed at fans of Microsoft’s OS. When reached by The Verge, HTC declined to comment on the photo’s authenticity. The company is hosting a press event on August 19th, and it’s likely we’ll hear confirmation of the new, aluminum-clad Windows Phone on that date.

Continue reading…

NASA tested an impossible space engine and it somehow worked

See the original posting on The Verge

NASA has been testing new space travel technologies throughout its entire history, but the results of its latest experiment may be the most exciting yet — if they hold up. Earlier this week at a conference in Cleveland, Ohio, scientists with NASA’s Eagleworks Laboratories in Houston, Texas, presented a paper indicating they had achieved a small amount of thrust from a container that had no traditional fuels, only microwaves, bouncing around inside it. If the results can be replicated reliably and scaled up — and that’s a big “if,” since NASA only produced them on a very small scale over a two-day period — they could ultimately result in ultra-light weight, ultra fast spacecraft that could carry humans to Mars in weeks instead of months,…

Continue reading…

Take a first look at Josh Brolin as Thanos in ‘Guardians of the Galaxy’

See the original posting on The Verge

Marvel gave Comic-Con attendees an early look at a number of its upcoming movies last week, and one of the biggest surprises it showed is now online for the rest of the world to see. At the very end of a sizzle reel highlighting all of its superhero films to date, Marvel gave a sneak peek at Josh Brolin as the villain Thanos, as he appears in Guardians of the Galaxy. Given that the movie is now out, Marvel fans will soon get to see a lot more of Thanos than just this tiny glimpse — and there’s no doubt that he’ll appear quite a bit more in the future. For now, if you can’t wait, watch until the very end of the video for brief glimpse.

Continue reading…

Post-apocalyptic photography with ‘The Last of Us’ on PS4

See the original posting on The Verge

If all Naughty Dog did in bringing The Last of Us Remastered to the PlayStation 4 was upgrade the post-apocalyptic PS3 hit’s graphics and boost the frame rate, a lot of people would have been satisfied enough. But there’s another way that the game looks better than ever: its photo mode, which lets you freeze the action at any time to compose and share beautiful still pictures. The mode is the work of Jason Gregory and Artem Kovalovs, who were tasked by the studio’s co-presidents with building…

Continue reading…

1 1,650 1,651 1,652 1,653 1,654 1,676