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Showing posts from November, 2015

ONEPLUS ICONS EARPHONES LAUNCHED

The OnePlus Icons earphones are now available to buy in India at a price tag of Rs. 2,999. The earphones were until now limited to the US, where they cost at $49.99. The earphones are now available to buy from Amazon India. The company announced availability for Monday over the weekend. It says the OnePlus Icons earphones design takes cues from the organ piano, and they are made of aluminium. The in-ear earphones come with multiple sizes of silicone ear tips. As compared to most of the other earphones in the market that feature 9mm drivers, the Icons earphones include 11mm drivers for better bass and treble performance. OnePlus Icons also include a three-button in-line remote control, which enables users to play or pause their music, increase or decrease audio volume, and answer incoming phone calls. It is “compatible with all OnePlus devices and most Android phones,” says the company. The earphones have a cable length of 1.25 metres and a sound pressure of 110dB. With a frequency ra…

Amazon Shows Off New Prime Air Drone With Hybrid Design

Amazon delivered a lovely update on its ‘Prime Air’ project today — almost exactly two years after it showed the first iteration of its drone. You know, the flying delivery drone that some thought was a massive joke meant for April 1st. Included are some high-res shots and two new videos. The video, moderated by ex-Top Gear host Jeremy Clarkson (who is now working on a new series for Amazon), talks about the design and your experience as a recipient:

As you can see, Amazon has now moved to a hybrid design. It looks much bigger than in previous renderings. Imagine that thing flying towards the neighbor’s house. Get ready for reports of aliens rising if this thing ever comes to fruition. The new Prime Air drone isn’t just a quadcopter anymore. It still takes off and lands vertically, but then it switches to a regular horizontal flight mode, which is far more efficient. It’s basically part helicopter, part airplane. With this new design, the drone can cover over 15 miles and fly over 55…

Mark Zuckerberg and Bill Gates Join Forces To Invest in Clean Energy Technology

The founders of Facebook and Microsoft are teaming up to solve climate change. Mark Zuckerberg announced today that he and his wife, Priscilla Chan, have launched the Breakthrough Energy Coalition with Bill Gates to invest in zero-carbon energy technology around the world. The organization’s membership roster includes some of the most prolific names in technology, including Richard Branson, Jeff Bezos, Jack Ma, and Masayoshi Son. The news was timed to coincide with the U.N. Climate Control Conference, which will take place in Paris this week. During the event, Gates and U.S. President Barack Obama are expected to unveil a significant new initiative called Mission Innovation, which will work with governments to double public investments in energy research over the next five years. According to the Washington Post, the 19 countries that have already joined Mission Innovation will increase their annual spending on clean-energy research and development to $20 billion by 2020. Mission Inno…

How Education Will Be Smarter, Less Intrusive, And Able To Respond To How You Feel

Impatience characterizes the technology sector’s approach to education. Disruption is taking place in all other sectors of society — so, why not education? I know too well, whether at Pearson or in the classroom, the challenges and frustration of developing and using digital tools that improve outcomes for students. But I’m optimistic. We are on the verge of a tide of smarter innovation that, if allowed to spread, will turbocharge the learning experience for students. Here are four areas worth watching: 1. Using technology to learn from learners Every great digital product constantly evolves by learning from its users, adding capabilities, and improving its performance. If it’s true for your Facebook feed, then why not education? The potential is there, as the OECD’s recent report on Students, Computers and Learning (OECD) incidentally showed how clickstream and tracking navigation in digital readers can be used to see how students process online text and arrive at the answer in diffe…

BlackBerry Confirms It Will Exit Pakistan After Rejecting Data Monitoring Demands

BlackBerry has confirmed that it is exiting Pakistan entirely in response to the national government’s continued demand to monitor user data on the Canadian company’s service. Back in July, the Pakistan Telecommunications Authority (PTA) said it would shutter BlackBerry Enterprise Services (known as BES) by December 1 for “security reasons.” The issue was thought to center around BlackBerry’s encryption of emails, BBM messages and other data from its users which prevented authorities from gaining the access to information that they deemed necessary for national security. BlackBerry kept silent at the time, but now the phone maker, which recently launched its first Android handset, has confirmed it will leave the country — with a population of 180 million people — after November 30 after it refused to grant Pakistani authorities access to its systems. BlackBerry COO Marty Beard explained more in a blog post: The truth is that the Pakistani government wanted the ability to monitor all B…

Cortana For iOS Begins Rolling Out To Testers

A feature Instagram users have wanted for some time – support for switching between multiple accounts directly in the app – is now being tested, according to a new report out this morning. Select members in Instagram’s official beta testing group for Androidhave spotted the option in Instagram’s settings in their beta build of the mobile application. The feature allows users to add or create additional accounts for use in Instagram that you can then switch between without first having to sign out of your current account. News of the beta test was first discovered by the blog Android Police, which was pointed to the feature by way of a tipster who also provided screenshots of account switching in action. Instagram declined to comment on the tests, when reached earlier this morning. However, we have been able to duplicate this report independently.
To access the new option, beta testers can scroll down to the bottom to the bottom of the Settings page in Instagram, then look for the “Ad…

Romain Jerome Creates A Watch For True Mario Fans

Do you like Nintendo? Do you have $19,000? I think we found you a watch. The Romain Jerome Super Mario Bros. the watchmaker’s take on good old Mario and his mushroom-induced adventures and is aimed at collectors who aren’t afraid to drop twenty grand on nostalgia. The watch is RJ’s third arcade-themed piece and joins his Pac Man watch as well as his Space Invaders piece. The watch has an automatic movement but the real work went into the face which features a 3D playing field and enameled figures including a mushroom, a cloud, a bush, and finally a mightily-jumping Mario. The case is 46mm wide and the watch is limited to 85 pieces in honor of the game’s launch in 1985. Obviously you’re not going to drop $20K on this thing (right?) but it’s a fun piece from one of the manufacturers who are actually tying to do something a little different in the luxury oeuvre. Plus Mario looks great up close. via ABlogToWatch

Amazon Is Giving Away Unlimited Cloud Storage For $5.00

Amid a slew of deep discounts appearing on the web today as a part of the shopping holiday Black Friday, Amazon has introduced one deal that’s sort of a no brainer. The company is giving away unlimited online storage on its cloud servers for just five dollars. The normal price for this is $60 per year, so this – 92% off – represents a significant savings. The deal is aimed at promoting Amazon’s Cloud Drive service – an online storage site that competes with similar services like Dropbox, Google Drive, Microsoft’s OneDrive, and more. Cloud Drive allows you to store documents, music, photos, videos and other files in the cloud, which you can access from any web-connected device, including smartphones and tablets by way of Amazon’s Cloud Drive mobile applications. However, be aware that if you’re planning to use the now $5 service primarily for photo backups, you may already have that option enabled. Amazon Prime currently offers free, unlimited photo backup as one of its benefits, so y…

Breaking Down Billion-Dollar AR/VR Investment In The Last 12 Months

Augmented/Virtual Tech, Real InvestmentAugmented and virtual reality are the new hotness, as VCs and corporates get in on the act. While Facebook’s multi-billion dollar acquisition of Oculus got everyone’s attention early last year, it’s only in the last 12 months that investments accelerated. There was a slow trickle of AR/VR investments from 2006 until late 2014. Then Magic Leapraised $542 million from Google and others. This was the starting gun for investment accelerating, with nearly $1 billion poured into the sector in the last 12 months. Last quarter alone saw more than 6x the investment in the market from Q2 2014. While VC and corporate communities are still developing an informed focus on the industry, their interest has never been higher. Magic Leap took more than half the money in the last 12 months, and there are reports that they’re raising another billion. VCs and corporates have also become excited beyond our Floridian friends, with an impressive diversity of investment…

Fitness Wearable And Coaching Startup GOQii Lands $13.4M Series A From NEA And Cheetah Mobile

Wearable fitness trackers are becoming increasingly popular, but a lot of them are quickly abandoned after the novelty of tracking exercise and sleep wears off. GOQii, however, believes it has landed on the winning formula for long-term success. The Menlo Park, California and Mumbai-based company just raised a $13.4 million Series A, which it will use to expand in the U.S. and China. Co-founder and chief executive officer Vishal Gondal says the company is already the leading fitness tracker company in India and wants to hit one million users there as soon as possible. GOQii sells its own fitness trackers, but its main focus is a cloud-based platform that sends data to real coaches, who then provide feedback to help users meet their health goals. Subscriptions come with a free wristband, but the platform is also compatible with most major brands, including Fitbit, Jawbone, and Misfit. The company’s Series A was led by New Enterprise Associates (NEA), with participation from Cheetah Mo…

Get Builds Mobile Apps And Handles Deliveries For Local Shops

Meet Get, a new French startup that wants to be the Shopify for small retailers on mobile among many other things. With Get, local shops like your favorite bakery can effortlessly have an app for iOS and Android. Get also provides a same-hour delivery service like Stuart. Founded by Adrien Touati and Deezer co-founder Daniel Marhely, Get is trying to do a bit of everything as long as it’s around mobile e-commerce and small shops. There are three key components behind Get. First, Get lets you build a white-label app in less than an hour for free. In particular, Get handles the ordering and payment parts. And this is key to understanding the startup’s strategy. Get doesn’t rely on a traditional software-as-a-service approach. You don’t have to invest tens of thousands of euros to work with an agency to build an app. Instead, Get gives you an app for free and then takes a cut on every transaction. Second, Get is building a same-hour delivery service focused on this kind of deliveries. T…

DJI’s Latest Drone Saves Crops From Pests

DJI made its name building high-end consumer drones, but its latest model shows where the future may lie for the Shenzhen-based company and its competitors. An eight-rotor drone, the Agras MG-1 is supposed to provide a safer alternative to current methods for spraying crops, including small planes, vehicles, and handheld sprayers that dispense chemicals from backpacks. DJI says that each drone can cover about seven to 10 acres of farmland in an hour. The Wall Street Journal reports that the Agras MG-1 will be priced at about $15,000 each and sold in China and South Korea first, before taking pre-orders from other countries. DJI raised $75 million from Accel earlier this year to build an ecosystem for drone software developers focusing on different industries. Two of its rivals, Yuneec and EHANG, also scored large rounds ($60 million and $42 million, respectively), to develop their drones for commercial use.
Unless you are a farmer or really hate bugs, the Agras MG-1 might not seem par…

The Roboroach Is Either The Best Or Worst Holiday Gift Ever

Let’s say you have a certain someone on your list who is really into biohacking. Let’s also assume you’re Ok with having discoid roaches in the house. Then also let’s assume you don’t mind people operating on those roaches on your dining room table. Have I got a Christmas gift idea for you! We first talked about the Roboroach back in 2011 when we found the idea to be weird and repellent. Arguably the idea is still weird and repellent but it is also an incredible experiment in neuroscience and a great way to teach STEM to potentially bored kids. What is the Roboroach? It’s a $99 kit that includes a small Bluetooth-powered chip and a mini surgery. Roaches cost extra but you can get them at a local pet store. They recommend discoid roaches which cannot fly and have a few helpful markers on their bodies to help in the surgery.

Please remember that this is not a toy. You are working on live insects here and whilethe folks who make these, BackyardBrains offers a detailed ethical statement, …