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Posts tagged tech

Apple Watch

Well, here it is. After much speculation, Apple’s wearable. Calling it a watch is kind of a misnomer as it does more than tell time. Tim Cook even called it “a health and fitness” device on stage. It also has Siri built in so you can send messages. A crazy touch screen that basically has two clicking options. From The Verge:

The Apple Watch has a built-in gyroscope, accelerometer, a heart rate sensor, and a Taptic Engine for input sensing. The Apple Watch can recognize the difference between a tap and a press, offering another subtle way to make different inputs without needing additional input points or buttons. Calling the harder press Force Touch, Apple is essentially defining the smartwatch equivalent of the right-click on a mouse. The Apple Watch also uses inductive wireless charging.

The biggest battery saving thing is that the watch turns on the display when you raise your wrist. No talk of battery life yet, but they did talk price: it’s going to be $349 and will go on sale, early next year

[photos via The Verge]

iPhone 6 and iPhone 6Plus

The Verge has all the details but here are the biggest ones.

  • 4.6 inch OR 5.5 inch display
  • Both are thinner than the current iPhone 5S
  • Voice over LTE
  • Gigantic leap in battery life (more battery in the 6Plus)
  • Coming September 19th

The phones are going to come in 3 storage sizes, but, oddly, none come in 32 gig.

Phone 6 starts at 199 for 16GB, 299 for 64, 399 for 128GB.

Phone 6 Plus starts at 299 for 16GB, 399 for 64, 499 for 128GB.

Initial thoughts: Man, calling it the 6Plus is kind of lame. I thought we were past the “plus” thing… It reminds of the Palm Pre Plus. Also, I’m not crazy about the camera sticking out of the back of the phone either… but hopefully it’s small, and subtle enough, that I don’t feel it.

[photos via The Verge]

Samsung Galaxy Note Edge

Samsung just announced a weird new phone. It’s called the Galaxy Note Edge, aptly, because the screen wraps around to the edge of the phone. It’s like a second, contextual screen that functions sometimes like the doc on a Mac, sometimes like the sidebar of specific applications.

It’s really weird, and I’m really into it. 

[via The Verge]

Nintendo updates the 3DS

This morning Nintendo updated the 3DS and the 3DS XL. The key updates are an additional second thumbstick on the right side (above the ABXY buttons) and ZR and ZL shoulder buttons.

The new 3DS launches on October 11 in Japan with no word on release for Europe or the United States.

It’s interesting to me that the regular 3DS got larger in every dimension and heavier and the 3DS XL got slightly thinner and slightly lighter. As much as I want to say “I’m still cool with my launch 3DS” and “I don’t need to upgrade, even though I’d like better battery life” I know that all it’s going to take is a Zelda game that needs a Z button and I’ll be ordering one.

[via Joystiq]

Ok, enough links. Take a look at these Truth Facts!

[TruthFacts via LikeCool]

Dropbox slashes pricing and boosts storage as competition intensifies 

AHHHHHHH! I knew this was coming. With One Drive, Google Drive, and the pending iCloud Drive offering far less expensive solutions, I knew Dropbox would be cutting it’s prices. 

Today Dropbox announced a revamped version of its paid offering for individuals, called Dropbox Pro, that costs $9.99 a month for 1 terabyte of storage. Previously, $9.99 got you just 100 gigabytes; storage maxed out at 500GB, which cost a whopping $500 a year. Along with the new price come features aimed mostly at freelancers, consultants, and solo entrepreneurs: the ability to share links with password protection, to share links that expire on a certain date, and to share some files in “read-only” mode. (It works best with software that has a native read-only mode, like Microsoft Office and Adobe Photoshop.) Pro users also get the ability to remotely wipe a lost or missing device.

And according to the official drop box release, people already paying for 100 GB (like me) will be automatically transitioned to the 1TB plan since it’s the exact same price.

This makes me very, VERY excited.

No. I’m not flipping you off.

Dan Seifert points out that “Chromebooks will never be successful until they have bigger screens" since 81% of laptop sales are computers with 15 or 17 inch screens.

As a 15 inch MBP owner, I’m honestly very surprised. I can’t think of another person I know with a 15 inch machine. And even now, as I look around the coffee shop I’m sitting in, and all I see are 13-14 inch laptops.

This is really interesting data.

Rise of the Tomb Raider is exclusive to Xbox 

I’m shocked. I loved last years Tomb Raider. It was widely considered one of the best games of last year, selling about 6 Million copies on PC, PS3, and Xbox 360, something that Square considered to be underperforming.

I don’t know what Microsoft did to keep this exclusive to the Xbox One, but I bet it cost them quite a bit of money.

I’m into “second place” Microsoft (Sony is widely outselling them). They’re making me feel great about my Xbox One purchase.

UPDATE: Geoff Keighley is saying on twitter that “Official line is that the game is ‘exclusive on Xbox for holiday 2015’”

Meanwhile Joystiq updated their original article to include part of a post from Darrell Gallagher, the Head of Product Development at Crystal Dynamics. He says this:

Our friends at Microsoft have always seen huge potential in Tomb Raider and have believed in our vision since our first unveil with them on their stage at E3 2011. We know they will get behind this game more than any support we have had from them in the past - we believe this will be a step to really forging the Tomb Raider brand as one of the biggest in gaming, with the help, belief and backing of a major partner like Microsoft.

This doesn’t mean that we’re walking away from our fans who only play on PlayStation or on PC. Those are great systems, with great partners, and amazing communities. We have Lara Croft and the Temple of Osiris coming to those platforms this December, and Tomb Raider: The Definitive Edition is available on PS4.

I’m really not sure what’s happening, but it certainly sounds less like this is a platform exclusive and more like an “exclusive-ish”… which is very similar to a conversation I was having on twitter.

UPDATE 2: Eurogamer has confirmed that the Tomb Raider deal “has a duration” and is a timed exclusive.

That Disastrous Car Homer Simpson Designed Was Actually Ahead of Its Time

I’ll admit that I’m not a Simpsons “fan,” in that I don’t go out of my way to watch the show. However, I have seen the 1991 episode “Oh Brother, Where Art Thou?” in which Homer discovers his long lost brother is an auto exec and then designs a car.

It’s the story of love, of loss, and, ultimately, Homer designs a car so terrible that the company goes bankrupt. Now, 23 years later, Wired investigates those designs. Were they bad ideas, or just ahead of their time?

It’s a great look at a very memorable Simpsons episode (even to me). Here are some of my favorite points from the article:

  • Multiples horns, all of which play “La Cucaracha” - Automakers have stuck with standard noises (good choice), but today’s steering wheels do have multiple spots to hit for the horn. As Homer says, “You can never find a horn when you’re mad.”
  • A separate soundproof bubble dome for kids, with optional restraints and muzzles - The auto industry has gotten more and more careful about putting kids as old as 12 in child and booster seats, but the focus there is safety, not keeping them quiet.
  • An engine that will make people think “the world is coming to an end” - The roaring V-12s of which Homer spoke came in the 90s with Dodge Vipers and Lamborghini Diablos. Growing concern for avoiding actual Armageddon has brought us fuel-saving systems that disengage cylinders at lower speeds, turn of the engine at idle, or go silent altogether

Check out the whole list at Wired.

[via Wired]


June 26th 1994 - Aerosmith releases “Head First” on the internet

Aerosmith is first major band to premiere a new song on the Internet. "Head First"  was downloaded to over 10,000 CompuServe subscribers within its first eight days of availability.

I wasn’t able to find the file size that was uploaded but Given that the average user had a 28.8 kbps modem it’s likely that the song took 20-30 minutes to download.

Here’s what’s weird “Head First” is not a popular song. Actually, the song is so obscure that it doesn’t even have it’s own wikipedia page (though it is sometimes incorrectly mentioned as a “Cryin’” b-side). Nice to see that even in the early days of the internet, no one was able to manufacture popularity. Internet users are a mysterious bunch and you’ll never know what’s going to blow up, and what’s going to flop. Even when Aerosmith, one of the biggest bands in the world, released a new song on the internet it didn’t gain any traction. At least the internet is consistent. 

Remember when it took 20-30 minutes to download a song? Now I download an album in about a minute. I love living in the future.

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