• Snapchat’s Story Explorer lets you view a single event from multiple angles

    Digital Trends - Mon, Nov 23, 2015 23:40 GMT

    Snapchat’s Live Stories, the ephemeral messaging platform’s cohesive stream of big events from around the world, always felt a bit filtered. The sheer number of Snaps in some cities meant Snapchat’s curatorial process resulted in more than a few discarded submissions. But now, the company says it’s found a way to incorporate that content in a sensible way: a new feature called Story Explorer that, in Snapchat’s words, lets you experience Live Story events “from every perspective.” Story Explorer’s accessible by swiping up on any Snap in a live story, and updates in real time. The content which populates it isn’t curated by Snapchat’s editorial team, but instead determined by an automated system that pulls in the relevant Snaps based on their submission time, location, and other criteria. The infrastructure behind it is reportedly extensive — according to the  LA Times, Snapchat’s invested heaily in a video-analyzing computer array dedicated solely to processing Story Explorer uploads. The idea behind Story Explorer, wrote Snapchat in a blog post, is to provide a window to “multiple angles” — vantage points — of the same event. Sports and news are perhaps the most intuitive applications: you can replay a particularly jaw-dropping NFL touchdown from any number different perspectives, watch a concert from twenty different rows, or instantly get multiple ground-floor views at the scene of breaking stories. Related: Our story event streams go live for all Snapchat users Story Explorer doesn’t necessarily add depth to a medium that remains relatively transient — you’re still only seeing split-second highlights of a given event — and risks becoming a repository for Snaps that didn’t quite make the Live Stories cut. But Snapchat chief Evan Spiegel said it enhances Snapchat’s experiential element: the feeling of “being there,” so to speak. “You want to see it. You want to hear it. Now you can as a thousand different people on the streets of Westwood. That’s really powerful.” More cynically, though, Story Explorer could bolster Snapchat’s income. Snapchat’s largest single source of revenue is video ads — users view video 6 billion times a day. The more video content, the logic goes, the more opportunities to serve those users advertisements. The  Financial Times reports that Snapchat is on track to generate $100 million on an annualized basis, driven by new monetization efforts such as paid photo filters for brands and users. The company’s valued at about $16 billion. Story Explorer will launch in New York and Los Angeles today, and roll out to other cities and places “soon.” Also watch: Apple iPhone 6S Plus vs. Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge Please enable Javascript to watch this video More »Snapchat’s Story Explorer lets you view a single event from multiple angles

  • Disney launches a Netflix-like streaming service — but only in the U.K. for now

    Digital Trends - Mon, Nov 23, 2015 23:32 GMT

    Being a Disney lover in the U.S. has never been so hard. Today marks the launch of Disney’s new Netflix-like streaming service, DisneyLife, but fans stateside don’t get to be a part of the fun. The service is only available in the U.K. The subscription service costs £10 per month (about $15, at the time of publishing), which is higher than the cost of either Netflix or Amazon Instant Video’s £6 per month rate in the U.K. However, members get access to a wealth of Disney content; in addition to movies, there are TV shows, novels, picture books, music, and apps, available in up to five languages. Related: How much is too much Star Wars? Disney preps new film every year forever DisneyLife is billing itself as “the biggest Disney movie collection in one digital membership” and includes everything from animated classics like  Fantasia to live-action films like Pirates of the Caribbean, according to DailyMail.com. Disney-Pixar collaborations, such as  Toy Story and  Up, are available as well. It’s basically the last few generations’ childhoods, in streaming form. With its extensive library of content, including bloopers, behind-the-scenes videos, and featurettes, DisneyLife definitely has a lot to attract users. Members can even download one app per month from the service’s collection as part of their subscription. These are said to be “interactive adventures” starring Disney characters. DisneyLife members can create six profiles per subscription and add up to 10 compatible devices. The service is available on iOS and Android, and users can also watch content via Airplay and Chromecast. On top of streaming, subscribers can download content for later consumption. While there are plans in place for DisneyLife to expand out of the U.K. into other countries next year, Disney CEO Bob Iger has said a stateside launch isn’t currently on the docket. However, he did say that it’s “scalable to the U.S.,” so perhaps all hope isn’t lost. Also watch: T•Mobile targets bingers, Vizio TV spygate, Disney smartwatch Please enable Javascript to watch this video More »Disney launches a Netflix-like streaming service — but only in the U.K. for now

  • Fargo scores season 3 renewal

    Digital Trends - Mon, Nov 23, 2015 23:24 GMT

    Cold as it is, the Midwest is a hotbed of mysterious crimes on the TV series  Fargo, with even more on the way. FX has renewed the black comedy-crime drama for season three, reports Variety.  Fargo is currently in the midst its second season. As an anthology with each installment focusing on new crime, the possibilities for  Fargo season three are seemingly endless, especially in terms of the time period in which it will be set. Season one took place in 2006, and then season two jumped back in time to 1979. We’re assuming season three will at least remain in the North Dakota-Minnesota area, but nothing can be said for certain as no details have been announced. Related:  The Bastard Executioner creator Kurt Sutter announces show’s cancellation via an ad It sounds like even FX execs are in the dark when it comes to plans for season three. “Year two of Fargo is an extraordinary achievement and, given Noah Hawley’s masterful storytelling, we can’t wait to see where the third, all-new version of Fargo takes us,” said Eric Schrier co-president of original programming for FX Networks and FX Productions when announcing the renewal. The next installment in the series will reunite its creative dream team, including creator Noah Hawley, who is also currently developing a series based on the Kurt Vonnegut novel  Cat’s Cradle. Executive producers Warren Littlefield, John Cameron, and Joel and Ethan Coen are also set to return. The Coen brothers’ 1996 film  Fargo is the inspiration behind the TV series. As Variety points out,  Fargo hasn’t been a ratings standout, but its numbers have been respectable and the show itself has garnered critical acclaim. The first season, which starred Billy Bob Thornton as violent drifter Lorne Malvo, nabbed an Emmy for outstanding miniseries, plus two other Emmy awards, two Golden Glove awards, and a Peabody Award. Fargo airs on Mondays at 10/9 c on FX. Also watch: Mohawk Smart Helmet Kit Provides GPS, Camera, and More Please enable Javascript to watch this video More »Fargo scores season 3 renewal

  • New graphene production technique is 100x cheaper than other methods

    Digital Trends - Mon, Nov 23, 2015 23:20 GMT

    Graphene, the world’s favorite wonder material, has been promised to revolutionize everything from computer chips to solar panels, but there are a few things holding us back from realizing its full potential. One of the major prohibitive issues with graphene is the high cost of producing the material, but thanks to some groundbreaking new research from Scotland, this price barrier could soon come crashing down. Researchers at Glasgow University have developed a way to produce graphene that is one hundred times cheaper than traditional methods, and results in an even stronger material. Usually, graphene is produced through a process known as chemical vapor deposition. This process basically transforms gases into a thin film of graphene on a special copper surface. The copper base usually used to produce graphene is expensive in itself, and also requires a certain amount of pre-treatment that increases total costs. To mitigate these issues, the Glasgow University researchers swapped out this high-cost copper resource for commercial copper foils, like the ones found in lithium-ion batteries. “The commercially-available copper we used in our process retails for around one dollar per square meter, compared to around $115 for a similar amount of the copper currently used in graphene production,” said Dr. Ravinder Dahiya, the lead scientist on the Glasgow University team. Related: A material supreme: How graphene will shape the world of tomorrow This new approach to chemical vapor deposition reduces costs drastically, and also improves certain elements of graphene’s effectiveness. The researchers found that graphene produced through their new system boasted increased electrical and optical performance when compared to the more expensive graphene process. Low-cost graphene manufacturing will make the super-material more readily available for any application. Dr. Dahiya’s research is mainly in synthetic skin, so he believes graphene could be a key factor in developing affordable prosthetics that facilitate sensation. The research team also identified targeted applications like smart cities and mobile healthcare. Graphene has already been heralded as an important development in consumer electronics, clean energy solutions, and even water purification systems. If this new low-cost process takes hold, it could be the key to bringing graphene solutions to the hardware mainstream. More »New graphene production technique is 100x cheaper than other methods

  • T-Mobile celebrates Black Friday early with 3 months of unlimited LTE for its users

    Digital Trends - Mon, Nov 23, 2015 23:11 GMT

    T-Mobile certainly is feeling cheery this year. The company announced its Black Friday offers early, along with “Un-Carrier Unwrapped,” which gives T-Mobile users on the postpaid Simple Choice plans unlimited 4G LTE after their data runs out beginning on November 24. The offer also brings Simple Choice plan customers three free months of unlimited data, beginning on December 1. Customers will automatically be enrolled in the promotion, and they can retain their data through March 1, 2016 as long as their Simple Choice account with Binge On is active. Related: Binge watch all you want: T-Mobile won’t charge you a dime to stream Hulu or Netflix Un-Carrier Unwrapped is also a month-long event that brings deals each week (starting next week) to customers who are not only on T-Mobile, but on Sprint, AT&T, and Verizon as well. The idea is to incentivize switching to T-Mobile, but the company hasn’t announced exactly what it will be offering yet. All the holiday deals (so far) are listed on the company’s site. “We’ve had a fantastic year, and we’re going to spread that T-Mobile cheer by starting with the most important people first … our existing customers. Now you get Unlimited LTE data on our blazing fast network for three full months as a gift from the Un-carrier to you,” said John Legere, CEO of T-Mobile in the blog post. “But that’s not all … we know that Verizon, AT&T, and Sprint customers need some holiday cheer, too — so we’ve got presents coming for them.” For Black Friday, the company is offering the following deals: The 7-inch Alcatel Onetouch Pixi 4G LTE tablet is free (minus the sales tax) with any qualifying data plan at participating T-Mobile stores or online. The Samsung Galaxy S6 32GB is free (minus the sales tax) with JUMP! On Demand with an eligible trade-in. You’ll get $100 off a Samsung tablet if you buy any Samsung smartphone. You can also snag the UE Boom Bluetooth speaker for $100 off. It usually costs $200. Related: Twitter battles: T-Mobile CEO lambasts Sprint’s ‘half-off’ deal T-Mobile’s main competitor Sprint also unveiled its Black Friday deals, alongside its continuous half-off bill promotion. Get a free LG 24-inch TV when you purchase the LG G4. The Samsung Galaxy S6’s leasing price will be half-off, bringing the monthly payment down to $9. Customers with the S6 or certain other Samsung devices on Sprint can grab one year of Amazon Prime for free. The company is offering discounts on a variety of products such as the Fitbit Charge and Fitbit Charge HR. The Sprint Black Friday offers begin November 26. Also watch: Best Family Plan: Sprint vs. AT&T vs. Verizon vs. T-Mobile Please enable Javascript to watch this video More »T-Mobile celebrates Black Friday early with 3 months of unlimited LTE for its users

  • Here’s what’s new on HBO in December and what’s going away

    Digital Trends - Mon, Nov 23, 2015 23:02 GMT

    HBO will add a good selection of new titles to its streaming options this December, landing on its cable channels and dual streaming services, HBO Go and HBO Now. Strangely, there’s not much happening in the holiday department this year, apart from the movie that changed the habits of slapstick robbers everywhere, Home Alone. Instead, new options available to lead us through to the new year include a few season finales from some hot original series, a hilarious vampire-themed comedy, and lots and lots of Robocop. Related: Laugh, cry, or just relax with the best shows on HBO Go and HBO Now As this year comes to an end, so too do the latest seasons of some heavy HBO originals, including dystopian drama  The Leftovers, and hospital comedy  Getting On.  With no new series headed to the streaming service until January, now is a good time to catch up on back-logged episodes of those and other originals from HBO’s on-demand catalog. The first two installments of the popular teen adventure Divergent series will be made available on HBO this month, as well, alongside a more classic sci-fi trilogy — Robocop. The first three films of the 1980/90s franchise will be available for streaming starting December 1, providing plenty of corny action for streamers to peruse leading into the new year. Viewers looking for a good laugh can start the month with a viewing of comedy classic Spaceballs — a good primer for December 11, when the equally silly New Zealand-based vampire comedy  What We Do In the Shadows hits the streaming service. A hilarious take on the supernatural genre, the latter film follows a quartet of vampire roommates, and was drafted by some of the team behind HBO’s much-loved  Flight of the Conchords series. There are also a few films viewers may want to to seek out before they exit HBO’s lineup in January, including two that center on middle-aged men looking for something more: the Ben Stiller-helmed adventure film  The Secret Life of Walter Mitty, and the brilliant sci-fi romance film  Her. Two other releases worth watching before they leave the service include the original  X-Men film and its more recent revival film,  Days of Future Past, which provides viewers with interesting background stories for many characters from the comic franchise. Follow us below for our list of the best new titles coming to HBO, and continue to the second page to see what’s going away. 12/1 10 Things I Hate About You Annie Hall Brokeback Mountain Disturbia Divergent Girlfight Home Alone Less Than Zero Mystic Pizza Robocop Robocop 2 Robocop 3 She’s All That Soul Plane Spaceballs Vice Special Report: Countdown to Zero Waitress  12/3 Sisters: HBO First Look 12/5 Get Hard 12/6 The Leftovers: Season 2 finale 12/7 U2: iNNOCENCE + eXPERIENCE Live in Paris 12/11 What We Do in the Shadows 12/12 The Divergent Series: Insurgent 12/13 Getting On: Season 3 finale Wish I Was Here 12/19 The Longest Ride 12/21 A Little Chaos Bolshoi Babylon 12/26 The Water Diviner 12/28 Heroine: Cape Cod USA Continue to the next page to see what’s going away in December Follow us below to see what’s leaving HBO in December: Leaving 12/19 The Secret Life of Walter Mitty Leaving 12/28 Her Leaving 12/31 An Officer and a Gentleman Best in Show Dawn of the Planet of the Apes Draft Day Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close Reno 911: Miami Staying Alive The Devil Wears Prada The Faculty The Fault in Our Stars The Good Son The Rock X-Men X-Men: Days of Future Past More »Here’s what’s new on HBO in December and what’s going away

  • Iraq is planning a solar powered skyscraper that’s 1,000 feet taller than the Burj Khalifa

    Digital Trends - Mon, Nov 23, 2015 22:43 GMT

    Nicknamed The Bride and intended to reach over 1,000 feet higher than Dubai’s towering Burj Khalifa, the soon-to-be tallest skyscraper in the world is coming to none other than the southeastern Iraqi town of Basra. Designed by the London and Iraq-based architecture firm AMBS architects, the proposed structure will call the shores of the Shatt al-Arab River home, and will supposedly run on nothing but solar energy. To get a sense of just how tall The Bride will be upon completion of construction, you could put Paris’ Eiffel Tower  on top of the Burj Khalifa and still come up short. If it’s ever actually built, the entire structure of The Bride will stand roughly 3,780 feet tall and will be comprised of four conjoined towers, each measuring in at a different height. To make the 230-story, heavens-tickling building even taller, AMBS’s design calls for the construction of a roughly 616-foot antenna at the very top. Moreover, the firm describes The Bride as “the first vertical city in the world,” boasting over 5 million square feet of floor space for hotels, residential units, offices, commercial lots, as well as parks and gardens. Initial rendering of The Bride’s “veil” AMBS “It will be enjoyed by thousands of people in endless ways, within it, on it, or under it,” says AMBS. “From walking in the vast shaded parks and promenades at ground level, to having lunch or shopping in a sky-square hundreds of metres above sea level.” Related: As lavish as ever, Dubai’s Fire Service might soon use jetpacks to fight fires What makes The Bride particularly compelling is AMBS’s intention of making it a net-zero structure, meaning it will to operate on as much energy as it produces. With temperatures consistently reaching 110+ degrees Fahrenheit during summers in Basra, the surplus of solar energy in the region made it a prime candidate to pull off such a design. Concerning the incredibly high heat, AMBS also plans to build what it’s calling a “veil,” in which it aims to cover the skyscraper’s central tower with a glazed canopy to provide public areas with much-needed shade. Though AMBS recently announced the design of The Bride, it refrained from offering a specific date for when construction of the tower would begin. Also watch: Raimond de Hullu's vision for Oas1s green buildings Please enable Javascript to watch this video More »Iraq is planning a solar powered skyscraper that’s 1,000 feet taller than the Burj Khalifa

  • HTC details its Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals, offers a free One A9 if you trade in your iPhon …

    Digital Trends - Mon, Nov 23, 2015 22:37 GMT

    With the company already having a bad year, HTC is surely looking forward to Black Friday and Cyber Monday as much as the millions of Americans who will try and accomplish some semblance of shopping on those days. As such, the Taiwanese company unveiled its deals for the fiscal holidays, and they appear rather enticing. Starting with what will surely be a headline-grabber, HTC will give you a free One A9 if you buy the handset between November 26 and December 2 and trade in either your iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus, iPhone 6S, or iPhone 6S Plus. More specifically, HTC will give you a $500 rebate if you trade in the aforementioned Apple handsets. Since the One A9 itself currently goes for $500, the rebate essentially makes the phone free. Related: We piled all the best Black Friday deals into this master guide Alternatively, if you don’t have any of the four Apple smartphones and are still looking for a deal, you can get a $200 rebate if you trade in your Samsung Galaxy S6 or Galaxy S6 Edge. Meanwhile, you’ll only get a $100 rebate if you trade in your LG G3 or G4. Much like with the iPhone rebates, these rebates will only be available from November 26 through December 2. HTC didn’t stop there, however, as the company will take 40 percent off all Nexus 9 models from November 26-27. If you’re among the first 500 customers to buy the 32GB LTE model, HTC will also throw in a free Logitech keyboard. If you already own an HTC product and are looking for accessories on the cheap, HTC will take 40 percent off all its accessories from November 28-29. Finally, HTC will offer two simultaneous discounts from November 30 through December 2: the RE Camera, which will receive a 60 percent discount, and the One M9, which will receive a 40 percent discount. The latter is particularly interesting, seeing how there’s been relatively low demand for the handset since its launch back in April, even though it’s supposed to be HTC’s flagship smartphone for 2015. Of course, Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals are unlikely to turn HTC’s already-low fortunes around, though they are likely to help in the short term. Also watch: Samsung Activewash WA52J8700A Washing Machine Review Please enable Javascript to watch this video More »HTC details its Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals, offers a free One A9 if you trade in your iPhone

  • Google now offers quotes for home mortgage rates in California

    Digital Trends - Mon, Nov 23, 2015 22:24 GMT

    First it was auto insurance and credit cards, and now it’s mortgages — Google launched a mortgage comparison tool for California, adding a new product to the ‘Compare’ brand. Earlier this year, Google launched an auto insurance comparison tool that lets users compare rates from different providers. Similarly and unsurprisingly, the new service gives users quotes for home mortgage rates in California, with support for more states to come. The site takes you through some basic steps, asks for your ZIP code, and then runs through a few questions. It’ll also ask how long you wish to live in the house. At the end, it provides you with a lender based on what you chose, and it shows you the fees that come with the loan. Related: Call Hogwarts home by moving into this former Harry Potter filming location You can then contact the lender to learn more or start the process. Google even offers users an option to request a callback from the site using an anonymous number, so you don’t have to worry about your contact information going to a company. The news isn’t surprising as Google said the launch of the mortgage tool was coming soon in a blogpost in May. Google partnered with LendingTree and Zillow, pulling data from the companies’ sites to power its new comparison tool. The site brings visibility to national and local lenders, letting users see real-time comparisons of rate quotes from other lenders, while displaying ratings, reviews, loan amount, estimated credit score, and home value. “Zillow Group and Google share the same vision to first and foremost empower consumers with comprehensive access to valuable information that helps them make confident, more informed financial decisions,” said Erin Lantz, vice president of Mortgages at Zillow Group in the blogpost. “This partnership allows us the unique opportunity to help borrowers by providing them with the industry’s most accurate, real-time information about home loans and mortgage lenders.” Related: Will you join the Dark side? Google’s Star Wars promo brings X-Wings to Maps and more Google says participation with the service is based on a flexible cost-per-lead model, but payment isn’t a factor in ranking or eligibility. The search giant has already been providing auto and travel insurance as well as mortgage quotes in the U.K. as of 2012. The Compare brand also maintains a credit card comparison site for the United States. Also watch: Google Star Wars Promo Lets You Pick a Side For Your Apps Please enable Javascript to watch this video More »Google now offers quotes for home mortgage rates in California

  • YouTube Music isn’t ready to be your daily music driver just yet

    Digital Trends - Mon, Nov 23, 2015 22:22 GMT

    It’s nice to have variety and options for streaming media, especially music. And with music streaming services like Spotify, Pandora, and Apple Music already dominating the scene it’s a tough task for newcomers to come in and try to tackle the competition. A host of services, including Tidal, have come in and tried to make a splash with meager results. The latest to join the bunch is YouTube Music. Fresh off the recent addition of its premium based video platform YouTube Red, many wonder if YouTube Music will have what it takes to become their go-to music app. Related: YouTube Red serves up ad-free, downloadable videos for $10 a month In this video Joshua Smith gives you a hands-on look at the new YouTube Music app. After spending some time with the new streaming service it’s obvious that YouTube is aiming to carve out it’s turf in the streaming music landscape. Find out how the app works, where it beats other apps, and where it falls short. With tons of videos to watch, an offline mixtape mode, and even the ability to listen to YouTube audio outside of the app, this could be the music app for you. More »YouTube Music isn’t ready to be your daily music driver just yet

  • NFL expected to sell Thursday Night Football TV rights for $600 million a year

    Digital Trends - Mon, Nov 23, 2015 22:15 GMT

    TV networks seem to be salivating, because the TV rights to the NFL’s  Thursday Night Football are coming up for sale. According to THR, the league is likely to sell the package as a multiyear deal, rather than the one-year deals it has had for the past two season with CBS. Experts predict that such an agreement could go for $600 million a year. Thanks to the interest of multiple networks, the prospective price tag has skyrocketed. By comparison, CBS Sports’ deals for the past two season have been a bargain. (The network paid $275 million for the eight Thursday games last season and $300 million for the current season’s.) Landing a new contract, however, will be tough, seeing as Fox, NBC, and Turner are all expected to be in contention. Related: The NFL doesn’t want you gambling on Peyton Manning’s next toss Clearly, networks aren’t fazed by the fact that  TNF has a reputation for being the worst night of pro football of the week — to the point that Sports Illustrated recently dedicated an article to how to improve the event. Currently, teams have fewer days to prepare for their matchups, leading to what SI described as “choppy offense, game-changing mental errors, and a wave of criticism from fans watching at home.” Yet fans are still watching, whatever they may think of the quality of play. Last season,  TNF averaged over 12 million viewers a game over its simultaneous telecasts on CBS Sports and NFL Network. The numbers are clearly enticing for networks. THR reports that NBC, for example, is making a  TNF deal a “top priority.” The network already pays around $1 billion a year for  Sunday Night Football, according to Business Insider. With the NFL’s other deals for daytime Sunday games,  SNF, and Monday Night Football currently running through 2021 and 2022, it seems logical for the  TNF deal to have a similar time frame. Dealmaking will begin in January, so we’ll have to wait exactly how this plays out. More »NFL expected to sell Thursday Night Football TV rights for $600 million a year

  • Payday 2 studio admits ‘we screwed up’ with microtransactions

    Digital Trends - Mon, Nov 23, 2015 22:06 GMT

    Overkill Software producer Almir Listo has issued an apology for Payday 2‘s sudden shift toward a microtransaction-driven revenue model, admitting that “we screwed up” and promising that “we will do our best to improve as soon as possible.” The apology addresses Payday 2‘s recently-launched Black Market Update, which awards players stat-boosting items in exchange for one-time-use drill items priced at $2.49 apiece. The update met with an overwhelmingly negative reception among Payday 2‘s playerbase, and sparked widespread criticism of Overkill Software. Listo previously pledged that Payday 2 “will have no microtransactions whatsoever” prior to the game’s launch. Related:  Payday 2 adds microtransactions, sparking community outrage “The past few weeks have been some of the most challenging in the history of this community,” Listo stated. “Players have been angry with us, media have written about us en masse and our volunteer moderators went on strike. For all the distress we’ve caused the past few weeks, I’d just like to take the time and say that we’re sorry. We’ve done a lot of things right in the past, but these past few weeks we screwed up. We need to get better at many things, and we will do our best to improve as soon as possible.” Released for consoles and PCs in 2013, Payday 2 is a cooperative first-person shooter in which players team up for high-stakes heists and acts of espionage. An enhanced version, Payday 2: Crimewave Edition, launched earlier this year for the Xbox One and PlayStation 4. The game earned a sizable following in the months after its launch, and frequent content updates provided incentive for players to remain an active part of the Payday 2 community. Many dedicated fans expressed frustration and disappointment over the recent introduction of microtransactions, which potentially give paying players an unfair advantage. Overkill’s Listo outlined the studio’s decision to introduce microtransactions in a recent Reddit AMA session, explaining that the new revenue model supports a development team that has tripled in size since launch. Overkill Software has not announced specific plans to make amends with its playerbase. Also watch: Asus ROG GX700 Hands On Please enable Javascript to watch this video More »Payday 2 studio admits ‘we screwed up’ with microtransactions

  • This pedal-powered washing machine requires zero electricity, works like a salad spinner

    Digital Trends - Mon, Nov 23, 2015 21:51 GMT

    The luxury of washing machines is something that families in many parts of the world just can’t afford, but the team behind GiraDora wants to change that. The group has developed an innovative all-in-one washer and dryer that’s powered entirely by a foot-operated pedal. Since the GiraDora is a completely manual machine, it offers a promising solution to washing and drying clothes in places without access to reliable electricity. GiraDora is designed to be adaptable and comfortable for use both standing and sitting. The main container is a plastic tub that can be filled with water and soap, or kept empty for use as a dryer. The lid also doubles as an ergonomic seat, so that the person pedaling isn’t required to stand for long periods of time. GiraDora’s foot pedal is spring-loaded so that it is easy to spin the washer or dryer cycle with a simple, repetitive action. Until now, other pedal-powered washing machines have usually been expensive solutions for “first world” use. Related: This little machine can clean your clothes with 10 liters of water and no power Wash cycles in electric machines aren’t just convenient, they also protect against many health dangers caused by hand washing. In remote regions and poverty-stricken communities, the chore of washing clothes can last for six hours on as many as five days per week. Bending over to clean clothes for so long so frequently causes damage to the spine and stress in the body. Hand washed clothes themselves can pose a danger when they are not dried under proper conditions, since mold and harmful bacteria can grow and infect the wearer. Alex Cabunoc and Ji A You invented GiraDora specifically to alleviate these health dangers and bring more effective clothes washing to those who need it most. They have already received awards to acknowledge their social innovation and the potential of GiraDora around the world, and are looking to launch with finished GiraDora units in communities in India and South America. Currently, they are testing a $40 GiraDora prototype in Peru and other parts of Latin America. Although the machine is still under development, the GiraDora team promises they’re working hard to make it available to the public as soon as possible. More »This pedal-powered washing machine requires zero electricity, works like a salad spinner

  • Have you tried turning it off and on again? Former Nintendo call center counselors reflect on 8-bit  …

    Digital Trends - Mon, Nov 23, 2015 21:49 GMT

    Ever wonder what life was like for Nintendo’s “Game Play Counselors,” who fielded requests for in-game help during the 8-bit and 16-bit eras? The A.V. Club has published an interview with several former Counselors, giving rare insight into the history of Nintendo’s corporate culture. Among other revelations, the feature explains how a group of call center employees transformed into an army of Nintendo experts who were familiar with a majority of popular video games released throughout the ’80s and ’90s. Related: Nintendo brings back the Nintendo World Championships for E3 2015 “It was all bare wood, banquet tables lined up with little 13-inch Sonys and NES [consoles], which all eventually ended up on our desk,” former Nintendo Game Play Counselor Greg Lowder recalls. “NESes laid out, just strung all over. By the way, there was no testing for getting [the job]. It was just literally, ‘You can do this. You know how to play video games. You can walk and chew gum at the same time. Boom, you’re hired.’ For me, at least.” Though the barrier for entry was low, Game Play Counselors were forced to learn the ins-and-outs of the Nintendo Entertainment System’s library quickly. After training for the position, Counselors would spend their shifts fielding calls from players who found themselves stuck in one of Nintendo’s notoriously difficult 8-bit titles. “Back then, there was no computers,” former Counselor Caesar Filori said. “We didn’t have our database called the ELMO, which was our crappy 1990 database thing that would have answers to a ton of questions. We had these manuals that were mostly incomplete, so you had all your own notes you were like rifling through to get the answers. And when you’re early on, you don’t know what all the answers are. Eventually, you realize you get all the same questions. There were only 50 or 60 games.” The A.V. Club’s group of veteran Game Play Counselors cited open-ended adventure games like The Goonies II and Legacy of the Wizard as being particularly difficult to assist players with over the phone. “We had maps of [ Legacy of the Wizard], like screenshot maps, and we could see the whole entire game,” former Counselor Shaun Bloom stated. “It was basically a side shot. But how many rooms were in that? Like 100 rooms?” Bloom estimates that The Legend of Zelda was “probably our number one call” during the NES era. Players also frequently requested tips for the original Super Mario Bros and Mike Tyson’s Punch-Out, among other games that are now considered classics. Also watch: Asus ROG GX700 Hands On Please enable Javascript to watch this video More »Have you tried turning it off and on again? Former Nintendo call center counselors reflect on 8-bit era

  • Comcast and Time Warner continue to grow despite consumer complaints

    Digital Trends - Mon, Nov 23, 2015 21:24 GMT

    Cable broadband companies in the U.S. added significant numbers to their subscriber base in the third quarter of this year with Comcast and Time Warner Cable seeing the most gains. In total, companies added 840,000 new subscribers in the quarter, according to Strategy Analytics, and Comcast and Time Warner Cable accounted for 552,000 of those customers. “Over the past twelve months, Comcast and Time Warner Cable have accounted for 71 percent of the 3 million new broadband subscribers,” said the firm’s new report, which surveyed 19 ISPs offering broadband. Comcast comes out on top for the most amount of new subscribers acquired in this quarter. In third place was Charter, which is in an acquisition process with Time Warner Cable. It added 147,000 new subscribers. Competitors AT&T and Verizon are struggling by comparison. In the same quarter AT&T lost 106,000 subscribers and Verizon added just 2,000. Related: Comcast may want to be your next wireless carrier This is good news for broadband companies. The average revenue per user (ARPU) grew from two percent to seven percent, said the report. Strategy Analytics accredited much of this value growth to investments made in infrastructure to improve speeds for customers. Strategy Analytics’ research focuses on cable broadband and, as it points out, this option remains the best one in many areas for customers looking for high speed broadband. Meanwhile, DSL subscriptions have fallen as the technology struggles to keep up with cable’s speed. Fiber is growing, but availability is still limited, and it and doesn’t command the same type of numbers in the bigger picture. In its Q3 earnings call, Verizon said it gained 114,000 new fiber customers, but this is down from 162,000 last year. AT&T hasn’t specified its fiber numbers. In the long term, though, fiber may become strong competition for cable broadband. “Fiber growth is still strong, but the Telco operators haven’t been able to shake off the losses of DSL subscribers,” said Strategy Analytics’ Jason Blackwell, adding that 2016 will be a year where we see increasing competition among broadband providers. While these numbers are great for cable ISPs, they may be worrying to consumer advocates. Its not secret that Comcast and Time Warner Cable are poorly regarded by subscribers, yet they continue to gain customers. This is likely because many users have no other viable option. Unfortunately, the slow acceleration of fiber means the situation is unlikely to improve soon. More »Comcast and Time Warner continue to grow despite consumer complaints

  • DT Giveaway: Send every ballpoint stroke and scribble to your smartphone with the Neo Smartpen N2

    Digital Trends - Mon, Nov 23, 2015 21:06 GMT

    The Neo Smartpen N2 offers a nice solution for those who still like putting pen to paper and want a backup of their work or need digital versions of their notes. The pen has an impressive ability to pick up handwriting then translate it into text. Using special paper with tiny dots, the pen recognizes the dots’ pattern, while a small camera in the pen’s tip records what you write. Even if you’re not near your phone, the pen can store your notes then transfer them to the app via Bluetooth later on. The Neo Smartpen N2 currently retails for $139, but Digital Trends is giving one away for free. All write! Neo Smartpen N2 Also watch: Neo smartpen N2 Hands-on review Please enable Javascript to watch this video More »DT Giveaway: Send every ballpoint stroke and scribble to your smartphone with the Neo Smartpen N2

  • Drift TV sucks out your TVs blue light so you can go night-night

    Digital Trends - Mon, Nov 23, 2015 20:47 GMT

    Blue light from our favorite screens has been singled out as a culprit in many a tech enthusiast’s sleepless nights. Now, a new piece of hardware called the Drift TV aims to help users filter out the menacing blue light from their TVs in order to make falling asleep easier after a late-night viewing session. Similar to the popular F.lux app, the Drift TV is a hardware solution in the form of a device that plugs into your TVs HDMI input, allowing you to program the device to slowly dim the amount of blue light emitted by the screen based on the time of day, your sleep schedule, and more. The Drift TV is set to retail for $100 when it debuts in stores and online this December. Related: What’d he say? AfterMaster’s little black box aims to fix your TV’s terrible sound Saffron, the company behind the new device, cites a Harvard study which concluded that blue light at night is bad for melatonin production in the body, and can have negative overall health affects on those who frequently watch programming, or use their computers or mobile devices late at night. While software solutions like F.lux, Redshift, and Twilight are available for computers and cell phones, the Drift TV is the first device we’ve encountered that’s capable of providing a blue light-filtering solution for televisions, and may be a smart item to consider for those who frequently keep their TVs humming after the sun goes down. That said, it make take some getting used to. Users who view video content on streaming services such as Netflix with blue-dimming software enabled sometimes report the software negatively affects the appearance of darker scenes. Further, color specialists often perfect the ratio of light and dark images by using blue-heavy hues, meaning that removing the blue light can definitely effect the color accuracy. However, Drift TV rightly assumes that a slightly-worse viewing experience is a small price to pay for a more restful night’s sleep, not to mention the potential to lower one’s risk of serious diseases such as diabetes and heart disease. The device itself is only capable of working with one TV at a time, but it is compatible with HDMI switches, which would allow owners to plug in multiple screens, provided they have long enough HDMI cables and conduit to reach from the splitter to their home’s various television locations. The Drift TV is not available for sale yet, but the company hopes to have it in time for the holiday season. More »Drift TV sucks out your TVs blue light so you can go night-night

  • Digital Trends unveils 2015 Holiday Gift Guide

    Digital Trends - Mon, Nov 23, 2015 20:20 GMT

    Editors select 100 tech-based gift ideas for every taste & budget PORTLAND, OR – November 23, 2015 – Leading consumer technology publisher, Digital Trends, today unveiled its annual gift buying guide highlighting 100 of the top tech-based gift ideas for the 2015 holiday season.  Presented each November by the Digital Trends editorial staff, the list at http://digitaltrends.com/dtdesign/holiday-gift-guide-2015 was culled from hundreds of new and recently enhanced technology-based products and is designed to help users stay current and informed in today’s ever-changing tech landscape. The graphically rich, highly produced Guide layout is organized by consumer archetypes and features an array of suggestions to fit every budget.  Models appearing alongside the editorial represent a diversity of consumers using fun tech in a variety of settings including a private jet jammed with affluent “Mini Moguls”, a busy family gathered in the kitchen representing the “Homebody” and “Boomers” enjoying their favorite tech while lounging poolside.  The site also features great gift ideas for everyone on your list including “The Gadgeteer” and, of course, “The Connoisseur.” “Consumers today are savvier than ever and want to ensure that the holiday gifts they’re buying are not just state-of the-art but are also cost-effective and meet their needs,” explains Ian Bell, Publisher and CEO at Digital Trends.  “The Digital Trends editorial staff does the heavy lifting of product research and translates tech, in layman’s terms, so our users can quickly and easily learn about product capabilities and benefits before they purchase.” For the “Mini Mogul” in your life, the list includes products such as the Vtech Kidizoom Smartwatch ($60), featuring a variety of watch settings, games, photo and video options as well as other features and is designed for kids, 4 years and older.  The “Weekend Warrior” might un-wrap a Hammerhead Bike Navigation ($85) . . . finally the convenience of a GPS that mounts rights to your bike handlebars!  For the “Homebody”, the Ninja Coffee Bar ($160) offers precision technology to transform any old bean into every type of coffee imaginable.  For the “Gadgeteer” in your life, the new LG V10 smartphone offers enhanced filming capabilities, crash-proof stainless steel body and a second screen ($23/monthly on contract).  Please visit http://digitaltrends.com/dtdesign/holiday-gift-guide-2015 to view the entire list. Digital Trends is a leading consumer technology publisher that aims to demystify technology, helping people navigate an increasingly digital world. Digital Trends’ easy-to-understand product reviews, entertaining news and videos serve more than 24 million unique visitors each month and four million mobile users. Digital Trends reaches 90 million tech influencers through the Digital Trends Media Network, and its syndicate partners include Yahoo!, FOX News and more than 200 broadcast news stations. Digital Trends is headquartered in Portland, Ore., and has offices in New York City, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Detroit and Chicago. For more information, visit www.digitaltrends.com and follow @DigitalTrends on Twitter and Facebook Follow us: @digitaltrends on Twitter | digitaltrendsftw on Facebook For more information, contact Paul Ward at PWard@digitaltrends.com # # # # More »Digital Trends unveils 2015 Holiday Gift Guide

  • Alright x 3: Matthew McConaughey reveals the inspiration behind his stoner catch phrase

    Digital Trends - Mon, Nov 23, 2015 20:13 GMT

    Legend has it that if you utter the word “alright”  three times in front of a mirror you’ll summon a young Matthey McConauhgey. The signature catchphrase has long been a part of the actor’s repertoire. However, while some excited female millennials may believe that the line originated from the film Magic Mike, where McConaughey’s character greeted an excited audience at his strip club with the words (while wearing chaps), the phrase actually existed long before that. During his opening monologue for his guest host appearance on  Saturday Night Live the Academy Award-winning actor revealed the true origin behind his catchphrase in a story about his first acting job ever. He recalls being a young college student in a bar, when he runs into a producer and they end up chatting for hours. While sharing a cab ride home, the producer asks him if he’s ever done any acting. He hadn’t. So the man sends McConaughey a script. The movie? Dazed and Confused. Related: Hilarious SNL skit shows Jon Hamm, Emma Stone, and more audition for Star Wars As any ‘80s or ‘90s kid knows, the 1993 flick included a short but unforgettable part for McConaughey as an aging former high school student that was deemed a breakout role for the up-and-coming thespian. The 24-year-old was only set to have a couple of lines. But when he showed up on set for a fitting and makeup test, writer/director Richard Linklater decided that McConaughey’s character, David Wooderson, might fit well in a scene they were about to film. McConaughey says he then proceeded in his first-ever acting role in a film, while essentially winging it, unscripted. The actor gathered from the few lines he had that his character seemed to love four things in life: cars, weed, rock & roll, and women. In the scene, he was in his car with his friend in the passenger seat, which pretty well guaranteed they’d be getting high, while rocker Ted Nugent played on the radio. In the distance, there was a woman described as a “red-headed intellectual.” Could this be the woman Wooderson needed to round out his quartet of perfection? It was at this moment that the phrase came to the young McConaughey as a perfect way to describe his feelings: “alright, alright, alright.” And there you have it. That said, McConaughey’s delivery is far more compelling than any words could describe. Have a look at the video above. More »Alright x 3: Matthew McConaughey reveals the inspiration behind his stoner catch phrase

  • Console commands can ruin your game of Fallout 4

    Digital Trends - Mon, Nov 23, 2015 20:10 GMT

    Consider this an official warning from everyone here at Digital Trends: Fallout 4 console commands on PC can corrupt your save files. If you don’t want to take our word for it, consider the source in this case: Bethesda itself. It has announced that although the console commands can allow for you to do a number of things in Fallout 4 that might not otherwise be possible, they have the potential to ruin your save game. Of course it is always tempting to pull back the curtain on PC games and see what’s behind the veil. We’ve been doing that for generations with cheats, mods, and trainers, and console commands are a big part of that, but there are inherent risks. So far, intrepid command explorers have found a hidden harpoon-gun and a room brimming with developer-spawned items, but not everyone is likely to be so fortunate. Related: How to snag one of Fallout 4’s best guns at the beginning of the game @UCFTyler @fortech_mike can very easily mess up save games — Pete Hines (@DCDeacon) November 20, 2015 This warning was issued by VP of marketing and public relations at Bethesda, Pete Hines, who responded to a fan’s question about why Bethesda didn’t recommend playing with PC console commands: because it “can very easily mess up save games.” While some fans were incredulous, suggesting that console commands are something that all dedicated Bethesda fans have played with at some point in previous games, Hines was quick to reiterate that many others had sent the company corrupted saves in the hopes that they could be recovered (thanks TechSpot). So take this into consideration guys. If you want to play with console commands — which we’re sure a lot of you do — and you want to do so safely, just make a backup of your save file first. Hard copy it somewhere where it’s nice and protected and then when you have had your fun, just copy it back in if needed. Or throw caution to the winds and have fun with the commands anyway, but just be aware of the risk you’re taking. Also watch: Asus ROG GX700 Hands On Please enable Javascript to watch this video More »Console commands can ruin your game of Fallout 4

  • SNL shows hilarious disaster of A-listers in Star Wars audition

    Digital Trends - Mon, Nov 23, 2015 19:44 GMT

    Imagine what it would be like to take a look at the many actors who screen tested for the upcoming  Star Wars:  The Force Awakens revival. Director J.J. Abrams appeared on this weekend’s episode of Saturday Night live, hosted by Matthew McConaughey, to bring viewers some extremely rare, unseen outtakes. In the hilarious sketch, we see a mix of real actors, like Emma Stone and Jon Hamm, give their interpretations of famous characters (the latter auditions for “Hamm Solo,” and notes that he’s written some of his own stuff) along with a stream of spot-on impressions from cast members. Cecily Strong is a dead vocal ringer for bombshell Sofia Vergara, seemingly thinking she’s auditioning for the Minions movie. Jay Pharoah does his interpretation of Shaquille O’Neal as Chewbacca, and Taran Killam as a too-sexy David Beckham who proceeds to “bend it” and kick the soccer ball-esque BB-8 across the room. Related: Google promises Force Awakens goodies if you decide between the light or the dark side To make it even more, er, believable, actors from the real film were there to screen test with them, including Daisy Ridley (who plays Rey in the film) and John Boyega (the Storm Trooper Finn). Boyega laughs it up as he peers at the script that suggests there being a black Storm Trooper. Keep an eye out for Bobby Moynihan’s hilarious take on George Lucas, who’s lurking in the background, upset that no one can find him a Coke Zero. He also plays Danny DeVito auditioning for the part of BB-8. Newest cast member Leslie Jones ends the segment with her typical angry scream when she comes in decked out as a Klingon to audition for Star Trek by accident. Er, wrong iconic film franchise, Leslie. Star Wars: The Force Awakens opens in theaters on December 18. Along with Ridley and Boyega, it stars Carrie Fisher, Harrison Ford, Mark Hamill (allegedly), and Adam Driver, among others. Check out the full SNL clip above. More »SNL shows hilarious disaster of A-listers in Star Wars audition

  • Vin Diesel says a new Riddick movie is coming, and a TV series, too

    Digital Trends - Mon, Nov 23, 2015 19:41 GMT

    Vin Diesel has been promising another installment of his Chronicles of Riddick franchise for quite a while now, and he has indicated that development was officially underway last year after 2013’s Riddick managed to turn a tidy profit in the home entertainment market. Over the weekend, Diesel added fuel to the fire by not only indicating that franchise screenwriter David Twohy was going to work on the fourth installment of the series, but that a spinoff series was also being developed for television. Related: How the director of Riddick created a sociopath with compassion Diesel announced the news via Instagram, offering some updates on what’s to come for his popular antihero Richard B. Riddick, and suggesting that the fourth live-action feature in the franchise will be titled  Furia. “Last night our company had a party to launch our TV division,” wrote Diesel in the caption of a photo from 2004’s The Chronicles of Riddick featuring himself and Judi Dench on the set of the film. “Very exciting. Merc City is a show that will follow the Mercs and Bounty Hunters of the Riddick Universe. Next Month, DT begins writing the next Chapter in the Chronicles of Riddick … FURIA. #HappyFurianFriday” Along with Diesel, Twohy has served as the driving force behind the franchise that began with 2000’s sci-fi horror movie  Pitch Black, which first introduced Diesel as the deadly one-man army named Riddick. Twohy wrote and directed all three live-action films in the franchise, and also penned the script for the 2004 animated feature  The Chronicles of Riddick: Dark Fury, among other Riddick-related projects. Diesel has long hinted that a television series set in Riddick’s universe was a goal of his, and now it looks like that might indeed happen with the in-development  Merc City series. Although the Chronicles of Riddick franchise has never generated a bona fide blockbuster, the films have developed an active fanbase and typically make just enough money at the box office to spawn a sequel — often with a nudge (and support) from Diesel himself. All three films in the series have earned a combined $139 million in U.S. theaters and $267.3 million worldwide, in addition to successful sales in the DVD, Blu-ray, and home-entertainment markets. The last film in the series, 2013’s  Riddick, cost approximately $40 million to make and earned $98.3 million worldwide in theaters and another $23 million in DVD and Blu-ray sales. While Diesel’s character has remained the focal point of the series, past installments have featured Oscar-winning Shakespeare in Love (and more recently, Skyfall) actress Judi Dench, Keith David ( The Thing), Karl Urban ( Star Trek), Katee Sackhoff ( Battlestar Galactica), and Dave Bautista ( Guardians of the Galaxy), among other notable supporting cast members. More »Vin Diesel says a new Riddick movie is coming, and a TV series, too

  • Relax, Drake isn’t dead, but his death hoax continues to spread

    Digital Trends - Mon, Nov 23, 2015 19:33 GMT

    There are a couple things you can count on occurring at least once every couple weeks on social media. One, some kind of hoax will go viral on Facebook whether it’s a scam for free airline tickets or Bill Gates passing out money if you “share this post.” The other is news of a celebrity’s passing, when he or she is actually very much alive. When you combine hoaxes and Facebook, the false news spreads quickly, leaving millions of people either perplexed or mourning their idol. The most recent victim of the Internet prank is Drake, Canadian singer, rapper, producer, and star of your favorite Hotline Bling meme. It’s also becoming difficult, however, to figure out what’s true and what’s not, especially when reputable sites we depend on for news coverage accidentally participate in the hoax without some fact checking. In Drake’s case, it’s uncertain where the story originated, but it was posted as a Buzzfeed Community post, which ended up being aggregated, and then showing up on the front page of Yahoo News. While Buzzfeed has pulled the story and notes that they don’t have control over the content shared in community posts, those who depend on Yahoo for news may have believed it simply because it’s Yahoo. This also shows the problem with news reporting when you let a computer do it. The fake news about Drake’s death ended up being picked up by Yahoo, and appeared on its front page even after Drake’s reps confirmed it wasn’t true. Related: Facebook tweaks News Feed to cut down on hoax posts Social media also plays a significant role in perpetuating untrue stories like, “Rapper Drake Dies in Fatal Car Accident.” According to Media Mass, a Facebook page, “R.I.P. Drake,” which included a description of how the singer died, had acquired over 1 million “likes” on Saturday. And, fans took to Twitter as well, to express their condolences. ~ On my gosh! Terrible news…….  :(  Many condolences and prayers to his family and friends. <3 Posted by Maria Salmon on Monday, November 23, 2015 @ELLEmagazine https://t.co/WqctW8z0y8 He is dead?????? #RIPDrake #Pray4Drake — Jessica Bulsnatch (@Jessie_PinkLuv) November 23, 2015 Wtf #ripdrake you’ll never be forgotten, you always live in our hearts  pic.twitter.com/pJxUK6R1oE — Alain (@Swaggy_sama) November 23, 2015 Unfortunately, this isn’t the first time Drake has been falsely pronounced dead, and this type of hoax regularly occurs with many other celebs such as Morgan Freeman and Betty White. Drake’s reps confirmed on Sunday that he is definitely not dead and has, unfortunately, merely been victimized by a hoax. “He’s still alive and well, stop believing what you see on the Internet,” they said. Apparently, this also means sites we think we can trust. More »Relax, Drake isn’t dead, but his death hoax continues to spread

  • You can now watch 17 glorious seconds of Star Wars: The Force Awakens

    Digital Trends - Mon, Nov 23, 2015 19:29 GMT

    Folks, it seems the Star Wars: The Force Awakens hype machine has fixed its hyperdrive. From the day that the first trailer dropped, until just a few weeks ago, getting information about the film was like pulling teeth. Disney and Lucasfilm printed scripts on black paper with violet lettering, a part of the police report was changed when Harrison Ford broke his ankle, the release of the novelization was delayed, and director J.J. Abrams wouldn’t even give Star Wars creator George Lucas a straight answer about the film. All of this was done so that the studio could control the flow of information and now, it seems like they’re ready to dump it on us all at once. Related: More Star Wars: The Force Awakens plot details emerge On the heels of the EW Star Wars issue’s revelations, last night’s American Music Awards debuted yet another trailer (below) as well as a clip from the film (above). That’s right, 17 glorious seconds of the actual movie. Don’t let its run-time fool you, however, the clip packs a punch and showcases the acting talents of two of the film’s stars. In the clipped scene, John Boyega (Finn) and Daisy Ridley (Rey) are quite literally running for their lives on what looks like Tatooine, Luke Skywalker’s home planet. The pair looks to outrun their pursuers by making a mad dash for a vacant vessel that Rey refers to as a quad jumper. We won’t spoil it for you if you haven’t watched the clip, but let’s just say that plan is quickly derailed and the clip ends on a cliffhanger. The new trailer, on the other hand, is around 30 seconds long and follows Rey’s story arc. We find out that she’s been waiting for her family, but we then hear a woman’s voice say: “Dear child, the belonging you seek is not behind you, it is ahead.” With the anticipation for this film already swelled to epic proportions, the bevy of clips and trailers floating around are only adding fuel to an already raging fire. Oh, well. If worse comes to worse and you really can’t take it, you can always gorge on Thanksgiving dinner and slip into a turkey-induced coma until December 18. Kidding … please don’t do that. Only 26 more days. More »You can now watch 17 glorious seconds of Star Wars: The Force Awakens

  • Scientists say the universe has a ‘resolution limit’ that governs how far telescopes can see

    Digital Trends - Mon, Nov 23, 2015 19:28 GMT

    Is it possible that those distant galaxies are just too far away to ever be seen clearly? That’s the suggestion of researchers at the National Research Council of Canada, who suggest that the universe has some type of “resolution limit;” that is, a point where images of distant celestial objects will not become any clearer no matter how large the telescope is. This is bad news for astronomers, who had hoped the 2018 launch of the James Webb Space Telescope would give a clearer view of the heavens. The Hubble Telescope experienced issues with resolution due to man-made mistakes in construction, but the limits on the James Webb telescope and future versions may be scientifically related. Related: Move over Hubble, the High Definition Space Telescope will show us brand new worlds Think of it this way: light from distant galaxies travels extraordinary distances to reach the lenses of our telescopes. If there is anything between those galaxies and the telescope itself to disturb that light along the way, it will arrive here blurry — and no telescope is going to be able to fix that. This may be happening in the vast space between these galaxies due to quantum mechanics. On the smallest of scales, known as the “Planck Scale,” quantum physics infers that space is filled with particles that develop and quickly destroy each other. While these reactions are very, very small, it’s enough to cause ripples in the fabric of space-time. Just like light passing through Earth’s atmosphere, the light from these distant galaxies and objects become distorted. While this may be bad news for astronomers hoping for clearer pictures of distant celestial objects, the whole concept of quantum mechanics (and quantum physics for that matter) is still a highly controversial and debated topic. This means that such a prediction might be wrong if currently accepted theories of quantum physics are incorrect. But if it is correct, it only shows us how little we may ever know of our universe, thanks to its massive size. Also watch: Raimond de Hullu's vision for Oas1s green buildings Please enable Javascript to watch this video More »Scientists say the universe has a ‘resolution limit’ that governs how far telescopes can see


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