• Twitter's emoji reactions might solve its 'heart' problem

    Digital Trends - Tue, Nov 17, 2015 22:47 GMT

    Up until now, we’ve been limited to the star (R.I.P.) and the newly unveiled heart on Twitter if we wanted to react to a tweet. While the star seemed to work sufficiently (as a means of actually favoriting tweets, simply acknowledging someone else’s tweets, or casually ending conversations without actually tweeting, “Okay, bye now”) many users were still unsure of what they were saying when they pressed the star button. Recently, and not long after Twitter’s new heart added to the confusion, a user came across what allegedly appears to be Twitter testing emoji reactions as a way to interact with tweets. Related: Twitter replaces star-shaped favorites with heart-shaped likes Twitter user @_Ninji recently tweeted what looks to be a line of emoji reactions to choose from when the heart isn’t exactly the emotion you are going for. According to the tweet, choices include the party noisemaker, the “100” symbol, and for especially infuriating tweets, the face with steam coming out of its nose. In a comment to The Verge, the user said the emoji reactions were accessed through a jailbroken version of the app. I can’t believe they’re finally letting me  tweets (The best part is that it’s not even a joke, I just found this…) pic.twitter.com/cyJ6Lmfhgx — Ninji, infamous dog (@_Ninji) November 16, 2015 It wouldn’t be surprising if Twitter is in fact working on alternatives to its new heart button, considering the recent backlash that occurred when the star was itself quietly replaced by the heart (a.k.a. “like”) button. At the beginning of the month, the new heart left many users ambivalent about how “liking” a tweet, as opposed to just favoriting it, might be perceived, and the change was seen as forcing users to completely change how they interact with others. Also, Facebook’s plan to add emoji to its own line of reactions has long been in the works, in response to the same limitations users experience when obliged to press something that might indicate happiness or agreement when that wasn’t their intention. However, @_Ninji also mentioned that the Twitter emoji reactions function appeared to be far from complete, so as it turns out, we’re stuck with the heart for now. Also watch: RHA makes the cheap seats look good with new S500i in-ears Please enable Javascript to watch this video More »Twitter's emoji reactions might solve its 'heart' problem

  • Pushbullet starts charging for existing free features in the Pro version of its app

    Digital Trends - Tue, Nov 17, 2015 22:47 GMT

    It’s tough finding a way to monetize an app after offering it for free from its inception, but the folks over at Pushbullet have decided to bite the bullet and give it a try. This morning, Pushbullet, an app that lets you sync notifications between devices, share links, files, and send messages, announced a paid version for iOS and Android called Pushbullet Pro. Related: New PushBullet feature for Android lets you send SMS messages from your PC While Pushbullet Pro has some new features, you now have to pay to use previously free features, such as universal copy and paste, as well as mirrored action notification support. The Pro version lets you send files 1GB or smaller, as opposed to the free version that offers a 25MB size limit. Sending messages (SMS/Whatsapp/Kik), which used to be unlimited, is now restricted to 100 per month for the free version, and Pro users get 100GB of storage space as opposed to 2GB for the free version. Users also will receive priority support in the Pro version if they run into any issues. Pushbullet Pro offers two pricing models, a monthly-billed subscription for $5, or a yearly fee of $40, which saves you about $20. You can cancel the yearly subscription at any time and receive a prorated refund. The company has been growing its user base into the “millions,” while searching for a way to monetize the app. “We could have kept Pushbullet completely free, following the path of many free services by showing ads and selling data to make money,” said CEO Ryan Oldenburg in the blog post announcing Pushbullet Pro. “We don’t want to do that. We never want to hurt the Pushbullet experience with ads or betraying your trust by selling your data. Since Pushbullet must support itself, we want to do that by having you as our customer.” Reactions to the announcement have mostly been negative, and users are disgruntled with having to pay for features that were once free. Comments on the blog post indicate that users think the price is too high for the Pro version. More »Pushbullet starts charging for existing free features in the Pro version of its app

  • The Tomb Raider reboot might have found its director

    Digital Trends - Tue, Nov 17, 2015 22:46 GMT

    A reboot of the Tomb Raider movie franchise has been in the works for quite a while, but the project could be gaining some momentum now that a recent report suggests that the film has found a director. Norwegian filmmaker Roar Uthaug has reportedly agreed to direct the new  Tomb Raider movie that’s intended to kick off a new series of films featuring the intrepid treasure-hunter Lara Croft. Related: The reboot of the Tomb Raider movie franchise nabs Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles writer Best known for his 2006 thriller  Cold Prey, Uthaug has directed a wide range of Norwegian films that also includes the upcoming tsunami thriller  The Wave, which was recently shortlisted for consideration in the Academy Awards’ foreign film category. According to The Hollywood Reporter, the Tomb Raider reboot is expected to be Uthaug’s first English-language feature film. Along with bringing on Uthaug as director, the studio has also reportedly signed screenwriter Geneva Robertson-Dworet to pen the screenplay for the reboot. Robertson-Dworet is one of the writers currently working on a script for the upcoming fifth installment of the Transformers franchise. Plans to reboot the Tomb Raider series have been in the works for more than five years now, with the most recent update involving the addition of  Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles screenwriter Evan Daugherty back in February 2015. It’s unknown whether Robertson-Dworet will be revising an existing script or penning an entirely new screenplay for the film. The previous Tomb Raider series encompassed just two films, but the series remains one of the most successful video game adaptations ever to find its way to the big screen, grossing more than $432 million worldwide. Angelina Jolie portrayed Lara Croft in both films, 2001’s  Lara Croft: Tomb Raider and 2003’s Tomb Raider: The Cradle of Life. The most recent installment of the game franchise, Rise of the Tomb Raider, was released this month for the Xbox One and Xbox 360. There’s currently no release date set for the Tomb Raider reboot. More »The Tomb Raider reboot might have found its director

  • Valkyria Chronicles remake, sequel confirmed for PlayStation 4

    Digital Trends - Tue, Nov 17, 2015 22:37 GMT

    Sega announced plans to revive its cult classic Valkyria Chronicles series this week, revealing that a remake and sequel will launch for the PlayStation 4 in Japan in 2016. The upcoming sequel will be the first new entry in the series since 2011’s Senjou no Valkyria 3 for the PlayStation Portable. Related: Sega announces cancellations after poor earnings, trademarks new Valkyria Chronicles and Yakuza Japanese publication Famitsu reports that a remake of the original Valkyria Chronicles will arrive for the PlayStation 4 on February 10th, 2016. Valkyria Chronicles Remaster will feature high-resolution graphics and trophy support, and will include DLC featured in the original release. Initially released for the PlayStation 3 in 2008, Valkyria Chronicles combined third-person shooter gameplay with tactical elements, allowing players to move and position a battalion of troops across enemy-occupied battlefields. The game also featured a strong narrative element, linking its gameplay to a setting loosely based on the real-world events leading up to World War II. A PlayStation Portable-exclusive sequel, Valkyria Chronicles II, launched in North America in 2010. The third entry in the series was never localized for a stateside release. Sega later ported the original Valkyria Chronicles to Windows PCs, releasing a graphically enhanced version via Steam in 2014. The new entry in the Valkyria Chronicles series, Valkyria: Azure Revolution, will hit retail in Japan in the winter of 2016, Sega told Famitsu this week. The sequel will retain the series’ distinctive painterly graphics style, and will feature a “real-time battle system with added simulation elements,” according to a translation available at Gematsu. Azure Revolution is developed by Media Vision, creator of Square Enix’s mobile RPG franchise Chaos Rings and the Wild Arms series for PlayStation platforms. The studio previously partnered with Sega in developing games like Senjou no Valkyria 3, Shining Resonance, and Shining Ark. Sega has not announced plans to release Valkyria Chronicles Remaster or Valkyria: Azure Revolution in North America. Also watch: Asus ROG GX700 Hands On Please enable Javascript to watch this video More »Valkyria Chronicles remake, sequel confirmed for PlayStation 4

  • Parrot’s Bebop 2 drone boasts better specs, 2x the flight time, and more autonomy

    Digital Trends - Tue, Nov 17, 2015 22:23 GMT

    Parrot, one of the world’s leading drone manufacturers, announced this week it’s readying the release of the highly anticipated follow up to its original Bebop drone. With the Bebop 2, Parrot ups the quadcopter ante by not only improving on the prior model’s stability and mobility, but by also doubling the available flight time from 12 minutes to roughly 25. Additionally, the craft’s built-in camera makes it incredibly easy to take stunning HD videos, and for just $550, the Bebop 2 figures to be one of the most affordable top-tier drones on the market. When it comes to flying the Bebop 2, Parrot calls the operation a very easy process which requires “no learning.” Essentially, the craft’s wide array of sensors make piloting the Bebop 2 a foolproof experience — even for beginners. With built-in gyroscopes, pressure sensors, stabilizers, and GPS; the drone’s onboard computer constantly analyzes its own position to ensure stability. Moreover, an included landing button automatically brings the Bebop 2 safely back to ground regardless of its altitude. Outside of the typical features included in the Bebop 2, Parrot also announced the return of its drone-enhancing remote control called the Parrot SkyController Black Edition. Use of the optional remote allows pilots to fully control the drone with a two-handed controller (essentially two joysticks) with video streaming through a compatible smartphone or tablet attached to the remote. Downloadable on either iOS or Android-capable devices, the required FreeFlight 3 application lets operators see exactly what the drone sees. Related: Parrot Bebop review In an effort to make the drone even more immersive, Parrot outfitted the controller with an HDMI port which allows users to plug in FPV (First Personal View) glasses, which simulate what it would be like to actually sit inside the Bebop 2. Live telemetry information feeds directly into the FPV goggles, while an included “Radar” feature allows FPV wearers (or those controlling the drone) to see exactly where the craft is in relation to the controller. Parrot has announced that the Bebop 2 will be available for purchase as two different versions starting December 14. The first version — a standard Bebop 2 drone and all necessary accessories — will run for just $550 upon launch, while the advanced version — a standard Bebop 2 drone and the Parrot Skycontroller — will be on sale for $800. More »Parrot’s Bebop 2 drone boasts better specs, 2x the flight time, and more autonomy

  • Justin Bieber may have broken Instagram, but Facebook fixed it

    Digital Trends - Tue, Nov 17, 2015 22:09 GMT

    With 44 million followers on Instagram and more than 2,000 posts sharing various images and videos, it’s easy to understand why Justin Bieber might be one of the social network’s most popular “grammers.” However, besides breaking the hearts of tween and teenaged Beliebers, the pop star has recently been revealed as the cause of a broken Instagram. As Cade Metz reported for Wired, a few years ago things didn’t always run as smoothly at IG headquarters. For example, every time The Biebs uploaded a photo to the platform, so many fans would “like” it that it would slow Instagram’s computers to a crawl and lock up, something that would leave Mike Krieger, Instagram co-founder, distressed and searching for a solution. But Justin Bieber wasn’t the only one to blame for when Instagram crashed. The same problem could occur when Kim Kardashian’s nearly 52 million fans liked her images as well. If the cache problem hadn’t been corrected, essentially any celebrity could be responsible for slowing the site for users all over the world. Instagram’s servers just couldn’t handle all those fans’ likes all at one time. Related: Bieber’s single What Do You Mean? breaks Spotify record in debut week The fix, fortunately, occurred last summer, when parent company Facebook moved the Instagram platform to its own computer data centers. According to Metz, this allowed the platform to eventually expand into other Facebook facilities with more computer servers, which can now handle its more than 80 million photos and videos every day. It also allowed a change in how likes are tallied, which was one of the primary causes of the glitch. The network claims that the new updates to its infrastructure also provide better and faster response to disasters — if one data center goes down, the site isn’t completely disabled because another can “pick up the slack.” Through the years, Instagram has become one of the top photo-sharing sites on the Internet. Reuters recently reported that out of Instagram’s over 400 million users, the top five happen to be Taylor Swift, Kim Kardashian, Beyonce, Selena Gomez, and Ariana Grande. Good news for not just the platform, but for Bieber as well: If there is any problem in the future with a blitz of likes, his fans won’t be the only ones to blame. More »Justin Bieber may have broken Instagram, but Facebook fixed it

  • Val Kilmer ready to ‘fire up some fighter jets’ for Top Gun sequel, but he’s not in yet

    Digital Trends - Tue, Nov 17, 2015 22:06 GMT

    Updated on 11-17-2015 by Parker Hall: Val Kilmer has announced, via a weird Facebook status update, that he may be co-starring in the long-anticipated, much-discussed sequel to Top Gun. In signature Kilmer fashion the actor who played “Ice Man” in the original film claims he received a call from his agent about reprising his role to which he said “Yes,” but then backs off, saying nothing is final and apologizing for “jumping the topgun.” Here’s Kilmer’s official post below: I just got offered #topgun2 – not often you get to say “yes” without reading the script…”It’s starring Gene… Posted by Val Kilmer on Monday, November 16, 2015 Nearly a a year since it was announced that screenwriter Justin Marks ( Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun-Li) was working on a sequel to  Top Gun, a presser for Terminator Genisys delivered the first official update on the project courtesy of the film’s producers. During the press junket, Skydance Productions CEO David Ellison and CCO Dana Goldberg were asked about the status of the  Top Gun sequel during a group interview, and offered some hints about what to expect when Tom Cruise’s hotshot fighter pilot Pete “Maverick” Mitchell returns to the big screen. Related: Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun-Li writer to pen Top Gun 2 script “Justin Marks is writing the screenplay right now,” said Ellison (as reported by Collider). “He has a phenomenal take to really update that world for what fighter pilots in the Navy has turned into today. … When you look at the world of dogfighting, what’s interesting about it is that it’s not a world that exists to the same degree when the original movie came out. … It is very much a world we live in today where it’s drone technology and fifth-generation fighters are really what the United States Navy is calling the last man-made fighter that we’re actually going to produce. So it’s really exploring the end of an era of dogfighting and fighter pilots and what that culture is today.” Ellison also confirmed that Cruise will be returning for more than a cameo role in the film, stating that “there is no Top Gun without Maverick, and it is going to be Maverick playing Maverick.” While neither Ellison nor Goldberg could confirm that the film will be shot in 3D and/or IMAX, both producers agreed that it would make sense for a project like this one. The producers also agreed that Cruise was likely to push for as much use of practical effects as possible. “As everyone knows with Tom, he is 100-percent going to want to be in those airplanes shooting it practically,” said Ellison. Cruise is famous for doing his own stunts, including a high-flying turn of a different kind in the latest Mission: Impossible sequel, in which Cruise is strapped to the outside of a jet as it takes off. We can only imagine he’ll want to show something similarly daring in his return to the franchise that solidified his super-stardom. “I don’t think [it will be] what people are going to expect, and we are very, very hopeful that we get to make the movie very soon,” he added. “But like all things, it all comes down to the script, and Justin is writing as we speak.” There’s currently no start of production scheduled for the  Top Gun sequel, and no release date at this point. More »Val Kilmer ready to ‘fire up some fighter jets’ for Top Gun sequel, but he’s not in yet

  • Apple takes home 94 percent of smartphone market profit

    Digital Trends - Tue, Nov 17, 2015 21:59 GMT

    Apple only accounts for 15 percent of the mobile market share, but in profits, the company is taking the lion’s share, according to Canaccord Genuity. In a report published earlier this week, Canaccord claims Apple takes 94 percent of the smartphone market profits. That is quite a large percentage, even larger than the previous quarter where Apple apparently took home 92 percent of the industry’s profits. Samsung is the only other mobile company making a profit, at 11 percent. The odd percentage is rounded out due to all of the companies failing to make any profit in the third quarter, like Lenovo, HTC, and Sony. Related: Tim Cook says Apple will not build a converged Mac and iPad Part of Apple’s success is the ability to sell a large amount of phones out of the gate with zero reductions. The company recently reported 13 million iPhone 6S and 6S Plus sales in the first three days, surpassing previous records. The fourth quarter is set to be even stronger for Apple, as the iPhone 6S, 6S Plus, iPad Pro, and Apple TV come into the holiday season. Only 31 percent of the iPhone customer base have upgraded, according to Investors Business Daily quotes analyst Michael Walkley, giving Apple plenty of room to sell more iPhones. Next year, Apple might look into expanding operations in India, with the go-ahead from the government to open retail stores in the country. The company is already successful in China, but lacks the same influence in India; the next potential economic superpower. To win customers in India, Apple might be planning to launch a revamped iPhone 5S with higher-spec internals and a cheaper price. The phone would still be more expensive than Xiaomi, Samsung, and Micromax alternatives, but customers might be drawn to the logo and willing to spend more for the premium brand. Also watch: Joostcube Is The Tiny Apple Watch Charger Please enable Javascript to watch this video More »Apple takes home 94 percent of smartphone market profit

  • The Office’s John Krasinski, Stephen Merchant have workplace comedy coming to Adult Swim

    Digital Trends - Tue, Nov 17, 2015 21:54 GMT

    John Krasinski and Stephen Merchant have teamed up for another workplace comedy, but unlike their time on  The Office, they’re now both exec producing. Adult Swim has ordered Dream Corp, LLC., an animated series that includes the duo among its team of executive producers, reports Variety. Dream Corp, LLC . comes from creator Daniel Stessen ( The Gold Sparrow) and is said to be “absurd.” The series will center on a dream therapy facility where a less-than-stellar group of scientists, led by Dr. Roberts (Jon Gries), will record the dreams of the patients. The series will incorporate rotoscope technology, which is when live-action footage is traced over frame-by-frame, a first for an Adult Swim original series. Allyson Seeger, who works with Krasinski under his Sunday Night production banner, will executive produce alongside him and Merchant. Related:  Entourage and Sex and the City producers team up for new CBS comedy Merchant is known for co-creating and co-directing the British version of The Office, and then serving as an executive producer on the U.S. remake. He has often teamed up with fellow British comedian Ricky Gervais, with whom he also co-created  Extras — and he co-hosts  The Ricky Gervais Show. Merchant has appeared in front of the camera both as an actor and stand-up comedian. Krasinski’s first major TV role was as Jim on the American version of The Office, which ran from 2005-2013. He’s gone on to appear in a number of films, as well as take on screenwriting, producing, and directing duties. Most recently, Krasinski has been working as an executive producer on Spike’s musical comedy show  Lip Sync Battle. Dream Corp, LLC. has been on Adult Swim’s radar for quite a while now; the network announced that the series’ pilot would be developed back in 2014. A premiere date for  Dream, LLC. has yet to be announced. More »The Office’s John Krasinski, Stephen Merchant have workplace comedy coming to Adult Swim

  • ESA ready to begin year-long relativity experiment using salvaged satellites

    Digital Trends - Tue, Nov 17, 2015 21:43 GMT

    The European Space Agency ran into some problems last year when it launched its fifth and sixth Galileo satellites. The satellites were supposed to be used for GPS navigation, but a faulty rocket sent them into incorrect orbits, turning the pair temporarily into very expensive space junk. The European Space Agency went to great lengths to fix their orbits, and in doing so unwittingly setup one of the best tests for Einstein’s General Theory of Relativity. The satellites’ new orbits restore their ability to send navigational data, but the orbits are still elliptical, with each satellite rising and falling 8,500km twice each day. This change in position relative to the earth is accompanied by changes in gravity, which provides an excellent opportunity to study how gravity and time are interrelated. Related: NASA’s Star Trek-inspired magnetic tractor beam will move satellites in space Einstein’s theory of relativity says there is no fixed frame of reference in the universe. Everything that is experienced is relative to everything else. His theory predicts time passes more slowly for an object as it draws nearer to a source of gravitational pull such as the earth. In the case of the satellites, time should move more slowly as they descend towards the earth and should then speed up as they move away from the earth’s gravitational pull. The satellites are especially suited for this year-long study because each one includes an atomic clock as part of its payload, and both are constantly being monitored by a global network of ground stations. This constant monitoring allows the researchers to test “hundreds of orbits over the course of a year,” says Javier Ventura-Traveset, ESA’s senior satnav advisor. This test is expected to produce results that are four times more accurate than the previous Gravity Probe A experiment — which also included only a single orbit. After this unexpected experiment is complete, the ESA plans to test Einstein’s theory down to 2–3 parts per million as part of its Atomic Clock Ensemble in Space experiment. That experiment is slated to be held on the the International Space Station beginning in 2017. Also watch: Raimond de Hullu's vision for Oas1s green buildings Please enable Javascript to watch this video More »ESA ready to begin year-long relativity experiment using salvaged satellites

  • Watch The Colorful, Upbeat Music Video for Elton John’s ‘Looking Up’

    Digital Trends - Tue, Nov 17, 2015 21:36 GMT

    Ahead of Sir Elton John’s 33rd studio record, the legendary piano rocker gives us the whimsical, abstract music video for Looking Up. Similar to 2013’s The Diving Board, the record is co-produced by John and the legendary T Bone Burnett. John’s longtime songwriting partner Bernie Taupin has again written the lyrics for the album. More »Watch The Colorful, Upbeat Music Video for Elton John’s ‘Looking Up’

  • Ford now allows you to remotely start your car with Sync Connect

    Digital Trends - Tue, Nov 17, 2015 21:36 GMT

    Who says you have to be  inside your car to start your car? Certainly not Ford, which now allows drivers to remotely start, schedule future starts, lock, and unlock their latest generation Ford Escape vehicles simply by using their smartphones. Thanks to the Sync Connect app, vehicle owners are now provided information about their car’s location, tire pressure, battery, and fuel levels, because a 21st-century car needs to have 21st-century technology. Operating under the premise that customers should be given what they want, Ford’s latest suite of announcements promises “more connectivity” and “innovative features [that] make driving safer [and] easier.” But Sync seems to be the cherry on top of the innovative sundae — users can verify their identity by way of a two-step authentication process, ensuring that not just anyone will be able to start your car from afar. New Escape owners are automatically granted a complimentary five-year activation of Sync connect. “There’s a recognition that we need to be multifaceted in regards to connectivity,” said Don Butler, Ford’s director of connected vehicles and services. “With where we see the industry going, built-in connectivity will become an increasing part of what we do. I think the approach that we’ve taken at Ford has been consistent with our customers and their needs.” Related: Ford’s 2017 Escape debuts with a new face, engines, and tech While a number of other automakers have offered smart systems for their cars, Ford remains confident that its app is unique both in its user interface and, perhaps more importantly, in the ability to schedule a start. If, for example, you know that you need your car warmed up in the winter months 15 minutes before you leave at 8:00 am for your meeting, you can rev up your vehicle to prepare itself for your arrival at 7:45 am sharp. Pretty nifty, no? Currently, the app works only with the new Escape, but the company hopes to extend the technology to a broader range of automobiles as well. So get ready for the days of the ghostly operated auto — don’t worry, it’s just someone’s phone starting their car. Also watch: Teen device usage, Ash vs Evil Dead on FB, #ForceForDaniel Please enable Javascript to watch this video More »Ford now allows you to remotely start your car with Sync Connect

  • Bill Murray delivers the laughs in star-studded trailer for A Very Murray Christmas

    Digital Trends - Tue, Nov 17, 2015 21:33 GMT

    It’s starting to feel a lot like Christmas now that Netflix has released the first full trailer for it’s wild Bill Murray Christmas special,  A Very Murray Christmas. All wrapped up like an early Christmas present, the star-studded special combines holiday cheer, comedy, A-list actors, and that Bill Murray weirdness the world has come to know and love. Mixed up with a dash of Murray’s classic holiday film, Scrooged, A Very Murray Christmas follows the star as he attempts to put together a Christmas variety show at Manhattan’s Carlyle hotel. However, winter weather looks poised to interfere with his grand plans, and Murray fears that no one will be able to get there, leaving a holiday disaster on his hands. Related: Black Friday madness begins at Sam’s Club with a 58-inch Vizio 4K TV for $700 Of course, no Christmas special would be complete without the love and support of others (not to mention singing and dancing), so Murray’s famous friends are sure to show up and keep his days merry and bright. There will be at least one naysayer along the way, though, based on the new trailer. When the show seems to be falling apart, Michael Cera tells Murray, “This sad excuse for a Christmas special is starting to seem to me more like a Christ-mess, as in what a mess.” (Get it? It’s a play on words!) Luckily, there’s a trump card. “We have George Clooney,” retorts Murray. The special actually has a lot more than just Clooney. Among its stars are Miley Cyrus, Amy Poehler, Chris Rock, Jason Schwartzman, Maya Rudolph, Rashida Jones, and more. The band Phoenix will also be there, presumably to throw down some tunes. It’s a group well worth spending some quality holiday time with, especially to escape the chaos of Christmas shopping. The show  is directed by Sofia Coppola, who wrote it with Murray and Mitch Glazer. The trio also executive produce, along with Roman Coppola and Tony Hernandez. A Very Murray Christmas will be available for streaming on Netflix starting on December 4. More »Bill Murray delivers the laughs in star-studded trailer for A Very Murray Christmas

  • China still has the fastest supercomputer, and now has more than 100 in service

    Digital Trends - Tue, Nov 17, 2015 21:20 GMT

    Released yesterday, the Top 500 supercomputer rankings are a fun way to gauge which countries boast the most powerful rigs in the world. And, perhaps unsurprisingly, China has won the top spot for the sixth time in a row. Not only that, but the nation has nearly tripled its supercomputer count from 37 to 109 in only six months. Although the US still maintains a healthy 201 supercomputers, first place in terms of quantity, that’s actually a record low for the nation in the Top 500, which was conceived back in 1993. Produced by its National University of Defense Technology, China’s Tianhe-2 bolsters a whopping 3,120,000 cores with the ability to achieve 33.86 quadrillion floating point operations (flops) per second. As if that information alone wasn’t intimidating enough, those numbers are almost double that of the US energy department’s still powerful, but not quite as monumental, Titan Cray XK7, apparently capable of 17.59 petaflops, according to the Linpack benchmark. A United States-owned rig also occupies the third place position, that is, IBM’s Sequoia, custom-built for the National Nuclear Security Administration and housed in the Lawrence Livermore National Lab. The Sequoia, which claimed the top spot in 2012, has since been surpassed by both the Tianhe-2 and the Titan Cray XK7. Related: Researchers use supercomputer to predict earthquake Among the top 10 of the Top 500, only the Trinity and Hazel Hen are fresh faces to the list, positioned at numbers 6 and 8, respectively. While the Trinity was conceived for the US Department of Energy, the Hazel Hen rests in Stuttgart, Germany. In an interview with the BBC, Rajnish Arora, vice president of enterprise computing at IDC Asia Pacific, explained to the network that China’s domination in the supercomputer space is less reflective of the United States’ inability to compete and more representative of China’s economic growth. “When China started off appearing on the center stage of the global economy in the 80s and 90s, it was predominately a manufacturing hub,” Arora said. “All the IP or design work would happen in Europe or the US and the companies would just send manufacturing or production jobs to China. Now as these companies become bigger, they want to invest in technical research capabilities, so that they can create a lot more innovation and do basic design and engineering work.” Of course, even though China has its hands on the most powerful computer in the world, many of its components actually derive from US-based companies, such as Intel, AMD, and Nvidia, and that extends to other countries as well. The Tianhe-2 in particular features an Intel Xeon E5-2692 12C as well as a Xeon Phi 32S1P, straight out of California. In fact, 445 of the systems featured in the top 500 include at least some of Intel’s components. And while the Tianhe-2 is the best in the bunch presently, that title may not last for long, as the US Department of Energy says its Summit system is scheduled for a 2017 activation, claiming to exhibit nine times the speed of its Chinese cousin, capable of exerting 309 petaflops. Lastly, President Obama announced back in July that he’d allowed for the production of the first exascale computer in history. While it’s unclear when the machine will be ready for use, it will — in theory — be capable of achieving one quintillion (1 billion⊃2;) calculations a second. That’s the equivalent of 1,000 petaflops, and the same processing power of the human brain at neural level. But can it run Crysis at max settings? For America’s sake, I sure hope so. Also watch: Formlabs 1+ 3D SLA Printer - Hands on Please enable Javascript to watch this video More »China still has the fastest supercomputer, and now has more than 100 in service

  • Cliff Bleszinski takes aim at free-to-play PC shooter arena with LawBreakers

    Digital Trends - Tue, Nov 17, 2015 21:18 GMT

    Former Epic Games design director Cliff Bleszinski launched his own studio, Boss Key Productions, just over a year ago. At PAX Prime 2015, a select number of gamers got a first taste of the studio’s free-to-play, arena-based, sci-fi shooter, LawBreakers. Publisher Nexon isn’t announcing a release date, let alone a beta, for the new game, but the 15-minute-long demo featured a futuristic Grand Canyon level called Grandview and four playable characters (Breacher, Kitsune, Cronos, and Maverick), two from each side of the warring factions known as the Law and the Breakers. “Each character offers a completely new learning curve,” Bleszinski said. “They have different movement abilities and different movement speeds. Most of them have two weapons, and most of those weapons have a primary and alternate fire. For example, Breacher’s alternate weapon is known as The Badger. It’s a tazer-like weapon that’s his sidearm pistol that has aim-down sights — something that not every character’s guns has.” The Law are known more for their heavy weaponry, while the Breakers have access to drugs that offer them superhuman capabilities. For example, Bleszinski said Kitsune has the ability to invert gravity, sending enemies flying off the map. She also has the ability to do a double jump and an omnidirectional dash that, when coupled with her grappling hook, opens up all kinds of complex combinations. Related: Don’t worry, console gamers: LawBreakers may still come to the Xbox One, PS4 “When you see these moves chained together by players, it creates these great moments,” Bleszinski said. “This goes all the way back to what I’ve been saying for years now: there is direct correlation between how great your game is and how many YouTube videos, or animated Gifs, it can yield.” While there are many characters yet to be revealed, and many weapons, Bleszinski said LawBreakers may have its standout weapon already. Fans of Gears of War loved the Lancer, which became an iconic chainsaw/gun combo that created amazing combat. In LawBreakers, that killer weapon could be Kitsune’s Romerus, which is an energy shotgun with an alt fire that charges the shots by holding it. The reload is one-handed, which is the part inspired by Arnold Schwarzenegger’s Terminator 2 shotgun. The game is set a century from now and features a battlefield that’s been ravaged by destruction, which has messed with gravity. While that’s bad news for the citizens of tomorrow, it opens up a really cool playing field for this five-versus-five gameplay. “We’re giving the game a very vertical feel,” Bleszinski said. “I like to refer to this game, especially for the lighter, more aerial classes, with the mindset that the ground is lava. Even if you’re playing as the Cronos, who’s our big, slow-moving, brute character who can take a lot of damage, he can still even rocket jump.” Cronos can also blind fire his rockets through lower gravity zones in order to protect himself. Bleszinski has designed the game to include first-person blind fire on a separate button, so when you’re going through the variety of gravity zones you can really use your weapons to protect yourself without worrying about blowing up. The first game mode revealed is called Overcharge, which has each side battling over control of a giant battery that’s used to arm weapons. Bleszinski said it’s been designed to keep the action fast and frenetic. The level has also been laid out so there’s clear line of site for the combat, even if those lines can come from different elevations. Since this game is being designed to play for free on PC, there’s going to be both a more hardcore gaming fan base, as well as a more mainstream audience to tap into. Bleszinski said match making is going to be everything for LawBreakers. “We’re building a game that’s very much skill-based,” Bleszinski said. “We don’t have any sort of a system in there where if you luck into a few more kills, you get more unique strikes or anything. Call of Duty owns that, let them own that. So from our end, we need to get amazing matchmaking, that’s coming in further down the line. We have some amazing network coder unicorns. We’re working on that right now. But what it comes down to is also accessibility. We have specified these roles with different kinds of classes. We basically say in the UI, easy, medium, or hard to learn.” Bleszinski isn’t taking all the credit for this game. He has a team of over 40 developing the title in downtown Raleigh, NC. “For every idea in the game that’s mine, there’s one that’s another employee’s,” Bleszinski said. “When I hire people at the studio I tell them, ‘This is my baby first and foremost, and these are the pillars of what we are doing. And now the game’s evolved over the last year into the company’s teenager. Eventually, as the game gets closer to release, it will become the community’s adult. That’s the arc that I’ve seen for this product at the studio.” This first look at the new shooter is just a tease for what’s to come. There are many more characters and weapons, as well as maps and modes. The beauty of the free-to-play games space is that once a game goes live, it’s always evolving. And so far, LawBreakers stands out as something fresh in a very crowded market. Of course, getting people to play a free game isn’t the hard part, it’s getting them to invest in it, and keep coming back for more. More »Cliff Bleszinski takes aim at free-to-play PC shooter arena with LawBreakers

  • How to find your lost Android, iPhone, or other smartphone

    Digital Trends - Tue, Nov 17, 2015 20:50 GMT

    So you’ve lost your phone. We’ve all been there. It was  just in your pocket a minute ago — and now it’s gone, lost to the phone fairies,  forgotten between the seats of your couch, or misplaced somewhere during your busy day. Maybe it’s just in your other coat, or maybe it’s already in the hands of someone who found it on the sidewalk. Either way, all you want to do is get it back. Thankfully, there are plenty of ways to get a hold of your missing phone. If it’s a smartphone (or even a tablet) running iOS, Android, or even Windows Phone, chances are good it already has the software needed to hunt it down — or there’s an app you can remotely install to find your phone. Here’s our guide on how to find your phone or similar device, including the old-fashioned way if you still own one of those flip phones: Click on a platform to jump to it: How to find your Android smartphone How to find your iPhone How to find your Windows Phone How to find your not-so-smart cell phone Smartphones If your lost phone happens to be a smartphone, all three of the major smartphone platform providers (Apple, Google, and Microsoft) now include phone retrieval technology in your smartphone, in case you ever end up losing it, but forget to install a “find my phone” app. Usually, the way these apps work is through the account associated with your device. For Android devices this is your Google account, for iPhones this is your iCloud account, and for Windows Phones this is your Microsoft account. All three allow you to remotely lock and wipe your phone, ring the phone, and set up special messages to alert whoever finds it. Of course, these features are only as good as your phone’s battery. If the smartphone dies, it’s about as easy to find as your wallet or anything else you might misplace. We also recommend caution when communicating with anyone who has found your smartphone. Be careful to avoid giving away any personal information, such as your home address, until you know you’re dealing with someone you can trust. Stick with sending phone numbers or email addresses to communicate how the good Samaritan can return your phone. Here’s how each of the three different OSes work in order to find your smartphone. Next page: How to find an Android smartphone Android Android has not only Google’s own service for finding and managing your device remotely, but also a number of third party apps available for finding your smartphone. The easiest to use is Android Device Manager, which is built right into your Android smartphone through Google Play Services. Most devices running Android 2.2 or later should be able to use this feature. It’s as easy as searching  “Where is my phone” on Google to start looking for your smartphone. We’ve written previously about Device Manager and its ability to call you, set up a new password, ring your phone, and all sorts of other ways to notify someone. While you can do some configuring ahead of time for Android Device Manager, the service should be automatically available in the event you lose or misplace your smartphone. It will use Wi-Fi or GPS to help you hunt down where it went. If you can’t find your smartphone, you can also wipe it to prevent sensitive information getting into the wrong hands. Your device will of course need an Internet connection and powered battery to communicate with you. Related: How to backup your Android device There are also third party apps that you can remotely install to help find your phone. Lookout Plan B and Cerberus Anti-theft are both great apps that can be installed remotely to get even more information about the whereabouts of your phone. Both allow a number of additional features, such as more granular control on how you track your device, screenshots of what the device is doing, photos from the camera to possibly catch the would-be thief, and other, more detailed notifications that Android Device Manager doesn’t offer. If your device is rooted, there are even more features available to prevent someone from resetting or turning off the device until you can recover it. If you own a Samsung device, there’s also a reactivation lock feature, allowing a stolen or lost device to be rendered unusable unless your Samsung account details are entered to confirm its safe return. This even includes factory resets, which Android Device Manager and other services cannot as easily prevent. Next page: How to find an iPhone iOS The best (and only) way to get your iPhone back is through Apple’s native feature Find My iPhone. The included app exists on every iOS device, and can display your missing device on a map to help you easily locate and manage it. You’ll need a computer or another iPhone with the Find My iPhone app to deploy this feature. Unfortunately, these features are only available when your phone is powered on and connected to the Internet. Simply log onto iCloud and open the Find my iPhone feature. The Apple service will locate your phone on a map and give you the option to play a sound, send a message to your phone with “lost mode,” or erase the contents of the iPhone. All of this can be done without any additional configurations. Find my iPhone is also able to locate your Mac, iPods, and iPads, too. It’s an incredibly effective tool for tracking down just about any iOS device. Don’t believe us? Check out this story about cops apprehending a criminal by using the app. This is just one among many similar stories where phone tracking software helped save the day. Next page: How to find a Windows Phone Windows Phone Windows Phone owners, don’t fret. If you’ve misplaced your smartphone, you too can recover it with the help of a built-in service. Microsoft has included a lost phone feature right into Windows Phone 8.1 or later, allowing you to easily find the location of your phone or set off its ringer. Just like all the other features, it requires no additional configurations after adding your Microsoft account, but will only work if your device has power and is connected to the Internet. All you need to do is go to Microsoft’s devices page, and you’ll see all your phones and tablets available to search through the location service. You can even remotely lock and wipe devices that you think might have fallen into the wrong hands. Next page: How to find a basic cell phone How to find your not-so-smart cell phone 1. Call your cell phone. Listen for the ring or vibrate and try to locate the phone through plain old human detection. If your phone is truly lost and in someone else’s hands then they are likely to answer if they intend to return the phone. If you don’t have access to a phone try using wheresmycellphone.com or freecall.com. Both sites will call your phone for free and allow you to leave a message or talk to whomever is on the other side. 2. Retrace your steps. Do a full-fledged visual search. If you couldn’t hear a ring or vibration when you called it, don’t immediately assume that you’re phone is somewhere far away – the battery could be dead. 3. Text your phone. If you believe someone has stolen or possibly found your phone then send a text message to your phone with your contact info and a reward offer if you choose to do so. You can use many online services to send free text messages, such as txt2day.com. 4. Alert your service provider. If you’ve lost hope of finding it, then call your wireless carrier and let them know your phone is lost. Ask if they offer a GPS locating service. If not, ask them to suspend service to your phone to avoid any possible fraudulent charges. Carriers have differing policies about this, but it’s always worth a try, even for a smartphone. 5. Register your lost phone. If you have your phone’s serial number written down somewhere, register it with MissingPhones.org. 6. Prepare for the next time you lose your phone. Maybe you’re one of those people who’s always losing your phone. You may want to register for a GPS tracking service such as AccuTracking. We also recommend Belon.gs, which is a free QR code based lost and found service. This post, originally published January 28, 2013 by Drew Prindle, was updated to reflect the current retrieval features for iOS and Android. [Header Image: Tom Grundy/Shutterstock] More »How to find your lost Android, iPhone, or other smartphone

  • This smartphone case flips out to become a VR viewer at the push of a button

    Digital Trends - Tue, Nov 17, 2015 20:43 GMT

    It hasn’t happened quite yet, but we may soon find ourselves in a world where virtual reality and everyday reality are all but indistinguishable, and equally ubiquitous. And to prepare ourselves for that, we’re obviously in dire need of a VR headset that isn’t bulky, absurd looking, expensive, or all the above. So here to fill the void in our lives is Figment VR, the world’s first VR and AR phone case, which today launched on Kickstarter. Promising to democratize the way in which people interact with and access virtual reality, the slim and sleek design of Figment VR is the ultimate in accessibility — and because it’s a phone case, it goes anywhere your smartphone goes (which, let’s face it, is everywhere). Triggers located on the sides of the case open the VR viewer, and users can then select a VR app to view an experience. The phone case itself then “serves as a lens to explore VR content through apps like Google Cardboard, Jaunt VR, Vrse and more,” notes the device’s press release. Related: Live streaming virtual reality startup NextVR gets a boost from Comcast and Time Warner Designed like an origami, Figment VR is as high-quality as it is compact. Constructed with polycarbonate plastic coated in silicone rubber, the VR viewer’s bridge is made of a high grade anodized aluminum, and features scratch-resistant lenses. When you need to view something in VR, the bridge extends to maintain the proper distance between your eyes and the screen, and when you’re done, you can simply fold the viewer back into the case. “Until now, the VR and AR markets have been unattainable for most people,” said Zi Wang, Founder of Figment VR, “We’re thrilled to offer an easy-to-use product that completely changes the way we access virtual reality and share the experience with others.  People can now take VR with them everywhere they go.” “Virtual reality is pretty amazing,” Wang further told Digital Trends. “We think that coming soon, augmented reality — virtual things integrated into your real surroundings — will be even cooler. Imagine looking around through your viewer, spotting your vintage record of Paul McCartney’s “Live and Let Die” on your desk, and having your phone immerse you in the concert experience. Or looking at your Starbucks Pumpkin Spice Latte and being transported to a tropical coffee plantation or a rustic pumpkin farm. The future’s looking pretty bright, and Figment is ready for it!” Related: Live streaming virtual reality startup NextVR gets a boost from Comcast and Time Warner Please enable Javascript to watch this video As more and more industries find new and innovative ways to integrate virtual reality into their products, from VR art galleries to VR journalism, Figment VR asserts that it is meeting a demand for a more accessible method to participate in this highly interactive content. By introducing “an on-the-go VR viewing platform with exceptional quality” to its users, Figment VR hopes to capitalize on the growing popularity of the new technology. In the near future, the team also plans to launch an app that is integrated with augmented reality software, which will “be able to detect physical objects in real time, get more info about them and control them with digital representations.” From now until January 12, 2016, you can help turn Figment VR into a reality by supporting their Kickstarter campaign. Early bird pricing begins at $49, and the case, available in white and black, is compatible with the iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus, iPhone 6s, and iPhone 6s Plus. When Figment hits retail stores, it will go for $79, so get yours first and get a good deal. Figment VR has additional plans as well. The app has a wide array of functionality that allows users to play games, listen to music and much more. Further details about the app will be released when Figment VR is shipped to backers. The Kickstarter campaign runs from November 17 until January 12, 2015.  More »This smartphone case flips out to become a VR viewer at the push of a button

  • 'Wi-FM' uses FM radio signals to reduce interference, boost your Internet speeds

    Digital Trends - Tue, Nov 17, 2015 20:35 GMT

    Contrary to popular belief, unstable Internet connection speeds are no mystery. Wireless networks in neighboring spaces, homes, or apartments can all interfere with the speed of your connection, even if the networks operate independently of one another. A new system called Wi-FM hopes to change this, allowing co-existing wireless networks to stop competing, and start sharing. This means that your connection speed may not suffer when your neighbor is watching Netflix, and vice versa. Aleksander Kuzmanovic of Northwestern University’s McCormick School of Engineering worked to develop Wi-FM with two Ph.D students: Marcel Flores and Uri Klarman. Flores presented the team’s research at the International Conference on Network Protocols in San Francisco last week, where he elaborated the need for a method of subtle communication between isolated wireless networks. “Even if I configure my Internet to choose a channel that is least likely to overlap with my neighbors, the problem cannot be avoided. You can’t find a quiet channel when there are 30 other networks in the same building. My speed is 10 percent of what it should be,” Klarman said. The team’s field tests of prototype Wi-FM systems boosted connection speeds across all participating networks up to 50 percent, with an average boost of 35 percent better signal strength. Related: This wireless router makes setting up home Wi-Fi as easy as plug-and-play Wi-FM tackles the data bumps that competing connections experience regularly – when networks send data out at the same time, they can interfere with each other. On a larger scale, this kind of data interference slows down all the network connections, which isn’t good for anybody. Transmitting devices with Wi-FM capabilities will be able to listen to FM radio signals in order to send data at times when other networks aren’t being used as much. The technology creates a sharable pattern of busy and quiet transmission times, so that interference is reduced and networks don’t interfere with one another during high Internet usage times. The ambient radio signals on the FM frequency are attractive for many reasons. For one thing, many mobile devices and smart phones are already equipped with FM chips inside them. FM signals also pass through walls and solid surfaces without obstruction, so Wi-FM can listen to nearby data traffic patterns and manage transmissions accordingly. Best of all, devices that don’t come pre-equipped with FM chips would only require minor software updates in order to make use of the Wi-FM listening system. In a way, Wi-FM is designed to be solve the problem of competing wireless networks on the path of least resistance. Wi-FM fosters the peaceful co-existence of multiple wireless networks, all plugging along at full speed, without any human effort or intervention. The team’s research paper establishes the concept of “neighborhood harmonization”, which would align communities over a single FM station or a range of FM signals, depending on the size of the community and the number of networks at play. Kuzmanovic believes their tested Wi-FM algorithm could be a simple software download from app stores on Android and iOS devices, but his ultimate goal is for companies like Google and Apple to roll out Wi-FM capabilities as part of their native operating systems. Also watch: GoPro shows off super-smooth video from its prototype drone Please enable Javascript to watch this video More »'Wi-FM' uses FM radio signals to reduce interference, boost your Internet speeds

  • Vudu is now streaming 4K UHD titles in Dolby Atmos surround with Dolby Vision HDR

    Digital Trends - Tue, Nov 17, 2015 20:27 GMT

    When Ultra HD Blu-ray discs and players hit store shelves early next year, they will offer the best picture and sound quality available in the home. But until then, Vudu just established itself as the best available source of next-gen content — at least from the home theater enthusiast’s point of view. Announced today, Vudu is now streaming select 4K Ultra HD titles with Dolby Atmos surround sound. The new audio format, which can be found in commercial theaters, and, at a very scaled-down level in home theaters, adds a new level of immersion for sound tracks by allowing so-called “sound objects” to be discreetly directed to individual speakers, including new height channels that deliver sound from above the listener. The news comes on the heels of Vudu’s addition of Dolby’s version of High Dynamic Range video, called Dolby Vision, to its 4K Ultra HD movie offerings. Related: What is HDR and why do I want it in my TV? For some, this is an exciting development, but as is often the case with next-gen technologies, there’s a catch: In order to fully enjoy the best of what Vudu and Dolby are offering here, some very specific equipment is necessary. First and foremost, to get Dolby Atmos, users will need either a Vizio 4k Ultra HD TV  or a compatible streaming device which, for now at least, includes only the newly released Roku 4. Presumably, Vudu’s streaming app will eventually offer Dolby Atmos on more platforms such as the Amazon Fire TV or Nidia Shield, but for now it appears exclusive to Roku’s new 4K-capable media player. It should be noted that the new Apple TV is not presently capable of dealing with 4K UHD streams, HDR, or Dolby Atmos. Next, the user will need a either a Dolby Atmos-capable A/V receiver or pre-amplifier/processor and the necessary speaker compliment, or Yamaha’s Dolby Atmos-enabled sound bar, the YSP-5600 (pictured below). But that’s just the surround sound side of things. If a user wants both Dolby Vision  and Dolby Atmos as part of their experience, then only Vizio’s Reference Series smart TVs will do, as it is currently the only 4K Ultra HD TV brand compatible with Dolby’s take on what HDR should look like. Sound a little confusing? It kind of is, which is probably why Dolby and Vudu created this infographic showing which configurations are available, and what movies can be enjoyed under each of the configurations. For now, Vudu’s list of movies available with Dolby Atmos and Dolby Vision includes  Mad Max: Fury Road, The Man from U.N.C.L.E., The Gallows, San Andreas, American Sniper, Man of Steel, Jupiter Ascending, Edge of Tomorrow, and  Into the Storm.  The scope of titles Vudu offers with Dolby Vision alone is a little more extensive, including these additions to the aforementioned titles:  The Great Gatsby, Vacation, Sherlock Holmes, Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows, Focus, Get Hard The Hangover, The Hangover Part II, The Hangover Part III, Run All Night, The Lego Movie, and  Magic Mike XXL. Vudu reports all titles are available for streaming as of right now, with prices running about $10.00 per rental and between $25 -$30 to own. Also watch: Amazon Studios Releases Transparent Season 2 Teaser Please enable Javascript to watch this video More »Vudu is now streaming 4K UHD titles in Dolby Atmos surround with Dolby Vision HDR

  • Tom Petty to bring classic cuts and new rarities to dedicated SiriusXM channel

    Digital Trends - Tue, Nov 17, 2015 20:09 GMT

    Iconic rocker Tom Petty will have his own satellite radio channel starting this Friday, November 20. SiriusXM will make room for the aptly-titled Tom Petty Radio on channel 31 of the service, which will prominently feature Petty himself, selections from his own songbook, including music by Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, Mudcrutch, the Traveling Wilburys, as well as other rare and previously-unreleased selections. But it won’t be all-Petty-all-the-time; the musician will also use the new station to play his favorite classic rock, R&B, and blues cuts. Related: Springsteen’s breakthrough 1980 album The River showcased in new HBO doc Petty is not new to satellite radio, having hosted a show called Tom Petty’s Buried Treasure for nine seasons, and Tom Petty Radio will occasionally rebroadcast archived episodes of the show to create continuity between old and new. That said, the added airtime is a significant upgrade for the artist, who will have free reign to share tons of new and old favorites with his loyal fanbase. In a statement about his new radio channel, Petty expressed his excitement for the new opportunity, saying, “We are so honored and grateful to SiriusXM for giving our fans access to all of our music, from our biggest hits to very obscure tracks only available through this channel. I intend to be very hands on and supply brand new exclusive tracks as well as rarities from our vaults. Our biggest hope is for a channel that is always entertaining in the way only radio can be.” Petty himself will DJ the first two hours of content on the station this Friday at 6pm, and the station will routinely feature other special guests from the classic rock world who also appeal to his fanbase. Planned guest DJs on the channel include Jackson Browne, Lucinda Williams, Roger McGuinn of The Byrds, and many of Petty’s current and former bandmates. But what’s most exciting for Petty fans is that the musician will be digging into rare archival cuts for the station, providing an opportunity for them to hear never-before-released tracks from one of the world’s most-beloved songwriters. Also watch: Plugged Crown Headphones Review Please enable Javascript to watch this video More »Tom Petty to bring classic cuts and new rarities to dedicated SiriusXM channel

  • Hate leads to the dark side, but AMD's Fury leads to a free game

    Digital Trends - Tue, Nov 17, 2015 20:08 GMT

    Giving games away with graphics cards is far from a new promotional idea, but it is a smart one. Giving new GPU buyers a brand new game to play right off of the bat that showcases the power of the graphics card is a great way to make a person feel like their multi-hundred-dollar purchase was worth it. So, guess what AMD and EA have done this holiday season? Yes, if you buy yourself one of the new R9 Fury graphics cards from AMD – not the Nano or Fury X – or a system from one of its partner companies with the corresponding GPU inside, you are eligible to receive a free copy of the newly released Star Wars: Battlefront. Related: Star Wars Battlefront review The promotion, which doesn’t have a specific name, begins today, and is available to all fans of the game based in the U.S. and E.U., though it doesn’t appear to be supported by territories outside of those regions. It will run from November 17 through January 31 2016, so there is plenty of time to take part. Indeed it may be worth waiting till after Christmas, as AMD may introduce price drops as more news of Nvidia’s next-generation Pascal GPUs begins to surface. This promotion is just the latest in a long line of bundles from AMD. Currently, it offers a “Radeon Rewards” system that lets players choose between one and three free games out of a selection of over thirty titles offered on the company’s website. While our Battlefront review didn’t praise it as the best shooter ever, it has a lot of nostalgia value for those that were fans of the original mid-00s Battlefront, and it goes a long way to capturing the epic scale of the movies’ battle scenes. Also watch: Star Wars Battlefront review Please enable Javascript to watch this video More »Hate leads to the dark side, but AMD's Fury leads to a free game

  • Skylake successor Kaby Lake detailed in leaked Intel slides

    Digital Trends - Tue, Nov 17, 2015 19:58 GMT

    Intels’ water based CPU nomenclature is set to continue with next year’s new generation of CPUs known as Kaby Lake. While we didn’t know much beyond the name until now, some new slides leaked from an Intel presentation have given us a rough idea of what we can expect from the successor to the recently released Skylake. Before we dive into the details of the slides, do bear in mind that these are leaks from Chinese site Benchlife, so we cannot confirm the source of the images. However, with that in mind, it’s still quite fun to speculate based on what they show. For starters, the CPUs we’re told will feature “increased Core performance” which is good to hear, though hardly unexpected and very vague. They will use the same LGA 1151 socket as Skylake chips and will be supported by the current-generation 100 series chipset, as well as the upcoming 200 series. That means users shouldn’t need a motherboard upgrade to grab a new CPU. The leaks say they chips will come in three power brackets: 35 watt, 65 watt and 95 watt. Obviously, that makes reference to desktop hardware. Nothing in the slides indicates Kaby Lake for mobile, though it seems unlikely Intel would skip it. Related: Rumors claim Cannon Lake, Intel’s 10nm processor, is delayed indefinitely Other features include improved on-board graphics capabilities, including expanded resolution support up to 5K at 60Hz. However the slide seems erroneous in its discussion of refresh rates, suggesting it could be higher on dual displays than on one at that resolution. It may be referring to the use of two simultaneous DisplayPort connections to drive a single display, which is the connection method used by current 5K monitors. The new chips will also support Intel’s “Optane,” or NVMe technology, Thunderbolt 3 ports, and Intel’s Ready Mode and RealSense technologies. The new Intel 200 chipset will support both new-generation Kaby Lake-S CPUs and sixth generation Core processors from the current-gen. It will provide support for as many as 30 I/O lanes, 24 of which can be reserved for PCI Express 3.0 slots – for GPUs and other add-in cards – and the rest for SATA connectors. Along with native support for USB 3.1, the new chipset will support as many as 10 USB 3.0 ports, though it seems likely that not all boards will have that many. Although neither of these slides spell out everything for the Kaby Lake generation of hardware, does it tempt you? Or will you hold out for Cannonlake in 2017? More »Skylake successor Kaby Lake detailed in leaked Intel slides

  • Nest’s third-generation device goes on sale in the UK with boiler control

    Digital Trends - Tue, Nov 17, 2015 19:54 GMT

    Back in September, Nest launched its third-generation learning thermostat, which was all about the bigger display. Today the U.K. version arrives, and not only does it have the bigger, brighter display, it also has some cool new features you won’t find on the U.S. version. An included Heat Link, a new piece of hardware that has the same rounded-corner square appearance as the Nest Protect, attaches to your boiler, giving you control over your hot water. The thermostat senses the room’s temperature, and if it doesn’t match your preferred temp, it signals the Heat Link to turn the heat system back on. You can schedule it from your phone or thermostat, and the Nest will also go into energy-saving mode when you’re not home. If everyone’s showering around the same time in the morning, you can also amp it up so supply meets demand. Related: ADT rolls out its Nest partnership nationwide Compatible boilers can also communicate with OpenTerm, allowing Nest to determine the amount of gas needed to keep the temperature steady or raise or lower it a few degrees. This is useful and more efficient for boilers that only have two settings: on and off. “It’s like a dimmer for your heating system versus an on-off switch,” according to Nest. One thing the Nest has in common with the U.S. version is Farsight, which senses when you’re nearby and lights up so you can see it from across the room. The third-generation Nest, with its new features, is more expensive, too. The price is now £199, up £20. If you need help installing the thermostat, Nest charges £249 to include professional installation. Considering the Heat Link is necessary to operate the system and requires extra installation, making it a bit less DIY than the U.S. version. U.K. residents can buy it through Nest starting today or pre-order through Amazon. Also watch: iRobot Roomba 980 Review Please enable Javascript to watch this video More »Nest’s third-generation device goes on sale in the UK with boiler control

  • Scientists have developed a new atom-based ID system that’s nearly impossible to cheat

    Digital Trends - Tue, Nov 17, 2015 19:53 GMT

    Despite all the recent innovations in security, there are still ways for even the most secure authentication methods to be compromised. Signatures can be forged, passwords can be cracked, and even fingerprints can be faked. But not to worry — Researchers at Lancaster University in the North West of England have a solution to that problem, and its based on the most basic element of matter: the atom. Ph.D student Jonathan Roberts says the technology works by creating authentication schemes based on atomic-scale imperfections in nano-scale structures, which they call Quantum ID, or Q-ID for short. He says each nanostructure they’ve created has a unique identity and is nearly impossible to copy or clone. The computing power required to simulate –and thus duplicate– these small structures at this moment is incredibly vast, and therefore cannot be done quickly. A hacker would essentially need to deconstruct the nanostructure atom by atom, which (at least at this point) would take an impossibly long amount of time. Related: Artists are putting an end to forgery by signing their work with synthetic DNA “One could imagine our devices being used to identify a broad range of products, whether it is authentication of branded goods, SIM cards, important manufacturing components, the possibilities are endless,” research lead Dr. Robert Young says. Young and others say that the process to produce these Q-ID structures can be easily integrated into current chip manufacturing processes. This means adoption of the new authentication technology could be quick depending on how well it’s marketed. The research group is seeking a patent for its efforts and plans to offer it commercially through a university-backed spinoff company called Quantum Base. The company is already offering licensing for Q-ID through its website, although there were no announcements on any early adopters of the technology. If you’re interested in learning more about Q-ID, the study itself is available for free and in full from the Nature website. Also watch: Raimond de Hullu's vision for Oas1s green buildings Please enable Javascript to watch this video More »Scientists have developed a new atom-based ID system that’s nearly impossible to cheat

  • An iCloud bug causes iPhone 6S replacement units to lose call and message data

    Digital Trends - Tue, Nov 17, 2015 19:40 GMT

    If you owned a defective iPhone 6S and are about to set up a replacement unit with an iCloud backup from your first 6S, you may want to hold off. iPhone 6S owners voiced their frustrations on Apple’s support forums recently, saying their data from Messages and Recent Calls is missing after restoring their phones from an earlier iCloud backup made with the first iPhone 6S they purchased. The bug, which was filed on the Apple Bug Reporter on October 3, seems to affect iPhone 6S handsets that updated to iOS 9.0.1 and replacement units running iOS 9.0. Multiple threads in the forum show that the issue is caused when restoring backups from one iPhone 6S to another 6S, but the backup works just fine when restoring from an older device such as the iPhone 6, 5S, 5, or 5C. Related: 6 iPhone 6S problems and how to fix them While restoring an iPhone 6S backup to a new unit, a brief flash causes the progress bar to disappear and requires the user to do a hard reset. While the dominant problem seems to be the loss of old messages and Recent Calls data, users are also saying the failed backup is causing apps to crash, disrupting Bluetooth connections, missing photos, and losing data from the Health app. Incoming messages are also displaying out of order, and the new iPhone 6S replacements aren’t notifying users when the messages arrive. A user going by the name of pardthemonster, who first posted about the glitch on the thread, said he does not recommend anyone risk their current phone’s data by performing a backup. “Thus best candidates would likely be those with a test device, replacement device waiting for the iOS bug fix,” he posted in the thread. Users in contact with Apple support representatives say the company is aware of the issue and is working on a fix. iPhone 6S owners left without their original device after getting the replacement are relying on daily local iTunes backups, but one user posted a solution that seems to work if you have access to both phones: Make sure both the new and original iPhone 6S handsets are updated to iOS 9.1, and then run a fresh backup of the original device. Reset the second phone to its factory settings, and then you should be able to restore from the backup on the new device. Also watch: Apple iPhone 6S Plus vs. Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge Please enable Javascript to watch this video More »An iCloud bug causes iPhone 6S replacement units to lose call and message data


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