Sunday, 31 May 2015

Mad Max before and after shots show what’s real and what's fake

Much has been made of the incredible practical stunts used in Mad Max: Fury Road, but the final product that hit movie screens is the result of combing those stunning special effects with some deft visual effects. Now, thanks to Fxguide, we can see just where the reality ends and the CGI begins. The site has obtained original before and after shots from Warner Bros. that show how the visual effects worked in conjunction with all of the real-life stunts shot for the movie.
As you can see, the CGI work primarily served to enhance what was shot on camera — extra vehicles and people are composited in to the sides of some shots, while other CGI work adds depth to the frame in other scenes. And since much of the film was shot in the flat...
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Google Photos Keeps Tagging Images Wrong

There’s a new image storage service in town and, if you haven’t heard, it’s dang promising. Unlimited storage? Automatic geotagging? Search by photo subject? Yes, please. Google Photos is poised to take over my digital image library. It’s also good for a laugh when it gets it all wrong. 

Bill Nye’s LightSail spacecraft is back in touch with Earth after rebooting itself

After a tense few days, Bill Nye's sunbeam-powered spacecraft LightSail is back in touch with Earth. About a week after its launch on May 20th, LightSail lost the ability to send data to the crew because of a software glitch. Efforts to reboot the spacecraft remotely failed, so the engineers hoped LightSail would perform a "natural reboot," which would occur if the spacecraft collided with stray charged particles.
In a statement released yesterday through his company Planetary Group, Nye said that's exactly what happened:
Our LightSail called home! It’s alive! Our LightSail spacecraft has rebooted itself, just as our engineers predicted. Everyone is delighted. We were ready for three more weeks of anxiety. In this meantime, the team...
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Hackers On Demand

In 2013, a pair of private investigators in the Bay Area embarked on a fairly run-of-the-mill case surrounding poached employees. But according to a federal indictment unsealed in February, their tactics sounded less like a California noir and someth... read more

Uber will let drivers track your location, but only if you agree

Uber has rewritten its privacy policy to make it easier to grok and added some very important changes. According to the updated guidelines, the ride-sharing app will soon give drivers the power to track your location if you allow it to, so long as it... read more

Black Holes Broadcast Galactic Collisions In Epic Plasma Radio Bursts

You’d probably get upset if somebody ran smack into you on the street, or plowed into your car. Whatever sort of fuss you’d raise, however, pales miserably in comparison to the epic cosmic scream of supermassive black holes when their host galaxies collide.

Sunday, 10 May 2015

Drone Vandalism is a Reality

By this point, drones have been co-opted into most human activities: proposals religion , and yep, porn . As of Wednesday morning, you can also add vandalising a gigantic NYC billboard to that list. 

Court tosses lawsuit challenging the use of personal electronics during flights

An appeals court has overturned a lawsuit challenging the Federal Aviation Administration's 2013 decision to loosen restrictions on the use of personal electronics in-flight. A Washington, DC court said Friday that the FAA had the authority to allow the use of gadgets at various stages during a flight, Ars Technica reports.
The FAA's rule does not reflect "final action"
The lawsuit, Association of Flight Attendants vs. Huerta (that's FAA administrator Michael Huerta), argued that the use of personal electronics during flights could pose a danger by distracting passengers from safety announcements or becoming projectiles during turbulence.
In 2013, the FAA made the official decision to allow the use of electronic devices during most...
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Meet Hello Alfred, A Single Portal For Your Home Service Needs


Alfred has had a busy year. The company has raised $12 million+, set up shop in NYC, and tripled the number of employees on the team. But at Disrupt NY, a little over six months after winning Disrupt Battlefield SF in September, the company announced that it would be introducing a new service called Hello Alfred across the country. Read More

Flying Car Crashes During Test Flight

A flying car crashed during a test flight in Slovakia on Friday. The Aeromobil car was piloted by Stefan Klein, a co-founder of the company. Klein was able to deploy a parachute for the vehicle, which is said to have cushioned the impact.

Thursday, 7 May 2015

How to Send and Respond to Messages on Apple Watch

One of the main focal points of the Apple Watch is communication, and as such, it offers a Messages app much like the one on the iPhone. It's not quite as robust as the Messages apps available on other iOS and Mac devices, but Messages on Apple Watch lets you send pre-made replies, animated and non-animated emoji, and full voice-to-text messages.

For those of you who want to learn the ins and outs of creating and responding to messages on the Apple Watch, we've written up a detailed tutorial on the Messages app. Plus we've also got some tips on customizing the available options for communicating with others.

Sending a Message

    How to send messages on Apple Watch 4

    Press the Digital Crown to go to the Home screen on Apple Watch.

  1. Open the Messages app.

  2. Firmly press on the Messages list until the icon for New Message appears.

  3. Tap "New Message."

  4. Tap "Add Contact" to select the recipient.

  5. Tap the icon to add a contact. (It looks like the silhouette of a person with a plus (+) symbol next to it.)

  6. Select a contact. Then, select the phone number or Apple ID you wish to use for that person.

  7. Tap "Create Message."

  8. Use the Default Replies, Emoji, or Dictate Text to send the message.
Sending a message can also be done quickly by tapping the button underneath the Digital Crown to bring up your friends list, where you can select a favorite contact. From there just tap the Message icon to get to the messaging options. If you've already got a list of conversations available in the Messages app (which you likely do if you use Messages on the iPhone), you can also just click there to continue a conversation from your wrist.

Responding to a Message

How to send messages on apple watch

With Messages on Apple Watch, you will get an alert when you receive a new iMessage or text message. To read it, simply raise your wrist. You can also view and respond to text messages directly from the Messages app.

  1. Press the Digital Crown to go to the Home screen on Apple Watch

  2. Open the Messages App.

  3. Select the message you wish to read.

  4. Turn the Digital Crown to scroll to the bottom of the message.

  5. Tap "Reply."

  6. Use the Default Replies, Emoji, or Dictate Text to send the message.

Customizing Default Replies

How to send messages on Apple Watch 2

When responding to a text message on Apple Watch, Apple gives you a half dozen auto-reply phrases, like "OK" or "Sorry, I can’t talk right now." However, those phrases aren't exactly personal. For example, I don't think I've ever told someone that I can't talk right now. You can change the six phrases to be something a bit more akin to your personality.

  1. Open the Apple Watch app on your iPhone.

  2. Tap My Watch.

  3. Scroll down to Messages and select it.

  4. Tap "Default Replies."

  5. Select one of the grayed out messages, like "What's up?"

  6. Type your customized message in the text field.
On Apple Watch, when replying to a text message, the newly customized phrases will be listed.

Customizing Animated Emoji

How to send messages on Apple Watch 6

There are three different animated emoji on Apple Watch: a smiley face, a heart, and a hand. Each one can be slightly altered to appear different. For example, the smiley face can become a frown or the fist-bump can become a wave.

  1. Under the Reply section of a message, tap the emoji icon.

  2. Swipe left or right to select the emoji you wish to use.

  3. When selected, turn the Digital Crown to view the different animation options, like a breaking heart or a crying face.

  4. If you force press on the animated smiley face or heart emoji, you can change their color.

  5. Tap Send.
It is important to note that you can send the emoji to an iOS device or Mac and the animated emoji will be displayed, but those platforms do not directly support sending animated emojis return without copying and pasting a previously received one. You can also send standard emoji to people from the Apple Watch by swiping all the way left to the fourth page of emoji options.

Sending Full Texts Using Dictate Text

How to send messages on Apple Watch 3

For responding to messages that require more than an emoji response or canned text, you can reply using the Dictate Text feature. This makes it possible for you to send longer messages by speaking text aloud, which is then sent as an audio message or converted to text. The Apple Watch's dictation feature is quite robust and it's a great way to quickly respond to messages.

  1. Under the Reply section of a message, tap the microphone icon.

  2. Begin speaking. Don't forget to include punctuation. For example, if you wish to add an exclamation point, speak the words, "Exclamation point."

  3. A sample sentence might be "I'm going to the grocery store period Do you need anything question mark." That'll translate into "I'm going to the grocery store. Do you need anything?" 
  4. When finished, tap Done.

  5. You can choose to send it as an audio clip or as a text, but if you plan to send as audio, you'll want to skip dictating the punctuation.
Spend some time experimenting with the text to speech feature -- you'll likely find it useful. With that option plus custom pre-selected responses, you may find yourself sending messages more and more from your wrist instead of pulling out your iPhone. There are also several other ways to communicate more intimately with people on the Apple Watch, including taps, sketches, and heartbeats, and those options are also well worth exploring.

Captain America 3 is going to be bigger than The Avengers... and that might be a problem

It's been less than a week since The Avengers: Age of Ultron opened in theaters and Marvel is already revving the engine on its next big superhero team-up. The studio announced today that principal photography has begun on Captain America: Civil War while detailing the main cast for the movie, and I'm just going to say it: things are starting to feel a little unwieldy. Obviously, Chris Evans' Captain America is starring in the film, but according to Marvel's announcement no less than seven other existing Avengers will also be showing up:

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So This Is What a Terrifying Quadcopter Tornado Looks Like

We’ve covered the remarkable work that researchers at ETH Zurich have been doing with robots and quadcopters before, but did you know its facility has a dedicated Flying Machine Arenawhere they tether drones to poles and make them fly in circles at terrifying speeds? It’s even more amazing than it sounds.

Flickr redesigns web and mobile apps to create a powerhouse in online photo storage

When Marissa Mayer became Yahoo’s CEO in 2012, she was greeted with a viral internet campaign from one of the company’s most loved — and neglected — properties. "Dear Marissa Mayer," began the website created by entrepreneur Sean Bonner. "Please make Flickr awesome again!" The path-breaking photo-sharing site, which doubled as a forerunner for modern social networks, had fallen into disrepair. But within a few months, Mayer responded with a redesigned mobile app, some powerful new editing features, and a truly generous offer: a full terabyte of free storage.
The moves succeeded in introducing Flickr to a new generation of users. From late 2010 to today, the service has grown from 5 billion photos to 11 billion photos. But along the way,...
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Cyanogen's phones will soon know who's calling before you do

Getting a phone call from a number you don't know can be an all too common occurrence. And if you're on Android, the mystery of these unknown incoming calls was basically solved years ago by companies that will do a quick web search to tell you who it is, as your phone is ringing. In fact, Google's been building that into the dialer of its Nexus phones since the Nexus 5, and Facebook just launched a dialer of its own to do much of the same thing.
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The creator of The Sims launches a scrapbook app that's like PowerPoint with stickers

Will Wright, creator of The Sims and SimCity, launched a new iPhone app today, and it has nothing to do with taking care of vaguely autonomous animated people or building skyscrapers. The app, called Thred, lets users create and customize mobile scrapbooks, or "threds," and share them with friends.
Users can pull images straight from their phones or an internet search and personalize them with captions, stickers, and filters. Put a unicorn sticker here, tag a friend and location there. Users can upload up to 30 photos at once, rearrange them to tell a story, and then choose from 22 different fonts and 10 categories of stickers to help narrate the story. If the sticker you want isn't available, Thred searches Bing for transparent images...
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The Microsoft’s Surface started off as a doodle in a sketchbook

Microsoft’s Ralf Groene held a fascinating session on stage at the company’s Ignite conference this week. Groene is responsible for the design of Microsoft’s Surface tablet, and he offered some unique insights into the early days of Surface. While The Verge previously visited Microsoft’s Surface team back in 2013 to see early prototypes, Groene revealed this week that the tablet started off life in a sketchbook.
"This is the earliest sketch I could find in my sketchbook about Surface," said Groene, showing off a really early look at the ideas and concepts around Surface. It’s a set of basic doodles of how the kickstand was integral to the design of the original Surface, and a key part of Microsoft’s tablet even with the release of the...
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Wednesday, 6 May 2015

The Apple Watch Design Patent Has Been Granted

First, Apple patented the rectangle with rounded corners, and now it's done something similar for the square with rounded corners. Well, sort of. The iPhone maker has been granted a design patent for the Apple Watch, preventing other manufacturers from copying the look of its first ever wearable. The patent is straightforward and simply consists of nine line drawings of the Apple Watch's body — a curved square shape with indentations for the watch bands to slot into, and prominences for the digital crown, single button, and sensor array on the rear.

Two images from the patent showing the front and rear of the Apple Watch. (Apple/USPTO)
The patent was originally filed with the US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) in August...
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Apple Takes on Amazon With Personalised Gadget Delivery

Former Apple retail chief and one-time JC Penney CEO Ron Johnson is launching a new online startup that sells smartphones, tablets, and other gadgets with free in-home setup services. As The Wall Street Journal reports, the company, Enjoy Technology, officially launches today for customers in San Francisco and will be available in New York on May 13th. Users can buy devices for the same prices listed on manufacturers' websites, and then have a "personal expert" deliver them and set them up at no extra cost.
In an interview with The Wall Street Journal, Johnson said consumers could find the same products at lower prices, though he believes the promise of free in-home installation will outweigh the difference. Last month, Amazon launched...
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If The Rumours Are Right, The Moto X Will Put The LG G4 to Shame

Fresh rumours suggest next Moto X will put the LG G4 to shame

A new leak hints that the next generation of the Moto X will be one powerful beast.
According to the leak the third generation Moto X will come with a 5.2-inch screen with a 1440 x 2560 resolution, as well as a Snapdragon 808 processor and a whopping 4GB of RAM.
The camera is said to be 16 megapixels and there will be a choice of 32GB and 64GB storage.

One after 808

If this rumour is true then the Moto X looks set to have the same Snapdragon 808 processor as the LG G4, rather than the more powerful Snapdragon 810. LG has told us that the 808 isn't a step down from the 810, nor was the choice based on rumoured overheating issues – and perhaps Motorola feels the same.
According to the rumours the next Moto X will be shown off in September, and if this leak is indeed correct then it's worth looking forward to.

    The Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge Are About to Have a Camera Makeover

    Samsung's about to make the Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge cameras even better

    Samsung's latest flagship handsets, the Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 Edge, have some of the best rear shooters on the market and it seems they are set to get even better.
    According to sources speaking to SamMobile, the company is working on a new update to the camera app that will roll out with the Android 5.1.1 update.
    Both devices will receive some extra camera features, but it's not currently clear what those will be.

    Make it snappy

    Others are speculating RAW shooting and shutter speed control will be added in the new update as both the HTC One M9 and LG G4 already have these features ready and raring to go from day one.
    SamMobile also revealed the update will be coming to the devices codenamed Samsung Zen and Samsung Noble, the former of which is expected to be the long rumoured Galaxy Note 5.

      The New Sony Xperia C4 is All About Selfies!

      Sony Xperia C4 blasts selfie obsession up another notch

      The Sony Xperia C4 has launched and follows in the footsteps of its selfie obsessed predecessor, the Xperia C3, by focussing on the front camera.
      Sony appears adamant that selfie prowess alone is a strong enough pull for the youth of today, but the 5MP front facing camera seems like a little bit of a let down – even though Sony bills it as "best in class."
      We've seen a number of handsets feature 8MP and even 13MP front snappers, so for a handset which is so shouty about the photo craze it seems odd that it's such a low offering.
      The Sony Exmor R mobile sensor does have an extra wide 25mm lens, allowing you to fit more of your chums into your shot, plus a front facing soft flash and HDR mode will help you out in low light.

      Sony Xperia C4

      More than just a camera

      Around the back there's a 13MP snapper while the rest of the Xperia C4 includes a 5.5-inch full HD display, 1.7GHz octa-core processor, 2GB of RAM, 16GB of storage, microSD slot and Android 5.0 Lollipop.
      There's also 4G connectivity, NFC and a 2600mAh crammed inside the relatively slender 150.3 x 77.4 x 7.9mm body of the Xperia C4.
      The Sony Xperia C4 release date is set for June, although exact markets and pricing is yet to be confirmed.

        Snapchat adds sharing tools to its news discovery portal

        Snapchat's curated selection of news stories called Discover is reportedly in trouble, with traffic dropping significantly since its debut back in January. That's probably why the company has introduced a new function that lets you share articles and... read more

        Saturday, 2 May 2015

        NASA's 10-engine electric UAV now flies as well as it hovers

        NASA's ten-engine UAV, dubbed the Greased Lightning (GL-10), recently showed off a slick new trick in the skies over Hampton, Virginia. The drone, which is under development by a team at the Langley Research Center, had already passed its initial hov...

        Google+ Twitter account starts tweeting nearly four years after it launched

        Nearly every key Google product has its very own Twitter account. Google Drive, Android, the Nexus program, even Google Glass all have their own Twitter accounts to keep fans up to date on product news, tips and tricks, and occasional random foolishness. Even Google+ — the social network, community, and photo-sharing space that's never quite caught on in the way the company hoped for — has its own Twitter account. An account that has lay dormant for the nearly four years that have gone by since Google+ launched. Until today.
        Suddenly, the Google+ Twitter account has come alive, asking the "Twitterverse" to give some love for its #firstTweet. There are also a bunch of individual replies to Twitter users, each containing a GIF. It's not a...
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        The Alexa voice assistant can now escape Amazon’s walled garden

        When Amazon's Echo speaker mysteriously appeared out of nowhere last year, it came with another surprise: a voice assistant named Alexa. Like Apple's Siri, you could casually talk to it and it would attempt to infer what you were talking about into simple responses. It turned out to be pretty limited and didn't work so well when we tried it out back in January, but Amazon's kept at it, releasing new updates that added things like Pandora, traffic reports, sports scores, and support for Belkin's WeMo and Phillips's Hue products.
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        Boeing's Dreamliner Has a Bug That Can Make It Lose All Power Mid-Air

        Here’s yet another snag for the embattled Boeing 787 Dreamliner : The Federal Aviation Administration today warned of an alarming software glitch, in which the power can cut out and cause the pilot to lose control in the middle of a flight. 

        Friday, 1 May 2015

        Microsoft helped me build a HoloLens app, and it was pretty easy

        If you had told me years ago that Microsoft would come out with a futuristic augmented reality headset, I'd have said you were nuts. And yet, a few months ago, it did exactly that. The headset is called HoloLens, which, when worn, allows you to inter... read more

        Facebook now gives you a choice on what to share with third party apps

        For ages, whenever you've wanted to use your Facebook credentials to log into a third party app like Foursquare or Candy Crush, you've had to give the app access to any and all data that FB has on you. There's simply been no way of choosing what info...

        Texting in the Shower?

        John McAfee—you know, the bizarre, eccentric millionaire behind famous anti-virus software —says teenage girls are texting in the shower. And people are SPYING on them doing it. That just sounds ridiculous (no, not the spying thing, that’s actually possible). Who in their right mind would bring their phone with them into the shower?

        There's No Reason To Ever Get Out of a Millennium Falcon Bed

        Finding the motivation to crawl out of bed to face work, school, or even sunlight is hard enough. But imagine the herculean task of getting up in the morning when your bed is a near perfect replica of the Millennium Falcon’s cockpit.

        Filmmakers shouldn't complain about people watching movies on smartphones

        Members of the film industry often bemoan the demise of the cinema, commenting that instead of lining up outside our local movie theater, we're all squinting at Citizen Kane on our smartphones. Spike Lee is the latest filmmaker to contribute to this running theme, and was reportedly taken aback at Variety’s recent Entertainment and Technology conference by the idea that people are watching classic films on their mobiles. "I know it’s not a popular view, but as a filmmaker — we kill ourselves with editing," said Lee. "With lighting. With sound ... It’s heartbreaking."
        "It such a sadness that you think you've seen a film on your fucking telephone."
        The actor Julianne Moore made similar comments earlier this month, telling the audience at...
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