Friday, October 31, 2014

Microsoft Band

Apple Insider reports: [edited]

Microsoft has launched the Microsoft Band, a fitness-focused wrist-worn device that connects to Microsoft Phones, Android, iOS and OS X. It will also integrate with Apple's HealthKit service and Health app for iPhone.

The Microsoft Band is very similar to Samsung's Gear Fit, offering a thin watch-like device that wraps around a user's wrist. Up top is a rectangular colour touchscreen that displays content horizontally, which can be somewhat awkward when holding a watch in front of your face with your elbow at a right angle.

A resizable clasp is at the bottom of the Microsoft Band, allowing users to find a size that's most comfortable for them. The device is also sold in sizes of small, medium and large.

Inside the band loop is a magnetic charging attachment and a heart rate sensor. Microsoft advertises that the Band will offer two days of runtime on a single charge. The colour display turns on for notifications but is turned off the rest of the time, and requires a button press to be enabled.

The Microsoft Band features integrated GPS for run tracking (the Apple Watch does not feature integrated GPS).

Price: $199
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Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Free Font - Neris

Cargo Collective reports: [edited]

A display sans for one paragraph (or shorter) length text: quotes, openings, titles, etc. You could use it for body copy, but that’s not where the typeface shines.

The font has many, many languages and features. Stuff like small caps punctuation or Bulgarian/Serbian alternates. There is an instructional PDF included.

Neris is the name of my city's river. While it doesn't really translate into anything meaningful, it looks good in both Lithuanian and English while showcasing most of the distinct features: slanted e, semi-serif i, stylized ink traps and curved sharp joints.
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Monday, October 27, 2014

NASA sounds available on SoundCloud

NASA reports: [edited]

Here's a collection of NASA sounds from historic spaceflights and current missions. You can hear the roar of a space shuttle launch or Neil Armstrong's "One small step for (a) man, one giant leap for mankind" every time you get a phone call if you make our sounds your ringtone. Or, you can hear the memorable words "Houston, we've had a problem," every time you make an error on your computer.
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Friday, October 24, 2014

Volocopter

New Scientist reports: [edited]

In late 2013, E-Volo flew a driverless version of the Volocopter, and Stephan Wolf, one of the company's founders, is confident that the first piloted model will fly very soon. While it won't be cheap, it is the kind of technology that will eventually democratise flight by the mid-2020s, says B├╝lthoff.

Developed by pilot Mike Jump and his colleague Mark White at the University of Liverpool, the simulator that I flew simplifies flight control down to basic up, down, left, right and speed control moves that anyone can learn in a short time. Or it can fly autonomously between chosen points. In tests, five volunteers who had never flown but who could drive cars, mastered the system in around 5 hours.

The Volocopter has 18 rotors, each 1.8 metres long, that work in counter-rotating pairs around a circular frame. While it looks odd, this arrangement means the torque effects of each pair cancel out and the vehicle just goes up and down, or side to side, by changing the speed of different rotor pairs.The prototype has nine lithium-ion battery packs, each driving two motors, that currently allow it to fly for 20 minutes.

The joystick works in the same way as a quadcopter remote control, Wolf says. "It's easy to fly even if you have never flown. If you let go of the stick, the Volocopter just hovers where you left it," he says.
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Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Material Design Icons

GitHub reports: [edited]

Today, Google Design are open-sourcing 750 glyphs as part of the Material Design system icons pack. The system icons contain icons commonly used across different apps, such as icons used for media playback, communication, content editing, connectivity, and so on. They're equally useful when building for the web, Android or iOS.

What's included in the release?

SVG versions of all icons in both 24px and 48px flavours
SVG and CSS sprites of all icons
1x, 2x icons targeted at the Web (PNG)
1x, 2x, 3x icons targeted at iOS (PNG)
Hi-dpi versions of all icons (hdpi, mdpi, xhdpi, xxhdpi, xxxhdpi) (PNG)
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Sunday, October 19, 2014

Somerset - Bracknell - London, 19-10-14

Avant Gardener - Courtney Barnett
It Started With A Kiss - Hot Chocolate
Walk Like An Egyptian - Bangles
The Lion Sleeps Tonight - Tokens
Ca Plane Pour Moi - Leila K
The Millionaire - Dr Hook
Brandy (you're a fine girl) - Looking Glass
eez-eh - Kasabian
Show Me the Wonder - Manic Street Preachers
Crash - The Primitives
Wrecking Ball - Nightcore
The Lion Sleeps Tonight - Tight Fit
Royals - Lorde
January - Pilot
My Lovin' (never gonna get it) - En Vogue
Words of Advice for Young People - William S Burroughs
C'Mon C'Mon - The Von Bondies
Trouble - Shampoo
Brianstorm - Arctic Monkeys
What I Am (single) - Edie Brickell & The New Bohemians
Letter from America - The Proclaimers
Father & Daughter - Paul Simon
I Can Dream About You - Dan Hartman
The Talking Fish (Asem Usem Iyak) - Ibibio Sound Machine
Zambesi - Bert Kaempfert
Crimson and Clover - Joan Jett & The Blackhearts
Mirror Mirror (Mon Amour) - Dollar
Money For Nothing - Dire Straits
Here Comes the Hotstepper - Ini Kamoze
Hey Ya - Outkast
Celebrity Skin - Hole
Who's Zoomin' Who - Aretha Franklin
Imagination - Belouis Some
Kiss (feat. Tom Jones) - Art of Noise
Get Lucky (Radio Edit) [feat. Pharrell Williams] - Daft Punk
Call Me - Spagna
How It All Went Wrong - Les Incompetents
Do You Believe In Magic - The Lovin' Spoonful
Xenon (DDR version) - Dance Dance Revolution
Our House - Madness
It's Raining Men - The Weather Girls
Baby's coming back - Jellyfish
Teenage Dirtbag - Wheatus
Silence (DJ Tiesto's In Search Of Sunrise Remix) - Sarah McLachlan
Generator - The Holloways
I Want To Be Free - Toyah
Hit - The Wannadies
Believe (rhythm promo) - Cher
Just Lose It - Eminem
Love Your Money - Daisy Chainsaw
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London - Bracknell - Somerset, 17-10-14

Alive - Empire of the Sun
Moonlight shadow (trance remix) - Mike Oldfield
Rock Me Gently - Andy Kim
Bum Bum - Mabel
I Can't Help You - Cate Le Bon
One Step Beyond - Madness
Shiny Happy People - R.E.M.
Drinking from the Bottle (feat. Tinie Tempah) - Calvin Harris
Yellow River - Christie
We Built This City On Rock And Roll - Jefferson Starship
Lipstick On Your Collar - Connie Francis
Luna - Bombay Bicycle Club
Fish Heads - Barnes & Barnes
Better Get To Livin' - Dolly Parton
Don't Look Back Into The Sun - The Libertines
Venus - Bananarama
Run Runaway - Slade
Facts Of Life - Lazyboy (Lazy B)
Tacky - "Weird Al" Yankovic
Nellie the elephant - Toy Dolls
Pretzelbodylogic - Prince & 3RDEYEGIRL
Sandstorm (Italian DDR Poison remix) - Darude
I Believe In A Thing Called Love - The Darkness
Poison - Alice Cooper
Pompeii - Bastille
Last Night - The Strokes
Moonlight Shadow - Nightcore
Brass In Pocket - Pretenders
The King's New Clothes - Danny Kaye
Dirty World - Traveling Wilburys
Finding Out True Love Is Blind - Louis XIV
Build Me Up Buttercup - Foundations
We're Going To Be Friends - The White Stripes
Perfect - Fairground Attraction
Make Me Smile (Come up and see me) - Steve Harley & Cockney Rebel
Frankie - Sister Sledge
Lean On Me - Red Box
Nancy Boy - Placebo
Lazy guy - Slobberbone
Rock Me Amadeus - Falco
Look Of Love (Part One) - ABC
Superman (It's Not Easy) - Five For Fighting
Dont Call Me Baby (club Mix) - Madison Avenue
Bottle Rocket - The Go! Team
She Is Beautiful - Andrew W.K.
Zombie - Jamie T
Wake Me Up - Avicii
Class Historian - BRONCHO
Go Wild In The Country - Bow Wow Wow
Just Can't Get Enough - Depeche Mode
My Wish - Rascal Flatts
Walking On Sunshine - Katrina And The Waves
Can't Stop The Rain - Cascada
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Thursday, October 16, 2014

Google Nexus 6

Google reports: [edited]

Display: 5.96” 1440 x 2560 display (493 ppi)

Camera: f2.0 lens, 13-megapixel with optical image stabilisation

Battery Life: 24 hr from full charge. 6 hr from 15 minute charge.

Size: 83mm x 159mm x 10mm

Weight: 184 g

Price: $649
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Monday, October 13, 2014

Tesla unveils dual-motor Model S

Extreme Tech reports: [edited]

Telsa has released a dual-motor, all-wheel-drive version of the Tesla Model S. On the top-of-the-line P85D, that second motor brings the max speed up to 155 mph and 0-60 mph down to 3.2 seconds. Musk also announced a new 'autopilot' system for all new Tesla cars, which can automatically change lanes when you push the turn signal stalk, automatically reduce your cruise control speed when its forward-facing camera spots a new speed limit sign, and other self-driving functions. Over time, software updates will be rolled out to add more safety/driver assistant features, until eventually your Model S can drive itself.

Some reports suggest that the new Tesla Model S also has stop-and-go adaptive cruise control (it watches for cars slowing down in front, and then speeds back up automatically), it can automatically park, and (on private property) you can summon the car to your current location. If these features aren’t available immediately, they’ll be added later via over-the-air software updates.
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Friday, October 10, 2014

Hudl 2

Tech Radar has published an in-depth review of Tesco's latest budget (£129) tablet.

Snippets follow:

"This is an accessible device with an HD display, solid build quality, and almost unadulterated Android 4.4 KitKat."

"The screen resolution is 1920 x 1200 pixels. Colours are rich and vibrant, text is sharp and easy to read, and you can happily watch movies, game, or read on it for hours."

"The Hudl 2 measures 224 x 128 x 9mm. and weighs 410g. It feels nicely balanced and it's satisfyingly slim. The soft touch coating on the back wraps around the sides adding grip and making it very comfortable to hold."

"The Hudl 2 feels surprisingly premium and it looks good too. I had the black model for review, but you can add some colour if you prefer as it's available in blue, turquoise, orange, pink, purple, red, or white."

"After fully charging the Hudl 2, I surfed the web for a couple of hours, played Clash of Clans for ten minutes, watched two movies, and then the kids watched an episode of Spongebob. By the end of that it was dropping down to the 10 percent mark. Not too impressive."

"If you're shopping for a family tablet that you can share with the kids, this is it. If you want to gift a tablet to someone who has never tried one before, this is it. If you want a cheap tablet for casual use around the house, this is it."
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Thursday, October 09, 2014

Google offers a camel’s eye view of Liwa Oasis

The National UAE reports: [edited]

Most images for Google Street View are collected with a car, but for the first time, the task was given to an animal – a 10-year-old camel named Raffia.

Raffia walked through the desert around Liwa Oasis with a Street View camera mounted on top of her hump to create panoramic views for internet users around the world.

The images, now available online show scenery from Liwa including dunes, the oasis, other camels and Raffia’s footprints and shadow.
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Tuesday, October 07, 2014

Free Fonts - Nexa Rust

FontFabric reports: [edited]

Nexa Rust from Fontfabric Type Foundry is a multifaceted font system consisting of font sub-families Sans, Slab, Script, Handmade and Extras.Each of these sub-families contains a number of font weights which have a characteristic warm, rough look and display a few degrees of saturation.

Font Designers – Radomir Tinkov, Svetoslav Simov, Ani Petrova & Vasil Stanev
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Friday, October 03, 2014

Emergent

Emergent reports: [edited]

Emergent is a real-time rumour tracker. It's part of a research project with the Tow Center for Digital Journalism at Columbia University that focuses on how unverified information and rumour are reported in the media. It aims to develop and best practices for debunking misinformation.

You can view a list of rumours being tracked on the homepage, along with their current claim state (True, False, Unverified). Click on a story to visit a page that visualises the sources reporting the rumour, and a breakdown of social shares per source.

You can also click on individual articles on the story page to see specific revision and social share data about that article.
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Wednesday, October 01, 2014

Nixie

Intel reports: [edited]

Nixie is the first wearable camera that can fly. At your cue, Nixie unfolds and takes flight. Nixie composes the perfect shot from an awesome perspective, capturing the moment without interrupting the moment.

[Ed. This project is one of the finalists in Intel’s Make It Wearable competition.]


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Friday, September 26, 2014

Brazil releases 'good' mosquitoes to fight dengue fever

BBC reports: [edited]

Brazilian researchers in Rio de Janeiro have released thousands of mosquitoes infected with bacteria that suppress dengue fever. The hope is they will multiply, breed and become the majority of mosquitoes, thus reducing cases of the disease.

The bacterium Wolbachia is found in 60% of insects. It acts like a vaccine for the mosquito which carries dengue, Aedes aegypti, stopping the dengue virus multiplying in its body. Wolbachia also has an effect on reproduction. If a contaminated male fertilises the eggs of a female without the bacteria, these eggs do not turn into larvae.

If the male and female are contaminated or if only a female has the bacteria, all future generations of mosquito will carry Wolbachia. As a result, Aedes mosquitoes with Wolbachia become predominant without researchers having to constantly release more contaminated insects.

Dengue re-emerged in Brazil in 1981 after an absence of more than 20 years. Over the next 30 years, seven million cases were reported. Brazil leads the world in the number of dengue cases, with 3.2 million cases and 800 deaths reported in the 2009-14 period.
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