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14 Apr 03:40

​Before the iPhone was announced, Android didn't support touchscreen input

by Mat Smith
Ahead of Apple revealing its first smartphone, Google's plans for Android back in 2006 involved physical keys for control and no touchscreen input support. Revealed in court documents from the ensuing Apple-Samsung legal fray, the early specification...
16 Apr 00:48

Here's the software that helps Edward Snowden avoid the NSA

by Jon Fingas
Edward Snowden hasn't escaped the NSA's watchful eyes purely by exploiting lax security -- he also uses the right software. He communicates with the media using Tails, a customized version of Linux that makes it easy to use Tor's anonymity network...
14 Apr 17:27

Crooks use Heartbleed exploit to steal 900 Canadian tax IDs

by James Trew
While it might not be the worst-case scenario, a security breach at the Canada Revenue Agency could be the worst known real-world exploit of the Heartbleed vulnerability since it went global last week. The CRA claims that almost 1,000 Social...
14 Apr 22:06

Banksy's latest works tackle technology, surveillance and our crumbling humanity

by Terrence O'Brien
They say that the best art imitates life, and let's be honest, our lives are increasingly controlled by technology. After tackling war, human rights and censorship, legendary and anonymous street artist Banksy is now turning his critical eye on our...
15 Apr 02:51

Glow-in-the-dark roads hit the streets in the Netherlands

by Emily Price
One stretch of road in the Netherlands may make you feel like you're cruising through a video game. A new glow-in-the-dark pavement has replaced power-sucking streetlights for a 500m (.3mi) piece of the highway. The result is a Tron-like street that...
15 Apr 03:51

Scientists are studying evolutionary concepts with robot mice

by Sean Buckley
Studying evolution is tricky -- it's a process that happens over countless generations and thousands of years, but the men tasked with studying it live less than a century. Researchers at the Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology have found one...
15 Apr 11:26

There'll be no escape from the FBI's new facial recognition system

by Daniel Cooper
If you thought that the NSA wanted too much personal information, just wait a few months. The EFF is reporting that the FBI's new facial recognition database, containing data for almost a third of the US population, will be ready to launch this...
10 Apr 14:16

Jennifer Garner: Ben Affleck Taught Our Son About 'His Bits'

by Leigh Blickley
Just because she's married to Ben Affleck doesn't mean life at home is hunky-dory.

Jennifer Garner stopped by "The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon" on Wednesday, April 9, and revealed that although Affleck is a wonderful father and husband, he pretty much leaves all the hard work for her.

"Benjamin is good, he's great. I get home Friday and he leaves that day for Batman," Garner told Jimmy Fallon when he asked about his pal, Affleck. "I know, it's going to be awful though because he's been home now for a few months and when he's really home, he's so in dad mode and I think he's going to have a hard time."

"So he's been Mr. Mom when he's home, huh?" Fallon asked.

"Let's not overstate things," Garner laughed. "We are divided down a very mom-dad [line.] If it has to do with making food, or [doing] homework or anything that has to do with actually functioning -- sorry it's true -- that's a mom thing. And then coming in just as you're getting them to bed and picking them up by their heels and swinging them around, that's a dad thing. Anything fun, that is Ben."

Speaking of fun, Garner explained that her husband of almost nine years is loving his "male-bonding" time with their 2-year-old son, Samuel. (The couple also has two daughters, Violet, 8, and Seraphina, 5.)

"He's so psyched to finally have a little boy -- he loves his girls -- but he's serious about his son right now," the "Draft Day" actress said. "So, he taught him about his bits ... he taught him about his "P" and his two "N's." So now anytime we pass a dog who's walking on the street or we're at a zoo or something, our poor little son is crouching down and looking up and he's like, 'Mama, does that have a vagina or a penis with two nuts ... That's what Ben's been up to!"

Still, Samuel is well aware that mommy knows best.

"Sometimes Sam will look at me and say, 'But mama calls them testicles,'" Garner added.

It's now clearly apparent who runs the Affleck household.
11 Apr 18:35

Australian Cable Monopoly Writes Angry Letter To 'Game Of Thrones' Pirates

by Bill Bradley
All men must pay!

Foxtel, Australia's sole provider of the HBO series "Game of Thrones," is furious with all the online piracy of the Season 4 premiere, and they want everyone to know it. To drive the point home, Foxtel’s head of corporate affairs, Bruce Meagher, wrote an open letter to all Australians titled, "Piracy: At least the Lannisters pay their debts."

Ouch. Even the White Walkers would say, "That's cold, bro."

In the letter, Meagher compares piracy to "justifying stealing a Ferrari on the basis that the waiting list is too long or the price is too high" and urges Australians to think of "the actors, extras, writers, camera crew, make up artists, editors, special effects teams and the many others who make Game of Thrones."

Part of the reason Foxtel may be so angry is that their new business model seems to have backfired. Rather than encouraging Australians to subscribe to their service by putting an end to "Game of Thrones" distribution on iTunes and Google Play, the move may have just encouraged more illegal downloading.

[h/t Gizmodo]

12 Apr 18:50

Syfy's 'most ambitious TV series to date' is based on 'The Expanse' novels

by Richard Lawler
If you can believe it, Syfy may be getting back to its pre-name change roots. A notable addition to its plans for the next year is a new TV series based on a popular series of sci-fi books known as The Expanse. The first book Leviathan Wakes snagged...
12 Apr 16:29

Webcomic explains Heartbleed bug like you're five

by Mariella Moon
So, you understand what that terrible Heartbleed bug's all about, but you can't really explain it in words even a five-year-old can understand. Here's what you should do when someone asks at your weekly family dinner, then: launch the XKCD website...
11 Apr 15:34

Sprint's cellphone for kids lets parents keep a close watch

by Jon Fingas
Many parents are comfortable with giving cellphones to teens, but young kids are a different story -- how do you introduce them to mobile technology without also exposing them to all kinds of dangers? Sprint thinks its new WeGo phone is a good answer...
11 Apr 20:59

Virtuix Omni treadmill will get gamers off the couch in July

by Emily Price
If you pre-ordered the Virtuix Omni virtual-reality treadmill, it's time to start rearranging the living room furniture. Early backers will be able to strap on their Oculus Rift and start shooting in the virtual battlefield of their choice come July....
10 Apr 16:55

Samsung's curved 4K TV-of-the-future arriving in the present on April 14

by Chris Smith
Samsung's curved 4K TV-of-the-future arriving in the present on April 14

Samsung has announced its curved 4K televisions will arrive in the UK on Monday, on a mission to upgrade and upscale Brits' home entertainment set-ups.

The 55-inch and 65-inch HU8500 sets, announced at CES 2014, will be available from select retailers - likely to be the upscale department stores like John Lewis, Selfridges and Harrods - on the 14th April.

Samsung is yet to confirm UK pricing, passing the buck to individual retailers. However, the firm recently announced that 55-inch model would cost a relatively reasonable $3,999 (£2,421) with the 65-inch at $4,999 (around £3,026).

The firm also has a 105-inch flagship model on the way, but that will arrive at a later date.

Blu-ray upscaling

So what will those privileged buyers get for their hefty outlay beyond a massive Ultra HD television set with a funky and fresh shape and a premium design?

Well the company claims the 4.2m radius curvature is optimised to fit the average viewing distance, meaning the corners are closer to the viewer. All that is designed to create a more natural viewing angle.

There's also an Auto Depth Enhancer to supposedly "surround and delight your senses," along with the usual promise of deeper blacks and purer whites through the firm's in-house dimming technology.

The HU8500 also brings a quad-core processor to power the Smart TV experience and neat multi-tasking skills. It's also future proofed through the UHD Evolution Kit, which Samsung says will enable buyers to renew their television as standards 4K continue to develop.

But what about the lack of any real 4K content? Well, Samsung reckons it has buyers covered through its four-step upscaling technology, which it says will bring live TV and Blu-ray discs up to the UHD resolution.

Will you indulging in Samsung's curvy 4K delights next week? If so, can we be your friend?

10 Apr 16:36

Sony's A7s turns night into (very noisy) day with ISO 409,600

by Zach Honig
This week, Sony announced the A7s, a full-frame mirrorless camera that captures 4K video. But the 12-megapixel shooter has a few more tricks up its sleeve, including a phenomenally high top sensitivity of ISO 409,600, matching the Hi4 setting of...
10 Apr 21:06

This robot printer runs around the page laying down ink

by Jon Fingas
Most pocket-sized printers are really shrunken versions of what you'd see on your desk. Rather boring, don't you think? Zuta Labs' upcoming Pocket Printer robot may liven things up a little. Instead of using an old-fashioned paper feed, it runs over...
10 Apr 05:00

May on 4K: Why Netflix in Ultra HD will ruin TV

by Steve May
May on 4K: Why Netflix in Ultra HD will ruin TV

Netflix has ruined television forever. Speaking as an unashamed hi-def snob who'd rather miss out on a show than have to watch it in grotty standard def, I've been champing at the bit to devour native 4K.

Unfortunately, having now been one of the first to watch Ultra HD streamed live from Netflix servers, my beloved Full HD just doesn't look that great any more.

The old acuity-meter has been irrevocably upgraded. Yes, 4K over the internet really is that good.

Unlike previous exposure I've had to Netflix 4K, this latest viewing experience hasn't been on a show floor, with all the inherent connection problems or fudges that might entail, nor in a lab or hotel demo suite. It was at home, feet up on a sofa, dunking biscuits as you do. In other words, as real world as it gets.

The set I've been using is Samsung's new curved 65-inch UE65HU8500, connected by Ethernet to my home network. Incoming 4K HEVC-enabled screens from LG and Sony will also offer the same service.

Provided you have a fat enough pipe, mine was a 100Mbps fibre connection, you'll be able to get the 15.6Mbps 4K Netflix stream.

Actually, said 4K content took a while to find. The grand plan, as outlined to me by Netflix director of corporate communications Joris Evers, is for 4K content to have its own discovery bar, in between Because You Watched Howard the Duck and Incomprehensible Martial Arts Movies on the Netflix landing page.

At present though, probably because the service hasn't officially launched, these thumbnails aren't available. So instead I merely searched House of Cards.

House of Cards S2 in 4K

Easy as 4K pie

The Netflix servers, recognising that I was viewing on an HEVC-capable 2160p display, automatically offered season two of the show in Ultra HD 4K.

We talk blithely of 4K content but to enjoy it live, on tap, is nothing short of revelatory. The sheer quality of what streamed forth blew my tiny freakin' mind.

If you think four times Full HD will manifest itself as a minor quality bump, then you're in for a huge surprise. House of Cards looks positively epic (appropriate given the cameras it was shot on).

The fine detail in every scene is sublime, from the location footage around Capitol Hill to the interiors.

Is that paint job on the wall meant to look so shabby, I found myself asking? Big close ups of Spacey's jowls have dermatological clarity. He really needs to ease back on the slap.

Native 4K TV content proves to be literally mesmerising. Immediately after watching this visual splendour, I went back to Full HD - and was both shocked and dismayed by the perceived quality collapse. 1080p was suddenly looking fuzzy. There it was, television ruined.

House of Cards S2 in 4K

4K is the future, but what about curves?

Just how much, you may wonder, did the curvature of the Samsung's screen contribute to this splendiferous viewing experience?

One point repeatedly made by Samsung boffins is that the curve actually creates a panoramic effect that makes the screen appear wider and more immersive.

Conversely, I found the opposite to be true. The curving edges mildly contract the apparent width of the image, not expand it. The panoramic effect does happen, but only when you are very near to the screen and the image more or less fills your field of vision.

Try it for yourself with a sheet of A4 paper, the effect is easy to replicate. That said, sitting close to a 4K screen is actually a good thing, as you can perceive the detail better, however this won't be a practical solution for most users.

Although one show isn't enough to judge any technical standard on, especially this early in its development, fears that only packaged media will do justice to 4K are clearly unfounded.

What's more, 4K naysayers (yes, there are some) who maintain viewers won't be able to see any differences are about to seem very foolish indeed.

Depressed by the sludge that was HD, I took solace in YouTube's 4K channel (which also plays out just fine on the big bendy Samsung) where I gorged myself on snakes and puppy dogs.

Here the compression artefacts are all too visible, but that intoxicating detail is still there to be enjoyed. House of Cards season three can't come around soon enough.

09 Apr 16:27

'Transparent' Land Rover hood shows the rubber meeting the road (video)

by Steve Dent
So far, invisibility systems for cars have been pretty lame or not terrible useful. Land Rover seems to have finally nailed it with the "transparent bonnet" (hood) on its Discover Vision concept car. It works via a heads up display, which projects a...
09 Apr 01:59

Implant shocks patient's spines, restores partial use of paralyzed limbs

by Sean Buckley
Remember that spinal implant that helped a paraplegic man walk (albeit in a harness) back in 2011? It's now been tested on three more partially paralyzed patients -- and it's working. The original device was a 16-electrode array that emitted small...
09 Apr 02:00

Fascism takes the field in Wolfenstein: The New Order trailer

by Earnest Cavalli
Despite the upbeat intro courtesy Martha and the Vandellas, the latest trailer for MachineGames' Wolfenstein: The New Order reminds us that the only thing more evil than a Nazi is a Nazi soccer referee. [Image: Bethesda Softworks] ...
07 Apr 14:02

Viewers see red as Game of Thrones premiere crashes HBO servers

by Steve Dent
Viewing of the Game of Thrones season debut came to a crashing halt yesterday thanks to server problems with HBO Go. The cable outfit first reported the problem late yesterday via Twitter, and finally restored full service early this morning. That...
08 Apr 14:00

AMD's liquid-cooled Radeon R9 295X2 promises more power than GTX Titan Z--at half the cost

by Andrew Yoon
Ah, the PC GPU wars are strong once again. Just two weeks after NVIDIA revealed their GeForce GTX Titan Z, AMD has countered with their own solution. The Radeon R9 295X2 is similar to the Titan Z, joining two of the company's fastest cards into a single design. However, AMD says it has one-upped the competition in terms of raw power and price. The R9 295X2 comes equipped with a pre-assembled "maintenance-free" liquid cooling system co-developed with Asetek, promising "quiet operation and consistent performance" from the card.
05 Apr 15:30

Най-добрите първоаприлски гейм шеги за 2014-та

Макар и с малко закъснение, ето кои според нас са най-добрите майтапи от тази година
08 Apr 14:32

Court rules that the EU's data retention law violates privacy rights

by Jon Fingas
The European Union has argued that telecom companies must hold on to internet and phone records for long periods to help track down evildoers, but the European Court of Justice disagrees -- vehemently. It just ruled that the EU's Data Retention...
07 Apr 12:45

The Micro is a $200 3D printer that can make a teacup in an hour

by Timothy J. Seppala
There are more than a couple of reasons why 3D printing hasn't truly hit critical mass, and the team at M3D thinks it's sidestepped them with The Micro, its $200 - $300 3D printer. The Micro is hitting Kickstarter today with the sole intention of...
08 Apr 04:55

Internet security key flaw exposes a whole load of private data

by Jon Fingas
Most internet security holes, even the bigger ones, tend to be fairly limited in scope -- there are only so many people using the wrong software or visiting the wrong sites. Unfortunately, that's not true of the newly revealed Heartbleed Bug. The...
02 Apr 05:46

David Hasselhoff clears out his garage and puts KITT up for sale

by Leon Poultney


01 Apr 05:29

The best automotive April Fool's pranks

by Leon Poultney


07 Apr 11:00

Broadcast your point of view with Livestream's new Google Glass app

by Edgar Alvarez
NAB 2014 wouldn't be the same without Livestream, one of the internet's most popular broadcasting services, introducing new hardware or software. As such, Livestream has just announced another way for users to share video on its site: an application...
07 Apr 08:00

New algorithm supercharges robot navigation

by TG Daily Staff

Suppose you're trying to navigate an unfamiliar section of a big city, and you're using a particular cluster of skyscrapers as a reference point. Traffic and one-way streets force you to take some odd turns, and for a while you lose sight of your landmarks. When they reappear, in order to use them for navigation, you have to be able to identify them as the same buildings you were tracking before — as well as your orientation relative to them.

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