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+ - Phablet reviews: Before and after the iPhone 6->

Submitted by Velcroman1
Velcroman1 (1667895) writes "Bigger is better. No, wait, bigger is worse. Well, which is it? Apple’s newly supersized 4.7-inch iPhone 6 and the jumbo, 5.5-inch iPhone 6 Plus are a marked departure for the company, which has clung to the same, small screen size for years. It has gone so far as to publicly deride larger phones from competitors, notably Samsung, even as their sales grew to record highs. Tech reviewers over the years have tended to side with Apple, in general saddling reviews of the Samsung Galaxy Note – a 5.3-inch device that kicked off the phablet push in 2012 – with asides about how big the darn thing was. Are tech reviewers being fair when they review the iPhone 6 Plus? Here’s what some of them said today, compared with how they reviewed earlier phablets and big phones from the competition."
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+ - Holy crap -- they're roling out 8K TVs->

Submitted by Velcroman1
Velcroman1 (1667895) writes "At IFA 2014 in Berlin today, LG just unveiled its latest effort in Ultra High Definition television, a 98-inch 8K TV (7680 x 4320 pixels) boasting 16 times the resolution of a normal 1080p HD television and four times that of the latest 4K sets — televisions that few people anywhere on earth own yet. That’s right: With consumers only beginning to get their heads wrapped around the notion of 4K Ultra HD TVs, and 4K content barely available, LG is pushing the edge of the tech envelope in preparation of unleashing 8K televisions on the masses in the not-too-distant future. And that suits us just fine, because this TV is absolutely stunning to behold. After a few moments of watching moving footage, we were sold. LG’s pride and joy is delicious eye candy, pure and simple."
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+ - Atari founder on the Flappy Bird sequel: "I wish him luck"->

Submitted by Velcroman1
Velcroman1 (1667895) writes "The man who founded Atari – and who, in many respects, is regarded as the father of the video game industry – has a simple rule when it comes to game-making. Indeed, he calls it “Nolan’s Number 1 rule.” Games, he told Digital Trends, should be easy to play and impossible to master. “A lot of the success stories right now – like Flappy Birds – I feel they have more of the characteristics of winning the lottery than a plan,” Bushnell said. “Anything that takes any kind of instruction or time really doesn’t work. You have to engage the player immediately. You can have some subtle objectives you acquire over time, but the real answer is you want the game to increase in complexity and difficulty as you master the skills.” Bushnell says he’ll be surprised if Swing Copters is as big a hit as Flappy Bird, because of the degree to which chance tends to be involved in determining which games rise or fall. “But I wish him luck.”"
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+ - Why TiVo's founders crashed and burned with Qplay->

Submitted by Velcroman1
Velcroman1 (1667895) writes "Michael Ramsay and Jim Barton created a revolution with TiVo, a device that challenged the notion that we had to watch TV shows when they aired. And they hoped to do it again with Qplay, a device that challenged the notion that short-form videos had to be consumed one at a time, like snacks instead of meals. Qplay streamed curated queues of short-form Internet video to your TV using a small, simple box controlled by an iPad app. So what went wrong? Unlike TiVo, the Qplay box was difficult to justify owning, and thevalue of the service itself is questionable. And as of last week, Qplay is closed."
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+ - In the new age of game development, gamers hold the reins->

Submitted by Velcroman1
Velcroman1 (1667895) writes "In the olden times before high-speed Internet, the game you purchased on day one was what you were still playing months later. Now we live in an era of day-one patches, hotfixes, balance updates, and more. Diablo III, for example, is unrecognizable today compared to the state it was in when it launched back in 2012. Nowadays, savvy gamers go in expecting their experience to change over time — to improve over time. Today, Early Access is both an acknowledgment of the dangers of early adoption (no one likes to be a guinea pig, after all) and an opportunity for enthusiastic consumers to have a say in how the product they’ve purchased will take shape. In a special report, Digital Trends' Adam Rosenberg talks with Michael McMain, CEO and founder of Xaviant, and creative director on the indie studio’s first project — Lichdom: Battlemage, which embraces the concept like never before."
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+ - Head of MS Research on Special Projects, Google X and Win 9->

Submitted by Velcroman1
Velcroman1 (1667895) writes "Microsoft Research finally earned some long-overdue headlines last week, when ZDNet’s Mary Jo Foley reported on a “Special Projects” group that would tackle disruptive technology and ultimately Google X. Peter Lee, head of the division and its 1,100 researchers, told Digital Trends he’s not frustrated by all of that glowing press for Google’s researchers and the lack of attention for MSR. “Frustrating is not quite the right word,” Lee said, in an interview ahead of the ribbon-cutting ceremony for MSR’s New York City office. “I like Google X. The people there are good friends of mine. Astro [Teller, “Captain of Moonshots” with Google X] took classes from me at Carnegie Mellon, he’s a great guy doing great stuff. But the missions are different. We want to make things better and ship them. That will always be primary for us. It will be secondary for them.”"
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+ - Healbe's GoBe, the impossible, amazing calorie-counting gizmo->

Submitted by Velcroman1
Velcroman1 (1667895) writes "Russian company Healbe claims that sensors on its activity tracking wristband GoBe can discern how many calories you’re consuming each day, simply by resting on your skin and monitoring the sugar level of your cells. The company has raised $1,054,127 on Indiegogo based on that pitch, and for anyone with diabetes who constantly draws blood to monitor their sugar level, the very idea is a game changer. Yet the company’s claims and the crowd-funded cash have led to widespread blowback, notably from James Robinson of Pando Daily, who has written 14 separate reports on the GoBe wristband since March 20, labeling it a scam and calling the team at Healbe “fraudsters.” To get answers, Digital Trends met with senior leadership of Healbe for the first public demonstration of the watch. In short, the GoBe appears to be a real device with real people behind it, and a real history."
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+ - Butterflies Sip Crocodile Tears->

Submitted by sciencehabit
sciencehabit (1205606) writes "Scientists have spotted butterflies and bees sipping on the tears of crocodiles. The brave bugs’ tear-sipping behavior likely provides salts and proteins scarce in the tropics. The practice may be more common than scientists once thought—just rare to witness."
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+ - How HSL is taking eSports mainstream at high school->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "Interesting interview with the creators of the High School Star League, an organisation dedicated to furthering eSports as a viable hobby and even a career for children and young adults. The HSL has been active in the US for a while but is now making a headway into Europe, where it's finding Counter-Strike is proving much more popular than RTS and MOBA games. There are also a significant amount of girls getting involved as well — as many as seven percent of competitors. It's a start, right?"
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+ - US Should Use Trampolines to Get Astronauts to the ISS Suggests Russian Official

Submitted by Hugh Pickens DOT Com
Hugh Pickens DOT Com (2995471) writes "The Washington Post reports that Russia's Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin has lashed out again, this time at newly announced US ban on high-tech exports to Russia suggesting that "after analyzing the sanctions against our space industry, I propose the US delivers its astronauts to the ISS with a trampoline." Rogozin does actually have a point, although his threats carry much less weight than he may hope. Russia is due to get a $457.9 million payment for its services soon and few believe that Russia would actually give it up. Plus, as Jeffrey Kluger noted at Time Magazine, Russia may not want to push the United States into the hands of SpaceX and Orbital Sciences, two private American companies that hope to be able to send passengers to the station soon. SpaceX and Orbital Sciences have already made successful unmanned resupply runs to the ISS and both are also working on upgrading their cargo vehicles to carry people. SpaceX is currently in the lead and expects to launch US astronauts, employed by SpaceX itself, into orbit by 2016. NASA is building its own heavy-lift rocket for carrying astronauts beyond low-Earth orbit, but it won’t be ready for anything but test flights until after 2020. "That schedule, of course, could be accelerated considerably if Washington gave NASA the green light and the cash," says Kluger. "America’s manned space program went from a standing start in 1961 to the surface of the moon in 1969—eight years from Al Shepard to Tranquility Base. The Soviet Union got us moving then. Perhaps Russia will do the same now.""

+ - Wonder-Material Graphene Could Be Dangerous to Humans and the Environment->

Submitted by Zothecula
Zothecula (1870348) writes "It’s easy to get carried away when you start talking about graphene. Its properties hold the promise of outright technological revolution in so many fields that it has been called a wonder material. Two recent studies, however, give us a less than rosy angle. In the first, a team of biologists, engineers and material scientists at Brown University examined graphene’s potential toxicity in human cells. Another study by a team from University of California, Riverside’s Bourns College of Engineering examined how graphene oxide nanoparticles might interact with the environment if they found their way into surface or ground water sources."
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+ - GoDaddy, Name.com begin selling .ninja URLs->

Submitted by Velcroman1
Velcroman1 (1667895) writes "On April 1, Domain name giant GoDaddy dropped a giant ninjutsu chop on the Internet, beginning the registration period for the stealthiest of domains, .ninja. When the new top-level domain (TLD) goes live on May 28, URLs ending with .ninja will live alongside .coms and .nets in the databases that make the Internet tick – and embarrass all other websites with their coolness. “.ninja is not fully out in general availability yet, but it is purchasable,” GoDaddy Senior Vice President and General Manager of Domains Mike McLaughlin told Digital Trends. Get your hands on one through Name.com, GoDaddy.com, and several others right now. What's YOUR Ninja URL going to be?"
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+ - How Apple's CarPlay could save the car stereo industry->

Submitted by Velcroman1
Velcroman1 (1667895) writes "Car stereo salesmen and installers around the country are giddy with excitement because Apple’s CarPlay in-car infotainment system will have a big presence in the aftermarket car stereo industry. The Nikkei Asian Review reports that Alpine is making car stereo head units for between $500 – $700 that will run the iOS-like system Apple unveiled last month, and Macrumors added Clarion to the list of CarPlay supporters. Even Pioneer is getting into the game with support said to be coming to existing car stereo models in its NEX line ($700 – $1400) via firmware update, according to Twice. Given Apple’s wildly supportive fan base, its likely that a lot of aftermarket CarPlay units are about to fly off stereo shop shelves. Indeed, CarPlay coming to aftermarket stereo units could bring back what Apple indirectly stole from the industry going back as far as 2006."
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+ - With Windows Phone 8.1, Microsoft finally delivers->

Submitted by Velcroman1
Velcroman1 (1667895) writes "Wow. Who knew one-tenth of a number could make such a difference? Windows Phone 8.1, the next version of Microsoft’s smartphone operating system, is now out for early download, and the first reviews are in. And reviewers are really impressed. The upgrade brings a long list of small tweaks, many of which may sound insignificant. But all together they’ve made Windows Phone an OS that worked better in your life than past versions, whihc meant a lot of big and small sacrifices. For the first time, Microsoft may have finally caught up to its rivals. You heard it here first: Windows Phone is finally a good alternative to your iPhone, Galaxy, or Nexus."
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