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Samsung Teases Iron Man Galaxy S6 Edge

You may soon be able to rock an Iron Man edition of the Samsung Galaxy S6!

Samsung recently tweeted an image of what appears to be a red Galaxy S6 Edge box with Iron Man’s face embossed in gold with the words “coming soon” glowing above.

The tweet has since been deleted by Samsung, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that any plans to release the special edition Iron Man S6 are being scrapped from the table.

Samsung’s head of marketing for their mobile division announced earlier in the month that the new phones would be released late May or early June.

This new phone will have been created due to a partnership between Samsung and Marvel.

Samsung has released a few advertising campaigns in cooperation with Marvel, and in one of them you may be able to see what the Iron Man themed phone will look like. View the video below and shortly after the  3:00 marker you will see the Iron Man Galaxy phone, as well as other versions corresponding to the different Avengers.

There is no word yet on what the price of this new phone will be, and we do not know if it will be exclusive to certain wireless carriers.

Samsung’s tweet only specifies that it will be available for the Edge, but there is a possibility that it may be available for the normal S6 as well.

The Edge has nearly identical specifications to the normal S6, but the screen on the Edge is curved, allowing for colorful side notifications when the phone is placed faced down. It is slightly thicker than the S6, but also is slightly lighter in weight.

Both phones run on Android Lollipop and boast a unibody aluminum design with 32 GB of storage available at the base model level. There is no removable battery or external storage slot, which is a huge change from past Galaxy incarnations, where those features were standard.

The Galaxy S6 currently starts at $199.99 USD (with a 2 year standard contract), while the Edge is priced starting at $299.99 USD (again, with a 2 year standard contract).

Would you rock an Iron Man S6 Edge? Let us know in the comments below!

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Google Glass Isn’t Dead. It’s Just Molting!

Google Glass

The tech world has been in a tiny uproar, sounding the call of doom and gloom ever since Google made the announcement that it will be ending the Google Glass Explorers Program, which will effectively halt sales of the mobile computer eyewear product. While many have predicted that this is the end of the idea that people should be able to wear computers on their faces, others (including this author), are pointing out that they are clearly not reading the post in its entirety.

Google GlassWhile the Google Glass Explorers Program will definitely end on January 19, The program will be moving out of the Google [x] development department into its own standalone division under the watchful eye Nest CEO, Tony Fadell. For those of you who don’t know, Google purchased Nest last year for a whopping $3.2 billion. So the guy who has been at the forefront of home automation technology, and was responsible for the iPod at Apple, is now going to bring the struggling product under his innovative wing (yes, pun fully intended).
Even though the product has been largely derided, and banned from being worn inside a number of businesses, Fadell is still optimistic about its potential success, offering this The Verge, “Early Glass efforts have broken ground and allowed us to learn what’s important to consumers and enterprises alike. I’m excited to be working with Ivy to provide direction and support as she leads the team and we work together to integrate those learnings into future products.”
Ivy Ross is the leader of the development team who will be reporting directly to Fadell. Plans for a more affordable version of the product for the average consumer, and the development of new apps are currently under way. Cheer up everyone! The future of wearable face tech seems pretty sound. All I ask for is a GeekGirl World Pink Edition, and Tony if you are reading this, that’s hex color #e84974!

 

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Disney Lends Its Characters To Young Coders Campaign While Barbie Gives Us A Lesson In Her Irrelevance

As part of Computer Science Education Week from December 8-14, Code.org is partnering with Disney on a mission to get kids interested in coding.

With a new tutorial titled “Artist with Anna and Elsa,” young coders will be introduced to practical coding concepts by the most popular characters from the House of Mouse right now.

IMG_3151.PNG
Level 6 of the Frozen inspired coding tutorial

Capitalizing on the popularity of the blockbuster Frozen with this tutorial is only the beginning for Code.org, which is in their second year of their “Hour of Code” Campaign. The tutorial will include guest lectures from leading women in tech in an effort to promote computer science industry careers among young girls.

This is a huge departure from Mattel’s stab at reaching young female minds by with their 2010 Random House publication called “Barbie: I Can Be a Computer Engineer.”

In this addition to the series of books that explore Barbie’s endless career choices, we are introduced to a Barbie enthusiastic about designing a game. However, she makes a point of telling Skipper that of course she has to have her guy friends code it for her, because she is only working on the design. Then, there is a subsequent incident where Barbie doesn’t realize she has a virus that has crippled her computer until Skipper offers up the suggestion.

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Barbie implying that girls can’t code and designers are useless in one well placed laughing comment.

Furthering the idea that young girls can do anything, as long as it’s not too technical and doesn’t require logic, this book also reduces the importance of a designer’s role to just making things look pretty. Such a simple task that even an airhead like Barbie (who has been an astronaut, by the way) can do it! Mattel has since apologized and the book has been pulled from Amazon.

Thankfully for the sake of young minds, especially young female minds, Disney’s partnership with Code.org doesn’t stop with this tutorial. The media and entertainment giant has pledged $100,000 to Code.org and will host “Hour of Code” events in the US and Canada.

To check out the tutorial and learn more about Code.org, visit Code.org/frozen

Sources: Geek Wire, Daily Dot, CNet

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Xbox Expected This Year

Xbox 360 with Kinect

The gaming world has been buzzing with excitement since Sony announced the PS4 last week. But for Microsoft, the Japanese electronics company didn’t announce new technology, but rather a declaration of war. Now, Microsoft is making their move and has a simple message for Sony: its game on.

Less than 24 hours after Sony’s announcement, the domain XboxEvent.com was registered by Eventcore – a company responsible for the planning of large, professional events, including the 2013 AT&T developer summit.

With this new development, It’s now evident that Microsoft is planning on revealing the Xbox this year.

And because the race is now on for the Xbox to be released in time to compete with the PS4 during the holiday shopping season, we can expect a large, and likely live, announcement by Microsoft within the coming months. This will likely happen before this summer’s E3 expo, which was originally rumored to be the stage for the Xbox’s release.

But we’re going to have to wait until that official announcement to get any details about the newest heir to the Xbox throne. The tight-lipped Microsoft has yet to reveal (or leak) any information about the new Xbox’s hardware, appearance, or features to the public. Even the popularized name of the new console, the Xbox 720, is still a matter of speculation.

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Sony Announces PlayStation 4

Screen Shot 2013-02-21 at 6.25.14 PM

Sony announced Wednesday in New York that the newest generation of console gaming, the PlayStation 4, will finally be released during the holidays! And judging by the details the Japanese electronics giant has currently released about the PS4, it seems that a lot of gamers are going to be drafting their wish lists early this year.

A powerhouse capable of lightning speed, the PS4 will come fully armed with eight x86-64 AMD Jaguar CPU cores, and will boast an impressive 8GB of GDDR5 memory – a huge leap from the PS3, which operates with a mere 256MB GDDR3. Mark Cerny, lead system architect for the PS4, referred to the new system as “like a PC, but supercharged.” More power behind the PlayStation means that the system will turn on and off almost instantaneously, and you’ll even be able to shut the system down mid game and reboot without losing a single step.

In addition to hardware upgrades, the PlayStation’s classic DualShock controller has received a facelift. The controller still has the basic, classic styling, but gamers now can expect better rumble and enhanced motion sensibility. Amongst the new features on the controller include a touchpad located on front of the device, a headphone jack, and a “share” button, giving you the opportunity to gloat about your progress to friends, or seek their help in a tough spot.

For those who wish to play their PS3 games on the PS4: you’re out of luck. Sony has confirmed that the PlayStation 4 will not support backwards compatibility. But this doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy classics from the past. Sony is introducing a new system called “PlayStation Cloud”, which will allow you to access old titles from past PlayStation systems without need of a physical disc. However, specific details surrounding how exactly the cloud will operate are still, well, clouded.

More details about the PS4 are likely to be revealed within the coming months, but for right now Sony isn’t pulling the curtains completely.

Not a single complete image of the console was shown during Sony’s two hour long presentation, leaving the appearance of the new system still shrouded in mystery. And while it has been announced that the console will be released some time during the holiday season, a solid street date and estimated pricing has not yet been revealed to the public.

To learn more about the PlayStation 4, and to view their official announcement, click here!

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Is Windows 8 Without Media Center Such a Bad Thing?

Windows 7 Media Center

Windows 7 Media Center

Microsoft recently announced that the new Windows 8 would not have Media Center packaged with it. Instead, you will have to pay an upgrade fee if you have the basic Window 8 edition and you will have to pay to get the software to play DVDs if you have the Windows 8 Pro. But is this really something for the public to be enraged about? Not hardly. Most of us don’t even use Media Center, and there are a ton of free software programs out there that can do all of the things that Media center can do, and do it better.

Chances are, if you are downloading music on the internet, you are using iTunes for your music library. If you are burning DVDs and playing Blu-rays then you are probably using the software that came bundled with your DVD burner, such as Nero, or CyberLink’s PowerDVD. And with the increasing amount of home users streaming TV and Movies through other devices natively, is it even necessary to connect your computer through Media Center to your TV? Not having the native ability to playback DVDs on you computer shouldn’t be the thing that worries you about Windows 8.

There is still no new information on what the pricing will be or when Windows 8 will be available, but here is a preliminary partial list of what will be available by version:

Feature name Windows 8 Windows 8 Pro Windows RT
Upgrades from Windows 7 Starter, Home Basic, Home Premium x x
Upgrades from Windows 7 Professional, Ultimate x
Start screen, Semantic Zoom, Live Tiles x x x
Windows Store x x x
Apps (Mail, Calendar, People, Messaging, Photos, SkyDrive, Reader, Music, Video) x x x
Microsoft Office (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote) x
Internet Explorer 10 x x x
Device encryption x
Connected standby x x x
Microsoft account x x x
Desktop x x x
Installation of x86/64 and desktop software x x
Updated Windows Explorer x x x
Windows Defender x x x
SmartScreen x x x
Windows Update x x x
Enhanced Task Manager x x x
Switch languages on the fly (Language Packs) x x x
Better multiple monitor support x x x
Storage Spaces x x
Windows Media Player x x
Exchange ActiveSync x x x
File history x x x
ISO / VHD mount x x x
Mobile broadband features x x x
Picture password x x x
Play To x x x
Remote Desktop (client) x x x
Reset and refresh your PC x x x
Snap x x x
Touch and Thumb keyboard x x x
Trusted boot x x x
VPN client x x x
BitLocker and BitLocker To Go x
Boot from VHD x
Client Hyper-V x
Domain Join x
Encrypting File System x
Group Policy x
Remote Desktop (host) x

Source: PC World

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Interview with Bitbanger Labs, Creators of Remee: The Lucid Dreaming Mask

remee

The art of lucid dreaming has arguably been around for thousands of years. The science of lucid dreaming has been explored during the last fifty years, revealing some of its hidden potential in overcoming fears, nightmares, and stimulating creativity and problem solving. There are many different methods to induce a state of lucid dreaming. Some are able to achieve it through wake induced (or wake initiated) lucid dreaming, while others are able to employ techniques that allow them to achieve dream induced (or dream initiated) lucid dreaming.

Active practitioners of lucid dreaming and co-founders of Bitbanger Labs, Duncan Frazier and Steve McGuigan have come up with a solution to help people become lucid dreamers. Remee is a lucid dreaming mask developed by Bitbanger Labs that provides recognizable external input into your dreams. So with out having to develop reality check tasks to perform routinely or using wake induced techniques that can lead to entering a dream state directly from a waking state, Remee is able to help you recognize that you are dreaming. When you are able to do that within a dream state, you are able to achieve lucid dreaming.

“In default mode, Remee targets these long chunks of REM sleep towards the end of the sleep period. Before bed, turn Remee on, fine tune the brightness of the lights (if needed) and then go to sleep. Remee will wait for an initial long delay, usually 4-5 hours, until you’re in the heart of the heavy REM stages, before initializing light patterns. After the initial long delay Remee will display light patterns for 15-20 seconds with a second shorter delay, default at 15 minutes, between each signal. During non-REM sleep the lights are unlikely to effect you, but if you’re in REM sleep the lights will bleed into your dreams, presenting a perfect chance to become lucid.” -Bitbanger Labs

I was able to chat with Duncan and Steve about what lucid dreaming means to them as well as their creativity and inventiveness.

Ari: When did each of you become interested in technology and gadgetry?

Steve: I think it’s fair to say we’ve both been technologically inclined for most of our lives. When I was 10 I found a TrueBASIC program in the back of a math text book and a copied it line for line onto my old Amstrad PC512. Ever since then I’ve been fascinated with the way humans interact with tech.

Duncan: I started building stuff, particularly photography tools, out of need – but it soon developed into a passion.

Ari: When did you become interested in the concept of lucid dreaming?

Duncan & Steve: Lucid dreaming is something we’ve both been doing since before we knew there was a name for it. Although we’ve known each other for 15 years, we’d never had a conversation about lucid dreaming until a year ago on a camping trip when it came up in passing and we realized it was something we both loved, were both interested in, and were both disappointed there weren’t many consumer products available for lucid dreamers, and that the ones which were available didn’t suit our needs.

Ari: How has lucid dreaming benefited you in your daily lives?

Steve: Apart from the fact that lucid dreaming is wildly entertaining, it can be useful as well. I personally used to lucid dreaming to address a mild phobia of public speaking that I’ve had my entire life. Being able to practice public speaking in a consequence-free environment was incredibly beneficial.

Duncan: If you’re familiar with Radiolab on WNYC, there was a short segment on lucid dreaming in february about a man who had experienced a recurring nightmare for 20 years and practiced lucid dreaming until he was able to confront his dream assailant and end the cycle. Very interesting stuff!

Ari: Do you keep dream journals? and can you share any interesting ones?

Steve:
Dream journaling in an impactful way is a huge commitment that not everyone can keep. I was spotty with it so I transitioned to keeping an Audio journal that i transcribed later. I’ve found that it works better for me because stream of consciousness word dump into my iPhone voice recorder is easier than being limited by how fast I can write laying down first thing in the morning.

Ari: What inspires each of you creatively? and besides Remee, what have been your favorite projects to work on?

Steve: We ran a small t-shirt company out of Duncan’s warehouse space in Kensington, Philadelphia some years back. It was an extremely entertaining but not particularly lucrative venture.

Duncan: I’m always hacking away at something. We’ve got a pretty exciting follow up project in the pipeline.

Ari: As a photographer, Duncan, what are your favorite tools of the trade?

Duncan: I specialize in timelapse, so I’m at home with any camera that I can hook an intervalometer up to, after that a sturdy tripod and patience are my two biggest assets. Of course it can’t hurt to have a good set of prime lenses. A clinometer and sun chart are invaluable so you can predict where the sun will be at any given time is always good, and heavy 6 or 10 stop Neutral Density filters let you get creative with extra long daytime exposures.

Ari: Duncan, how do you merge your photography skills with your coding skills and on what projects have you accomplished this?

Duncan: I began coding and building thing because I wanted to take my photography/timelapse work to the next level. The very first rig I built was an automated pan and tilt head for doing moves while shooting timelapse. It was quite the education on gear ratios, mechanical engineering and coding a usable piece of software. After that first rig I was hooked, and proceeded to build a timelapse slider, a macro slide table and various other rigs. Currently I’m exploring the world of LEDs and how they can be used in photography to make amazing images, but thats a future project, so we can’t talk too much about it.

Ari: Steve, should hobbyists take the time to learn coding languages or do you think you should only take on learning a coding language if you plan on being a programmer?

Steve: Absolutely! Programming is really one of the most useful technical skills to have. Anyone who loves gadgets and tech in general would be well served to learning even just the basics of writing software. Arduino/Processing is definitely a wonderful and simple introduction into the world of creating tech of your own. The internet is bursting at the seams with free information on how to get started with this kind of stuff.

Ari: How have your coding skills influenced your design work, Steve? Have you ever had to redesign something because it wasn’t possible to code the function or vice versa?

Steve: In our experience, ambitious design leads to better and more adventurous code. It’s easier to design something outrageous and worry about whether it’s possible later. If you confine yourself to the box of what you’re comfortable coding, innovation will stagnate.

Ari: What advice do you have for other techies into building and inventing new products?

Duncan & Steve: Ask yourself three questions: “Is this something people would want?”, “How can I produce it efficiently?”, and “How can I bring it to them?” Plenty of projects are unsuccessful because one or more of these questions weren’t considered. The first one is obvious, but the other two are often lost in the excitement of answering yes to the first.

The Remee Kickstarter campaign has already surpassed $300,000 with many people interested in this innovative way to achieve a practice that has been around for thousands of years. There is still time to contribute to the campaign and be among the first to try the new lucid dreaming mask. You can find out all about Remee and how it works by visiting their kickstarter page.

bitbangerlabs.com

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It’s Official! Master Chief Awakes on November 6th!

Halo 4 Preview

When last we saw Master Chief, he was getting into a cryo-chamber, telling Cortana, “Wake me…when you need me.” Last year, we got a sneek peak at E3 of Cortana doing just that (reviving our sleeping super soldier), and now the date has finally been set! Microsoft has revealed that November 6, 2012 will be the official launch date of the latest installment in the Halo franchise, Halo 4. This is the first game in the franchise under new developer 343 Industries, and will mark the return of Master Chief, the central character of the Halo franchise. Pre-Ordering is already available at your favorite gaming outlets. The new game will be the first in a new trilogy for Halo fans.

“November 6 is an important date in Halo’s vast and fascinating history. For the uninitiated, that was the day the Master Chief found a weapon, a parched Grunt stumbled upon the starship, and Staff Sergeant Avery Junior Johnson discovered the answer to one of life’s most perplexing questions. He wasn’t born knowing what the ladies like, you know.” -Bs Angel at HaloWaypoint

In partnership with Rooster Teeth Video, Microsoft have released a couple of Red Vs Blue videos to make sure all game fans remember not to forget the date.


Who’s in with planning a sick day with the lame fake cough? Forget about us in the United States actually electing a president that day!

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What To Expect At The 2012 International CES?

A lot, that’s what!

CES buzz is reaching its height as the worlds largest trade show is set to open in fabulous Las Vegas tomorrow. LG has already announced two devices that it will be unveiling at the show; their new Spectrum smartphone (expected to launch on January 19) and what is being touted as the new standard of HDTV, the thinnest 55 inch OLED screen to hit the market at 3/16 of an inch thick (4 mm) and only 16.5 pounds!

Microsoft recently announced that this will be its last appearance at the technology trade show, for a while, which sparked industry talk about this being the the downfall of the trade show giant. Even though attendance numbers have been down in recent years due to the economic slow down in the United States and other parts of the world, this year is expected to be the second largest in the 45 year history of the CES trade show.

There is still a lot of innovation and excitement to be found at CES with all the new categories of exhibition that have been added this year. Instead of always being a showcase of what the big industry players have to offer in the upcoming year, CES is taking a more broad reaching approach and offering exhibition space to technology start-ups and app makers. You will also see a few car makers at CES this year to unveil plans for integration in their upcoming models. Mercedes-Benz will give a keynote on Tuesday.

“There is no shortage of companies that frankly beg us to keynote, [The opening speech is] considered the most high-profile keynote in the world.” – Gary Shapiro, CEO of the CEA

So even without Microsoft in the upcoming years, expect CES to grow with the expectations of a rapidly changing technology filled world.

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Mangrove 7 Android Tablet to Land in Japan

android tablet
The Taiwan based company, Camangi, will ship their latest Android 3.1 powered tablet, Mangrove 7 to Japan in late August of this year. Specifications for the tablet include:

  • Tegra 2 Chipset
  • 1GB of RAM
  • 8GB of Internal Memory
  • 7″ 1024 x 800 resolution display
  • Micro USB 2.0
  • WiFi 802.11 b/g/n
  • MicroSD Slot
  • Mini HDMI
  • Bluetooth 2.1 + EDR
  • GPS/AGPS
  • 2.0 MP front camera
  • 5.0 MP rear camera with LED Flash
  • 1600 mAh battery

At 195 x 122 x 11.92mm and a weight of 380g that is a lot of nice tech for a tablet. The price point is being set at ¥49,800. For those who do not have a currency converter handy, that is around $614. A little expensive since an iPad 2 16GB is $499.

source: Akihabara News

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