We’ve already been told a fifth season of Arrested Development on Netflix is unlikely due to scheduling issues with the show’s busy ensemble. But it turns out show creator Mitch Hurwitz barely managed to get everyone together for season four — set to debut on the streaming service this weekend. In fact, he often couldn’t. In an interview with Rolling Stone , Hurwitz admitted that not only were episodes and scenes shot out of order to accomodate cast members, but also revealed “half of the stuff is on green screen.” He cites one example to illustrate the challenges show runners faced: an on-screen conversation Michael (Jason Bateman) and Lindsay (Portia de Rossi) required the actors to film their lines four months apart
How much? When? Where? Who cares? If you aren’t exactly interested in knowing how much the impending Xbox One will cost you — let alone when it’ll actually hit your doorstep — you can sign up to be notified of your opportunity to pre-order the console right now
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Xbox One pre-order notification is live: here’s where to sign up
Google has been spending quite a lot of time tweaking , streamlining and generally beautifying the interface of its “social backbone.” But while the mobile apps and desktop site have seen near constant updates, the mobile Google+ site has languished slightly behind. Today Mountain view is delivering a little bit of parity for those on platforms that don’t have an official app, such as Windows Phone 8 and BlackBerry 10. The update brings the new card UI to the phone-focused version, along with easier to see and tap +1 and re-share buttons. The updated profile experience is also going mobile, with large cover photos and more touch friendly icons coming to both personal profiles and pages.
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Google+ adds card UI and larger cover photos to mobile site
Looking to save some coin on your tech purchases? Of course you are! In this roundup, we’ll run down a list of the freshest frugal buys, hand-picked with the help of the folks at Slickdeals . You’ll want to act fast, though, as many of these offerings won’t stick around long. Monday’s list of links may have gotten bumped to Tuesday, but rest assured that we’ve got a handful of discounted tech ready for your perusal. A wireless Brother all-in-one inkjet printer and 300W JBL wireless subwoofer made the cut alongside three other tempting gadgets.
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Slickdeals’ best in tech for May 21st: Brother all-in-one printer and JBL wireless subwoofer
The Xbox One’s 50GB Blu-ray discs will automatically rip to your 500GB hard drive, Microsoft tells us, and it looks like you won’t have to wait til they’re done to get going. That’s according to the Xbox One landing page on Xbox.com, spotted by our friends at Joystiq , which says, “With Xbox One, you can start playing immediately as games install. And updates install seamlessly in the background, so your games and entertainment won’t be interrupted.” And that’s not all they’ve sussed out in details — the Xbox One will also have a 1,000-person friend cap.
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Xbox One installs discs to the HDD, friends list capped at 1,000
Six months after promising to integrate sight recognition technology into its HERE suite of apps , Nokia has finally updated HERE Maps with LiveSight. The update is available today in the Windows Phone app store and requires Windows Phone 8. By tapping a button in HERE Maps, users can enter LiveSight mode, which will scan the surrounding area and pull up relevant information about nearby locations, like addresses, phone numbers and ratings. Lumia owners familiar with Nokia’s City Lens app will recognize the virtual signs attached to buildings viewed through the camera display and the HERE Maps version of LiveSight appears to have similar functionality — including HERE’s strongest selling point, offline access
Indie developers have been able to take advantage of a free version of the Unity engine for desktop game development some time now, and starting today they can extend that development to mobile games at no added cost. The company’s confirmed that it’s dropping the $800 licensing fee for its Android and iOS build options, with Blackberry 10 and Windows Phone 8 development also promised to be moving to a free option in the “coming months.” As Unity CEO David Helgason explained at the Unite Nordic conference earlier today, the company has been hoping to make the move “for what seems like forever,” with his ultimate goal being to push the “democratisation of game development further than ever before.” He further explains in a blog post that the new option comes with “no strings attached, no royalties and no license fees,” apart from the prior rules that require large companies to use the paid version of Unity. As for those who’ve recently paid up for the mobile engine only to find it now free, Helgason says they can expect to hear from him in the next two weeks with an offer of discounts on future purchases.
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Unity drops licensing fee on game engine for mobile developers
Leap Motion debuted in June 2012 with an impressively polished demo , but after its attention-getting debut, the company’s path to market has been a bit rockier. It’s had to woo partners on both the software and hardware side, while navigating an often unpredictable production process and at least one major delay. They’ve attracted big-name partners like Best Buy, Asus and Corel, but will it be enough to convince users to sign on for a new way of controlling their computers? Continue reading…
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Leap Motion’s quest to bring gesture control to the PC
Dr. Terrence Early, a psychiatrist in Santa Barbara, CA, is convinced he’s found the holy grail of care for severely depressed patients — those who’ve tried a litany of antidepressants, and even electroconvulsive therapy, to no avail. “These are the very sickest patients,” Early, who estimates that he’s treated 80 people over 500 sessions with the method, says. “And the results have been dumbfounding.” Continue reading…
Here’s a totally amazing and fascinating story about hyperinflation crashing the economy of Blizzard’s massively multiplayer online RPG Diablo 3. Blizzard blew its economic strategy for Diablo 3 by making the “sinks” (places where gold is taken out of the economy) unattractive, adding in real-money-for-stuff trades, and then letting a bug run wild. Before you
Two US Navy dolphins discovered an antique torpedo off the coast of San Diego, CA. The Howell torpedo is one of 50 produced, remarkable as it is the first locomotive torpedo developed and was fly-wheel powered. Surprisingly this marks the 24th recovered! Check out HNGN for the story: An early naval torpedo was discovered deep
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Navy dolphins find antique torpedo
In yet another sign of just how crowded the mobile payments market is becoming, Boost Mobile today launched its own mobile wallet app. Dubbed (predictably) Mobile Wallet, the new service allows customers of the Sprint -owned MVNO to make payments in over 135 countries and set up bill payments with more than 3,500 companies across the US. Of course, it also lets you re-up any of your Boost cellular accounts. Continue reading…
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Boost Mobile launches mobile wallet app, offers prepaid Visa card for in-store purchases
It’s an understatement to say that Sprint is in a period of transition — both Softbank and Dish are trying to buy the nation’s third-largest wireless carrier. At the same time, Sprint and Dish are both trying to purchase Clearwire , and Sprint has just made a strong play for that spectrum. The carrier has just submitted a new, increased offer for Clearwire — the carrier is now offering $3.40 per share of the company that Sprint doesn’t already own. That’s up from the $2.97 Sprint initially offered and would value Clearwire as a whole at $10.7 billion — and it’s a bit better than the $3.30 per share that Dish offered in its acquisition bid. Sprint says that this is its “best and final offer,” so there’s not much to do but wait for…
Foursquare for Windows Phone keeps getting better and better. And now Lumia owners will have something else to brag about (besides the stunning design, that is). Nokia devices are being granted access to a small set of exclusive features in the latest Foursquare update. The marquee addition is a new augmented reality view that puts venue information right in your live camera view. All you have to do is tap the camera icon at the top of the map screen.
One of the most iconic chairs in modern design is returning to its structural roots, thanks to more environmentally-friendly developments in manufacturing. Furniture maker Herman Miller this week announced that its Eames Molded Plastic Chair and Side Chair will now be produced in fiberglass, more than 20 years after designer Ray Eames abandoned the material over environmental concerns. Both models will be available this summer in various bases and nine “vintage” colors. The Michigan-based Herman Miller began producing Ray and Charles Eames’ chair in 1950, using fiberglass-reinforced plastic
If you’re a Major League Soccer fan, there’s now a Windows 8 app to keep up with North America’s version of the beautiful game. The league has teamed up with Microsoft on an exclusive app to bring schedules, standings, video highlights, play-by-play, game stats, cards and substitutions to Windows 8 Pro and RT. You’ll also be able to get custom updates on your live tiles to see how your team is doing with a glance at the start screen. MLS and Microsoft said they’re also bringing “fan and stadium experiences,” like trying out Windows 8 on Microsoft Surface tablet at over 40 games during the season, and alluded to bringing “immersive soccer experiences” to players, coaches and fans down the road
Over the seven months since Microsoft released Windows 8, the sales data haven’t been encouraging, with IDC reporting a 13.9 percent decline in the PC industry last quarter, its largest on record. But it looks like there’s one bright spot: as much as 10 percent of new laptops sold that quarter included touchscreens. The numbers — 46 million laptop shipments, 4.57 million with touchscreens — come from DisplayBank, a division of market research company IHS, but they’re close enough to the 50.5 million laptops quoted by Canalys to warrant a look. If the numbers are accurate, that’s a 51.8 percent increase in laptops with touchscreens over the past quarter
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One in ten laptops shipped last quarter had a touchscreen, says report
Scientists believe they have finally identified the pathogen that caused the Irish potato famine. BBC News reports a research team led by The Sainsbury Laboratory in Norwich, England, used dried leaf cuttings — some of which are nearly 170 years old — to reconstruct the spread of the HERB-1 strain of Phytophthora infestans, a fungal disease that came to Ireland via Mexico in 1845. The disease destroyed potato crops and caused the deaths of a million people. Continue reading…
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Irish potato famine mystery solved after 168 years
Amazon’s Cloud services are now approved for government use in the US . The Department of Health and Human Services, which includes high-profile bodies like the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), is now able to make use of Amazon Web Services (AWS) to host part or all of its websites. AWS is wildly popular among web developers — services like Elastic Cloud Compute (EC2) and Simple Storage Service (S3) provide the backbone to large portions of the web, including ultra-high-traffic sites like Netflix. Although Amazon has servers throughout the world, the government security clearance only covers those physically located in the US. Back in March, an unverified report claimed that Amazon is building a private cloud for the CIA .
A fresh release of Dish Anywhere for Android just hit Google Play, bringing it up to speed with its iOS counterpart . Now, the application allows users to stream On Demand content from wherever they have an internet connection, and adds Facebook and Twitter sharing. The experience has also received a dedicated app for tablets running Google’s mobile OS, sporting a look that makes better use of the extra screen real estate, and a skinned remote to boot. In addition to a few miscellaneous bug fixes, the update includes support for handsets with large screens, such as the Droid DNA .
The US military has shut down Wi-Fi access at the Guantanamo Bay Naval Base in Cuba, after receiving threats from the hacktivist collective Anonymous. Army Lt. Col. Samuel House confirmed the move Monday, telling the Associated Press that wireless internet service was shuttered as a precautionary move, and that access to Facebook and Twitter through military networks has also been cut off. Continue reading…
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US shuts down Guantanamo Wi-Fi in response to Anonymous threats
Lawyers for Ferrero, SpA (makers of the Nutella spread) have sent a legal threat to Sara Rosso, who founded and maintains the World Nutella Day site, where they promote Nutella through recipes, tweets, stories, and (obviously) an annual day devoted to the sugary gloop. Rosso has capitulated and will no longer promote their products for
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Nutella’s lawyers shut down World Nutella Day: STOP LIKING US SO MUCH!
Ríos Montt testifying in his defense in Guatemala City, May 2013. Photo: Xeni Jardin. Late-breaking news from Guatemala City: Impunity reigns in Guatemala tonight.
It’s not uncommon for the Sky Sports iPad application to receive features tailored for fans of the world’s beautiful game, soccer (or football, if you want to get technical). To that end, Sky today released version 5.4 of the app ahead of next week’s UEFA Champions League final. Viewers will now be able to choose from up to 20 camera angles when watching game highlights, which should go hand-in-hand with the recent inclusion of that second screen experience . The update also brings the ability to view selected clips in slow-mo — and, hey, the way Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund are currently playing, we’re definitely going to need to take things down a notch