An update to the Google Music app broke compatibility with the ill-fated Nexus Q — but it appears Google may have a new media streamer waiting in the wings to replace it. A recent FCC filing provides some sparse details on a mysterious product referenced as the “H840 Device.” Google is mentioned as the product’s manufacturer, and it’s described as a “fixed base station” with 802.11b/g/n Wi-Fi. What’s most intriguing, however, is the product’s purpose: one of the documents states plainly that “The device functions as a media player.” Douglas Adams fans are also likely to get a kick out of the device’s model number, as well. It’s listed as the H2G2-42, no doubt a sly wink towards The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy . The Nexus Q had..
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Google’s potential Nexus Q successor revealed in FCC filing
The battle of the bands, featuring acts from Ireland to Israel, is underway as we speak. Embedded above is Cezar Ouatu’s particularly excellent It’s my life, this year’s Transylvanian entry. Our Europe Correspondent Leigh Alexander will be filing a report, but not until she’s had a bit of a lie down.
Maker Faire Bay Area is this weekend, in San Mateo, California! Pesco, Mark and I will all be there, and I’m sure many of you reading Boing Boing will be, too. Mark has been posting some great behind-the-scenes snapshots on his Instagram. And of course, the #makerfaire hashtag is a good way to peek at
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To do this weekend: Maker Faire Bay Area
Chinese telecommunications giants ZTE and Huawei are set to face an EU investigation for anti-competitive behavior. Although the pair have both seen moderate success marketing their consumer devices in the region, the investigation is regarding the companies’ infrastructure equipment, which provides the backbone for the industry. In recent years Chinese companies have taken around a quarter of of the EU market, with sales of around €1 billion (roughly $1.3 billion). But according to European Union Trade Commissioner Karel De Gucht, the success has been due to anti-competitive predatory pricing.
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ZTE and Huawei face EU investigation over predatory pricing
About this video, which shows a Pygmy Marmoset noshing on a macaroni, Meredith Yayanos says: “The tinier the primate, the deeper the Uncanny Valley.” I don’t know anything about the conditions under which this video was shot, but obviously monkeys belong in their natural habitat, not in someone’s home eating macaroni. Still, wow: how amazing
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World’s tiniest monkey eats a noodle
Even though we don’t yet know what the PlayStation 4 looks like or how much it will cost, one of the many details revealed at Sony’s February event was that games will be playable even as they download . Now it turns out we won’t have to wait for the new hardware to experience that feature on a console — Steam, for example, does this on PCs with some games — as The Last of Us leaders Bruce Straley and Neil Druckman told Game Informer the PS3 game will be available as a download the same day it arrives on discs, and is playable once the transfer is 50 percent complete. There’s no word whether other developers will have access to the “magic” Naughty Dog worked out with Sony to make it happen, but as least there will be as little delay as possible before you begin exploring its post-apocalyptic landscape June 14th.
I reviewed Ronald Diebert’s new book Black Code in this weekend’s edition of the Globe and Mail. Diebert runs the Citizen Lab at the University of Toronto and has been instrumental in several high-profile reports that outed government spying (like Chinese hackers who compromised the Dalai Lama’s computer and turned it into a covert CCTV)
When Cards Against Humanity saw its $4,000 Kickstarter campaign successfully raise almost four times its original goal, its makers were ecstatic. Two years later, the cards-based party game, which is available as a free PDF download or for $25 as a ready-made package, has generated an estimated $12 million in revenue, and in the past year alone was downloaded 1.5 million times from its website. It’s also spawned a reseller culture, with frequent stock shortages leading opportunists to sell the game for as much as $100 on sites like eBay. Despite that, its makers have stayed true to their cause, and have refused several investment and merchandising offers, preferring to go it alone.
Welcome to The Verge: Weekender edition. Each week, we’ll bring you important articles from the previous weeks’ original reports, features, and reviews on The Verge. Think of it as a collection of a few of our favorite pieces from the week gone by, which you may have missed, or which you might want to read again. Continue reading…
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The Weekender: a new ‘Star Trek’, Google’s big event, and government and science as games
To call something “propaganda” is to connote a laughably unsubtle attempt at mind control, from the kind of nasty stereotypes mocked in BioShock Infinite to a hilariously redubbed North Korean propaganda video that many thought was real — precisely because we expect such attempts to be ham-fisted and idiotic. At The Guardian , Eliane Glaser argues that we should be looking instead at how behavioral science, advertising, and even memes can nudge us in certain directions. “The notion that propaganda is always a state-run, top-down affair provides a cloak for our complicity,” she writes. “Social media’s veneer of openness and people-power exemplifies western propaganda’s habit of masquerading as its opposite.” Continue reading…
There are plenty of wonderful things about train travel: the leg room, the scenery, the lack of security pat-downs. The WiFi , on the other hand, has long been the slowest thing about Amtrak. The company announced today that it’s finally doing something about its frustratingly sluggish service, upgrading wireless on select trains, including the Acela express between Boston and Washington DC and a few California lines like the Capitol Corridor, Pacific Surfliner and San Joaquin. Travelers to other destinations will have to wait a bit longer for quicker load times — Amtrak has promised that the rest of its WiFi-equipped trains will be upgraded by “late summer.” Comments Via: Slashdot Source: The New York Times
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Amtrak boosts WiFi on select trains, more upgrades coming this summer
Every time a reality TV star’s mouth is pixelated to obscure a curse, the producers are using a technique pioneered for Yul Brynner’s killer robot in Westworld . John Whitney Jr., who created the effect for director and writer Michael Crichton, wanted to simulate how an android might see the world. To do so, he divided the screen into tiny squares, calculating the average color of each one, and filling them with that color, creating a shifting low-resolution version of normal vision.
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How ‘Westworld’s’ killer android created movie pixelation
Stitcher just announced a new car mode for the iPhone version of its radio and podcasting app, bringing a simplified interface that works in both portrait and landscape positions. Accessible by tapping the Stitcher logo at the top of the screen, car mode offers a pared-down version of the app’s standard UI, with bigger buttons and only the essential audio controls. It’s nowhere near as flashy as Stitcher’s BMW integration , mind you, but the point is to keep your eyes on the road and off your iPhone’s screen. The app gets a few other updates this time around: a front page with top headlines, one-tap access to shows and podcasts you’re searching for and improved playback when you’re picking up in the middle of a show.
It appears that Canada will become the latest country to look into the business practices of search giant Google. The Financial Post reports that Canada’s Competition Bureau — a law-enforcement agency focused on ensuring competitive conditions in the marketplace — has notified Google that it will be investigating the company’s Canadian operations. It’s not clear at this time what the scope of the investigation will be, or what specific Google products and services will be targeted. The investigation will follow a series of other Google investigations, including ones launched by the Federal Trade Commission and EU regulators. Google reached a settlement with the FTC earlier this year; the company offered to make changes to address EU..
Most approaches to capturing 3D models of real-world objects involve multiple cameras that are rarely cheap, and are sometimes tricky to calibrate. The University of Glasgow has developed a method that ditches those cameras altogether. Its system has four single-pixel sensors stitching together a 3D image based on the reflected intensity of light patterns cast by a projector. Reducing the pixel count lowers the cost per sensor to just a few dollars, and extends the sensitivity as far as terahertz wavelengths. Real-world products are still a long way off, but the university sees its invention as useful for cancer detection and other noble pursuits.
A group of cybersecurity experts has come out in opposition to a White House-backed proposal that would dramatically expand the FBI’s wiretapping capabilities for internet communication services. In a new research paper , the group argues against new regulations under what’s being called CALEA II, an extension to the 1994 Communications Assistance for Law Enforcement Act , which mandated law enforcement backdoor access for telephone networks. The new regulation would do something similar for internet communications, threatening heavy fines on companies that do not comply with wiretapping orders.
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Security experts warn FBI wiretap bill would make apps less secure
OMICS Publishing Group, an Indian scholarly publisher has threatened to sue one of its critics, Metadata librarian Jeffrey Beall, for $1 billion, and has threatened him with prison time over posts he made to his prominent Scholarly Open Access site. OMICS cites India’s terrible Information Technology Act as the basis for its threats. However, it
I’ve written before about Moran Cerf — celebrated neuroscientist, former military hacker, and good-guy bank robber — who also happens to be a great storyteller. Here’s a video in which Cerf recounts some clever and fascinating neuroscience experiments that use neurofeedback to help people resolve competition between different thoughts and wills in their minds. The
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Brain hacking: using neurofeedback to master conflicting wills in your mind
TechCrunch is reporting that two of the largest players in online food delivery have been talking about joining forces. GrubHub and Seamless, which offer websites and mobile apps that allow users to order food online for delivery to their home or business, are said to be discussing a potential merger. According to the report, no deal has been finalized just yet, thought the talks are characterized as “serious.” While both companies are arguably the two most well-known competitors in their particular arena, that hasn’t stopped a number of other entrants from bringing their own online food-ordering services to market. Merging would allow the two companies to bolster their respective offerings, resulting in an even more entrenched… Continue reading…
In all honesty, Blake Griffin himself could start a social network that served no purpose outside of featuring his dizzying (and disgusting, if you will) array of dunks, and it’d probably go over quite well. Instead, he — along with other superstars in the National Basketball Association — will soon see replays of in-game highlights making waves across Twitter in more official fashion. Hot on the heels of a deal between ESPN and Twitter comes this: a partnership between the NBA and the aforesaid social network that’ll get video highlights to the world while the game is still ongoing.
Here’s a clip from an upcoming documentary on the enormous gap between the food described by Zachary is a fourth grader at a large New York City public elementary school. Each day he reads the Department of Education lunch menu online to see what is being served. The menu describes delicious and nutritious cuisine that
During BlackBerry Live this week we got to speak with Vivek Bhardwaj, BlackBerry’s Head of Software, about the future of BB10. In light of the the platform’s first major software update rolling out to its devices , we asked about the plans for future releases. Bhardwaj told us that the plan is for them to come at a regular cadence of one major code update per year, with other, incremental updates for specific devices sprinkled in as needed. A particular focus is to do so while delivering devs fully realized hardware and to avoid fragmentation in the code base — making it easier to create BB10 apps. While he wouldn’t dish details about features coming to BB10 in those updates, Bhardwaj did explain that he’s working on making BB10 a platform particularly suited for use not only in cars , but also in the healthcare and financial services industries.
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BlackBerry software chief on updates and BB10 for healthcare and financial services
It’s easy to miss the Google TV booth here at I/O 2013, hidden in the corner of the third floor. That may not be an accident: there was apparently no room in the company’s sprawling three-and-a-half-hour keynote to mention Google TV, either, just a short blog post hours later announcing that it now runs the latest version of Android . So in a sea of new products, services, and pitches to developers, we couldn’t help but wonder: is TV dead? Google has killed plenty of products with many more fans than Google TV — will it go the way of Reader ? Continue reading…
Google TV: silent but not forgotten at I/O 2013