Home brewing is rewarding but it’s also often fraught with peril — if you don’t thoroughly sterilize all of your equipment or if you drop in the yeast while your wort is still hot, it can ruin hours of hard work. Bloomberg Businessweek has written a profile on former Windows engineer Bill Mitchell, who left Microsoft in 2010 to work full-time on PicoBrew, a startup that’s dedicated to take away as many potential pain points as possible for home brewers. Last fall, PicoBrew launched a Kickstarter for Zymatic, its own automatic beer brewing appliance that raised more than $660,000, or more than four times its original goal of $150,000. PicoBrew’s pitch is very appealing to anyone who’s ever tried their hand
Old-school RPG fans still get nostalgic when you bring up Baldur’s Gate, the classic Bioware D&D-based adventure that set the standard for computer RPGs when it was released all the way back in 1998. In fact, the Balur’s Gate series’s popularity has been so enduring that studio Beamdog has overhauled it with improved graphics and features while also adding touch controls to make it easy to play on tablets. Although Beamdog released its Baldur’s Gate: Enhanced Edition for the iPad a while ago, the studio has finally gotten around to porting it to Android, and it’s now available on the Google Play store for $9.99. Although the iPad version of the overhauled Baldur’s Gate received mixed marks for its buggy controls,
U.S. PlayStation fans weren’t fortunate enough to receive a big Easter promotion like their European counterparts, but Sony is making up for it with a 99 cent flash sale this weekend, slashing prices on over 25 games on the PlayStation Network. Sony announced on the PlayStation Blog that the offer had officially gone live on Friday, featuring PlayStation 3, Vita and PS2/PS1 Classics that will cost you less than a dollar to pick up. The full list follows below. Back to the Future: The Game – Full Series Blast Factor Braid Crash Bandicoot Crash Bandicoot 2 Crash Bandicoot 3: WARPED Crash Commando CTR: Crash Team Racing echochrome ii Everyday Shooter Gex: Enter the Gecko Gotham City Imposters Jurassic Park: The Game – Full Season Plants vs Zombies
It’s taken far too long, but it looks like an update to the latest version of Android on Verizon’s Galaxy S4 is finally in sight. Android Geeks obtained a leaked document from one of its readers which points to May 2nd as the launch date for Android 4.4.2 KitKat on the S4, around two months after the roll out began for AT&T and Sprint subscribers. Google has made it clear that the inexplicable update delays will be handled more efficiently in the future, but for now, Verizon customers are dependent on internal leaks to learn about software updates. Android Geeks pointed out that KitKat began appearing on Verizon’s LG G2 this week as well, so hopefully anyone with a recent Android device and a subscription to
Motorola has previously hinted that it wants to offer users an even more affordable smartphone this year, and Tecnblog says it learned that such a handset will launch this May. The Moto G has been one of Motorola’s best-selling smartphones thanks to its affordable price, and this new device may be even cheaper. According to a person that reportedly works for a Brazilian mobile operator, the cheaper Motorola handset would pack a 4.3-inch display with unspecified resolution, 1.2GHz dual-core processor, 1GB of RAM, 4GB of storage, 5-megapixel camera, 3G support, FM Radio antenna, 1900mAh battery and Android 4.4 KitKat. Three versions of the handset have apparently been approved by Brazilian Telecommunication regulator Anatel, including the single-SIM XT1021, the dual-SIM XT1022 and the
Ten days ago a 3D printer called The Micro started a Kickstarter campaign with the modest goal of raising $50,000 in a month. With 18 days to go, the project has already raised nearly $3 million. The Micro has gained more than 10,000 followers and all of the early production runs of the $199 and $299 versions of the device have sold out. New supporters will have to pick a February 2015 shipment date of pay at least $600 for very early test production runs. Obviously, the frenzy of excitement around The Micro seems to indicate that there is real fascination about the idea of owning a 3D printer priced at the level of a video game console. But what happens if The
The Google Android platform grabbed the majority of mobile phones in the US market in early 2014, as consumers all but abandoned non-smartphone handsets, a survey showed Friday. The poll by Consumer Intelligence Research Partners found 53 percent of new mobile phones activated by US customers were Android devices in the January-March period. Apple's iOS, the platform used by the iPhone, accounted for 42 percent, the survey found. Late last year 20 percent bought a "basic" mobile phone.
Samsung launched Milk Music last month seemingly out of nowhere, a music streaming service to compete with Pandora, Spotify, Beats Music and countless others already on the market. The draw of Milk Music appeared to be its lack of subscription fees, but an infographic posted on the Samsung Tomorrow blog reveals that the ad-free basic service was only a limited time offer, and a $3.99/month premium service is coming soon. Powered by Slacker, Milk Music already houses more than 13,000,000 songs on its 200+ stations, so if you’re a Samsung device owners looking for a slick alternative to the established services, the app is worth downloading while the basic service is still ad-free. The infographic can be found below.
One of the problems with space travel is how wasteful it is — the rockets that help propel space shuttles into the atmosphere fall off once they reach a certain height and are often completely unsalvageable after they crash back down to Earth. However, Tesla CEO Elon Musk’s company SpaceX has just posted a new video showing off its Falcon 9 Reusable (F9R) rocket in action and it looks like the team at SpaceX have done some mind-blowing engineering work. As you can see, the video shows the F9R taking off and then hovering 250 meters in the air before slowly descending and then gently landing right back on the launch pad it took off from. Musk and SpaceX are working
No matter how positive the reviews are for its products, HTC can’t seem to break out from behind the shadow of Samsung. Without a veritable army of devices flooding store shelves, it’s difficult for any phone maker to make an impact in the Android smartphone market. But HTC believes that by closing the gap on dedicated cameras, it can attract an even wider audience while trumping the competition. Speaking with Vodafone, HTC’s camera expert Symon Whitehorn said that the phone camera will continue to be a vital aspect of the industry’s growth and development. “As smartphones have become people’s primary camera, we expect more of them,” says Whitehorn. “That’s why we’ve put so much investment into the camera – because smartphone
Sure, Apple Maps might send you into a death trap in the Australian outback or onto an airport runway, but it does do things that other mapping services don’t, such as being able to find imaginary monsters. AppleInsider points out that hunters of the Loch Ness Monster claim that they found an image of the mythical beast on a satellite image provided by Apple’s iOS Maps, which was something that they didn’t find when they tried looking for it on Google Maps. Loch Ness enthusiast Andy Dixon tells The Daily Mail that that he captured an image of what he claims to be the Loch Ness Monster on his iPhone through iOS Maps, although the image in his picture actually looks
It’s pretty safe to say that computer science Professor Willy Susilo won’t be relying on a fingerprint scanner to keep his mobile phone secure. In an interview with The Sydney Morning Herald, Susilo says that the fingerprint scanners used by Apple and Samsung are mere “gimmicks” that hackers can easily fool and that don’t give users and real biometric security. That said, Susilo doesn’t think that this means biometrics have no place mobile security. In fact he’s very bullish on two different kinds of biometrics scanners that may one day grace our smartphones: Retina scanners and vein scanners. Susilo is more optimistic about vein scanners, mostly because there are concerns among biometrics researchers that iris scanners could present cancer risks. Another advantage to
Tactus Technology is a startup that has developed an accessory that can create transparent keyboard buttons on top of a touchscreen display. The company is working with Taiwan-based Wistron, Business Insider reports, to manufacture such a keyboard case accessory for the iPad, which should start shipping later this year. The cases, which will cost between $80 and $100, will work with help of a liquid that forms the physical buttons when such a feature is needed. The cases have two components, including a thin display layer that looks like a screen protector, but allows fluid to pass through it, and a hard-shell backing which will supposedly store the liquid in addition to protecting the device. With a push of a button,
Although Samsung often gets tagged as a copycat in the realm of smartphones, the company really does produce some remarkable innovations, particularly in the realm of displays. Patent Shot has spotted a recently filed Samsung patent for a new kind of transparent display technology that can be used to convincingly add digital images to the real world and thus blur the line between virtual reality and physical reality. What makes this technology particularly impressive is the way it’s capable of tracking where a user is and adjusting the image accordingly. So if you had a store window with a virtual display set up on one of Samsung’s transparent screens, people looking at it would be able to see it from
There’s a major fight brewing in the rapidly growing video streaming market over which device consumers use the most to watch their favorite online content. Game consoles, PC’s and connected devices linked to television sets have all proven somewhat popular… and yet it seems that nothing can stop the tablet juggernaut. The latest sign of rapid tablet ascendancy in streaming video consumption comes from the BBC (PDF), which tracks closely the performance of iPlayer, one of the most popular methods to view video content in the United Kingdom. The iPlayer is now generating more than 10 million video requests a day, up from 2.5 million a day in April 2009. And what is really striking is how much of the demand
Well, here’s something happy to think about as you head into the weekend. Phys.org brings us word that three former NASA astronauts are going to present new research next week showing that there have been 26 asteroid crashes since 2001 that have caused “atomic-bomb-scale explosions” that have fortunately been far away from major population centers. The research, which was conducted by the B612 Foundation, used data from a nuclear weapons warning network to measure the impact of major asteroid strikes on the Earth’s surface. “This network has detected 26 multi-kiloton explosions since 2001, all of which are due to asteroid impacts,” explained B612 Foundation CEO Ed Lu, a physicist who worked at NASA from 1994 until 2007. “It shows that asteroid impacts are
Apple is expected to unveil iOS 8 at WWDC 2014 in early June, but meanwhile plenty of reports have detailed some of the features it will have to offer, with various alleged image leaks showing what the new operating system would look like on a bigger iPhone 6 display. But iOS 8 will be compatible with older devices as well, and PhoneArena has obtained an image that shows iOS 8 running on an iPhone 5s. While it’s not clear whether the image is genuine, or how the leaker obtained a copy of iOS 8, other sites have reported steady iOS 8 sightings in website analytics, suggesting that Apple is already testing iOS 8 ahead of WWDC. In addition to old default iOS
The flood gates have apparently opened in April as Apple device leaks have begun to hit the Internet at an alarming pace. From blueprints to cases to components, we’ve seen enough purported information about the iPhone 6 to build our own, but other than an analyst report on the next iPad’s release date, Apple’s next tablet has remained relatively well hidden. OneMoreThing.nl looks to fix that with the most promising next-gen iPad leaks yet — two photos showing off what might be the front of the iPad Air 2, complete with an integrated display. The current iPad architecture separates the display and the panel, but with an integrated display, the next iPad Air could be even thinner than its predecessor. With
It’s safe to say that former Apple CEO John Sculley has some regrets in his career. In an interview with The Times of India, Sculley admits that ousting Apple cofounder Steve Jobs as CEO way back in 1985 was “a mistake” that cost the company dearly and set it on the path toward near-oblivion. However, Sculley says that the decision was much more justifiable at the time it was made because Jobs’ always-difficult personality was even tougher to rein in during his younger years. “I think, in hindsight, for the founder to leave was a mistake and I was a part of that,” Sculley tells The Times of India. “But, Steve in 1985 was not the same as the Steve
Google may be working on a new kind of Nexus device that could be even more affordable than its predecessors, a new report from Asia says. However, the device won’t be a high-end model like the others, but rather an entry- to mid-range device that would sell for under $100, thus being significantly more affordable than any previous Nexus handsets. The device will reportedly pack an unspecified MediaTek processor, with Google is said to already be working on with the Taiwanese chipmaker for this particular device. However, no other details have been mentioned about such a Google Nexus initiative. It’s unclear what handset maker would actually build such an ultra-affordable Nexus handset. Google is also rumored to launch a bigger high-end 8.9-inch Nexus tablet
The launch of the iPhone 6 is still months away but that doesn’t mean you can’t get some incredible deals on the iPhone 5s. Case in point: MacRumors points out that RadioShack is now selling the iPhone 5s for just $99 with a two-year contract from Verizon, AT&T or Sprint, which happens to be one of the lowest prices we’ve ever seen for Apple’s latest flagship phone. The new price for the 5s at RadioShack is the same on-contract price that Apple originally charged for the iPhone 5c, so now it looks like interested buyers now have even less reason to pick up a 5c than they did before. What makes this deal even better is that MacRumors says that
Is HTC finally, at long, long last, going to get a decent marketing campaign? The Wall Street Journal reports that HTC has officially brought on Paul Golden, Samsung’s former U.S. marketing chief, to be a consultant to HTC chairwoman Cher Wang. During his time at Samsung from 2008 through 2012, Golden was instrumental in establishing the company’s Galaxy brand as the main alternative to Apple’s iPhone through a series of first-rate ads that often took humorous shots at Apple fans’ expense. What this means for HTC’s future marketing efforts is unclear but we can bet that there won’t be any more horrendous Robert Downey Jr. spots or ads about Hipster Troll Car Washes going forward.
After LaCie announced earlier this week it was the victim of a massive credit card breach that lasted for a year, crafts store Michaels revealed in a press release that hackers may have stolen credit card data for 3 million of its customers, including buyers that shopped at its Aaron Brothers subsidiary. The company has hired two independent security firms to conduct an extensive investigation, which revealed that payment systems in Michaels and Aaron Brothers stores were attacked by “highly sophisticated malware” that had not been seen before by either firm. While the malware has been neutralized at this time, the company determined that the hack was quite extensive, allowing hackers to steal certain payment information including card number and
Sony on Thursday announced that it sold over 7 million PlayStation 4 units, significantly more than what it envisioned for its fiscal year 2013. Microsoft made its own announcement yesterday as well, highlighting the strong sales of Titanfall, a shooter game that’s not available on the PS4, and which was named the number one selling game in March according to NPD numbers. However, while Titanfall has helped Microsoft sell more Xbox One units, it wasn’t enough to keep Xbox One sales on par with PS4 sales. The company also announced that more than 5 million Xbox One units have been sold-in to retailers since launch, with sales apparently outpacing Xbox 360 sales by more than 60% at the same point
HTC has confirmed the hiring of Paul Golden, a former Samsung US chief marketing officer, following a report from Bloomberg News. Golden, whose LinkedIn page says he "created and launched the highly successful Galaxy brand," was at Samsung between 2008 and 2012, a time in which the Korean company rose to global prominence in the smartphone market. A lawyer for Samsung in the ongoing patent trial with Apple claimed its provocative "Next Big Thing" campaign drove its rival "crazy" after kicking off in 2011. HTC on Friday confirmed the hiring The Verge, with a spokesperson providing the following statement: "HTC continues to invest in talent and recruitment as part of our broader human resources strategy to ensure the continued strength of our company's organizational structure."
FingerReader is the name of a wearable gadget that could help visually impaired people read printed text in books and even on electronic devices, thus opening up additional possibilities to them. Developed by MIT researchers, FingerReader wants to help the blind access more resources than what’s already available in braille format. TechCrunch reports that, according to a recent study from the Royal National Institute of the Blind in Britain cited by one of the researchers, in 2011 only 7% of books are available in large print, unabridged audio and braille. Currently in prototype phase, the FingerReader is essentially a ring that you can use to follow a line of text in a book or on a screen. Thanks to the built-in
Wearable tech has a lot of promise, but the endless parade of smartwatches from every company with the means to create one has diluted the field. One of the more fascinating projects that exists far outside of this box is Imogen Heap’s Mi.Mu Glove, a musical tool that allows musicians to create music without confining themselves to a computer. By simply moving a gloved hand, the user can change countless aspects of the sound created with the Mi.Mu Glove, from the pitch and the volume to the instrument being emulated. As Heap explains in the Kickstarter video, “currently you’d need a small team of people to set it all up.” If the project is funded, the team will be able to finish designing the software and the hardware
Even though the OnePlus One, one of the most exciting high-end Android handsets set to release so far this year, will soon be available to customers in many markets at a very affordable price compared to competitors, not all interested buyers will be able to get one as easily as expected. The phone, which promises to deliver a better performance than other newly launched flagships, will sell for under $400 in 16 initial markets across the globe. OnePlus has already promised that the shopping experience should be quite smooth, no matter where the buyers order a One from. But in a new announcement, it revealed a major issue that will potentially cripple the shopping experience of some buyers. Apparently the
In a last effort before its April 22nd hearing, Aereo is defending its service in a “media blitz,” as Re/code calls it, whose purpose is to better inform everyone that its business isn’t infringing on any copyright laws. The company will explain next week to the Supreme Court why its services are legal, in its view, and why they aren’t violating the copyright o broadcasters. The company has put up a special Protect My Antenna site that shows Aereo’s main arguments for the hearing. The company says that customers should benefit from the same privileges they always had when it comes to watching over-the-air free television, and recording those programs for personal use, even if they’re able to do so using
By Dan Levine SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - A U.S. judge on Thursday rejected a request by patent consortium Rockstar to transfer patent litigation from Google Inc's home turf in California to Texas, according to a court ruling. Rockstar, which counts Apple Inc as an investor, outbid Google and paid $4.5 billion for thousands of former Nortel Network Corp patents as the networking products supplier went bankrupt in 2011. Last year, the consortium sued several handset manufacturers whose phones operate on Google's Android operating system, which fiercely competes with Apple mobile products.
Android users have yet another piece of malware to worry about. PC World points out a technique that is specifically targeting Facebook users who use mobile banking. On computers infected with this trojan, users will see a message when visiting Facebook’s website alerting them that “due to a rising number of attempts in order to gain unlawful access to the personal information of our users and to prevent corrupted page data to spread Facebook administration introduces new extra safety protection system.” If users click on the alert, they will then be directed to a page that instructs them to specify their mobile operating system and phone number. After that, they are then given a QR code for downloading an app on
If you’ve been holding out for a discount on the latest line of iPads, you’re in luck. 9to5Mac noticed on Thursday that refurbished Retina iPad minis are now available on Apple’s website, starting at $339 for a 16GB, Wi-Fi-only model in silver and space gray. 32GB Wi-Fi models are listed at $419 and 64GB models will run you $509. Each of these prices represents between a 15-16% discount off of the standard price for a new device. Last year’s Retina iPad mini features a 7.9-inch, 2,048 x 1,536 pixel resolution display, 64-bit A7 processor, M7 motion coprocessor, 10 hour battery life, 5-megapixel camera and weighs just 0.73 pounds. As with other refurbished products sold by Apple, the refurbished iPad mini
Facebook on Thursday took the wraps off of a new feature that, depending on your perspective, is either incredibly cool or incredibly creepy. For this reason, the company has wisely decided to make this new feature strictly an opt-in affair to avoid completely freaking out users who are sensitive to privacy. The new feature, called Nearby Friends, lets you “occasionally be notified when friends are nearby, so you can get in touch with them and meet up.” The feature lets you and your friends give your precise locations in real time, although you have to explicitly give the app permission before it’s allowed to do so. More crucially, the new feature won’t flip on at all unless you specifically tell it to, which
It looks like Time Warner Cable just simplified the Wi-Fi hotspot once and for all. Gigaom reports that Time Warner enabled Hotspot 2.0 capabilities across its public Wi-Fi network this week, allowing customers to log in a single time and then remain connected any time their devices pick up a signal in the future. The upgraded software has been available to broadband customers since March, but this marks the first large-scale implementation of the software. The goal is to give Time Warner customers access to the Internet anywhere they go. Not only will customers be able to avoid those pesky login screens, but the connection will be encrypted using WPA2 security. “This was a good opportunity to get a secure connection to our customers,” said VP
According to a recent survey, Americans are excited for futuristic technology that you might see in a sci-fi novel, but are anxious about how we’ll get there. That’s the conclusion from a report from a Pew Research Center released today which asked 1,000 Americans what they thought of various technological advancements. “The American public anticipates that the coming half-century will be a period of profound scientific change, as inventions that were once confined to the realm of science fiction come into common usage,” according to the report. For inventions that are not expected soon, but in the next 50 years, respondents were generally optimistic. 59% said they think technology will improve life in the next half-century, and 81% said they think people who need organ transplants
iPhone fans are fanatically loyal to their favorite device but they can also give credit where it’s due. iMore writer Allyson Kazmucha, who writes obsessively about how to get the most out of your iPhone and iPad, has conducted a very thorough camera shootout involving the iPhone 5s, the Galaxy S5 and the HTC One (M8). While Kazmucha typically found that the One (M8)’s new camera lagged behind the iPhone 5s’s camera in terms of quality, she couldn’t say the same thing about the Galaxy S5′s camera, which she said was in some ways superior to the iPhone 5s’s. Before we get to her conclusions, we should note that she tested these cameras for a number of different picture scenarios, including low-light
One of the biggest surprises of 2013 was Orange is the New Black, a Netflix original series that lacked the star power of House of Cards, but made up for it with incredible writing, performances and an ending that left viewers speechless. After an 11 month hiatus, the prison drama will return to Netflix on June 6th with 13 new episodes, and as usual, all the episodes will be released simultaneously. Netflix debuted the first trailer for season 2 on Thursday, welcoming back a vast majority of the cast from the first season, along with a few new faces. Watch the premiere trailer for the second season of Orange is the New Black below.
Sleazy astroturf campaigns are nothing new in the corporate world but Verizon may have just taken things to a whole new level. Ars Technica reports that New Jersey’s Board of Public Utilities (BPU) recently received hundreds of identically worded emails from different people that all supported Verizon’s demands that it be let off the hook for building out broadband infrastructure that it had agreed to build as part of an agreement with the state that dates back to two decades ago. There’s a problem, however: Some of the people who supposedly sent emails to the board say they did no such thing. “I am a customer only to Verizon and I was not contacted by them to submit anything,” one irate
While Apple is yet to reveal details about its bigger iPhone plans, analyst Ming-Chi Kuo – who has a good track record reporting on Apple unreleased products – last week revealed many details about a 4.7-inch iPhone 6 including its screen resolution. According to him, the bigger iPhone will have a strange 1334 x 750 Retina display with a pixel density of 326 pixel per inch density. In new reports, MacRumors and a The Verge forums user explained why that resolution makes sense, showing how the home screen and apps could look like on such a display. Taking into account the fact that Apple has always tried to offer developers a seamless way to adapt to bigger displays when it comes to app