Tuesday, January 6, 2015
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On Tuesday, the White House stated the President Obama would veto legislation approving construction of the Keystone XL pipeline.
The post BREAKING: White House Says Definitively That Obama Will Veto Keystone XL Legislation appeared first on ThinkProgress.
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The BMW I3 is a lovely hunk of automobile, the kind of vehicle you would save up for years to buy, and then polish with a diaper. Hold on there, sir. Do you really want to drive this masterpiece of engineering with a Samsung Gear S smartwatch?
At CES BMW is illustrating how the future of driverless cars might be powered by the company's proprietary cloud. To do it, a BMW barked commands at a a smartwatch, telling it to come out of the garage and pick him up outside. After a short delay—Wi-Fi in the Las Vegas Convention Center is a disaster—the smartwatch processed the command, and the ca lurched forward. No driver. It just moved.
The toe-headed German BMW rep jumped out in front of the moving vehicle, like a man with a death wish.
And to my surprise, our German friend did not die. The car lurched to a stop.
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Razer just announced a bunch of ambitious things here at CES, including an open source initiative to jumpstart the virtual reality ecosystem, complete with its own VR headset to get devs started. Is that headset any good, though? Uh... let's just say it's no Oculus.
Keep in mind that the headset I just tried is a prototype of an inexpensive development kit, so I wasn't exactly expecting it to be top-notch. It's a tool, not a product. Unlike the Oculus Rift, Razer doesn't intend to sell this device, or have it compete with the likes of the Oculus Rift.
But it's just so far behind the latest Oculus Rift prototypes, and the Samsung Gear VR, and Sony's Project Morpheus, that I feel kind of sorry for it.
We're updating this post in real time with more details... go ahead and refresh this page in a little bit for more!
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Feature-filled phones, Apple Watches and expensive coffee machines are all very well, but sometimes they just make life more complicated. It’s time to learn the joy of low tech
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We loved everything about the compact FLIR ONE thermal camera the company announced at CES last year, except for the fact that it was initially only available for iOS devices, and it required your phone to be trapped inside a fairly cumbersome case. So the company decided to fix that, revealing a tiny new version of the FLIR ONE at CES this year that hangs off the bottom of either iOS or Android devices.
Available sometime in the middle of 2015, FLIR is aiming for a slightly cheaper price tag than the original $250 FLIR ONE. And that not only gets you the same dual camera system that blends thermal images and regular photos so it's easier to see what's going on, but also an improved thermal sensor with about four times the resolution of the original.
With its new compact form factor the new FLIR ONE is of course reminiscent of the Seek Thermal camera that entered the market a few months ago, but it looks like FLIR is taking the lead again on features because the new FLIR ONE retains the original version's rechargeable battery that's good for about an hour of use—so it won't drain your smartphone or tablet. And the FLIR ONE app has been vastly improved too with support for shooting panoramic images now, and even time-lapse videos.
There is one other notable feature of the new FLIR ONE—at least the iOS version. Since Apple's Lightning port is completely reversible, you can flip the attachment around letting you take thermal selfies or "thermies" as FLIR's reps unfortunately called them. But we're willing to look past that and remain excited for this awesome hardware update. [FLIR]
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Using high-end lights, a DIY rain machine, a great eye (and no Photoshop), photographer Benjamin Von Wong turned ordinary people into Super Athletes fit for energy drink ads and action movie posters.
"Ordinary people, Hollywood budgets" (Medium)
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4K is for losers. The real mind-blowing screens at this CES are the giant 8K prototypes that will seriously blast your eyeballs. I just saw LG's 98-inch 4K-times-two OLED screen, and yes, it was absolutely insane. I'm not sure exactly how insane though because my eyes just aren't good enough.
I don't even know how to describe. Imagine if the highest resolution screen you've ever seen squeezed down to fit inside itself. There's 4K in the 4K, pixels too minute to imagine, much less see. The result is a vibrant punch to the eyes. It looks like 4K but with the volume turned up. 4K but betterer, with an extra level of razor sharp detail I'm pretty sure is there but god damn it where did I put my glasses? If you're bummed the pictures can't give you the real experience, don't worry; I'm not sure my eyes could. It's the definition of uncanny.
The bonkers resolution is the showstopping spec here, but there's more too it than just that. LG has a whole bunch of buzzwordy technologies at work on this maniacal panel. ColorPrime Nano Spectrum. ULTRA Luminescence. MoNdoViSiOn. OK, maybe I made one of those up. But whatever they all do, it works, and with the OLED screen—Samsung's 8K panel, by comparison, rocks an LED—the blacks are deep enough to fall into.
8K screens are a party trick. An amazing one, but years off from being anywhere. LG won't or can't give even theoretical pricing on a prototype but this would cost hundreds of thousands of dollars. And you think the dearth of 4K content is bad? There's a reason they're just looping close-ups of fruit; there's not much else out there.
It's incredible, absurd, obscene, beautiful. I want to just put my eyes on the screen. Are those pixels even there? The man with the nametag promises they are but he won't let me close enough to see for myself.
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Traditional TV is far from dead, but these days viewers care less about watching shows live and even prefer saving certain series to watch all at once in an evening or weekend of binge-watching. Broadcast networks and hundreds of cable channels share viewer attention with thousands of online services, including amateurs creating their own series on YouTube. Already, Netflix has outbid traditional channels for hits such as "House of Cards." And Dish this week announced it will sell online access to a bundle of channels including live sports network ESPN for just $20 a month. Online video will account for a third of all video viewing in 2020, up from about 10 percent in 2013, predicts The Diffusion Group, a research firm that specializes in Internet video.
So how to keep the television set, that focal point of the American living room for decades, relevant? Design for online video.
At the International CES gadget show this week in Las Vegas, TV makers unveiled new models with 4K resolution, or four times the clarity offered by today's high definition TVs. They are pushing the features even though not a single TV channel is yet available in 4K. But Internet services such as Netflix, Amazon and M-Go are starting to offer 4K video.
Sony on Monday promised to create more 4K content to watch on those sets. Four popular shows from its entertainment division -- "The Goldbergs," ''The Blacklist," ''Masters of Sex" and "The Night Shift" -- will soon be available in 4K and it's working with partners including Netflix and YouTube to deliver more 4K streaming video.
"I would argue that the age of the Internet of Things has already started," Yoon said Monday night at the start of his address. For the IoT to measure up to expectations, he added, "it must be centered on humans and fit into their lifestyles."
Although it "sounds impersonal, like a bedtime story for robots," the Internet of Things -- developed properly to enable universal interoperability -- "has the potential to transform our economy, our society and how we live our lives," Yoon said.
During his presentation, Yoon brought on stage several guest speakers, including Jeremy Rifkin, president of the Foundation on Economic Trends and the author of books ranging from 1995's The End of Work to, most recently, The Zero Marginal Cost Society; Alex Hawkinson, founder and CEO of SmartThings, which was acquired by Samsung for $200 million last summer; and Hosain Rahman, CEO of the wearable technology firm Jawbone.
Each of those speakers echoed Yoon's remarks on the importance of an open ecosystem and widespread collaboration among companies to promote development of the Internet of Things.
Calling the IoT "a potential game-changer for society," Rifkin said "success will be measured by the ability to promote universal access."
Since its acquisition by Samsung, SmartThings has doubled the number of developers it is working with and built a technology platform that is "compatible with more devices than any other platform," Hawkinson said. He added that SmartThings would be...
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YouTuber RwDt09, aficionado of all things tasteless, curated this remarkable collection of tacky opening credits for 1980s sci-fi and fantasy TV series. Included on the list: Read the rest
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Early yesterday morning, a fireworks factory near Granada, Colombia apparently exploded, blowing up five separate warehouses used to store gunpowder. If you've ever needed a reason not to play with fireworks—this is it.
According to Time, there has only been one person reported slightly injured, which is unbelievably lucky considering the sheer scale of this kind of explosion. We're not sure what caused the initial spark yet, but will update as soon as we do. In the mean time, holy shit. [Time]
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