If you’re anything like us, you’ve got a speaker or two (or 8) rolling around your house or garage somewhere. You may not use them anymore, but damned if it isn’t impossible to get rid of them. But what if there was a device that could make a speaker — any speaker — a self-powered wireless sound system that streams from your phone via Bluetooth? That’s the promise of a funky new device out of the UK called The Vamp.After a successful run on Kickstarter, in which The Vamp garnered over 100,000 British pounds, the device is now ready for mass distribution.Carved into the form of a futuristic block, the Vamp includes a Bluetooth chip, amplifier, and rechargeable battery with a claimed 10 hours of juice — pretty much everything you need to get the party started. Device operation is devilishly simple: At the back is a brilliantly succinct interface composed of a micro USB charging port, a 3.5mm input, and the familiar red and … [Read more...] about Make any old speaker a portable wireless sound system with The Vamp
Make any sense
Outdoor movie nights seem like a great idea until you start to set one up and realize you need a really long power cord, a power strip, some cables to connect some kind of speaker system to the projector, and wait a second … do we have to drag a DVD player out here too? It’s enough to make you give up on the idea. You know, they should really come up with an all-in-one device that makes outdoor movie nights super easy.Good news: They have.“They” is a company called Dashbon and the device is called Flicks, a conveniently portable Bluetooth boombox with a projector built right in and all the necessary connections to make flinging a flick on a white sheet, garage door, or inflatable screen about as easy as you could ask for.When we saw Flicks had graduated from successful Kickstarter project to full-fledged commercially available product, we jumped at the chance to check one out for ourselves. Dashbon’s Flicks website makes some pretty bold … [Read more...] about This Bluetooth speaker-projector hybrid makes any wall a movie theater
“We make Better Call Saul for the pixel peepers — the folks who want to watch it on the biggest, most perfect OLED screen as possible.” And the noose just keeps getting tighter and tighter. When we last saw Jimmy McGill (played by the always engaging Bob Odenkirk) at the end of season two of Better Call Saul, it appeared as if he was on the verge of being exposed in a lie with deep-rooted legal implications. Too bad he can’t call on his eventual Breaking Bad alter ego, Saul Goodman, to come bail him out if things get exceedingly dire for Slippin’ Jimmy in season three, which will begin airing in early 2017 on AMC.Until then, we can marvel at the scope, sharp story arcs, and overall audio/visual brilliance of Better Call Saul: Season Two, available now on Blu-ray and DVD via Sony Pictures Home Entertainment. As helmed by co-creators Vince Gilligan and Peter Gould of Breaking Bad fame, Saul continues to both honor and build upon the high standards BBad set … [Read more...] about How Vince Gilligan and Peter Gould became ‘pixel peepers’ making ‘Better Call Saul’
Historically, Apple’s design guru Jony Ive has been wary of talking with reporters, but recently, he’s become the somewhat reluctant poster boy for the Apple Watch. The New Yorker got a first-hand tour of the company’s design studio and spoke at length with Ive about a number of subjects, including the process of designing Apple’s first wearable.Although most Apple products have Ive’s name written all over them in terms of design language and iconic style, the Apple Watch is perhaps Ive’s greatest triumph so far. Apple’s senior vice president Jeff Williams agreed that the “Apple Watch seem(s) more purely Ive’s than previous company products,” when the interviewer asked him if this device was special to the designer.“Jony didn’t pull out of his butt the 4.7 and the 5.5.”Prior to the death of Apple founder Steve Jobs, the company was hard at work looking into new product categories and ideas for the future. Ive … [Read more...] about Jony Ive says round smartwatches make no sense in big Apple Watch reveal
We can blame DigiTimes and the Wall Street Journal (and their anonymous sources) for the sudden surge in rumors concerning a cheap Apple iPhone. Potentially named the iPhone Mini, the not-quite-news has done its best to distract us from all the CES 2013 hoopla this week. Now it’s Bloomberg’s turn, as its sources – unnamed, of course – say Apple is eying a $99 or $149 price point for the unannounced phone.The report states Apple has been working on an affordable alternative to the iPhone for two years, and it hopes to have a model ready for release later this year. It also says Apple has been chatting to at least one U.S. network about the phone, however it may primarily be aimed at attracting buyers in emerging markets where the iPhone is too expensive for the majority of potential buyers.It continues to say the phone would use cheaper parts, be smaller than current models and work on, “Multiple wireless networks.” As existing iPhone … [Read more...] about Rumors of cheap iPhone continue to spread, but do they make any sense?
Kinivo announced this week its release of a new Bluetooth receiver that can transform some of the audio gear you’ve already got into a wireless rig. The BTE40 can turn any pair of headphones into a Bluetooth-enabled headset able to connect to any Bluetooth-enabled smartphone, tablet, computer, etc. And on the flipside, the receiver can also allow any Hi-Fi home system to connect to any Bluetooth-enabled device.The Bellevue, WA-based audio/video tech company has an impressive line of sleek and innovative products (like last month’s M2 Bluetooth 2.1 speaker system), many of which are focused around Bluetooth and NFC technologies, a strategy that makes sense considering recent data indicating consumers’ growing desire for wireless speakers/multi-room audio systems. The BTE40’s versatility means the user can listen quietly by themselves with their favorite pair of headphones when, for instance, others in the home are asleep, all without being tied down to … [Read more...] about Kinivo’s BTE40 Bluetooth receiver makes any headphones or home stereo wireless
A report from The Register suggests that in late 2011, Microsoft considered acquiring part or all of Nokia, to the extent that it even got permission to look through the company’s books to get a better sense of its financial situation. According to “well placed sources,” Microsoft backed away from the idea, because it wasn’t thrilled by Nokia’s balance sheets. But things have changed since then: Nokia’s share price has dropped nearly 40 percent in the last three months, which may make Nokia a more attractive buy-out or investment target.And Microsoft may not be Nokia’s only suitor. Nokia’s shares jumped a bit last week on rumors South Korea’s Samsung was considering a buyout; Samsung has since denied it has any interest in Nokia.Microsoft’s interest in acquiring part or all of Nokia is obvious: Despite having just been dethroned by Samsung as the world’s largest handset manufacturer, Nokia still sells millions of … [Read more...] about Report says Microsoft considered buying Nokia — would it make more sense now?
The rumor is back: New reports have Microsoft preparing a version of its flagship Microsoft Office productivity applications for iOS — which almost certainly means Apple’s iPad, as well as the iPhone and maybe even the iPod touch. Although the speculation is not new, it comes with some intriguing new details. First, Microsoft might be looking to launch a version of Office for iOS around the same time Windows 8 tablets start to hit the market. Second, Microsoft might also be working on a version of Microsoft Office for Android.Does it make any sense for Microsoft to make versions of its Office applications for any mobile platform other than Windows or Windows Phone? Wouldn’t that undermine the value of Microsoft’s core platforms? Or is it actually a savvy move that not only gives Microsoft a new revenue stream, but helps keep the software giant in a mobile technology world that’s — so far — mostly passing it by?The reportsThe latest batch of … [Read more...] about Why Office for the iPad and Android makes sense
There's just never a dull moment here in the Linux blogosphere, whether there's big news being made at the moment or not.Some weeks, we have wild activity surrounding the latest moves from Canonical, for example, or perhaps Adobe's latest affront; such happenings are virtually guaranteed to generate some lively conversation.Even in other weeks, though, where the news days might seem slower, there's never a shortage of things to talk about.Case in point? Just last Monday, when all the Linux world was still waking up from the weekend, a lone voice rang out with the question, "is open source anti-profit?"A hush quickly fell over the Linux blogosphere as FOSS fans far and wide pondered the implications. It was ITworld's Brian Proffitt who gave voice to the troubling question after reading a recent interview with Eucalyptus CEO Marten Mickos by New York Times blogger Quentin Hardy."Some people in open source think it is immoral to make a profit. I don't,'" Mickos said."I do not think that … [Read more...] about LINUX BLOG SAFARI Is It Wrong to Make a Profit From FOSS?
During a flood, advance warning is the key to reducing damage and ensuring safety. However, conventional stream gauges— which are currently utilized to monitor rivers and predict upcoming flood conditions—can be costly and labor-intensive to maintain. In addition, gauges are often washed away during floods, resulting in a valuable piece of equipment being lost.Researchers at the NOAA National Severe Storms Laboratory are working to improve streamflow monitoring with the Automated Non-Contact Hydrologic Observations in Rivers (ANCHOR) project.The project is focused on three non-contact technologies to improve the observational and monitoring capabilities in rivers: Streamflow Radar, Scanning Lidar and Interferometric Stream Radar (ISRad). The streamflow radar portion of the project is currently the most robust, and 14 sites throughout the United States are already being installed with remote sensors that use Doppler radar to measure speed, depth, and flow rates in … [Read more...] about Remote-Sensing Streamflow Radar Provides Advance Warning for Flooding