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.”
Source: The New York Times
Stitcher just announced a new car mode for its iPhone 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. Head to the source link below to give the app a spin, and drive safely!
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. Us? We’d probably just waste it on creating uncanny facsimiles of ourselves.
Via: New Scientist
Source: University of Glasgow
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.
#NBARapidReplay will be the hashtag to watch for as the playoffs progress, and as you’d expect, short advertisements will appear alongside those clips. Twitter’s foray into the television universe is hardly a new one, but it’s becoming ever more obvious that the company is following the ad dollars into the homes of everyday viewers. Up next? A deal to tweet highlights from the 2014 Masters golf tournament… but only in extremely soft spoken, lowercase, predominantly pompous characters.
Filed under: Internet
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. That focus is a part of the mobile computing ethos espoused by CEO Thorsten Heins meant to have BB10 devices be users’ personal, portable computing terminal that is simply plugged into a screen — whether it’s a desktop monitor, a car or somewhere else — that delivers a uniform experience. When asked whether those screens would include TVs, Bhardwaj didn’t rule it out, but he did say that home experiences weren’t a priority because it’s a crowded space and BB10 “is all about getting things done.” As a result, the number one focus is building out a compelling automotive platform, with healthcare and financial services coming in a close second. So, folks thinking BB10 was BlackBerry betting on consumers instead of the enterprise, think again. The more things change, the more they seem to stay the same — at least when the folks in Waterloo are involved.
Earlier today, Yahoo sent press invites to a “product-related” event in New York City Monday afternoon and there are already two separate rumors about the company’s plans. The first, from Bloomberg, concerns the event specifically and cites a “person familiar with the matter” reporting we’ll hear about new updates for Yahoo’s once-mighty Flickr photo service. The second is from AllThingsD which has upgraded rumors of a Tumblr purchase from possible to possibly imminent, saying the company’s board will meet Sunday to decide whether it will make a $1.1 billion all-cash offer for the site. Since new CEO Marissa Mayer took over Yahoo has made a number of acquisitions with a focus on improving its homepage, content and app offerings including Flickr. That announcement is also penciled in for the 20th, but whatever actually goes down you can be sure we’ll have the details as they’re unveiled around 4PM ET.
Filed under: Internet
Google I/O is always full of surprises, and we came across yet another elusive bit of hardware on the show floor today: Google Glass “prescription edition”. No, it’s not actually called that (we made up the name), but what you’re looking at is definitely Glass that’s been neatly integrated with a pair of prescription glasses — in fact, it looks a lot like the version of Glass that Google recently mentioned on its blog. We don’t really know anything else about this device, but we’ve reached out to Google for comment. Is this a custom design built by combining Google Glass Explorer Edition with off-the shelf eyewear? Is this a Glass prototype that’s designed specifically for people who wear prescription spectacles? Share your thoughts in the comments and don’t forget to check out the gallery below.
Update: Google’s confirmed it’s a prototype the company’s experimented with that uses the same software as the Explorer Edition but slightly different hardware on the outside.
Brad Molen contributed to this report.
It arrived with a bang, but it’s been dead silence ever since. Lenovo’s Intel Clover Trail+ smartphone, the Android-based K900, is finally ready to make its grand entrance into the consumer realm. The 5.5-inch powerhouse will ship with a dual-core Atom Z2580 CPU (2.0GHz) within, a PowerVR SGX 544MP2 GPU, a 1080p IPS panel slipped behind a coating of Gorilla Glass 2 and a 13 megapixel camera. Despite the sizable display, it weighs just 162 grams and measures 6.9 millimeters thick, and should be available across greater China right now for RMB 3,299 (around $536) — or RMB 2,999 if you’re lucky. For those outside of Lenovo’s homeland, you’ll need to wait until summer for it to hit an unspecified amount of “international markets.”
You might say the day is never really done in consumer technology news. Your workday, however, hopefully draws to a close at some point. This is the Daily Roundup on Engadget, a quick peek back at the top headlines for the past 24 hours — all handpicked by the editors here at the site. Click on through the break, and enjoy.
Some might say it’s been a long, long while since October — with “some” referring to the swath of Kickstarter backers who’ve been waiting oh-so-patiently for a Form 1 to call their own. Formlabs has just confirmed via a company blog post that the very first Form 1 3D printer shipped out today, as the Collector’s Edition Form 1 and half of the Initial Formation tier of pledges hopped on a variety of delivery trucks. The rest of you backers can expect to begin printing “by the end of next week.” For those keeping count, the Form 1 is actually a few months behind schedule, but in all honesty, that’s pretty good considering the up-and-down nature of crowdfunded projects that manage to find the limelight.
The outfit is reminding folks that Form 1 units are shipped as they’re produced, fulfilling Kickstarter rewards and preorders by priority. Specifics on group deliveries won’t come for a few more weeks, but those in the Bay Area can swing by Maker Faire (or ICFF if you’re in the Big Apple) to catch an early glimpse. Oh, and if you’re just now hearing of this thing? You can place a $3,299 order right now, but you probably won’t get it until July. Them’s the breaks, kids!
Filed under: Peripherals