Yes, you read that headline correctly. A startup is taking pre-orders for the BluFit water bottle (US$59) and you’ll never need to guess how many ounces or liters of water you’ve sucked down during the day.This latest innovation in the world of connected fitness tools is currently grabbing pledges on Indiegogo, and early supporters can nab one of the bottles for $49. Now why would you buy a $50 or $60 water bottle? Well, that app takes a lot of different data into account — weight, age, temperature and humidity — to determine how much you should be drinking. You can set and monitor personal goals, and adjust your sipping based on how active you are during a day.In the meantime, you’ll get colorful alerts from the bottle’s sleeve, which has LED lights built into it. The bottle has a Bluetooth LE chip inside of it that takes info from the built-in water flow sensor and syncs it with the app, and there’s a rechargeable battery to keep your bottle glowing and beaming for up to six days.Check out the pitch video below, and then decide if your current Nalgene bottle is smart enough for you.
setting a world record at Nürburgring’s grueling Nordschleife circuit. Stuttgart’s pride burned around the North Loop at an average of 112MPH to finish the circuit in 6:57, a full 14 seconds faster than the previous record holder: the gas-burning Dodge Viper ACR. Check out the video after the break and you’ll discover that this Spyder is throaty — especially compared to those purely electric (and rather screechy) Formula E racers. Show full PR textSuper sportscar equipped with a hybrid drive takes the Nürburgring Nordschleife in 6.57 minutes918 Spyder tops global debut with a Nürburgring lap recordStuttgart. As the first vehicle to boast global road homologation, the Porsche 918 Spyder* has conquered the 20.6-kilometre lap around the Nürburgring Nordschleife in less than seven minutes. Achieving a time of exactly six minutes and 57 seconds, the super sportscar equipped with a hybrid drive shaved 14 seconds off the previous record. Wolfgang Hatz, member of the Porsche AG Board of Management in charge of Research and Development, had the following to say: “We promised a great deal with the 918 Spyder, namely to redefine driving pleasure, efficiency and performance. We have kept our word.”As is always the case with Porsche, the 918 Spyder is also leading the way for future generations as the latest in the line of super sportscars. It is currently making its global début at the International Motor Show (IAA). With its unique spread, the model blends maximum driving dynamics with minimal fuel consumption. By taking the Nürburgring record, the sportscar is demonstrating the enormous potential that lies in Porsche’s pioneering plug-in hybrid concept, and is underpinning the leading role the company enjoys when it comes to developing sporty hybrid vehicles. “The radical hybridisation of the 918 Spyder from the very outset is what made this lap record possible” says Dr. Frank Walliser, head of the 918 Spyder project. “The lap time on the Nordschleife is and remains the toughest measure of a super sportscar. Posting a time of 6.57 minutes, we achieved a result of which everyone in the development team and at Porsche as a whole is rightly proud.”The record, which was previously held for four years, was even broken during the first attempt in the test drive on the morning of September 4. All three drivers – Former European Rally Champion Walter Röhrl, Porsche test driver Timo Kluck and Porsche factory driver Marc Lieb – were quicker than the existing record with each lap driving the two 918 Spyder models used, and posted lap times of less than seven minutes on numerous occasions. Ultimately, it was Marc Lieb who posted the absolute best time of 6.57 minutes, driving at an average speed of 179.5 km/h, as measured by Wige Solutions. Marcus Schurig, editor-in-chief of sportscar magazine “sport auto”, was on hand as an objective observer of the record-breaking runs. The two sportscars, which deliver an output of 887 bhp (652 kW), were equipped with the optional “Weissach package” to increase the driving dynamics, and lead out on the standard Michelin tyres developed specifically for the 918 Spyder.* 918 Spyder: combined fuel consumption: 3.3–3.0 l/100 km; combined energy consumption: 12.5–13.0 kWh/100 km; CO2 emissions: 79–70 g/km
If you didn’t get enough mobile news during the week, not to worry, because we’ve opened the firehose for the truly hardcore. This week brought a sneak peek of HTC Sense 5.5, along with an exclusive HTC One in Vivid Blue to Carphone Warehouse and the beta release of Nokia Glance Background for Lumia smartphones. So buy the ticket and take the ride as we explore all that’s happening in the mobile world for this week of October 7th, 2013. Nokia Glance gains background imageryIn exchange for a bit more battery drain, Lumia users can now gussy up their smartphone with the beta release of Glance Background. This should be familiar territory for users of Sleeping Screen on Nokia’s older Symbian platform, as the app allows users to choose up to four images to showcase on the Glance screen, which provides the time and simple notifications while in a low-power state. Glance Background requires the Amber software update from Nokia, and isn’t supported by the Lumia 625 or 520, but you should otherwise be in good shape to check it out. [All About Windows Phone]HTC Sense 5.5 leaks with custom quick settingsThanks to custom ROM developer mike1986, we’re now able to see a handful of the changes that HTC is cooking up for the Sense 5.5 release. First and foremost, the company is building a customizable quick settings menu, which allows users to reposition the various options such as airplane mode, auto rotate, brightness and WiFi hotspot. Sense 5.5 will also gain a new ‘Do Not Disturb’ mode — also accessible from the quick settings panel — along with the ability to disable BlinkFeed. Changes are also in store for the camera app, which introduces two new functions called Panorama+ and Dual capture, along with new emoji in the keyboard and a redesigned app switcher. [Android Revolution HD] Gallery: HTC Sense 5.5 leak | 5 Photos 5 +1 HTC One arrives in Vivid Blue at Carphone WarehouseFollowing on the heels of Best Buy, UK shoppers now have a blue version of the HTC One to call their own. The color is described as Vivid Blue, which is close to teal and features light blue accent stripes. Carphone Warehouse is currently offering the Vivid Blue model as an exclusive, which is available for £490 outright or free on contracts of £32 or more per month — certainly more affordable than the 18 carat gold option. [Android Central]Other random tidbitsEvidence from TmoNews suggests that the Galaxy Mega 6.3 is in the pipeline for MetroPCS. [TmoNews]The Galaxy Tab 3 7.0 is now available with LTE at Sprint for $50 on-contract. [BusinessWire]The Samsung SGH-T399 (codename Garda) has leaked for T-Mobile, which will ship with Android 4.2.2 and a WVGA display of unknown size. [@evleaks (Twitter)]According to Krish Prabhu, president of AT&T Labs, the carrier will likely have a VoLTE-ready handset on the market for the holiday shopping season. [FierceWireless]As an option for custom ROM enthusiasts, Samsung’s US support page currently states that a Galaxy Note 3 Developer Edition for Verizon will soon be available. [Android Central]Must-read mobile storiesBlackBerry Z30 reviewPantech Vega Secret Note includes fingerprint reader, stylus and the kitchen sinkOfcom considers quadrupling mobile operator license fees (updated)T-Mobile details free global data and texting for Simple Choice customersSamsung’s curved smartphone is the Galaxy Round, launches in Korea tomorrow (video)LG Chem has curved batteries in production, ready for ‘phones, watches and glasses’LG confirms production of ‘bendable and unbreakable’ smartphone displays[Mobile Miscellany photo credit: Thristian / Flickr] Verizon owns Engadget’s parent company, Verizon Media. Rest assured, Verizon has no control over our coverage. Engadget remains editorially independent.
Getting startedThe base of your journey to becoming the very best starts with your first pet. Go with something forgiving, and don’t try to get an exotic pet with strange abilities right off the bat. In fact, don’t try to get those until your very last step. Instead pick a pet that has easy to understand attacks, maybe a little flow to them, and something that you’ll learn inside and out to help you all along your trials.For me that pet is the Darkmoon Zeppelin. It’s a mechanical pet that does increased damage to beasts, and has the delightful ability to revive itself after its first death in a pet battle. That essentially means you get a big screwup button that lets you recover from the majority of misktakes you’ll make. The Zeppelin also had the added bonus of having a gigantic bomb of death you can toss on an enemy to causes a lot of hurt after a couple rounds. Am I telling you to get the Zeppelin as your first pet? You bet I am. But if you have something else, I’m sure it’ll work out fine. Just make sure that it’s easy to play — focus on the harder things later on.The next step in getting started is the longest task you’ll have in pet battles, getting your first pet to level 25. Or at least it seems like the longest task. You’ll need to battle every trainer you can (most of the time I found you can just power through them with your one pet, although you’ll run into specific instances where you want to switch to other more appropriate pets along the way — more information on strong and weak pets is in a great guide at Warcraft Pets). Use the map to find zones with pets at or slightly below your main pet’s level.You’ll hit a wall with the trainers around Northrend, and that’s ok. Just stop there and grind out any remaining levels on your pet (if you have any, I didn’t). As your leveling be sure to capture every unique pet you come across. If you don’t have it, capture it. You’re not just collecting for the sake of collecting either, you’ll need an absolutely army of pets later on.Nonetheless, getting that first pet to 25 is key. Why? Because when you’ve reached 25 on one pet, you can use it to capture other level 20-ish pets, and then start forming your teams.Your first battalionTo me a pet battle battalion is a group of 10 rare pets encompassing all of the 10 different pet classes. This is really important in order to defeat all the trainers throughout the entire game. When you’re fighting against epic and legendary pets, you’ll rarely stand a chance without having a pet that’s perfectly matched — and you’ll stand no chance if you’re on the short end of the stick (ie: if you match your beast pet up against a mechanical pet).The biggest thing to consider when making your first battalion is to have them all be pure pets as much as possible. By this I mean make sure your beast pets can do three attacks of beast damage, your elemental pets can do three attacks of elemental damage, etc… This might sound odd — like it should be something that is done automatically, but in reality that’s not the case. There’s a lot of pets out there that, for instance, only have one human attack ability when they’re humanoids to begin with.And I’m not saying that those pets are not useful (they are super useful later on), but to begin with make sure that you’re starting with a solid foundation. Don’t do what I did and get a magic pet that looks cool but has no offensive magic abilities. You’ll pay dearly for making such poor choices.To actually pick your battalion you’ll want to meander through your pet journal and see what you have. Plan out your entire battalion and set each pet as a favorite so it lives at the top of your list. Then head out to Pandaria and find some level 20-ish pet to battle with your low level pet going first. When the battle starts do one round of damage with it, then immediately switch to your other more powerful pets. You’ll find that your low level pets will become maxed in about 30 to 60 minutes.It’s really not hard at all to amass your first battalion this way. Put on some TV, grab a cup of coffee, and just start going. You’ll be finished in a couple days (or if you’re like me, around 4am the next morning).Kill them allThe next thing you’ll want to do is hit up all the other pet battle trainers you weren’t able to defeat. Remember when I said you’ll get stuck around Northrend? That’s where you should pick up at and start clearing out the rest of the trainers. It’ll be nearly trivial with your perfect base battalion you made. Look up the trainers on Wowhead before head out if you want to see what pets you should enter the battle with, or just enter the battle once and forfeit immediately so you can see for yourself (you don’t take a HP hit if you do this with a trainer).Now stopAfter you’ve defeated all the trainers through Pandaria, you’ll hit another wall where you’ll need additional pets and specialize your teams a bit. You’ll need to start learning about combos, buffs and debuffs, and get into the breeds (a variable determining if your pet has high speed, health, and/or strength).Immediately following the normal battles are the Pandaren Spirit Tamers — and they’re not pushovers. You’ll need another specific pet or two in order to defeat them (we’ll cover this next week). They also require some luck, although with the right breed you’ll be able to beat them on your first try.Then comes the Beasts of Fable, which you’re going to need basically 15 pets maxed at level 25. Now this might seem like a lot when you’ve only got one pet maxed, but in reality the leveling process goes very quickly as I’ve said before. So don’t be intimidated.And finally comes the Celestial Tournament, where you’re going to need an army of maxed level pets, in my opinion between 30 and 40. That one is intimidating no matter what vantage point you’re looking at it from. But it’s meant to be a challenge — and one that takes you from a simple game of battling around Azeroth and Outland to defeating raid-boss like encounters.Stay tuned next week when we’ll cover the Pandaren Spirit Tamers, along with my specific pet list.
ABC’s entrepreneur investor reality show Shark Tank is currently the number one TV show in its Friday time slot, drawing 6.4 million viewers total and 1.7 million in the ever-important 18-49 demographic. A panel of millionaires and billionaires listen to pitches from entrepreneurs looking for investors in their companies. Some people walk away with millions of dollars in investments, others with nothing. But how does an appearance on the show impact your company when you don’t win over the investors? For one app developer, the answer is swimmingly.Garret Gee’s startup Scan appeared this past Friday, October 12, on the show seeking US$1 million for his QR-code scanning mobile app. While his pitch was denied by the investors, viewers were sold, and his app has jumped wildly in the charts since the show aired.On Thursday, Scan, which sells for $1.99, was 150 out of all paid apps in the App Store and number five out of the utilities apps. After the appearance on Shark Tank, the app hit number one on the paid utilities apps and 25 out of all paid apps.On Friday, Gee wrote to AllThingsD to explain his motives for going on the show.”We were open to a deal, but exposure was definitely a top priority/perk.”While the investors on the show weren’t impressed, the company has been noticed by some powerful players in the tech world. Recently Entree Capital, Google Ventures and Menlo Ventures valued Scan at $21 million, and the company has raised over $7 million dollars to date. Even without the investors’ money, it seems like the Shark Tank appearance was a wise investment of Gee’s time.
IndieCade isn’t just a huge celebration of independent game development, it’s also a street festival designed to appeal to all types of people, not just those who enjoy traditional video games. Enter Night Games, a special IndieCade event featuring lots of big, physical games designed to be played in the dark. That includes everything from the rhythmic, Kinect-powered Soundodger Live to The Hearst Collection, a life-sized recreation of a museum art heist, complete with laser security grid.Head past the break for a video rundown of our favorite Night Games, which turned out to be one of the highlights of the entire IndieCade festival. Soundodger LiveUsing Kinect and a projector, Soundodger Live turns the rhythm-centric web game into a full-body experience. Players dodge (presumably evil) rectangles, triangles and circles that are generated by the music. The circular avatar stays at a point between the player’s feet, requiring some fancy footwork to clear the trickier sections of a song. Meanwhile, raising your arm slows down the song and the enemies, giving you a little breathing room.Watch the whole video to see bonus footage of the coolest kid in the world.Edgar Rice SoiréeNamed after the man who gave us Tarzan, Edgar Rice Soirée is played exclusively with a dangling set of PlayStation Move controllers (a jungle, if you will). Each of the game’s four players must always be holding a Move controller of his or her color. Over time, the controllers begin to change color, forcing players to “swing” to other controllers of the correct hue. Fail to hold onto two controllers of your color for too long – or foolishly let got of both controllers entirely – and you’re out.The Hearst CollectionHave you ever watched one of those heist movies where a master criminal has to navigate a complex maze of lasers in order to steal some priceless artifact from a museum? The Hearst Collection is a real-life recreation of that exact fantasy. Players have to crawl through a tricky series of lasers and grab a painting, then they have to make it through the rest of the maze without tripping an alarm or letting the painting touch the ground.Unfortunately, the fog machine used to make the lasers visible to the naked eye wasn’t working very well, which made the game even more difficult. The man seen in this video failed immediately after acquiring the painting.PropinquityPropinquity, which means “nearness,” is a game about being very, very close to another human being. Two players where proximity sensing “patches.” The object is to get your hands as close to the other players patches as possible without touching them. Simultaneously, you have to prevent the other player from doing the same to you.Dark Room Sex GameDark Room Sex Game returned to IndieCade this year, having won the Fun / Compelling Award back in 2008. The game is played solely with PlayStation Move controllers (an upgrade from the original version’s Wii Remotes), and the goal is for two players to … you should probably just watch the video. Warning: The audio is not safe for work. The team behind Dark Room Sex Game is now working on Spin the Bottle for Wii U.
The Oregonian reports. The assistant planning director for Crook County confirmed to the paper that a company code-named “Project Pillar” has expressed interest in buying the land — and The Oregonian believes that “Project Pillar” is indeed Apple:The property awaiting transfer is covered by the same tax break agreement that Apple now operates under. And [Phil] Stenbeck said Pillar previously went by the code name Maverick — that’s the name Apple used last year when it paid US$5.6 million to buy 160 acres of Crook County land for its first Prineville data center…This time last year, Apple began construction of a 338,000-square-foot data center on the bluffs above Prineville, just down the highway from a similar facility owned by Facebook. Plans filed with Prineville show Apple contemplates a second data center of the same size — 65 percent larger than the biggest Costco — on the property it already owns.If Apple were to acquire the property, it would no doubt be used for data centers to power its ever-expanding selection of cloud services, including the iTunes Store, the company’s App Stores, its mapping services and iCloud.
Shadow of the Eternals has been officially shelved, according to a post from Precursor Games Chief Creative Director Denis Dyack.”It is with a heavy heart that we have decided to put the Shadow of the Eternals project on hold,” Dyack wrote. “We are very happy with what we have accomplished both as a group and with the community. The community has blown us away and was the one thing that kept us going through it all – we cannot thank you enough.”Shadow of the Eternals is the spiritual successor to Eternal Darkness, which Dyack directed. The team held two Kickstarter campaigns, the first of which was canceled, and the latter of which failed to meet its goal. Dyack said last month that the Precursor team hadn’t yet given up, and that they would “pursue other avenues with the ultimate goal of having our games come to fruition,” but his most recent post on the Precursor forums also notified fans that many of the team would be “taking a break.”For those looking for the upside in this news: The game is on hold, not completely scrapped. “We have all agreed as a group that when and if the time is right we will get together and start it up again,” Dyack wrote. In other words, Shadow of the Eternals isn’t dead just yet. It’s a Lovecraftian horror game, and as Lovecraft once wrote, “That is not dead which can eternal lie, and with strange aeons even death may die.”
It’s not often that events of a patent tiff transcend the humdrum noise we’re all too used to, but the most recent judgement of a Munich court has declared an Apple patent invalid based on prior art from, well, Apple. As Florian Mueller of FOSS Patents explains, Cupertino has racked up a couple of decisions going against both Samsung and Motorola based on a patent for “portable electronic device[s] for photo management,” which describes a bounce-back aka rubber-banding effect specifically within the iOS photo gallery app. Now, Apple’s lawmen successfully argued the UI feature was different from previous concepts presented by AOL and Microsoft (which could benefit Cook & Co greatly in other cases, Mueller says). However, there was one piece of prior art they couldn’t dispute: the feature in question being shown off by Steve Jobs at the OG iPhone keynote back in January 2007. (We’ve embedded video of the keynote below, but you’ll need to jump to 32:40 to catch the gallery bounce-back bit.)You see, even though the rubber-banding feature was demonstrated by Apple, on an Apple device, it still counts as prior art that invalidates its own patent — in Europe at least. That’s because documents describing the feature weren’t filed until June 2007, almost six months after Jobs took to the stage. A similar, first-to-file situation is now part of the US system, of course, ever since the America Invents Act was signed into law in 2011. As the first-generation iPhone keynote came years before that, however, it’s unlikely to hold any weight in future US court decisions. Well, you can’t win ’em all Apple, especially when you’re up against yourself.
Kinect was a brilliant step forward in 3D sensing and you were enthralled by the possibilities of hand gestures with the Leap Motion, then you might be interested in what the iMotion 3D motion controller has to offer. A small rounded rectangular device that fits onto your hand like a glove, the iMotion is composed of accelerometers, gyroscopes and three LED sensors that will communicate with any standard web cam to locate your body in 3D space. There’s no special sauce to it either; as long as you have the iMotion software on your computer, you’re able to use the controller with pretty much any application. However, iMotion does plan on releasing an SDK so that developers can fine-tune their app or game to enable additional features of the iMotion, such as better precision and haptic feedback.The technology was initially developed a few years ago by Intellect Motion, a company based out of Singapore, for medical purposes like sports rehabilitation. A year ago however, it started to delve into the gaming side of things and came up with the prototype device you see above. Now the company is ready to move on to the next stage, and that’s to launch the device on Kickstarter and get the iMotion out to the public. Join us after the break to get our early hands-on impressions, a video of it in action and more details of the Kickstarter campaign. Gallery: iMotion hands-on | 7 Photos 7 +3 We found using the iMotion to be fairly intuitive. We slipped the controller onto our hands, and all of a sudden we were moving the cursor by waving our hand around. To left-click, we simply closed our fingers to cover the top LED; you can calibrate it so that only a partial covering will suffice. There are also additional buttons on the side of the iMotion that can simulate a right-click or center button. We should note, however, that it does take a little bit of getting used to. Our arm did feel a bit of fatigue after holding it up for awhile, and we had to remember to place our controller so that it was within line of sight of the camera. After a few sessions of Angry Birds though, we felt like we had a good sense of how to control it.Alex Khromenkov, one of Intellect Motion’s co-founders, also demonstrated the iMotion with an open source first-person shooter called Xonotic. He showed that you can move around the space by positioning your hand closer or further away from the camera. Another very intriguing use of the iMotion is to pair it with the Oculus Rift. Instead of using an Xbox controller or the Razer Hydra, you can move around the virtual space naturally just by attaching an iMotion to your body. Khromenkov suggested using one iMotion on your belt buckle for movement and another iMotion on your hands for picking up and using objects as in the photo above.The controller was a bit large for our small hands, though Khromenkov tells us that the final version will have adjustable Velcro straps. On the underside of the iMotion are four vibrating pads which are there to provide haptic feedback. As mentioned earlier though, that’s only available if developers have incorporated the iMotion SDK into the app or game. They can set it so that the controller vibrates to let you know which direction you’re getting shot at in an FPS, or to let you know if you’ve gone out of bounds in a virtual environment. Khromenkov tells us that over 100 developers have already signed on for the SDK, so hopefully we’ll see even more usage examples of the iMotion.In order to get the iMotion into consumer’s hands, the company has started a $100,000 Kickstarter campaign. Early bird pricing for the first 100 is set at $49, the next 2000 sold will be $59 each, while the final retail price should be around $79. Anyone who buys a controller will get access to the aforementioned SDK, which will let devs create iMotion-compatible apps for the Mac, PC or Linux. If that sounds like a great idea to you, feel free to check out the source link below to show your support.Show full PR textIntellect Motion Launches Kickstarter Campaign for iMotionAdvanced Motion Control Device Delivers Haptic Feedback and works out of the box with Mouse and Keyboard Driven GamesSINGAPORE – September 27, 2013 – Intellect Motion, a company focused on delivering motion control devices that deliver haptic feedback, today announced its Kickstarter campaign to fund the final prototype stages and production of its first product, the iMotion. The iMotion gives users the ability to interact with games and Apps in 3D space utilizing any standard webcam, while providing haptic feedback within titles that implement the iMotion Software Developers Kit (SDK). The device works with Windows, Mac, Linux, and Android systems as well as the Oculus Rift.The campaign is now live at: LINK and the company is asking supporters to pledge at any level to help fund the project. The pledge levels expected to be the most popular include a single iMotion controller for the first 100 people via an early bird promotion for just $49. Once the early bird version has sold out, the next tier of iMotions will be available at $59. The overall project funding goal is $100,000. If the project is successful, the first units are expected to reach early bird supporters in February 2014.”We’ve created a project that will deliver a unique interface device that is both affordable and responsive, while featuring very low latency for a high performance experience that outpaces even the most advanced motion control devices available today for the average consumer,” said Alex Khromenkov, CEO/CTO of Intellect Motion. “With haptic feedback provided to the user’s palm, interaction within 3D spaces, virtual environments, and even web browsing takes on a new dimension. We know people are going to enjoy the immersiveness of the experience that iMotion provides.”Everyone who purchases an iMotion will have access to the SDK meaning anyone with the device could develop for the platform without needing to pay anything else. Additional tiers provide greater access to development resources, and multi-packs of iMotions since the system can support up to four iMotions at once.Users simply strap the iMotion controller to their hand, similar to a glove, and they’re ready to control PC or mobile devices with intuitive, natural gestures. The iMotion is compatible with existing games and applications, and allows users to replace keyboard and mouse commands with gesture controls. All that’s needed is the iMotion controller and the free SDK (downloadable from the company’s website).The iMotion controller has three LED lights to establish the body’s position in 3D space. It determines the x, y and z coordinates as well as the angle of rotation and plane of elevation. iMotion also features a gyroscope and accelerometer, so people can use it at any angle and achieve a very high level of accuracy and performance for action games and applications.Features and Key Specs:The only motion controller that supports full 3D motion controlCan replace your mouse and keyboard with a virtual touch screen4-channel haptic motion feedback sensorFunctional range of 1 to 16 feetSupports applications operating at up to 100 frames per second (with a high-end camera)Pinpoint accuracy of 0.08 inches and low latency of 10 to 20 millisecondsAbout Intellect Motion Founded in 2012, Intellect Motion is a dedicated team of hardware and software engineers, computer scientists and creative designers that are looking to change and enhance how people interact with their computers and other devices. Based in Singapore, and with a Research & Development team in Minsk, Belarus, Intellect Motion is bringing haptic feedback motion control to the masses.
Every week, a new and interesting human being tackles our decidedly geeky take on the Proustian Q&A. This is the Engadget Questionnaire.In this week’s installment of our regular session of inquiry, author and Europa Report screenwriter Philip Gelatt dishes on convenient fact-checking and rewind dreams for broken iPhone screens. Head on past the break for the full response rundown. What gadget do you depend on most?I feel like everyone must say their phone, but it’s totally my Galaxy S III. I use that thing for everything.Which do you look back upon most fondly?Totally random — the Atari Lynx. Because it had awesome games and it felt like you were holding a real meaty chunk of technology in your hands. Also Xenophobe.Which company does the most to push the industry?Not sure I’m qualified on this one to say, but if I had to venture a guess, I’d say Google.What is your operating system of choice?OS X. I used to be a PC person, years and years ago, but when I switched, I never went back. But I do miss PC gaming dearly.What are your favorite gadget names?I don’t have any — I feel like they’re dangerously close to becoming like drug names.What are your least favorite?Droid. Because every time I hear it or say it I can feel the unblinking eye of Lucasfilm / Disney upon me.Which app do you depend on most?Not sure it counts as an app, but I use this writing program called Scrivener a lot — to do outlines and organize thoughts. Also Scapple, which is so simple as to seem silly, but is actually super useful.What traits do you most deplore in a smartphone?I guess I get mad that I still have to use it as a phone at all. I’d rather just use it as an internet device. But that’s less to do with the smartphone and more to do with my own social anxieties.”I don’t care much how a thing looks as long as it works well.”Which do you most admire?The simplest traits are the ones I most admire: that it fits in my pocket, that it can do so much.What is your idea of the perfect device?Psh. The pursuit of perfection is a fool’s quest!What is your earliest gadget memory?Honestly, it’s complaining about how some Bond movies didn’t have enough of them. And then, my first Game Boy – I had one those before I was allowed to have a Nintendo – and that little thing just felt like it could do anything.What technological advancement do you most admire?We got into space! And that was totally awesome.Which do you most despise?Does the ability to comment anonymously on the internet count as an advancement? I feel like that’s one of the worst aspects of the modern age.What fault are you most tolerant of in a gadget?I don’t care much how a thing looks as long as it works well.Which are you most intolerant of?If it breaks before I feel like I got the proper amount of usage out of it. That drives me nuts, because we all know I never keep receipts.When has your smartphone been of the most help?I use it to constantly fact-check during conversations. I think it drives everyone else around me completely insane, but I consider that incredibly helpful.What device do you covet most?I’ve never had an iPhone. I don’t necessarily covet it, but I do think that maybe someday I’d like to have one of those.If you could change one thing about your phone what would it be?That I dropped it and cracked the screen. Sigh.What does being connected mean to you?Communication, basically. Most of my friends and co-workers live in other cities, other states. Being connected means that they get to stay co-workers and friends.When are you least likely to reply to an email?When I don’t have anything useful to say or add, then I try to stay quiet.When did you last disconnect?Other than when I’m asleep? I don’t know. I keep telling myself I’ll take a week or two off of the internet but I’ve never done it.
In August, we reported on problems that owners of the mid-2013 Haswell MacBook Air were having getting Citrix GoToMeeting to recognize their webcams.Shortly after we published that story, Citrix contacted TUAW to announce a fix for the problem would be released on September 15. On September 13, commenters on a thread about the issue on Citrix’s website were informed their issues would be fixed first.On September 13 an employee of Citrix posted:All, We have a fix for this issue ready for use. We will begin work to upgrade everyone on this thread now, but we require your GoToMeeting email address to do so and may miss a few of you if use a different email address for this forum. I will post again once we have upgraded everyone we can with the information we have. Thank you again for your patience. Chris Duncan Product Manager, GoToMeetingLater, the employee posted again:All, For those of you who do not have an account but would like to get the fix: we will deploy the upgrade to all of our customers gradually over the next 1-2 months. If you have particular GoToMeeting users you meet with regularly, please have them contact our Global Customer Support team to get upgraded: http://support.citrixonline.com/en_US… -ChrisWhile this is different than the promise that the fix would be available for everyone on September 15, Citrix is in the process of fixing the issue.However this isn’t the end of Citrix’s Mac problems. Apparently MacBook Pro and MacBook Air users who have upgraded to OS X 10.8.3 are now having issues connecting to their webcams in various third party apps, including Skype.In a post on September 16 the Citrix employee who has been helping users in the thread posted the following update.For those of you who have received our upgrade and also updated to Mac OSX 10.8.5, you may have noticed your webcam is still not detected by GoToMeeting. This is affecting Skype as well. While we believe the issue is on Apple’s side, we will investigate solutions and workarounds as well. In the meantime, we suggest holding off on upgrading to OS X 10.8.5 or downgrading to 10.8.4 if you have already updated. Instructions on how to do so have been posted to Skype’s forum: http://community.skype.com/t5/Mac/OS-…If you have suddenly found your Skype or Citrix GoToMeeting programs no longer work following the update to OS X 10.8.3 please head over to this Skype support page for help in fixing the issue. Citrix is working on a fix for the problem on their end.
Terraria creator Andrew Spinks recently discussed his plans for Terraria 2, the direct sequel to the popular RPG from developer Re-Logic. “Terraria 2 is definitely something that will be happening but contrary to several of the articles that went live today I have not started development,” Spinks told Joystiq. “I have a list of features and mechanics I want the game to have but that is the extent of the development at this point.”As far as those features are concerned, Spinks told Rock Paper Shotgun that while Terraria 2 is “a ways out,” it will “have a lot in common with the original. It’s gonna be quite different as well. I really want to expand on the whole Terraria universe.”Spinks said that he is “locked” in to some of Terraria’s established mechanics, such as “the way loot works” and “the way character progression works.” With Terraria 2, Spinks said he wants “to have infinite worlds so you’re not just stuck to one world. You can travel anywhere. I want more biome diversity in that, too.”As for Terraria, he added that the recently-launched version 1.2 will probably be “the last seven-month update” for the original game, but that he plans to finish the “endgame progression” for the update “within the next month or two,” as the update didn’t include a final boss. He noted that while there may be other updates three or four months down the road, he has “looked into maybe hiring another small team to continue updates while I move onto Terraria 2.”
metadata it collects? Thanks to “newly disclosed documents and interviews with officials,” The New York Times today shed light on how the agency plots out the social activity and connections of those it’s spying on. Up until 2010, the NSA only traced and analyzed the metadata of emails and phone calls from foreigners, so anything from US citizens in the chains created stopgaps. Snowden-provided documents note the policy shifted later in that year to allow for the inclusion of Americans’ metadata in such analysis. An NSA representative explained to the NYT that, “all data queries must include a foreign intelligence justification, period.”During “large-scale graph analysis,” collected metadata is cross-referenced with commercial, public and “enrichment data” (some examples included GPS locations, social media accounts and banking info) to create a contact chain tied to any foreigner under review and scope out its activity. The highlighted ingestion tool in this instance goes by the name Mainway. The NYT article also highlights a secret report, dubbed “Better Person Centric Analysis,” which details how data is sorted into 164 searchable “relationship types” and 94 “entity types” (email and IP addresses, along with phone numbers). Other documents highlight that during 2011 the NSA took in over 700 million phone records daily on its own, along with an “unnamed American service provider” that began funneling in an additional 1.1 billion cellphone records that August. In addition to that, Snowden’s leak of the NSA’s classified 2013 budget cites it as hoping to capture “20 billion ‘record events’ daily” that would be available for review by the agency’s analysts in an hour’s time. As you might expect, the number of US citizens that’ve had their info bunched up into all of this currently remains a secret — national security, of course. Extended details are available at the source links.
around the clock” work addressing the issues surrounding GTA Online could pay off soon. The developer promised that a title update is in the works and may be available “as soon as tomorrow,” in an update to yesterday’s trouble-shooting post. So if you can hold out just a bit longer, joining up with your buddies for a little group mayhem instead of a staring contest with a loading symbol could be a single sleep away. Or, you know, you could just work on your 100 percent completion of Grand Theft Auto 5 where no connection is needed. It’s up to you!Update: Rockstar has updated its news post to say that it’s just posted an update that should salve the issues of frustrated PS3 owners. Xbox devotees will need to sit tight, but the company has said that a fix will be coming “later today.”Update 2: Rockstar has tweeted that the update is out for Xbox 360 as well. Update: The new title update for GTA Online is up for PS3. We’re working to get it up for 360 as soon as possible. http://t.co/U0LyAxmwHX- Rockstar Games (@RockstarGames) October 4, 2013Update: The latest GTA Online title update has now gone live for Xbox 360. http://t.co/78OqiH9AJm- Rockstar Games (@RockstarGames) October 5, 2013