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HTC is planning to release its extremely well-received virtual reality headset Vive to consumers later this year, possibly in November. In the meantime, the Taiwanese company is busy building out its VR ecosystem. HTC disclosed that it spent almost $10 million for a 15 percent stake in WEVR, an open VR platform and community based in Los Angeles.

HTC’s investment in WEVR makes sense because it’s a chance for the company to build more content for Vive, which will be an important selling point for potential buyers.

In addition to enabling developers to create and publish VR content, WEVR also runs a grant program called OnWEVR that awards virtual reality producers from $5,000 to $50,000 to support projects.

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Posted by on in The Inquirer

APPLE PAY launched in the UK in July, and we've been trying out the mobile payment system on an Apple Watch to see how easy it is to set up and use.

Not all Apple Watch owners can use Apple Pay. You need to bank with one of the banks currently supporting the mobile payments system - HSBC, First Direct, NatWest, Nationwide Building Society, RBS, Santander, Ulster Bank and MBNA - or have an American Express, MasterCard or Visa issued by the credit card providers.

If you're one of the lucky few, you can go ahead and set up your payment card, but you'll need your iPhone to do this.

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The National Highway Transportation Safety Association (NHTSA) is supposed to be focused on one thing: safety. For crying out loud, it's right in the middle of its cumbersome name. But the federal funding it hands out to state and local governments is being used for surveillance devices with no discernible "safety" purpose: automatic license plate readers.

The NHTSA is funding license plate readers for highway safety purposes only, but it’s far from clear how law enforcement agencies are interpreting this and whether they are using the funding to buy license plate readers for non-safety uses. The NHTSA should not be funding police technology for surveillance purposes and it should not let law enforcement apply for funding to decrease traffic fatalities and then turn around and use those funds to track people not suspected of any crime.
This is how things are supposed to run versus how things actually run. This funding dodge is pretty much indiscernible from law enforcement agencies obtaining DHS/DoD grants for Stingrays and Bearcats to combat "terrorism," and then using the equipment to do banal, routine policework, like tracking down drug dealers.

So, in the name of "safety," local agencies are asking for federal funding, and then using the subsidization to deploy new surveillance tech. Standard operating procedure. And the companies manufacturing this equipment clearly recognize these exploitable funding opportunities and target prospective purchasers accordingly.

Private license plate reader manufacturers have further facilitated NHTSA granting funds for license plate reader systems by connecting state and local law enforcement agencies with the funding streams. In one 2012 email exchange, an employee of an ALPR maker advises the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles that “NHTSA funding is available for traffic safety” and provides contact information. Indeed, the company has a whole page of its website devoted to connecting law enforcement agencies with sources of funding.
In essence, the companies are telling agencies this equipment is pretty much free. And it is, as long as you don't think too hard about the original source of the funding: taxpayers. Exploiting this federal funding allows agencies to claim safety is a priority while not actually moving towards that goal. Instead, they get the location tracking technology they want and allow the public to pick up the tab. Then this equipment is turned around and pointed at the same people paying for it, sometimes literally as a tool of tax collection.

And it looks as if this broken, abused system will only get worse. The ACLU reports the NHTSA is soliciting bids for a study into the use of license plate readers to improve driver safety. That this obviously arrives well after NHTSA funds have been used to purchase plate readers is already problematic. Beyond that, any conclusions drawn from the report will simply provide law enforcement agencies with handy citations to use when requesting funding for equipment they have no interest in using for "public safety" reasons.

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A new Google Glass is coming, possibly by the end of this year — but it will look pretty familiar.

Re/code has learned that a version of the second edition of Google’s wearable, which was erroneously assumed dead when the search giant obfuscated about its future earlier this year, has already been distributed to the company’s Glass at Work enterprise partners.

The new model, as reported by 9to5Google, can fold up like a traditional pair of glasses and is more rugged for outdoor use. However, unlike most other smart glasses, it still sports a small screen to the upper right of the user’s vision, rather than displaying an image in the center of one’s view like the ODG R7 or Microsoft HoloLens.

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Just one day after its release, 14 million systems are now running Windows 10, according to Microsoft.

The staggered roll-out of Windows 10 to those who have "reserved" a copy will continue over several weeks, with Windows 7 and 8 users being notified of when their upgrade is available with an icon in their system tray. While we liked Windows 10 a lot, we wouldn't be too eager to upgrade just yet.

Over the last few days Microsoft has released a number of patches to fix Windows 10 bugs, and they're set to continue as the operating system is refined and adjusted. Giving Microsoft a few weeks to smooth a few of Windows 10's rougher edges will make for an easier life.

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Posted by on in Tech Deals
$165.00
End Date: Sunday Aug-2-2015 20:37:23 PDT
Buy It Now for only: $165.00
Buy It Now | Add to watch list
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Posted by on in Techs Got To Eat

If you tend a summer garden, then you are likely confronted with the same joyful dilemma that greets most of your fellow gardeners. When the tomatoes begin to ripen, they come in force!

What to do with all these tomatoes?

One of my favorite recipes for making use of fresh, ripe, garden tomatoes is this Italian inspired tomato salad with red onions, parsley, oregano, and avocados.

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An anonymous reader writes: At the SoftBank World conference in Tokyo, SoftBank CEO Masayoshi Son has made a case for robots to be developed so as to form empathic and emotional relationships with people. "I'm sure that most people would rather have the warm-hearted person as a friendSomeday robots will be more intelligent than human beings, and [such robots] must also be pure, nice, and compassionate toward people," SoftBank's Aldebaran tech group will make its empathic "Pepper" robot available for companies to rent in Japan from October at a rate of $442 per month.
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Posted by on in Mashable
Shark1

Image: Corbis Images

2015-07-31 01:59:00 UTC

A surfer was seriously injured as he fought a shark off the Australian east coast on Friday, less than a week after a fatal attack, police said.

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Posted by on in Wired

Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond and James May have left the BBC for Amazon Prime, but they certainly made their mark on the legacy of Top Gear. Sometimes, that mark was a little too literal. In the Polar Special episode that aired in July 2007, the three co-hosts raced to be the first person to reach the North Pole.

On the way, Clarkson went for a … thorough … test drive of the toilet attached to his Toyota Hilux, perhaps the pinnacle of his taste for toilet humor.

Watch the clip, and hope he’s got something left in the tank for three seasons of what we’ll provisionally call Uppermost Gear, which premieres for Prime customers next year.

Go Back to Top. Skip To: Start of Article.
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Posted by on in Lifehacker

The 8-Bit City Home Screen

8-bit designs may have been a technological necessity back in the day, but now they have a nostalgic charm. This 8-bit landscape, by reddit user Esrahaddon, can actually animate a retro city on your home screen when set up properly.

While the image above may not show it, you can see this design in motion here. To get this look on your own device, here’s what you’ll need:

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Californians Cut Water Use By 27% During the Hottest June On Record

Looks like all that #droughtshaming worked. Last month, California’s urban water use dropped more than the 25% reduction ordered by Governor Jerry Brown—the state cut water use by 27.3%, in fact. We did it!

Well, not all of us. According to the Wall Street Journal, some cities still missed the mark. Earlier this year the state water board set goals for different communities based on current water use for the 405 municipal districts. Looking at the data it appears that some overachieving cities took up the slack for cities that failed to conserve enough:

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Germany Gadget Show Samsung

If everything we've heard so far is true, Samsung's next Gear smartwatch could be far more interesting than any of its current products. Following news that the wearable comes with a round design, the company has reportedly confirmed it's also going to feature a rotating, functional bezel ring. The Gear A, as the device is said to be called, plans to let people take advantage of this attribute by letting them use it to zoom in and out across the OS, as well as play games. According to SamMobile, the Tizen-powered smartwatch sports Exynos 3472 dual-core processor with 4GB of onboard storage, a 250mAh battery and a 360 x 360 display that'll rely on the rotating bezel for some features. We'll likely know for sure on August 13th, when Samsung's scheduled to host its Unpacked 2015 event.

[Image credit: Associated Press]

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Startup Mobcrush, now in open beta, is bringing Twitch-style live game streaming to mobile phones and tablets. The beta is currently only open to people with iOS devices and Mac computers, but Windows and Android betas will follow. Ultimately Mobcrush intends to provide “one-click, multiplatform streaming, which allows players to live stream gameplay sessions at the touch of a button, chat with their communities in real time, and save videos for future viewing and distribution.”

In pursuit of this goal, Mobcrush has been hiring executive talent from the major, relevant companies. Alongside the public beta, today the company announced hiring Koh Kim, who previously worked in Google Play games business development, and Greg Essig, who ran the games section of the Apple App Store. The pair will co-run business development, joining a team that also recently added Eric Doty, a former Xbox strategist for Microsoft.

Related: Google officially plans to take on Twitch with new YouTube Gaming site

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Cisco will pay incoming CEO Chuck Robbins a higher salary than outgoing chief John Chambers made in fiscal 2014.

Robbins will make US$1.15 million in salary in fiscal 2016, which began this week, and he could earn another $2.59 million based on performance under Cisco’s Executive Incentive Plan. Add in as much as $13 million in stock grants, and Robbins could bring in more than $16.7 million for his first year at the helm.

By contrast, Chambers got $1.1 million in salary and a smaller basic percentage bonus under the Executive Incentive Plan in fiscal 2014, according to the company’s proxy statement issued last September. Chambers was a 20-year veteran at the helm of the company and was also chairman of the board. He’s now stepped back to become executive chairman.

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whatmusicheader

Today while I was at the dentist there was a moment when the dental assistant was taking x-rays of my teeth and the x-ray machine played some classical music momentarily for 15 seconds to entertain me while the x-ray machine did its job. Since I am a classical music fan I really liked this piece that was playing. But unfortunately no one at the office could tell me the artist since it is packaged with the machine as something to play for the patients while the machine worked.

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Posted by on in RE/Code

While most other industries have enjoyed a decades-long marriage with the Internet, in health care, we’re still in the “getting to know you” phase, working to establish a level of trust. Understandably, there are major concerns in our industry surrounding data integrity, both in and outside of the firewall.

Even as health care and the Internet continue their awkward slow dance (Jonathan Bush of Athenahealth likes to poke fun, with respect to health care, “that Internet thing is going to be big!”), the Internet of Things (IoT) is already upon us. And while almost all (physicians are on the fence about the worth of some of the data and their ability to be present with it) appreciate the IoT’s tremendous promise in health care toward enabling a digital health revolution and the future of care delivery, as an industry, we must get the security piece right.

Gartner estimates that approximately 3.9 billion connected things were in use in 2014. This number is expected to increase to 25 billion by 2020, a growth trajectory that will surely impact the health-care industry, which is already being flooded with devices for generating valuable patient data. It is my belief that as consumers become more and more comfortable with sharing data through wearables (a market expected to reach $35 billion on its own by 2020), our industry will get used to the idea of sharing personal health information (PHI).

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Google is reportedly pitching a new version of Glass aimed at the workplace. Sarah Tew/CNET

Google Glass has officially been on hiatus since January, as the company tries to find new ways to get consumers hooked on the search giant's smart eyewear. In the meantime, the company is courting customers more likely to respond better to the product: the workplace.

Google has been distributing a new version of Glass to companies, engineered specifically for workplaces in sectors including health care, manufacturing and energy, according to The Wall Street Journal.

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Hot on the heels of Best Buy's announcement that it will start selling Apple Watch in the U.S. on Aug. 7, the big box electronics retailer confirmed its Canadian outlets plan to commence sales of the wearable one week later.

Best Buy Canada on Thursday told local website MobileSyrup to expect Apple Watch to land at 50 brick-and-mortar stores across Canada, as well as online, on Aug. 14. Watch will also be available for "feel and try-on" sessions at 20 stores. "It has become one of the most popular searched products on BestBuy.ca," said Tony Sandhu, senior vice president of merchandising at Best Buy Canada. "We're excited to bring the highly-coveted Apple Watch to more Canadian consumers, especially with the holidays coming up."Apple confirmed Best Buy Canada's announcement in a separate statement. Like Best Buy's U.S. Apple Watch launch, Canadian stores will not gain access to solid gold Apple Watch Edition models, meaning selection is limited to stainless steel Apple Watch and Apple Watch Sport versions. The company plans to sell a number of official Apple accessories like straps and charging cables alongside Watch units. Best Buy announced on Sunday that it will start stocking Apple Watch at U.S. outlets on Aug. 7, making it the first major retailer to carry Apple Watch outside of Apple's own stores, pop-up shops and a handful of high-end boutiques. Initial availability is expected to be limited, but Best Buy plans to expand Apple Watch sales to more than 300 locations before the lucrative holiday shopping season.
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att-death-star

AT&T was hit with a massive $100 million fine by the FCC several weeks ago in response to its throttling of unlimited data customers, but now the carrier is asking that decision to be reversed. Even if it cannot get the commission’s verdict set aside, it’s asking that the fine be capped at a much lower amount. What does AT&T think is reasonable? $16,000 max. So, that’s 0.016% of the original fine.

The case centers on AT&T’s practices after it moved away from offering unlimited mobile data plans in 2011. Customers who chose not to move to new plans or renew their contracts have been able to keep their unlimited plans, but AT&T made a habit of drastically slowing speeds for unlimited users once they used 3Gb to 5GB of data in a billing cycle. The FCC felt that the speeds were so reduced that it was misleading to consumers who were paying for “unlimited” data.

AT&T’s new filings contend that it sufficiently notified customers about the new rules for data throttling, and has included a report by an economist who claims that customers were not negatively affected by the throttling scheme. The carrier also contends that the FCC overstepped its authority investigating the matter, because the cited 2010 Open Internet Order doesn’t apply to congestion management practices. Frankly, I think it’s rather disingenuous to call the throttling system a case of “congestion management” when it was clearly meant to push unlimited users to adopt capped data plans.

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