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Kyle Orland

A Hawaii-based company called Total Recall Technologies (TRT) is suing Facebook-owned Oculus Rift and its founder Palmer Luckey, saying that Luckey used confidential information he learned from the company in 2011 to build his own head-mounted display.

In a complaint filed in the Northern California US District Court (PDF), TRT says that its two partners, Ron Igra and Thomas Seidl, developed and patented a method to take video of a real-world scene and display it in a head-mounted display using an “ultra-wide field of view.” Seidl met Luckey in 2010 in connection with his work on developing head-mounted displays, and contacted him in 2011 to build a prototype for TRT.

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Inside Etsy Inc.'s DUMBO Headquarters Following Company's IPO

There's a lot to love about Etsy -- it's one of the best places on the internet to find all sorts of stuff like minimalist Captain America prints or laser-cut Deathly Hallows earrings, but shipping windows are kind of a crapshoot. That could change because Amazon is apparently emailing some of the hand-crafted goods emporium's sellers and offering them to peddle their wares, according to The Wall Street Journal. The forthcoming section on Bezo's ecommerce behemoth is called Handmade, and invites lead to a survey asking about what categories the wares would fall under (11 total, including baby, apparel, pet supplies) but there isn't any word about when the section will go live.

WSJ notes that anything regarding fee structure is missing in action as well, adding that there's a pretty big disparity between what Etsy charges its sellers versus what Amazon does. For example, Amazon's cut of sales ranges from 12 percent to 45 percent per item, with a $1 minimum per item sold. Etsy, on the other hand, takes $0.20 for every item listed and 3.5 percent of the selling price. The trade-off for sellers would be a much higher potential for sales, but at a possibly lower profit. It's worth noting that these talks are all presumably very early and nothing is set in stone just yet. What's it mean for those of us who just want a super-cool Calvin and Hobbes stuffed Hobbes, though? Convenience and hopefully guaranteed shipping for the tiger. That's something I can get behind.

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It’s been a long day, and you have a screaming headache. You want to rub your temples, but you’re tired and your arms feel heavy and cramp after like three seconds. But why should we have to rub our own temples in this day and age? We don’t. There’s a group of engineers out there ready to take care of that for us, and their campaign is up on Indiegogo.

If this company of engineers had an “As Seen on TV” commercial, it would start like this: “From the inventors of the Sleep Shepherd — the hat that helps you sleep — comes the Vi-Band, the headband massager!” It’s a hands-free head massager that vibrates over your temples and forehead, built into a simple headband. Yep, a hand’s free head massager that doesn’t look like you’re trying to bring back the real Quaid.

Related: Like a futuristic Band-Aid, this wearable patch relieves pain at the push of a button

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Posted by on in Techdirt
Some folks like to drink coconut water because it tastes good -- not because it's a fashionable, semi-exotic-sounding liquid that has some specious health claims. Some fads, like drinking raw milk are actually not that healthy. But if you just like trying out new stuff to drink (and carry around in a bottle or cup), check out a few of these links. After you've finished checking out those links, take a look at our Daily Deals for cool gadgets and other awesome stuff.
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An excerpt from an upcoming book on the rise and collapse of Canadian smartphone maker BlackBerry suggests that while the company — then known as RIM — had some appreciation for 2007's first-generation iPhone, it did not see the device as a threat given RIM's core customers.

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Headquarters of RIM, now BlackBerry, in Waterloo, Ontario. | Source: The Globe and Mail

"If the iPhone gained traction, RIM's senior executives believed, it would be with consumers who cared more about YouTube and other Internet escapes than efficiency and security," reads one portion of an excerpt from Jacquie McNish and Sean Silcoff's Losing the Signal, as published by the Wall Street Journal. The company believed that its central business customers cared more about security and efficient communication — for instance through the signature BlackBerry physical keyboard — than having the full internet in their pocket.

At the time, most phones had extremely limited Web and video functions and clumsy button-based browsers. The iPhone was the first smartphone with a Web browser comparable to the desktop, as well as an all-touchscreen interface. Apple moreover negotiated with AT&T to allow unlimited data, something unheard of when most data plans were still measured in megabytes.

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Fox recently announced that "American Idol" won't get another season. Good riddance, I say. The show may have produced a few names with actual talent, but it felt like one of those reality shows where viewers get their jollies watching judges crush people's dreams like grapes in a stomping vat.

williamhung.jpgWilliam Hung may have entertained people with his singing for reasons other than the ones he intended, but research shows that even he might be able to bang out "She Bangs" better than he did on "American Idol." Fox

My big pet peeve with "American Idol" and other shows of its ilk isn't just that they turn gullible rubes into emotional cannon fodder as a holy sacrifice to the gods of reality TV. My worry is that "Idol" may have convinced someone with genuine, untapped talent not to pursue their passion just because some British meanie thinks he knows more about music than anyone else.

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Posted by on in Gizmodo

The Best of Gizmodo This Week

This week at Gizmodo, we got our hands on Buckminster Fuller’s FBI file, recounted your worst PayPal horror stories, told you why you need to stop drinking bottled water, and hung out with Neal Stephenson to chat about his latest novel. Here are the highlights.

The Best of Gizmodo This Week

There are few things on this planet I hate more than bottled water. Just the crinkling sound of someone wrapping their mouth around one of those squeaky garbage accordions fills me with rage. I stopped drinking it a long time ago—and you should stop drinking it, too.

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Editor’s note: Jonathan Friedman is a partner at LionBird, an early-stage fund investing in digital health, commerce and enterprise software. He blogs at Venture Capital Point of View.

So you’ve made it past all the VC grilling and received a term sheet. Congratulations! But don’t celebrate just yet. Term sheets are non-binding, and even though they should signify a VC has conviction in investing in you and is ready to move towards closing, they fall through more often than most founders may expect.

Here are the three most common reasons why receiving a term sheet may not result in an investment by a VC and what you can do about it.

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LA Noire is, at its core, an impeccably executed, hard-boiled police drama. As a member of the 1940s LAPD, you spend your time combing scenes for clues, interrogating suspects, following leads, et cetera.

Built around a large number of scripted cases with linear scenarios—though an optional free-roaming mode is available—LA Noire leans heavily on deft writing and powerful performances, buoyed by the use of MotionScan technology, which portrays actors' faces in startling detail, from small wrinkles to nervous tics. (Expressions play a major role during interrogation scenes.) Fistfights, shoot-outs, car chases, and foiled bank robberies add delicious action to the drama.

LA Noire grabs you by the throat and doesn't let go for roughly the same amount of time as two TV series seasons—an apt description for such a narrative powerhouse.

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This week we cover one noteworthy review of the new MacBook by Marco Arment, as well as iOS 9 and OS X 10.11 details. Apple is supposedly tidying up with both OS updates this year, and also making things more pleasant for older device owners, and that’s very good for Tim Cook’s favorite customer satisfaction metric.

We also discuss the new $2,000 iMac, as well as the update for the 15-inch Retina MacBook Pro. And surprisingly, we spend very little time talking about the Apple Watch, for probably the first time since that device became available – or even was first announced.

Rumors also suggest iPad could get a dual-screen mode, and we’re fairly split on how we feel about that. One thing’s certain, though: Apple probably has a ton of new stuff to show off at WWDC this year if they’re spilling the beans on Mac hardware refreshes a few weeks before the actual event.

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In Canada there are basically two prison systems. One, for those sentenced to less than two years, is run by the province (thus a common sentence is "two years less a day"). The second, for those sentenced to two years or more, is run by the Federal Government. Recidivism rates for those sentenced to provincial jails is roughly 45% re-offend (statistics are lifelong, not three years as in the parent post's research). For the Federal system, it's less than 5%. Provincial inmates are released to the community they came from, while Federal inmates are paroled to a different community. They balance the releases by placing people based on the incarceration rate in a given community; in other words if 5 criminals are sent to Federal prison in a town, then 5 are released to that town, but are not from that town.

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Galaxy S6 Edge Iron Man

This phone isn’t something Tony Stark was able to build in cave with a box of scraps. It’s a brand new Galaxy S6 Edge from the folks at Samsung, and it’s going on sale soon. No, you won’t need an arc reactor to power it: an ordinary lithium polymer battery will do just fine. Other than the crimson and gold tones borrowed from Iron Man’s armor and the image of his helmet on the back, this is an ordinary S6 Edge.

Wait, what helmet? The render above is obviously lacking that particular detail, but it’s clearly visible in another image — a teaser posted by Samsung itself. As you can see, the Avengers Edition Edge should be arriving in just a few more days.

iron-man-phone

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2015-05-22 20:21:53 UTC

"It's-a me! Mad Max!"

A new twist on the original Mad Max: Fury Road trailer imagines what the film might be like if it took place in the Mario Kart universe. What if Fury Road was littered with cartoon-like banana peels, and giant chain-chomps that cause explosions? The results are pretty awesome.

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Finally, here are the last speakers to be announced for our second annual Code Conference, which takes place next week.

Because Twitter has been so in the news for a variety of reasons, and because the livestreaming startup called Periscope that it bought this year has too, we thought that CEO Dick Costolo and founder Kayvon Beykpour would make a great pair to interview in our famous red hot seats. (Costolo has been grilled by us before, while Beykpour is a newbie.)

We hope to cover a lot of topics onstage about how the social communications company innovates (make or buy?), copyright issues around mobile video (we’ll ask speaker and CBS CEO Les Moonves about that dicey issue too) and how Twitter leaders think of the company as it moves forward (and how they cope with the constant scrutiny).

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Mozilla is learning that making smartphones dirt cheap doesn't guarantee success when you're running up against Google's Android operating system. CNET reports that in an email to employees sent out on Thursday, CEO Chris Beard made it clear that the company will soon be changing its mobile strategy. "We have not seen sufficient traction for a $25 phone," Beard wrote. He went on to say, "We will focus on efforts that provide a better user experience, rather than focusing on cost alone."

Reality sets in

That's not to say that Mozilla will exclusively be targeting the high-end iPhone and Android flagship market. The company seems determined to produce enticing options across a broad range of prices, and more Mozilla employees will likely be asked to help gauge just how Firefox OS phones stack up against an endless sea of Android competition. "While we won't be able to live and breathe on each and every target device for our core product and technology, we can on phones that are powerful enough for each of us to make our primary phone," Beard wrote. His email even mentions that Mozilla will continue to explore developing feature phones — presumably employees won't be forced to carry those around.

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The modern mobile era began in 2007 with the release of the first iPhone. But Apple didn’t invent the smartphone, the mobile web, or even the app store. It wasn’t even the first to sell a smartphone to the everyday consumer.

In 2002, T-Mobile launched the Sidekick, a smartphone that featured a full keyboard, an email client, a custom mobile web browser, and an AOL Instant Messenger Client. It sold for about $200 when paired with a wireless contract, with monthly plans starting at around $40 a month.

T-Mobile tried hard to position the phone not as a toy for geeks and business people, but as a cool lifestyle gadget. The company shelled out for an extensive advertising campaign and the phone appeared in many TV shows, probably through product placement deals (see video above). The hype culminated in a commercial that featured a ensemble cast of celebrities, including Snoop Dogg, Paris Hilton, Burt Reynolds, and Jason Acuña.

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Martini’s are a sophisticated drink, but they can be daunting if you don’t know the ingredients or lingo. This infographic explains everything you need to know about ordering and making one the most iconic cocktails there is.

This infographic, from Fix.com, explains what goes in a martini, as well as how to make the classics yourself. You’ll learn the differences between dry and sweet vermouth, and whether you want your martini wet, dry, or very dry. It even offers an example of how to order one from a bartender with the right lingo so you can look extra cool when you get yours shaken, not stirred.

More Martinis Please! | Fix.com

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After nearly a month of time with the Apple Watch, there’s been a few moments that drew attention to the downside to having a computer strapped to one’s wrist. Brushing one’s teeth, eating, and even holding your significant other’s hand on a walk all preclude accessing your wrist with your other hand, preventing you from responding to notifications or using apps.

The Aria is an add-on band that solves this occasional frustration by measuring movement in the wrist to control smart watches with finger gestures. Compatible with Android Wear and the Pebble Time, their module slots in to an existing band and lets you move through a watch’s interface without tapping the screen or using controls on the side of the watch face.

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A California man who ran a website where sex workers and pimps could offer their services was sentenced to 13 months in prison and ordered to forfeit $1.28 million in cash and property. Prosecutors said the case involved the nation's first Web operator convicted of federal charges for running a site dedicated to advertising the world's oldest profession.

53-year-old Eric Omuro, who went by "Red" and other handles, pleaded guilty in December. He was sentenced on Thursday in San Francisco and agreed to forfeit the domains sfRedbook.com and myRedBook.com.

According to the Justice Department:

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Apple’s next-generation operating systems, for both mobile devices and PCs, are reportedly going to have a strong focus on zapping bugs and improving stability, reports 9to5Mac. We’d heard this about iOS before, but it appears this will be a smoothing year (but with new features, too). The more interesting news, however, is that Apple is also said to be working on improving iOS support for older devices – including ones that aren’t even necessarily on sale anymore.

The report from 9to5Mac says that iOS 9 will feature a new optimization method to better support older hardware, including the iPad mini and the iPhone 4S. Apple typically extends iOS compatibility to devices a few generations prior to the current shipping model, but in the past it has not done a terrific job of making OS updates all that friendly for those older iPhones and iPads. Typical user complaints include reports of significant performance slowdowns post-update. Apple also typically disables the most demanding features of new software updates, which can also detract from the overall user experience.

This time around, Apple is focusing specifically on performance efficiency for older gadgets running iOS 9, with an effective core app and then features added as they go, provided they don’t impeded the quality of the overall OS user experience.

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