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Windows has a heart of trash

I did a bad thing. I opened a bad file and it borked my PC. So now, in concordance with the grand tradition of frustrated tech bloggers calling on enormous companies to conform to their wishes, here is my rant on how terrible computers are — Windows ones, this time anyway — and how they ought to be. Now, I’m no PC spring chicken. I build my desktops, I seat the CPU, I fiddle with the registry and fiddle with the BIOS (even though it isn’t r......
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Nomos Glashütte’s Metro Neomatik is modern, slim and sophisticated watch

The smartwatch era has done nothing so much as renew my interest in real watches, which have their own type of special intelligence, albeit laid out in intricate arrays of gears and springs rather than written in silicon. Few watchmakers express this intelligence site so wonderfully as Nomos Glashütte, the German manufactory that produces exquisite timepieces with house made movements in distinct, signature cases. Nomos’ Metro neomatik is e......
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CubeFit TerraMat hides under your standing desk to give your feet a rest

Back before humans invented chairs we humans stood a lot. Now, almost 100 years later, we tend to sit. However, some people still stand. For those people there is the TerraMat. The TerraMat is like a cat toy for you feet. It features a number of little bumps and ridges designed to let you stretch, exercise and massage your feet while you’re standing. It was created by two husband-and-wife teams, including an interior office designer, person......
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Erato’s Muse 5 wireless in-ear headphones give AirPods a run for their money

Apple’s AirPods are probably the first really mainstream completely wireless headphones, but Erato has been making these for a while now. The company’s latest is the Muse 5, a set of in-ear buds that are cheaper than their debut Apollo 7 option, but still come with a charging case and very respectable battery life. The Muse 5’s least impressive feature might be their design – it’s a bit like you’re putting bulky buds you found at the local ......
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Behold the robo-fruit

Perhaps you’ve been watching the BBC’s Spy in the Wild, in which meticulously recreated robotic animals cohabitate with their fleshy brethren and record all their secret goings and doings. But haven’t you ever wondered what fruit gets up to during the long trip from its homeland to your local produce department? These robo-fruits, from Swiss R&D firm Empa, are your best bet to find out. Of course, it’s not for a nature documentary, but ......
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Wanna hack your car? Macchina is a plug-and-vroom solution

You can hack your IKEA furniture to be more awesome. You can hack video games to make your fellow gamers hate your guts. And with the help of Macchina — now on Kickstarter — you can teach your car a few new tricks, too. What could possibly go wrong? Banana for scale Macchina is a little device that plugs into your car. Nothing revolutionary so far; Automatic has been offering that for years. What is new, however, is that Macchina’s little w......
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Apple could be putting together an augmented reality team

Apple could be betting big on augmented reality. According to a new Bloomberg report, the company could be working on augmented reality features for the iPhone and then later for glasses, a new device that you would pair with your smartphone. While the hypothetical pair of glasses is nowhere near ready, it’s still interesting to see what Apple is working on behind the scene. And it first starts with a team. Mike Rockwell is apparently leadi......
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The Atomo Modular Electronics System is like LEGO for electronics

One of the hardest things about Raspberry Pi and Arduino is figuring out where to stick all the pieces. While both of these systems work well alone – you can have a lot of fun with just a board and an Internet connection – it’s also fun to add little things like printers and screens to make fun projects. That’s where the Atomo comes in. This modular kit comes from Jonathan Buford, a Hong Kong-based maker, and it’s certified by Arrow Electro......
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Apple plans to invest $500 million for new research centers in China

Apple is trying to tap into local talent by building new research centers around the world. As spotted by MacRumors, the company just announced on its Chinese website that it is going to build two new R&D centers in Shanghai and Suzhou. This is going to be a significant investment as Apple plans to spend 3.5 billion yuan, or a little bit more than $500 million. The company already announced research centers in Beijing and Shenzhen, so t......
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Seriously, this skull-drilling robot is good news for humanity

When someone invents a robot specifically made to drill into the skulls of unconscious, immobile humans, you’d be forgiven for feeling a natural reaction along the lines of “for the love of God, why?” But trust me, this particular robotic trepanation station is a good idea. The issue surrounds what is called microsurgery, in particular, installing cochlear implants, tiny devices that relay sound directly to the inner ear of someone with a h......
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Hayo’s Kinect-like sensor for your home now has an API

Sometimes I miss the Kinect. It was such a breakthrough device, yet it didn’t go anywhere. But it inspired a lot of entrepreneurs, including the team behind Hayo. This new device lets you set up virtual buttons on a table to control all your connected objects. Hayo recently announced there will be an API so developers can play with the company’s image recognition technology. Some people already want to use Hayo for games, others for their s......
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New iPad models being tested around Cupertino, logs show

Several new iPad models have been spotted being tested in Cupertino and nearby locations, according to mobile marketing firm Fiksu — potentially confirming earlier rumors of a planned iPad refresh arriving this spring. According to reports, a leaked investor note from KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo indicated that Apple is expected to update its 12.9-inch iPad Pro model, as well as introduce a new 10-inch or 10.5-inch model with a narro......
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PassivDom is a Zombie-proof “autonomous 3D-printed mobile house”

It’s rare that I quote a company’s marketing tagline outright, but PassivDom, makers of an “autonomous 3D-printed mobile house,” sounds pretty darn rad. The Ukrainian company wants to create mobile homes that can be made anywhere and are completely self-powered. Max Gerbut, a Ph.D. of Engineering Sciences of physics of the solid state, built the houses in the Ukraine and is working on spreading the word. He invested €200,000 of his own cash......
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The Gameband is the ultimate wrist gaming solution for playing Pong

Ready for some XTREME WRIST GAMING ACTION? Sure you are. But here’s the Gameband, a new smartwatch for gamers that lets you play simple games on a tiny, wrist-mounted screen. Founded by Feargal Mac Conuladh the watch has a MicroSD slot for storage of up to 256GB of games and it can play games like Terraria and Pong on a 1.63-inch screen. The watch runs Android Marshmallow 6.0.1 with a few tweaks to make it a gaming powerhouse. The game sele......
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Use Nintendo Switch controllers with the NES Classic with this adapter

Nintendo Switch controllers are flexible, if flawed — the latest hardware they work with is the NES Classic, via 8bitdo’s $17 Retro Receiver, and a new firmware update available now for that little dongle. The wireless accessory already lets you connect a range of Bluetooth controllers to your NES Classic, including 8bitdo’s own NES30 controller replica, and PlayStation 4, Wii U Pro and more. The new firmware supports connecting both indivi......
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Nvidia’s Jetson TX2 makes AI computing possible within cameras, sensors and more

Nvidia has a new generation of its Jetson embedded computing platform for devices at the edge of a network, including things like traffic cameras, manufacturing robotics, smart sensors and more. The Jetson TX2 has twice the performance of its predecessor, the TX1, or it can also redirect efficiency to power savings, using less than half the power consumption of the original to achieve the same processing abilities. The TX2 uses a Pascal-bas......
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Disney Research has robots matching verbal styles with kids

Roboticists at Disney Research are investigating how to improve the quality of human-robot interactions by studying how speech patterns affect engagement with a creepy anthropomorphic bot that imitates its playmates’ speech. It’s a natural enough line of research: computer-generated speech and interaction patterns are so wooden across the board that little is expected of them. But pairs of people — for example, kids playing with each other ......
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Meet the tiny phone company that’s making modularity sustainable

With retro phone brands Nokia and Blackberry remerging at Mobile World Congress this year you’d be forgiven for thinking Mistress Fortune was up to her old wheel-spinning tricks again. And as old tech becomes tech news again, it’s a sign — say some — that smartphone innovation is on the scrap heap. But a commoditized smartphone market offers fresh opportunities if you look at it from a different perspective: sustainability. European phone ......
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The Fossil Q Hybrid smartwatch does wearables right

Do you really need a screen? That’s the question Fossil is asking with their clever and handsome Fossil Q Hybrid smartwatch, an analog watch that hides all of its smarts behind an understated face. This type of watch has become more common with watchmakers like Skagen and Michael Kors jumping on the bandwagon. Many of the manufactures use movements from MMT and others and most of them do approximately the same thing. This watch tracks your ......
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Google says to “count on” a second-generation Pixel smartphone this year

Google’s Pixel smartphone this year was a significant reset for the company’s mobile hardware strategy – and one that earned a lot of praise from customers and critics. Good news for those who liked it: Pixel’s successor will arrive sometime in 2017, as confirmed by Google SVP of Hardware Rick Osterloh to Android Pit at MWC this year. It sounds like the Pixel 2 will continue the tradition of the original – Osterloh said it’ll remain “premiu......
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Snap explored selling a 360 camera

What comes after Spectacles for the “camera company”? Snap has explored 360 cameras as a future product, according to three sources familiar with the matter. Snap brought in a camera developer with expertise in 360 cameras and stereoscopic cameras to pitch the company potential hardware options. Snap’s investigation into 360 cameras is still in early phases, and it’s not certain it will release a product in the space, sources confirm. Snap......
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The $10 Raspberry Pi Zero W is the teeniest little Wi-Fi-enabled computer you’ve ever seen

When the original $5 Raspberry Pi Zero came out – to much fanfare, I might add – users connected it to all sorts of things. They made micro gaming rigs that ran on the 1GHz single-core CPU and added Pi Hats – little breakout boards – to power robots and sensors. Now you can do all that but without worrying about a Wi-Fi or Bluetooth dongle. The $10 Pi Zero W is the Zero with wireless built-in. It has a mini-HDMI port, micro-USBs, and a 40-p......
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This is probably the Samsung Galaxy S8

Samsung is set to announce the Galaxy S8 smartphone in late March, but the two videos and a couple images embedded here appear to show working units. The videos show the phone’s refined design. The curved screen of the S7 remains as does the 3.5mm headphone port. The phone looks very similar to its predecessor though it’s missing the physical and capacitive buttons found on the previous model. Instead, it looks like Samsung is employing a r......
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Watch BlackBerry unveils a brand new phone live right here

TCL, the company that now makes BlackBerry phones, is holding a press conference at MWC in Barcelona. The conference starts at 7 PM CET (6 PM GMT, 1 PM EST, 10 AM PST). We already got a sneak peek at the device during CES back in January. And it’s everything BlackBerry fans love — yes, I’m mostly talking about the physical keyboard. You can check it out live via Blackberry’s official stream above, and stay tuned on TechCrunch.com for ongoin......
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MyKronoz reveals a full-color smartwatch with mechanical watch hands

This is a first. MyKronoz just introduced the ZeTime, a hybrid smartwatch with arms like those found on traditional watches. Essentially the company put a watch movement behind the touchscreen, drilled a hole, and let gears stick through. At this point, the watch is not available for purchase though the company says it will be out in September for $199. Apparently, even with the watch movement, there’s still room in the case for all the bit......
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Research heralds better and bidirectional brain-computer interfaces

A pair of studies, one from Stanford and another from the University of Geneva, exemplify the speed with which brain-computer interfaces are advancing; and while you won’t be using one instead of a mouse and keyboard any time soon, even in its nascent form the tech may prove transformative for the disabled. First comes work from Stanford: an improved microelectrode array and computer system that allows paralyzed users to type using an on-sc......
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Modders are turning the NES Classic Edition into an all-purpose retro gaming machine

If you were lucky enough to get your hands on a NES Classic Edition this last holiday season, you were probably impressed (as I was) with the quality of the emulation — so much so you wished it had a few more games, or maybe even that there was an SNES version. Well, your dream is coming true — kind of, anyway. Since hackers found a way to rewrite the memory in the diminutive console about a month ago, an adventurous set of retro gaming fan......
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Snap starts selling Spectacles online in the US for $130

Snap wants to prove to investors in its upcoming IPO that Spectacles can earn money for its business, not just be a brand stunt. So today, Snap begins selling its video-recording sunglasses Spectacles openly online for $129.99 in the US at Spectacles.com. Previously it only dispensed them from Snapbot vending machines in surprise locations and its NYC pop-up store for the last three months. Snap has now closed that pop-up, and tells me “Sna......
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Barbie becomes a hologram version of herself

Yes, after pulling herself out of her 1950’s rut as a swimsuit model to become everything from a doctor, lawyer, computer scientist, astronaut and even the president of the United States, Barbie has now become a 3D-animated hologram that can serve up the weather on command. As first reported in Wired, The Hello Barbie Hologram debuted at the New York Toy Fair this week. And like the original Hello Barbie doll, her laser-beamed character com......
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OxSight uses augmented reality to aid the visually impaired

One percent of the world’s population, approximately 70 million people, are blind. That is not a huge number when you think of it in terms of a potential use base for a consumer product, but it is massive when you consider that there are currently few assistive technologies available as an aid to make easier the lives of the visually impaired. A new startup that spun out of Oxford last year, OxSight, is looking to change that. The company ......
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