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26Oct/140

Who’d have thought the Power Mac G5 made a good bench?

Like it or loathe it, you have to admit that the design of the Power Mac G5 was a very clever way of getting around the system's legendary thermal issues. It was no surprise that the ol' cheesegrater was kept around for the Mac Pro, at least until last year's solid-state revolution. But what of the numerous G5 chassis that are now lingering in attics, skips and warehouses? If you don't want to gut one to use for your own high-end PC, then Klaus Geiger is more than happy to turn them into furniture. As part of his Benchma[®]c project, two G5 cases and a plank of Walnut is all you need to make a pretty nifty park bench. There's more images down at the source, but you'll have to excuse us, as we're just off to put our collection of Rodrigo Alonso furniture on eBay.

http://www.engadget.com/2014/10/25/cheesegrater-bench/?ncid=rss_truncated

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26Oct/140

Sony wants to show you how PS4′s online game-sharing works

When next Tuesday's 2.0 update hits for the PlayStation 4, Sony will finally turn one of the most ambitious promises it made when the console was first announced a reality. We're talking about Share Play, of course. We know: the ability to virtually hand a controller off to a pal via the internet and have them work through a game's tricky section for you sounds kinda like magic -- the type that only Disney is capable of. But, in theory it sounds pretty simple, and the catch-up king has recently released a video that walks through the process step by step. From the looks of it, the new feature is added as an option from the DualShock 4's Share button. Naturally. How well it all works in the wild, however, remains to be seen.

The rub of it is that every function other than screen sharing (meaning, controller passing and a virtual second player controller hand-off) requires a PlayStation Plus subscription. What's more, these virtual sharing sessions are limited to an hour apiece. After all, Sony's in the business of selling games -- letting you stream a pal's indefinitely probably isn't good for the bottom line.

Sony PlayStation 4

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  • a href="http://www.engadget.com/products/sony/playstation/4/" title="Sony PlayStation 4 reviews" target="_blank"

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    Destiny - Pocket Infinity quest

Article source: http://www.engadget.com/2014/10/25/ps4-game-sharing-explainer/?ncid=rss_truncated

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26Oct/140

Investigating the science in Christopher Nolan’s ‘Interstellar’

Even the most well respected filmmakers have been known to bend the truth a bit when it comes to depicting science on the silver screen, throwing accuracy to the wind in favor of trivialities like "plot" and "drama." We kid, of course. But how does this fall's sci-fi epic Interstellar from director Christopher Nolan hold up under a microscope (no pun intended)? The folks at Popular Science have taken the Dark Knight helmsman's latest to task, exploring the feasibility of traveling through wormholes, the type of spaceship we'd need for humanity to travel 'round the stars and a few other concepts explored in the film.

The research was based off of existing trailers, and more to the point, PopSci says that Interstellar's real-world theoretical physicist flat-out refused to speak with its writers. So, if you're on total media blackout for fear of spoilers, this might not ruin aspects of the flick for you. Are you lucky enough to live somewhere close to a 70mm IMAX screening of the movie in a few weeks? What about a cineplex with an Oculus setup? Let us know in the comments.

http://www.engadget.com/2014/10/25/interstellar-science/?ncid=rss_truncated

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26Oct/140

IRL: Keeping a journal with Day One

Trying to keep a journal has always been difficult for me. Before the age of smartphones, I tried to rely on text files or a physical notepad. If I wasn't forgetting to write down my thoughts, I was losing the file or my handwriting was so bad it would make a doctor jealous. I did the LiveJournal thing, too, except it fostered too many passive-aggressive entries. Finally, while browsing the App Store I come across an interesting-looking piece of software called Day One. The features, design and presentation prompted me to give journaling another go. And I'm glad I did.

If you've never heard of Day One, here's a quick rundown: It's a journaling app with an emphasis on ease of use. MultiMarkdown text allows for cleaner, faster writing, and you can import location, activity, music and weather data from the apps. More recently, the app added a Publish feature that allows you to share entries with Facebook, Twitter and Foursquare. Think of it as having a personal blog without every entry being public.

With the latest version, Day One made some tweaks to take advantage of some of the new features introduced in iOS 8. Previously, I would have had to go into the app to attach a link or photo. I can now share directly from any application where developers have taken advantage of Apple's new "extensibility" feature. I can now use Touch ID to unlock my journal. Entering a PIN isn't hard, of course, but using a fingerprint feels more secure over the standard four digits. Apple also added a widget option, allowing you to view two random picture entries as well as journaling stats for the last 50 days, all from the iOS Notification Center. For the most part, these aren't the kind of changes that make or break the product. Instead, they're the type of updates that help round out an already good experience.

When I first tried Day One, I had trouble making everything work. At the time I was using an Android phone, but unfortunately, the app is iOS-only. This proved to be an issue because I had no way of capturing thoughts or photos on the go. Sure, I could have taken a picture of that awesome graffiti I saw on the street and write about it when I got home, but without fail I would end up forgetting. The desktop client offers a notification option, but it's too easy to dismiss by telling myself "I'll do it later." Getting an iPhone is what really made using Day One a more regular part of my routine.

Creating new entries is an easy experience. Whether I'm writing an entry or snapping a picture, the app makes it effortless. One feature I didn't think I'd fully appreciate is MultiMarkdown. This style of text input allows me to write new entries with detailed formatting -- without HTML messing up the flow. Simply wrapping a word in an asterisk can italicize it, or if I want to create a link, I can use brackets and parentheses instead of writing a full HREF statement. The app even has a swipeable bar to quickly input different Markdown tags so I'll never forget how to bullet a list or insert a link. It seems silly to spend time discussing writing syntax, but it makes for more efficient writing.

Tagging -- a pretty standard feature in any archiving service -- is also present in Day One. This has always been beneficial with bookmarks, but I'm getting a lot of utility out of it with journaling, too. I use it for tracking potential medical issues as well as my hobbies. For example, I have one called "Invisalign" where I've been writing once a week about my experience with this alternative to traditional braces. Before my next visit, I can pull up the tag to quickly remind myself of any issues I ran into. I'm also a huge coffee fan. I enjoy trying out different roasters, but tracking the various bags can be time consuming. Using a modified Launch Center Pro action, I can quickly create an entry with pre-filled fields. Triggering the actions brings me to a series of boxes asking for roaster, origin, method, rating and tasting notes. All of this gets formatted into a clean-looking table, then auto-tagged for easy reference later.

With the help of If This Then That (IFTTT) and Launch Center Pro I can also automate some of my entries to make life a little easier. Using the two services, I can notify my phone of any photo I post to Instagram with the tag #dayone. Interacting with the alert will pre-populate a new post with the image and the text from the tagged 'gram. I also combine them with Strava to auto-create entries for any new activities I complete. This allows me to stay on top of my training log, something I've tried to do numerous times over the years to little or no effect.

The downsides to Day One? As I mentioned, there's no Android app -- it's currently only available for iOS and OS X. Unfortunately, Windows and Linux users are out of luck, too, though the team does link to a few tools for generating entries. As for Android, I've seen a few apps offering import/export abilities, but I personally haven't used them so I can't report on how well they work. Additionally, you may be turned off by the prices: $4.99 for the iOS app and $9.99 for the desktop client, or $15 total. That's something I questioned at first since there are cheaper journal solutions, but after using Day One for a while, I'm convinced the cost is more than justified.

Apple iPhone 6

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  • a href="http://www.engadget.com/products/apple/iphone/6/" title="Apple iPhone 6 reviews" target="_blank"

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    Lines lines line. Share your gadget line-waiting stories!


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26Oct/140

Drug stores drop Apple Pay and Google Wallet to push their own payment tech

If you're bent on using Apple Pay or Google Wallet for your shopping, you may have to be finicky about your choice of drug stores. Both CVS and Rite Aid have shut off their support for NFC-based payments just days after Apple Pay went live. Try to tap your phone and you'll get an error, or nothing at all. The companies haven't publicly discussed why they're cutting off the handy feature, but this is ultimately an attempt to stifle competition. Both pharmacies are part of the Merchant Customer Exchange, a retailer group whose its own mobile wallet system (CurrentC) reaches these stores in 2015; as a memo obtained by SlashGear suggests, they'd rather deny all NFC payments than risk building support for rivals. Suffice it to say that this will be very inconvenient if you're a frequent customer, and you'll currently have to visit the likes of Duane Reade and Walgreens if you want to avoid paying with old-fashioned cash or plastic.

[Image credit: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images]

http://www.engadget.com/2014/10/25/drug-stores-drop-nfc-payments/?ncid=rss_truncated

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26Oct/140

Twitpic’s last-minute deal with Twitter keeps your old photos safe

Twitpic may not have avoided an untimely demise, but you won't have to worry about some of your older Twitter photos disappearing into the void. The defunct hosting company has reached a last-minute deal that will have Twitter take over both the Twitpic web domain and its photo archive, keeping all those legacy images intact. It's not a revival; Twitpic is no longer taking new pictures, and all that you can do now is delete or download your collection. There's also a chance that those snapshots will go offline, since Twitpic can only promise that your library is safe "for the time being." Still, the pact will give you at least a temporary place to go when you're feeling nostalgic about that first selfie.

http://www.engadget.com/2014/10/25/twitpic-gives-archive-to-twitter/?ncid=rss_truncated

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26Oct/140

Roku wants to grow its media hub empire with a public stock filing

Roku frequently comes across as the little media player company that could: its streaming box business is growing in spite of much larger competition. As healthy as it is, though, this upstart now appears eager to join the big leagues. Tipsters for both the Wall Street Journal and New York Times claim that Roku is planning to file an initial public stock offering (IPO) that could net as much as $150 million, roughly doubling what it raised through private investments. The details of just how and when this would happen are still murky, but the company said earlier this month that it's near turning a profit. It may wait until it's in the black and can put its best foot forward. If the IPO does happen, though, you should expect Roku to grow quickly. It's already striking deals with TV makers and has the support of major broadcasters -- the extra cash could both put more big-name services on your existing Roku box and improve the range of devices you can buy at the store.

http://www.engadget.com/2014/10/25/roku-ipo-leak/?ncid=rss_truncated

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26Oct/140

Nexus 9, riding a real-life hoverboard and other stories you might’ve missed

That's right, folks. Our own Sean Buckley took Hendo's real-life Hoverboard for a spin, and yes, it was pretty awesome. But if that's not enough for you, we also reviewed Apple's new tablets and went hands-on with the Nexus 9 -- click on through for the rest of our news highlights from the last seven days. Oh, and be sure to subscribe to our Flipboard magazine!

Nexus 9, riding a real-life hoverboard and other stories you might've missed

http://www.engadget.com/2014/10/25/google-nexus-9-real-life-hoverboard/?ncid=rss_truncated

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25Oct/140

London Science Museum catalogs 200 years of communication tech

Her Majesty the Queen took to Twitter for the first time today, but not to complain about the amount of ice in her post-brunch frappé. Instead, Liz was announcing the opening of a new permanent gallery at London's Science Museum that takes visitors on a journey through more than two centuries of information and communication technologies. "Information Age: Six Networks That Changed Our World" delves into the history of electric telegraphy, telephone and broadcast networks, as well as exploring the later development of satellite communications, mobile networks and the web: all the technology we take for granted today. Among over 800 exhibits are gems including Sir Tim Berners-Lee's NeXT computer, which hosted the first web server, the BBC's first radio transmitter, a piece of the first transatlantic cable connecting the UK to the US, and a replica of the first computer mouse. Taking pride of place at the heart of the gallery is the Rugby Tuning Coil (pictured above), a vast contraption that, in its day, was the most powerful radio transmitter in the world.

[Image credit: Science Museum]

http://www.engadget.com/2014/10/24/london-science-museum-information-age-exhibit/?ncid=rss_truncated

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25Oct/140

Here’s how Nintendo’s Amiibo toys work in Super Smash Bros. for Wii U

Nintendo was dropping Smash Brothers info-bombs left and right last night, but the company also felt compelled to dive a little deeper into how the Wii U version of the game will play with those curious little Amiibos. You know, the Nintendo character-themed figurines that both look adorable and store game information via NFC? Now, thanks to the marketing wizards in Redmond, we've got a four-minute chronicle of young love, combat and tiny figures that explains just about everything. Key takeaways? You're not actually playing as your Amiibo character -- instead, the little avatar springs to life as a support character, getting in people's faces and generally having a grand ol' time once you tap the figure to your Wii U's gamepad.

Once they're in the game, you can level up their stats, too (the cap sits at Level 50, or so the video would have us believe), either by wailing on your Amiibo directly or lugging it into battle against others. Since all of that stat and level data can be stored on the Amiibo itself, it should be a piece of cake to lug your partner to and fro (it doesn't appear in the video, but you'll presumably touch it to the Gamepad once more when done to lock all that data down). Perfect companion for those ridiculous eight-person Smashfests? Nintendo certainly thinks so, if only because deep integration into already-popular games means its little figures are more than just your run-of-the-mill Skylanders knock-offs. Just remember that Amiibo pickins' will be a little slim at first: the first batch of twelve are all Smash characters and will hit in late November, followed by another wave of six just in time for the holidays.

Nintendo Wii U

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  • a href="http://www.engadget.com/products/nintendo/wii/u/" title="Nintendo Wii U reviews" target="_blank"

    Reviews 49

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    Is Nintendo finally getting serious about hardcore gaming again?


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    what is the most basic free form 3d "walkabout" game on WiiU?


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    What do think of the Wii U launch lineup?

Article source: http://www.engadget.com/2014/10/24/amiibo-super-smash-bros/?ncid=rss_truncated

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