How much would you fork out for a 77-inch, curved, 4K, OLED TV? Well, LG hopes you're hovering around a couple of grand per descriptor, having announced it's launching such a gogglebox in the UK for only £20,000. It won't actually be available until October, though, so you still have a few months to fill up the piggy bank. As you'd imagine, the "world's first" curved OLED UHDTV packs a ton of branded technologies that promise a perfect picture, including the necessary upscaling engine that converts lower-res video to "near-4K," as well as LG's webOS smart TV platform. For the thrifty, there's a 65-inch model also launching in October for a mere £6,000, which you should easily be able to scrape together from the change lurking between your sofa cushions.
Right now, iTunes U on the iPad isn't a complete educational tool. You can read textbooks, but not much else -- you still need to use old-fashioned email to ask the teacher a question, for example. It's going to be much more useful on July 8th, when Apple releases a major overhaul to the app. The new iTunes U lets teachers create and manage courses entirely from the iPad, plucking source material from other apps and even the device's camera. Students, meanwhile, get some much-needed interaction -- you can now ask questions from the app, or join in class discussions.
The launch may be well-timed. iTunes U's upgrade is coming just as Samsung has unveiled a brand-new version of its School suite that has its own collaboration tools; teachers can push content to all their students at once, and students can participate in group projects. It also arrives just after Apple lost a lot of support from the Los Angeles school system, which is now diversifying its device mix beyond iPads. It's too soon to know whether or not the new iOS app will be strong enough to counter the fiercer competition, but it should at least be handy for classes that were already bent on using the iPad as a learning platform.
Maybe you've seen Into the Wild, or (gasp) have actually read it. It's the true story of an ordinary person who, one day, decided to abandon society, pack some rice and a rifle into a bag and head off into the wilderness never to return. It's the sort of drastic move you rarely hear about in our modern life. But in next week's final installment of How to Disappear, we'll meet some people who've literally done just that: gone "off the grid." For now, though, let's take a (tongue-in-cheek) look at how you can take some first steps toward undoing the digital ties that bind, and get a little closer to the exit door.
How to leave social media
1. Think about why you want to leave social media
- Is it because you're concerned that the NSA, your employer and prospective partners all have access to those pictures of you drunkenly jackknifed over the couch with your bare ass hanging out?
- Perhaps you're spending too much time obsessing over (read: cyber-stalking) the minutiae of other people's lives?
- Or maybe it's time that you left all of the "drama" behind that these networks can generate?
2. Prepare for your departure
- If people have pictures of you online that you're not a fan of, then approach them directly and ask to delete them. If you merely "deactivate" your account, then those pictures won't be removed, since you don't control them.
- You should also tell your immediate social circle so they know to make an effort to invite you to parties in other ways -- like email or text message. If you find your invite count dropping as a consequence, then you know these people can't make the effort, and should probably be avoided.
3. Decide if you want a chance to change your mind
- If you're looking to get off Facebook, but want the option to go back every now and again to go through your old photos, then you'll want to "deactivate" your account.
- You can do this by accessing your settings menu and selecting "Deactivate your Account."
- Be warned that Facebook will then try to emotionally blackmail you to stay by saying that your friends will miss you. The service hasn't asked these people, however, and is just presuming on their behalf.
- When you go, your friends will still be able to read sent messages, invite you to groups or tag you in photos, but none of those notifications will reach you.
- If you want to leave forever, then navigate to a hidden section in the help menu (here) in order to tell Mark Zuckerberg you're dumping him for good.
- Once you've requested that your account be "deleted," it'll be bluntly cleaved from the company's servers, including your wall posts and everything else.
How to dump your online retailer
1. Think about what you'll do when you've disconnected from online shopping
- When you've left your online retailer, you'll have to go to brick-and-mortar outfits to do your shopping.
- You may be used to doing this for groceries, but may have difficulty finding places to buy books, DVDs, games, electrical items, furniture and clothes.
- Try to work out where you're likely to go, and if possible, seek out independent or mom-and-pop retailers, as they are less likely to have tracking algorithms and large databases analyzing customer activity.
2. Leave your online retailer
- In the case of Amazon, in order to leave, you need to head over to the "Contact Us" page, select "Prime and More," and then in the second drop-down menu, select "Close My Account."
- Once you've done this, you'll be given three options: Give the company your phone number so that a customer sales representative can talk to you, email them or engage in a live web chat.
How to leave your search engine
1. Prepare for your departure
- Log into your Google or Bing search history.
- Google, for instance, keeps a detailed record of whatever you've typed into its innocuous search bar. That's everything, from those embarrassing questions you're too afraid to ask your parents to the most depraved of adult content.
- To find all of this, simply enter your settings menu, either by clicking the settings gear on Bing's homepage or going to Google's My Search History page.
2. Decide if you can live without the services that depend on this information
- Google, for instance, uses your search data to help improve your search results. This also means that your YouTube preferences can be stored, and will even offer up contextual information from Google Now.
- Think carefully before you do this, though, as cutting out your search history means you'll lose those handy flight and traffic alerts that you can get from your Android handset.
3. Edit out the information you don't want anyone to see
- If you're in Europe, then there is at least some good news: You can take advantage of the "Right to be forgotten" ruling that enables you to request that incriminating old documents about you are taken off the internet.
- Otherwise, you can selectively edit what specific information you want your search provider to see and store. Or you can opt out of your web history completely.
How to secure more 'private' email
1. Decide on a new email provider
- If you feel that you can't trust Google or any other free email service with your most private of communications, then it's time to do your research.
- There are several alternatives available, and a few that we'd suggest: MyKolab, based in Switzerland; CounterMail, based in Sweden; and Neomailbox, which moved its servers to Switzerland to demonstrate its commitment to privacy last summer.
2. Pay for a new, private and secure service.
- Unfortunately, secure email services will charge you, since they can't generate revenue from selling ads by sifting through your inbox looking for keywords.
- This means that you'll be paying between $5 and $15 per month, although there are big discounts available if you sign up for secure email one year at a time.
3. Realize that it's all pointless
- Benjamin Mako Hill, who has run his own private email server for the last decade and a half, decided to find out how many of his emails were stored by Google during email exchanges to the company's servers. Even though he wasn't a Gmail user himself, he discovered Google had nearly half of all the emails that he had sent.
- Considering the effort and expense that it takes to move your information away from Google, you need to ask yourself one very important question: If Google's going to end up with all my data anyway, then why bother hiding it?
[Illustrations: Brandon Hanvey for Engadget]
Not everyone can justify splurging on a powerhouse phone like the Galaxy S5, and Samsung clearly knows it -- the tech firm just unveiled four Android KitKat handsets for frugal types. The Galaxy Core II (shown here) is the standout of the bunch, although it's a curious case of taking two steps forward and one step back. While it has a larger 4.5-inch (if still WVGA) screen and a much faster quad-core 1.2GHz processor, it also drops from 1GB to 768MB of RAM and cuts the built-in storage in half, to 4GB. Thank goodness there's a microSD card slot, or that storage could get cramped very quickly.
As for the rest? They're much more focused on first-time owners and developing regions, like China or India. The Galaxy Ace 4 is mostly a software-focused refresh of the Ace 3 that still has a 4-inch WVGA screen and either a dual-core 1GHz or 1.2GHz processor, depending on whether or not you're getting 3G or LTE data. The Galaxy Young 2 and Star 2, meanwhile, are strictly for those with basic needs -- both have 3.5-inch half-VGA screens, single-core 1GHz processors and fixed-focus cameras, while the Star 2 omits even 3G data. You probably won't be rushing to line up for any of these devices, but they should be big deals for anyone who has just enough cash to dip their toes into the smartphone waters.
As the reviews editor for this tech blog, I often get asked which fitness tracker I own. And I tell people: I don't need one, silly; I run marathons. Maybe that sounds snotty, but it's true: During training season, at least, I'm probably more active than most people buying a fitness band. And besides, I already own a running watch to track my time, distance and pace. That doesn't mean I can't use a little extra motivation, though. My activity slowed to a crawl this winter, precisely because I was burned out from all those long training runs. (The frigid weather didn't help either.) At one point, I didn't exercise for nearly two weeks. I gained back the weight I lost last year, and my muscle mass shrank. It now hurts to do squats. Even so, asking me to wear another device is a tough sell -- especially when it means my stats are getting spread across different services.
For about the same price as an entry-level running watch, the Forerunner offers all the usual running features, plus step tracking so you can monitor your activity between workouts. It's a good buy for runners who need a sports watch, and would prefer not to wear a second device for fitness tracking.
For people like me, there's the Garmin Forerunner 15, a sports watch that doubles as a fitness tracker. Like other running watches, including those made by Garmin, the Forerunner 15 tracks your distance, pace and time. It's offered with an optional heart rate monitor, and has a handy run-walk setting. But it also tracks your activity between workouts, telling you how many steps you've taken and how many calories you've burned. It issues not-so-subtle reminders to move, lest you spend too much time in your cubicle. At the same time, it doesn't do everything a standalone fitness tracker would: It doesn't monitor your sleep habits, and you can't log your food intake directly from the app. Priced at $170 ($200 with the heart rate monitor), it costs more than your typical fitness tracker, but it's cheap for a running watch. So is it a good deal? That all depends on your priorities.
Garmin Forerunner 15 review
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Compared to other fitness trackers on the market -- models from Jawbone, Fitbit and Nike -- the Forerunner 15 is bulky, especially sporty-looking. Remember, though, that this is a running watch we're talking about, not so much a fitness tracker. And compared to other sports watches, it's actually pretty lightweight. Like many of you, I'm upgrading from an older model, a much-clunkier watch called the Forerunner 110. And let me tell you: The weight difference is noticeable. The first time I put this on, I kept glancing back at my wrist as I ran up the block, as if I had forgotten something at home. Nope, that's just what it feels like to take a load off.
For the purposes of this review, Garmin loaned me a black watch with electric-green accents. Not the color scheme I would have picked, but real-life shoppers will at least get a choice. In addition to the green-and-black one, you can order it in black with blue accents, red with black accents, teal with white or violet with white. Regardless, it's not going to blend in with your everyday outfits the way a Jawbone Up24 would, especially in these summer months when covering it with long sleeves isn't really an option. Most days, I stuck it out, even if the watch didn't go with my dress, but there were a few days when I sacrificed fitness for style and decided to leave the band at home.
As it happens, the size and design are identical to the Forerunner 10, a cheaper, $130 watch from Garmin that doesn't include features like continuous step counting, heart rate tracking and interval training. Like the Forerunner 10, it has a plastic band with lots of sizing holes; and a 55 x 32-pixel display that shows two lines of text and is easy to read outdoors. It's also waterproof up to 50 meters, meaning you can shower with the thing, or even go swimming with it if you're so inclined (note: Garmin warns against wearing this for high-speed water sports like jet skiing, as a wipeout could still break the watch).
In the box, you'll also find a proprietary cradle that plugs into your computer's USB port -- you'll use that for charging and syncing the device. If I'm honest, I would have preferred a standard micro-USB charger, but at least the cradle is sturdier than on the 110. With the 110, I would sometimes wake up for a run to find that my watch wasn't actually charged. On the Forerunner 15, the cradle snaps in, so you never have to wonder if the charging points are properly aligned. Also, proprietary cable or no, the setup here is quite simple: I've just been leaving the cradle plugged into my laptop, which means I typically charge the watch long before I need to. Speaking of which, the Forerunner 15 is rated for five weeks in watch mode and eight hours of running, so your mileage will vary depending on your exercise regimen. That said, I recently completed a two-hour run and still had three out of four bars of battery life, which means Garmin's claims are probably pretty accurate.
Similar to other fitness trackers, you'll need to first walk through a short setup on the watch itself. In particular, you'll be asked to divulge a few specifics about yourself, including weight, height, gender and birth year. You can also set a max heart rate -- a sort of redline, if you will -- though that's, of course, optional, especially if you didn't bother to buy the available heart rate monitor. Once you do that, you're ready to start moving.
All told, the learning curve should be pretty slight. The Forerunner 15 has four buttons along the sides, which you'll use to find your way through the settings. These include: an "enter" key on the upper right; a button on the upper left to light up the screen; one on the lower left to navigate backward; and one on the lower right to cycle through menu options. With so few buttons, then, figuring out which to press basically comes down to a process of elimination.
As I said earlier, the display has room for two lines' worth of information and by default, the time always sits on top. As for slot number two? You could see the date, your step count for the day, your calorie burn or your daily step goal. To cycle through these, just press the button on the lower-left side of the device. You'll hear a beep every time you press a button and believe me, that can get a little annoying, since some menus are several layers deep. Fortunately, though, you can silence key tones from the settings if they start to annoy you.
Even if you never log a run, you'll be getting use out of the Forerunner 15: Start walking around and it logs your steps. Stay still for too long, and it'll beep, with the word "Move!" showing up on-screen. And it'll stay there, right in your face, until you get up and walk around for at least two minutes. It's more or less the same approach Garmin takes with its higher-end Vivofit tracker, except in that case, it's a red line, not the word "move." Either way, it's highly effective: A competing band might vibrate once when you're in the middle of a meeting, at which point you can pretend the reminder never happened. Here, the reminders are discreet -- and persistent.
As on the Vivofit, too, your daily step goal automatically changes from day to day depending on how active you've been recently. So, if you exceed your goal, your daily target will keep inching up. If you miss your goal, you might see it dip slightly the following day. What's especially convenient is that either way, your step target will change gradually. So, if I go on an 11-mile run, it won't drastically skew my daily step goal unless I consistently travel such long distances.
As a running watch, the Forerunner 15's built-in GPS radio located my coordinates reasonably quickly, especially if I was in a spot where I'd been before (the front of my apartment building, for instance, where I begin most of my workouts). The watch is also good at holding onto that signal, especially compared to my older Forerunner 110, which sometimes lost track of where I was, even after it established my starting location. The distance tracking is also spot-on -- it accurately pegged the distance around Brooklyn's Prospect Park, for instance, basically matching the distance posted online.
Though the watch is designed so that you can use it out of the box with barely any setup, there are still a couple things you might want to tweak before going on your first run. By default, the watch shows your distance and elapsed time as you're running. That's fine for me personally, but if you like, you can instead have the watch show time and pace, time and calories burned, pace and distance, pace and calories, or distance and calories. Ideally, of course, you could view your pace, distance and time all at once, but that's just not possible with this watch; you'd have to instead upgrade to a higher-end model like the Forerunner 220. Unfortunately, too, the watch doesn't automatically cycle through these various screens -- the 220 does, but not the Forerunner 15. No, you'll have to press a button if you want to see your other stats.
Like the lower-priced Forerunner 10, the 15 allows you to set up timed intervals. (No distance intervals, though.) This is great for speed work -- say, running five minutes at tempo pace and resting for 30 seconds in between. In my case, timed intervals allow me to alternate between running and walking, which is actually all I do these days; ever since coming back from an injury two years ago, I've been sticking with three minutes on and one minute off.
So, to recap: Timed intervals are a useful feature, and one I'd recommend you try. My only issue is that the speakers on either side of the device aren't very loud, and the volume isn't adjustable either, which means I sometimes fail to hear the "walk" beeps over the sound of my headphones. To be fair, weak speakers are a problem with running watches in general -- that's why many of the walk-runners I know opt for a standalone Gymboss timer instead. If you go for something like the Forerunner 220, you can also opt for a vibration alert, which is impossible to ignore, but that's simply not an option here.
Other features include Auto Lap, which tells you your time for each mile, and Auto Pause, which automatically freezes the clock when it detects you've stopped (super handy if you get held up at a traffic light and don't want to worry about manually un-pausing the timer). Meanwhile, Garmin's "Virtual Pacer" feature compares your current pace to your target one. Finally, the watch is compatible with foot pods, allowing you to record your distance indoors. (Note: Even without a foot pod, you can log your time running indoors.)
Unlike other fitness trackers, the Forerunner 15 doesn't have wireless syncing, which means you'll have to do it the old-fashioned way: by plugging your watch into your computer using the included cable. Keep in mind that when you connect the device for the first time, you won't see any sort of prompt to download the corresponding software; you need to do that yourself. Heck, even once the software is installed, your watch won't sync automatically, either. Sort of annoying, that.
To be clear, there are actually two pieces of software: a Mac/PC client for syncing your data and updating the watch's firmware; and an Android/iOS app where you can view your data. In either case, you'll need to create a Garmin account, or log in using some other popular service (Facebook, Twitter, G+, Microsoft, Yahoo or even LinkedIn). It's worth noting that there's a Garmin Connect website too, though I generally prefer the apps: They have a touch-friendly layout that makes it easy to tap the various "cards" for more detail. With the website, clicking on the cards doesn't do anything; you have to press a specific button to show them at full-screen, which quickly grows tiresome. Either way, it's a straightforward, if crude, experience, but I do appreciate how customizable it is: Being able to remove cards you don't need helps keep things simple.
Garmin Connect screenshots
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As I found, the app is what you make of it: You might choose to add friends ("connections"), but Garmin doesn't make this easy. Surprisingly, there's no way to search your contacts for people who are also using the service. On a similar note, you can sign up for challenges, like who among your contacts can take the most steps in a day. Again, though, this kind of friendly competition seems less enticing when you don't know any of your opponents in real life. You could also manually enter your sleep data -- when you went to bed and when you woke up -- but the watch doesn't currently track your sleep patterns on its own. There's also an option to track calorie intake, but you can't do that from the app itself, as you can with Fitbit's or Jawbone's fitness trackers. Instead, Garmin allows you to link up your MyFitnessPal account, and port over your food log from there.
If nothing else, you'll want to use the app to track your activity. As a warning, the watch itself only has enough memory to store seven days' worth of data, so make sure to sync at least once a week. Inside the app, you'll see a dial of sorts indicating how far along you are toward meeting that day's step goal. Likewise, if you're looking at a previous day, you'll see at a glance if you made your quota. Additionally, those charts are color-coded, with green for days you met or exceeded your goal, and blue for days you didn't. From there, you can drill down by day, week, month or year. Finally, there are graphs at the bottom showing when your activity peaked or slumped. If you're like me, you ran five miles before work and then settled into your cubicle all day.
All things considered, I could do without the app; just compete against a daily step goal, time my runs and not worry about my data history. Because here's the thing: Not only is the app limited in what it can do, but it also doesn't offer much in the way of encouragement. What if you exceed your daily step goal by three-fold? No celebration for you. And what if you run 10 miles before 9AM? You'll later get the same command to "Move!" as you would if you had spent the morning on your couch. To Garmin's credit, it tracks personal records in running -- things like longest distance, et cetera. But as a daily fitness band, the Forerunner 15 never felt like my cheerleader. And let's be honest, the person who buys this product is probably more interested in their running stats anyway. Even so, when someone decides to wear a fitness tracker, it's probably because they crave a little extra motivation.
I'll admit, after testing the Forerunner 15, I was tempted to return the pricier Forerunner 220 I recently purchased and get this instead. If you're like me -- a runner who also wants to track activity between workouts -- the 15 is a compelling choice. It offers a surprisingly robust feature set, one that's nearly on par with the 220 (plus fitness tracking, of course). All told, too, what it does, it does well: accurate GPS tracking, combined with long battery life and timely reminders to get up and walk around. True, it doesn't bother with sleep tracking, but with a design this bulky, I can't say I'd want to wear it to bed anyway.
There are other compromises as well. Because this is a running watch first and a fitness tracker second, it looks like, well, a running watch, which means you probably won't want to wear it all the time. There's sadly no wireless syncing, and thus no seamless way to get all your data on your phone. Also, considering people are getting this watch because they want a little extra motivation throughout the day, it would be nice if the watch and accompanying app did a little more to celebrate your achievements -- exceeding your daily step goal, for example. All that said, the Forerunner 15 covers most of the fitness-tracking basics, and costs about the same as a basic runner's watch. I say that's a good deal. You know, so long as you're reasonably serious about running.
Brick-and-mortar book stores have clearly been on the decline for a while -- just look at Barnes Noble's rocky finances. However, there's now some tangible evidence that the pendulum has swung in favor of internet-based sales. BookStats estimates that US publishers made more money from online orders and e-books in 2013 ($7.54 billion) than they did from old-fashioned physical retail ($7.12 billion). While the difference isn't huge, it suggests that a large chunk of the American population is content with buying books that it hasn't seen in person.
There is a bit of a dark cloud to this silver lining, at least for the booksellers. BookStats notes that e-book sales jumped about 10 percent to 512.7 million copies, but revenue was flat between 2012 and 2013; it may have been lower prices that triggered a surge in demand, not a renewed interest in going digital. With that said, researchers warn that their data doesn't include books without ISBN numbers, so quite a few self-published e-books may have slipped through the cracks. Even with that wiggle room in the data, it's evident that there's a transition underway -- you just shouldn't expect to see the corner bookstore disappear overnight.
[Image credit: Robert Michael/AFP/Getty Images]
Festival goers across the US may soon have a cashless (and cardless) payment option when they road trip to catch their favorite acts. Lollapalooza, the annual music fest in Chicago's Grant Park, is the first big name event in the States to adopt the system. The Lolla Cashless method uses RFID-equipped wristbands to give audience members the ability to register the bracelet online and connect a credit or debit card for purchases prior to the event in early August. On site, bands can be used for transactions by tapping on a connected pad and entering a PIN code for verification. In the event that merchants lose that requisite connection, the system will store transactions until network access is restored. It's worth noting that Lollapalooza isn't the first festival to use the wristbands, as the Mysteryland USA festival this past May offered pre-loaded payments with Coachella, Bonnaroo and others using them for ticketing and marketing purposes. The report from Adweek specifically mentions food and drink purchases, so you may want to stash a few bucks if you're after artist merchandise.
[Image credit: Timothy Hiatt/WireImage]
The HTC One (M8) has been a hit with critics: Our own Brad Molen calls it "a great smartphone that does a lot of fantastic things," while Laptop Magazine goes so far as to say it's "the best Android phone on the market." But now that the M8 has hit all four major carriers in the US and has had a chance to stretch its legs out in the wild, how has it fared in long-term, day-to-day usage? To find out, we turn to user reviews, written by erudite Engadget readers like yourself, and they certainly haven't held anything back.
The M8 scored top marks in the design department, with Mokaky saying he was "amazed by the elegant design and the superior construction of the device," while jaredvillhelm tells us that "people double take when they see the phone in my hand." However, though many users called the handset "beautiful," a few also brought up the M8's slippery nature. Indeed, MaroonR says, "Yes, the phone looks fantastic. However, if you're trying to use it with one hand in the car, you're probably going to drop it. The sides are really skinny, and the back doesn't do much to help you grip it."
MaroonR was pleased with the Sense UI, though, telling us, "The Sense gestures on this are really great -- the phone is tall, so some might have trouble reaching the power button; a double tap turns the screen on. Great!" AhmadAAziz calls it "snappy, intuitive and very simple to use." The camera also got quite a workout from our users, with JonSilver admitting, "I was nervous about the camera, but for posting/sharing to social media/text/email, the camera is great. The software effects (UFocus, etc.) are nice too." And jaredvillhelm concurs, telling us, "If I wanted ultra clear camera shots, I'd buy a fancy Nikon; for my everyday quick pictures, I'm more than satisfied with this camera."
While professional reviewers do their best to gauge battery life on a phone, the real measure of how well it performs only comes after months of regular use, and jpspiderman says, "The battery on the phone has been lasting me about 36 to 30 hours with moderate use (moderate meaning movies, musics, phone calls and gaming). It's living up to the hype of long battery life without the constant worrying of the phone dying in the middle of the day." Mokaky agrees, saying, "it completes the day with me... no need to carry the charger again."
The best part of reading user reviews is seeing how a product affects the lives of everyday users. AhmadAAziz finds it useful at work, saying, "Sometimes I have to make a phone call from a factory's production yard, with all machinery running, and the in-call sound clarity is awesome." Others have had trouble keeping their phones out of the hands of others, with MaroonR noting that, "People will want to touch it, so be prepared to wipe it clean now and again," while phlogiston says, "I like my wife's iPhone, but it says something about the HTC One when she keeps trying to trade phones with me (I am not making that up)."
So it looks like users love the HTC One (M8) as much as, if not more than, the critics did. If you'd like to tell us how you feel about the M8, it's as simple as clicking the "write a review" button on the page, where you'll be taken to a simple review form.
Don't have an Engadget account? Sign up here. Don't have the M8? Well, that's okay, because we have thousands of products in our product database that you can review. Just search, add the product to your "have" or "had" list and you're ready to tell us what you think about products like the Galaxy S5 or the Surface Pro 3.
Americans, your wait for LG's G3 is (nearly) over. T-Mobile has become the first big US carrier to take pre-orders for the 2K-capable Android smartphone, and now expects the device to hit retail shops on July 16th. Be prepared to fork over a lot of cash if you want that pixel-packed display as soon as possible, though. The G3 will cost $599 if you buy it outright, and it doesn't currently qualify for an easier-to-swallow installment plan. Other stateside carriers haven't revealed their plans to carry LG's brawny handset, but we'd expect matching announcements from at least the larger networks before long.
What's the worst part of attending a sporting event or concert in person? It's definitely the lines, right? There's the line to get in, another to nab snacks and a beer, then yet another to use the loo. Well, restroom wait times are getting drastically reduced at the Hollywood Bowl in Los Angeles thanks to a new stall indicator system from Tooshlights (yes, that's really the name). Inspired by the city's parking space lights in its garages, the company is applying the same logic to public restrooms at arenas and music venues -- with the aforementioned amphitheater being the first installation. For places like the Bowl with long rows of stalls in its bathrooms, the tech insures attendees don't overlook open stalls, contributing to missed action outside. In addition to the red and green lighting scheme, Tooshlights is also working on a software component that can be piped into a venue's app, showing where the shortest lines are around the facility. As you might expect, it also monitors use, alerting staff that a toilet being avoided at halftime may be in need of attention.