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29Feb/160

Inhabitat’s Week in Green: A flying car by 2018, and more!

Singapore-based Vanda Electric unveiled a 1,500-horsepower supercar that can go from 0 to 60 in 2.6 seconds

The Indian Point nuclear plant is located just 25 miles north of New York City, and recent reports show that it's leaking "uncontrollable radioactive flow" into the groundwater. Meanwhile, a damage report on the Los Angeles methane leak shows that it's one of the worst disasters in US history. On the brighter side of things, a revolutionary new solar plant in Arizona generates clean power all day and all night. Norway announced plans to build the largest onshore wind farm in Europe, and Bill Gates thinks that a climate-saving energy breakthrough is only 15 years away.

architect Vincent Callebaut unveiled plans for an urban farming utopia that produces more energy than it uses

LED bulbs revolutionized the way that we light our homes, and now they could give internet speeds a big boost. French startup Oldecomm has developed a new LED Li-Fi technology that's 100 times faster than conventional WiFi. In other design and technology news, Tokyo students developed a 3D-printing pen that can draw structures in mid-air. Apparel company Oros is using NASA technology to create super insulating aerogel jackets for hitting the slopes. And visionary architect Vincent Callebaut unveiled plans for an urban farming utopia that produces more energy than it uses.

Article source: http://www.engadget.com/2016/02/28/inhabitat-week-in-green-terrafugia-tf-x/

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29Feb/160

The After Math: You take the good with the bad

Now there's a built-in swing analyzer, rather than a clip-on accessory.

Article source: http://www.engadget.com/2016/02/28/the-after-math-you-take-the-good-with-the-bad/

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29Feb/160

HTC’s Vive will cost £689 in the UK

If you do decide to pull the trigger, HTC says Google's Tilt Brush will also be included in the pre-order bundle. However, that'll only be available for a limited time. We hope you've been saving, because you'll be able to order from 3pm tomorrow, ahead of its release on April 5th.

Article source: http://www.engadget.com/2016/02/28/htc-vive-uk-pricing/

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29Feb/160

How do you get ‘verified’ on Tinder?

Like other social networks, Tinder points people to its site FAQ for questions on how it verifies accounts. "Only some public figures, celebrities and brands will be verified," it says. To the extent that you can link your Instagram account to your profile, it passes the buck somewhat to Facebook for authentication.

The confirmation process is otherwise a manual one: You shoot an email to verified@tinder.com explaining why you should be verified. Ways to do this include showing you've been given the same treatment on other social networks, or by indicating that you're someone in the public eye. To all the celebrities reading this, you probably have plenty of evidence if you're really, actually famous. Tinder says it receives multiple requests a day. In response, the company takes a closer look at your background, fan base and other social media accounts before deciding if you get a verified badge. (At this point I get the feeling that I neither need nor qualify for Tinder's blue tick -- and didn't try to use nefarious media powers to claim verification)

The Hollywood Reporter said that Lindsay Lohan and Ashton Kutcher are users -- and that Josh Groban is definitely not. Katy Perry said she used it at one point. And yet, I've not yet seen a blue tick while browsing in (I hope I don't sound desperate here) New York, London, LA or Tokyo. I'm not the only one who's found famous Tinder users conspicuous by their absence.

Multiple Tinder representatives told me that the company doesn't disclose figures on how many people have been graced with blue icons. It could be a very small number, or it could be that verified Tinderellas and Tinderfellas are quick to find long-term love. Maybe?

Before Tinder's verification system, I had seen famous people during my Tinder time-wasting, but I never swiped right ("yes") on these famous people, as I wasn't interested. There's always the huge seed of doubt that this isn't the person they say they are (the main reason for Tinder adding verification). Besides, it may be that many public figures don't want the extra attention that a social network gold star would confer. They might avoid verification because they're hoping it won't get in the way -- or fear the negative connotations that still pervade dating apps.

Perhaps, in the most naive of ways, famous people are just looking for love. That said, the famous people I've seen go for selfies and unpolished group pics. Katy Perry's not on stage at the MTV Video Music Awards, and Zac Efron isn't using a still with his top off from ... all those movies where he's topless at some point.

Even at my low level of writer fame -- and as my colleague "Laptop Lady" Dana can already attest to -- it's a weird experience meeting with someone who knows your work. I often drop my employer from dating profiles. I might want a more visible profile when it comes to my work life, but I don't need the same when it comes to dating.

Article source: http://www.engadget.com/2016/02/28/how-do-you-get-verified-on-tinder/

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29Feb/160

Apple said to unveil smaller iPhone, iPad models on March 21st

All the hype surrounding Apple's rumored March event might soon boil to a head. Sources for both Recode and Buzzfeed understand that Apple will hold its shindig on or shortly after March 21st -- later than the previously-hinted March 15th date, but timely if you're celebrating the start of spring. The devices expected at the show haven't changed, mind you. Tim Cook and crew are reportedly unveiling a revamped 4-inch iPhone (possibly called the iPhone SE), a 9.7-inch iPad Pro and a fresh round of Apple Watch straps. If you're fond of Apple's smaller mobile gear, you may have an abundance of choices in the space of a month.

Article source: http://www.engadget.com/2016/02/28/apple-iphone-se-event-march-21-leak/

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29Feb/160

Zepp and Old Hickory debut bat with integrated swing sensor

"Introducing a Smart Bat is a big moment for the game," said Mike Trout. "Having Zepp combined with my signature bat will help give me an edge. I'm always looking to improve my swing and have consistency throughout the season."

Trout first worked with Zepp back in 2014 to use its 3D Swing Analyzer to track his hitting habits. Last year, the Angels outfielder collaborated with the company on a sensor that fits inside a game-day bat. For the Old Hickory version, the swing sensor is located in the knob of the bat rather than clipping on the end like the previous version. The advantage here is you don't have a tracker adding length to the end of your bat and the built-in version aims to provide feedback during games, not just in practice sessions. Yes, it's removable, but you don't have to take it out to charge it.

What's more, amateur baseball events by Perfect Game USA and Ripken Baseball have already approved the bat for in-game use. There's no word on pricing just yet, but if you're looking to take a few hacks, you'll be able to do just that this June.

Article source: http://www.engadget.com/2016/02/28/zepp-mike-trout-old-hickory-smart-bat/

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29Feb/160

Scientists model a Coronavirus’ infectious bits for the first time

Coronaviruses are really good at infecting the respiratory systems of humans and other mammals. Once inside, these viruses can cause pneumonia (if you're lucky). The strains that become SARS and MERS have a mortality rate as high as 37 percent. Plus, there is currently no antigen for SARS or MERS, which makes them especially dangerous.

The virus is so effective because of its "transmembrane spike glycoprotein," which binds to the surfaces of other cells, allowing the virus to enter. This structure is what gives coronaviruses their spiky, crown-like shape and determines what species of animals the virus can target.

The research team leveraged a single particle cryo-electron microscopy technique to model the spike of a coronavirus that infects mice in terrific detail. The team managed a 4 angstrom resolution -- about a tenth of a nanometer.

With this new analysis, the team believes they've identified a potential weaknesses in the virus' defenses. Turns out, the spike has a small peptide chain running along it. That peptide helps facilitate the virus' entry into a cell but could easily be hijacked by a treatment.

"Small molecules or protein scaffolds might eventually be designed to bind to this site," UW assistant professor of chemistry, David Veesler said in a statement, "to hinder insertion of the fusion peptide into the host cell membrane and to prevent it from undergoing changes conducive to fusion with the host cell. We hope that this might be the case, but much more work needs to be done to see if it is possible."

Article source: http://www.engadget.com/2016/02/28/scientists-model-a-coronavirus-infectious-bits-for-the-first-ti/

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29Feb/160

Ben Heck’s soldered Atari 2600

Now there's a built-in swing analyzer, rather than a clip-on accessory.

Article source: http://www.engadget.com/2016/02/28/ben-hecks-soldered-atari-2600/

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29Feb/160

Sony stops shipping PlayStation TV in Japan

If the PSTV is discontinued worldwide, it won't be surprising. The device has long come across as an awkward compromise. It can only play some Vita games (which aren't hugely popular as it is), downloadable PS1 titles and Remote Play, and it's hard to justify as a media hub when other set-tops in its price range are better-suited to the job. Steep price cuts early in its history suggest that few people were enamored with it from the start, for that matter. Given that Sony is doing everything it can to improve its bank balance, the PSTV seems like a logical candidate for the chopping block.

Article source: http://www.engadget.com/2016/02/28/sony-stops-shipping-playstation-tv-in-japan/

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29Feb/160

Liquid-based watch tech is coming to more devices

If you're a fan of high-end watches and really want to stand out, one of your slicker options is HYT's H series. Instead of relying solely on spinning hands to tell the time, it uses a hydro-mechanical system that fills capillaries with fluid. Sounds niche? Well, it won't be for much longer: HYT and its sister brand Preciflex are receiving $23 million to fund not just more of these liquid-based watches (including at "different," likely more affordable prices), but to a "new type of fluidic jewelery." Preciflex has also been using it in the automotive and medical fields, too, so don't be surprised if you see the microfluidic tech grow there as well.

Article source: http://www.engadget.com/2016/02/28/liquid-based-watch-tech-coming-to-more-devices/

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