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30Sep/130

Timothy Leary-developed video games found in New York Public Library archive

The New York Public Library recently discovered a treasure trove of video games in its archives created by psychedelic evangelist Timothy Leary. Over 375 floppies (talk about flashbacks) containing a "dozen or so" games developed by the LSD-advocate in the '80s -- some are playable via emulation -- are now on display in the library's rare books and manuscripts division, according to The New York Times. The good doctor's digital works had a self-help bend to them, advocating self-improvement by interactive means as opposed to pharmaceuticals, and apparently recreational drugs as well. If you fancy yourself a cyberpunk, Leary also had an in-progress project based on William Gibson's Neuromancer, replete with writing by William S. Burroughs and a soundtrack by Devo. He had more than just prototypes, too: His Mind Mirror was commercially released in 1985 and sold 65,000 copies for publisher Electronic Arts. If you can't make it to the NYPL, a version has been adapted to Facebook so you can glean your personality profile from your... profile.

[Image credit: Jaycobs / Flickr]

Article source: http://www.engadget.com/2013/09/30/timothy-leary-video-game-archive-drugs-are-bad-mmkay/?utm_medium=feed&utm_source=Feed_Classic&utm_campaign=Engadget&ncid=rss_semi

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30Sep/130

Toshiba to cut 3,000 jobs and outsource production to stem TV losses

It's not as if Toshiba's TV division has been totally silent recently, but it apparently hasn't been making enough noise to justify the continued employment of its full, 6,000-strong workforce. Although it's not quite ready to give up, the Japanese manufacturer is scaling back its TV operation heavily: losing half of its staff globally and closing two of its three TV factories in favor of more outsourced production. The cuts are intended help Toshiba meet its target of $101 million in cost savings and the company hopes its TV division will return to profitability this year -- but as you'd expect, at a much smaller scale than it once had.

Article source: http://www.engadget.com/2013/09/30/toshiba-tv-job-cuts/?utm_medium=feed&utm_source=Feed_Classic&utm_campaign=Engadget&ncid=rss_semi

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30Sep/130

iPhone 5S quiz: conosci il nuovo melafonino?

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Article source: http://www.tecnocino.it/2013/09/articolo/iphone-5s-quiz-conosci-il-nuovo-melafonino/44205/

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29Sep/130

A.I smartwatch is also a standalone Android smartphone (video)

Smartwatches sure are multiplying faster than rabbits. One of the newest devices hoping to make it to market is the A.I Watch: a companion gadget that's also a standalone Android phone, similar to a Chinese creation we saw in August. According to its developers, you can use the A.I Watch to make and accept calls -- à la Hot Watch -- even if it's not connected to a phone via Bluetooth. That's because it has its own SIM card slot and supports 850/900/1800/1900 MHz GSM bands, as well as 3G. They also claim that its unspecified 1.2GHz dual-core processor is powerful enough for downloading apps from Google Play, loading Maps for navigation, streaming videos and accessing social networks, among others. The A.I Watch runs Android 4.0.4, has 4GB of storage, 512MB of RAM, a 1.54-inch 240 x 240 touchscreen display, a 500mAh battery and a 5-megapixel camera.

If the device ever makes it to retail, it'll sell for $279 each, which is around the price of Samsung's Galaxy Gear. Right now, however, the device's fate hangs in the balance as its creators work to raise $100,000 on Indiegogo to cover mass production costs. Check out videos of the A.I Watch in action after the break, and enjoy a chuckle over one of its watchfaces that looks undeniably Metro-esque.

Article source: http://www.engadget.com/2013/09/29/ai-android-smartwatch-indiegogo/?utm_medium=feed&utm_source=Feed_Classic&utm_campaign=Engadget&ncid=rss_semi

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29Sep/130

Inhabitat’s Week in Green: inflatable concert hall, Xkuty One electric bike and an E. coli filter

Each week our friends at Inhabitat recap the week's most interesting green developments and clean tech news for us -- it's the Week in Green.

Most of the world still runs on fossil fuels, but renewable energy is making big gains. Not only are renewables better for the environment, but they're also becoming just as cost-effective as their dirtier counterparts. A new study finds that wind farms are less expensive than new coal-fired plants, and they cost about the same as new natural gas plants. Speaking of energy costs, Inhabitat shared a new infographic this week that shows how much it would cost for the entire world to switch over to renewable energy. In other energy news, the world's largest solar thermal energy plant opened in California's Mojave Desert. Once it's operational, the plant will produce enough energy to power 140,000 homes. The largest photovoltaic plant in the world is set to be built in India, and it will produce 10 times as much energy as the next-largest solar plant in the country. And in another exciting development, a team of German and French scientists produced the world's most efficient solar cell, which boats an efficiency of 44.7 percent.

Ever wonder what the acoustics are like inside a gigantic balloon? Sculptor Anish Kapoor and architect Arata Isozaki decided to find out when they built the world's first inflatable concert hall in Tohoku, Japan. The giant, jelly bean-shaped structure is made from a translucent purple membrane, and it will open to the public next month. In a bid to outdo every skyscraper on Earth, science fiction author Neal Stephenson is developing a concept for 12-mile-tall building that could launch rockets into space. Elsewhere in the design world, Inhabitat toured the Parkroyal Hotel in Singapore, which features some surreal sky gardens that wrap around the edge of the glassy tower. And Studio di Architettura Daniele Menichini completed Green Zero, a minimalist modular home that is topped with super-thin solar panels.

On the green transportation front, young people are changing the game. A team of students in The Netherlands broke the world record for vehicle acceleration by traveling from 0 to 62 MPH in just 2.15 seconds in an electric car. And a team of high school students from Evansville, Indiana won the AutoZone Challenge by building a teardrop-shaped vehicle that gets a whopping 849 miles to the gallon. In a good bit of news for green cars, California state lawmakers passed legislation to extend tax credits for plug-in hybrid and electric vehicles until 2024. And one of the niftiest new options in urban mobility is the Xkuty One electric bike, a stylish, silent electric bike that you can program with your iPhone. The Xkuty app will even call a pre-programmed emergency number if it detects that an accident has occurred.

Are you hard on your phone? The new Rhino Shield smartphone case is thinner than Gorilla Glass, yet it's strong enough that you can take a hammer to it. And you might want to invest in a protective casing if you're planning to buy Apple's latest 5c and 5s iPhones, because recent tests found that they're even more prone to breaking than previous models. And for the ultimate phone security system, Nymi has developed a smart wristband that uses your heartbeat to unlock your phone. In other tech and science news, a team of engineers at the University of Alberta has developed a new filter that can detect E. coli in a matter of minutes (instead of the standard 24 or 48 hours), and scientists have also discovered a blueprint for the world's first universal flu vaccine. Inhabitat attended Maker Faire in New York City last week and rounded up eight of the most impressive 3D-printed objects on display at the event. And in an effort to clean up space junk, Swiss Space Center at EPFL has launched CleanSpace One, a space "janitor" that is designed to clean up 370,000 pieces of space debris.

Article source: http://www.engadget.com/2013/09/29/inflatable-concert-hall-xkuty-bike-e-coli/?utm_medium=feed&utm_source=Feed_Classic&utm_campaign=Engadget&ncid=rss_semi

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29Sep/130

Verizon Wireless website reportedly allowing users to keep unlimited data plans while upgrading

Apparently, now is the time to upgrade your Verizon phone if you want to keep your grandfathered unlimited data plan in tact. According to tips we've received, along with reports from Droid-Life and Android Central, the aforementioned type of users are not being forced into a tiered Max data plan during the upgrade process. There doesn't seem to be any bit of trickery required to make it happen either -- folks just go through usual upgrade motions to get a brand new phone on subsidy, and come out with an order confirmation that has all-you-can-eat data still onboard (see above). We've reached out to Verizon to find out whether this is an issue with its website or a shift in policy, and will post an update if we hear more. Let us know your results if you're brave enough to try it out.

[Thanks to Minji and everyone who sent this in.]

Article source: http://www.engadget.com/2013/09/29/verizon-wireless-website-unlimited-data-upgrade/?utm_medium=feed&utm_source=Feed_Classic&utm_campaign=Engadget&ncid=rss_semi

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29Sep/130

BlackBerry starts selling unlocked Q10 and Z10 phones through its US site

It has been possible to snag an unlocked BlackBerry Q10 or Z10 in the US for a while if you've been willing to search around, but you now won't have to. BlackBerry has quietly begun selling unrestricted GSM variants of the two smartphones through its US site at prices of $449 for a Z10 and $549 for a Q10. Either device remains LTE-capable, and both should play nicely with ATT and T-Mobile. The direct sales aren't likely to attract many converts, but they should help American fans who may have a tough time finding a BlackBerry in stores.

Article source: http://www.engadget.com/2013/09/29/blackberry-starts-selling-unlocked-q10-and-z10-phones-in-us/?utm_medium=feed&utm_source=Feed_Classic&utm_campaign=Engadget&ncid=rss_semi

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29Sep/130

Orbital Sciences becomes second private firm to resupply the ISS

NASA Partner Orbital Sciences Completes First Flight to Space Station as Astronauts Capture Cygnus Spacecraft

Astronauts aboard the International Space Station (ISS) used a robotic arm to capture and attach a Cygnus cargo resupply spacecraft Sunday, marking several spaceflight firsts for NASA and its partner, Orbital Sciences Corp. of Dulles, Va.

The station's Expedition 37 crew reported the spacecraft -- loaded with about 1,300 pounds (589 kilograms) of cargo -- berthed at 8:44 a.m. EDT, following an 11-day journey to the orbiting laboratory.
Orbital's Cygnus was launched on the company's Antares rocket on Sept. 18 from the Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport Pad-0A at NASA's Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia. This was the first flight of a spacecraft to the space station from the state.

The maiden flight of Cygnus included a number of systems tests prior to rendezvous with the station. The cargo includes student experiments, food and clothing, which will be unloaded by the station crew following hatch opening Monday.

Future Cygnus flights will ensure a robust national capability to deliver critical science research to orbit, significantly increasing NASA's ability to conduct new science investigations to the only laboratory in microgravity.

After a series of tests designed to demonstrate Cygnus' ability to navigate, maneuver, lock on to the station and abort its approach, NASA cleared the spacecraft to approach the station Sunday morning. European Space Agency astronaut Luca Parmitano and NASA astronaut Karen Nyberg captured Cygnus with the station's robotic arm, then attached the capsule on the bottom of the station's Harmony node, completing installation by bolting the Cygnus to Harmony.

The capsule will remain attached to Harmony until a planned unberthing on Oct. 22 sends the spacecraft toward a destructive re-entry in Earth's atmosphere.

Cygnus had been scheduled for a rendezvous with the space station on Sept. 22. Due to a data format mismatch, the first rendezvous attempt was postponed. Orbital updated and tested a software patch to fix the issue. Cygnus' arrival also was postponed pending the Sept. 25 arrival of the Expedition 37 crew. Flight Engineer Michael Hopkins of NASA and Soyuz Commander Oleg Kotov and Flight Engineer Sergey Ryazanskiy of the Russian Federal Space Agency (Roscosmos) arrived at the space station aboard a Soyuz spacecraft Wednesday.

Orbital built and tested its Antares rocket and Cygnus spacecraft under NASA's Commercial Orbital Transportation Services (COTS) Program. The successful completion of this COTS demonstration mission will pave the way for Orbital to conduct eight planned cargo resupply flights to the space station through NASA's $1.9 billion Commercial Resupply Services contract with the company.

Article source: http://www.engadget.com/2013/09/29/orbital-sciences-second-private-company-to-resupply-iss/?utm_medium=feed&utm_source=Feed_Classic&utm_campaign=Engadget&ncid=rss_semi

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29Sep/130

NYT: NSA monitors, graphs some US Citizens’ social activity with collected metadata

Just how does the NSA piece together all that metadata it collects? Thanks to "newly disclosed documents and interviews with officials," the New York Times today shed light on how the agency plots out the social activity and connections of those it's spying on. Up until 2010, the NSA only traced and analyzed the metadata of emails and phone calls from foreigners, but anything from US Citizens in the chains would create stopgaps. Snowden-provided documents note the policy shifted around late in that year to allow for the inclusion of Americans' metadata in analysis. An NSA representative explained to the Times that, "all data queries must include a foreign intelligence justification, period."

During "large-scale graph analysis," collected metadata is cross-referenced with commercial, public and "enrichment data" (some examples included GPS locations, social media accounts and banking info) to create a contact chain tied to any foreigner under review and scope out its activity. One of the of the main set of ingestion tools goes by the name Mainway. The Times also highlights a secret report, dubbed "Better Person Centric Analysis," as well, detailing how data is sorted into 164 searchable "relationship types" and 94 "entity types" (email and IP addresses, along with phone numbers). Other documents highlight that during 2011 it took in over 700 million phone records daily on its own, along with an "unnamed American service provider " that began funneling in an additional 1.1 billion cellphone records that August. In addition to that, Snowden's leak of the NSA's classified 2013 budget cites it as hoping to capture "20 billion 'record events' daily" that would be available for review by the agency's analysts in an hour's time. As you might expect, the number of US Citizens that have had their info bunched up into all of this currently remains a secret -- national security, of course. Extended details are available at the source links.

Article source: http://www.engadget.com/2013/09/28/nyt-nsa-moniters-graphs-some-us-citizens-social-activity-with/?utm_medium=feed&utm_source=Feed_Classic&utm_campaign=Engadget&ncid=rss_semi

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29Sep/130

Engadget Podcast 362

We didn't do it live this week, but boy did we record a great show for you! Brian, Dana and Peter piped in from their respective empty closets sound booths to discuss Amazon's latest Kindle Fires and Microsoft's updated Surface lineup. On top of all that, we fit in a quick review recap of Sony's flagship Z1 cameraphone. Don't delay. Do it now. Stream the Engadget Podcast below.

Hosts: Brian Heater, Dana Wollman, Peter Rojas

Producer: Joe Pollicino

Hear the podcast:

01:01 - Meet the judges for Expand NY's Insert Coin competition: Ryan Block, Ben Heck, Hilary Mason and Peter Rojas
02:25 - Amazon debuts Kindle Fire HDX 7- and 8.9-inch tablets, we go hands-on
05:41 - Amazon refreshes Kindle Fire HD with new body, $139 price tag
10:33 - Amazon's Fire OS 3.0 'Mojito' arrives just in time for those new tablets
26:48 - Microsoft Surface 2 and Surface Pro 2
41:27 - Hands-on with the Surface Music Kit, a digital audio workshop aimed at beginners (video)
48:36 - BlackBerry enters agreement for $4.7 billion sale of company to consortium led by Fairfax Financial
55:56 - Sony Xperia Z1 review: a high-spec cameraphone without the hump

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Download the podcast:

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Contact the podcast:

Connect with the hosts on Twitter: @bheater @DanaWollman @peterrojas
E-mail us: podcast [at] engadget [dot] com
Technical inquiries: @akaTRENT

Article source: http://www.engadget.com/2013/09/28/engadget-podcast-362/?utm_medium=feed&utm_source=Feed_Classic&utm_campaign=Engadget&ncid=rss_semi

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