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'Overwatch' rings in the Lunar New Year with capture the flag

Tue, 24 Jan 2017 18:24:00 -0500

(image) Shortly after the hit hero shooter Overwatch launched last May, fans were treated to a slew of new character models themed for the upcoming 2016 Brazil Summer Olympics. That was just the beginning of Blizzard's extra content train, as they released m...

BlackBerry will launch its 'Mercury' phone on February 25th

Tue, 24 Jan 2017 18:10:00 -0500

(image) When BlackBerry and TCL unveiled their "Mercury" phone at CES, it was really more of a proof of life than anything. The two wouldn't shed light on the keyboard-toting Android device's core specs, let alone when you could buy one for yourself. You wo...

With its Note 7 apology, Samsung finally gets something right

Tue, 24 Jan 2017 18:00:00 -0500

(image) After the furor over flaming phones had mostly subsided, Samsung moved to end the Note 7 fiasco once and for all. Last Sunday, Samsung mobile chief DJ Koh — followed by a cadre of technical experts — laid out exactly what caused the compa...

Apple wants to make app developers less thirsty for reviews

Tue, 24 Jan 2017 17:42:00 -0500

(image) Apple may finally be putting an end to the annoying slew of review requests that often pop up while you're using an app. According to Recode, the iPhone maker is working on a mechanism that limits the number of times that developers can ask for revie...

Apple Watch will dim its bright lights in Theater Mode

Tue, 24 Jan 2017 17:32:00 -0500

(image) When Apple's upcoming watchOS 3.2 update lands, Cupertino's hottest wristwear will finally add a Theater Mode that will allow courteous users to avoid bothering the folks around them. Android users will note that the competition over at Android Wear...

'Pokémon Duel' brings Pikachu and friends to iOS, Android today

Tue, 24 Jan 2017 17:14:00 -0500

(image) Pokémon Go has a new friend on mobile today: Pokémon Duel is available now, for free, on Android and iOS devices, courtesy of The Pokémon Company International. Pokémon Duel is a strategy title that plays more like a boa...

Apple lets App Store developers respond to reviews

Tue, 24 Jan 2017 16:57:00 -0500

(image) Android app developers have had the option of responding to Google Play reviews for a while, but the same hasn't been true for Apple products. If you want to grouse about a bug or shoddy design, you usually have to email the developer directly. That'...

Instagram Live Stories are going global this week

Tue, 24 Jan 2017 16:41:00 -0500

(image) Since it announced a live streaming feature in November, Instagram has slowly been rolling out the service to its users in various parts of the world. Over the coming week, though, Instagrammers around the globe can begin to use the feature. So get r...

California power companies want $1 billion to build EV chargers

Tue, 24 Jan 2017 16:25:00 -0500

(image) It's expensive to build an electric car charging network, and California utilities want the government's help covering the tab. PG&E, SDG&E and Southern California Edison are requesting roughly $1 billion in funding to build both EV chargers...

Apple is bringing the iPhone's night mode to the Mac

Tue, 24 Jan 2017 16:07:00 -0500

(image) Ask Mac users which app they install first and they may well point you to F.lux, which adjusts the color temperature of your screen to cut back on eye strain as night sets in. Well, that recommendation may have just gone out the window for most user...

The developers of 'Alto's Adventure' are building a skateboarding game

Tue, 24 Jan 2017 15:43:00 -0500

(image) Snowman, the creator of ultra-chill snowboarding game Alto's Adventure, is keeping busy lately. In addition to the sequel Alto's Odyssey, it is also working with studio The Game Band for Where Cards Fall and partnering with Australian studio Slingsho...

Use Google Home to control WeMo and Honeywell connected devices

Tue, 24 Jan 2017 15:23:00 -0500

(image) Since Home arrived a few months ago, Google has been regularly adding new features to the compact speaker and its virtual assistant. Today, the company announced that the connected device can now be used to control smart home gadgets from Belkin's We...

Amazon pushes Star Trek future with new Alexa wake word

Tue, 24 Jan 2017 14:59:00 -0500

(image) Amazon's Alexa platform continues to be the go-to voice assistant not just for the home, but also vehicles. But it looks like the online-retailer's helper in a cylinder was just given its greatest feature ever: The wake word "computer." That's right,...

Latest Android Wear 2.0 preview delivers better iOS support

Tue, 24 Jan 2017 14:35:00 -0500

(image) Google has delayed the launch of Android Wear 2.0 once, but it looks like the operating system may actually be on track for its early February release. The company today released the fifth and final developer preview of the updated platform, adding i...

US law enforcement can't ask companies to turn over foreign data

Tue, 24 Jan 2017 14:20:00 -0500

(image) Microsoft has fought a long battle to prevent American law enforcement from demanding overseas data, but it can rest easy... at least, for now. A stalemate in a federal appeals court has upheld a July 2016 ruling that judges can't issue warrants for...

Apple's 'Find My iPhone' app will help you locate lost AirPods

Tue, 24 Jan 2017 14:05:00 -0500

(image) When Apple announced its wireless AirPods last fall, there was some anxiety over how easy it would be to lose one of the wireless earbuds. Well, the company is looking to ease that burden a bit. As part of the upcoming iOS 10.3 update, you will be ab...

Trump administration freezes grants and contracts at the EPA

Tue, 24 Jan 2017 13:50:00 -0500

(image) Donald Trump's administration has frozen all grants and contract operations at the Environmental Protection Agency, ProPublica reports. The freeze could disrupt critical, ongoing projects such as toxic cleanups and water quality testing, and it may i...

'Metamaterial' can switch from soft to hard - and back again

Tue, 24 Jan 2017 13:44:00 -0500

(image) University of Michigan researchers have developed a technique for a new 'metamaterial' that can change its level of solidness, but without damaging or changing the material itself. Metamaterials are man-made materials whose properties come from the w...

FTC finds 'Shark Tank' connected breathalyzers are inaccurate

Tue, 24 Jan 2017 13:30:00 -0500

(image) Accuracy is a big issue with wearables and all sorts of connected devices. Despite marketing claims of "government-lab grade testing," the Federal Trade Commission found that Breathometer's app-connected breathalyzers weren't as accurate as the compa...

Microsoft launches program to take on Chromebooks in schools

Tue, 24 Jan 2017 13:15:00 -0500

(image) In an effort to stem the academic migration to simpler, cheaper Chromebooks, Microsoft has launched the Intune for Education program. Based on the company's corporate Intune service, it helps educators manage and set up student Windows 10 PCs and app...

How an animated-GIF camera morphed into a nascent chip empire

Tue, 24 Jan 2017 13:00:00 -0500

(image) Not many computers can thank GIFs for their existence. In 2013, Dave Rauchwerk worked on a San Francisco art installation that allowed people to record and project a GIF of themselves onto a building. It was popular and led to Rauchwerk joining with...

The Nintendo 3DS is here to stay (for now)

Tue, 24 Jan 2017 12:50:00 -0500

(image) With the Switch fast approaching, you might think Nintendo is ready to give up on the 3DS. Not so. The company has a small, but significant stack of games planned for the handheld in 2017, and it wants you to know about them. In a press release today...

VR out-of-body experience could help assuage the fear of death

Tue, 24 Jan 2017 12:35:00 -0500

(image) A virtual reality experience developed by researchers from the University of Barcelona could help people with a crippling fear of death. Research professor Mel Slater and his colleagues made 32 subjects wear Oculus headsets and black suits. They also...

Scientists recreated Jupiter's chaotic atmosphere in the lab

Tue, 24 Jan 2017 12:20:00 -0500

(image) Many scientists figure that Jupiter has a limited amount of ammonia that is mostly concentrated in the upper atmosphere. However, the Juno probe recently spotted plumes of the gas extending up to 65 miles deep, well below the outer clouds. A team fro...

Don't bank on Kinect games in 2017

Tue, 24 Jan 2017 12:00:00 -0500

(image) "The problem is not that nobody has Kinect, but it's that nobody is talking about it anymore." That's Mattia Traverso, the creator of Kinect-exclusive game Fru. Traverso has a unique perspective on the Kinect marketplace because he's one of the last...