Monthly Archives: September 2014

Gresso classies up the iPad with 18k gold logo and ancient wood case

Gresso classies up the iPad with 18k gold logo and ancient wood case

We’ll openly admit we never knew what African Blackwood was until Gresso started applying the stuff to its line of extremely luxurious cellphone mods, but now we can’t imagine a new product from the Russian company without the 200-year old timber making an appearance. And sure enough, the Gresso iPad’s rear is composed almost entirely of Dalbergia melanoxylon, broken up only by the insertion of an 18-karat gold Apple logo. Strangely, in spite of its extravagant constituent materials, this design is a very restrained, dare we say, classy, affair. It goes on sale on New Year’s Eve at an unannounced price, but you know what they say: if you have to ask or you have to work for a living, you probably can’t afford it.

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Stationary bike MMO lets you race against the world without leaving home

Stationary bike MMO lets you race against the world without leaving home

Indoor cycling normally isn’t as fun as the outdoor variety, and it certainly isn’t as social. Where’s the thrill of blowing past a rival? That’s what Zwift’s upcoming massively multiplayer cycling game promises to solve. So long as you have a training bike with at least speed and cadence sensors, you can race people around the world in virtual environments — think of it as an online role-playing game that builds up your real abilities. You can chat up other riders if you have a mic, and virtual reality support (through Oculus Rift headsets) might help you forget that you’re still at home.

The game will cost $10 per month to play (much like other online games), and you’ll naturally have to factor in the costs of both the indoor bike and sensors if you don’t have them already. Right now, though, the real catch is simply getting to play. Zwift just launched its beta test with a mere 1,000 open slots, and you’ll have to wait until the winter if you don’t request an invitation in time. Having said this, it might be worth the wait if you’ve ever wanted to compete against other cyclists all year round.

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Wahoo KICKR Power Trainer lets iPhone cyclists feel the simulated burn (video)

Wahoo KICKR Power Trainer lets iPhone cyclists feel the simulated burn (video)

Wahoo Fitness’ BlueSC cycling sensor is well and good for iPhone owners that always have fair weather and friendly roads to ride. For everyone else, there’s the company’s just-unveiled KICKR Power Trainer, a bike training system that uses a Bluetooth 4.0 link with Apple’s device (or an ANT+ bike computer) to come as close as possible to the real thing. The KICKR can change resistance as soon as third-party iOS apps like Kinomap Trainer and TrainerRoad give the word, either arbitrarily for a routine or to replicate that on-asphalt feel at up to a 15 percent hill grade. Wahoo claims the super flywheel and wheel-off design improve the sensation of the virtual road and keep the measurements for both power and speed accurate over the long haul. If there’s anything holding back indoor athletes, it’s the launch. The KICKR will only land in US basements and living rooms come November, and while we haven’t been quoted a price, we’d wager that it’s much more likely to fall in line with the cost of a regular bike trainer than a sensor like the BlueSC.

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World’s First iPhone Powered Bike Trainer, the Wahoo Fitness KICKR Power Trainer Uncovered at EUROBIKE 2012

iPhone connected bike trainer modernizes stationary training by allowing full control of resistance and power threshold via your favorite iPhone cycling Apps

Atlanta, Ga. – August 31, 2012 – Wahoo Fitness, the leader in iPhone powered cycling, running and fitness, unveils the Wahoo Fitness KICKR Power Trainer at EUROBIKE 2012. The KICKR Power Trainer is the world’s first iPhone powered bike trainer, allowing cyclist and triathletes to set resistance, accurately measure power and complete App based workouts, all from their iPhone. The KICKR Power Trainer is being demoed this week at EUROBIKE 2012 and will be available in the U.S this November.

Using Bluetooth 4.0 and ANT+ technology, the KICKR Power Trainer connects to the iPhone, allowing full resistance control during your training session. While pedaling, users can increase or decrease resistance, structure interval workouts or even simulate real world bike courses all from their smart phone. Resistance adjustments are instant, making it easy to replicate everything from a flat or rolling hill course, to the coast down a hill after a hard climb. With a wheel off design and super flywheel, the iPhone connected bike trainer is engineered to produce an ultra-realistic road feel, equivalent to the inertia of an actual rider on the road. A direct power measurement at the hub provides consistent and lab accurate power readings for every grueling mile.

“Cyclist and triathletes will be blown away by the feel of the KICKR,” says Chip Hawkins, CEO of Wahoo Fitness. “We spent a ton of time engineering the feel, fine tuning it for the most realistic ride we’ve ever experienced on an indoor bike trainer. With the wheel off design there is no need for calibration; the power is consistent and accurate every single time. The electronic resistance is driven by your iPhone or tablet during a ride, you can go from hammering up a 15% grade to coasting downhill, instantaneously.”

Wahoo Fitness has fully integrated the iPhone into all aspects of cycling fitness. With Wahoo’s Blue SC Speed & Cadence sensor for iPhone, the Blue HR Heart Rate Monitor for iPhone and the KICKR bike trainer, Wahoo users can now track and power their cycling with their iPhone on the road, the trail and the trainer. Wahoo Fitness’ iPhone cycling system allows users to monitor all the vitals including power, speed, cadence, heart rate, pace, distance, location, course and more.

Wahoo Fitness KICKR Power Trainer features include:

- Adjust resistance via iPhone for structured rides or simulate real world courses using top cycling Apps including TrainerRoad and Kinomap Trainer.
– Wheel off design allows direct power measurement at the hub, providing the most accurate and consistent power measurement throughout every mile
– In ride adjustments simulate across all intensities from coasting downhill to cranking up a 15% grade (600-2000 watt resistance)
– Ultra realistic road feel specifically engineered to simulate the inertia of an actual rider on the road
– Measure power (wattage), and speed all using your favorite iPhone cycling App or favorite ANT+ bike computer
– ANT+ and Bluetooth 4.0 compatible
– Quiet – tested to be one of the quietest trainers on the market

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Engadget Daily: Windows 10, the $200 laptop you’ve been waiting for, and more!

Engadget Daily: Windows 10, the $200 laptop you've been waiting for, and more!

It looks like Microsoft’s new OS will be called Windows 10. Who’d have thunk it? Read on for Engadget’s news highlights from the last 24 hours — we go hands-on with Here maps for Android, break down Facebook’s battle with drag queens and more.

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Engadget Daily: Windows 10, the $200 laptop you’ve been waiting for, and more!

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HP Stream 14

  • Key specs
  • Reviews 1

  • Prices
  • Discussions
  • Type Midsize
  • Screen size 14 inches
  • Screen resolution 1366 x 768
  • Bundled OS Windows
  • CPU family Other
  • System RAM 2 GB
  • Hard drive(s) 32 GB (total)
  • Released 2014-09-24

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7average user rating
  • Speed and features 8
  • Design and form factor 8
  • Battery life 6
  • Display 6
  • Durability 6
  • Expandability 8
  • Noise 10
  • Portability (size / weight) 10

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Arduino’s new 3D printer lets you modify just about everything

Arduino's new 3D printer lets you modify just about everything

If you’re a fan of Arduino’s tinker-friendly approach to computing, you’ll be glad to hear that it’s now extending that open philosophy to 3D printers. The company has teamed up with Sharebot to unveil the Materia 101, a small (5.5 inches by 4 inches) printer that’s built to be both friendly to beginners and very accessible. You can modify the code on the underlying Arduino Mega mini-PC, of course, but you also have access to the full schematics of the printer — you can upgrade it or even make your own, if you have the know-how and parts. Arduino hasn’t said when it plans to ship the Materia, but it’ll be available both as a build-it-yourself kit (priced under $800) and fully assembled (under $1,000).

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Playdate: We’re livestreaming ‘Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor’ on PS4!

Playdate: We're livestreaming 'Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor' on PS4!
Welcome, ladygeeks and gentlenerds, to the new era of gaming. The one where you get to watch, and comment, as other people livestream gameplay from next-gen consoles. Because games! They’re fun!

Emerging like a Nazgûl in the night this fall is Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor. You could easily dismiss the game as a licensed cash-in on the likes of the Assassin’s Creed or Batman: Arkham franchises, but the truth of the matter is that Shadow of Mordor is better than the most recent entries in either of those series. Sure, there’s clambering up walls in very assassin-like fashion and rhythmic combat that’d make The World’s Greatest Detective blush, but the team at Monolith (perhaps best known for the F.E.A.R. and Condemned series of first-person horror games) outclasses the competition in nearly every aspect with this incredibly violent take on J.R.R. Tolkien’s classic source material. Until recently, it was fairly underhyped and that seems to have been its best asset; allowing the game’s quality, not its PR machine, to do the heavy lifting. Still on the fence about picking it up today, though? Well, we’re going to be streaming it on PlayStation 4, right here starting at 7 p.m. Eastern / 4 p.m. Pacific.

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Sony PlayStation 4

  • Key specs
  • Reviews 61

  • Prices
  • Discussions
  • Game format Optical disc, Downloadable
  • Online features Multiplayer, Voice chat, Video chat, Store, Browser
  • Drive capacity 500 GB
  • Controller type Wired, Wireless
  • Motion controls Accelerometer, Gyroscopic, Camera / optical
  • Video outputs HDMI
  • Weight 6.17 lb
  • Released 2013-11-15

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8.6average user rating
  • Game library 6.7
  • Graphics 9.6
  • Controller(s) 9
  • Design and form factor 9
  • Other features (media, online, etc.) 7.3
  • Noise 8.8

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Arduino Uno and Arduino Mega 2560 get friendly new USB plugs, new look

Arduino Uno and Arduino Mega 2560 get friendly new USB plugs, new look

Arduino is so much about what is made with Arduino boards that we hardly spare a thought for the boards themselves. Well, Arduino cares, and they’ve just gone about redesigning their base model, now dubbed the Arduino Uno. It’s of course backwards compatible with existing Arduino add-ons, but sets itself apart with a new USB controller with lower latency and driver-free operation on Mac and Linux. This should make Arduino slightly more friendly to the super novices, but of course the USB chip can be reprogrammed by the experts to be all sorts of things. Meanwhile, the Arduino Mega is getting the same USB chip along with an ATMega2560 processor with twice the memory. Right now only 128K is available, but that’s a software limitation and they’re working to unlock the rest of the memory space. The Mega sells for $65, while the Uno goes for $35. Next up? An Arduino board with built-in Ethernet and microSD. Crazy, we know.

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Arduino Uno and Arduino Mega 2560

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MSN’s simpler, mobile-savvy homepage is rolling out to everyone

MSN's simpler, mobile-savvy homepage is rolling out to everyone

Well, that was quick — after just a few weeks in preview mode, the revamped MSN homepage is rolling out to everyone. You should see Microsoft’s simple, desktop-like web portal in your browser sometime within the next three days. If you’re using Windows devices, you’ll also see updated Bing and MSN apps that draw on the site’s many services; the Food & Drink app will keep track of your recipes, for instance. Windows Phone users get a few perks on their lock screens in the process. The Health and Fitness app will show pedometer stats if you’re using a Lumia 630, 635 or 1520, while Weather will show your local forecast. You’ll still have to wait for MSN apps on Android and iOS, but all the other pieces of Microsoft’s grand vision are otherwise in place.

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Microsoft Windows 8.1

  • Key specs
  • Reviews 9

  • Prices
  • Discussions
  • Type Computer OS
  • Source model Closed
  • Architecture 64-bit, 32-bit
  • Released 2014-04-08

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9.3average user rating
  • Ease of use 9.1
  • Speed 9.6
  • Configurability 9.5
  • Ecosystem (apps, drivers, etc.) 9.3
  • Openness 8.3

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Crackdown on spying apps leads to StealthGenie CEO’s arrest

Crackdown on spying apps leads to StealthGenie CEO's arrest

Apparently, the US government is now on a mission to bring down mobile applications offering spyware services — which, for a variety of well-documented reasons, simply seems kind of ironic. Controversy aside though, the Department of Justice revealed today that Hammad Akbar, CEO of StealthGenie, had been arrested in Los Angeles and charged with conspiracy, advertisement of a known interception device, advertising a device as a surreptitious interception device and sale of such a device. StealthGenie, which had been available on iOS, Android and BlackBerry, was known for providing an app capable of monitoring someone’s calls, texts and photos, as well as tracking their location and more. StealthGenie wasn’t shy about doing that either; a quick glance at a StealthGenie promotional video, found after the break, sums up the ideals behind the application and the consumers it targeted.

“So you want to keep an eye on your loved one or your employees, because you suspect they’re hiding something and it might get too late?” the video asks. “How do you know where they are or what they’re doing right now? Maybe they’re not really telling you the truth about their activities or whereabouts.” Eventually, after a few seconds, StealthGenie claims to be the solution for those needs: “You are worried, so you wonder if the only way to find out is to know what they do on their cellphones right away,” says the message. “You know that’s the only way to give you all the answers. What you need right now is a solution that lets you uncover the truth by secretly monitoring all the activities of your loved one or employee, and let you know their location at all times.”

As the DOJ points out in its briefing of the situation, the app was undetectable by users who were likely being spied on, which made it rather easy for StealthGenie’s creepy magic to go untraced. Interestingly enough, Akbar’s criminal case is the first one ever having to do with the advertisement and sale of a mobile spyware app — and something tells us we’re going to see more of this type as people adopt new technologies like smartphones and tablets.

“People ought to be able to control who can access their sensitive information, and stalking apps on cellphones directly violate that principle,” outspoken Sen. Al Franken said regarding StealthGenie and the arrest of its CEO. “Currently, there is no federal law banning the secret collection of location data. That’s why we need to pass my legislation to ban stalking apps once and for all.”

“My commonsense bill will help a whole range of people — including victims of domestic violence,” he said. “My bill would finally put an end to GPS stalking apps that allow abusers to secretly track their victims, and it would also give consumers more control over their very sensitive location data.”

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More to expect at our free Engadget Expand event in NYC!

More to expect at our free Engadget Expand event in NYC!

If you’re keeping score, we’ve announced a bunch of great speakers heading to this year’s Engadget Expand (such as RJD2 and the head of DARPA, Arati Prabhakar). Of course there’s plenty more where that came from and we’re excited to announce what else you’ll see at the Javits Center on November 7-8 in New York City!

Gallery | 13 Photos

Even more speakers at Engadget Expand!

Today we’re adding 5 speakers to our already awesome slate of technology leaders coming to Engadget Expand:

You can flip through the gallery above to see who we’ve already announced and there’s much more to come soon. But Expand isn’t just about speakers, it’s about letting you get hands-on with the future of technology and for that, we’ve got a few awesome exhibitors to announce.

OnePlus

More to expect at our free Engadget Expand event in NYC!

Our friends at OnePlus will let Expand attendees go hands-on with the elusive OnePlus One smartphone. The company’s mission is to never settle and deliver a premium-looking smartphone with top of the line specs. The flagship One starts at $299, unlocked and free of contract.

Suitable Technologies

More to expect at our free Engadget Expand event in NYC!

Suitable Technologies has a lot planned for Expand, not least of which is letting attendees move around and experience the show floor from the comfort of, say, their Santa Monica beach bungalow. The company’s Beam device makes the typical conference call experience much less lame.

GizmoSphere

More to expect at our free Engadget Expand event in NYC!

We met GizmoSphere and its Gizmo development board at Engadget Live in Boston this summer. The company is bringing its experience down to Expand, where you can battle your friend for victory in the ultimate, “immersive” deathmatch. No, no, there won’t be blood, but still — this isn’t your typical game, either.

There’s much more to announce soon, but in the meantime — grab your free tickets right here. Also, our ‘In The City‘ sweepstakes runs through 11:59PM ET on October 7th, the winner of which will score themselves and a guest a free trip to Expand on our dime!

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OnePlus One

  • Key specs
  • Reviews 15

  • Prices
  • Discussions
  • Type Smartphone
  • Operating system Android (KitKat [4.4])
  • Screen size 5.5 inches
  • Internal memory 16 GB
  • Camera 13 megapixels
  • Dimensions 6.02 x 2.99 x 0.35 in
  • Weight 5.71 oz
  • Released 2014-05

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9.1average user rating
  • Reception and call quality 8.1
  • Display 9.6
  • Battery life 9.2
  • Camera 8.4
  • Ease of use 9.2
  • Design and form factor 9.7
  • Portability (size / weight) 8.8
  • Media support 9.7
  • Durability 9.3
  • Ecosystem (apps, accessories, etc.) 9.1

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