Monthly Archives: June 2015

Engadget | Technology News, Advice and Features

Engadget | Technology News, Advice and Features

Google’s been systematically rolling out high frame rate (HFR) video — that’s 60 frames per second — across its YouTube ecosystem for a couple of months now. HFR debuted on standard videos last October. It hit YT’s live streaming service in May and today Google announced that the YouTube mobile app for both iOS and Android will now feature 60 FPS playback. Now you’ll be able to follow Far Cry 4 walkthroughs on your mobile device with the same silky smooth playback that you see on your TV.

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Engadget | Technology News, Advice and Features

Nearly five months after introducing its Air lens camera in Japan, Olympus is finally ready to bring it to the US. The AIR A01, as it’s officially named, is a shooter that attaches to and pairs with your smartphone or tablet — in similar fashion to Sony’s QX line of devices. Spec-wise, the Olympus Air features a Micro Four Thirds, 16-megapixel sensor, a TruePic VII image-processing chip, RAW capture, up to 1080p video-recording, 10 fps continuous shooting, Bluetooth and WiFi. There is, of course, a companion app for iOS, Android and Amazon’s Kindle platform, which you can use to control the camera as well as transfer images from it.

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Engadget | Technology News, Advice and Features

VPNs (virtual private networks) are a popular choice for sidestepping censorship and geographic restrictions on services like Netflix with more than 20 percent of Europeans using them. However, researchers at the Queen Mary, University of London recently examined 14 of the region’s most popular VPN providers and found nearly all of them leaked information about their users to some degree. These leaks ranged from minor, ie what site you visited, to major infractions including the actual content of your communications.

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Engadget | Technology News, Advice and Features

You can get desktop PC displays that are curved, super-wide and gaming-friendly, but all three at once? That’s tricky. Thankfully, Acer thinks it has an answer. The company has just launched the 34-inch XR341CK in the US, giving you a curvy, 21:9 aspect ratio LCD with AMD’s anti-tearing FreeSync tech built-in. So long as you have a fast-enough gaming rig (including newer AMD graphics, if you want FreeSync), you’ll get an extra-immersive canvas for your first-person shooters and racing sims.

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Engadget | Technology News, Advice and Features

The ongoing saga around the NSA’s bulk data collection program is getting even more confusing. A U.S. Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court ruled yesterday that the program can temporarily resume, refuting a Second Circuit court decision from May deeming it illegal, reports the New York Times. “Second Circuit rulings are not binding” said the surveillance court’s Judge Michael Mosman, in an opinion released today, “and this court respectfully disagrees with that court’s analysis, especially in view of the intervening enactment of the U.S.A. Freedom Act.” The news comes after Congress voted to reform government surveillance by voting in the Freedom Act in June, which effectively ends bulk data collection by requiring agencies to get court approval when requesting information from telecoms and other firms. The White House quietly moved to resume the program shortly after the Freedom Act was signed.

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Engadget | Technology News, Advice and Features

Can crowdfunding do something better than make a beer cooler with a built-in Bluetooth speaker? That’s what Thom Feeney believes after setting up an Indiegogo campaign to pay Greece’s $1.7 billion loan fee that it owes to the International Monetary Fund. The project is hoping to raise the cash by encouraging all of Europe’s 503 million citizens to kick in a few bucks for a postcard, a Greek salad or vouchers for a bottle of Ouzo. The page has been up for just over two days and already the figure stands at €200,000 ($223,000), although that’s still less than a tenth of a percent towards the final figure.

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Engadget | Technology News, Advice and Features

When it first announced plans to let you send money to your pals in its Messenger app, Facebook said the feature would roll out in the States in the coming months. Well, the time has come. After flipping the switch for folks in New York City and the surrounding areas in late May, the social network is letting users in the rest of the US beam funds to friends, too. To leverage the currency tool, you’ll need to link a debit card before money can be transferred from your bank account to a recipient. For added security, you’ll have to input a PIN before each transaction and iPhone/iPad users can employ Touch ID to verify their identity. And all of the transferred data travels via an encrypted connection. Messenger may not be your first choice to reimburse someone for concert tickets or for picking up your tab, but if you use the app to chat with friends or family, it could come in handy.

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Engadget | Technology News, Advice and Features

You can learn a lot from someone’s personal gadget arsenal, whether at home or on the road. This past week on Public Access gave us a glimpse of your technological inclinations and taught us quite a bit. Miné Salkin’s at-home gear is all about enabling multimedia storytelling and journalism, and constitutes a pretty impressive setup for creating and editing 4K video. Alexander Hohenthaner shared the gear he packs in his bag to get through his daily grind. It’s not all about now, however. Nostalgia’s a powerful thing, and Jess James gave us a heavy dose with fond memories of his first PC, the Atari ST. Meanwhile, Chris Carroll waxed poetic on how filming family get togethers has brought about some peculiar behavior from his relatives.

P.S. The homepage is coming soon! in the meantime you can check out the latest from Public Access right here. Not a member? Apply, and keep the weird alive.

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Engadget | Technology News, Advice and Features

Indie games don’t sell as many copies as big-budget titles, although not necessarily because they’re lower-quality. In general, indie game development starts with a handicap: a limited market. They are, mostly, experiences made for niche audiences. AAA games — think Call of Duty, Halo, Battlefield, Destiny — are made for everyone, an audience that’s been intensely researched over decades of action-movie box-office sales and Black Friday marketing campaigns. AAA consultants know exactly which games sell the best, where they sell the most, how much the mainstream audience wants to think and what their boundaries are. This approach to creation contributes to the flood of sequels and first-person shooters in our game libraries, now and into the foreseeable future. Sony’s and Microsoft’s showcases at E3 2015 were soaked in sequels and remakes, leading some fans to question the creative status of the industry as a whole. But, the AAA industry does innovate — in its own, small way.

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Engadget | Technology News, Advice and Features

When you think of internet security from Cisco, you probably imagine firewalls and routers (usually) stopping hackers and malware from hitting your network. You’re going to have to expand that definition very shortly, though. Cisco has snapped up OpenDNS, whose domain name services you might have used to dodge regional restrictions or improve on your internet provider’s less-than-stellar connection. The networking giant isn’t making the acquisition for any of those reasons, though. Instead, it’s all about boosting Cisco’s cloud security — the goal is to defend against attacks on your corporate network wherever you happen to be, and to predict threats before they strike.

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Engadget | Technology News, Advice and Features

Apple Music is here. Finally. Now that the company steered the streaming service to a successful launch, it now has to prove to the world that it’s actually something worth paying for — after all, there are like 80 other streaming-music services (maybe not, but it feels like it) fighting for the subscription revenue in our wallets. Apple’s master plan: Make Apple Music a one-stop shop by kitting out it with gobs of features. We’ll follow up with a longer write-up once we’ve had more than a few hours to play with it, but for now, let’s take a quick peek at what Apple came up with.

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Engadget | Technology News, Advice and Features

Most people haven’t hosted a party for 10,000 guests (the bathroom situation alone is daunting), but thanks to the internet and Jackbox Games, that’s now a super-easy, low-mess situation. Quiplash is the newest game from Jackbox — makers of You Don’t Know Jack and Fibbage – and it boasts a pretty cool feature: Just one person needs to own the game for up to 10,000 people to play in a single round. This is a game built for streaming.

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The Olympus Air lens camera can be yours for $300

The Olympus Air lens camera can be yours for $300

Nearly five months after introducing its Air lens camera in Japan, Olympus is finally ready to bring it to the US. The AIR A01, as it’s officially named, is a shooter that attaches to and pairs with your smartphone or tablet — in similar fashion to Sony’s QX line of devices. Spec-wise, the Olympus Air features a Micro Four Thirds, 16-megapixel sensor, a TruePic VII image-processing chip, RAW capture, up to 1080p video-recording, 10 fps continuous shooting, Bluetooth and WiFi. There is, of course, a companion app for iOS, Android and Amazon’s Kindle platform, which you can use to control the camera as well as transfer images from it.

Gallery | 24 Photos

Olympus Air A01 press images

What’s more, the open-source Air A01 comes with Amazon Cloud Drive integration, giving you option to save images there rather than on your handset. Olympus will sell its AIR A01 in August for $300 (body-only) or, if you’d like some glass to go along with that, you can spend $200 more for a kit with a 14-42mm EZ lens.

Gallery | 13 Photos

Olympus Air hands-on

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Olympus Air A01

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  • Type Other
  • Resolution (effective) 16 megapixels
  • Announced 2015-02-05

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The Olympus Air lens camera can be yours for $300

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VPNs may not protect your information as well as you think

VPNs may not protect your information as well as you think

VPNs (virtual private networks) are a popular choice for sidestepping censorship and geographic restrictions on services like Netflix with more than 20 percent of Europeans using them. However, researchers at the Queen Mary, University of London recently examined 14 of the region’s most popular VPN providers and found nearly all of them leaked information about their users to some degree. These leaks ranged from minor, ie what site you visited, to major infractions including the actual content of your communications.

The researchers believe this vulnerability is due to network operators updating to the new IPV6 protocol while the 11 leaking VPNs still only support IPV4 traffic. It should be noted, however, that sites using HTTPS were immune to the team’s hacking attempts — both passive traffic sniffing and active DNS hijacks. Additionally, the team found that VPNs running on iOS devices leaked far less info than their counterparts on Android.

“There are a variety of reasons why someone might want to hide their identity online and it’s worrying that they might be vulnerable despite using a service that is specifically designed to protect them,” Dr Gareth Tyson, the study’s co-author, said in a statement. “We’re most concerned for those people trying to protect their browsing from oppressive regimes. They could be emboldened by their supposed anonymity while actually revealing all their data and online activity and exposing themselves to possible repercussions.”

[Image Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto]

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VPNs may not protect your information as well as you think

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Acer rolls out a curved, super-wide display with AMD’s gaming tech

Acer rolls out a curved, super-wide display with AMD's gaming tech

You can get desktop PC displays that are curved, super-wide and gaming-friendly, but all three at once? That’s tricky. Thankfully, Acer thinks it has an answer. The company has just launched the 34-inch XR341CK in the US, giving you a curvy, 21:9 aspect ratio LCD with AMD’s anti-tearing FreeSync tech built-in. So long as you have a fast-enough gaming rig (including newer AMD graphics, if you want FreeSync), you’ll get an extra-immersive canvas for your first-person shooters and racing sims.

Gallery | 8 Photos

Acer XR341CK curved monitor

You won’t get 4K (this is “just” a 3,440 x 1,440 LCD), but you’ll still find DisplayPort input, Mini DisplayPort, HDMI 2.0 and a USB 3.0 hub. There’s also a 14W speaker system if the screen takes up the free space you’d normally use for audio gear. This monster monitor will cost $1,099 when it ships in July — no small potatoes, but potentially worth it if you’d otherwise get multiple displays to achieve the same all-encompassing effect.

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Acer XR341CK

  • Key specs
  • Reviews 0

  • Prices
  • Discussions
  • Type Gaming
  • Screen size 34 inches
  • Screen resolution 3440 x 1440
  • Response time 4 ms
  • Video inputs DisplayPort (Mini connector), HDMI (v2.0)
  • Built-in devices USB hub, Speakers (Integrated)
  • Released 2015-07

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Acer rolls out a curved, super-wide display with AMD's gaming tech

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Acer rolls out a curved, super-wide display with AMD's gaming tech

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NSA can restart bulk data collection, says surveillance court

NSA can restart bulk data collection, says surveillance court

The ongoing saga around the NSA’s bulk data collection program is getting even more confusing. A U.S. Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court ruled yesterday that the program can temporarily resume, refuting a Second Circuit court decision from May deeming it illegal, reports the New York Times. “Second Circuit rulings are not binding” said the surveillance court’s Judge Michael Mosman, in an opinion released today, “and this court respectfully disagrees with that court’s analysis, especially in view of the intervening enactment of the U.S.A. Freedom Act.” The news comes after Congress voted to reform government surveillance by voting in the Freedom Act in June, which effectively ends bulk data collection by requiring agencies to get court approval when requesting information from telecoms and other firms. The White House quietly moved to resume the program shortly after the Freedom Act was signed.

So what does this mean? Government agencies will be able to continue bulk data collection for the next 180 days — the grace period specified in the Freedom Act for winding down the program. The ACLU, meanwhile, says it will ask the Second Circuit to issue an injunction to stop data collection during this period. That’s something the court didn’t do when it ruled back in May, since it was holding out to see how Congress would vote on the Freedom Act.

[Photo credit: Shutterstock]

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NSA can restart bulk data collection, says surveillance court

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Doomed Indiegogo campaign hopes to crowdfund Greece’s debt relief

Doomed Indiegogo campaign hopes to crowdfund Greece's debt relief

Can crowdfunding do something better than make a beer cooler with a built-in Bluetooth speaker? That’s what Thom Feeney believes after setting up an Indiegogo campaign to pay Greece’s $1.7 billion loan fee that it owes to the International Monetary Fund. The project is hoping to raise the cash by encouraging all of Europe’s 503 million citizens to kick in a few bucks for a postcard, a Greek salad or vouchers for a bottle of Ouzo. The page has been up for just over two days and already the figure stands at €200,000 ($223,000), although that’s still less than a tenth of a percent towards the final figure.

If we’re all being honest with ourselves, there’s almost no way that the campaign can succeed, given the sheer size of the figure that needs to be raised. After all, the most successful crowdfunded project of all time is Chris Roberts’ Star Citizen, and that’s only pulled in $84 million, with the $20 million Pebble Time coming in second place. In addition, Feeney hasn’t opted for flexible funding, so the only way that the money can reach Greece is if that target is met or exceeded within the next 10 days. Then again, you can never write-off people’s desire to bloody the noses of bankers and help out their fellow man — so maybe we’re about to see the dawn of a whole new age of crowdfunding.


We’re experiencing connectivity issues due to overwhelming worldwide interest in the @GreekBailout campaign. Thanks for your patience.

— Indiegogo (@Indiegogo) June 30, 2015

As you can see in the image above, the popularity of the page has been so vast that it’s managed to break Indiegogo’s servers. If you’re hoping to add your donation to the pile, maybe give it an hour and then have another go.

[Image Credit: Getty]

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Doomed Indiegogo campaign hopes to crowdfund Greece's debt relief

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Facebook Messenger’s money-sending tool arrives for all US users

Facebook Messenger's money-sending tool arrives for all US users

When it first announced plans to let you send money to your pals in its Messenger app, Facebook said the feature would roll out in the States in the coming months. Well, the time has come. After flipping the switch for folks in New York City and the surrounding areas in late May, the social network is letting users in the rest of the US beam funds to friends, too. To leverage the currency tool, you’ll need to link a debit card before money can be transferred from your bank account to a recipient. For added security, you’ll have to input a PIN before each transaction and iPhone/iPad users can employ Touch ID to verify their identity. And all of the transferred data travels via an encrypted connection. Messenger may not be your first choice to reimburse someone for concert tickets or for picking up your tab, but if you use the app to chat with friends or family, it could come in handy.

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Facebook Messenger's money-sending tool arrives for all US users

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A closer look at Apple Music: feature packed, but a bit disjointed

A closer look at Apple Music: feature packed, but a bit disjointed

Apple Music is here. Finally. Now that the company steered the streaming service to a successful launch, it now has to prove to the world that it’s actually something worth paying for — after all, there are like 80 other streaming music services (maybe not, but it feels like it) fighting for the subscription revenue in our wallets. Apple’s master plan: make Apple Music a one-stop shop by kitting out it with gobs of features. We’ll follow up with a longer writeup once we’ve had more than a few hours to play with it, but for now, let’s a take a quick peek at what Apple came up with.

Gallery | 37 Photos

Hands-on with Apple Music

Once everything is installed and you fire up Music for the first time, you’re asked to make a choice: Do you want to go with the three-month free trial, or just jump straight into your music? If you choose yes, then you’ll automatically start paying $9.99/month as soon as the three-month trial winds down (until you turn off the auto-renewal, anyway). Thing is, Apple manages your Apple Music subscription the same way it does recurring iTunes subscriptions — that is, it’s nestled away in your Apple account settings, and easy to miss unless you know exactly where to look.

A closer look at Apple Music: feature packed, but a bit disjointed

After that, Apple tries to figure out your musical tastes the same way Beats did: By making you choose your preferred genres and artists from a stream of cutesy bubbles. So far, so good: I’ve locked my predilections for jazz, EDM and Third Eye Blind. Bring on the recommendations! Those all live in a section of the app called “For You”, and it’s almost surprising how densely they’re packed. Apple Music will quietly chew on your musical preferences and offers up albums and playlists you might like in a very busy grid. Everything’s mostly pretty perfectly intelligible, though; I’m just not used to Apple trying to do so much at once. Naturally, your recommendations will change over time, and not all of them will be up your alley — I had to kill a list of Madonna ballads by long-pressing the tile and asking Music to “recommend less like this”. (A brief aside: I bet you Apple swaps that long press for Force Touch in the next iPhone.)

A closer look at Apple Music: feature packed, but a bit disjointed

The next section over is “New,” where — you guessed it — all the new/top tracks and albums live. You can sort drill down by different genres if today is more a blues day than an indie one, and the whole thing would be nice and straightforward… if Apple didn’t decide to stick their genre and activity-centered playlists in there too. Considering how proud Apple is of its human curators and tastemakers, I’m a little shocked these playlists live ignominiously under a bunch of new song charts and not in their own separate section.

A closer look at Apple Music: feature packed, but a bit disjointed

I’ve always thought there was something a little magical about radio, about little voices talking and singing and floating out of a box, and Apple seems to have done a fine job recreating that experience with Beats 1. As I write this, DJ Zane Lowe and the rest of the crew are only two hours into their first broadcast day, which was largely problem-free despite streaming to users in 100 countries. I say “largely” because there were a good four or five minutes that I just could not connect to the station out of our New York office (perhaps because of all the new upgraders crushing Apple’s servers). Lowe and company like to drop little snippets of Beats audio branding into songs while they’re playing, too. Ugh.

If your ideal radio experience has nothing to do with DJs chattering about how exciting and rad their jobs are, you can always scroll down past the Beats marquee to pick from some tried-and-true genre stations. Hell, you can even ask Siri to play the “Top 20 songs from 1988,” if you feel oddly specific. I did just that, and to my infinite pleasure, George Michael’s Faith was immediately piped through my headphones. Well done, you beautiful machine.

A closer look at Apple Music: feature packed, but a bit disjointed

Then there’s Connect, a sort-of-social-network for artists to interact with fans. Well, maybe “interact” is a strong word — artists, or their handlers, post things and we get to comment on them. By default, you’re set to follow the artists who already live in your music library, and in my case only four of them (Fallout Boy and Flying Lotus, RCHP and Ke$ha) had anything up on Connect to mark the occasion. Connect remains the single biggest question mark about this whole thing — I can see how some people would like to see occasional status updates from the musicians they love, but does it seem crucial to the rest of the Music experience? Is it necessary? Valuable? I’m really not sure. Right now, Connect isn’t much more than a music-enabled Instagram for celebrities; hopefully that changes soon.

Finally, there’s My Music, where all the music you own and have saved live. It’s still got the same super-flat look that debuted in iOS 7, but like the “For You” section, it feels a little constricted. Your three most recent additions now get a shout-out at the top of your library, for one, and the Now Playing controls section now lives in a slide-out tab at the bottom — a full-screen look at the song is no longer the default. It’s really no wonder thing seemed cramped; all of the bottom row tabs that used to be dedicated to Artist, Song and Playlist views have been given to Connect and Radio. If you’re anything like me, your muscle memory is going to need some serious retraining. Still, searching for tracks from the entirety of Apple’s music collection is quick and they sound pretty good even over cellular connections. Adding them to your own library is simple too, even though it means you’re giving local space on your phone to accommodate them.

A closer look at Apple Music: feature packed, but a bit disjointed

So, that’s Apple Music in a (pretty lengthy) nutshell. The thing is, even after all that, I’m not sure if I would give up my existing Spotify setup for it. Apple Music is “good” in the sense that there’s plenty (and I mean plenty) of music to stream and add to your local collection. That bar has been cleared with ease. And really, that’s all Apple needs to do if it wants to redirect mainstream consumers away from services like Spotify and Rdio.

The rest of the stuff that’s here to help Apple Music compete with other services works pretty well too. It’s just that Music feels a little more disjointed and confusing than I’d expect from an Apple product; it’s as if the folks in Cupertino decided they could trade a little polish in exchange for more features. That’s the sort of design arithmetic that more-or-less makes sense on paper, but the reality is, well, less than elegant.

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Apple iOS 8

  • Key specs
  • Reviews 7

  • Prices
  • Discussions
  • Type Mobile / embedded OS
  • Source model Closed
  • Architecture 64-bit, 32-bit
  • Announced 2015-04-13

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8.6average user rating
  • Ease of use 9.7
  • Speed 7.7
  • Configurability 8.3
  • Ecosystem (apps, drivers, etc.) 9.4
  • Openness 6.6

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A closer look at Apple Music: feature packed, but a bit disjointed

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A closer look at Apple Music: feature packed, but a bit disjointed

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The best of Public Access Vol. 3: the Atari ST, virtues of HD Audio and more

The best of Public Access Vol. 3: the Atari ST, virtues of HD Audio and more

You can learn a lot from someone’s personal gadget arsenal, whether at home or on the road. This past week on Public Access gave us a glimpse of your technological inclinations and taught us quite a bit. Miné Salkin’s at-home gear is all about enabling multimedia storytelling and journalism, and constitutes a pretty impressive setup for creating and editing 4K video. Alexander Hohenthaner shared the gear he packs in his bag to get through his daily grind. It’s not all about now, however. Nostalgia’s a powerful thing, and Jess James gave us a heavy dose with fond memories of his first PC, the Atari ST. Meanwhile, Chris Carroll waxed poetic on how filming family get togethers has brought about some peculiar behavior from his relatives.

P.S. The homepage is coming soon! in the meantime you can check out the latest from Public Access right here. Not a member? Apply, and keep the weird alive.

This week, however, we want y’all to look a bit further back in time for inspiration. In honor of Independence Day, we’re looking for you to create an alternate universe, where the founding of our nation was helped along (or eliminated) by a technological nudge… from you! Tell us what piece of tech you’d bring back to the 1770s to change the course of history during America’s revolutionary war. And, once you’ve redirected the sands of time, it’s time to fast forward to the present and tell us what sorts of gear you’ll be using to throw that epic BBQ you’ve got planned for this weekend.

Oh, and in case you’ve got some moving pictures or social media to enhance your writing, we’ve made it really simple to embed YouTube videos and social posts in your stories — all you need is the URL or embed code and you’re good to go!

RECOMMENDED READING

“I finished J-school five years ago, graduating at a time when multimedia reporting was finding its voice, Twitter was only two or three years old, a 6 megapixel camera was super sweet and 2GB of RAM made you edit video at (what felt like) superhuman speeds.”

Read the rest of GadgetUtopia: My descent into full, immersive multimedia by Miné Salkin

“What I find interesting this time around is that higher-quality audio formats are being greeted with a fair amount of skepticism in the press. The general argument goes something like this: “I’ve done listening tests and can’t tell the difference between compressed music formats and these high-resolution files. Besides, the human ear can only hear so much, so don’t bother with any of these products and services because you won’t be able to get any real benefits.”

Read the rest of Appreciating HD Audio by Bob O’Donnell

“While I absolutely loathe the [Moto 360's] voice command function – Can it simply not handle German? Do I have a lisp? Is it simply not working? – I like everything else about it. Especially after the latest update it is beginning to feel like the futuristic gadget it was always meant to be.”

Read the rest of Show and Tell: Traveling nerd – the basics by Alexander Hohenthaner

“My parents got their own Super 8 camera and I specifically remember one recorded event. Probably because I made myself the star in it. It was the late 1960s and in my neighborhood adults regulary hosted dance parties. It was our night and for the first half hour or so, my younger brother and I could stay up and join the fun. I got a kid’s grasshopper, put on a pair of oversized sunglasses I got at the circus (three times as big as my head), and made my way into the crowd.”

Read the rest of The Camera and the Wave by Chris Carroll

“The HP Stream 11 (or as I like to call it, the Barney Laptop) is a nice, low-budget Windows laptop. For being as inexpensive as it is, it’s a very nice laptop. Sure, you can’t run Photoshop or Sony Vegas but you can do a lot of typing on the very nice keyboard. As an added bonus, it’s sturdy enough it probably won’t shatter the first time you drop it on the ground.”

Read the rest of Show and Tell, or: I have way too many computers by Sean Ellis

“Interestingly the Atari ST was my first exposure to fanboyism. There was a rival computer on the shelves at the time and it was called a Commodore Amiga. When my Dad walked me into the shop to get my new computer I vividly remember him actually asking me whether I wanted an Amiga instead. I’d read magazines, researched the specs and I knew it was the Atari that I wanted because the Amiga just sucked.”

Read the rest of Love and PCs: Your first computer memories by Jess James

“When I was 14 years old I was a Professional Babysitter. I kid you not; I took a course and had a certificate and everything. My favourite clients were a young couple with a four month old baby who was usually already in bed when I arrived. There was a fridge full of snacks, ready-made bottles for the inevitable late night feedings, and a base station CB radio. This was my first foray into social media (though the term had not yet been coined) and I decided to pay homage to my favourite comic strip by adopting the handle Ziggy.”

Read the rest of My second first screen name by Richard Mackey

YOUR DOSE OF INSPIRATION

Rewriting history: friend or foe?

Friday is Independence day here in the US, a day when Americans celebrate our freedom from the English crown, but the road to liberty was paved through hardship and guerilla warfare. Imagine you’re a time-traveling patriot (or British loyalist), able to bring General Washington (or Benedict Arnold) one piece of non-weapon technology — and keep in mind that there were neither cell towers nor electrical outlets in the colonies. What would you bring back to the 18th century and why?

Better partying through technology

As with many holidays, one of the best parts about July 4th (other than the fireworks) is that it gives us a good excuse to eat and drink well with friends. But grilling your favorite meats and veggies and delivering ice cold beverages to the attendees of your backyard soiree ain’t easy. What gadgets, tools and tricks do you use to keep your guests fed, buzzed and entertained? Show us with your party pics and tell us what you do!

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Atari 520ST

  • Key specs
  • Reviews 2

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  • Type Other
  • Bundled OS Other
  • Processor speed 8 MHz
  • System RAM 0.5 MB
  • Video outputs VGA

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7.5average user rating
  • Speed and features 8
  • Design and form factor 6
  • Expandability 6
  • Noise 8
  • Size and weight 6
  • Power consumption 7

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The best of Public Access Vol. 3: the Atari ST, virtues of HD Audio and more

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The best of Public Access Vol. 3: the Atari ST, virtues of HD Audio and more

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Cisco buys a DNS provider to protect you in the cloud

Cisco buys a DNS provider to protect you in the cloud

When you think of internet security from Cisco, you probably imagine firewalls and routers (usually) stopping hackers and malware from hitting your network. You’re going to have to expand that definition very shortly, though. Cisco has snapped up OpenDNS, whose domain name services you might have used to dodge regional restrictions or improve on your internet provider’s less-than-stellar connection. The networking giant isn’t making the acquisition for any of those reasons, though. Instead, it’s all about boosting Cisco’s cloud security — the goal is to defend against attacks on your corporate network wherever you happen to be, and to predict threats before they strike.

You might not get much first-hand experience with the fruits of this merger, but things will likely kick into high gear when the purchase closes later in 2015. And in case you’re wondering: no, OpenDNS’ existing services aren’t going away. They’ll continue to run as-is (and importantly, expand) under the deal, so you won’t have to scrounge around for an alternative.

[Image credit: AP Photo/Paul Sakuma]

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Cisco buys a DNS provider to protect you in the cloud

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Cisco buys a DNS provider to protect you in the cloud

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