Recently Apple announced its new in-car platform designed to give better interaction and control with a smartphone from behind the wheel. The system is called CarPlay and it has 18 car companies committed to the platform already. Mercedes is one of those committed to the platform.
One downside for users that are interested in this system is that it will only be in brand new 2014 and up vehicles. Mercedes doesn't want to leave owners of older models of its vehicles out. MB has announced that it will have an aftermarket solution for adding CarPlay available by the end of the year.
The aftermarket system will be able to display CarPlay visuals on the in-dash screens of select vehicles. Mercedes hopes to have it available by the end of the year. It's unclear at this point, which vehicles the Mercedes CarPlay system will work for. I would wager it would only be for select Mercedes cars rather than something you can buy and put inside any make of vehicle.
We have been following the Google Barge for a while now. The barge was first spied sitting at its dock at Treasure Island in San Francisco. Google was forced to move the barge not long ago because it didn't have the proper permits needed for construction.
We learned last week that the barge would be moving from San Francisco to Stockton, California. The trek took the barge about 80 miles. Google's barge is now docked at a pier on Rough and Ready island in Stockton, California. Sources say that Google is paying around $10,000 to $12,000 per month for its pier.
Google has reportedly agreed to pay the port docking fees for a minimum of three months. The lease could be shorter or longer depending on construction needs according to Stockton port director Richard Aschieris.
Typically, when an electronics firm recalls a product it has to do with some components of the device not working correctly. I have heard of plenty of recalls for things that didn't work as promised, batteries that overheat, and other reasons. I haven't heard of a company issuing a recall due to allergic reactions.
That is exactly what Canon has done with one of its digital cameras. The Canon PowerShot SX50 HS is the camera that is being recalled. Canon is working with the US Consumer Product Safety Commission on the recall.
The reason for the recall is that a chemical used in the rubber part of the viewfinder that touches the eye can cause skin or eye irritation. The chemical has caused allergic reactions in users before. The recall will affect about 14,000 units and Canon says users need to stop using the camera immediately and send them in for free repair.
If you live or work in a building with a lot of other people that have their own Wi-Fi networks, you know firsthand that too many networks can cause interference for everyone and slow things down. A group of researchers from Stanford University is working on a new shared wireless network system called BeHop that is designed to make for faster wireless networking by sharing inside buildings.
BeHop is a single, dense Wi-Fi infrastructure that can be centrally managed, but allows individual users to manage their own portion like a private Wi-Fi network. Users on the Behop network will each get their own SSID, passwords, and other settings.
The big thing with this shared, yet private network is that it is set up using cheap consumer grade access points. The hardware used in the tests was provided by NetGear and runs custom firmware. The test system the researchers set up let the individual users name and secure their own networks just as they would if the router was in their room.
The way it works with most wearable devices today is that you simply buy one of a few available models and go on about your day. If down the road you decide you need more features, you need to buy a new smartwatch. A group from the UK is working on a slick modular smartwatch that was inspired by Google's Project Ara.
I think this is a very cool idea. The way the product works is that the user can choose from a number of blocks that contain sensors inside. These blocks let you start with a basic configuration and then add new sensors as your needs change.
The sensors appear to be part of the links in the bracelet of the watch. They connect simply using something akin to headphone ports you would see on your PC or smartphone. This would allow you to customize the smartwatch to whatever you will be doing that day.
Ouya started out as a project on Kickstarter that blew up and made huge amounts of money. Since the project turned into an actual product, we have heard less from the company and sales haven't been much compared to other gaming platforms. Ouya announced recently that it was making itself into a service that would be embedded in other platforms.
Mad Catz and Ouya have announced this week that they have signed a content agreement. The agreement will bring Ouya to the MOJO console that Mad Catz unveiled last year. Along with the new content agreement, Mad Catz has announced that the MOJO console is getting its price cut to $199.99 in the US.
Similar price cuts are being made in other areas when the MOJO is sold. The MOJO is the first device to add Ouya Everywhere. The service will debut on the MOJO later this spring. An exact launch date hasn't been announced. When the service does launch all current Ouya content and future content will be available on the MOJO.
If you are ever in the mood for beer, whatever game happens to be on, and hot wings, Buffalo Wild Wings is a good place to find. You can even watch the UFC fights there on a fight weekend. If you have ever been in one of these places when it is busy, you know it can be hard to get your server to come to the table when you want them.
Buffalo Wild Wings has announced that it is now using tablets at all tables in 150 company owned stores around the US. The tablets will be rolling out to another 500 stores by the end of 2014 and then by next year all stores will have the tablets.
These tablets will serve many uses. Patrons to the eatery will be able to play games on the tablet including multi-player games. The tablets are called Beond and in addition to playing games, you will be able to make food and drink orders from the tablets.
Smartphones aren't exactly cheap; they can cost hundreds and hundreds of dollars if you don't buy them with a new contract. That shiny iPhone may only set you back $199 when you sign up for service, but if you drop it you are looking at about three times that amount for a replacement off contract. That means that a lot of people have opted for insurance.
One insurer called ProtectCell has offered up some statistics on the millions of devices it insures that looks at what devices are most likely to need replaced. The company says that iPhone users are 46% less likely to need a replacement device versus other smartphone users.
While those iPhone users are less likely to break their device, they are more likely to lose their device. The company says that iPhone users are 65% more likely to request a replacement due to losing their smartphone.
Russia and Ukraine are locked in a tense political situation which has spilled over into the digital world, with both countries reportedly launching cyberattacks against one another. Security experts believe even if physical military skirmishes don't take place, there will be continued cyberattacks on both sides.
The Russian military is accused of knocking out mobile phone networks in the Ukraine, with social media and news sites defaced and temporarily replaced with propaganda.
"I confirm that an... attack is underway on mobile phones of members of the Ukrainian parliament for the second day in a row," said Valentyn Nalivaichenko, Ukrainian security chief, at a press conference.
Diablo III: Reaper of Souls launches on March 25, so to get gamers ready for its release Blizzard has detailed the changes that will arrive in a new pre-expansion patch.
This includes a special 50% XP boost that will help gamers prepare for Reaper of Souls. Reaper of Souls will include Act V of the game, "which continues the Diablo III story where it left off, taking players through the legendary city of Westmarch and to the ancient halls of the Pandemonium Fortress, to bring Malthael, fallen Archangel of Wisdom, to justice".
There's a new Crusader class to play, who is a "righteous warrior clad in massive armor and bearing an impenetrable shield", a new Adventure Mode where "all waypoints are unlocked, so players can go anywhere, slay anything" and finally, a completely redesigned Loot System, where "quality over quantity, including game-changing Legendaries".