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TweakTown News Posts - Page 24

YouTube adds support for 360-degree videos

By: Chris Smith | More News: Celebrities & Entertainment | Posted: Mar 13, 2015 11:14 pm

Ready to have your mind blown? YouTube has now added videos that allow you to spin the camera around in any direction whilst they are in full swing - full 360-degree support.



If you're using Google's Chrome browser, you can click and drag on these specialty videos in order to look where you please - the YouTube Android App also has this support but unfortunately nothing is said for iOS, Firefox or any other method you may use.


According to Anjali Wheeler, the project lead, these type of videos eat up as much as 5 times the amount of bandwidth as seen with normal YouTube videos, meaning that the quality is limited at this stage in order to save us all some headaches. However, there are options to bump up the quality a bit yourself, as long as your internet can handle it.



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1 in 5 drivers unable to avoid using their smartphones while driving

By: Michael Hatamoto | More News: Mobile Devices, Tablets & Phones | Posted: Mar 13, 2015 10:35 pm

Eighty-seven percent of survey respondents believe it's dangerous to read and write text messages while driving, but 18 percent admit they are unable to "resist the urge" to use their mobile devices, according to a survey conducted by Bovitz and the University of Southern California Annenberg Center for the Digital Future.




Not surprisingly, millennials tend to use their smartphones more often while driving, with 17 percent admitting they do so, while seven percent of 35-54-year-olds text while driving.


"People are admitting that it's dangerous to text and drive, but it's still a behavior that people cannot shake," said Jeff Cole, founder and director of the University of Southern California Annenberg Center for the Digital Future, in a public statement. "Large majorities recognize the dangers of texting while driving, but we found disturbing differences in actual behavior based on age."

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Ransomware threats evolving, targeting admins and gamers alike

By: Michael Hatamoto | More News: Hacking & Security | Posted: Mar 13, 2015 9:15 pm

Ransomware attacks, using customized malware, are victimizing a wider number of PC users across the world, cybersecurity experts warn.




There have been a number of new ransomware strains discovered in recent weeks, including the CryptoFortress malware which successfully encrypts files over network shares.


"These new capabilities of Cryptoware change the threat landscape for all server and network administrators and it is even more important than ever to properly secure your shared folders with strong permissions," said Stu Sjouwerman, CEO of KnowBe4. "Between increasingly sophisticated phishing emails and exploit kits on compromised websites, users need to be trained to recognize threats with effective security awareness training."

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NPD: PlayStation 4 regaining control, outselling Xbox One in February

By: Michael Hatamoto | More News: Gaming Consoles | Posted: Mar 13, 2015 8:35 pm

The Sony PlayStation 4 outsold the Microsoft Xbox One in the United States throughout February, according to numbers compiled by The NPD Group. In addition, hardware sales enjoyed "high double-digit increases" month-over-month, showing "increasing momentum for this new console generation."




Even though Microsoft reportedly had "record February sales in the US for Xbox One and 84 percent more consoles cold compared to January 2015," it wasn't enough to keep pace with the PS4.


Neither Sony or Microsoft provided public sales figures, so it's unknown how big of a margin Sony had over its US competitor. Earlier in March, Sony boasted that it has sold 20.2 million PS4 units since the console's launch two years ago - becoming its fastest-selling console of all time.

Swatch CEO says company adding tech functionality to its watches

By: Michael Hatamoto | More News: Wearable Computing | Posted: Mar 13, 2015 7:10 pm

Swiss watch manufacturer Swatch plans to include smart functionality into a select line of products, but doesn't want to necessarily compete with Apple and other smartwatch makers. Instead, the company wants to pick select features to include in its "Swatch Touch" products - and leave other manufacturers to develop full lines of smart devices.




The company already accounts for 18 percent of total watch sales, according to industry studies, and doesn't want to be left behind as consumers look at smartwatches. Swatch wants to utilize near-field communication (NFC) and Bluetooth connectivity with its devices, hoping that wireless payments could be introduced later down the road.


"We are the world champions of integrating smart functions into a watch," said Nick Hayek, CEO of Swatch, in a statement published by Reuters. "We don't want to produce a mini mobile phone on your wrist. Others can do that."

Robotic space explorers getting smarter, more autonomous

By: Michael Hatamoto | More News: Science, Space & Robotics | Posted: Mar 13, 2015 5:00 pm

Researchers are looking for new methods to make robots more autonomous, as NASA launches missions on distant planets and moons. Communication between ground operators and robots would take hours even at the speed of light, so robots need to be fairly autonomous. Researchers want robots to be able to identify and avoid danger, while figuring out where to travel on their own.




The Red planet of Mars pushes the boundaries of how humans are able to control robots, and anything further presents more logistical problems. It would be ideal for robots to be able to accurately detect the physical environment and analyze unique points that could be further studied by researchers.


"The amount of data is a problem. You can't be streaming HD video from Mars all the time, live, down to Earth," said Yogesh Girdhar, postdoctoral scholar at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, in a statement published by "The same thing happens underwater. There are no radio waves. Because of salt water, you can only use an acoustic modem."

Brain Sentry wearable sensors will continue to be used by AFL football

By: Michael Hatamoto | More News: Health Technology | Posted: Mar 13, 2015 4:20 pm

The Arena Football League (AFL) will continue to use Brain Sentry wearable sensors located inside of player helmets, able to collect vital information about physical impacts. As part of a subscription package, sports teams and leagues are able to receive new sensors each season, with Brain Sentry engineers improving injury prediction technologies.




The sensor is able to estimate direction, peak acceleration and duration of impacts, while also being able to track head acceleration from any point. The integrated sensor battery doesn't need to be recharged and can last an entire season, able to turn on and off after motion is detected.


"The health and safety of our players is our highest priority," said Scott Butera, AFL Commissioner. "Our partnership with Brain Sentry allows the League to be on the cutting edge of concussion research, protocol, and management."

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Attending SXSW? Don't bother trying to bring your drone with you

By: Michael Hatamoto | More News: Science, Space & Robotics | Posted: Mar 13, 2015 3:35 pm

People heading to Austin for South by Southwest are urged to have fun, but drone flights have been banned over the festival. The decision was made after event organizers spoke with drone experts, user groups, municipal authorities and aviation safety experts, according to a press release by SXSW.




The event kicks off today and runs through March 22, with an interactive festival, film and music venues planned for the popular event.


"While SXSW may make exceptions to this policy if the drones are used within certain trade show areas where safety measures, such as tethering to the ground are implemented, the airwaves and/or frequency spectrums generally used in the remote control of drones are too congested during the SXSW event to ensure operation safe from interference," according to the SXSW press release.

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IDC: Windows-powered tablets expected to see big gains soon enough

By: Michael Hatamoto | More News: Mobile Devices, Tablets & Phones | Posted: Mar 13, 2015 1:40 pm

The tablet market is predicted to reach 234.5 million units in 2015, and will see 2.1 percent year-over-year growth from 2014 over the next five years, according to the IDC research group. Google Android-powered devices accounted for 67.3 percent of the tablet market, shipping 154.7 million units, compared to the Apple iPad (27.6 percent) with 63.4 million units shipped.




However, Microsoft Windows, which ended 2014 with just 5.1 percent market share, will reach 7 percent in 2015 - could reach 14 percent by 2019. Manufacturers embracing Windows 10 will help push shipment volumes from 11.6 million in 2014 up to an estimated 38 percent in 2019.


"Microsoft is doing a lot of good things right now and we believe the launch of Windows 10 later this year will not only have a significant impact on Microsoft's share of the market, but on the industry as a whole," said Jean Philippe Bouchard, Research Director of Tablets at IDC. "There is an appetite for a platform that can provide a productivity experience that remains consistent across multiple form factors and device types, and we believe Microsoft is well positioned to capture some of that demand."

DHS wants to see if wearables help emergency first responders

By: Michael Hatamoto | More News: Wearable Computing | Posted: Mar 13, 2015 11:20 am

The US Department of Homeland Security, Science and Technology Directorate (DHS S&T) has teamed up with the Center for Innovative Technology (CIT) to develop wearables for first responders.




As part of the EMERGE! Accelerating Wearable Tech for First Responders programs, the TechNexus and Tech Wildcatters business accelerators will conduct a nationwide search for entrepreneurs that can participate in the program.


"CIT is honored to partner with DHS S&T to use new methods and ideas that deliver innovative solutions to help them meet their security mission," said Pete Jobse, President and CEO of CIT, in a statement. "This program will bring the best innovations into government, while helping emerging startups find new markets to sell products."

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