Northern Imagination, a California-based company, have a Kickstarter page setup to get a statue of the famous innovator Nikola Tesla built-in Silicon Valley. Northern Imagination need to raise $123,000 in order to get the statue erected, and at the time of writing they had $80,269 pledged with 35 hours to go.
If they meet their funding goal, they would built a statue in Palo Alto, California and would make the statue depicting Tesla holding a lightbulb, demonstrating a wireless electricity concept. Better yet, the statue will double as a Wi-Fi hotspot and house a time capsule with predictions from Kickstarter backers that won't be opened for 30 years, all the way in the year 2043.
The co-founder and developer of Oculus VR, Andrew Scott Reisse, has been killed in a police chase in California. Reisse was not part of the police chase, but was unfortunately hit by a car at a crosswalk when police stopped to investigate suspicious activity a couple of blocks away, which lead to his death.
After the police pulled three suspects over, including 21-year-old Victor Sanchez, who fired at police and then fled in a white Dodge Charger. Their car hit several other cars and went through multiple red lights, with one of the red lights being where Reisse was unfortunately crossing, and he was hit. All of the suspects were eventually apprehended and are currently in police custody with an investigation ongoing.
Earlier this morning our own Anthony Garreffa posted a story about Foxconn gearing up to move out of the contract manufacturing business and striking out on its own. On June 3rd, we may just see this new era for Foxconn come to life at an announcement event to be held in conjunction with Mozilla.
Both Mozilla and Foxconn have officially announced that they will be pairing up on June 3rd to announce a new device featuring Firefox OS. While it is still unknown what the new device could be, website Focus Taiwan, says that an insider has told them that the new device will be a tablet that will target the budget Apple and Android tablet markets.
There are already Firefox OS smartphones roaming the wild - Huawei and LG are both rumored to be building Firefox OS handsets as well. It just makes sense for a tablet running Mozilla's open source OS to appear at some point and who better to build it than Foxconn who has years of experience building tablets for Apple.
Computex 2013 - As the world's largest PC industry show approaches, we are beginning to see more teasers being released by big name companies in the industry. This morning we have already seen a teaser from G.Skill and now ASUS is teasing a new mysterious product as well.
This morning on the company's Google+ page, ASUS posted a teaser image of what appears to be a metallic circular object. Judging by the pixel size, and the size of the circular machine marks, I am going to speculate that this is a power button of some sorts, but have no guess on what the product could be.
Fear not though as ASUS has given us a hint as to what the product could be. In the post on Google+, ASUS said "Here's our first teaser before next week's press conference! Hint: It'll move you." What could it be? Leave your guess in the comments below and remember to stay tuned to TweakTown for all of the latest from Computex as it happens.
It's probably pretty obvious to most that the cat has been let out of the bag in terms of 3-D-printed guns. Once Distributed Defense posted the CAD files for the gun, there was no way they would ever be eradicated from the Internet. The file has reportedly been downloaded in excess of 100,000 times.
In an interesting turn of events, Kim Dotcom and others have blacklisted the files and removed them from their services. But, it would be nearly impossible to remove them from the various torrent sites that they have been uploaded to. The bulletin by the Joint Regional Intelligence Center obtained by Fox News notes, "Even if the practice is prohibited by new legislation, online distribution of these digital files will be as difficult to control as any other illegally traded music, movie or software files."
Significant advances in three-dimensional (3D) printing capabilities, availability of free digital 3D printer files for firearms components, and difficulty regulating file sharing may present public safety risks from unqualified gun seekers who obtain or manufacture 3D printed guns. Limiting access may be impossible.
Kim Dotcom says US tech giants are infringing on his IP, might sue in wake of illegal raid on his home
Late last night Kim Dotcom posted a tweet that accused several US companies of infringing on his IP and after some investigation, I have to agree with him. The patents date back to 1997 and cover the two-step authentication that has recently become popular with big sites who are afraid of hackers.
In the tweet, Dotcom accuses Google, Facebook, Twitter and Citibank of infringing on his patent and he says that he never sued them in the past because he "believes in sharing knowledge and ideas for the good of society." and goes on to say "But I might sue them now because of what the U.S. did to me."
For anyone interested, I have linked to the patent at Source #2. It was filed under Kim Schmits, Dotcom's birth name, and details quite clearly the current method of two-step authentication being used today by many companies. We have reached on to Dotcom for an interview and are awaiting a response, so stay tuned to TweakTown for any updates.
Amazon looking to take on Apple for coolest campus ever, plans rainforest bio-dome in downtown Seattle
Apple may be practicing "forward looking" with its spaceship like campus in Cupertino, but Amazon is looking to take things in a very different approach to a green headquarters. Yesterday while everyone was focused on Redmond, a proposal was being reviewed by Seattle's Design Review Board.
Amazon has tweaked plans for its new headquarters that will be built-in the inner city of Seattle. The proposed three block campus is codenamed Rufus 2.0, and will feature a huge tri-sphere bio-dome like greenhouse environment. I have included the PDF file of the proposal at Source #3 below.
Amazon says that the "plant-rich environment has many positive qualities that are not often found in a typical office setting." Featuring five levels, the bio-dome feature work spaces, dining, meeting and lounge spaces, and even a pair of shops serving the general public. A wealth of trees and plants are also present to keep things nice and "Amazon" like.
The world's only seven-star hotel has started offering 24-carat gold-plated iPads to guests for use. While this is certainly overkill and completely unneeded, it is most definitely cool and adds to the luxury feel of the device and hotel.
The iPads will be used as a virtual concierge and provide information on restaurants in the hotel, spa treatments, and butler services. The iPads feature the hotel's logo on the back and likely feel great to the touch. The hotel will also be selling the iPads in the hotel's boutique.
A new audit published by the Fair Labor Association shows that Hon Hai, AKA Foxconn, is still continuing to break Chinese labor laws. The report finds that while Foxconn has complied with 98.3 percent of the new rules Apple and the FLA agreed to, the company is still forcing workers past the 40 hour work week plus 36 hours overtime per month limit imposed by the Chinese government.
The audit which took place in January found that Foxconn employees were regularly working as many as 70 hours per week which drastically pushed them over the monthly overtime limit. This also breaks Apples imposed restrictions on its manufacturing partners which state that no employee is allowed to work over 60 hours per week. Coincidentally the weeks in which the massive overages took place coincided with the launch of Apple's iPhone 5.
It's often said that laws can't keep up with modern technology. Interestingly enough, this phrase has been used a lot lately in conjunction with drones, specifically in regards to whether or not they should be allowed to fly over US soil. The US government apparently isn't the only interested group in using drones.
A resident in Seattle, WA tells CHS:
This afternoon, a stranger set an aerial drone into flight over my yard and beside my house near Miller Playfield. I initially mistook its noisy buzzing for a weed-whacker on this warm spring day. After several minutes, I looked out my third-story window to see a drone hovering a few feet away. My husband went to talk to the man on the sidewalk outside our home who was operating the drone with a remote control, to ask him to not fly his drone near our home. The man insisted that it is legal for him to fly an aerial drone over our yard and adjacent to our windows. He noted that the drone has a camera, which transmits images he viewed through a set of glasses. He purported to be doing "research". We are extremely concerned, as he could very easily be a criminal who plans to break into our house or a peeping-tom.
This issue brings with it various legal questions. For instance, the Supreme Court ruled in 1946 that "the air is a public highway." But just how low does this public highway extend? Would a person be able to put a camera on a pole and get away with the same thing?
Who would have thought a charity auction for coffee with Apple CEO Tim Cook would be worth so much. After all, the purchaser is only guaranteed 30 minutes, though it could end up being as long as 60. In fact, coffee with Tim Cook appears set to pass the previous charity auction record set by the auctioning off of a 2013 Lamborghini Aventador.
CharityBuzz CEO Coppy Holzman:
Charitybuzz is blown away by the incredible support we've seen for the RFK Center for Justice and Human Rights through our coffee with Tim Cook online auction. With 140 experiences on the auction block closing this Tuesday to benefit the RFK Center, including exclusive access to Robert DeNiro, Alec Baldwin, Peyton Manning and more, we expect to raise well over one million dollars for human rights.
Doing some quick math, that works out to over $10,000 per minute, if Tim Cook is able to stay for the full 60 minutes. You would have to have some deep pockets in order to afford this and it's not exactly clear what you would do with the time. Look for a job? Pick his brain? If you have the money, you'll need to bid at least $610,000 by 4:08p.m. tomorrow.
3-D printing has been making headlines the past few years and Disney is ready to jump on the bandwagon. They've announced that they will be hosting several Star Wars weekends at their Hollywood Studios. For $99.95 plus tax and shipping, you can have your face 3-D printed onto a Storm Trooper, just what any Star Wars fan would want.
The 10-minute experience uses the world's highest-resolution, single-shot 3D face scanner created by our Imagineering scientists with Disney Research labs. That captured image is later sent to a high resolution 3D printer to create the figurine. The completed figurine will arrive within 7-8 weeks after the experience if shipping domestically (it takes a little longer if shipping internationally). Guests will also receive either a Carbon-Freeze Me light-up band or a collector button depending upon which option they choose. The Star Wars - D-Tech Me experience is $99.95, plus shipping and applicable sales tax.
The experience is available over several weekends: May 17-19, May 24-26, May 31-June 2, and June 7-9. Customers will also have the option of being frozen in Carbonite, an option that was provided last year during Disney's Star Wars Weekends. For more information, check out Disney's announcement.
The White House's Twitter account tweets 'unless you're a Native American, you came from someplace else'
Someone has taken to The White House's Twitter account, tweeting "Unless you're a Native American, you came from someplace else". This of course, has offended many, with a stream of users attacking @whitehouse with tweets.
You can read some of the replies to @whitehouse here, but it is definitely a weirdly worded tweet. If you're aware of the show 'Veep' on HBO, I'[img]sure they're running into damage control right now and I was right, as there is another tweet, which said "we are a nation of immigrants".
At this morning's launch event, Acer announced that it was teaming up with world famous DJ Tiesto and his personal assistant Vernon. This new campaign is a continuation of the 2012 campaign starring Kiefer Sutherland and Megan Fox in which they use Acer products to explore beyond limits and to uncover a different side of themselves.
The campaign focuses on Tiesto's personal assistant, Vernon. We follow Vernon, who's using the new Aspire P3 Ultrabook to do both his day job and to follow his hidden passion of becoming a DJ. His newfound Djing skills come in handy when he has to come to Tiesto's rescue when a live gig temporarily goes wrong. You can check the full advert on Acer's YouTube channel. As of this writing, the video is set to private, though.
Michael Birkin, Chief Marketing Officer at Acer, commented:
"For us, advertising is a way to complement our products with a great story that reflects what people love about them: the new experiences they make possible. After last year's campaign we were convinced we were headed in the right direction and we wanted to expand on our storytelling approach. So we've gone a bit further this time, giving the Aspire P3 the starring role in a deeper story that encourages people to 'explore beyond limits' and gives them some new ways to interact with us."
Functional Apple 1 computer signed by Steve Wozinak to be put on auction, get your checkbooks ready!
One of an estimated six working Apple 1 computers will be going up for auction at the German auction house Breker. This rare PC, signed by Steve Wozinak himself, is expected to bring in between $240,000 and $400,000 at auction. And you thought your new iPhone was overpriced!
The Apple 1 was originally released back in 1976. Only 200 were produced and somewhere between 30 and 50 are still in existence, though as mentioned above, only six are believed to be working. Apple 1's have a history of fetching large sums of money, regardless of whether or not they are working.
Back in December, a working Apple 1 sold for $640,000. Before that, a non-working Apple 1 went to auction with an estimated value of $125,000. Finally, before that, an Apple 1 sold for $375,000.
We all knew that good things were on the horizon when Iceland opened its arms and welcomed The Pirate Bay to its shores. This morning we are hearing word that The Pirate Party in Iceland has now surpassed the number of votes needed for it to gain a real seat in Iceland's parliament.
The Pirate Party has managed to nab three of the 63 total seats in Iceland's parliament, including one held by the party's leader Birgitta Jonsdottir. This puts the Icelandic Pirate Party ahead of its Swedish comrades.
While three seats in Iceland and two in Sweden may not sound like much, it will help some come the 2014 elections when Pirate Parties all over the EU push for a larger influence in world governments.
Are you an Android or Apple? Samsung has long played on Apple fans standing in line to get the latest iPhone in its advertisements. Microsoft apparently doesn't want to be left out, especially as Windows Phone continues to make small increases in market share. The following video will soon air on US TV stations:
The video pits Samsung and Apple users against each other after an Apple user asks one of the Samsung users to move his enormous phone. Of course, a fight breaks out between the two with insults flying back and forth. The advertisement ends with two of the wedding's servers standing calmly and talking about Windows Phone.
I feel that this ad is way more effective than Microsoft's Surface beatboxing ad that they ran a few months back. What do you think of the ad?
This morning everyone's favorite file sharing superstar, Kim Dotcom, announced via Twitter that he would pay $500 to anyone who managed to video US Attorney General Eric Holder or Vice President Joe Biden during their visit to New Zeeland next week.
There is one catch, though. The video must contain real time playback of the Megaupload song, and cannot be added into the video after it was taken. Dotcom believes that Holder is responsible for Megaupload being seized as well as the guy behind the Great Recession financial crisis that led to a downswing in the world economy.
While that last part may be a bit of a stretch, Holder is directly responsible for the seizure of Megaupload (as head of the Department of Justice), the US government agency that ordered the website to be taken down.
Mobile device use has come under fire more and more in recent times, with numerous states outlawing talking on the phone without the use of a hands-free device. I've always contended that the action of holding a conversation is more dangerous than the act of holding the phone to your ear, but states apparently don't agree.
A new study finds that using a hands-free voice-to-text app is as distracting and dangerous as texting manually. The study showed that drivers who utilized hands-free texting apps didn't spend any less time looking at the screen. The study also found that drivers were just as distracted as users who manually input the text message.
This means that the act of composing the text message, not the act of physically inputting it, is what is the distracting part:
We did not find any differences between manual texting and the two voice-to-text apps that we tested in terms of driver response time and the amount of time looking at the forward roadway. The amount of time that drivers spent looking at the roadway ahead was significantly less when they were texting, no matter which texting method was used.
This means you should think twice before using that voice-to-text app as you are just as likely to have an accident. However, voice-to-text apps remain legal to use while manually inputting a text message has been outlawed in numerous states.
Google Chairman Eric Schmidt made a secret trip to meet with the infamous Julian Assange while he was under house arrest in 2011. The reason for the meeting? Schmidt was researching information for his soon to be released book The New Digital Age.
The conversation covered topics from Assange's thoughts on Bitcoins, to Assange's seemingly never ending list of "crazy female visitors", and even Schmidt's past experiences with Delta Airlines. Schmidt asks Assange about his feelings on the damage that is caused by his website's information leaks, to which Assange compares WikiLeaks to YouTube. He says that like Google, WikiLeaks cannot review every piece of information uploaded to its site.
Assange went on to suggest that Google could provide WikiLeaks with some information on requests made by the US government under the Patriot Act. Schmidt responded by telling Assange that that would be illegal, but he would have Google's lead council forward future request notifications to WikiLeaks.
Showing that he isn't just a one-hit-wonder, Psy's Gentleman has rocketed up 100 million views in just three days, tying a record previously set by the Russian Meteor in February of this year. Meanwhile, Gangnam Style has shot past 1.5 billion views, an impressive feat as well.
VisibleMeasures has created the graph seen above that compares various videos and the time it took them to reach 100 million views. In comparison, Gentleman has moved at a much faster rate than Gangnam Style, likely due to Psy having gained a large audience from Gangnam Style.
If you're curious about several other metrics regarding Gentleman, check out source #1 below.