Welcome to the Computer Nerds Blog

October 31, 2014

You can try Sony’s VR headset at the ‘PlayStation Experience’

US-ENTERTAINMENT-IT-E3

Tickets for Sony's PlayStation Experience in December go on sale today, but aside from a few coy teases, what you'll do there hasn't been clear. Well, now that's changing. For starters, Project Morpheus -- the catch-up king's VR headset -- is making its consumer show debut (as opposed to, say, appearing at E3). As far as games go, Uncharted 4: A Thief's End, The Order: 1866 and Bloodborne are making appearances too. And what would PlayStation be without indies? The Journey and Grim Fandango remasters for PS4, Helldivers, The Witness will be there, and something "super special" is planed for No Man's Sky come the show's Saturday night. There's too much to list here, and more still to come apparently, so head over to the PlayStation Blog for the full line-up that'll be in Las Vegas a little over a month from now.

[Image credit: AFP/Getty Images]

Filed under: , , ,

Comments

Via: PS Blog

Source: PlayStation

October 31, 2014

Google Wallet can now auto-withdraw from banks and send low balance alerts

You can't exactly use Google Wallet everywhere you go just yet, but if you do use it often enough to warrant semi-regular transfers from your bank, then you'll love its latest update. Now, you can activate recurring bank transfers, even pick the amount and the schedule (say, once a month or so) you want, to automatically replenish your digital dollars. That's especially useful if you depend on the physical Wallet card, which spends that balance every time it's charged. But in case Wallet balance doesn't matter as much -- say, you have an NFC-enabled Android phone and prefer to tap and pay mostly using credit -- then, you can also just program the app to let you know if it's almost out of cash. These features are available for both iOS and Android, as you can see after the break, but you can only use the tap-and-pay option if your NFC phone runs KitKat or higher.

Filed under: , ,

Comments

Source: Google+, Google Commerce

October 31, 2014

Google wants more companies to highlight actionable content on Inbox app

Google has been making it easier for more and more third-party companies to take advantage of its products' features recently. For instance, it's now taking airlines, restos and event venues (among others) by the hand, showing them how to use the new Inbox app's Highlights feature to their advantage. Like its name implies, "Highlights" finds pertinent info or actionable items within an email and shows them right within the email list. So, if you're eating out or prepping for a flight, you can confirm your reservation or check in without having to access the email itself. Devs simply need to mark up the parts they want to surface to make that happen -- we doubt they'll have a tough time doing so, since Google even offers full sets of instructions and sample codes they can look at. Just recently, the tech giant also made it simpler for devs to add the "OK Google" voice command to their creations, letting you do queries within an app without lifting a finger.

Filed under: ,

Comments

Source: Google Developers

October 31, 2014

Samsung’s all-metal Galaxy A5 and A3 are its slimmest smartphones ever

A unibody metal body, 5-inch AMOLED display, 13-megapixel camera, a claim as Samsung's "thinnest smartphone to date" and yet, this isn't a flagship smartphone. Especially for Halloween - or not related at all - the Galaxy A5 and A3 yet more smartphones from Samsung, measuring at 6.7mm and 6.9mm thickness. (So, er, just as thin as the Galaxy Alpha?) They may not be close to the thinnest smartphone but with a metallic body, it's still quite an interesting proposition. They're both apparently geared at the youth, with Samsung's own press release praising its social network skills (extending to a GIF maker and 4G connectivity...) and the five-megapixel front-facing camera, because selfies, but given the notion of a metal-framed Galaxy phone, other crankier demographics might also be tempted.

The Galaxy A5 is the five-inch model, with a 720p Super AMOLED display and a 1.2GHz processor -- it's a relatively middleweight specification but it's probably what ensures Samsung were able to squeeze down the dimensions. Meanwhile, the Galaxy A3 has a 4.5-inch qHD Super AMOLED screen, and the same processor. The camera here dips down to a 8-megapixel model, but you'll still get the full 5MP whack of the front-facing camera. Both devices are set to launch in China next month, with other select markets to follow, although like many a Galaxy phone before them, we might not see a mainstream launch in the west.

Filed under: , ,

Comments

Source: Samsung

October 31, 2014

‘Arrested Development’ season four is getting a re-edit

Premiere Of Netflix's

It wasn't a huge mistake, but the structure that Arrested Development's fourth season used was a bit off-putting for some viewers. Each episode followed the foibles of single members of the Bluth family in a few different timelines, and the early setup for many jokes didn't pay off until much later in the run. To address that, creator Mitch Hurwitz (above left) told Pretentious Film Majors that he's putting together a cut of the Netflix-exclusive episodes that runs in chronological order. A bunch of the laughs came from those punchline-reveals, so how this version shakes out should be pretty interesting to see. Maeby when this hits it'll coincide with the army's next half-day, or, as AV Club guesses, possibly with the upcoming season four box-set. Regardless, don't forget to leave a note with where you'll be watching once it happens.

[Image credit: Getty Images]

Filed under: , ,

Comments

Via: AV Club

Source: Pretentious Film Majors (YouTube)

October 31, 2014

Spain is making Google (and others) pay news publishers a tax

For companies like Google, facing problems with the law across Europe has become a common thing. The most recent example of this is now taking place in Spain, where the country's parliament just gave the go-ahead to what's being known as the "Google Tax," a set of intellectual property laws that lets news publishers get paid every time their content is linked within search results. Last year, something very similar happened in Germany, and that fight ended recently with Google having to strip down its news service to accommodate the requests of German publishers.

Naturally, Google isn't too happy about the decision from the Spanish parliament, but the search giant expressed that it will be working with news publishers in Spain to find ways to increase income for them. But this isn't only a loss for Google; it's a loss for the internet as a whole, since it allows lawmakers to micromanage content in new ways. In Spain, the new law goes into effect on January 1st, 2015.

If you speak Spanish, our Engadget en español siblings have a great piece on the subject.

Filed under: ,

Comments

Source: The New York Times

October 31, 2014

Next Thursday you can ask Mark Zuckerberg anything

MEXICO-US-ZUCKERBERG

"When so many other features of the site have changed, why is Poking still a thing?" That's the question I'd ask Mark Zuckerberg if I ever had the chance. And next week, I might get an answer. Just about anyone could get a query answered by the Facebook CEO, actually, when he holds the first community question and answer session on the site. Writing on his profile (naturally), he says that this is an extension of weekly Q&As that let employees pick his brain about everything from current events to the company's direction. Zuck says he'll try to get through as many questions as possible in an hour, and the whole shebang will even be livestreamed on its Event page sometime next Thursday.

Want to make sure he sees yours? Leave it as a comment on the Event page and start a Liking campaign -- from the sounds of it, only the top questions will get answered. Over 2,000 questions have been posted since the note went live, so you'd better start rallying your pals if you hope to stand out.

[Image credit: AFP/Getty Images]

Filed under: ,

Comments

Source: Q&A With Mark (Facebook), Mark Zuckerberg (Facebook)

October 31, 2014

Android co-founder Andy Rubin is leaving Google

Rakuten CEO Mikitani, Google EVP Rubin, Twitter Co-founder Dorsey, Skype Co-founder Zennstrom Speak At Japan New Economy Summit

Just about a year ago we learned Andy Rubin had shifted his focus at Google from Android ("the definition of open") to working with robots, like the ones from its acquisition Boston Dynamics, but tonight reports indicate he is leaving the company entirely. The Information and the Wall Street Journal reported the departure initially, which Google has confirmed. In a statement, CEO Larry Page said "I want to wish Andy all the best with what's next. With Android he created something truly remarkable-with a billion plus happy users. Thank you." The Information reports his departure is the result of some issue with the structure of his team, and that Google research scientist James Kuffner will take over his role directing robotics projects.

Early in 2013 Rubin handed over direction of Android to Sundar Pichai, who recently assumed an even more powerful role at the company. Prior to co-founding Android and eventually selling it to Google, Rubin co-founded Danger Inc. (releasing the Danger Hiptop aka T-Mobile Sidekick), and even worked for both Apple and Carl Zeiss. So what's next for Rubin? Apparently creating an incubator for startups building hardware. That's just vague enough to be incredibly interesting, but for now we'll think back to the good old days and some of the first live Android demos.

[Image credit: Tomohiro Ohsumi/Bloomberg via Getty Images]

Filed under: , ,

Comments

Source: Wall Street Journal, The Information

October 31, 2014

Warblr can identify that bird just by hearing its song

PALESTINIAN-EGYPT-CONFLICT-GAZA

Technology can be pretty wonderful sometimes. Case in point: Warblr, an app that uses sound recognition tech and your phone's GPS signal to identify birdsongs. The application first pinpoints where you are (it'll debut in the United Kingdom), and narrows the results by what types of fowl are common to the area, according to its Kickstarter page. Then, after making the ID, it presents the most likely suspects. Pretty simple, yeah? The folks behind the app say that one of the intentions is to add geo-tracking to, well, track what species are being found where -- useful for the likes of zoologists and ecologists to monitor migration patterns, for one.

The accuracy has been rated around 95 percent under optimum conditions and has even been validated by a Brazilian bird identification organization. As of now, the crowdfunding campaign has tallied £4,096 (around $7,850) of its £50,000 (approximately $80,000) goal and aims to launch next spring when the birds start flying again. Buy-in starts at the £25 tier ($40), and we're guessing that the app won't work for feathered pals of the angry variety.

[Image credit: AFP/Getty Images]

Filed under: ,

Comments

Via: CNBC

Source: Kickstarter

October 31, 2014

Engadget Daily: The ‘Microsoft Band,’ life with the OnePlus One and more!

Been waiting for a Windows-powered smartwatch? Well, you'll have to keep waiting; Microsoft's debut wearable is a Nike FuelBand-like fitness tracker called the Band. That's not all we have on deck, though. Click through for our Nintendo 3DS review, details surrounding Tim Cook's coming out, and the rest of our news highlights from the past 24 hours.

Filed under: ,

Comments