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September 2, 2014

Korean carrier upgrades eel farm, makes the Internet of (slimey) Things

By definition, the Internet of Things (IoT) should connect with anything -- even writhing, kinda gross, but often delicious eels. SK Telecom's latest project is aimed at showcasing its IoT skills with a pilot connected eel farm that uses a network of sensors to monitor thousands of eels, mostly autonomously. Sensors dotted across multiple 20-foot-wide tanks check on water temperature, pH and oxygen levels, Data is then collated and analyzed by the Korean carrier's cloud system, and bounced to a simplified smartphone app - all in pretty much real time. "Why?" is a good question, but there's a good answer too: apparently minute changes in those factors above can be fatal to young eels. Before, this meant regular tank checks by workers every two-to-six hours. Now, it's mostly automated and sudden changes will even ping a warning to eel farmers' smartphones when needed. SK Telecom is planning to roll out the system commercially next year -- who knew eel farming was big business?

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September 2, 2014

webOS port renamed LuneOS, focuses on Nexus 4 and HP TouchPad

It's been some time since we heard from the Open webOS project, but work is still ongoing. The port has changed names in the last year to go by LuneOS, and the first release under the new name is now available. This particular version is called "Affogato," and while it supports the HP TouchPad, Nexus 4, Galaxy Nexus and Nexus 7 (2012 with WiFi), the team says that going forward it's focusing just on the Nexus 4 and TouchPad. Owners of other devices don't have to give up their card-flicking dreams though, as it hopes others will step up to work on ports for other hardware (the OnePlus One above is just showing a screenshot as an example). If you're expecting the features of Android or iOS it's still a long way from that, but the team promises a focus on the community and monthly updates. If you're willing to give it a shot, install instructions are here.

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Source: PivotCE

September 2, 2014

Sound Wallet can keep your Bitcoins secure with vinyl-based encryption

If you're anything like us, you've already made millions of dollars on Bitcoin. But how to keep it safe from loved ones, co-workers and other people we don't trust? Sound Wallet promises to keep your private access keys secure as encrypted audio, either on CDs or 7-inch vinyl, presumably just because it can. The system isn't limited to Bitcoin - other less popular brands of cryptocurrency can also benefit from the nostalgia-tinged protection. Your encrypted login key is converted into a sound file less than a minute long, and while it'll sound like white noise to anyone listening, a spectroscope app (yeah, you're going to need your smartphone), will be able to pluck the appropriate information out of the track.

Sound Wallet's Theodore Goodman said that vinyl was the "ultimate archive medium." which is going to make some people here very happy. He said that records can outlast memory cards, paper wallets or CDs, all of which degrade with time. Naturally, vinyl doesn't look like it would house the key to your cryptocurrency fortune, either, so there's that security boon too. Its crowdfunding target may not have been met, but according to CoinDesk, the company is already selling CD-based (0.02 bitcoins) and vinyl wallets (0.09 bit coins).

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Via: CoinDesk

September 2, 2014

LG’s Swarovski-encrusted OLED TV is a thing that exists

There are few things that scream class more loudly than coating a piece of consumer electronics in gold. Except, perhaps, for doing the same thing, but with Swarovski crystals. That's the truth-bomb that LG has just deposited into our laps, having announced it's bringing an OLED HDTV with such glittery detailing here at IFA. Why? We can't even begin to answer that question, but LG claims the 460-crystal pattern "turns a cutting-edge television into a work of art." There's no word on a price, but LG says this TV will go one sale in Europe this year -- we'd rather forego the crystals to get OLED down to a price that competes with the best LCDs and Ultra HD TVs instead.

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Source: LG

September 2, 2014

Elgato announces $50 Avea smart lightbulb and Eve smart home sensors

Apparently, the world needs another smart lightbulb, and Elgato's going to sell it to you. Called Avea, the $50 bulb connects to your iDevice directly using Bluetooth (no external hub needed), and lets you set the mood in any room with an appropriate shade of light. Just one iPhone (4S and up), 5th gen iPod Touch or iPad (3rd gen or newer) can control a whole house full of lights and give users multiple lighting scenes to choose from. Plus, there's an alarm feature that wakes you with the gentle gleam of a 7W LED bulb pumping out 430 lumens (which is just a bit brighter than its competitor from Lumen, and is roughly equivalent to a 40W incandescent bulb).

Joining Avea in Elgato's smart home of the future is a whole host of sensors, dubbed Eve, for measuring air quality, temperature, humidity, energy and water consumption, too. These sensors will utilize Bluetooth and presumably work with Apple's HomeKit networking protocol -- meaning that you'll be able to monitor your home from your iOS device and interact with the sensors using Siri. The idea is to make abodes more comfy and efficient, but we don't yet know how much it'll cost to reap Eve's benefits. A preview of the sensors can be had this week in Germany at IFA 2014, with pricing and availability to come "soon."

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Source: Elgato

September 2, 2014

What’s on your HDTV: NFL, ‘Drunk History’, ‘Boardwalk Empire’, ‘Trailer Park Boys’

It's time. This week NFL football is back (and so are the Engadget HD Podcast fantasy leagues), and the season kicks off Thursday night as the Packers face the defending Super Bowl Champion Seahawks on NBC. Boardwalk Empire on HBO starts its final season Sunday night, and we get our last episode of Drunk History for a while this week too. The League is back on FXX, and a downloadable Dance Central Spotlight game for Xbox One is finally ready to arrive. Fans of Canada's Trailer Park Boys can even look forward to season eight of the show, which will debut on Netflix Friday morning. The weirdest new entry? Fox's reality show, Utopia, which gathers 15 strangers together and will leave them on their own, for an entire year -- in between episodes viewers can tune in and watch 24/7 at UtopiaTV.com, or through an app on mobile devices. Hit the gallery or just look after the break to check out each day's highlights, including trailers and let us know what you think (or what we missed).


Blu-ray, Streaming movies & Games

  • Draft Day
  • Person of Interest (S3)
  • The Originals (S1)
  • Firestarter
  • Dracula (1979)
  • The People Under the Stairs
  • White Noise
  • They Came Together
  • Casper
  • Dance Central Spotlight (Xbox One)
  • The Sims 4 (PC)
  • Warframe (Xbox One)
  • Sherlock Holmes: Crimes & Punishments (PS3, PS4, Xbox 360, Xbox One)
  • Warriors Orochi 3 Ultimate (Xbox One, PS3, PS4)
  • Dead Rising 3 (PC)

Monday

  • Miami (FL) / Louisville college football, ESPN, 8PM
  • Running Wild with Bear Grylls, NBC, 8PM
  • WWE Raw, USA, 8PM
  • CBS Fall Preview, CBS, 8:30PM
  • Houdini (Part 1 of 2), History, 9PM
  • American Ninja Warrior, NBC, 9PM
  • Dallas, TNT, 9PM
  • Partners (season finale), FX, 9 & 9:30PM
  • Teen Wolf, MTV, 10PM
  • Anger Management, FX, 10 & 10:30PM
  • Under the Dome, CBS, 10PM

Tuesday

  • FIBA World Basketball 2014 New Zealand vs. USA, ESPN2, 11:30AM
  • The Story of Frozen, ABC, 8PM
  • Food Fighters, NBC, 8PM
  • America's Got Talent, NBC, 9PM
  • Inside the NFL (season premiere), Showtime, 9PM
  • Houdini (Part 2 of 2), History, 9PM
  • 4th and Loud, A&E, 9PM
  • Face Off, Syfy, 9PM
  • Matador, El Rey, 9PM
  • Rizzoli & Isles (summer finale), TNT, 9PM
  • Royal Pains (season finale), USA, 9PM
  • 60 Minutes Sports, Showtime, 10PM
  • Tosh.0, Comedy Central, 10PM
  • Hard Knocks: Training Camp with the Atlanta Falcons (season finale), HBO, 10PM
  • The Singles Project, Bravo, 10PM
  • Finding Carter, MTV, 10PM
  • Sullivan & Son, TBS, 10PM
  • Drunk History (season finale), Comedy Central, 10:30PM

Wednesday

  • FIBA World Basketball 2014 USA vs. Dominican Republic, ESPN2, 3:30PM
  • America's Game 2013: Seattle Seahawks, NFL Network, 8PM
  • Penn & Teller: Fool Us, CW, 8PM
  • Unsung: Bone Thugs-n-Harmony, TV One, 8PM
  • Big Brother, CBS, 8PM
  • So You Think You Can Dance (season finale), Fox, 8PM
  • Legends, TNT, 9PM
  • The League (season premiere), FXX, 10PM
  • Franklin & Bash, TNT, 10PM
  • Extant, CBS, 10PM
  • The Bridge, FX, 10PM
  • Graceland, USA, 10PM
  • Taxi Brooklyn, NBC, 10PM
  • Ali G: Rezurection (season premiere), FXX, 10:30PM
  • Virgin Territory, MTV, 11PM

Thursday

  • FIBA World Basketball 2014 USA vs. Ukraine, ESPN2, 11:30AM
  • Packers/Seahawks football, NBC, 8:30PM
  • The Quest, ABC, 8PM
  • Rush, USA, 9PM
  • Dating Naked, VH1, 9PM
  • Big Brother, CBS, 9PM
  • Working the Engels, NBC, 9:30PM
  • Married, FX, 10PM
  • Satisfaction, USA, 10PM
  • Ridiculousness, MTV, 10PM
  • Garfunkel & Oates, IFC, 10PM
  • You're The Worst, FX, 10:30PM
  • Black Jesus, Cartoon Network, 11PM
  • Seven Deadly Sins, Showtime, 11PM

Friday

  • Trailer Park Boys (S8), Netflix, 3AM
  • Stand Up to Cancer, CBS Fox ABC NBC, 8PM
  • Masters of Illusion, CW, 8PM
  • WWE SmackDown, Syfy, 8PM
  • Cocaine Cowboys Reloaded, Showtime, 10PM
  • The Knick, Cinemax, 10PM
  • Jonah from Tonga (season finale), HBO, 10PM
  • The Almighty Johnsons (season finale), Syfy, 11PM

Saturday

  • USC / Stanford college football, ABC, 3:30PM
  • Michigan State / Oregon college football, Fox, 6:30PM
  • NASCAR Sprint Cup Series @ Richmond, ABC, 7PM
  • Michigan / Notre Dame college football, NBC, 7:30PM
  • Virginia Tech / Ohio State college football, ESPN, 8PM
  • Doctor Who, BBC America, 8PM
  • Cedar Cove, Hallmark, 8PM
  • Unforgettable, CBS, 8PM
  • The Brittany Murphy Story, Lifetime, 8PM
  • Hell on Wheels, AMC, 9PM
  • Outlander, Starz, 9PM
  • Intruders, BBC America, 10PM
  • The Chair (series premiere), Starz, 11PM

Sunday

  • WNBA Finals Game 1, ABC, 3:30PM
  • Utopia (series premiere), Fox, 8PM
  • Colts / Broncos football, NBC, 8:20PM
  • Wipeout (season finale), ABC, 8PM
  • Giants/Tigers baseball, ESPN, 8PM
  • Big Brother, CBS, 8PM
  • Boardwalk Empire (season premiere)
  • Breathless (season finale), PBS, 9PM
  • Ray Donovan, Showtime, 9PM
  • Unforgettable, CBS, 9PM
  • The Leftovers (season finale), HBO, 10PM
  • Manhattan, WGN, 10PM
  • The Strain, FX, 10PM
  • Masters of Sex, Showtime, 10PM
  • Reckless, CBS, 10PM
  • Last Week Tonight with John Oliver, HBO, 11PM

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September 2, 2014

Apple reveals the most common reasons that it rejects apps

Apple is such an opaque company that even app developers can be left, out in the cold, wondering why their app was rejected from the app store. Thankfully, the company does have some sympathy for those dejected coders, which is why it's published a list (in full, after the break) of the most common reasons their digital magnum opus failed to pass muster. Thankfully, the biggest reason is simply administrative: if devs fail to provide enough information or a valid demonstration account, then their work will be ignored out of hand. There's no surprises further down the list, either, with most apps getting dumped for buggy code, misleading content or because its name doesn't align with its intended purpose. The only reason that may annoy some is that Apple will turn down an app that doesn't meet its high standards for user interface design - so you'd better hope that your avant-garde menu items don't alienate Cupertino's QA mavens.

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Via: Gizmodo, Cult of Mac

Source: Apple

September 2, 2014

Google set to reveal Android One budget phone hardware in India on September 15th

Not everyone is interested in paying for premium handsets, and Google knows that in many parts of the world, shelling out five or six hundred dollars for a One, G3 or Galaxy S5 simply isn't an option. The Android One initiative is how Google plans to bring a better experience to folks buying budget phones by providing OEMs with hardware designs -- and it looks like the program's first fruits will be revealed on September 15th in India. Save the date invites went out today promising only an "exciting new announcement" and more details to come. So, no confirmation of Android One hardware, but given that the initial partners in the program announced at Google I/O are Indian smartphone manufacturers Karbonn and Spice, we fully expect to see some new Googley phones in two weeks. We've reached out to Google for more info, so stay tuned.

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Via: 9to5 Google

Source: NDTV Gadgets

September 2, 2014

UKTV will copy Amazon, ask viewers which shows it should make

When it comes to choosing which new TV shows to make, British broadcaster UKTV is taking a leaf out of Amazon and the BBC's playbook. The company behind Dave, Really and Watch will produce pilot episodes of shows, asking users of its UKTV Play on-demand platform to vote on which one should become a series. Emma Boston, the executive behind the scheme, believes that the move will enable the company to take more risks and produce shows that'll cater to different audiences. Recombu is also reporting that the company has asked Sky and Virgin Media to share detailed ratings data in order to help UKTV produce more tailored content. Presumably the company is looking at Netflix's vast reserves of viewing data with envious eyes.

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Via: Recombu

Source: Broadcast (Paywall)

September 2, 2014

Opportunity rover is getting reformatted after ten years on Mars

NASA's ironman Mars rover Opportunity, like your five-year-old PC, is about to get reformatted. Problems have been causing the aging vehicle to reboot and scientists suspect that worn-out cells in the flash memory are to blame. Opportunity's been running for 10 years despite an expected mission life of three months, so even having such problems is a bonus -- and its now-defunct twin, Spirit, had a similar procedure in 2009. Scientists will back up the rover's memory, then send a format command to prevent the bad cells from being accessed. They'll use a slower-than-normal data rate to reinstall the software, since Mars is currently 212 million miles away and the signal will take 11.2 minutes just to reach it. NASA said that Martian winds have kept the rover's solar panels surprisingly clean since it hit the ground rolling in 2004 (see the video below). As the picture above from August 10th shows, it's still doing science and exploration like a boss.

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Via: The Register

Source: NASA