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Splatoon: Nintendo Seeks Bloodless Coup in Online Shooter Genre
May 27, 2015
With its bloodless battles of attrition between squads of human-squid chimeras, twitch-shooter Splatoon oozes classic Nintendo charm that has enamored many early reviewers. It takes a crack at the competitive shooter genre, but instead of the visceral shock of bullet wounds, blood, and the wails of the wounded, Splatoon supplies brightly colored ink to wield in chaotic matches.
Putting the EU's E-Commerce Puzzle Together
May 27, 2015
A substantial number of Europeans shop online, but few make purchases outside their own country. The European Commission aims to change that through a broad initiative to create a Digital Single Market for the European Union, announced earlier this month. One of the 16 steps the EC has taken toward achieving that goal is undertaking an antitrust investigation of the e-commerce sector.
Hush! Everybody's Listening!
May 27, 2015
Americans have been spied on by their own government for far longer than most realized, it turns out, and the United States National Security Agency's surveillance activities are just the tip of the iceberg. The FBI, which repeatedly has expressed dismay at Google and Apple securing their mobile OSes reportedly has become a major player in administering the NSA's warrantless surveillance program.
Gadget Ogling: A Mighty Little Amp, a Credit Card-Sized Phone and a Food Tray Keyboard
May 26, 2015
Tinny, terrible laptop speakers may be a relic of the past, but there are still occasions when the built-in audio from your portable computer's speakers or audio jack just doesn't quite cut it. Let's say you're an electronic music luminary traveling the world without the comforts of one's home studio but with an album deadline to meet. You need to hear what's going on. So here's the Apogee Groove.
Is Home Where HomeKit's Heart Is?
May 26, 2015
Since Apple SVP Craig Federighi announced HomeKit at last year's Worldwide Developers Conference, the company has been working on making it ready for prime time. Now, a year later, Apple finally may have an app to go with its framework for integrating home management and monitoring devices with iOS. Whether Apple will announce the new app, called "Home," at this year's WWDC is unknown.
QuizUp Branches Out Into Social Territory
May 21, 2015
Popular trivia game QuizUp on Thursday issued an update that gives players access to a broader array of social networking tools. Users' exchanges had been spilling out of the trivia app and into forums, so developer Plain Vanilla Games decided it was time to build out the game's social features. QuizUp now aims to connect users through their shared interests.
DoT: Time to Get Serious About Car Talk
May 21, 2015
United States Department of Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx recently called for accelerating the timetable to develop technology allowing communication between cars and highway infrastructures. The end goal is to effect a shift in automotive safety goals: Rather than improving the odds of surviving a crash, the goal will be to avoid crashes completely.
Americans Hate Surveillance, Love Privacy: Report
May 21, 2015
Americans are deeply troubled by surveillance, data collection and the security of their data that's held by government agencies and private companies. The combined results of two Pew surveys suggest that the vast majority consider it important to be in control of their information. Eighty-eight percent of the respondents didn't want someone to watch or listen to them without their permission.
Fove VR Headset Locks Onto Your Gaze
May 20, 2015
Fove is the first virtual reality headset to feature eye-tracking -- meaning, among other things, that characters you view on screen can look right back at you. So far, close to 500 people have pledged nearly $200,000 to bring the Fove VR headset to fruition. Just a day into its 45-day Kickstarter campaign, the Fove appears certain to reach its $250,000 goal.
Popcorn Time Offers Smooth-as-Butter Streaming
May 20, 2015
Popcorn Time, known as the "Netflix for Pirates," has introduced a browser-based service that lets users play streaming videos without having to download anything. The videos play on the company's servers. However, the browser-based service does not include a built-in virtual private network, a feature of the downloadable Popcorn Time app. Most of the videos stream in HD.
Cossacks 3 Could Revive RTS Game Genre
May 19, 2015
GSC Game World has announced it will release Cossacks 3, a new version of the popular real-time strategy title Cossacks: European Wars. It will be available for PC, Mac and Linux machines later this year. Cossacks 3 is a modern remake of the original game that debuted in 2001, which was unique in that players could control hundreds of individual units at a time.
Coherent Navigation Buy May Not Unmuddle Apple Maps
May 19, 2015
Apple has purchased GPS firm Coherent Navigation. The purchase is widely viewed as an effort to improve the trouble-plagued Apple Maps. Coherent Navigation offers satellite navigation hardware; software that includes precise, secure, robust positioning; and timing and communication solutions. "Coherent is well known for ... navigation and geolocation work," said Charles King, principal at Pund-IT.
Researcher's Airplane-Hacking Claims May Not Fly
May 19, 2015
A security researcher who last month bragged he'd hacked into a passenger jet's internal computer systems while in flight appears to have performed the act more than a dozen times over a three-year period. Chris Roberts, founder and CTO of One World Labs, told FBI investigators earlier this year that he'd hacked into the flight systems of commercial passenger aircraft from 15-20 times.
NASA's $2.25M Challenge: 3D-Print a Space Base
May 18, 2015
NASA and America Makes have challenged innovators in the additive construction market to design a habitat for deep space exploration for the first stage of the competition and to fabricate such facilities in the second phase. The organizations will award a $50,000 prize and a pair of $1.1 million purses for the winners of the multistage challenge. Registration opened for phase one on Saturday.
Will Apple TV Be Busting Out All Over?
May 18, 2015
I want to believe that Apple will launch a new Apple TV hardware device in June at its Worldwide Developers Conference -- but holy macaroni, it's been more than three years since Apple introduced the third-generation Apple TV. Of course, Apple made a barely noticeable hardware tweak more than two years ago, but I'm begging for an Apple TV that's far more than just a utilitarian tool.
The Future According to Qualcomm
May 18, 2015
I was at the Qualcomm Internet of Things event in San Francisco last week during what was a major IoT event in the city. What is kind of amazing is the larger event was just a small part of the applications show that used to go on at the same time. This year it is twice the size of that older show. Companies are flocking to this IoT concept like ducks to water.
Google's Driverless Cars to Leave the Nest
May 16, 2015
Google on Friday announced it will begin testing prototypes of its fully autonomous self-driving cars on public roads. The vehicles won't roam too far from their Mountain View, California, home -- but this latest phase of testing could be critical both for cultivating positive consumer perceptions, and influencing future legislation affecting the nascent sector.
Gadget Ogling: A Tracking Camera Drone, a Rockin' Speaker and a Water-Boiling Efficiency Expert
May 16, 2015
Camera drones certainly are growing in popularity -- or further polluting the sky, depending on your perspective. A new model plans to follow your every move, thanks to a tracker on your wrist. After you throw Lily, it will fly up to 50 feet in the air and 100 feet away from you, knowing where you are and keeping its lens focused on whatever you're doing.
Fresh Takes on Shipping Perishable Online Purchases
May 15, 2015
It's one thing to ship books and electronics across the U.S. -- but it's quite another to get fresh fruit, baked goods, meat, fish, prepared meals, raw meal ingredients, and other perishables to consumers' front doors in prime condition. Once perishables are delivered to a customer's door, they often have to sit there for an unpredictable amount of time before the customer gets home.
Apple Likely to Pony Up to Settle A123 Poaching Suit
May 14, 2015
Apple reportedly has agreed to settle the lawsuit brought by battery manufacturer A123 Systems, accusing it of poaching engineers who were under non-compete agreements. A123 develops technologies for electric car batteries. News of the rumored settlement has fueled speculation that Apple poached talent from the firm to forward its ambitions to enter the electric vehicle market.
Consumer Group Worries Over Safety of Google's Self-Driving Cars
May 14, 2015
Even though Google's self-driving technology was not at fault in any of 11 minor accidents involving the cars over six years of testing, Consumer Watchdog has raised an alarm over the vehicles' safety, even releasing a video that simulates a serious crash in a tech-failure scenario. The group frequently accuses Google of privacy violations and exerting undue influence on the U.S. government.
Arduboy Could Spark Retro Gaming Revolution
May 13, 2015
Arduboy, a new pocket-sized 8-bit game device, has ignited a firestorm of interest on Kickstarter. With 27 days to go, the campaign already has drawn contributions of more than eight times its modest $25k goal. The rapid funding response could spark a miniature retro revolution. The handheld Arduboy has the potential to divert gamers from smartphones and tablets.
Lily Camera Gilds the Selfie
May 13, 2015
Lily is taking the selfie up a notch. The startup on Tuesday began taking preorders for a drone camera that will shoot video and stills as it flies above you. While drone cameras have been on the market for some time, the Lily offering combines the popularity of first-person video cameras, like the wildly successful GoPro line of products, with the emerging consumer flying drone market.
Bloodstained Makes Its Mark on Kickstarter
May 12, 2015
Castlevania producer Koji Igarashi's Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night has drawn more than three times its $500,000 base goal in roughly two days on Kickstarter. While the concept and its art already have attracted lavish support from fans, there's still a winding road ahead before the game goes gold. Bloodstained is a 2.5D platformer with RPG and crafting elements.

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