Tag Archives: Gadget News

Homemade exoskeleton lets a man lift big cinder blocks with ease

James Hobson lifts cinder blocks with his exoskeleton

Think you need the budget of the military or a megacorporation to make an exoskeleton for heavy lifting? Nope — all you need is some standard parts and the know-how to put them together. James Hobson (aka The Hacksmith) has finished a homemade robotic suit whose pneumatic cylinders let him curl 171.5 pounds’ worth of cinder blocks with relative ease. While it’s not the most sophisticated setup, it’s only running at half pressure and could potentially double the load with a compressor upgrade. There’s a work log at the source link if you’re eager to see how this project came to be. With that said, you’ll want to be cautious about trying this yourself — there aren’t any leg supports so far, and those blocks aren’t exactly harmless. If you’re like me, you’ll probably feel safer watching Hobson’s demo video below.


Article source: http://www.engadget.com/2014/08/31/homemade-weightlifting-exoskeleton/?ncid=rss_truncated

Flaw lets hackers break your WiFi router’s security with one guess

Network router

Typically, attacks against your WiFi router require a lengthy attempt to guess any codes and passwords. Not if you use 0xcite’s new technique, however; the research firm has detailed a flaw in some router chipsets that lets hackers bypass the push-button security of WiFi Protected Setup (WPS) almost instantly. Instead of trying to guess a hotspot’s PIN code, which can take hours, you simply take a single shot based on a series of offline calculations. Once you’re ready to attack, it takes roughly “one second” to get in.

The vulnerability isn’t present in every router, but 0xcite believes that it’s in relatively common chipsets from both Broadcom and another, unnamed company that’s scrambling to implement a fix. The Wi-Fi Alliance, for its part, tells Ars Technica that the flaw likely stems from how companies implement wireless networking, rather than anything inherent to how the technology works. Whatever the root cause may be, the easiest way to protect against this exploit right now is to turn WPS off — not a big problem if you’re comfortable with a router setup page, but probably more of a hassle than you’d like.


Article source: http://www.engadget.com/2014/08/31/wifi-protected-setup-flaw/?ncid=rss_truncated

Review roundup: Intel’s 8-core Haswell-E is the fastest desktop CPU ever

Since it was teased in March, enthusiasts have been itching to see how Intel’s 8-core Haswell Extreme Edition processor (the i7-5960X) performs. It has now launched (along with two other Haswell-E models) and the reviews are in. Yes, it’s the world’s fastest desktop CPU — but the general consensus is “it could have been better.” Why? Because Intel recently launched a “Devil’s Canyon” CPU for $340 with a base clock speed of 4.0GHz that can easily be overclocked to 4.4GHz. The $1,000 Extreme Edition chip, on the other hand, has a base clock of 3.0GHz and max turbo speed of 3.5GHz. Since clock speeds are often more important to gamers than multiple cores, that might disappoint many a Battlefield 4 player. On the other hand, with DDR4 support and eight cores (Intel’s highest count ever on the desktop), the chip should excel at pro tasks like 4K video processing and 3D rendering. Given the price tag, that might be the only market that can afford it. Here’s what the experts think.

Hot Hardware

Hot Hardware called the Haswell-E 5960X “a mix between kick-ass and meh,” saying that it was actually topped in some tests by the i7-4960X, last year’s Extreme Edition model. That’s because despite having two less cores, the latter has higher clock-rates. Still, it found the new chip to be “mostly superior to the previous-gen,” in terms of gaming and graphics performance. And if you’re into overclocking, the chip is more configurable than other Haswell processors. ASUS told Hot Hardware the chip was easy to take up to around 4.4GHz or so with decent liquid or air cooling, thanks to adjustable voltage, turbo and other settings. If you decide to do that, however, beware of your power bill: the chip has decent power efficiency at regular settings, but can jump to 180 watts or more when overclocked.

Anandtech

“Using the 8-core monster… does some financial damage,” was Anandtech‘s succinct sum-up of the CPU’s economics. $1,815 and up is the bare minimum price for a fully configured system, but that can easily stretch to $5,000 or more if you max out the RAM and graphics. The $1,000 price of the CPU doesn’t help, but another issue is memory: DDR4 RAM is considerably more expensive than last-gen DDR3, running about $250 per 16GB. On the other hand, you will save a bit of money once it’s up and running. Tick for tick, the new CPU is more efficient than last year’s Extreme Edition 6-core model (provided you don’t overclock), and the DDR4 RAM runs at a lower voltage and consumes less power as well. Still, you’d have to be a serious gamer to justify the mild performance bump for the not-so-mild leap in price over chips like the 4GHz Devil’s Canyon model.

Tom’s Hardware

However, if you’re into video or 3D graphics, where time is money, it might be worth paying more. Tom’s Hardware took a close look at some real-life benchmarks, including 3ds Max, Adobe Photoshop CC, Premiere Pro CC and Handbrake media encoding. The new chip tops almost all the charts, and actually bests Intel’s 8-core Xeon E5-2687W v2 in most — and that processor costs twice as much. Since most of the applications are heavily multi-threaded (unlike many games), it also wallops the quad-core, 4Ghz Core i7-4790K in all the tests. That means a 3ds Max render would run about 25 percent faster — which could easily save hours of time.

Oddly, Tom’s also showed that if you’re into gaming, the two processors introduced along with the Extreme Edition CPU — the $389 Core i7-5820K with four cores and the $583 6-core 5930K — might actually be better. It said “games often favor architecture and clock rate over core count,” and sure enough, Battlefield 4 and other titles get higher frame rates on those chips, thanks to the higher clock speeds. So if you’re a gamer, today’s announcement isn’t a total loss — but you may want to ignore the glamor chip and look at the two CPUs playing second fiddle instead.


Article source: http://www.engadget.com/2014/08/30/review-roundup-intels-8-core-haswell-e/?ncid=rss_truncated

Twitch’s peak viewing numbers rival CNN and MTV’s prime-time audience

So we know that Twitch’s online broadcasts trump those of WWE and traditional sports, but how does it stack up against cable networks like CNN? According to the New York Times, the game-streaming giant’s peak viewership numbers have surpassed the average prime-time viewers for Headline News, CNN, E!, MSNBC and TruTV since this January. At its best, Twitch had over 720,000 viewers in July alone, but as the NYT points out, it’s still pretty far behind the likes of Netflix and YouTube when it comes to total hours-viewed per month. It’s all pretty fascinating stuff, and there are even breakdowns for what competitive gaming tournament broadcasts are getting the most eyes, too. Spoiler: for this month it’s Riot Games’ League of Legends. Considering that we’ve seen Twitch expanding into more than just gaming broadcasts recently (hosting concerts and even entire conventions) it’s pretty likely that the outfit’s numbers will only continue to climb. Surely Jeff Bezos wouldn’t mind.


Article source: http://www.engadget.com/2014/08/30/twitch-peak-viewing-numbers/?ncid=rss_truncated

Use YouTube to queue videos for Chromecast viewing

Chromecast and YouTube are like a match made in heaven. And, since they’re both part of Google’s big picture strategy, it makes sense for both things to be as friendly as possible with each other. To that end, YouTube’s taken to to Google+ (how meta, eh?) to reveal that Chromecast owners can now use its site (as in YouTube.com) to queue videos — essentially, this is meant to simplify the process, since it lets you arrange what to play next from a single tab on your browser. Just as well, there are more changes coming to the YouTube watch page on the web (pictured below), including an easier way to create playlists and share videos across social networks, plus a new description box. The Chromecast feature is available now, while the other tweaks are expected to rollout over the next few days.


a href=”http://www.engadget.com/products/google/chromecast/”


Google

Chromecast

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Google Chromecast thumbnail image

Google Chromecast



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    1. 39



      What do you think about Google's Chromecast? Did you buy one?


      What do you think about Google’s Chromecast? Did you buy one?


    2. 35



      Can you really cut the cord?


      Can you really cut the cord?


    3. 37



      Sell me on why the Chromecast is worth purchasing


      Sell me on why the Chromecast is worth purchasing

    Article source: http://www.engadget.com/2014/08/29/youtube-chromecast-queue-watch-page/?ncid=rss_truncated

    Chrome update lets you share your browser, not your history

    If you typically share your computer and your browser with a sibling, a roomie or a friend who has no respect for your privacy, this latest Google Chrome beta update might make things easier for you. It comes with a pull-down menu that lets you easily switch users, put the browser to guest mode or launch an incognito tab on Windows, Mac or Linux. According to some comments in the update’s Google+ announcement, though, you still have to log off from your accounts to be sure your activities remain for your eyes only, just in case someone decides to peek. The guest mode automatically deletes the other user’s browsing information, on the other hand, so they won’t have to worry about you seeing their secrets.

    Aside from this update, Google has also unleashed a 64-bit Chrome beta for Mac, a few days after the company released a 64-bit stable version for Windows computers. This will make the browser launch more quickly and will generally make it faster than its predecessor. Finally, the new beta update also comes with a bunch of APIs for web app devs to play with. You can get Google Chrome beta (or any other channel you want, whether stable, Canary or Dev) through The Chromium Projects website.


    Article source: http://www.engadget.com/2014/08/29/google-chrome-beta-user-switch-64-bit-mac/?ncid=rss_truncated