Oh, that? It’s just a robot riding across the English countryside on a 1/3-scale model of a hoverbike. The folks at Malloy Aeronautics are hard at work on a similar full-sized vehicle for humans, but as part of its Kickstarter effort to raise funds for the project, a smaller version is offered to backers. What was originally a proof of concept piece is now a fully-operational aerial drone, and can be yours if you’re willing to part with around $1,000 (£595) in support of the endeavor. For now, just enjoy watching that tiny robot take flight in your stead, just after the break.
Article source: http://www.engadget.com/2014/08/25/robot-rides-hoverbike-drone/?ncid=rss_truncated
Have you ever wanted smartwatch notifications without the convenience of having something on your wrist? No? Apparently, no one told that to the design team at Suzi Roher. The fashion outfit’s new Urban Tech Belt includes a “digital watch computer” that lets you check calls, play music and read messages without grabbing your smartphone… which is stored in a holster just a few inches away. Yes, you’re supposed to avoid reaching for a pocket or bag by reaching for your belt. Not much of a time-saver, really. And did I mention that this will cost a steep $725 when it arrives in January? Fashion and technology produce some beautiful things together, but this time you’re better off buying one of Roher’s usual belts and rolling the savings into a stylish smartwatch that will actually make your life easier.
Article source: http://www.engadget.com/2014/08/25/smartwatch-belt/?ncid=rss_truncated
China’s next try at a government-supported operating system may soon become a practical reality. The Chinese Academy of Engineering tells the People’s Post that a desktop version of China Operating System (COS) should be ready by October, with mobile device support coming later. That’s pretty quick considering that we first heard about the software in January, although there’s a chance it could slip. Xinhua claims that the project is suffering from both a lack of funding and developers “pulling in different directions” — not totally surprising if true, since it’s the work of a public-private alliance that might not always share the same vision.
Still, the team is optimistic that its efforts will eventually bear fruit; it believes COS could replace existing desktop operating systems within two years, and their mobile counterparts within three to five. It may have a realistic shot at this when the Chinese government has lately been giving both Apple and Microsoft platforms the boot in response to fears about American surveillance. However, that could still be a daunting task in at least some situations. Right now, the Chinese smartphone market is dominated by Android devices, many of which come from local manufacturers like Xiaomi. There isn’t exactly a rush to replace Google’s platform with something brand new, no matter how well-made it might be.
Article source: http://www.engadget.com/2014/08/24/china-os-expected-in-october/?ncid=rss_truncated
Data theft is normally pretty bad all on its own, but a recent breach at US Investigations Services (a background check company) may have created some extra-strong headaches for the US government. Reuters understands that the intrusion exposed personal information of 25,000-plus Department of Homeland Security workers, including “some undercover investigators.” There’s no certainty that the attackers stole those agents’ information, but there’s a real chance that their identities are out in the wild — a big problem if suspects can double-check identities and avoid getting caught. The concern is exacerbated by the nature of the attack, which USIS believes might have been “state-sponsored.”
The potential for future damage is limited. Homeland Security has frozen its work with USIS for the next while, and the FBI is already investigating what went wrong. Until it’s clear just what happened and who’s at risk, though, there are going to be a lot of nervous officials — they won’t necessarily know which new hires they can trust.
[Image credit: Sean Gallup/Getty Images]
Article source: http://www.engadget.com/2014/08/24/data-breaches-expose-investigators/?ncid=rss_truncated
HTC hinted that it would get back into tablets this year, and there have been detailed rumors covering the effort. However, tangible evidence of that hardware has been hard to come by — until now, that is. The Wi-Fi Alliance has certified the “Flounder,” a tablet that would run Google’s upcoming Android L. While the listing doesn’t say much by itself, the model numbers match those in an @upleaks post mentioning that there would be a WiFi-only model as well as LTE variants for both the world at large and American CDMA carriers (think Sprint or Verizon). These tidbits don’t confirm many of the other rumored aspects of the slate, such as the 8.9-inch display, Tegra K1 processor or Nexus badging. However, they at least suggest that HTC is close to releasing its first tablet since 2011’s Flyer — if you’ve spent years hoping for a follow-up device, you may well get your wish.
What Are Your Thoughts on Android “L”?
A preview of Android ‘L’ is available for download! Share your impressions
One plus one will be getting Android L update
Article source: http://www.engadget.com/2014/08/23/htc-flounder-filing/?ncid=rss_truncated
Gas leaks are huge trouble. Leaky pipes are not only prone to exploding (which is already terrible, of course), they also spew out methane — a greenhouse gas more potent than carbon dioxide in contributing to climate change. The bad news is, nobody’s been monitoring gas leaks closely, so Google Earth Outreach and the Environmental Defense Fund teamed up to do the job back in July. Now, the results for the project’s pilot tests are out, and they confirm what everyone suspects: old gas pipes do leak a lot more than new ones. In order to effectively survey large areas, the pair attached methane-detecting sensors to Google’s famous roving vehicles: Street View cars. They then sent these dual-purpose vehicles to Boston, Indianapolis and Staten Island, whose results you can see in the images after the break.
The pair’s already working with gas companies and their regulators in hopes that these findings will help them prioritize repairs. That doesn’t mean they’re already done, though: EDF and Google plan to unleash even more methane-sniffing Street View cars to other cities in the coming months.
Boston (where the Street View car found a leak almost every mile):
Indianapolis (where the gas pipes are obviously new):
Article source: http://www.engadget.com/2014/08/23/google-street-view-cars-edf-gas-leaks-map/?ncid=rss_truncated