Tag Archives: Gadget Reviews

MinION, the USB-sized DNA sequencer, goes through real-world testing

Back in 2012, a UK company called Oxford Nanopore announced a chewing gum packet-sized DNA sequencer, something that people found hard to believe since rival machines can be as big as fridges. After dealing with technical issues and bugs (as well as being accused of launching vaporware), Oxford has finally begun making that device called MinION available to beta testers. Several of the testers (mainly scientists doing research in educational institutions) reported that it only exhibits a 60 to 85 percent accuracy. While that’s nowhere near more traditional sequencers’ 99.99 percent accuracy, many of the testers still believe that the device could be a game changer due to its size and relatively affordable price. Traditional sequencers could cost as much as $1 million, while the testers bought their MinIONs for only $1,000 each.

The device determines whether a DNA base is A, T, C or G by measuring changes in electrical conductivity while a fragment passes through biological pore. As mentioned earlier, though, MinION is still really glitchy and can’t replace current options just yet — in fact, some scientists are using it to supplement data from traditional sequencers. There’s also still no word or pricing for a wider release, but those will likely come when the device is a lot more accurate that it is now. Sadly, David Deamer (the device’s creator) can’t promise a jump in accuracy enough to match its competitors’ right now, but he says improvements will come in the future.


Article source: http://www.engadget.com/2014/09/18/minion-usb-dna-sequencer-beta-test/?ncid=rss_truncated

Where in the world is your iPhone 6?

UPS Delivers Terra Cotta Warriors

If you checked your iPhone 6 (or 6 Plus)’s shipping status before making coffee, walking the dog or catching up on your favorite tech site this morning, you’re definitely not alone. With a record number of pre-orders this year, there are thousands of soon-to-be iOS 8 users doing exactly the same thing. If you want to take your obsession to new heights, however, the aircraft tracking service FlightAware is eager to help. Once you receive a UPS tracking number for your precious cargo, you can head on over and track the exact location of your phone, be it in China, Anchorage (for a re-fueling stop), the Louisville (Kentucky) distribution center, or somewhere in between. Or you could just wait patiently for the doorbell to ring.

iPhone 6 Plus review

[Photo credit: Getty Images]


a href=”http://www.engadget.com/products/apple/iphone/6/”


Apple

iPhone 6

/a

Apple iPhone 6 thumbnail image

Apple iPhone 6

Displaying prices for model:

ATT 16GB-GrayATT 16GB-SilverATT 16GB-GoldATT 64GB-GrayATT 64GB-SilverATT 64GB-GoldATT 128GB-GrayATT 128GB-SilverATT 128GB-GoldSprint 16GB-GraySprint 16GB-SilverSprint 16GB-GoldSprint 64GB-GraySprint 64GB-SilverSprint 64GB-GoldSprint 128GB-GraySprint 128GB-SilverSprint 128GB-GoldVerizon 16GB-GrayVerizon 16GB-SilverVerizon 16GB-GoldVerizon 64GB-GrayVerizon 64GB-SilverVerizon 64GB-GoldVerizon 128GB-GrayVerizon 128GB-SilverVerizon 128GB-Gold



  1. Best Buy




    $199.99

    on contract


    Buy now


  1. 22



    If you're thinking about pre-ordering a new iPhone tonight, read this first.


    If you’re thinking about pre-ordering a new iPhone tonight, read this first.


  2. 12



    Apple finally introduces the Apple Watch, and the iPhones get bigger. What do you think?


    Apple finally introduces the Apple Watch, and the iPhones get bigger. What do you think?


  3. 6



    Which one is the flagship: the iPhone 6 or the iPhone 6 Plus?


    Which one is the flagship: the iPhone 6 or the iPhone 6 Plus?

a href=”http://www.engadget.com/products/apple/iphone/6/plus/”


Apple

iPhone 6 Plus

/a

Apple iPhone 6 Plus thumbnail image

Apple iPhone 6 Plus

Displaying prices for model:

ATT 16GB-GrayATT 16GB-SilverATT 16GB-GoldATT 64GB-GrayATT 64GB-SilverATT 64GB-GoldATT 128GB-GrayATT 128GB-SilverATT 128GB-GoldSprint 16GB-GraySprint 16GB-SilverSprint 16GB-GoldSprint 64GB-GraySprint 64GB-SilverSprint 64GB-GoldSprint 128GB-GraySprint 128GB-SilverSprint 128GB-GoldVerizon 16GB-GrayVerizon 16GB-SilverVerizon 16GB-GoldVerizon 64GB-GrayVerizon 64GB-SilverVerizon 64GB-GoldVerizon 128GB-GrayVerizon 128GB-SilverVerizon 128GB-Gold



  1. Best Buy




    $299.99

    on contract


    Buy now


  1. 4



    Which family plan to use for iPhone 6?


    Which family plan to use for iPhone 6?


  2. 22



    If you're thinking about pre-ordering a new iPhone tonight, read this first.


    If you’re thinking about pre-ordering a new iPhone tonight, read this first.


  3. 12



    Apple finally introduces the Apple Watch, and the iPhones get bigger. What do you think?


    Apple finally introduces the Apple Watch, and the iPhones get bigger. What do you think?

Article source: http://www.engadget.com/2014/09/18/track-your-iphone-6/?ncid=rss_truncated

GDC award for culture critic Anita Sarkeesian led to bomb threat

Anita Sarkeesian

A bomb threat was made regarding a speaker and award recipient at the Game Developer’s Choice Awards (part of the annual Game Developer’s Conference) in San Francisco this past March. Anita Sarkeesian (pictured above), host of Tropes vs. Women in Video Games, a YouTube series that naturally examines the way women are depicted in video games, was the intended target. As Kotaku reports, an anonymous email was sent to around 25 of GDC’s organizers stating the following:

“A bomb will be detonated at the Game Developer’s Choice award ceremony tonight unless Anita Sarkeesian’s Ambassador Award is revoked. We estimate the bomb will kill at least a dozen people and injure dozens more. It would be in your best interest to accept our simple request. This is not a joke. You have been warned.”

Sarkeesian’s acceptance speech

The San Francisco police department scoured the Moscone Center’s grounds (where the show is held) but came up with nothing. Any further details regarding the investigation weren’t disclosed to Kotaku. Meanwhile, GDC’s organizers didn’t alert any of the attendees of the threat, but apparently upped security and increased random bag checks as people entered the award ceremony.

This isn’t the most recent threat against Sarkeesian, and sadly will likely not be the last we hear of, either. She’s been harassed since her wildly successful Kickstarter for the Tropes series (the project’s modest $6,000 goal was fully funded in 24 hours and went on to amass over $158,000 in pledges) made its debut. Her website was hit with distributed denial of service attacks, her email and social media accounts have come under hacking attempts and she’s been threatened that her personal contact info would be distributed to hate sites online. All before the first episode was made. Why? Because some people on the internet aren’t okay with her shedding light on the fact that women are often portrayed as little more than background dressing in video games.

[Image credit: Infomastern/Flickr]


Article source: http://www.engadget.com/2014/09/17/anita-sarkeesian-gdc14-bomb-threat/?ncid=rss_truncated

Amazon listing details new smaller, high-res ‘Voyage’ Kindles

You don’t need supernatural powers to realize that it’s been 12 months since a Kindle Paperwhite refresh, ergo we could be due a new one. It also kinda helps when Amazon’s own web-store lets slip a little bit of info. Some eager searchers spotted a listing for Kindle “Voyage” on Amazon’s German and Japanese stores. The listings don’t have too much information, but do mention a 300 ppi display on the 6-inch device that comes in the usual WiFi and 3G versions. The 112 x 116 mm dimensions suggest the Voyage will be smaller and at 8mm deep, the “thinnest Kindle up to now” (thanks Google translate). The (now-pulled) product page was even kind enough to give us details on price — $190 or $250 with 3G — all set for a November 4th launch date. It could be that the Paperwhite name is on the way out, too, with the with the Spanish version of this support page replacing “Paperwhite” with the new “Voyage” name.

[Image credit: Caschy’s blog]


a href=”http://www.engadget.com/products/amazon/kindle/paperwhite/2nd-gen/”


Amazon

Kindle Paperwhite 2nd-gen

/a

Amazon Kindle Paperwhite 2nd-gen thumbnail image

Amazon Kindle Paperwhite 2nd-gen



  1. 3



    Does it FINALLY have a night mode? Black Background with White Text?


    Does it FINALLY have a night mode? Black Background with White Text?


  2. 5



    Still no support for epub


    Still no support for epub


  3. 2



    no battery replacement?! No thank you.


    no battery replacement?! No thank you.

Article source: http://www.engadget.com/2014/09/17/kindle-voyage/?ncid=rss_truncated

ZTE’s new supersized phone packs a two-day battery and a low price

ZTE ZMAX for T-Mobile

If you like the prospect of a giant smartphone but find even LG’s G Vista too rich for your blood, ZTE might have something that’s more up your alley. It just unveiled the ZMAX, a 5.7-inch device that hopefully won’t crush your bank account. The 720p screen, quad-core Snapdragon 400 chip, 16GB of expandable storage and 8-megapixel rear camera are nothing special, but you’re getting a lot of battery for the money; the 3,400mAh power pack is estimated to last for two days, or more than enough for a busy weekend. You might also like the not-quite-stock (read: potentially very speedy) Android 4.4 interface. ZTE’s low-cost behemoth will only be available through T-Mobile when it ships on September 24th. However, you’ll only have to pay $10.50 per month over two years to own the ZMAX, or $252 total — not too shabby considering that other phones this big frequently cost two or three times as much.

ZTE ZMAX


Article source: http://www.engadget.com/2014/09/16/zte-zmax/?ncid=rss_truncated

Ecobee’s new smart thermostat knows conditions throughout your home

Ecobee 3 smart thermostat

As clever as smart thermostats can be, they usually have only a limited sense of what’s going on in your home. They may know that it’s cool in the hallway, but not that it’s roasting in the living room. Ecobee may have a better, more holistic approach with its third-generation climate controller, the Ecobee 3. Rather than gradually learn what conditions work best over time, it uses remote sensors to determine which rooms are occupied and whether or not they’re at the right temperature. The more detectors you add, the more cozy you’re likely to be — you can have up to 32, if you’re determined to warm up your mansion.

Whether or not you need that kind of detailed monitoring, the 3 is a welcome upgrade between its slicker design and a 3.5-inch touchscreen interface built to work like the smartphone in your pocket. Get ready to shell out extra cash if you want the most comfortable home possible, though. The $249 core kit will get you both the hub and one sensor when it ships on September 29th, but you’ll have to spend $79 for every extra pair of additional sensors.


Article source: http://www.engadget.com/2014/09/16/ecobee-3-thermostat/?ncid=rss_truncated