Tag Archives: Gadget Reviews

NASA captures over half the galaxy’s stars in new infrared panorama

NASA captures over half the galaxy's stars in new infrared panorama

Keeping a steady hand when snapping panoramic pictures is a valuable skill, but NASA’s upstaged your photographic prowess with something a tad more impressive. Using over 2 million infrared pictures shot with the Spitzer Space Telescope over the course of a decade, the agency’s created what’s being called the clearest infrared panorama of our galaxy ever made. This is the first time all photographs from a project dubbed the Galactic Legacy Mid-Plane Survey Extraordinaire (or GLIMPSE360) have been combined into a single image. Although the final product only shows three percent of the sky, it contains over half of all stars in the Milky Way.

Scientists have used the data from the effort to construct what’s said to be the most precise map of stars running through the galaxy’s center, and will use it to analyze the Milky Way’s spiral arms. In addition, the composite will act as a roadmap of sorts for the James Webb Telescope, which will take more detailed infrared images when it’s chucked into space in 2018. Space junkies can pan through the whole photo online or download the raw, full resolution images. If you plan to do the latter, be warned: some of these files hover around 1GB in size.

0 Comments

Share


Article source: http://www.engadget.com/2014/03/26/nasa-spitzer-telescope-infrared-panorama/?ncid=rss_truncated

NVIDIA announces the Jetson TK1 dev-kit, calls it the world’s first mobile supercomputer

Wish you had your own personal supercomputer? Soon, you’ll be able to buy one — well, sort of. At its GPU Technology conference today, NVIDIA announced the Jetson TK1, a $192 Tegra K1-based development kit built on the same architecture that powers the Titan supercomputer at Oak Ridge National Laboratories. NVIDIA CEO Jen-Hsun Haung describes it as “the world’s tiniest little supercomputer,” noting that it’s capable of running anything the Titan can run, but at a much slower pace.

The kit is designed for use in advanced robotics, autonomous cars and computers attempting to simulate human recognition of physical objects, but during a post-announcement briefing, NVIDIA beamed at the suggestion that builders might use it in quirky maker projects. Joking aside, however, they clarified that Jetson is a higher-grade board than you’ll find in Arduinos or the Raspberry Pi — it can push 326 gigaflops, and is far better suited to driving drones, ultrasound machines and self-driving vehicles. Still, at $192, we wouldn’t be surprised to see a few Jetson-based projects pop up at the next MakerFaire.

0 Comments

Share


Article source: http://www.engadget.com/2014/03/25/nvidia-announces-the-jetson-tk1-dev-kit-calls-it-the-world-s-fi/?ncid=rss_truncated

Xbox One bundle price drops to $399 on Amazon (update: back to $450)

We’re not sure if this is a real price drop or a retailer error, but CheapAssGamer.com points out that the Xbox One is currently available on Amazon for $399 — the same price as a PlayStation 4, but obviously with the Kinect camera and a game packed-in. The Xbox One Standard Edition (with the Forza Motorsport 5 digital code) is currently listed for $450, but adding the discount code XIAMAZON — first seen last week as retailers cut prices on the Titanfall bundle to $450 — takes an additional $50 off of the price. Of course, this means you don’t get the console’s most anticipated game as a part of the deal, but at this price we doubt many will complain. It’s earlier than an anticipated and if it’s an error (of course, Amazon is starting a videogame Gold Box deal today…) then we don’t know how long it will last, but tell us — if they’re the same price which would you choose, an Xbox One or PS4?

Update: It looks like it was an error, as the bundle’s price has jumped back to $499, which comes down to $450 with the discount code. It was good while it lasted, but we guess Microsoft isn’t quite ready to make that level of sacrifice to catch the PS4 in sales.

0 Comments

Share


Article source: http://www.engadget.com/2014/03/25/xbox-one-forza-bundle-price-drops-to-399-on-amazon-with-discoun/?ncid=rss_truncated

Tumblr gets two-step verification, makes your GIFs more secure

If you’ve scrolled through Tumblr lately and thought to yourself, “Hey, this could use some added security,” the blogging platform has your back. Today the outfit announced that it’s adding two-step authentication as a means of keeping your account safe. Authentication codes are sent either via a text message or an app like Google’s Authenticator, and work akin to basically every other service that uses them: simply input the code with the rest of your login credentials and you should be good to go. Tumblr says that the verification process won’t interfere with using the mobile apps, but you’ll need to create a one-time password via your account settings page in order to sign in on your device. From the sounds of it, this shouldn’t take any longer than finding your next favorite Emma Stone GIF might.

0 Comments

Share


Article source: http://www.engadget.com/2014/03/24/tumblr-two-step-authentication/?ncid=rss_truncated

UK government closes tax loophole on digital media, could mean the end of the 99p song download

Buried within the latest budget plan for the UK, Chancellor George Osborne announced new laws that would ensure internet downloads from the likes of iTunes, Google Play Amazon and game networks would be taxed in the country they’re bought in. In the case of the UK, that would be around 20 percent VAT, substantially more than selling through countries like Luxembourg where the rate can be around 3 percent. Separate to the government’s grand plans for its digital future, the new rule would start January 1st 2015 — “ensuring these are taxed fairly and helping to protect revenue.” According to the government’s estimates, it could net around £300 million in extra tax income, although it’s likely to bring digital download pricing (unfortunately) closer to physical media in the process.

0 Comments

Share


Article source: http://www.engadget.com/2014/03/24/uk-government-tax-loophole-digital-media/?ncid=rss_truncated

IRL: Torque Audio t103z headphones

IRL: Torque Audio t103z headphones

Hey, we’re not here to judge, OK? We won’t say anything about you using Apple’s pack-in EarPods and you can keep your thoughts to yourself about us paying $180 for in-ear headphones. Cool? Cool.

I came across Torque Audio at Engadget’s recent Expand conference and was genuinely impressed with its t103z headphones. As an avid musician, it’s unlikely you’ll find me without a pair of buds in my shoulder bag or back pocket. My addiction to quality audio is actually what first tempted me to ditch my iPhone 4s in favor of an HTC One. For me, it’s as much about evaluating the production of Ellie Goulding’s latest track as it is about casually enjoying the groove — and hopefully picking up a few studio tricks in the process. It only took one week with the aluminum-encased t103zs before they became my go-to pair of reference headphones.

The ability to “mod” headphones might seem gimmicky, but these have honestly filled a hole in my listening experience that I hadn’t realized existed. Torque’s t103zs have a seriously flat (read: unaltered) sound. The punchy stabs in Lady Gaga’s “Applause” and heavy mid-toned guitars of Switchfoot’s “Dark Horses” have never sounded so full and expansive, especially compared to the noticeable compression when played through Apple’s EarPods or the Beats headphones that came standard with the HTC One. Not to mention the t103zs offer a premium metal-and-polycarbonate feel that I completely geek out over.

The true appeal of the t103zs lies in their Passive Acoustic Valve Technology and interchangeable parts, dubbed TorqueValves. Each set of TorqueValves employs a technique known as subtractive equalization, which uniquely adjusts the EQ of your audio by physically cutting specific frequency ranges. For example, by reducing the volume of treble frequencies, the “perceived loudness” of bass frequencies becomes much more apparent in the mix. Without diving any further into the backend of digital audio, this process is innately different — and results in less distortion — than, say, selecting “Bass Booster” in the iTunes Equalizer window or toggling Beats Audio on an HTC One. To be fair, the amount of audible distortion and tonal coloration from the alternative — additive equalization –ultimately depends on the skill of the listener’s ear, but theoretically it’s always there.

Out of the three different pairs of TorqueValves that come in the box, I’ve found myself partial to the “sparkling crisp highs” of the Clear Valves. They do a great job at exposing delay tails and vocal stacks from my favorite Kimbra tracks I’ve only ever enjoyed through custom, triple-driver Westone Elite Series ES3X monitors. When I’m looking for an accurate, real-world audio reproduction of my latest studio project, Torque takes the cake. The t103zs are the best single-driver headphones that have ever graced my ears.

— Andy Bowen

0 Comments

Share


Article source: http://www.engadget.com/2014/03/23/irl-torque-audio-t103z-headphones/?ncid=rss_truncated