You might say the day is never really done in consumer technology news. Your workday, however, hopefully draws to a close at some point. This is the Daily Roundup on Engadget, a quick peek back at the top headlines for the past 24 hours – all handpicked by the editors here at the site. Click on through the break, and enjoy.
A Google filing with the SEC hinted that it’s considered displaying ads on a variety of devices that include “refrigerators, car dashboards, thermostats, glasses, and watches.” The company has since commented on the issue, saying that, “Nest, which we acquired after this filing was made, does not have an ads-based model and has never had any such plans.”
eBay looks like it’s the latest company to suffer a security breach after it alerted users that an attack had “compromised a database containing encrypted passwords and other non-financial data.” Change those passwords, stat!
Zenimax Media, owner of id Software, is suing Oculus VR co-founder Palmer Luckey, alleging that Luckey and Oculus VR stole and misappropriated trade secrets related to virtual reality technology. Oculus VR responded and said this lawsuit has no merit.
If you’re still holding on to your Xbox 360 but feel like it’s getting a bit long in the tooth, don’t fear! Engadget’s own Richard Lawler has a few tips that will ensure you’re getting the most out of your favorite game console.
Article source: http://www.engadget.com/2014/05/21/engadget-daily-ads-on-your-thermostat-ebay-password-breach/?ncid=rss_truncated
Admittedly, we’re pretty stoked about the next instalment in the Star Wars saga — specifically seeing the old cast back in action. J.J. Abrams announced the Star Wars: Force for Change initiative from Episode VII’s set in Abu Dhabi this morning. Abram’s company Bad Robot, coupled with Disney and Lucasfilm will use Force for Change to help bring creative solutions to some of the world’s greatest problems. The initiative’s kick off would see your $10 entry fee go to Unicef’s Innovation Labs and Programs and the winner get a role in Episode VII. Yeah, you’ll get to flown to England with a friend, become J.J.’s VIP guest, get hair, make-up and costume sorted for your role. Have deeper pockets? Using the Omaze fundraising platform, entrants can choose all kinds of entry points and get gifts — think Kickstarter for charities. For $5k you get 500 chances to win and a replica lightsaber, for a cool $50K, 5,000 entries and a chance to see the film ahead of the rest of humanity. This first round in what we hope will be an ongoing charity saga, starts today and runs until July 18.
Article source: http://www.engadget.com/2014/05/21/land-a-role-in-star-wars/?ncid=rss_truncated
While most scientists are attempting to give robots facial expressions, a group from Japan’s Kansai University is working on another aspect that makes them more human: physiological reactions. According to IEEE Spectrum, Dr. Tomoko Yonezawa and her team are developing robots that can sweat and get goosebumps in the same situations we do. In fact, the researchers have already developed three prototypes: one is a machine that gets goosebumps in the presence of cold breeze or if told a scary story. Another’s a head that sweats if it feels anxious (which we’d love to see paired up with that robotic armpit that stinks when it sweats), and the third is a teddy bear called Breatter that uses a built-in fan to produce breath when it speaks. The team believes that by giving robots these involuntary reactions, we’d be able to accept them more rather than if they act more like, well, soulless automatons. Now if only someone can create a human-like robot that doesn’t take us on another trip to uncanny valley…
[Image credit: Getty Images]
Article source: http://www.engadget.com/2014/05/20/japan-robot-sweat-goosebumps/?ncid=rss_truncated
When Microsoft invited us to a “small gathering” here in New York City, we thought that meant a smaller-screened Surface Mini was in order. Instead, the company just announced a bigger-screen Surface, the 12-inch Surface Pro 3. In addition to being the biggest Surface, though, it’s also said to be the thinnest-ever product to run a laptop-grade Intel Core i7 processor, at 9.1mm (0.36 inch) thick. Despite its size, it’s relatively lightweight too, at 800g (1.76 pounds). And let’s be clear here: when we say “relatively,” we mean next to a comparable 12-inch laptop, or even a 13-inch Ultrabook; those would weigh somewhere in the neighborhood of three pounds. Even the 11-inch MacBook Air comes in at 2.4 pounds. Of course, the new Surface Pro 3 is still heavy next to an iPad Air or Samsung Galaxy Tab. But hey, the Surface Pro was never supposed to compete with those kinds of tablets anyway. No, this is and always was a laptop killer.
Surface Pro 3
See all photos
Article source: http://www.engadget.com/2014/05/20/microsoft-surface-pro-3/?ncid=rss_truncated
Technology prizes are nothing new, but they tend to be focused on specific issues like space travel or security flaws. The upcoming Longitude Prize, funded by the Nesta charity and the UK government, will be a little more… ambitious. The duo is promising a £10 million ($17 million) reward for the best solution to one of six greater challenges that humanity faces today, such as developing eco-friendly flight or giving independence to the paralyzed. While the winning entry will have to help the British economy in some way, this is otherwise a truly global competition; anyone can enter, and the end result will ideally help the world at large.
And unlike many such challenges, you’ll get a say. Longitude’s committee is opening up voting to the public between May 22nd and June 25th, so there’s a real chance that your preferred cause will get the nod. Whether or not your pick wins, the prize may help foster interest in technology as a humanitarian tool — there’s a chance that everyone will benefit in the long run.
[Image credit: AFP/Getty Images]
Article source: http://www.engadget.com/2014/05/19/longitude-prize/?ncid=rss_truncated
Well, if the comprehensive leaks from last week weren’t enough, Verizon Wireless has just confirmed that its enhanced XLTE wireless data service is a real thing. Haven’t been keeping tabs on the nuances of nationwide wireless network enhancement? It’s cool: we have, and XLTE is nothing to sneeze at. Here’s the gist of it: if you live in one of the markets where Verizon has been fleshing out its LTE network with AWS spectrum it bought in 2012 (the full list of compatible cities is here) and have the right hardware (here’s another list for you), you should notice some snappier peak data speeds without having to do anything at all. Heck, you may still reap the benefits of Verizon’s appetite for AWS even if you’re not rocking the latest hardware. Data speeds for older devices may improve as people with supported gadgets start leaning more on XLTE — Verizon’s best estimate asserts that a full 35% of the the active devices on its network will benefit from flipping the AWS switch, so we’ll see how much better things get for everyone involved.
Article source: http://www.engadget.com/2014/05/19/verizon-lights-up-improved-xlte-service-in-44-states/?ncid=rss_truncated