Editor’s Letter: A littler Wii takes off to the Great White North

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In each issue of Distro, editor-in-chief Tim Stevens publishes a wrap-up of the week in news. Starting this week you can enjoy them on the site as well.

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The biggest shopping holidays of the year are over, which means it’s time to go back to paying full retail for gadgets — or whatever Amazon is charging, anyway. Sales on both Black Friday and Cyber Monday were way up over last year; Friday shot 26 percent over 2011, crossing the $1 billion mark for the first time. Cyber Monday sales, meanwhile, climbed an estimated 17 percent for a total of $1.46 billion. With online sales so strong, the days of getting up at 4AM to stand in a chilly line outside of Best Buy may be behind us, replaced by hitting up bestbuy.com as soon as you get to your cubicle in the morning. I’m okay with that.

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Source: Engadget

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How-to: Picking a desktop environment in Linux

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DNP Howto Picking a Desktop Environment in Linux

We’ve taken you through a tour of Window Managers in Linux, and now it’s time to show you the Window Manager’s bigger brother: the desktop environment, or DE for short. With a sea of choices out there, we can see where Linux newbies might feel a bit overwhelmed. Catch us after the break and we’ll show you some of our favorites, along with a few honorable mentions.

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Credit: Engadget

Hybrid Sports Bicycle eyes-on (video)

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DNP Hybrid Sports Bicycle eyeson video

The L.A. Auto Show isn’t just loaded with flashy concept cars from auto industry heavyweights, it’s also a breeding ground for innovation in the transportation industry as a whole. While cruising the halls of the Los Angeles Convention Center, a unique contraption caught our eye. Pictured above is the Hybrid Sports Bicycle (HSB), a triple threat that runs on gas, electricity and good old fashion human pedaling. The project is currently seeking investors, with its creator Tomas Bubilek targeting a retail price somewhere between $6,000 to $7,000. For those of you who might think that this is a high premium, we’ve definitely seen hybrid bikes that far exceed this toll. So, if you’re in the business of being an early adopter, check out the video below to see what might be replacing that segway you bought a few years back.

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Hat Tip To: Engadget

Fiat’s 500e EV debuts at the LA Auto Show, we go eyes-on

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Fiat's 500e EV debuts at the LA Auto Show, we go eyeson

We’ve had ample opportunity to ogle the electrical version of Fiat’s venerable 500 when the Italian firm fortold its US arrival years ago. This week at the LA Auto Show, the car finally made its official debut, so naturally, we had to swing by and check it out. While we’ve got plenty of eye-candy of the diminutive EV in our gallery below, allow us to first regale you with the car’s specs. Under the hood lies a 111HP motor powered by a 24 kWh battery that generates 147 pound-feet of torque — not exactly the stump-pulling grunt of its new Yankee competition, but still plenty of power for such a small car. Range tops out around 80 miles in general use, while city drivers can expect an extra 20 miles per charge. Speaking of, the car gets all the juice it needs through a 240-volt outlet in just under four hours. Can’t wait to get one? Well, Fiat’s not telling how much the 500e will cost, but we do know it’ll be available California starting Q2 of 2013, and it’ll come to the rest of North America by the middle of the year.

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Source: Engadget

Facebook Photo Sync boots smartphone snaps to a private album as you shoot

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Facebook Photo Sync boots smartphone photos to a private album as you shoot

Can’t be bothered with adding photos to your Facebook albums la carte? Well, Photo Sync has your name all over it. Rolling out today for Android and iOS, the new service automatically sends images from your smartphone (or Galaxy Camera, perhaps?) to a private album in the cloud. Once you’re ready to flip your frames public, simply tick a box on each image to post it. And, because everything’s easier to understand with a fancy promo video, you can learn all about Photo Sync in the dialog-free Facebook montage at the source link below.

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Source: Facebook

Hat Tip To: Engadget

New 21.5-inch iMac gets an early teardown in Japan

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New 215inch iMac gets an early teardown in Japan

We’re currently putting Apple’s latest “skinny” iMac through its paces here in New York, but an eager Japanese customer has already popped open the 21.5-inch desktop’s case, revealing a serviceable hard drive, removable logic board and even a bit of room to spare in the tapered silver housing. There’s not much in the way of details over at Kodawarisan, a scant Japanese-language site, but there are plenty of interior pics to gawk at, tiding us over until the experts at iFixit manage to dissect an iMac of their own. Head on over to the source link below for a dozen or so undressed snaps of Cupertino’s latest creation.

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Via: Gizmodo

Source: Kodawarisan

Credit: Engadget

NASA finds new evidence of ice in Mercury’s polar craters

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NASA finds new evidence for ice in Mercury's polar craters

While the Mars Curiosity rover has garnered most of our space-gazing attention lately, another of NASA‘s spacecraft has made quite a momentous discovery on an entirely different planet. The Messenger space probe (which stands for MErcury Surface, Space ENvironment, GEochemistry and Ranging) has found new evidence for ice on Mercury, which is surprising given its proximity to the sun. Thanks to a subtly tilted axis, many of the planet’s polar craters never see the light of day, and can dip to temperatures as low as minus 370 Fahrenheit. Indeed, scientists claim there’s 100 billion to 1 trillion tons of ice on Mercury — David Lawrence, a Messenger participating scientist, said that “if spread over an area the size of Washington, D.C., [the ice] would be more than two miles thick.” The Messenger, which only started orbiting Mercury last year, helped confirm scientists’ conclusions by capturing detailed images of the planet’s surface, measuring the craters’ reflectivity and utilizing a neutron spectrometer that discovered the presence of excess hydrogen. Scientists even found slightly warmer regions on Mercury that might be temperate enough for, well, a colony: “People joke about it, but it’s not so crazy, really,” said David A. Paige, a UCLA professor quoted in the New York Times. Of course, this is assuming we don’t boil or freeze to death on our way there. For more information about the find, check out the press release below.

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Source: John Hopkins University APL, New York Times, NASA

Hat Tip To: Engadget

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