Switched On: Higher stakes, higher ground for crowdfunding, part 2

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Each week Ross Rubin contributes Switched On, a column about consumer technology.

DNP Switched On Higher stakes, higher ground for crowdfunding, part 2

Last week’s Switched On discussed the issues around crowdfunding liability, offering examples of some recent tech projects that delivered late or inconsistently, and explaining the justification for sites such as Kickstarter and Indiegogo denying accountability. Given this, there are a few options in how consumers choose to engage with crowdfunding sites.

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Cowon D20 launches in Japan, keeps MP3 players alive 90 hours at a time

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Cowon D20 launches in Japan, keeps MP3 players alive 90 hours at a time

There’s no denying it: the MP3 player market is in free fall, and competitors often have to either go big or go home if they want to justify their work over the many smartphone alternatives. Cowon is still kicking, and the extreme battery life of its new D20 player may be a good explanation as to why. Along with 13 hours of video, it can play 90 hours of music on a charge — enough that the tunes could blast non-stop through a long weekend. Not that the player will otherwise rock the boat, as it’s still carrying a 2.5-inch, 320 x 240 resistive touchscreen, 8GB to 32GB of built-in storage, an SD card slot and Cowon’s familiar (if hyper-stylized) interface. The company is partly counting on a low cost to get its foot in the door. Following a tease earlier this month in Russia, the D20 is launching in Japan at prices between ¥11,800 ($125) and ¥16,800 ($178) — not a bad deal, so long as endurance rules your world.

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Via: Akihabara News

Source: Cowon

Origin: Engadget RSS Feed

IBM Roadrunner retires from the supercomputer race

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IBM Roadrunner retires from the supercomputer race

For all the money and effort poured into supercomputers, their lifespans can be brutally short. See IBM’s Roadrunner as a textbook example: the 116,640-core cluster was smashing records just five years ago, and yet it’s already considered so behind the times that Los Alamos National Laboratory is taking it out of action today. Don’t mourn too much for the one-time legend, however. The blend of Opteron and Cell processors proved instrumental to understanding energy flow in weapons while also advancing the studies of HIV, nanowires and the known universe. Roadrunner should even be useful in its last gasps, as researchers will have a month to experiment with the system’s data routing and OS memory compression before it’s dismantled in earnest. It’s true that the supercomputer has been eclipsed by cheaper, faster or greener competitors, including its reborn Cray arch-nemesis — but there’s no question that we’ll have learned from Roadrunner’s brief moment in the spotlight.

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Via: NBC

Source: Los Alamos National Laboratory

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IRL: IOGEAR GearPower GMP10K, SteelSeries Free Mobile Gaming Controller and the Metabones Speed Booster

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Welcome to IRL, an ongoing feature where we talk about the gadgets, apps and toys we’re using in real life and take a second look at products that already got the formal review treatment.

IRL: Timbuk2 Commute bag, SteelSeries Free Mobile Gaming Controller and the Metabones Speed Booster
Anyone out there a fan of Sony’s mirrorless cameras? How about Canon’s premium glass? Good. We knew there’d be some of you. In any case, with this week’s IRL, we’ll be sharing everything you ever wanted to know about the Metabones Speed Booster, which fastens your full-frame EF lenses onto Sony’s E-mount NEX cameras. And, of course, what would an IRL column be without an external battery pack? (Seriously, we can’t live without ’em.)

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PBS shows how hacking is reclaiming its good name after a bad rap (video)

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PBS explains how hacking got a bad rap and is reclaiming its good name video

Hacking is still a loaded concept for many, often conjuring negative images of corporate espionage, fraudsters and prank-minded script kiddies. PBS’ Off Book wants to remind us that hacking wasn’t always seen this way — and, thanks to modern developments, is mending its reputation. Its latest episode shows that hacking began simply as a desire to advance devices and software beyond their original roles, but was co-opted by a sometimes misunderstanding press that associated the word only with malicious intrusions. Today, hacking has regained more of its original meaning: hackathons, a resurgence of DIY culture and digital protests prove that hacks can improve our gadgets, our security and even our political landscape. We still have a long way to go before we completely escape movie stereotypes, but the mini-documentary may offer food for thought the next time you’re installing a custom ROM or building your own VR helmet.

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It’s World Backup Day: no time like the present to protect the past

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It's World Backup Day no time like the present to protect the past

There are two kinds of computer owners: those that backup their data, and those who will backup after they lose something irreplaceable. It’s that last group for whom World Backup Day exists, and the special occasion has returned for a third year to make sure we all wind up in that first, very responsible camp. Thankfully, it’s easier than ever to have at least some kind of safety net. Along with ridiculously high-capacity external hard drives, both Mac and Windows users have simple built-in software to make backup a set-it-and-forget-it affair. No money or room for an extra drive on the desk? No problem: cloud storage is ubiquitous, and even includes unlimited options. Mobile users have it a little easier with a myriad of Apple, Google and Microsoft cloud services, although there’s third-party options in that space, too. In short, you’ve got few excuses to skimp out when it comes to safeguards, and enough choices to seriously consider using two or more — which might be wise in this dangerous era of meteorite showers and brick-tossing robots.

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Source: World Backup Day

Original: Engadget RSS Feed

Inhabitat’s Week in Green: TORQ Roadster, quantum-dot solar cells and an invisibility cloak

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Each week our friends at Inhabitat recap the week’s most interesting green developments and clean tech news for us — it’s the Week in Green.

DNP Inhabitat's Week in Green TKTKTK

This week, Team Inhabitat traveled to Mountain View, Calif., to get a look at the 100 percent sun-powered Solar Impulse airplane before it embarks on its first flight across the United States. Inhabitat editors also braved the crowds at the 2013 New York International Auto Show to report on the hottest new hybrids and electric cars. Some of the green cars unveiled at this year’s show were the compact Mercedes-Benz 2014 B-Class Electric Drive and BMW’s sexy new Active Tourer plug-in hybrid. The Tesla Model S was named the 2013 World Green Car of the Year, beating out the Renault Zoe and the Volvo V60. And speaking of new auto unveils, Epic EV unveiled its new all-electric TORQ Roadster, which looks like a roofless Batmobile and can go from 0-60 MPH in just four seconds.

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