Since in-ear headphones sit in or near the ear canal, they don't interact with the pinna, the bends and curves of the outer ear that direct sound to the ear canal. The pinna also serves as an acoustic filter, enhancing the frequency range of human speech, and it also supplies directional cues, so we can localize where sound is coming from. That's how our ears and brains process sound in real life, but in-ear headphones don't interact with the pinna, so they can't sound as realistic as full-size headphones or speakers. In-ears can still sound great, … Read more
Today's headline roundup will have you worried about Terminator cats targeting rich Mac users via their Facebook email addresses:
The engineers at the super secret Google X lab have created the self-driving car and the augmented reality Google glasses. This time, while trying to push the limits of technology, they may have started to create Skynet. Google engineers strung 16,000 computer processors together, and then set the network free on the Internet. The New York Times explains that the system began to learn... about cats. Google engineers never told the computer what a cat was, it just picked … Read more
Google scientists working in the company's secretive X Labs have made great strides in using computers to simulate the human brain.
Best known for inventing self-drivingand augmented-reality eyewear, the lab created a neural network for machine learning by connecting 16,000 computer processors and then unleashed it on the Internet. Along the way, the network taught itself to recognize cats.
While the act of finding cats on the Internet doesn't sound all that challenging, the network's performance exceeded researchers' expectations, doubling its accuracy rate in identifying objects from a list of 20,000 items, according … Read more
I've reviewed my share of portable headphone amplifiers, but ALO's new Rx-MK3B just might be the best on a number of counts. First, the amp is compact, just about the same size as an iPhone, but twice as thick. ALO invested two years of engineering and development time in the Rx-3B, and makes it in the U.S.
The Cypher Labs AlgoRhythm Solo is a portable digital-to-analog converter designed only for use with iPhones, iPads, and iPods, but it won't work with computers (it's not a USB DAC). There are precious few portable DACs that can … Read more
The Foursquare app for both iPhone and Android got a complete redesign in the latest update out moments ago. The streamlined interface uses fewer buttons than older versions but adds changes in functionality based on millions of users' feedback, says Alex Rainert, head of product at Foursquare.
The new redesign simplifies the look with only three buttons across the bottom for Friends, Explore, and your profile. The new Friends tab lets you view a feed of latest activity from your friends with big photographs; lets you comment and "Like" any activity; and check out tips and lists that … Read more
The Flame virus recently found in Iran could be used to infect other countries, according to the International Telecommunications Union.
As the United Nations agency charged with helping members protect their data networks, the ITU plans to issue a warning about the danger of Flame.
"This is the most serious (cyber) warning we have ever put out," Marco Obiso, cyber security coordinator for the ITU, told Reuters. The warning will paint the virus as a "dangerous espionage tool that could potentially be used to attack critical infrastructure," Reuters added.
Flame was recently identified as a culprit … Read more
In the future panopticon society of all-seeing robots, don't count on expressing your loyalty to our metal masters with a halfhearted grin.
MIT boffins have already trained computers to recognize real smiles of delight from smiles borne out of frustration. And natch, they can already do it better than us lowly meatsacks. … Read more
Hillcrest Labs isn't a household name, but if you have a Roku 2 streaming player (and really, you should) the company has entered your home.
Based in Rockville, Md., Hillcrest developed the motion-sensing technology used in Roku's remote. So when you're flipping through menus or playing Angry Birds, Hillcrest is behind how it all works. Its first product in the motion space was the Loop controller, which it showed at CES 2007. After that, the company went on to license its technology to Sony and LG, develop the Kylo browser, and sue Nintendo over the Wii controller.
For the next year, however, Hillcrest is thinking smaller. And by that I mean right down to the mobile level. Two weeks ago at CTIA in New Orleans, SVP Chad Lucien explained how the company is working to integrate motion control technology into cell phones and tablets. … Read more
Meet Funranium Labs founder Phil Broughton.
He's a radiation safety specialist at the University of California at Berkeley. He was once a cryogenics technician for the Amundsen-Scott South Pole scientific research station. He's really into coffee and beer and finding the best way to deliver those products into his system, and he has boldly offered himself up as a guinea pig for science by personally testing and developing products for discerning geek customers.
Let's start with the Stein of Science. Each stein is crafted from a bench top liquid nitrogen dewar flask. That means it will keep your beer frosty cold for quite a long time. That also means it's not cheap. A 655-milliliter Stein of Science costs $230. Your fellow lab rats will be insanely jealous when you show up to the next party with one of these bad boys.… Read more
Honeywell today summarily denied counterclaims in a patent infringement suit it filed against thermostat startup Nest Labs.
In a court filing, Honeywell stood by its claims that Nest infringed on its numerous patents in programmable thermostats. The suit was first filed against Nest in February.
Nest responded to the suit in April, saying that Honeywell's seemingly broad patents are "hopelessly invalid" and said Honeywell is trying to stifle innovation.
In today's filing, Honeywell fired back, saying the thermostat heavyweight intends to vigorously defend its intellectual property. The filing said Nest Labs' counter claims are "irrelevant … Read more