Released over a year and a half ago, the Alpha SLT-A55V was at one point the flagship of Sony's (then) new translucent-mirror lineup. It's since been surpassed by the A77 and the A65V, leaving it to occupy the a-bit-less-entry-level position above the A35. The new replacement, the SLT-A57, comes in at the same price as its predecessor but without the built-in geotagging capabilities that were notable in the A55, and with a few new features.… Read more
DARPA is quickly becoming the supplier of my nightmares.
As if the monstrous AlphaDog wasn't intimidating enough, it now has a feline friend, the "Cheetah," that will certainly have you running for the hills. Chances are you won't be able to outrun it, though.
Created by Boston Dynamics, Cheetah is allegedly now the fastest legged robot on the planet. DARPA released a video today showing the bot running at various speeds on a laboratory treadmill, ultimately hitting its maximum speed of 18 mph. This breaks the previous land-speed record of 13.1 mph set back in 1989. … Read more
According to a report by the New York Times, nearly 25 percent of the traffic handled by search engine Wolfram Alpha comes from Siri, Apple's voice-controlled personal assistant software.
Apple announced a partnership with Wolfram Alpha in October when it released the iPhone 4S and introduced Siri. Wolfram Alpha differs from other search engines in that its results are based on data curated by Wolfram Alpha, not on algorithms attempting to sort the Web like Google or Bing.
Despite early criticism of Wolfram Alpha's self-described "computational knowledge engine," including its initial focus on mathematical and scientific … Read more
Because of Apple's partnership with search comparison engine Wolfram Alpha, Siri now has the ability to search the entire Best Buy catalog, a feature added to Wolfram Alpha today.
Best Buy has public APIs that have allowed Wolfram Alpha to leverage the data from more than 35,000 products that Best Buy sells. Because Wolfram Alpha was built on a natural-language interface, as Siri is, the ability to get accurate and informative results using voice recognition is that much more impressive.
Siri, using Wolfram Alpha's access to Best Buy's APIs, has access to pricing information, tech specs, … Read more
Leaked from today's 404 Podcast EpisodeWolfram Alpha Travel Assistant app answers the question, " Where's that plane going?" Who knew Rotten Tomatoes is owned by Warner Brothers? Canada unveils new plastic $100 bills with high-tech security features: changing colors, hidden text, and backward numbers. Tomorrow the world will join Singapore to celebrate the 10th annual World Toilet Day, as decreed by the World Toilet Organization (WTO), the World Toilet Summit, and the World Toilet College.… Read more
Have you ever wanted to know where the planes flying overhead were going? If so, you finally have a way to find out.
If you head over to Wolfram Alpha right now and input "flights overhead" into the search box, the site will return all the planes that are currently over your position, their altitude, angle, and slant distance. The site even displays a Sky map to show where planes are in relation to the position of the sun and moon.
But if you want more usable data, like where the planes took off from and where they'… Read more
There's good sound, and there's high-end sound; the difference is in the details. Case in point: the little Cruise USB digital-to-analog headphone amplifier from Alpha Design Labs by Furutech.
The Cruise sounds clear, clean and remarkably transparent. Regarding the details, connectivity comes in two flavors, there's a 3.5 mm analog stereo line input and 24/96 USB digital input. The Cruise can run off its external AC power supply, internal rechargeable lithium ion battery, or USB power from your computer. Furutech claims the battery is good for 80 hours of playback time.
High-end gear has to look the part, and again the Cruise scores. It may be a little thing, but it feels solid. Mirror-polished, nonmagnetic stainless-steel end caps flank a curvy, high-gloss carbon fiber body. Resting on my desktop the Cruise absolutely looks the part; it's the real deal. … Read more
Incessant flooding in Thailand is affecting many people, as well as another area of consumer electronics in addition to hard drives: Sony's upcoming high-end NEX-7 and A65 cameras, as well as some lens kits.
Sony's manufacturing plant in Ayutthaya has stopped production after torrents of water damaged the facility, the company said in a statement. The situation is so bad that the company is shifting production to another Sony factory southwest of Ayutthaya in the Chonburi province. Crave Asia visited the Ayutthaya facility last year and shot several pictures. … Read more
For companies that would take on Google's near-monopoly in the search business, being big is a challenge. There is, in fact, only one truly big Google rival left: Microsoft's Bing. And while it's a worthy opponent in terms of features and raw ingenuity, it's still a hugely pricey, money-losing venture.
Being a smaller, more specialized Google competitor, however, can work. And good things happened for two of my favorites this week.
Favorite #1 is DuckDuckGo. Despite the wacky name, it's a traditional search engine. In fact, part of its appeal is that it feels … Read more