On Gear Live: 5 kitchen gadgets to up your cooking game

Apple Acquires Beats Electronics

Apple is purportedly set to make its biggest acquisition in the history of the company, as The Financial Times is reporting that it is about to buy Beats Electronics for $3.2 billion. What would Apple get out of Beats Audio? Well, for starters, there's the Beats Music subscription platform, which allows customers to listen to on-demand music along with curated mood-based playlists. That would be a great complement to iTunes Radio, which doesn't allow users to put songs on repeat, and limits skip functionality. Additionally, Beats is likely most known for its iconic Beats by Dr. Dre headphone line. Apple would become owner of the audio hardware in the case of an acquisition, and could even use the Beats Audio sound profile in future iOS devices (similar to what HTC did in its phones when it was a stakeholder in Beats Audio a couple of years ago.)

Apple and Beats Electronics are both keeping silent for now, but if the deal does go through, it's large enough that an official announcement will be made by both companies.


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Gramofon kickstarter cloud music player spotify

Gramofon might be named after the 19th century sound system, but it's as modern as it gets. It's a wireless jukebox that streams music from cloud services like Spotify.

It's the latest brainchild of Fon, the crowdsourced W-iFi network. You connect the Gramofon to your speakers and your Wi-Fi network, and it acts as a Wi-Fi booster and gives off a signal that mobile devices can connect to. Those devices can be used to manipulate playlists.

Now, if you are thinking “so how is this any different than plugging speakers into my iPhone?”, well, with the Gramofon you can make music more social, as anyone on your network is able to use it. You and your friends can share music, create and modify playlists and otherwise get your groove on.

At first, Gramofon will stream from Spotify and Rhapsody. However, the company plans to add other services like Rdio, Grooveshark, SoundCloud, Pandora, Google Play, Songza, and more. If you're interested, check it out on Kickstarter. Fon has stated that the first batch of Gramofons are ready to ship in July. You can get yourself one by backing it for $50. Check out video of the project after the jump.

Click to continue reading Gramofon looks to be your cloud music jukebox for $50

Read More | Gramofon on Kickstarter

Tazer-proof clothing carbon fiber

Remember the scene in Batman Begins where Christian Bale takes a taser directly to his bat armor and doesn't flinch? If you found that pretty cool then get excited, because this same borderline-superhuman ability can be yours. Hackaday user Shenzhen claims to have developed a way to make stun gun-proof clothing.

You won't look as intimidating as the Batman but you can get away with more style since just about any piece of clothing can be converted into high tech shock-armor. You just need a layer of carbon fiber, and that's widely available, given that it is commonly used in upholstery fabric at under $20 per yard.

Click to continue reading Taser-proof your clothes with carbon fiber


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Microsoft smartwatch patent

With the smartphone being a huge success, companies like Samsung and Sony got the idea to make it smaller and wrist mounted, creating the Galaxy Gear and Sony Smartwatch lines respectively. Now Microsoft has decided to muscle into the game, registering its patents with the U.S. Government this week.

The application filed with the patent office describes the wearable as a music player, phone, message device, and fitness measuring device. The watchface would be detachable from the wristband so that it can be connected to a charging port.

The features described are still speculation, and no date has been stated for release. Microsoft is up against competition from Samsung, who released their product last year, Motorola, which plans to release the Moto 360 in July, and Pebble, which has already sold over 400,000 units.


Tzukuri Eyewear iphone sunglasses

Sunglasses are one of the items that are easy to leave behind and lose, and Tzukuri Eyewear is looking to make that problem a thing of the past by using iBeacon technology. Imagine, if you will, a pair of shades with an iBeacon embedded into its frame that your iPhone connects to and is aware of. Since the iPhone can tell the distance of the beacon signal, you get a notification letting you know that you left your sunglasses behind. You can see just how far away from you they are as long as you are still in range of the iBeacon signal. Pretty cool, right?

The Tzukuri Eyewear models of sunglasses are made using 3D analysis so that they look good on more faces than the average pair. They have six designs in three sizes, each of which is handcrafted in Japan and incorporate high-quality anti-scratch, polarized lenses with 100% UV protection.


In this episode I bring you a first-look at the new LEGO Fairground Mixer set. Part of the LEGO Creator series, the Fairground Mixer 10244 includes the Mixer ride, ticket booth, working dunk tank, test of strength area, 12 minifigures (including new throwing up minifig!), and two trucks that carry everything around. A hand crank makes the Mixer turn, or you can attach an automatic motor. This set was revealed at the Sydney Brickshow, and includes 1,746 individual pieces, so it'll take you a little while to get it all put together (it's rated at expert level, after all!) When all is said and done, though, you'll be left with a great-looking, usable carnival scene with working attractions. We give you a look at how it all works in this episode.

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HTC One M8 review

Last year, HTC impressed us with the release of the original HTC One, a phone that featured what we believed to be the best build quality of any Android smartphone. This year, the HTC One (M8) takes its place as the flagship handset from HTC.

On the surface, the HTC One (M8) improves upon the original in a multitude of ways. Faster internals. Dual-lens UltraPixel camera. Larger display. Improved industrial design. The question is, though, does the final product add up to being another that can stand above the crowded Android line-up? We've put the device through its paces, and we are here to answer all of those questions here in our full HTC One (M8) review.

Click to continue reading HTC One (M8) review: The best Android phone gets even better


In this episode I give you a comparison review of the HTC One (M8) vs. the original HTC One. Last year, I named the HTC One as my favorite Android smartphone, and this year the HTC One M8 has a great chance at claiming the title again. We've received a bunch of questions from readers asking about the differences between the two devices, and if it is worth upgrading from the 2013 model to the new HTC One M8.

I go through each major change and upgrade (and, in one case, a downgrade) to give you a thorough look at what's new and what's changed!

Pick up your own HTC One M8:

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In this episode we open up the Nest Protect. Nest Protect is a smoke & carbon monoxide detector from the makers of the Nest Smart Thermostat. It will let you know in plain English that there is a problem in the home, and will also tell you which room it's in. False alarms are easily silenced with a wave. If you have multiple Protect units in your home, they will talk to each other, and they'll even use motion sensor data to alert the Nest Thermostat that there is someone home, so that it knows to keep the temperature to where you like it to be.

We will follow-up with a setup video, and an installation video of the Nest Protect as well, following this unboxing!

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LEGO Fairground mixer

LEGO has announced one of its most impressive Creator sets yet in the Fairground Mixer 10244. Focused on recapturing the magic of the traveling carnival, where kids would ride on rickety, precarious contraptions while other would walk around carrying stuffed prized, popcorn, and cotton candy, the set succeeds in its goal.

LEGO unveiled the set this past weekend at the Sydney Brickshow in Sydney, Australia, bringing with it the nostalgia of days gone past. If you were around during the traveling carnival heyday, you know that it all begins with the trucks. That's how all those rides get moved from town to town, and that's how the LEGO Fairground Mixer 10244 operates as well. The entire set of attractions (and characters!) neatly tucks away into the LEGO trucks. Here's a look at what's in the set:

Click to continue reading LEGO Fairground Mixer 10244 brings the magic of the carnival home

Gallery: LEGO Fairground Mixer 10244 brings the magic of the carnival home


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