If you've been an early adopter of smart home technology, you've probably recognized just how cumbersome it all can be. As cool and futuristic as the devices themselves are, it gets old having to jump in and out of multiple apps in order to turn on your smart lights, lock your smart lock-equipped door, set your security system, manage your thermostat, etc. In fact, the average home has over 100 devices that can potentially connect to the Internet, as I learned when Panasonic told me about its Ora technology that looks to power the smart home of the future.
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With the Surface Pro 3, Microsoft has switched up its strategy on its tablet PC, aiming to make it the best Windows laptop for the average consumer. This is the third attempt from the company at reinventing the laptop, bringing tablet parity into the product that runs on a full-on Intel Core i5 processor. It’s a large tablet. It’s a thin laptop. It’s a powerful 2 in 1. Is it the one for you, though?
There were any number of reasons to be excited for Middle Earth: Shadow of Mordor, which launched earlier this week. For myself and many others, it was the Nemesis system--which promises unique enemies and emergent gameplay--that was the most exciting aspect of all. And while it's certainly an intriguing feature, I can't help but feel I've been missing out on it for basically being too good at the game.
Until reviews started to hit the web, I was very cautious in being optimistic about Monolith's first-ever Lord of the Rings game. For being such a major franchise, quality games based on it have been few and far between--something that's especially surprising considering its renewed popularity following the release of Peter Jackson's movies. Once I heard the almost-unanimous praise from the reviewers I trust, I was onboard. I was ready to finally play a LotR game that was a genuinely good game, not another passable one that I accepted because it happened to make use of one of my favorite franchises.
Today, Microsoft officially announced the next version of Windows: Windows 10. If you’re confused, you’re not alone. The currently-available version of Windows is 8.1, which means that Microsoft has inexplicably decided to forego version 9 altogether. Rumors that the next version would be called Windows TH, Windows One, or Windows 9 have now been dashed—Windows 10 is the future of Microsoft’s desktop operating system. It’s also still technically the 9th release of Windows.
At an unveiling event earlier today, the company called Windows 10 the “most comprehensive platform ever,” as it will run on all displays, from 4-inches and up. That means Windows 10 will run on phones, tablets, laptops, desktops, servers, and high definition television screens. “Windows 10 will deliver the right experience on the right device at the right time," said Microsoft's Terry Myerson. "Windows 10 will run on the broadest types of devices ever."
Optimists will say that Microsoft is listening to all of the negative backlash that was met with the release of Windows 8, taking in that feedback, and reverting a bunch of changes to give customers what they want. Others will point out that Windows 10 looks like a mashup of the beloved Windows 7 and the polarizing Windows 8, with a bunch of Mac OS X features (like Expose and Mission Control) thrown in, and is an obvious step backwards. We see both sides of the argument, but it’s also very early to tell, as Windows 10 won’t ship until late 2015.
GoPro has announced the new GoPro Hero4 Black Edition camera, which takes its top-of-the-line model and adds in 4K recording at 30 frames per second, what many video enthusiasts consider to be the holy grail for a pocket camcorder. That’s not all, as it can also do 1080p at 120 frames per second (great for slow motions video recording,) and takes 12 megapixel images, up to 30 per second. On the inside you’ll find a processor that is twice a fast as what was in the GoPro Hero3+ Black Edition, as well as a redesigned microphone with double the dynamic range as the previous model. Built-in Bluetooth and Wi-Fi allow you to use a smartphone or tablet as a live remote viewfinder for the Hero4 Black Edition as well, which is just awesome. You can pick up the GoPro Hero4 Black edition for $500 starting October 5th.
Today in the Gear Live Deals Shop we're got an awesome 25% discount on the Sensordrone Bluetooth Sensor. Connect this thing to your smartphone over Bluetooth, and you've got a supercharged device that can monitor things like carbon monoxide levels, temperature, weather, gas leaks, and more. Other sensors include light, pressure, color, and proximity. It's good enough to be our Deal of the Day! There are almost a dozen apps you can download that can take advantage of the data that the Sensordrone provides, with more to come. Check out the video below that gives more details.
Amazon has released a new video that teases what we expect to be its new Kindle smartphone. You can see people in the video interacting with...something...whatever it is, it has been masterfully cut from the footage. The users are all impressed, saying things like "It moved with me!" and "How does it do that?" while swaying back and forth. Of course, the rumored Amazon smartphone was said to include six cameras near the display that would track the movement of your head in order to provide an interactive, glasses-free 3D user interface.
While the video, which we've embedded below, doesn't give away much of anything, what we are expecting is a smartphone with a 4.7-inch display, a Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 processor, 13-megapixel camera, and 2GB RAM. And that crazy software UI. As you can see in Amazon's teaser image above, the device is black, and has a beveled rear edge. The company has planned a big launch event in Seattle on June 18th, where we'll bring you all of the news as it's announced. For now, check out the video after the break.
Last week on Last Week Tonight with John Oliver, Oliver did a fantastic segment that lasted over 13 minutes talking about the issue of net neutrality and the work (or, lack thereof) that the FCC is going to address it. He broke it down perfectly and in true John Oliver fashion, touching on all the important points while keeping it light and funny. Then, at the end, Oliver called for the Internet commenter trolls to unite and head over to the FCC Web site to make their voices heard on the net neutrality forum. The result? The FCC site collapsed under the pressure. Seriously, I encourage you to watch the segment, which we've embedded here in this post. After you do, head on over to the FCC Web site and let them know to put a stop to this ridiculousness.
Have you ever wondered what it might look like to get a first-person view of what Superman might see while flying around the world, fighting crime? A group over at Corridor Digital went to work on an awesome video that shows the superhero flying around skyscrapers in city environments, as well as rural areas after donning a GoPro Hero 3 camera. Check out the video after the jump--it's pretty impressive work!