Check out the Waterlilly Turbine, a generator that can charge your devices with either wind or water. Aimed at campers, this device can be submerged in flowing water or suspended in the wind, turning that energy into stored electrical energy. You can charge an iPhone 7 in 2-4 hours, or you could charge a portable charger over a longer period of time. Like, say, while you’re out hiking, fishing, or otherwise getting your nature on. It comes with its own portable 2,600mAh power bank, or you can charge a separate device. It’s 7-inches square, regulates its power output, and is pretty cool. Waterlilly Turbine retails for $159.99, and it’s $159.00 at Amazon.
The Star Trek TV shows and movies have had a pervasive effect on our culture, language and space technologies. This extensive article at Space.com looks at the history of the franchise and its real-life impact on space exploration. From the article: “Star Trek also has generated a diverse fan base, some of whom create limited episode productions for themselves. Conventions continue to attract thousands of fans who are eager to rub elbows with actors, writers and other people who worked on the various series and movies. The franchise celebrated its 50th anniversary in 2016 and continues to live long and prosper.”
Check out this nifty robot called Sharing Human Technology with Plants. I know, it’s a weird name, but it’s a modified 6-legged robot that carries a potted plant on its head. Better yet, it’s been programmed to seek out light when its cargo needs it, or shade when it doesn’t. Plus, it does a little dance when it needs water. Oh, sure, it looks a lot like a spider, and it will wave you off with its forelegs if you get to close, but come on, it’s so cool! Unfortunately, it’s not a shipping product, or at least not directly. It’s a project by Vincross CEO Tianqi Li, who modified his own company’s HEXA, the six-legged robot itself. He was motivated by a dead sunflower he saw lying in shadow, and it made him think about how it might still be alive if only it could have moved into some light. It’s a cool prototype, even though it’s only minding a low-maintenance succulent. Mr. Tianqi described the project on Vincross’s forum, where it was picked up by The Outline, and then The Verge. There are several moving GIFs showing the pot in action. I suspect it won’t be too long before pots that can do this sort of thing are common (with much smaller footprints). These times they are a changin’!
The new 2018 MacBook Pro has us all talking. But here’s the best review of them all that John has seen. From a NASA engineer.
Ten suppliers will jointly invest in Climate Change Solutions in China.
I say this with sarcasm because the company can barely optimize it for Macs.
If we take the Eurasian patent database at face value, we might see three iPhones and two iPads.
We have a new pay-what-you-want deal called the Complete UI/UX Design Lifetime Bundle, a comprehensive collection of design-related training courses. Photoshop, design, UI and UX, web design, and more are covered in eight different training courses. Pay what you want, even a penny, and you’ll get Photoshop, InDesign, And Illustrator 101. Beat the average price, which is currently $8.87, and you’ll get all eight courses. Beat the current Leader’s price, and you’ll be entered into a drawing for a Super NES Classic.
Apple’s just released 2018 Touch Bar MacBook Pro is the first with a True Tone display, and that extends to a couple external displays, too.
What better way to spend your weekend than hunting zombies? That’s exactly what you can do with The Walking Dead: Our World. It’s a new iPhone game that uses augmented reality to put the undead front of you, and it’s described Pokémon GO with zombies. The game sends you out—literally—to find zombies to kill…or stop…whatever. Complete your zombie eradications to earn better weapons and gain allies. The Walking Dead: Our World is a free download at Apple’s App Store and includes in-app purchases.
Bryan Chaffin and John Martellaro join Jeff Gamet to debate what Apple could do with a Mac mini refresh versus what they’re likely to do, plus Jeff warms up to the idea of an ARM-based Mac.
In certain situations, the U.S. government plants spy phones on people. In one case, the DEA sold encrypted BlackBerry phones to a suspected cocaine smuggler.
“If the government is distributing, effectively, bugging devices, without sufficient court oversight and authorization, I think that could really have a chilling effect on free expression, if people feel like they have to assume the risk that any phone they’re handed could have been bugged in a way that would violate their rights,” says Human Rights Watch researcher Sarah St. Vincent.
In recent disturbing (but not entirely surprising), it turns out that major media outlets don’t mention climate change. Over a two-week period from late June to early July, ABC, CBS, and NBC aired a combined 127 segments or weathercasts that discussed this summer’s heat wave. But only CBS mentioned climate change as a contributing factor.
There is overwhelming scientific evidence that human-induced climate change is exacerbating both the frequency and intensity of heat waves. Heat domes like the one that caused this recent heat wave are becoming more intense and more common, scientists have found. UCLA climate scientist Daniel Swain, who has studied extreme weather patterns in California, said recent heat in California was unusual.
If an algorithm draws lines on a map, is that the same thing as land surveying? A Mississippi court is trying to answer this very question, thanks to a startup called Vizaline.
Since 2014, Vizaline, a startup based in Madison, Mississippi, has provided this very specific service to local banks: drawing polygons on satellite photos. Why would banks want this? Many banks lend money to facilitate real-estate acquisition, and, in this way, the bank can gain a better sense of precisely where this land is in relation to other property.
But Mississippi’s Board of Licensure for Professional Engineers and Surveyors says that it should be the state entity solely responsible for land surveying.
Apple just dropped the subscription price for Texture Premium from US$14.99 to $9.99 per month. Texture the digital magazine subscription service Apple bought earlier this year. The price change is automatic so subscribers don’t need to do anything with their account to make it kick in. Apple told subscribers about the price drop via email, and Harry McCracken shared the news on Twitter.
Texture, now owned by Apple, just got cheaper. pic.twitter.com/lqEekkuDjU
— Harry McCracken (@harrymccracken) July 12, 2018
The US Department of Justice isn’t hip on the idea of AT&T and Time-Warner merging, so it’s contesting the government’s approval of the deal. The DOJ filed an appeal to overturn the merger approval over concerns it will reduce competition in the pay television market. Experts, however, don’t think there’s much hope for the appeal. CNBC said,
Craig Moffett of MoffettNathanson told CNBC’s “Fast Money” that given how decisive [Judge] Leon’s ruling was, there aren’t a lot of obvious arguments the government can make for its appeal. He said, however, that the Justice Department may try push back on the idea that AT&T wouldn’t take into consideration it is an integrated company when it is negotiating programming agreements.
Of course, AT&T and Time-Warner say the merger won’t stifle competition. If the court moves ahead with the appeal and grants a stay that’ll put the whole deal on hold, so it’s a safe bet AT&T is going to fight this in a big way.
Apple has three new short ads showing off Apple Pay Cash. They’re all 15 seconds long and highlight different scenarios where using the feature could be handy.
Apple Music snagged an Emmy nomination in the shortform variety series category for its adaptation of Carpool Karaoke.
Apple announced new MacBook Pros, and Bryan Chaffin and Jeff Gamet talk about what they like (processors and RAM) and what they don’t like (pricing on storage). They also dig into FCC Chairman Ajit Pai’s efforts to reach for a new low.
We have a new Pay What You Want deal called the 2018 Super Mac Bundle. The bundle has 10 Mac apps, including a WhiteSmoke Premium subscription, Disk Drill PRO 3, Aurora HDR 2018 Express, MacX DVD Ripper Pro, Yummy FTP Pro 2, and more. Here’s how the deal work. Pay anything, even a penny, and you’ll get two of the apps. Beat the average price (currently $13.84), and you’ll get all 10 apps.