If you want to judge a gadget on its true strengths, stick several in a room full of Engadget editors and see which one they swarm around. For that alone, Acer's Iconia W3 was a winner as soon as the eight-inch full-Windows tablet arrived in the office. When Dana Wollman was able to wrestle it away for a review, she found that there was much to love, including the reasonable price, free copy of Office and the long battery life. The only demerits were due to a slightly cheap build quality and imperfect keyboard - but you have to expect a few compromises when a product costs $380. What we want to know, dear friends, is what did you like, what did you hate, and what, if anything, would you change?
Online game addiction is a real problem, and some countries are willing to take drastic measures to get these players living a healthier lifestyle. Need proof? Just look up. Photographer Fernando Moleres recently visited an internet gaming rehab camp in Beijing, and saw the facility monitoring the brain activity of addicts using the elaborate device you see above -- the camp wants to see that your mind is changing. The facility also relies on a mixture of medicine, military social structure and psychotherapy to set patients straight. It's hard to know if these "tough love" measures are truly effective, but their very existence reveals just how widespread compulsive gaming has become.
Snapchat warned that it was clamping down on third-party apps to prevent sketchier examples from compromising your security, and it appears to be making good on its word -- much to the chagrin of Windows Phone users, who haven't had an official Snapchat option so far. Windows Central notes that 6snap and other titles that replicated the disappearing message service have abruptly vanished from the Windows Phone Store. Moreover, some users say that Snapchat is following through on warnings that it would permanently lock the accounts of those who kept using unofficial software. If you're in that boat, you now have to start fresh if you want to chat with friends.
They grow up so fast, don't they? It was just a few years ago that HECTOR the stick bug robot was little more than a twinkle in Bielefeld University's eye, and it's already taking its first steps. Okay, so this isn't quite a tear-jerking moment, but it's still an important achievement in robotics. As you'll see in the video below, all of HECTOR's six insect-like legs move independently while reacting to unexpected changes in terrain. They shift to maintain balance on slippery ground, and raise themselves above small obstacles the moment they sense resistance.
If both ultra-widescreen and curved computer monitors are all the rage these days, then Samsung's new SE790C display is supremely fashionable. The 34-inch, 3,440 x 1,440 LCD has both a super-wide 21:9 aspect ratio and a gentle arc, combining two trends (fads?) in one. Supposedly, this all-encompassing design produces a "3D-like" effect that brings you into the action -- that's a little difficult to believe, but the screen will at least look futuristic sitting on your desk. Just don't expect it to make your photos pop. Although the SE790C covers all of the sRGB color range, it's using a middle-of-the-road VA (vertical alignment) panel rather than something particularly vivid, like IPS (in-plane switching). There's also no mention of US availability or pricing, so it's hard to know if this represents a good deal. So long as the price isn't too outlandish, though, it could be a good way to immerse yourself in games and movies.
If you were worried that the US government would see the Sony Pictures hack as grievous enough to prompt a larger conflict with North Korea, you can relax. President Obama tells CNN that he doesn't see the digital assault as an "act of war" -- it was a serious instance of "cybervandalism," but that's it. He still isn't giving any clues as to what the previously mentioned proportional response will be, but the remarks suggest that it won't involve an especially damaging retaliatory hack or any real-world weaponry. If leaks are correct, the White House may be more interested in stopping future attacks by North Korea than launching one of its own.
[Image credit: Alex Wong/Getty Images]
Each week our friends at Inhabitat recap the week's most interesting green developments and clean tech news for us -- it's the Week in Green.
In a big win for the environment, New York just became the first state in the country to ban hydraulic fracturing, the controversial natural gas drilling technique also known as fracking. Governor Andrew Cuomo announced the decision this week following the release of a report that raised concerns about the health effects of fracking. In other green energy news, Australian households are beefing up their use of solar energy at an impressive rate -- one in five Australian homes is now powered by the sun. (By comparison, just 0.4 percent of homes in the US have solar panels.)
Charlie Shrem, former Bitcoin Foundation board member and CEO of the now-defunct exchange BitInstant, has been sentenced to two years in prison for helping Silk Road users anonymously swap cash for digital currency. Silk Road, as you know, was the online marketplace infamous for hosting anonymous drug and gun sales that was busted by the FBI back in 2013. A version 2.0 went up shortly after that, but it suffered the same fate as its predecessor this November. Based on evidence gathered during the crackdown, Shrem agreed to partner with Robert M. Faiella to trade over $1 million in cash from buyers. Faiella was the one with direct contact to buyers, hiding behind the name BTCKing to post ads promoting his dollar-to-Bitcoin business on the marketplace.
Stop us if you've heard this one before: Dish Network is without a couple of channels tonight because it couldn't reach a deal with major media company. After Turner and CBS, this time it's Fox. The dispute between the two is only affecting the Fox News and Fox Business channels, although Dish Network says the problem is that Fox wanted to bring some of its other channels into renewal negotiations, and blames the broadcaster for the blackout. Specifically called out are sports and entertainment channels (Fox Sports, FX, FXX?) Dish claims Fox wanted to triple its rates on. Of course, Fox has its own version of the events, claiming Dish is the one doing the blocking, and lauding the news channel's "nearly two decades without a blackout. For now, we'll just call this one a weekend break from the drone of cable news (the truly concerned can check out each side's propaganda websites -- Fox, Dish) and will let you know if anything changes.
You know Halo: The Master Chief Collection's multiplayer has been, well, problematic since launch despite numerous patches. We know it and Microsoft does, too. That's why it's making it up to everyo...
While President Obama has joined the voices criticizing Sony Pictures for its decision to pull The Interview, its CEO claims he " In an interview with CNN set to air tonight during Anderson Cooper 3...