Don't Miss A Thing

Follow Engadget

Gas planet becoming habitable

It's tempting to think of gas planets as permanently hostile to life as we know it. A pair of University of Washington researchers beg to differ, however. They've used computer modelling to determine that these worlds can become habitable when their stars get particularly grabby. If a relatively small, solid-core gas planet orbits a class M dwarf, tidal forces can tug it into a habitable zone and not only wipe out the gas (through the dwarf's X-ray and ultraviolet radiation), but produce life-giving water from the core's ice. Provided the timing is right, the result could be downright Earth-like.

Read the Full Story 0 Comments

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.

Inhabitat Week in Green

When the Seattle Seahawks and New England Patriots take the field for the Super Bowl this evening, it will be one of the most widely watched sporting events in the world. And it will also be one of the greenest. The game, which will take place at University of Phoenix Stadium, will be the first Super Bowl host to light its stadium entirely with LEDs, cutting energy use by 75 percent. In other news, Spain announced plans to install the world's first streetlight system that's powered entirely by solar and wind energy. An early prototype shows lampposts with small solar panels and vertical-axis wind turbines attached to the top.

Read the Full Story 0 Comments

It's always cool learning how stuff works. Case in point: cameras. More specifically, digital single-lens reflex (DSLR) pictograph boxes. The chaps over at YouTube channel The Slow Mo Guys have taken their trademark ultra-high-speed camerawork and, well, pointed it at a camera. The result? Seeing what a shutter looks like moving at 1/8000 of a second compared to 1/1000 of a second. Host Gavin Free achieves this, like the rest of the team's pretty rad videos, by shooting at 10,000 frames per-second with a Phantom Flex and then slowing it down for playback. The video below isn't the channel's most impressive clip, but it's perhaps the one with the most useful knowledge. After all, how often will you watch the result of chugging a gallon of milk as opposed to seeing just what happens when you snap a picture? Exactly.

Read the Full Story 0 Comments


Let's get this out of the way: ghost detection is based on junk science. It's trying to prove something that's unprovable almost by definition, using theories that have little connection to the real world. But if you are going to chase phantoms, you might as well have the best technology at your disposal, right? GhostArk certainly thinks so. It's developing a pocketable ghost detector that supposedly has everything you need to track down supernatural beings, including an electromagnetic field meter, high-sensitivity microphones, radio frequency sweeping and sensors for both atmospheric pressure and temperature. Think of it as an audio recorder on steroids -- you can even add white noise to "bolster the spirits' strength." It's a clever concept, even if none of its findings would stand up under academic scrutiny.

Read the Full Story 0 Comments

tax or taxes concept with word on business folder index

Airbnb's been struggling with numerous legal issues for a while now, and one of the biggest complaints against the service is that hosts have been using it to set up illegal hotels to avoid paying taxes. These days, Airbnb's trying to get on the good side of the law, so after getting rid of sketchy listings (in NYC, at least), it's now collecting tourist taxes in more locations. The service has been doing just that in San Francisco and Portland, Oregon since last year, but now the list of locations has grown to include San Jose, California and Amsterdam in the Netherlands (starting this week, as well as Washington and Chicago starting on February 15.

Read the Full Story 0 Comments

Amazon Echo

If you accepted an invitation to buy Amazon's Echo speaker, you've noticed that the device didn't have a vast musical vocabulary at first -- you could tell it to play iHeartRadio or Prime Music tunes, and that's about it. You'll have a better time of things from now on, though. Amazon is rolling out an update that lets you use your voice to steer iTunes, Pandora radio or Spotify on your mobile device. It's not super-sophisticated, but you no longer have to reach for your phone just to skip tracks. And in case millions more songs won't keep you entertained, there's also a "Simon says" command that you can use to prank people (or simply tell them something) from across the home. We'd argue that the biggest upgrade to the Echo would be getting to buy one, but these new features will do in a pinch.


Couple Sitting In Hotel Lobby Looking At Digital Tablet Smiling

Marriott wants you to know that it's completely done trying to block guests' personal WiFi connections -- it has even given up convincing the FCC to give it permission to do so, a spokesperson told Engadget. The company already announced that it won't be keeping people from using their own MiFis and hotspots in hotel rooms, but its official statement at that time said it "will continue to look to the FCC to clarify appropriate security measures network operators." See, the hotel chain still wanted the FCC to let it continue blocking personal WiFi in its business and convention centers in order to protect guests from rogue internet connections, or so it claimed.

Read the Full Story 0 Comments

Pirate Bay phoenix

We're starting to wonder if it's nigh-on impossible to keep The Pirate Bay down. Just weeks after Swedish police raided the bootleg file site and knocked it offline, it's back -- TorrentFreak reports that almost everything is up and running once again, complete with a phoenix graphic (above) to taunt authorities. With that said, it's not quite the same experience that many veteran users would remember. While the pre-raid content remains intact, many of the original staffers are locked out of this version. They're planning to create their own version of the Bay that supposedly restores the community spirit of the original. It's not clear if that'll work, but it sounds like cops and copyright holders may have created more problems for themselves in trying to take down one of the best-known pirate havens.


Must Reads