Welcome to Feedback Loop, a weekly roundup of the most interesting discussions happening within the Engadget community. There's so much technology to talk about and so little time to enjoy it, but you have a lot of great ideas and opinions that need to be shared! Join us every Saturday as we highlight some of the most interesting discussions that happened during the past week.
This week, we speculate on what we want to see from E3, share our fond memories of our first MP3 players and talk about strategies for securing our passwords. Head past the break to join the conversation!
We told you to put on your disappointment pants for the Galaxy Gear 2, but for the Rufus Cuff we suggest rolling up your absurdity sleeves. Seriously, given its three-inch screen you might just have to. This wearable boasts a built-in mic, a camera, a speaker, web browser, voice control, GPS and full access to the Google Play store -- if the Cuff sounds like a smartphone that straps to your wrist, well, that's basically what it is. It connects to your Android or iPhone via Bluetooth for mobile data, making calls and sending texts, but it's running a full version of Google's mobile OS and can hook on to WiFi if you're in a cellular dead-zone or if your phone's battery runs out.
While the gizmo doesn't exactly look practical (we're pretty sure that it won't play nice with the cuffs of a slim-cut oxford), as of this writing it's has raised over $150,000 of its $200,000 IndieGoGo goal, with a handful of days to go. If you dig the idea of strapping one of these monstrosities on your wrist, all it takes is a $249 pledge.
You can always swing by Google Trends if you want to gauge the popularity of a given search, but visiting that website every time can be a hassle. Thankfully, there's now an easier way: Google has added a subscription option that sends email notifications when there are changes in the interest levels for most searches, including hot searches, specific topics and the top US charts. If you want to see how long an internet meme survives or find out when your favorite team is creating a lot of buzz, you just have to visit Trends' subscription area to get started.
Former Oppo exec Pete Lau announced his plans to make "the perfect smartphone" a few months ago, and now the OnePlus One is almost here. Its launch is scheduled for April 23rd, but Android Authority points out these pictures posted on a forum that claim to show press renders of the device itself and "StyleSwap" covers that will let owners customize its looks. Not-so-shockingly, what we're seeing looks a lot like the Oppo Find 5, although the only question left is whether they're authentic or just a fan's creation. We've already gotten a sneak peek at the CyanogenMod software it will run, and we know how much it costs, but official word on everything else will have to wait until Wednesday.
Been putting off sideloading AllCast's SDK to your brand new Amazon Fire TV? Well, friend, your procrastination has paid off. Now, all you have to do to install the casting and screen-mirroring app is download it straight from the Amazon App Store. So long as you also have AllCast installed on an Android device, you can beam photos, videos and music from your phone or tablet to Amazon's set-top box. Plus, you can use the app to view images and videos saved on Google+ and Dropbox. If you don't plan to pick up a Fire TV (waiting for the second one, eh?), you can still use AllCast with a number of other devices, including Chromecast, Xbox One, Roku, Apple TV and a smattering of smart TVs.
If you've never contacted your congress person then you might not realize how difficult our politicians have made it to get a hold of them. There are 535 members of the House and Senate all whom have some arcane contact form on their websites that obscure their direct email address. It's inconvenient for a single person to write a letter to all their elected representatives. But for organizations looking drive letter writing campaigns it's a nightmare. Individuals wont want to visit three separate sites as part of a push to pass or block a piece of legislation. And while there are services out there that can automate part of the work by routing messages to the right email addresses, they charge thousands of dollars a year for access to their tools and databases.
If games, wildlife documentaries and virtual strolls in the park aren't enough to validate virtual reality for you, try this one: educational motivation. School children in Ireland have been using a open source version of Second Life to learn coding, 3D modeling and to create virtual spaces of recent field trips. Their most recent project: recreating the monastery of Clonmacnoise and exploring it with an Oculus Rift. Technically the Rift isn't part of the classroom's normal operations -- the founder of the MissionV virtual reality platform the school is visiting brought it with him on a recent visit -- but it did give the students a new perspective on the world they had built. "Whoa," one student exclaimed, looking at the classroom's recreation of Clonmacnoise's McCarthy Tower. "That is humongous."
Odds are that you weren't riveted by Beats Music when it first arrived, but the streaming service has just delivered a pair of big updates that may give you a good excuse to tune in. For the iOS app, the biggest improvement is visible when you're signing up -- you can now subscribe from within the software rather than heading to the web. The move makes it that much easier to keep the music flowing after your trial is over, and may just help Beats grow its fledgling customer base.
You might say the day is never really done in consumer technology news. Your workday, however, hopefully draws to a close at some point. This is the Daily Roundup on Engadget, a quick peek back at the top headlines for the past 24 hours -- all handpicked by the editors here at the site. Click on through the break, and enjoy.