Syfy is going to try to capture social media lightning in a bottle one more time, with the sequel to last summer's bad-but-popular Sharknado. We're not exactly sure what Sharknado 2: The Second One is about but suspect has some combination of sharks and tornadoes. Fans of quality TV can grab the entire Twin Peaks series on Blu-ray, complete with some new "missing pieces" extras,. Penn & Teller's old UK show Fool Us is going to be re-aired in the US this summer on CW, while NFL action starts to wind back up with the start of preseason football. Finally, PS4 gamers can enjoy a better-looking version of last year's hit The Last of Us with a remastered version hitting shelves tomorrow, and on Netflix season four of The Killing arrives Friday morning. Check after the break for a list of what's new this week plus a few trailers, and drop a note in the comments if you see any highlights we've missed.
More than a few eyebrows were raised when talk surfaced of an HTC One for Windows Phone. How close would it be to the Android original? Would it bring anything new to the table? And what's the name, for that matter? Thankfully, sources for Engadget are happy to answer a few questions. For a start, they tell us that the device is tentatively called the "One (M8) for Windows." Yeah, that's not exactly going to roll off the tongue -- the device's codename, W8, is considerably more elegant.
Many direct current fast chargers aren't exactly practical, even for stores that expect a lot of traffic; they're frequently massive, power-hungry and expensive. BMW knows that's a problem, which is why it just brought its i DC Fast Charger to North America. The device is small and light enough to be wall-mountable, but it can give an i3 an 80 percent charge within 30 minutes; that's very handy if you only need to make a quick stop at a restaurant or the mall. The charger is compatible with EVs from most major automakers (Teslas need not apply), and businesses can put it on ChargePoint's network to either make some cash or simply let drivers know when it's unoccupied.
It's been coming coming, but Facebook told TechCrunch today that the time is just about here -- starting "over the next few days" everyone will need Messenger to chat directly with their Facebook friends on mobile devices (iOS, Android and Windows Phone). Some users in Europe have seen the change for several months, but Facebook claims their positive response has led to the change rolling out worldwide. Of course, not everyone is going to be happy about downloading a second app to do what one was already capable of -- just ask Foursquare users about Swarm. Facebook says the change will let it focus its development efforts better on the two apps separately, and "avoid confusion" by users, who send about 12 billion messages a day on the platform. So, are you already in love with Chat Heads and ready to make the swap full-time, or -- assuming you still use Facebook -- is this the final straw in sending you elsewhere for your communication needs?
Facebook is perhaps the most prominent example, but the internet, whether we want to accept it or not, is a gigantic data-mining operation where every thing about us is monitored, measured and experimented with -- even our love life, should we choose. The folks over at online-dating service OKCupid (OKC) have recently detailed, among other things, how they futzed with the site's match-percentage system to see if it'd affect users' messaging habits. To start, OKC wanted to see just how much bearing system had on the likelihood of sending one message. When the service took two people who were actually 30 percent compatible and fudged the numbers by, say, 60 points, the amount of first messages sent naturally increased. As the OKTrends blog notes, that's exactly what was expected because that's how the site's users have more or less been trained; a higher number means a potentially better match. But, as anyone who's used the site can probably attest, one message doesn't mean a whole lot.
We know Insert Coin contestants shed blood, sweat and tears to complete their masterpieces, so we make sure they get scrutinized by people who know what they're talking about. For this year's event, we gathered a group of judges from different backgrounds to look at, poke and analyze every entry. They're in charge of making sure that the best entries get the coveted prize money and that the winners embody what Insert Coin's all about.
Face it, the tech industry is obsessed with resolution; we want every display to be high definition, regardless of size. We also want our devices to be affordable, leaving device manufactures with an interesting problem: how do they manufacture low-cost products with high-resolution screens? NVIDIA researchers have one solution -- stack two low-resolution panels on top of each other to increase pixel density on the cheap. The solution is so simple it sounds ridiculous, but apparently, it works.
General Motors may be going through a rough patch at the moment, but that's not stopping the company from setting its sights on the future. Today, the Detroit-based automaker revealed that it plans to put wireless charging pads inside a number of Cadillac vehicles, starting with the launch of the 2015 ATS sport sedan and coupe later in the fall. Although the announcement highlights the compatibility with Powermat, a General Motors representative has confirmed to Engadget that the feature also supports Qi and "other in-phone wireless charging technologies." What's more, GM says this is coming to more vehicles soon (as had been previously reported), with the Cadillac CTS, Cadillac Escalade, GMC Sierra and Chevy Silverado expected to be added to the list in Q4 of this year.
It's not that business travelers have chosen to shun Airbnb -- in fact they make up a decent chunk of the short-term subletting business. But now the startup is making a concerted effort to lure those customers in with Business Travel on Airbnb. It's dedicated portal with tools specifically designed not just for travelers, but for companies to manage employee travel. The company has even partnered with Concur, which builds travel and expense systems like Triplink, which is used by a vast majority of Fortune 100 companies. Not every listing will be displayed through the new portal. Odd ball listings like tree houses will be filtered out, as will any shared rentals -- such as a room in a larger apartment. Courting business customers is going to be essential for Airbnb to continue to grow. And considering how much money investors have pumped into the it, growth is certainly high on its list of priorities.
Solar power cells need to stay relatively cool for the sake of both efficiency and longevity, but active cooling (like ventilation) isn't practical; it's expensive, and may block the very rays the...
Recommended Reading highlights the best long-form writing on technology and more in print and on the web. Some weeks, you'll also find short reviews of books that we think are worth your time. We hope...