The expansion pack for Elite: Dangerous, the one that lets you go planetside and explore the surface of places like Europa, is out now. Sort of. The Horizons Planetary Landings beta, teased in a video released last week, does exactly what it says assuming you've pre-ordered Horizons itself. Everyone else needs to wait for the official release sometime before year's end. Driving the all-new Surface Recon Vehicle, players can discover signals, crashed ships and mineral deposits, vastly expanding the range of gameplay. Creator David Braben recently showed off the expansion in a demo (below), and said that certain features, like textures and frame rates, might still have issues.
Not long ago, social networkers accused Facebook of blocking mentions of potential rival Tsu.co. Well, Facebook's supposedly at it again... and this time, you're more likely to notice. Telegram and its users claim that WhatsApp is blocking any links to the privacy-oriented messaging service. You can see the addresses, but you can't tap or copy them. While only some people are seeing this behavior, there's no mistaking it when it turns up.
Hackers have been breaking through a lot of government agency's defenses these past years, and DARPA thinks it's high time to do something about it. Pentagon's mad science division has launched a new program called Rapid Attack Detection, Isolation and Characterization (RADICS), which aims to develop...
If you want proof that the Federal Communications Commission is getting serious about privacy, you only need to look at its latest recruit. The agency has hired Jonathan Mayer, one of the masterminds behind Do Not Track browsing, as the chief technologist for its Enforcement Bureau. He'll help lead investigations...
Nokia announced its new hardware a few months ago, and tonight at an event in Los Angeles revealed it's opening preorders for the OZO virtual reality camera. A professional-level device capable of recording its surroundings in 360-degree spherical video, it will require a mere $60,000 -- with $5k down payment up front -- to secure one when shipments start in Q1 2016. The full specs are also out now, revealing it uses eight synchronized 2K x 2K camera sensors, which record to a 500GB solid state drive that can hold up to 45 minutes of footage. Pros like Jaunt are apparently using the new camera for their VR capturing, and now you can too. You can see the full list, along with accessories like its $1,500 docking station on the OZO website, while you ponder what amazing life experiences justify that pricetag.
Amazon's Silk may not be the darling of the web browser world, but you should know it's still getting plenty of affection. The internet giant is recapping recent updates that promise an easier-to-use tablet surfing experience. You'll now see your most visited sites as easy-to-read tiles when you visit Silk's home screen, putting your go-to page a quick tap away. Bookmarking a page has been simplified to a single tap, and there's a reading list section on the home screen that offers quick access to your saved articles. Oh, and this is your dream upgrade if you can't help but open sites in new tabs -- you can keep an unlimited number of tabs open instead of the previous 10. All good things to know, especially since it's been nearly a year since we heard any updates on the supercomputer-powered browser project.
Tomorrow is World AIDS Day, and as such the non-profit (RED) organization has plenty of activities planned to raise both money and awareness for its fight against the disease. If you're a Snapchat user, you can do your part just by adding a filter to your snaps: according to the LA Times, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation will donate $3 to (RED) every time a Snap is posted that uses one of three custom "World AIDS Day" filters up to a grand total of $3 million.
Normally, image searches on Google are ephemeral things and gone the moment you close the browser tab. However, a new feature on the search giant's mobile version makes saving the images you find as easy as bookmarking a webpage. In fact, it's the identical process: simply search for whatever phrase you want, pick the images you like and tap the star icon to save them. You can also organize these saved images into folders, thereby eliminating the need to run the search again later. The new feature is already available to mobile users in the US running both Android and iOS.
Vintage Electric drew a lot of attention when it unveiled its retro e-bikes a couple of years ago: it managed to fuse the classic look of early 20th century board track racers with a decidedly modern electric motor. Well, it's back for another year... and it's clear that the company has learned a lot in a short space of time. Its newly launched 2016 Tracker ups both the performance and the nostalgia quotient. It's 15 percent more efficient than last year's Tracker, but produces 20 percent more torque and carries a larger 70 watt-hour battery good for 35 miles of real-world travel. At the same time, you'll find clever new touches like stainless steel accents and pewter badging.
The State Department announced on Monday that it will release an email from former-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's private email server that, according to members of the intelligence community, may contain classified information. The email is part of a nearly 8,000-page document dump scheduled for Monday. The State Department has already unveiled around 30,000 pages (of an estimated 54,000) since the scandal erupted in March.
Apple and Tesla aren't the only two tech companies grabbing each other's staff to fulfill their automotive dreams -- Google has quietly hired Robert Rose, the lead for Tesla's semi-autonomous Autopilot program. It's not clear what he's working on besides software at Google Robotics, but it won't be surprising if he's working on self-driving cars. He's unlikely to be working for Boston Dynamics, whose staff are relatively independent from the Google mothership. One thing's for sure: Tesla will notice his absence. Rose was the lead engineer for some of SpaceX's earlier rocketry and reported directly to Elon Musk while at Tesla, so this clearly wasn't a trivial move.
[Image credit: David Paul Morris/Bloomberg via Getty Images]
On November 22nd, artist collective DJ Detweiler posted a screenshot of a message from SoundCloud that said its track, "John Cage - 4'33 (DJ DETWEILER REMIX)," had been removed because it appeared to contain copyrighted content. The joke here is that the original "4'33"" is completely silent and a remix would supposedly be just as soundless. DJ Detweiler shared the image with the caption, "MADE A NEW REMIX TODAY, SOMEHOW THIS HAPPENED," and tagged a handful of music publications. The story was picked up online with headlines decrying SoundCloud's over-reach of copyright law and the absurdity of content-protection algorithms.
However, DJ Detweiler's "remix" wasn't silent at all, according to SoundCloud. "The upload referenced in the screenshot was not a track of silence and was taken down because it included Justin Bieber's 'What Do You Mean' without the rightsholder's permission," the company says.
AT&T customers who've managed to hold strong to their $30 unlimited data plans since the carrier ended that option back in 2010 are about to get a bit of a surprise. According to 9to5 Mac, AT&T is seeking to increase that $30 a month fee to $35 a month (an AT&T representative confirmed this in an email to Engadget). That isn't much of a jump, but it is the first price increase of the grandfathered plan in years. Still, AT&T is hardly the only culprit here. T-Mobile has increased its unlimited data plan from $80 to $95 a month for new customers (existing customers will still pay the grandfathered $80 a month), Sprint is now charging $70 a month for it and Verizon has upped its own grandfathered unlimited data plan by $20 a month. The unlimited data price increase for AT&T customers will go into effect in February of next year.
Just last week, Microsoft began selling the Lumia 950, the first Windows 10 mobile phone, and though the software showed promise, the hardware itself was lacking in charm. Now, Japanese design firm NuAns is set to release the "Neo," a sleek handset that should make for a nice alternative to the Lumia (if you're okay to trade design for customizability). It sports an interchangeable upper and lower half that can be swapped out, with 64 possible combinations available. The phone is set to retail for around $350 with lower-end specs to match, including a 5-inch, 1,280 x 720 display, a Qualcomm Snapdragon 617 processor and 16GB of storage (expandable via microSD slot). If this handset sounds like something you can't live without, there's one problem: it's exclusive to Japan. So, unless you want to fly over to pick one up, it looks like you'll have to get creative when custumozing a smartphone available in your market.
[Image credit: NuAns]
Brain-controlled robot limbs have already helped the disabled gain some mobility, but full-fledged robots have proven elusive: how do you use thoughts to steer a free-roaming machine? Swiss researchers think they have the answer. They've developed a mind-controlled telepresence robot that lets those with motor disabilities travel when it would otherwise be impractical. It's ultimately a laptop on a pedestal, but it uses clever semi-autonomous software to take the hard work out of controlling where the robot goes. You only have to don an EEG-based cap and imagine moving your hands or feet -- the robot plots a path based on your commands, and avoids obstacles all on its own.
Whatever you think of Apple's products, there's little doubt that the A9X processor in the iPad Pro is quick -- in a few cases, it rivals the performance you'd get from a laptop. But why is it so quick, especially when Apple tends to shy away from high clock speeds, many-core processors and other conventional performance tricks? Thanks to AnandTech and Chipworks, we now have a good idea. They've torn down the A9X to reveal that the chip is a series of calculated tradeoffs. It only has two CPU cores and doesn't even have Level 3 memory cache to keep the processor humming, but it has a monstrous amount of bandwidth (51GB per second) and a whopping 12 graphics cores. That's twice as many as in the iPhone 6s' A9 chip, folks. To boot, the A9X is larger than Intel's latest quad-core desktop processors -- Apple has the headroom for components that you don't see in many PCs.
Sonos will close a major gap in the services that it supports on December 15th -- that's when the company's products will start working with Apple Music. The company said that this would happen by the end of the year back in June, just before Apple Music launched, and it seems that it'll make good on its promises. The service will first be available as part of an open beta, with full availability to come in early 2016.
Messages posted on Facebook, Twitter and other online spaces may feel like they carry less weight than things said in the physical world -- but that's not the case, argues Brazilian civil-rights group Criola. This year, Criola launched a campaign labeled, "Virtual racism, real consequences," which pulls racially bigoted comments from the internet and places them on billboards in the neighborhoods where the commenters live. Criola finds racist messages online and then uses geotag data to locate the author's neighborhood; the group then rents billboard space nearby and prints the comments for the world -- and the original writer -- to see. The names and images of the commenters are blurred out, but the message rings clear: Things said online affect people in real life, in real ways.