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Uber's Partner app for drivers

You might care the most about Uber's app for customers, but the drivers' app matters a lot, too -- after all, you won't get a ride if cars aren't waiting for your request. Appropriately, Uber has revamped the driver app to make it far more informative and give workers more reasons to offer you a lift. The software provides a real-time status feed with notes, tips and (most importantly) extra chances at making money. It also has an always-available activity map that shows drivers where they're most likely to get customers, even when surge pricing isn't involved. Earnings and ratings are easier to understand, too. You may never catch more than a fleeting glimpse of this app, but it could make all the difference if you get a timelier trip home from a driver eager to make a buck.

Facebook has been pushing video pretty hard lately and today is sharing its plans on making sure users have even more ways to watch tiny movies of their friends and from pages they follow. The most compelling of these experiments is a dedicated video tab that shows all the videos shared by folks and entities someone follows. It's bit like a cross between Instagram and YouTube within the social networking company's main app. This new feature will be tested on a small group of users to see how they respond to having almost instant access to videos without having to wade through political postings by family members and their friend's baby bump photos.

When Gun Media's Wes Keltner and Ronnie Hobbs announced Summer Camp, a slasher-inspired horror game set in a creepy campground, it was already more than an homage to Friday the 13th. The developers were open about their love of ghostly, hockey-masked murderer Jason Voorhees and they had even recruited Friday the 13th veterans to work on the game. This included actor, director and special-effects creator Tom Savini, the man behind the mask in Friday the 13th parts 7-10 Kane Hodder, and the film's original composer Harry Manfredini.

"Basically, we were a Friday the 13th video game; we just didn't have the license," Hobbs said. Five months after the announcement of Summer Camp, Friday the 13th creator and director Sean S. Cunningham reached out to the team with his blessing -- and, after a few meetings, the license to the Jason Voorhees franchise.

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  • Google releases improved Cardboard SDK and adds Street View

    Google announced today that its Cardboard VR app is now available in 100 countries for both iOS and Android. The company also stated that the app's software development kit has been improved. According to the Google Developer's Blog, the new SDK now features better drift control thanks to "a major...

A Starbucks Corp. Location Ahead Of Earnings Figures

Starbucks is no stranger to delivery, thanks to a hand from Postmates. However, the bean-slinging company is taking matters into its own hands with a new delivery option. The "Green Apron" service is in the testing phase inside the Empire State Building in New York City. The idea here is that Starbucks has its own setup in the building and can drop off coffee and food orders in 30 minutes or less. Don't expect a full-on retail location where you can sit and sip in, though, as the kitchen is dedicated to delivery orders. On the surface it may seem like overkill to have a dedicated Starbucks for one building, but when you factor in the thousands of caffeine addicts that work there, it makes a lot of sense. There's a dedicated website where orders are placed and the customer is able to specify a meeting spot (the reception desk, for example) to pick up that PSL. While the service is a trial for now, the company could expand it to other large office buildings or packed urban areas in the future.

[Image credit: Craig Warga/Bloomberg via Getty Images]

Internet video on Comcast's X1 box

You probably don't think of your cable box as a place to watch online video, but Comcast is determined to provide more reasons to stream from your set-top: it just brought over 30 new internet video sources to the X1. Virtually all of the content comes from big-name TV networks like ABC, BBC America, Discovery and (of course) NBC. Their offerings initially focus on news and sports, but they'll eventually include more extras and "complimentary" productions. This shouldn't be a mere rehash of what's already on your DVR, in other words. No, this won't persuade you to keep cable if you were already thinking of cutting the cord. However, it might serve as a nice complement to the TV you're already watching -- you can stream that behind-the-scenes bonus clip while remaining planted on the couch.

Scientist watching mice in laboratory

DARPA wants to modulate your nerves. The research agency's new Electrical Prescriptions (ElectRx) program is designed to discover the science and the technology that will stimulate the peripheral nervous system to detect and fight diseases. The nerves in this complex system are critical to all sensory and motor signal communications in the body. They constantly maintain and monitor your health status. When these nerves pick up a disruption, like an infection or injury, they trigger an automatic response in the brain or spinal cord that adjusts the workings of an affected organ to activate healing. But sometimes, when a disease compromises this natural flow of signals, the nerves produce a signal of pain or lead to autoimmune disorders, even diabetes. ElectRx is designed to address this glitch in the human system.

Blocks' modular smartwatch

After a long, long development process, Blocks is getting relatively close to releasing its modular smartwatch -- and it wants your help making that final push. The startup has launched a Kickstarter campaign to fund its customizable wristwear. Pledge $195 and you'll get the circular core watch, which gives Android devices and iPhone the fundamentals like activity tracking, phone alerts and voice control. However, things get really interesting when you drop $250 or more -- you'll get at least four modules that can add everything from advanced fitness tracking to GPS to mobile payments. The hope is that you'll get just the smartwatch you want, rather than settling for whatever other manufacturers feel like giving you.

Testing the XM25

After years of work, Orbital ATK (born from Orbital Sciences) is close to delivering a clever weapon that could help American soldiers in very tricky situations. As of early 2016, the US Army will start acceptance testing for the XM25, a smart grenade launcher that can defeat enemies behind cover. In normal use, all you have to do is point at an enemy (up to 1,640 feet away) and let the XM25's laser rangefinder decide when your grenade explodes. If a target is hiding, however, you can dial in extra distance (up to 2,300 feet away) and explode the grenade in mid-air. Troops theoretically don't have to expose themselves to line up a shot -- they just pick a close-enough point and pull the trigger.

Just in time for new 4K and 5K iMacs, Apple released a major update of iMovie for OS X that adds 4K video editing, along with a slew of other changes. The iOS version of iMovie got 4K support last month to coincide with the debut of the iPhone 6s. Now that both versions of the movie editing suite support higher res video, you'll also be able to continue edits on your Mac that you've started with your iPhone or iPad. The updates won't bring professionals to iMovie anytime soon, but it could encourage regular consumers to explore the wonders of editing (so your family isn't stuck viewing your 30-minute home movie clips). Additionally, the new iMovie also supports 1080p at 60 frames per second for smoother footage, which is ideal for shooting sports and other action-heavy clips.

You should always err on the side of caution when drinking, but if you want an accurate estimate of your blood alcohol content (BAC), BACtrack's line of personal breathalyzers are the way to go. The ultra-portable BACtrack Vio Smartphone Breathalyzer connects to your smartphone via Bluetooth, while the free BACtrack app helps you easily estimate your BAC and get a sense of when it will return to zero. Meanwhile, a separate product, the BACtrack Mobile Smartphone Breathalyzer, offers the same functionality with even more accuracy. For a limited time, Engadget readers can grab the BACtrack Vio for 20 percent off ($39.99 plus free shipping), and save over 60 percent on the BACtrack Mobile ($79 with free shipping).That's the lowest price on the web for either product.

Video calling is a great example of a technology that once felt highly futuristic but is now available on nearly every computer and smartphone out there. FaceTime, Hangouts, Skype -- there are plenty of options, and they all work pretty well, and work in pretty much the same way. A new company called Nucleus thinks that there's still a lot of room for improvement in video calls, particularly in terms of connecting people instantly. That's the goal of its new product (also called Nucleus): it's a tablet you can mount on your wall or place on a counter that lets you connect with other users in less than a second.

It's a subtle pleasure, but not needing to plug cables in to charge your phone is a beautiful thing. If you have a smartphone that supports the Qi wireless standard (or an adapter), you can simply plop it down at work, near your bed or wherever you have a charger handy without thinking about cables. To promote this state of technological zen, UK-based Fonesalesman has been providing a variety of Qi charging solutions, from its eco-minded WoodPuck model to its portable and powerful QiStone+ version. Right now, the company is also running an Indiegogo for its newest product, the FurniQi table. It offers a minimalist design and a Qi charging zone embedded in the water-sealed bamboo tabletop. This week, two lucky readers will win the whole set including the table and two individual chargers. All you need to do is head to the Rafflecopter widget below for this wireless charging package from Fonesalesman.

Sprint continues to expand its in-home sales and service effort, making a trip to its retail stores a thing of the past. The carrier's Direct 2 You home delivery option is heading to seven more cities: Charlotte, Cincinnati, Las Vegas, Nashville, New Orleans, Pittsburgh and Salt Lake City. This means that if you're in those locales, the in-store experience comes to your home or office to save you a trip. Direct 2 You not only drops off your shiny new handset, but a Sprint employee can walk you through the setup, transferring contacts and answer any questions that may arise. The free service began back in April and is already available in New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, San Francisco and other major US cities. Sprint says it plans to take Direct 2 You to even more cities in 2016.

There's an insane new Chrome extension called "Shove" that we're sure nobody's going to misuse. As spotted by Wired, it lets you drop a web page onto your friend's browser, and vice-versa. Unlike skeevier apps like Peeple, however, it's strictly opt-in. Once both parties agree, they can open up links in each others' browsers anytime (seriously, there are no limitations) whether you want to see men in belted sweaters or not. Putting aside the off-the-charts security risks, I tried it with my UK colleague Matt Brian and it definitely works as advertised -- not only does it open a page up immediately, but it puts it front and center as the active tab.

Oil Spill Response

Three years ago, the Department of Justice brought Apple, and major publishers, to book for trying to maintain the prices at which e-books could be sold. As part of its punishment, the firm had to suffer the presence of a court-approved monitor, Michael Bromwich (pictured, left), placed to ensure that Apple cleaned up its act. Now, after many long months of having a third party roaming the halls of One Infinite Loop, the DoJ has concluded that Bromwich has done his job, and will no longer have to stand watch over the iBooks team.

Toshiba has unveiled the DynaPad, a 12-inch, Suface-pro like convertible that packs an exotic Wacom Active Electrostatics TruPen stylus. Microsoft revealed the news on its Windows blog, where it's been keen to promote third-party Windows 10 hardware after launching its own Surface Book. Toshiba says the stylus' 2,048 levels of pressure and specially coated 1,920 x 1,280 3:2 IPS screen help artists feel like they're "writing on paper with a real pen." However, the DynaPad's performance may disappoint artists familiar with the Surface Pro, as it's limited to a 1.44GHz Intel Atom CPU and 4GB of memory.

Drone wing

Google X's Project Wing concept was a unique take on the delivery drone: a single-winged UAV that took off and landed vertically. Despite extensive testing in Australia, the plan didn't work as well as the company hoped. In March this year Google X head Astro Teller announced the organization was working on a new design, and now, FAA documents show that two Google-built UAVs, codenamed the M2 and the B3, have been registered this month in the US. The M2 made the FAA registry on October 2nd, while the B3 was listed October 7th.

Today on In Case You Missed It: Boeing says it has produced the lightest material structure and the video demonstrates it by balancing a portion of its metal structure on top of a dandelion. A prototype for a swimming suit also acts as a water cleaner, absorbing pollutants with super-hydrophobic carbon-based material. And Makerarm combines everything we love about 3D printers with all kinds of other use cases because its robotic arm can be outfitted with many other tool heads.

Twitter Diversity

Those rumors of new Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey cutting jobs were unfortunately true. The social network has announced that it's axing up to 336 jobs, or about 8 percent of its total headcount. Dorsey argues that the move is necessary for a "streamlined" roadmap where Twitter focuses on fewer but bigger features, such as Moments. Most of the cuts will affect the engineering division, he says, since the company believes that a "smaller and nimbler" coding group would be more effective.


No, it's not just a CPU refresh. Apple started selling a new line of iMacs today, and yes, while they have fresh processors and graphics cards inside, that's really the least of it. Going forward, all the 27-inch models have a 5K screen -- not just the flagship we reviewed last year -- while the 21.5-inch version now has an optional 4K panel. Across the board, too, these new 4K and 5K displays have a wider color gamut, although the difference is fairly subtle. Possibly more important than the iMac itself, though, are the input devices: Apple redesigned the wireless keyboard, mouse and trackpad, adding rechargeable batteries and, in the case of the touchpad, pressure-sensitive Force Touch gestures.

I've been spending a few days with the new iMac, and chose to review the 4K 21.5-inch edition in particular since this is the first "small" iMac with a Retina display. Between the crisper screen, compact footprint and a lower price than the 27-inch models, it has the potential to hit the sweet spot for a lot of people. Just be sure to upgrade the hard drive before you place your order.