Well, that didn't take long. After a month of asking for individual investors to pony up some money through the crowdfunding site StartEngine, Elio Motors announced today that it has reached the $25 million level. Now, that doesn't mean that Elio just got a check for $25 million. Instead, StartEngine says that the amount (actually, $25,161,050) is made up of "non-binding indications of interest" from 6,665 people (as of this writing). Each of those 6,665 investors has put an average of $3,775 into Elio. In a statement, Elio Motors CEO Paul Elio said that the $25 million is, "just the beginning as we race toward our 2016 goal of mass production."
We're checking in a bit late with this week's selections of what to watch -- luckily the highlights are yet to come. For anyone who writes or reads reviews, Comedy Central's Review with Forest Macneil is ready to scratch your scoring itch in a funny, out of control way each week. Last season Forest reviewed addiction, theft, racism, orgies and many other topics -- we can't wait to see what season two brings. Netflix is ready this week with Wet Hot American Summer: First Day of Camp, a prequel to the movie. ESPN also has its final 30 for 30 of this round of documentaries, as Angry Sky focuses on Felix Baumgartner predecessor Nick Piantanida's three attempts at setting a highest jump record. Finally, this weekend a collection of Reading Rainbow episodes is coming to Netflix.Look after the break to check out each day's highlights, including trailers and let us know what you think (or what we missed).
The White House's We the People site is supposed to help the government hear your calls for change, but that isn't quite how it worked out: backlogs meant that it took ages to respond to petitions. You'll be glad to hear that the service is getting a much-needed tune-up, though. As of today, the White House plans to respond to any petition that hits the 100,000-signature goal within 60 days "wherever possible." There's also a new team dedicated solely to making sure that the right people see a petition, which should help cut through some of the bureaucratic hierarchy.
You won't have to wonder about when Netflix will start streaming much of its its exclusive and original programming -- the company has provided scheduling for seemingly all of it in one shot. To begin with, it's renewing the weird-yet-familiar cartoon BoJack Horseman for a third, 12-episode season that will arrive in 2016. Can't wait that long? Longmire, the rescued A&E crime series, will make its Netflix debut on September 10th of this year, while a documentary about Keith Richards, Under the Influence, is due on September 18th. There are a slew of comedy specials arriving between August 14th (Demetri Martin) and December 18th (Mike Epps). Aziz Ansari's comedy series Master of None will show up on November 6th, and Chelsea Handler is hosting a four-movie documentary series that's "coming soon."
The Department of Defense reportedly shut down an unclassified email system on Tuesday after detecting "suspicious activity" over the weekend, according to CNN. The network served General Martin Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, as well as a number of civilian contractors. The Pentagon refused to release many details about the attack, even what the "suspicious activity" was; instead downplaying the hack as a run-of-the-mill cyber attack that caused minimal damage.
If you've been livestreaming the Super Bowl and missing out on all of those commercials, that's about to change. Variety reports CBS will stream all of the ads during the game in February, so those watching via the internet will be privy to the same quality entertainment each time there's a break in the action. In the past, advertisers have had to choose a streaming option on top of the regular broadcast slots. If you streamed this past February's game, you likely noticed the same handful of commercials on repeat. That's why. This time around, though, CBS is said to be treating all of the ad spots equally and advertisers will have to consider delivering content in both places. The report also indicates that CBS plans to charge a record price for each 30-second spot -- likely more than the $4.5 million NBC commanded this year. What's more, the network won't let companies "opt out" of the livestream either. In recent months, NFL content has made a big splash online with clips on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube alongside Yahoo's plans to stream a regular season game from London.
[Image credit: Focus on Sport/Getty Images]
When Hawk the Slayer came out in 1980, Jason Kingsley became an instant fan. The film features magic swords, elven mindstones, giants, dwarves, sorcerers and a massive battle between pure evil and noble good. Think Dungeons & Dragons in real life, on the big screen. For weeks after Hawk the Slayer's release, Kingsley would borrow his dad's wind-up 8mm cine camera and attempt to recreate the movie in the woods of his hometown. Now, as CEO of UK video game company Rebellion, Kingsley has the opportunity to produce Hawk the Hunter, the official sequel to Slayer. If the movie's Kickstarter succeeds, Kingsley will be working with original director Terry Marcel and actor Ray Charleson (above). It's a fantasy come true.
Cablevision isn't the only big US internet provider offering HBO Now -- Verizon* is also joining the fray. Anyone with broadband on Big Red can now use their existing account to sign up for the cord cutter service, complete with the usual 30-day trial run and $15 per month subscription. It's ultimately not much different than subscribing yourself, and you've probably already done that if you were determined to watch Game of Thrones or Veep without paying for traditional TV. Look it at this way, though: if nothing else, it's a token kindness from a telco that's known for trying to stifle net neutrality and otherwise limit the success of internet video services.
Following the FAA's recent relaxation of commercial drone flight regulations, Amazon is forging ahead with plans to employ the machines for deliveries. But first, the company has proposed some ground rules to keep the fledgling industry flying safely and out of the way of manned aircraft. Currently the FAA only allows drones to climb to 400 feet and they must remain within the pilot's line of sight. They also cannot be operated within five miles of an airport. Amazon's proposal builds off these initial restrictions with faster, long-range drones flying between 200 and 400 feet up. Slower and short-range drones would operate below 200 feet.
Facebook's authentic name policy was meant to make the social media platform a safe place where "pretending to be anything or anyone isn't allowed." But, ironically the policy bred harassment instead of curtailing it. Most recently, Facebook blocked a German user's account (as it often does) for using an alias, asked her to provide a copy of her ID and swapped her pseudonym with her real name without her consent. The user filed a complaint, claiming she had picked a fictitious name to avoid unwarranted business queries. The Hamburg Data Protection Authority responded and stepped in to protect her privacy rights. According to a Reuters report, the German agency has ordered Facebook to let users pick pseudonyms. The company can no longer control or change the usernames. What's more, it can't ask users for their IDs.
Twitter's got a new temporary boss in Jack Dorsey (who's actually the old boss) while it continues to search for a replacement for ex-CEO Dick Costolo as it dropped its second quarter earnings today. The bright spot is that its second quarter revenue was $502 million, a 61-percent year-over-year increase from last year. But the white-dude-in-charge switcheroo didn't do much to supercharge Twitter's monthly active users. The social network's users only grew slightly from its first quarter number 308 million to 316 million this quarter which is a 15 percent increase from last year at this time. These numbers include SMS Fast Followers who Twitter did not include in its user numbers last quarter.
The best thing about Windows 10 is that it's simply Windows, through and through. It's as if Microsoft realized that devaluing the desktop in Windows 8 was akin to sacrilege, and Windows 10 is its penance. At its core, it's a union of the best qualities of Windows 7 and Windows 8 -- the desktop features of the former with some of the touch-friendly aspects of the latter. It's no wonder Microsoft is calling it an operating system that's both fresh and familiar. It's easy to use with a keyboard and mouse, but it's even better with touchscreen computers. The Start menu is back! And new features like Microsoft's Cortana virtual assistant and Edge browser breathe new life into Windows. Microsoft is framing the OS as "Windows as a Service," meaning it's never quite done and constantly evolving. Most importantly, Windows 10 proves that Microsoft's dream of delivering a single OS that can work across computers, tablets and phones might actually come true.
Between showing off three new smartphones and two seemingly random pairs of Bluetooth headphones, it's safe to say Team Motorola had a pretty busy morning. Still, we wanted even more insight into the thinking that went into the new Moto Xs, the company's push into direct sales and the future of interacting with our phones, so we tracked down SVP of Software Seang Chau to help peel back the curtain covering the meat of Motorola's machinations.
VSCO Cam has offered some community features powered by its Grid tool on top of its regular photo-editing chops for some time now. Today, though, the company added a new way to interact with your fellow VSCO snapshot enthusiasts. With updates to both the iOS and Android apps, VSCO Cam delivered Collections: a feature that allows you to curate your favorite photos from other users. Grid provides a place to share your images in a minimalist format for all to see, but with Collections VSCO pulls in snapshots you like from other photographers to build a separate library. When you're scrolling through the photos in Search or Explore, simply double tap to save one before publishing it to your Collection.
Intel and Micron unveiled a novel new kind of non-volatile data storage device during a press conference on Tuesday. The chips, dubbed "3D XPoint" (pronounced "cross-point"), are being touted as the first new class of "mainstream memory" to hit the market since 1989. These new chips could soon speed up everything from cell phones and SSD laptops to genomic sequencers and supercomputers.
It's been a long time coming, but another Dragon Quest title is on the way -- and you'll want to keep your eye on this one. Square Enix has announced Dragon Quest XI, a solo role-playing game (no DQX-style massively multiplayer experience) that will come to the PlayStation 4, 3DS... and, quite possibly, Nintendo's future NX console. Yes, the publisher is at least "considering" a version for a system that exists as little more than a codename. There's no mention of what that version will entail, although it's clear that DQXI will take advantage of platforms' strong points. The PS4 version is based on the pretty Unreal Engine 4, while the 3DS version makes good use of the dual screens to show 3D gameplay and 2D maps at the same time. As it stands, you'll have to wait a while to try any edition for yourself. Square Enix hasn't provided any release dates yet, so the odds are that you won't be battling slimes until 2016 at the earliest.
Once upon a time, it looked like OUYA would be able to support itself as an independent gaming company focused on the Android-based, microconsole experience. In 2013, it even offered up $1 million to OUYA developers as part of an initiative called Free the Games Fund, which promised to match crowdfunded cash for certain OUYA projects. Dozens of developers got involved and were banking on OUYA's contributions to complete and ship their games, often tens of thousands of dollars per project. Now that Razer is officially purchasing OUYA, all of this cash is in question and the developers involved are not happy. "Razer/OUYA's insistence that these deals are gone is causing us to have to majorly restructure our plans leading up to release," one developer, who wishes to remain anonymous, tells Engadget.
Microsoft is apparently readying its new flagship retail outlet to open this Fall on New York's Fifth Avenue. Microsoft Extended Experts Team member Gokan Ozcifci tweeted the image below, which appears to show the storefront at 677 5th Ave with signage reading "Microsoft Store Coming Fall 2015". Microsoft has been pushing its brick and mortar retail business for about five years now. The company has 100 outlets in the US, Puerto Rico and Canada though most of those are those Microsoft-branded store-within-a-store sections you see at Best Buy and Staples. This will be its first flagship location, just blocks from one of Apple's four Manhattan storefronts.
Sure, the Google search box in Android lets you dictate regular text messages, but what if your conversations live in a non-standard chat app? You can relax as of today. Google now supports using your voice to send messages in English through a handful of third-party services, including WhatsApp, Viber, NextPlus, Telegram and WeChat. All you have to do is name the service when you're issuing the command -- "send a WhatsApp message to Bob" will make sure that your friend gets your missive where he's expecting it. More apps and languages are in the cards, so don't despair if your favorite mode of communication isn't compatible right away.