Chromecast

It's easy for someone in your home to interrupt your Chromecast stream and play something of their own, but you can always retake control... right? Well, don't count on it. Analyst Dan Petro has built the Rickmote Controller, a proof-of-concept device that hijacks Google's media stick to play everyone's favorite Rick Astley video (and theoretically, any media) on loop. The Raspberry Pi-based box simply floods the Chromecast with WiFi disconnection requests, kicking the adapter into its setup mode; after that, it's easy for the Rickmote to make its own connection and deliver non-stop '80s pop.

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A sign of

Uber may win some and lose some, but the battles rage on in cities where it operates. Seoul, Korea has now indicated that it would outright ban Uber, calling it illegal and harmful to taxi drivers. Uber operates its UberBLACK service there to connect professional chauffeurs to passengers via its app. That differs from UberX, UberPOP or Lyft -- the services that have faced the most bans and protests -- since those mostly use non-professional drivers. Seoul's city council called Uber an illegal threat to traditional cabs, since its drivers didn't have the usual insurance and safety controls. However, Uber told the WSJ that the city council's comments "show Seoul is in danger of remaining trapped in the past and getting left behind by the global 'sharing economy' movement." Despite that, the city must feel Uber is doing something right -- it said that it would soon launch its own, Uber-like geo-location app to connect regular taxis to passengers.

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The Oculus Rift isn't even a consumer product yet, but it already has a shadow hanging over its head: how, exactly, are its users going to interact with its intangible, virtual worlds? It's starting to look like the answer will be multifaceted, requiring users to own different devices for different gameplay scenarios. Trinity VR wants to be gamer's go-to product for the FPS genre, and have just launched a Kickstarter campaign to fund its Magnum VR controller. We caught up with the company in San Francisco to give its prototype controller a quick look; here's what we found out.

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It's shaping up to be a big month for digital art displays. Electric Objects popped up on Kickstarter with its successfully funded 23-inch LCD for $299, and now a familiar face has turned to the funding site with its own rebooted version. Framed 2.0, an update to 2011's overpowered 40-inch model, includes integrated WiFi, a 720p front-facing camera and motion sensors, so you can interact with the frame using gestures. There's also a companion smartphone app, for purchasing and swapping art, creating schedules and adjusting settings. The first 250 backers can take home a 24-inch 1080p screen for $399. A 40-inch version will be available for $1,500, while a "super limited" 55-inch model will go for a whopping $10,000, including dinner with the design team in Tokyo. All three frames are available for pre-order on Kickstarter now, with select models shipping in November.

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Verizon-Downtown Manhattan Restoration

Before Google Fiber, Verizon FiOS was the speedy internet service everyone wanted in their neighborhood. The arrival of 1Gbps connections, a slowed rollout, and an ongoing battle with Netflix that's slowing streams to a crawl has slightly dulled the cachet, but it's still one of the fastest providers out there. Now it's getting even faster, but Verizon isn't boosting download speeds again -- those will stay the same as customers get matching upload speeds on every plan. On the fastest tier (previously 500Mbps down / 100Mbps up), speeds will increase by 5x to 500Mbps, and most customers will see their speeds double. New customers can get the symmetrical speeds right away, and they'll roll out to existing customers throughout the fall. To go immediately to the front of that list FiOS subscribers can sign up for the MyRewards+ customer loyalty program, which is free, and pretty much just requires inputting your birthdate.

[Image credit: Mark Von Holden/AP Images for Verizon]

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In an early episode of The Simpsons, Homer is asked to design his dream car. The result is a monstrosity, with a separate soundproof dome for his kids to sit where they can be restrained and muzzled. Two decades later, and Toyota's latest vehicle will now let you scream at your kids without ever needing to turn around. The 2015 Sienna minivan uses the car's built-in microphone to amplify your speech through the rear speakers -- solving the very real problem of parents not paying attention to the road when the little ones are getting unruly. There's no word on if this feature will come across to other vehicles in the range, but it might go well with the kiddie-customizable Camatte that we saw a month back.

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Despite costing £17,000 ($29,000) per car more than it budgeted, the UK government is weighing the purchase of Model S EVs for its fleet, according to Tesla. In an effort to go green, the UK said it wants to buy 150 electric cars for government mucky-mucks, following the lead of China, which mandated that 30 percent of its fleet must run on electrons. Unfortunately, the budget is £5 million ($8.5 million) for all 150 cars, or about £33,000 per vehicle -- and the Tesla Model S currently runs about £50,000 ($85,000) in the UK. That compares to about £30,000 for BMW's i3 (excluding the gas-powered range extender), another likely competitor. However, the Tesla has one large advantage: it can run about 250 miles on a charge, where the BMW can only go 81 miles. As Bidness Etc put it, that's at least two round trips between PM David Cameron's country retreat and his 10 Downing Street workplace -- though we imagine he'll stick with the armored Jag anyway.

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3D-printed My Little Pony figurines

Hasbro recently opened up its toy universe by letting you sell fan fiction; now, it's giving you a chance to make some officially-sanctioned toys of your own. The company has just teamed up with Shapeways to launch SuperFanArt, a site that lets you both buy and sell 3D-printed designs based on Hasbro's brands. You're currently limited to producing art based on My Little Pony, but other imaginary worlds will be allowed in the "coming months." You know, just in case you're not quite so fond of Pinkie Pie's crew. No, SuperFanArt's catalog won't be as good as picking up an actual doll or action figure. However, it might do the trick if you're looking for a simple desk ornament -- or if your kids aren't very fussy about their playthings.

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Have you ever wondered if five fingers is really enough? The folks at MIT have. Researchers in the institute's department of mechanical engineering have created a robotic glove that adds two additional digits to the standard human claw, positioning two long fingers on either side of the hand. It's ridiculously easy to use, too. "You do not need to command the robot, but simply move your fingers naturally." Ford Professor of Engineering Harry Asada says. "Then the robotic fingers react and assist your fingers." The glove's movements are based on biomechanical synergy, the idea that each finger reacts to the movements of its peers - if you try to grasp a bottle, the glove's extra fingers will try to help.

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Betabrand's Audio Engineer hoodie

So you just bought a flashy pair of headphones, and you're worried that your hoodie might prevent you from flaunting your new gear. Are you stuck? Not if you pick up Betabrand's upcoming Audio Engineer jacket. Its hood is made of the same "acoustically transparent" fabric you'd find in a nice set of speakers, letting any sound pass through while keeping your noggin relatively dry and warm. There are also holes for your headphone cables or portable audio gear, and you'll even find a diagram to help you make any wiring permanent.

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