Sphero's road to becoming more than a toy began last year with SPRK, an educational program that lets kids build up their coding skills. Fast forward to today and the company, formerly known as Orbotix, is introducing a new edition of its robot to keep growing that initiative. This model offers basically the same features as Sphero 2.0, including Bluetooth and up to 4.5mph speeds, but the freshly minted clear shell gives it an updated look and allows us to see its glowing innards. What's more, Sphero has released a companion SPRK app on iOS and Android that makes it easy for students, parents and teachers to set up commands for the robot to follow. This process is simplified by OVAL, Sphero's own low-level coding language, which uses simple visual blocks to represent different elements of the robot -- such as color, speed and spin. The Sphero SPRK Edition is available now in the US for $130, and the firm says its charming device will launch across more countries "soon."
Though it's called the "world wide web," the US Commerce Department has held the keys to the internet since its inception in the '90s. Last year, it agreed to hand them over to worldwide bodies and asked ICANN, the group that manages internet addresses, to come up with a plan. ICANN unveiled the much anticipated report yesterday, and has given the public until September 8th to comment on it. The gist of the 100-page document? Internet control functions will be given to ICANN and an oversight body made up of "interested parties" that has no connection to any world governments.
YouTube just got a facelift -- it's not a complete reconstruction, but it's definitely more than just fillers to smooth out wrinkles. The Google-owned video sharing service has rolled out its new HTML5 desktop player to everyone after a few months of testing. When you play a YouTube vid on your computer, you'll notice that the control bar at the bottom is replaced by a transparent version that disappears a few seconds after you stop moving the mouse pointer. Its icons are larger and bolder, the loading bar is thinner and the transition animation to load the Quality and Subtitle drop-down menu is a lot smoother. The player looks generally better throughout, but feel free to check and judge for yourself.
California-based (where else?) watch-maker Nico Gerard has announced a timepiece that has an Apple Watch lodged within a pretty typical analog watch strap. Yep: a watch for your Apple Watch. Oh and preorders start at $9,300 -- although that includes the black steel analogue face and a 38mm stainless steel Apple Watch on the other side of your wrist. If you want to upgrade your status beyond that of a mere one-percenter, then there's the $112,000 18-carat gold option. With gold Apple Watch Edition. (It's not even the first double-watched solution to a problem no-one's ever had.) Irony be damned, the watch has been named Pinnacle. But there's one question we need answered: which one is the watch, and which one is the accessory?
Hey, HP: you're far from the only one who can play the ridiculously low-cost Windows laptop game. Acer has unveiled the Aspire One Cloudbook 11 and 14, a pair of thin-and-light Windows 10 portables that promise a 'real' PC experience even if you're on a shoestring budget. They respectively cost a mere $169 and $199 in the US (a good $30 less than HP's Stream 11 and 13), but still manage to pack 1.6GHz Celeron processors, 2GB of RAM, full-size keyboards and expansion that includes USB, HDMI and SD card slots. Neither is going to be a screamer, then, but they may do the job if you're looking for a back to school system that's just good enough to handle your class notes and reports.
The latest version of OS X contains a serious flaw that hackers can use to attack your computer without ever needing your password. The issue is around a hidden document -- Sudoers -- which is effectively a list of permissions as to which pieces of software are allowed to mess around with your computer. Unfortunately, a change to how Yosemite stores the list means that it's now possible to add malware to the register. As such, if you inadvertently run an offending script, hackers can take advantage of your computer's unwitting hospitality to install crapware like VSearch and MacKeeper.
Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen started planning to build the largest plane in the world in 2011, along with several partners -- including Elon Musk. Now, that plane (called Stratolaunch) is under construction at the Mojave Air and Space Port in California, and is expected to undergo testing as soon as 2016. Allen's company, Stratolaunch Systems, isn't building an oversized aircraft just so it can get in the Guinness Book of World Records, though: its primary goal is to perform air launches of satellite-carrying rockets.
Despite "Do Not Track" being a standard option on Firefox, Chrome and Safari (but not Microsoft Edge), many unscrupulous advertisers are still secretly tracking the browsing habits of internet users. That's why the Electronic Freedom Foundation has teamed with Adblock, Medium, Mixpanel and DuckDuckGo to create a stronger standard.
NASA has just released detailed climate change projections through the year 2100, and it's one of the key aspects of a project intended to help developing nations combat the impacts of global warmin...
Guess what, Tesla: you're not the only car maker getting into the home battery game. Mercedes-Benz has unveiled a personal energy cell that, like Tesla's Powerwall, uses giant batteries to store sur...