As the New Horizons spacecraft preps for its inspection of Pluto on July 14th, NASA provided a status update with some interesting info. First, new color images show a series of spots along the dwarf planet's equator. The evenly-spaced spots are about 300 miles (480 kilometers) in diameter, or about the size of the state of Missouri. Due to the spacing and size, scientists are unable to determine their origin for the time being, but that could change as New Horizons moves in for a closer look. Another thing researchers will be looking for as the spacecraft makes its approach? Clouds. Should Pluto have them, they can be used to track the speed and direction of the planet's winds.

Read the Full Story 0 Comments

The uses for 3D printing are seemingly endless. We've seen the tech used by doctors, to build cars and for construction. While parts of a building have been 3D printed before, the United Arab Emirates National Innovation Committee is working to use the method for an entire office building in Dubai. Working with WinSun Global and a few other companies, the committee plans to use a 20-foot tall 3D printer to make everything on-site rather than fabricate the pieces and have them transported for assembly. WinSun Global has already printed a six-story apartment building and a house in China. As you might expect, the structure is small, measuring 2,000 square feet.

Read the Full Story 0 Comments

Shyp on an iPhone

Tech companies like Uber may be fighting tooth and nail to keep their workers as contractors and avoid dealing with costs like insurance and taxes, but Shyp isn't having any of that. The shipping service has announced that it's treating all of its couriers as full-fledged employees, with all the benefits and covered expenses that come along for the ride. As the company explains, this isn't about thumbing a nose at anyone. Instead, the focus is on "owning" the whole experience and improving what you get. It's only really possible to offer better supervision and training to dedicated staff, Shyp's CEO says. Also, he's betting that this will pay dividends down the road as you deal with more committed, experienced couriers.

Read the Full Story 0 Comments

Don't worry, the gruesome image (above) of SoftBank's Pepper isn't part of Elon Musk's robot takedown plan. It's actually a teardown by Japanese website Nikkei showing exactly what makes the emotion sensing 'bot tick. The head came off the body easily enough, but Pepper probably won't get an "easily repairable" score as Nikkei's technicians had to drill to get it apart. Once it cracked the cranium, however, it confirmed that yes, Pepper has Intel inside -- an Atom processor, to be exact. The site theorizes that since the head detaches easily from the body, SoftBank might let users upgrade just by dropping in a new one with a different CPU.

Read the Full Story 0 Comments

The BlueStacks Android emulator, which already has around 90 million Windows users, has finally arrived on OSX after an extended beta testing phase. The free emulator runs both x86 and ARM-based apps as well as provides full keyboard and mouse support. It even allows for gesture controls like pinch to zoom with a trackpad and takes advantage of your Mac's Retina display. Users can sync files and data from their mobile devices or pull new apps from Google Play directly to their Mac. You can download the program directly from the BlueStacks website.

0 Comments

Auburn Fire Department uses a drone to feed a haul line and a life jacket

Drones aren't just useful as scouts and signalers during rescue operations -- they can play a hand in the actual rescue, too. When the Auburn Fire Department went to help recover two young men stranded in the middle of rapids in Mechanics Falls, Maine, Fire Chief Frank Roma used a DJI Phantom 3 to deliver a tag line that carried a much-needed life jacket. It also doubled as an observer while emergency crews sent an inflatable boat to bring the men back to shore, as you can see in the video below. While Roma notes that the Phantom 3 was his personal machine rather than official equipment, he's eager to see drones used more often in the field. This only "scratch[es] the surface," he tells TV network WMTW. It'll be a while before robots are carrying you out of danger, unfortunately, but that key role in a river rescue offers a glimpse of what's possible.

Read the Full Story 0 Comments

Terminator Series 600 aka T-600

After Elon Musk donated $10 million to the Future of Life Institute (FLI) to finance studies aiming to keep AIs safe and beneficial (i.e., prevent them from going down Skynet's path) almost 300 teams submitted their research proposals. Now, the institute is finally done reviewing them all and has decided to grant $7 million from Musk and the Open Philanthropy Project to 37 projects over the next three years. Some of the studies want to teach AI what humans prefer based on body language, one aims to develop a system that can explain its decision to humans, while another vows to figure out how to make sure robots and other intelligent weapons are always kept under human control.

Read the Full Story 0 Comments

Airbnb San Francisco

Since San Francisco is all about startups, it's no surprise that the city changed its laws to accommodate one of its most successful: Airbnb. Last year, officials passed the so-called "Airbnb law," legalising short-term rentals of private property with a lot of caveats. Hosts complained that the new rules were inconvenient, so the city is creating a new taskforce to make the regulations easier to follow and catch those breaking the law.

Read the Full Story 0 Comments

We hope you like your cognac "connected". Remy Martin's wants to give its drinkers with "rewards beyond only its dense rich flavors." That apparently corresponds to an NFC tag built into each bottle to ensure it's authenticity, freshness.. and that it hasn't been swapped out for some other brandy muck. A tamperproof tag in the cap will broadcast whether it's been opened or not, but only if you've installed the app, you big cognac nerd.

Read the Full Story 0 Comments

Prince & 3RDEYEGIRL "HitnRun" Tour - Toronto

Unless you're a Google Music or Tidal customer, you may have noticed that Prince's catalog is absent from your go-to service. Music from the artist is gone from the likes of Spotify, Rdio and Deezer, leaving Jay Z's streaming venture and Google Music All Access as the only two places you can still listen on demand. According to Prince's artist page on Spotify, the musician's "publisher has asked all streaming services to remove his catalog." TechCrunch reports that Google didn't receive the same request as the other companies, so the tunes may remain available there. However, that could change, soon enough as Prince has already pulled official tracks from YouTube. In case you're wondering, they weren't available on Apple Music, so there's no change there. Prince has ties to Tidal, though, as the service streamed his Rally 4 Peace concert from Baltimore back in May.

Read the Full Story 0 Comments

Bitcoin surrounded by various world coins

Disgraced DEA agent Carl Force has pleaded guilty to charges of extortion, money laundering and obstruction of justice. The official committed the crimes while himself investigating the online black market Silk Road, as well as the activities of its founder, Russ "Dread Pirate Roberts" Ulbricht. In a statement from the Department of Justice, Force used "Nob," a DEA-sanctioned online persona to conduct some after hours business with Ulbricht, amongst other things.

Read the Full Story 0 Comments

Amazon Announces Set Top Video Device

Amazon is now offering game discounts in yet another effort to call seduce you to a $99 Prime membership. If you're thinking "what game discounts?", that's because the company rolled them out with little fanfare and is offering them in a rather sneaky fashion. When searching, all titles still show the regular prices for everybody. However, if Prime members carry a purchase through to the checkout page, they'll finally see the discount. And it's not just nickle and dime reductions on obscure games, as Destructoid discovered. You can find significant savings like $7 off the brand new Splatoon and a similar deal for Halo 5, which hasn't even been released yet.

Read the Full Story 0 Comments