Thinking about picking up a used iPhone on eBay? Shop carefully, friends: it's apparently phishing season. The BBC is reporting some auction listings are redirecting to counterfeit eBay login pages -- fronts for phishing scams designed to steal customer usernames and credit card information. The good news is that eBay isn't technically hacked. The online marketplace allows sellers to use scripting to gussy up item listings. Cross-site scripting is generally not allowed, but these scammers are doing it anyway.
Gravity. More than the name of a killer movie, it's likely something we take for granted every single day. After all, nearly everything we do is reliant on the idea that stuff stays in place when we stop holding it. Astronauts don't have that luxury, however, and when even simple tasks take a ton of effort, something relatively complex like using a 3D printer is even harder. Why would astronauts need one of those? Well, because stuff breaks in space, and replacing a busted part isn't as simple as hitting Home Depot -- just ask the crew of Apollo 13. To help get around that, the folks at Made in Space have designed a 3D printer that circumvents the lack of Earth's gravity when used in orbit. Instead of molten filament essentially "stacking" on itself to form an object like it does planetside, according to The Verge, the Zero-G Printer liquid's surface-tension holds a widget together.
Update: No launch tonight! Weather conditions forced a postponement. According to NASA, the next launch window is tomorrow night, on the 21st at about 1:52 AM ET.
Still don't believe man journeyed to the moon? According to NVIDIA's recreation of the landing site, it definitely happened. But that's not all we have on deck for the weekend. Read on for Engadget's news highlights from the last 24 hours, including a review of a WiFi-enabled crock pot and personality analysis based on your Twitter feed.
You're running late to a meeting, glaring at your wrist in disbelief that it's fifteen minutes past the hour. Are you really that late? Lifting the watch to your ear you hear the all-too familiar tick of its internal mechanisms. Yes, it works -- and you are indeed late. This scenario could soon be a thing of the past, mostly because the mechanical watches of tomorrow may not tick at all. Researchers at École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne have created a new, silent oscillator that could potentially be used to make watches with fewer mechanical parts.
Sure, we've seen apps that let you easily share files between your phone and PC. No biggie there. But the demo we're about to show you is a tad more sophisticated than that. Over at MIT, two teams of researchers have developed a smartphone system called THAW, which allows you to share files and use the phone as a game controller -- all by pressing the handset against your computer's display. As you can see in the below demo video, for instance, it's possible to transfer files onto the phone simply by dragging them where the phone is, as if it were just another folder on your desktop. Similar to what you can already do with NFC, you can press the phone against the screen, and walk away with whatever web page you had been looking at. (To be fair, iOS 8's Continuity feature does that automatically.)
We've seen robotics improve by (literal) leaps and bounds recently, but what about more nuanced things, like a fine sense of touch? Researchers at MIT and Northeastern University are showing off a new fingertip version of the GelSight sensor, a cube-shaped attachment that uses a camera and a sensitive rubber film to 3D map the objects they're grabbing. That new level of precision, the team says, could lead to more independent robots that are better able to manipulate their environment.
If you look at the changelog for Tesla's Model S, you'll see most of the updates have been minor bug fixes; it's fairly rare that the luxury electric vehicle gets upgraded with new features. Every once in a while, though, Elon Musk and co. unleash a meaty update and as it happens, today is one of those days. The company just released the (previously leaked) version 6.0 of its software, which adds a built-in calendar that syncs with your smartphone, along with a remote-start feature and traffic-based navigation to help you avoid the busiest roadways.
Samsung likes to get some mileage out of its lofty design themes and plenty of people have gone gaga over the Galaxy Alpha's subtle style, so it's no surprise that the phone's design DNA is being injected into other devices. SamMobile has been reporting for a while now that the Korea electronics giant has been working on a range of phones -- the so-called A series -- that feature some of the Alpha aesthetic, and now they've obtained images of the first one. It's called the Galaxy A5, and if these reports hold true it falls very firmly onto the middle of the road. There's a 5-inch Super AMOLED screen running at 720p up front, paired with a 13-megapixel rear camera and a Qualcomm Snapdragon 400 chipset ticking away within the minimalist frame that may or may not actually be made of metal. Yeah, we know, it's a bummer, but the more modest price tag that'll almost assuredly stick to it might make the change in materials worth it.
While Triton -- the US Navy's largest unmanned craft -- might have no one in the cockpit, it still requires a hefty ground team to keep it (safely) in the air. Never more so than on a recently completed cross-country flight. Back in March, the Northrop Grumman craft completed initial flight testing, but this 11-hour 3,290 nautical mile flight is the most intensive testing yet -- bringing it ever closer to the estimated 2017 delivery into operational Naval fleets. Triton's route took it from from Northrop Grumman's Palmdale, California base along the southern US border, before a successful landing at Naval Air Station Patuxent River. Triton spends most of its time at around 50,000 feet -- well above domestic flights -- but has sensors that allow it to safely descend through cloud layers for closer observation of enemy ships as needed. Watch Triton pull off its silky smooth landing after the break -- human pilots take note!
Nest's thermostat and Protect smoke detector may help automate your home, but they haven't actually talked directly to home automation systems so far -- a bit of a discrepancy, don't you think? All...
We're interrupting your regularly scheduled programming full of cute, service robots to bring you the latest update on Boston Dynamics' terrifying humanoid machine: Atlas. A group of MIT researchers...