Already immersing yourself in Windows 10? Trying to block out the not-so-favorable memories of Windows 8? Good for you. This week involved a new smartphone from a new challenger, and several new smartphone from a once-dominant player. And we don't mean Nokia, which was busy dipping its toes into the world of VR cameras. Because of course.

0 Comments

If anything's kept pace with how video games have changed over the years, it's how we interact with them. Our biggest touchpoint with virtual worlds is the gamepad and -- akin to how games themselves have evolved from simple 2D affairs into 100-hour-long labyrinths in three dimensions -- controllers have changed to accommodate that. What you'll find in the gallery below is a comprehensive look at gamepads from the past 30-plus years of gaming, including high points and missteps alike.

[Image: Adafruit Industries/Flickr]

0 Comments

Are you ready for lab-made hamburgers, bug-filled protein bars and 3D-printed cuisine? With the Earth's population rapidly approaching 8 billion and the race to keep up with food demand intensifying, industries have begun to drain essential resources and adversely affect the environment. Thanks to some scientific know-how, we're finding new ways to bypass those issues while still bringing natural and nutritious food to the table. In honor of that quest, we've gathered an assortment of forward-thinking products and projects that aim to alleviate the environmental impact of feeding the world and help kickstart a farming future for our space-faring progeny.

[Images: David Parry / PA Wire (Cultured Beef); Chloe Rutzerveld (Edible Growth); 3D Systems (ChefJet)]

0 Comments

Japan's ridiculous robot hotel is actually serious business

"My name is Yoshiyuki Kawazoe. This is my hotel." The University of Tokyo's associate professor of architecture gestures behind himself to a flat, two-story building that doesn't really look like a hotel. "Two-hundred people were involved in making this happen," he says. "Experts in environmental design, engineering, architecture, robotics and construction ... it's their hotel." The "Hen-na Hotel" will go down in tourist guides as the robot hotel, but there's more being invested in here than just talking robots: The minds behind it hope the facility will change the world of low-cost hotels -- and save the world. (Well, at least a little.)

Read the Full Story 0 Comments

If you've ever spent time in the company of young children watching colorful and cartoony TV shows geared to their innocence -- say something on Sprout or Nick Jr. -- then you'll know what it is to live in the world of Henry. The computer-animated virtual reality short about a lonely hedgehog is only the second to come from Oculus VR's newly founded Story Studio, an innovation lab of sorts for VR. But whereas most recent gaming- and entertainment-focused VR works have relied on cheap thrills, suspense and fear to dazzle viewers, Henry instead engages with empathy.

"That was the big question for me: How are people going to connect with him?" says director Ramiro Lopez Dau of Henry's emotional bent. "So we came up with this character who has an obvious problem: He wants to hug people and he's super spiky. So that was the connection because everyone deserves a friend. And Henry doesn't have a flaw. He's just like that; he's a hedgehog. ... So it's more about, okay, there's some meaning here. You will find someone who will accept you for who you are, which is a very universal message. ... There's going to be a very strong point to feel empathy for this guy."

Read the Full Story 0 Comments

Developers Dave Proctor and Alex Rushdy of 13AM Games are in the middle of an impassioned conversation about the Wii U and independent development.

"I think the industry is getting into a habit of unsustainably large development, where it's like, 'Ugh, of course the Wii U can't run Assassin's Creed Unity,'" Proctor says.

Rushdy cuts in, "Nothing can run Assassin's Creed Unity."

Read the Full Story 0 Comments

GERMANY MOBILE PHONE ANNIVERSARY

Since 1984 Motorola has trotted out some of the most iconic and memorable mobile designs in the industry. Whether it's the StarTAC, RAZR V3 or the original Droid, Motorola consistently offers something unique through design. It even allows you to make the final call on color schemes with its more recent devices so you can create a gadget that's truly one of a kind. As the company is poised to make its next big reveal tomorrow, let's take a look at some of those notable handsets that span four decades of mobile phones.

[Image: AP Photo/Christof Stache]

0 Comments

Everyone has a Windows upgrade horror story. For me, it was an XP installation that inexplicably crashed halfway through the upgrade process, somehow corrupting my hard drive at the same time. And with Windows 10 launching on July 29th, it's hard to avoid the traumatic flashbacks to past Windows releases. But fret not. Windows 10, it turns out, offers the smoothest Windows upgrade process ever. It's remarkable for just how unremarkable the entire endeavor actually is. Still, there are a few things you should know before taking the plunge.

Read the Full Story 0 Comments

While the Voyager 1 probe, launched in 1977, cruises into interstellar space (the farthest man-made object from Earth) and missions like New Horizons capture snaps from the outskirts of the solar system, we've been keeping the heavy hitters close to home. Massive space telescopes that scan the cosmos with augmented eyes have been orbiting the Earth for years to get a clear view of the universe without atmospheric distortion. The Hubble Space Telescope's 1990 launch set a new precedent for these space-based observatories in terms of scale and abilities. These new instruments have helped scientists gather an incredible amount of data and mind-bending photos from deep space. With Pluto hogging the spotlight lately, we decided to take a look back at some of these powerful orbiting eyes and their visual achievements.

[Image credit: JPL]

0 Comments

What it's like to use Samsung's Tizen-based 4K TV (in a non-4K world)

It's not easy getting a massive 65-inch TV inside a Brooklyn apartment. But, oh, is it worth the trouble. In this case, I'm talking about the Samsung JU6500, a 4K (3,840 x 2,160) smart TV powered by the company's newly minted, homegrown Tizen OS. Unless you were dead-set on Android TV, the set comes with most everything you would want in 2015: support for Ultra High-Definition media, access to entertainment apps and an actually reasonable price point. Although it's listed at $2,800, you can get one for around $2,100 from retailers including Amazon, Best Buy, Newegg, Adorama and Samsung's own site. Unfortunately for the company, its JU6500 seems expensive compared to Vizio's cheap 4K series -- which makes the buying decision harder for people who want a UHD TV.

Read the Full Story 0 Comments