Author Archives: Brittany A. Roston


Review: Bear notes app for Mac

Review: Bear notes app for Mac

A new app has caught the attention of Mac users far and wide -- it's called Bear, and it promises to be the only notes app you need. Getting your hands on Bear isn't easy, at least not right now, as it is still in beta and rolling out to interested users in limited batches. If you're waiting for your own download link, be patient -- Bear is absolutely worth the wait. Apple's own Notes app looks positively archaic in comparison.

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Spider silk microstructure found to have unique acoustic properties

Spider silk microstructure found to have unique acoustic properties

Researchers have learned another thing about spider silk, and as with past discoveries, it may lead to the development of new materials for use among humans. This time around, a group of researchers from Rice University and beyond busied themselves with studying the microstructure of spider webs, doing so to learn how they transmit phonons — that is, quasiparticles of sound. As it turns out, spider silk possesses something called a phonon band gap.

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VAIO C15 laptop combines bold colors and high price tags

VAIO C15 laptop combines bold colors and high price tags

VAIO has introduced its new C15 laptop, and while it looks like it is only available in Japan right now, it's a model to keep an eye on. The C15 laptops feature an unusual color design, with multiple colors being paired together in bold, large stripes across the keyboards and lids. The company bids these as premium laptop offerings, and the price matches that notion: the model costs a little more than $900 USD.

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Microsoft project uses machine learning to identify flowers

Microsoft project uses machine learning to identify flowers

You can use your phone to figure out what song is playing on the radio, and there are even some apps that try to figure out how many calories are in your meal based on a snapshot of it. Now, thanks to Microsoft Research Asia and the Institute of Botany Chinese Academy of Sciences, there’s a way to do this with flowers. The idea is that we’re surrounded by flowers all summer long, but probably can’t identify many of them. If a particularly striking one finds your eye, you can use this recognition project to upload a photo of the flower and get information about it in return.

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Samsung Gear 360 cameras will be sold at Lollapalooza

Samsung Gear 360 cameras will be sold at Lollapalooza

The elusive Samsung Gear 360 camera will be made available for purchase in the U.S. at Lollapalooza, marking the latest - and still very limited -- way buyers have been given to get their hands on the model. Only a limited number of the Gear 360 units will be on hand, and they’ll be offered for $350 USD, the same price we saw the last time some models went up for sale. Though the Gear 360 has already been officially launched in the U.S., it has only thus far been available to purchase at last month’s VidCon in California.

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Apple’s Q3 2016 saw highest App Store revenue ever

Apple’s Q3 2016 saw highest App Store revenue ever

Apple has taken the wraps off its third quarter 2016 financial numbers, with CEO Tim Cook saying its latest quarterly figures “reflect stronger customer demand and business performance than we anticipated at the start of the quarter.” Among other things, the company saw its services business grow by a major 19-percent year-on-year while its App Store revenue reached its highest point ever.

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Apple TV now has an Adobe Lightroom app

Apple TV now has an Adobe Lightroom app

There's a new and arguably not very useful app for your Apple TV (assuming you're using the 4th-generation model): Adobe Lightroom. The app is only for viewing photos, the idea being that you can easily access them from your Creative Cloud to show friends and family your latest shots on the big screen. You will need a Creative Cloud subscription to use the app, of course, as well as uploaded photos.

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Twitter for Android adds a night mode option

Twitter for Android adds a night mode option

Do you like browsing Twitter before bed? If so, the Android app was just updated with a feature that makes doing so a bit more friendly: night mode. When activated, the bright Android app for Twitter is toggled over to a theme that's much easier on the eyes in a dark room. Turning the night mode on is as simple as flipping a switch; you can turn it off whenever you want, as well, to get the light theme back.

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VIZIO acquired by LeEco for $2 billion

VIZIO acquired by LeEco for $2 billion

VIZIO is being acquired by LeEco, the companies have announced, a deal that costs $2 billion and will involve VIZIO, for the most part, operating as a LeEco subsidiary. Both VIZIO's hardware and software businesses are being acquired; while they’ll operate as a subsidiary, the company’s data business will be spun out into a separate private company, says LeEco. Both companies are benefiting from the acquisition, with VIZIO giving LeEco its massive user base in North America and LeEco, for its part, being poised to expand VIZIO across the globe.

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Dell XPS 12 Two-in-One Laptop Review

Dell XPS 12 Two-in-One Laptop Review

Consumers are increasingly gravitating toward so-called "convertible" laptops -- that is, tablets that attach to a keyboard, giving users the best of both worlds. Dell's new XPS 12 is no exception, at least not in terms of its foundational design: it has a folio cover, magnetic keyboard, detachable tablet, and stylus. We've seen all that before, and we'll see it again. The finer details are what makes or breaks a new offering, of course, and so we've spent a couple weeks putting Dell's new two-in-one through the wringer. Spoiler: the results are largely great.

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Audi aims to offer three electric vehicles by 2020

Audi aims to offer three electric vehicles by 2020

Audi plans to offer a trio of electric vehicles by the year 2020, according to company CEO Rupert Stadler. These electric cars, if everything goes as planned, will make up between 25-percent and 30-percent of the auto maker’s sales by the year 2025, a big goal that underscores Audi’s push into the electric vehicle market. Stadler reportedly announced this plan to Audi managers some time last week, and more recently discussed the matter to a German newspaper. In addition to launching electric vehicles, Audi is also said to be planning an autonomous vehicle to be developed under a subsidiary named SDS Company.

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Sega Mega Drive console with 80 built-in games goes up for preorder

Sega Mega Drive console with 80 built-in games goes up for preorder

Nintendo recently announced plans to capitalize on nostalgia with the NES Classic Edition, and now Sega is doing something similar. Now available for order is the Sega Mega Drive, as well as a Mega Drive/Genesis handheld console, to commemorate the 25th Sonic anniversary. The console costs about $65 USD, as does the handheld version, and comes packed with 80 integrated games including Mortal Kombat 1 - 3, a handful of Sonic games, Golden Axe 1 - 3, and a bunch more.

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