Author Archives: Brittany Hillen


Knowtify smart outlet tracks which appliances are on

Knowtify smart outlet tracks which appliances are on

Knowtify is the newest smart outlet on the block, letting home owners swap out their traditional dumb outlets with a smart version that can do things like keep track of how much energy is being used. In addition, the company behind it -- Home Known -- promises that it has some other functionality you wouldn't ordinary imagine an outlet would provide, such as notifications about whether the garage door is open, the washer is finished, the television is on, and more.

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23andMe plans to make drugs based on customer data

23andMe plans to make drugs based on customer data

23andMe has had a somewhat rocky existence, first offering data on one's own ancestry and genetic data, then stripping that down to only ancestry information coupled with raw data that coupld be parsed for medical reasons by third-party companies. That was due to meddling by the FDA. That was recently changed with genetic test kit approval (though conditions apply), and now the company has made a very big announcement: it is planning to use customer data to make pharmaceutical drugs.

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Majora’s Mask 3D was last month’s top-selling game

Majora’s Mask 3D was last month’s top-selling game

NPD Group's numbers are in from last month, and it shows overall strong sales in the gaming industry, with February having an 8-percent year-on-year increase. Sales for both hardware and games hit $955.6 million, with $378.2 million of that coming solely from hardware sales (a year-on-year 10-percent increase). Though software sales weren't quite that high, there was a 7-percent year-on-year increase with $338.9 million coming in. It was an overall good month for the industry, particularly Nintendo which saw high console and software sales.

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Atlas Wristband can track dynamic exercise moves

Atlas Wristband can track dynamic exercise moves

There's no shortage of fitness trackers out there, but the Atlas Wristband stands out among them for a couple reasons, the first of which is its somewhat unusual design. The display juts outward from the wrist strap, extending beyond the rectangular watch face. Also notable are the features it offers, the most notable of which is its ability to track dynamic exercise moves, such as bench presses and squats, as well as the number of repetitions that take place with each exercise.

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Melomind headset uses brainwaves to choose relaxation music

Melomind headset uses brainwaves to choose relaxation music

The latest brainwave headset to surface is called Melomind, and unlike the alternatives that promise to make you smarter or faster, this one aims to relax users by delivering customized music playlists that change to cater to one's current brainwave data. It works in conjunction with a mobile app (both Android and iOS) through which the data is parsed and the music is delivered; it essentially peeks inside of your brain when you're stressed and determines how best to calm you down.

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Chevy Volts recalled to add automatic shutoff feature

Chevy Volts recalled to add automatic shutoff feature

General Motors has decided to recall some Chevy Volts in order to add a feature that will automatically shut the car off after it has been idling for a certain amount of time. This change will be made for safety reasons, and comes after a couple people have been injured by carbon monoxide buildup after forgetting to turn the car off. This is said to be a unique recall among the auto industry, and is necessary because of the silent nature of a car that is operating on battery power.

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London’s National Gallery is latest to ban selfie sticks

London’s National Gallery is latest to ban selfie sticks

We've seen some instances of galleries banning the use of selfie sticks, and now the National Gallery in London has decided to join them, making the decision to ban camera monopods due to a variety of reasons, not the least being that you might accidentally jab someone (or something) with it. The gallery already banned the use of tripods, and though it was originally lax when it came to the use of "selfie sticks", it has decided to include them in the tripod ban.

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Lawsuit against Facebook over kids’ purchases to proceed

Lawsuit against Facebook over kids’ purchases to proceed

Facebook has to face up to a class-action lawsuit from parents whose children made purchases on the social network without their permission, a judge has ruled. The order came today from U.S. District Judge Beth Labson Freeman, who gave the go-ahead to the class-action lawsuit seeking alterations to how Facebook goes about kids' transactions. The lawsuit will not, however, be able to go after a refund -- those who are looking to get a refund will need to go after that alone.

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Honda to roll out ads related to Takata air bag recall

Honda to roll out ads related to Takata air bag recall

Honda will be rolling out its first-ever ads related to a recall in the United States, it has been announced. The advertisements will encourage Honda owners with vehicles equipped with potentially faulty Takata air bags to get their cars serviced. This follows fatal accidents linked to the faulty air bags, and is a measure to try and ensure additional injuries or deaths do no happen. The ads will launch on March 16, and will be included on the radio and in newspapers.

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‘Rogue One’ revealed as first standalone Star Wars movie

‘Rogue One’ revealed as first standalone Star Wars movie

Disney CEO Bob Iger dropped details on the upcoming Star Wars movies today at the Palace of Fine Arts in San Francisco. We've known for a while now that standalone movies were part of the plan, and this morning we learned the title of the first standalone film: 'Rogue One'. Gareth Edwards will be directing this one and Chris Weitz will be writing it, though the idea itself hails from Industrial Light & Magic's John Knoll. The movie is set to premiere next December.

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