Author Archives: Brittany Hillen


Report: Hasbro might acquire DreamWorks Animation

Report: Hasbro might acquire DreamWorks Animation

Hasbro is looking to acquire DreamWorks Animation, according to sources that spoke with the New York Times. Talk between the companies is said to be "advanced", but the sources say that nothing is concrete yet and it might still come to nothing. If the acquisition does pan out, however, it would see Hasbro's product lines open to a new level of feature film possibilities, and DreamWorks Animation would have numerous options for future projects. This follows news in September claiming Softbank was looking to acquire the company.

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Roost battery makes your dumb smoke detector smarter

Roost battery makes your dumb smoke detector smarter

If you're looking to add a bit of smart functionality to your home but aren't interested in swapping out your existing devices, the folks behind Roost might have the solution. Roost is a 9v battery that connects your "dumb" smoke alarms to your WiFi network so that alerts are shuttled off to your smartphone, where you can see if they're going off and in which part of the house the detector is located. It also eliminates low-battery chirping that starts late at night, among other things.

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Notorious hacker’s password was his cat’s name

Notorious hacker’s password was his cat’s name

The warning is a common one: choose a strong password. Don't use "password" as your password. Don't use "123456" as your password. Yet every year a report or two surfaces showing those and dozens like them are the passwords of choices for users across the globe, not to mention passwords that are easy to guess once you know something about the user. One would expect hackers to be a collective well-versed in the need to choose hard-to-guess passwords, but even hackers make mistakes.

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Samsung unveils gold-painted curved TV, will auction it for charity

Samsung unveils gold-painted curved TV, will auction it for charity

Samsung has introduced a 78-inch Curved UHD TV with a unique artistic backing -- one that begs for a spot in the home where both the front and back are visible. The curved television's backing is painted with gold lacquer, and will be featured starting November 20 as part of Christie's Hong Kong autumn auction preview. The special model will eventually be auctioned off, and the funds that result will then be donated to the organization Orbis to help fund access to health-related vision services.

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PlayStation Vue: a cloud-based live TV service arriving in 2015

PlayStation Vue: a cloud-based live TV service arriving in 2015

Sony has announced the upcoming service PlayStation Vue, a cloud-based subscription that will bring both broadcast television and on-demand content to its console owners, as well as those using the iPad and other non-Sony gadgets. "Everyday TV is about to become extraordinary," Sony's Andrew House has declared. The service will include a cloud-based DVR-esque storage option, access to live broadcasts from several networks, on-demand programming, and more, with an initial beta launch being set for later this month and an official rollout taking place early next year.

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Vsenn’s modular phone gets first approved ROM: Paranoid Android

Vsenn’s modular phone gets first approved ROM: Paranoid Android

Earlier this month Finnish startup Vsenn revealed that it is making its own modular phone, which will join Project Ara in what is sure to be a growing array of module-based handsets. Not much about the phone was revealed at the time (nor since then), but the makers did tease that security, customization, and guaranteed updates would all be central to its efforts. Following this, Vsenn has now announced that Paranoid Android is the first approved ROM under its Approved ROM Partner program.

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DJI Inspire 1 drone officially debuts with 4K camera in tow

DJI Inspire 1 drone officially debuts with 4K camera in tow

The DJI Inspire 1, which leaked in spy shots earlier week, has made its official debut, and with it we see that quite a bit of the speculation surrounding the drone has proven true. The Inspire 1 does, indeed, bring along a 4k camera for recording Ultra HD video from the sky, a 3-axis gimbal, and even the white shell. Joining these things is a build promised to be both lightweight and durable fitted with carbon fiber arms, a vision positioning system for use indoors, and more.

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Rdio drops family plan rates as Spotify ramps up competition

Rdio drops family plan rates as Spotify ramps up competition

Rdio has upped its game against competitor Spotify, announcing a new pricing structure for its family plans following Spotify's own discounted family rates. The service wasn't shy to point out that it did the family plan setup first (back in 2011), and with its new pricing structure the music streaming service goes toe-to-toe with Spotify by matching its rates. As of today, Rdio subscribers can add family members to their account for an extra $5 per month. This follows Rdio's family plan boost from 3 to 5 accounts that happened last summer.

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ASUS ROG Gladius mouse: Omron switches, detachable cable

ASUS ROG Gladius mouse: Omron switches, detachable cable

ASUS Republic of Gamers (ROG) has introduced another gaming mouse: the Gladius. Designed for right-handed gamers and "ideal" for FPS sessions, the Gladius brings with it Omron switches as well as the ability to upgrade to different switches if preferred. Both the right and left mouse buttons are separate from each other, and both are rated for 20 million clicks, meaning you won't be wearing the Gladius out any time soon. This is joined by a detachable cable in micro USB form and a special coating ASUS says keeps issues with sweat to a minimum.

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JBL Horizon Bluetooth Clock uses ambient light to wake you

JBL Horizon Bluetooth Clock uses ambient light to wake you

Thankfully the sudden screech of a traditional alarm clock is no longer necessary for waking up in the morning, with fade-in alarms on smartphones and various ambient light alarms becoming the consumer favorite. JBL is the latest among device makers to introduce its own ambient alarm clock flavor into the mix, and with it comes both Bluetooth and FM radio to complement the fade-in lighting. The JBL Horizon Bluetooth Clock is shaped like a thermostat and now available for pre-order.

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