Author Archives: JC Torres


Smartphone cash withdrawals set to fight card fraud

Smartphone cash withdrawals set to fight card fraud

Technologies like LoopPay, which tries to combine traditional payment methods or equipment with more current smartphone technology, is inspiring people to take a second look at the whole mobile payment proposal. The next big movement might come from ATM withdrawals. BMO Harris Bank, a unit of Canada's Bank of Montreal, will try to do just that in the US, allowing users to make cash withdrawals without even having to put in a card. All they need is their smartphone and, of course, an app.

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Student creates 3D extruder using hot glue gun and LEGO

Student creates 3D extruder using hot glue gun and LEGO

What do you do if your research project calls for equipment that you don't have access to or can't afford on your own? Well, you can either beg your school for it, weep to your professor about the difficulty of the project or just wing it and make your own. Whatever muse took hold of Vimal Patel, it must have been a pretty strong one. In the absence of a 3Doodler-like machine, he decided to make his own contraption using some creativity, imagination, and LEGO.

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Oculus Rift might not land in 2015 after all

Oculus Rift might not land in 2015 after all

The music, film, and interactive festival that is South by South West, more popularly known by its SxSW acronym, is happening and, given the growing hype around virtual reality for the past few month, you'd expect Oculus would have some great announcement to make at Austin. If you were one of those who expected such, you might have walked away pretty disappointed. But more than just the admission of having nothing to announce at SxSW, it might be the implication that there might not be anything to announce in 2015 that has some fans worried.

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Flying car maker AeroMobil: flying cars to take off 2017

Flying car maker AeroMobil: flying cars to take off 2017

While some car companies are still scrambling to develop self-driving cars or at least integrate smartphones into the dashboard, some are already look far ahead into the future and into the skies. But for AeroMobil, who has been working on flying cars since 1989, it might not actually be too far into the future at all. It believes that by 2017, the first commercial flying car will be available to the highest bidder. But considering its business revolves around flying cards, it's not hard to see why AeroMobil would be so optimistic.

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Twitter curbs Meerkat’s piggybacking on social network

Twitter curbs Meerkat’s piggybacking on social network

Last week we reported on an unexpected startup called Meerkat that let you livestream not over YouTube but over Twitter. It was a rather ambitious and daring business and we wondered if it would eventually run afoul of Twitter. That it did and its time in the spotlight might have been short-lived. The social networking giant has confirmed that it has just limited Meerkat's access to Twitter's social graph, removing one of the features that actually made Meerkat far more interesting than you usual livestreaming wnnabe.

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Square Order on mobile is also getting the axe

Square Order on mobile is also getting the axe

It's less than a year old, but Square Order's time in the market will be very short-lived indeed. The service that allowed users to preorder food and drinks from local establishments was launched middle of last year at the same time that Square Wallet was announced to be closed off. It seems like a recurring curse, but now it's Square Order's time to bite the dust as well. On the one hand, it's not surprising given how it failed to take off, but Square isn't exactly backing out of the market just yet.

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Tesla to put Model S “range anxiety” to rest on Thursday

Tesla to put Model S “range anxiety” to rest on Thursday

While electric cars seem almost ideal from an environmental point of view, one of the biggest hurdles to their massive adoption is their range capabilities. Tesla, whose business hedges heavily on EVs, knows only too well what it now calls "range anxiety". So when it promises to calm all those nerves come March 19th, people in the automotive industry, especially its rivals in the electric vehicle market, will definitely await that day with piqued curiosities, if not a new kind of anxiety themselves: Tesla anxiety.

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Monolith electric skateboard puts motors inside the wheels

Monolith electric skateboard puts motors inside the wheels

We've seen electric bikes that try to give cyclists an added push, especially when riding through challenging terrain. That same idea now also applies even to things like skateboards, allowing skaters to do some things they can't on a normal board, like riding uphill. While the Monolith skateboard does offer that, it also wants to be better and offer the authentic feel of a traditional non-powered skateboard. And it might have just found the answer with its new Manta Drive technology that practically hides the motors in each of the wheels.

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The Guardian “clarifies” its Whisper allegations

The Guardian “clarifies” its Whisper allegations

After making a big stink about the issue last year, The Guardian is "clarifying" some of the accusations it flung in anonymous messaging service Whisper's face. Although The Guardian states that these are just clarifications and that the substance of its original reports remains true, those same clarifications have actually removed much of that substance which has painted Whisper as a villainous agent in the service of Big Brother. Now it seems that Whisper, while still reporting some things to the authorities, might not be so devious after all.

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Audi R8 e-tron gets another chance in new 2015 prototype

Audi R8 e-tron gets another chance in new 2015 prototype

When Audi pulled the plug on the Audi R8 e-tron in 2012, it was because neither the market nor the technology seemed to be ready yet for an all electric vehicle. Partly in thanks to Tesla's stubbornness, however, the landscape has changed significantly. Now electric cars are part and parcel of Audi's plans for the next three years, as outlined by its own Technical Development management board member Prof. Dr. Ulrich Hackenberg. And it will be starting off, quite appropriately, with a new Audi R8 e-tron that in some ways stays the same as the original but significantly improves it as well.

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