Must Read Bits & Bytes

Google Cardboard art show turns platform into canvas

Google Cardboard art show turns platform into canvas

Not only does Google Cardboard provide a platform for Android smartphones to enter virtual reality, they're a fabulous platform for art as well. Using the original Google Cardboard unit as canvas, artists from across the country were asked to design, modify, and decorate. The "Dreams Incarnated" show took place on April 1st (no jokes, no pranks) at SERVICE in Portland Oregon. These viewfinders will be put up for sale on the 2nd of April to raise cash for the nonprofit known as p:ear.

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April Fools’ Day 2015 roundup: Google Only

April Fools’ Day 2015 roundup: Google Only

Oh great, it is April Fools' Day again. We started making an April Fools' Day roundup for all the pranks all over the web, then we realized that Google let the dogs out. They let ALL the dogs out. They've made so many pranks that we had to make a round-up of pranks for this day just for them. Look at what they've done, they must be so proud of themselves for all the giggles they've summoned from these internets.

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ASUS’ Chromebook Flip is a convertible Chrome OS steal

ASUS’ Chromebook Flip is a convertible Chrome OS steal

We've had cheap and cheerful Chromebooks, and expensive, high-end flagships like Pixel, but ASUS has finally delivered a premium-feeling Chrome OS convertible at a price you'll do a double-take at. Intended to raise the stakes for Windows notebooks, not to mention undercut more than a few tablets, the ASUS Chromebook Flip manages to deliver a Full HD IPS touchscreen, a convertible hinge, and fully metal construction for just $249.

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Microsoft unveils Atom-based Surface 3, the Pro 3’s little brother

Microsoft unveils Atom-based Surface 3, the Pro 3’s little brother

Microsoft is adding a new Surface table to their arsenal. In an attempt to capture the attention of students, families, or anyone not enamored with the Surface Pro 3’s $799 starting price, Microsoft has the Surface 3 (non-Pro). Starting at $499, the device sports a 64-bit Intel Atom x7 Cherry Trail quad-core SoC, sports 2GB RAM, and 32GB memory on-board. The Surface 3 will ship with Windows 8.1, but is upgradeable to Windows 10 once that version is available.

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Tesla teases “major” April news: Home batteries ahoy?

Tesla teases “major” April news: Home batteries ahoy?

Tesla will reveal a "major" new product at the end of April, CEO Elon Musk has teased, but don't expect a new car. The outspoken chief exec took to Twitter to announce the April 30th launch, which will take place at Tesla's Hawthorne Design Studio in California. While exactly what's on the agenda hasn't been confirmed, recent chatter points to the new product being a battery system intended for domestic use, rather than to power an electric vehicle.

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Gogoro gets go-going: First EV scooter pilots revealed

Gogoro gets go-going: First EV scooter pilots revealed

Electric transportation company Gogoro has announced its first pilot cities for its Smartscooter, with EV trials kicking off in Taipei City and New Taipei City this summer. Revealed at CES in January, the Gogoro Smartscooter promises up to 60 miles of driving on a single charge, at which point its removable battery packs can be simply swapped out at a Gogoro Energy Network "Go Station" rather than demanding to be plugged into the wall. I caught up with CEO Horace Luke to find out more.

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Apple CEO Tim Cook blasts “religious freedom” laws

Apple CEO Tim Cook blasts “religious freedom” laws

Apple CEO Tim Cook has taken a public stance on anti-gay legislation being enacted in states across the US, challenging his business counterparts to speak out on discrimination. "These bills rationalize injustice by pretending to defend something many of us hold dear," Cook wrote today in an opinion piece published by the Washington Post. "They go against the very principles our nation was founded on, and they have the potential to undo decades of progress toward greater equality." Lest critics accuse the openly-gay Cook of hoping for special treatment, however, the Apple chief exec points out that there are solid business reasons for equality.

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Super Mario 64 in your browser is perfect retro Sunday fun

Super Mario 64 in your browser is perfect retro Sunday fun

Ask Nintendo 64 owners what their favorite game was and, after a little reminiscing, many will tell you Super Mario 64. Now, you can relive the classic 3D title - or at least its first level - all in the comfort of your browser. Handiwork of Erik Roystan Ross, the recreation of Nintendo's 1996 masterpiece can be played online or through the browser, using either the keyboard or a gamepad controller from either Microsoft or Sony's stables.

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Are Facebook & Instagram app economy rip-off artists?

Are Facebook & Instagram app economy rip-off artists?

Cover bands sometime make a living copying the work of others. Their ability to mimic a chosen group is often what makes them desirable to see live. Some big-name artists cover each other’s songs, and it’s typically a nod of admiration. In the app economy, we can’t say the same is true. Rather than a tribute to an art form, ‘copied’ apps pile onto the original, burying it. Facebook might be the best at this practice. With Rooms, they came under fire for copying an eerily similar app named Room. Now, Facebook-owned Instagram seems to have followed suit with Layout.

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One-year NASA mission launch: watch LIVE as Soyuz takes off

One-year NASA mission launch: watch LIVE as Soyuz takes off

Starting today, NASA's Scott Kelly and Russian cosmonauts Gennady Padalka and Mikhail Kornienko will be heading off for a year in space aboard the International Space Station. While Padalka's mission will be slightly shorter at a standard six months, a full year in space is planned for Kelly and Kornienko. This mission will test the long-term spaceflight effects on the human body in both physiological and psychological terms. Scott Kelly is also part of a twin study - his (retired) brother Mark Kelly will be remaining on Earth to be studied by NASA as the mission takes place in space.

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