Author Archives: Brittany A. Roston


Lenovo Smart Assistant with Alexa is an Echo alternative

Lenovo Smart Assistant with Alexa is an Echo alternative

Lenovo has introduced its new Smart Assistant with Amazon Alexa, a tower-shaped device similar in shape to the Amazon Echo device. This device was built in collaboration with Amazon, according to Lenovo, and it features Alexa voice services. As with similar personal assistant devices, the Smart Assistant listens for its owner’s voice commands, using Alexa to perform whatever it is you want: get calendar updates, play a song, make a list, and more.

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Lenovo Miix 720 with Active Pen 2 is a ‘work from anywhere’ 2-in-1 PC

Lenovo Miix 720 with Active Pen 2 is a ‘work from anywhere’ 2-in-1 PC

Lenovo has updated its Miix model with the new Miix 720, a Windows 10 detachable PC that comes with the Lenovo Active Pen 2. This model, like the ones before it, are designed to easily transition from a ‘laptop’ design to a tablet design, both of them having the convenience of a lightweight design alongside the stylus for hands-on creations. Lenovo describes this model as an ‘all-purpose digital vehicle.’

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NASA wraps up the year with a catchy tune and 2016 highlights

NASA wraps up the year with a catchy tune and 2016 highlights

NASA has wrapped up 2016 with a catchy tune put on video to the space agency’s biggest highlights over the last year. The music is accompanied by a photo of a cassette tape appropriate dubbed 'Goddard,' a word referring to NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center located in Maryland. At only about a minute in length, the video doesn't even begin to detail all of Goddard's achievements throughout 2016, but it does offer a selection of the best ones.

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Bitcoin is back over $1,000 as value climbs

Bitcoin is back over $1,000 as value climbs

Bitcoin’s value is slowing climbing, and has exceeded the $1,000/ea valuation for the first time in about three years. The so-called cryptocurrency saw its value peak — and then crash — in 2014, and though the price has been relatively stable since, the yearly trend shows its value climbing. The currency is largely used for online purchases in which anonymity is important, though it is increasingly being accepted by mainstream retailers, too.

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Topps, maker of sports cards, discloses data breach

Topps, maker of sports cards, discloses data breach

The company behind many sports and other trading cards, Topps, has disclosed a data breach. According to a notice sent to Topps customers, the company became aware of the breach in mid-October 2016, something that triggered an investigation revealing that ‘one or more intruders’ possibly stole some customer data. That data could include credit and debit card numbers, names, email addresses, and more.

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Researchers: bad ‘magic mushroom’ trips may still be beneficial

Researchers: bad ‘magic mushroom’ trips may still be beneficial

So-called magic mushrooms are the source of renewed scientific interest in psilocybin, particularly the beneficial effects the chemical may have on helping terminal cancer patients accept impending death, among other things. Researchers recently published the results of a large survey they conducted with magic mushroom consumers, one in which they specifically looked for details about bad trips and their lasting effects.

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WhatsApp drops support for some phones, but gives BlackBerry an extension

WhatsApp drops support for some phones, but gives BlackBerry an extension

WhatsApp is one of the most popular messaging apps available, and so there are likely going to be some users disappointed today: the app is dropping support for older phone platforms. This isn't a surprise, as the company gave a fair warning in the recent past that this day was coming. It's not all bad news, though -- WhatsApp has also announced an extension for certain devices.

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Watch toilet paper get pressed into a functional skateboard

Watch toilet paper get pressed into a functional skateboard

If you’re fond of the Hydraulic Press Channel, prepare to have your mind blown. The folks behind it have published a long video on their second channel showing a hydraulic press smashing rolls of toilet paper into a hard, long board, which is then transformed into a usable skateboard. To prove it works, someone hops on it and takes it for a ride, using it the same way they would an ordinary wood or composite board.

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Microsoft patent details using augmented reality to find lost keys

Microsoft patent details using augmented reality to find lost keys

Microsoft envisions uses for augmented reality beyond digital pets and reading messages overlaid onto your environment — namely, finding your lost keys, among other things. Such was detailed in a patent recently filed by Microsoft, which goes on to describe the tracking of items that are moveable like wallets, your phone, and other similar things. Augmented reality could also be used to track the state of something, such as the level of milk in a milk carton.

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Self-driving car tests are heading to Boston streets

Self-driving car tests are heading to Boston streets

Boston is welcoming self-driving cars onto its streets, with city officials giving startup NuTonomy permission to test its autonomous vehicle in a small region in South Boston. This will mark the first time a self-driving car has hit the streets in Boston, and marks another step toward bringing these cars to the general public. NuTonomy has been ready to start the tests for weeks, so we’ll no doubt so the project kick off very soon.

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Hubble spots ‘serene cosmic rosebud’ megamaser with two cores

Hubble spots ‘serene cosmic rosebud’ megamaser with two cores

NASA has published an image taken by the Hubble Space Telescope of a megamaser, something the space agency describes as a ‘beautiful and serene cosmic rosebud.’ A megamaser is a very bright ‘process’ that, says NASA, radiates intense energy. This particular megamaser has been dubbed IRAS 16399-0937, and it emits microwaves. On camera, it looks nothing short of stunning.

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Superbook, a $3m Kickstarter product, delayed until June 2017

Superbook, a $3m Kickstarter product, delayed until June 2017

The laptop dock that promises to turn your Android smartphone into a fully functional laptop, Superbook, has been delayed until June 2017, the team behind it has announced. Superbook made its debut on Kickstarter where it raised nearly three million dollars in funding from more than 16,700 backers. That large number, the company says, is part of the reason for the delay.

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