Author Archives: JC Torres


Windows 10 “Project NEON” to bring smooth animations to OS

Windows 10 “Project NEON” to bring smooth animations to OS

Animations are still a hotly debated topic in the field of user experience design. Some swear by it, other swear at it. While many argue that such animations are a pure waste of computer resources, when done judiciously and tastefully, they can make user interface feel more alive and natural. That might be the principle behind Microsoft's so-called "Project NEON", a minor embellishment to the Windows 10 design language that brings the aesthetics and animations from Windows 7's Aero to make the Windows 10 design "pop out".

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Fossil Q wearable line adds three slim hybrid smartwatches

Fossil Q wearable line adds three slim hybrid smartwatches

Just because smartwatches have trouble finding their place in the world doesn’t mean traditional watches don’t can’t become smarter. That is the line of thinking behind what is aptly called hybrid watches or hybrid smartwatches, adding just a pinch of technology to otherwise traditional, but gorgeous, timepieces. At CES 2017, fashion accessory maker Fossil is announcing yet another set of such hybrid smartwatches for its Q brand of smart wearables, the Q Accomplice, Q Grant, and Q Modern Pursuit, all focusing on slim designs to match your fashion taste.

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Ford SYNC 3 AppLink projects apps to dash touchscreen

Ford SYNC 3 AppLink projects apps to dash touchscreen

Despite what common sense says, people still use their smartphones while driving. It has become so bad that such activities have been made illegal in many jurisdictions. Users will argue, on the other hand, that they're merely using the navigation apps on their phone. To no longer give such users and excuse, Ford is revealing the latest AppLink capability of its new SYNC 3 which practically transfers the display and control of such an app from your smartphone to the convenience and safety of you car's dash screen.

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Nexus 6 finally gets its just Android 7.1.1 Nougat dessert

Nexus 6 finally gets its just Android 7.1.1 Nougat dessert

"Shamu lives!" Those two words, the fist comment on Reddit about this news, poignantly expresses the sentiment of Nexus 6 owners today. Almost buried under the weight of CES 2017, Google has silently released Android 7.1.1 for the Nexus 6, model name "shamu", after a delay of about a month thanks to a very device-specific bug. That no longer matter though, because Nexus 6 owners can now enjoy the latest Android release. And enjoy it they must, because it might be the last major Android version it receives.

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Honda NeuV concept has an AI assistant with an “emotion engine”

Honda NeuV concept has an AI assistant with an “emotion engine”

Along with virtual, augmented, and mixed reality, artificial intelligence has become one of the biggest obsessions in the technology industry in recent years. Even car makers are getting into the game as well, offloading some of the control, and even some of the responsibility, to computer-driven agents. Honda's latest concept vehicle, the NeuV, is perhaps the embodiment of how far car makers are willing to go in mixing AI and cars. In addition to be a self-driving electric vehicle, the NeuV has a smart assistant that can "read" your emotions and even earn you money on the sides.

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MSI brings its CES game on with new PCs, cards, and boards

MSI brings its CES game on with new PCs, cards, and boards

CES has always been a smorgasbord of treats for lovers of technology of all shapes and sizes, and gamers are no exception. From Samsung's first ever gaming laptop to the new PC and Mac loving GeForce NOW, there have been a lot of goodies waiting for twitching fingers. Not to be outdone, MSI has revealed in one fell swoop all the new things it has to offer, from traditional gaming laptops to VR rigs with 3D audio to blazing fast graphics cards extra cold cooling systems.

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Fast space radio bursts finally traced to nearby galaxy

Fast space radio bursts finally traced to nearby galaxy

There are many mysteries in both the known and the unknown universe, but one that has recently confounded astronomers is what is known as Fast Radio Bursts (FRB). First recorded in 2007, these short explosions of radio energy were so strong but so short that it was near impossible to determine where they came from. Finally it seems that our stars have aligned and researchers have discovered that these FRBs are actually coming from a dwarf galaxy just outside our Milky Way. And, no, they're not coming from aliens.

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Kodak Ektra camera smartphone is coming to the US

Kodak Ektra camera smartphone is coming to the US

Camera makers have more or less dabbled in the mobile market, whether with devices or with accessories, but few have actually made a serious effort to plant a foot there. Kodak’s Ektra is the lone exception, practically doing what the likes of Samsung’s “Zoom” or Nokia’s PureView smartphones have attempted: to offer a better digital camera experience than even the best smartphone cameras. At CES 2017, Kodak is answering the biggest question of all: it the Ektra coming to the US? And the answer is a resounding yes, though you might not be too excited about the price.

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Intel Compute Card is just a little bigger than your credit card

Intel Compute Card is just a little bigger than your credit card

Intel may have not been able to corner the mobile market as it had dreamed, but that hasn't stopped it from shrinking its technology into smaller and smaller sizes. OK, so maybe it has also thrown in the towel as far as wearables are concerned, so it's aiming for the next big trend in consumer electronics: the Internet of Things. To help device and appliance manufacturers kickstart their IoT production process with Intel at the core, the chip maker will be making available a Compute Card they can just slot into their product to make them smarter and connect to the World Wide Web.

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Google Daydream adds ASUS, ZTE, Huawei phones, new headset

Google Daydream adds ASUS, ZTE, Huawei phones, new headset

Cardboard, Google’s first attempt at smartphone-powered virtual reality, was immediately available to almost every Android phone, and even some iPhones. In contrast, Daydream felt more like an exclusive club, with only the Pixel, and later on the Moto Z, as members. That club has just gotten a bit bigger, though not by much. Following announcements made at CES 2017, Google is formally welcoming four new smartphones into the Daydream fold. What’s even better is that it’s also announcing the first ever third-party Daydream headset to make it easier to, well, daydream.

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Fujifilm FinePix XP120 is rugged but light, graphite X-T2, X-Pro2 coming

Fujifilm FinePix XP120 is rugged but light, graphite X-T2, X-Pro2 coming

The problem with most devices advertised as rugged is that they are bulkier and heavier than their less than tough counterparts. Either that or the accessories that make them rugged turn them into hulking versions of themselves. Fujifilm says that you don’t have to choose one or the other. At least not for its new FinePix XP120 digital camera. This compact shooter boasts of four kinds of rugged features while remaining not just small but also light at just 203 g.

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Sony EXTRA BASS headphones bring the thump wherever you go

Sony EXTRA BASS headphones bring the thump wherever you go

Sony says that today’s music is mostly characterized by “heavy-hitting bass lines and dropping beats.” That means you’ll need speakers that can handle those adequately, not exactly the domain of headphones, especially in-ear pieces. Not so, says Sony. At least not for its EXTRA BASS headphones. It is introducing four new such headsets at CES 2017, two wireless, one wired, and one in-ear. All with deep bass notes, convenient smartphone integration and, in the case of one, even noise cancellation.

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