Sometimes, when a remote-control car and a remote-control helicopter love each other very much, they come together and produce something like the B. Well, okay, that's not exactly how this small flying car came about, but it's a nice story. Witold Mielniczek, a computational engineering Ph.D. candidate at the University of Southampton, is currently running a Kickstarter for the simply named B, a hybrid car-helicopter that can handle both challenging terrains and limited air travel. Equipped with a sleek polycarbonate chassis, four propeller driving units (a fancy way of saying wheels) and an HD 1,280 x 720 camera to record one's travels, B seems to be the little flying car that could. In the greater scheme of things, Mielniczek hopes that B will one day be able to operate on water in addition to land and air. While it's no Avengers helicarrier, we suppose every journey begins with a single step. To see B in action, check out the video after the break.when.eng("eng.perm.init")
Thursday, October 3, 2013
Twitter isn't about to let Video on Instagram go completely unanswered -- it just posted an update to Vine for Android that could offer a few reasons to stay with the earlier service. Short-form movie makers on Android now have more of the features we've seen on iOS, including Facebook sharing as well as searches for hashtags and users. The release also smooths out the rough experience that has characterized the Android experience since launch, boosting both capture speeds and the final video quality. The app may still fall short of the newer Instagram release in a few areas, but those who prefer Vine's approach can grab its refresh at Google Play.when.eng("eng.perm.init")
National Archive documents recently released show that the UK government's very own UFO department, which had reported on sightings for over 50 years, was shut down three years ago. The department apparently never revealed any "potential threats" to the country, so the Ministry of Defence closed both the hotline and email address that fielded the public's sightings of UFOs. A civil servant briefed the current defence minister, Bob Ainsworth, saying: "The level of resources diverted to this task is increasing in response to a recent upsurge in reported sightings, diverting staff from more valuable defence-related activities." The recently released files also covered some of the sightings reported from across the UK in 2009, which included, perhaps unsurprisingly, Stonehenge.when.eng("eng.perm.init")
Each week, our friends at gdgt go through the latest gadgets and score them to help you decide which ones to buy. Here are some of their most recent picks. Want more? Visit gdgt anytime to catch up on the latest, and subscribe to gdgt's newsletter to get a weekly roundup in your inbox.
Power A MOGA Pro
The original MOGA controller suffered from a lack of games, but with the MOGA Pro the library of compatible titles has come a long way, making this the controller to get for your Android gaming experience.
Buy from $49
Read reviews and more
Sony Xperia Tablet Z
After some missteps in the past, Sony has finally produced a unit worthy of competing with the best Android tablets on the market. Sony has long left behind the folding design of the Tablet P in favor of a more standard form factor, and has thrown in some unique features including waterproofing that should make it your first choice as a poolside side companion.
Buy from $499
Read reviews and more
Should it be called the Xbox 180?
In this week's featured discussion, we ask whether Microsoft's flip-flop on some of the Xbox One's controversial features changes your opinion about the console. Will you consider buying one?
Discuss it here
HP Pavilion 14 Chromebook
HP joins Acer and Samsung in the budget Chromebook family by going with a 14-inch display instead of 11 inches. It sells for $80 more than Samsung's current model, offering the same resolution on a larger display, which results in an overall less impressive display. It also has inferior battery life, making it unacceptable for those who need a mobile device on a budget.
Buy from $329
Read reviews and more
Today, Facebook announced a security bug that compromised the personal account information of six million users. In a post on the Facebook Security page, the site's White Hat team explained that some of the information the site uses to deliver friend recommendations was "inadvertently stored with people's contact information as part of their account on Facebook." When users downloaded an archive of their account via the DYI (download your information) tool, some were apparently given access to additional contact info for friends and even friends of friends. The post continues:
We've concluded that approximately 6 million Facebook users had email addresses or telephone numbers shared. There were other email addresses or telephone numbers included in the downloads, but they were not connected to any Facebook users or even names of individuals. For almost all of the email addresses or telephone numbers impacted, each individual email address or telephone number was only included in a download once or twice. This means, in almost all cases, an email address or telephone number was only exposed to one person. Additionally, no other types of personal or financial information were included and only people on Facebook – not developers or advertisers – have access to the DYI tool.
Facebook says it's temporarily disabled the DYI tool to fix the breach. We've reached out to the site for further comment; for now, read the official statement via the source link below.
Update: Facebook has responded to our inquiries and stated that while the bug was discovered earlier this month, "it had been live since last year." They immediately disabled the tool, fixed the bug and reenabled it within 24 hours of the bug's discovery. The bug was reported to them through a White Hat program for external security researchers.when.eng("eng.perm.init")
Former Victoria's Secret Angel Miranda Kerr, who's most recently posed topless for Vogue Korea and modeled skimpy swimwear for Net-A-Porter's The Edit, was threatened* by one of her long-time stalkers — a 52-year-old named Steven C. Swanson from East Sandwich, Massachusetts. According to the Cape Cod Times, Swanson allegedly called the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department and expounded on his cross-country plot to kill Kerr, who he referred to as his "soul mate." He said that, upon landing in Los Angeles, he would "turn the place upside down," and later, as he was getting arrested by Sandwich police, claimed that he was flying out to Los Angeles to "rescue" the model. (From Orlando Bloom?) Swanson has pleaded not guilty, but a doctor has testified that he suffers from schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. In the meantime, here's hoping Kerr and her family remain safe.
* This post has been updated.
Google: "Eh, we're kind of over this Reader thing. Let's go launch some balloons."
AOL: "Why, thanks guys -- don't mind if we do!"
The above mentioned quotes are still unofficial, mind you, but it appears that AOL (disclaimer: that's Engadget's parent company) is joining Feedly and Digg in an effort to capture the audiences who will soon be forced to flee from Google's Reader product. AOL Reader launched today in beta form, promising to collect "all your favorite websites, in one place." It appears that the design language follows that introduced in the entity's Alto mail product, and if you've forgotten your AOL password, fret not -- those who request (and receive) an invite will be able to sign in via Facebook, Google or Twitter. Oh, and judging by the shot above, it's designed to work universally across screen sizes and devices, including your tablets, phones, desktops, laptops and space-age computational creations. Of note, it appears that the sign-up forms aren't entirely active just yet, as we're hearing that the bona fide launch won't occur until next week.
Update: We've confirmed that invites will be accepted starting on Monday, June 24th.when.eng("eng.perm.init")