Gadgets

The hardware that’s bringing computing everywhere

  • A system to tell good fake bokeh from bad

    A system to tell good fake bokeh from bad

    The pixel-peepers at DxOMark have shared some of the interesting metrics and techniques they use to judge the quality of a smartphone’s artificial bokeh, or background blur in photos. Not only is it difficult to do in the first place, but they have to systematize it! Their guide should provide even seasoned shooters with some insight into the many ways computational bokeh varies in quality. Read More

  • Apple could be buying cobalt from mining companies directly

    Apple could be buying cobalt from mining companies directly

    Cobalt is the new oil. Car companies and battery manufacturers are all rushing to secure multiyear contracts with mining companies for their lithium-ion batteries. According to a Bloomberg report, Apple is also participating in this game as the company wants to secure its long-term supplies. Read More

  • Nest rolls out a $5 cloud recording plan for its cameras

    Nest rolls out a $5 cloud recording plan for its cameras

    Just a quick bit of news for those with Nest cams around the house: a new, cheaper Nest Aware plan is on the way. Nest has long offered two plans: a $10/month plan that lets you store the last 10 days of video history, and a $30/month plan that gives you 30 days of video history. This new plan will cost $5 per month and, yes, will give you five days of video history. Read More

  • One of Nest’s cameras can now double as a Google Assistant

    One of Nest’s cameras can now double as a Google Assistant

    After Google announced earlier this month that it was going to wrap Nest back into Google’s hardware operation, everyone figured we’d see a bit more overlap between the two. Sure enough, just two weeks later: the Nest Cam IQ Indoor is getting support for Google Assistant. Read More

  • Here’s how to make Alexa control a toilet — because why not?

    Here’s how to make Alexa control a toilet — because why not?

    Alexa-controlled toilets are a thing in 2018, but cost thousands. An enterprising person can make their own by following these instructions. It takes a bit of work, multiple components and about $750 (plus the cost of the toilet), but the end result is a voice-controlled toilet — and everyone needs that in their life. Read More

  • Humans sow seeds of destruction by abusing poor robot just trying to walk through a door

    Humans sow seeds of destruction by abusing poor robot just trying to walk through a door

    You may remember last week that Boston Dynamics’ latest robot has learned to open doors. Seems like at this point you don’t want to anger them. They will find you. Or rather, they’ll find the company’s designated robot abuser and punish him for stopping poor robots from doing what they have been told to do. Soon Spot Mini will not be the one on a leash. Read More

  • Mozilla and NSF awards $380K to small projects connecting the unconnected

    Mozilla and NSF awards $380K to small projects connecting the unconnected

    The FCC may be hard at work at “bridging the digital divide,” as Chairman Pai so frequently puts it, and the Connect America Fund II will help. But while the big players are setting up, people all over the U.S. are going without reliable internet. Mozilla and the National Science Foundation are awarding cash to projects that aim to connect those still waiting on the bandwidth we… Read More

  • Ultrasound could waken a sleeping smart home

    Ultrasound could waken a sleeping smart home

    The home of the future, we are assured, will be swarming with tiny sensors: security cameras, carbon monoxide detectors, speakers and everything else. Few need to be running all the time — but how do you wake them up when they’re needed if they’re off in the first place? Ultrasound. Read More

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