Watch tennis from Roger Rederer’s perspective with Google Glass

via The Verge. I much prefer watching from the third party perspective: the video quality is significantly better, and I can see what is actually happening. The view from Federer’s perspective is fidgety, devoid of much perspective, and not very interesting.

Samsung Simband

Josh Lowensohn, The Verge:

In the meantime, what Samsung referred to as an “investigational device” called the Simband, will be ground zero for tracking that information. The wrist-mounted band has a modular array of sensors on the bottom. Those sensors monitor various body activities like heart rate and oxygen levels, but could be expanded with extra hardware to track other things. In a live demo, the Simband hardware was able to show Fish’s live heart rate and other vitals on a device that looked a lot like the existing Samsung Gear smartwatch

A good idea. But I don’t have to see all those graphs on my wrist. And older folks with less than perfect vision will be hard pressed to see such tiny fonts and data.

Focus on sensing and notifying, and let the larger IPS LCD or OLED displays on smartphones and tablets do the heavy lifting when it comes to showing the captured data and the results of what the servers in the cloud analyzed.

Semiautonomous Truck Convoy

Kelsey D. Atherton, Popular Science:

The technology, developed by Peloton Tech, uses radar and a wireless link so that the following trucks travel at the same speed, braking simultaneously for safety, and doing so on an automated system that doesn’t have the delays of human reaction time.

More safe.

Peloton says the “technology saves more than 7% [of fuel] at 65mph – 10% for the rear truck and 4.5% for the lead truck,” which is tremendous because “Long-haul fleets spend 40% of operating expenses on fuel, accounting collectively for over 10% of U.S. oil use and related carbon emissions.” These savings come primarily from reduced aerodynamic drag.

More efficient.

New Android Logo?

From the LG G Watch bootanimation. Simple, nice, and the typographic animation at the end reminds me of lollipops.

OS X Yosemite: Green Dot is now Full Screen


Take the red, yellow, and green “stoplights” in the corner of every app window. Not only have we streamlined their look, but we’ve also updated their functions. Close, minimize, and maximize are now close, minimize, and full screen, eliminating the extra full-screen control and consolidating the window controls in one place.

I hope this is not like Full Screen mode in Chrome, but more like Presentation Mode with all the chrome hidden.

The Best iOS 8 Feature

… is a concept: iOS Block.

Apple Announce Beats Music & Beats Electronics Acquisition for US$3.0 Billion

Tim Cook:

Please join me in welcoming Beats to Apple. I hope you are as excited as I am about this new chapter in our history.

I want to be, but I’m not.

I’ve been looking for a pair of headphones for quite some time. I’ve been to several stores, tried some, but never thought much of Beats headphones. I’ve read a lot of reviews, too. I have a large head with sensitive (physical and audial) ears so I prefer soft cans that cover my ears and sounds that are balanced and accurate. I like there to be clean separation among high, mid, and low frequencies. I enjoy many genres (R&B, pop, rock, classical, jazz, alternative, K-POP, etc.) so I’d like a pair of headphones that can handle the variety.

“Style over substance,” is what a lot of reviewers conclude about Beats headphones. I’d have to agree. So that’s why I’m not excited about the Beats Electronics acquisition.

I’m scratching my head as to why Apple put such a high value on Beats Music, with 250,000 paying subscribers. iTunes Radio has 40 million users. Tim Cook thinks it’s great:

We love the subscription service that they built — we think it’s the first subscription service that really got it right.

I’m not so sure I can trust Tim Cook to know the difference. I know I wouldn’t know the difference since I’ve only done two things when it comes to music: download songs from iTunes and stream songs from iTunes Radio. Oh, and I’ve ripped my CDs and subscribed to iTunes Match, too. Would I pay for a music subscription services on top or in lieu of how I’m listening to music now? I don’t think so. (I’ve tried Pandora but hate the ads. I’ve also tried Spotify, but it’s not much better than iTunes Radio to depend on two streaming services. I like to keep things simple.)

I think $3 billion is a lot of money for these two companies, but I wish you luck Apple.

Self-Driving Cars by Google


They won’t have a steering wheel, accelerator pedal, or brake pedal… because they don’t need them.

Sounds scary, but looks like fun.

LG G3: Laser Autofocus System

Vlad Savov, The Verge:

The moment you enter the camera app, the G3 starts emitting a cone-shaped laser beam from a window just to the side of the camera. The phone then measures how long it takes for the light to bounce back to it and thus gets a reading of how far away the subject of the photo is.

Time to autofocus? 276 milliseconds. Touch where you want to focus and the G3 will focus and take the shot too. The Samsung Galaxy S5 uses a hybrid contrast & phase detection autofocus system and takes 0.3 seconds (300 milliseconds) to focus. LG’s camera UI is minimal as can be: one button for menu and a back button.

Netflix Put Content Servers at Google Fiber Facilities

Jeffrey Burgan, Director of Network Engineering at Google Fiber:

We have also worked with services like Netflix so that they can ‘colocate’ their equipment in our Fiber facilities. What does that mean for you? Usually, when you go to Netflix and click on the video that you want to watch, your request needs to travel to and from the closest Netflix data center, which might be a roundtrip of hundreds or thousands of miles. Instead, Netflix has placed their own servers within our facilities (in the same place where we keep our own video-on-demand content). Because the servers are closer to where you live, your content will get to you faster and should be a higher quality.

Eagerly waiting for Google Fiber to come to San Jose.


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