Apple is helping the U.S. defense department develop wearable tech

Ash Carter
The U.S. Department of Defense is teaming with Apple, Boeing, Harvard University and other organizations to develop flexible electronics and sensors that could be placed in uniforms or inside ships and aircraft.

Under the plan, a consortium called the Flexible Hybrid Electronic Institute will work on using 3D printing to build bendable, thin electronics that could match the contours of a person’s body or a military vehicle, a defense department official told Reuters.

The technology could find its way into soldiers’ uniforms as health monitors or placed in the cramped compartments of a ship or aircraft to measure structural integrity, the official said.

But the technology developed by the consortium, whose 162 members include Boeing, Harvard University and Hewlett-Packard, could also have civilian uses. For example, the sensors could be used to develop medical devices for the elderly.

Under the plan, which will be managed by the U.S. Air Force Research Laboratory, the U.S. government will contribute $75 million over five years while $90 million will come from companies. Funding for the venture will total more $171 million, with local governments contributing the remaining capital.

Defense Secretary Ash Carter will lay out details of the plan in a speech on Friday at Moffet Airfield near Mountain View, California, according to Reuters.

In 2014, NASA, which operates the airfield, said it was leasing it to Google for 60 years. At the time, the search giant said it would use the space to research robots and other emerging technologies. Google’s fleet of private jets also operates from the facility.

More recently, Moffet Airfield was the site of a drone conference where Google outlined its plan for drone deliveries and the U.S. Navy showed off a custom drone it 3D-printed on its ships.

Nokia Agrees on ‘Shanghai Bell’ Joint Venture With China Huaxin

Finnish telecom equipment maker Nokia said it had agreed to create a Chinese joint venture with Huaxin in a move that could pave the way for China’s approval for Nokia’s proposed takeover ofAlcatel-Lucent.

The joint venture, to be named Nokia Shanghai Bell, will be built upon a similar, long-time joint venture between France’s Alcatel-Lucent and China Huaxin, which is a state-owned Chinese investment company.

According to a memorandum of understanding, Nokia said it expects to hold 50 percent plus one share in the new joint venture, with Huaxin holding the remaining shares.

China is the last major jurisdiction still to approve Nokia’s EUR 15.6 billion (roughly Rs. 1,16,427 crores)takeover of Alcatel.

“With this MoU now in place, we will… work closely with our new partners to make the case for swift approval of the proposed combination,” Nokia CEO Rajeev Suri said in a statement.

Nordea analyst Sami Sarkamies said the joint venture deal was a promising sign.

“If they have agreed that with a state-backed partner, it likely means that there will be green light coming for the whole (Alcatel) deal.”

The Nokia-Alcatel transaction is expected to close next year.

Vodafone India to Roll Out 4G Mobile Services by December

Vodafone India has announced it will launch its 4G mobile services by December 2015. Bengaluru, Delhi, Kochi, Kolkata, and Mumbai – the five circles it had acquired additional spectrum for in the February 2014 auctions – will be part of the first wave of the rollout.

The telecom operator will also roll out 3G networks in seven additional circles – Assam, Karnataka, Kerala, North East, Rajasthan, UP West, and Odisha – taking its overall 3G footprint to 16 circles across the country. Vodafone India in a statement added that testing of its 4G services had already begun, and said it is looking to build a “robust and resilient network architecture” to support the volume of customers.

Vodafone India said the five circles it is rolling out its 4G LTE networks in together contribute close to 50 percent of the total data revenues for the company currently. The operator said its current overall network footprint was more than 131,000 sites, and has been at work modernising its radio network and switching systems. It points out the group offers 4G services in 18 countries, with over 20 million customers.

“Given the expertise and experience of launching in so many global markets, Vodafone understands the needs of the 4G customer and is well positioned to launch 4G pan India at an appropriate time,” the statement added.

Airtel early this month announced the rollout of 4G mobile services in 296 towns across the country. The commercial launch follows the telecom operator’s 4G trials in major cities across the country over the past year. These cities included Delhi, Hyderabad, Visakhapatnam, Madurai, Chennai, Coimbatore, and Mumbai.

Use Your iPhone As A Graphics Tablet With Astropad Mini

Astropad Mini

During February of this year Astropad was launched to transform your iPad into a graphics tablet that could be used with software running on your Mac.

Providing a cost-effective way to carry a graphics tablet with you wherever you may be. Now the developers responsible for Astropad have launched Astropad Mini. Which has been specifically designed to be used on Apple’s iPhone smartphone.

Providing the same graphics tablet functionality as the iPad application but on the smaller screen of the iPhone, while supporting a wide variety of different applications including Lightroom, Photoshop and more. Astropad Mini requires iOS 8 and Mac OS X 10.9 or later.

Use the Mac creative tools you know & love, like Photoshop and Lightroom, with the touch experience of your iPhone. Instant feedback for super smooth photo-retouching on your graphics tablet. Draw, mask, trace, retouch in real time in Photoshop and other pro apps… Uncompromised image quality, no compression artifacts. Creating the best graphics tablet app required innovative new technology we call LIQUID. The result is stunning image quality and responsiveness never before seen in similar tools.

Astropad Mini is now available to purchase from the Apple iTunes App store for $4.99 a special launch price offering a 50 percent saving on normal retail price of $9.99 price.

Valve HTC Vive Virtual Reality Headset Will See ‘Limited Release’ This Year

Vive VR Headset

Although the new Valve HTC Vive Virtual reality headset is not set to officially launch until early in 2016, Valve has announced that a ‘limited release’ of the VR headset will be available before the end of the year.

Since its introduction earlier this year the Vive Headset has received over 10,000 developer kit inquiries and over 80 virtual reality titles are in production for the hardware, making sure that when the system launches there will be plenty of titles to enjoy.

Valve has explained that HTC will being offering the very first commercial Vive headset units via a “limited quantity” of community and developer systems later this year. During it launch in early 2016 when it goes up against the likes of the Oculus Rift and Sony Morpheus larger quantities will be available.

 

In the video below recorded earlier this year, Chet Faliszek discussed what Valve has learned from working internally and with outside developers using SteamVR as we all look towards creating content for 2015 and beyond.

iPhone 6S Display Panel Leaked

iPhone 6S

We have already seen a number of leaked parts for Apple’s new iPhone 6S and 6S Plus smartphones and now we have some photos of the display panel for the iPhone 6S.

The photos of the iPhone 6S display assembly were posted online by MacRumors and there appear to be a number of differences to the display assembly on the current device.

1

There is a new rectangular chip on the rear of the display, this is not present on the iPhone 6 and as yet there are no details on what this chip is for, it could be something to do with Force Touch which will be introduced in this new iPhone.

The display on the new iPhone 6S is said to be slightly thicker and heavier than the current iPhone, this could also be because of the addition of Force Touch to the handset.

2

Apple will announce their new iPhone 6S and 6S Plus at a press event on the 9th of September, the handsets will apparently go up for pre-order on the 11th of September and will launch on the 18th.

The Beast 3D Printer Uses 4 Extruders To Create Huge Prints

The Beast 3D Printer

Most desktop 3D printers offer a fairly limited print volume, but cultivate3d is looking to change this with the launch of ‘The Beast’ 3D printer that has taken to Kickstarter to raise the $10,000 required to make the jump into production.

Unlike most 3D printers that are equipped with a single printhead, The Beast is equipped with four synchronous printing heads, allowing it to print even faster and offer a huge build volume that measures 470 x 435 x 690 in size.

Watch the video below to learn more about the inspiration and unique characteristics and features you can expect to enjoy when using, The Beast!

 

DIY kits are available to pledge for via Kickstarter starting from just $2,565 and include everything you need including the basic tools required for construction. cultivate3d explain a little more :

The Beast’s ability to simultaneously print 4 identical objects or groups of objects will enable small scale manufacturing capabilities at a fraction of the cost of 4 individual 3D printers.

The Beast effectively cuts print times by 4 when printing simultaneously. 4x Synchronous printing combined with a high speed rail system and Bowden extruders means “The Beast” is capable of producing prints upwards of 10x faster than other FDM (filament type) 3D printers. The speed of printing can be increased even more by changing to a larger nozzle.

4x Printing also enables the user to print 4 of the same object/s at the same time with different colours or materials. Taking advantage of high quality lead screws and belts, we are able to achieve positional resolutions of 0.00125mm in the Z direction (up and down) and 0.00625mm in the X and Y directions (left, right, back and forward). The images below give you an accurate idea of the immaculate fine detail “The Beast” is capable of. These images were not manipulated.

For more information on the new Beast 3D printer jump over to the Kickstarter website for details and to make a pledge via the link below.

2016 Subaru BRZ Gets lower Starting Price

16-brz-700

Back in May Scion announced that its 2016 FR-S would be getting a price bump of about $400. At the time, I assumed that meant that the Subaru BRZ clone would be getting the same price bump. As it turns out while Scion is upping the price of the FR-S, the 2016 Subaru BRZ is getting a price cut.

The price cut is very modest at $300, but cheaper is cheaper. Along with the price cut, Subaru has also added in a new 6.2-ich touchscreen for the multimedia system to replace the 6.1-inch unit in the current version. The multimedia system still supports AM/FM/HD radio, satellite radio, and Bluetooth connectivity.

The new system also supports app integration from your smartphone with Aha, Pandora, iHeartRadio, Stitcher, and support for a few more apps. A rear-view camera is also now standard on the 2016 BRZ. The cheapest BRZ is now $25,395 with the Limited going for $27,395. If you want a Limited Auto, that car starts at $28,495 all before destination. Even with the price cut on the BRZ, and the price bump on the 2016 FR-S, the Scion is still cheaper. A base FR-S will set you back $25,304 saving you a whopping $91 compared to the BRZ.

Canon EOS M3 Launching In US From $680 During October 2015

Canon EOS M3

Photographers patiently waiting for the arrival of the new Canon EOS M3 in the US, will be pleased to know that it will soon be arriving priced at $680 for the body only.

The first Canon EOS M3 units will be available during October 2015 in the US,  following on from the camera’s launch throughout Europe during February of this year.

 

The EOS M3 mirrorless interchangeable lens camera will also be available in bundles starting from $800 which provides the EOS M3 EF-M 18-55mm IS STM lens kit. As well as $1,050 for the EOS M3 with the EF-M 18-55mm IS STM lens and the EF-M 55-200mm IS STM lens.

Canon EOS M3

Features of the new EOS M3 mirrorless camera include a new 24.2 megapixel APS-C CMOS sensor with an ISO range of 100 from12,800. Together with a new DIGIC 6 image processor supported by a 49-point Hybrid CMOS AF III autofocus system as well as front and rear control dials, 3.0-inch 1040k dot tilting touchscreen display, and built-in Wi-Fi and NFC.

Facebook Hits Milestone of 1 Billion Users in a Single Day

Facebook boasted of a new benchmark Thursday in its seemingly inexorable march to Internet ubiquity: a billion people used the social network in a single day.

“We just passed an important milestone,” chief executive and co-founder Mark Zuckerberg declared in a post on his Facebook page.

“On Monday, 1 in 7 people on Earth used Facebook to connect with their friends and family.”

“When we talk about our financials, we use average numbers, but this is different,” Zuckerberg added.

“This was the first time we reached this milestone, and it’s just the beginning of connecting the whole world.”

Zuckerberg also posted a video dedicated to the achievement.

In its earnings update last month, Facebook said monthly active users surged 13 percent from a year ago to 1.49 billion. The number of mobile active users rose to 1.31 billion.

Facebook on Thursday also said it is building new technology that video creators can use to guard against their works being copied at the social network without permission.

“This technology is tailored to our platform and will allow these creators to identify matches of their videos on Facebook across pages, profiles, groups, and geographies,” a blog post said.

“Our matching tool will evaluate millions of video uploads quickly and accurately, and when matches are surfaced, publishers will be able to report them to us for removal.”

Facebook planned to soon begin testing the new matching technology with a select group of partners, including media companies.

The California-based social network said that it has got word from some publishers that videos are sometimes uploaded to Facebook without permission in a practice referred to as “freebooting.”

Facebook is already using an Audible Magic system that uses audio “fingerprinting” to identify and block copyrighted videos from making it onto the social network without proper authorization.

“We want creators to get credit for the videos that they own,” Facebook said.

“To address this, we have been exploring ways to enhance our rights management tools to better empower creators to control how their videos are shared on Facebook.”