Day: February 26, 2017

Sony surpasses expectations, selling 915,000 PlayStation VR headsets in first four months

5-psvr Turns out there might actually be money in VR hardware. Since going on sale just four months ago, Sony details to the NYT that the company has sold 915 thousand of its virtual reality headset, the PS VR. The article also details that Sony had originally set internal goals to sell one million headsets in the first six months of sales, a number that the company seems well-positioned to meet… Read More

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Sony surpasses expectations, selling 915,000 PlayStation VR headsets in first four months

5-psvr Turns out there might actually be money in VR hardware. Since going on sale just four months ago, Sony details to the NYT that the company has sold 915 thousand of its virtual reality headset, the PS VR. The article also details that Sony had originally set internal goals to sell one million headsets in the first six months of sales, a number that the company seems well-positioned to meet… Read More

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Samsung will be giving smartphones another try on March 29

unnamed-1 After the corporate garbage fire that was the Note 7 reveal, Samsung has been left with a smartphone business with far less certain success in its future. After months of awful press and the worst PR shit storm we’ve seen in years, Samsung is ready to give its smartphone line a new messiah. In the midst of their Mobile World Congress keynote, the company sent out invites to its… Read More

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Samsung will be giving smartphones another try on March 29

unnamed-1 After the corporate garbage fire that was the Note 7 reveal, Samsung has been left with a smartphone business with far less certain success in its future. After months of awful press and the worst PR shit storm we’ve seen in years, Samsung is ready to give its smartphone line a new messiah. In the midst of their Mobile World Congress keynote, the company sent out invites to its… Read More

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Samsung just proved it doesn’t need the world’s largest mobile conference anymore

Mobile_World_Congress_Barcelona_2012_(4) 2 Mobile World Congress is underway in Barcelona. By most metrics it’s the largest conference in the world dedicated mostly to mobile technology and gadgets. And Samsung just punted. Mobile World Congress needs Samsung more than Samsung needs Mobile World Congress. Samsung just held its MWC press conference and what’s interesting is what wasn’t announced: The Galaxy S8.… Read More

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New Yorkers! Come see Edward Snowden and me onstage at the NYPL on the Walkaway tour!

I’m touring 20 US cities (plus dates in Canada and the UK!) with my forthcoming novel Walkaway; the full tour hasn’t been announced yet, but I’m delighted to reveal that the NYC stop on May 3 will be at the New York Public Library, where my interlocutor will be the whistleblower Edward Snowden. Tickets are $10-25! (Reminder: there are also signed first-edition hardcovers available for pre-order in the USA and UK).

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The CPAC replacement speaker for Milo Yiannopoulos was a notorious Japanese cult-member

After his awkward endorsement of pedophilia disqualified Milo Yiannopoulos to be the hard right’s token gay pal, CPAC needed a new speaker to fill his slot their conference, and the guy they chose was Jikido ‘Jay’ Aeba, a member of the notorious Japanese “Happy Science” cult, who helped the religion extrude a tendril into the political realm by founding the Happiness Realization Party.
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Wu Orleans 2: mashups of New Orleans music and Wu Tang rappers

dj BC writes, “In 2006 I mixed a bunch of New Orleans artists with Wu Tang rappers to make the record ‘Wu Orleans.’ 11 years later, here’s part two, with ten new songs. Free MP3 download of both albums here. A very limited run of vinyl with all 20 Wu Orleans songs on two records, and new art, is allegedly coming on record store day in April. Here’s the video for ‘Express Your Brain, Champ’ with Ghostface Killah, Nicky Da B (via Diplo), Dirty Dozen Brass Band, and dj BC. Laissez les bon temps roulez!”

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Enter, win, choose which DJI drone to harass your neighbors with – it's that easy

DJI is the world’s leading designer and producer of easy-to-fly drones and aerial photography systems. If you’re a drone enthusiast, you want a DJI. If you know absolutely nothing about drones and think they’re weird, if you win a DJI you’re going to become a drone enthusiast.

Enter this giveaway (for free, yes) and you’ll get a shot at winning either a DJI Phantom 4 Pro, or a DJI Mavic, two of the best drones on Earth. Or, well, hovering one hundred feet above it. You get the point.

The Phantom 4 Pro is equipped with a 1″, 20MP sensor capable of shooting 4K/60fps video and Burst Mode stills at 14fps, which is drone and cinematography talk for such dang good picture that you’d be foolish not to submit to National Geographic. The Mavic, meanwhile, boasts a similar 4K stabilized camera, but is considerably more portable than the Phantom. If you’re a climber or often find yourself in remote places, this one’s your buddy.

Regardless, you’re getting a top of the market drone for free. All you have to do is enter by March 6, and cross your fingers you win.

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In 1937, a judge quietly asked Meyer Lansky to form a squad of Nazi-punching gangsters to raid Bund meetings

Meyer Lansky was an infamous and ruthless gangster — albeit one so personally charming that his life is chronicled in a book called But He Was Good to His Mother — and no friend of New York State Judge Nathan Perlman; nevertheless, as the Nazi-supporting German-American Bund staged more and more toxic rallies in New York City, Perlman quietly asked Meyer to form a squad of Jewish gangsters to disrupt their meetings.
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BlackBerry tries again

blackberry Remember when Research in Motion’s BlackBerry smartphones set the bar? My first smartphone was a BlackBerry 7130e. I loved the phone. And then my son gave it a bath in a ginger ail. The 7130e had it all: A scroll wheel, Java apps, a keyboard and a swappable battery that would last for days. That phone came out in 2005 and I had mine until 2009. Ironically, Research in Motion started… Read More

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Watch LG unveils the G6 live right here

lg-g6 LG’s press conference at MWC in Barcelona is today. The conference starts at 12 PM CET (11 AM GMT, 6 AM EST). Rumor has it that LG is about to announce a new flagship phone, the LG G6. This time, it won’t be a modular phone. It’s going to be a regular phone, but with a giant display that nearly fills the entire body of the phone. You can check it out live via LG’s… Read More

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Who is this random guy Fox News had on to talk about Swedish security?

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A trans-Atlantic wave of puzzlement is rippling across Sweden for the second time in a week, after a prominent Fox News program featured a “Swedish defense and national security advisor” who’s unknown to the country’s military and foreign-affairs officials.

Swedes, and some Americans, have been wondering about representations of the Nordic nation in the U.Ssince President Donald Trump invoked “what’s happening last night in Sweden” while alluding to past terror attacks in Europe during a rally Feb. 18. There hadn’t been any major incident in Sweden the previous night.

More about Donald Trump, Fox News, Sweden, Nils Bildt, and Watercooler

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LG claims the battery on its X Power2 phone lasts the whole weekend

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Frustrated with smartphone batteries that last only half a day? LG’s new smartphone, the company claims, is a whole-weekend piece of hardware. 

The LG X Power2 — a new product in the company’s “specialist” line — has a monstrous 4,500 mAh battery, which allows for 15 hours of video playback or 18 hours of web surfing, per LG’s claims. 

The battery is more generous than that of the phone’s predecessor, the LG X Power, which had a 4,100 mAh battery, but it’s not the largest battery around. Then again, the LG X Power2 is not as fat as some other phones, coming in at 154.7 x 78.1 x 8.4mm. Plus, it apparently takes only two hours to fully charge. Read more…

More about Mwc17, Mwc, Mwc2017, Lg X Power2, and Lg

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Snap supporters find a scapegoat in Jeremy Liew

screen-shot-2017-02-25-at-6-20-33-pm A couple of days ago, the New York Times wrote a story that aims to explain why Snap founders Evan Spiegel and Bobby Murphy have retained such a hold on voting power in the company — power that its shareholders will not enjoy. It’s a great account and wonderfully written by a reporter I respect greatly. But I don’t quite buy it. According to four sources who spoke to… Read More

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America doesn't care anymore, detains beloved children's book author

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Imagine how America would react if Australia was mean to the late Maurice Sendak or even Eric Carle, author of The Very Hungry Caterpillar

That’s how the latter feels now, after hearing that beloved children’s book author Mem Fox was apparently left in tears after being detained for hours at Los Angeles Airport and accused of having the wrong visa in early February. 

Author of such subversive texts as Possum Magic and Ten Little Fingers, Fox told the Advertiser the experience was traumatic and humiliating.  Read more…

More about Children S Books, Travel, Mem Fox, Australia, and Watercooler

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Perfect 6-for-6 sweep: 'Moonlight' walks through the Indie Spirits

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In the beginning, there was Moonlight. At the end, there was also Moonlight.

Writer/director Barry Jenkins’ deeply resonant cinematic tryptich of a young Miami man’s life won all six Independent Spirit Awards for which it was nominated Saturday — including the first award given away, and the last — a triumphant result for the film many hope can upset La La Land at the Academy Awards.

Moonlight was the odds-on favorite at the Indie Spirits, but a sweep was hardly guaranteed. It became a reality, though, over the course of an afternoon beneath a giant white tent on the beach near the Santa Monica Pier. Read more…

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