whats known and unknown

Volvo Trucks – The Epic Split feat. Van Damme

Watch Jean-Claude Van Damme carry out his famous split between two reversing trucks. Never done before, JCVD says it’s the most epic of splits — what do you think? Please share & comment!

This live test was set up to demonstrate the precision and directional stability of Volvo Dynamic Steering — a world first technology that makes the new Volvo FM easier to drive.

Filmed in Spain on a closed-off landing field at sunrise in one take.
Directed by Andreas Nilsson
Soundtrack by Enya: Only Time

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DROID MAXX, ULTRA, and Mini Receiving Android 4.4 Kit Kat Update Starting Today


After a brief discussion over a soak test of Android 4.4 “Kit Kat” for the new DROID family of phones (DROID MAXXULTRA, and Mini), Verizon and Motorola have gone ahead and made the update official for everyone. But even though the update is official and rolling out starting today, it’ll be happening in phases, so don’t expect that you will all be able to pull it. With that said, here are the dirty details of the update.

For each device, you are looking at a final software version of 19.5.3.

Since the update jumps you up to Kit Kat, you get all that (well, most of) Google gave us weeks ago during the Nexus 5 launch, outside of the Kit Kat smart dialer and the Google Experience Launcher. So you are looking at Immersive mode, full color emoji support, stronger security, smarter power use, SMS and MMS together through Hangouts, and more. To see the run-down on Kit Kat features, check out our highlight post.

The update is more than just Kit Kat though, as Motorola included new camera software to improve your photo experience, FitBit support, a big update to DROID Zap (v2.0), and a whole boatload of updated bloatware.

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Galaxy S4 and Note 3 Android 4.4 in late January


French carrier SFR released details on the Android 4.4 KitKat update for the Samsung Galaxy S4 and Galaxy Note 3. The carrier broke the news for the 4.3 update of the Galaxy S4 and S III, which rolled outjust recently.

The South Korean smartphone maker is mum on 4.4 update details, but SFR says the update will arrive in late January or early February next year. The global rollout is presumably coming in a similar time frame.

The Google Play Edition of the Galaxy S4 already has Android 4.4.2, but that has fewer modifications, which speeds things along.

Non-GPE devices like the LG G2 are already getting their 4.4 update. Other companies, like Sony, haveofficially confirmed which phones will be getting KitKat, but have yet to unveil the release date (the Xperia Z Ultra GPE has 4.4.2 already though and the Xperia L was graced with an AOSP build).

Source (in French) | Via

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Video: With this app, your phone becomes a highly detailed 3-D scanner


I’ve seen a number of 3-D scanning applications for smartphones in the past; the latest one from researchers at ETH Zurich is the most impressive however. The output looks incredibly detailed and the application couldn’t be easier to use. Essentially, you just hold your phone in front of an object and the software will create the 3-D image on the fly, adding more data points as you move your phone around the scanned object.

Take a peek at this video, found by Ubergizmo, to get a better understanding of the app:

The software, which is not available for download, taps the smartphone’s GPU to speed up the process of image creation. That’s a smart move, given that a highly detailed scan could require thousands of data points. It’s also clever for the app to simply gather those details without any on-screen interaction; it just keeps adding missing bits as…

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These are the futuristic (and hot) space suits astronauts could wear on Mars


One of the standout talks from the inspiring TED Women on Thursday was from rocket scientist and MIT aeronautics professor Dava Newman. She showed off prototypes of three different space suits that she’d helped designed for future space missions, and particularly for astronauts one day on Mars.

Newman described space suits as “the world’s smallest space craft,” and showed off a video clip of a fumbling astronaut many decades ago on the Moon wearing a bulky traditional space suit. In contrast Newman’s designs are streamlined, body-hugging and provide the astronaut with mobility and flexibility.

The suit pictured above is a prototype of a suit that provides the needed pressurized atmosphere to walk around the Mars environment. Using plastic and elastic material can provide part of the atmosphere, said Newman, but to add the full amount of atmosphere, and also keep the flexibility of the suit, they used something called…

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Benchmark Capital raises $425 million for new startup fund


Benchmark, a leading VC firm that has backed several successful startups like Instagram, Snapchat, Uber and Yelp — has recently raised $425 million for a new fund, according to Fortune. The details in an SEC filing reveal that the new money does come with some changes: firm co-founders Kevin Harvey and Bruce Dunlevie are no longer listed as general partners, and there is a chance a new general partner will join the team. Still, it’s another milestone for one of Silicon Valley’s most successful VCs, and the new money will help support the firm’s kingmaking abilities for the immediate future.

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This woman and her machine learning tech could make Box a whole lot smarter


When cloud collaboration goldenboy Box acquired a stealth content-discovery startup called dLoop last month, the deal was about a lot more than helping Box become this generation’s version of Autonomy. Box sees a lot of potential in dLoop’s machine learning technology to help the company evolve into a platform for developers and maybe even a pioneer in mobile content-management. Divya Jain, dLoop’s co-founder and now a software engineer at Box, will help lead that charge.

The dLoop technology uses machine learning algorithms and graph analysis to detect the similarities among documents and organize them into clusters that are searchable not just by keyword, but by relevance. The immediate benefits are obvious — Box users will be able to search for documents more confidently, knowing they’ll see everything they might need even if it doesn’t feature or even include a particular term. It’s helpful for security, too, Jain explained in recent…

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Gigaom Research webinar: holistic enterprise mobility management: MDM, app management and beyond


Mobility has increased management and security demands while robbing the IT department of much of its power to enforce policy. Modern CIOs must decide not whether to support an ever-widening range of devices and apps but how, without disrupting ever-more-powerful lines of business.

Early bucketed attempts at enterprise mobility management have yielded mixed results. Pure mobile device management (MDM) approaches have provided excellent baseline security and device awareness, but they have proved a blunt tool for other needs. Mobile application management (MAM) technologies have added security with minimum impact to users’ workflows, but they do not provide a comprehensive view of the user device. Neither MDM nor MAM — alone or together — provide IT the resources they need to fully manage and support users. While mobility promises to make the enterprise more productive in the long term, its rapid evolution has slowed the arrival of a true, comprehensive management…

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Razer is making an iPhone game controller, according to leak


It looks like Logitech and Moga will soon have some more company in the iPhone(s aapl) gaming department. According to noted tipster @evleaks, Razer is looking to get in on the action with the Razer Kazuyo iPhone controller.


As you can see from the images here, the controller looks a lot like the Logitech PowerShell, with one key difference: It appears that the case offers the ability to tilt your iPhone outwards, which could offer an enhanced perspective while gaming. Other than that, there’s a D-pad and four action action keys, just like the PowerShell. And according to The Verge, there’s also a pair of shoulder buttons. The controls are reported to be pressure sensitive, and the action buttons backlit. Those features should set it apart from the competition nicely.

There’s no information on availability or pricing, but I’d expect the Kazuyo to arrive at a price similar…

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Mozilla unveils holiday HTML5 game competition


In order to stoke the fires of the still-nascent world of browser gaming, Mozilla is rolling out  a holiday contest that could reward a handful of plucky developers with cash and trips to the much-revered Games Developer Conference (GDC).

The challenge, developed in partnership with HTML5 game engine Goo Technologies, has obvious roots in Mozilla’s involvement with WebGL and other game-friendly technologies. Entrants can choose from one of three categories, including an “Interactive Game Scene” amateur contest that requires no previous development experience. All participants must use the HTML5/WebGL-based Goo Engine and a visual editing add-on, Goo Create, to create original games by January 14. Then, representatives from both companies will join with judges from Angry Birds creator Rovio to pick winners to be announced by January 17.

The big prize at stake, available only to participants of the full game categories, is a trip for two to GDC San…

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Critics say the internet’s copyright system is broken: it’s still better than the alternatives


This year marks the 15th anniversary of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA), a 1998 law intended to encourage new forms of online expression while also giving content owners a way to protect their work.

So far, the system has more or less worked: the online world is bursting with creative compositions while copyright owners have an easy way to take down unauthorized copies of the Hunger Games.

Lately, though, DMCA’s great balancing act is under strain with an outburst of grumbling from all sides. Rights owners, for instance, grouse that infringers upload new files faster than they can issue notices to take them down.

As copyright scholar Bruce Boyden notes in a new policy paper, the legal system was designed at a time when online transmission rates were relatively slow, meaning that rights owners had a chance to prevent uploaded works from reaching a large audience. But now:

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Google may own online ads but it still needs to figure out mobile, and it’s betting YieldMo can help


Google’s (s goog) dominance in online advertising is no secret — it controls an estimated 40 percent of the $42-billion market — and it has a similar share of the mobile ad market. But traditional tools like AdSense aren’t doing as well in mobile as they are on the desktop, which helps explain why Google Ventures just invested in a competitor to AdSense by leading an $8-million financing round in a New York-based mobile advertising startup called YieldMo.

According to YieldMo founder Mike Yavonditte, the search giant is so eager to figure out how advertising can be improved for mobile apps and websites that when he visited Google Ventures to describe what YieldMo does with advertising, “they basically said yes on the spot.”

While much of the mobile advertising market consists of ad networks and exchanges — which produce low-margin, commoditized banner and display ads — Yavonditte says YieldMo…

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New HP Chromebook 11 charger “coming soon” in Google Play Store


It’s been a few weeks since the HP Chromebook 11 was pulled from online and retail store shelves due to an issue with the charging module. Neither Google(s goog) nor HP(s hpq), which jointly decided to stop selling the laptops, have yet shared details on replacements or a recall, but there’s evidence that the solution is near: A new $19.99 charger for the HP Chromebook is showing up on the Google Play Store.

hp 11 charger new

Android Central spotted the accessory (hat tip to Craig Tumblison) which can only be found if you have the correct URL; Looking on the Accessories page of the Play Store doesn’t currently show the new power supply. It appears that owners of the device will be able to purchase a spare unit for their Chromebook 11. The new unit has the same 3A output as the original charger.

I’d like to think that…

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Want to give iBeacons a try? Head to an Apple Store


One of the coolest new features Apple(s aapl) introduced in iOS 7 is support for iBeacons, small Bluetooth sensors that create a “beacon” around a region so an app can alert you when you enter one. And starting today, users can put this technology to the test at the Apple Store, according to The Associated Press. The report says that Apple is planning to switch on iBeacons throughout its 254 U.S. retail stores starting today.

I contacted Apple’s 24-hour Fifth Avenue location in New York City, which has about 20 iBeacons transmitters placed throughout the store, to ask if they are currently active. The store representative I spoke with said he couldn’t comment on whether the iBeacons are live, but that the Apple Store app has recently been updated with iBeacon support.

So if you what to give it a try, you’ll need a device running iOS…

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Apple goes Topsy-turvy over Twitter data as Amazon drones hit your doorstep


Half-hour delivery service from Amazon(s amzn) sounds great, but do you mind a drone landing at your front door? That’s what Amazon envisions and on this week’s podcast we discover the implications and obstacles of this brave new world. New media and “old” Twitter is also in the spotlight, so we break it all down and try to figure out which media models will work and what Apple(s aapl) plans to do with a Twitter firehose.

Download this episode

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Hosts: Kevin C. Tofel, Tom Krazit
Guests: Signe Brewster, Mathew Ingram, Derrick Harris

Amazon’s Air Prime drone delivery may need this algorithm to stay aloft

New media keeps trying to figure its methods for success; here’s a little advice

Why Apple bought Topsy: Big Data. Now what?

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Interesting: HP nixes Amazon EC2 API support — at least in its public cloud


Hewlett Packard(s hpq) will no longer support Amazon Web Services EC2 API(s amzn) in its public cloud as as it continues to build it out. That move was buried in the release notes of HP Public Cloud 13.5 and uncovered by CRN on Thursday.

Roger Levy, VP of technical operations for HP Public Cloud, told the publication that the company made its decision “based upon significant input from developers and customers.” Wow. Also dropped: support for AWS-related Eucalyptus tools. Eucalyptus provides private cloud capabilities that  support all the relevant Amazon APIs to accommodate hybrid Eucalyptus-AWS cloud implementations.

AWS is the de facto standard for public cloud  — a reality that sticks in the craw of HP, IBM(s ibm), Rackspace(s rax) and the rest of the known computing world, so HP’s move bears noting. All of those rivals are using OpenStack cloud technology to build clouds to compete with AWS which is…

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Revolutionary nanotechnology: Carbon is paving the way


Nanotechnology, the study and application of extremely small things (less than one-hundred-thousandth of the thickness of a human hair), is revolutionizing the way the world thinks about materials.

Carbon provides one of the best raw materials for nanotechnology. The discovery of fullerenes — a new form of carbon shaped like a nanometer-scale soccer ball — in the mid 1980s opened the door to research and development on a remarkable new class of materials, including carbon nanotubes (CNT) and graphene.

CNT are like straws of pure carbon bonded in hexagons. Just one-sixth of the density of steel but 100 times stronger in many ways, CNT is the poster child of nanotechnology that launched a materials revolution.

CNT fabrics are at the heart of Lockheed Martin’s nano-electronics work, producing memory and logic devices that deliver high performance in space and other demanding environments.

The fairly recent discovery of graphene, another…

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Report: Spotify to introduce free mobile streaming service next week


Spotify is holding a press event in New York City next week, and according to sources familiar the matter speaking to both the Wall Street Journal and TechCrunch, it is to introduce a free mobile music service. That’s in stark contrast to what the streaming music provider offers now, which requires users to sign up for its $10 monthly premium service in order to access mobile streaming.

According to the reports, Spotify has secured deals with Sony Music Entertainment(s sne), Universal Music Group and Warner Music Group. Free mobile streaming will be ad-supported, and allow users to play a limited number of songs on demand. Mostly, though, the app will serve up customized stations, much like Pandora(s p) and iTunes Radio(s aapl) do.

Right now Spotify users can play ad-supported music on demand from their computers, so this will bring a similar feature to the mobile experience. Spotify’s event…

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Samsung and Philips raided by European antitrust authorities


Samsung and Philips have been raided, along with other electronics firms, by European authorities over antitrust concerns.

The European Commission said on Thursday that, on Tuesday of this week, it had carried out unannounced inspections in several EU countries, with the targets being companies that “may have put in place restrictions on online sales of consumer electronic products and small domestic appliances.”

On Friday, Samsung and Philips said they were among those targeted in the raids. The companies said they were cooperating with the EU antitrust regulators.

The authorities themselves haven’t said which companies they raided – they never do when they haven’t yet launched a full-blown investigation, as is the case here. If the inspections turn up evidence of anti-competitive practices, we will no doubt see a proper investigation follow in due course.

I’ve asked the Commission for further details – while I don’t expect to get any at…

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23andMe shuts down health-related genetics testing to work with FDA


After receiving a cease and desist from the FDA and getting slapped with a class action law suit, genetic testing startup 23andMe has announced via blog post that it will not complete health-related reports on kits purchased on or after November 22 — the date the FDA posted its complaint letter — until it’s reached regulatory approval. The company is offering a full refund to those who don’t have access to their genetic reports, as its unclear when (and how) the service will come back. 23andMe CEO Anne Wojcicki continues to stand by the accuracy of her company’s tests, and the firm continues to issue ancestry-related and raw-data reports.

It’s a big blow to the disruptive company, which has made a name for itself (and heavily advertised) its accuracy in identifying risk factors for diseases like cancer, Alzheimer’s and celiac disease. But it shows that regulations still apply to Silicon…

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