KevinAmbrose

Google Wifi now available in Canada

Google Wifi is now on sale in Canada!!!

The router sells either individually for $179 CDN, or in a 3-pack for $439 CDN, which is pretty close to U.S. pricing given current exchange rates. The Wifi solution’s mesh networking approach means it can seamlessly pair with other units to extend coverage throughout a house, without sacrificing signal strength, and while also handing off connections from one device to the next with such smooth transitions that you won’t notice the change even if you’re on a VOIP call when it happens.

The Wifi router does indeed provide strong coverage, based on my short tests, but the most interesting thing for users who might not necessarily need improved coverage is that it also comes with a companion mobile app, which makes it incredibly easy to manage tasks that typically aren’t all that user-friendly when it comes to home networking solutions. The app lets you do things like prioritize certain devices for when there isn’t enough bandwidth to go around, see exactly what devices are connected, toggle and schedule access for specific devices and groups of devices, designate others as network managers and more.

Google’s industrial design means these puck-like little cylinders won’t ruin your home decor if you place them around your house, rather than hidden away, which is basically the worst thing you can do if you’re hoping for good, consistent and far-ranging Wi-Fi coverage.

Unlike with other home networking devices you may have used that offer dual-band, Google Wifi won’t make you pick one band (either 2.4GHz or 5GHz) among two separate networks. The idea is you never think about what you’re connecting to what, but the result is just that your devices are always getting the best possible speeds available given network conditions. Google sorts this out using its own machine learning algorithms, which are actually also predictive – meaning they can anticipate upcoming busy times on certain bands and adjust connections in anticipation so you don’t encounter any problems.

If UX and network quality aren’t reason enough (and the fact that competitor Eero doesn’t currently sell to Canada directly), then there’s another reason Canadians should take note of Wifi’s launch: Canadians helped build it in a big way. Every aspect of the tech, from hardware, to software, to the companion app, was worked on to a “significant” degree by Google’s engineering team in Waterloo.

Nintendo’s latest portable is the $150 2DS XL

With the announcement of New Nintendo 2DS XL, company is planning to drop the NES classic Edition from its lineup.

The upcoming system will costs you $150. It will go on sale on 28th July with the same large screen and features of the 3DS XL, but as its name implies, it will only display “Nintendo 3DS, New Nintendo 3DS and Nintendo DS” games in 2D.

To keep expanding that library of games, Miitopia and Hey! Pikmin are releasing the same day as the new 2DS XL. In the US it will be available in the black/turquoise color shown above, however, in Japan it launches July 13th in two colors, adding a white/orange option.

MIT’s mobile 3D printer built the largest structure to date

A team of researchers from MIT have created a mobile autonomous 3D printer of their own. And to prove that the prototype works, the team had it build a 12-foot tall, 50-foot-wide igloo out of quick-setting foam — the largest such structure made by a robot to date.

The team recently published their work in the journal Science Robotics, arguing that automation should help lower construction costs and expedite building times. Their creation, dubbed the Digital Construction Platform, consists of a large hydraulic arm mounted on caterpillar treads. At the tip of its arm, the team installed a one-fingered gripping attachment though it can be swapped out for a number of different tools including foam and thermoplastic extruders, a welder, a water hose or a bucket. Rather than rely on fossil fuels, the entire 81,000-pound system is solar powered.

This setup makes the Digital Construction Platform ideal for off-world construction projects, especially when combined with some of MIT’s other 3D-printed programs like its Foundry software and memory-shape materials. However, the platform still needs further development before it starts working on real-world construction sites. The team wants to install proximity sensors, for one, in order to prevent the machine from running into structures or people as it moves about the work site. They should probably address the whole “doesn’t do right angles” issue as well.

 

Germany Approves Partial Burqa Ban

Muslims in German finally gets some relief!!

German MPs in the lower house of parliament have approved a partial ban on the burqa.

The draft law stipulates that public servants will be forbidden from wearing the full-face veil while performing their duties.

The move comes after Chancellor Angela Merkel called for a ban on the burqa ‘wherever legally possible’.

“Integration also means that we should make clear and impart our values and where the boundaries of our tolerance towards other cultures lie,” German Interior Minister Thomas de Maiziere said.

In February the southern state of Bavaria, ruled by the Christian Social Union, the sister party to Merkel’s conservatives said it would ban the veil in schools, universities, government buildings and polling stations.

Merkel is facing elections in the Autumn, and has lost support to the anti-immigrant Alternative for Germany over the migrant crisis.

Take a look at Apple’s self-driving test vehicle

Photos obtained by Bloomberg are giving us our first look at what appears to be a testbed for Apple’s self-driving car technology. An observer caught the Lexus SUV (looking similar to the demo vehicle above) rolling out of an Apple facility in Silicon Valley, rocking an extensive kit including Velodyne LiDAR units and radar sensors, which help the car observe the world around it. Apple picked up a permit to test its autonomous technology on California streets a couple of weeks ago, and it apparently isn’t waiting to get started.

According to an expert cited by Bloomberg, the kit observed appears to consist of “off the shelf” sensors from third parties like Velodyne, instead of custom hardware. It’s unclear what form the scaled-back Project Titan plans could eventually take, but getting time on the road is a big first step.

Scientists successfully grew fetal lambs inside ‘uterus-like’ bags

Robotic limbs aren’t a new technology, though the range of motion and strength of such limbs continue to improve. Controlling prosthetics with your mind is another area of refinement, but they’re typically connected directly to a patient’s brain. A new technique where the robotic arm clicks directly to the bone, however, is showing promise. Johan Baggerman is the first patient in the Netherlands to get a click-on prosthetic arm that he can control with his mind.

With a direct connection to the bone, click-on appliances like this don’t need a prosthesis socket, making it easy to take on and off and avoiding chafing and other skin problems. The “mind control” is enabled by connecting a patient’s nerves to the socket, with a special Bluetooth bracelet to receive the signals. It takes three surgeries to make it happen, though, including one to insert the a metal rod into a patient’s bone marrow, one to implant the piece that will eventually connect the robot arm, and a third — performed by a specialized plastic surgeon — to connect all the nerves that used to control the patient’s hand muscles to the upper arm stump. This amplifies the neural signals, which helps when the patient is healed and imagines opening and closing their hand to control the new artificial limb.

The entire process, including surgery and rehab, is strenuous and takes a while to complete. Baggerman lost his arm in a truck accident in 2010, received the next three surgeries between 2013 and 2016 and just started the final phases of the rehabilitation process. No matter how tough it is to train a new robotic arm and hand, though, being able to use it by just thinking about it has got to feel amazing.

Man arrested after knocking over a 300-pound security robot

Human being are not only the victim of mankind cruelty, but machines has also witnessed this.

Recently a five-foot droids, who just make its first step into the human society, knocked out be a drunkard man. This is the first time Robot got beaten up, Pepper has felt the cruelty of mankind while working in a phone store, while Hitchbot lasted just two weeks when it tried to cross America. It suffered a vandal attack in Philadelphia that cut its journey short.

Police say Jason Sylvain knocked down the Knightscope droid while it was patrolling the parking lot, last week. The man faces prowling and public intoxication charges, but it appears the robot gets some credit for arresting its attacker. Stacy Dean Stephens, Knightscope’s VP of marketing told that: “The robot did exactly as it was suppose to do. The ‘assault’ was detected and immediately reported. The alarms on the robot sounded, the suspect attempted to flee the scene and was detained by one of my colleagues and me until the Mountain View Police arrived.”

Sylvain apparently wanted to test the security of Knightscope’s patrol drones. We’re more intrigued as to how he toppled 300 pounds of robot. That might prove useful in the future.

 

Netflix finally finds a way into China

Finally after spate of hurdles, Netflix has found the way to tap into the vast market.

According to recent reports, The Company has signed the license with the popular video streaming platform iQIYI.

iQIYI is a subsidiary of Chinese search engine Baidu.

After regulators last year Netflix blocked from operating in China. After that company decided that it would license content to local companies instead. The iQIYI deal is the first such agreement.

Licensing deals bring in modest revenue to content providers, but the world’s most populous nation is too big a market to pass up. IQIYI already has agreements with the BBC, Paramount Pictures and Lionsgate, among others.

The company is capitalizing on the growing number of Chinese consumers willing to pay for high-end content. Despite the widespread availability of pirated DVDs and illegally streamed TV shows and movies, iQIYI has managed to sign up more than 20 million subscribers to its service.

Western media and tech companies have been trying to crack China’s lucrative market for years. But content is heavily censored by Beijing, and many services, including Google and Facebook are blocked.

Last year, Apple’s iBooks and iTunes Movies services went offline less than seven months after they were launched. DisneyLife, which gave Chinese customers access to movies, shows, games and e-books via local partner Alibaba was also pulled.

“House of Cards” is one popular Netflix series that has already been streamed in mainland China after online video service Sohu bought exclusive rights to the show.

The political drama was a hit with Chinese viewers, reportedly including Wang Qishan, a powerful member of China’s Communist Party.

But then Beijing tightened its already strict censorship rules on foreign content, and Sohu was forced to pull the show from its lineup.

“House of Cards” — a show about political corruption and a national leader’s obsession with power at all costs — was notably absent from iQIYI’s statement on the new Netflix deal

Google Maps can remember where you parked on Android and iOS.

If you are among those who always forget where did they park the car, than this news is for them.

Google is coming up with a new feature. Google Map’s latest navigational update make things easier after you’ve arrived. App on Android and iOS will now remember where you parked the car once you reach your destination — and it’s literally a no-brainer to use on iOS.

You might be thinking how it will work? Here I tell you. If you are an Android user, than you need to simply tap the blue dot once they’ve parked and then hit “Save your parking” to drop a pin handily labeled “You parked here.” Tapping the pin label brings up another card where you can set a reminder to pay the parking meter, snap a picture of your parking space, share your car’s location or just jot down some parking notes.

Users on iOS will have a similar experience, but they won’t actually have to remember to drop a pin first. If your phone is connected to the car via Bluetooth or USB, Google Maps takes advantage of a feature built for Apple Maps to automatically tag your car’s location once your phone disconnects from the vehicle. The search giant baked a similar feature into older versions of its Google Now app on Android, but it worked using some GPS trickery and algorithmic guessing, so the new method is a more elegant (and much more accurate) solution. Of course, iOS users can also tap the “Parking location” label on the map to bring up or share their parking info and the card also includes Street View images of the nearby area, but you’ll have to set parking meter timers yourself.

Craftsman Donates Tools (and Himself) to New Tool-Lending Library

This library of tools wouldn’t have half of the collection that it does today if it weren’t for Dave Merry.

The St. Paul Tool Library in Minnesota is a membership-based service that allows anyone to check out tools, workshop space, and materials for a monthly fee. The organization helps people save money and space, as well as alleviating carbon emissions by creating less demand for new tools.

Except that when the library first opened their doors in March, they didn’t expect many people to help kickstart their mission by responding to their call for tool donations.

Dave, who had been amassing his tool collection for years, donated it all in a single day.

The 78-year-old had to move into assisted living due to his wife’s health – and he couldn’t bear to part with all of his tools just because of the lack of space.

So in turn, the senior donated his tools – and his expertise – to the library.

His vast knowledge of craftsmanship has proved invaluable to the members – not to mention his tools make up most of the library’s inventory.

The donation also comes as an homage to his brother George, who passed away at the age of 21 when Dave was just 15. Dave feels that – by helping other people – he is inspiring the community the same way that his brother did for him.

“It just meant a lot to me do something with wood and know that George would have done it too,” Dave to