Welcome to Feedback Loop, a weekly roundup of the most interesting discussions happening within the Engadget community. There's so much technology to talk about and so little time to enjoy it, but you have a lot of great ideas and opinions that need to be shared! Join us every Saturday as we highlight some of the most interesting discussions that happened during the past week.
If you had an Internet connection this week, you probably came across "First Kiss" — a video compilation of various strangers fumbling through a few awkward, adorable moments of intimacy. But the video, which has amassed more than 52 million YouTube views, elicited a backlash from more than just cold-hearted cynics. "First Kiss" was commissioned by Melissa Coker, founder of the clothing company Wren. According to Coker, the company operates on a shoestring budget and devised the video as a way to promote Wren attire without breaking the bank.
One of Japan's largest lenders, Mizuho Bank Ltd, has became ensnared in the U.S. legal fallout from the collapse Mt. Gox, the leading bitcoin exchange that lost more than $400 million of customers' digital currency. Mizuho held non-bitcoin currency on behalf of Tokyo-based Mt. Gox and its customers, according to the amended complaint by Gregory Greene, an Illinois resident who has said he lost $25,000 when Mt. Gox shut down last month. Canadian bitcoin traders filed a class action against Mt. Gox and Mizuho on Friday in the Ontario Superior Court of Justice. It accused Mizuho of knowing of Mt. Gox's fraud, of not segregating funds that belong to Mt. Gox from those of its customers and of continuing to provide banking services that inflated losses for bitcoin customers.
Looking for something to do on a lazy Saturday? You could always learn a little more about Open Hardware initiatives. Today, March 15th, is Hardware Freedom Day -- an annual celebration of open-source gadgetry and unrestricted hardware collaboration.
The disappearance of a Malaysia Airlines flight last Friday appears to be the result of deliberate action. That's according to Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak, speaking to reporters earlier today.
With the debut of Cosmos last week, Neil deGrasse Tyson has more than ever cemented himself as the public face of science — and quite simply, he's making the area of study seem huge and exciting again. Today's movie posters show little more than the face of a billable star who can draw interest from a broad crowd, but they didn't always used to be that way. Ernest Cline, the bestselling author of Ready Player One, may be, above all else, a fanboy. We caught up with him at SXSW to chat about how he went from loving science fiction to writing a screenplay and becoming an acclaimed writer of the very genre that he's always loved.
Much has already been said about George R.R. Martin not having a whole lot of time to finish his A Song of Ice and Fire series before the HBO adaptation eventually catches up. But, even though he's spent much of his career "trying to avoid deadlines," he has a detailed plan for how the next few season can be stretched to give him some more time.
We'll admit, we're getting mixed messages here. According to @evleaks' latest reveal there is very likely a new LG Lucid (number 3 to be specific) incoming for Verizon. Nothing unusual there, as it's been about a year since the last one.
Following a recent lawsuit, and inquiry by the European Commission about protections for in-app purchases, Google's begun offering new controls for shoppers on its Play Store to restrict how those transactions are made. A new version of the Play Store adds the option to require a password each and every time in-app purchases are made, something that provides a considerably higher amount of protection than the 30-minute window Google gives users by default. That suit seeks class action, and stems from a $65.95 purchase of in-game currency the woman's child made in the game Marvel Run Jump Smash! It's also less than two weeks where Google, along with Apple, met with the European Commission to discuss reforms to so-called freemium games and apps, including how in-app payments are made. Google, for its part, telegraphed that it was working on a fix in January, saying it was "working on new features that give our customers even more information and control over their Google Play purchases."
While Xiaomi has yet to launch its very own tablet (the Eden Tab doesn't count), you can now get a first taste of its tablet-friendly MIUI Android ROM, which is available as an open beta for the 2013 ...
In part 1 of our interview with Montreal-based photographer Benjamin Von Wong we asked him about his transition from mining engineer to full-time photographer. In part 2, Von Wong talks about how some of his more famous images were created. Follow the links below to read the concluding part of our interview and take a look at more of Von Wong's dramatic photographs. Learn more
China's e-commerce giant Alibaba Group Holding Ltd is planning a U.S. IPO in the third quarter of this year, people familiar with the matter told Reuters, in what is the expected to be a more than $15 billion deal. The Hangzhou, China-based company, which controls about 80 percent of the country's e-commerce, had been in discussions with the Hong Kong stock exchange and the Securities and Futures Commission since last year about a potential listing, but the island city's regulators blocked its proposal as it violated the "one-share-one-vote principle". After an initial rebuff, Alibaba and the Hong Kong regulators were back at the negotiating table late last year, to find a solution to the vexed problem. While the Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing Ltd has initiated a review of its listing rules to accommodate more flexible structures, any change to the existing rules would take months.
In a study published in Nature this week, researchers now say that a fossilized whale skull discovered outside Charleston, SC presents all the tell-tales signs related to echolocation in present-day toothed whales, dolphins, and porpoises. The skull is approximately 28 million years old, belonged to what's now the oldest known creature to use echolocation to hunt. According to Nature World News, the ancient whale, classified as Cotylocara macei, existed in the same era as when toothed whales and non-toothed whales branched off on the evolutionary tree. That split occurred between 32 and 34 million years ago, meaning that echolocation evolved as far back as that time.
At Mobile World Congress in 2012, Samsung announced a pico projector smartphone known as the Galaxy Beam. Although it was a cool concept, the phone's downfall was its middling specs, aging OS and large chassis. Two years later, it appears that Samsung's working on a successor to the Beam called the SM-G3858, according to China's government database.
Now that we know both Microsoft and Google are working to stop OEMs from releasing dual-boot devices that combine Windows Phone and Android, maybe we should thank them. Ars Technica’s Peter Bright makes a compelling case that while it may sound cool to have two platforms running on one mobile device, in the real world such devices are a complete mess that will only frustrate and confound most users. “Wouldn’t the smartphone experience just be so much better if it had two entirely different sets of apps?” Bright asks sarcastically. “Apps that couldn’t talk to each other, didn’t even acknowledge each other’s existence? Apps that burn up the already limited smartphone storage? And who doesn’t relish the opportunity to reboot their
More than a year ago, developer Maxis and publisher EA launched a refresh of SimCity, one of the iconic games of the 1990s that was a cherished staple of early computer gaming. However, like a lot of things EA touches, the new SimCity was a disaster from day one. The game’s always-on digital rights management system that forced players to play the game online quickly crashed EA’s servers and made the game unplayable during its launch week. However, Maxis and EA are finally about to make things sort-of right for SimCity players. Maxis sent out a message on its Twitter account this week saying that its latest update that will allow for offline play is in “final testing” and is
The US government has been gradually reducing its influence over the internet ever since it offloaded domain management responsibilities to ICANN back in the late 1990s, and today it took an important (if mostly symbolic) step toward severing those ...