Don't Miss A Thing

Follow Engadget

US-CLIMATE MARCH

If you're in any way familiar with the history of energy, then the name Rockefeller is synonymous with oil. That's why it's such a surprise to learn that the Rockefeller Brothers fund, worth $860 million, has pledged to dump its remaining investments in fossil fuel production over the next five years. The Rockefeller fund is the most notable name in a list of billionaires and funds that have pledged to shift anything up to $50 billion away from coal, oil and gas and into renewable energy as part of the divest-invest movement. It's a timely announcement, too, designed to coincide with the Tuesday's UN summit on climate change, designed to galvanize green activity in the face of the recent, damning, scientific evidence.

Read the Full Story 0 Comments

Sony will be releasing its PlayStation TV here in the US and in Canada on October 14th. What's more, as it looks to get people amped up for it, the company also let it be known that the mini console is set to have nearly 700 playable games from day one, giving interested folks Stateside and in The Great White North something to look forward to come launch day. That amount of games, naturally, is made possible thanks to the PlayStation TV's flexibility -- it provides access to a variety of content in different ways, including through PS Vita titles, PlayStation Now and via Remote Play with a PlayStation 4. The PlayStation TV is going to be available for $99 (system-only), or you also have the option to get a $140 bundle which includes a DualShock 3 controller, 8GB memory card and The Lego Movie Videogame.

0 Comments

Gov. Brown Signs Legislation At Google HQ That Allows Testing Of Autonomous Vehicles

The first trio of companies looking to test self-driving cars on California's public roads got newly required permits from the state's Department of Motor Vehicles last week. Google nabbed paperwork for taking a fleet of 25 Lexus SUVs to the streets, while Audi and Mercedes-Benz also secured written approval that's now a must for trials amongst regular automobiles. The Guardian reports that other automakers are working on getting the proper approval for testing as well, so long as vehicles have a way for the driver to take control if needed. Of course, California has welcomed autonomous vehicles since 2012, but the state announced new rules for testing on public roads earlier this year that went into effect this month. In addition to the Golden State, Michigan, Nevada and Florida also allow self-driving trials on public roads.

[Photo credit: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images]

0 Comments

Samsung Galaxy Alpha

Good news: if you want Samsung's slimmer, ritzier Galaxy Alpha in the US, you won't have to beg your Canadian friends to ship an unlocked unit across the border. AT&T has revealed plans to carry the Alpha starting on September 26th, the same day it launches up North. Be prepared to pay a premium for this compact yet speedy Android phone, though. The Alpha will cost $200 on a contract, or $613 contract-free. That's not much different than what you'd pay for the larger, slightly more powerful Galaxy S5 -- you'll have to really value the Alpha's metal-clad design for AT&T's pricing to make sense.

0 Comments

Over the past few months, BlackBerry has been putting a lot of effort into building some buzz around its newest, oddly-shaped smartphone, the Passport. Today, in an interview with The Wall Street Journal, company CEO John Chen revealed one of the most important aspects of the device: the cost. Chen told the publication that the BlackBerry Passport will be hitting shelves in the US this Wednesday for $599, contract free, adding that such price tag is expected to vary from country to country -- depending on sales tax and the like. Chen also said that BlackBerry's new Passport is betting on reaching and appealing to people who need to be productive, pointing to the wider screen as an example of how the device could help users. "You really are seeing a more entire picture than seeing a sliver [of screen]," Chen stated to WSJ, likely in reference to some of the most popular phones out there at the moment, such as the iPhone 6, Galaxy S5 and HTC One M8.

0 Comments

DuckDuckGo CEO Gabriel Weinberg

If you've been using DuckDuckGo's privacy-focused search engine to get around China's stringent censorship while also hiding your tracks, you'd better start looking for an alternative. The company's Gabriel Weinberg (above) has confirmed that China blocked DuckDuckGo at some point in recent memory; GreatFire suggests that the crackdown came on September 4th. No matter when it happened, the move makes it that much harder to search the full internet when you're in the country. Given that Google is already blocked, you're now largely relegated to censored versions of Bing, Yahoo and domestic sites like Baidu. That's a particularly sore point if you're traveling to China with an iPhone -- Apple added DuckDuckGo as a default search choice in iOS 8, but you won't get to use it while you're sojourning in Shanghai.

Read the Full Story 0 Comments

In Iowa, there's a 3,000-acre farm that uses machines to accomplish most tasks, from seeding to fertilizing and chemical application. This land, owned by the Mitchell family, is known as one of the most mechanized farms in the United States, and it's far from being unique. The Mitchells and their equally high-tech neighbors are some of the top corn producers in the US, thanks to their machines. But more and more farmers in the country are also turning to agricultural robots, as laborers start dwindling in number and demands for crops and produce continue to grow. After all, they need all the help they can get to feed millions of people, since it's just not feasible to farm by hand anymore as it was a hundred years ago. Seeing as the US population has grown by 22.5 percent between 1990 (an estimated 250 million) and 2010 (310 million), and the Census Bureau expects it to balloon to more than 420 million in 2050, you can expect to see more robots doing the dirty work on more American farms.

Read the Full Story 0 Comments

Libyan schoolgirl uses a PC

The Xprize organization has inspired people to take on some pretty lofty goals, ranging from sequencing genomes to literal moonshots. Today, though, it's focusing on a very practical objective: improving education for hundreds of millions of kids. Its new Global Learning Xprize will offer a total of $15 million to teams that build open source, easily scaled software that lets young ones in developing countries teach themselves math, reading and writing. Anyone hoping to join in will have 18 months to craft their tools, which will be tested in at least 100 villages. The top five entrants will get $1 million each, while the winning entry will get a hefty $10 million. It may not be the flashiest competition, but it could go a long, long way toward tackling the chronic shortages of schools and teachers that ultimately hurt kids' futures.

[Image credit: Saeed Khan/AFP/Getty Images]

0 Comments

Friends ("The One Where the Monkey Gets Away") is on TV, Alanis Morissette is angrily screaming "You oughta know" on the radio, your bff messages you on WhatsApp. What's the misfit in this picture? Nothing if you're rocking LG's Wine Smart -- a rare smartphone flip phone. Nostalgia from the 90s (or, really, 2007) aside, the Wine Smart isn't all that unusual. Flip phones are still popular in certain markets, and why wouldn't you want one with the latest version of Android, a 1.2GHz processor, 8-megapixel camera and expandable memory? Well, that's exactly what the Wine smart has, although if you were hoping LG's 2K display might filter down from the G3, you'd be fresh outta luck (3.5-inch, 480 x 320 is what you'll have to settle for). The inclusion of a "safe keeper" function that alerts friends or family if you fall suggest this is pitched at an older crowd. But, then there's a dedicated button for a instant messaging app, too. We're sure LG knows its market though, so who are we to question? Oh, there's an FM radio too. Perfect for that Morissette revival, whenever and wherever LG decides to release it.

Read the Full Story 0 Comments

Whenever NASA achieves something, row after row of neatly-dressed mission controllers all begin whooping and clapping. The reason for today's jubilation is the news that, after nearly a year, the Mars Atmosphere and Volatile Evolution probe has successfully entered orbit around the red planet. MAVEN began its tour of duty at 10:24pm EDT Sunday night, and after a six-week test phase, will analyze the upper atmosphere of Mars in an attempt to understand how its climate has influenced the surface below. In addition, the information will help other white shirt-and-pocket-protector-wearing analysts to determine if, when, and how best to send a manned mission to Mars in the 2030s. You never know, maybe MAVEN will be able to find some Methane in the atmosphere and make David Bowie very happy.

[Image Credit: NASA / Goddard Space Flight Center]

Read the Full Story 0 Comments

Must Reads