It Turns Out That The Surface Pro 3 Is Nearly Impossible To Repair

surface-3-pro-teardown-fixitThe geeks at iFixit have once again gained access to an expensive bit of hardware only to completely dismember it, then attempt to put it back together again. Unfortunately for them, this time the Surface Pro 3 has proved to be too much of a hassle: it scored a 1 out of 10 in “repairability”. In short, the screen was cracked in the teardown process, and other than the solid state drive, everything else is wired up using proprietary connectors and lots of strong adhesives.

At least they did it for all us wondering what the interior of a Surface Pro 3 looked like, instead of sacrificing more of its brethren.

Via: iFixit

The US Military Wants A Defensive Wall That Comes Out Of A Can

cod-aw-wallCurrently, DARPA is soliciting proposals for BlockADE (Block Access to Deny Entry), a system that would automatically form a barrier from material stuffed into a canister 1ft by 6.5ft or smaller. Instead of using sandbags or barbed wire, an area or entry to a building can be blocked off with this “tactical can”, as it were. Sounds pretty cool, doesn’t it?

What DARPA wants BlockADE to do is slow down intruders with axes or saws, but extra bells and whistles, such as”ballistic resistance” are welcomed, meaning that soldiers could take cover behind their “instant wall”.

Of course, prototypes aren’t even in existence, and there is no confirmation that the idea will ever get off the ground, but knowing the works of science fiction, video games, and of course, the human spirit to engineer, it could very well be a possibility.

T-Mobile Test Drive: Giving Customers An iPhone 5S For A Week, To Try Out

downloadThis is a pretty interesting idea from T-Mobile, called Test Drive: giving a potential customer an iPhone 5S for a week to try out — the device, as well as the T-Mobile 4G LTE network. Starting this Sunday, you can use the device, and once the week has passed, you return it to a local T-Mobile store or have it shipped back, regardless of you buying in or not (one tryout per household).

Once it arrives, you’ll have a  hold on your credit card in the amount of $750, then your 5S (typically a refurb unit) will arrive with two-day shipping — the clock starts ticking the moment you sign for the package. You’ll have free unlimited access to talk, text and data within the US, with no international compatibility, so that units aren’t put out of the country.

Screwed up, and sport a cracked screen, water damage? You’ll be charged a $100 fee, or have to pay the full $750 if you hold on to the device (which you’re not supposed to do).

Via: T-Mobile Test Drive

The Amazon Fire Phone: A Free Year Of Prime, And AT&T Exclusivity For $200

amazon-fire-phoneThis is the AT&T-exclusive Amazon Fire Phone. Sporting a 4.7-inch HD display, 13MP rear-facing camera, global LTE, 32GB of storage and brain power by a quad-core Snapdragon processor, the Fire Phone is the company’s take on what a smartphone should be; CEO Jeff Bezos immediately stating that the Fire Phone competes with the Galaxy S5 and iPhone 5S. Top-notch stereo speakers and included headphones “that never tangle” are also included, Bezos says.

Some of its special tricks inlcude four specialized front-facing cameras that track your head movements, allowing for Dynamic Perspective — a 3D-like view that immerses the user in the design interface.

Mayday, the instant video-chat help service, as well as the Fire OS seen on the Fire TV and Fire HDX tablets, also comes along for the ride. Being based off of Android, the Fire Phone already has an immense app library, so that settles that. Oh, and there’s also one free year of Amazon Prime, which is great.

Even cooler is the new FireFly service, which can instantly identify over 100 million things like products, email addresses, phone numbers, songs, TV episodes, movies, and more, with integration through third-party apps, and even has its own dedicated button on the phone.

Price? $200 on a new, two-year agreement with AT&T.

Via: Amazon

Adobe Unveils A New Creative Cloud For 2014, Plus $10 Monthly Photography CC Plan

cc-2014While it has been around for a while through limited-time offers, Adobe’s Photography plan is now a permanent part of the company’s Creative Cloud offering. For $10 every month, you can subscribe to the Creative Cloud to get Adobe Bridge, Photoshop CC and Lightroom, with compatibility to the desktop apps, as well as the mobile Photoshop Mix and Lightroomfor iPad, plus 20GB of free online storage.

But that’s not even the big news today; it’s more of an entire overhaul, in fact.

Just about the entire Creative Cloud platform has been updated for the 2014 year, inlcuding Photoshop CC, Illustrator CC, Dreamweaver CC, and Premiere Pro CC, in addition to a batch of new mobile apps.

For Photoshop (as an example), the Mercury Graphics Engine has been improved, increasing the app’s speed, while also adding blur effects and a Focus Mask tool that recreates the Bokeh effect, with background defocus. There’s also better usability on Microsoft’s Windows 8.1 tablets, namely the Surface Pro 3.

As for pricing for the rest of the creativity suite: the entire Creative Cloud is now 49.99 per month or $599.98 for an entire year, along with a new $19.99 per month plan for students. 

Nicely done, Adobe.

ViaCreative Cloud

Apple Updates Its Store And Adds The Cheapest iMac, Ever

downloadNot interested in buying an iMac for $1,299? Well, Apple has you covered: today a newer and cheaper model has been added to the family, for $1,099. A 1.4GHz dual-core Intel Core i5 Haswell processor (TurboBoost to 2.7GHz), 8GB of DDR3 RAM, a 500GB hard drive, with the Intel HD Graphics 5000 for visuals.

All in a super sleek, 21.5-inch package. Not bad at all, but keep in mind the rumor mill states that Retina iMacs will be introduced this year.

So, yeah.

Via: Apple Store

Facebook Slingshot: It’s The New, Strange Counter To Snapchat

slingshot-facebookMuch like Snapchat, Facebook’s Slingshot does not save the image that has been shared between recipients — it is deleted after a certain period of time. However, there’s a catch: in order to access the image, a user will have to “unlock” it, by sharing something back, called “slinging”. Then, voila.

Both parties can share and receive images or videos. Per usual, there are editing and image correction tools that can be used before the user sends the shot, with privacy settings available as well.

The only downfall of a service like this could be the additional engagement required to getting the actual message, something that Zuckerberg and Co. are not necessarily an experts in, however, that could be the exact driving force needed to make Slingshot work.

As for release: Facebook will release Slingshot on iOS and Android later today.

Amazon Prime Music: A Million Songs, All Free For Prime Subscribers

amazon-musicAmazon has released their very own streaming service, appropriately called Prime Music. Featuring only a million songs, the Prime Music service is designed as a sort of eclectic buffet for music listeners. To ease the transition, the old Cloud Player and MP3 Amazon apps will be folded up into the new Prime Music player.

To make its music catalog, Amazon has enlisted the support of indies with Warner and Sony (but not Universal). Those who subscribe to the yearly $100 Amazon Prime subscription will have access to Prime Music for free, on top of all the other perks that resonate with the membership.

Via: Amazon