Scientists Develop Smart Window That Filters Out Heat Or Light

milliron_imageThis is technology take makes me very interested in using it, for all the right and wrong reasons. Apartments and homes share one thing in common: they use energy. Some more so than others, but scientists at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory have developed a new smart window that lets people choose what they want to let into their home, filtering out visible light, near-infra-red light, or both. Basically, you could bask in the light of the sun, without the heat beaming through the windows, which prompts you to turn on the AC, and wasting energy in the process.

The feat is achieved by a layer of nanocrystals in the glass, that change states when activated with electricity. The result? The scientists at Berkeley are in the early stages of commercializing the new technology.

Via: Phys.org

Google Now Voice Queries Are Now Part Of Google Search

answers screens

Instead of typing out a search query, you’ll simply need to tap the microphone button.

That’s the future of search, as put together by Google for any tablet, phone, laptop, or whatever else you may have. By taking the exemplary technology from Google Now, you can now ask for specific information (like an email inside of Gmail, or photos you took on Google+) and will receive an answer. This goes for upcoming flight(s), reservations, purchases, plans, packages and general information, like directions.

Google published a list of things it thinks you could do with the new feature that is being rolled out in the coming weeks. It’s worth a read.

Via: Google

Microsoft Will Have Windows 8.1 Ready By October 17th

windows-8-1The millions of you with new Windows laptops, desktops, and tablets will be receiving a very special update come October 17th. That is, Windows 8.1 which aims to resolve many of the shortcomings of the new Windows, along with some new changes to make it better than ever before.

In fact, Microsoft is nailing down the release date in stone, to be sure that users know their devices will be changed: the release is October 18th in New Zealand, which is 4am PT or 7am ET on October 17th. At that time, the free update will begin rolling out across local Windows Stores (that place to get apps from, that you may or may have not ever visited).

Via: MSFT

Google Glass Updated: More Voice Controls, Video Player, Movie Listings, Etc.

Google Glass Man & Woman

To make Glass development move forward, per usual Google has released their monthly device for the prototype headset and its few thousand Explorers. The update brings one major feature: voice controls that can be tapped in by third-party developers, along with fixes.

So, you could tell Evernote to “take a note” for example, and that would finally render a response, or Path, where you could say “post an update”.

Besides those two apps, there aren’t any other voice commands available besides the usual bunch, but that will change. Other things to make note of: the additions of movie listing, a video player with seek/play/pause controls, and new Google Now cards — -reservation reminders, showtimes for nearby movie theaters, and local emergency alerts.

A small step forward, but one nonetheless.

Via: Google Glass (+ Post)

And That Does It: BlackBerry Is Looking For A Buyer

All The BlackBerriesWe all knew it might come to this, but never exactly knew how soon. Well, it turns out that BlackBerry is looking for a buyer, right now. A special committee has been assembled in Waterloo, Canada for BlackBerry to find the right strategic company to merge with or be purchased by, since everything they’ve tried: a tablet, a new classic BlackBerry, a new touchscreen BlackBerry, new operating system, and a company name change didn’t help the company out.

Of course, this doesn’t confirm anything, just as they put it in a statement:

“There can be no assurance that this exploration process will result in any transaction. The Company does not currently intend to disclose further developments with respect to this process, unless and until its Board of Directors approves a specific transaction or otherwise concludes the review of strategic alternatives.”

But as it stands, we know all we need to know: BlackBerry cannot keep living on this way, and they need help in order to survive. Privatizing like Dell did isn’t going to work, either.

Via: Market Share

HTC Begins Its $1 Billion ‘Change’ Campaign Starring Robert Downey Jr.

htchold-this-catgNot bad for a campaign investment: $1 billion dollars has just been thrown together by HTC to make their complain louder, more apparent, and boost sales of the One series of smartphones. Starring Robert Downey Jr. of Sherlock Holmes and Iron Man fame.

The campaign will be worldwide and will span anywhere from the next 24 to 36 months. Three phases will define that time period, where in the first phase, Downey Jr. and other actors will play in short 2-minute TV scenes figuring out what “HTC” stands for: “Humongous Tinfoil Catamaran,” “Hipster Troll Carwash,” “Hold This Cat” and more — in order “to invoke interest and talkability amongst consumers.” Superseding ads will then mention the mobile devices that HTC actually produces.

Promo video after the break.

So, It Begins: Google Maps Gets Ads On Both iOS And Android

maps_adsPromoted results, rather. To distinguish themselves from a sea of results in the same area, general business locations can now have their listing featured over others in Google Maps. The user will recognize these changes to their results by a small purple “Ad” label, along with the entire result itself being shaded violet.

It’s a thing that has been present on desktop Google Maps for the longest time now, and despite the inconvenience, hopefully doesn’t become too much of a problem.

Via: TNW 

Sony Creates Special Red Editions Of Their VAIO Laptops, Starting At $2,000

red-vaios-2013We hope you like red. Actually, you have to.

All the new, special edition VAIO laptops sport new Core i7 processors and 1080p touchscreens, sans the Fit 15 has 12GB of RAM, a 2GB GPU, Blu-ray drive and 256GB SSD, in comparison to the two smaller models have only 8GB of memory and 512GB SSDs. Anyways, the red Fit 15 goes for $2,000, the red Pro 13 for $2,600 and the red Duo 13 for $3,000.

Also, all three models include a UV coating on top of the paint to prevent fading or chipping and so on. You wouldn’t want to hurt your nearly manicured laptop, now would you?