Archive for February, 2013

Ouya raised more than $8 million last year for an Android-based video game console that would sell for $99. Now the company is getting ready to ship the first units to backers of the wildly successful Kickstarter crowdfunding campaign.

The first Ouya game consoles will ship on March 28th, 2013.

Ouya video game console

Folks who didn’t make a pledge last year can also pre-order from the Ouya shop or other stores including Amazon, Best Buy, GameStop and Target. Customers who pre-order now should get their devices in June. Continue reading

Batteries at differetn states of charge (Copyright: Thinkstock)

In the third of a five part series on the future of mobile phones, Roland Pease explores what drains a smartphone battery so quickly… and what can be done about it. Continue reading

Mobile antenna (Copyright: Thinkstock)(Copyright: Thinkstock)

In the second of our five part series on the future of mobile, Roland Pease explores the innovations and tricks that will keep us connected.

Smartphones: They are called that for a reason. Continue reading


Researchers Discover an Important Pair of Prebiotic Molecules in Interstellar Space

The Green Bank Telescope and some of the molecules it has discovered. Credit: Bill Saxton, NRAO/AUI/NSF

Scientists using the Green Bank Telescope have discovered a pair of prebiotic molecules in interstellar space, suggesting that some basic chemicals needed for life may have formed on dusty ice grains floating between the stars. Continue reading



This artist’s concept illustrates an icy planet-forming disk around a young star called TW Hydrae, located about 175 light-years away in the Hydra, or Sea Serpent, constellation. Astronomers using the Herschel Space Observatory detected copious amounts of cool water vapor, illustrated in blue, emanating from the star’s planet-forming disk of dust and gas. The water vapor, which probably comes from icy grains in the disk, is located in the frigid outer regions of the star system, where comets will take shape. Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech Continue reading


Solving the Riddle of Black Hole Spin

This artist’s concept illustrates a supermassive black hole with millions to billions times the mass of our sun. Supermassive black holes are enormously dense objects buried at the hearts of galaxies. (Smaller black holes also exist throughout galaxies.) In this illustration, the supermassive black hole at the center is surrounded by matter flowing onto the black hole in what is termed an accretion disk. Continue reading

A Planet Forming Around a Young Star

This artist’s impression shows the formation of a gas giant planet in the ring of dust around the young star HD 100546. This system is also suspected to contain another large planet orbiting closer to the star. The newly-discovered object lies about 70 times further from its star than the Earth does from the Sun. This protoplanet is surrounded by a thick cloud of material so that, seen from this position, its star almost invisible and red in color because of the scattering of light from the dust. Credit: ESO/L. Calçada Continue reading

Photos and the news feed are where people spend their time on Facebook. Yet its last two big products were relatively niche features, Timeline and the new Graph Search. Facebook today published examples of how to use Graph Search, which merely highlight that it’s not part of day-to-day life. Yes, Facebook needed to fix search, but it may have prioritized an engineering wank over the user experience. Continue reading

Andriod-x86 is an unofficial project to port Google’s Android operating system to run on devices with x86 processors… like the ones made by Intel and AMD. In other words, it lets you run Android on your laptop or desktop PC.

The team has released a new build based on Android 4.2 Jelly Bean, and while it’s a bit rough around the edges, Android-x86 4.2 does let you run Android and install some Android apps on a PC.

I took it for a spin on the Chromebook Pixel.

Chromebook Pixel with Android 4.2 Jelly Bean

The Chromebook Pixel isn’t the ideal device for this sort of test drive — the touchpad and touchscreen aren’t supported so I had to plug in a mouse, and the notification bar and mouse look tiny on the laptop’s 2560 x 1700 pixel display — but apps like the web browser look great. Continue reading

Apple has confirmed that its iTunes U content downloads have reached an impressive one billion.

As Apple VP Eddy Cue notes, iTunes U features the world’s largest online catalog of free educational content from top schools and prominent libraries, museums and organizations. Continue reading