About the Author

Scott Buscemi

@scottbuscemi

Scott can be found on Twitter @scottbuscemi.

November 11, 2016

Snapchat has sold branded beach towels and ghost backpacks for a while now, but their first real foray into the hardware space launched yesterday: Snapchat Spectacles. As seemingly hipster spy glasses, this device aims to keep you in the moment while allowing you to capture video of whatever you’re viewing to share with friends and family later on.

Yesterday, we managed to grab a pair of Snapchat Spectacles from their only point-of-sale in Venice, CA…

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October 20, 2014

Find NFC-compatible merchants around you with MasterCard Nearby

With today’s launch of Apple Pay alongside iOS 8.1, iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus owners can now use their phones to pay for goods using NFC & Touch ID. Apple states that over 220,000 stores are accepting Apple Pay, but finding nearby merchants can be a bit difficult without referring back to our running list 24/7.

As it turns out, the MasterCard Nearby app has a map view of merchants with Contactless (read: NFC-compatible) POS systems where you can use Apple Pay. Restaurants, entertainment locations, gas stations, and other types of businesses are listed out in the app.

In a WSJ interview, Eddy Cue stated “there’s a lot to do here” regarding Apple Pay, but with the technology already working with the open NFC technology rather than depending on merchants to sign a deal with Apple, the current number of businesses with compatible POS systems is promising.

(h/t @NSDelToro)

February 6, 2014

Post to the community

Hey all!

Later this month, I’ll be releasing addiction.to, a social network for feeding your nightlife, sports, and other addictions.

If you’re addicted to volleyball, whenever someone near you creates a volleyball get-together you’ll get a push notification so you can go out and join them.

For ASU students, you can sign up for the beta on our site. Other college students can vote for their school so we’ll know where to go next!

Spigen TEKA RA200 Airpods Earhooks Cover

December 1, 2013

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Rather than make you sift through all of these projects, we’re tracking down the best or most notable crowdfunding projects from around the web and delivering them to you in a simple roundup. If there’s a project that you’ve backed – or even a project that you founded – be sure to leave a link below so it can be considered for the next roundup. Check out our complete list of roundups here.

Decibullz: Easy and Affordable Custom Molded Earphones (Kickstarter project)

Earpods were supposed to be the earbuds to win them all, but we all know that they still manage to fall out of some ears and the lack of noise-canceling capabilities is a huge loss. With Decibullz, these buds are made of “thermoplastic that makes the molding process remarkably simple.” By using your stove or microwave, you can heat up the material in water then shape it to your ear. Re-shaping is just as easy.

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The early bird pledge is all gone, but you can grab these for just $39+. expand full story

November 30, 2013

Review: LifeTrak Zone C410, the all-inclusive fitness band with automatic sleep tracking

Back in August, I posted my review of the LifeTrak Move C300. In short, I couldn’t get enough of the Bluetooth-enabled fitness band with a long-lasting coin battery set to live for over a year.

The Move C300 is the best fitness band I’ve used, through and through. For me, having the information always available on my wrist and on my phone is extremely powerful. Rather than having to guess at how many steps you’ve taken or syncing just to find out, just looking at your wrist to find out real-time then syncing later to see aggregate information just feels like the right solution.

Now, Salutron (the company behind the LifeTrak brand) has released the Zone C410, which includes not only all of the great movement tracking and heart monitoring, but also automatic sleep tracking. I’ve had the pleasure of testing out this device for about a month now, and despite my best efforts to fool the “automatic” tracking, it is the best technology available in the industry.

The sleep tracking is “monitored based on motion and arm posture.” I’ve had the Jawbone Up and Fitbit Flex, but having to tell the band when I’m going to sleep has always been impossible for me. I tend to fall asleep on the couch or looking around on my phone while in bed. In addition, I’ve fallen asleep folded up in a regular chair. Yet, the Zone was right there tracking the sleep and even measuring the quality of the sleep.

While the band is water-proof, I tend to take it off when I shower so it doesn’t keep the moisture around my wrist. I have found that sometimes it will go into sleeping mode when I put it on the counter for a shower, but the added amount of “sleep” is negligible when comparing sleep data.

Just like the Move C300, the on-device screen can display charts of calorie, step, and distance data. In addition, you can see your sleep quality for the past 24 hours and the amount of sleep you’ve gotten per night (or total per day, for those who take naps throughout the day) for the whole week.

When it comes to size, the LifeTrak bands are definitely larger than their competitors. However, the on-screen display makes it easy to know how you’re doing without taking out your phone. In addition, the battery doesn’t require you to take off the band and charge every couple of days. The size of the band doesn’t affect my typing and, honestly, I feel naked whenever I take off the band. It’s extremely comfortable and doesn’t weigh you down.

The LifeTrak Zone C410 is available on Amazon for just $99.

November 7, 2013

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Rather than make you sift through all of these projects, we’re tracking down the best or most notable crowdfunding projects from around the web and delivering them to you in a simple roundup. If there’s a project that you’ve backed – or even a project that you founded – be sure to leave a link below so it can be considered for the next roundup. Check out our complete list of roundups here.

Sprav: Turn your shower into a smart shower (Kickstarter project) – My love for smart devices is never-ending, and the Sprav is yet another perfect example of why I love this next generation technology. Clipping right on to your current shower head, it tracks the amount of water flowing through while you shower. With an LED indicator light at the top that use the same colors as a traffic light, one glance provides you with quick feedback about how much water you’ve gone through.Topping it off, it hooks up to your phone through Bluetooth so you can graph water usage over time.

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November 5, 2013

Yesterday, it was announced that Apple has chosen Mesa, Arizona as the location of their upcoming sapphire crystal manufacturing facility, possibly bringing the material beyond lens covers and Touch ID buttons to full-on displays. Once the location had been discovered, I decided to take a quick trip to the manufacturing facility to see it first-hand. Thanks to some friendly security, I only got so far, but I was able to glean some details from what I saw and heard. expand full story

October 24, 2013

New iOS Remote icon in iTunes tips upcoming app redesign for iOS 7

As discovered by 9to5Mac reader Nicholas, Apple’s Remote application might finally see an iOS 7 makeover alongside a redesigned icon that is seen in the latest version of iTunes (version 11.1.2). While many of Apple’s apps were updated yesterday, Find My Friends, iBooks and Remote didn’t see iOS 7 redesigns or new releases.

When adding a new remote to iTunes, the potentially new icon is shown in the device dropdown. It matches the grid system and looks like an iOS 7 icon. The app was last updated January of this year and currently sports an iOS 6 design.

October 22, 2013

Receive desktop push notifications for any RSS feed with Pronto Push & Mavericks

As part of the new OS X Mavericks, websites can now send push notifications to your computer. Back in June, we featured the first public website that took advantage of the native push notification feature. Today, the same developer, Connor LaCombe, released Pronto Push, a new service that allows you to receive push notifications for any RSS feed.

Rather than waiting for your favorite websites’ developers to add the push notification feature, you can sign up for Pronto Push, type in the websites you’d like to receive notifications for, and immediately receive a push notification when a new post has been added. There’s no software to install, and managing your subscriptions is done through a simple web interface. You can even manage multiple Macs under one account.

Initial setup has to be completed with Safari 7, but after that clicking on notifications will open the related post in your default browser. Notifications come through immediately, so there’s no delay between when a new RSS item is added and when you receive the notification. You can also receive instantaneous Facebook notifications (since the native ones are usually delayed or don’t even appear).

Pronto Push is free and requires Mavericks.

Xcode 5.0.1 released with Mavericks SDK and new build / debug features [update: new versions of OS X Server and Remote Desktop]

Xcode has been updated to version 5.0.1, bringing with it the OS X 10.9 SDK and several new features for developers to use. The app is free in the Mac App Store.

Developers can now use the “Debug Gauge” to see how much power their apps use in realtime. In addition, to go along with the new version of OS X Server ($19.99) that was released today, “continuous integration bots build and test your iOS and OS X apps on OS X Server.”

What’s New in Version 5.0.1

Includes SDKs for OS X 10.9 Mavericks, OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion, and iOS 7.

New features for OS X Mavericks:

• Continuous integration bots build and test your iOS and OS X apps on OS X Server. • Source Control menu creates new remote Git repositories on Mac servers. • Debug Gauge for energy use displays a live graph of your app’s power consumption.

The $79.99 Apple Remote Desktop app was also updated to version 3.7 today, with Mavericks support as the main addition:

What’s New in Version 3.7

This update is recommended for Apple Remote Desktop users and addresses several issues related to overall reliability, usability and compatibility. This update also provides:

– Support for OS X Mavericks – Automatic copy and paste between local and remote computers – Improved support for Mac systems with multiple displays and multiple IP addresses – Enhanced multi-observe with gesture support for swiping between screens

New iLife for Mac apps are live on Mac App Store

The updated versions of iPhoto, iMovie, and GarageBand are now making their way onto the Mac App Store. The icon for iPhoto has been updated on the store, but it’s still displaying “iPhoto ’11” at this time. The latest version released today, 9.5, is available though if you press the install or update button.

Update: For those with boxed/retail versions of iLife, Apple is slowly rolling out the ability to upgrade for free. Keep checking your “Updates” tab in the Mac App Store. If you already made a purchase today, you can hit “Report a Problem” in the Account section of the Store and request a refund.

Updated iWork apps now available in the Mac App Store

Pages, Numbers, and Keynote have been updated on the Mac App Store. Each app is $19.99, unless you’re upgrading to a new Mac or from a previous MAS version. Those who purchased box versions of iWork (back in the day) will need to pay the upgrade costs.

Apple announced the new iWork and iLife in a press release and during the keynote earlier today.

Update: For those with boxed/retail versions of iWork, Apple is slowly rolling out the ability to upgrade for free. Keep checking your “Updates” tab in the Mac App Store. If you already made a purchase today, you can hit “Report a Problem” in the Account section of the Store and request a refund.

New iWork for iCloud beta apps live, include new collaboration feature

The updated iWork for iCloud beta apps are now live on icloud.com. While the Pages, Numbers, and Keynote betas have been available for a few months, the ability to collaborate in realtime was announced during today’s keynote. The apps are now live and available to use on the site with any Mac or PC.

New iWork desktop apps for Mac will be released soon. They will be free with the purchase of a new Mac, but upgrade pricing was not announced.

October 21, 2013

Owl City’s Adam Young reveals himself as creator of iOS 7’s sounds (Update:removed)

According to his discography page, Owl City founder and singer Adam Young is the creator of iOS 7’s sounds. While the visual design changes are most evident in the new operating system, another noticeable change is how most of the regular sounds are revamped and a slew of new ring and text tones are included. Even before Young was revealed as the creator, many noted how the sounds seemed like Owl City’s style:

It is uncertain if Young created all of the tones and sounds, but his involvement in the development alongside Apple has now been made public.

Thanks Rahul!

Update: This entry has removed from Young’s list, likely at Apple’s request.

October 15, 2013

Apple releases new Java update, uninstalls Apple-provided Java applet plug-ins

Apple has released Java for OS X 2013-005, which “delivers improved security, reliability, and compatibility for Java SE 6”. The update is available in the Mac App Store.

Of note, the updates “uninstalls the Apple-provided Java applet plug-in from all web browsers.” New Macs do not come with Java installed and newer versions of Java are released and maintained by Oracle.

Apple’s decision to cut off internal support and development stems from the decreased necessity for the platform and the fact that Mac malware usually comes from Java security holes. On Apple’s security page for the latest update, it is noted that some holes existed in the software:

Multiple vulnerabilities existed in Java 1.6.0_51, the most serious of which may allow an untrusted Java applet to execute arbitrary code outside the Java sandbox. Visiting a web page containing a maliciously crafted untrusted Java applet may lead to arbitrary code execution with the privileges of the current user. These issues were addressed by updating to Java version 1.6.0_65. Further information is available via the Java website at http://www.oracle.com/technetwork/java/javase/releasenotes-136954.html

October 14, 2013

The ultimate book for the true Apple fanatic: “Iconic: A Photographic Tribute to Apple Innovation”

Over its lifetime, Apple has introduced hundreds of products that have displayed revolutions and evolutions in design from the 70s to the modern technology era. The company has had more than its fair share of extremely successful products and some other devices that the company might want everyone to forget (remember the Bluetooth headset that came out with the original iPhone?). For the first time ever, photographs of over 500 devices have been taken and brought together into one beautiful book: “Iconic: A Photographic Tribute to Apple Innovation”.

October 13, 2013

Print

Rather than make you sift through all of these projects, we’re rounding up the best or most notable projects from around the crowdfunding web and delivering them to you in a simple roundup. If there’s a project that you’ve backed – or even a project that you founded – be sure to leave a link below so it can be considered for the next roundup. Check out our complete list of roundups here.

  • Multipath Router (Indiegogo project) Now that Siri on iOS 7 takes advantage of multipath, a smarter internet technology that can take advantage of all web connections at the same time, the technology has gotten a boost in exposure and consumer interest. Multipath Networks has come out with a new router that can take advantage of your regular DSL/cable connection and boost it using your cell phone or neighbor’s internet, if they permit. The router itself starts at $199. expand full story

October 5, 2013

Powering your mobile devices: Anker Astro3 12,000mAh external battery and Energizer cup inverter [Dual review]

No matter where you are, keeping an eye on your devices’ battery levels can feel like a full time job. To make matters worse, energy sources can be hard to come by when you’re out and about or traveling. In this dual review post, we’ll look at two ways to charge up: through the Anker Astro3, an external battery, and the Energizer Power 180W cup inverter for your car.

Energizer Power 180W Cup Inverter

USB cigarette lighter adapters with one or two ports are extremely cheap and great for charging up your phone while driving around. However, sometimes your energy demands might be a bit more complex. If your computer battery is low, wouldn’t it be great to charge up on the way to that important meeting or class? That’s where an inverter comes in.

Most car inverters are ugly, loud, or huge. Instead, the Energizer Power 180W cup inverter flips right into one of your cup holders and doesn’t even make a peep. To top it off, you can split the charge between the four USB ports and a regular outlet.

About the size of a coffee mug, the device has been quietly hiding in the cupholder of my car for a couple of months now. It’s been extremely convenient when I’ve been out all day and away from plugs. Rather than plugging in my computer to an inverter and then plugging my iPhone into my MacBook, this makes it easy to plug in my iPhone and computer directly to the inverter.

In addition, you get the Energizer brand name and safety approvals – it conforms to several safety standards like UL 458.

At just around $32 on Amazon, this is great for professionals or students that spend a lot of time in their car and always need to have their devices charged up and ready to go.

Anker Astro3

This second generation device definitely packs a load of energy in a small amount of space. Great for travelers, students, professionals, or anyone else who’s always on-the-go, the Astro3 is only about 4.5 x 3.5 x 1 inches yet over 12,000 mAh of power is packed into the 10.6 ounce (~3 iPhone 5s) device.

Charging up your devices

Boasting three USB ports – one “Smart” port that can tell the device type and deliver the fastest speed charge (great for iPads and other large tablets) and two universal 5V ports – the Astro3 can charge three devices at once. Once a device has been plugged in, the button-less battery just requires a quick shake to start pushing out the energy.

With such a massive capacity, this device took forever to test and review. At a full charge, I was able to get just about 6 full empty-to-full charges for my iPhone before the Astro3 needed to be plugged in again.

Charging up the battery

The Astro3 has a micro-USB port and, together with the included Micro-USB to USB cord, charges up through a wall plug or computer. There are a couple of caveats when it comes to charging the Astro3: you can’t charge devices while the battery is charging, some wall plugs may not be compatible (the iPhone wall plug doesn’t charge up the device, from my testing), and it takes about 8-10 hours to charge from empty to full. Seeing that you get a full 12,000 mAh of energy (the iPhone 5’s battery is 1,440 mAh for reference), it’s worth the time.

While it’s charging the indicator light on the top shows how much you’ve charged up. Shaking the device at any time will also show the charge level, so it’s easy to shake and check to see if it needs a bit more juice before you head out.

Compatibility

Since the output ports are USB, you can plug in an array of smartphones, tablets, and even accessories (I’ve charged up my Bluetooth headphones successfully). Anker provides this non-exclusive list of compatible devices:  iPhone 5s, 5, 4S, 4; Samsung Galaxy S4, S3, Note 2; iPad 4, 3, 2, iPad Mini; Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1, Note 8; HTC One, EVO, Thunderbolt, Incredible, Droid DNA; Motorola ATRIX, Droid; Google Nexus 4, Nexus 7, Nexus 10 and LG Optimus, among other devices.

Wrap-up, availability & pricing

With a sleek design, massive capacity, and simple button-free user experience, the Astro3 is a must-buy for those who need extra energy for their devices wherever they go. It’s available from Amazon for just $49.99 – you can also browse through the over 88 5-star reviews for this high-capacity external battery.

October 3, 2013

Snapchat introduces “Stories”, a narrative built with snaps

Snapchat, the popular photo messaging app that is used to share over 350M photos every day, has added a substantial feature in the latest version of their app: Snapchat Stories.

The Verge has a great piece on the new feature:

“Stories: a rolling compilation of snaps from the last 24 hours that your friends can see. You create your Story as you go about your day by tapping “My Story” above the friends you want to send a snap to. Or, you can tap a new shortcut button in the app’s camera screen to instantly post a snap to your Story. But unlike conventional snaps, Stories don’t disappear in a puff of ephemeral smoke after you’ve watched them. You can watch a friend’s (or your own) Story over and over.”

Each Story is the sum of all the snaps you’ve added over the last 24 hours, which means its size is always fluctuating. What doesn’t change is that every piece of the Story is less than a day old, so viewing one might be the fastest way to see what a friend’s been up to. Snapchat may not look much like Facebook, but with Stories, the company is taking its first steps toward competing with Facebook’s most important product: News Feed.

Rather than falling for pressure from users to add a “send all” button or allow for groups, the company appears to be pushing for the new Stories feature as a way to share moments with all of your friends.

Snapchat is free in the App Store.

Netflix 5.0 for iOS brings HD and AirPlay streaming to iOS 7 devices

Netflix has just released version 5.0 of their iOS app, bringing Netflix HD and AirPlay streaming to iOS 7 users.

With AirPlay streaming, videos can be streamed from the device to an Apple TV while running the background. The feature no longer relies on AirPlay mirroring, so users aren’t tied to the app while watching videos on their TVs.

From my personal experience with version 5.0, the iPad app isn’t working with AirPlay streaming yet, but HD is available. On the iPhone, AirPlay streaming (in the background) is working as well as HD.

What’s New in Version 5.0

* Netflix HD for iOS 7 * AirPlay streaming for iOS 7 (requires disabling AirPlay mirroring) * Playback optimizations * Stability improvements

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