Brandon Hertel

618 Flips | 5 Magazines | 4 Following | 130 Followers | @brandonhertel | Keep up with Brandon Hertel on Flipboard, a place to see the stories, photos, and updates that matter to you. Flipboard creates a personalized magazine full of everything, from world news to life’s great moments. Download Flipboard for free and search for “Brandon Hertel”

Google’s Internet-Beaming Balloon Gets a New Pilot: AI

This summer, the Google X lab launched a balloon into the stratosphere over Peru, and it stayed there for 98 days.<p>Launching balloons into the …

What's Inside Blue Ballpoint Ink? Fatty Acids and Alcohol

<b>Synthetic Dyes</b><p>Patents for ballpoint pens go back to the late 1800s, but it took half a century to develop good, fast-drying inks. Bic, Pilot, and …

Creative design makes this B.C. social housing project ‘tenant-proof’

The building at the corner of Helmcken and Richards streets in Vancouver looks like an average new condo: sharp modern design, acid-green panels lighting up the putty-grey exterior, roof garden perched high above.<p>In fact, Jubilee House is social housing. And not just another serviceable …

On-demand music streaming has won

The ad-supported model dominates. And the major labels don’t like it.<p><i>A version of this essay was originally published at</i> <i>Tech.pinions</i><i>, a website dedicated to informed opinions, insight and perspective on the tech industry.</i><p>This past week has seen headlines about three different companies each seeking …

Mobile

New MIT tech lets you mess with objects in pre-recorded video

Despite everything going on within the frame, videos are still a passive experience to observe. You can't reach in and mess with the objects you're watching — until now. An MIT researcher has pioneered new technology that lets you "touch" recorded things, which are simulated to respond like you'd …

The sun finally sets on China's lunar rover

China's Jade Rover has led a pretty interesting life even by the standards of most devices sent to examine another celestial body. It began its tour of duty on the moon back in 2013, died and was resurrected in 2014 before making a huge discovery in 2015. But now, alas, <i>Xinhua News</i> is reporting that …

Israel Proves the Desalination Era Is Here

<i>From Ensia (find the original story here); reprinted with permission.</i><p>July 19, 2016 — Ten miles south of Tel Aviv, I stand on a catwalk over two …

23 Alton Brown Recipes You Have to Try ASAP

Alton Brown recipes are always a good idea, because the Food Network chef knows a thing or two (million) about food. The <b>Cutthroat Kitchen</b> host and longtime TV favorite is known for treating cooking like science (nitrus oxide cold brew, anyone?), and his vast culinary knowledge makes his recipes …

Gear of the Year: Spring/Summer 2016

Slip into a new hiking boot, and you can feel the freedom of the trail even miles from the trailhead. Grip new handlebars, and the wind practically whistles in your ear right there in the bike shop. Stuff isn’t going to make you happy, but it’s going to make the activities that make you happy …

Backpacking

The Exec Behind Amazon's Alexa: Full Transcript of Fortune's Interview

Amazon’s voice assistant Alexa has become a hugely popular and growing business. In fact, David Limp, an Amazon senior vice president who oversees …

Mercedes unveils world's first completely electric semi truck

European car companies are starting to invest more heavily in green vehicles. Audi unveiled three more electric cars on Monday and Porsche added 400 jobs to how many it estimates it will create to make its electric Model E come to life. Today, Daimler revealed its milestone that wasn't in the …

Adobe's virtual oil paint adds texture to digital painting

While there are plenty of apps that can realistically emulate the look of brushstrokes on a 2D digital canvas (and even some in 3D space), none have accurately simulated the way a paintbrush actually behaves in a realistic, 3D environment. Now a new collaboration between Adobe and NVIDIA called …

Digital Art

Third-party feature add-ons are now available in Google Docs and Sheets for Android

Back in 2014, Google introduced add-ons to Docs and Sheets that allowed third-party apps to build extra functionality into Drive. Add-ons are now coming to Google Drive on Android with several apps, like DocuSign and Scanbot, already updated with the new seamless integration. All third-party …

Apps

Anyone can now print out all TSA master keys

Shortly after <i>The Washington Post</i> inadvertently published a photo of seven TSA master keys, a group of security experts were able to copy their designs and release their 3D models online. Now, these same experts have deciphered the secrets of the eighth and last master key the agency uses even …

Samsung HDR update improves the color in its high-end TVs

Samsung is rolling out a firmware update for its 2016 lineup of quantum dot SUHD TVs that adds an "HDR+" setting, giving them more and brighter colors, deeper blacks and improved contrast. It significantly enhances HDR content from providers like Netflix, Amazon and YouTube, and will also improve …

Comet lander Philae says goodbye as communications are cut

Farewell Philae, it was a short but wild ride. In February, mission controllers said goodbye to the comet lander, but kept comms open with mother ship Rosetta on the slight chance it might wake up. "It's cold & dark on #67P ... but I won't give up just yet," Philae tweeted hopefully. However, …

'Life is Strange' is getting its own digital series

The massively popular adventure game <i>Life is Strange</i> is getting its very own digital series, care of the minds behind Legendary Digital Studios and Square Enix.<p><i>Life is Strange</i> was originally released as an episodic adventure from Dontnod and Square Enix, following teenager Max Caulfield as she found …

MIT's ridesharing network is learning to dodge pedestrians

Lyft and Uber already operate in and around Boston, but students on MIT's campus in Cambridge, MA also have a new, research-oriented option for on-demand ridesharing. Ford and MIT announced today a new project that will shuttle students around on both campus walkways and city streets in a fleet of …

Chrome for iOS now highlights AMP articles for instant page loading

Google’s official iOS app has supported AMP articles in search results since late May, and today Google is highlighting support for AMP articles in its Chrome browser for iPhone and iPad. Accelerated Mobile Pages appear in search results and load nearly instantly as these articles are optimized for …

iOS Apps

Google Maps on mobile & web gets a cleaner design, areas of interest, & colored pins

While Google Maps has had several UI changes on the web and mobile over the past few years, the actual map layer has remained the same. Starting today, however, Google is making a few visual changes and additions to Maps on desktop, Android, and iOS that will help with navigation.<p>First off, the map …

Maps

Google & others may soon be barred from using SMS for two-factor authentication

The default option for Google’s two-factor authentication (2FA) is to have a code sent to you via SMS. The US National Institute for Standards and Technology, which sets the standards for authentication software, says that text messaging is not sufficiently secure, and that its use for two-factor …

Authentication

Family Library allows Google Play purchase sharing w/ up to six members on Android, iOS, web

As originally telegraphed earlier this year, the Play Store will now allow users to share eligible apps, games, movies, TV shows, or books with up to six people. The Google Play Family Library has a number of controls to manage sharing and is being rolled internationally over the next few …

Android News

Pokemon Go hits 50 million downloads on Play Store, Plus accessory delayed to September

With its international rollout under way, Pokemon Go has reached 50 million downloads on Google Play this weekend. According to app firm Sensor Tower, it is the fastest game to exceed 50 million installs and is currently still the top free Android app. Also, while server issues and other bugs have …

Pokémon

The Ticwatch 2 is a $99 Android-powered smartwatch that hit its Kickstarter goal in just 10 minutes

<i>From</i> <i>9to5Toys.com</i>:<p>Smartwatches and fitness trackers have enjoyed quite a bit of popularity over the last 18 months as manufacturers like Apple, Motorola, Huawei and others vie for the prime wrist real estate. By and large, you need to get into the $200+ category to really cash in on a full featured …

Wearable Tech

Spotify swaps slide-out navigation for a bottom bar in its latest Android beta update

Android apps have slowly been adopting bottom bars in their UI since the option was added to Google’s Material Design spec last year. Apps like Google+ and Google Photos have been prime examples of the design for a while, but recently Spotify has added the same UI to its Android …

Apps

Google Play Store picks up 8 new app categories to bolster discovery experience

Finding the best Android apps can be really hard, so to help its users find the apps they want a bit easier, Google has just added eight new categories to the Play Store along with renaming two others. These new categories include options such as Art, Dating, Events, and much more. The full list …

Apps

To free the creative process from the keyboard, a designer invented off-screen tools for all to use

“We change our minds by moving our hands,” wrote cognitive psychologist Susan Goldin-Meadow in a seminal 2014 study about how gestures and physical tasks deepen and enhance creative thinking. But for most designers, gone are the days of drawing pads, inks, pencils, glues, rulers, thumbnails and …

Photoshop

Google Fonts just got a huge Material Design overhaul, and it’s beautiful [Video]

Google has today completely revamped its longstanding Google Fonts website with Material Design, making it easier — and more beautiful — than ever to browse and try out the site’s huge collection of open source designer fonts. The old Fonts site — which first launched in 2010 — was practically …

Typography

Google Calendar on Android will now tell you when you’re free for an event

In April, Google Calendar for Work and Education received the ability to “find a time” when your coworkers are free for a meeting. Now an update to the Android app adds a similar “when you’re free” feature to all personal Google accounts when scheduling an event.<p>After choosing what day an event is …

Google Calendar