Steve Krug

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Microsoft's Yusuf Mehdi Explains The Xbox One's Split With Kinect

Microsoft surprised everyone today by announcing a couple of huge changes to the Xbox One, chief among them the fact that the console would be available at a $399 price point starting in June, minus the formerly bundled Kinect motion/voice control system.<p>There’s already a debate raging about …

Researchers Create Micro-Flyer That "Swims" in Air

This miniature flying machine moves like a jellyfish, not like a bee.<p>Lief Ristroph and Stephen Childress of New York University have taken an alternate route around evolution's highway: They've created a miniature flying machine that moves not like a bird or insect, but a jellyfish. Rather than …

How Did Insects Evolve To Feast On Your Blood?

For the past several weeks, I’ve been wrapping up revisions on my bed bug book, which is due to my publisher at the end of this month. Going through the manuscript got me thinking not only about the origin of the bed bug, but of bloodsucking insects in general. When did that happen? And how exactly …

A Smartwatch That Tells Time With Scent

An idea that doesn't stink<p>Most smartwatches constantly pester their wearers about appointments, e-mails, or even calories they have left to burn. Aisen Caro Chacin, who teaches physical computing at the Parsons New School for Design in New York, has built one that doesn’t blast stressful reminders. …

8 Seriously Creepy Things Kids Have Said About Their Imaginary Friends

A Reddit user asked people on the social media website to share stories of the creepiest things their kids have ever said. Blogger “Single Dad …

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NASA's E.T. smartphone satellite has phoned home

NASA's extraterrestrial smartphone has phoned home.<p>The 4-inch-square satellite, PhoneSat 2.4, which uses an off-the-shelf Samsung Nexus S phone running Google's Android operating system, transmitted data back to its Santa Clara University ground station, the space agency announced last week.<p>As the …

Is the Galaxy J being teased for Taiwan in this Samsung video?

Samsung has posted a short video teaser on its Taiwan YouTube channel in which in hints a new Galaxy handset may be launched in the region on December 9.<p>Entitled “Just for you,” the 20-second video clip teases a smartphone that’s “just fit,” “just simple,” “just elegant,” “just fast,” and therefore …

Phones

Is It Game Over For The Xbox One Thanks To Mandatory Kinect?

Paul Tassi argues, quite persuasively, that the reason Xbox One is behind the PlayStation 4 is the inclusion of the Kinect, a voice-and-motion sensor that allows users to control the console via voice commands.<p>He quotes analyst Michael Pachter, who says that the “reason Sony beats Microsoft is …

The iWallet Is Coming

<i>Post updated to reflect a misstatement about when Apple rolled out self checkout to its stores.</i><p>This week, Apple unveiled the first large-scale integration of iBeacon, a technology that, when coupled with their fingerprint identification system, may be another building block in building a …

Bluetooth advances herald sleeker wearables that charge wirelessly

Imagine a Pebble without the need for a proprietary charging connector. Or how about a Galaxy Gear that doesn't lose connection to your phone every time you walk away for a quick errand? Both are evolutionary steps on the way to a truly desirable smartwatch and this week sees a pair of new …

Apple Tops Dell as Most Sought After Desktop Computers

According to new a survey done by market research firm Parks Associates (via <i>CNET</i>), Apple desktops have become the most sought after desktop computers this holiday season, beating out longtime holiday desktop leader Dell and other competitors such as HP and Acer. This marks the first time that Apple …

Microsoft labels US government a ‘persistent threat' in plan to cut off NSA spying

Microsoft is unveiling an aggressive plan today to combat government surveillance. Brad Smith, Microsoft’s general counsel, says the software giant shares the concerns of its own customers about government surveillance of the internet, and is planning to address them with improved encryption, legal …

Google's humanoid robots take on Amazon's courier drones

Online shopping is not the most glamorous aspect of the digital revolution, but it has just become the latest Silicon Valley battleground, with droids racing drones to become the courier of the future.<p>First Amazon promised to eliminate the drudgery of the post office queue with parcels delivered by …

Xbox One buyers run into dodgy disc drives

<b>New Xbox One owners are having the same luck of the draw that took the shine off Sony's PS4 launch. This time, it's the Xbox's slot-loading disc</b> …

Motorola turns to 3D printing to bring its ambitious modular smartphones to life

Motorola’s futuristic smartphones now have an equally futuristic manufacturing method: 3D printing.<p>Motorola announced today that it’s inked a deal with 3D printing giant 3D Systems to put together its Project Ara smartphones, which the company announced last month.<p>Essentially a Lego take on …

Microsoft to get EU approval for $7.3B Nokia deal, report says

Microsoft will soon have its smartphone business.<p>The Redmond, Wash., software giant is set to win unconditional regulatory approval from the European Union, according to Reuters, which cited people familiar with the matter.<p>The deal is virtually done, with Nokia shareholders having already given it …

Windows Phone

One Way or Another, Big TV Is Getting Bigger. Will You Care?

Shutterstock / Stokkete<p>Can Comcast, the country’s biggest pay-TV provider, really get bigger?<p>That’s the scenario that’s floating out today, sparked …

India could replace the US as Facebook’s #1 market in a matter of months

Facebook has had wild success with its push into emerging markets.<p>Now Jana CEO Nathan Eagle is predicting that it will only be months before India supplants the US and becomes Facebook’s largest market in terms of users. Eagle earlier this month had forecast that most of the social networking …

Developing Countries

Google Wallet lets you capture credit card info with your smartphone camera

The contents of your wallet are under attack. Earlier this month Coin swept in threatening to eliminate the need for all of your beloved non-cash payment methods and now Google Wallet is making it even easier to capture your plastic with its latest Android update. Along with the introduction of its …

Cable consolidation isn’t about TV: It’s about broadband

Given the rumors that Comcast (s cmcsa) is talking with regulators to see if it could find a way to buy Time Warner Cable (s twc) and that Liberty …

You Can Now Buy Nest’s $129 Protect Smart Smoke Alarm

Nest’s Protect smoke alarm is now available for purchase. The $129 device comes in black or white with versions for wired power or battery.<p>The Protect measures both smoke and carbon monoxide and features several smart features, such as the ability to turn off an alarm with the wave of a hand. In …

Microsoft sells over 1 million Xbox One consoles in less than 24 hours

Sony isn't the only one that had a fantastic next-gen console launch. Microsoft has just announced that it, too, sold through one million Xbox One game systems in less than 24 hours. It's not a direct comparison, however: Microsoft launched in 13 countries, while the PlayStation 4 racked up one …

Raspberry Pi hack creates a smart TV from a not-so-bright set

Many of us only wish we could upgrade our less-than-smart TVs. Carnivore at <i>DroidBuild</i>, however, has taken matters into his own hands -- he recently finished installing a Raspberry Pi-based media center into his own 40-inch Hisense screen. The hack replaces the TV's built-in speaker with a Raspbmc …

PulseOn, A Wearable Tech Startup Spun Out Of Nokia, Says It Has The Most Accurate Heart Monitor In The World

During Tero Mennader's five-year stint at Nokia, he worked on developing a piece of now-patented technology for incredibly accurate, "beat-to-beat" heart rate measurement.<p>Just last year, Mennader spun out the idea from Nokia to create PulseOn.<p>PulseOn is a heart rate monitor that you wear on your …

Google Glass may have found a prescription lens partner

Google is in talks with an American vision benefits provider to get Google Glass into the hands of the people who know eyes the best: doctors.<p>VSP Global, which insures eye care for millions of Americans and also makes eyeglass lenses and frames, has been talking to Google about how best to …

Google Glass

Xbox One Problems Affect Only 'a Very Small Number' of Customers

The Xbox One may only have been on sale for around 24 hours, but that’s plenty of time for launch day gremlins to rear their head.<p>According to various reports, some of the launch day Xbox One units seem to be suffering from assorted hardware problems – just like the PlayStation 4.<p>The issues, which …

Review: Xbox One makes strong play for living room

In the early days of the video game console, consumers were buying a device built with one purpose: to play games.<p>That mind-set started to change during the era of Sony's PlayStation 3, Nintendo's Wii and Microsoft's Xbox 360, when the inclusion of applications to listen to music, view movies and …

Xbox One: the 10 key launch titles

With the PlayStation 4 now available in North America, this week belongs to the multi-territory roll-out of the Xbox One. Although the console rivals are currently playing it nice with a series of tweeted congratulations and good luck messages (bless!), Microsoft will be looking to make a major …