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3D plant scans will help build lighter, stronger cars

Don't look now, but the plants in your backyard might just shape the next generation of cars. University of Freiburg researchers have found a way to study the junctions between living plants' branches and stems using MRI scans, giving insight into how they cope under strain. The 3D images should …

Gardening

Aviate's 'Smart Stream' is Yahoo's version of Google Now

Yahoo has given Aviate its first major makeover since acquiring it in 2014, completely replacing its contextual panel called "Spaces" with a new feature called "Smart Stream." This "stream" surfaces different cards throughout the day, depending on your location and activity. Sound familiar? Yep, …

Yahoo

Apple's GarageBand uses trackpad pressure to control your tunes

Apple's Force Touch trackpads haven't done a whole lot in official apps besides fast scrolling and shortcuts, but they'll do considerably more if you grab the latest version of GarageBand. As of the 10.1 update, you can use the pressure-sensitive pad on newer MacBooks and MacBook Pros to vary the …

Trackpads

Sprint (almost) fixed the low video cap on its new 'All-in' plan

This morning Sprint announced it planned to "end consumer confusion and frustration" with an "All-in" pricing plan that combined unlimited data with a two-year phone lease for $80 total. The only problem? An absurd limit capping video streams at 600kbps. Tonight, CEO Marcelo Claure announced that …

Streaming

Smart software fixes bugs by 'borrowing' from other apps

The days of waiting anxiously for bug fixes (assuming they come at all) might soon be over. MIT developers have built a system, CodePhage, that automatically patches flaws by borrowing features from other apps. The tool scans apps to see how they perform security checks, and imports any superior …

Software

YouTube app for Android and iOS now supports 60 FPS playback

Google's been systematically rolling out high frame rate (HFR) video -- that's 60 frames per second -- across its YouTube ecosystem for a couple of months now. HFR debuted on standard videos last October. It hit YT's live streaming service in May and today Google announced that the YouTube mobile …

YouTube

The Olympus Air lens camera can be yours for $300

Nearly five months after introducing its Air lens camera in Japan, Olympus is finally ready to bring it to the US. The AIR A01, as it's officially named, is a shooter that attaches to and pairs with your smartphone or tablet -- in similar fashion to Sony's QX line of devices. Spec-wise, the Olympus …

Cameras

VPNs may not protect your information as well as you think

VPNs (virtual private networks) are a popular choice for sidestepping censorship and geographic restrictions on services like Netflix with more than 20 percent of Europeans using them. However, researchers at the Queen Mary, University of London recently examined 14 of the region's most popular VPN …

University of London

Acer rolls out a curved, super-wide display with AMD's gaming tech

You can get desktop PC displays that are curved, super-wide and gaming-friendly, but all three at once? That's tricky. Thankfully, Acer thinks it has an answer. The company has just launched the 34-inch XR341CK in the US, giving you a curvy, 21:9 aspect ratio LCD with AMD's anti-tearing FreeSync …

AMD

NSA can restart bulk data collection, says surveillance court

The ongoing saga around the NSA's bulk data collection program is getting even more confusing. A U.S. Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court ruled yesterday that the program can temporarily resume, refuting a Second Circuit court decision from May deeming it illegal, reports the New York Times. …

Surveillance

Doomed Indiegogo hopes to crowdfund Greece's debt relief

Can crowdfunding do something better than make a beer cooler with a built-in Bluetooth speaker? That's what Thom Feeney believes after setting up an Indiegogo campaign to pay Greece's $1.7 billion loan fee that it owes to the International Monetary Fund. The project is hoping to raise the cash by …

Debt Relief

Facebook Messenger's money-sending tool arrives for all US users

When it first announced plans to let you send money to your pals in its Messenger app, Facebook said the feature would roll out in the States in the coming months. Well, the time has come. After flipping the switch for folks in New York City and the surrounding areas in late May, the social network …

Facebook

The best of Public Access Vol. 3: the Atari ST, virtues of HD Audio and more

You can learn a lot from someone's personal gadget arsenal, whether at home or on the road. This past week on Public Access gave us a glimpse of your technological inclinations and taught us quite a bit. Miné Salkin's at-home gear is all about enabling multimedia storytelling and journalism, and …

Atari

This is what innovation looks like in big-budget video games

Indie games don't sell as many copies as big-budget titles, though not necessarily because they're lower-quality. In general, indie game development starts with a handicap: a limited market. They are, mostly, experiences made for niche audiences. AAA games -- think Call of Duty, Halo, Battlefield,

Innovation

Cisco buys a DNS provider to protect you in the cloud

When you think of internet security from Cisco, you probably imagine firewalls and routers (usually) stopping hackers and malware from hitting your network. You're going to have to expand that definition very shortly, though. Cisco has snapped up OpenDNS, whose domain name services you might have …

Cisco Systems

A closer look at Apple Music

Apple Music is here. Finally. Now that the company steered the streaming service to a successful launch, it now has to prove to the world that it's actually something worth paying for — after all, there are like 80 other streaming music services (maybe not, but it feels like it) fighting for the …

Fall Out Boy

'Quiplash,' a streaming party game for 10,000 people

Most people haven't hosted a party for 10,000 guests (the bathroom situation alone is daunting), but thanks to the internet and Jackbox Games, that's now a super-easy, low-mess situation. Quiplash is the newest game from Jackbox -- makers of You Don't Know Jack and Fibbage-- and it boasts a pretty …

Party Game

Apple will replace your battery once it hits 80 percent health

Apple's recently changed the terms of its AppleCare+ extended warranty program. Now, no matter what iOS or OSX device you own (yes, even the Watch), Apple will replace the battery as soon as it hits 80 percent health. That's up 30 points from the previous 50 percent threshold for iOS devices. …

Batteries

YouTube shows off some upcoming features for video creators

YouTube's always placed huge levels of importance on its community, starting with the people who regularly upload content to the platform. Now, to make things better for video creators, the Google-owned service has revealed a list of features that are in the works. Most notably, YouTube is set to …

YouTube

Beats Music iOS update provides a smooth transition to Apple Music

Now that Apple Music has arrived, Beats Music is on its way out. To help ease the transition from the old to the new, the Beats Music iOS app was updated to lend a hand. Subscribers can take playlists and any saved music over to the new service without have to reconfigure everything after the …

iTunes

NASA prototypes a drone aircraft destined for Mars

No, you're not looking at a very sophisticated boomerang -- that may be the first aircraft to fly the Marian skies. NASA has revealed that it's building a prototype for Prandtl-m (Preliminary Research Aerodynamic Design to Land on Mars), a glider drone that would launch from a descending rover and …

Mars

Sprint's 'all-in' plan gives you a phone and service for $80

Sprint has been experimenting with including phone leases in your plan for a while, and it's clearly enraptured with the idea -- enough so that it's making the lease a part of its everyday service. The carrier's new All-In plan gives you a phone and the usual unlimited data, messaging and voice for …

Streaming

How to avoid being charged by Apple Music after the free trial

Apple Music is finally here, along with a free three month trial to let anyone give it a listen. But what if you don't want to be on the hook for a $10 a month subscription fee on September 30? Or, what if you opted into Apple Music by mistake (which is surprisingly easy, since it's the first thing …

iTunes

Top Googler leaves to set up new cybersecurity agency

One of Google's most well-regarded security researchers is leaving the company, reportedly to help the government beef up its cybersecuity. Re/code is reporting that Peiter "Mudge" Zatko will be building a new agency that examines electronic threats in a similar manner as the famous Underwriters …

Google

Pushbullet's share-everything app gets true messaging

Pushbullet is already a secret weapon for getting content from one device (or one person) to another -- you can relay your links, notifications, photos and SMS messages with a common app. Today, though, it's getting considerably more powerful. As part of a revamp, Pushbullet's desktop, mobile and …

Software

Giant American robot wants to lay the smackdown on Japanese rival

Two giant robots with blazing guns is what apocalyptic nightmares and Michael Bay films are made of. While those autonomous machines continue to live in the fictional world, a breed of towering rideable robots is becoming a reality. One such machine is the MegaBot, a 15-foot tall bot large enough …

Robots

Apple to pay $450 million in e-book price-fixing suit

Apple conspired with publishers to artificially raise the price of e-books, the Second US Circuit Court of Appeals in Manhattan ruled today, upholding a verdict from 2013. Now that the company has lost its appeal, Apple is expected to pay $450 million, most of it to e-book customers. Apple agreed …

Price Fixing

Arrested Uber France executives will stand trial on September 30th

The two Uber executives who were arrested yesterday will stand trial on September 30th, according to Reuters. Uber France CEO Thibaud Simphal and European GM Pierre-Dimitri Gore-Coty stand accused of running an illegal ride-sharing service, as well as "concealing digital documents" from the …

France

AMC's 'Humans' is an android story that's really about us

Early on in AMC's newest sci-fi show, Humans, a teenager wonders aloud if there's any point in going to college and spending years training to be a neurosurgeon. After all, why invest all that time and work when an advanced android, which are commonplace in the show's world, can be programmed with …

Science Fiction

Apple Music is now available on iOS devices

Apple's entry into the music streaming fray has arrived. Apple Music is now available for download via the iOS 8.4 update for mobile devices, and you'll be able use it on the desktop on both Mac and Windows machines, too. In addition to iTunes' library of over 30 million tracks, you'll also be able …

iTunes