Smart mattress cover can control the temperature and the coffeemaker

For those who can’t commit to a $1,000 mattress (a lot of people, most likely) even if it is high-tech, this much cheaper smart mattress cover called Luna might be the better choice. It’s embedded with sensors to detect breathing and heart rate, accelerometers to track sleep patterns and microphones to hear your snoring. The cover then sends data to an Android or iOS app and adjusts temperatures accordingly, depending on your preference. Yep, it heats up or cools down to make you feel comfortable, and it can supposedly even maintain different temperatures on each side of the bed.

Even better, since it’s open source, you can make it work with the rest of a connected home, assuming you’ve been replacing your fixtures and furniture with their internet-connected counterparts. Luna can integrate with Nest, and you can also program it so that your smart door lock activates when you get into bed, or so that the coffeemaker starts brewing as soon as you wake up. It’s not exactly available just yet, but it’s now open for preorder for $179 a piece.

via Smart mattress cover can control the temperature and the coffeemaker.

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The wearable tool, the new Leatherman Tread – Leatherman Blog

This summer, Leatherman Tool Group, Inc. will debut an industry first: a multi-tool that can be worn on the wrist. The Leatherman Tread is crafted of high strength, corrosion resistant 17-4 stainless steel links that include two to three functional tools each, making a total of 25 usable features like box wrenches and screwdrivers available at a moment’s notice.

“The idea originated on a trip to Disneyland with my family,” said President Ben Rivera. “I was stopped at the gate by security for carrying a knife, when what they had actually seen was my Skeletool. I was unwilling to give it up, so they made me take it all the way back to my hotel room. I knew there had to be another way to carry my tools with me that would be accepted by security.” When he returned from his trip, Rivera, who began his tenure at Leatherman Tool Group 24 years ago as an engineer, began by wearing a bike chain bracelet to see how it would feel. As his thoughts took shape, he brought his idea to the engineers at Leatherman who helped fast track his plans.

via The wearable tool, the new Leatherman Tread – Leatherman Blog.

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Project HoloLens: Our Exclusive Hands-On With Microsoft’s Holographic Goggles | WIRED

It’s the end of October, when the days have already grown short in Redmond, Washington, and gray sheets of rain are just beginning to let up. In several months, Microsoft will unveil its most ambitious undertaking in years, a head-mounted holographic computer called Project HoloLens. But at this point, even most people at Microsoft have never heard of it. I walk through the large atrium of Microsoft’s Studio C to meet its chief inventor, Alex Kipman.

The headset is still a prototype being developed under the codename Project Baraboo, or sometimes just “B.” Kipman, with shoulder-length hair and severely cropped bangs, is a nervous inventor, shifting from one red Converse All-Star to the other. Nervous, because he’s been working on this pair of holographic goggles for five years. No, even longer. Seven years, if you go back to the idea he first pitched to Microsoft, which became Kinect. When the motion-sensing Xbox accessory was released, just in time for the 2010 holidays, it became the fastest-selling consumer gaming device of all time.

Kipman leads me into a briefing room with a drop-down screen, plush couches, and a corner bar stocked with wine and soda (we abstain). He sits beside me, then stands, paces a bit, then sits down again. His wind-up is long. He gives me an abbreviated history of computing, speaking in complete paragraphs, with bushy, expressive eyebrows and saucer eyes that expand as he talks. The next era of computing, he explains, won’t be about that original digital universe. “It’s about the analog universe,” he says. “And the analog universe has a fundamentally different rule set.”

Translation: you used to compute on a screen, entering commands on a keyboard. Cyberspace was somewhere else. Computers responded to programs that detailed explicit commands. In the very near future, you’ll compute in the physical world, using voice and gesture to summon data and layer it atop physical objects. Computer programs will be able to digest so much data that they’ll be able to handle far more complex and nuanced situations. Cyberspace will be all around you.

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via Project HoloLens: Our Exclusive Hands-On With Microsoft’s Holographic Goggles | WIRED.

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Obama’s Community-Broadband Plan: 4 Ways to Understand His State of the Union Pitch

You’re going to hear words in tonight’s State of the Union address about “community broadband,” Internet connections built by cities or counties for their citizens.

After the State of the Union, if you stay tuned in to the news, you will then hear more than a few arguments against President Obama’s sales pitch. For example, you may hear that collective ownership of the means of watching cat videos is a taxpayer-funded boondoggle.

And, yes, at its worst, taxpayer-funded or municipal broadband can be just that. But it can also by a sane way for a community to respond to being left with only one broadband provider. Here are four things to realize about community broadband.

1. We Don’t Have Enough Broadband Choices Continue reading

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Please don’t use these passwords. Sincerely, the Internet

Think you’re protected from web attacks with your strong passwords? When hackers seize control of computers to create botnets, they can cause plenty of collateral damage, and their ticket in is often stupid-simple: terrible passwords. SplashData has just released its annual list of the worst of them, and things have changed depressingly little over last year. The most commonly hacked password is still “123456,” which edged out the perennial I-can’t-believe-people-still-use-this entry, “password.” Other top picks in the an alphanumeric hall of shame are “12345678,” “qwerty,” “monkey” and new this year, “batman.” According to security expert Mark Burnett, the top 25 passwords (below) represent an eye-popping 2.2 percent of passwords exposed. Continue reading

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Paris as a Green and Sustainable Future City Is Even More Beautiful

Paris is one of the world’s most beautiful cities, with its landmarks, parks and the cobbled roads of Montmarte the envy of the world. Architectural progress can sometimes meet opposition when a city’s iconic sights and historic look is challenged, but architects Vincent Callebaut’s vision of a green, sustainable Paris is so gorgeous, it makes the glorious French capital looking even more magical.

The 2050 Paris Smart City project was commissioned by Paris’s City Hall, as it looks at ways to reduce the capital’s greenhouse gas emissions by 75 per cent by 2050.

With input from engineering firm Setec Bâtiment, Vincent Callebaut envision great residential towers featuring photovoltaic and thermal shields, producing electricity and heating water. Rainwater would be collected for “reversible hydro-electrical” pumps too for generating power cleanly.

Other mad ideas include vertical parks with “algae bioreactors”, bamboo towers with vegetable gardens and bridges that seem inspired by jellyfish.

It’s a drastic overhaul of the city, and one that is unlikely to ever approach reality, at least in our lifetimes. But with the designs also supporting increased population numbers, such designs will increasingly have to be taken into consideration by future city planners. [Vincent Callebaut Architecture]

via Paris as a Green and Sustainable Future City Is Even More Beautiful.

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Project Ara Spiral 2 specs and release date | BGR

Google on Wednesday unveiled more details about its modular smartphone plans at the Project Ara Developers Conference, announcing the first such handset that interested fans are going to be able to buy. Set to debut in Puerto Rico later this year, where Google will conduct its first market test, the first Project Ara phone will not be the high-end Android handset you may have been fantasizing about. But that’s not necessarily a bad thing, considering that Project Ara is a modular smartphone, which you should be able to turn into a flagship-like handset in no time, assuming certain modules will become immediately available for purchase.

Called Spiral 2, the first Project Ara phone packs a 1280 x 720 display, dual application processors including Marvell’s PXA1928 and NVIDIA’s Tegra K1, 5-megapixel camera, 3G, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity.

Unfortunately, the device will have a battery that’s 20% to 30% smaller than an average smartphone battery, which means battery life might not be that great.

Initially, 11 working modules will be available to buyers, with the number supposed to reach 30 by the end of the year. The first modules collection will include a better camera, and 4G LTE support.

Pricing for the handset, and actual release dates aren’t available at this point. A promo video further explaining the theoretical advantages of building your own smartphone follows below.

via Project Ara Spiral 2 specs and release date | BGR.

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