iBackPack, Designed To Be The Ultimate Gadget Bag

iBackPack

If you are looking for the ultimate gadget bag then the iBackPack might be worth more investigation as it includes a wealth of technology to help you through your day including Wi-Fi connectivity, battery packs,GPS and plenty of USB ports and more.

Designed by Doug Monahan the iBackPack has been created to provide users with a next-generation backpack that is also equipped with a Bluetooth speaker, antitheft system as well as its own mobile companion application that is supported by Android and iOS devices.

iBackPack

Watch the video below to learn more about the features and connectivity of the iBackPack that provides the perfect gadget bag for both holidays or daily commutes. The iBackPack project is currently over on the Indiegogo crowd funding website and has already raised enough pledges to make the jump from concept to production , thanks to over 1,200 backers and over $282,000 in funding.

Oculus SDK v0.7 Beta Released With Support For Windows 10

Oculus SDK

A new update has been released for the Oculus Rift VR headset in the form of the latest Oculus SDK v0.7 Beta, that brings with it ‘preliminary’ support for Microsoft’s latest Windows 10 operating system.

As well as providing support for Windows 10 the latest Oculus SDK also brings with it a wealth of new enhancements, and is now available to download.

The most significant change is the addition of the Direct Driver Mode and the removal of Extended Mode. Direct Driver Mode uses features of NVIDIA Gameworks VR or AMD LiquidVR to render directly to the HMD. If the installed GPU does not support NVIDIA Gameworks VR or AMD LiquidVR, it uses Oculus Direct Mode.

The removal of the legacy Extended Mode means that users can no longer manage the Oculus Rift as an extended monitor, which will affect some games. Additionally, Standalone Mode (which uses the Oculus Rift as the only display device) is no longer supported. This release also improves alignment between the PC and Mobile SDKs and reduces the surface area of the PC SDK.

For more details on all the runtime changes that have been included in the Oculus PC SDK 0.7.0.0 Beta jump over to the official Oculus developer website.

iPhone 6S Camera To Record 4K Video

iPhone 6S

We previously heard that the new iPhone 6S and iPhone 6S Plus handsets would come with a 12 megapixel camera.

Now according to Mark Gurman from 9 to 5 Mac, the new Apple iSight camera will be capable of recording 4K video.

As well as recording 4K video, the new 12 megapixel camera in Apple’s new iPhones will be able to take higher resolution photos than the current devices.

We also heard previously that the FaceTime camera on the iPhone 6S and 6S Plus would be capable of recording 1080p video, it will apparently also come with a front facing flash for Selfies.

Apple are holding a press event on the 9th of September where they will unveil their new iPhones, along with a new Apple TV and also a new iPad Pro tablet, we will have more information on Apple’s new devices next month.

Karnataka High Court Dismisses Flipkart Case Against Nikon Caution Notice

Japanese camera-maker Nikon on Wednesday informed the Karnataka High Court that it has withdrawn the names of Flipkart, Snapdeal and other e-commerce portals from a notice on its website that cautioned customers to check warranty entitlements while buying its products from them.

Following the submission by Nikon India, Justice B S Patil disposed of a petition by Flipkart against the caution notice.

As the hearing resumed, the Judge sought the opinion of Nikon as to whether they were ready to withdraw the names of the portals from the notice. In response, the defence counsel said “the company’s website has already withdrawn the names of Flipkart and other e-commerce portals from the caution notice hosted on its website.”

NDTV Gadgets, however, was able to access the page through the Product news section.

Seeking the opinion of petitioner Flipkart, Justice Patil asked whether it was content with the Nikon’s submissions.

Flipkart counsel said “if the defendant has already withdrawn the names, we don’t have any difficulties with that”, following which the Judge said the “case doesn’t stand merit for further legal battle” and disposed of it.

Justice Patil had on Tuesday suggested Nikon to withdraw the names of Flipkart and Snapdeal from a caution notice so as to avoid prolonged legal battle.

The counsel for Nikon India had submitted that he would consult the company following which the matter was adjourned to Wednesday.

The Flipkart case against Nikon India was filed on August 3, 2015, the matter pertained to a June 16, 2014 notice on Nikon India website which reads: “Please note that E-commerce websites like FLIPKART (Flipkart Internet Private Ltd, WS Retail Services Pvt. Ltd), SNAPDEAL (Jasper Infotech Private Limited) are not our authorised partner/dealer in India for Nikon Products, we advise you to check the warranty entitlements while buying from online portals.”

Last year, Snapdeal had moved the Delhi High Court and forced Kaff, kitchen appliances maker, to withdraw a similar caution notice warning customers to check the warranty entitlements of the products sold online.

Prime Minister to Launch Digital Version of Epic ‘Ramcharitmanas’

A special “digital” version of epic ‘Ramcharitmanas’ prepared by All India Radio (AIR) will be released by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday.

Official sources said that the recordings of Goswami Tulsidas’ work, sung by leading singers of Bhopal ‘gharana’, have been done by the AIR over several years and are regularly broadcast especially in the Hindi heartland.

The ‘Ramcharitmanas’ was composed and recorded for the first time in 1980 at Akashvani Bhopal under the guidance of then station director Samar Bahadur Singh. The officials said that the Prime Minister would also felicitate some prominent artists at the event on Monday.

Information and Broadcasting Minister Arun Jaitley, Minister of State for I&B Rajyavardhan Rathore, Prasar Bharati Chairperson A Suryaprakash, I&B secretary Bimal Julka and other senior officials are expected to be present.

With the launch of the digital version of ‘Ramcharitmanas’ the broadcaster feels that it would reach not just domestic audiences but those abroad. It is part of AIR’s attempts to go digital in a big way so that the public broadcaster can reach audiences globally, officials said.

Several of the AIR’s channels are available on mobile apps and the broadcaster is also actively gaining more presence on the internet, they added.

Will the internet of things result in predictable people?

Two people leaning on mail box while using iPhones near Columbus Circle, New York City.

We’re told that eventually sensors will be everywhere. Not just in phones, tablets, and laptops. Not just in the wearables attached to our bodies. Not just at home or in the workplace. Sensors will be implanted in nearly everything imaginable and they will be networked, tightly connected, and looking after us 24-7-365.

So, brace yourself. All the time, you’ll be be monitored and receive fine-grained, hyper-personalised services. That’s the corporate vision encapsulated by the increasingly popular phrase “internet of everything”.

Techno-optimists believe the new world will be better than our current one because it will be “smarter”. They’re fond of saying that if things work according to plan, resources will be allocated more efficiently. Smart grids, for example, will reduce sizeable waste and needless consumption. And, of course, on an individual level, service providers will deliver us the goods and services that we supposedly want more readily and cheaply by capitalising on big data and automation.

Keanu Reeves and Carrie-Ann Moss In The Matrix

While this may seem like a desirable field of dreams, concern has been raised about privacy, security, centralised control, excessive paternalism, and lock-in business models. Fundamentally, though, there’s a more important issue to consider. In order for seamlessly integrated devices to minimise transaction costs, the leash connecting us to the internet needs to tighten. Sure, the dystopian vision of The Matrix won’t be created. But even though we won’t become human batteries that literally power machines, we’ll still be fueling them as perpetual sources of data that they’re programmed to extract, analyse, share, and act upon. What this means for us is hardly ever examined. We’d better start thinking long and hard about what it means for human beings to lose the ability – practically speaking – to go offline.

Digital tethering in an engineered world

The key issue is techno-social engineering. Techno-social engineering involves designing and using technological and social tools to construct, influence, shape, manipulate, nudge, or otherwise design human beings. While “engineering” sounds ominous, it isn’t inherently bad. Without techno-social engineering, cultures couldn’t coordinate behaviour, develop trust, or enforce justice. Since techno-social engineering is inevitable, it’s easy to get used to the forms that develop and forget that alternatives are possible and worth fighting for.

Think about the world we currently live in. While we benefit immensely from the internet, we’ve become digital dependents who feel tethered to it and regularly pay the steep price of constant connectivity disrupting older personal, social, and professional norms. The old advice of “go offline if you’re unhappy” rings hollow when others constantly demand our attention and not providing it conflicts with widespread expectations that being productive and responsible means being online. Amongst other things, being attached to a digital umbilical cord meansdaily lives under surveillance and showered with laments about unachievable work-life balance, fear of missing out, distracted parents, and screens being easier to talk to than people.

But the problem runs much deeper, and turns out to be more than the sum of its parts. Georgetown professor Julie Cohen gives the right diagnosis by characterising citizens as losing the “breathing room” necessary to meaningfully pursue activities that cultivate self-development – activities that are separated from observation, external judgment, expectations, scripts and plans. Without freedom to experiment, we run the risk of others exerting too much power over us.

We enjoy this breathing room throughout our lives. We get it in special places, like homes and hiking trails. We cherish it in the in-between spaces, like the walk home from the train or drive to soccer practice. But none of these locations are sacred. Rather, as the invasive pings of our smartphones demonstrate, they’re always at risk.

Find, gather, serve: the digital self

For the moment, we console ourselves with limited governance strategies. We turn notices off. We leave devices behind. We taketechnology Sabbaths and digital detoxes.

Smart homes of the future might follow suit. Perhaps they’ll be programmed toprotect some forms of solitude by automating attention-killing tasks. But it’s hard to place much stock in any of this when neither tool nor technique effectively bridges the gap between individual decisions that are deemed counter-cultural and widespread expectations about online commitments.

To make matters worse, it’s difficult to imagine that new forms of pervasive monitoring won’t be invented. And if they are, folks will be told that that life gets better by using them. Take, for example, David Rose, author of Enchanted Objects: Design, Human Desire, and the Internet of Things. He pines for the day when we can stop pestering our spouses and children with questions about how they’re doing, and instead look to kitchens lined with “enchanted walls” that “display, through lines of coloured light, the trends and patterns in your loved one’s mood”. Ironically, minimising human interaction in the always-on environment with automated reports eliminates our freedom to be off.

Entrepreneurial visions like this will profoundly influence the world we’re building. Writer and activist Cory Doctorow observes: “A lot of our internet of things models proceed from the idea that a human emits a beacon and you gather as much information as you can – often in a very adversarial way – about that human, and then you make predictions about what that human wants, and then you alert them.” Concerned about the persistent public exposure that these models rely on, Doctorow identifies an alternative, a localised “device ecosystem” that would allow internet of things users to only “voluntarily” share information “for your own benefit”.

Doctorow is right. We need to think about alternatives. And in principle, he’s got a fine idea. But at best, it’s a partial fix.

This January 30, 2014 file photo taken in Washington, DC, shows the splash page for the social media internet site Facebook.

The find, gather, and serve models Doctorow justifiably critiques hide the deeper problem of pervasive techno-social engineering, and so his solution doesn’t address it. Our willingness to volunteer information, even for what we perceive to be for our own benefit, is contingent and can be engineered. Over a decade ago, Facebook aimed to shape our privacy preferences, and as we’ve seen, the company has been incredibly successful. We’ve become active participants, often for fleeting and superficial bits of attention that satiate our craving to be meaningful. And Facebook is just the tip of the iceberg. Throughout the current online environment, consumers are pressured to “choose” corporate services that directly manipulate them or sell their data to manipulative companies.

Intense manipulation in the programmable world

Manipulation is thus the other big techno-social engineering issue that needs to be confronted. The power of traditional mass media – think advertisers and news organisations – to shape culture and public opinion is widely understood. But it seems like child’s play in comparison what we’ve seen on the internet and in visions of the internet of things.

For good reason, there’s already plenty of anxiety about precise and customised forms of manipulation. Marketers want to harvest our big data trail to create behaviourally-targeted advertising that exploits cognitive biases and gets absorbed during moments when algorithms predict we’ll experience heightened vulnerability. Communication tools are being rolled out that perform deep data dives, create psychological profiles, and recommend exactly how we should communicate with one another to get what we want. Facebook has shown it’s ready and willing to non-transparently tweak our emotions – and co-opt us into their agenda – just so we find a product engaging. Given just how much nudging is occurring, it’s no surprise that folks are worried about the potential for elections to be determined by “digital gerrymandering”.

The internet of things is envisioned to be a “programmable world” where the scale, scope, and power of these tools is amplified as we become increasingly predictable: more data about us, more data about our neighbours, and thus more ways to shape our collective beliefs, preferences, attitudes and outlooks. Alan Turing wondered if machines could be human-like, and recently that topic’s been getting a lot of attention. But perhaps a more important question is a reverse Turing test: can humans become machine-like and pervasively programmable.

Evan Selinger is an associate professor of philosophy at Rochester Institute of Technology, where he also is the head of research communications, community and ethics at the Media, Arts, Games, Interaction and Creativity (MAGIC) Center. Twitter: @evanselinger.

Brett Frischmann is a professor and co-director of the Intellectual Property and Information Law Program at Cardozo Law School. Twitter: @BrettFrischman.

They are both co-authors of Being Human in the 21st Century (Cambridge University Press, 2017), a book that critically examines why there’s deep disagreement about technology eroding our humanity and offers new theoretical tools for improving how we talk about and analyze dehumanization.

What Samsung needs to get right with the Galaxy S6 Edge+ and Note 5

samsung galaxy s6 edge+ and galaxy note 5

Samsung has just launched not one but two phablets, as it attempts to keep its large-screened smartphone crown.

But in its war with chief rival Apple, its home country competitor LG, and Chineseupstarts such as Xiaomi, Samsung has to get some critical things right, as the bar has been raised for quality, price and speed.

Simplified and bloat-free software

Samsung Galaxy Note 5

Samsung’s software is notorious. For years it applied heavy skins or modifications to the native Android experience provided by Google. Most manufacturers did, but Samsung’s was particularly garish, sluggish and bloat-ridden.

The company has made strides with recent smartphone releases, cutting back on superfluous features, making its designs more attractive, and making its apps, which often duplicated functionality with those built into Android, optional downloads.

The S6 Edge+ and the Note 5 are good opportunities to show that Samsung can create software that adds value, particularly for the curved edges and the stylus.

The curved screen of the smaller, 5.1in S6 Edge provided little in functionality, becoming an aesthetic choice rather than a functional one. On the smaller screen they did not detract from the experience, but on a larger device that is more difficult to hold, those touchscreen edges could be a hinderance.

Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge

Samsung has to make applications that add to the experience – and encourage others to follow suit. Likewise with the Note 5’s stylus, Samsung has to create a reason for a user to actually take it out and put tip to screen, rather that leave it buried within the device never to be touched.

The problem Samsung has to overcome is how to make these features worthwhile and not simply added bloat that slows down the device and its software updates, which are vital to keeping a device secure and current.

Sheer speed

One thing Samsung achieved with the S6 was the smartphone’s raw speed. It is still the fastest smartphone I have used to date. Both the Note 5 and the S6+ must maintain that snappiness but they must also have decent battery life.

Battery life is a primary pain point for most of the smartphone-using community. A large smartphone that only lasts one day is not good enough anymore. Sony and others have devices that last in excess of two days with general usage.

Samsung’s response was to provide rapid charging via cable and wireless charging built into the S6, not longer battery life. Traditionally Samsung’s Note series has longer battery life, the S6 Plus and Note 5 must continue that trend.

Premium materials that can’t be bent

Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge+ and Galaxy Note 5

Samsung’s high-end devices command a significant premium over lower-cost Android rivals. The Korean company has bet on bleeding-edge technology to make the £600 investment in a smartphone worthwhile, but the majority of Samsung smartphones over the last five years have been made of plastic, rather than premium-feeling materials such as metals and glass.

Samsung’s Galaxy Alpha series was the first of its smartphones to have metal frames, followed by the Note 4, and later the S6, which also has a glass back. Samsung’s design must keep up with its technology to be able to compete in the high-end smartphone market.

Build quality is crucial as devices have shrunk in thickness while their screen sizes have continued to grow, leading to a decrease in rigidity. Apple’s 5.5iniPhone 6 Plus “bendgate” illustrated the problem, but was not alone. Samsung’s large but thin devices could also be bent within pockets.

Samsung claims its new aluminium frames are 1.7 times stronger than the Note 4, I suspect it won’t be long before someone puts that to the test.

The Galaxy S6 is arguably the best smartphone the Korean company has ever made, but even it has not sold in the numbers Samsung needed it to. Apple reportedly attracted more Android switchers than ever with its bigger iPhone 6 and 6 Plus, showing the latent demand for big smartphones.

Developed nations, including the UK and US, are near the smartphone saturation point, which means these two new phablets will be crucial for keeping Samsung on top. The company has to convince buyers they’re worth upgrading to. Whether they do remains to be seen.

Malaysia protesters urge PM’s resignation over financial scandal

bersih

Thousands of Malaysians took to the streets of Kuala Lumpur calling for the resignation of the prime minister, Najib Razak, who is battling the fallout from a financial scandal.

The government condemned the weekend rallies as illegal and blocked the website of the organisers, a coalition of non-governmental organisations. It was the fourth demonstration by the Bersih (“Clean”) movement, which is protesting against what it calls “one of the greatest multi-billion dollar corruption scandals in Malaysia’s history and the government’s most oppressive crackdowns on free speech”. Najib is facing calls to resign after reports that he pocketed $700m (£456m) from the debt-laden state fund 1 Malaysia Development Bhd.

1MDB was launched in 2009 by Najib, who still chairs its advisory board. Critics say he has been opaque in explaining its dealings. Cabinet ministers later said the money was political “donations” from people in the Middle East but the explanation further enraged Malaysians.he prime minister says he is innocent of allegations that he has taken money.

He has sacked four ministers, his attorney general and deputy prime minister in an attempt to disarm his critics. A crackdown on dissent has also seen the blocking of two newspapers and a British-based whistleblowing website that is run by Gordon Brown’s sister-in-law.

Gooi Hsiao Leung, an MP from Alorsetar in north west Malaysia for the party of imprisoned opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim, said he had attended three Bersih protests. “Many Malaysians are outraged with what is happening in Malaysia– the rampant corruption and abuse of power,” he told the Observer in central Kuala Lumpur, surrounded by thousands of protesters in yellow shirts at one of the five meeting points in the capital.

“We are also very unhappy with the severe state of gerrymandering,” Gooi said, referring to the ruling party. “We are here to say ‘enough is enough’. We want to save Malaysia.”A festival atmosphere prevailed as protests began. People in yellow clothes listened to prayers by organisers and a speech by the wife of Ibrahim, Wan Azizah Wan Ismail, who stood on a pick-up truck with four megaphones fitted to the top. Vendors were selling yellow Bersih scarves and the Guy Fawkes masks made popular by the Anonymous movement. Many people had helium balloons of Minions, characters from the feature film of the same name, as they are coloured yellow.

German pro-immigrant protest welcomes asylum seekers to Dresden

A demonstrator holds a sign that reads ‘refugees welcome’ on Saturday.

Thousands of people took to the streets of the German city of Dresden on Saturday to send a message of welcome to refugees after a string of violent anti-migrant protests in the region.

Led by protesters holding a huge banner that read “Prevent the pogroms of tomorrow today”, the crowds marched peacefully through the eastern city under the watch of police in riot gear.

“Say it loud, say it clear, refugees are welcome here,” they chanted.

Police said 1,000 people took part in the protest, which was called by the Anti-Nazi Alliance, while organisers put the numbers at 5,000.

Saturday's march through Dresden.

Dresden is the stronghold of the anti-Islam Pegida movement, whose demonstrations drew up to 25,000 people at the start of the year.

The eastern state of Saxony, of which Dresden is the capital, has suffered a series of ugly anti-migrant protests, with the government saying on Friday it was sending police reinforcements to the state.

“We’re here because what is happening in Germany, particularly in Saxony, is unbearable,” said Eva Mendl, a teacher who was among the demonstrators.

“Hating refugees, who live here because they can no longer live at home, because they have been through a war … that shouldn’t happen in a rich country,” she added.

Afterwards, several hundred participants in the rally gathered in the nearby town of Heidenau, which has been the theatre of protests over the opening of a new refugee centre.

Local authorities had initially banned all outdoor public gatherings in the town of 16,000 this weekend, fearing a repeat of last weekend’s clashes between police and far-right protesters in which several dozen people were injured.

But the federal constitutional court on Saturday struck down the ban, paving the way for the pro-refugee rally, which passed off peacefully, with refugees and their supporters dancing together in the street.

Germany is struggling to absorb a vast wave of asylum seekers that is expected to reach a record 800,000 this year.

Chancellor Angela Merkel was booed by far-right activists during a visit to Heidenau’s new refugee centre this week, with about 200 people shouting “traitor, traitor” at her.

Merkel has vowed a zero-tolerance approach to anti-migrant violence.

Public opinion is largely behind her, with 60% of Germans polled by public broadcaster ZDF saying that Europe’s biggest economy is capable of hosting the asylum seekers.

Hitman: Agent 47 review – shoot ’em up, grind ’em down with dullness

Rupert Friend takes aim in Hitman: Agent 47

Based on the video game, this actually resembles a uniquely boring, feature-length Audi commercial, incidentally intent on pinching ideas from the first two Terminators. It’s a punishingly vacuous shoot-’em-up-and-grind-’em-down-with-dullness thriller featuring Rupert Friend as the notorious rabbit-faced assassin, his face set in a thin-lipped expression of supposedly chilling impassivity that makes you think he should be nibbling lettuce.

He is Agent 47, the rogue product of a now suppressed secret military programme breeding uber-killers. He goes around in his sharp suit carrying a black bag with all his way cool guns’n’ammo (but no change of clothes, worryingly), unsmilingly topping dozens of expendable types in a time-honoured movie manner that the real-life military and secret services have bafflingly yet to adopt: ie shooting with arm balletically outstretched looking insouciantly in the opposite direction.

Agent 47’s latest target is a beautiful, troubled young woman called Katia (Hannah Ware) who finds there is only one person who can protect her: tough yet caring Zachary Quinto. Ciarán Hinds does his level best to endow his own role with some gravitas: the haunted, bearded scientist who created the “Agent” programme in the first place and now spends his downtime sketching flowers. Flinch as the armour-piercing bullet of tedium penetrates your cranium.