Work has begun on a new generation of USB that will break compatibility with existing connectors in order to improve ease of use and allow for thinner devices. The new connector, called Type-C, is an addition to the existing USB 3.1 specification and is expected to be finalized by the middle of 2014. There aren’t any images available yet, but Type-C will be around the size of a Micro USB plug and, like Apple’s Lightning connector, will finally be reversible — in other words, no more frustrated attempts to charge your phone with an upside-down cable.
Modern social media is so compelling because it’s the most convenient and efficient means we have invented so far to scratch a prehistoric itch: the desire to share and network with other people. Previous incarnations of social media were popular for the same reason. They just didn’t work as quickly.Cicero’s Twitter: Tom Standage on the forgotten history of social media
Healthcare.gov isn’t just a website where people buy health insurance, soon to be mandatory under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA). It’s the support system for the way health care works now. By design, there is no way to get correct pricing on insurance without touching some part of Healthcare.gov.Thanks a lot, Healthcare.gov
It’s been a week since the FDA brought the hammer down on personal genetics service 23andMe, and for followers of the company, the future is still uncertain. According to the order, the company has 15 business days (now 11 and counting) to offer the FDA a compliance plan, which is then open for comment from the agency. It’s still unclear if the end result will allow the company to continue selling its $99 saliva test kits, but the ramifications are already being felt. 23andMe announced yesterday that it was ending its marketing campaigns, but it’s likely just the first step in the process. The FDA, for its part, is staying quiet. The agency declined to comment, except to say that the 15-day grace period is standard and the resulting compliance negotiations will be kept private. However long it takes, the rest of the process is likely to occur behind closed doors.
On an unassuming awning at 362 Third Avenue between 26th and 27th streets in New York City, Modern Pinball NYC advertises itself as a “sales and interactive showroom,” but inside, it feels a lot like an arcade. It opened just a few weeks ago with owners Steve Epstein — the near-legendary owner of the now-defunct Broadway Arcade, a Times Square fixture for decades — and Steve Zahler, a champion pinball player himself.
Vertu started life in the late 1990s as an indulgence for Nokia’s designers. Led by Frank Nuovo, the group set out to explore what a phone could look and feel like if its design were unconstrained by budgetary concerns. What if you could use all the best materials and most expensive manufacturing processes, what sort of phone would you end up with? Given free reign to experiment within the then-resplendent Nokia, Vertu gradually evolved into its own division, with a name, logo, and brand identity that grew to be synonymous with overt demonstrations of wealth.
Free app gives users yet another way to tweak and share their photos
Last month, the International Energy Agency (I.E.A.) projected that, by 2035, renewable energy will account for nearly half of the increase in power generation around the world. China is expected to have the largest growth in energy generation from renewable sources, with an anticipated output greater than the E.U. and U.S. combined.
Here is a look at wind farms and turbine factories in Inner Mongolia and southern regions of China, photographed by the Dutch photographer Kadir van Lohuizen in November, 2010: http://nyr.kr/1bdwske
Photographs by Kadir van Lohuizen/Redux/NOOR.
How Obamacare’s epic fail exposed our government’s biggest tech problem
I hate superheroes. I think they’re abominations. They don’t mean what they used to mean. They were originally in the hands of writers who would actively expand the imagination of their nine- to 13-year-old audience. That was completely what they were meant to do and they were doing it excellently. These days, superhero comics think the audience is certainly not nine to 13, it’s nothing to do with them. It’s an audience largely of 30-, 40-, 50-, 60-year old men, usually men. Someone came up with the term graphic novel. These readers latched on to it; they were simply interested in a way that could validate their continued love of Green Lantern or Spider-Man without appearing in some way emotionally subnormal. This is a significant rump of the superhero-addicted, mainstream-addicted audience. I don’t think the superhero stands for anything good. I think it’s a rather alarming sign if we’ve got audiences of adults going to see the Avengers movie and delighting in concepts and characters meant to entertain the 12-year-old boys of the 1950s.Alan Moore (via richardrushfield)
You can play games on just about every device you own, but if you’re looking for something a little more low tech, there’s always the option to build your own machine. As the name implies, the DIY Gamer kit is a handheld game console that doesn’t come assembled — the fun comes not only from putting it together yourself, but also programming your own games. There are 40 different pieces to solder together and the device features an 8 x 8 LED matrix display, four buttons, and a buzzer so you can add some simple sounds to your projects.
Amazon is the latest company to take on Apple’s distinctive advertising style in its own commercials, this time by pitting the iPad Air against Amazon’s 8.9-inch Kindle Fire HDX using what seems like a thinly veiled parody of Apple’s Jony Ive, who frequently appears in the company’s ads. “This is the magical new iPad Air,” says “Apple’s” British narrator, only to have his vague pronouncements rebutted by a twangy American Kindle proponent at every turn.
The higher you made the difficulty, the fewer people you were allowed to kill, or even stun. It was, and still is, such a contrary approach to gaming, and a bold statement of how exquisite game design affords a game far more freedom to be interesting. If your game is good enough, you do not need to bury it beneath increasing numbers of enemies, but rather expose it even further.Inside At Last: Thief Is Fifteen Today | Rock, Paper, Shotgun