Following a fairly successful soft launch in Canada, Zynga’s FarmVille 2: Country Escape launches globally today on iOS and Android. The Facebook version has been out since 2012, though the new mobile version won’t require a social plug-in to bug your friends for resources. You can also play offline, which is a nice change of pace from these types of games. The usual freemium city-building tropes are here: gather resources, plant new crops, wait on timers, or speed them up through in-app purchases, and co-operate with friends.
There are a few solutions for deploying iBeacons in a venue, but Texas Instruments is striving to make it even easier with their newly updated SimpleLink SensorTag and reference designs for the Bluetooth beacons. TI is also rolling out support for iBeacons across their entire Bluetooth low-energy portfolio. But for those that don’t want to take the raw chips and radios to build their own modules, TI’s SensorTag is a “low cost, small form-factor broadcaster reference design” that can be deployed as a whole unit.
When the biggest file-sharing site on the internet first came into existence, it was entirely in Swedish and boasted just a few hundred torrent files. But the very first of those, the one that started it all, was uploaded almost exactly 10 years ago and, shockingly enough, wasn’t porn. It was a recipe book.
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A new generation of full-size flagship tablets has just started with the near simultaneous launch of the Apple iPad Air and Amazon Kindle Fire HDX 8.9. They both have top-of-the-line and state-of-the-art displays that have been significantly improved (in different ways) from the 2012 models. Here’s which one’s the best.
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Betrand Russell once wrote that "[m]athematics, rightly viewed, possesses not only truth, but supreme beauty — a beauty cold and austere, without the gorgeous trappings of painting or music." In this video, Yann Pineill and Nicolas Lefaucheux prove him right.
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Each week our friends at Inhabitat recap the week’s most interesting green developments and clean tech news for us — it’s the Week in Green.
Elon Musk made headlines around the world this summer when he lifted the curtain on the “hyperloop” — a concept for an ultra-fast train that could transport passengers at speeds of 600 MPH. Now a team of engineers has announced plans to build a working hyperloop prototype by next year. Musk isn’t behind the plan, but his company Tesla made a couple of major announcements this week. First, Tesla bought nearly 2 billion Panasonic lithium-ion battery cells. Then, the electric carmaker completed a network of electric vehicle charging stations stretching all the way from San Diego to Vancouver. While hyperloop talk is speeding up, bikes are continuing to grow in popularity — more bikes were sold than cars in 23 European countries last year, proving that you don’t have to reinvent the wheel to go green. On the other hand, reinventing the wheel is exactly what design student Ackeem Ngwenya did when he created a shape-shifting tire that can adapt to different vehicle types and road conditions. In other global transportation news, Turkey unveiled the world’s first intercontinental underwater rail tunnel, linking the European and Asian sides of Istanbul. And at the 6th Annual US-China Transportation Forum, Chinese officials announced that they are expanding their nationwide network of highways, railways and airports, while the US federal government struggles to maintain the country’s crumbling infrastructure.
Renewable energy continues to move forward as well — offshore wind power generation is on track for a seventh consecutive year of record growth, as wind capacity is increasing at a rate of nearly 40 percent a year. Land-based wind developers continue to make advances, too. In Ethiopia, workers recently completed work on Africa’s largest wind farm, which will help to reduce the occurrence of blackouts in the continent’s second most populous country. Wind isn’t the only source of clean, renewable energy: The world’s first 1-megawatt wave energy power plant just opened off the coast of Australia. In another exciting development, a research team from the Illinois Sustainable Technology Center developed a new technique for converting almost any type of wood into biochar super capacitors that match the performance of active carbon super capacitors at a fraction of the production cost. Panasonic also announced plans to produce a new solar LED lantern that will provide light to those living without electricity.
Duct tape is a good temporary solution for plenty of fixes, but the silver stuff has finally met its match. FiberFix is a new super tape that is as durable as steel and about 100 times stronger than duct tape. A bizarre medical craze is sweeping China: cockroaches. Some people believe that roaches can cure everything from blood clots to heart disease, and people are popping pills filled with crushed roaches, leading to the emergence of a burgeoning cockroach-raising industry. Think that’s weird? Try this one on for size: British underwear maker Shreddies has produced a new line of flatulence-neutralizing underpants that let you “fart with confidence.” In other news, Inhabitots took a look at the REK Bookcase, a kids’ bookshelf that can expand to meet the needs of your child’s growing library. Motorola’s new modular smartphone could help prevent people from having to buy a new phone every year. And LG has developed a new curved smartphone that comes with a self-healing, protective coating.
Astonishing fans across the nation, Owen Wilson is currently working on a drama called “WonderWorld,” set in the Mob-controlled porn industry of the 1980’s.
The hour-long feature is reportedly inspired by one of the biggest undercover operations in FBI history, showcasing by-the-book FBI agents infiltrating the violent realm of pornography, and the dire consequences they must face.
“Law & Order’s” Rene Balcer is responsible for both writing the script, and being the series’ executive producer. Fred Berner of the “Law & Order: Criminal Intent” series will also act as executive producer.
Coming out on the Starz network, “WonderWorld” is scheduled to have 75 hours of original programming on its airwaves in the coming years. Stay linked to GossipCenter as details about Owen Wilson’s new drama develop!