Blood glucose monitors are growing up, and it's about time. With some 26 million diabetics in the U.S. alone, (that's almost 1 in 10 Americans), and hundreds of millions globally, according to the American Diabetes Association, glucose monitoring has become one of the largest patient-generated data sets in the world -- and yet much of that data is being uploaded manually onto desktops or written by hand into little log books.
The CNET Appliances team gets to test all sorts of household items with advanced functionality, but it sure is fun to imagine what smart home appliances might look like in the more distant future. That's why I like the Electrolux Design Lab competition. This annual event allows design students from all over the world to showcase household concepts that stray pretty far from the norm.
The themes change from year to year, but home appliances are always a major focal point. The 2013 theme was "Inspired Urban Living" and students were asked to offer up designs in any of the following three categories: social cooking, natural air, and effortless cleaning.… Read more
DxO Labs announced its new Optics Pro 9 software Wednesday, an update the company believes does a better job stripping out noise than rivals such as Adobe Photoshop and Apple Aperture.
The software's Probabilistic Raw Image Enhancement, or Prime, takes more time than other noise-reduction algorithms, but it can detect finer details and accurate color amidst the noise speckles that afflict digital photos taken at high ISO sensitivity settings. DxO said the technology goes a full stop beyond the competition, meaning that it could cut noise from a photo taken at ISO 12,800 as well as a rival … Read more
As with Lego, it seems Minecraft's possibilities are limited only by the imagination, and also like Lego, the game has the potential to act as a powerful educational tool. The team at Google's Quantum AI Lab, which explores the possibilities of quantum computing, put their heads together and figured out that the next generation of computer scientists could discover their talents in none other than Mojang's vast, open, voxel-based world.
Together with MinecraftEdu, a group that partners with Mojang to bring Minecraft to schools, and scientists at California Institute of Technology's Institute for Quantum Information and Matter, Quantum AI Lab has built a Minecraft mod called qCraft that simulates quantum behaviors in the game. … Read more
BERKELEY, Calif. -- In 2007, officials from this famously liberal city shut off the electricity to an artists space known as the Shipyard. That action, which forced the artists there to seek a new way to power their flamethrowers, is the origin story of a company that now produces what it says is the world's only carbon-negative power source.
Located in one of the grittiest areas of town, where train tracks, garbage, and broken down cars are far more prevalent than the hippies Berkeley is famous for, All Power Labs has set up shop inside the Shipyard. Run by CEO Jim Mason -- who owns the space -- the 5-year-old startup now produces technology used to transform dense biomass like corn husks or wood chips into clean, sustainable, and cheap energy. … Read more
The first thing you might ask about the Hiku is why you need a $79 piece of hardware to help you make a grocery list.
The Hiku is a simple-seeming device with a few clever tricks built in. In its most basic mode, you press its only button, and either speak the name of a product or zap it with Hiku's bar code scanner, and that item will show up on Hiku's mobile app-based shopping list. To log unfamiliar UPCs, those from Trader Joe's, for example, Hiku will use crowdsourcing. Scan an unknown code, correct it by … Read more
Ingress, an augmented-reality Android game from Google's Niantic Labs unit in which players try to conquer territory in the real world, will come to iOS in 2014.
Arriving on the scene a year ago, the closed-beta software Ingress has been gradually updated with bug fixes and new features. One thing that hasn't changed is the absence of an iPhone version, even though Google generally tends to support Apple's mobile operating system.
When design firm Ideo creates a gadget or comes up with a concept, it's usually pretty interesting -- remember Apple's first mouse? Rather than going for the million-dollar cash-in or making a banal consumer product, Ideo seems to be more of the creative type.
A new project the firm has been working on is an iPhone video app called Spark Camera. While there are already tons of video apps out there -- like Viddy, 8mm, and not to mention social media apps like Snapchat and Instagram that feature video -- Ideo's app is a bit different.
Yes, … Read more
The nature of how electrons, atoms, and photons interact and affect humans takes center stage in a new Google short film about research at the company's recently-unveiled quantum computing lab called the Quantum Artificial Intelligence Lab.
The 6.5 minute documentary, unnamed in a report from The Verge, will debut at 7 p.m. on Friday at the Google New York offices' Imagine Science Films Festival. The film, embedded above, will be on YouTube on Friday. A ticket to the festival costs $50.
The film highlights the collaborative nature of the lab and the people behind its unusual quantum … Read more
Smartphones are the Swiss Army Knives of the tech world.
They're cell phones, music and video players, mobile Web browsers, and personal organizers, among other things. Not surprisingly, all this can take a toll on battery life, and when you depend on your smartphone for so much, the last thing you want is for it to run out of juice when you need it most.
Generally speaking, with moderate use, smartphones can give you a full day's performance before needing to be recharged, but not all gadgets are created equal -- some simply run out of steam early, whereas others will hang in there for the long haul. Here are eight smartphones with battery usage that really impressed us, whether it was because they scored well in our CNET Labs battery tests, or simply because their usage time stood out from the crowd of humdrum cell phone batteries we encountered (and believe us, we encounter a lot). Give one of these devices a try if you're looking for a phone that packs some decent juice.… Read more