You might say the day is never really done in consumer technology news. Your workday, however, hopefully draws to a close at some point. This is the Daily Roundup on Engadget, a quick peek back at the top headlines for the past 24 hours — all handpicked by the editors here at the site. Click on through the break, and enjoy.
Today, UPS announced its plan to bring 3D printing services to the masses. The shipping company will soon roll out Stratasys Uprint SE Plus printers to 60 locations in San Diego to test out the new service; it’ll be aimed at small businesses, start-ups and retail customers in need of a professional grade model to produce things like prototypes and artistic renderings. At $20,900 a pop, Stratasys printers aren’t exactly the kind of gadget you’d purchase for home use, so their availability at UPS stores is a pretty major step towards making high quality 3D printing an accessible option for the common man. Though the company is starting small, it hopes to expand the service nationwide, provided that the San Diego experiment proves successful. For more info, check out the video after the break.
Filed under: Misc, Peripherals
Each week Joshua Fruhlinger contributes This is the Modem World, a column dedicated to exploring the culture of consumer technology.
Some of the following, for legal reasons, may or may not be fictional.
My first modem was a 300-baud Apple-Cat II. It was an expansion card for the Apple II and simply plugged into a phone line. It was, simply put, a bad-ass piece of technology that turned me into a total digital delinquent. While my parents thought I was innocently learning to code BBSes (bulletin board systems) I was actually learning how to get things for free and paving the way for software pirates, phone phreaks and straight-up frauds of the future.
The Apple-Cat II could connect to other Apple-Cat IIs at 1200 baud, which made file transfers pretty quick for the time. This meant we could trade entire games in about an hour. We’d log into bulletin board systems, share lists of things we had and set up times to dial one another to trade games. Usually a barter would take place — your Aztec for my Hard Hat Mack. It was a lot like trading baseball cards, I imagine.
Filed under: Misc, <a class="colorbox" href="http://www.engadget.com/category/internet/?utm_source=Feed_Classic&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Engadget"
Remember that luggage tracking device we did a hands-on with back at CES? Well, now you can finally get your own hands around it. Trakdot Luggage has just started shipping. The little box auto-transmits its location via quad-band GSM chip and triangulation, letting you know where your toiletries are at all times (except when you’re actually in the air, naturally). Trakdot will run you $50, a price that includes a luggage tag and batteries (which should give you around two weeks of use). You’ll also need to drop $9 for the activation and $13 for the annual service fee, if you want more than just a suitcase paperweight. And as for actually tracking the package, you’ll have to rely on your parcel carrier for that information.
Filed under: Misc, GPS
Windows Phone users who want to use Google Sync for contact and calendar integration had better act quickly: today is the last day that they can link their handsets to the service before Google pulls the plug. From August 1st onwards, Google Sync will only work on a given Windows Phone if it’s already configured. The GDR 2 upgrade keeps syncing alive through CalDAV and CardDAV support, although many users could go without that support for some time — to date, Americans can only see the OS refresh on the HTC 8XT, Lumia 520, Lumia 925 and Lumia 1020. If you’re not in that group and miss the Google Sync deadline, you’ll just have to sit tight while Microsoft finishes rolling out the GDR 2 update this summer.
Filed under: Cellphones, Internet, Mobile, Microsoft, Google
Source: Google Apps
Glass hasn’t exactly been revered for its brilliant image quality, but that’s not stopping Google from making a push among budding filmmakers. The Glass Creative Collective, a partnership with film and design schools, is intended to familiarize students at a handful of institutions with the video-capture wearable. Several colleges, including the Rhode Island School of Design, UCLA and the University of Southern California are onboard — students will reportedly begin exploring the device as a filmmaking tool beginning this fall. Glass could be a fit for documentary filmmaking, and for capturing point-of-view footage, of course, but performance limitations would likely prevent it from taking on a starring role in any production. We’re a bit skeptical that the Creative Collective will be a booming success, but Google’s promised to circle back with results once the program gets off the ground.
Filed under: Cameras, Displays, Wearables, Alt, Google
Source: Google Glass (Google+)
According to a report from Quartz, Google is preparing to launch an explicitly local news card in Now. The card would be an extension of its existing local news offerings, but would bring those stories directly to your handset based on your location. The existence of the card was revealed to the outlet by Johanna Wright, the vice president of search and assist at Google. She described the card as be “hyper-local,” with granularity down to individual neighborhoods. According to Wright, the card is only being tested internally right now, and there’s no guarantee of when, or even if, Google will actually bring it to the public.
In many ways Now is meant to be a filter for the absurd amount of information constantly at your fingertips. It’s supposed to deliver only the information you need, when you need it. Problem is, Google still seems to be figuring out just what information you need at any given moment. Bus schedules, boarding passes, traffic reports, tourist attractions, calendar appointments, sports scores… the depth of data served up is growing more intimidating with every day. Now already delivers links to news stories that you’re following on your desktop.
Though we got tired of the word “selfie” in about 1/8000th of a second, it’s true that snapping yourself can be tricky, especially on video. Canon wants to aid and abet such vanity with the Legria mini, a 1080p camcorder with an ultra-wide angle lens, flipscreen and built-in stand. To make sure that we, er, you look as good as possible, Canon’s equipped it with a 1/2.3-inch CMOS sensor, DIGIC DV 4 processor, 12.8-megapixel still shooter, stereo audio and 160 degree wide lens (170 degrees for stills). You’ll also get built-in WiFi, an iOS app, DLNA support, time-lapse, slow motion and mirror image recording and playback. There’s even a decidedly HTC Zoe-like feature which takes a four second video when you snap a photo, and assembles them together when you’re ready. All of that should help keep your Vine, Video on Instagram and other filmic pipelines full. Check the PR and video after the break for more.
Filed under: Cameras, Canon
It hasn’t been easy to bridge differing LTE network types in one phone; ZTE’s attempt requires a reboot, for example. Samsung claims to have solved that problem with new dual-mode LTE versions of the Galaxy S 4 and Galaxy S4 Mini. Both devices can switch between the common FDD-LTE standard and TDD-LTE without restarting, and they’ll automatically hand over any ongoing data sessions or voice calls. The advantages are potentially huge for both roaming and bandwidth — travelers are more likely to stay on 4G, and providers running both FDD and TDD can switch customers to whatever network has the most capacity. Samsung hasn’t said where and when the dual-mode Galaxies will be available, although TDD-LTE’s worldwide reach (including the US) suggests that the smartphones could soon be commonplace.
Filed under: Cellphones, Mobile, Samsung
Tablets are virtually tailor-made for our summer vacations, whether we’re checking email at the hotel or watching movies during an airport layover. The manufacturers must know this, as there’s a surge of new slates set to arrive while the weather’s still scorching. Our 2013 summer tablet buyer’s guide will help you decide which of these models is worth space in your travel bag. There are also several veteran tablets we recommend, although some of them could be obsolete soon — we’ll let you know when newer devices loom ahead. Whether or not you want the latest hardware, though, our guide should have the tablet you need.
Filed under: Tablets, Apple, Samsung, Sony, Microsoft, ASUS, Google, Amazon, Lenovo