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  • Alt-week 8.17.13: Fukushima's permafrost plan, the rodent afterlife and quantum teleportation

    Alt-week takes a look at the best science and alternative tech stories from the last seven days.

    Altweek 81713 Fukushima's permafrost plan, the rodent afterlife and quantum teleportation

    Two years on, the Fukushima nuclear meltdown is still causing problems, and the Japanese government is looking at a particularly cool way (literally) to address them. Similarly chilling is the prospect that ‘dead’ rats aren’t quite as lifeless as you might think. Do rodents go to heaven? That, we can’t answer, but what we can tell you is that new research shows we’re edging ever closer to a quantum-computing future. This is alt-week.

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    Via: The Verge, Gizmodo, Forbes

  • GPU replacement program announced for 2011 iMacs, Apple to offer refunds for previous service

    GPU replacement program announced for 2011 iMacs, Apple to offer refunds for previous service

    Remember the 2011 iMac’s HDD replacement program? It seems like the machine thought it was time for an encore. Apple recently announced that 27-inch iMacs sold between May 2011 and October 2012 may be eligible for a free repair, citing faulty AMD Radeon HD 6970M GPUs (you can find the official statement after the break). The issue specifically effects machines with 3.1GHz Core-i5 and 3.4GHz Core-i7 processors, and can cause visual distortions, white or blue vertical lines or a solid black display. According to 9to5Mac, Apple is also issuing refunds to customers who paid to have the GPU fixed before the program was announced. Fair enough if you’re on a budget, but we won’t blame you if you use the issue as an excuse to upgrade.

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    Source: 9to5Mac

  • Engadget Mobile Podcast 187 – 08.17.13

    Engadget Mobile Podcast 179 - 05.09.13

    This week’s episode begins with Myriam and Brad singing a Rick Astley tune — yeah, you’ve been warned. Stream it below to catch their extended thoughts on the Moto X, Xperia Z Ultra, Lumia Amber update and more!

    Update: We are aware that the MP3 RSS is not working properly at the moment. We apologize for the inconvenience and are sorting it out.

    Hosts: Myriam Joire, Brad Molen

    Producer: Joe Pollicino

    Music: TychoCoastal Brake (Ghostly International)

    Hear the podcast

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  • Meta and Steve Mann want to mediate your reality for $667

    “Demo or die.” That’s the unofficial motto of Meta and it’s a bedrock principle espoused by Raymond Lo, the company’s CTO. Lo spent a decade under the tutelage of Professor Steve Mann (known to many as the father of wearable computing), and is one of the few to make it through Mann’s Ph.D. program at the University of Toronto. As an instructor, Mann requires tangible results on a regular basis from his students’ projects, and now, with Lo as CTO and Mann as chief scientist, Meta’s operating with the same ethos as it develops augmented mediated reality headsets. Meta’s idea is to meld the real and the digital together in a fully functional computing environment. It wants to augment your reality, and, in fact, mediate it.

    We saw a prototype mediated reality headset from Meta a couple months ago, where we witnessed some rudimentary demos: typing in thin air and grabbing and moving digital objects with our hands. Naturally, the company’s made some improvements in the interim. The latest prototype hardware has morphed into a slightly more integrated design, but it still has the boxy and rough appearance of a 3D -printed prototype. Which, of course, it is. The Kinect-stuck-atop-a-pair-of-Rec Specs look is only temporary however, as Meta is finally ready to start taking orders for its first production headset, the Meta.01. You can pre-order one for $667.00 on Meta’s website, with deliveries set to begin in November. As opposed to the prototype you see in the image above, renders of the commercial device look like a cross between ski goggles and a pair of Oakleys. The magic of Meta doesn’t lie in its looks, however.

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    Source: Meta

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