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Even if you've never strapped on a virtual reality headset, if you're a heavy YouTube user, you've probably stumbled upon a 360 video on the site and thought: This looks interesting, but very weird and hard to watch in my browser. 

YouTube has been obviously been paying attention to these kinds of comments and has come up with a solution that serves both VR enthusiasts and non-VR users alike. It's called VR 180—and it's going to be available for YouTube's creators to begin making next-level immersive content.

Like most things involving VR in these early days of mainstreaming the platform, there are upsides and downsides with VR 180.  Read more...

More about Google, Video, Youtube, Streaming, and Virtual Reality
Author: Adario Strange
Posted: June 23, 2017, 5:33 am

Why dip your toes into the plebeian pool of music streaming services when you can have your own private aural sauna?

That appears to be the question Tesla is asking, with reports suggesting the electric car company is exploring launching a music streaming service for its vehicles. That's right, it looks like Tesla just might fancy its customers a bit too hifalutin' for the likes of Spotify or Apple Music. 

The details, as reported by Recode, are light. Even so, they're enough to send a jolt of excitement through every Tesla fanboy already growing weary of the Insane button and Bioweapon Defense Mode. Here's the deal: Tesla is allegedly chatting with all the major music labels about a proprietary music streaming service for its cars.  Read more...

More about Music, Cars, Tesla, Streaming, and Elon Musk
Author: Jack Morse
Posted: June 23, 2017, 2:25 am

The roof went up a few weeks ago on the new Apple store in downtown Chicago, but it wasn't until one detail was added Thursday that the design started to really come together.

For an hour or so in the afternoon the shiny silver roof was augmented with one very familiar logo:

Positioned atop the metallic roof it became a very familiar sight.   Read more...

More about Apple, Chicago, Apple Store, Macbook Air, and Tech
Author: Sasha Lekach
Posted: June 23, 2017, 12:11 am

Wisconsin has joined the land of autonomous delivery. If you live in the Badger State, you can now legally have your award-winning cheeses delivered to you 20 pounds at a time inside Starship Technologies' delivery bots. 

The state is the third in the United States to legalize sidewalk delivery by wheeled drones. The only stipulation is that the bots weigh 80 pounds or less, and a human must be in position to take control of the machine in case the six-wheeled pods try to steal a customer's cheese and/or beer. 

Starship bots weigh 40 pounds on their own and can carry 20 pounds of supplies, about the equivalent of 20 bricks of Widmer's 10-year aged cheddar cheese. Or four six-packs of Brenner Brewing's bacon bomb rauchbier, because even though I'm not sure about bacon-tasting beer, I'm pretty sure it would go well with cheese. Or maybe you should get two six-packs and 10 pounds of cheese, and then just not move for a while.  Read more...

More about Tech, Tech, and Drones
Author: Colin Daileda
Posted: June 22, 2017, 9:23 pm

Facebook is revamping profile pictures to make them safer, starting with India.

The company has launched two new features in India to reduce misuse of profile photos, announced on Thursday. Though the issue is not limited to that region of the world, the problem is prevalent in the country, according to Facebook.

The features include "profile picture guard" and "profile picture design." The guard takes away some of the obvious ways of copying the photo; for example, people will no longer be able to download, share or send the profile picture as a message on Facebook. Read more...

More about Facebook, Privacy, Profile Picture, Tech, and Consumer Tech
Author: Freia Lobo
Posted: June 22, 2017, 9:14 pm

Seriously, don't flinch. Canadian VR developer Robert McGregor has put together six years of Japanese sumo robots fighting each other in a single video. 

The robots are programmed to push their opponents out of the ring, like regular sumos, but they barely take a minute to pause, going right into the action: 

Naturally, these heartless robots don't seem to care about whether their opponents are utterly wrecked.

There's even a tiny femto-class of sumo robot fighting:

Wow. There is a Femto-sumo class. Should fit 1cm cube ⛏d🌬

— Aleksandr Motsjonov (@soswow) June 20, 2017

More about Tech, Robots, Japan, Japanese, and Fighting Robots
Author: Yi Shu Ng
Posted: June 22, 2017, 9:08 pm

For a lot of kids, growing up in today's world means more time spent staring at screens than biking around the neighborhood with friends. This isn't a huge surprise considering the increase in affordable personal electronic devices. But it puts a difficult task on parents: How do you keep kids from engaging in too much screen time without getting tantrums or moody backlash?

A 2015 study by Common Sense Media reported that kids aged eight to 18 in the U.S. spend an average of nine hours each day using media. It's become an addiction for many, but a new app called unGlue is here to make management easier. The app helps families agree on an amount of screen time kids will engage in, and then holds them to it.  Read more...

More about Tech, Apps, Kids, Innovation, and App Store
Author: Molly Sequin
Posted: June 22, 2017, 8:36 pm

It's a rare occasion when you take the perfect photo on the first try. Most likely, your camera roll is clogged with photos as you attempt to shoot that all-star selfie, picture at the concert, or snapshot of the new glow-in-the-dark donuts

But for all you accidental photo hoarders, photography app EyeEm and its AI helper are here to remove your pre-post photo clutter.

The app rolled out an update on Wednesday, giving users the ability to choose which photos will be the most liked. The new feature is called EyeEm "Selects," and it's an AI curator that automatically selects the best shots on your camera roll based on learned algorithms. Read more...

More about Tech, Iphone, Android, Apps, and Photos
Author: Molly Sequin
Posted: June 22, 2017, 8:32 pm
Author: Lance Ulanoff
Posted: June 22, 2017, 8:03 pm

So... you know how everyone's been saying wearables are on the way out, or already dead? 

You should probably call off the funeral. If new projections pan out, the market for the gadgets is heating up, and it's only going to get hotter.  

Research firm IDC's latest wearables report estimated that global wearable vendors will ship a whopping 125.5 million devices this year, a 20.4 percent increase from the 104.3 million units thought to have shipped in 2016. But this year is just the start of the wearable renaissance — IDC forecasts major growth in the space going forward, predicting that the international market will nearly double to 240.1 million shipments by 2021.     Read more...

More about Fitbit, Apple Watch, Wearable Tech, Tech, and Health
Author: Brett Williams
Posted: June 22, 2017, 7:04 pm

Just to let you know, if you buy something featured here, Mashable might earn an affiliate commission.

Take a byte out of your data storage with one of these delicious USB storage devices.

These cute thumb drives can turn a dull day at work into an enjoyable one. From chocolate bars to hot sauce bottles, this list has every food-themed flash drive for every type of taste.

Break me off a piece

Image: D-CLICK

Save room for dessert, literally. Get it here for $14.98.

They see me rollin’      

Image: HDE

Wrap your files up in a blanket of seaweed. Soy sauce and spicy mayo does not come on the side. Get it here for $10.99. Read more...

More about Usb Gadgets, Mashable Shopping, Usb Flash Drive, Shopping List, and Shopping Geeky
Author: Bari Blitzer
Posted: June 22, 2017, 3:25 pm

Not to detract from the cool tech creation here, but programmer Abhishek Singh's augmented reality reimagining of Super Mario Bros. World 1-1 for HoloLens isn't even the craziest thing about this video. That honor goes instead to the total indifference expressed by every pedestrian in New York's Central Park.

How do you witness a spectacle like this and just keep on walking? If I came across a man dressed like a video game plumber and wearing a future-tech headset in midtown Manhattan, you can be damn sure I'd stop to see what he's doing.

Singh's rebuilt version of World 1-1 isn't a perfect replica, largely because Super Mario Bros. was never built to be played in a 3D space. Instead of trying to climb imaginary block hills or leap across deadly drops, Singh simply walks around them. Read more...

More about Tech, Entertainment, Gaming, Hololens, and Augmented Reality
Author: Adam Rosenberg
Posted: June 22, 2017, 3:15 pm

Valve thinks it's solved the problem of tracking individual finger movements in virtual reality. 

The so-called "Knuckles" controller doesn't look much different from what's out there, but it benefits from a number of innovative design tweaks. 

The Oculus Touch and HTC Vive "wands" do a great job of tracking hand gestures, but not so much with precise finger movements. Both rely on buttons, but it's an imperfect solution: buttons can't track finger movements, for one, and you've also got to always maintain some kind of grip on the controller (so you don't drop it). Read more...

More about Tech, Entertainment, Gaming, Virtual Reality, and Vr
Author: Adam Rosenberg
Posted: June 22, 2017, 3:09 pm

Construction is difficult to automate because of the complex, individualized and customized work it requires. 

But a company called Construction Robotics has developed a one-of-a-kind robot that can lay bricks six times faster than a human.  Read more...

More about Innovation, Construction, Brick Wall, Real Time, and Robot Arm
Author: Nikolay Nikolov
Posted: June 22, 2017, 2:14 pm

Feel like making some music today? Google's here to help you out with that.

Today's interactive Google Doodle honors filmmaker and artist Oskar Fischinger on his 117th birthday. The influential German was best known for mixing the worlds of abstract motion graphics and animation with music, working in Hollywood on movies and on his own intricate animations and paintings. 

Image: google/screenshot

You'll be able to create your own tunes with the Doodle — it's an addictive, soothing experience once you get the hang of it. 

Using the Doodle is easy. Just click on the Google logo, let the program load and click on your PC, or tap the screen on your smartphone to cue a single beat from any of the four instrument options. If you layer the notes just right, you'll be able to create more than just a simplistic tune. Read more...

More about Google, Music, Google Doodle, Digital Music, and Tech
Author: Brett Williams
Posted: June 22, 2017, 2:12 pm

Just to let you know, if you buy something featured here, Mashable might earn an affiliate commission.

The new ideal of the "smart home" imagines a Jetsons-esque world in which all of your devices are connected to the internet, communicating with each other and adapting to your preferences to create new age of convenience and instant gratification. We may just be headed in that direction very soon. 

No automated home is truly "smart" without an adequate security system to keep malicious hackers from seizing control of its devices. That's why the CUJO Smart Internet Security Firewall is such a crucial development. For just $224.99, this little device promises to secure all your network-connected peripherals for the rest of your life. Whether you're considering home automation or you just have an Amazon Echo, you should take network security seriously. Read more...

More about Mashable Shopping, Shopping Stackcommerce, Shopping Electronics, Tech, and Consumer Tech
Author: Nicole Cammorata
Posted: June 22, 2017, 2:02 pm

Facebook's AMBER Alerts are now available in Australia as part of a partnership with the country's state and federal police, and Australians will now be notified of missing children on top of their News Feeds.

While the instance of abducted children in Australia is low, according to the Australian Federal Police, the system's availability will issue a 24-hour alert to users on Facebook who are in the area of where the child went missing.

"We know that when a child is missing, the most valuable thing we can do is get information out to the public as quickly as possible," according to Facebook's Director of Trust and Safety, Emily Vacher, in an online statement. Read more...

More about Facebook, Australia, Law Enforcement, Amber Alert, and Tech
Author: Johnny Lieu
Posted: June 22, 2017, 1:02 pm

Who needs to try on lipstick IRL when you can do it without leaving your room?

You might remember Meitu, the selfie-editing app that brought you some of these amazing transformations: 


It's now making a serious play for the world of luxury cosmetics, with the launch of a new virtual lipstick counter which is aptly named — you guessed it — Counter, on its MakeUp Plus app (available for iOS and Android).

Just select the colour you want, point the camera at yourself — and you'll be able to choose your perfect shade.  Read more...

More about Makeup, Lipstick, Cosmetics, Meitu, and Photo Apps
Author: Yvette Tan
Posted: June 22, 2017, 10:18 am

Tumblr just made some big changes to how it approaches NSFW content. 

Earlier this week, the platform introduced a new "safe mode" that, when enabled, prevents users from seeing NSFW content unless they choose to view it.

That may sound like a pretty straightforward change, but it's already proving to be controversial and not just for the reasons you may think.

First, a bit of context: the Tumblr community has long been known as a free-spirited group where just about anything goes, including porn and many other varieties of NSFW content. Not only that, Tumblr's openness has given rise to countless communities of people who eagerly share and celebrate much of this content.  Read more...

More about Tech, Tumblr, Apps And Software, Tech, and Social Media Companies
Author: Karissa Bell
Posted: June 22, 2017, 3:47 am

University of Michigan engineering students will get a slick new ride to class starting next school year — no driver necessary.

The University's MCity self-driving development hub just announced its plans to launch a free autonomous shuttle service in the school's North Campus. It's the first time the self-driving program has offered services outside of the 32-acre MCity complex, which opened in 2015.

The shuttle will run a non-stop, two-mile route between the Lurie Engineering Center and the university’s North Campus Research Complex, so students won't be able to take advantage of the autonomous transport for their extracurricular activities, if you know what I mean.  Read more...

More about Autonomous Vehicles, Self Driving Cars, Navya, University Of Michigan Research, and Mcity
Author: Brett Williams
Posted: June 21, 2017, 10:51 pm

UPDATE: June 22, 2017, 8:32 a.m. EDT This story has been updated to add statements from Virgin Mobile's spokesperson and clarify some aspects of the new offer.

Virgin Mobile USA has taken iPhone fever to the next level. 

Sir Richard Branson broke the news that Virgin Mobile will become the first iPhone-only mobile carrier. Virgin's services will be available for purchase in Apple Stores, and the carrier's online store will offer new and "pre-loved" iPhones at significantly lower prices than you'll find elsewhere. 

The new iPhone-only network is hitting the market with a bold promotion: the new Inner Circle plan will offer those who buy an iPhone from Apple or Virgin six months of unlimited everything — talk, text, and data — for $1. Enrollees who pull the trigger between the plan's launch on June 27 and July 31 will get an entire year of unlimited service for the same price.  Read more...

More about Apple, Wireless Carrier, Virgin Mobile, Tech, and Consumer Tech
Author: Brett Williams
Posted: June 21, 2017, 10:15 pm

'KI ecobe' has developed modular footwear that allows you to fully customize your shoes without adhesive. Read more...

More about Design, Clothing, Shoes, Sneakers, and Sneaker
Author: Alex Humphreys
Posted: June 21, 2017, 9:54 pm

Some media analysts are convinced VR video will soon be big—even though most people still haven't tried on a VR headset yet. 

That isn't stopping players like Major League Baseball (MLB) from jumping into a new partnership with Samsung to provide users with all the baseball-related VR content they can handle. 

On Wednesday, the two announced the collaboration, which will initially give Samsung Gear VR users access (via the device's app) to 20 VR video experiences that take fans behind the scenes of MLB sports events. 

But what about live events in VR? In a separate deal announced earlier this month, MLB launched a series of live games Samsung Gear VR users can watch via the Intel True VR app. And while this all sounds great in terms of pushing VR forward, I'm skeptical about the chances of VR and professional baseball being a match.  Read more...

More about Sports, Mlb, Virtual Reality, Vr, and Ar
Author: Adario Strange
Posted: June 21, 2017, 8:29 pm

If you still have Google Glass lying around somewhere, it's time to dust it off and plug it in: Google just pushed out its first update to the device in two and a half years.

The update is honestly barely worthy of the noun—one of the two bullet points in the X23 release notes is the rote "bug fixes and performance improvements" that's part of any software update. But Google did include another change in the update: it enhanced the device's Bluetooth capabilities, allowing Glass to pair with external mice and keyboards.

Outside of Google developer conferences, Glass doesn't make many public appearances. As a former "Glass Explorer" (Google's formal name for those who bought the $1,500 Explorer Edition, which was discontinued in January 2015), I occasionally don the headset when I want to take hands-free pics of my kids, but for the most part it stays in its case. History has placed Glass somewhere between punch line and cautionary tale on the continuum of wearable technology, and Google owned up to its mistakes in its approach to Glass back in 2015. Read more...

More about Google, Wearables, Google Glass, Tech, and Consumer Tech
Author: Pete Pachal
Posted: June 21, 2017, 7:33 pm
Author: Louise Matsakis
Posted: June 21, 2017, 7:20 pm

You're probably familiar with robots. You've seen them in movies, in science class, and probably in your own hand in the form of a smartphone. 

But prepare to be thrown for a loop, because there's a new type of robot being developed, and it's soft. That's right, kids. It's soft.

There's actually a good reason for this new development, which is being explored by Wei Wang and team at Seoul National University and Sungkyunkwan University. The robot, called DeployBot, is pretty ideal for space missions.

You can think about this kind of robot as akin to an invertebrate organism. Motorized robots are like vertebrates, with the motor as the backbone. This has many benefits, such as endurance and durability. However, if a vertebrate needs to squeeze through the tiny opening under a door, it's more or less out of luck. That's where the invertebrate has a strong advantage. Soft robots have similar benefits in space travel.  Read more...

More about Supported, Robots, Robots In Space, Tech, and Innovations
Author: Nicole Herviou
Posted: June 21, 2017, 6:49 pm

The next Olympic Games are gonna be lit... with technology.

Intel, which became an official Olympic Partner on Wednesday (and makes most of the CPUs inside today's PCs and all of them on Macs), promises to bring a wide array of cutting-edge technology to the Olympic games, beginning with the upcoming 2018 Winter Olympics in PyeongChang, South Korea.

International Olympic Committee President Thomas Bach said during a press conference that adding Intel to the membership committee is part of the Olympics' new reform program and a way to thrust the games into the digital age.  Read more...

More about Intel, Tech, Innovations, and Big Tech Companies
Author: Lance Ulanoff
Posted: June 21, 2017, 6:10 pm

Formula-E partner Roborace just hit another milestone on the road to fully autonomous, high-speed racing.

The self-driving series just shared some new proof that it's edging closer to the starting line with some new footage of its first full-speed, self-driven lap on a Formula-E track in Berlin. The video gives us look at how the autonomous system works from inside the cockpit, hitting a high speed of around 124 mph with no driver needed. 

The electric self-driving self-driving racing series, which was first announced in 2015, has ramped up its development with public demos throughout this year's Formula E season. It's still not quite ready to put its cars on the track for a real race — but the video proves that it's making progress.  Read more...

More about Roborace, Formula E, Autonomous Vehicles, Self Driving Cars, and Tech
Author: Brett Williams
Posted: June 21, 2017, 5:52 pm

The 'Millo' smart blender claims to be 4x quieter than other blenders and can be powered with a single touch. Read more...

More about Health, Healthy Eating, Healthy Lifestyle, Healthy, and Quiet
Author: Alex Humphreys
Posted: June 21, 2017, 4:34 pm

Buffering… Buffering… Aaaaad… Fist. Through. Laptop. Screen. Yes, we all know the feeling of trying to binge on some premium Netflix or Hulu eye food, but when a slow video stream results in a frozen screen or poor image quality, the euphoria disappears — and fast. 

Because nothing means anything nowadays without hard data to back it up, cloud delivery platform Akamai decided to conduct a study into exactly what happens to our feels when the streaming starts to go bad. 

Akamai teamed up with Sensum to measure more than 1,000 people's responses to low quality video streams. Shock! They hated the sucky video streams.  Read more...

More about Netflix, Hulu, Streaming, Streaming Services, and Ott
Author: Adario Strange
Posted: June 21, 2017, 4:17 pm