Cut the Rope: Time Travel Review. From ZeptoLab. App Store SD: http://bit.ly/XQpXlo [iPhone] .99 App Store HD: http://bit.ly/15yllVC [iPad] .99 Amazon Ma… Video Rating: 4 / 5Related Posts:
The Razer Blade laptop line, which is just a year old and has already gone through one needed revision, has been built on the promise of significant gaming power in a thin chassis. But while the first two generations of Blades have been svelte for a 17-inch laptop, they’ve left us wanting for a laptop that’s more refined and even a bit thinner. The new 14-inch Blade, which Razer unveiled on Thursday, just might be the device we were hoping for last year. The MacBook stylings are still in full force, particularly the nigh-identical lid and hinge, but they seem to be serving Razer well here: the 14-inch Blade is indeed thin, light, feels premium and incredibly solid, and appeared to be running games quite well for a laptop this svelte,…
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In lieu of a formal review, Matt Burns and I sat down to take a look at the Samsung 700T AKA ATIV Smart PC Pro 700T, a convertible tablet that has a small button on the keyboard that pops out the Windows 8 tablet that forms the brains of the machine. The device is a bit chintzy – more pressed metal and injected plastic than I like to see on a laptop – but at about $ 1,000 retail it’s an acceptable compromise for Win8 users who are looking for a nicer tablet.
I gave this device a Fly simply because I like the idea – a laptop that turns into a tablet with much fuss – but Matt was unimpressed. A little treat for you: this thing was so hard to describe that I had to read the name off of my phone and I still mispronounced it.
The laptop hit about 6 hours of battery life and a Geekbench score of about 4,000, on par with the i5 tablets we tested. The lower price – especially at this late in the game for this laptop, make it an interesting choice for a fleet laptop but I think the fit, finish, and power could detract from its overall appeal. It’s an interesting laptop, to be sure, but not the best of the bunch.
Those who already own Google Glass are more likely than most to embrace new technologies like Nest’s thermostat, so it only makes sense that an especially eager adopter would find a way to combine the two. That would be James Rundquist and his new Glass Nest app: Glass owners now just have to announce that they’re coming home (or heading out) to make their Nest units change the climate. More exacting homeowners can fine-tune the temperature, too. While the utility is both unofficial and quite limited at this stage, Rundquist has posted source code that lets anyone expand on the project. If you’re in the rare position of owning both gadgets, we’d suggest giving Glass Nest and its code at least a cursory look.
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Microsoft’s efforts to build out the app ecosystem for Windows Phone 8 appear to be reaching a plateau. Buried in today’s announcement of the Nokia Lumia 928 for Verizon was the fact that the Windows Phone Store now has 145,000 apps, up only slightly from the 120,000 apps announced in October. The figures suggest momentum has slowed after the Windows Phone catalog doubled in size over the first half of last year. And it raises the question of whether developers are shying away from a platform that is still struggling to catch on in North America.
Disrupt NY 2013′s Startup Battlefield competition is underway, and now New York native Keen Home is taking the stage to present its first-round pitch. Keen Home is a home automation startup, which aims to follow in Nest’s footsteps by building remote vents for your central air conditioning and heating systems that can be controlled from your smartphone to optimally direct air where you actually need it — and away from places you don’t. Keen just launched its crowdfunding campaign on Indiegogo.
Keen Home is the brainchild of Ryan Fant and Nayeem Hussain, both of whom have experience founding companies in the home real estate and property-management space. The two believe their startup can appeal to consumers who want both more convenience in managing their home’s HVAC systems, and who want to save money and conserve energy. Keen Home’s debut product, the Keen Vent, accomplishes both.
The idea came from Fant noticing that when vents were closed in other rooms, heating and cooling the one he was currently in became much easier. The problem is that those vents generally operate separately, and manually, in most homes. Even with some systems that provide a remote, like Activent, they aren’t centrally controlled in a way that makes them individually manageable from an existing device like a smartphone.
“We found that just by closing four vents in an average-sized home, we’ve reduced the run time of the furnace by about 30 percent,” Fant explained in an interview. “So not only were we redirecting air to rooms that were actually in use by intelligently closing vents, we were increasing efficiency, as well.”
Keen believes that the focus is always on the thermostat when it comes to home heating and cooling efficiency solutions, which is good but it ignores other parts of the problem. The Keen Vent solves that, by providing both a user-guided and automated way of opening and closing vents to change how air flows through a home. A homeowner can set a schedule for individual vents, too, and it can plug into weather data to respond intelligently to changing conditions.
Fant says the Keen Vent can provide up to 32 percent reduction in run time for HVAC systems, which means lower monthly bills and less toll on the environment. Most heating and cooling vents in households are around 60 years old, Keen Home said on stage during their Disrupt Battlefield presentation on Monday.
Individual vent covers will cost around $ 40 per vent, Keen predicts, with a $ 150 charge for the system in total. There’s also a recurring fee of around $ 4 per month for access to the cloud-based management platform, which also provides monthly reports. But Fant and Hussain plan to partner with utility companies and homebuilders to try to offer the tech initially at a discount price, perhaps with, say, six months of service rolled into a new construction. It’s the same model that satellite radio provider Sirius/XM uses to sell subscriptions with new cars.
Keen Home is launching its Keen Vent product on Indiegogo today, and believes that seeking crowdfunding, as well as traditional investment, will help it get the word out and prove product viability. Its biggest challenges will be proving to users that a recurring subscription around centralized vent control is worth the cost, and in making sure that legacy players like Honeywell don’t swoop in and simply build their own similar systems. The team says that being aggressive with partnerships with big utility companies, the way others like Nest and thinkeco have done in the past, will be the key to making sure it can overcome both.
Keen said on stage that the majority of its audience would be people who don’t know what a smart home is, so they tried to make sure it was as easy to install as possible. That’s why they’ve made the install process as simple as possible, and setting up the online dashboard involves only entering a code and then doing a roughly 15 question survey. In addition, they’re planning to partner with HVAC contractors to take care of more complicated installs. Battery life is expected to be around a year for the vents, so it’d be roughly equivalent to changing the power source on devices like smoke and carbon monoxide detectors.
“The initial versions of Glass were just Sergey [Brin]‘s Oakleys with a phone taped to them,” Bill Maris, managing partner of Google Ventures, told me in a noisy cafe in Midtown Manhattan. Given his position and our topic of conversation — Google’s Project Glass — he was conspicuous for wearing no eyewear whatsoever. “[Sergey's prototype] was not very compelling.” You’d forgive him for being a bit skeptical back then about what the company’s leadership was hoping would be the next big thing — or, at least, a thing worthy of the time and money required to iterate from those humble beginnings to the sleek device we now know and covet.
So, then, how did we get from those initial doubts to the launching of the Glass Collective, dedicating millions of dollars to finding, funding and fostering innovative applications (not just of the software variety) for Google’s new wearable? Maris spoke of Glass project lead Steve Lee and a later prototype that took photos every few seconds. “Imagine if you had this for your entire life. You could ask: ‘What did I do 10 years ago today?’” That was compelling enough for Maris to commit to the foundation of the Collective, helping Google move the project beyond a single product and into the all-important realm of the platform. This is a platform, he believes, that could change our lives over the next 10 years just as smartphones have over the past decade.