Google Maps will now tell you when to get off the bus or train

A mass transit feature for the Android version of Google Maps that notifies you when you need to get off the bus is finally live. It also includes step-by-step navigation, departure times and ETAs for your next public transportation ride. You can also track your progress as you go, just like you can when walking, biking or driving.

social experiment by Livio Acerbo #greengroundit #engadget https://www.engadget.com/2017/12/15/google-maps-will-tell-when-to-get-off-bus-train/

Buy an Xbox One X and get ‘PUBG’ free for a limited time

From December 17th through the 31st, Microsoft will give everyone who purchases an Xbox One X a copy of PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds. A post on Xbox Wire says that over a million people played the battle royale game within 48 hours of being available. Not bad for a game that hasn’t even hit 1.0 yet. The move makes a lot of sense; the folks who’ve play PUBG in Early Access for almost a year are exactly the type of audience Microsoft has been targeting with its “most powerful console ever” One X marketing campaign. That said, the appeal lovably clunky game might be lost on the folks who are buying the $500 console just to show off their new 4K TV.

social experiment by Livio Acerbo #greengroundit #engadget https://www.engadget.com/2017/12/15/xbox-one-x-free-pubg-promo/

Apple signs ‘Battlestar Galactica’ developer for new space drama

Fargo co-executive producers Matt Wolpert and Ben Nedivi will join Moore on the project, which does not yet have a title. It’s the third series ordered by Apple’s worldwide video programming division, which is headed by former Sony execs Jamie Erlicht & Zack Van Amburg. The tech giant had previously hired Steven Spielberg to produce a new version of the old Amazing Stories anthology series, as well as buying a TV drama created by and starring Jennifer Aniston and Reese Witherspoon.

There’s no news on when Moore’s show will be released, but his experience is reason enough to get excited. He started as a writer and eventual producer on Star Trek: The Next Generation before moving on to Star Trek: Deep Space Nine and a stint on Star Trek: Voyager. He became a showrunner on HBO’s Carnivale before developing the rebooted Battlestar Galactica and later Starz’s Outlander series adapting the books of read more

Facebook adds more viewing options to its 360 app for Gear VR

Now, users will be able to view Live videos, including Live 360 videos rendered in 4K, shows available through Facebook Watch, gaming and eSports videos, videos you’ve previously watched on Facebook as well as videos and 360 photos you’ve uploaded or shared through Facebook. The app will also now allow you to search for and follow Pages.

Facebook has been expanding its VR offerings this year. In April, it launched Spaces, its social VR experience and in October, Mark Zuckerberg announced the company was working on a VR feature that would let you meet up with friends and watch concerts. Creating a wider viewing selection in Facebook 360 is a useful addition and can only help boost the company’s VR ambitions.

social experiment by Livio Acerbo #greengroundit #engadget https://www.engadget.com/2017/12/15/facebook-viewing-options-360-app-gear-vr/

The best robotics kits for beginners

Who should get this

A robotics kit should be of interest to any parent who wishes to encourage a child’s interest in the STEM fields. Schools often turn to kits to teach physics or math concepts, but at home they can also serve as a creative outlet and source of fun. We think the best beginner robotics kits challenge you to build the robot in a creative, open-ended way using hundreds of pieces. You’ll then program it on your mobile device or computer to walk, talk, and play games.

How we picked and tested


We interviewed experts and scoured sites like Amazon for robotics kits before selecting seven to test. Photo: Signe Brewster

To choose which beginner robotics kits to test, we scoured websites like Amazon for reviews and considered existing guides from publications such as Tom’s Guide and Make. We also consulted three experts on the most important functions to look for in an introductory robotics kit. We eventually settled on seven kits to test, based on these criteria:

  • Encourages both building and programming the robot
  • Includes everything you need in the box
  • Thorough, easy-to-follow instructions
  • Open-ended design, and easily expandable with optional kits
  • Intuitive graphical programming software (not text-based)
  • Priced between $85 and $300

For each kit, we began by following read more

Facebook’s ‘snooze’ button mutes a friend for 30 days

A sad truth of Facebook: many of us follow people who annoy us pretty frequently. Rather than going through the social pain of un-friending someone, however, Facebook has offered the option to stay friends with someone but mute all of their posts in your News Feed. Today, Facebook is rolling out a similar feature that’s a little less severe — you can “snooze” friends, groups or pages for 30 days by clicking the drop-down menu on a post. It’s a smart addition; Facebook itself says that many people want to stop seeing posts from people, but only for a temporary amount of time. Imagine having a friend whose vacation pictures are giving you serious FOMO, or you just need a break from your crazy uncle’s MAGA rants (you might be better off unfollowing him entirely, but the choice is now up to you).

While Facebook still relentlessly uses its algorithms to show posts in your News Feed, there’s at least a decent amount of customization users can do here. read more

NBC is adapting UK tech support sitcom ‘The IT Crowd’

The original ran from 2006 until 2010, with a wrap-up special released on 2013. It starred Chris O’Dowd, Richard Ayoade and Katherine Parkinson as socially inept “standard nerds” stuck in a basement office and ignored by other employees. Their tech support techniques include responding to questions with recordings like “have you tried turning it off and on again?”

Oddly enough, this will be NBC’s third attempt to adapt the show. It made a pilot in 2007 with Joel McHale and Jessica St. Clair, and another in 2014, neither of which when any further. There’s no news yet on who will star in the new adaptation, but they’ll have big shoes to fill. After the original series, O’Dowd and Ayoade went on to star in and direct feature films read more

The UK is getting a combined physical and digital games chart

According to Gamesindustry.biz, ISFE and B2Boost are already trialling a download chart for the UK. It’s not clear, however, just how many of the major console and marketplace providers are on board — a reflective multi-platform chart, for instance, would require representation from Nintendo (eShop), Sony (PSN), Microsoft (Xbox Store) and Valve (Steam). There are also publisher-specific portals to consider, such as EA’s Origin and the Blizzard Shop. Anything close to what NPD offers in the US would, however, be a dramatic improvement for the UK and offer a more accurate picture of industry trends. Fingers crossed it all comes together nicely.

social experiment by Livio Acerbo #greengroundit #engadget https://www.engadget.com/2017/12/15/uk-physical-digital-games-chart-era/

RIP, AOL Instant Messenger

AIM started life as a built-in chat application for America Online’s desktop client, back when millions bought their internet service from AOL, now called Oath, and now owners of this very site. It didn’t capture the imagination of the early internet until it was spun out as a separate app back in 1997. The little yellow guy soon became iconic. Fortunately there’s no shortage of messaging services now — if you’re not Facetiming or using Snapchat, that is. We’ll always have the memories.

social experiment by Livio Acerbo #greengroundit #engadget https://www.engadget.com/2017/12/15/rip-aol-instant-messenger-aim/

The Morning After: Friday, December 15th 2017

It’s done… or is it?The FCC has repealed net neutrality

Now that Ajit Pai has pushed through an FCC vote (along party lines, three to two) to undo Title II net neutrality protections, what’s next? We can explain, but first up is a series of court battles, including lawsuits filed by a number of states to keep Title II in place.

Including rights for Marvel and ‘Star Wars’ that it didn’t already have.Disney buys large chunks of Fox for $52 million

The Disney conglomerate adds Fox’s movie and TV studios (including big-name franchises like X-Men, Avatar, Alien and The Simpsons), majority control of Hulu, FX cable networks and $13.7 billion in debt. Now the big question is if this deal will pass muster with government regulators.

Let’s define ‘professionals.’The iMac Pro is fast, but who is it for?

Today marks the release of the iMac Pro, Apple’s first all-in-one desktop aimed at professionals. The question isn’t read more