Posts Tagged ‘world’s’
Netherlands-based hardware initiative Fairphone began around three years ago as a project designed to highlight the use of conflict minerals in the construction of consumer electronics, and then evolved three years later into a full-fledged hardware startup, with the aim of turning its knowledge into action with the building of an ethically sourced, built and distributed smartphone. Now, it’s opening up pre-orders to the general public, beginning with customers in Europe.
The Fairphone needs 5,000 pre-orders in order to begin production, and retails for a total of €325 ($ 436). That price included taxes, however and what you get for that is an unlocked, 4.3-inch smartphone running Android 4.2, powered by a quad core processor. It has an 8 megapixel rear camera, and a 1.3 megapixel front facing shooter, with dual-SIM trays for easy carrier switching and international travel.
As a smartphone, the Fairphone seems capable enough, but it’s the manufacturing process that’s really core to the concept of the device. The phone itself is made using materials from a completely transparent supply chain – Fairphone is looking at the provenance of each mineral used to make each component, the people who build each part and the processes evolved and their social and ecological impact, and will make all of that information available to buyers and the general public. The idea is to flag stuff that’s being done poorly, highlight ways to make changes, in both the short and long term, and also build a collection of best practices that can be shared with the rest of the industry.
Fairphone initially had opened sales only to the over 16,000 people who signed up to express interest when it initially announced the project, giving them first crack at the initial pre-order run. It seems like the percentage of those that were actually willing to put their money down on a device and contribute to the initial fund was much lower, however, which has prompted the expansion of sales to anyone in Europe who might want to contribute.
The Fairphone is being transparent about the sales process, too; thus far, it has managed to sell 2,333 phones through pre-orders, with 20 days left in its campaign. Hopefully broadening the buyer pool will spark more interest, because the project stands to be able to shed a lot of light on what for many is a completely invisible or poorly understood process.
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Amazon launches Kindle Worlds publishing platform for fan fiction, will pay royalties to writers and rights holders
Amazon’s taken a number of steps to bring different types of content to the Kindle Store, and it’s now venturing into an area that has a long history with the internet: fan fiction. The company’s today announced Kindle Worlds, a new publishing platform that promises to pay writers royalties for stories inspired by established works. Naturally, the original rights holder needs to be a willing participant as well, and they’ll also be paid a royalty for all fan fiction stories sold. So what are your options for now? For the launch, Amazon has partnered with Warner Bros. Television Group’s Alloy Entertainment to open up three of its series to fan fiction enthusiasts, giving you the chance to write stories set in the world of Gossip Girl, Pretty Little Liars or The Vampire Diaries. The company’s promising that additional licenses are on the way, but for now you can check out the finer details in the press release after the break and at the source link below.
Filed under: Amazon
Source: Kindle Worlds
Meta, The World’s First Entry-Level VR Glasses, Hires The Father Of Wearable Computing As An Advisor
The Meta 1 is a pair of virtual reality goggles that performs some very unique and useful tricks. While they are still in beta stage, the glasses are coupled with a Kinect-like camera to sense objects in real space and allow users to interact with virtual worlds with the swipe of their hand.
The company founder, Meron Gribetz, says that the company is on track to create a mass produced solution shortly, but until then they have brought on Steve Mann, a real cyborg and wearable computing researcher, to act as an advisor. You’ll recall that Mann was assaulted in a Parisian McDonald’s for wearing a Google-Glass-like headset.
“We brought Mann on board because of his expertise in two key areas: miniaturization and mediated reality. Mann has been developing a Google Glass-like device for years but recognized now was not the right time for something of that scale, because of the limitations of such a device. Rather than a phone accessory, Mann is keen to work with us to develop a fully fledged new interface for computers,” said Gribetz.
“His scientific leadership in mediated reality will be a huge advantage for us when delivering an immersive augmented experience. Occlusion (hiding or modifying real world objects) is a key part of full augmented reality and Mann’s experience in mediated reality will allow us to bring the best solution to market in this area.”
Gribetz is a Y Combinator alum and the project, which is still on Kickstarter, is nearly funded with 26 days to go. Users can receive a Dev Kit for $ 550. Epson will be building Meta’s next-generation VR glasses which will look considerably less DIY than the beta developer version.
“The entrance into consumer wearables needs to be a high powered immersive device capable of fully replacing the computer and more. Heads up notification systems have their use cases, but they won’t be game changers. Mann’s commitment to a fully wearable future is why he chose to join us,” said Gribetz. Considering Mann has been wearing his computing power for most of this decade, it seems like a good fit.
Each week our friends at Inhabitat recap the week’s most interesting green developments and clean tech news for us — it’s the Week in Green.
Eyes in the design world turned to New York City this week as New York Design Week officially launched. We hit the floors of International Contemporary Furniture Fair today to bring you the best new green designs from one of the largest contemporary design shows in the US — including Blackbody’s gorgeous OLED light trees and Tat Chao’s ethereal LED lamps made from recycled wine glasses. We also checked out the locally focused BKLYN Designs show, where design duo Bower unveiled an awesome magnetic LED lamp, made from discarded pieces of scrap wood. Lighting designer Adam Frank unveiled three inspiring new designs at BKLYN Designs: the LED Lumen lamp, which casts tree-shaped shadows from a little candle holder; the incredible Reveal Projector, which projects an image of outdoor foliage and sky through a window on a blank wall (good for tiny NYC apartment dwellers); and the 3D Hologram-ish LUCID Mirror, which displays a 3D image of illuminated clouds over your head!
So the rumor is true: the world’s first Jolla Sailfish device will be launching this month. In fact, Marc Dillon, the ex-CEO and now Head of Software Development at Jolla, was kind enough to flash the back of the product at the GMIC Beijing conference earlier today — mainly to emphasize his love for the Chinese market. It was very brief — no more than two seconds — but the orange device appeared to be no smaller than five inches in screen size. Dillon only added that the official launch is “coming in a couple of weeks,” so we’ll be keeping an eye out for an invitation in our mailbox.
Just about every gamer we know has wanted to alter a game world on the spot, whether it’s to cheat, fix game mechanics or experiment. Special Stage Systems’ Ming Mecca system is built entirely around that concept — and will definitely appeal to anyone with a fondness for analog electronics. Knobs and switches on its World Core synthesizer module adjust the game machine’s maps, graphics, characters and even physics through voltage tweaks. Players only have to load assets on an SD card if they’d like a different look, and they even have access to the firmware and schematics if they want to go completely off the beaten path. Input is just as unconventional: a Control Core turns NES-compatible gamepads into signal generators that can be used just as easily for music making as for playing. Ming Mecca isn’t expected to ship until summer 2014, and it won’t be cheap at an estimated $ 999 for a World Core and $ 350 for the Control Core. Even so, we’re sorely tempted to splurge — it’s not often that a gadget scratches so many of our nostalgic itches at once.
Source: Special Stage Systems
Acer’s making a big Windows 8 play at its event today in New York city, announcing a handful of unique devices including the new Aspire P3. Acer calls the P3 an “ultrabook convertible,” and that’s a fairly apt description: it’s a tablet and detachable keyboard dock running Windows 8, with a Core i3 or i5 processor. It reminds us a bit of the Surface, with the clip-on keyboard and pen support. Acer claims its the first of its kind, though that may be semantic: we heard about the Lenovo ThinkPad Helix months ago, though we’ve yet to see it in stores.
Acer calls the P3 the perfect device for consumption and creation, an increasingly common trope among Windows PC manufacturers. It has an 11.6-inch HD display, weighs 3.06 pounds, and is…
After taking a few shadowy pictures for the scientific world’s paparazzi, the atom is now ready for its closeup. Today, a team of IBM scientists are bypassing the big screen to unveil what they call the “world’s smallest movie.” This atomic motion picture was created with the help of a two-ton IBM-made microscope that operates at a bone-chilling negative 268 degrees Celsius. This hardware was used to control a probe that pulled and arranged atoms for stop-motion shots used in the 242-frame film. A playful spin on microcomputing, the short was made by the same team of IBM eggheads who recently developed the world’s smallest magnetic bit. Now that the atom’s gone Hollywood, what’s next, a molecular entourage?
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Each week our buddies at Inhabitat recap the week’s most fascinating green advancements and clean tech information for us– it’s the Week in Environment-friendly.
It’s been an interesting week for green building as Inhabitat stated that a few of the world’s leading architects unveiled plans for state-of-the-art advancements with light ecological footprints. Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG) won a worldwide design competitors for Europa, a brand-new green-roofed city outside of Paris. Construction began last week on a new solar-powered arena for the Euro 2016 football championship designed by Herzog & de Meuron. San Francisco commemorated the reopening of the Exploratorium this week in a new net-zero premises along the city’s waterside. In Mexico City, a helipad on the roof of a workplace structure was converted into a co-working space with a beautiful rooftop yard. And we also profiled the Ekinoid, a spherical, self-dependent house that sits on stilts and is built to stand up to catastrophe.
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