New testing program paves way for safer hoverboards



The reports of malfunctioning hoverboards exploding have become so frequent that it’s no longer a surprise to hear of one burning a user’s home or belongings

Now UL (Underwriters Laboratories), the independent testing firm that many U.S. electronics manufacturers use as a mark of safety certification, has opened a program specifically designed to test hoverboards

The organization will use its “UL 2272” certification, which covers the device’s rechargeable battery as well as a charger system in conjunction with what UL terms as “self balancing scooters.” Read more…

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Craft your own 'Mario Maker' wallpapers with this Nintendo app



If torturing your friends and strangers with your own devious Mario levels wasn’t enough, you can now bring your own twisted Super Mario Maker creations to all your screens.

Nintendo launched a Japanese-only Super Mario Maker wallpaper creation tool, which uses the familiar creation platform from last year’s Wii U release. While you won’t be able to run through these levels as Mario, you can create stylized art with assets from four of the biggest Super Mario games.

“” is not a valid see-also reference

Even if you don’t speak Japanese, the tool is very easy to figure out. First, you select a wallpaper platform — monitor or mobile phone — then select the dimensions depending on your device. You’ll then be greeted with the familiar level making screen from Super Mario Maker. Read more…

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This writing app deletes everything if you stop typing



Writing on a computer can be one of the most harrowing experiences of the modern era. With a bevy of Internet distractions including endless pictures of puppies, videos of people falling down and social media, it’s a wonder anything actually gets done anymore. How can anyone stay focused while simultaneously drowning in thousands of procrastination catalysts just one click away?

Flowstate, found on Product Hunt, is a writing app for OS X ($14.99) and iOS ($9.99) that wants to keep you focused. You select a font, timeframe and title, then start writing. If you stop typing, your text begins to fade, and it’s completely deleted after five seconds of inactivity. Read more…

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Magic Leap snags $793 million augmented reality investment, led by Alibaba



Still cloaked in mystery, Magic Leap, the Florida-based augmented reality startup, has added a whopping $793.5 million in new funding, despite the fact that the public hasn’t even seen its product yet

Significantly, the new round of funding is led by Alibaba, the Chinese ecommerce giant founded by Jack Ma

“We invest in forward-thinking, innovative companies like Magic Leap that are developing leading products and technologies,” Alibaba executive chairman Joe Tsai said in an emailed statement. “We believe Alibaba can both provide support to and learn from such a partner, and we look forward to working with the Magic Leap team.” Read more…

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EasyJet's energy-efficient plane concept could save millions on fuel



Low-cost airlines have mastered the art of saving money. UK-based EasyJet unveiled a new concept on Tuesday that could save millions of dollars on fuel while also recycling water for passengers.

The idea is reminiscent of “toilet-to-tap” systems, although the wastewater in this case would be from hydrogen fuel cells (not the plane’s lavatory).

A hydrogen fuel cell stowed in the aircraft’s hold would capture energy from the aircraft brakes during landing. That energy would then charge lightweight batteries while the plane is on the ground, and those batteries would be tapped during taxiing to avoid using the jet engines. Read more…

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Report: Apple will reveal new 4-inch iPhone, iPad Air 3 on March 15



Mid March is the new Christmas, at least for Apple fans, it seems.

A new report from prolific Apple rumor distributor Mark Gurman at 9to5 Mac says Apple will hold its next event on March 15. The company will reportedly unveil a new 4-inch iPhone to replace the aging iPhone 5S as well as an updated iPad Air. The Apple Watch is also rumored to get some incremental updates.

If the report is true, this would mark the second year in a row Apple has held a March event. Last year the company unveiled the new ultra-thin MacBook at a March event, which also served as the official launch announcement of the Apple Watch. Read more…

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