Instagram’s new video channels will help you geek out over your obsessions


Instagram wants you to watch more video.

The company is adding new topic-based video channels to the “explore” section of the app. The channels, which will be labeled as “picked for you,” will surface based on topics you may be interested in.

Instagram first introduced video channels to the explore section of the app in an update last spring. But the latest update adds a couple dozen new topical channels that allow users to watch clips around specific interests they may have.

The 23 new channels cover a wide variety of topics and range from super specific (“hair braiding” and “special effects makeup”) to more general interests (“fishing” and “ceramics”). Read more…

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#TBT: This 1990s watch tried to change time but failed


In this week’s episode of Throwback Tech, we take a look at the Swatch Beats watch that never caught on. The Swiss watch company’s invention runs on Internet time, but no it wasn’t referring to how much time you spent on reddit.  Instead of dividing the virtual and real day into 24 hours and 60 minutes per hour, the watch divides the day into 1000 “beats,” with each beat measuring one minute and 26.4 seconds. Very easy to see why it didn’t catch on.  Read more…

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Star Trek communicator replica is worthy of the Enterprise


Millennials raised on Star Trek the Next Generation are convinced that all future space travelers communicate via little Federation badges on their chests. 

They are wrong.

Decades before Captain Picard touched his pin and commanded Number One to “Make it so,” Captain James Tiberius Kirk was using a handheld communicator to declare, “Scotty, beam me up.”

That device was iconic and awesome, and now I have one in my hands.

To commemorate the 50th anniversary of the airing of the first-ever Star Trek TV episode, CBS Consumer Products commissioned the creation of a 21st century Star Trek The Original Series Bluetooth Communicator. Read more…

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Xiaomi launches a smart folding bicycle for China's busy city roads


Chinese company Xiaomi is launching an electric-powered folding bicycle for the country’s congested city roads. Mi QiCycle Electric Folding Bike hasn’t been developed by Xiaomi itself, but by iRiding, a Taiwanese company backed by Xiaomi. 

Priced at $455 (2,999 yuan), it is only available in China, with no word about its launch in other countries. Electric bikes are big business in China, with annual sales exceeding that of cars.

“As more people move to the edge of towns and cities, traffic congestion may get worse. Many people will drive their cars into the city centre to get to work,” Xiaomi says in its statement. “How you wish you have a bicycle with you right now?”  Read more…

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Volvo's new S90 and V90 R-Design models are both luxurious and sporty


Volvo, you’re killing me with these new cars. They’re stunning.

Volvo Cars revealed two new models Wednesday morning: The V90 R-Design and the S90 R-Design. These, if you couldn’t tell by the new suffix and lines of the cars are the sporty versions of the brand’s full size sedan and wagon.

Thankfully, the cars have more than just special matte black, diamond-cut five-spoke wheels and extra athletic trim bolted up. Volvo engineers improved the chassis tuning as well. In fact Volvo calls the R-Design V90 and S90 chassis an “advanced sport chassis” and brags that it “delivers an energetic, road-hugging drive.” Read more…

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Court grapples to define 'online location' in Australia's first site blocking case


Sites like Pirate Bay are one step closer to being blocked in Australia, just as soon as anyone can figure out the meaning of “online location.”

In Sydney Thursday, the court heard arguments from Foxtel and Roadshow as part of their bid to have Solar Movie, Pirate Bay, Torrentz, TorrentHound and IsoHunt blocked for Australian Internet users. It’s the first test of Australia’s new site blocking law, which was passed in 2015.

The law allows copyright holders to seek an injunction in Federal Court that forces Australian Internet service providers (ISPs) to block foreign websites that facilitate copyright infringement. Read more…

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