Super fun Force Band gives you Jedi-like control of BB-8

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Obi Wan is long gone, but his voice comes to me nonetheless, reminding me to be patient and asking me to… “Choose my activity?”

The voice, an uncanny blend of Alec Guinness and Ewan McGregor, is actually emanating from Sphero’s new Force Band, a device that lets you use the force…er…motion and gestures to control the already popular BB-8 by Sphero, a toy robot modeled on Star Wars: The Force Awaken’s scene-stealing BB-8 droid.

When I first saw the Force Band nine months ago at CES 2015, it was a somewhat unimpressive looking white plastic wearable with some pretty awesome capabilities. Inside the Force Band is the same inertial measurement unit (IMU), essentially an accelerometer and gyroscope, Sphero built into its little BB-8 robot. As a result, anyone wearing the Force Band prototype could control BB-8’s speed and direction using gestures. Read more…

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HP's Pavilion Wave PC is like nothing you've seen before

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The HP Pavilion Wave is a sneak-attack tower PC that looks — and can even act like — like a speaker. 

In a departure from virtually anything else we’ve ever seen from HP (now HP, Inc.) or any other Windows computer company, the HP Pavilion Wave is a category-redefining introduction that will likely leave you wondering whether this system belongs in the den, the kitchen or on a shelf next to your favorite vase. The answer may be all of the above.

HP Inc., which has been taking some design risks since its separation from HP Enterprise late last year, introduced the tiny, yet versatile and reasonably powerful Pavilion Wave on Thursday and will offer it for sale on the HP website starting Sept. 16. Read more…

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The bezels on Lenovo's most powerful Yoga laptop are so incredibly thin

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Lenovo’s line of laptop/tablet hybrids has a new king: the Yoga 910, whose nearly invisible bezels let it fit a 13.9-inch screen into a 13-inch laptop body.

The Yoga 910 comes with a range of Intel processors (up to a Core i7 model), a maximum of 16GB of memory, and up to 1TB of SSD storage. It also comes with Intel’s graphics chip and a 720p webcam at the bottom (due to the slim bezels it was likely impossible for Lenovo to place it at the top, leaving the very bottom of the screen as the next best option). 

The device has an aluminum body, JBL stereo speakers, a fingerprint sensor, and the screen comes with either full HD or 4K resolution.  Read more…

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The futuristic Lenovo Yoga Book can digitize your paper notes

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BERLIN — Cool doesn’t even begin to describe Lenovo’s Yoga Book, announced Wednesday at IFA 2016

The Yoga Book is about the size of a children’s hardcover book — Lenovo compared it side by side with a hardcover Dr. Seuss book — and serves as a mini tablet, laptop and a digital notebook.

The Yoga Book is thin, light and wild. Lenovo is launching two versions — Android ($499) and Windows 10 ($599) — later this year.

10.1-inch full HD display.

10.1-inch full HD display.

Image: MICHAEL RATHMAYR/MASHABLE

The device has a 10.1-inch full HD glossy display on one half and a matte surface on the other half. Its hinge allows the screen to fold 360 degrees backwards into a mini tablet. Read more…

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This new Mercedes might look like a frog, but it drives like a sports car

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For those who want the performance and handling characteristics of a mid-size coupe with the body of a crossover (mostly), Mercedes has a sporty new vehicle for you: the 2017 GLC43 Coupe.

Think of it as the GLC SUV with a shorter roof. No, scratch that. Don’t think of it that way, because that’s exactly what it is.

Underneath the hood is a 362-horsepower twin-turbo 3.0-liter V6 engine that has been tweaked by Mercedes’ in-house performance arm AMG. And that AMG-tuned engine is mated to an also-AMG-tuned 9G-tronic automatic transmission. From there, power is routed to all four wheels through — you guessed it — an AMG-enhanced 4MATIC all-wheel drive system. Read more…

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Why we should worry about Facebook's Trending topics disaster

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Facebook isn’t a great place to get your news. Yet millions of Americans use the social network to learn about what’s going on in the world every day.

This is core to a new controversy over Facebook’s Trending feature, which exists to connect users to relevant stories. The company fired several trained journalists from the Trending team last Friday, leaving artificial intelligence and technical staff to identify and deliver stories to the site’s users. 

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg later commented on his company’s place in the news business.

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