Panasonic Lumix GX85 is a high-performance 4K camera for $800

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For years Panasonic’s GH4 has been the go-to consumer camera to record high-quality 4K video. But with an MSRP of $1,500 for the camera body, it’s still more than what many people are willing to spend.

Alongside the G7 and GX8 launched last year, Panasonic’s got another more affordable 4K-capable Micro Four Thirds camera: the GX85. At $799.99 for the camera body, the GX85 is a little over half as much as the GH4.

The GX85 is a 16-megapixel camera and is capable of 8 frames per second (fps) with single autofocus and 6 fps with continuous autofocus. The camera autofocuses in 0.07 seconds and has a maximum ISO of 25,600 for low-light shooting. Read more…

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This smart baseball bat can teach a complete rookie how to hit

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An Old Hickory bat leans knob-up against the wall, its black barrel tapering up into a bare, pale, wooden grip. It’s an ordinary-looking baseball bat — until the lime-green sensor ensconced in the knob makes itself apparent.

Baseball was one of the many sports I never played while growing up. Still, when I heard I could get my hands on a smart baseball bat that could help me improve my (lack of) swing, I didn’t want to pass up the opportunity. The only thing I knew to do was to line up my door-knocking knuckles, which is a tip I only learned the previous night after realizing I knew absolutely nothing about swinging a bat. Read more…

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We spent a week in virtual reality with HTC Vive, and it was wild

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I felt a cold sensation on my upper body as I reached into a virtual refrigerator for some equally virtual cheese.

The HTC Vive is excellent at conveying a sense of “presence,” the abstract VR concept that tricks your mind into thinking your virtual body is an extension of yourself. My body wasn’t actually cold, but the VR illusion was immersive enough to trick my brain into believing otherwise.

In these early days of consumer VR, you might be wondering: what makes the Vive experience unique?

Hand controllers, for one. The Oculus Rift is getting similar Touch controllers in a few months, and Sony’s PlayStation VR will use Move controllers this fall. But Vive’s hand controllers are packed right into the box. Read more…

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India's Ola Cabs introduces electric rickshaws on its app

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In a bid to promote sustainable and affordable forms of transport, India’s Ola Cabs will be introducing electric rickshaws on its app.

Ola has launched 5,100 Ola e-rickshaws in Delhi, and the neighbouring cities of Gurgaon, Noida, Faridabad and Ghaziabad in the first phase. The service will subsequently be rolled out in smaller towns and cities.

It is being operated in partnership with Bharatiya Micro Credit (BMC), which will provide the financial support for procuring e-rickshaws. It is part of the Indian government’s Stand Up India initiative to promote entrepreneurship. Read more…

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Roku is finally bringing one of its best features to its new streaming stick

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Roku is finally bringing one of the best features of its set-top box to its smaller streaming stick.

The company unveiled an updated version of its Streaming Stick on Tuesday. The new $49.99 device is smaller and supports private listening via Roku’s iOS and Android apps.

The new streaming stick is set to go on sale later this month. Though slimmed down compared with the previous model, which came out in 2014, the latest version is equipped with a quad-core processor. 

But the biggest selling point of the new streaming stick is the addition of private listening, which allows people to listen to the audio from the content they’re streaming through their headphones.  Read more…

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That phone is helping plan your super expensive wedding

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If only there was a free app to say “I do.”

A survey of nearly 18,000 brides found couples are shelling out more than ever when it comes to their special day, and mainly use their phones to do the planning.

The research, completed by wedding planning website TheKnot, finds the average cost of a wedding in the U.S. as of 2015 is $32,641, an average increase of $5,500 since 2009. Depending on the location of the wedding, the number can be considerably higher. Manhattan tops the list of most expensive with an average cost of $82,299. 

The cost of a reception venue, ceremony site and reception band were the three components that saw the biggest price increase since 2009, driving overall wedding costs up. Read more…

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