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On this episode we discuss the Hover Selfie Drone, delivery drones on the golf course, Space-X going to Mars and the Chinese Intelligent Security Guard Robot.

While Selfie-sticks are probably not going away soon, there is a company called Zero Zero Robotics that is prepared to up the ante. The Hover Flying Camera is a drone that can follow you around and take pictures for you. The technology is actually pretty incredible, with the product being designed to almost look like a book. However, when is the selfie-obsession going to go too far? We discuss the great advances in the technology, versus the actual users and what they do with it. The Dutch plan of using Eagles to combat them, may be looking better all the time....

Amazon has been planning on making deliveries with drones for quite a while. However, according to the PGA, the Camel Golf Resort is already implementing the process. Golfers will now be able to order golf items and snacks to be delivered by drones, while out on the course. This sounds like a great idea, but how many bets will be placed on trying to hit one out of the sky with a golf ball?

Space-X has consistently been in the headlines this year, but their latest announcement may be the boldest one yet . Elon Musk has plans to send a spacecraft called the Red Dragon, to Mars by 2018. This would beat NASA's plan by 2 years! It's all part of his goal to eventually take humans there and colonize the planet. There are a lot of complications that need to be worked out before that, but it's fantastic that Space Travel is once again exciting the general public.

China's National Defense University (a real thing) is putting itself at the forefront of service robots, with it's AnBot. The autonomous security robot, is tasked with both “protecting and servicing humans” and at 5 feet tall and 170 pounds, provides a formidable presence. Oh, did we mention that it also has the ability to TAZE people? As Edward Snowden tweeted regarding the AnBot, “Surely this will end well.”

Additional ridiculous topics on today's show include Coke vs. Mr. Pibb, how Falconry should make a comeback and what we would name our own city on Mars. Let us know what you would name yours, in the comments below.

 

Today's episode features Dan Gaul, Rick Stella, Caleb Denison and Greg Nibler.

Please subscribe and share Trends with Benefits, visit digitaltrends.com and send in YOUR questions to podcast@digitaltrends.com. We also broadcast the show live on YouTube every Thursday at 2:30pm PST.

 

Direct download: dtpodcast080.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:45pm PST

On this episode we discuss TechfestNW with founder Mark Zusman, the unfortunate passing of Prince and his history in streaming music, the merging of AR and VR, "Smart Skin" for robots, Comcast changes their game & Stephen Hawking's nano-probes.

We start the show off with an acknowledgment of the unfortunate passing of Prince. He was an artistic genius, whose music and creativity was influential in so many facets of our lives. He was also instrumental in standing up to record labels and Caleb let's us know about the real meaning behind “the symbol”. RIP Prince.

TechfestNW is starting on Monday, April 25th in Digital Trends' hometown of Portland, Oregon and we are joined by the festival founder, Mark Zusman. The festival is a way to honor and celebrate the Start-Up community in Portland and beyond. From speakers, such as Digital Trends' CEO Ian Bell and CTO Dan Gaul, to a group from Paul Allen's company Vulcan, to a guy who creates Fitbits for Elephants, it's got it all. One of the great side events is called PitchfestNW. Entrepreneurs engage in essentially a live Shark Tank-like event, pitching venture capitalists in front of everyone! Tickets are still available for the event, as of now.

Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality, have always been positioned as very different from each other. One accentuates the world around you and the other takes you out of it. However, there is a company called Curiscope that doesn't feel this way. They recently closed a Kickstarter campaign for a product called “Virtuali-Tee”. It's a shirt designed to work with an app that the company claims “blurs” the line between AR and VR, claiming they are one and the same. This is a controversial opinion, but the product itself could be revolutionary when it comes to education. Let us know your thoughts below.

AI has been a big topic this year, along with the development of Boston Dynamic-style robots. Now a Chinese team may have come up with a form of synthetic skin that could allow for a human-like sensitivity to touch. Using a ground-breaking turboelectric effect, the skin is so sensitive that, according to the team, it can register the pressure of a bumble bee landing on it. Other applications for it, could be in the field of artificial limbs. However, is it a good thing to give our potential robot overlords the ability to feel?

Comcast is not really known as a benevolent corporation, set on lowering costs for customers. That may be changing however, with the announcement that they are bringing their Xfinity App to Samsung TVs and Roku devices. This could mean eliminating the set-top box altogether, for which Comcast charges a substantial rental fee to it's cable customers. We're pretty sure that they haven't decided to just give up revenue, so where will they make up for the shortcoming?

Finally, Stephen Hawking, Mark Zuckerberg and a Russian billionaire announced a very exciting development in space explorations. Their plan is to send thousands of nano-bots through space, powered by lasers. If the plan is successful, the probes could reach Alpha Centauri (over 4 light years away), within 20 years! The tech behind it is incredibly simple and amazing at the same time.

Today's episode features Mark Zusman, Caleb Denison, Nick Mokey and Greg Nibler.

Please subscribe and share Trends with Benefits, visit digitaltrends.com and send in YOUR questions to podcast@digitaltrends.com. We also broadcast the show live on Facebook and YouTube every Thursday at 2:30pm PST.

 

 

 

Direct download: dtpodcast079.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:00pm PST

On this episode we discuss the Flyboard Air Hoverboard, the Coolest Cooler debacle, Samsung's newest television, a Sony PlayStation hacking issue, 3D Printed Mouse Ovaries and Cyborg Beetles.

One of the most intriguing announcements in tech this week, came via a company called Zapata Racing. They are claiming to have created a real-life Hoverboard and not a falsely named one with wheels that will spontaneously combust. They have submitted a video of the Flyboard Air, which, according to them, can fly as fast as 90 miles per hour and is powered by an integrated turbo engine. The video is amazing! However, is it the real deal, or is it another in a long line of Kickstarter hoaxes? Watch the video here and let us know your thoughts in the comments below.

The Coolest Cooler garnered the largest backing in Kickstarter history at the time it came out in 2014, with 13 million dollars. Since then, there seems to have been very little progress in getting the product to about 2/3 of the 26,000 backers. Now they are asking for an additional $97 from backers to secure the product!

Caleb is back from yet another jet-setting trip to New York, this time to visit Samsung. He gives us a detailed description of their new KS9800 SUHD Television. From boasting 8 million pixels, to the Smart Home control system, you will definitely want one in your living room.

Brad had his PlayStation account hacked recently and let us know about his experience with Sony. Someone decided to make $75 worth of purchases on his account and Sony, was.....far less than helpful. In addition to holding his money hostage, they also essentially accused him of lying about the incident. This kind of thing could happen to any of us and it's important to call out Sony about this giant shortcoming in their customer service procedures.

There have been a lot of rapid advancements in 3D printing and some of the most exciting aspects are related to the health industry. Scientists at Northwestern University have now successfully printed ovaries for a mouse. They implanted them and the mouse was able to give birth. The implications are fantastic for humans. Once you hear this story though, you'll never look at Jell-O the same again.

Finally, University of California, Berkeley and Nanyang Technical University in Singapore have jointly announced something that will surely spawn some horrifying dreams. They have published a paper detailing how they can now "hack" the limbs of beetles with electrodes, in order to remotely control them. Try not to think about the implications of Cyborg Beetles.

Today's episode features Jack Phan, Caleb Denison, Brad Bourque and Greg Nibler.

Please subscribe and share Trends with Benefits, visit digitaltrends.com and send in YOUR questions to podcast@digitaltrends.com. We also broadcast the show live on Facebook and YouTube every Thursday at 2:30pm PST.

 

 

Direct download: dtpodcast078.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:30pm PST

On this episode we discuss the Panama Papers, Underground Hacker Market, HTC Vive, Nvidia AI & Star Wars Rogue One.

This episode starts off with the very hot topic of Hot Pockets. Most people don't like to admit they eat them, but we all have our favorite ones. After this "highly tech" discussion, we launch into the rest of this weeks topics.

One of the biggest stories has to do with yet another data leak. The "Panama Papers", as they are being called, are a series of emails and documents that have been released detailing the secret bank activities of the extremely rich. Lionel Messi, the PM of Iceland, close friends of Putin and many others are being caught up in the scandal. We provide a brief summation of what the Panama Papers are, what's happened so far and the recent news of how it supposedly happened.

The entire thing is ripe to become a major Hollywood movie. Based on pure speculation, we also discuss who the likely stars are for such a film and what it should be named. We tried to come up with a better name than Panama Papers, please leave yours in the comments below.

The Dark Web/Dark Net/Deep Web, whatever you'd like to call it, is a mysterious place of illegal activity. Most of us have never been to it, but Dell's SecureWorks went there for us. They published their annual Underground Hacker Market report which reveals the prices for services offered in these unseen areas of the web. Everything is for sale, from hacking a Gmail account, to a US Passport.

The Apple vs. FBI fight seemed to have died down after the FBI claimed to have found a service to hack the iPhone. What's actually been revealed is that they really could only hack the iPhone 5c and a limited number of other types. The question is what, if anything, did they find?

HTC Vive is taking the marketplace by storm and they are now doing something we predicted on this show. In a limited number of Microsoft stores and GameStop locations, they will be setting up demos for the public to try out the devices. This is imperative for the product to grow, simply because it's so difficult to describe until you experience it.

Matt Smith, Computing Editor for Digital Trends, broke down the latest announcement from Nvidia. Their new AI brain has eight Pascal GPUS, 7TB of Solid State Memory and needs 3200 Watts. What does that mean? It's a huge advancement for Artificial Intelligence and could be the kind of thing that changes the way we live. Also, it could probably order Hot Pockets for you.

3D Printers are becoming more prevalent in homes and MIT has pushed the abilities of the technology further. Their Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Lab has developed a process called "printable hydraulics". One example they are showcasing is the ability to print a fully functional robot in a single print.

Finally, the most viral video of the day, is the new trailer for Star Wars: Rogue One. The movie seems like they are taking the series to a little bit of a darker story line than previous episodes. Caleb also gives us his thoughts on Ewoks and reveals a shocking and jarring story about "Yub Yub" from his youth.

Today's episode features Matt Smith, Rick Stella, Caleb Denison and Greg Nibler.

Please subscribe and share Trends with Benefits, visit digitaltrends.com and send in YOUR questions to podcast@digitaltrends.com. We also broadcast the show live on Periscope and YouTube every Thursday at 2:30pm PST.

Direct download: dtpodcast077.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:29pm PST

On this episode we the Microsoft Build Conference, AI & the Bot Framework, a behind-the-scenes look at the new LG Oled 4K UHD TV, Theatrical-releases to your home & an Indiegogo hoax.

The Microsoft BUILD Developer Conference is currently taking place and they have made it very clear that their sites are set on the future of A.I. Between the experiment with Tay.ai, to the announcement of the Bot Framework, they have some unique ideas on how to shape the emerging technology. We discuss how Bots can take over some of your more mundane tasks and what you can expect if things develop the way they'd like.

DT's own Caleb Denison just returned from a whirlwind tip to NY for an exclusive review of a new LG product. If you've ever wondered what it's like behind the scenes, for a Technology Reporter, he fills us in on how tech companies showcase their products.

The product he got see this time? The new LG 4K UHD Oled Television. From his description, it sounds incredible and will be hitting a Best Buy near you soon. The full review will be live on Monday morning!

The co-founder of Napster, Sean Parker, is a backer of a new movie streaming service that would bring current theatrical releases, to your home. Screening Room has proposed a proprietary set top box, which would allow you to rent the latest Star Wars or Avengers movie, for $50, all from your living room. The proposed service has received backing from Hollywood powerhouses, Steven Spielberg, Peter Jackson, Martin Scorsese and JJ Abrams, among others. Would you be interested in renting a current release movie, for $50?

Finally, sometimes products on Indiegogo seem almost too good to be true and the product we discuss, might be one of them. The Triton Scuba Mask claims to be a product that will allow people to breathe underwater, without an oxygen tank. In short; gills for humans. Drew went in depth to find out if this product is even physically possible to create, or if this is one of the most elaborate hoaxes we've seen in a while. Judging by the over $800,000 they've had pledged so far, they are really good at convincing people it's legit.

Today's episode features Brad Bourque, Drew Prindle, Caleb Denison and Greg Nibler.

Please subscribe and share Trends with Benefits, visit digitaltrends.com and send in YOUR questions to podcast@digitaltrends.com. We also broadcast the show live on Periscope and YouTube every Thursday at 2:30pm PST.

Direct download: dtpodcast076.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:00pm PST

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