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DropMind Lite review

DropMind Lite is an app that lets users create mind maps, flowcharts, and other diagrams. It's a powerful way to organize information, but its many options make it somewhat difficult to get the hang of.

Pros

Full of Features: DropMind Lite gives you a wide variety of tools for creating diagrams. As expected, you can create topics and subtopics, but you can also include notes, links, images, photos, icons, and more. The app provides a variety of shapes and ways to create relationships between topics; and tags make it easy to organize maps by topic.

Sample Map: DropMind Lite'… Read more

Star Apps: Gary Numan

Gary Numan is well aware that most Americans know him only for his "Cars" single. It's his only US hit, charting at No. 9 back in 1980. But when people call the electro pioneer a one-hit wonder, it drives me crazy. If "Down in the Park," "Are 'Friends' Electric?" "Me! I Disconnect From You," and "You Are in My Vision" (with Tubeway Army), "I Die: You Die," and "We Take Mystery (To Bed)" didn't chart in the US, it's not for lack of … Read more

The 404 1,414: Where a podcast is just a story we tell ourselves (podcast)

Leaked from today's 404 episode:

- Google reportedly acquires AI company DeepMind for $400M.

- Here's how you can vastly increase the number of shows and movies viewable to you on Netflix.

- And who says eSports competitions aren't heated?

- The velociraptor cage from "Jurassic Park" is for sale on eBay.… Read more

Microsoft SkyDrive becomes OneDrive

CNET Update has its head in the cloud:

Bridget is back in this episode of CNET Update. Many thanks to Jeff Bakalar and Shara Tibken for being fantastic guest hosts for the past few days. In today's tech-news roundup:

- Learn why Microsoft changed the name of its online storage service.

- Score free online storage from Pogoplug if you're a Sprint customer.

- Tap into Sprint's faster 4G LTE speeds in more areas and learn about the Spark service.

- Discover how Google is growing its artificial intelligence talent with the acquisition of DeepMind.

- See … Read more

Google reportedly acquires AI company DeepMind for $400M

Google is expanding its ambitions in artificial intelligence with the acquisition of AI company DeepMind for a reported $400 million.

DeepMind's Web site describes the London-based company as "cutting edge" and specializing in combining "the best techniques from machine learning and systems neuroscience to build powerful general-purpose learning algorithms." The site says the company's initial commercial applications are simulations, e-commerce, and games.

The deal, which was first reported by Recode, was confirmed to CNET by a Google representative who declined to discuss the terms of the deal. Google CEO Larry Page spearheaded the deal … Read more

Buddhify 2 brings mindfulness meditation to iOS

Buddhify 2 for iOS is an app that teaches mindfulness-based meditation through a series of guided lessons.

Meditation? Please. I'm not a hippie or a Buddhist, or a Whole Foods customer.

That was more or less my sentiment until a few weeks ago, when a friend recommended a book about mindfulness -- a state of awareness best achieved through, you guessed it, meditation. There's a large and growing body of evidence to suggest that mindfulness can improve both mental and physical health.

In fact, it's great for lowering stress, and I've discovered I'm a lot more stressed than I ever thought.… Read more

World Cup to begin with mind-controlled exoskeleton kick

A paralyzed teen, using a mind-controlled exoskeleton, will start off the World Cup 2014 in Brazil, thanks to The Walk Again Project.

The exoskeleton will support the lower part of the body and enable the paralyzed wearer to walk using wireless electrodes attached to the head that collect brainwaves, which then signal the suit to move.

The Walk Again Project is a nonprofit collaboration among the Duke University Center for Neuroengineering; Technical University of Munich; Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne; Edmond and Lily Safra International Institute of Neuroscience of Natal in Brazil; University of California at Davis; University … Read more

Stanford scientists 'eavesdrop' on the human brain

The research is young and the tech has only been used experimentally on three patients, but neurologists at Stanford say they are officially able to eavesdrop on the human brain in real-life (not just clinical) situations. What's more, they say their new method of recording brain activity opens the door to devices that can not only read but also manipulate the mind.

"This is exciting, and a little scary," Henry Greely, steering committee chair of the Stanford Center for Biomedical Ethics who observed but did not work on the study, said in a school news release. "… Read more

No Pixar film in 2014 due to reported production issues

Pixar won't be putting out a movie in 2014, the first time since 2005 it will miss its annual production cycle.

Thanks to what the Wall Street Journal said are production problems on "The Good Dinosaur," which was supposed to come out next year, Pixar has decided to delay the film's release until 2015.

Though Disney wouldn't confirm the film's production problems, it did tell CNET that "The Good Dinosaur," which had an original opening date of May 2014, is now slated for a November 2015 release. That also means that Pixar'… Read more

Review: Mindful Browsing for Mac keeps users focused while working

As an extension for the Safari Web browser, Mindful Browsing for Mac allows users to block sites they check too often. With its easy-to-use features and seamless integration with the browser, the application successfully accomplishes the task of reminding easily-distracted users what they shouldn't be doing.

After downloading, the free extension installs quickly into Safari, and its preferences appear in the menu without your having to restart the browser. A new icon installs just next to the URL bar. While it is not clearly labeled or obvious in its function, holding the mouse over it does tell the user … Read more