Sphere - 360 Camera review

Sphere - 360 Camera is an innovative app that lets you create and share 360-degree panoramas. If you like trying out new and interesting ways to use the camera on your iOS device, Sphere fits the bill. It's fun to create your own Spheres and view other people's, too.

Sphere opens with a colorful interface that lets you navigate to existing Spheres, and this is a great place to start. The best way to understand how a Sphere works is to look at some that other users have already created. Viewing a Sphere is like standing in the … Read more

LaCie brings super-fast and super-sleek portable storage devices to CES 2014

LAS VEGAS -- If anything, LaCie aims to impress at CES 2014.

Apart from the Fuel, the storage vendor announced today two new remarkable portable storage devices, the new LaCie Little Big Disk Thunderbolt 2 and the LaCie Sphere.

The LaCie Little Big Disk Thunderbolt 2 is the major upgrade to the exciting Little Big Disk Thunderbolt that came out a few years ago. The new drive now supports Thunderbolt 2 and comes with two 500GB PCIe solid-state drive (SSD) on the inside in a RAID 0 configuration to offers the total of 1TB of storage space and superfast data … Read more

Google now lets photographers create own Street View tours

Google has launched a new feature that puts you behind the wheel of Street View.

Well, Google doesn't literally give you the keys to one of its camera-rigged vehicles, but the Web giant is now letting photographers create personalized Street View experiences that can be shared with others. Google suggested in a company blog post Monday announcing the new feature that the tool could be used to share hiking trails or create virtual tours of a local shop.

The new feature, part of the Views community Google launched this summer, takes the 360-degree panoramic photo spheres taken with Android … Read more

Google launches Views Web site for user-uploaded photo spheres

Google launched a new community Web site on Tuesday that allows users to submit and browse Street View-like photo spheres.

Dubbed Views, the Web site lets Google+ users upload images to Google Maps captured in the 360-degree panoramic format, Google said in a company blog post announcing the new site. Google launched the photo spheres format last October with the debut of Android 4.2

To upload photo spheres to Google, Google+ users need only to sign into their account and click the blue camera button at the top right of the page, Google Product Manager Evan Rapoport wrote in … Read more

The hunt for a real (and bigger) Death Star is on

Last month, NASA's planet-hunting Kepler spacecraft suffered a potentially mission-ending malfunction, prompting the eyes of many astronomers and space geeks to grow a little misty. The crippling blow came just as data from Kepler had begun to identify more distant Earth-like planets within the habitable zone.

What's not as widely known, however, is that Kepler data isn't used just to hunt for planets that could potentially support life, it's also been tapped by some intrepid explorers to search for stellar and planetary megastructures created by far-flung advanced societies. Since we've yet to send anything into … Read more

The 404 1,279: Where we get Spherical bacterial (podcast)

Leaked from today's 404 episode:

- Steve endorses the VPI Industries turntables built in Cliffwood, N.J., and the VTF-3 MK4 subwoofer from HSU Research.

- Sony MDR-R10: The world's best headphone?

- The top 10 reasons why music is compressed.

- Compare your favorite albums in the Dynamic Range Database.

- Catch Steve on a panel with Avery Lipman, COO of Republic Records, at the New Music Seminar 2013.

- Follow Steve "Sphere" Guttenberg on Twitter.… Read more

Get current weather radar and future forecasts

RadarCast is the newest weather app from the people who developed the popular NOAA Hi-Def Radar, but this app brings you future weather predictions along with several other features.

Built for checking the weather around you or at another specific location, RadarCast gives you the latest data from local radar sites using real-time animated weather overlays. There's a lot of room for customization as well. You have the option to look at map, satellite, and hybrid views, and you also can control the weather pattern loop speed, the interval between individual frames, and change the number of frames in … Read more

Smartphone powers Star Wars-inspired NASA robot

It's hard not to get freakishly excited when science fiction becomes scientific fact -- especially when the origins of that science are rooted in Star Wars.

Think back, young Jedis, to the scene where a fresh-off-Tatooine Luke Skywalker is honing his light saber skills under the tutelage of Obi-Wan Kenobi. A round, floating robot called a remote helps Luke practice his Force-finding mojo. Now, NASA is running experiments with miniature satellites, or nanosatellites, that were inspired by that fictional robot.

Roughly the size of a soccer ball, these robots that fly freely in space are called Spheres (which is … Read more

Behind-the-scenes: NASA's Nexus-powered drones

You could call them drones, or satellites -- NASA prefers the latter -- but these small flying robots that are being used on the International Space Station are powered by Nexus S smartphones.

Ars Technica has a lengthy writeup on how the space agency hacked smartphones to power its SPHERE (Synchronized Position Hold, Engage, Reorient, Experimental Satellites) satellites after their original CPUs had become too slow for their needs. Modern handsets made sense since they have integrated cameras, sensors, Wi-Fi connectivity, and of course, a capable processor. … Read more

MetAir mobile charger has power of 115 D-cell batteries

The next superstorm could strike anytime. If you're concerned about having electricity, the MetAir Solstice packs a whopping 55,000 mAh of power.

This portable charger from QuantumSphere has power equivalent to 115 D-cell batteries under a 2 amp load.

It's being billed on a Kickstarter campaign as the world's most powerful portable device charger. … Read more