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McDonald's pulls kids activity tracker from Happy Meals – CNET

Step It activity tracker removed the toy from kids’ meals amid reports of customers experiencing skin irritation.
Source: CNet

Intel's newest prototype makes today's VR headsets seem old fashioned (Tomorrow Daily 410 show notes) – CNET

Project Alloy isn’t tethered to a PC, doesn’t require external sensors and won’t need controllers…but we might be waiting a while to see a commercial product hit retail shelves.
Source: CNet

​Pac-Dog has Pac-Man fever – CNET

Watch as a cute dog dressed like Pac-Man collects dots and chases after ghosts Blinky, Pinky, Inky and Clyde in a real-life maze.
Source: CNet

Tablets built for Netflix and chill (among other things) – CNET

Screen quality is a critical ingredient of a great tablet, these are the ones with the best.
Source: CNet

Crazy lightning strike looks like a roaring T. rex – CNET

A US national park looks a bit like Jurassic Park as a Tyrannosaurus rex-shaped lightning bolt rampages across a stormy sky.
Source: CNet

Kevin Bacon as Freddy Krueger? Actor addresses 'internet crazy' rumor – CNET

Ready to play Six Degrees of Slasher Movies? Horror fans are dreaming of Kevin Bacon as the Elm Street maniac.
Source: CNet

Watch Pokemon Go videos all day, every day – CNET

YouTube video aggregator Cornflix TV dedicates a channel solely to Pokemon Go-related content, and we’re sure someone out there is super excited.
Source: CNet

Self-driving buses roll onto Helsinki's roads – CNET

A test in the Finnish city has autonomous buses navigating actual traffic.
Source: CNet

Forget self-driving cars — how about a self-flying taxi? – CNET

Airbus wants to begin testing a prototype vehicle by next year, but there is a small snag.
Source: CNet

NASA is weeks away from launching an asteroid-thumping spacecraft – CNET

The Osiris-Rex will set off in September to high-five and sample an asteroid while helping to figure out how to keep space rocks from slamming us in the future.
Source: CNet

Astronomers capture the crazy explosion of a white dwarf star – CNET

Scientists observe a small, distant star system for years until one day it appears bigger and brighter in the night sky — much brighter.
Source: CNet

Google hopes for extra credit with updates to education apps – CNET

More virtual-reality field trips, and the ability to scribble all over your homework? OK, Google, maybe that’s worth a gold star.
Source: CNet

Microsoft Windows 10 'Redstone 2' test build 14905 available for PCs, phones

Microsoft has released its second ‘Redstone 2’ test build 14905 to PC and phone users in the Fast Ring. There are a number of fixes, but almost new features, as preview users would expect.
Source: Microsoft

Pizza Hut delivers playable DJ turntable pizza box – CNET

The fast-food giant unveils the “world’s first playable DJ pizza box” that turns the folding cardboard container into a complete turntable setup, including two decks, volume sliders, pitch controls and a crossfader.
Source: CNet

Hands-on review: Hannspree HannsG HT225 HPB

Hands-on review: Hannspree HannsG HT225 HPB

Like the rest of the hardware market, innovation in monitors has rather plateaued. The question is how do you improve on a peripheral which, even in its current form factor, has been almost 20 years in the making?

While the consumer market is gradually warming to 4K and ultra-widescreen formats and to larger sizes, it is the business sector that could see some interesting developments.

The most intriguing one has been the slow rise of standalone, desk-bound touchscreen monitors, and one of the latest offerings, the HannsG HT225 HPB, caught our attention because of its price and the features it offers.

Hannspree HannsG HT225 HPB front

It costs as little as £170 (around $220, AU$285) which is roughly twice what you’d expect from a monitor with a 21.5-inch diagonal and a full HD resolution, but there’s more than enough here to justify the price premium.

What struck us when we pulled this monitor out of the box was how compact it is for a 21.5-inch display. There are two reasons for that.

Firstly, it has a super-thin bezel, certainly the tiniest we’ve seen on a display at this price. Secondly, it has a kickstand rather than a traditional socle-stand combination.

Hannspree HannsG HT225 HPB rear

Opting for the former makes it sleeker but also removes the option of positioning the display in portrait mode. A stand mechanism like the one used by AOC’s E1759FWU, which is slightly smaller and lighter, would have been a better alternative.

With a tilt range of between 15 and 70 degrees, the HT225 accommodates a number of potential scenarios from traditional monitor usage, through to touch typing and standard touchscreen usage. Alternatively, the monitor can be laid completely flat on the table.

Hannspree HannsG HT225 HPB stand

Since it has a VESA mount, you can also hang it on the wall and because of its thin bezel, side-by-side touch monitors are a realistic proposition.

The screen is built using a scratch resistant edge-to-edge glass overlay (One Glass Solution), one which hits 7H on Mohs scale of mineral hardness, the same as quartz.

Hannspree HannsG HT225 HPB close-up

Hannspree opted for projected capacitive (or PCAP) touch technology for the display which allows for up to 10 simultaneous touch points at any time. That allows for an experience closer to touch typing for those who want to try it, or 10 people can collaborate, one finger at a time.

It is also the only monitor that we’ve reviewed recently that has all the major connectors. From the legacy VGA to DVI, HDMI, and surprise, surprise, DisplayPort, which means that you should be able to use it with almost all recent laptops without a converter.

Hannspree HannsG HT225 HPB ports

Despite the presence of a USB upstream port, there is no USB port to connect accessories. More importantly, you won’t be able to connect a dongle like the Google Chromecast without an external power source.

Instead that port connects to the master computer to bring the touchscreen functionality alive. The other remaining port is an audio line-in which complements the twin 2W speakers on-board. These are good enough for casual audio but won’t rock your world.

Hannspree HannsG HT225 HPB OSD

In use, the monitor shone – literally. The fact that it’s covered with a 0.7mm sheet of glass means there’s some significant glare, although this can be mitigated by tweaking the screen via the onscreen display and the use of anti-glare solution.

Hannspree rates the monitor with a 250cd/m2 brightness, a 7ms response time and a contrast ratio of 1000:1, which is roughly what you’d expect from an entry-level full HD monitor.

Hannspree HannsG HT225 HPB buttons

Adding the overlay glass made the screen look a bit duller with washed out colours but that was expected. Viewing angles are also slightly worse than expected despite a claimed angle of 178 degrees along both axes.

Extra brownie points are given for the capacitive touch buttons in lieu of physical ones – that’s very much a matter of personal taste, but we appreciated them. The OSD is pretty straightforward and error-proof with adequate controls for the essential features of the HT225.

Early verdict

Good all-rounders are rare in the monitor world but the Hannspree HT225 HPB provides an extremely interesting option for desk-side interactive digital signage.

It offers a full 10-finger touch capability coupled with a hardened, scratch-resistant screen to endure extensive usage, and a stand that makes touch feel more intuitive.

It has a multitude of ports including a DisplayPort, a rarity at this price. Add in a pair of speakers and a three-year warranty and you’ve got a pretty compelling touch display for most business needs.

Above all though, the display quality and the touchscreen work quite well together – so this monitor should be high on your list if you’re looking for a touch-enabled display.

It is not the cheapest touchscreen monitor on the market – Iiyama’s Prolite T2252 is around a tenner cheaper – but this HannsG offering is a far more versatile option.

Source: Tech Radar

These 12 far-out animals fascinate and amuse scientists – CNET

The animal kingdom lets loose with some its strangest creations, from a bizarre underwater orb to a very long-lived albatross.
Source: CNet

Ford's autonomous cars will ditch the steering wheel – CNET

A steering wheel, gas pedal and brake pedal will be absent in Ford’s self-driving cars set to arrive by 2021.
Source: CNet

Go ahead, try and flip it: 2017 Range Rover Sport trains a camera on trailers – Roadshow

You might not be able to see all the tech Land Rover added to the Range Rover Sport, but when you need it, you’ll be happy it’s there. Also, please don’t actually try to flip it.
Source: CNet

Konami announces Metal Gear Survive – CNET

Attention Metal Gear fans! Hideo Kojima may be gone, but the series lives on.
Source: CNet

AT&T boosts prices for data plans, and throws in more data to boot – CNET

The pitch: You’ll get more data for your money, and prices drop if you sign up for a larger plan. Plus, AT&T says it’s dropping overage fees.
Source: CNet

Hands-on review: Kobo Aura One

Hands-on review: Kobo Aura One

Kobo’s latest premium device is the phablet of the ereader world. It feels huge in the hand right now, but it may be that in five years time a 7.8-inch screen ereader will be the norm.

Every ereader you can buy right now – including all four products in the ever popular Amazon Kindle range – boasts a 6-inch screen, but the Aura One wants to make a major change by offering a larger alternative.

That 7.8-inch screen will feel huge to you if you’ve been using a Kindle or any other ereader already, but the screen pixel density is still high at 300ppi and is more impressive than, say, the Kobo Aura H20.

Kobo Aura One

The Aura One is the most premium and expensive product in the Kobo range, but it won’t cost you as much as a Kindle Oasis – which is priced at $289.99 (£269.99, about AU$425) – as it’s $249.99 (£189.99, AU$349.95).

Kobo Aura One

The Kobo Aura One’s screen features a new RGB front lighting technology called ComfortLight Pro, which works in a similar way to Night Shift on your iPhone or iPad – if you’re running iOS 9.3 – and could help you get to sleep better after using a screen.

Kobo Aura One

To elaborate, the lighting on the Auro One’s screen will begin with bright blue light at the start of the day and gently switch to darker colors such as yellow, orange and red throughout the day. Research proves this makes it easier to sleep at night.

If you’re often reading in bed, this will mean it’ll be easier to get to sleep at night and that’s only a good thing.

Kobo Aura One

We haven’t been able to test this feature out on the Aura One yet, but it’s sure to be a big selling point if you’re often reading at the end of the day and find a front-lit ereader is keeping you awake at night.

Design-wise, the Aura One doesn’t feel as premium as some Kindle products. The back panel is made up of dotted plastic that makes gripping it easier, but it doesn’t feel as nice as the Kindle Oasis.

Kobo Aura One

The Aura One is certainly large at 195.1 x 138.5 x 6.9 mm, so you’re likely to need two hands to handle it. This will cause issues while you’re reading on public transport but it’s not unwieldy if you’re prepared to use both hands.

It’s also one of the thinnest ereaders you can buy at 6.9mm, too, as the internals have been spread across the larger device.

There’s a power switch on the rear of the device which is easy to hit when you need to turn the Kobo on and off, but you’ll do that rarely. Apart from that, the Kobo is buttonless.

Kobo Aura One

Another big selling point of the Aura One is its waterproof design. Being able to read your ebooks at the side of the pool and not being worried about children running by and splashing your ereader is a great benefit.

Though, it is worth noting the microUSB slot at the bottom of the device is open and could cause issues if you’re on a sandy beach.

Kobo Aura One

In our brief time with the Aura One, it seems to work as fast as any other ereader you can buy right now. It features 8GB of storage and a battery life of a month, but you will only be able to download your books over Wi-Fi rather than a cellular connection like on some Kindle models.

If you’ve not used an ereader before, there’s no need to worry about the software as it’s easy to get the hang of, and it’ll take even less time if you’ve had one before.

The big issue with buying a Kobo is the store doesn’t have as many options as Amazon’s.

Kobo Aura One

Kobo does offer over five million books, but it doesn’t rival Amazon’s ereader store which is full of options, both new and old. If you’re only after best-selling books, Kobo’s store will keep you happy.

The Aura One is different to any other ereader on the market. The size is a big change and something that will take some getting used to, but the new front-lighting technology will be a big help for many and a waterproof design is always appreciated.

Whether that makes you want to buy a Kobo over an Amazon Kindle is another story though.

Source: Tech Radar

McLaren's 570GT MSO concept previews future Macca tech – Roadshow

It’s not too often you get to peek into a crystal ball.
Source: CNet

Open Mind: Microsoft's Visual-Studio-like suite for machine learning

Microsoft looks to be building a Visual-Studio-like tool suite for machine learning called Open Mind Studio.
Source: Microsoft

Uber takes a ride to court to challenge English language test for drivers – CNET

The ride-hailing company is taking legal action against UK regulators over plans to test drivers’ English.
Source: CNet

Microsoft tweaks again its $200 'Work & Play' bundle

Microsoft is continuing to experiment with the price and contents of its Work & Play promotional bundle of apps and services.
Source: Microsoft