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IKEA To Offer Furniture That Charges Your Wireless Devices

IKEA International A/S has unveiled a new line of furniture. This new furniture can actually charge some of your mobile devices wirelessly. The Swedish furniture conglomerate announced the new feat this past Sunday at MWC 2015 that is taking place in Barcelona this week.

Ikea wireless chargingThe new IKEA furniture collection features desks, tables and lamps. All of them have built-in wireless charging pads. The furniture’s wireless charging ability works through an energy induction transfer. The actual furniture piece itself must be connected to a power source in order for it to function properly. The new line of furniture will be hitting the shelves of the IKEA stores in both North America and Europe on April 15th of this year, and will be followed by an international roll-out.

Wireless device battery power is and will most likely always be an on-going concern for the majority of smartphone and other mobile device users. And, with increasing app usage, such as video services and location service, the ability to charge your wireless devices on your furniture (or any other everyday surface) could truly become a very welcome innovation because the batteries on many of our mobile devices tend to lose power rather quickly. IKEA will also be offering wireless charging kits that you can build into your existing furniture, and the starting price will be $33.60. Furniture featuring the built-in wireless charging abilities will be an extra $20.

According to IKEA’s business area manager of lighting and wireless charging, Jeanette Skjelmose, people tend to worry about not being able to find a charger when their mobile device starts running out of power.

IKEA’s new furniture line will be equipped with Qi-certified wireless chargers from the Wireless Power Consortium (WPC), as the furniture giant has also joined the WPC organization. The Qi-standard is currently supported by a number of big-name smartphone makers such as Samsung, HTC and Microsoft.

Apple Offering Free Repairs On MacBook Pros With Video Issues

Apple has finally took action in response to the complaints of MacBook Pro owners and officially launched a program where they will repair MacBook Pros with video issues free of charge.

Macbook airApple is calling the deal a “repair extension program.” Hopefully the program will do away with the complaints from individuals who own MacBook Pros regarding scrambled and/or black LCD monitor screens, distorted video and automatic reboots. At least 2 federal lawsuits have been filed due to the complaints and there was also an expansive campaign on a site called Change.com where the CEO of Apple, Tim Cook, was petitioned to set things right.

The MacBook Pro models that were affected are the 15 and 17-inch models that were sold back in 2011, and Retina-equipped MacBook Pros made from mid-2012 to early 2013, according to a support document by Apple. The models were sold between Feb. 2011 and Dec. 2013.

Users can check to see if their MacBook Pro model falls within those spans with a tool requiring the model’s serial number. The serial number can be found by selecting “About This Mac” on the Apple menu, located on the top of the screen.

The program started on Feb. 20th in the U.S. and Canada and Feb. 27th in other countries. The free repairs will be available until Feb. 27th of 2016, or 3 years from the model’s purchase date, whichever is latest.

The repairs will be performed at retail outlets and via authorized service providers. Users can also send their devices to Apple for an estimated 5 to 7 day period between the device’s arrival at the repair center and its return to the customer. Apple will be issuing refunds to customers who previously paid for repairs on their models with video issues.

District 9 Director to Make New Alien Film

South African writer/director Neill Blomkamp has announced via his Instagram account that he is to take the reigns of the Alien franchise and will be directing a new film set within the universe. The picture posted was merely a conceptual design of the iconic Xenomorph alien, from artist HR Giger. No further details have been revealed, although it can be safe to assume it isn’t Prometheus 2, or hopefully not a reboot of the original. But if one thing is certain, Blomkamp is one director that fans of the original Ridley Scott classic, and of course the James Cameron sequel, is that the franchise is in safe hands. For several years it has been clear to see how much the original films, and the whole mythology, is held in such high regard with Blomkamp that a lazy, uninspired reboot will simply not happen.

Aliens directed by Neill BlomkampBlomkamp has previously mentioned in interviews that the main reason he got into filmmaking was in fact Alien, Aliens and another Ridley Scott classic in Blade Runner. When Prometheus was released, Blomkamp posted a series of concept art that depicted an alternate vision for the film, perhaps an earlier script that never saw the light of day. Attached to these photos, which included Ripley wearing a Space Jockey mask with the caption of “woulda rocked” and a rendering of The Derelict with Blomkamp expressing “love the world” and finally an image of the Weyland/Yulani Corp simply titled “oh shit”. This series of concept art showed a film closer to the Alien world we had come to see in the original films, with more connections to the first film rather than the loosely based final version that was released.

Neil Blomkamp was born in Johannesburg, South Africa and his debut feature film District 9 was set in his hometown, which was met with great acclaim. His love of sci-fi is well known and his visions of a dystopian future fit well in the Alien universe. District 9 was a bleak future in South Africa where alien lifeforms exist on Earth amongst humans but are treated as lower life forms. A not so subtle parallel to the racism that occurred during the Aparthid era in South Africa. His next feature film was Elysium, again set in the near future, this time the story follows where humans have pushed themselves to extinction with Earth left with very little resources. Again, a commentary of human’s current struggle with a changing planet and diminishing of resources. Chappie, Blomkamp’s third feature film is again set in Johannesburg, this time tackling the very current subject of artificial intelligence and its potential impact on all of human life. The film follows Chappie, a robot who was part of a mechanised police force, who is stolen and reprogrammed with the ability to think for himself.

Blomkamp knows more than anyone how much the Alien universe means to the fans, he himself is a huge one, so there should be no worry whether he is up to the task. It is not been confirmed if the film will be a sequel, following on from Alien Resurrection or a prequel set before the events that occurred on the Nostromo, or in fact a reboot. More than likely, and hopefully, the film will simply exist within the same universe and will be a separate film that could perhaps explore unanswered questions or delve into the origins of the alien itself. These kind of questions were hoped to have been answered by Prometheus, but instead raised far more questions instead. If an Alien reboot is in fact in the works, then at least it is being dealt with by someone who truly cares for the Alien series, and hopefully won’t be set in Johannesburg.

Ahead of MWC 2015 – New Huawei Watch Revealed

Huawei’s first Android smartwatch is called “the Watch” and has made an appearance on the worldwide web as part of an advert at the Barcelonia airport. This happened a day before the Mobile World Congress (MWC) press conference is set to begin.

Huawei smart watch posterThe watch initially made an appearance in an airport advertisement, and then a day later, it appeared in 2 official Huawei company YouTube videos. The Watch looks to be one of the nicest looking wearables as of yet. Much attention was paid to its design and its craftsmanship—more so than what has been seen from a lot of rivals of the company.

Huawei’s new smartwatch features a round face with a 42mm diameter, which is the standard size for a larger traditional wristwatch. It will be sold with straps that have 2 separate widths: 18mm and 21mm. This is in an attempt to cater to the wrist sizes of both men and women.

The Watch runs on Google’s Android Wear and features Google Now interaction via a mic, and also shows notifications from smartphones connected via Bluetooth, as well as walking directions, upcoming flight info, weather forecasts and more.

Huawei’s the Watch is designed for casual, business and sports usage. It has a wide array of faces to choose from right in the settings menu and the company has also designed several different rubber, leather and metal straps, and all of them are interchangeable.

It also features a selection of health and fitness tracking attributes for keeping track of the users’ walking, jogging and running, and a heart rate monitor on the back of its case. The watch’s charging port is also located on the back of its case.

Huawei has given a crown to its watch. It is mounted at the 2 o’clock position, and used for turning on the watch’s screen with a press.

The Watch is a stylish wristwatch first and a smart device second. Huawei explains its creation as a “timeless design story.” It is made out of stainless steel and sapphire crystal (as opposed to glass) like many traditional higher-end watches.

Apple Is Releasing Public Beta Testing For iOS 8.3 and iOS 9

The Apple iOS 8 had its flaws when it was initially released last autumn. Then, shortly after the launch of the Apple iPhone 6 came the iOS 8.0.1 which also seemed to need more tweaking due to the fact that it bricked a lot of Apple mobile devices.

ios 9 public betaFor the first time ever, Apple is planning to perform a lot more testing on the latest operating systems designed for its mobile devices. A volunteer testing group of about 100,000 mobile device users will be assisting the company in making it happen. Apple will actually be issuing pre-released versions of its iOS to the public for beta testing.

The developers of these iOS builds are already permitted access to them before they’re officially launched, and average, everyday users have discovered ways to obtain the software programs in order to check out new features. But this time around, common users will not have to “find a way” to access the early versions of the new iOS because Apple is officially planning for the release of these early iOS builds directly to public testers. The Apple iOS 8.3 will be made available to a group of public beta testers in March of this year.

The Apple iOS 8.3 update will include Wireless CarPlay support. Other features will include enhancements to Siri, Google logins, and the emoji keyboard.

Apple is planning to include its new streaming music service in its Apple iOS 8.4 version. This version has not been named as a build that will be made available to public beta testers. The new Apple iOS music service has not yet been officially announced yet either. The initial public beta testing of the Apple iOS 8.3 will be preceding the next beta testing session of the Apple iOS 9. The Apple iOS 9 is due to be beta tested by the public in the summer. It will most likely be announced this June at WWDC 2015.

ABC Live-Streamed The Oscars Backstage Show Free On Facebook

ABC teamed up with Facebook in order to provide a live-stream of “The Oscars Backstage” on the Facebook site for free. The service was offered in conjunction with the Sunday telecast of the 87th Annual Academy Awards.

facebook live streamed the 87th oscar academy awardsABC streamed a “director’s cut” version of the “Oscars Backstage” on its Facebook page. The stream began at 4:00 pm PST. Over 20 cameras all around the Dolby Theater in L.A. featured 3 channels of live video feeds. The live-streaming video was in association with the Facebook Trending Oscars experience which was designed for the purpose of providing updates in real-time during the kudocast.

In addition to being available for free on Facebook, “Oscars Backstage” was also available for free on Watch ABC for both desktop and mobile devices.

The primary motivation behind the ABC’s link-up with Facebook was the fact that about 70% of smartphone and tablet users are also using these devices while they are watching television. Therefore, it was a great idea for the network to have a huge presence on social media. Facebook is the largest social media network in the world with its 1.4 billion active monthly users. This information was provided by the EVP and chief product officer of digital media for Disney-ABC Television Group.

In accordance with the ABC-Facebook agreement, the red-carpet preshow incorporated exclusive, real-time Facebook data of the most popular and talked-about Oscar nominees. Also, users were able to ask questions of celebrities via the ABC Good Morning America Facebook page, and would potentially be able to view their questions answered live.

A selection of video clips from parts of the awards show will also be shared on Facebook after airing on ABC.