Here’s How To Turn On Windows 10’s New, Hidden Calendar And Clock

TechCrunch

I presume by now that if you are a Windows kid, you are using the newest build of the Windows 10 operating system, the recently released 9926 edition.

If you are, go ahead and select the clock in the lower right corner of your screen. It looks slightly mundane, does it not? I thought so. What if it could look like this (Image via Brad Sams):

FROM BRAD

It’s not hard to turn on. I even managed it in one go. Here’s what to do:

  • Open Regedit.exe

  • Go to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINESoftwareMicrosoftWindowsCurrentVersionImmersiveShell

  • Right click and select New – > DWORD (32-bit) and call it UseWin32TrayClockExperience with no spaces, exactly as written.

Now, click on the clock once more and, voilà, you have the new goods. The market is still-stress testing the new build, but given the existence of the above still-hidden tools, it seems that more goodies are not too far away.

If you are…

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Mozilla Wants To Bring Virtual Reality To The Browser

TechCrunch

Last summer, Mozilla launched a very experimental version of Firefox with support for web-based virtual reality apps that could be experienced through the Oculus Rift. Earlier this week, support for WebVR also landed in Firefox’s Nightly and Developer Edition release channels.

So why is Mozilla working on virtual reality when its mission is to “promote openness, innovation and opportunity on the Web?” At a talk last summer, Mozilla’s Josh Carpenter argued that the organization knows VR will be a “really big deal” and because “it presents a really great challenge — and we like great challenges.” To give users that feeling of actually being present in a different world (and not just that of looking at a simulation), you need to get the latency between head movements and the screen reacting to them down to an absolute minimum. Mozilla argues that, in the end, all of this work will not…

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Declining sensor costs open up new consumer applications

Gigaom

One of the factors in the growth of the Internet of Things (IoT)—the networking of the physical world within existing Internet infrastructure—is the rapid decline in the cost of sensors.

Sensors are critical to IoT. Consider a connected thermostat: Without motion, humidity and temperature sensors, there is no data that algorithms can use to set points tailored to a user’s behavior.

In some cases sensor costs have declined by as much as 100X over the past decade. One of those cases where a startup is attempting to drastically change the economics of sensors is in the area of near-infrared (NIR) spectroscopy. If that phrase sounds familiar, it may be because of all the attention SCiO is getting.

Designed and assembled in Israel by startup Consumer Physics, SCiO is an NIR spectrometer for consumers, set to roll out by summer 2015 for $249 per unit. NIR spectrometry detects the spectrum created from…

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What Happens To Privacy When The Internet Is In Everything?

TechCrunch

This week Google’s Eric Schmidt was on a panel at the World Economic Forum in Davos, where he suggested that the future Internet will be, in one sense, invisible — because it will be embedded into everything we interact with.

“The Internet will disappear,” he predicted (via The Hollywood Reporter). “There will be so many IP addresses…so many devices, sensors, things that you are wearing, things that you are interacting with that you won’t even sense it. It will be part of your presence all the time.

“Imagine you walk into a room, and the room is dynamic. And with your permission and all of that, you are interacting with the things going on in the room.”

This is not an especially outlandish forecast, given the trajectory of connected devices. Analyst Gartner calculated there were some 3.8 billion such ‘smart objects’ in use last year, and forecast 4.9 billion this — rising to 25 billion in circulation by…

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How the MTA Introduced the Touch Screen to New York City

Longreads

In a recent piece for Next City writer and illustrator Aaron Reiss looks at the design of the MTA’s automated ticket kiosk. As a germaphobe, Reiss hates the amount of screen-touching the MTA kiosk requires, but as he investigates the history of the machine and meets with its creator he begins to understand the reasoning behind the design:

The first thing [the machine’s creator, industrial designer Masamichi] Udagawa did was to provide some context for the realities of New York City in the late 1990s, when the MTA ticket vending system was being developed. What I hadn’t realized before was exactly how novel these machines were at the time.

“This was the first time a touchscreen was really [going to be] introduced to the public [in New York City],” remembered Udagawa. “When [the MTA ticket] machine came out in 1999, 50 percent of subway riders didn’t have bank accounts, so…

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