How Facebook’s New Machine Brain Will Learn All About You From Your Photos

Facebook poaches an NYU machine learning star to start a new AI lab that may very well end up knowing more about your social life than you do.

By Andrew Rosenblum

How AI Sees The World Graham Murdoch

Facebook users upload 350 million photos onto the social network every day, far beyond the ability of human beings to comprehensively look at, much less analyze. And so that’s one big reason the company just hired New York University (NYU) machine learning expert Yann LeCun, an eminent practitioner of an artificial intelligence (AI) technique known as “deep learning.” As director of Facebook’s new AI laboratory, LeCun will stay on at NYU part time, while working from a new Facebook facility on Astor Place in New York City.

“Yann LeCun’s move will be an exciting step both for machine learning and for Facebook, which has a lot of unique social data,” says Andrew Ng, who directs the Stanford Artifical Intelligence Laboratory and who led a deep-learning project to analyze YouTube video for Google. “Machine learning is already used in hundreds of places throughout Facebook, ranging from photo tagging to ranking articles to your newsfeed. Better machine learning will be able to help improve all of these features, as well as help Facebook create new applications that none of us have dreamed of yet.” What might those futuristic advances be? Facebook did not reply to repeated requests for comment.

“The dream of AI is to build full knowledge of the world and know everything that is going on.”

Aaron Hertzmann, a research scientist at Adobe whose specialties include computer vision and machine learning, says that Facebook might want to use machine learning to see what content makes users stick around the longest. And he thinks cutting-edge deep learning algorithms could also be useful in gleaning data from Facebook’s massive trove of photos, which numbers roughly 250 billion.

“If you post a picture of yourself skiing, Facebook doesn’t know what’s going on unless you tag it,” Hertzmann says. “The dream of AI is to build full knowledge of the world and know everything that is going on.”

To try to draw intelligent conclusions from the terabytes of data that users freely give to Facebook every day, LeCun will apply his 25 years of experience refining the artificial intelligence technique known as “deep learning,” which loosely simulates the step-by- step, hierarchical learning process of the brain. Applied to the problem of identifying objects in a photo, LeCun’s deep learning approach emulates the visual cortex, the part of the brain to which our retina sends visual data for analysis.

By applying a filter of just a few pixels over a photo, LeCun’s first layer of software processing looks for simple visual elements, like a vertical edge. A second layer of processing deploys a filter that is a few pixels larger, seeking to assemble those edges into parts of an object. A third layer then builds those parts into objects, tested by hundreds of filters for objects like “person” and “truck,” until the final layer has created a rich visual scene in which trees, sky and buildings are clearly delineated. Through advanced training techniques, some “supervised” by humans and others “unsupervised,” the filters, or “cookie cutters,” dynamically improve at correctly identifying objects over time.

Quickly performing these many layers of repetitive filtering makes massive computational demands. For example, LeCun is the vision expert on an ongoing $7.5 million project funded by the Office of Naval Research to create a small, self-flying drone capable of traveling through an unfamiliar forest at 35 MPH. Unofficially known as “Endor.tech,” andprofiled in Popular Science in 2012, the robot will run on a customized computer known as an FPGA, capable of roughly 1 trillion operations per second.

“I’ll take as many [operations per second] as I can get,” LeCun said at the time.

That robot will analyze 30 frames per second of video images in order to make real-time decisions about how to fly itself through a forest at 35 MPH. It’s not hard to imagine similar algorithms used to “read” the videos that you upload to Facebook, by examining who and what is present in the scene. Instead of targeting ads to users based on keywords written in Facebook posts, the algorithms would analyze a video of say, you at the beach with some friends. The algorithm might then learn what beer you’re drinking lately, what brand of sunscreen you use, who you’re hanging out with, and guess whether you might be on vacation.

full story: http://www.popsci.com/article/gadgets/how-facebooks-new-machine-brain-will-learn-all-about-you-your-photos?dom=tw

The Future According To Samsung

Samsung/YouTube

Samsung, which makes some of the best displays in the world, imagines that one day its screens will be on everything from coffee mugs to car windows. 

The following concept video shows how that could happen.

The video touches on a concept called “The Internet Of Things,” which is a term people in the tech industry like to throw around when they talk about connecting everyday objects to the Internet. It may sound a little like the Jetsons today, but there are already a bunch of companies like SmartThingsNest, and even Cisco working on ways to improve the stuff in our homes by connecting them to the Web.

Samsung sees a world where everything, even your cutting board, has a display that can show you relevant information. It may seem a little over the top right now, but a lot of this isn’t that far off.

Samsung posted the video about a month ago, but we just came across it on Techno Buffalo.

Read more: http://www.businessinsider.com/samsung-display-concept-video-2013-12#ixzz2pb8l3rml

Image

Galaxy Note Pro 12.2 images reportedly shown in patent application

by  Galaxy Note Pro 12.2 Images in a Samsung patent for a tablet cover seem to show the unannounced Galaxy Note Pro 12.2 model that’s supposedly going to be unveiled in the following weeks, maybe at CES 2014. MovePlayer has published several pictures from a patent that Samsung filed with Korea Intellectual Property Rights Information Service (KIPRIS) in South Korea on August 13, and which was awarded to the company on November 20. The patent describes a new cover for tablets that can transforms into a dock capable to sustain the weight of the device. Galaxy Note Pro 12.2 Actual pictures showing the tablet and the cover have been apparently included in the patent, and while the device in these images seems to be similar with Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 (2014 edition), the publication notes that one of the images seems to reveal the tablet has a microUSB 3.0 connector like the Galaxy Note 3 instead of a microUSB 2.0 connector like the Galaxy Note 10.1 (2014 edition)model.

In the gallery above, you can see more images of this purported Galaxy Note Pro 12.2 tablet. Galaxy Note Pro We’ll remind you that not long ago, an image reportedly showing the back of the Galaxy Note Pro 12.2has been posted online (see above). The same Galaxy Note Pro 12.2 has already made a visit at the FCC and Bluetooth SIG, and is expected to be just one of the new Samsung tablets the company will launch in the coming months. full story: http://www.androidauthority.com/galaxy-note-pro-12-2-images-patent-application-329922/

How a Pro Gamer Actually Made Money From Hackers DDoSing His Server

By Fruzsina Eördögh

League of Legends was one of the games brought down by a DDoS attack this week. Image via Flickr/Vincent Samaco

Earlier this week, pro gamer James “PhantomL0rd” Varga claimed that the worst thing ever had happened to him: His gaming servers were being targeted with false traffic (a DDoS attack) from a hacking group called DERP, which made it impossible for him to make a living from his livestream. As things escalated, armed cops showed up at his door over a fake “hostage situation” someone had called in as a prank. At some point, DERP also sent him pizza.

At least, that’s the story you might have heard. On closer inspection, Varga’s ordeal is not a simple “bullied by online trolls” story, or even true.

First, Varga wasn’t the only one targeted, nor was he their initial target. Gaming servers for League of Legends, Dota 2, Battle.net, Club Penguin, and Quake Live, as well as servers for EA.com and Blizzard, were knocked down in the US and Europe for anywhere from 15 minutes to a couple of hours by this DDoS attack on Monday. By the afternoon, servers in Asia were also affected. DERP claimed responsibility for the DDoS attack.

DDoS attacks of game servers isn’t a new phenomenon. When I spoke to Belgian pro-gamer Athene Wins over Skype in 2012, he called DDoSing a “plague growing very fast” as a tool some gamers were using in order to force the other player to “lose connection so they then win the game.” Wins went on to explain, “We’ve had to cancel finals, sponsored events, tournaments, everything… We’ve lost titles, lost tournaments, lost prizes… It’s pretty crazy.”

DERP’s attack, however, wasn’t carried out to unseat a victor for money; they attacked gaming servers as pure trolls, simply for the lulz. After going public with their intentions on Twitter, Varga noticed it was also affecting his servers and contacted DERP via private text chat. He began communicating with them, even passing on questions his fans had about why DERP was doing what they were doing, to which DERP said they wanted to make money-hungry companies like EA mad.

Varga then made a deal with DERP over his Twitch livestream; if his team began losing, DERP would DDoS his server, one of the few that weren’t down at the time. Varga’s team began to lose, and the hackers kept their promise.

Game Informer news editor Mike Futter speculated (along with some Redditors) that Varga reached out to DERP instead of alerting moderators and site operators in an attempt to boost his subscriber count. Explains Futter:

This went on for hours, and rather than stop streaming, Varga watched his viewer count skyrocket past 100,000. All the while, he displayed advertisements and raked in new subscribers at $4.99 per month per membership. Varga put his channel in “sub mode,” which means that the only way to participate in the conversation via chat is to pay.

As Varga’s stream continued and more games were taken down, including Disney’s Club Penguin, he reveled in his role. “It’s chill to intervene with you, the public, the fans, and with these guys,” he says. As Varga watched his revenue increase, EA, Riot Games, Valve, Disney, and others were crippled and their businesses impacted. Yet, Twitch allowed the stream to remain live. It allowed Varga to casually make deals with the DDoSers in conflict with Twitch’s own terms of service.

Word had spread that Varga was in contact with the DDoSers and he essentially held court among curious gamers wanting to be close to the action, for a fee. According to metric monitoring site SocialBlade, Varga picked up 14,000 new subscribers on Monday during the server outages. At $4.99 per person to subscribe, stats indicate that Varga’s channel pulled in $69,860 that Monday (it’s not clear how much of a cut Twitch takes), refuting his claim that these DDoSers prevented him from making a living that day.

Further, all the video evidence Varga himself posted shows he wasn’t an unassuming victim as he joked with DERP and actually welcomed the DDoS attack on his server should his team start losing.

Okay, so what about the police at his home, the arrest he video-blogged about? The BBC reported that “more than a dozen armed police responded to the call, which resulted in Mr Varga being arrested and handcuffed,” a fact they got from a video by Varga. VentureBeat wrote that Varga took photos and a video of the police officers and shared them on his livestream, “so he could prove he wasn’t lying,” words again from Varga.

According to Futter, who spent days interviewing local law enforcement, the Los Angeles Police Department “flatly denied anything of the sort in their jurisdiction.” Glendale PD also implied parts of Varga’s tale of being arrested were far-fetched. “There is no proof of his allegations,” concluded Futter via Twitter DM.

Even the video VentureBeat claimed Varga shared on his livestream doesn’t seem to exist—it can’t be found in his video response recorded streams, in any subsequent videos, or on his Twitter or Facebook. A photo he posted the next day of a single police car could be legit, but it doesn’t exactly what kind of response he may have gotten, and it is certainly not 15 police officers shoving a gun in his face as he claimed. Meanwhile, there are plenty of Photoshopped images of Varga getting arrested, made by his fans.

The police arrest story, however, did increase his global profile. Even newspapers in Swedenwrote about his “ordeal.” Besides gaining paying subscribers on Twitch on Monday and Tuesday, Varga picked up more than 9,000 YouTube subscribers immediately following the DDoS/arrest story. There is no subscriber revenue on YouTube, but SocialBlade calculated his yearly earning estimate off ads is as high as $184,000. So unlike the gaming companies that lost revenue during the server downtime, Varga made a tidy profit off the backs of a cyber crime perpetrated by someone else.

full story: http://motherboard.vice.com/blog/how-a-pro-gamer-actually-made-money-from-hackers-ddosing-his-server

 

Best iPad accessories

Air, Mini, or otherwise, these are the most useful accessories for your Apple tablet.

(Credit: Sarah Tew/CNET)

Editors’ note: Updated December 16, 2013, with three new accessories.

A camera connection kit

A camera connection kit

A camera connection kit

Who said the iPad lacks an SD card slot or USB? Well, actually, it does, but there is a solution for you if you crave a physical camera connection. If you have an older pre-Lightning iPad, the two-part Camera Connection Kit ($29) offers two 30-pin dongles that work surprisingly well for owners of the original iPad, iPad 2, or third-gen iPad. One adapter accepts SD cards, the other has a USB port. Plug in a camera directly or pop in a memory card to import photos and movies to the iPad for viewing or editing, and sync them with a computer later. You can also experiment with some other surprising ways to use the USB connection with other devices.

If you’re an owner of a new iPad with Lightning connectors released after October 2012, you have several choices: go with a separate Lightning to SD card or Lightning to USB camera adapter ($29 each), buy the Lightning to 30-pin adapter and use your original Camera connection kit, or look for a cheaper third-party solution. Either way, it helps to have one of these in your bag if you take a lot of photos…but, as cloud-based Wi-Fi uploading services have improved, and Apple’s Photo Stream has made further strides, you might find it easier to import directly from the cloud.

Digital AV adapter

More portable and more flexible than the Apple TV, Apple’s HDMI connector comes in two versions: 30-pin ($39) or Lightning ($49), depending on which iPad you own. The adapter, while pricey, acts as a direct hookup for sharing videos or mirroring the iPad’s display on a larger TV. Be warned, however: not all apps support HDMI output, so it’s a little hit-or-miss. Just keep in mind that video data doesn’t transmit over 30-pin-to-Lightning adapters if you’re trying to connect to a different-model iPad.

Apple TV

Apple TV

The $99 Apple TV streams video well, but it really excels at being a wireless TV conduit for iOS devices: AirPlay video streaming of content, including home movies, streaming slideshows, mirroring of iPad content on a big screen, and even some games that turn the iPad and your HDTV into a two-screen experience. That, plus 1080p support, all make the Apple TV an excellent choice for a large home living room.

The good: The Apple TV lets you stream all the video content in the iTunes Store to your HDTV, with purchases stored in the cloud. Netflix, Hulu Plus, HBO Go, MLB.TV, and a handful of other online media services are available, plus music, videos, and photos can be streamed from iOS devices using AirPlay. AirPlay Mirroring lets you stream any Web video to the Apple TV, if you have a newer Mac running Mountain Lion. And the Apple TV’s user interface is one of the best there is.

The bad: The competing Roku 3 offers more content sources (including Amazon Instant), cross-platform search, and a remote with a headphone jack. The Apple TV is less of a standout streamer box if you don’t own other Apple devices.

The bottom line: While it’s still a step behind the Roku 3, the Apple TV is an excellent streaming box, especially for those invested in the Apple ecosystem.

Lightning-to-30-pin adapter

Lightning-to-30-pin adapter

 Thanks to the shift to Lightning connectors, iPads are now split between the world of 30-pin and Lightning accessories and charging cables. For iPads that are older, or for older accessories and chargers, Apple sells two versions of 30-pin-to-Lightning adapters: one a tiny plug ($29), the other a longer cable ($39). Both can be used for charging, syncing, and data transfers like SD card camera importing, but not for video output. Third parties are selling less expensive options on sites on Amazon, thankfully, because $30 and $40 is a lot to pay for a dongle…but we haven’t vetted those out here yet. You only need one of these if you have older iPad accessories you don’t want to part with. For many, getting a Lightning-to-Micro-USB adapter ($19) might make a lot more sense.

A good bag

A good bag

 Living with an iPad as a laptop replacement and go-everywhere device means having a nice bag to carry it around in. A backpack can do fine, but why not go smaller? One of my favorites is the Tom Bihn Ristretto for iPad ($135), a rugged nylon bag that holds plenty of gear in its main compartment, and has an extra zippered front pocket for smaller accessories.

A small-but-powerful Bluetooth speaker

A small-but-powerful Bluetooth speaker

There are plenty of good and compact wireless speakers that work very well over Bluetooth or AirPlay, and you’ll probably want one to turn the iPad into a little home stereo system. Two recent favorites are the Jawbone Mini Jambox and the Bose SoundLink Mini. Each costs under $200.

The bad: Fairly pricey; no speakerphone capabilities; protective case costs extra.

The bottom line: While it’s fairly expensive at $200, the Bose SoundLink Mini is one of few standout products in the ultracompact wireless speaker category, featuring a top-notch design and very good sound for its tiny size.

Read CNET’s Full Review

There are plenty of good and compact wireless speakers that work very well over Bluetooth or AirPlay, and you’ll probably want one to turn the iPad into a little home stereo system. Two recent favorites are the Jawbone Mini Jambox and the Bose SoundLink Mini. Each costs under $200.

The good: The Jawbone Mini Jambox is a tiny wireless speaker that’s beautifully designed with a single aluminum enclosure. Nearly half the size of the original Jambox, it sounds better and plays slightly louder. And it has a built-in speakerphone and its voice prompts can be customized by connecting the speaker to your computer (the speaker’s firmware can also be updated).

The bad: Fairly expensive; no protective cover or pouch included; it sounds good for its size, but it doesn’t sound spectacular.

The bottom line: While you’ll pay a premium for it, the Jawbone Mini Jambox is the best-sounding and best-designed micro wireless speaker.

A reliable keyboard case

A reliable keyboard case

Are you a big on-the-go typist? Have you fantasized about making your iPad your little writing tablet? Getting a keyboard case can be a lot of fun, and even be quite useful, as long as you’re looking for a tool to do pure writing versus heavy editing: none of the keyboard accessories made for iPads has a trackpad. The Belkin Qode Ultimate Keyboard Case ($129) is one of our early favorites for the iPad Air, improving on the previous design with a slimmed-down profile. It still has several different angles that snap in place with magnets, and it autoconnects and disconnects when not used.

The good: The Belkin Qode Ultimate Keyboard Case for iPad Air has multiple viewing angles, magnetic autoconnecting Bluetooth pairing, and a great keyboard. The keyboard folds underneath when you don’t need it.

The bad: Thin plastic back case that the Air snaps into feels fragile.

The bottom line: If you prefer your iPad Air keyboard bonded to a complete case, the Belkin Qode Ultimate Keyboard Case lives up to its name and delivers a great experience.

Logitech Ultrathin Keyboard Cover

Logitech Ultrathin Keyboard Cover

Versatile, functional, great keyboard: I’ve liked Logitech’s thin keyboard cover for years, and the newest version for iPad Air ($99) is just as good. It isn’t a case, but it has magnets to stick on like a Smart Cover, and transforms into a seamless and comfortable keyboard when placed on a desk. If you have an iPad 2 or third/fourth-gen iPad with Retina Display, try the original Logitech Ultrathin Keyboard Cover ($99).

The good: The Logitech Ultrathin Keyboard Cover for iPad Air has an excellent, uncompromising keyboard and solid build quality, and it packs flat.

The bad: Lacks advanced case features like automatic Bluetooth pairing or multiple viewing angles; doesn’t protect back of your iPad.

The bottom line: The Ultrathin Keyboard Cover for iPad Air isn’t quite as ultrathin-feeling as the original iPad cover, but it’s still an excellent — if feature-minimal — Bluetooth keyboard accessory.

Read CNET’s Full Review

Versatile, functional, great keyboard: I’ve liked Logitech’s thin keyboard cover for years, and the newest version for iPad Air ($99) is just as good. It isn’t a case, but it has magnets to stick on like a Smart Cover, and transforms into a seamless and comfortable keyboard when placed on a desk. If you have an iPad 2 or third/fourth-gen iPad with Retina Display, try the original Logitech Ultrathin Keyboard Cover ($99).

The good: The Logitech Ultrathin Keyboard Cover has a slim design, fits perfectly onto the iPad 2 and third-generation iPad via magnets, and works extremely well as a keyboard.

The bad: The plastic-and-aluminum keyboard isn’t really a case, and it doesn’t protect the back of the iPad.

The bottom line: Logitech’s Ultrathin Keyboard Cover might be the best keyboard accessory ever made for the iPad, if you’re looking for a highly portable and functional keyboard that travels light; just make sure you carry a separate protective case.

A regular, versatile Bluetooth keyboard

A regular, versatile Bluetooth keyboard

Some writers might want to look into a simple Bluetooth keyboard to pair with the iPad rather than choose a keyboard case; they’re more flexible, less bulky, and often don’t cost as much…and they’ll work with any model of iPad. Apple’s own Bluetooth keyboard is excellent, or you could use the Logitech Tablet Keyboard, which has a slipcase that transforms into a useful iPad stand, which will work with any iPad from the original to the Mini the Air. There are plenty of other options to choose from, and you probably have one lying around your home.

The good: The Logitech Tablet Keyboard for the iPad has a sturdy feel, iPad-specific control buttons, and its magnetic slipcover doubles as an iPad stand when typing, tilting to multiple angles.

The bad: The full-size keyboard’s not as portable as a keyboard case solution. The plastic chassis feels a bit creaky on the edges, and the stand uses a fragile flip-out plastic piece. Some might prefer Apple’s keyboard instead.

The bottom line: Priced to compete with Apple’s Bluetooth keyboard, the Logitech Tablet Keyboard for iPad is a similarly shaped, well-functioning writing tool with a twist: its case doubles as an iPad stand.

Read CNET’s Full Review

Some writers might want to look into a simple Bluetooth keyboard to pair with the iPad rather than choose a keyboard case; they’re more flexible, less bulky, and often don’t cost as much…and they’ll work with any model of iPad. Apple’s own Bluetooth keyboard is excellent, or you could use the Logitech Tablet Keyboard, which has a slipcase that transforms into a useful iPad stand, which will work with any iPad from the original to the Mini the Air. There are plenty of other options to choose from, and you probably have one lying around your home.

The good: Ultrathin profile; minimal footprint; simple Bluetooth pairing; top row keys offers one-touch access to popular Mac features; automatic shut off conserves energy.

The bad: Lacks number pad; small keys may feel cramped for some users.

The bottom line: Apple bundles its Wireless Keyboard with every new iMac because it matches the computer’s strengths in terms of minimal design and simple functionality. While some may bemoan its lack of extra features, the Apple Wireless Keyboard does the job and looks good doing it.

A folio-style case, or a Smart Cover

A folio-style case, or a Smart Cover

The iPad begs for a good case, but your decision may vary between the larger iPad and the Mini. For the full-size iPad, it might be tempting and fun to use the clever Smart Cover to keep the iPad’s screen shielded, but the back will still be vulnerable. Look for a good snap-on back shield that’s Smart Cover-compatible. Apple’s Smart Case tries to solve the problem by making a standard folio case with a physically attached cover. The new version for iPad Airs, in leather, costs more ($69) but fits better.

For the iPad Mini and want to go quirky, you might consider a folio case like Pad & Quill’s (pictured above), or check out some other suggestions here.

A nice stylus: Wacom Bamboo Stylus duo

A nice stylus: Wacom Bamboo Stylus duo

 A capacitive stylus isn’t technically necessary (you could always use your fingers), but for sketch artists and extensive annotators, a good stylus is indispensable. Adding a pen to that stylus? Even better. The Wacom Bamboo Stylus duo ($39) adds a ballpoint pen and extends the barrel length of the already excellent original Bamboo Stylus ($29). A well-weighted, comfortable feel and a rubberized stylus tip are worth the investment, and the pen means one fewer item in your bag.

The good: The Wacom Bamboo Stylus duo has pen and stylus features in a comfortable, weighted barrel; ink cartridges are easily replaced, and the stylus tip feels silky-smooth.

The bad: The pen cap needs to be on the back of the stylus to really feel good in the hand as a pen; $40 might be too much for some to pay.

The bottom line: Wacom’s smooth, elegant stylus for capacitive tablets is one of the best we’ve seen, and adding a pen to the end only makes it more useful: just be prepared to pay an extra 10 dollars for the privilege.

LiveScribe 3

LiveScribe 3

 Now, what if your pen/stylus could draw in a notebook, and automatically have whatever’s written in that notebook sync magically to an iOS app? LiveScribe 3 does that, via a combination of Bluetooth and a proprietary set of special notebooks made to work with the pen. It’s not a cheap accessory ($149 for the pen, a notebook, and an extra ink cartridge), but I haven’t seen anything like it for hard-core handwritten note-takers who want to cross-sync to an iPad. You can also record audio “pencasts” via the app that time-sync with notes you’re taking. Trust me, it’s impressive.

Art tool: Pencil digital stylus

Art tool: Pencil digital stylus

If you want a capacitive stylus with a little something extra, the clever Pencil uses Bluetooth to add a few extra features: a digital eraser on the back, and the ability to reject your palm and use your fingers to smudge digital ink in the compatible Paper app while the stylus is used to draw. Fifty dollars ($60 for the fancy wooden version as opposed to the graphite model pictured) is a lot, but when you consider that it unlocks extra purchases in the award-winning Paper drawing app that’s cross-designed to work with it, it just might be worth it for an iPad sketch artist. Order one here.

A good set of earphones (with a mic)

A good set of earphones (with a mic)

 The iPad has never had a very good built-in speaker, and unlike the iPhone or iPod Touch, it doesn’t come with earbuds. For travel, or even everyday use, investing in a good pair of headphones is key. Apple’s own EarPods are actually pretty great and inexpensive, but I’m also partial to the Etymotic hf2, which has excellent range and a built-in microphone (you’ll want one of those for FaceTime, Skype, or taking dictation), but another longtime CNET favorite is the Klipsch Image S4i II (pictured above). For other picks, check out CNET’s lists of the top headphones under $100 and under $50 (some don’t include a microphone).

The iPad, while being astonishingly versatile, can’t do everything. That’s where peripherals come in. Maybe you want to connect a camera, stream audio or video to a TV or stereo, or write with a real keyboard. Or maybe you’re just looking for a nice bag.

Here are some of the most useful iPad accessories I’ve found. Some work for both the iPad Miniand the new iPad Air; some work with just one; some are meant for older models. You might already own an iPad and are looking for a little stocking stuffer. Or, maybe you’re looking for something to go with a new iPad you just got. Browse through these suggestions — you may not need all of them, but they can come in awfully handy.

Any I left out? Share below.

full story: http://reviews.cnet.com/8301-31747_7-57413251-243/best-ipad-accessories/

Untethered jailbreak for second gen Apple TVs updated, puts XBMC next to HBO Go

BY RICHARD LAWLER

The folks at Firecore are working on more than just the latest version of theirInfuse media player, and just delivered an updated software package for jailbreaking second generation Apple TVs (the current third gen model has, so far, remained closed). Showing once again that jailbreaks aren’t just for the iPhone and iPad, the new version of Seas0npass provides an untethered — read: it still works after a reboot — method for Apple TV players running the 5.3 software update that added access to channels like HBO Go and WatchESPN. That’s still a step away from the most recent Apple TV 6.0 update that arrived this fall with iTunes Radio and AirPlay from iCloud features, but the team says it’s made “some encouraging progress” there. The combination of Seas0npass and aTV Flash (black) lets your hockey puck play a number of new video/audio formats and run home theater software like Plex and XBMC, check out the site for instructions.

SOURCE: Firecore Blog

full story: http://www.engadget.com/2014/01/04/jailbreak-for-second-gen-apple-tvs-updated-work-continues-on-th/