All posts in “Gadgets”

The new TAG Heuer Carrera Calibre Tourbillon Nanograph is a lot of buzzwords in a beautiful package

Almost every word in the name of TAG Heuer’s new watch – the Carrera Calibre Heuer 02T Tourbillon Nanograph – is important. Carrera connects it to TAG’s long history of chronographs while Calibre suggests a handmade watch made with some technical prowess. Tourbillon means you can expect this thing to cost more than a car (about $25,000 when it goes on sale) and Nanograph suggests that this thing is doing something quite unique. And it is.

TAG Heuer loves experimenting with new materials and the Nanograph features a new hairspring design that is unique to TAG. The hairspring, which is made of carbon-composite, is lightweight and unaffected by gravity or shock. It also offers “perfect concentric oscillations” and is completely antimagnetic. Couple that with the rotating tourbillon and the suggestion is that this watch will remain accurate under all sorts of pressure.

Further, rest of the movement includes carbon fiber and aluminum which reduces the effects of temperature and looks pretty darn cool. It doesn’t do much – it basically shows elapsed time – but it does it in a decidedly sexy way.

“This new interpretation of the TAG Heuer Carrera with its advanced in-house technology underscores our legacy in achieving watchmaking excellence and proves that we remain true to our values of performance, disruption and avant-garde,” said TAG CEO Stéphane Bianchi.

It is quite fascinating to note the range materials that went into this little mechanical marvel are surprisingly new. Not many manufacturers are using carbon fiber in this way and the fact that it’s going into a chronograph mechanical watch for less than $100,000 is surprising. Now you just have to convince yourself to spend $25,000 on a watch.

Rumor suggests Apple’s AirPower mat has finally gone into production

In 2017, Apple announced the Qi-compatible AirPower Mat, a device that would charge multiple devices at once simply by placing them on the mat.

That product has been seriously delayed due to reported interference and overheating issues, with a whole year going by without hearing much about the availability of the product. In fact, Apple’s total silence on the matter led some to believe it may have been canceled altogether.

Today, however, a new rumor has breathed life back into hopes for an AirPower Mat.

Hong Kong website ChargerLAB tweeted that a credible source in the supply chain said Luxshare Precision (the same manufacturer that builds Airpods and USB-C cables) has started production on the AirPower charing pad.

MacRumors took a look at the tweet and used Google Translate to translate the WeChat screenshot included in the tweet, saying that the conversation is consistent with the information in the tweet.

ChargerLAB went on to tweet that another manufacturer, Pegatron, would start production on January 21st alongside Luxshare Precision. A report from June said that Pegatron would also be involved in manufacturing, so these tweets at least line up with what we’ve already heard.

Respected Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo said in October that the AirPower Mat could be released in first quarter 2019.

That said, this is just a rumor being passed along the Twitter grapevine for now.

This Brooklyn man makes massive robotic costumes out of junk

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One Man’s Trash from We Are Films on Vimeo.

Peter Kokis makes robots or, more correctly, he turns into robots. This Brooklyn artists takes parts from different things – slicers, juicers, and the like – and sticks them together to make some amazing costumes. He then wanders the streets of Brooklyn looking like an escaped Transformer.

His studio site, Brooklyn Robotworks, features many of his creations including an alien-looking robot and an exosuit that looks like something out of Gears of War.

“I look at the shape of objects and see their potential to portray something,” he wrote. “Virtually everything can be changed to suit my needs: re-shaped, cut-down, painted…altered in my ‘foundry’, to be seen as something else.”

This cute video shows Kokis’ foundry – actually his kitchen table – up close and explores the dedication of an artist who likes to make cool stuff to make people happy – a mission that applies to us all.

Schneider’s EVLink car charging stations were easily hackable, thanks to a hardcoded password

Schneider has fixed three vulnerabilities in one of its popular electric car charging stations, which security researchers said could have easily allowed an attacker to remotely take over the unit.

At its worst, an attacker can force a plugged-in vehicle to stop charging, rendering it useless in a “denial-of-service state,” an attack favored by some threat actors as it’s an effective way of forcing something to stop working.

The bugs were fixed with a software update that rolled out on September 2 shortly after the bugs were first disclosed, and limited details of the bugs were revealed in a supporting document on December 20. Now, a fuller picture of the vulnerabilities, found by New York-based security firm Positive Technologies, were released today — almost a month later.

Schneider’s EVLink charging stations come in all shapes and sizes — some for the garage wall and some at gas stations. It’s the charging stations at offices, hotels, shopping malls and parking garages that are vulnerable, said Positive.

At the center of Positive’s disclosure is Schneider’s EVLink Parking electric charging stations, one of several charging products that Schneider sells, and primarily marketed to apartment complexes, private parking area, offices and municipalities. These charging stations are, like others, designed for all-electric and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles — including Teslas, which have their own proprietary connector.

Because the EVLink Parking station can be connected to Schneider’s cloud with internet connectivity, either over a cell or a broadband connection, Positive said that the web-based user interface on the charging unit can be remotely accessed by anyone and easily send commands to the charging station — even while it’s in use.

“A hacker can stop the charging process, switch the device to the reservation mode, which would render it inaccessible to any customer until reservation mode is turned off, and even unlock the cable during the charging by manipulating the socket locking hatch, meaning attackers could walk away with the cable,” said Positive.

“For electric car drivers, this means not being able to use their vehicles since they cannot be charged,” it said.

Positive didn’t say what the since-removed password was, but, given the curiosity, we asked and will update when we hear back.

The researchers Vladimir Kononovich and Vyacheslav Moskvin also found two other bugs that gives an attacker full access over a device — a code injection flaw and an SQL injection vulnerability. Both were fixed in the same software update.

Schneider did not respond to a request for comment. If that changes, we’ll update.

Additional reporting: Kirsten Korosec.

Samsung’s new Galaxy M smartphones will launch in India first

Samsung will launch its new lower-priced Galaxy M series in India before the smartphones roll out globally. Asim Warsi, senior vice president of Samsung India’s smartphone business, told Reuters that three devices will be available through its website and Amazon India at the end of January and are intended to help the company double online sales.

Samsung is currently trying to recover its lead in India, the world’s second-largest smartphone market behind China, after losing it to Xiaomi at the end of 2017, when Xiaomi’s sales in India overtook Samsung for the first time, according to data from both Canalys and Counterpoint.

Xiaomi’s budget Redmi series gave it an advantage since Samsung had a dearth of competitors in the same price bracket, but analysts noted the Korean electronics giant maintains an edge in terms of R&D and supply chain expertise. Samsung leaned into those strengths last year, opening what it describes as the world’s largest mobile phone factory in Noida, just outside of New Delhi.

Specs about the three Galaxy M smartphones emerged last month, with details appearing on platform benchmark Geekbench about devices called M10, M20 and M30, the latter of which may be powered by an Exynos 7885 chip with 4GB ram.

Warsi told Reuters that “the M series has been built around and incepted around Indian millennial consumers.” The price range of Indian-first smartphones will be from less than 10,000 rupees (about $142) to 20,000 rupees. TechCrunch has emailed Samsung for more information about the new phones.

The company will debut the latest version of its flagship smartphone, the Galaxy S10, in San Francisco on Feb. 20.