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The new Mimicker Alarm will run on Android.

(Mirror Daily, United States) – Companies are always trying to make apps more intuitive and user friendly and now Microsoft Mimicker Alarm makes you wake up.

There are very few people who manage to wake up exactly when they have to or even earlier. Plus, even fewer manage to wake up already full of energy and with a smile on their face. Usually people hit the snooze button for as many times as possible and they do not function until they have at least on sip of their coffee.

This is why, many companies have come up with different solutions to make people wake up early in an easy way…or well, at least wake up early. There are numerous alarm clock gadgets which make you chase them around or shoot them if you want to stop them. However, phone applications are a lot more convenient and less pricy.

Microsoft has now come up with an alarm for Android which will definitely make you wake up although it won’t make it very easy for you. The main reason? You don’t get to snooze anymore. After you turn off the alarm you have to play a game. If you don’t complete the game in the next 30 seconds, the alarm will assume you went back to sleep so it will start all over.

Thankfully, there are three games you can choose from: color capture, express yourself and tongue twister. For color capture you will be asked to take a picture of something that has a certain color. For the express yourself game you have to take a selfie mimicking an emotion. The tongue twister is a tricky one as you have to repeat different tongue twister.

Anyway, it is quite clear that we wouldn’t be willing to do such things in the morning as soon as we wake up. But since the alarm will start ringing again if we don’t complete the tasks, there’s not much we can do. Besides, you’ll be sure to wake up in time, without having to run around the house to get ready. You’ll only have to run around to find something “red” or “green” to make your phone shut up.

All in all, this is a great solution for people who have trouble waking up each morning and it sounds quite fun. The only problem is you won’t be able to use it if you have an iPhone. However, I’m pretty sure that you can find something to please you in the App Store as well.

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Sprout Pro would be very useful in classrooms

(Mirror Daily, United States) – A new HP gadget has been launched, which expands their vision of Blended Reality and it seems that HP Sprout Pro targets the education market.

The device brings new tools aimed at students, instructors or creative professionals such as architects. The possibilities are vast, as the Sprout Pro offers instant 2D/3D scanning, augmented reality and a dual screen.

Imagine what a tool like this can do in a classroom. It could completely revolutionize the way in which teachers teach and the way in which students learn, by helping them put theory into practice in a very easy way.

The gadget can offer a lot more in education then any computer can, by blending video and audio as well as tactile engagement. The Sprout Pro could be very useful for remote learning as it allows you to collaborate on projects with people from all around the globe, in real time.

The device is also very cost effective as schools won’t have to buy separate PCs, scanners and other IT devices, when they can have all of these in just one machine.

Sprout also comes with different 3D features which will allow students to create or sculpt any shapes they want. This would be a very creative and interactive way of learning about new things, which children will like.

You can share pretty much anything on Skype, including a Sprout 2D capture. The External Display Mixer also allows you to share what’s on the dual screen or anything your webcam sees.

The Sprout Pro also has a built in HP Scan and an HP Magnifier which will help you manage your documents and further share them with other people. The HP Sprout Pro works on Microsoft Windows 10 Professional and has an Intel Core i7 processor.

All in all, I’d say this is the perfect machine to have in a classroom. You have everything you want in a single device, so there’s no need to spend more money on separate computers and scanners, nor do you have to find a place for all of them.

Moreover, given the level at which the young generation nowadays is attracted to gadgets and IT, it is far more likely they will enjoy learning with Sprout Pro than using any other form of doing projects or creating new things.

HP Sprout Pro will be available starting February at a price of $2199 and it comes with all the above mentioned features with no extra charge.

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The new gadget from Sony will control any device in your smart home

(Mirror Daily, United States) – It seems that we will slowly but surely give up our remotes and the Sony multifunctional light will run our home in the near future.

Of course, new smartphones, tablets and computers are still popular among the new devices but this year other gadgets have stolen the show at CES, such as drones and virtual reality headsets. However, we have longed dreamt about automatizing our homes, making everything smart and easy to use. We put sensors so the lights turn on when we enter a certain area; our remotes are replaced by smartphone apps that can control the TV, the lights and so on. But, it might come as a surprise, that Sony, although it has such a gadget, did not launch it at CES.

The reason behind this decision is that the product will only be launched in Japan where it will remain for at least half a year. After that, the product might cross the border but the company did not announce yet any certain launch date for the U.S. market. Moreover, they did not announce the price either. Therefore we’ll have to wait  at least until the new gadget is launched in Japan.

Sony is launching a device that besides working as a traditional light fixture, it also has features similar to remotes. It is called the Multifunctional Light and it can connect to a wide variety of other smart gadgets in your home. For example, besides light, it also allows you to control air conditioners, TVs and thermostats. The company claims that its new gadget can double up an intercom system.

The smart light has a motion sensor and a microSD card slot. The sensor obviously monitors movement to detect human presence and it will, for example, turn you TV on or off, if you enter or leave the room, respectively. Controlling the TV will be happening via infrared.

Everyone is definitely curious about how much this Multifunctional Light will cost and how well it will control your other smart devices. More importantly, does this really mark the end of traditional remotes and the birth of the smart home?

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Final Fantasy character is the new image of Louis Vuitton

(Mirror Daily, United States) – After much talk about fashion models and virtual reality these days, Louis Vuitton chooses video game character for campaign.

France has long ago decided that skinny doesn’t really taste so good anymore and established a standard of weight that must be strictly respected. In a completely different area of business, technology has shown us the power of video games and virtual reality. Among the most popular video games is Final Fantasy.

This game brings to life many interesting and human-like characters that are very appreciated by the gamers’ community and not only. It looks like the fashion industry has taken an interest in these characters, especially the one called Lightning.

Lightning is a female-warrior character that can wield a sword and has a very light shade of pink in her hair. Besides appearing the Final Fantasy she also has her own series: Lighting Returns, also part of Final Fantasy.

Currently, the creative director at Louis Vuitton is Nicolas Ghesquière and he has been combining all sorts of fantasy and tech things into his recent collection, including elements from manga and anime, sci-fi and video game. All of these inspired not only clothing but also make up and set. In the spring collection could be spotted references to Neon Genesis Evangelion, Sailor Moon or Minecraft.

The designer has posted a video of Lighting wearing Louis Vuitton clothes and accessories which spiked the interest of everyone, regardless of their attraction to the digital world. Although it is not clear yet if Lightning will be the main star of the collection or if other non-human models will be used in the advertising campaign.

Despite that the choice of model is quite surprising, this is not the first time she was chosen to represent a major fashion house. In 2012, Prada turned to Final Fantasy and used Lightning as well as other characters to present their collection.

Of course, despite the fact that the model is not real, the clothes are and Louis Vuitton did present the entire collection in a fashion show, in which the clothes Lighting is wearing in the video were presented by a similarly pink-haired human model.

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NYC will have thousands of free gigabit Wi-fi hubs

(Mirror Daily, United States) – Although we are almost in 2016, this year still has some surprises for us such as the fact that NYC turns pay phones into Wi-Fi kiosks.

Pay phones are a thing of the past. Although not all of them are out of work and some people still use them occasionally, they started to lose their appeal long ago and are only used for emergencies, like when you happen to forget your mobile phone at home.

The announcement for the hubs was made last November but it was only now that officials managed to create the first free public Wi-Fi access points in New York City. The LinkNYC network spots will offer besides free Wi-fi, USB charging ports and touch-screen internet access which will come, of course, with digital ads.

Now, don’t expect to be able to use them just yet and also, don’t expect to see them everywhere around the city as the installation timeline is of 12 years. In 12 years, CityBridge has to install at least 7,500 access points in all parts of NYC, with at least 510 to be available within a year and 120 days and 4,500 within four years.

The test period will last for no more than two weeks and after that we should be able to use them. The Wi-Fi speed will depend on the hubs location. The fastest ones will be located around Manhattan while in other areas we might only have access to Mbps instead of gigabits.

It is expected that CityBridge will go over the 7,500 minimum as they are said to be gaining money from advertising as well. This means that every new kiosk brings new money to the company. Besides, if they don’t finish in time, they will have to pay fines, established by officials.

Although the area with the highest Wi-Fi speed will be Manhattan, which is already the most developed one and doesn’t necessarily lack internet access, the hubs are a good thing for the other areas of NYC as well. Some areas were very poor in Wi-Fi access, and now having it for free will make it a lot easier to the citizens of NYC to connect to the Internet.

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The Chinese government hacked into Hotmail accounts

(Mirror Daily, United States) – After omitting to do so for several years, Microsoft will warn users of government hacking in the future especially in China.

Hacking is something quite common these days and it affects almost all internet users who have online accounts. It’s usually done by individuals who for different reasons, in most cases money, break into people’s accounts and find out their personal information and their whereabouts.

But criminals are not the only ones doing this. They probably weren’t the ones who started it. The ones who want to know all about us are government organizations, especially if they feel that we have something to hide.

For example, a few years ago authorities in China hacked into over a thousand of Hotmail accounts, as they were trying to keep an eye on some international leaders of Tibetan and Uighur minorities in China.

Although Microsoft discovered the issue, they decided not to announce the victims and this obviously meant the hackers went on tracking those people. Now, if we’re talking about one independent hackers playing around and breaking into people’s accounts, companies like Microsoft would try to stop him or her and if they somehow manage to get track of him, authorities get involved as well to catch the criminal. But what do you do when the hacker represents the authorities?

The hacking was first observed in May 2011 by the Trend Micro Inc. but Microsoft managed to secure the accounts before the company made the findings public. After leading their own investigation Microsoft discovered that the hacking started in July 2009 and targeted besides Tibetan and Uighur leaders, some African and Japanese diplomats and human right lawyers.

The source of the hacking was traced back to AS4808, a Chinese network formerly associated with spying campaigns. According to former Microsoft employees, the Chinese government was not the only hacking source and others existed as well.

At the time, Microsoft requested its users to change their Hotmail passwords without disclosing the reason for the change. However, Microsoft has now announced a new policy in which they will specify the source of hacking to the users, in case they manage to trace it. They will do so, regardless of who the hacker is and they will offer support and guidance to users in order to change their password accounts or maybe create new ones if necessary.

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Hoverboards are not so safe as they can spontaneously combust

(Mirror Daily, United States) – One of the most wanted presents this year were hoverboards but things didn’t turn out well so let’s talk about the hoverboard Christmas failure.

Gadgets that can entertain us represent the new generation of toys which are popular both among children and adults. One of these toys is the hoverboard, probably the most popular ‘toy’ of 2015. For those of you who happen to not be familiar with it, the hoverboard is a skateboard-like transport device on two wheels that makes the user feel and look like they are hovering over the ground, hence the name of the item.

Unfortunately, it turns out that the very popular hoverboard is not very safe. There have been many stories about this particular toy catching on fire and product and consumer safety commissions from both the U.S. and Australia have issued warnings on the product. Plus, retailers like Amazon decided to stop selling the product.

Hoverboards are not very easy to control and it might pose some problems for both adults and children. This is why, being one of the most popular Christmas gift, it was also the one which provoked the most injuries such as concussions or broken arms, not to mention bumps and bruises.

However, it looks like children have more success at handling the hoverboards than adults. One reason could be that having a lower center of gravity, the little ones can balance more easily than grownups.

This is why, in order to make sure your next trip is not going to be to the hospital, you should wear protection gear, just like with any other similar type of transportation such as bicycles, rollerblades, skateboards and so on. If you think you won’t need such things, at least make sure your kid wears a helmet as well as knee and elbow pads.

Besides having this protection, one problem still remains – there were many times when the hoverboard caught on fire. It happened when the item was being charged, as it works on lithium ion batteries, but it also spontaneously combusted while being used.

The combustion is believed to be caused by the batteries, which are known to have incinerated iPods or electric cars, so until an alternative is found for the hoverboard’s power source, we cannot know for sure how safe they really are.

But if you’re willing to take the risk, make sure you’re at least wearing a helmet and you have someone around to catch you if you fall…or at least film you.

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H.O.G. members get VIP access

(Mirror Daily, United States) – Although Harley-Davidson Inc. is not doing so well in the financial sector,  Harley-Davidson Museum opens and offers free entrance for all H.O.G.s.

The Harley-Davidson bikes are probably the most popular in the world, even among people who are not bikers. It suffices to ask them if they know a motorcycle brand. The first answer will definitely be “Harley-Davidson”.

The free pass for HOGs is not a one-time thing as the members of the Harley Owners Group will have unlimited access to the museum for ever. The VIP access is translated into admission to exclusive programs and different benefits at the museum and also online.

The Harley Museum is in Milwaukee and the company looks to creating the best meeting place for H.O.G. members. They are trying to transform the museum into a place where Harley owners feel at home. The entire history of Harley-Davidson is on display for everyone, and especially for riders to enjoy.

The museum is open 363 days per year and besides visiting and exploring the bikes’ history and meeting with other Harley lovers, you can also participate at monthly Bike Nights or the Weekend of Wild Ones. You can spend there an entire day if you’d like as there are retails stores and restaurants. You can also experience some of the museum’s features online through their official website.

The Harley Owners Group is the largest rider club in the world with a number of almost one million members. If you’re not a member and you’re wondering whether it’s worth being a ‘Hog’ or not, here are some of the benefits you could have: you can have exclusive access to the HOG magazine, you can receive roadside assistance, go to riding events or rallies as well as many other experiences which can make you motorcycling experience a lot better.

Harley-Davidson, Inc. is the head of a group of companies such as the Harley-Davidson Motor Company and the Harley-Davidson Financial Services. As the names of the companies suggest, they operate in the motorcycling and in the financial business segments. The Motor Company designs and manufactures Harley-Davidson motorbikes as well as motorcycle parts and accessories. The Financial Services company, which might be less known to some, provides insurance for Harley-Davidson motor-products mainly in the U.S. and Canada.

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A hybrid between a tablet and a laptop

(Mirror Daily, United States) – Windows tablet might not be as popular as iPads but they’re catching up as the new Microsoft Surface Book is a hybrid between a laptop and a tablet.

The Surface Pro tablets, although are considered to have a long way ahead before becoming serious iPad competitors, have proven to be quite popular. And now, Microsoft is stepping it up a notch, creating a fusion between a tablet and a laptop.

You’re now probably imagining a common tablet that comes with a keyboard. The keyboard can be connected to the tablet, which will make it similar to a laptop.

But the Surface Book is not like any other tablet, it is actually more like a laptop. It has a solid keyboard base to which the tablet can be attached and the device will look exactly as a laptop for which you can even close the lid. If you only want to use the tablet, a simple click of a button will suffice to detach the display from the keyboard.

The goal of the company is to try and make laptop users to replace their devices with the Surface Book. After all, if you could have both a laptop and a tablet at the same time, without having to buy two separate devices, you might as well buy a Surface Book.

The hardware part of the tablet is made to resemble a laptop as much as possible, with ‘Skylake’ Core i5 CPU, a memory of 8GB plus about 128 GB for SSD storage. You can also configure it to an Intel Core i7 CPU, Nvidia GPU and you can also double the memory to 16 GB and reach 1 TB of SSD space.

Besides performance, the new Microsoft hybrid has also a very nice design. The display is of 13.5 inches and uses an aspect ratio of 3:2 which makes the device look taller. Basically, although the size of the display is regular, it looks bigger.

Although you can close the lid, there will be a gap remaining between the tablet and the keyboard, which will make it look a bit strange. On the other hand, because the tablet is quite heavy as it holds most of the device’s hardware, including the battery, Microsoft had to build a very strong hinge to support the display and they’ve done a great job.

The entire devise is about 3.34 pounds. Although it might seem a bit heavy, this is because it is made of premium materials including metal which makes it feel tougher and not easy to break. You can use the keyboard as a kickstand and it also has incorporated an SD card slot as well as USB ports.

All in all, if you can’t make up your mind about buying a laptop or a tablet, the Microsoft Surface Book is definitely the best choice for you.

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The Santa Tracker brings many new features this year

(Mirror Daily, United States) – This year, just as the last, your kid or the child in you will have plenty of fun now that Google’s Santa Tracker is up and running.

Those of you who have kids know for sure how excited they get over Christmas and the coming of the old bearded man who is bearing presents, as soon as Thanksgiving’s over. Those of you who don’t have kids, definitely remember how anxious you were as children waiting for Santa to come, wondering where he is and trying to stay up all night to catch a glimpse of him.

Well, you can now do all of that thanks to the Santa Tracker application made by Google. Even last year, the application registered a very big success among both kids and adults. But this year it exceeds expectations as it comes with some new great features.

First of all, you can download the tracker from the Santa Tracker website or from the Play Store if you’re using a mobile device that operates an Android system. The app is free of charge and can be downloaded by anyone looking for some Christmas fun.

Being a downloadable application, the Santa Tracker also works on Android TV devices, so pretty much anyone who uses an Android device can use the app. Compared to the website and application of last year, this one comes with a more stylish user interface. However, the website is still running so you can enjoy the Santa Tracker on you PC as well. Besides last year’s features, the app has become even more interesting by introducing some new ones such as a ‘daily activity’. For example, you can color different ornaments in the Christmas tree just the way you like it.

Another new great feature of the Santa Tracker is the North Pole Airport game. You can spot elves in jetpacks and even a slightly different version of Flappy Bird. But the Santa Tracker is not just for fun. You can learn about holiday traditions around the world and it’s a great way for your little one to learn through play about different cultures. For the coding fans you can even have access to a code lab where you can learn more about different coding projects from Google. If by any chance you have a Google Cardboard unit the app also allows you to take part in a brand new VR activity.

All in all, for the ones looking to have a little Christmas fun before Christmas or simply trying to keep their kids busy, the Santa Tracker for Google might be a great choice.

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