Pantone has knighted its color of the year for 2014: radiant orchid! The hue (Pantone number 18-3224) is a bright blend of fuchsia and purple with a tinge of pink. With its warm, rosy undertones, we can't help but think of tropical flowers (er, orchids) and dazzling island sunsets. Next year, rock the radiant-orchid color family on purple-powered tech gear!
Dad is your rock. He's the family IT guy, the authority on all things sci-fi, and the ultimate adventurer. So this holiday season, get him gadgets and gizmos that'll up his tech game. We've got trinkets for outdoorsmen, photographers, Einstein enthusiasts, and more.
See all the fitness trackers, panoramic photo accessories, wireless speakers, and other doodads we handpicked for geek fathers in the gallery!
Nothing is truly permanent — especially on the Internet — so Google is working towards allowing users access to e-mails anytime, even long after the company's online services are gone. Starting today, Google is offering a one-click export system to download a copy of your data from Gmail and Google Calendar.
Previously, users had to turn to not-always-effective third party backup or extraction services. Now, Gmailers can download their entire archive of mail or select labels as an MBOX file. MBOX is a common format for storing email messages, with all of the user's email threads stored in a single, long text file. Many clients, such as Entourage, Eudora, and Mozilla Thunderbird, can recognize MBOX files.
To export your personal data, sign into your Google account, click on the profile thumbnail in the top right corner, and select "Account" just beneath your email address. In the navigation menu on the left, click "Download your data" and select "Create an archive" to begin picking and choosing the Google services you'd like to preserve.
Calendar export is available for all users today, and Gmail export is rolling out over the next month.
Don't cry little fella; Tumblr's listed its Most Viral Blogs of 2013 in no particular order, and we're asking for your top Tumblr pick. The blogging platform was acquired by Internet giant Yahoo! earlier this year for a cool billion, but that didn't affect its cult credibility.
Side-splitting hits like Reasons My Son Is Crying ("All the many many completely logical reasons that children cry") and Brides Throwing Cats had us rolling on the floor laughing all year long. Which tumbles gave you uncontrollable giggles? Vote for the best Tumblr blog of 2013 now!
It's officially official, Whovians. Matt Smith will bid his final adieu to Doctor Who in the US on Dec. 25, Christmas Day, at 9 p.m. on BBC America. The teaser trailer for the special, titled "The Time of the Doctor," (watch it below!) previews how the show plans to send off its Eleventh Doctor, who fans have enjoyed on the small screen for the past four years.
In the 10-second teaser, we see bits of the Daleks, Cybermen, the Silence, and the Weeping Angels. The BBC has revealed that the Doctor is making some sort of sacrifice to save a town called Christmas. The last episode of season seven was titled "The Name of the Doctor" and the 50th anniversary special was "The Day of the Doctor," so we're intrigued by what "The Time of the Doctor" could mean, as there seems to be a synergy between these three episodes.
The Doctor asks, "This planet . . . what's it called?" in the trailer, to which a female voice (River Song, perhaps?) responds, "Trenzalore." The episode's mysterious tagline is, "Silence will fall."
We're still reeling from the 50th anniversary special, which aired Nov. 23 and is available for streaming now on iTunes, Amazon, and more. But we can't wait to see how the Christmas special (which will hopefully also air Christmas Day for US peeps) will introduce the newest Doctor, Peter Capaldi.
Time to bust out those oxygen tanks, because you're about to become a Benedict Cumberbatch fangirl all over again. To promote The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug (out Dec. 13! squeal!), Benny took to Twitter last night for a little Q&A with his Cumbercollective.
In the off chance that you may have missed this epic Twitter chat with the dragon himself, gather 'round for the top three moments from last night's #AskSmaug sesh. If you feel like hyperventilating, take a deep breath, then keep calm and Cumberbatch on.
This red velvet Cumbercake deserves to accompany Benedict on the red carpet.
— The Hobbit (@TheHobbitMovie) December 3, 2013
The delectable treat caught Ben's eye and his response was so perfectly . . . English.
An astonishing addition to the edible collection. One day, I will have to eat myself.
— The Hobbit (@TheHobbitMovie) December 3, 2013
His Bromance With Martin Freeman
Benedict is now sharing the big screen with his Sherlock costar Martin Freeman, who plays the lead role of Bilbo Baggins.
Martin, as Benedict explains, would completely smoke Smaug in sass-off.
— The Hobbit (@TheHobbitMovie) December 3, 2013
Martin, obviously. Smaug gets pretty clumsy in a rage until he flies. Then, I suppose he might have time to give the birdy.
— The Hobbit (@TheHobbitMovie) December 3, 2013
He's a Certified Trekkie
His parting gift was telling the Internet to "Live Long and Prosper." Vulcan salutes up, everyone.
Listen up: Alexander Wang is lending his all-black-everything aesthetic to an exclusive Beats by Dre collection. The Alexander Wang-branded portable Beats Pill speaker ($299), in-ear Urbeats earbuds ($149), and over-ear Beats Studio headphones ($449) will be sold in very limited quantities.
Beats by Dre's most popular products will be draped in matte black with pale gold accents for the collaboration. Each item also includes Alexander Wang's signature black stingray case with a metal gold keychain and zipper. We don't know where or when they'll be available, but Beats by Dre did announce that the Alexander Wang collection will be up for sale at a private, one-day event before being offered to the public. Sign up to learn how to attend Beats' exclusive presale.
- All of sci-fi's coolest robots on one poster — BuzzFeed Geeky
- How to create chemistry magic in your microwave (and other places) — Cracked
- Google Chrome extensions that'll keep you organized — ReadWrite
- Merriam-Webster's word of the year is . . . science? — Newser
- How Wolverine becomes a time traveler in X-Men: Days of Future Past — /Film
- 3D printing will change everything — Geekosystem
- The epic loneliness of Legend of Zelda's Link — Buzzfeed
- Video game fashions that should have caught on — Cracked
- How to future-proof your holiday shopping list — ReadWrite
- Robocop: R2-D2's evil twin — Newser
- The longest messages sent into space — Mental Floss
- What drones? Get packages delivered by owl instead — Geekosystem
Department stores won't be the only things draped in glitter and gold this month. December is all about dressing to the nines for back-to-back holiday soirées, so we're making sure that you've got glitzy tech accessories to match. From phone cases that glitter to headphones that shimmer, this month's must haves are where gadgets meet glam.
While you're taking care of that holiday shopping list, don't forget to treat yourself to our picks for the most delectable tech accessories of the year.
For fist-on-table, need-it-now deliveries, Amazon is cooking up a new service straight out of science fiction. If the company gets a thumbs up from the Federal Aviation Administration,
Yes, drones — as in remote-controlled, unmanned airborne vehicles — flying products from the Amazon warehouse straight to your doorstep in about a half hour. It's like receiving a sponsored package as a tribute in The Hunger Games arena but in real life.
Because of FAA rules and regulations, the Amazon program is still a few years away from commercial implementation. This type of delivery system has raised many concerns. What's to stop someone from shooting down a drone and reaping someone else's Amazon deliveries for themselves? What about risk of collision with aircraft, power lines, or even wildlife?
But there are many benefits as well — the obvious one being not having to wait very long for packages. Airborne delivery will also be helpful for relief, in areas with damaged roads and infrastructure.
We want to know what you think: is Amazon Prime Air the future of delivery . . . or is it bound to fail? If it were implemented, would you opt to use delivery by drone?
For a better idea of how Amazon Prime Air works, watch a drone's test flight below.
America's media empress Oprah Winfrey has released her annual gift guide, Oprah's Favorite Things, and we weren't shocked that some choice gadgets made the list. Oprah's favorite electronics are pretty standard (Kindle), but there are some high-tech surprises (Galaxy Gear) on her wishlist. Take a look at Ms. Winfrey's favorite things, and let us know which ones you're coveting for the holidays.
- Mophie Juice Pack Helium ($80) — This case has a built-in 15800 mAh battery that gives your phone an extra 80 percent power. It's available in black, white, purple, green, pink, red, and blue.
- Galaxy Gear ($300) — Samsung unveiled its wearable tech earlier this year. The smartwatch can pair with the Galaxy Note 3, Galaxy Note 10.1, and Galaxy S4 and notify its wearers of incoming calls, texts, and emails. You can also make calls from the watch itself, using the built-in microphone.
- Beats Studio Headphones ($300) — The redesigned Beats Studio Headphones come in a new matte black, as well as white, red, and yellow. The audio gear has a 20-hour rechargeable battery and features adaptive noise cancelling, as well as an in-line microphone.
- Qooq Kitchen Tablet ($399) — With tons of recipes, videos, and meal-scheduling apps built-in, this tablet is a techie chef's dream. Most importably, Qooq is spill-, splash-, and smudge-proof.
- Samsung Galaxy Note 3 ($300 with two-year contract) — Samsung's newest phone-tablet hybrid has a new leather-like back and a more responsive stylus. Its screen has also been increased from 5.5 inches to a 5.7-inch super AMOLED 1080p display.
- Kindle Paperwhite ($119) — Amazon's next-generation ereader has higher resolution and better contrast than the previous version. Its processor has also been upgraded, but its most significant improvements can be seen in the software, which now has vocabulary building tools and Goodreads integration.
Work off that scrumptious Thanksgiving meal and get in on the best gadget deals of the year, all in one fell swoop! What better way to kill two birds with one stone than with a Black Friday tech sale extravaganza. Kick off your holiday shopping season with the most discounted Black Friday gadgets — including the iPad Air, Samsung Galaxy S4, Xbox 360, and more — below.
- Element 50-inch 1080p LED HDTV ($229, originally $600, limit one per guest)
- Vizio 47-inch 1080p LED HDTV ($380, originally $580)
- Westinghouse 40-inch 120Hz 1080p LED HDTV ($200, originally $430)
- Samsung Galaxy S4 ($40 with two-year contract, originally $200)
- Samsung Galaxy S3 ($0.01 with two-year contract, originally $100)
- iPad Air 16GB WiFi only Tablet ($479 and receive a free $100 Target gift card)
- Beats by Dre Solo HD Headphones ($119, originally $180, only in light blue, dark blue, purple, and green)
- Xbox 360 Kinect Bundle ($190, originally $300)
- Nikon D3200 with two lens bundle (55-200mm zoom lens, 18-55mm lens, and DSLR camera) ($500, a $800 total value)
- Vizio 55-Inch 1080p 120Hz Smart HDTV ($480, originally $800)
- Samsung 65-Inch 1080p 120Hz LED HDTV ($999, originally $2,650)
- Sony Blu-Ray Disc Player With Wi-Fi ($55, originally $120)
- Jawbone Jambox Bluetooth Speaker ($100, originally $150)
- HTC One with a new two-year contract with Sprint, Verizon, or AT&T ($0.01, originally $50)
- Vizio 60-inch 1080p LED Smart TV ($688, originally $998, Nov. 28 at 6 p.m. only)
- Samsung 46-inch 1080p LED HDTV ($497, originally $648, Nov. 28 at 8 p.m. only)
- iPad Mini 16GB WiFi only ($299, originally $329 and receive $100 Walmart gift card, Nov. 28 at 6 p.m. only)
- iPhone 5C ($45 with two-year contract, originally $99, plus receive a free $75 Walmart gift card)
- Samsung Galaxy S4 ($99, originally $189)
- Samsung Galaxy S3 ($0.47, originally $29)
- Beats by Dre Solo Headphones ($115, originally $200, Nov. 28 at 8 p.m. only)
- Xbox 360 4GB Console ($99, originally $179, Nov. 28 at 6 p.m. only)
- Nikon D5100 Bundle with 18-55mm and 55-200mm lenses ($500, Black Friday only)
- Canon Rebel EOS Rebel T3 bundle with two lenses, SD card, bag, and two faux canvas prints ($449, Black Friday only)
What a brave soul you are for hosting a holiday. It takes a special kind of person to plan the party and take charge of the turkey; but, if you're inclined to actually enjoy the company of friends and family this year, you may want to enlist a little help.
We've gathered eight essential apps that every host needs to plan and prep a successful Thanksgiving dinner. These apps for iOS won't do all the work, but they will take the guesswork out of managing meals and guests. For stress-free holiday hosting, follow our Thanksgiving Day golden rule: give gratitude, delegate tasks, download these dinner-planning mobile apps, and, most importantly, save room for dessert!
No Thanksgiving would be complete without Charlie Brown, Snoopy, Lucy, Linus, and the rest of the Peanuts gang. Before gouging on turkey this Thursday, bring the kids 'round to savor the interactive Charlie Brown Thanksgiving app for iPhone and iPad ($6) and Android ($3).
The app allows Peanuts fans to enjoy the Charlie Brown special in a whole new way. A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving turns 40 this year, and the interactive app celebrates this over-the-hill birthday with a remastering of all the original illustrations.
Touch, tilt, and slide through all of your favorite Fall-themed Peanuts moments. Move Lucy's football as Charlie attempts to kick, or help Snoopy put snacks on the table before the Thanksgiving feast.
The digital story is narrated by Stephen Shea, the original voice of Linus van Pelt. Parents can set the app to three different reading modes: read to me, read myself, and autoplay. In the latest version, two new scenes have been added to the story and the director's cut is now free.
The Cartoon Network's cult comedy Adventure Time is absurd, fantastical, and totally silly — but we wouldn't have it any other way. In a kingdom far, far way called Ooo, Finn the Human and his talking dog Jake are two companions forever bonded by their totally mathematical sense of humor and thirst for adventure.
Needless to say, the coming-of-age, grown-up-meets-cartoon-comedy animated series has a special place in our rhombus-shaped hearts. So for all of Finn and Jake superfan kind, we've rounded up algebraic Adventure Time gifts that'll make any adventurer want to do the science dance.
Your favorite virtual dependents are BACK. Earlier this year, we thoroughly exhausted ourselves with the Tamagotchi mobile app for Android and iOS, and now Bandai is fueling our nostalgia yet again with the announcement that the portable digital pet devices will return in 2014 as Tamagotchi Friends!
Tamagotchi Friends brings back the familiar egg-shaped hardware with three buttons to navigate the menu of necessities like play, eat, health, and — most important of all — the pooper scooper.
But don't be mistaken: the virtual pet toy has been updated to meet modern expectations. Aside from the care and keeping of their Tamagotchi friend, owners can interact with other Tamagotchi friends by "bumping" the device against another to send text messages, exchange gifts, and just have a quick visit. Every time they "bump," owners earn "Gotchi points," which can be used to buy jewelry, meals, and other items. There are six new characters to choose from and five new minigames.
Tamagotchi Friends will hit the US market by Fall 2014, and we'll let you know as soon as they are available.
For those of you making the leap from iPhone to Android-landia, switching platforms can seem very intimidating. You've relied on iCloud, iMessage, and iTunes to make everything run smoothly, and now you'll need to start from scratch with a new platform. Google's executive chairman Eric Schmidt wanted to lend a helping hand, so he penned a 900-word guide on how to make a smooth transition from iOS to Android.
What prompted the very busy Google exec to write such a thorough guide? "Many of my iPhone friends are converting to Android. The latest high-end phones from Samsung, Motorola, and the Nexus 5 have better screens, are faster, and have a much more intuitive interface," Eric said.
If you, like one of Eric's friends, are converting to Google-ism, we've condensed the Google executive chairman's guide to switching and added a few tips of our own.
Back Up Your iPhone or iPad
Before the transfer begins, ensure that all of the data on your iPhone — your contacts, music, photos, and notes — is properly backed up to iCloud or your computer. Download or update to the latest version of iOS 7; then, if you haven't already, go to Settings > Mail, Contacts, Calendars > then add your Gmail account.
Use iPhoto to import photos from your Camera Roll to your iPhoto Library or Image Capture to download your phone's photos directly to a folder on your computer.
In Settings > Mail, select your Gmail account, and slide Contacts and Calendars to "on." Once it's synced, go to your Google account on a desktop computer. In the upper left corner, click on "Mail" and select "Contacts" from the dropdown menu. You should see all of your phone contacts listed here. Once you link your Gmail account with your new Android device, these contacts will appear.
Download Google Music Manager for the Mac, and follow instructions for syncing iTunes libraries. This application will upload iTunes music to the cloud. Make sure that Google Music Manager is linked to the same Google account as above.
Set Up Your New Android Device
Power on your Android smartphone or tablet, connect the device to WiFi, and log in with your Gmail account. Find the apps you need in the Google Play store. You won't be able to find all of your favorite iOS apps in the Android app marketplace, but popular favorites like Facebook, Twitter, and Candy Crush Saga will be there.
On Saturday, Nov. 23, Doctor Who celebrated a half-century of Time Lords with their biggest special yet. The 50th anniversary episode, titled "The Day of the Doctor," was simulcast through time and space on TVs and cinema screens around the world. If you've been frantically dodging spoilers all weekend (more tips on how to avoid plot-ruining details here) then wait no more, because "The Day of the Doctor" is ready to be streamed at your convenience.
In the US, the special is available as part of the Doctor Who: The 50th Anniversary Collection, which also includes the mini-episode prequel, the Adventure in Space and Time docudrama and more, and as a standalone episode.
Get your mobile devices ready for some Doctor Who geekery by downloading "The Day of the Doctor" from one of these online video services:
- Apple iTunes — High definition ($30 for full collection, $8 for anniversary special) or standard edition ($20 for full collection, $6 for anniversary special)
- Amazon Instant Video — High definition ($8 for anniversary special) or standard definition ($7 for anniversary special)
- Google Play — High definition ($30 for full collection, $8 for anniversary special) or standard definition ($20 for standard definition $6 for anniversary special)
- VUDU — High definition ($30 for full collection, $7 for anniversary special) or standard definition ($20 for full collection, $5 for anniversary special)
Don't miss the 50th anniversary preshow and "The Day of the Doctor" deleted scene after the break!
Ready to put a little rocket fuel in your work flow? Our friends at ReadWrite have tried and tested apps for Mac OS X that you won't believe you lived without.
By Taylor Hatmaker
If you feel like your daily computer grind could use a little oomph, we've got some. A handful of these add-ons can make tasks that were previously awkward at best a breeze. Most of these tools for OS X are free, and the rest are cheap — and all of them are essentials in our book.
1. JumpcutWe’re used to copying and pasting one item at a time — that’s just the way it works. But imagine if your computer’s capacity for recall worked a little more like your brain’s working memory, scrolling through recently relevant items and surfacing the one you need.
That’s exactly what Jumpcut does. There are a few apps out there that expand your Mac’s inherent copy/paste skills, but Jumpcut is elegant, simple, and so well executed that your fingers will rely on its custom shortcuts within minutes. Conjure up Jumpcut’s menu, a transparent overlay triggered by a keyboard command (in my case, Command + S), and you’ll be able to scroll through a hundred items, like handy URLs, email addresses, and passwords that you might need, at your fingertips.
More of a platform than a single purpose add-on, Growl enables customized notifications for everything from Messages to Spotify. If you’re not content with OS X’s built-in notifications sidebar — and why should you be? — power up Growl and decide exactly how you want to be notified of the endless cascade of potential social and app data that streams your way.
Decide how each pop-up will act, where it will appear, what sounds it will make, and what exactly those should look like. If you’re a multitasker, especially on a notebook, this one is indispensable.
More must-have Mac OS X tools after the break!