Apple’s Jony Ive Said To Be Bringing The Flat Design Fad To iOS 7 With Visual Overhaul

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Tesla IS Cool!

The other day I’m getting out of my car and a Tesla model S pulls in next to me. As with any supercar I began ogling it and examining the beauty but what I noticed next was mind blowing, and quite possibly the coolest feature on a car – ever.

What was it you ask? Well the owner stepped out of the car, shut the door and the door handles instantly retracted flush back into the door. Amazing! Generally, I’m not inclined to talk to total strangers about their cars but in this instance I stopped the lady and asked her to show me it again – and like a Christopher Nolan movie it was even better the second time!

Watch the video and see if you don’t agree with me.

I know Tesla has been in the news now for months and usually the headlines aren’t always that enthusiastic; so that’s why I’m suggesting this marketing tactic for Tesla – start marketing the hell out of these futuristic, Hollywood-esque automatic door handles!

It may sound ridiculous that something so superficial could make me love this car so much but, then again, that’s nothing new in the land of automobiles. Just look at the subtleties of Audi’s LED headlamps and the knock-offs that imitate them or Lexus’s articulating headlights – these things set cars apart.

I may not be the car-guy I was in my teens but the fact that I wasn’t aware of this awesome feature makes me think Elon Musk and his marketing team at Tesla are failing on some level. This is something everyone should be aware of – not because it’s an electric car with potentially game changing electric technology but because it has the ‘cool-factor’ which is an underrated factor in my mind.

…did I really write an entire post on the cool-ness of retractable door handles? 😉

New Yorkers can now get cellular signals in 30 more subway stations

Gigaom

Back in 2011, Transit Wireless and New York City’s Metropolitan Authority announced an ambitious plan to blanket the Big Apple’s 277 underground subway stations with mobile voice and data coverage. After launching in six stations in Chelsea, nothing much else happened, but on Thursday Transit and MTA finally announced the next phase of their project.

It’s only 30 stations so the project is still well short of its goal, but AT&T(s t) and T-Mobile customers should start noticing their phones maintaining their connections as they descend into the depths of Midtown Manhattan. In addition, Boingo is also using the system to expand its hotspot networks underground. Transit said the stations are located in Times Square, Rockefeller Center, Lincoln Center and Columbus Circle. (You can see a list of the specific stops here.)

Transit has installed a distributed antenna system, or DAS, which is neutral-hosted cellular technology. That means…

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Oblivion vs. Moon

Oblivion vs. Moon

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I recently went to see Tom Cruise’s new Hollywood mega-movie, Oblivion, in theaters and I want to start out by saying I really enjoyed it! The movie lived up to what I had envisioned – futuristic Earth wasting away as what’s left of society survives millions of miles away on one of Saturn’s moons. All the while, Cruise’s character – astronaut extraordinaire Jack Harper – is left behind to defend giant harvesting units as they siphon what’s left of Earth’s oceans. The concept is pretty straight forward but the cinematography is truly stunning. Everyday Jack flies around in his trusty – and very bad ass – futuristic helicopter as he looks for fallen drones and Scavs (left-over bad guy invaders), while occasionally sight seeing across what’s left of Earth and New York City. I don’t want to give too much of the movie away but at a certain point in the film it dawned on me that I had seen a movie with a similar premise a year or so ago called – Moon.

moon_movie

Moon, starring Sam Rockwell, was a low-budget Sundance film but was one of the better sci-fi flicks I had seen in a while. It really stuck with me after watching it because you feel so bad for the main character, also named Sam. Without going into great detail Sam is an engineer on the Moon working for a government agency who is harvesting a certain type of helium off the giant rock. Sam is all alone in the space station except for his trusty computer side-kick, GERTY, who is really there to keep Sam from finding out the truth. Eventually, Sam figures out that he is one of many clones and that everything he has known up to that point has been a lie. He figures out the government agency he had been working for had been blocking his signals and repeating his life in order to harvest mass amounts of helium from the Moon for cheap profits.

This is the commonality between the two movies that is so eerily similar. Both men are trapped in this vicious cycle, both have multiple clones, both are harvesting something for unknown reasons, and both eventually figure out a way to break this pattern. Other similarities exist but I don’t want to ruin too much of either movie for anyyone, but trust me the similarities are pretty amazing.

I have to say both movies are very good, and although Moon was probably shot on a shoe-string budget compared to Oblivion I think it gets my vote. You have a better and more emotional connection with Sam’s character throughout the movie, and although Oblivion does do a good job developing Jack’s character, he still feels too rough around the edges to truly care much about. That being said, I really love the underlying greed aspect that both movies have – it rings so true in today’s world.

Overall, I recommend you see both movies and see for yourself the uncanny similarities they share – plus they’re both great sci-fi films filled with good acting, great visuals and thought provoking endings!

I want my Kindle TV: report confirms Amazon’s set-top box plans

Gigaom

Amazon (s AMZN) is building a TV set-top box, which it plans to introduce this fall, according to a BusinessWeek report. The device will heavily focus on Amazon’s Prime Instant video streaming service as well as the company’s pay-per-transaction VOD titles, and directly compete with streaming devices such as Apple (s AAPL) TV and Roku.

The device is being built by Amazon’s secretive R&D unit Lab126. Lab126 has been experimenting with streaming devices for years, according to BusinessWeek, which said it was able to confirm Amazon’s plans with three unnamed sources. Some of the folks involved in the project previously worked for TiVo, (s TIVO) Vudu (s WMT) and the DVR pioneer, ReplayTV.

The revelation of an Amazon set-top box shouldn’t come as a big surprise to GigaOM readers: We reported in September that Lab126 had hired a number of employees with a connected device background, including much…

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