Bike sharing systems like New York's Citi Bike may be taking off, but it's doubtful that many participants can find every station without checking a map. Thankfully, Adafruit has unveiled a smart helmet project that could help at least a few of those riders get to their destinations while keeping their eyes on the road. The DIY effort feeds locations to an Arduino-based Flora board and its positioning add-ons, which in turn use a string of NeoPixel LEDs on the helmet as turn indicators. Commuters just have to watch for blinking lights to know where to go next. While the system isn't easy to set up when cyclists have to manually enter coordinates, it is flexible: the open-source code lets it adapt to most any bike sharing system or headpiece. As long as you can get over looking like a Christmas tree on wheels while you navigate, you can build a smart helmet of your own using the instructions at the source link.
Dolphin has done a pretty fine job when it comes to keeping its browser loaded with plenty of handy features, both on Android and iOS. Now, the Dolphin's hit version 10 for Android, bringing along an array of things including a revamped user interface, drag-and-drop support for speed dials on the home screen, additional swipe-based gestures and a new store for web-based applications. In addition to all that, Dolphin brought back support for Adobe Flash, while also taking to this release to improve the built-in search options and allow users to dig through sites like Amazon, Twitter, Wikipedia and YouTube right from within the app. The overhauled Dolphin browser is now available on Google Play, so give the source below a quick click if you're eager to check out these changes.
Netflix's first foray into the horror genre seems to have gone well, as the company announced it's renewing Hemlock Grove for a second season. The 10 episode run will debut next year, presumably after fellow Netflix Originals Lilyhammer (later this year) and House of Cards (currently in production) make their second run through the gauntlet. Hemlock Grove didn't receive the same level of critical praise as other series Netflix has premiered, but executive producer Eli Roth called worldwide fan response "phenomenal" and season one "just a warm up." So let us know -- did you enjoy it enough that you're looking for more (and, will presumably hang onto that Netflix subscription)?
Chalk up one more reason to check out Windows 8.1 Preview when it becomes available on June 26th. Today, Microsoft announced that it'll pay up to $100,000 in cash to those who discover and report novel security exploits within its latest OS revision, along with up to $50,000 in bonus loot for defensive suggestions that relate to the attack. But wait... there's more. Starting on June 26th and running through July 26th, the Redmond outfit will also pay up to $11,000 toward the discovery of critical vulnerabilities within Internet Explorer 11 Preview (Windows 8.1 Preview). Whether you're motivated by your bank account or the good of humanity, you can start taking your best shots at Microsoft's latest code just one week from now.
Sick of endless patent wars yet? According to the New York Times, so is the Federal Trade Commission. Referencing the usual persons briefed on the matter, the NYT reports that FTC chairwoman Edith Ramirez is preparing to propose an inquiry that will put patent-assertion entities -- companies that exist solely to buy and collect royalties on patents -- under federal scrutiny. If approved, patent trolls that catch the FTC's attention will need to detail how they operate and if their legal proceeds pay out to the original patent owner. The chairwoman is expected to explain the proposal in more detail at a patent law workshop later this week. According to the NYT, Ramirez doesn't have any specific company in mind, but aims to investigate companies that might hamper innovation. With any luck, the inquiry will help curb spurious litigation and rampant patent trolling -- something most of us can probably get behind.
Samsung told us to expect its 55-inch OLED TV sometime in July, but there's now a chance that South Koreans will get an early look. Yonhap News Agency hears through tipsters that the premium set could ship to Samsung's homeland next week, with a price somewhere north of 10 million won ($8,840). It might not be alone, either -- those same sources also claim that the company's curved OLED TV may arrive at the same time. Samsung hasn't confirmed anything, but such moves would line up with the firm's tendency to debut products in its home country. Besides, Samsung rarely lets any of LG's salvos go unanswered.
To date, home theater mavens who've wanted Logitech's Harmony Ultimate Hub have had to buy it as part of a Harmony Ultimate or Harmony Smart Control bundle -- neither kit being a bargain for viewers with existing gear. They'll have a better option soon, as Logitech now expects to ship its promised stand-alone version of the Ultimate Hub to Europe and the US in August. Those who shell out $100 will have the same IR, RF and WiFi support as the bundled hub, just without the redundant hardware. They can even rely solely on Logitech's free Android or iOS apps for input, should a dedicated remote seem archaic. The Ultimate Hub may be well-timed: when alternative remote control bridges are fading away, Logitech may snag some of those customers looking for a replacement.
LG and Qualcomm have enjoyed a close relationship for mobile phone chips, and it appears that will continue with the next Optimus G device, which is due in Q3. A press release tonight promises it will feature a Snapdragon 800 CPU for "the ultimate mobile experience" -- a claim benchmarks seem to back up. Qualcomm says the new 800 chip can best the original Optimus G's S4 Pro by "up to 75 percent" in performance, although what may be more interesting is how this aligns with a LS980 handset that recently leaked on Sprint's website. The release also highlights the new chip's ability to use LTE Advanced carrier aggregation for even faster bandwidth speeds, so while a Galaxy S 4 variant may deliver the feature first, it probably won't be alone for long.
Yes, we've seen Samsung's Galaxy Mega 6.3 at the FCC before. With its second visit, however, there's something special. The extra-large phone is back as the SGH-i527, and it's carrying AT&T-native LTE that hints at a probable US carrier deal. There aren't any other visible changes in the filing, although we weren't expecting any. The real question is when this behemoth will ship to the States, assuming it ships at all -- for now, any possible AT&T launch remains shrouded in mystery.
Twitter isn't quite done refining TweetDeck's interface following recent web and desktop overhauls -- there's still a little tweaking left in store. The company has just updated the Chrome and web versions of its social app with grab handles that let users drag and drop columns at will. It's also easier to jump back to the top of a column when there are unread tweets, and a selected column now snaps to the sidebar when there are fewer than three total columns on the screen. While the fresh interface is web-only for now, those who prefer the native Mac and Windows apps should get matching upgrades in the near future.