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Insert Coin: Emukey EK1 runs mouse, keyboard macros purely from hardware (video)

In Insert Coin, we look at an exciting new tech project that requires funding before it can hit production. If you'd like to pitch a project, please send us a tip with "Insert Coin" as the subject line.

Insert Coin Emukey EK1 puts mouse, keyboard macros in open hardware video

Software testers don't have it easy these days. While it's been possible for ages to record keyboard and mouse commands as macros, quality assurance teams sometimes can't have any tracking software running -- a real pain when trying to recreate a bug in an online RPG or other input-heavy apps. Emukey's proposed EK1 box could save testers from manual troubleshooting by running those macros from hardware. By taking scripts pushed out from a host Windows PC, the EK1 can run pre-recorded keyboard and mouse instructions on a slave PC without any software interference. The script-based approach makes it easy to reproduce a glitch on other machines by sharing files, and the use of PS/2 peripherals (with USB adapters if needed) prevents lag from skewing the results.

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Source: Emukey (Indiegogo)

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Google serves up reindeer games with Santa Tracker, lets St. Nick message your besties

Google serves up reindeer games with Santa Tracker, lets St Nick message your besties

Sure, Google's not in the Santa Tracking NORAD cabal anymore, but that's not stopping it from rolling out St. Nicholas-related goodies. It just launched a series of new games, including a chimney / gift dropping challenge, a rocket-powered elf race and a Santa chat that lets you send a droll holiday greeting to your "hoodlum besties." You can even play Rudolph for a lark and drag Santa around in his sleigh -- badly, in our case -- so check the source (hint: click the red box at the bottom left) for some holiday cheer, Mountain View-style.

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Source: Google Santa Tracker

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LG brings sharper picture of its 2013 Google TV lineup launching at CES

LG brings sharper picture of its 2013 Google TV lineup to be introduced at CES

After hinting in a Japanese press release that it'll out a bevy of new Google TV offerings in 2013, LG has firmed up the details, saying it'll launch seven new models at CES next January. Those include 42-, 57-, 50-, 55- and 60-inch models from the upcoming GA6400 series, along with 47- and 55-inch Cinema Screen panels included in the new GA7900 series. All the screens will ship with a redesigned Magic Qwerty Remote, which uses a full keyboard along with "natural language recognition" via a built-in microphone. Together with built-in Google search functions, that'll allow users to find "broadcast TV or internet content with only one vocal command," according to LG. Other features include the OnLive gaming platform app, a home dashboard to display other apps and content, LG's PrimeTime Quick Guide for browsing TV shows or movies, and a full browser. There's no word yet about pricing or availability, but hopefully that'll be one of the many, many morsels of info we'll be grabbing for you at CES 2013. Check the PR after the break for more info.

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Neo Geo X hacked to run Unibios, unofficial game ROMS

Neo Geo X hacked to run Unibios, unofficial game ROMS

After witnessing the fall of the DS, DSi, 3DS and PlayStation Vita, it's no surprise to hear that the Neo Geo X has succumbed to the talents of the homebrew community, but it is a little shocking how easy the handheld was to conquer. Upon cracking the device open, enthusiasts were surprised to find no copy protection to speak of -- just a lightly glued MicroSD card. The folks on the Neo Geo forum wasted no time experimenting, and soon found that the handheld's Bios and game ROMs can be successfully swapped for new games or custom loaders. Substitute files need to retain the name of the file they replace, and swapped games remain mislabeled in the Neo Geo X menu, but the trick has already allowed some users to install the popular AES Unibios. The community hopes that the discovery will eventually allow them to tweak the handheld's TV-out resolution and enable manual switching between AES / MVS game modes. It's hardly a "hack," considering the SD card is completely unprotected, but it's a good start. Check out the source link below to peer at the device's insides, or just to watch the community in action.

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Via: Kotaku

Source: Neo Geo

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LG’s 2013 Google TV sets to come in more sizes, fresher designs

LG's 2013 Google TV sets to come in more sizes, sleeker looks

LG only experimented with a Google TV lineup in 2012; for 2013, it's committing to the concept in earnest. The 47- and 55-inch sizes we know today should be joined by 42-, 50- and 60-inch models that cater both to frugal viewers and those who like to live large. We should also see the spruced-up designs that come with yearly updates, including newer zero-bezel frames and distinctive stands. We're less surprised by input and software updates -- all of the new screens will ship with voice-enabled Google TV and OnLive support from the get-go, and the company's multi-talented Magic Remote is making its return. LG is remaining coy on further details beyond promising a release sometime in the first half of 2013, although there's a good chance we'll know more in Las Vegas.

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Source: LG (translated)

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Inhabitat’s Week in Green: invisibility cloak, a Hobbit House and a portable washing machine

Each week our friends at Inhabitat recap the week's most interesting green developments and clean tech news for us -- it's the Week in Green.

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Christmas is right around the corner, and for all of you procrastinators out there, we recently shared our handy guide to last-minute gifts that can be whipped up in the 11th hour. We also have some great suggestions for non-consumerist gifts of time and if you're crafty, don't forget to check out our DIY guide for cool make-it-yourself gift ideas like these useful texting gloves and this curiously strong solar charger upcycled from an old Altoids tin. For a fun activity to do with the whole family, check out our homemade holiday greeting card and DIY Christmas cracker tutorials, and before putting your gifts under the tree, don't miss our guide to eco-friendly gift wrap alternatives.

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Germany plans to clone the perfect Christmas tree, break Charlie Brown’s heart

Germany plans to clone the perfect Christmas tree, break Charlie Brown's heart

We've seen Christmas trees built out of spare car parts, discarded SCSI drives, OLED panels, and quadrocopter stacked boxes, but Germany? Their taking the old tannenbaum back to its roots -- and tweaking its genetic code. With the aide of a government grant, scientists in Germany are trying to develop a method of tree cloning suited to Nordmann Fir. The native pine is popular for yuletide trimmings, but can be difficult to grow -- as much as 40 percent of trees grown for the season wind up the wrong shade of green or have their growth stunted by frost. Plant biologists hope to have a healthy stock of cloned trees ready by 2016, assuming nothing goes terribly wrong. Perfectly cultivated clones or not, we still prefer 'ol Chuck Brown's charming twig.

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Source: PhysOrg

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BMW’s Car Hotspot LTE means Bavarian Motor WiFi

BMW's Car Hotspot LTE means Bavarian Motor WiFi

The dedicated car phone may be a thing of the past, but the in-car hotspot is becoming increasingly common. BMW isn't shy when it comes to in-vehicle tech, so the fact that it's launching its own solution should come as no surprise. We initially heard about the ConnectedDrive LTE integration back in summer, but now it looks like it's almost here. The BMW Car Hotspot LTE is essentially a purpose-built WiFi router that houses an LTE SIM (it also supports 3G and EDGE). It's compatible with any BMW with a telephone docking station and allows connections from up to eight client devices. Authentication can be done via code entry or NFC (or there's WPS too). Rather than just rebranding an LTE dongle, the system is designed to integrate with the vehicle's aerial for better signal, while the dock keeps it charged. As you might surmise, this does indeed mean there is an internal battery, making it useful beyond the confines of the automobile too (for about an hour according to the car maker). No official word on price or release, but it's suggested it'll be landing in Europe as soon as this week.

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Via: Telematics news

Source: BMW

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Ask Engadget: best nettop for family use?

Ask Engadget best nettop for family use

We know you've got questions, and if you're brave enough to ask the world for answers, then here's the outlet to do so. This week's Ask Engadget inquiry is from Robin, who wants to help the older generation get online. If you're looking to ask one of your own, drop us a line at ask [at] engadget [dawt] com.

"Hi Engadget, I'm looking for a desktop for my parents, and since they rarely play any 3D games, I think a nettop might be ideal. Anything that has an HDMI output would work, so what do you recommend? Thanks very much"

Lenovo's latest Q190 arrives in January, will set you back $350 and comes with Windows 8, while the eco-friendly (but less-powerful) ASUS EeeBox EB1030 is $370, but should do a similarly decent job with your parents early adventures in tweeting. But how about you out there? Can you suggest a nettop that's even more desirable? Now that the world hasn't ended (at least when the Mayans said it would) you can share your knowledge in the comments below.

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Mobile Miscellany: week of December 17th, 2012

Mobile Miscellany week of December 17th, 2012

If you didn't get enough mobile news during the week, not to worry, because we've opened the firehose for the truly hardcore. This week, we have a super-sized dose of news for Nokia and Windows Phone users, along with the latest rumblings on the mobile network front. So buy the ticket and take the ride as we explore the "best of the rest" for this week of December 17th, 2012.

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