TIME Web Video

Funny Or Die: Fake HUVr Hoverboard Video Was Our Fake

Well, that escalated quickly.

The good news is that the people behind the fake HUVr Back to the Future hoverboard video have come clean. It was comedy video site Funny Or Die. The other good news is that the hoverboard used in the video has been signed by all the video’s famous actors and athletes, and will be given away on Funny Or Die’s Facebook page.

The bad news is that the fake HUVr Back to the Future hoverboard video won’t be part of a long, drawn-out, dramatic buildup for anything cool happening in December or ever. It’s over.

Funny Or Die is Sorry for Lying about Hoverboards [Funny Or Die via BostInno]

Recently: HUVr Makes Back to the Future Hoverboard Look Pretty Real

TIME Gadgets

Night Golf, Anyone? Motion-Activated LED Golf Ball Lights Up on Impact

Night Sports USA

If you sneak onto a world-class golf course in the middle of the night, leave it a better place than you found it.

This is the Light-up Golf Ball from Night Sports. It’s an LED-infused golf ball that lights up in one of four colors when you hit it, and stays lit for eight minutes while you go find it for your next shot. Each ball has a 40-hour battery, too. There’s no cool laser trail like in the above photo, unfortunately, but we can all agree that the laser trail time-lapse effect makes the above photo look too cool to pass up.

I’m not saying you should use these balls to sneak onto a world-class golf course in the middle of the night when there’s nobody around, but I guess you could argue that I’m not not saying it. Whatever you decide to do with your life is your business, but if you sneak onto a world-class golf course in the middle of the night, leave it a better place than you found it. Same goes for the daytime, too. Replace your divots, is what I’m actually saying.

Also, maybe don’t use these things on water holes or if you have a tough time keeping your shots in the fairway, because a four-pack costs $30. That’s $30. For four golf balls. That’s $7.50 each time you shank one. You can also buy a three-pack for $25 ($8.33 every time you shank one). They’re expensive, in other words, but stuffing LED lighting into golf balls can’t be cheap.

No word on whether these balls play like regular balls, though the company behind them (unsurprisingly) says, “Night Sports Light-up Golf Ball provides the high performance aerodynamics, control, accuracy, feel and distance you expect from a professional quality ball.” The three reviews on Amazon are all five stars, but they each look suspiciously similar in tone and length.

Here’s a video of what the balls look like when they’re hit:

Light-up Golf Ball [Night Sports USA via OhGizmo!]

TIME Gadgets

Will Buy: App-Sensor Combo Tells You When Your Grill’s Tank Needs Refueling

Quirky

Hank Hill would be proud.

Originally introduced in early December, Quirky’s “Refuel” app-connected propane tank sensor is now entering production. Quirky estimates the product will cost around $18.

For that, you get a ring-shaped apparatus that sits under your grill’s propane tank and is connected to a gauge that adheres to your grill with a magnet. Take a peek at the gauge when you’re near the grill, or instead fire up the smartphone app that connects to Refuel to see how much gas you have left before you need to drag the tank back to Strickland Propane for a refill.

It’s a smart solution to a lazy man’s problem, but Hank Hill would be proud.

Refuel [Quirky.com via Uncrate]

TIME Deals & Shopping

Best Buy Has Some Pretty Good iPad Deals This Week

If you're in the market for an iPad, Best Buy has them this week (through Saturday) starting at $289 through $849 – normally $299 through $929.

If you’re in the market for an iPad, Best Buy has them this week (through Saturday) starting at $289 through $849 – normally $299 through $929. The discounts range from $10 off the first-generation iPad Mini to $100 off the iPad 2, with all other models discounted as well.

What’s more, CNET’s Lance Whitney reports that a customer buying a cellular-enabled iPad in a Best Buy store apparently gets a $30 discount on the tablet itself and, if a data plan is activated in-store, another $100 is lopped off at checkout. The $35 activation fee is also waived, and people activating an AT&T or Verizon iPad get a $100 bill credit.

Not too shabby if you’re willing to jump through a few hoops. Click here for the list of discounts on Best Buy’s site. You’ll apparently have to go to a store for the bigger discounts, though.

Best Buy sale trims price on cellular iPads [CNET]

TIME Apps & Software

Gmail iPhone App Gets Less Sucky, Shows New Mail Faster

Products from rival companies Apple and Google don't often play nicely together, but Google introduced an update to its Gmail app for iPhone Wednesday that vastly improves the user experience, pre-fetching and syncing emails for easier reading on the go

Not that it was super sucky before. The one glaringly sucky thing about it has been de-suckified, however.

From Google’s blog:

The app now fully supports background app refresh, which means your Gmail messages will be pre-fetched and synced so they’re right there when you open the app—no more annoying pauses while you wait for your inbox to refresh. This feature requires iOS 7, and you’ll also need to turn on background app refresh and notifications (badge or any other type) for the Gmail app.

Note that this can take a toll on your battery life, depending upon how many emails you get every second. Check out this video to see how to turn off background app refresh on the iPhone to save battery life. Note: I have background app refresh turned off for just about every app, but I’ll be turning it on for this new Gmail feature. Mark my words. That’s not a threat: It’s a promise.

Get your mail faster on the Gmail iOS app [Google Blog]

TIME Apps & Software

Microsoft to Take Windows XP Off Life Support Despite Its 29% Market Share

Microsoft

Change: It's inevitable in and of itself, and it's inevitable that some people don't like it.

Change: It’s inevitable in and of itself, and it’s inevitable that some people don’t like it.

Ars Technica cites a report from Net Market Share contending that Microsoft’s almost-13-year-old operating system, Windows XP, can still be found on almost 30% of computers that connect to the Internet. That’s second only to Windows 7, which claims around 47%. Windows 8/8.1 accounts for just shy of 11%; Mac OS X makes up just shy of 8%; Windows Vista slides in at just north of 3%, with “Other” making up less than 2%.

XP popup
Microsoft

Microsoft will be ending Windows XP support on April 8 and, from March 8 onward, Windows XP users will start seeing the pop-up to the right.

If you’re running XP, your computer isn’t going to self destruct on April 8, but if you use it to connect to the Internet, things might get a bit dicey. Microsoft issues periodic patches that shore up potential chinks in XP’s armor, but that all ends on April 8. Once new security holes are discovered by bad guys, they could be exploited over and over again by viruses and malware. Antivirus and antimalware software can help somewhat, but these solutions are generally more reactive than proactive. They won’t be able to thwart many (or any) fast-moving zero-day exploits.

Obviously, Microsoft would like these millions and millions of XP users to upgrade to Windows 8, whether that’s with a rumored low-cost/no-cost version of the Microsoft’s latest operating system, a site that tells people — yes, this exists — whether or not they’re running Windows XP, or by giving out a free data-migration tool. However, most of these data migration tools transfer files and settings, but not programs. I keep imagining the longtime XP holdout feeling a wave of panic when staring at Windows 8’s big, colorful tiles upon first bootup.

But the biggest issue for a vast segment of XP users – business and industry — will likely be ensuring that software that runs on XP still runs okay on Windows 8. Especially if it’s specialized, custom-made software used by service techs or dentists or various other occupations. To Microsoft’s credit, supporting an operating system for almost 13 years should qualify as going above and beyond. That’s not going to make April 8 sting any less for a lot of people, though.

Weeks before expiration date, Windows XP still has 29% OS market share [Ars Technica]

TIME Autos

GASP! Apple CarPlay Software Runs on BlackBerry’s QNX Platform

Apple

The fact that Apple's in-car software is running atop a QNX platform would be less than newsworthy except for the fact that BlackBerry bought QNX back in 2010.

Apple has managed to rouse those of us in the tech press from the early-March doldrums by taking the wraps off CarPlay, the company’s in-vehicle iPhone interface that was revealed nine months or so earlier and simply named iOS in the Car.

BlackBerry news site N4BB managed to confirm with the spokesperson of a company called QNX that the CarPlay interface rests atop QNX’s widely-used “infotainment platform” – a fancy term for the thing with the screen in between you and your passenger that you poke at with your finger — the screen, not the passenger — to change the radio station. I suppose poking at your passenger might ultimately achieve the same result.

The fact that Apple’s in-car software is running atop a QNX platform would be less than newsworthy except for the fact that BlackBerry bought QNX back in 2010, and has used QNX technology as the basis for its ill-fated PlayBook tablet and the most recent version of its smartphone software, BlackBerry 10.

So, yes: Apple software is being powered by BlackBerry, in a sense. QNX has been the glue holding together many an in-car entertainment – sorry, infotainment – system for years and years now, so it’s likely this CarPlay interface would have been running atop it whether BlackBerry was in the picture or not. It could almost certainly run atop non-QNX systems as well for all we know.

In other scandalous news, the camera sensor in the iPhone is widely believed to be made by Sony, and the iPad, iPhone and MacBook Pro displays have come from the likes of Samsung and LG over the years. I know, right? It’s like learning that Santa Claus doesn’t… you know what? On second thought, I’m not going to spoil that one.

Apple CarPlay Infotainment System Runs on BlackBerry’s QNX [N4BB via BGR]

TIME How-To

Quick Gmail Trick: Pre-Write Email Messages with Canned Responses

+ READ ARTICLE

Watch the above video or follow the steps below:

1. Click the gear icon in the upper right-hand corner of Gmail, then choose Settings.

2. Click the Labs tab, find Canned Responses, click the Enable radio button to enable Canned Responses, scroll down and click Save Changes.

3. Compose an email message you’d like to use over and over again, and then click the arrow in the lower right-hand corner of the message window. Choose Canned Responses, and under the Save heading, select New Canned Response. Give your response a name and click OK.

4. The next time someone emails you something that warrants the canned response you created, reply to the message and instead of typing your response, click the arrow button in the lower right-hand corner, select Canned Responses, and then under Insert, choose the canned response you created in the previous step. You’ll then see your response appear in the body of your reply.

5. You can also automate canned responses to be sent out based on certain criteria (sender, keyword, label, subject and things like that). Click here to read Google’s how-to.

More Quick Tech Tricks:

 

 

TIME Innovation

Pizza Hut Eyes Fancy Touchscreen Pizza-Ordering Tables

Side note: The couple in this video don't seem all that happy to be together. Maybe it's time to take a break, Ross and Rachel style.

+ READ ARTICLE

For starters, the couple in the above video don’t seem all that happy to be together. Maybe it’s time to take a break, Ross and Rachel style.

Second, this giant Microsoft PixelSense-style touchscreen table looks like a fun way to order a custom-made pizza. We’ll have to overlook that the table appears to treat the iPhone as an NFC-enabled device (it is not), and my dream since I’ve been old enough to dream has been a button that would summon the server to the table for a refill. I drink ‘em faster than they pour ‘em. I wouldn’t object to just having a pop (it’s pop — not soda) fountain built right into the booth itself.

So when will you see such a fancy table in your local Pizza Hut? When will you actually go and sit down to eat at your local Pizza Hut? I can’t answer the second question, and even the first question has something of a murky response: Pizza Hut’s YouTube page simply implies that this “could be the future of the Pizza Hut dine-in ordering experience.”

Pizza Hut + Chaotic Moon Studios Interactive Concept Table [YouTube via Kotaku]

TIME Gadgets

Get Here Faster, Retirement: This Is a Segway-like Rideable Golf Scooter

Hammacher Schlemmer

If I were to retire tomorrow, this would be one of my first purchases even though my financial advisor would threaten to quit if I bought it.

You can’t see the man’s face in this photo, but he is weeping. He is weeping tears of joy – the salty, warm tears of joy that could only have been elicited by the feeling of riding around on the lovechild of a Segway and a golf cart.

The $4,500 Ride On Golf Cart Scooter has a dull name – I’d suggest Ultimate Freedom USA Golfglide 3000, but I’m not in marketing – and is good for 27 holes at up to 11 miles per hour. It’s rechargeable, with a full charge promised in five hours. It’s not the first rideable standing golf cart in the history of rideable standing golf carts — here’s me getting frothed up about one all the way back in 2010 — but the fact that it’s being sold by Hammacher Schlemmer is a step in the right direction for the entire category.

There’s handlebar-mounted throttle and reverse controls, and the whole shebang is steered by leaning left or right. It can handle 20-degree inclines, which might be good for courses in Florida or other relatively flat areas, but things might get a little dicey on hillier tracks. There’s also a cupholder, and the entire apparatus folds down to a foot and a half thick so you can pop it in the back of your Dodge Neon when you’re done playing.

If I were to retire tomorrow, this would be one of my first purchases even though my financial advisor would threaten to quit if I bought it. “It’ll pay for itself after a couple hundred rounds,” I’d keep saying to anyone who’d listen.

The Ride On Golf Cart Scooter [Hammacher Schlemmer]

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