TIME Gadgets

Major Music Festivals Coachella and Lollapalooza Ban Selfie Sticks

SKOREA-LIFESTYLE-TECHNOLOGY-CRIME-SELFIE
Ed Jones—AFP/Getty Images People use a 'selfie stick' to take a group photo overlooking the city skyline in Seoul, South Korea, on Nov. 26, 2014

Sorry, party people, you'll have to capture your best moments by hand

Summer is approaching, which means it’s almost music-festival season. And like every year, most revelers will be looking for ways to get that epic video or crazy selfie that will make all their friends jealous. They’ll have to do it the old-fashioned way, however, as two of the country’s biggest festivals have announced a ban on selfie sticks.

Coachella, the massive annual fest in California that begins on April 10 this year, said on its website that “Selfie sticks/Narsisstics” would not be allowed, indicating that the organizers simply find the extendable smartphone attachments annoying in addition to being potentially dangerous.

Chicago’s Lollapalooza followed suit, listing “GoPro attachments like sticks, selfie sticks and monopods” under prohibited items in its FAQ section.

While other major festivals across the U.S. have not yet indicated whether they would allow selfie sticks, several venues in the U.K. have issued similar bans in the past.

“Selfies are a big part of the gig experience,” a spokesperson for London’s Wembley SSE Arena told music-news website NME. “The sticks might mean you are refused entry to the venue so our advice is don’t bring them and stick with the tried and tested use of an arm.”

TIME Video Games

You Can Now Play Super Mario 64 In Your Browser

Well, the first level anyway

For millions of 90s kids, Super Mario 64 is the video game equivalent of Proust’s madeleine — evoking a simpler, more exciting and infinitely more awesome time. And the game’s first level — that lush green hillside with bright gold coins, giant rolling cannonballs and a tense boss battle providing a taste of the epic, princess-saving journey ahead — has now been recreated in HD and can be played in your browser.

Developer Roystan Ross created the level to demonstrate a custom character controller he created, according to TechCrunch. He had to sacrifice larger features like the chain-chomp and the final battle with the Big Bob-omb, but other than it’s a pretty accurate rendition.

It may not the same as holding that three-pronged N64 controller in your hands, but you can play it online using a downloadable plugin called the Unity web player.

The project is not affiliated in any way with the game’s parent company Nintendo, but it does provide a glimpse of what the cross-platform forays that the video game giant recently announced it would attempt might look like.

TIME How-To

How to Delete iPhone Apps for Good

TIME.com stock photos Social Apps iPhone
Elizabeth Renstrom for TIME

Sometimes it's not as easy as it should be

What Apple’s iPhone platform provides in ease of use, it takes away in control. As easy as it is to learn how to use an iPhone, it can be tricky to get it to behave exactly like you want it to — that’s why almost nobody was particularly thrilled when Apple decided to upload U2’s newest album onto iPhones across the world without asking first.

One of the more difficult tasks for new iPhone owners is removing apps you’ve decided you no longer want. Here’s how to delete an iPhone app for good.

First, the simple method is to tap and hold the offending app’s icon on your home screen until all your iPhone’s app icons begin to jiggle. Then, you can tap the small “x” on the upper corner of the app. You’ll then be prompted with an option to delete the app and its data.

However, this doesn’t always rid your iPhone of the unwanted app for good. Sometimes you’ll find that upon connecting your iPhone to your computer to sync with iTunes, you’ll find the app has mysteriously reappeared on your iPhone. The solution for this is to go into iTunes on your desktop or laptop, select “Apps,” find the app you want to delete and click the small “x” on the app icon. That will ensure the app doesn’t find its way back to your iPhone through a sync again.

TIME Courts

Jury Sent Back in Silicon Valley Sex Discrimination Case

Ellen Pao arrives at San Francisco Superior Court in San Francisco, California on March 3, 2015.
Robert Galbraith–Reuters Ellen Pao arrives at San Francisco Superior Court in San Francisco, California on March 3, 2015.

The verdict in the Ellen Pao case was delayed

(SAN FRANCISCO)—A judge has ordered a jury to resume deliberations in a Silicon Valley gender bias case after a discrepancy was discovered in the jury count.

The development came Friday after a court clerk had announced in court that the jury had decided that the firm did not discriminate or retaliate against a female worker.

The jury was re-polled after the announcement and a discrepancy was found in the vote total.

The jury in San Francisco was deliberating in a lawsuit filed by Ellen Pao against Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers.

The lawsuit claimed she was fired when she complained about discrimination.

 

TIME Innovation

Now 3D-Printed Guns Can Fire Even Bigger Bullets

The AR-15's bigger, badder brother comes hot off the presses of a $500 printer

3-D printing hobbyists have managed to print up a functioning Colt CM901 assault rifle, what’s said to be the heaviest caliber rifle to ever roll off the presses of a 3-D printer.

Hobbyists at PrintedFirearm.com posted an animated GIF of the 3-D printed rifle firing off several rounds at a shooting range, according to military blog War Is Boring.

The CM901 fires 7.62 mm rounds, a heavier caliber bullet than that of the AR-15. The gun also recoils with greater force, requiring gunsmiths to print up sturdier plastic parts that can withstand the stresses of multiple rounds. After a period of trial and error, the team claims the CM901 can fire off several rounds “with little to no issues.”

And the most unsettling part: the rifle can be printed using a $500 Da Vinci 3-D printer. That’s a bargain compared with the first 3-D printed firearm, which first rolled off of an $8,000 printer in 2013.

In other words, hobbyists in the 3-D printed arms race, for better or worse, are getting more bang for their buck.

TIME Smartphones

This Could Be Apple’s Plan to Make the Next iPhone Wildly Better

Verizon Store Stocks Shelves With New Apple iPhone 6
George Frey—Getty Images The camera and flash of an Apple iPhone 6 Plus gold, is shown here at a Verizon store on September 18, 2014 in Orem, Utah.

A new patent could mean vastly improved iPhone photos

Apple has been awarded a new patent for a digital camera component that could dramatically improve the quality of pictures taken with an iPhone.

The patent details a new design for a “digital camera with light splitter,” a component that’s typically found in high-definition camcorders. The “light splitter” parses red, green and blue light across three dedicated sensors. Current iPhones use a single sensor to detect all three colors, but splitting the light across three separate sensors has the potential to dramatically boost color accuracy, even in a dimly lit room.

Apple has not confirmed if the patented technology, first spotted by Apple Insider, will appear in the next generation of mobile devices. And, of course, just because Apple has patented something doesn’t mean it will appear in actual products at all.

Read more at Apple Insider.

TIME Gadgets

These Are the First 24 Apple Watch Apps

An attendee displays the Apple Watch Edition during the Apple Inc. Spring Forward event in San Francisco, Calif. on March 9, 2015.
Bloomberg—Getty Images An attendee displays the Apple Watch Edition during the Apple Inc. Spring Forward event in San Francisco, Calif. on March 9, 2015.

There's Twitter, but no Facebook yet

Pre-orders for the Apple Watch don’t begin for another two weeks and sales don’t begin for four, but the App Store team has already approved two dozen third-party apps for the new device.

The list below, scraped from the App Store by 9to5Mac’s Zac Hall, was presumably curated by Apple with a purpose. Initial impressions are critical for a device whose utility is still an open question.

These apps — and any others approved before April 10 — are the ones staffers will be showing customers in Apple Store test-drives. They will shape the initial impressions in the first wave of Apple Watch reviews. They will also get a huge leg up — a first-mover advantage — on the competition.

It’s an interesting list. All 24 are updates of existing iOS apps. Some are there to show off functions — as hotel keys, credit cards, airline boarding passes. Others target narrow interests — cricket, baseball, fantasy football. Some — like WeChat and AliPay — are pitched to the Asian market. Some, like SkyGuide, are probably there because they’re just so cool.

Two notable omissions: Google and Facebook.

Most of the images in Apple’s TV ad, below, were generated by home-grown apps.

Follow Philip Elmer-DeWitt on Twitter at @philiped. Read his Apple coverage at fortune.com/ped or subscribe via his RSS feed.

This article originally appeared on Fortune.com.

Read next: These Are the Most Expensive iPhone Apps

Listen to the most important stories of the day.

TIME apps

Periscope vs. Meerkat: Which Is the Livestreaming App For You?

Meerkat; Periscope

Don't cross the livestreams

With Thursday’s public release of Periscope, Twitter is trying to torpedo its live-streaming competition by launching its own app that lets users send video to viewers around the world at the tap of a touchscreen. In development for more than a year but bought by Twitter earlier this year, Periscope offers a nearly identical service to Meerkat, the wildly popular ephemeral video app that launched on Feb. 27.

But in this battle for live-streaming dominance, Twitter and Periscope currently have a huge advantage: it owns both the seas and the ports.

Opening into similar screens displaying active video streams, both Meerkat and Periscope put a peek into someone else’s world just a tap away. The competing apps also let users quickly dive into broadcasting immediately, with buttons on their main screens that the launch the camera and begin sharing video with the world instantly. And while these basic capabilities are nearly identical, the two apps have nuances that make them markedly different.

For instance, Meerkat works in a couple of different ways. First, the service’s iPhone app (neither it nor Periscope have an Android app yet) sends a tweet through your Twitter account that tells people you’re currently broadcasting a live video. When other Twitter users click that link, they can watch the video as it’s being broadcast, either through their web browser (if they’re on a desktop or laptop) or through the Meerkat app on their iPhone. Viewers can also comment on the video, posts that stream onto the screen of the broadcaster, and also appear as replies to the original tweeted link on Twitter.

Meerkat

As easy to use as Meerkat is, it’s also almost completely reliant on Twitter integration to operate. And since Twitter decided to get into the water with its own livestreaming app, the social network has blocked Meerkat’s access to some of the features that other (non-competing) apps have. For instance, Twitter no longer lets Meerkat show new users which of their Twitter followers also use the video sharing service. (Early adopters, take note: You may see your Twitter followers on Meerkat, but that’s because you got in before the social network turned off this feature.)

Meerkat has done a good job of working around this roadblock through its Leaderboard, a ranking of the most-followed Meerkaters. This gives new users some ideas of whom to follow if they don’t happen to catch any of their Twitter favorites mid-stream.

Meanwhile, Periscope also streams videos to web browsers on computers and its iPhone app for mobile users, who can tap on their screen to send “love” hearts that tell the broadcaster they like what they see. Viewers can also comment on the stream using the mobile app, but these posts do not appear on Twitter, keeping the video sharing service walled-off from the social network, and cutting down on tweets. Even through Twitter is all about the tweets, this is a smart move because it cuts down on the social network’s noise — a problem the company is trying to address.

Periscope

With access to Twitter’s social network, Periscope gains a notable advantage over Meerkat because its users can intuitively find their followers on the video-sharing app. For example, if you and a follower both use Periscope, you’ll be able to find each other on the app’s “People” tab. And to compete with Meerkat’s Leaderboard, Periscope also lists its “most loved” users. This distinct difference turns Periscope from a popularity contest into a talent show, rewarding users for posting great video streams, rather than being big personalities.

Another key differentiator for Periscope is how it saves live streams so viewers can watch them later. (And it’s worth noting, this feature can be turned off.) Similar to Twitter’s Vine service (only with no six-second limit), this feature makes it a lot easier for people to enjoy videos on Periscope, because they aren’t up against the clock. But this difference also turns Meerkat into the catch-it-if-you-can exclusive service, indicative of its name. (Those little critters move fast!) Also, users can save Meerkat streams to their smartphones, an option Periscope does not yet allow.

It’s possible that these nuances will be enough to show there’s plenty of room in the water for two video sharing apps. In fact, some investors are betting on that — Meerkat just confirmed a $14 million funding round. And with its one month head start, Meerkat has grabbed high-wattage users like Jimmy Fallon, Shaquile O’Neal, and Madonna. But Twitter never lacks in celebrity firepower, with fan-favorites like comedian John Hodgman, magician David Blaine, and actress Felicia Day already grabbing hearts and eyeballs on Periscope. The competition for users, both high- and low-profile, is not likely to stop there, just as live video streaming is likely to be a fixture in tech’s future. The question is, can Meerkat swim?

Read next: You Asked: What Is the Meerkat App?

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TIME Gadgets

This Is the Best Budget Gaming Laptop You Can Buy

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Asus Asus ROG GL551JW

Asus ROG GL551JW has the best gaming performance and build quality for a lowest cost

This post was done in partnership with The Wirecutter, a list of the best technology to buy.Read the full article below at TheWirecutter.com.

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There’s no such thing as a perfect budget gaming laptop, and every one we’ve tested so far has at least one serious flaw. But after 40 hours of research and testing, we determined that the $1,100 Asus ROG GL551JW is the budget gaming laptop we’d recommend for most people because it has the best gaming performance and best build quality among the competition, and for the lowest cost.

The GL551 has uncommonly good build quality compared to nearly everything else in this category. Plus, it keeps the most important parts of a gaming laptop at a reasonable temperature—which cannot be said for the competition—and has a comfortable keyboard.

Who’s this for?

Expensive gaming laptops aren’t for everyone. Desktop computers offer better gaming performance per dollar, and ultrabooks are slimmer, lighter, and have much better battery life. Budget gaming laptops are a good fit for students and others who want to play games but have a tight budget and need a portable PC.

How did we pick what to test?

First, we determined the best possible combination of components that fit in our budget. Our ideal budget gaming laptop costs under $1,200 and has an Nvidia GeForce GTX 960M graphics card or better, an Intel Core i7 4700HQ CPU or higher, 8 to 16 GB of RAM, and at least 500GB of storage. We looked at every gaming laptop currently available, tested three finalists ourselves, and concluded that the Asus ROG GL551-JW DS71 is the best for those on a budget. (For more information on our criteria for narrowing down the field, see our full guide.)

Our Pick

The $1,100 Asus ROG GL551JW has amazing specs for its price. That’s the whole point of a budget gaming laptop. On the inside, it has a mid-range Nvidia GeForce GTX 960M graphics card with 2GB of dedicated memory, an Intel Core i7-4720HQ processor, 16GB of RAM, and a 1TB hard drive. (We originally tested last year’s model, the GL551JM, but the GL551JW is identical aside from its more powerful graphics card and faster CPU.)

With these specs, you won’t be able to play recently-released games on Ultra settings. Games like Dragon Age: Inquisition, Far Cry 4, and Watch Dogs must be bumped down to High or Medium settings to run at a decent framerate on any budget gaming machine.

 

Like every budget gaming laptop we tested, the GL551 gets too warm, with a surface temperature of 102 degrees Fahrenheit. But the underside of the chassis and the WASD keys stay at a reasonable temperature between 92°F and 94°F, which can’t be said for most of the competition. The fan on the left side of the laptop isn’t loud enough to distract from games or movies.

The Asus ROG GL551 has a comfortable, red-backlit keyboard and a decent trackpad. It also has uncommonly good build quality for a budget gaming laptop. Most are plasticky, hollow-feeling, and creaky. The keys on the Asus are deep enough, responsive, and comfortable to type and game on. The Asus is sturdy, and we expect its metal lid and palmrest to hold up better over years of heavy gaming.

The Asus’s battery lasted about 3 and a half hours during ordinary work at 50 percent brightness. It’s not what we consider to be “good” battery life, but it’s what you can expect from any budget gaming laptop at the moment. The Asus ROG GL551 weighs 5.95 pounds— nearly twice as heavy as an ultrabook, but much less than the 17-inch gaming laptop we recommend for people with bigger budgets.

The Asus has a few drawbacks, but they are not deal breakers. Few cheap gaming laptops have great screens, and the Asus GL551’s 17-inch 1920×1080 screen is bad. It has a pinkish tint and there’s little distinction between different intensities of white and black at the far ends of the spectrum, making it potentially difficult to spot enemies lurking in the shadows. The GL551’s speakers are flat, tinny, and quiet, so pick up a decent pair of headphones to get the most out of your gaming experience.

Runner up

If our pick sells out, we recommend the $1,100 Lenovo Y50 with an Intel Core i7-4710HQ processor, an Nvidia GeForce GTX 860M with 4GB graphics memory, 16GB of RAM, and a 1TB hybrid hard drive. It has a better keyboard and speakers than our pick, but it had the hottest temperatures and the worst screen of the three laptops we tested. The Y50 also has a weaker graphics card and creaks and flexes more under pressure.

Some Lenovo laptops sold in 2014 and early 2015, including the Y50, contained Superfish: potentially dangerous adware that allows fake security certificates. If you buy (or already bought) this laptop, go here to see if you’re affected and here to remove the program and its certificate.

What if you want to upgrade?

If you’re not constrained by funds and want good gaming performance, it’s worth it to get something better. Check out our guide to the overall best gaming laptop.

In closing

The Asus ROG GL551JW-DS71 is the best budget gaming laptop for most people because it has powerful specs for the price, is well made, and is cheaper than the competition. It has a comfortable keyboard, and it keeps its most-used keys and bottom cooler than any other budget machine we tested. It’s not perfect, but no cheap gaming laptop is.

This guide may have been updated. To see the current recommendation please go to The Wirecutter.com.

TIME portfolio

Meet America’s First Video Game Varsity Athletes

The newest route to college is through a video game

Correction appended, March 27, 2015

Parents who think that video games are an academic distraction, take heart: pounding on the controller can now help pay for college.

Last fall, Robert Morris University in Chicago became the first college in the US to make competitive gaming ­ or “e-sports” ­ a varsity sport, and offer athletic scholarships for players. “My parents were always telling me to get off the Xbox,” says Jonathan Lindahl, a freshman e-sports player at Robert Morris. “So I’m really rubbing it in their faces.”

At Robert Morris, video game scholarships can be worth up to half of tuition and housing, or $19,000. What’s more, since the NCAA doesn’t regulate e-sports, they’re not bound by the rules of amateurism. A couple of Robert Morris players, for example, recently played in a semi-pro tournament and each earned around $1,000. Want to get paid as a college athlete? Stay on the Xbox.

Robert Morris spent $100,000 ­and received help from video game sponsors ­ to retrofit a classroom into a full-fledged gaming hub with hi-tech monitors, headsets, and chairs. The players look a bit like fighter pilots, and play League of Legends, a five-on-five battle game popular among college students. The top Robert Morris team has qualified for Sweet 16 of the North American Collegiate Championship (NACC), which starts on March 28: traditional sports powers like Michigan, Georgia Tech, Texas A&M are also in the mix. The “Final Four” will be held in Los Angeles in early May. Each member of the winning team will receive $30,000 in scholarship money.

A sure sign that college video games are like traditional sports: one member of the Robert Morris squad, freshman Adrian Ma, 18. left the school in November to join a pro team. “The opportunity was too good to pass up,” says Ma. A second school, the University of Pikeville in Kentucky, will offer e-sports scholarships this fall. For gamers, March Madness has indeed arrived.

Read the full story, The Varsity Sport of the Virtual World, in the latest issue of TIME magazine and on TIME.com.

Correction: The original version of this story misstated the name of the student in slide 9. His name is Zixing Jie.

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