Meta’s Quest 3 headset could feature color cameras for more lifelike pass-through video

Meta’s Quest 3 VR headset won’t arrive until later this year. However, now we have a better idea of what to expect from the device courtesy of Bloomberg’sMark Gurman, who says he went hands-on with a prototype to better understand how Quest 3 will stack up against Apple’s forthcoming mixed-reality headset. Gurman reports the prototype, codenamed Eureka, “feels far lighter and thinner” than its predecessor. He says the head strap “seems a bit stronger,” too, and uses fabric on the sides instead of plastic like the Quest 2.

More consequentially, the front of the device reportedly features a new design incorporating an enhanced sensor suite. Three “vertical pill-shaped sensor areas” house two color video pass-through cameras, two standard cameras and a depth sensor. As Gurman notes, that’s a significant upgrade from the Quest 2, which doesn’t come with color pass-through or a depth sensor. The presence of the former means you won’t need to designate the walls in your play space.

The front lower sides of the headset feature tracking cameras, while the bottom has a volume rocker and a wheel to adjust interpupillary distance. That means you can tweak the Quest 3’s IPD without taking the headset off, something you can’t do with the Quest 2.

“The actual clarity and VR displays within the Quest 3 feel similar to those in the Quest 2 — despite the resolution being rumored to be slightly higher,” Gurman writes, while noting pass-through for mixed reality applications and overall performance is significantly improved over the Quest 2. Speaking to the former, he says there’s a “night-and-day improvement” thanks to the added dual RGB cameras. “I was even able to use my phone while wearing the headset, something that often feels impossible on a Quest 2,” he adds. As for performance, Quest 3 reportedly features Qualcomm’s next-generation Snapdragon XR2 chipset, leading to shorter app launch times and more consistent frame rates in games. 

Notably, Gurman says the Quest 3 doesn’t include face and eye tracking, which means the headset won’t support foveated rendering. That’s a feature you can find on the Quest Pro. It allows the system to prioritize its limited computing resources on areas where you’re looking. Another feature the Quest 3 won’t carry over from the Quest Pro is controller-mounted cameras, though Gurman says Meta is trying to improve peripheral tracking in other ways.

“Meta hasn’t yet settled on pricing for the device, but people involved in its development believe it may come in higher than the Quest 2’s $400,” Gurman notes, adding the company could keep the Quest 2 around “at a lower price.” He adds Meta doesn’t plan to release a new Quest Pro “anytime soon since the first version bombed.” The company reportedly plans to announce the Quest 3 sometime in October, which aligns with what company executives have said in the past when asked when consumers can expect a new Quest headset.

This article originally appeared on Engadget at

Hitting the Books: Renee Descartes had his best revelations while baked in an oven

Some of us do our best thinking in the shower, others do it while on the toilet. Renee Descartes, he pondered most deeply while ensconced in a baker's oven. The man simply needed to be convinced of the oven's existence before climbing in. Such are the quirks of the most monumental minds humanity has to offer. In the hilarious and enthralling new book, Edison's Ghosts: The Untold Weirdness of History's Greatest Geniuses, Dr. Katie Spalding explores the illogical, unnerving, and sometimes downright strange behaviors of luminaries like Thomas "Spirit Phone" Edison, Isaac "Sun Blind" Newton, and Nicola "I fell in love with a pigeon" Tesla. 

b&w image of Edison sitting at a desk with a device atop it, a ghost rising from the surface to form the O in Ghosts
Little Brown and Company

Excerpted from Edison's Ghosts: The Untold Weirdness of History's Greatest Geniuses by Dr. Katie Spalding. Published by Little, Brown and Company. Copyright © 2023 by Katie Spalding. All rights reserved.

When René Descartes Got Baked

René Descartes, like Pythagoras before him and Einstein after, occupies that special place in our collective consciousness where his work has become … well, essentially a short-hand for genius-level intellect. Think about it – in any cartoon or sitcom where one character is (or, through logically-spurious means, suddenly becomes) a brainiac, there are three things they’re narratively bound to say: ‘the square of the hypotenuse is equal to the sum of the squares of the other two sides’ – that’s Pythagoras; ‘E = mc2’ – thank you, Einstein; and finally, ‘cogito ergo sum’. And that is Descartes.

Specifically, it’s old Descartes – Descartes after he had figured his shit out. But while his later writings undeniably played a huge and important role in setting up how we approach the world today – he’s actually one of the main figures who brought us the concept of the scientific method – Descartes’s early years leaned a little more on the silly and gullible than the master of scepticism he’s come to be known as.

Descartes was born in 1596, which places him firmly in that period where science and philosophy and magic were all pretty much the same thing. He’s probably best known as a philosopher these days, but that’s likely because a lot of his developments in mathematics have become so incredibly fundamental that we kind of forget they had to be invented by anybody at all. And I know I’m saying that with ten years of mathematical training behind me and a PhD on the shelf, but even if you haven’t set foot in a maths class since school, you’ll be familiar with something that Descartes invented, because he was the guy who came up with graphs. That’s actually why the points in a graph are given by Cartesian coordinates – it’s from the Latin form of his name, Renatus Cartesius.

And while maths, despite what everyone keeps telling me, can be sexy, ‘cogito ergo sum’ really does have a nice ring to it, doesn’t it? ‘I think, therefore I am.’ It doesn’t sound like a huge philosophical leap – in fact, it kind of sounds like tautological nonsense – but it’s actually one of the most important conclusions ever reached in Western thought.

See, before Descartes, philosophy didn’t exactly have the sort of wishy-washy, pie-in-the-sky reputation it enjoys today. The dominant school of thought was Scholasticism, which was basically like debate club mixed with year nine science. Sounds fair enough, but in practice – and especially when combined with the strong religious atmosphere and general lack of science up till that point – it was basically a long period of everybody riffing on Plato and Aristotle and trying to make their Ancient Greek teachings match up with the Bible. This was, needless to say, not always easy, and led to rather a lot of navel gazing over questions like ‘Do demons get jealous?’ and ‘Do angels take up physical space?’

Descartes’s approach was radically different. He didn’t see the point in answering questions like how many angels can dance on the head of a pin until he’d been properly convinced of the existence of angels. And dancing. And pins.

Now, of course, this is the point when non-philosophers throw up their hands in despair and say something along the lines of ‘Of course pins exist, you idiot, I have some upstairs keeping my posters up! Jesus, René, are we really paying a fortune in university fees just so you can sit around and doubt the existence of stationery?’

But to that, Descartes would reply: are you sure? I mean, we’ve all had dreams before that are so convincing that we wake up thinking we really did adopt a baby elephant after our teeth all fell out. How do I know I’m not dreaming now? How do I know this isn’t a The Matrix-type situation, and what you think are pins are just a trick being played on us by Agent Smith?

In fact, when you get right down to it, Descartes would say, how can we be sure anything exists? I might not even exist! I might be a brain in a vat, being cleverly stimulated in such a way as to induce a vast hallucination! And yes, sure, I agree that sounds unlikely, but it’s not impossible – the point is, we simply can’t know.

The only thing I can be sure of, Descartes would continue – despite everyone by this point rolling their eyes and muttering things like ‘see what you started, Bill’ – is that I exist. And I can be sure of that, because I’m thinking these thoughts about what exists. I may just be a brain in a vat, being fed lies about the reality that surrounds me, but ‘I’, ‘me’, my sense of self and consciousness – that definitely exists. To summarise: I think – therefore I am.

It was a hell of a breakthrough – he’d basically Jenga’d the entire prevailing worldview into obsolescence. And it’s the kind of idea that could really only have come from someone like Descartes: a weirdo celebrity heretic pseudo-refugee who had a weakness for cross-eyed women, weed and conspiracy theories.

Descartes was, as his name suggests, French by birth, hailing from a small town vaguely west of the centre of the country. If you look it up on a map, you’ll see it’s actually called Descartes, but it’s not some uncanny coincidence – the town was renamed in 1967 after its most famous resident.

Which is kind of odd, because it’s not like Descartes spent all that much time there. He went to school in La Flèche, more than 100km away, where even at the tender age of ten he was displaying the sort of behaviour that would make him perfectly suited to a life of philosophy, sleeping in until lunch every day and only attending lectures when he felt like it. This can’t have made him all that popular with the other kids, who were all expected to get up before 5am, but that’s why you choose a school whose rector is a close family friend, I suppose, and, in any case, by the time the young René turned up they were probably all too tired to do much about it.

After finishing high school, he spent a couple of years at uni studying law, as per his father’s wishes – his dad came from a less well-to-do branch of the Descartes family tree, and probably would have wanted Descartes to keep up appearances for the sake of holding on to posh perks like not paying taxes. It must have pained him, therefore, when after graduating with a Licence in both church and civil law, Descartes immediately gave it all up and went on an extended gap year. ‘As soon as my age permitted me to pass from under the control of my instructors, I entirely abandoned the study of letters, and resolved no longer to seek any other science than the knowledge of myself, or of the great book of the world,’ he would later write, like some kind of nineteen-year-old Eat Pray Love devotee.

‘I spent the remainder of my youth in travelling, in visiting courts and armies, in holding intercourse with men of different dispositions and ranks, [and] in collecting varied experience,’ he continued, in his philosophical treatise-slash-autobiography Discourse on the Method of Rightly Conducting One’s Reason and of Seeking Truth in the Sciences, which for obvious time-saving reasons is usually referred to as Discourse on the Method. Andlike so many philosophy students throughout history, there was one place he found in his travels that caught Descartes’s heart and imagination more than anywhere else: Amsterdam.

Now, it is of course true that places can change a lot over the course of 400 years – at this point in history, France was being ruled by a nine-year-old autocrat and his mum, Germany didn’t exist, and England was a few years short of becoming a Republic. So you might think, sure, these days Amsterdam has a bit of a reputation, but back in Descartes’s time, it was probably a hub of quiet intellectualism and sombre, clean living.

Nope! Dynasties may rise and fall, empires spread and eventually fracture, but apparently, Amsterdam has always been Amsterdam. Descartes spent his first few years in the city living his absolute best life, studying engineering and maths under the direction of Simon Stevin – another guy you’ve never heard of who made a mathematical breakthrough you almost certainly use every single day of your life, since he invented the decimal point – and dressing like an emo and throwing himself into music. He joined the Dutch army for a bit, despite being by all accounts a tiny weedy bobble-headed French guy, and, yes, he almost certainly smoked a bunch of pot along the way.

And then, one November night in 1619, while on tour in Bavaria, Descartes had a Revelation. And he had it, according to his near-contemporary biographer Adrien Baillet, inside an oven.

‘He found himself in a place so remote from Communication, and so little frequented by people, whose Conversation might afford him any Diversion, that he even procured himself such a privacy, as the condition of his Ambulatory Life could permit him,’ Baillet writes.

‘Not … having by good luck any anxieties, nor passions, within, that were capable of disturbing him, he staid withal all the Day long in his stove, where he had leisure enough to entertain himself with his thoughts,’ he continues, as if that’s a normal thing to write and not an account of someone being so introverted that they secluded themselves miles away from anyone who knew them and then crawled into an oven for the day.

Modern biographers have suggested a few interpretations of what this oven might have been, and I’m sorry to report that, of course, it’s not as ridiculous as it first seems: in the seventeenth century, before we’d tamed electricity and gas mains and whatnot, a ‘stove’ or ‘oven’ was more like your modern-day airing cupboard than an Aga. Just bigger. And fancier. And all your towels are on fire. Look, the analogy isn’t perfect, but the point is that when Descartes said, in Discourse on the Method, that he had ‘spent all day entertaining his thoughts in an oven’, he wasn’t being completely absurd – just, you know, kind of weird.

Depending on where you fall on the scale between ‘Descartes was a stoner lol’ and ‘Descartes was a paragon of virtue, 10/10 no notes awesome dude’, what happened next was either the result of too much weed, too much oven, or too much being a fricking genius destined to reform all of Western philosophy. Either way, he had a pretty rough night, full of strange dreams and disturbing hallucinations* that even the loyal Baillet thought might be a sign he was going a little bonkers.

‘He acquaints us, That on the Tenth of November 1619, laying himself down Brim-full of Enthusiasm, and … having found that day the Foundations of the wonderful Science, he had Three dreams one presently after another; yet so extraordinary, as to make him fancy that they were sent him from above,’ writes Baillet, just in case you were wondering where on that scale Descartes would put himself. In fact, so sure was he of the divine nature of his dreams that, Baillet said, ‘a Man would have been apt to have believed that he had been a little Crack-brain’d, or that he might have drank a Cup too much that Evening before he went to Bed.

‘It was indeed, St. Martin’s Eve, and People used to make Merry that Night in the place where he was … but he assures us, that he had been very Sober all that Day, and that Evening too and that he had not touched a drop of Wine for Three Weeks together.’

Sure, René. Though honestly, the content of the dreams aren’t as noteworthy as the conclusions he drew from them – unless you think ‘walking through a storm to collect a melon from a guy’ is super weird, I guess. And goodness knows how he got from cantaloupe to conceptualism, but these three dreams are said to have given him the inspiration first for analytic geometry – that is, his maths stuff – and then the realisation that he could apply the same kind of logical rigour to philosophy. And I don’t want to minimise what Descartes achieved after this melon-based enlightenment – it takes guts to stand up in a world governed by strict ritual and belief and announce that not only is everyone around you an idiot, but also they probably don’t even exist, so there. But have you ever heard that saying about not being so open-minded that your brain falls out?

Well, 1619 was also the year that Descartes, writing under the pseudonym ‘Polybius Cosmopolitanus’ – Polybius being an ancient Greek historian, and Cosmopolitanus being Latin for ‘citizen of the world’ – released the Mathematical Thesaurus of Polybius Cosmopolitanus. It kind of sounds like a Terry Gilliam movie, but it was actually a proposal for a way to reform mathematics as a whole.

It doesn’t matter that you’ve never heard of it. It’s not as famous as the Discourse; in fact, it may not have ever even been completed. The important bit wasn’t what was contained inside the book, but who it was dedicated to: to ‘learned men throughout the world, and especially to the F.R.C. very famous in G[ermany].’

And who was this mysterious F.R.C? Descartes was specifically referencing the Frères de la Rose Croix. In English, they were known as the Brothers of the Rosy Cross – and, today, they’re called the Rosicrucians. So, you may have heard of the Rosicrucians, but it’s more likely you haven’t. Today, the term actually refers to two separate organisations, both of which claim to be the ‘real’ Rosicrucians and both of which denounce the other group as being a bunch of weirdos. They’re equally wrong on the first point, and equally right on the second: there’s no Rosicrucian group around today that is directly linked to the original group that Descartes was a fan of, and every iteration of the organisation is and always has been fucking bananas.

But people in search of a new outlook on the universe often don’t get to choose which batshit philosophy the world throws at them first, and Descartes had the peculiar fortune of going through his minor mental breakdown in early seventeenth-century Germany.

Between 1614 and 1616, three ‘manifestos’ were published in Germany. They were anonymous, recounting the tale of one Christian Rosenkreuz, a man who was born in 1378, travelled across the world, studied under Sufi mystics in the Middle East, came back to Europe to spread the knowledge he had gained in his travels, was rejected by Western scientists and philosophers, and so founded the Rosicrucian Order, a grand name for what was apparently a group of about eight nerdy virgins. All of this, the manifestos said, he accomplished by the age of about twenty-nine, after which he presumably just sat on his thumbs for a long old while since the next big thing he’s said to have done was die aged 106.

Now, some people have posited that everything you just read is false – a kind of early modern conspiracy theory. And yes, ‘Christian Rose-Cross’, as the name translates from German, is rather on the nose for the founder of a Christian sect, and, yes, it’s a bit farfetched for anybody to have lived for more than a century in the 1400s, and, yes, OK, so the last manifesto was almost certainly actually written by a German theologian named Johann Valentin Andreae, who was attempting to take the piss out of the whole thing and publicly renounced it when he realised people were taking him seriously – but that’s the thing: people did take it seriously. And one of the people who took it seriously seems to have been Descartes.

‘There is a single active power in things: love, charity, harmony,’ mused the philosopher most famous for radical doubt of everything that couldn’t be proved via logic alone. Not in any published work – these were the thoughts of Descartes the early-twenties guy just trying to figure his shit out, found years later in the journal he kept throughout his life.

Another: ‘The wind signifies spirit; movement with the passage of time signifies life; light signifies knowledge; heat signifies love; and instantaneous activity signifies creation. Every corporeal form acts through harmony. There are more wet things than dry things, and more cold things than hot, because if this were not so, the active elements would have won the battle too quickly and the world would not have lasted long.’

If that sounds, you know, completely ridiculous to you, that’s probably because we live in a post-Descartes world, and he didn’t. All this poor oven-baked idiot had at his disposal were a dream about melons, a steadfast conviction that he had been personally chosen by God to reform the entirety of Western thought up until that point, and some rumours about a weird sect of rosy German virgins who were devoted to doing just that.

You may have already guessed the next bit of the story: Descartes joins the Rosicrucians and embarks on some insane rituals and philosophies that we’ve never heard of today because it doesn’t fit in with our modern ideas of ‘genius’, right?

It’s actually way more stupid than that. In a series of events that, once again, really feels like it was ripped straight out of some cult comedy movie, Descartes tried to join the Rosicrucians, but kept running into the problem of them not, in fact, existing. So he couldn’t join the group, but what he could and did do was accidentally make everyone think he had joined, thus entirely screwing over his reputation as someone to take seriously.

Of course, in the grand scheme of things, this didn’t matter much, because to a lot of people he was dangerous enough even without all the conspiracy stuff: his insistence that truth was something for humans, not God, to judge, and the idea that authority should or even could be questioned, made him an enemy of most established Churches, so much so that he eventually published an extremely circular and nonsensical ‘proof’ of God’s existence to try to placate his attackers.

The irony was that Descartes knew God existed – otherwise who had told him to transform philosophy and mathematics via the medium of melons? And, ultimately, as hubristic as this claim was, Descartes did make good on it, publishing the end result of that night in the oven in the 1640s with a slew of philosophical and metaphysical treatises, which were hailed in his beloved Netherlands as ‘heretical’ and ‘contrary to orthodox theology’ and ‘get out of our goddamn town Descartes.’

Eventually, Descartes found refuge with Christina, Queen of Sweden, who was a fan of his ideas about science and love. She invited him to her court with the promises of setting up a new scientific academy and tutoring her personally. It seemed too good to be true. It was. In 1649, in the middle of winter, Descartes moved to Queen Christina’s cold, draughty Swedish castle and discovered that he couldn’t fucking stand his new boss or home. Worst of all for the philosopher who lived his entire life by the principle of never once waking up before noon, Christina declared that she could only be tutored at five in the morning, a demand that Descartes responded to as any night owl would: by saying ‘I would literally rather die’ and promptly proving his point by literally dying just a few months later. In his final act, the man famous for telling the world ‘I think, therefore I am’ had posed an equally unknowable philosophical conclusion: he would no longer think, and therefore he no longer existed.

Perhaps the final irony in the tale is that, as heretical as cogito ergo sum was considered at the time, with its previously unthinkably radical concept of doubting everything, even that which seems self-evident – modern philosophers have actually critiqued Descartes as not going far enough. Thinkers such as Kierkegaard have blasted Descartes for presupposing that ‘I’ exists at all, and Nietzsche for presupposing that ‘thinking’ exists.

I guess the moral of Descartes’s story, if there is one, is probably this: you can’t please all of the people all of the time – especially if they’re philosophers. So, honestly? Why not just smoke a bunch of weed and crawl into an oven?

* Some modern scientists have suggested that Descartes’s night in the oven may in fact be the earliest recorded experience of Exploding Head Syndrome, a sleep disorder you may well have had yourself once or twice. Despite the gnarly name, it doesn’t actually involve your head exploding – that would certainly have made Descartes’s future work more impressive – but it does cause you to hear loud bangs and crashes that aren’t really there, and sometimes see flashes of light as well, both of which Descartes recorded experiencing that night.

This article originally appeared on Engadget at

US judge grants final approval to Apple’s $50 million ‘butterfly’ keyboard settlement

A US federal court this week gave final approval to the $50 million class-action settlement Apple came to last July resolving claims the company knew about and concealed the unreliable nature of keyboards on MacBook, MacBook Air and MacBook Pro computers released between 2015 and 2019. Per Reuters (via 9to5Mac), Judge Edward Davila on Thursday called the settlement involving Apple’s infamous “butterfly” keyboards “fair, adequate and reasonable.” Under the agreement, MacBook users impacted by the saga will receive settlements between $50 and $395. More than 86,000 claims for class member payments were made before the application deadline last March, Judge Davila wrote in his ruling.

Apple debuted the butterfly keyboard in 2015 with the 12-inch MacBook. At the time, former design chief Jony Ive boasted that the mechanism would allow the company to build ever-slimmer laptops without compromising on stability or typing feel. As Apple re-engineered more of its computers to incorporate the butterfly keyboard, Mac users found the design was susceptible to dust and other debris. The company introduced multiple revisions to make the mechanism more resilient before eventually returning to a more conventional keyboard design with the 16-inch MacBook Pro in late 2019.

Apple won’t have to admit wrongdoing as part of the settlement agreement. Before this week, some members of the class action lawsuit attempted to challenge the deal on the grounds that a proposed $125 payout for one group in the class was not enough, an appeal Judge Davila rejected. “The possibility that a better settlement may have been reached — or that the benefits provided under the settlement will not make class members 'whole' — are insufficient grounds to deny approval,” Davila wrote in his ruling. The judge also rejected a request for compensation from MacBook owners who experienced keyboard failures but did not get their computers serviced by Apple. There’s no word when claimants can expect their payment to be sent out, but the lawyers involved in the case said they “look forward to getting the money out to our clients.”

This article originally appeared on Engadget at

Unique Reuleaux triangle-shaped wheels on this bike is far more comfortable than you’d imagine

If you thought the square-wheeled bicycle was a logically impossible build, a Reuleaux triangle cycle ride is even bonkers. Sergii Gordieiev, who’s an engineer by profession and inventive fabricator by nature, bamboozled us with his earlier creation and now, another fresh DIY has left us yearning for more.

Just like the square-wheeled bicycle that seemed logically impossible to move – but still, it did smoothly – this ingenious build too surprises with its nifty engineering. The ingenious bicycle riding on wheels with rollers move in a linear manner, forming adjacent lines between each one of the rollers and the flat surface it’s riding on. This enables the triangle wheels to overcome their limitation and roll more comfortably than presumed.

Designer: Sergii Gordieiev

Even more so, the bicycle can traverse and maneuver uneven terrain like dirt trails with equal dexterity. If we think based on the laws of physics, for the Reuleaux triangle-shaped wheels it is the “simplest and best-known curve of constant width other than the circle.”

The DIY bike is ridden like any other pedal-powered bicycle even though it looks highly improbable. Also, the rider doesn’t feel as much discomfort as one would assume. Articulated arms soak up most of the wheel’s movement and don’t transfer it to the rider. Truly a feat of engineering that’s a cakewalk for Sergii, given his previous builds.

Although it doesn’t ride as smoothly as the square-shaped version, still the dampening of all that lateral movement is an achievement. Just seeing those wheels and the noise coming from them will grab anyone’s attention.

The post Unique Reuleaux triangle-shaped wheels on this bike is far more comfortable than you’d imagine first appeared on Yanko Design.

How to stay cool and refreshed anywhere with this revolutionary wearable air conditioner

Escape the scorching heat of summer and discover the ultimate solution to stay cool wherever you go! Hot days are just around the corner, and while some are dreaming of beaches, tans, and ice cream, many are just hoping to survive the unbearable and uncomfortable heat. It’s hard to deny that our days and even our nights have now become warmer than ever before, and conventional ways of staying cool just aren’t cutting it anymore. We’ve all experienced those sweltering summer days when even the slightest breeze feels like a blessing, making us wish we could carry our air conditioners with us everywhere. Of course, that isn’t going to happen, at least not with these conventional boxes. Fortunately, some people have thought outside the box to make that dream come true with a neck-worn device that lets you keep cool anywhere and also look cool at the same time.

Designer: Torras Design

Click Here to Buy Now: $199 $299 ($100 off total with coupon code “yankocool”). Hurry, deal ends in 48 hours!

There are a few products out there that claim to be portable air conditioners, but most of them are just fans that push the same hot air toward your face. TORRAS, however, isn’t cutting corners to deliver you unprecedented comfort anywhere you go, and its Coolify 2S wearable cooling device brings an honest-to-goodness air conditioning experience even when you’re outdoors under the blazing heat of the sun.

Unlike simple fans and water-cooled devices, the Coolify 2S utilizes high-efficiency semiconductor cooling plates to really pull the temperature down by as much as 30°F in just a second. This TORRAS Coology technology works in tandem with targeted airflow to blast that icy-cool air in four directions, making sure that your temperature-sensitive neck and face are kept at a comfortable temperature anytime, even while you’re out for a run. And since each person has different cooling needs and preferences, the Coolify 2S offers three optional speed modes to tailor the experience to their personal comfort. Enjoy a gentle 1.0m/s wind speed in first gear, a more discernible 1.3m/s speed in second gear, or a gusty 2.0m/s wind in third gear, depending on your preferences.

Air conditioners are commonly seen as power-hungry machines, but Coolify 2S pulls off a miracle by sipping only 6W from its 5,000 mAh battery, allowing you hours of use on a single charge. Using the fans alone can last you as much as 28 hours on first gear, but even when using both cooling and fan at the same time, you can still squeeze out 6 hours before needing to top up the portable air conditioner again. Along with its quiet operation, this freedom from cables allows you to enjoy refreshing, cool air anywhere, whether outdoors on your own or indoors with other possibly jealous people.

Best of all, the TORRAS Coolify 2S is designed to be comfortable to wear and stylish to look at. Thanks to smart engineering, it can fit any neck size, and its upgraded IMD material and premium texture give it some class. Whether you’re doing outdoor workouts, going for a leisurely walk, or just trying to survive a stuffy office, this wearable air conditioner is going to be your best friend and life saver. So, why waste energy fretting about how to stay cool this summer? Embrace the great outdoors and experience true innovation with the TORRAS Coolify 2S neck-worn air conditioner, available exclusively for Yanko Design readers at a discounted price of $199 (originally $299). Stay cool, refreshed, and stylish with the Coolify 2S – your ultimate companion for beating the heat!

Click Here to Buy Now: $199 $299 ($100 off total with coupon code “yankocool”). Hurry, deal ends in 48 hours!

The post How to stay cool and refreshed anywhere with this revolutionary wearable air conditioner first appeared on Yanko Design.

Who Owns AI-Generated Content? Understanding Ownership, Copyrighting, and How the Law interprets AI-generated Art

Disclaimer – This article was written considering current United States intellectual property laws as of May 2023. If you’re interested in knowing more about your country’s IP laws and view on AI, I recommend consulting a lawyer or doing some research online.

Little did Mark Zuckerberg know back in October of 2021, that the future wasn’t, in fact, the metaverse. Just months after he rebranded his entire company as Meta, putting all his bets on a virtual universe, something completely shook the foundations of that reality. OpenAI and StabilityAI both debuted their text-to-image AI art models, allowing pretty much anyone to create stunningly realistic images with just a simple text prompt. Stable Diffusion, Dall-E 2, and MidJourney suddenly became all the rage, completely creating new professions and destroying existing ones overnight. If that wasn’t enough, on roughly the 1-year anniversary of Meta’s rebrand, OpenAI unveiled ChatGPT, the all-powerful AI chatbot that even had legacy companies like Google wetting the bed.

It’s now difficult to imagine a world before AI tools, and there’s obviously no going back to those days now that this Pandora’s box has been opened. The world’s changed so much in the past few months, as people have used AI-based tools to become artists, writers, coders, etc. overnight… but there’s a fundamental question to be asked and answered here – When Machines Create, Who Gets To Own It??

When Machines Create, Who Gets To Own It??

This question, like the actual origin of AI-generated content, isn’t new. Machine learning has been around for more than a decade at this point, with computers gaining intelligence through the act of data-gathering, parsing, ‘thinking’, and ‘creating’. As early as 1996, Deep Blue defeated grandmaster Garry Kasparov in a game of chess – a first for any computer. Then in 2011, IBM’s Watson supercomputer beat humans in a game of Jeopardy; and in 2015, AlphaGo beat European Go champion Fan Hui with a score of 5 to 0. Is it safe to say that computers defeated their human counterparts? Or that the engineers who created the computers were the actual victors? What about when a self-driving Tesla kills a pedestrian? Does the blame go to the AI? Or the human behind the wheel? Or Tesla’s team of engineers who built the self-driving algorithm? We’re still figuring out the answers to all those nuanced questions, although Tesla’s terms and conditions clearly outline that the company isn’t liable for anything its self-driving AI does. The liability falls upon the driver, who probably scrolled right past the terms and conditions to click on the ‘Accept’ button.

Needless to say, AI-generated accidents and AI-generated artworks are viewed differently under the law. As far as art goes, be it a video, an image, a script, a song, or any medium that the AI can work with, the (US) law is pretty straightforward – According to copyright law, only humans can be granted copyrights. If it’s created by AI, nobody can claim ownership of it or copyright it.

Interestingly enough, in 2018, the USPTO (United States Patent and Trademark Office) denied copyright to AI expert Dr. Steven Thaler for his AI-generated artwork titled “A Recent Entrance to Paradise”. Why? The examiner found no human authorship. According to the Office: “…The work could not be registered because it was made ‘without any creative contribution from a human actor.’” However, in February of 2023, graphic-novel artist Kris Kashtanova was granted copyright for their AI-generated comic book “Zarya of the Dawn” for the simple reason that there was human input in creating the entire comic book and its underlying storyline. The entire comic book was “AI-assisted” and not “AI-generated”, which is why it was eligible for copyright. The individual AI-generated images within the comic book, however, were not subject to copyright.

Zarya Of The Dawn – The first “AI-assisted” comic book to be granted Copyright

What does ‘Ownership’ even mean?

The law interprets ownership a little differently than humans do. On an interpersonal level, ownership is simple. If something belongs to me through purchase, I own it – like my phone, my watch, my shoes. The ownership is limited as a matter of speaking because even though I own my phone, I can’t repair it, modify it, or hack it without breaking certain rules, but that’s for a different discussion entirely. If something belongs to me through creation, on an interpersonal level, it’s pretty clear-cut too. I made it, it’s mine. The law, on the other hand, has three broad ways of ascribing ownership through creation – Trademark, Patent, and Copyright. Here’s how they work.

Trademark – Protects branding elements, such as names, logos, and slogans, that are used to identify a specific company or product. For example, Apple’s logo is a registered trademark that identifies the company’s products and services.

Patent – Protects new and useful inventions or discoveries, such as a new technologies or overall design. Apple has numerous patents for its various technological innovations, such as the iPhone’s multi-touch interface, and even on designs themselves, like the actual design of the iPhone.

Copyright – Protects original works of authorship, such as books, music, artwork, and even written source code/algorithms. For example, Apple owns the copyright to the software used in its products, such as the iOS operating system used in the iPhone and iPad. This means that no one else can legally copy or distribute Apple’s software without their permission.
*Patent and Trademark Offices are incredibly critical of AI being used even in documentation. Remember Dr. Stephen Thaler from earlier? Dr. Thaler developed an AI system called DABUS that could write patent applications. However, the USPTO rejected all patent applications on the grounds that they weren’t written by a human, with even the Supreme Court ruling in their favor.

In short, you could copyright an AI that you built on your own… but you can’t copyright the work generated by the AI unless there’s human effort involved in the work itself. There is, however, one small catch that most people tend to overlook… and it’s often written in the fine print of the Terms and Conditions that we agree to all too eagerly. Do companies like MidJourney, OpenAI, Google, Microsoft, and Stability.AI have rights/access to the work created by us using their AI programs?

Does Midjourney or ChatGPT fully or partly own my work?

I’m guessing you didn’t think about that while accepting the terms and conditions. Here’s the hilarious bit. I didn’t too, and companies often bank on this ignorance. In 2012, Bruce Willis almost considered suing Apple because he realized that all the music he paid for on iTunes didn’t “belong” to him. In short, he couldn’t download it, listen to it outside Apple’s ecosystem, or gift it to his children. Even though he PAID for the music, he didn’t actually pay for the music. He paid for the ‘privilege’ of being able to listen to it… a fact he would have known if he had read the iTunes Terms and Conditions.

With programs like Midjourney, ChatGPT, DALL·E, and Stable Diffusion, the answer to the question really depends from program to program and company to company. Here’s what the Terms of Service are for all common AI programs/bots. Be ready for a lot of legal speak. There’s a TL;DR version down below in case you just want the summary, and do note – these terms and conditions are subject to change at any point in time.

  • Midjourney – The company states that “You own all Assets You create with the Services, to the extent possible under current law. This excludes upscaling the images of others, which images remain owned by the original Asset creators.” You retain ownership of the assets even if you cancel your membership, but there are two caveats.  The first – By using the Services, you grant Midjourney a perpetual, worldwide, non-exclusive, royalty-free license to reproduce, prepare derivative works of, publicly display, perform, sublicense, and distribute any text or image prompts you input into the Services or assets produced by the service at your direction. Secondly, your ownership of assets is subject to additional terms if you’re an employee or owner of a company that makes more than $1 million USD a year in gross revenue, and you’re using the service on behalf of the company. If that’s true, you only own the assets under Midjourney’s Pro tier. If you are not a Paid Member, you don’t own the assets you create. Instead, Midjourney grants you a license to the assets under the Creative Commons Noncommercial 4.0 Attribution International License (the “Asset License”). Read Midjourney’s entire Terms of Service here.
  • Dall·E2 – Created by OpenAI (the same folks behind ChatGPT), Dall·E2 had incredibly strict terms up until July of 2022. The company watermarked each image with five colored swatches at the bottom right, and OpenAI was incredibly strict in enforcing the fact that the generated images DO NOT belong to you and are not meant to be treated otherwise. It wasn’t up until July 2022 that they relaxed their policies, allowing creators to commercialize their creations by selling their AI-generated art… OpenAI grants you rights to the images you create using DALL·E2, however, your prompts and artworks may be used by OpenAI to improve and maintain their services. This is also the case with ChatGPT. Read ahead to know what OpenAI says broadly in their Terms of Use across all their products.
  • ChatGPT – OpenAI looks at data through two lenses – Input and Output. You may provide input to the Services (“Input”), and receive output generated and returned by the Services based on the Input (“Output”). Input and Output are collectively “Content.” The Input you provide wholly belongs to you, as does the output, with a few disclaimers. OpenAI hereby assigns to you all its right, title and interest in and to Output. This means you can use Content for any purpose, including commercial purposes such as sale or publication, if you comply with these Terms. OpenAI may use Content to provide and maintain the Services, comply with applicable law, and enforce our policies. You are responsible for Content, including for ensuring that it does not violate any applicable law or these Terms… which loosely translates to ‘with great power comes great responsibility’. OpenAI does not hold itself responsible for any input or output that violates its terms, or the law. Read OpenAI’s entire Terms of Use here.
  • Stable Diffusion – This one’s tricky, given that Stable Diffusion is open-source and multiple companies/services are using its technology. However, with their proprietary DreamStudio AI program, StabilityAI (the company) mentions that “you own the Content that you generate using the Services to the extent permitted by applicable law.” However, given that the AI bot accepts images as input too, StabilityAI holds you responsible for ‘owning’ the images you upload onto its service, including copyrights and rights of publicity. You are responsible for the content and ensuring that it does not violate any laws or intellectual property rights. Stability and its affiliates may use the content to improve the Services and store it in a “history” section of your account for easy retrieval. Read the DreamStudio Terms of Service here.

TL;DR – All programs give you some form of right to ownership (this isn’t a copyright) to the work you create, but at the same time, they also give themselves permission to use your prompts and the resulting output in any way they choose. So be incredibly careful of the material you feed into these AI programs – especially make sure nothing you share with them is confidential or intellectual property that doesn’t belong to you.

Can someone steal my work if it’s not copyrighted?

Funnily enough, even though you’re given the right to ownership with these AI ‘generations’, the court of law doesn’t recognize it in a way that’s legally enforceable. So yes, you own the works you create, as long as you can keep them a secret and prevent them from being copied/stolen. The second you put your un-copyrighted works up in the public domain, anyone can pretty much copy it all. Your only respite in that regard, is the court of public opinion… unless there’s human intervention involved, in which case your work is eligible to be protected by copyright. The inverse is true too. You can ‘steal’ someone else’s work and modify it to an extent where the law considers it ‘your own creation’. It’s what musicians do with ‘sampling’ too, although many songs have been taken to court over possible plagiarism.

If I can’t copyright my AI-generated work? What can I do with it?

To be brutally honest, trying to copyright AI work is like trying to copyright a Starbucks order because you told the barista what you want. If all you provided were instructions, you shouldn’t be claiming any sort of credit for what the AI created… even if the basic framework of an idea belonged to you. You can, however, build on what the AI creates, treating it as a collaboration… and honestly, that’s what AI tools are all about. AI isn’t meant to replace humans, it’s meant to give humans new skills to create better work faster. It’s a means to an end, just the way Photoshop and AutoCAD replaced their manual counterparts.

To summarize, here’s the question we asked at the beginning – When Machines Create, Who Gets To Own It? Well, if the machine created it based on data from the entire internet, then the entire internet collectively has a right to access it or be inspired by it. When humans create work, they’re inspired by other work. When AI creates work, it’s merely sampling and remixing things in its dataset. So if you really want to be different, and if you really want to claim work that belongs to you, give it your own, distinct human touch!

All images in this article were created using Midjourney

The post Who Owns AI-Generated Content? Understanding Ownership, Copyrighting, and How the Law interprets AI-generated Art first appeared on Yanko Design.

FLORA observatory suspends among a canopy of treetops to research the biodiversity of a natural park in Barcelona

Called the Forest Lab for Observational Research and Analysis (FLORA), this observatory is located at the Institute for Advanced Architecture of Catalonia (IAAC), suspended among the treetops of Barcelona‘s Collserola Natural Park. The innovative and unique scientific research facility is developed by students and researchers of Masters in Advanced Ecological Buildings and Biocities. Nicknamed FLORA the research facility is an advanced and ecological building that serves as a space for researchers to live and work in the forest canopy.

Designer: IAAC

FLORA measures around 28 feet in height and was built using invasive pine trees which have been sourced from within the Catalan park using sustainability forest management and traceability procedures. The mass timber structure was constructed by cutting down and processing seventy trees which were used to create cross-laminated timber panels, laminated beams, and solid wood elements.

The IAAC team designed the observatory to serve as a dwelling for a researcher who will be studying the biodiversity of the park, and using FLORA’s new weather station for a certain period of time. The structure was inspired by the work of the American biologist Margaret D. Lowman and her hanging walkways. It is the first building to allow researchers to observe the forest canopy! Pretty cool, right? The project is a part of the ‘zero-kilometer’ philosophy since the timber used to build the structure was procured from the surrounding forest.

The observatory was designed to be immersed in nature and to function as an ecological interactive prototype. It features a bird radio, bird houses, working and projection space, as well as bird-watching spaces. The observatory is used to gain a better understanding of nature, the biodiversity of the park, and how climate change and its effects are influencing it. FLORA is an impeccable example of sustainable forest management, and how it can be utilized to build scientific facilities, without causing any kind of damage to the environment. It helps and aids researchers in observing and studying biodiversity and ecological systems of the park, and attempts to provide insights and solutions on how to preserve and manage natural spaces around the world in a better and holistic manner.

The post FLORA observatory suspends among a canopy of treetops to research the biodiversity of a natural park in Barcelona first appeared on Yanko Design.

Apple’s free My Photo Stream service will shut down on July 26th

Apple plans to shut down its My Photo Stream service on July 26th, 2023, the company announced on Friday. The free service has been available since the release of iCloud in 2011. You can use My Photo Stream to upload the last 30 days of images and videos – up to a limit of 1,000 – from your Apple devices to iCloud. My Photo Stream predates iCloud Photos and gave Apple users a way to access their images and video clips on more than one device. Notably, content uploaded to iCloud through My Photo Stream do not count against your iCloud storage cap, though they’re not saved at full resolution.

In a support document spotted by MacRumors, Apple says My Photo Stream will stop automatically uploading photos to the company’s servers on June 26th, 2023. At that point, your photos and videos will remain on iCloud for 30 days until the official shutdown on July 26th. Since every image and video uploaded to iCloud through My Photo Stream is stored in its original format and resolution on at least one of your Apple devices, you won’t lose any cherished memories as part of the shutdown process. That said, if you want to have access to a specific image on a particular device, Apple recommends you save it to that device’s Photo Library before July 26th.

On iPhone and iPad, you can save an image from your My Photo Stream by opening the Photos app, navigating to the My Photo Stream album, selecting the photo you want to save and then tapping the Share button to save it to your Library. Apple ends the support document by noting, “iCloud Photos is the best way to keep the photos and videos you take up to date across all your devices and safely stored in iCloud.”

This article originally appeared on Engadget at

Sleek Hitachi-inspired shower heater concept simplifies the process of getting hot water

When you take a shower in a hotel or an Air BnB, you rarely think about the design of your shower heater. All you care about is that it works and that you figure out how it works. There are a lot of times, at least in my experience, when I just open the shower and wait for the heater to do its thing. And if it doesn’t, then I’ll have to work with a cold shower as I have no patience to tinker with something that might just figuratively (or literally) blow up in my face.

Designer: Sinan Anayurt

This concept for a Hitachi New Shower Heater might be able to solve that heater problem. Not only is it designed to be unobtrusive and simple enough to use, it also aims to bring the simple Japanese aesthetics of minimalism with a priority on safety. And hopefully, it will just give you the right amount of heat that you need without you having to solve complex design problems.

The heater has a central circle which is the main “hearth” and is connected to the power button and the knob that determines how hot or cold the device should give you. The circular form and the convex shape lets the water flow over the heater. It also has a back design that is able to hide the piping details and gives you a slimmer heater that should not get in the way of your other bathroom activities.

The design for the new shower heater also makes sure that it is safe enough for your bathroom since it’s waterproof and will not put you in danger of electrical shock. The designer also says that the production is easy and the heater is slim enough to minimize the materials needed, therefore saving on costs and waste.

The post Sleek Hitachi-inspired shower heater concept simplifies the process of getting hot water first appeared on Yanko Design.