Love him or loathe him, Dan Brown has become a very successful author whose books are guaranteed to fly off the shelves every time a new one appears. And a big part of that success is down to the creation of his most popular character: Robert Langdon. He’s even lucked out by having one of the most likeable actors in Hollywood take on the role of Langdon in multiple movies.That actor is Tom Hanks, and he’s set to take on the role once more next month when Inferno sees a release. However, it’s not the movie that has Brown fans excited today, it’s the fact another Robert Langdon novel has been confirmed for release next year.Publisher Doubleday Books has confirmed Dan Brown’s next book titled Origin will be published by them on September 26, 2017 in the US and Canada. As is usually the case, we’ll get a hardback and e-book first while those of us who prefer paperbacks will be left waiting (probably a year). There will also be an audiobook version from Penguin Random House Audio in September.Robert Langdon has so far appeared in four published novels: Angels & Demons, The Da Vinci Code, The Lost Symbol, and Inferno. Three of those have been turned into movies. As to why The Lost Symbol hasn’t been brought to the big screen, director Ron Howard explained that it was just too close to the material covered in Angels & Demons and The Da Vinci Code. However, there are scripts and it is something that could happen eventually.Little is known about the content of Origin beyond the fact it’s another novel that sees Robert Langdon using his rich knowledge of “symbology, science, religion, history, art, and architecture.” It’s sure to be an instant hit, and may tempt Hanks back into the role once again. Whether it convinces Hollywood to fund another Langdon movie will depend almost entirely on how well Inferno performs at the box office next month.Dan Brown image courtesy of the Dan Brown official website.
Samsung Galaxy Note 8 Not DIY FriendlyFactory That Made Exploding Galaxy Note 7 Batteries Catches Fire Stay on target Ever wonder what happened to all those Samsung Galaxy Note 7 smartphones recalled last year after they began exploding?Some found a new life as refurbished handsets offered for rental. Others, it appears, were reborn as the Galaxy Note 7 Fan Edition.Teardown experts iFixit got their hands on the new device—only 400,000 of which are on sale, exclusively in South Korea.“And in case you were wondering—no, there isn’t a tiny fan in there to help prevent battery fires. (We checked.)” iFixit wrote in a blog post.There are, however, subtle differences between the new Fan Edition and its combustible predecessor.“At first glance, it seems like nothing has changed,” the company reported.That is, until you pry off the “nasty glass panel” and take a closer look at the restored hardware: Inside is a new, albeit smaller, battery. Clocking in at 3,200mAh (versus the original Note 7’s 3,500mAh), the petite power source is apparently enough to make the phone safe again.New Fan Edition battery (left) weighs in just under the original power source (right) (via iFixit)The only other hardware disparity is a revamped antenna pattern—likely intended for compatibility with Korean cellular networks.“The Fan Edition inherits just about everything else from the Note 7, including its repairability score,” according to iFixit, which awarded Samsung’s latest gadget a measly four-out-of-10 rating.While many components are modular and can be easily replaced, that pesky battery remains barricaded behind a glued-on rear panel.“No easy pull-to-remove adhesive tabs in sight—which feels like a misstep,” iFixit’s Sam Lionheart wrote in the blog. “A non-removable battery made the Note 7 recall particularly messy. So, why double down and lacquer your replacement battery into the phone again?”Plus, front and back glass “make for double the crackability,” the teardown said.But unless you’re thinking of moving to Korea, there is little chance US consumers will ever get their hands on the Galaxy Note Fan Edition, available in black onyx, blue coral, gold platinum, and silver titanium for about $615.Let us know what you like about Geek by taking our survey.
iPhone 11, iPhone 11 Pro Have More Cameras, More ProblemsGeek Pick: Ring Stick Up Cam Battery Is Standalone Security Stay on target Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in awhile, you could miss it.If only Ferris Bueller had a FrontRow camera.The latest wearable from Ubiquiti Networks, FrontRow hangs around your neck like a modern Flavor Flav accessory, snapping photos and live-streaming video.“Unlike traditional cameras and smartphones requiring manual operation, FrontRow can operate fully autonomously—allowing one to capture life’s experiences while completely staying in the moment,” according to a company press release.The latest wearable from Ubiquiti Networks (via FrontRow)Weighing in at less than 2 ounces, the palm-sized device acts as a more aesthetically pleasing GoPro—attach it to the included lanyard (or your favorite chain), or clip it onto a collar or strap. (Upcoming accessories include a car window mount and flexible coil mount.)Then use the 2-inch touch screen, start/stop button, or companion mobile app to pick your poison: live stream on Facebook or YouTube, save media directly to Dropbox, share filtered photos with Instagram followers.FrontRow comes with 32GB of storage and 2GB RAM, so keep an eye on your contents to ensure you don’t reach capacity mid-stream.Any Bluetooth-connected handset running the FrontRow iOS or Android app acts as a remote control, as does the online UI controller at frontrow.com.Boasting a standby time of up to 48 hours, FrontRow can operate in Story Mode—Ubiquiti’s fancy name for time-lapse (see video above)—for up to 16 hours, and in the live-streaming mode for up to two. Charge on the go or at home with a USB Type-C connector.Connect with your smartphone, tablet, or the Web (via FrontRow)Currently available in jet black—and coming soon (Sept. 15) in rose gold—the $399 FrontRow camera is on sale directly from Ubiquiti Networks (with free overnight shipping, or via Amazon.FrontRow is not exactly novel: Manufacturers have been trying to perfect the wearable camera for years: from Google Glass to Snapchat Spectacles.The Narrative Clip 2, for instance, stores up to 4,000 photos or 80 minutes of HD video—and costs only $199. (Though all three colors—black, white, red—are temporarily out of stock.)Let us know what you like about Geek by taking our survey.
Keto Turns Your Smartphone Into Your Car KeysAston Martin Will Build You Your Very Own Supervillain Lair Stay on target Today’s cars, trucks, and vans already boast a long list of safety features. There’s always room for improvement, though. One that Mitsubishi is pondering involves the use of projectors and displays.The Japanese automaker just announced a concept they call Safe and Secure Lighting. One part of he system looks a lot like the numerous high-tech bicycle safety Kickstarters that have been pitched in recent years. Projectors mounted on the outside of a vehicle beam indicators onto the road surface.Mitsubishi’s release notes that “60 percent of pedestrian fatalities on roads occur at night,” adding that “illuminated projections that are clearly visible to pedestrians in the dark are expected to help reduce such fatalities.”When you put your vehicle in reverse or start to open a door, Safe and Secure Lighting projects an image onto the pavement to indicate your intentions to nearby drivers and pedestrians. The arrows for reversing are obvious enough, but the door opening symbol may need to be refined. It looks a bit like you’re offering free WiFi in your vehicle.In their render, you can also see how Mitsubishi plans to use displays as part of the Safe and Secure Lighting system. One placed at the back of the vehicle can provide bright, clear warnings to drivers approaching from the rear. It could be as simple as that yellow caution triangle, or, if that full-width black bar is indeed all screen, the car could provide very explicit (not sweary, the other kind… though it’s inevitable someone will definitely try to hack a system like this to display arbitrary text) alerts.Mitsubishi sees Safe and Secure as a good fit for both traditional vehicles and autonomous ones. When there’s no human behind the wheel to do things like give someone the “nah, you go first” wave, systems like this will have to fill in.Let us know what you like about Geek by taking our survey.