Google Glass Prescriptions, 3D Guns Banned, Android Buyers Guide [Tech News Digest]

Today in Tech News Digest, prescription lenses could be coming to Google Glass, the Xbox One succeeds and fails at the same time, Flickr Photo Books arrive, Turntable.fm is shuttered, Place Pins come to Pinterest, Philadelphia bans guns (but only the 3D-printed variety), and Eric Schmidt helps out unhappy iPhone users.

Google Glass Gains Actual Glass

Google Glass has had a big week, with a sneak peek of the Glass Development Kit (GDK) showing some of its potential capabilities, and talks taking place to provide prescription lenses for the wearable hardware. This comes not long after a new set of Google Glass features was revealed, and Google opened interest up to more than just rich geeks.

According to the Wall Street Journal, Google is in talks with VSP Global, an American vision benefits provider, to make frames and lenses for Google Glass. The lenses would allow spectacle wearers to use Glass without limiting their vision, while the frames are likely to increase the range of designs into which the actual technology is incorporated.

Meanwhile, TechCrunch has a short rundown of some of the more interesting Google Glass apps to have emerged recently. These include Word Lens for Glass, which is capable of translating any text you look at while wearing the device. And GolfSight, a GPS rangefinder which promises to offer golfers an augmented round of driving and putting.

As we have said before, Google Glass is currently too expensive and too much of an unknown quantity to be mainstream, but it offers an intriguing vision of the future that could potentially change the world.

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Xbox One Succeeds, Fails

Microsoft sold 1 million Xbox Ones in the 24 hours after its release, but not all of those are working as they should. Microsoft has matched the success of the PS4 by hitting the 1 million milestone, but that number includes sales in 13 countries rather than just North America, as Sony’s did. Still, it’s fair to say both consoles had successful first weekends.

Microsoft has managed to match Sony on another score: hardware failures. While some PS4 owners suffered from the BBLoD (Blinking Blue Light of Death), some Xbox One owners have found the disk drives on their new consoles to be less than happy to play games. Microsoft has stated that this issue is only affecting “a very small number of Xbox One customers” and that the company is working hard to “get a replacement console to them as soon as possible through our advance exchange program.

Here’s hoping we don’t have another RRoD-sized debacle on our hands.

Flickr Photo Books

Yahoo has launched Flickr Photo Books, which offer those who prefer hard copies of their favorite photos a simple way of taking their creations from the cloud to the real world. The process of creating a Flickr Photo Book is refreshingly simple, though the service is unfortunately only available in the U.S. I’m sure the timing of this launch, with the holidays just around the corner, is a complete coincidence. Because Yahoo.

Turntable.fm Shutting Down

Turntable.fm, a virtual DJ app, is shutting down as the company cuts its losses to focus on its new Turntable Live platform. Anyone outside the States won’t care about Turntable.fm shutting down, because it was (apart from a month at launch) only available to U.S. residents. Fans of the service have until Dec. 2 to enjoy spinning their vinyl (I know, I’m old).

Place Pins On Pinterest

Several Pinterest rivals have been offering Pinterest-for-location services for a while now, but Pinterest itself has finally decided to join the party. The new Place Pins are designed to allow users to plan the perfect vacation, with placemarkers on a map providing a visual overview of the locations they wish to visit. Unfortunately, Pinterest hasn’t included tips on how to afford these dream vacations.

Philadelphia Bans 3D-Printed Guns

Philadelphia has become the first major American city to ban the manufacture of guns via 3D printers. 3D printing is becoming increasingly popular, and some people fear the consequences of anyone being able to print their own lethal weapons at home.

As a result of this, the Philadelphia City Council unanimously voted to outlaw these weapons, though it admits that the ban is a pre-emptive strike “just based upon internet stuff out there.” Philadephia may be the first American city to ban 3D-printed guns but it’s unlikely to be the last. If you have strong views on the issue feel free to air them in the comments below.

Eric Schmidt’s Guide To Android

And finally, Eric Schmidt wants to write for MakeUseOf, but his day job won’t allow him to do so. Schmidt, the executive chairman of Google, is a busy man. But not too busy to write a 900-word guide for those switching from iPhone to Android.

The guide, which he opens by stating, “Many of my iPhone friends are converting to Android,” appeared on Google+, the much-maligned social networking site Google is forcing down everybody’s throats. It’s a solid guide that’s worth a read, but Schmidt hasn’t done enough to secure a place on the MakeUseOf writing staff. Better luck next time, Schmidty.

Tech News Digest… Breaking News Into Bite-Sized Chunks

Image Credit: Max Braun

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