Turn your GoPro into a 3D camera!

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The most basic requirement for filming 3D content is to have two video sources (left and right), achieved by two lenses. Apparently you don’t even need those anymore and my life has been a lie all along. You can literally shoot stereoscopic 3D with one lens now, and Vitrima’s mount for the GoPro does just that!

The Vitrima Lens is a case with a twist. It snaps on the GoPro, and instantly turns one video stream into two separate channels, making your regular 2D GoPro a stereoscopic 3D recording device that you can then view on your VR headset! However it isn’t as simple as you’d think. You can’t just take a video and split it in half and have 3D content. Vitrima Lens uses a clever orientation of mirrors to make sure it captures the exact same content in both left and right channels with just the right amount of variation in order to make the resulting image/video pop out as if it were recorded by a 3D camera. To top it all off, the Vitrima’s front glass panel is coated with an anti-glare layer, making sure you don’t get annoying reflections and lens-flares messing with your 3D content.

The only perceivable caveats of the Vitrima are rather small. Since the Vitrima splits the GoPro’s recording capabilities into two, A. You’re recording at half the aspect ratio, which means your videos are going to be virtually squarish (8:9), rather than a 16:9 landscape, and B. Given the size limitations of the Vitrima Lens, there won’t be a massive variation between left and right channels, meaning it won’t compare to the kind of depth you see in 3D films at your local movie theater. However, given that the Vitrima Lens is a mere (reasonably priced) add-on for your existing camera, the very prospect of recording 3D is a rather innovative achievement!

Debuting just a year back on Indiegogo, and getting an Honorary Innovation Award at the CES this year, the Vitrima Lens is now completely out of its crowdfunding phase and is up for grabs!

Designer: Fantem

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Disney showed us the inner workings of its Avatar robot and it’s just incredible

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VIDEO

Back at the end of May, Disney opened an Avatar-themed area (Pandora: World of Avatar) within its Animal Kingdom park. Given that it’s only been open for a few weeks, most folks still haven’t been inside — but if you do go, do yourself a favor and take the time to check out the Na’vi River Journey ride. The end of the ride features an animatronic Na’vi (Avatar’s blue humanoid species), and it’s easily one of the finest examples of animatronics ever built.

At our TechCrunch Sessions Robotics event in Boston this afternoon, we got a look at what’s going on inside.

When it’s all sealed up, the Na’vi Shaman looks like this:

VIDEO

But pull back the mask, and an incredible, beautifully complex array of robotics lays beneath:

Disney has been paving new grounds with animatronics for decades now (The Tiki Room’s birds and Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln namesake robo-president date back to 1963 and 1964 respectively), but the Na’vi Shaman takes things to a whole new level in terms of expressiveness, fluidity of motion, and the ability to blow your mind.

Curious what the whole thing looks like when it’s all together and you’re on the ride? Here’s that:

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It only took hackers 3 minutes to steal $7 million worth of Ether

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It only took hackers 3 minutes to steal $7 million worth of Ether

Oops.Oops.

Image: Shutterstock / Lightboxx

All it took was three minutes. 

Shortly after going live, CoinDash’s July 17 Initial Coin Offering (ICO) was in serious trouble. The company, which allows for the trading of the popular cryptocurrency Ether (the “money unit” of the Ethereum platform), was all set for a big fundraising round with investors given the chance to invest in CoinDash with Ether. It’s a well-established practice similar to an IPO: Buy into a company now in exchange for tokens, which are in some sense analogous to stock, and hope to reap the rewards later. 

It didn’t exactly work out as planned. 

As explained after the fact on the company’s website, hackers managed to change one tiny but important detail on the CoinDash website just as the ICO was scheduled to begin: The Ethereum wallet address. That little change was all it took to redirect cryptocurrency slated for CoinDash into the wallet of the attacker. 

“It is unfortunate for us to announce that we have suffered a hacking attack during our Token Sale event,” the company explained. “During the attack $7 million were stolen by a currently unknown perpetrator.”

According to a screenshot of the company’s internal Slack, posted to Reddit and confirmed as authentic by Motherboard, CoinDash realized what was happening within three minutes — but the damage was done. 

Well this is bad.

Well this is bad.

Angry online commenters, who may or may not have fallen prey to the scam, quickly took to Reddit to vent their frustration — with some hinting at the possibility of an inside job. 

“Is there any proof that this was a hack,” wondered one Redditor. “What if Coindash put an address in and then cried hacker to get away with free ETH?”

“This propably [sic] was a set up from the beginning,” speculated another

However, those that sent their Ether to the wrong address may not be entirely out of luck. CoinDash says it will still issue tokens to anyone who was swindled (as long as it happened before company employees shut their site down upon discovery of the hack). 

“CoinDash is responsible to all of its contributors and will send CDTs [CoinDash Tokens] reflective of each contribution,” the company further noted on its site. “Contributors that sent ETH to the fraudulent Ethereum address, which was maliciously placed on our website, and sent ETH to the CoinDash.io official address will receive their CDT tokens accordingly.”

CoinDash, for its part, did manage to raise $6.4 million from its “early contributors and whitelist participants” before things went south. 

As for the stolen Ether? Well, that’s just chilling in a wallet, waiting until the crook comes to collect. And, unless the perp left some clues behind during the hack itself, he or she will soon be sitting pretty with their ill-gotten gains. Following laundered cryptocurrency, after all, is a notoriously difficult task. 

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Venezuela has less than $10 billion — lowest reserves in over 20 years

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  • Venezuela has less than $10 billion — lowest reserves in over 20 years

    From cnn.com

    Meanwhile, Maduro’s government keeps running out of money as debt payments loom. Venezuela owes nearly $5 billion for the rest of this year.

    The country’s ability to pay its debt “is looking increasingly fragile,” says Edward Glossop, Latin America economist at Capital Economics, a research firm.

    Fears are rising that Venezuela will default this year. Some economists caution, however, that Maduro’s regime could get by in the short term if it lets reserves fall further.

    Related: Venezuela hikes up minimum wage for third time this year

    That scary financial backdrop is a major reason why Venezuela suffers … (full story)

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