Yahoo Tech - Source Information

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Last update: 2017-01-18 22:21:06

Yahoo Tech Headlines

  • South Korean court dismisses arrest warrant for Samsung chief (2017-01-18 16:13:10)
    A South Korean court on Thursday dismissed a warrant to arrest the head of the Samsung Group [SAGR.UL], the country's largest conglomerate, a court spokesman said, amid a graft scandal that led to the impeachment of President Park Geun-hye. The decision by the Seoul Central District Court to allow Jay Y. Lee to go home is likely to come as a major relief to the company and for Lee, who has tried to fill the vacuum in the group's leadership since his father suffered a heart attack in 2014. Lee had been questioned for 22 hours last week and was held overnight on Wednesday while the court reached its decision.
  • NASA Data Shows 2016 Was Warmest Year on Record Globally (2017-01-18 16:10:22)
    Temperatures on Earth were the warmest in 2016 since modern record-keeping began in 1880, according to independent analyses by NASA and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, boosting the argument shared by many climate scientists that our planet is changing in significant ways. The year 2016 was the third consecutive year to set a new record for global average surface temperatures, and far exceeded the temperature mark set in 2015, scientists said today. Gavin Schmidt, director of NASA's Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS), said in a statement that the consistent pattern of record-breaking temperatures is indicative of a "warming trend" taking place on Earth.
  • Samsung Group says it appreciates chief Jay Y. Lee's release (2017-01-18 16:08:12)
    Samsung Group said on Thursday it appreciated the fact that the South Korean special prosecutor's case against the head of the group, Jay Y. Lee, can proceed without his detention. "We appreciate the fact that the merits of this case can now be determined without the need for detention," Samsung Group said in an emailed statement. Seoul Central District Court earlier rejected the special prosecution's request for a warrant to arrest Lee, who had been held overnight, for suspected bribery, embezzlement and perjury amid a corruption scandal that led to the impeachment of President Park Geun-hye.
  • Esquire network will transition from cable to online channel (2017-01-18 16:07:43)
    NEW YORK (AP) — Esquire Network said Wednesday it is shutting down as a cable channel and will transition into a digital online outlet.
  • Study shows Facebook's growth as campaign news source (2017-01-18 16:05:14)
    Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton voters had different media diets, but a study finds common ground in Facebook as an important news source — even if their individual feeds bore little resemblance to each ...
  • This website takes you on a journey to the unwatched corners of YouTube (2017-01-18 15:57:27)
    “IMG 0594” (a view of a spiral staircase inside what is presumably a church tower) has only four views. Over the course of 30 minutes, I caught glimpses of a high school basketball game, the view from the side of a mountain somewhere, the inside of a dorm room, a translucent fish scuttling along the ocean floor, an aerial view of a mansion, and the inside of a car. There are recordings of college seminars and grade school dance recitals, tiny dogs and newborn babies.
  • Miles Morales is getting his own animated Spider-man film (2017-01-18 15:52:54)
    In 2015, we learned that Lego Movie and the standalone Han Solo movie directors Phil Lord and Christopher Miller would be writing an animated Spider-Man film. Earlier today, Sony Pictures confirmed that the movie was happening, and announced that the film would feature Miles Morales, rather than Peter Parker. This untitled Spider-Man film will be directed by Bob Persichetti and Peter Ramsey and won’t be connected to the larger Marvel Cinematic Universe that includes Spider-Man: Homecoming and The Avengers.
  • Another rumor suggests the Galaxy S8 will have a gigantic display (2017-01-18 15:52:12)
    The Galaxy S8 will have the biggest screen in the land, a new report indicates, further reinforcing rumors that claim Samsung’s next flagship will adopt a brand new design. The phone is expected to feature an all-screen front, made possible by the removal of the home button and the reduction of the bezels. The Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S8 Plus will come with 5.7-inch and 6.2-inch displays, which are larger than the displays found on their predecessors — 5.1-inch for the Galaxy S7 and 5.5-inch for the Galaxy S7 edge. The Korea Herald says the Galaxy S8 may have the “largest ever” 5.7-inch panel, a first for Galaxy S line. Citing industry watchers, The Herald  reports the Galaxy S8 will have tiny bezels and “feature more curved panels” than the Galaxy S7 edge. Other notable features include an 8-megapixel selfie camera with autofocus, an iris scanner, Harman Kardon stereo speakers, and a fingerprint sensor built into the display. Software-wise, the Galaxy S8 is expected to be the first Samsung smartphone to ship with a Samsung-owned virtual assistant on board, the Bixby assistant developed by Viv Labs. Samsung acquired the Viv Labs in October, a company created by people who developed the Siri technology sold to Apple. The Galaxy S8 phone is expected to be unveiled in April, the report notes, but the report doesn’t offer any firm announcement or release dates.
  • South Korea won’t arrest Samsung heir on bribery charges (2017-01-18 15:42:06)
    Photo by Chung Sung-Jun/Getty Images Samsung’s vice-chairman and presumed future leader won’t face arrest for suspicion of bribery, embezzlement, and perjury.According to Reuters, a South Korean court declined today to grant an arrest warrant for Lee, who’s also known as Jay Y. Lee, following requests by prosecutors earlier this week.Prosecutors had said that Lee was part of a strange corruption scandal involving the country’s president, Park Geun-hye. ...
  • Can you use electricity to trick your brain into not feeling pain? (2017-01-18 15:36:37)
    Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation, or TENS, has become far more accessible since it was approved as an over-the-counter treatment by the US Food and Drug Administration about two years ago. Now, with the country in the midst of an opioid epidemic, doctors and patients and medical-device manufacturers are paying more attention to this form of natural pain management. Think of the machines as “using electricity to rub away pain,” says Mark Johnson, a professor of analgesia at Leeds Beckett University in the United Kingdom.
  • Alibaba's Ma says no chance of U.S. trade war with China (2017-01-18 15:32:25)
    DAVOS, Switzerland (Reuters) - China and the United States are not about to be drawn into a trade war, Alibaba Executive Chairman Jack Ma said on Wednesday at the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos.
  • The Diesel Emissions Scandal: What Cars Can You Trust? (2017-01-18 15:30:00)
    The charges against Volkswagen’s top emissions compliance executive aren't the end of emissions cheats by diesel-engine carmakers.
  • Meet the Redditors too stubborn to give up their exploding phones (2017-01-18 15:28:00)
    If you've been vacationing with a remote community that has no contact with the outside world for the last six months, you might have missed the fact that Samsung's most recent phablet has an unnerving tendency to catch fire. All reasonable human beings have returned their phones, as requested by Samsung, cell carriers, and the laws of common sense. But it's 2017, there's an internet out there, and among the internet-dwellers are those who figure it's a smart and adult decision to hang onto their toys with both hands, consequences be damned. Samsung, and the cell carriers that sold the phone, have taken every reasonable step to take Galaxy Note 7 devices out of the wild. Owners have had ample opportunity to turn them in, and cell carriers are now forcing updates on the phone that prevent it from charging, or stop outgoing cell calls. But that hasn't stopped a few particular users from Reddit's Galaxy Note 7 subreddit. The users take a peculiar delight in their objectively dumb decision, mostly rationalizing that the chances of their specific phone exploding is small, and anyway, they don't go on airplanes all that often. This is true. Despite the recall, the chances of one particular Galaxy Note 7 spontaneously combusting is relatively low, and using one is probably safer than driving on US roads. Still, I won't try and argue their case for them. As internet commenters, they're perfectly capable of doing that themselves: My new
  • U.S. sues Oracle, alleges salary and hiring discrimination (2017-01-18 15:13:13)
    The U.S. Labor Department has sued Oracle America Inc, alleging that the technology company systematically paid its white, male employees more than other workers and unlawfully favored Asian applicants in its recruiting and hiring efforts. The department in a complaint filed with an administrative judge in Washington said the company was prohibited from engaging in racial discrimination given the hundreds of millions of dollars it receives as a contractor with the federal government. Oracle America is a unit of Oracle Corp. Oracle spokeswoman Deborah Hellinger in a statement said the claims were baseless and "politically motivated," and that the company bases employment decisions on experience and merit.
  • Vine is back as a 6-second camera app, and users are furious (2017-01-18 15:12:42)
    Twitter's micro video app Vine died an untimely death — or, if you never used it, a totally logical and appropriate death — late last year, much to the chagrin of the dozen or so "Vine stars" who rose to fame with their goofy 6-second videos. Shortly after the announcement of its demise, Twitter seemed to have second thoughts and revealed that it would bring Vine back, but as a camera app that creates similarly short clips and then saves them locally so you can share them wherever you want. Well, Vine Camera is finally here, and apparently it "just isn't the same." The video format of the Vine Camera is pretty much identical to the clips that the Vine app created in the first place. Unfortunately, the social community of comments, faves, and follows that supported those clips has been yanked out from underneath the app, and now users have to hunt for the videos on Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, or elsewhere. As you might expect, that's not going over so well with Vine diehards. Here are a few of the many, many critical reviews the app has received in just its first day: "It is the worst app ever. You should've allowed some other company to buy vine, you're completely ruining its potential, and crushing the hearts of many users such as myself." "Vine was a community where you could easily find people who could entertain you and people enjoyed being part of it. Now we have to use twitter which is full of spam and bad people. It's harder to find people who take funny skits seriously. Also why can't we just take a video on our regular camera, I get you guys are keeping it alive but still :/ #Ripvine" "You are a disgrace to the human species as we know it. Who wants to use "vine camera"? What about the people that want to watch the vines instead? Now i have to use some slow crappy unsupported website to watch them. There was honestly no reason to end vine at all, you guys are dumb." Yikes!
  • The Army wants to use this giant drone to resupply soldiers (2017-01-18 15:08:41)
    This giant drone could be the backbone of battlefield resupply for the US military. It’s called the Joint Tactical Aerial Resupply Vehicle, or JTARV, and researchers at the Army Research Laboratory (ARL) compare it to “Amazon on the battlefield,” according to an ARL press release.
  • U.S. to probe whether Fujifilm violating Sony magnetic tape patents (2017-01-18 15:07:01)
    WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. International Trade Commission said on Wednesday it had launched on investigation into whether Fujifilm Holdings Corp was violating patents which Sony Corp holds for certain magnetic tape cartridges. The ITC said the products at issue in its probe were so-called Linear Tape-Open, or LTO, magnetic tape products and tape cartridge components comprising such products. (Reporting by Timothy Ahmann, editing by G Crosse)
  • U.S. begins patent probe of graphics processors, DDR memory controllers (2017-01-18 15:06:17)
    WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. International Trade Commission began a patent infringement probe on Wednesday after ZiiLabs Inc charged that several firms were importing products to the United States in violation of its patents on graphics processors and DDR memory controllers. The ITC said the products at issue included smartphones, laptops, televisions, Bluray players and gaming systems. It identified 17 firms whose products it wanted to examine, including Advanced Micro Devices Inc, Lenovo Group Ltd, LG Electronics Inc, MediaTek Inc, Motorola Mobility, Qualcomm Inc and Sony Corp. ...
  • US sues Oracle, says it pays white men more than others (2017-01-18 15:03:16)
    The Labor Department is suing Oracle, claiming that the technology giant pays white male workers more than their non-white and female counterparts with the same job titles. The lawsuit also says that the ...
  • Larry David makes a cameo in the trailer for ‘Last Week Tonight’ season 4 (2017-01-18 15:03:14)
    On February 12th at 11 PM, Last Week Tonight will return for its fourth season. John Oliver left 2016 on an odd note , just days after Donald Trump had been elected president. Many of his viewers were still flailing about, trying to figure out where it had all gone so terribly wrong, so as a sort of reprieve, HBO elected to upload the entire episode on to YouTube, so anyone could watch for free. Now, as President-elect Donald Trump gears up for Inauguration Day, Oliver is prepping for a new season of his late night talk show by coming to terms with the fact that he has what might be the least important show on HBO's Sunday night slate, behind Game of Thrones , Silicon Valley and, soon, Curb Your Enthusiasm . Watch the self-deprecating promo for Last Week Tonight's fourth season below: While Oliver might be selling himself a bit short here (as he has every year since his show was picked up by the network), it's hard to deny that HBO viewers are desperate for more Game of Thrones . And while Oliver's hiatus was substantial for a talk show, it doesn't compare to the five-year wait that audiences have endured for a ninth season of Larry David's Curb Your Enthusiasm . The thing is, HBO has yet to announce release dates for new season of  Game of Thrones ,  Curb Your Enthusiasm  or Silicon Valley , which means (for the moment at least) Last Week Tonight has no competition. Congratulations, Oliver. You host the most anticipated HBO show (with a release date).
  • Obama on Manning: 'I feel very comfortable that justice has been served' (2017-01-18 15:01:59)
    “Chelsea Manning has served a tough prison sentence,” the president told reporters. President Obama’s order did not pardon Manning or vacate her conviction, but it did reduce her sentence to just over seven years, the vast majority of which has already been served. Manning is scheduled to be released in five months, on May 17th.
  • Leica’s latest M camera blends the new with the old (2017-01-18 15:00:02)
    Leica has officially announced the M10, the first fully new M series rangefinder camera to be released in four years. At the same time, the M10 features an all-new image sensor, processor, and wireless connectivity, bringing it to parity in terms of image quality and modern features with Leica’s other cameras.
  • Lyft drivers are happier than Uber drivers (probably because they earn more) (2017-01-18 14:59:08)
    Harry Campbell, a former Uber driver who runs The Rideshare Guy blog and podcast, recently surveyed over a thousand gig economy drivers and thinks he has the answer. An astounding 75.8 percent of Lyft drivers agreed with the statement that they were satisfied with their experience driving for Lyft, while only 49.4 percent of Uber drivers could say the same. This may be because Lyft drivers earn about $1.82 more per hour, which can be explained by Lyft’s higher base rates and payouts for drivers across the board, as well as the allowance for in-app tipping.
  • Correction: Wind Energy story (2017-01-18 14:57:10)
    MINEOLA, N.Y. (AP) — In a story Jan. 17 about a wind energy project, The Associated Press reported erroneously on the Long Island Power Authority's plans. LIPA spokesman Sid Nathan says the utility plans to vote on whether to award a contract to Deepwater Wind, not that it plans to award the contract.
  • The iPhone 8’s display design might be far superior to the Galaxy S8 (2017-01-18 14:51:52)
    The iPhone 8 and Galaxy S8 will be two of the most exciting phones of the year. Even if not, they’re already the most talked-about devices, as rumors and leaks continue to pour in. These two smartphones will be more alike than any of their processors, but even so, if this report is accurate, the iPhone 8 will have the most exciting smartphone design of 2017, far superior to Samsung’s similar approach to the matter. Both the iPhone 8 and the Galaxy S8 are tipped to feature all-screen designs. What that means is both phones will have minimal bezels, and their displays will occupy most of the front side. Both Apple and Samsung are supposed to remove the physical home buttons to reduce the bottom bezels and move the fingerprint sensors under the screen. But Apple may take a more radical approach by placing all the other front-facing elements of a phone under the display. In a research note seen by Apple Insider , Cowen and Company’s analyst Timothy Arcuri said Apple will have three new iPhones in stores this year, including an exciting iPhone X — aka the iPhone 8 — and two iPhone 7 successors. According to Arcuri, the iPhone 8 will sport a 5.8-inch OLED display with wraparound screen design. The display will resemble the “fixed flex” screen seen in various Galaxy-branded smartphones from Samsung, including the Galaxy S7 and Note 7. The analyst said that Apple will also embed into the OLED display the earpiece and FaceTime camera. Apple already has a patent that describes such screen technology. Arcuri further noted that Apple may switch to Synaptic’s optical-based fingerprint sensor for the new Touch ID, saying it’s "currently the only workable solution" for detecting a fingerprint through a smartphone screen. Apple also has a patent for such technology. Furthermore, the analyst expects Apple to add facial and gesture recognition to the iPhone, powered by a laser sensor and an infrared sensor placed near the front-facing camera, and wireless charging, though details about these features were not mentioned. The analysts expect potential issues with the 5.8-inch OLED screen and the embedded screen fingerprint sensor because of part yields and low availability. Samsung, meanwhile, isn’t likely to build other front-facing smartphone components other than the fingerprint sensor into the display, considering what we’ve heard and seen so far. Unlike the iPhone, the Galaxy S isn’t a similarly closely guarded secret. Existing reports and renders did suggest that the fingerprint scanner is going to be found under the screen but said nothing similar about the speaker and camera. And the phone is a couple of months away from launch, which means it probably has a final design. No other smartphone maker so far managed to come up with a display solution that would make it possible to completely remove the top and bottom bezels without also removing the selfie camera and sensors.
  • Under pressure: 4 main stressors for big data leaders (2017-01-18 14:42:02)
    As more companies take on big data projects, the demands on data scientists and IT leaders are increasing. These are the top four big data pressure points.
  • Star Trek Discovery delayed, no longer has a release date (2017-01-18 14:41:14)
    CBSThose looking forward to Star Trek Discovery’s promised streaming debut in May will have to wait even longer. According to the The Hollywood Reporter, the premiere has been pushed back right as production is due to start and CBS finishes casting and script rewrites."This is an ambitious project; we will be flexible on a launch date if it's best for the show,” a CBS rep said in a statement. “We've said from the beginning it's more important to do this right than to do it fast. ...
  • Primates will go extinct soon if we don’t take conservation more seriously (2017-01-18 14:00:02)
    Endangered nonhuman primates include, clockwise from top center, the black and white snub-nosed monkey (photo: Paul Garber), the ring-tailed lemur (photo: Matthias Appel), the golden snub-nosed monkey (photo: Paul Garber), the mountain gorilla (photo: Ruggiero Richard) and the northern white-cheeked gibbon (photo: Fan Peng-Fei).
  • How Trump’s interview with Tim Cook about US-made iPhones probably went (2017-01-18 13:53:09)
    In an interview with Axios , President-Elect Trump apparently said that Apple CEO Tim Cook is open to building the iPhone in the US. This would represent a major coup for Trump, whose big policy statements thus far have mostly been about keeping jobs in America. Specifically, Trump said that "Cook has his "eyes open to [US manufacturing]" and that Cook "really believe he loves this country and I think he'd like to do something major here." I'm sure that Tim Cook and Trump did have a conversation about making the iPhone in the US at some point, and I'm sure that Cook, terrified of a tweet about Apple's sad, low-energy foreign manufacturing, said some things. Without access to the transcripts, we'll never know exactly what was said. But in the interest of killing time until the iPhone 8 launch, we can at least dream about how that conversation went. Trump:  Hey Tim! So, I've been thinking. Cook:  Uh-oh. Trump:  The iPhone 7 was low energy. No headphone jack, same body style. Sad! Cook:  Well, uh, I wouldn't say that, we've had some great response from our customers-- Trump:  Anyway, I don't know a lot about iPhones. But I know some good people, some tremendous people, my own son, you know. Just 12 years old, what these kids know about technology is incredible. Just incredible. And you know what they say? They say the best technology is still made in the United States. Look at what happened to Samsung. Outsourced manufacturing, no quality control. They have great engineers, some of the best -- not as good as here, of course, but you've got to respect them -- but they were sunk by outsourcing. Same as the iPhone. Cook:  Well, now, look, it's more about the supply chain, and how we can get components built to schedule. We've centered our supply chain around China for years, and it's not that easy to just move a factory -- Trump : Look, we have some very talented people here. Think of the Manhattan Project. They didn't outsource any of that. Just assembled a crack team of engineers and -- boom -- next thing, we've won the war. Twitter, Facebook -- did you know I've got nearly a billion followers between all of that, and I don't even try! -- all built in the USA. Apple needs to build some factories in the USA, Tim, or you're going to be sorry. Very sorry. Cook:  Well, of course, if we could bring some of that cash back from overseas -- Trump :  Of course, of course, I've always said that we're going to do that on day one, high priority for me and my team. You don't need to be worried about that. Cook:  -- then we can talk about maybe reinvesting some of that in the US. We have very high interest in our US divisions, and of course, with all the new product categories we're working on, we will definitely have our eyes on US manufacturing. Not for the iPhone, but of course, when the right project comes along, we'll certainly have the US on our list of options. Trump :  Tremendous.  
  • Don't Fall for This New Chrome Malware Scam (2017-01-18 13:38:00)
    Google Chrome users could be lured into downloading malware disguised as a fix for corrupted fonts, according to a recent report. Malicious hackers are breaking into poorly-protected websites, according to research by the security firm Proofpoint, and inserting JavaScript that waits for Chrome browsers to be referred to the sites via search engines. At that point, a fake Chrome dialogue box pops up, informing users that they need to download a file that looks like a font installer package.
  • Facebook dismissive of censorship, abuse concerns, rights groups allege (2017-01-18 13:33:06)
    Nearly 80 rights groups on Wednesday accused Facebook of "racially biased censorship" and failing to be more transparent about its removal policies and cooperation with law enforcement, adding to criticism the company has faced in recent months over its management of content on its network of 1.8 billion users. The sharp rebuke, sent in response to a December letter from Senior Vice President Joel Kaplan, reflected increasing impatience among advocacy groups that say Facebook has inadequately addressed their concerns despite repeated promises of action from senior executives.
  • Get Ready for a Wraparound iPhone 8 (2017-01-18 13:32:02)
    Apple is planning three new handsets for later this year, including one that could come with a big, wraparound screen, according to a new report. In a note to investors on Wednesday, Cowen and Company analyst Timothy Arcuri said that he spoke with supply chain sources who told him Apple is planning an iPhone 8 this year that will come with a "fixed flex" screen. This design would mark the iPhone's 10th anniversary.
  • The lightest 13-inch laptop on the planet is only for serious business (2017-01-18 13:22:34)
    The laptop weighs 799 grams, which is 1.76 pounds. Lenovo had a 1.72 pound laptop back in 2015, the LaVie Z, but that laptop now starts at 1.87 pounds according to Lenovo's own website, and it's sold out. Fujitsu is light on details about the U937/P, other than the fact that it comes in black or red, is 15.5mm thick, and has a new Kaby Lake processor inside.
  • Want to know how much power Switch has? Zelda runs at 900p, 30 fps (2017-01-18 13:10:41)
    Nobody comes to Nintendo hoping for the hottest gaming hardware specs, but it's still important to know exactly how little power Nintendo is actually bringing to this console generation. The company recently confirmed to IGN that its flagship Zelda game, Breath of the Wild (which was originally announced for the Wii U, a Xbox 360-ish console power-wise), will run at 900p and 30 fps on the Switch when hooked up to a TV. The Switch's built-in screen is 720p, but Nintendo has confirmed the console can support 1080p when docked.
  • This NBA Jam hack adds 2017 players, along with Harambe, Hillary Clinton, Kanye (2017-01-18 13:09:34)
    In 1993, video game developer Midway published the first edition of NBA Jam. The basketball arcade game was ported to home consoles, stretched across sequels and spinoffs, lost in pop culture obscurity, rebooted, and most recently ported onto smartphones, where it occasionally bubbles onto Top 100 sales charts. Which is to say, NBA Jam has surprisingly sturdy legs for a goofy sports game.
  • Apple adds Touch Bar support and iCloud file sharing to music editing apps (2017-01-18 13:08:07)
    Apple has just updated both its consumer-friendly and pro-level music editing software to include more advanced file-sharing capabilities between the two apps, as well as support for the touch-sensitive Touch Bar on new MacBook Pro laptops. It also now includes the Alchemy software synthesizer, which was previously in Logic Pro X, Apple’s pro music software. On the Logic front, Logic Pro X 10.3 has Touch Bar support, which is a very Apple-y way of saying that you can do stuff in the app via the new touch-sensitive strip on the keyboard of the 2016 MacBook Pro.
  • Microsoft is begging you to ditch Windows 7 for Windows 10 (2017-01-18 13:02:31)
    If you're one of the many Windows users still hanging on to Windows 7 with a tight grasp, Microsoft wants you to know that it's not super happy about it. The company, which has already admitted that it used some shady tactics to get users to upgrade from 7, 8, and 8.1 to 10, is now trying a new approach by suggesting that continuing to use Windows 7 will inevitably lead to security issues for you as a user. In a new blog post by Microsoft Germany, the company warns users that keeping an iron grip on Windows 7 is a really bad idea. Windows boss Markus Nitschke suggests that the aging operating system "does not meet the requirements of modern technology, nor the high security requirements of IT departments," adding "With Windows 10, we offer our customers the highest level of security and functionality." The company also warns that because of the age of the operating system, security updates won't plug all the holes. "Windows 7 is based on long-outdated security architectures. Three years before the end of the support, corporate customers in particular should deal with the transition to a modern operating system in good time," the post reads. "Companies and users who [still use] Windows 7 with their sensitive data within three years are faced with enormous dangers." Windows 7 launched in 2009, and with the utter failure of Windows Vista still haunting Microsoft, the new operating system helped the company regain the good will of many longtime Windows fans. In a way, Vista is still an issue for Microsoft, as users who are now comfortable and happy with Windows 7 will be even more difficult to convince, having the memory of the XP-to-Vista debacle still relatively fresh in their memories. That being said, Windows 10 is largely considered to be a good upgrade for most users, save for the goofy smartphone-esque bloatware it brings with it, so if you're still a Windows 7 user, you'll probably be pretty comfortable with the upgrade once you dive in.
  • Slack adds threaded messages to take the clutter out of public channels (2017-01-18 13:00:02)
    Slack today is rolling out message threads inside its familiar chat window, allowing teams to have more focused conversations inside a new "flex pane" that appears next to the main chat. Threads are rolling out today across Slack's web, desktop, and mobile apps. The idea of message threading is not an original one — it is used by some of Slack’s rivals, such as Convo, and is a foundational principle of email, which Slack has noisily promised to kill.
  • How to set up two-factor authentication for your Google account (2017-01-18 12:57:00)
    Two-factor authentication is a simple way to add an extra layer of security to your Google account. Here's how to get it set up.
  • Last year was the hottest year on record, again (2017-01-18 12:41:49)
    The results are in: 2016 was the hottest year on record, marking the third year in a row that climate records have been broken. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and NASA jointly declared the finding on Wednesday, using two different data sets and methodologies to reach the same conclusion: we're kinda screwed. According to the NOAA, average surface temperatures for the year were 0.07 degrees Fahrenheit warmer than 2015, and eight months were individually the hottest since records began in 1880. NASA's data actually suggests things are worse: according to the space agency, average surface temperatures rose 0.22 degrees last year. Yes, El Niño contributed to warm temperatures last year, particularly the run of warm months earlier in 2016. As that's an event that only occurs once every few years (and has now concluded), it is unlikely that we're on track for another record-breaking year in 2017. But that's not even remotely a sign that global warming is slowing down. Instead, as one NASA administrator told the  Washington Post , "We don’t expect record years every year, but the ongoing long-term warming trend is clear." 2016 is the fifth year since 2000 that has been the hottest on record. Statistics aside, 2016 was also a bad year for events that can be linked to climate change. Sea ice levels were at record lows for much of the year, a catastrophic wildfire early in the fire season engulfed an entire Canadian city, and Australia's Great Barrier Reef was badly impacted by rising sea temperatures.
  • General Motors to pay $1 million to resolve SEC accounting case tied to ignition switch (2017-01-18 12:39:57)
    General Motors Co has agreed to pay $1 million to resolve a U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission accounting case related to a faulty ignition switch linked to 124 deaths and 275 injuries, the regulator said on Wednesday. The deal would resolve charges that accounting control failures at the automaker prevented GM from properly assessing the potential financial impact of the defective ignition switch, which led to vehicle recalls beginning in 2014, the SEC said. The largest U.S. automaker said in a statement it consented to an administrative SEC order, without admitting or denying any wrongdoing.
  • Trump wants to use a tagline from The Purge as his 2020 campaign slogan (2017-01-18 12:32:00)
    This fact was revealed in an interview with The Washington Post, published this morning. The interviewer did not mention to Trump that the phrase is already the tagline of the 2016 horror film The Purge: Election Year, a film about income inequality and mass murder in the nation’s capital.
  • The best thing to do if your iPhone 6/6s battery keeps dying at 30% (2017-01-18 12:22:34)
    Apple's iPhone lineup separates itself from rival smartphone brands in so many ways, and one of them has always been longevity. Anyone who has owned the same Android phone for more than two years knows that performance seriously degrades over time. And then there's the fact that you stop getting major software updates after two years — or even 18 months, sometimes. Meanwhile Apple's iPhones get software updates for years, and they stand the test of time very well... usually. In the case of the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6s, however, a huge bug was recently introduced in a software update and it's causing phones' batteries to die at 30%. In some cases if you have an iPhone 6s, Apple will swap out your battery for free and that might help. You can visit this page on the Apple website to see if you're eligible for a battery replacement. If you're not eligible or if you have a different phone, there's really only one thing you can do while you wait for Apple to fix the problem with a software update. Check out the Anker Ultra Slim Extended Battery Case for iPhone 6 / 6s , which more than doubles your iPhone 6 or 6s' battery life. It's the best-selling battery case on Amazon, and it's on sale for 66% off right now. Here are some highlights from the product page: Media's #1: Recommended by Time Magazine and The Wall Street Journal. The '#1 iPhone 6 battery case' according to The Wirecutter. 120% Longer Battery Life: 2850mAh capacity provides an extra 60 hours audio, 17 hours 3G talktime, 13 hours video, 12 hours web browsing or 3 hours 3D gaming to your iPhone 6 / 6s. Incredibly Slim: More than double your iPhone's battery life without doubling its size (adds only 0.23in & 2.9oz). Deluxe matte exterior provides secure grip. Apple MFi Certified: Complete charge and sync compatibility with the iPhone 6 / 6s. Transfer data or charge phone using the included Micro USB cable (no need to remove battery case). What You Get: Anker® Ultra Slim Battery Case for iPhone 6 / 6s, Micro USB cable, audio jack extender, welcome guide, our worry-free 18-month warranty and friendly customer service.
  • Julian Assange’s lawyer says Obama still hasn’t met standards for extradition promise (2017-01-18 12:19:52)
    A lawyer for WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange says that President Barack Obama hasn’t met Assange’s standards for a promise to face extradition, something WikiLeaks claimed he would do if Obama granted whistleblower Chelsea Manning clemency. “Mr. Assange had called for Chelsea Manning to receive clemency and be released immediately,” said Pollack.
  • Hulu’s offline playback is coming soon (2017-01-18 12:15:29)
    Hulu has been talking about adding the ability to download movies and TV shows for offline viewing for a while now, but in a recent interview with AdWeek, Hulu CEO Mike Hopkins is gave a rough timetable on when to expect the feature, saying that “It's something that we're going be doing in a few months. Netflix — one of Hulu’s biggest competitors when it comes to streaming video — notably added the ability to watch content offline back in November of last year, along with Amazon Video and Vudu, which also offer the feature. In Netflix’s case, not all of the company’s streaming catalog is available for download, something that will likely be the case with Hulu as well, based on Hopkins’ statement.
  • Renault-Nissan's Ghosn intent on staying ahead in electric cars (2017-01-18 12:05:20)
    By Ben Hirschler DAVOS, Switzerland (Reuters) - Renault-Nissan has sold more than 400,000 electric cars globally and the leader in plug-in vehicles is planning further investment to maintain its market lead, the chief executive of the auto alliance said. Carlos Ghosn disclosed the figure during an interview with Reuters on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum in Davos. "We are going to increase investment, we are going to have lot of new cars coming, better batteries, better performance, lower prices," Ghosn said on Wednesday.
  • GM resolves SEC accounting case tied to ignition switch (2017-01-18 12:03:46)
    NEW YORK (Reuters) - General Motors Co has agreed to pay $1 million to resolve a U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission accounting case related to a faulty ignition switch linked to 124 deaths and 275 injuries, the regulator announced on Wednesday.
  • Following Netflix and Amazon, Hulu will soon let you download movies and shows (2017-01-18 12:00:13)
    Back in 2015, Amazon Prime Video became the first streaming service to allow its users to download content to their phones and tablets. Netflix followed suit last November , and on Wednesday, Hulu announced that it intends bring movie and TV show downloads to its platform as well at some point in 2017. Speaking with AdWeek , Hulu CEO Mike Hopkins said the following when asked about whether or not his company's service would give users the ability to download content to their devices and watch offline: "Yes, it's definitely on our road map. It's something that we're going be doing in a few months. We're working hard on the technology around that and getting the rights squared away." Presumably, Hulu will have to contend with the same hurdles as Prime Video and Netflix, which means only a limited amount of the content available on the service will be eligible to download. Downloadable content is certainly an important addition for Hulu, especially now that both of its biggest competitors have brought the feature to their services, but the company is also focused on its upcoming live streaming bundle , which is expected to launch "in the next few months" for under $40. Hopkins had previously confirmed that Hulu's live TV package will feature both CBS programming and a cloud DVR feature at launch , which gives it a significant leg up on DirecTV Now. Between downloadable content and a live TV bundle, Hulu is primed to have its biggest year ever in 2017.
  • Home Gym Upgrade: 9 New Things You Need (2017-01-18 12:00:00)
    From a better BOSU ball to the essential foam roller, here's the home gym equipment every guy needs.
  • 10 things you might not know about Apple’s AirPods (2017-01-18 11:55:32)
    Apple fans, we have good news and bad news. The bad news is that if you want to get your hands on Apple's hot new truly wireless earbuds anytime soon, it's the same old story. You can either keep your eyes glued to one of several available AirPods inventory tracking websites, or you can pay a bit of a premium and order them on Amazon . The good news is that if you're among the thousands upon thousands of people who have already managed to score a pair of AirPods, we're going to show you some cool features that have been hiding under your nose — or rather, in your ears — this whole time. You can pair AirPods with any Bluetooth device. Many people are under the impression that AirPods use special wireless technology enabled by Apple's W1 chip, and they only work with iPhones and iPads. This is a classic example of Apple's marketing magic sending the wrong message. The W1 is cool and it simplifies the pairing process with compatible Apple devices, but AirPods are Bluetooth headphones. That's right, regular old Bluetooth headphones. They can be paired with any Bluetooth device. You can see the AirPods' remaining charge in Control Center. With your AirPods connected to your iPhone, swipe up from the bottom of any screen to open the Control Center, then swipe over to the music tab. Tap on your AirPods and you'll see the remaining charge. You can see the AirPods' remaining charge on the battery widget. Add the battery widget to your iPhone's widgets page and you'll always be a tap and a swipe away from knowing exactly how much juice is left in your AirPods. If you don't see them listed in the widget right after you add it to your widgets page, tap the "show more" link on the widget. You can see remaining charge in your AirPods and your case by opening the case next to your iPhone. If you have an Apple device equipped with the W1 chip (iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus only, for now) you can see the remaining charge in your AirPods and the carrying case simply by opening the case next to your phone. You'll then see a little pop up that looks like this: You can see the AirPods' remaining charge on your Apple Watch. Have an Apple Watch? As long as your AirPods are connected to your iPhone, you can see the remaining charge in your AirPods by swiping up from the bottom of your Watch's home screen and then tapping the battery button. You can rename your AirPods. Open the Settings app on your iPhone and then tap Bluetooth. Tap the "i" icon next to your AirPods while they're connected, and then on the next page tap the "Name" field. You can change the double-tap function on AirPods. On that same screen within the AirPods settings, you'll see a section titled "double-tap on AirPods." Beneath that, you can change the setting so that a double-tap on an AirPod will play/pause/answer/hang up instead of waking Siri. You can also turn double-tap off completely. You can transfer voice calls from your iPhone to your AirPods automatically. One last time on the same screen in the Settings app, make sure "Automatic Ear Detection" is toggled to on. As long as it is, you can move a voice call from your iPhone to your AirPods simply by placing one of them in your ear. You can adjust the volume on your AirPods using the Apple Watch's digital crown. This is an awesome tip for AirPods users who also have an Apple Watch. Open the Music app on your Watch while music is streaming to your AirPods and you can increase or decrease the volume on your AirPods simply by twisting the digital crown in either direction. No, the AirPods don't feature contactless wireless charging. Apple's AirPods design is fantastic, but there's a misconception out there that the charging case features contactless wireless charging. Sadly, that's simply not true. The metal tip at the bottom of each AirPod stem is more than just a sleek design feature. Those metal tips also touch charging contacts when the AirPods are seated in the case.
  • What do we think of Mozilla’s new logo? (2017-01-18 11:53:16)
    After months of publicly sharing its brand-redesign process, Mozilla has settled on a new logo from the shortlist of seven finalists. The new logo is a wink at its internet roots, replacing the “ill” in Mozilla with “://” instead. The font choice has also improved a bit from what we last saw in August (the wordmark now uses an original typeface created for the company), but it’s still pretty plain and simple.
  • Why car companies are trying to imitate Uber and Lyft (2017-01-18 11:50:33)
    Mark Fields, President and CEO of Ford, speaks about Chariot transit service. Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images Car companies want to sell as many cars as possible. This is an indisputable fact. But lately they’ve been trying to speak the language of a post-ownership future. They see Uber and Lyft and the trend of more people moving to cities and abandoning their cars, and they’re anxious. They know there is a problem with too many cars on the road and too much traffic and pollution. So they decided to lean into the “mobility” trend and see where it takes them. Ford spun off its own LLC. ...
  • Earth keeps breaking its own temperature record (2017-01-18 11:48:11)
    Earth set a new heat record in 2016, marking the third year of record-setting temperatures, according to reports from multiple organizations. The National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration wrote today that the average global temperature in 2016 was 58.69 degrees Fahrenheit, or 1.69 degrees Fahrenheit above the 20th century average.
  • Tidal will now let you edit the length and tempo of tracks (2017-01-18 11:42:34)
    The feature, which looks to be slowly rolling out to mobile users, will let you edit tracks by clicking the option button while playing any song, and then save the edited track to a new or existing playlist.
  • SpaceX is back to launching rockets again, but pressure is still high after last year’s failure (2017-01-18 11:33:17)
    SpaceX successfully returned to flight after launching its Falcon 9 from Vandenberg Air Force Base. SpaceX celebrated the first flight of its Falcon 9 rocket in over four and a half months on Saturday, with a remarkably smooth launch of the vehicle from California. The Falcon 9 had previously been grounded since September, after one of the rockets exploded on a launchpad in Florida during a routine fueling procedure.
  • Former iPhone engineer says Apple is no longer a ‘dynamic change-maker’ (2017-01-18 11:28:58)
    Just one week after Peter Thiel boldly proclaimed that Apple's era of tech dominance was coming to an end, a former engineer who helped work on the iPhone echoed this same exact point of view, albeit with an insider's perspective. During an interview with CNBC this week, Bob Burrough explained why he believes Apple is no longer the 'dynamic change-maker' it once was. The crux of Burrough's argument is interesting, insofar that it's one we haven't really seen before. As Burrough tells it, Apple during the Steve Jobs era was no stranger to conflict and organized chaos. The end result, Burrough says, was a culture that fostered creativity and allowed innovation to flourish. With Tim Cook now running things, Burrough argues that Apple may have become a more amiable place to work but that the spark of innovation that characterized Apple under Jobs is no longer present. "At Apple in 2007, organizationally it was the wild west," Burrough explains. "I was hired under a particular manager, but for the first two years worked on projects that had virtually nothing to do with that manager's core responsibility. That's because the organization wasn't the priority, the projects were the priority. "It was the exact opposite of 'not my job'', Burrough added. "It was 'I'm here to solve whatever problems I can, irrespective of my role, my title, or to whom I report.' It was wild. But it was also very rewarding, because everything you did had maximal impact on the product." Not stopping there, Burrough late on Tuesday night took to Twitter where he bemoaned the current state of Apple in 140 character increments. Burrough also referenced Tim Cook's firing of Scott Forstall, an executive who, according to reports, didn't exactly get along with the rest of Apple's upper tier of executives. "Tim Cook fired Scott Forstall and aligned the executive staff so as to have peace... which is to say there is no conflict," Burrough said. "Executives aren't competing with each other anymore. And, Tim's message was loud and clear: 'Don't bring me conflict.' The result is the conflict is pushed lower in the organization. The proportion of middle managers has exploded." You can check out Burrough's full tweetstorm over here .
  • IBM offers the only cloud secure enough for the US Army (2017-01-18 11:02:41)
    IBM recently signed a $62M deal with the US Army to build and operate a private cloud data center in Huntsville, Alabama.
  • This ultra thin iPhone 7/7 Plus case is made out of body armor (2017-01-18 11:01:35)
    When choosing an iPhone 7 case or an iPhone 7 Plus case, people generally need to decided between something that offers good protection but adds a lot of bulk, or something that’s nice and thin but does precious little in the event that a phone is dropped. It makes sense, of course — thicker cases offer better protection, while thinner cases are more about style. As it turns out, there actually is a case that offers solid protection without adding bulk to your iPhone. How does it accomplish what so many other cases cannot? Simple: It’s made out of Aramid, the same revolutionary material used to build body armor. Definitely check out the PITAKA Aramid Fibre Super Slim Fit Case for the iPhone 7 or  PITAKA Aramid Fibre Super Slim Fit Case for the iPhone 7 Plus . Theses cases are shockingly thin at just 0.65mm, but they offer the same level of protection you’d find in a tactical body armour vest. Some highlights from the product pages: Slim and Sensuous With "Body Armor Grade" Protection and ZERO Compromise, made possible with Aramid Fiber. Now, your phone is protected with the same material used in body armor, spacecraft, jet engines, and Formula 1 Race cars. Yet, your it retains the thinness of your iPhone the day you purchased it -- before it was covered up with a thick bulky case. Enjoy your "almost naked' iPhone with a case that is thinner than a dime. Thickness 0.03 inch. Min. Weight 0.36 oz. So light that you even will not feel the weight increase to your phone. Yet, with unparalleled protection from everyday "real world" drops. A Baby-skin 3D-Grip touch. Texture you need to feel to believe. It almost clings to your hand without feeling sticky. Extraordinarily scratch resistant. A protective three-layer coating and manual polishing is applied to each phone case. Now feel confident carrying your phone in purse or pocket along with keys and coins. Easily and naturally access all buttons and ports. Each opening is not only accurately aligned, but also at natural "surface level." No longer do need to use your pinky's fingernail to dig under a thick case toggle the Ring/Silent button. Fits your phone perfectly. Our secret process for vacuum forming technology ensures the cases are perfectly formed to the phone size. No metallic properties mean zero signal interference. The case is also harmoniously paired our exclusive, custom designed - premium ballistic 0.33 mm Tempered Glass Screen Protector.
  • As Moscow considers ditching Outlook on 600,000 PCs, how hard could Russia's anti-US software laws hit Microsoft? (2017-01-18 10:46:49)
    Is Microsoft now facing the prospect of a mass defection in Russia?
  • There's a new Gmail phishing attack going around, and it's fooling everyone (2017-01-18 10:40:28)
    Tech professionals don't generally fall for phishing attacks: They know what to look for and when to be suspicious. One new attack, however, is even fooling the experienced.
  • 10 paid iPhone apps on sale for free right now (2017-01-18 10:34:12)
    We've got some terrific sales on iPhone and iPad apps for you to check out today, including one app that will record your iPhone's screen while you browse the web so you can share those recordings with friends or use them to explain things to someone who needs help. There's also a nifty calendar app, a great tool for Snapchat users, a couple of fun games, and plenty more. Check them all out below and remember that these sales could be over at any time. These are paid iPhone and iPad apps that have been made available for free for a limited time by their developers. There is no way to tell how long they will be free. These sales could end an hour from now or a week from now — obviously, the only thing we can guarantee is that they were free at the time this post was written. If you click on a link and see a price listed next to an app instead of the word “get,” it is no longer free. The sale has ended. If you download the app, you will be charged. Backup PRO Normally $2.99. - Records Browser user interactions with a Web site on the iPhone, iPad or iPod touch. -It comes with a fully featured built-in web browser for your convenience and allows you to record your best browsing sessions with one-tap! Notice: Rec records screen sessions that take place inside the app and the app's built-in web browser Download Backup PRO Week Calendar Pro Normally $1.99. A different approach to working with calendars. Fully customizable week calendar to link all your calendars to. Week Calendar Pro allows you to fully customize what you what to see on your calendar through a nice drop down preset that you can quickly switch between. Add unlimited presets to filter out: - Days (show/hide any day) - Select which calendars to show - Select up to three working weeks (15 days) - Zoom in/out on hours or view 24 hours - Select which day is first day of week - Tap and hold to add new event - Drag existing events to reschdule - and many more to discover ... Download Week Calendar Pro Piku Piku Normally $1.99. Make and share animated GIFs or repeating video clips using your iPhone camera. Tap the shutter button once and Piku Piku does the rest. Praised by Apple ============= * Featured on iTunes homepage * Featured in Apps Enhanced with 3D Touch * Featured as Best New App * Featured in Make & Share GIFs * Featured on Product Hunt homepage * Press: Mashable, TheNextWeb, MacWorld, AppAdvice and more… ============= LIVE FILTERS Apply striking filters in real time to record the best gifs and videos FRONT SCREEN & REAR CAMERA FLASH Record gifs and videos, like never before, even in the dark SELF TIMER MODE Capture your fun moments by setting the timer for 3, 5, or 10 seconds GIF & VIDEO MODE Select to record either as a gif or video FRONT & REAR CAMERA Switch between front or rear camera PORTRAIT & LANDSCAPE Record gifs or videos in your choice of orientation Notification Center Widget Quickly bring up the front or rear camera right from the Notification Center, even from your Lock Screen 3D Touch Quick Actions for iPhone 6s Instantly bring up the front or rear camera to take a fun moving selfie or capture something interesting Piku Piku is brought to you by Americos, the makers of popular apps like Transbot, GIFO, Selfshot, Bee Email, Convoto and more. To know more about us, visit Download Piku Piku SnapViewer Normally $0.99. View Snaps from Snachat on your iPhone/iPad before you will see them. View Stories into Your iPhone/iPad, and Snap from Snachat App. ◉Disclaimer: This app is not affiliated with Snapchat, Inc.◉ Download SnapViewer Smart Alarm Clock Normally $1.99. *THE MOST ADVANCED ALARM CLOCK ALGORITHM TO DATE* *10, 000, 000 USERS CAN’T BE WRONG* All the coffee beans in Colombia won’t make you a morning person? Waking up seems like a drag? We created Smart Alarm Clock because mornings should suck less. HOW IT WORKS STEP 1. Select the time range when we want to wake up (e.g., 7am-7:20am). STEP 2. Drift to sleep happily tuning in to some amazing sounds. STEP 3. See colorful dreams with the phone next to our pillow, spying on all our movements and recording all sounds. “the part where magic happens* The smart algorithm of Smart Alarm Clock starts to track our sleep cycles. The alarm will only go off in the lightest sleep phase in our selected time range, when our body is naturally ready to wake up. STEP 4. Wake up to see cool graphs of our sleeping patterns and cycles. Listen to the recordings of us snoring, giggling, or calling out Jessica Biel’s name in our sleep. WHAT REAL USERS SAY “...wake up and not feel like a zombie is soo nice” “Great sounds for the alarm” “...almost scary hearing the noises that go on while you’re sleeping” “ far the best on the market” “Worth the money” “…PHENOMENAL” FEATURES: *6 sleep tracking modes *Power nap mode *Weather forecast *Customizable sleep screen *Great tunes for waking up and falling asleep (or add yours from iPod) *Cloud data backup From the creators of All-in Fitness and Studio. apps are featured by Apple every year and loved by over 10,000,000 users all over the world. Ready to start tracking? Download now! Download Smart Alarm Clock Budget and expense tracking Normally $2.99. Where did your money go? Try easy and simple expense tracker, It will tell yo. Not confusing or complicated to use! Perfect for tracking expenses quickly and completely. Exactly the type of app you looking for to compliment your busy lifestyle! Try it! - Budget, help you save money, set a goal! - Calendar, get your freely replacement query, navigate! - iCloud backup to help you protect data security, free replacement devices, sharing data between multiple devices! - Reports, help you analyze, statistics at any date! - Export excel (CVS) data, you can edit data on the PC side, let you to do more complex data statistics! - Multiple currency conversions, automatically calculated according to the exchange rate, update the latest Exchange rates to facilitate the travel of your life! - Edit the categories of cost, depending on your lifestyle, edit their own categories! - Rich technical support, mature technology team, senior technology architect, ensuring continuous updates! Enjoy it! Download Budget and expense tracking Cloud Keeper Normally $0.99. We are glad to present you CloudKeeper - handy tool for websites passwords storage. Make a note, fill the fields and done! Cloudkeeper will remember and synchronize notes via iCloud. Download Cloud Keeper Magical Beasts Normally $0.99. Let's catch some magical creatures! Hidden all around you are dozens of enchanted beasts, some cute and some treacherous. Use your camera to locate hidden creatures and catch them! How to Use: • Grab your magical camera • Begin a Spectral Location Scan (or S.L.S.) • Discover deviously hidden monsters and charms • Catch them before they escape • Can you find every hidden creature? Make sure your phone's camera is enabled to fully utilize your monster catching capabilities. Features: • Extensive monster log • Personalized creature profiles • The crew includes: Monstrous bigfoots, adorable yetis, boo-ful ghosts, squishy oozes, worried cupcakes, and many more Now get our there, and find some monsters! Download Magical Beasts Tones Normally $0.99. Tones makes music creation easy for everyone. It really couldn't be any simpler. Even if you can't play a musical instrument, you'll be making cool sounding tunes in no time. You don't need any musical experience at all! Tones is so simple that people of all ages, from young children to adults, can begin effortlessly tapping across sound pads and begin creating fun and interesting sounds that will impress your friends and keep you happily entertained for hours. Features: - Simply tap to activate or deactivate sound pads and start creating music straight away. - Choose from a carefully selected range of high quality sounds. - Adjust the speed of your tune in the tempo menu. - Add extra columns to add length to your music. - Shake your device to quickly and easily clear the display of active sound pads. Download Tones Map Locations Normally $1.99. Manage your favorite locations, save them in your maps, add an icon, color, rating or your own created tags. Add photos with notes and create visits sorted by date. Save your Map Locations files in iCloud Drive, Dropbox, Google Drive or send by email to share them with your friends or colleagues. Keep track of your locations, whether it's your number one shops & restaurants, or the places you visit as a sales representative or realtor. - Import and export your Map Location files - Import and export CSV files for use in Excel or Numbers - Export locations as PDF text document - Save your files to iCloud Drive, Dropbox or Google Drive - Import multiple contacts from your address book as locations - Filter your locations - Search through all your locations or existing points of interest - Get directions to a selected location - View your location in Google Maps - View locations as a list - Edit multiple locations at once using the list view - Move locations between maps - Change the size of the location pins - Choose from 100+ icons and 10+ colours - Create your own tags to identify and filter your locations - Add visits to your locations - Add photos with notes - When info is added open website, email or phone with one click - Restore deleted locations - Email selected locations as text The free version is limited to 10 locations, upgrade to create as many locations as you like. Download Map Locations
  • You can now control Vizio SmartCast devices through Google Home (2017-01-18 10:23:13)
    Vizio’s SmartCast devices can now be controlled directly through Google Home, in essence adding voice controls to Vizio’s latest speakers and TVs. It’s a natural move forward for Vizio, which has been making SmartCast — the company’s branding for its smart TVs and speakers with integrated Chromecast support — devices for a while now, including it’s P-, M-, and E-series TVs and a variety of Wi-Fi-connected speakers.
  • Trump claims Tim Cook has his ‘eyes open’ to moving Apple production to the US (2017-01-18 10:15:32)
    In an interview with Axios on Tuesday, President-elect Donald Trump says he recently spoke with Tim Cook about moving Apple production to the United States. Trump has repeatedly highlighted Apple as one of the companies he wants to push to build products Stateside. Cook was among the many tech leaders Trump met with in December, during which he told guests they can call him directly if they need anything, because “we have no formal chain of command around here.” It’s unclear whether the conversation Trump referenced to Axios took place during that meeting, immediately after Trump was declared the winner of the election, or more recently.
  • Transhumanism: Should we use robotics to enhance humans? (2017-01-18 10:12:49)
    Many worry about superhuman AI. But what about human augmentation? Here's why transhumanism, a philosophy that considers melding humans and machines, has become an increasingly relevant force in AI.
  • Verizon is about to cripple your Galaxy Note 7 and you can’t do anything to stop it (2017-01-18 10:07:29)
    Verizon may have been late to take measures against its customers who still use the recalled Galaxy Note 7, but the carrier is ready to significantly step up its game and force every single Galaxy Note 7 user out there to finally swap out their phablets. The mobile operator has a new trick to force you to give up the fire hazard you still keep in your pocket, and the new measure will probably convince you. Oh, and unlike software updates that you might have avoided so far, there’s nothing you can do to stop Verizon this time. Thousands of Verizon customers still use the Galaxy Note 7, the carrier told Fortune . But these people will soon be unable to make calls from the phone. All non-emergency calls will be automatically diverted to customer service moving forward. Verizon, like many carriers around the world, issued a special Galaxy Note 7 update a few weeks ago that should have crippled the phone and stopped it from being able to recharge. Tech-savvy users were able to avoid the update, but they won’t be able to avoid Verizon’s newest measure. "In spite of our best efforts, there are still customers using the recalled phones who have not returned or exchanged their Note 7 to the point of purchase," a Verizon spokeswoman said. "The recalled Note 7s pose a safety risk to our customers and those around them." Fortune further adds that Galaxy Note 7 users have been reimbursed for the cost of the phone, so Verizon might also bill holdouts for the full retail cost of the phone. The carrier said that customers who turn in the phone are still eligible for a bill credit of up to $100 and a waived upgrade fee. Samsung, meanwhile, will reveal what caused the Galaxy Note 7 explosions at some point this month — most likely on January 23rd, according to recent reports.
  • Silicon Valley IPO contender DocuSign hires CEO after long search (2017-01-18 10:05:01)
    By Heather Somerville SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - After a marathon search lasting more than a year, Silicon Valley company DocuSign announced on Wednesday it hired a new chief executive. DocuSign, a $3 billion company that makes software to add legally compliant electronic signatures to documents, hired Dan Springer to take the top job. Springer has experience taking companies public and looks set to be tasked with preparing DocuSign for an initial public offering, which is widely expected for this year.
  • Report: 57% of businesses can't find enough IT security pros (2017-01-18 10:00:05)
    IT security decision makers say their teams lack the staff and skills needed to combat sophisticated cyberattacks, according to a new report from Osterman Research and Trustwave.
  • The author of The Martian is writing a NASA TV pilot for CBS (2017-01-18 09:57:23)
    The Martian was a huge success in both bookstores and movie theaters, and it catapulted author Andy Weir into a rarified atmosphere when it comes to science fiction authors. Deadline reported that CBS has given a pilot order for Mission Control, a NASA-themed drama that “revolves around the next generation of NASA astronauts and scientists who juggle their personal and professional lives” during a critical mission. The Martian was an intriguing novel because of its studious attention to realism (with some liberties) as astronaut Mark Watney struggled to survive on the surface of Mars.
  • How to more effectively manage mobile devices in Google's G Suite (2017-01-18 09:42:35)
    A recent redesign of G Suite added a host of new MDM features for administrators. Here's how you can choose the best options for your organization.
  • 80% of IoT apps not tested for vulnerabilities, report says (2017-01-18 09:28:06)
    A new report from the Ponemon Institute, IBM, and Arxan claims that just 20% of IoT apps and 29% of mobile apps are actually tested for vulnerabilities, raising security concerns.
  • Would you live stream a dinner date to the whole world? (2017-01-18 09:23:13)
    For some background, that’s a film about a man who doesn’t know his entire life and world is just a facade constructed for the purpose of a popular 24-hour live stream television program. The owner, Joe Barbour, says the last couple of years have been personally thrilling for him because they’ve seen the advent of Facebook Live, Meerkat, and Periscope — all the technology he needed to make a live stream restaurant a reality without paying zillions of dollars for professional equipment. Lizzie Plaugic: After deciding on a location in Brooklyn’s Prospect Heights, it took Barbour only four months to go from empty space to den of perpetual live-streaming (with voodoo-themed decor).
  • Google app for Android will save results in case of bad connection (2017-01-18 09:13:52)
    Google has announced that its Android app will now save search results so that going into airplane mode, or losing your connection, won't get in the way of your search.
  • Jerry Seinfeld has two brand new stand-up specials coming to Netflix (2017-01-18 09:13:06)
    Back in the day, comedy fans looking to scope out the hottest stand-up acts in the country had to have either an HBO subscription or, to a lesser extent, a cable package with Comedy Central . These days, however, all you really need to keep up with the latest and greatest from the world of stand-up comedy is a Netflix subscription. In just the latest example which highlights Netflix's unrivaled ability to secure top-notch original comedy, the streaming giant this week announced a new deal with Jerry Seinfeld that will see the famed comedian bring his highly regarded and award-winning  Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee  web series to the site by the end of the year. Per the deal, Seinfeld will deliver 24 new episodes of the show over the next few years. Not only that, but the deal will also see Seinfeld release not one but two brand new stand-up specials that will be available exclusively on Netflix. This is a huge score that firmly cements Netflix as the destination for top-notch stand-up comedy. You might recall that Netflix in just the last few months alone also managed to secure exclusive stand-up specials from comedy A-listers Chris Rock and Dave Chappelle. "When I first started thinking about Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee ," Seinfeld said in a press release regarding the deal, "the entire Netflix business model consisted of mailing out DVDs in envelopes. I love that we are now joining together, both at very different points. "I am also very excited to be working with Ted Sarandos at Netflix," Seinfeld added, "a guy and a place that not only have the same enthusiasm for the art of stand up comedy as I do, but the most amazing technology platform to deliver it in a way that has never existed before. I am really quite charged up to be moving there." Netflix hasn't exactly been shy about its desire to secure original programming across all genres, but the streaming giant's commitment towards signing up the best comedic talent in the business has largely been overlooked. So while shows like Stranger Things and Narcos deservedly receive the lion's share of media attention, Netflix has been steadily carving out a reputation for having the most cutting edge stand-up specials from the most sought after comedians on the planet, with Jim Gaffigan, Bo Burnham and John Mulaney being just three of many examples.
  • Google Pixel Too Pricey? Wait for Cheap Android One Phones (2017-01-18 09:06:03)
    Google launched its Android One initiative back in 2014 to bring low-cost phones to the developing world that would continue to get feature and security updates. According to a report from The Information, Google will be trying its hands at low-cost phones in the United States, with the first handset launching by the middle of the year between $200 and $300. Google is reportedly paying for marketing efforts for this first handset, and its possible that LG is among the handset creators we'll see first.
  • One Big Reason Not to Buy Nintendo Switch (2017-01-18 09:04:00)
    The Nintendo Switch is a pretty versatile gaming machine, but don't count on it replacing your home streaming box anytime soon. According to several reports, Nintendo's $299 portable/home console hybrid won't have any significant entertainment features when it releases on March 3, meaning you'll have to get your Netflix and Hulu fix elsewhere. Business Insider spoke to Nintendo's Kit Ellis, who said that the Switch "won't have many multimedia features at launch." While this doesn't rule out the possibility of popular streaming apps coming to the platform later this year, it seems like you'll be strictly playing games on the Switch on release date (and besides the stunning new Zelda title, there aren't many notable launch games).
  • Mossberg: Lousy ads are ruining the online experience (2017-01-18 09:00:04)
    To watch that 14-second clip, I had to suffer through a 30-second ad for something so irrelevant to me that I can’t even recall what it was. The length and content of that video ad Saturday was, in my view, way out of proportion to the length and value of the clip itself. Yes, I understand that ads pay for subscription-free online content.
  • These six-wheeled robots are about to start delivering food in the US (2017-01-18 09:00:02)
    Starship Technologies announced the first two commercial partnerships for its ground-based delivery robots in the US today — one with DoorDash in Redwood City, California, and one with Postmates in Washington, DC. The commercial trials will see these services start making deliveries in the coming weeks using Starship’s six-wheeled robots within a four-mile-wide test area in each city. The DoorDash trial will take place in Redwood City’s downtown business district, and Starship will run its Postmates pilot in the northwestern part of Washington, DC’s city limits.
  • This Is How Verizon Is Punishing Galaxy Note 7 Holdouts (2017-01-18 08:52:02)
    Verizon is having some trouble getting customers to give up their Galaxy Note 7 devices. Speaking to Fortune in an interview on Tuesday, a Verizon spokeswoman said that the company still has "thousands" of customers that haven't turned in the Galaxy Note 7 and continue to use the ill-fated handset on its network. The person added that they have skirted a Verizon software update that would have left the customers with a bricked Galaxy Note 7.
  • Sky9 founder highlights China deep tech as VC funding magnet (2017-01-18 08:44:03)
    Chinese start-ups in deep technology, including augmented and virtual reality, and artificial intelligence, will attract the most interest from venture capitalists, the founder of a Chinese venture capital firm said. Ron Cao, founder of Sky9 Capital, answered questions in the Reuters Global Markets Forum in Davos.
  • The smartest watches are still mechanical (2017-01-18 08:37:36)
    There was a little moment during this month’s Consumer Electronics Show where I discovered that I was surrounded by colleagues wearing regular, old school mechanical watches. Dan Seifert, Mark Linsangan, and I each had on a watch that knew only the time and date. This wouldn’t be odd if we were grade-school teachers, but the three of us are supposed to be at the forefront of technology, the vanguard that strides into the future ahead of everyone else and then passes (hopefully) informed judgment on how awesome it will be.
  • Android will now store Google searches offline and deliver them when you get signal (2017-01-18 08:33:10)
    Google is rolling out an update for its Android app that makes it easier to search the internet with an inconsistent internet connection. Users can make searches when offline and the Google app will store them, delivering the results later (with an optional notification) when the devices gets signal again. As Google product manager Shekhar Sharad writes in a blog post: “So the next time you lose service, feel free to queue up your searches, put your phone away and carry on with your day.
  • iPhone turns 10: Why it's still the smartphone to beat (2017-01-18 08:07:00)
    For the 10th anniversary of the iPhone, an IT pro reflects on some of the features that make Apple's innovative smartphone an epic success.
  • How to simplify your Debian/Ubuntu system updates with uCareSystem (2017-01-18 08:00:05)
    Have you ever wanted a simpler method of updating your Ubuntu and/or Debian systems? Want no longer. Here's how to simplify the process with the help of a single command line tool.
  • Mobility in 2017: More location-based apps and IoT advancements (2017-01-18 08:00:03)
    Mitch Black, president of mobile software company MOBI, talked with TechRepublic about what's coming up this year for enterprise mobility.
  • Wanted: An Amazon fridge that automatically reorders food (2017-01-18 07:30:01)
    Yeah, I know that's what Samsung's been saying for a few years already. Today's smart fridges require us humans to manually enter items on lists to track and replenish inventory. The more ambitious models expect us to launch an app while at the grocery store to view the content of the fridge via cameras mounted in the doors... which, of course, is silly in that distinctly Internet of Shit way.
  • CIO Jury: 50% of IT leaders will invest in IoT in 2017 (2017-01-18 07:00:05)
    IoT is rapidly expanding in the enterprise, but half of IT professionals say they do not have plans to implement those devices this year.
  • Why all hyperconverged infrastructure isn't created equal (2017-01-18 07:00:03)
    Hyperconverged infrastructure (HCI) is a hot topic. Here is some perspective on different solutions when discussing HCI with vendors.
  • Toshiba eyes stake sale in chip business as writedown looms: source (2017-01-18 06:53:53)
    By Makiko Yamazaki and Kentaro Hamada TOKYO (Reuters) - Toshiba Corp wants to sell a minority stake in its core semiconductor business and is considering potential buyers including U.S. partner Western Digital Corp , a source said, as the Japanese group prepares for a multi-billion-dollar writedown. The laptops-to-engineering conglomerate, still recovering from a $1.3 billion accounting scandal two years ago, shocked investors in December by announcing major cost overruns at a U.S. nuclear business it bought in 2015. The exact scale of that number is due to be made final next month, Toshiba said.
  • German e-car supplier Aumann plans stock market listing: sources (2017-01-18 06:29:57)
    German engineering group Aumann is planning a stock market-listing as the maker of parts for electric engines seeks cash for its expansion, people close to the matter said. Private equity owner MBB has asked Citi,Berenberg and Hauck & Aufhaeuser to start with preparations of an Aumann initial public offering, which may take place as early as April or May and see around 40 percent of Aumann's shares sold, the people added. Analysts at brokerage Equits said in a note last year that Aumann could be valued at 300 million euros ($320.49 million)including debt or 1.5 times Aumann's estimated 2017 sales in a potential IPO.
  • Ukraine's power outage was a cyber attack: Ukrenergo (2017-01-18 06:22:05)
    By Pavel Polityuk, Oleg Vukmanovic and Stephen Jewkes KIEV/MILAN (Reuters) - A power blackout in Ukraine's capital Kiev last month was caused by a cyber attack and investigators are trying to trace other potentially infected computers and establish the source of the breach, utility Ukrenergo told Reuters on Wednesday.     When the lights went out in northern Kiev on Dec. 17-18, power supplier Ukrenergo suspected a cyber attack and hired investigators to help it determine the cause following a series of breaches across Ukraine. Preliminary findings indicate that workstations and Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA) systems, linked to the 330 kilowatt sub-station "North", were influenced by external sources outside normal parameters, Ukrenergo said in comments emailed to Reuters.
  • Toshiba loses court appeal against EU cartel fine on joint venture (2017-01-18 06:09:26)
    By Waverly Colville BRUSSELS (Reuters) - Japanese consumer electronics group Toshiba on Wednesday lost an appeal against an EU cartel fine levied on its joint venture with Panasonic five years ago, after Europe's highest court said it had decisive influence over the business. The company was part of a group of seven cathode ray tube makers fined a total 1.47 billion euros by the European Commission in 2012 for fixing prices and restricting output for cathode ray tubes for televisions and computer screens for a decade. Toshiba subsequently challenged the EU competition enforcer's ruling at the Luxembourg-based General Court which cut the fine imposed on its MTPD joint venture to 82.8 million euros ($88.5 million) from 86.7 million euros.
  • India to consider Apple request for investment incentives with 'open mind' (2017-01-18 06:05:03)
    India will consider Apple's request for incentives to invest in the country with an "open mind", Information Technology Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad told reporters on Wednesday. "We will very much like Apple to come and have a base in India," Prasad said. Apple has sent a list of demands to the Indian government, seeking tax concessions and several other policy exemptions, as necessary pre-requisites before it starts production of its iPhones in India.
  • Microsoft is bringing Cortana to the Android lock screen (2017-01-18 06:04:47)
    Microsoft recently overhauled the user interface of Cortana on Android, but the company has more plans for the digital assistant. The software maker is currently testing out a new way to access Cortana from the Android lock screen, with just a swipe. It’s a new feature that’s clearly designed to replace Google’s own quick access, and to convince Android users to switch to Cortana.
  • Kiev power outage in December was cyber attack: Ukrenergo (2017-01-18 06:02:41)
    By Pavel Polityuk, Oleg Vukmanovic and Stephen Jewkes KIEV/MILAN (Reuters) - A power blackout in Ukraine's capital Kiev last month was caused by a cyber attack and investigators are trying to trace other potentially infected computers and establish the source of the breach, utility Ukrenergo told Reuters in emailed comments on Wednesday.     When the lights went out in northern Kiev on Dec. 17-18, power supplier Ukrenergo suspected a cyber attack and hired investigators to help it determine the cause following a series of breaches across the country. Preliminary findings indicate that workstations and Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA) systems, linked to the 330 kilowatt sub-station "North", were influenced by external sources outside of normal parameters, according to the comments emailed to Reuters.
  • New interracial couple emoji coming to Windows (2017-01-18 05:43:03)
    Emojis for interracial couples have been added to the latest Windows 10 Creator's update, expanding the usual de facto yellow-skinned characters with a range of options, pairings and skin tones.
  • Microsoft to add ebook store to Windows 10 (2017-01-18 05:40:12)
    Microsoft is reportedly planning to bring ebooks to the Windows Store. MSPoweruser reports that the new ebooks store will be integrated into the regular Windows Store alongside apps, games, music, TV shows, and movies. It appears Windows 10 users will be able to purchase books from a wide range of authors and publishers, and read them within Microsoft Edge.
  • ASML etches 'remarkable' 2016 profit (2017-01-18 05:37:20)
    ASML, the Dutch maker of machines used to etch computer processors and make memory chips, announced Wednesday a record 6.1 percent jump in full-year net profit. Net profit rose to 1.47 billion euros ($1.57 billion) and sales climbed more than 8.0 percent year-on-year to 6.79 billion euros, ASML said in a statement. It "has been a remarkable year for ASML on many fronts," chief executive Peter Wennink said from the high-tech company's headquarters in Veldhoven, in southern Netherlands.
  • Atomic clocks 'failed' onboard Galileo navigation satellites (2017-01-18 05:35:38)
    The European Space Agency announced Wednesday there were "failed" clocks onboard some of the 18 navigation satellites it has launched for Galileo, Europe's beleaguered rival to America's GPS. "Unfortunately we have right now the situation that we have failed rubidium clocks as well as failed hydrogen maser clocks" -- nine in total, Woerner said. Three rubidium and six hydrogen maser clocks are not working, said Woerner.
  • Surprise: Google is still tinkering with Google+ (2017-01-18 05:17:36)
    Sometimes you’re so deeply invested in a project that even when it’s just not working you can’t stop fiddling, telling yourself: “If I just change this one thing maybe it’ll all be fine.” So seems to be the situation with Google and Google+, the company’s also-ran social network. This week, the search giant announce a handful of changes for the service, including hiding “low-quality” comments by default, adding a zoom functionality for photos on the web, and bringing back its events feature — letting users create events and invite others. Google is still trying to make Google+ work, centering it around communities.
  • South Korea's Netmarble seeks M&As, U.S. expansion: founder (2017-01-18 04:33:49)
    South Korea's largest mobile game company, Netmarble Games Corp, is seeking more mergers and acquisitions and intellectual property rights to expand its share of the gaming market in North America and Europe, its founder said. The Tencent-backed firm - with plans for a public listing estimated at billions of dollars in the first half this year - aims to raise its ranking in key markets to reach its goal of becoming a global top 5 game company by 2020, Bang Jun-hyuk told Reuters. Netmarble wants to place within the top 10 in mobile games in China and Japan, Bang said on the sidelines of a news conference on Wednesday.
  • Julian Assange remains silent on extradition promise (2017-01-18 04:10:10)
    WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange welcomed President Obama’s decision to commute the prison sentence of Chelsea Manning on Thursday, but it is not clear whether he will agree to extradition to the US, as WikiLeaks previously said. "Ms. Manning is a hero, whose bravery should be applauded," Assange said in the statement released Tuesday. In a tweet published last week, WikiLeaks said: “If Obama grants Manning clemency Assange will agree to US extradition despite clear unconstitutionality of DoJ case.” The organization posted a similar tweet in September 2016.
  • Tesla will also make Model 3 motors at its Nevada Gigafactory (2017-01-18 03:50:45)
    The production of lithium-ion battery cells began at Tesla’s massive Nevada Gigafactory earlier this month, but in the future, the factory will make more than just batteries. As announced by Nevada Governor Brian Sandoval last night, and reported by Fortune and the Reno Gazette-Journal, Tesla is adding production for electric motors and gearbox components for its mass-market Model 3 sedan to the factory.
  • Fret not Vine fans, Twitter now looping short videos (2017-01-18 02:50:53)
    Vine may be dead, but parent company Twitter has developed a new feature that mimics the short-looping video experience.
  • Toshiba mulls chips business stake sale to Western Digital - source (2017-01-18 01:22:44)
    By Makiko Yamazaki and Kentaro Hamada TOKYO (Reuters) - Toshiba Corp is looking to sell a minority stake in its core semiconductor business to Western Digital Corp , a source said, in a bid to dull the blow from a looming multi-billion-dollar writedown on a U.S. nuclear acquisition. The laptops-to-engineering conglomerate, still recovering from a $1.3 billion accounting scandal, shocked investors last month by announcing cost overruns at a U.S. nuclear business it bought in 2015 which could now mean a charge against profit topping $4 billion. Toshiba does not have many options to offset the impact of this writedown that could wipe out its shareholders' equity.
  • CIA puts almost 12 million declassified files online for the first time (2017-01-18 01:07:15)
    The CIA has put almost 12 million pages of its records online, allowing anyone with an internet connection to browse 50 years worth of declassified intelligence reports, briefings, and other once-secret documents. Then-president Bill Clinton ordered the CIA to declassify secret documents that were more than 25 years old and of "historical value" in 1995, but the Agency didn't make the archives searchable until 2000. The database is known as CREST (CIA Records Search Tool), and making it available online has long been a target of journalists, academics, and researchers.
  • For driverless cars, a moral dilemma: Who lives or dies? (2017-01-18 00:25:09)
    Imagine you're behind the wheel when your brakes fail. As you speed toward a crowded crosswalk, you're confronted with an impossible choice: veer right and mow down a large group of elderly people, or ...
  • Toshiba mulls chips business stake sale to Western Digital : source (2017-01-18 00:02:06)
    By Makiko Yamazaki and Kentaro Hamada TOKYO (Reuters) - Toshiba Corp is looking to sell a minority stake in its core semiconductor business to Western Digital Corp , a source said, in a bid to dull the blow from a looming multi-billion-dollar writedown on a U.S. nuclear acquisition. The laptops-to-engineering conglomerate, still recovering from a $1.3 billion accounting scandal, shocked investors last month by announcing cost overruns at a U.S. nuclear business it bought in 2015 which could now mean a charge against profit topping $4 billion. Toshiba does not have many options to offset the impact of this writedown that could wipe out its shareholders' equity.
  • Toshiba in talks to sell chip business stake to Western Digital: source (2017-01-17 23:13:56)
    Toshiba Corp is in talks to sell a minority stake in its flash memory business to U.S. chips business partner Western Digital Corp in a bid to boost its capital base, a source briefed on the discussions said on Wednesday. Toshiba said in a statement earlier that it had been considering various options for its memory business, including a spin-off, but that nothing concrete had been decided. California-based data storage company Western Digital operates a NAND flash memory plant in the city of Yokkaichi in Mie prefecture with Toshiba.
  • Japanese toilet industry agrees to standardize complex bidet controls (2017-01-17 22:33:56)
    The Japan Sanitary Equipment Industry Association, a consortium of companies producing plumbing products including Toto, Panasonic, and Toshiba, has agreed to unify the iconography used on the often baffling control panels for Japanese toilets. The toilet manufacturers plan to implement the eight new pictogram on models released from this year onward, with a view to the system becoming an international standard. Much of Japan is currently engaged in a rush to make itself more welcoming to tourists ahead of the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo, and icon design has often been at the forefront of debate.
  • California finishes safety review of wells after blowout (2017-01-17 22:27:08)
    A California natural gas storage facility where a blowout spewed methane for nearly four months has completed a safety review required to resume operations, though it might never return to full capacity, ...
  • Something in space is killing off entire galaxies (2017-01-17 22:10:46)
    When we think about the survival of the human race we often focus on making sure our planet stays alive and habitable, but out there in the depths of space there are entire galaxies being killed off in a manner that is utterly perplexing scientists. A new paper ( PDF ) from researchers working at the International Centre for Radio Astronomy Research addresses the odd and extremely troubling trend and attempts to propose an answer for what exactly is leading literally thousands of galaxies to die premature deaths. After studying a whopping 11,000 galaxies in the general vicinity of our own, scientists now believe that a process called ram-pressure stripping is leading the ailing galaxies to be purged of their gas, preventing new stars from forming and leading them to sputter out far faster than would be expected. Without adequate gas to power new star formation, the galaxies simply get cold and die. “During their lifetimes, galaxies can inhabit halos of different sizes, ranging from masses typical of our own Milky Way to halos thousands of times more massive,” Toby Brown, the PhD candidate who headed the study, explains on the organization's website. “As galaxies fall through these larger halos, the superheated intergalactic plasma between them removes their gas in a fast-acting process called ram-pressure stripping." “You can think of it like a giant cosmic broom that comes through and physically sweeps the gas from the galaxies," Brown says. “If you remove the fuel for star formation then you effectively kill the galaxy and turn it into a dead object.” It's a disturbing notion, but there's good(ish) news; the process can take tens of millions of years to actually occur, so even if you were living in a galaxy where ram-pressure stripping was occurring, you'd be long dead before it could actually affect you in any way. That's reassuring... right?
  • State finishes safety review of wells after big gas blowout (2017-01-17 21:43:12)
    State officials say they completed safety reviews of wells at a Los Angeles gas storage facility where a blowout spewed methane for nearly four months. The Department of Conservation said Tuesday that ...
  • Samsung chief questioned behind closed doors in arrest warrant hearing (2017-01-17 21:34:44)
    A South Korean judge questioned Samsung Group leader Jay Y. Lee behind closed doors on Wednesday to decide whether he should be arrested over his alleged role in a corruption scandal that led parliament to impeach President Park Geun-hye. Lee, 48, in dark overcoat and purple necktie, did not answer questions from reporters on his way into the special prosecutor's office and then the Seoul Central District Court, where guards stopped journalists at the door. A special prosecutor on Monday said it would seek a warrant to arrest the third-generation leader of the country's largest conglomerate on suspicion of bribery, embezzlement and perjury.
  • Google’s Pixel is still the hottest Android phone in town (2017-01-17 21:06:15)
    Google’s pair of Pixel phones is a remarkable success for the company. Sure, they may have some flaws , but they’re still the hottest Android devices in town — if you can get one. A new report indicates that Pixel “demand is exceeding supply” at Verizon. Big Red is still the only US carrier selling Google’s Pixel and Pixel XL smartphone, and the investment has been paying off for the company. Verizon committed a $25 million marketing budget for the phone after its launch and continues to promote the phone, although spending has cooled. According to Fierce Wireless , Wave7 Research data shows that the Pixel phones remained hot-selling devices even after the holidays. “Along with Apple, Samsung, and Droid, the Pixel/XL continues to be heavily advertised—on an equal footing with top OEMs—at a price point of $10 (Pixel) or $15 (XL) per month with trade-in of a high-end smartphone,” the firm noted. “It is clear that demand is exceeding supply.” The firm conducted a survey of 50 carrier stores last week, concluding that the Pixel accounted for 9.5% of smartphone sales at Verizon last month. And it’s not just Verizon subscribers that are buying the phone. The Pixel and Pixel XL can be used with other US carriers, and T-Mobile specifically targeted the handsets with a promotion not too long ago. “AT AT&T/T-Mobile/Sprint stores, 39% of reps (13 of 33) are aware of an average of ~2 Pixel activations each at these 13 stores,” Wave7 Research wrote. “Most Pixel XL SKUs are shipping in March and most Pixel SKUs are out of stock as well.” Comparatively, the iPhone 7 remained strong, Wave7 said, as the iPhone’s share of sales was up at every carrier other than Sprint. The iPhone 7 is slightly outselling the iPhone 7 Plus, the research company noted. “Sales of the iPhone 7 exceeded sales of the iPhone 7 Plus at all four carriers, but the gap narrowed significantly from prior months, now that iPhone 7 Plus supply is greatly improved,” Wave7 said.
  • Yahoo Japan defies calls to rethink ivory sales as Yahoo Inc CEO weighs in (2017-01-17 21:05:06)
    By Yoshiyasu Shida and Deborah M. Todd TOKYO/SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Yahoo Japan, the country's biggest online auction site, is rebuffing calls to end online ivory trading despite Yahoo Inc CEO Marissa Mayer's misgivings over facilitating a business blamed for the illegal slaughter of African elephants. Yahoo Japan doesn't accept that ivory sold on its platform - supposedly imported into Japan before a 1989 ban on international shipments - is a factor behind the sharp rise in poaching on the African savannah in recent years. Dismissing animal rights campaigners' concerns, even though the ivory business contributes a fraction of its sales, Yahoo Japan also argues that so long as no laws are broken people should be able to trade whatever they like on the internet.
  • Apple fans, let your freak flag fly (2017-01-17 20:30:25)
    The Jony Ive-narrated introductory video for the Apple Pencil is without question the most cringeworthy video Apple has ever produced. Seriously, it’s like a parody of an Apple video produced by Apple. Watch it again right here if you don't remember it. Ive speaks with such passion, diving deep into the intricate details and the magic behind the creation of… a friggin stylus. Sure, it’s a nice stylus, but at the end of the day it’s still… a friggin stylus. If you own an Apple Pencil, you’re obviously comfortable with buying into pretty much anything Apple’s selling (jk, jk, it’s so awesome!!), so why not let the world know? The TechMatte Apple Pencil Charging Stand will let you display your sweet Apple Pencil proudly on your desk for all the world to see. Some highlights from the product page: TechMatte Apple Pencil Stand allows you to charge your pencil while still looking stylish and sleek on your desk. The stand's charging dock comes with the proper cable to charge your Apple Pencil built into the stand. Holds both your pencil and cap Easy to use and durable Made of solid aluminum
  • Low-cost Android One phones reportedly coming to the US (2017-01-17 20:18:53)
    Google’s Android One platform was originally designed to provide low-cost Android devices to developing markets without the stuff that usually comes with low-cost Android devices: bloatware, competing services, and a crippling lack of software and security updates. Android One phones have historically been produced by companies you probably haven’t heard of, like Micromax, Cherry, and QMobile. Originally Google had a direct hand in detailing what components would go into the phone, but apparently became more flexible over time and eventually expanded the program beyond India to parts of Africa, Spain, and Portugal.
  • Orlando nightclubs deploy radar technology to detect weapons (2017-01-17 19:51:40)
    Some nightclubs in Orlando are looking to deploy radar-based weapons detection technology in the aftermath of last year's deadly mass shooting at gay nightclub Pulse. Weapons detection specialist Patriot One Technologies announced on Tuesday that it is partnering with VGroup Concepts to launch a ‘Safe Districts’ initiative. VGroup Concepts is a management company of several restaurants and clubs in Orlando. ORLANDO NIGHTCLUB ATTACKER'S WIFE COULD FACE LIFE IN PRISON ON NEW CHARGES Pulse was targeted in a deadly attack on June 12, 2016, when a gunman opened fire, killing 49 club goers and wounding 53 more. A major challenge for locations such as schools, clubs and stadiums, is that they often have limited seurity, making them ‘soft targets,’ according to Patriot One Technologies. The partnership with VGroup Concepts aims to boost safety at Orlando venues via the company's NForce CMR 1000 detection system. OLD-SCHOOL SECURITY GOES MODERN: BENJILOCK BRINGS FINGERPRINT TECH TO THE PADLOCK The NForce CMR 1000 can be installed in hallways and doorways. It uses microwave radar technology to detect concealed metal. Once detected, the metallic content is sent to a database and analyzed against known guns, knives, suicide vests and other weapons. If the material is found to be threatening, security is alerted. Patriot One Technologies CEO Martin Cronin, said in a press release , "Our number-one goal at Patriot One is to offer a solution that works with today's security professionals to help deter, detect and defend against active threats of violence on innocent citizens everywhere.”
  • Jerry Seinfeld’s Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee is leaving Crackle for Netflix (2017-01-17 19:38:21)
    Jerry Seinfeld is taking his interview web series, Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee, to Netflix, according to Variety. The move is yet another big get for Netflix, which has been courting high-profile comedians like Dave Chappelle, Chris Rock, Amy Schumer, and Jim Gaffigan to its platform with lucrative contract deals and an ever-growing audience. As part of his deal with Netflix, Seinfeld will also deliver two exclusive stand-up specials for the service and participate in developing scripted content down the line.
  • Apple might right the sinking MacBook ship this year (2017-01-17 19:33:55)
    Apple’s Mac business will have a terrific 2017, a new report says. Apple is expected to ship some 15 million laptops this year, or 10% more than last year. Apple’s 2016 MacBook Pro is to “blame” for the increased interest in MacBooks. Additionally, Apple’s upcoming 2017 MacBook and MacBook Pro updates should also convince even more users to upgrade. Citing Chinese-language site Economic Daily News , Digitimes says that demand is still rather high for the 2016 MacBook Pro with Touch Bar. The laptop is set to get even better later this year, thanks to processor upgrades to Intel Kaby Lake and support of up to 32GB of RAM. Kaby Lake’s low power consumption is expected “to trigger a replacement trend among existing MacBook users,” according to market watchers. The 2016 13-inch MacBook Pro without a Touch Bar will be even cheaper, as Apple looks to increase overall shipments. The device will replace the 13-inch MacBook Air, the same market watchers claimed. Finally, the 12-inch MacBook is also set to receive an update early in the second quarter of the year. Apple will sell a version of the laptop that packs 16GB of RAM. The Kaby Lake-based 13-inch and 15-inch MacBook Pros are expected to hit production early in the third quarter, while the 32GB 15-inch MacBook Pro will hit production a quarter later. These details, yet to be confirmed by Apple, are in line with the predictions of KGI Securities’ Ming-Chi Kuo.
  • Samsung chief Lee arrives for hearing on arrest warrant (2017-01-17 19:32:13)
    By Ju-min Park and Se Young Lee SEOUL (Reuters) - Samsung Group leader Jay Y. Lee arrived at a prosecutor's office in Seoul on Wednesday en route to a court hearing, where a judge will decide whether he should be arrested over his alleged role in a corruption scandal that has rocked South Korea. The 48-year-old Lee, wearing a dark overcoat and purple necktie, did not answer questions from reporters as he entered the special prosecutor's office, from where he was due to be driven to the Seoul Central District Court. A special prosecutor on Monday said it would seek a warrant to arrest the third-generation leader of the country's largest conglomerate on suspicion of bribery, embezzlement and perjury.
  • Toshiba mulls chip business stake sale to Western Digital: Nikkei (2017-01-17 19:28:36)
    Toshiba Corp is looking to spin off its semiconductor business assets and sell a roughly 20 percent stake in the unit to Western Digital Corp for up to $2.7 billion, the Nikkei business daily reported on Wednesday. Some U.S. investment funds are also showing interest in Toshiba's semiconductor business, the Nikkei reported, citing sources familiar with the matter. California-based data storage company Western Digital did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
  • Samsung Group leader Lee appears to attend hearing on arrest warrant (2017-01-17 19:26:46)
    SEOUL (Reuters) - Samsung Group scion Jay Y. Lee appeared at the special prosecutor's office on Wednesday en route to a court hearing where a judge will decide whether to issue an arrest warrant over his alleged role in a corruption scandal that has engulfed the administration of President Park Geun-hye.
  • South Korea finance minister says not time yet to discuss Samsung leader's possible arrest (2017-01-17 19:26:46)
    South Korea's finance minister said on Wednesday it was "not yet time" to discuss what impact the arrest of Samsung leader Jay Y. Lee would have on the economy if it happens. Jay Y. Lee, the 48-year-old leader of Samsung Group, is due to appear at a court hearing on Wednesday morning where a judge will decide whether to issue an arrest warrant over his alleged role in a corruption scandal that has engulfed South Korea.
  • Uber to invest more than $60 million in Sao Paulo support center (2017-01-17 19:13:54)
    Ride-hailing service Uber inaugurated a support center in Brazil's biggest city on Tuesday with plans to invest 200 million reais ($62 million) and create 2,000 jobs, underscoring an aggressive growth strategy in Latin America's biggest nation. The new facility in Sao Paulo may employ up to 7,000 people by the end of the year, providing technical support for around 9 million users in Brazil along with thousands of drivers, the company said in a statement. Uber's latest investment in Brazil comes just weeks after Didi Chuxing, China's largest ride-hailing company, announced it was investing more than $100 million in Brazilian company 99, an on-demand taxi and ride sharing service.
  • Nintendo kicks off limited-time Loads of Coins event in ‘Super Mario Run’ (2017-01-17 19:05:20)
    Following in the footsteps of Pokemon Go (and virtually every other online mobile game on the App Store), Nintendo introduced a limited-time event called "Loads of Coins" in Super Mario Run this week. Throughout the event, which lasts from January 16th to January 26th, players will be able to collect 1.5 times as many coins as usual by competing in the game's Toad Rally mode. "The Loads of Coins event in now on!" reads the event notification that popped up this week. "Win at Toad Rally during this period, and you'll get 1.5 times as many coins as usual. Now's your time to rake it in!" The notification goes on to explain that players will need to have completed the Kingdom Builder tutorial before they can join in on the fun. Players will also need to use Rally Tickets to enter into a Toad Rally, as usual, and will still be awarded the standard amount of coins if they lose a match. It's a shame that Super Mario Run is likely never going to receive the kind of substantial updates that revived Pokemon Go at the end of 2016, but it's nice to see that Nintendo hasn't completely abandoned the app following its release in December. Hopefully this will be the first of many events to come.
  • Verizon still has ‘thousands’ of customers using the recalled Samsung Galaxy Note 7 (2017-01-17 18:47:24)
    There are still “thousands” of Verizon customers in possession of Samsung’s Galaxy Note 7, the carrier recently told Fortune. "In spite of our best efforts, there are still customers using the recalled phones who have not returned or exchanged their Note 7 to the point of purchase," Verizon told Fortune.
  • FTC sues Qualcomm alleging monopoly of semiconductor device (2017-01-17 18:42:14)
    NEW YORK (AP) — The Federal Trade Commission is suing Qualcomm Inc. for allegedly maintaining a monopoly over a key device used in cellphones and other electronics.
  • Brazil Air Force to privatize air traffic control telecom system (2017-01-17 18:41:46)
    The Brazilian Air Force is planning to privatize the running of its telecom network used for defense, surveillance and air traffic control, an Air Force spokeswoman said on Tuesday. The planned public-private partnership is aimed at reducing the cost to the Air Force of modernizing the system and would involve about 4.3 billion reais ($1.3 billion) in investment and operating costs. Brazilian newspaper O Estado de Sao Paulo reported earlier that 17 companies participated in public hearings on the possible privatization.
  • Jawbone’s CFO has left the company (2017-01-17 18:33:10)
    The chief financial officer of Jawbone, the troubled consumer tech company that made popular Bluetooth speakers and the UP activity tracker, has left the company, The Verge has learned. Former CFO Jason Child had joined Jawbone in July 2015 from Groupon, where he had served as chief financial officer for nearly five years and took the company public. According to Child’s LinkedIn profile, he is now on the global advisory board of the business school at the University of Washington.
  • New Galaxy S8 Plus leak reveals some of the phone’s best features (2017-01-17 18:33:00)
    After the many alleged Galaxy S8 case render s we saw last week, a brand new leak sheds more light on some of the features of the upcoming Galaxy S8 Plus — that’s the rumored name of the bigger Galaxy S8 version this year. This time around, we’re looking at what seems to be an actual case that was created specifically for the Galaxy S8 Plus. The accessory appears to tell us more details about certain key features of the phone, including the fingerprint sensor, camera, 3.5mm headphone jack, and… stylus? Obtained by online store MobileFun , the case in the following images seems to match the earlier renders when it comes to certain features. On the bottom side, one can easily observe three openings, for the speaker, the 3.5mm headphone jack and for the S Pen stylus. MobileFun says that big opening is going to be used by a stylus, suggesting that the Galaxy S8 Plus will have its own S Pen. That’s a rumored we heard of before, but there’s one tiny problem with this case. There’s no opening for a charging port, which should be USB-C for the Galaxy S8. MobileFun sees it as a confirmation the Galaxy S8 will have wireless charging support. That’s probably the case, given that its predecessors also had it. But it’s unlikely that Samsung is so courageous as to remove the USB-C port altogether, especially considering that you’d need it to connect the phone to a computer, or to a monitor. That S Pen opening is more likely to be the USB-C opening, which is what other leaks suggested. As for that opening on the top side? It's probably a second speaker. Unless that's the USB-C port's placement, which would mean there's an S Pen opening on the bottom. The case also indicates there’s no dual rear camera on the Galaxy S8 Plus, which is something other recent rumors suggested . Apparently, Samsung considered the feature but decided to drop it. Furthermore, there’s no opening on the back of the phone for a rear-facing fingerprint sensor. That means the scanner is placed under the display — that’s also a feature that previous case renders leaks had suggested for the smaller Galaxy S8. Not to mention that an extensive Galaxy S8 preview said that the Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S8 Plus will be virtually similar, aside from the screen size and battery size differences.
  • Google Just Dropped Daydream VR Headset to $49 (2017-01-17 18:27:00)
    Google just slashed the price of its Daydream View VR headset to $49 with free shipping. Daydream View is a stylish VR headset that's covered in a light, breathable mesh rather than plastic like the Samsung Gear VR or cardboard like Google's $15 Cardboard VR.
  • Kaspersky Total Security review (2017-01-17 18:16:42)
    Protect your PC against Internet threats
  • If the iPhone 8 Looks Like This, the Galaxy S8 Is in Trouble (2017-01-17 18:16:00)
    The iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus are great upgrades, especially if you opt for the dual-camera-equipped Plus, but they don't really look any different from Apple's previous iPhones. If the new device looks anything like this, Apple will probably have a winner on its hands in time to celebrate the iPhone's tenth anniversary. Like the current iPhone, the iPhone 8 models on display here have curved edges, but both the front and back are made of glass, while the frame is stainless steel.
  • Why Tesla’s ambitious Model 3 may actually ship on time (2017-01-17 18:02:31)
    With approximately 370,000 Model 3 reservations on the books, Tesla's manufacturing processes will need to be firing on all cylinders if it hopes to get the company's mass market EV to customers in a relatively timely manner. As it stands now, Tesla maintains that it will begin delivering Model 3 vehicles to early buyers by the end of the year. Specifically, Tesla is aiming to ship 100,000 Model 3 units before 2017 draws to a close. Of course, many industry observers are understandably skeptical of Tesla's timetable, if only because the company has a history of missing deadlines with respect to ship dates. The iconic Model S shipped later than expected and the company's newer Model X was also subject to a number of production delays. Consequently, many are taking Tesla's ambitious production schedule with respect to the Model 3 with a grain of salt. There may be good reason to be optimistic, though. Not only has Elon Musk said that the Model 3 is a less complex vehicle to manufacture, but Tesla's success has made it easier for the company to secure supply chain deals. Speaking to this point, Tesla's former Supply Chain chief Peter Carlsson recently explained during an appearance at the KPMG Automotive Executive Forum ( via Electrek ) how Tesla's ability to navigate the murky world of supply chain logistics has improved over the past few years and how this will positively impact Tesla's Model 3 production. As to Carlsson's specific background, he helped develop and orchestrate the supply chain for both the Model S and the Model X.   "Things will get a bit easier," Carlsson said. "Tesla has resolved some issues through vertical integration — doing things internally. And with the launch of the Model 3, the volumes of the business will be more attractive, and I think we will see more suppliers relocate." Carlsson further explained that Tesla, during the initial production days of both the Model S and the Model X, did not have strong working relationships with suppliers which often made securing necessary parts in volume a challenge. Indeed, Elon Musk has previously said that Tesla's emergence as a brand that's here to stay -- as opposed to being a flash in the pan -- has made it easier for the company to secure important supply chain deals and engender trust with third parties. What's more, Musk a few months back said that suppliers, in the wake of Tesla Model 3 pre-orders shooting through the roof, are now angling for Tesla's business directly as opposed to rebuffing overtures from the company.
  • Monkeys on diets are healthier, but their longevity is still up for debate (2017-01-17 18:00:19)
    Putting monkeys on a diet delays the health problems of old age, new science says. Calorie restriction is one of the surest ways to stave off aging-related diseases and boost longevity in creatures with short lifespans, like mice, yeast, and worms.
  • Bitcoin exchange employee pleads guilty in U.S. case tied to hacking (2017-01-17 17:51:40)
    By Nate Raymond NEW YORK (Reuters) - A Florida man pleaded guilty on Tuesday to charges stemming from his employment with an unlicensed bitcoin exchange that prosecutors say was owned by an Israeli who oversaw a massive scheme to hack companies including JPMorgan Chase & Co. Ricardo Hill, 38, entered his plea in Manhattan federal court to seven counts, including conspiracy to operate an unlicensed money transmitting business, wire fraud and bank fraud. The Brandon, Florida-resident is one of nine people to face charges following an investigation connected to a data breach that JPMorgan disclosed in 2014 involving records for more than 83 million accounts. The charges against Hill stemmed from his employment as a finance support manager and business development consultant for an unlicensed bitcoin exchange called, according to court papers.
  • Qualcomm allegedly bribed Apple into not making a WiMAX iPhone (2017-01-17 17:44:55)
    The FTC filed a blockbuster lawsuit against Qualcomm today, arguing that the chipmaker used its baseband processor patents to illegally force competitors out of the market. Anyway, a big part of the complaint has to do with Apple, and the fact that Qualcomm spent a lot of time working and reworking its deal with Cupertino to remain the exclusive provider of modems in the iPhone. The FTC says that in 2007, Qualcomm agreed to refund some of Apple’s patent royalty payments if Apple agreed not to make a WiMAX iPhone.
  • Qualcomm sued by US regulators for anti-competitive practices (2017-01-17 17:34:16)
    Qualcomm is being sued by the United States Federal Trade Commission for anti-competitive practices relating to the way it sells modems for devices like smartphones. According to the FTC, Qualcomm used its dominant position as a modem supplier to muscle out competition by essentially giving smartphone manufacturers two choices: pay extra for use of its patents, or don’t make a widely available phone. The FTC says that Qualcomm maintained a “no license, no chips” policy, whereby it would refuse to sell modems to companies that wouldn’t agree to its onerous licensing terms.
  • One of Google Maps’ coolest new features is finally rolling out (2017-01-17 17:31:03)
    Google is slowly rolling out a brand new Google Maps feature that should further improve your real-time navigation experience: The app will now tell you whether there’s parking available at your destination. If it sounds familiar, that’s because we learned back in August last year that Google Maps was working on making it easier for Google Maps users to find a parking spot . The feature, Android Police reports , has finally started showing up for more users who are on Google Maps v9.44 beta. As seen in the images above, Google Maps will mark parking availability with a small rounded P icon next to your route duration estimate. Parking availability has three levels, including easy, medium, and limited — the limited level comes with a red P icon that should give you a visual warning that you might not find a parking spot at your destination. Android Police says that parking availability will show up for public destinations including malls, airports, and other attractions, assuming you’re running the same beta version, and that your area is covered. It’s likely Google will gradually expand it to more markets and bring it to the stable versions of its mobile Google Maps apps. However, there are no official details about it. It’s not clear how it works, or where Google gets the data from. In case you were wondering, Google is also using location data from you to help it predict real-time traffic conditions along your route. So the parking feature might also have a similar component in it — but this is just speculation at this point. Meanwhile, if you want to test out the feature, you have to get on Google Maps v9.44 beta for Android and hope that your area is supported.
  • Facebook's Zuckerberg questioned at trial over virtual-reality technology (2017-01-17 17:19:30)
    By Lisa Maria Garza DALLAS (Reuters) - Facebook Inc chief executive Mark Zuckerberg took the witness stand in Dallas federal court on Tuesday and denied an allegation by a rival company that the virtual-reality technology of Facebook's Oculus unit was stolen. Zuckerberg, the founder of one of the world's largest companies, faced hours of tough, public questioning about where Oculus obtained its ideas and how much he knew about the startup when Facebook bought it for $2 billion. A jury is hearing evidence in a civil lawsuit brought by videogame publisher ZeniMax Media Inc against Oculus in 2014, in the middle of the Facebook-Oculus deal.
  • Obama pardons former general charged in Stuxnet leak investigation (2017-01-17 17:16:21)
    President Obama has granted a pardon to retired Marine Corps general James Cartwright, according to The Wall Street Journal. Cartwright was charged with crimes related to leaked information about the Stuxnet computer virus. Cartwright, the government alleged, leaked information to the press about the operation.
  • Arianna Huffington’s Goodnight Smartphone is way too intense for kids (2017-01-17 17:13:37)
    Here is a brief plot summary: people who don’t have a sleep ritual that involves baths and separate bedrooms for their electronic devices are “sleep deprivation braggers” with “sleep macho swagger” and “a lack of common sense.” Huffington, who is famous for advocating passionately on behalf of sleeping (I think most people do it!), released the book for free on Audible today. There are many statements therein that are too heavy for a children’s book, or even for an adult’s book, in my opinion. In the poem’s preamble, Huffington asks that we “close down the day so we can open ourselves up to the possibilities of the night.” While I, too, have a deep disdain for what some have called the garish light of day, I wouldn’t go so far as to say that nighttime is any better.
  • Microsoft wants to make conversing with your computer the new normal (2017-01-17 17:10:01)
    In a mobile-first, cloud-first world, conversing with a computer through your smartphone may be the best way to communicate. Microsoft's research is heading that way.
  • This tiny gaming PC is everything the Mac Mini should be (2017-01-17 17:02:10)
    Zotac's new Magnus EN1070K is a relatively nondescript box packing a huge amount of computing power. In a box the tiniest bit bigger than a Mac Mini, it fits a seventh-gen Intel Core i5 processor, an Nvidia GeForce 1070 graphics card, and as much RAM and SSD space as you can handle. There's even SD card slot, a USB-C port, two HDMIs, four regular USBs and a pair of Ethernet ports. In other words, it's far smaller than your current desktop, but also powerful enough to play any of the latest PC games, do virtually any kind of work, or function as the centerpiece of a kick-ass home media setup. And then, in the other corner, we have Apple's Mac Mini, slowly collecting dust as it fades into obscurity. The top-of-the-line model, with an old Core i5 and no discrete graphics, is still sold on Apple's website for $1,400. Just like the MacBook Air, Apple seems to want to let it slowly become obsolete rather than (god forbid) formally pulling it from sale, or doing the logical thing and giving it a spec bump. I know that there's precious little money left in home desktop PCs, and the only reason Zotac continues to work on the tiny PC platform is for VR gaming -- which an upgraded Mac Mini won't really be useful for. But it's still odd that Apple has left the Mac Mini without an update for years now, and as each product cycle goes around, the company that used to be known for cutting-edge innovation looks more and more lazy.  
  • State finishes safety review at site of major gas blowout (2017-01-17 16:59:57)
    A Southern California Gas Company facility where a blowout spewed methane for nearly four months has completed a safety review and could resume reduced operations after a series of public hearings, state ...
  • HP Enterprise to buy cloud software company SimpliVity (2017-01-17 16:40:23)
    (Reuters) - Hewlett Packard Enterprise Co said on Tuesday it would buy privately held cloud software company SimpliVity for $650 million in cash, as it looks to expand in the fast-growing market for hybrid cloud platforms. The deal is expected to add to Hewlett Packard Enterprise's earnings in the first fiscal year after it is completed, the company said. Hybrid cloud platforms run applications that are based partly on the client's private servers and partly on public cloud data centers.
  • This is the most realistic iPhone 8 concept so far (2017-01-17 16:36:12)
    It's January 2017, which means that only nine short months remain until Apple unveils its 10th iPhone. Of course, that means nine more months of rampant speculation and rumors. But for once, I'm glad that we've started early, because I think this iPhone 8 concept is right on the money. Two things stand out from this render : the design language, which is a neat tribute to the entire historical line of iPhones, and the lack of a home button. The design is a glass sandwich with virtually no bezel, no home button, and rounded edges. It's the perfect shoutout to all the phones that came before it: the smooth, rounded edges of the original iPhones, with the iconic and easy-to-smash glass back of the iPhone 4 and 4S. There's still elements of the modern phones, thanks to the larger size introduced with the iPhone 6, side-mounted power button and yes, no headphone jack. Up front, the edge-to-edge display and lack of home button fit in perfectly with rumors we've already heard about the iPhone 8. Much more importantly, they look fantastic. Apple isn't going to mess about with the 10th-anniversary iPhone, and a phone that looks this good would hit all the buttons Apple is trying to push. More importantly, it's all relatively possible given technology that's available today. Apple has already removed the physical button part of the home button in the iPhone 7, so all that remains is integrating a fingerprint sensor that can sit under a display. Hmm . Otherwise, the only big innovation here is getting an edge-to-edge display with minimal bezel. Samsung came close with last year's Galaxy S7 Edge, and if anyone can push component suppliers to the limit, it's Apple . The rest of the rumored tech specs can all be taken with a grain of salt at this point. I'm sure Apple would love to kill the camera bump and include optical image stabilization, if at all possible, and new finishes and colors are always a possibility for the company. But the most important thing about the iPhone 8 is going to be a totally new design, and if this concept is close to the final design, it's going to be a good year for Apple. H/T Thomas!
  • This ‘paid protestor’ service is likely fake, but the online conspiracy machine doesn’t care (2017-01-17 16:25:02)
    Last week, as Donald Trump prepared for his inauguration in Washington, DC and protestors readied demonstrations to counter it, a series of advertisements were posted on Back Page. You were going to take action anyways, why not do so with us!” The post claims to offer $2,500 per month “retainers” plus $50 hourly payments to protestors aligned with the organization. The logo for is a raised black first, and the site includes photos of young, chanting protestors, some wearing Anonymous masks.
  • President Obama has commuted Chelsea Manning’s sentence (2017-01-17 16:19:09)
    While not technically a pardon, the order reduces Manning’s sentence from 35 years to just over seven years, the majority of which Manning has already served. As a result, Manning is due to be released from federal custody in just five months, on May 17th. While serving as an intelligence analyst in Iraq, Manning leaked more than 700,000 documents to WikiLeaks, including video of a 2007 airstrike in Baghdad that killed two Reuters employees.
  • Apple’s original iPhone can no longer be used as a phone (2017-01-17 16:09:10)
    We're not sure how many people, if any, are still out there using the original iPhone in a meaningful capacity, but cellular connectivity on the iconic device has been mercifully axed for anyone on AT&T, the iPhone's original carrier. Per an AT&T press release , Ma Bell recently announced that it shut down its 2G wireless network at the beginning of the year. And seeing as how the original iPhone launched without any 3G connectivity, Apple's 2007 iPhone has in effect been relegated to an iPod Touch. Truth be told, AT&T shutting down its 2G network shouldn't come as much of a surprise as the company has alluded to the inevitable transition for the past few years. As to the underlying goal of the move, AT&T explains that shutting down its 2G network will serve to free "up more spectrum for future network technologies, including 5G." Indeed, AT&T is already planning to "repurpose that spectrum for LTE" over the next few months. For a device that was undeniably one of the most revolutionary and innovative products in history, the original iPhone -- with its bulky form factor, non-Retina display and painfully slow 2G connection -- looks comically ancient by today's standards. That, of course, is a testament to how fast the landscape tends to shift in the technology realm. Indeed, it's fair to say that the 2G network that Apple's original iPhone relied on was already past its prime when the first iPhones hit store shelves in June of 2007. On a related note, EverythingApple Pro recently posted a video pitting the original iPhone against the original Android smartphone. If you're feeling nostalgic in the wake of the original iPhone's 2G lifeline being turned off, you'll certainly get a kick out of the video below.  
  • U.S. antitrust agency sues Qualcomm over patent licensing (2017-01-17 16:07:30)
    The U.S. Federal Trade Commission filed a lawsuit against Qualcomm Inc on Tuesday, accusing the company of antitrust violations in its patent licensing business. The FTC, which works with the Justice Department to enforce antitrust law, said that Qualcomm used its dominance in supplying baseband processors used in smartphones and tablets to extract elevated royalties for patents in what the complaint dubbed a "no license-no chips" policy. The lawsuit was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California in San Jose.
  • Samsung scion Lee faces court hearing on arrest warrant (2017-01-17 16:03:12)
    Jay Y. Lee, the 48-year-old leader of the Samsung Group, is due to appear at a court hearing on Wednesday when a judge will decide whether to issue an arrest warrant over his alleged role in a corruption scandal that has rocked South Korea. A special prosecutor on Monday said it would seek a warrant to arrest the third-generation leader of the country's largest conglomerate on suspicion of bribery, embezzlement and perjury. Lee, questioned last week for 22 straight hours at the prosecutor's office in Seoul, has denied wrongdoing.
  • Utility plans vote on New York offshore wind project (2017-01-17 15:45:02)
    A New York utility is set to vote later this month on a plan to construct an offshore wind farm off eastern Long Island. The Long Island Power Authority says the 90-megawatt, 15-turbine wind farm 30 miles ...
  • CA representative says she’ll skip Trump’s inauguration in response to a Twitter poll (2017-01-17 15:44:55)
    Representative Karen Bass (D-CA) will skip President-elect Donald Trump’s inauguration after “an overwhelming response” to a poll she conducted on Twitter. Bass announced the news today, along with a screenshots of the majority “no” results. Bass posted the poll on January 15th, saying that she wished to hear directly from her constituents.
  • AT&T is not giving refunds for buggy DirecTV Now service (2017-01-17 15:44:52)
    AT&T's new DirecTV Now streaming service isn't off to the hottest of starts. Although a rush of cordcutters appear to have signed up thanks to the $35-per-month introductory pricing, the service has had some teething issues that have rendered it unusable at times. Despite angry customers taking to forums and Twitter, the company is sticking to its guns and not offering refunds for the prepaid service. TechCrunch  first noticed the wave of angry customers on Twitter and AT&T's own user forums . Negative comments have continued since TechCrunch's first post, mostly complaining about outages, or being constantly re-prompted to enter the password in the middle of streaming a show. The problems with DirecTV Now are well documented by this point. In AT&T's defense, doing live streaming of hundreds of cable channels is not an easy thing to pull off, especially since the company tried to put out apps for a multitude of set-top boxes and devices at the same time. But where AT&T seems to have particularly angered customers is in not offering refunds for the buggy service. Customer logic goes that they've been paying for a service that they didn't get to use because of outages, so AT&T should be providing refunds for the full month's service. In some rare cases, that does seem to be work, but as a policy, AT&T won't be giving out refunds. In a statement to  BGR , AT&T said that "DIRECTV NOW is a prepaid monthly service that allows customers to cancel at any time. Since charges are prepaid each month, customers can enjoy the service through the end of the current billing cycle. Refunds are not issued for partial months."
  • 10 years supporting Apple's iconic iPhone: An IT consultant's reflections (2017-01-17 15:37:00)
    Apple's iPhone celebrates its 10th anniversary in 2017. The revolutionary device not only reset smartphone expectations, but it introduced an entirely new BYOD paradigm. Erik Eckel explains.
  • Startup Sndr planning encrypted file management for small businesses (2017-01-17 15:24:31)
    There are plenty of enterprise systems for remote file management and data encryption. A startup, Sndr, hopes to bring similar functions to small businesses.
  • Google’s Daydream View VR headset is only $49 right now (2017-01-17 15:20:13)
    Google was one of the first companies to see the value in ultra-affordable VR, and the Google Cardboard sparked a whole subsection of virtual reality accessories that has produced some real gems. Now, the company is slashing the price of its much nicer Daydream View mobile VR headset  from its affordable $79 price point down to an impulse-worthy $49, but only for a very limited time. You can think of the Daydream View headset as a premium version of the Google Cardboard in that it supports a wide range of smartphones just like the Cardboard but is built from high-quality materials, has a built-in head strap, and comes with a wireless controller for supported apps. Of course, Google would love it if you'd also pick up one of its new Pixel smartphones, which it classifies as "Daydream ready," but you can still use the headset itself with virtually any smartphone that has VR apps. The View comes in a trio of colors, including Slate, Crimson, and Snow, but keep in mind that this headset is actually covered in a layer of fabric, so going for the white model might not be the best bet if you're going to be using it in a home with kids or spill-prone adults. Google's special pricing for the headset is active from today through February 25th, at which point the price will head back up to the standard $79. If you're wonder why you'd want a VR headset in the first place, or the Daydream View specifically, you can check out Google's virtual reality promo page to check out some of the apps and other features.
  • Super Mario in the real world would be way too real (2017-01-17 15:16:01)
    Super Mario Odyssey for the Nintendo Switch was announced only days ago, and already the internet is offering up parodies. While the original announcement teaser shows Mario in a New York City-like metropolis, this video asks: what if Mario lived in Liberty City? Mayhem right? Yeah, all the mayhem.Using a whole host of mods for Grand Theft Auto IV, YouTube user CrowbCat turns Niko Bellic into a brightly colored plumber with a giant head and parkour skills, which is a surprisingly apt description of Super Mario if your first instinct isn’t to picture Bob Hoskins. (Shudder. ...
  • Evernote’s redesign is too little, too late (2017-01-17 15:12:58)
    Evernote redesigned its mobile app for iOS today, making it easier to capture new notes and search for existing ones. The company replaced its confounding black-on-green mobile design with classic black and white, and the result is an app that is faster and more pleasant to use. It’s the fastest creation process Evernote has ever had.
  • Stick this phone on the wall and control it with your eyes (2017-01-17 14:51:56)
    What do smartphone buyers actually want out of their devices? Chinese electronics manufacturer ZTE wanted to find out, so they created Project CSX, which apparently stands for "Crowd Source X" — I guess the "X" will forever remain a mystery — and set out to design a device based entirely on votes from the general public. The result? A sticky phone that you can slap on the wall and then control hands-free using just your eyes. Wait... what? The phone is called Hawkeye , and it's a pretty standard mid-range Android handset. It features a 5.5 inch 1080p display, a dual lens rear camera and a front-facing selfie cam, 3GB of RAM, Snapdragon 625 processor and Android Nougat. Those middling specs belie the phone's real appeal, which comes from the self-adhesive case material that allows the device to be attached to flat surfaces. Then there's the Hawkeye's "eye tracking feature," which ZTE describes thusly: "Iris motion is detected using camera hardware, then translated into software commands that represent standard gesture motions in Android for swipe (e.g. up, down, left and right swipe motions).  The software interprets eye motion and replaces these gesture commands in any application that supports these standard Android commands." That sounds pretty darn cool — that is, if ZTE can actually make it happen. Unfortunately, the company reportedly hasn't actually figured out how it's going to make the eye tracking work just yet. Of course, that hasn't stopped it from going up for pre-order on Kickstarter, where it hopes to raise a sum of $500,000 in the next month. It has received just over $30,000 in pledges thus far.
  • Lyft envisions a future where you either carpool or pay to drive (2017-01-17 14:31:20)
    Logan Green and John Zimmer, the co-founders of Lyft, have an idea for ending traffic, but you may not like it. According to Green and Zimmer, the federal government should provide grants to cities to reclassify specific streets and highways as “smart lanes,” in which people with three or more occupants in their vehicle could drive for free, while everyone else would have to pay a toll. In other words, the Lyft co-founders propose combining two well-worn traffic reduction theories — HOV lanes and congestion pricing — into one in order to combat the growing scourge of gridlock.
  • This might be your last chance to preorder a Nintendo Switch (2017-01-17 14:25:42)
    Somewhat unsurprisingly, Nintendo Switch preorders dried up within days of the live presentation in Japan on January 12th. The upcoming console is unavailable at Amazon, Best Buy, Target and even GameStop , but if you're desperate to get one on launch day, there's still one retailer you might want to visit. In an email sent to BGR on Tuesday, a spokesperson for Nintendo alerted us that it is still possible to preorder the Switch in-store at Walmart. In order to reserve a console for launch day, you'll need to visit the Pickup desk at you local Walmart and put down 10% up front (which should amount to ~$30). Providing the Walmart you visit will let you preorder a Switch, you should be guaranteed to receive one on March 3rd — the day the console hits store shelves. Before you start running around town to place preorders though, it might not be a bad idea to call ahead and make sure that the store is still taking reservations. Hopefully, as the launch date approaches, Nintendo will continue to update stock at various retailers around the country and around the world. GameStop said in a press release that its "initial allotment" of Switch consoles has been reserved, but that it is "working closely with Nintendo to get additional Nintendo Switch units." Presumably, it's not the only retailer pushing Nintendo to provide more units. In addition to the console, the Joy-Con Charging Grip is also beginning to sell out, as Nintendo revealed over the weekend that the Grip included in the box won't actually charge the controllers .
  • Tesla helps Sierra Nevada Brewing make 'green' beer (2017-01-17 14:19:35)
    The Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. is using a bunch of Tesla batteries, along with solar power and a microturbine generator, to help make beer brewing more environmentally friendly at its Chico, California facility. The company has installed a 1MWh Tesla Powerpack battery system, taking power from an existing 10,751-panel, two-megawatt solar installation — the largest owned by any US brewery — and a two megawatt microturbine. In all, the setup allows Sierra Nevada to offset around 20 percent of its yearly electricity use.
  • This iPhone case ensures you’re never without a phone charger (2017-01-17 13:55:07)
    We all have that one friend who always has an inexplicably large number of charging cables on their person. To be honest, if you took time out of your day to read this blog post about an iPhone charging accessory, it may well be you. Well, good news, charging aficionados! An Indiegogo campaign has sprung into temporary life to provide you with a vision of a future where you're never more than a few inches from a certified iPhone Charging Solution, thanks to an overly large iPhone case that builds the Lightning cable and the wall block into the back. The EZ Charge Case is a bulky iPhone case that has a charging block and a 28" USB cable built into the back. When you want to charge, you pull the wall block out of the case, plug it in, and crouch near the outlet like an electrically-powered hobbit. There are technically two versions of the case: the $39 EZ Charge Case, which is exactly what I just described, and the $59 EZ Charge Case Pro, which is the same thing but with a 2,000mAh battery also built in. EZ Charge created the following chart to help you understand the difference, in case adding a battery was too complicated to follow: The EZ Charge Case is raising money on Indiegogo right now, with shipping somehow expected in March of this year. As always, buyer beware with crowdfunding projects, especially those with ambitious timelines. In this case, at least the project isn't aiming to make a flying wristwatch or change the laws of physics, so it's not unrealistic to expect success at some point in the distant future.
  • Google’s Daydream View VR headset is on sale for $49 (2017-01-17 13:50:15)
    Google’s Daydream View VR headset is on sale now for $49, $30 off the usual price of $79 and the first major deal we've seen for the Daydream View. The Daydream View VR headset is one of the best solutions for mobile VR yet, so if you’re looking to get started in the world of virtual reality and have a Daydream-compatible phone, it’s a good time to buy. Keep in mind that Daydream only works with a few phones right now: Google’s Pixel and Pixel XL, and Motorola’s Moto Z series, with Huawei’s Mate 9 Pro, ZTE’s Axon 7, and Asus’ ZenFone AR all planning to support the VR system when they release as well.
  • Android Wear 2.0 reportedly coming February 9th on two LG watches (2017-01-17 13:47:56)
    The next version of Google’s smartwatch operating system is slated to arrive on February 9th, according to mobile reporter Evan Blass. The leak follows last week’s report that Google had notified developers of Android Wear 2.0’s upcoming release so they could prepare to update apps for continued support. Blass is also reporting that Android Wear 2.0 will arrive first to two new smartwatches manufactured by LG: the LG Watch Sport and LG Watch Style.
  • Amazon Prime User? You Should Have this Credit Card (2017-01-17 13:41:23)
    If you’re an Amazon Prime user and are responsible enough to pay off your credit card bills, you should get the new Amazon Prime Visa.
  • Microsoft CEO Nadella: AI should augment human workers, not replace them (2017-01-17 13:36:08)
    At a recent World Economic Forum annual meeting, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella spoke on his company's approach to AI and how it will affect the future of work.
  • Your original iPhone won't work on AT&T anymore (2017-01-17 13:34:47)
    Anyone still clinging onto the original iPhone got some bad news yesterday: AT&T announced that it shut down its 2G network on January 1st, 2017. The 2G shutdown has been planned for a few years at this point, and judging by the lack of outcry when the network stopped working over two weeks ago, it doesn’t seem to have had a huge impact in today’s world of 3G and LTE networks. AT&T notes that the 2G shut down will free up resources and spectrum bandwidth for the network to use for future rollouts of more advanced wireless solutions like 5G down the line, which is probably a good thing.
  • Toshiba considering spinning off semiconductor business - Nikkei (2017-01-17 13:29:57)
    (Reuters) - Toshiba Corp is considering spinning off its semiconductor business and selling a partial stake in the unit to Western Digital Corp, the Nikkei financial daily reported on Wednesday. Shares of Western Digital, the California-based data storage company, were up 0.7 pct at $71.51 on Tuesday. Toshiba will sell a roughly 20 percent interest in the unit for about 200 billion yen-300 billion yen ($1.77 billion-$2.66 billion) while retaining a majority stake, the newspaper reported.
  • 9 paid iPhone and iPad apps on sale for free for a limited time (2017-01-17 13:29:19)
    It's a gross, rainy Tuesday here in New York City, which means there's no better time to jump on the App Store and download a bunch of newly free apps to mess with. Below, we have a collection of nine great apps that are on sale for free for a limited time, including  Don't Run With a Plasma Sword , which is awesome. These are paid iPhone and iPad apps that have been made available for free for a limited time by their developers. There is no way to tell how long they will be free. These sales could end an hour from now or a week from now — obviously, the only thing we can guarantee is that they were free at the time this post was written. If you click on a link and see a price listed next to an app instead of the word “get,” it is no longer free. The sale has ended. If you download the app, you will be charged. Wryte Normally $2.99. Wryte is a powerful and beautiful Markdown Editor lovingly designed for Writers and Coders. The app focuses on remaining clean and simple, while showcasing your work in absolutely stunning ways. Everything you write is saved and synced to all your devices in real-time, and available offline. Features: Made for Writers and Coders We’ve built Wryte from the ground up with authors and programmers in mind. The app is beautiful and clean. Gorgeous Markdown Theme In Wryte, your words look fantastic. Documents are styled using a clean and professional design that meets that latest standards for iOS 9. Real-time Sync Engine. Everything in Wryte is Synced to all of your devices as you edit and create. This means your work is always with you. Documents can be created and edited even when offline. Github Flavored Markdown Wryte renders code snippets using the latest styling found on sites like Github and Stack Overflow. This makes it a wonderful tool for saving and collecting code snippets. Organize Work into Projects You can have an unlimited amount of Notebooks and Projects in Wrtye. We think you are going to love it. Download Wryte Zentries Normally $1.99. We built Zentries because we wanted an app that could let us type our thoughts and ideas with all the simple beauty and elegance of a journal. Zentries is made with love, and designed a quick and easy way to tell your story. Or several of them if you like. Your entries are sorted by date, and can easily be shared - as either a single page or entire journal. And that’s all there is to the app. We made Zentries simple, because the things you write in it may not be. Download Zentries A Giant Problem Normally $3.99. ***Battle smelly trolls, travel with Giants and fight fire breathing dragons in BearBoat Studios’s new interactive comic! ***Explore each comic page, panel after panel, discovering artwork, special effects and sounds that bring each character to life! An original, debuting comic from the up and coming creator, Jake Kalsbeek. Join characters Lambert and Walter on this heart-warming tale of boyhood adventures, overcoming adversities, and budding friendship. FEATURES • 26+ interactive comic pages! • Panel by panel reading mode! • Music and special sound effects on each page! • Great story for reluctant, young readers • 50+ interactive features! Download A Giant Problem Don't Run With a Plasma Sword Normally $1.99.   For a long time Cornelius has been working at the local comic books stand shop. For about as long, he's been daydreaming about how somehow, someday, he'd become a Hero. After all, wasn't what the fortune cookie was saying, right? ... right? Fortunately the Aliens invasion would come just in time to provide with this opportunity... Don't Run is a breathtaking, retro sci-fi, combat based, funny sidescroller with tons of content. Anyway, what more can you ask for than running with a plasma sword, slicing-up invading aliens? ------------- Main Features ------------- - Universal App - Retina display - 5 environments: City, Factory, Mother ship, Alien Planet, Tandoori Moon - 2 Game Modes: - Story mode with fixed game progression, save points, boss fights and 3-stars rating system - Endless mode with 4 levels of difficulty, random map generation and objectives to accomplish - Did we say it? Boss fights! - Breathtaking action! Hundreds of small hand crafted map sections put together dynamically to make sure to bring out a maximum of diversity and generate a controlled difficulty progression. - A unique 3 buttons contextual controls scheme: jump, slide, slash which becomes double jump, dive and dash in the air - Several types of monster with their own gameplay, traps to avoid, power-ups and rewards to collect - Upgrades! Collect xp in game to level up your avatar on skills and avatar customization - Game Center leaderboard and achievements - Comic storyboards - Awesome soundtrack and sound effects - 2 supported languages, English and French Download Don't Run With a Plasma Sword Beach Defender Normally $0.99. ONE-TOUCH ARCADE RETRO 8-BIT GAME BOY™ CONSOLE GAME What if you found an old cartridge in your attic just waiting to be plugged into your vintage hand-held gaming system? Here comes Beach Defender! Stop evil octopuses from destroying your beloved village. Your fellow villagers, your friends, and your own mother are all counting on you! Wait, the whole world is counting on YOU! • GameCenter leaderboard: compete with your friends and beat them! • Infinite arcade mode to begin with (more modes coming soon) • Exclusive to App Store Download Beach Defender Ruler Normally $0.99. This is simple virtual Ruler app 17 feet/5 meters long. How to use Ruler to measure length: Put your finger on screen and slide phone with the other hand. Pull arrow down to reel off. Download Ruler Smart Alarm Clock Normally $1.99. All the coffee beans in Colombia won’t make you a morning person? Waking up seems like a drag? We created Smart Alarm Clock because mornings should suck less. HOW IT WORKS STEP 1. Select the time range when we want to wake up (e.g., 7am-7:20am). STEP 2. Drift to sleep happily tuning in to some amazing sounds. STEP 3. See colorful dreams with the phone next to our pillow, spying on all our movements and recording all sounds. “the part where magic happens* The smart algorithm of Smart Alarm Clock starts to track our sleep cycles. The alarm will only go off in the lightest sleep phase in our selected time range, when our body is naturally ready to wake up. STEP 4. Wake up to see cool graphs of our sleeping patterns and cycles. Listen to the recordings of us snoring, giggling, or calling out Jessica Biel’s name in our sleep. Download Smart Alarm Clock Monster Fantasy:Pocket Go Normally $0.99. Monster Fantasy is a role-playing mobile game with elements of strategy and monsters, developed by Langtong game. To become the best monster trainer in Monster Fantasy, players have to travel all over the world, capture tons of powerful monsters and enjoy this wonderful journey. FEATURES 【 Monster Type System 】 Monster Fantasy is based on monster battles. Monsters have different types that have both strengths and weaknesses. To train different monster according to interests and strategies is the essence of this game. 【 Various Skill Combinations 】 Skill is the key to each battle. Each monster learns different skills as it grows and various skill combinations make the game very interesting. 【 Send Monster To Friend 】 Send and receive monsters between friends. 【 Unique Mechanism 】 Mechanism System: Unlock the mechanism to challenge Gym Masters. 【 Original Scenes 】 Players can enjoy the battle, roadside flowers and beautiful sky while traveling through the world. 【 Interesing Puzzles 】 Game Hall System: Play puzzles and exchage rewards with coupons. Various Elements Other Features: Map System: Town, cave, tunel, lake…… The best views you have ever seen. Quest System: Get to know everyone and their stories. Finish their quests to get rewards. Achievement System: The more you achieved, the better trainer you are. Download Monster Fantasy:Pocket Go BusyBox Normally $2.99. BusyBox lets you track the time you spend on all your activities. + Daily Tracking + Visualize your activities for the current day. + Data Visualization + Track the total time you spend on each activity. + Notes + If you need to log more details about your tasks, you can associate notes to your task logs. Logs can then be filtered by note contents. + Export your Data + Export your activity data to an excel file that can be read in excel, open office or any spreadsheet software. The notes are also exported to the excel file. + Open In + Open the excel file in any app that can open excel files on your iPhone. + Share via Email + Send the excel file via email. Download BusyBox
  • Zuckerberg takes the stand in Oculus trade secrets trial (2017-01-17 13:20:38)
    Today, Mark Zuckerberg took the stand in Northern Texas District Court to defend Oculus against accusations of copyright violation and trade secret theft. The plaintiff is Zenimax Media, the parent company of id and Bethesda, which provided crucial support for many of Oculus’ first demos. Now, Zenimax claims that collaboration allowed Oculus to steal crucial intellectual property in the company’s formative early years.
  • Trump is using targeted Facebook ads to woo more people to his inauguration party (2017-01-17 13:20:32)
    Donald Trump’s inauguration is only days away, but it appears that his team is getting desperate to live up to the the “unbelievable, perhaps record-setting turnout,” he promised in The New York Times. This isn’t the first time the Trump campaign tried its hand at targeted Facebook ads, though previously they were focused on voter suppression. The Tonight Show’s Marina Cockenberg posted about the inauguration ads on Twitter, which explain that Trump is attempting to lure New Yorkers ages 27 or older to his party.
  • Young Thug’s Wyclef Jean video explains how it got made, without Young Thug (2017-01-17 13:12:44)
    Young Thug’s video for “Wyclef Jean,” the first track on last year’s Jeffery, cost $100,000 to make, and its star never even showed up. At least, that’s according to director Ryan Staake, who pulled together a music video that tells the story of its own creation. The clip begins with a recording of Thugger’s ideas for the video, which one of which includes women riding around in toy electric cars.
  • Read an excerpt from Taiyo Fujii’s upcoming sci-fi novel, Orbital Cloud (2017-01-17 13:04:27)
    When it came out in Japan in 2013, it earned the 2014 Seiun Award, Japan’s highest honor for science-fiction writing. It also won the 2014 Nihon SF Taisho Award, and took first prize in the "Best SF of 2014" contest in Japan’s SF Magazine.
  • The Galaxy S8 might lose the fight against the iPhone before it even launches (2017-01-17 13:04:08)
    The Galaxy S8 and the iPhone 8 are probably the most anticipated handsets of the year. The Galaxy S8 is set to arrive in mid-April, according to various reports, while the iPhone 8 will surely drop in September. Meanwhile, the web is swirling with Galaxy S8 and iPhone 8 rumors, and the most recent Galaxy S8 report indicates that Samsung’s 2017 flagship might have a rather high entry price. Apple kept the same entry price for the iPhone over the years, even if it continued to upgrade the handset and bump up the storage. Samsung’s Galaxy S kept matching the iPhone’s price. But things may change this year, at least for Samsung. A source familiar with the company’s inner workings said on Twitter that the Galaxy S8 is “ready and will be present at MWC,” but Samsung will not show it to the public. Furthermore, Twitter user @Ricciolo1 said that a “little bird” told him the phone might be unveiled on March 29th, and should then launch in week 17 — that’s April 24th to April 30th. He also said that prices will start at $849. That’s quite a high entry price for the smartphone, especially if the iPhone 8 will have the same pricing structure as the iPhone 7. For $849, you can buy a 256GB iPhone 7. Add $20, and you end up with a 128GB iPhone 7 Plus. Even if the $849 Galaxy S8 matches the storage of the iPhone 7, it’ll still be expensive. On the other hand, there’s also one more iPhone 8 rumor to consider. Apple will have three new iPhones in store this year, reports claim, including the iPhone 8 and two iPhone 7s versions. In such a case, it’ll be interesting to see what the entry price for the iPhone 8 will be. Samsung is yet to announce its Galaxy S8 Unpacked event, which means there’s plenty of time for more rumors and speculations.
  • Ice cracks force British Antarctic Survey to move its base (2017-01-17 12:47:09)
    The British Antarctic Survey will shut down its Halley base in Antarctica because of cracks in the ice under the station. The station — which consists of eight pods mounted on legs — is located on the floating Brunt Ice Shelf on Antarctica’s Weddell Sea.
  • This tiny gaming PC has Intel’s latest processors and can power a VR headset (2017-01-17 12:44:55)
    Gaming PCs are largely known for being huge, garish LED-studded machines. But as Zotac's new Zbox Magnus EN1070K shows, that doesn’t have to be the case.Announced earlier this month at CES 2017 and reported by AnandTech, the Magnus EN1070K is the latest entry in the Zotac E-series of miniature desktop computers, and measures in with a tiny footprint of 8.27 x 7.9 inches (or a little bigger than a Mac Mini). But it packs some serious firepower into the small size, offering a current-generation Intel Kaby Lake Core i5 processor, an NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070 GPU, up to 32GB of RAM, and both an M. ...
  • This ballistic glass iPhone 7/7 Plus screen protector magically stops people from peeking (2017-01-17 12:40:26)
    Look, we all check out embarrassing stuff on our smartphones from time to time. Sometimes we do it on purpose, not that we’re judging your for needing to know the latest news about Brittany Spears. Sometimes it’s accidental though, like when you’re scrolling through Instagram on the bus and you get to a photo of your friend on vacation in a bikini that’s just a bit too small. Well guess what, there’s a very affordable accessory that’s made for just such an occasion. Not only will the iPhone 7 Anti Spy Ballistic Tempered Glass Screen Protector stop people from checking out your screen, it’ll also protect your device from scratches and cracks if you drop it. Some highlights from the product page: Screen Is Only Visible To Persons Directly In Front Of Screen, this listing is specially created for iPhone 7 or iPhone 7 Plus. Bubble-Free Auto Adhesives for easy installation and no residue when removed. Premium Thin 0.3mm 2.5D Round Edges Ballistic Tempered Glass Screen Protector, 9H Hardness, Accurate touch sensitivity. Super clear, Protects against eye strain. All products are backed by Lifetime Replacement Warranty.
  • There’s something weird happening on Venus (2017-01-17 12:19:16)
    Mars may be the focus of many current space exploration efforts, but scientists studying Venus have just discovered something very strange : a massive structure that seems to extend almost the entire length of planet. The long, curved shape is rotating along with the planet, suggesting that it's fixed to the planet, while the planet's extremely thick clouds are speeding around it at over 200 miles per hour.  The discovery was made by Japanese scientists using the country's Akatsuki orbiter which arrived at the planet in 2015. The team used the craft's infrared and ultraviolet imaging capabilities to capture a glimpse of the phenomenon, though at the moment nobody's really sure exactly what is causing it. One theory the researchers have come up with is that a gravity wave is causing a disturbance, leading to the massive ripple in the planet's cloud layer. A gravity wave can occur when a planetary feature causes the air rotating around the sphere to be pushed upwards, resulting in a wave-like effect. Using a computer to simulate the possible affect of a gravity wave, the team was able to create a similar shape, though this hypothesis hasn't been proven one way or the other. Gravity waves have indeed been detected on Venus in years prior, but never one approaching this size. Whatever is actually causing the shape, it's definitely a new wrinkle in humanity's understanding of one of our nearest planetary neighbors, and a welcome reminder than Mars isn't the only planet in our backyard worth studying further.
  • Juicero squeezes the price of its internet-connected juicer from $700 to $400 (2017-01-17 12:06:25)
    The price cut seems to speak to just how difficult it is to sell a nearly $700 juicer that can’t juice fruits and vegetables bought at the store. Juicero says that when it cut prices for Black Friday — dropping the juicer to $350 for a few days — its customer based “doubled,” which suggests that its install base probably wasn’t that high to begin with. With the price cut, Juicero says it hopes to get juicers into more homes so it can focus on the revenue that comes in through people buying its proprietary fruit and vegetable pouches.
  • Apple says it has ‘no plans’ for an iPhone 6 battery exchange program (2017-01-17 11:55:56)
    On Tuesday morning, reliable Japanese Apple blog Mac Otakara published a report claiming that Apple was preparing to extend its battery exchange program to include the iPhone 6. The blog didn't provide any data to back up its claim, and now, hours later, the rumor appears to have been shot down by Apple. Late last year, after consumer advocates pressured it to do so, Apple began offering free replacements for iPhone 6s batteries that were unexpectedly shutting down . It referred to the number of units affected as "very small," but considering the attention that the story received, we found that very hard to believe. Examining service data from over 40 Apple stores in the US, AppleInsider was unable to find anything that might indicate Apple would expand its battery exchange program to include iPhone 6 devices that might also be suffering from battery issues. An Apple corporate source even chimed in: "We constantly evaluate service statistics," the source told AppleInsider . "There are no plans or grounds for a wide iPhone 6 battery exchange program at this time." The iPhone 6 is currently in its third year of existence, which means that consumers who picked up the 6 or 6 Plus at launch are likely beginning to see diminishing returns from their batteries (I know I am). Unfortunately, until a widespread hardware issue is discovered, Apple isn't going to replace your battery. On the other hand, if you own an iPhone 6s and believe your phone is shutting down unexpectedly, you can visit this page on Apple's website and input your serial number to see if you're eligible for a replacement.
  • Facebook Messenger for Android (2017-01-17 11:54:50)
    Reach friends on their smart phones, feature phones or desktop computers
  • Ford’s newest Mustang drops the V6 engine for the first time in decades (2017-01-17 11:47:33)
    Ford is updating the venerable Mustang for 2018, changing its engine options and offering a slew of new tech and a 10-speed automatic transmission. The biggest change may be the loss of the current entry-level V6 engine, which has been available in the Mustang for decades. Ford’s turbocharged 2.3-liter 4-cylinder EcoBoost engine will be the new base option, joined by an upgraded 5-liter V8 in the Mustang GT.
  • Facebook's virtual-reality tech was not stolen, Zuckerberg testifies (2017-01-17 11:47:31)
    By Lisa Maria Garza DALLAS (Reuters) - Facebook Inc Chief Executive Officer Mark Zuckerberg took the witness stand in Dallas federal court on Tuesday and denied an allegation by a rival company that Facebook's virtual-reality technology of its Oculus unit was stolen. Zuckerberg, wearing a suit and tie rather than his typical T-shirt, was still on the witness stand after more than an hour of testimony in a civil lawsuit brought by videogame publisher ZeniMax Media Inc. ZeniMax sued Oculus in 2014 as Facebook was in the process of buying the startup for $2 billion over allegations that Oculus unlawfully gained access to ZeniMax's intellectual property.
  • New MacBooks could finally get the RAM they deserve (2017-01-17 11:29:57)
    Power users had a long list of complaints about the new MacBook Pro. Somewhere, buried right underneath the four USB-C ports, was the RAM that maxes out at 16GB. That is a lot of gigabytes of RAM, and should be enough for the vast majority of people and all of their Chrome-using needs. But there does exist a small subset of people --  professionals , you might say -- whose video and photo editing pushes right up against the 16GB of RAM, and are rightly irritated that a $3,000 laptop can't find space for another $200 stick of RAM. For those people, Apple might have a special surprise in 2017. In a research note obtained by  AppleInsider , KGI analyst Ming-Chi Kuo lays out his expectations for Apple's laptop line in 2017. Like most other analysts, Kuo's predictions are educated guesses at best, but he has a habit of being right more often than not. According to the note, Apple will focus on spec upgrades for its MacBooks in 2017. In particular, it's rumored that the 15-inch MacBook Pro may get an option with 32GB of RAM, and likely some kind of processor upgrade as well. Of more use to the bulk of Apple's users would be a new Retina MacBook with 16GB of RAM. The current Retina MacBook maxes out at 8GB, which is a serious constraint even for heavy web browsing.
  • Bowser was named after this spicy Korean rice and soup dish (2017-01-17 11:29:55)
    According to this 2000 Famitsu interview with Shigeru Miyamoto, Bowser was given the Japanese name Daimaō Kuppa — Kuppa being the Japanese name for gukbap, a Korean dish. The two other runner-up contenders for names were yukke and bibinba, the Japanese names for Korean dishes yukhoe and bibimbap. If you’ve never tried these dishes, go ahead and give them a try, if only for the sweet satisfaction of imagining you’re eating a pulverized Bowser! (Was that too much?
  • Facebook bets on Paris with start-up incubator (2017-01-17 11:06:57)
    By Gwénaëlle Barzic PARIS (Reuters) - Facebook gave the French tech scene a vote of confidence on Tuesday by picking Paris as the location for its first start-ups incubator, a boost for the city as European capitals compete to attract firms post-Brexit. The U.S. social media group said it would set up the scheme at the Station F site on the Left Bank - an ambitious project backed by French billionaire Xavier Niel and set to become the world's largest start-up campus when it opens in April. "Paris has always been a city of new ideas where people come together to break new ground, to do new things," Facebook's Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg told reporters at the vast, listed former railway depot still under renovation.
  • Fortress at the End of Time is a brilliant throwback to classic science fiction (2017-01-17 11:00:02)
    Joe M. McDermott’s new short novel The Fortress at the End of Time is a thoughtful investigation of how people cope when their lives are put on hold, and a brilliant analysis of technology, faith, and the point where they meet. The war is long over, and humanity has secured a few hundred planets. Each planet is colonized via “ansibles” which supply and populate Earth’s growing colonies.
  • First Look: 2018 Ford Mustang (2017-01-17 11:00:00)
    Ford beefs up the Mustang for 2018.
  • ZTE's crowdsourced phone has boring specs (2017-01-17 10:52:37)
    Photo by Ashley Carman / The Verge ZTE’s crowdsourced phone has already had quite a journey. After the phone’s concept — an eye-tracking, self-adhesive device — was voted on by ZTE users, the phone was put on Kickstarter. Now ZTE is giving us a clearer idea of what to expect specs-wise.Here’s what we know the phone will have:Android NDual rear-facing 12-megapixel and 13-megapixel cameraSnapdragon 625 processor3,000mAh batteryDual SIM optionUp to 256GB expandable memory5. ...
  • The iPhone 8 is already causing problems for Apple’s competitors (2017-01-17 10:39:16)
    The iPhone 8 is rumored to have an OLED display , a first for Apple’s iPhone. But OLED screens have been in use for quite a few years, with Samsung being the most prominent smartphone maker to use such displays in its top smartphones. However, as we’ve said before, the iPhone is still the only phone that matters when it comes to setting new mobile trends. And a new report seems to further reinforce that idea, as it looks like iPhone 8 rumors were enough to convince some Apple competitors out there to bulk up on OLED supply. According to Digitimes ’s sources, some of Apple’s China-based rivals are worried that the iPhone maker will eat up all the available OLED display, and they have rushed to secure production capacity for small- and mid-sized OLED panels. The sources expect the increased OLED demand to cause shortages. Samsung is going to be Apple’s main OLED display supplier this year, reports said, but even Samsung won’t be able to meet Apple’s demand in the future. Apple is rumored to launch three new iPhones this year, including the iPhone 8 with an OLED display and two iPhone 7s versions that will have LCD screens. The same unnamed sources said that LCD display demand will remain tight this year, as display size of mainstream smartphone models is moving from 5-inch to 5.5/5.7-inch screens. The report also notes that other key components might face shortages this year, aside for displays, including memory products and optical sensing devices. The reason is similar, strong demand from China-based smartphone makers.
  • Chile to invite bids on value-added lithium tech in April (2017-01-17 10:22:59)
    By Rosalba O'Brien and Felipe Iturrieta SANTIAGO (Reuters) - Chile will hold a tender in April to encourage companies to use its vast lithium resources to move it up the value chain with cathode or battery production, the head of the country's development agency told Reuters on Tuesday. It is pressing ahead on deals with international firms as relations remain bitter with local lithium producer SQM , where royalties arbitration is expected to take at least another year, said Eduardo Bitran, executive vice president of Corfo, which manages Chile's lithium leases. The tender to develop value-added lithium technology in Chile should conclude by November with two Chinese companies and a Korean associate having shown interest, Bitran said in an interview late Monday The government's transparency website shows representatives from battery maker Vision Group and rare earths firm Kanhoo met with Bitran last November to present a proposal "for a lithium hydroxide plant and a lithium battery plant" in Chile.
  • An insidious new Gmail phishing attack is tricking even the most careful of users (2017-01-17 10:13:09)
    A new phishing technique is fooling internet users into giving hackers access to their Gmail accounts. According to WordPress security plugin creator Wordfence , the way that the attack works is that hackers send emails to the contacts of compromised accounts containing a seemingly innocuous attachment. When the user clicks the attachment, a new tab opens in the browser that looks nearly identical to the Google sign-in page. If the user inputs their log-in information, it goes straight to the attacker. On Hacker News , a commenter describes an incident that occurred at his school last year in which several employees and students were tricked into handing over their account information to attackers after receiving compromised emails and opening the attachments, thus perpetuating the cycle: "It's the most sophisticated attack I've seen. The attackers log in to your account immediately once they get the credentials, and they use one of your actual attachments, along with one of your actual subject lines, and send it to people in your contact list. For example, they went into one student's account, pulled an attachment with an athletic team practice schedule, generated the screenshot, and then paired that with a subject line that was tangentially related, and emailed it to the other members of the athletic team." While the idea of having your Gmail account serve as a host for the chain of hacks to continue is frightening enough, the hackers will also have the ability to download and read through all of your private emails, as well as gain access to other information connected to your Google account (or whichever service is hacked). Here's what you need to look out for in your address bar to avoid this attack: As you can see, not only is the beginning of the string odd, but there is a script hidden behind a long wall of whitespace. You won't be able to see the script in your address bar without tapping on it and scrolling to the right, but there are several other signs to watch out for that are even more obvious. For example, here's what my address bar looks like when I navigate to Gmail in Chrome: See the green text and the "Secure" label in front of the address? That indicates that I've reached a safe, secure website, as opposed to the black text up above. Not every site is going to be certifiably secure like that, but if you are visiting a Google log-in page specifically and don't see it, alarms should go off in your head. Google might fix this eventually, but for now, just pay attention and look for green text. Furthermore, if you don't have two-factor authentication on your Google account (or any other account which contains sensitive information), treat this as a wake up call and set it up immediately.
  • The Bachelor fantasy league, week three: the spin doctor is in (2017-01-17 10:05:30)
    For the full rules and intellectual justification of The Verge Bachelor Fantasy League please see this explanatory post. Kaitlyn Tiffany: You may have heard that all is fair in love and war, and while that’s true it does not mean it’s always an equal playing field. This week our seasoned pro, Bachelor Nick Viall, squared off against the women he is dating in a battle of strategy and subterfuge.
  • Emirates now offer blankets made from recycled plastic bottles (2017-01-17 10:00:55)
    Physics would suggest that covering yourself in plastic bottles may not seem like the ideal way to keep warm in an airplane cabin, but Emirates wants you to do exactly that. Today, it’s introducing new sustainable blankets made from 100 percent recycled bottles. The airline has partnered with Buzz, a creative agency, to offer ecothread blankets on all long-haul Emirates flights in economy class.
  • Emirates now offer blankets made from 100% recycled plastic bottles (2017-01-17 10:00:55)
    Physics would suggest that covering yourself in plastic bottles may not seem like the ideal way to keep warm in an airplane cabin, but Emirates wants you to do exactly that. Today, it’s introducing new sustainable blankets made from 100 percent recycled bottles. The airline has partnered with Buzz, a creative agency, to offer ecothread blankets on all long-haul Emirates flights in economy class.
  • OLED screen technology could be in store for next-gen iPhone (2017-01-17 09:43:33)
    2017 is an important year for Apple, marking the tenth anniversary of the original iPhone's release. As a result, the next model in the iPhone line-up is particularly eagerly awaited and could bring several new features from Apple, according to leaks reported by various tech websites. In terms of build, the next iPhone is likely to have a stainless steel chassis holding two glass plates.
  • Creditor group challenges Brazilian firm Oi's restructuring plan (2017-01-17 09:28:34)
    A creditor group has challenged Oi SA's in-court reorganization plan presented in September, saying the Brazilian wireless carrier's proposed restructuring has "illegal and abusive elements" that favor shareholders at the expense of bondholders. In a statement on Tuesday, the group accused Oi of being reluctant to share key information which it said prevents creditors from taking a stance on decisions such as potential asset sales. The Moelis & Co-advised group presented an alternate plan for Oi's reorganization on Dec. 16.
  • After pound's fall, Apple to hike British app store prices (2017-01-17 09:27:37)
    Tech giant Apple is set to raise the prices of its apps in Britain by around 25 percent after the steep drop in sterling following Britain's vote to leave the European Union. Apps which currently cost British consumers 0.79 pounds ($0.97) will cost 0.99 pounds following the hike, which is set to take place over the next seven days. The move follows similar price rises in Apple hardware in September and October last year.
  • Tesla Model S owner gets stranded in the desert for the craziest of reasons (2017-01-17 09:13:21)
    In a bizarre story that gently reminds us that too much technology can sometimes be a bad thing, a Tesla Model S owner named Ryan Negri recently found himself stranded in the Nevada desert after deciding to leave his key fob at home. In its place, Negri brought along his trusty iPhone which can just as easily start the car via Tesla's Keyless Driving feature. In a story originally posted to Instagram, Negri explains that he simply wanted to take his Model S out for a little spin around Red Rock Canyon and take a few scenic photos with his wife and two dogs. However, once Negri exited the car a few miles into the excursion, he quickly discovered that he was unable to restart it with his iPhone because he had no cellular service. "I forgot when you get out of the drivers seat, you have to re-initiate the sequence to unlock keyless driving," Negri said in an interview with Mashable . Compounding matters was that Negri was a good six miles from his home. So although Negri was able to access the Model S display and even play music, his car was nonetheless relegated to a 5,000 pound immovable brick without a cellular connection at his disposal. As to how Negri emerged from could have easily been a harrowing situation, he explains that his wife -- who he rightfully praises as a hero -- took off in search of higher ground and some cell service. After a two mile trek, she received a signal and was able to call a friend who ultimately brought them their abandoned key fob. This story thankfully had a happy ending but it could have easily gone the other way. The obvious lesson here is that you'll want to keep your key fob on you at all times no matter how advanced your car's smartphone app might be. Negri's full Instagram post can be read below.
  • Why native apps aren't really doomed, for now (2017-01-17 09:01:11)
    Web zealots persist in believing native apps are dying. They're wrong, and here's why.
  • Foldable Surface Phone Could Be Ultimate 2-in-1 (2017-01-17 08:39:00)
    According to a new patent by Microsoft, the company is working on a phone with multiple flexible hinges, allowing it to double as a phone and a tablet. "Form factors have been developed that represent a compromise between these form factors, such as a "phablet" that may have decreased mobility due to an increase in size of a display device.
  • Here's How Big the Galaxy S8 Will Be (2017-01-17 08:35:00)
    After months of Galaxy S8 leaks and rumors, we might finally have an answer to just how big Samsung's next flagship will be. The larger Galaxy S8 Plus model will reportedly measure 5.9 x 3 x 0.3 inches. The standard Galaxy S8 model is 5.5 x 2.8 x 0.29 inches, which is a bit slimmer and shorter than the S7 but also slightly wider.
  • Audi to expand electric car range in China with FAW (2017-01-17 08:10:09)
    BERLIN/FRANKFURT (Reuters) - Audi will sell more electric car models in China and develop automated driving there, it said on Tuesday, deepening ties with local partner FAW Group Corp [SASACJ.UL] to counter challengers Mercedes-Benz and BMW in its top market. Volkswagen's luxury division and other carmakers are under pressure to sell greener cars in China as the world's biggest auto market tightens emissions rules and discourages the use of fossil-fueled cars in major cities to fight pollution. Audi and FAW have agreed to produce five more electric cars in China over the next five years, the German company said.
  • $10 device lets your iPhone or Android take time-lapses and panoramas like you’ve never seen (2017-01-17 08:06:56)
    Every phone ships with a built-in panoramic photo mode, and most phones also have a time-lapse feature — if not, there are certainly dozens of apps that do time-lapse photography. No matter what phone or app you’re using though, you’ll never create time-lapses or panoramic shots as stunning as the Veho MUVI X-Lapse 360-Degree Photography and Timelapse Accessory . This brilliant little gadget is compatible with any phone you have, and it rotates over time as your phone captures a photo. The result is a 100% perfect time-lapse or panoramic photo each and every time. Here are some highlights from the product page: Create 90° degree (15 minutes), 180° degree (30 minutes), 270° degree (45 minutes), 360° degree (60 minutes) sweeping time-lapse films. Create 90° degree, 180° degree, 270° degree, 360° degree panoramic pictures Mount cameras up to 750 grams on the standard 1/4 -20 UNC male tripod screw thread. Perfect for the MUVI HD or other actions cameras with continuous photo mode Standard 1/4 -20 UNC female tripod screw thread for mounting on Veho DuoPod tripod or other tripod systems and integral fold out feet to stabilize and support larger cameras Ships with iPhone/Smartphone holder to enable panoramic time lapse photography using your smartphone with apps such as Time Lapse Pro, Glimpse Pro, Osnap The X-Lapse is on sale right now for just $9.99 with free Prime shipping, but you might have to select the lower price from the "other sellers" section in the column on the right.
  • How to avoid public cloud headaches with proper IP address planning (2017-01-17 07:58:16)
    Even if you don't use public cloud services today, there's value in planning for IP addressing in preparation for public cloud integration.
  • Blockchain could save investment banks up to $12 billion a year: Accenture (2017-01-17 07:37:02)
    By Anna Irrera and Jemima Kelly NEW YORK/LONDON (Reuters) - Blockchain technology could help the world’s largest investment banks cut their infrastructure costs by between $8 to $12 billion a year by 2025, according to a report by Accenture. The report, published on Tuesday jointly with benchmarking firm McLagan - part of consultancy Aon Hewitt - is based on an analysis of cost data from eight of the world’s ten largest investment banks, and provides a rare concrete estimate of blockchain’s potential savings. Originally used to underpin digital currency bitcoin, blockchain is a distributed record of transactions, or other data, maintained by a network of computers on the internet without the need for approval from a central authority.
  • My sixteen-year-old web diary is horrifying (2017-01-17 07:30:01)
    Last year I cried a lot for people I never knew. David Bowie, Carrie Fisher, and George Michael all passed away, and they were huge parts of my childhood. I’ve grown up loving Star Wars and listening to a diverse range of music, so out of all the celebrity deaths of 2016 these were the most devastating to me personally. They were also strangely enlightening.These losses got me thinking about how I’d grown up, and the many odd events in my life that have led me to where I am right now. A moment of reflection, if you will. ...
  • I just found my 16-year-old diary on the internet and it's horrifying (2017-01-17 07:30:01)
    Last year I cried a lot for people I never knew. David Bowie, Carrie Fisher, and George Michael all passed away, and they were huge parts of my childhood. I’ve grown up loving Star Wars and listening to a diverse range of music, so out of all the celebrity deaths of 2016 these were the most devastating to me personally. They were also strangely enlightening.These losses got me thinking about how I’d grown up, and the many odd events in my life that have led me to where I am right now. A moment of reflection, if you will. ...
  • If Windows 7's security is so outdated, why doesn't Microsoft make it as good as Windows 10's? (2017-01-17 07:07:00)
    Why can't Microsoft update the 'long-outdated security architectures' it says Windows 7 is based upon?
  • This $100 Gadget Can Break Into Your Office (2017-01-17 07:00:00)
    If so, it might be easier than you'd think to break in, security researcher Kenny McElroy told the ShmooCon hacker conference here yesterday (Jan. 13). Magnetic door sensors and weak magnetic door locks can be defeated by refrigerator magnets, McElroy said. Two Canadian researchers showed how to do this at the Black Hat security conference in 2015, transmitting captured voltage readings via Bluetooth to a nearby smartphone.
  • Microsoft shows off its new Xbox One dashboard (2017-01-17 06:35:51)
    Microsoft revealed last week that it’s planning to rebuild the Xbox One dashboard with a focus on speed. While the software giant revealed common tasks will be faster, Mike Ybarra, head of platform engineering for Xbox, has now teased exactly what the new dashboard will look like. Microsoft is adding a new Xbox button part of the guide that slides into view, with the ability to quickly switch between recent apps or games without having to navigate back to the home of the dashboard.
  • Donald Trump praises wrong Ivanka in Twitter shout-out (2017-01-17 06:35:40)
    LONDON (AP) — U.S. President-elect Donald Trump wanted to praise his daughter on Twitter — instead he accidentally sent his message to another Ivanka.
  • Audi and FAW sign China electric car cooperation deal (2017-01-17 06:33:17)
    FRANKFURT (Reuters) - Volkswagen's Audi AG said it will expand its model portfolio in China to include locally produced electric cars produced by FAW VW, handing a lifeline to China FAW Group Corp.[SASACJ.UL] whose brands have struggled. On Tuesday, Audi outlined a 10-year plan with FAW Group with a new company for mobility and digital services and closer cooperation in the area of financial services. Audi and FAW also agreed to produce five additional e-tron models for China in the next five years, including purely battery-powered cars with ranges of more than 500 kilometers. ...
  • New prescription: Doctor offices that look like Apple stores (2017-01-17 06:17:43)
    After a relative suffered a heart attack a few years ago, Silicon Valley entrepreneur Adrian Aoun got an unsettling look at a health-care system that he diagnosed as an inefficient and outdated mess. Now ...
  • App stores must register with state: China (2017-01-17 05:46:36)
    App stores in China must register with the state from Monday, a government statement said, as China tightens its control over the internet. App stores are "not strict" when they examine and approve apps, the China Cyberspace Administration, the country's internet watchdog, said in a statement. China's ruling Communist party oversees a vast censorship apparatus designed to censor online content deemed politically sensitive, while blocking some Western websites and the services of internet giants including Facebook, Twitter and Google.
  • Rumors point to bigger screen and AI assistant for upcoming Samsung Galaxy S8 (2017-01-17 05:28:16)
    From a borderless display and latest-gen components to a new AI assistant, Samsung's upcoming flagship smartphone is stirring up all kinds of rumors. Meanwhile a promotional video for AMOLED screens posted online by Samsung Display features a never-before-seen smartphone with a borderless display that covers the device's front face almost entirely. After all, Samsung could be keen to release a device similar in style to the Xiaomi Mi Mix, designed by Philippe Starck, which has a 6.4-inch virtually borderless display covering more than 90% of the phone's front surface.
  • Baidu hires Microsoft expert in artificial intelligence push (2017-01-17 05:21:07)
    BEIJING (AP) — Baidu Inc., which operates China's most popular Internet search engine, said Tuesday it has hired a former Microsoft executive and artificial intelligence specialist to improve its competitiveness in the field.
  • Apple’s UK App Store prices will rise 25 percent following Brexit currency fluctuations (2017-01-17 04:57:02)
    Prices in the UK’s App Store are set to rise 25 percent as the pound continues to lose value after Brexit. According to a letter sent to Apple developers reported by 9to5Mac and confirmed by The Verge, the cost of the former cheapest apps will rise from £0.79 to £0.99, while the next tier of prices will be bumped from £1.49 to £1.99, and games like Super Mario Run which previously cost £7.99 will now set UK customers back £9.99. This latest round of price changes doesn’t just affect the UK (customers in India and Turkey are also going to see increases), but the extra cost is certainly a side-effect of currency fluctuations following Brexit.
  • Facebook to open scheme for start-up firms at Paris's 'Station F' site (2017-01-17 04:29:46)
    U.S. social media and technology group Facebook said on Tuesday it would set up a scheme to help start-up companies at Paris' Station F site. The plan was unveiled during a visit to Paris by Facebook's chief operating officer Sheryl Sandberg. Sandberg's visit to Paris comes as the company tries to head off tougher regulation by Germany to stop it being used as a platform to spread fake news.
  • Bikeshare cycles dumped en masse in China (2017-01-17 04:27:12)
    More than 500 bicycles from China's flourishing bike-sharing companies have been dumped in huge piles on the streets of the southern city of Shenzhen, reports said. The sharing economy is taking off in China, where ride-sharing and AirBnb are increasingly commonplace.
  • Tech vendor Misys launches P2P lending software for banks (2017-01-17 04:22:15)
    By Anna Irrera NEW YORK (Reuters) - Financial technology vendor Misys is launching software to enable banks to provide peer-to-peer lending to their customers as competition from young companies in the sector heats up. The technology would enable retail and corporate banks to connect their customers looking for loans with individual or institutional investors digitally, the private London-based software company said on Tuesday. P2P lenders, which allow consumers and small businesses to borrow from investors online, emerged in response to a contraction in bank lending following the financial crisis of 2008.
  • Former Microsoft AI expert Qi Lu moves to Chinese search giant Baidu (2017-01-17 03:58:26)
    The same day that Microsoft’s CEO Satya Nadella was outlining the company’s plans for artificial intelligence, Chinese tech giant Baidu announced it had poached one of the US firm’s former leading AI researchers. Industry veteran Qi Lu was previously in charge of Microsoft’s applications and services unit and helped to orchestrate the firm’s push into AI and bots before a bicycle accident led to his early exit from the company last September. Now, Lu is moving to Baidu where he’ll become the company’s new chief operating officer, overseeing all parts of the business as the search giant pushes further into AI.
  • Download your Vine clips today, while you still can (2017-01-17 02:13:39)
    If you're reading this on January 17th, you've only got a few hours left to download any of your Vines that you want to keep for the future. Today marks the day that Vine's mobile app becomes Vine Camera, as announced in December last year, and all the videos that remain on the service will soon be shifted to an archive mode. It's not clear how long Twitter will keep those archived Vines online for, but in clarifying its original October announcement of Vine's death, it did specify that users should download any of their own creations before January 17th.
  • Samsung chief faces long day as South Korean court weighs arrest warrant (2017-01-17 01:55:20)
    By Ju-min Park SEOUL (Reuters) - The head of South Korea's giant Samsung Group faces a long day in court on Wednesday as a judge decides whether he should be arrested for bribery in a corruption scandal that has engulfed President Park Geun-hye's administration. Investigators questioned Jay Y. Lee for 22 hours last week as a suspect in the scandal which led to parliament impeaching Park in December and throwing the country into crisis. Park, 64, remains in office but has been stripped of her powers while the Constitutional Court decides whether to make her the country's first democratically elected leader to be forced from office.
  • New England Patriots coach Bill Belichick isn't on 'Snapface' or 'InstantChat' (2017-01-17 00:14:40)
    The NFL's football players are increasingly using social media to build their brands, express their frustrations, and sell their condos, but the same familiarity shouldn't be expected from one of the game's most successful coaches. "SnapFace and all that, I don’t really get those,” the New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick told Boston's WEEI sports radio. Belichick was speaking in response to a Facebook Live video, broadcast from the Pittsburgh Steelers' locker room in the aftermath of their playoff victory over the Kansas City Chiefs, in which Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin called the Patriots "assholes." Ironically, Tomlin and a select group of players also used the post-game motivational speech to emphasize the value of staying quiet on social media in the week before the upcoming AFC Championship game between the two teams, all the while being broadcast via wide receiver Antonio Brown's Facebook Live stream.
  • Pakistani right cries 'blasphemy' to muzzle progressives (2017-01-16 23:48:42)
    A virulent social media campaign to paint five disappeared Pakistani activists as blasphemers deserving execution has spotlighted how right-wing efforts to muzzle liberal voices using the country's draconian laws have found a powerful new platform online. The five men had stood against religious intolerance and at times criticised Pakistan's military, with several of them running progressive Facebook pages. "There are people trying to label these missing bloggers blasphemers.
  • Latest macOS beta has a new feature to help users conserve battery life (2017-01-16 23:04:02)
    With battery life performance on Apple's new MacBooks now an issue on everybody's radar, Apple's latest macOS Beta introduces a new feature designed to help users better preserve battery life. While the current incarnation of the macOS menu bar already alerts users as to which apps happen to be draining the battery, the latest iteration of macOS beta now includes a "Display Brightness" string under the "Using Significant Energy" heading. Originally spotted by MacRumors , users have found that if they click on "Display Brightness", the brightness on the display will automatically go down to 75%. If this at all sounds familiar, it's because Apple has a similar feature in iOS called Low Power mode. Originally introduced in iOS 9, Low Power mode will lower an iOS device's brightness when battery life drops below 20%. Though Apple's MacBooks are designed to deliver best in class battery life at 10 hours, Apple's recently revamped MacBook Pro line was recently involved in a mini-controversy after Consumer Reports found that battery life on Apple's premier notebook line varied wildly. As a quick example, one test found that battery life on Apple's non-TouchBar MacBook Pro fluctuated between 4.5 hours and 19 hours. Consequently, Apple's new MacBook Pros marked the first time that Apple's flagship notebook did not receive a "buy" recommendation from the publication. Over the past few days, however, Apple managed to identify the problem and has since  issued a software fix that alleviates the issue. In turn, Apple's new MacBook Pro line up has since received a "buy" recommendation from CR. Incidentally, Apple still hasn't added the "time remaining" option back to the menu bar after removing it last month amid a slew of complaints from users regarding wildly inconsistent estimates.
  • Baidu names former Microsoft exec as COO in artificial intelligence push (2017-01-16 22:24:51)
    China's Baidu Inc said it has appointed a former Microsoft Corp executive as chief operating officer, part of a push into artificial intelligence as earnings from its core search engine business wane. Baidu has been refocusing its business strategy after the introduction of new advertising regulations, aimed at medical advertising in particular, led to a 16 percent drop in ad customers during quarter ended in September. Qi Lu, who was an executive vice president at Microsoft and headed its unit in charge of Office, Bing and Skype until last September, will help develop artificial intelligence as a key strategic focus for Baidu over the next decade.
  • You can buy a handgun that looks like and iPhone, and cops are worried (2017-01-16 22:03:19)
    It might look like a bulky old-generation square iPhone to most people, police included, but the device in the image above is a weapon. One that actually works, and one that could have people fooled. The Ideal Conceal, which we told you about last March , is a .380 caliber handgun that’s currently available for preorder. The gun is supposed to “hide in plain sight” and become “virtually undetectable,” according to the Minnesota-based company that makes it. "The idea for Ideal Conceal follows the present-day demand for handguns that people can carry on a day to day basis, in a manner that makes carrying a gun easy to do,” the company says on its website. “From soccer moms to professionals of every type, this gun allows you the option of not being a victim. The gun fires high-velocity ammunition, Business Insider reports , which means it can be discharged with speed. Furthermore, the gun does not have to be cocked before being fired. When not in use, the gun can be “concealed” like in the image above, by folding it up. When you’d need to use it like, the bottom side folds out to make up the gun’s handle and reveal the trigger, like so: The gun retails for $395, and Ideal Conceal has already received over 12,000 preorders in the US, The Times notes . The Ideal Conceal has police in Europe worried. The gun is expected to arrive illegally in the region in the coming months. Belgian police are apparently on high alert — a warning regarding the gun was already issued. "To the eye, nothing can distinguish it from a mobile telephone," the warning read, according to local newspaper Derniere Heure . "Most people possess a smartphone, meaning that it can pass completely overlooked."
  • You can buy a handgun that looks like an iPhone, and cops are worried (2017-01-16 22:03:19)
    It might look like a bulky old-generation square iPhone to most people, police included, but the device in the image above is a weapon. One that actually works, and one that could have people fooled. The Ideal Conceal, which we told you about last March , is a .380 caliber handgun that’s currently available for preorder. The gun is supposed to “hide in plain sight” and become “virtually undetectable,” according to the Minnesota-based company that makes it. "The idea for Ideal Conceal follows the present-day demand for handguns that people can carry on a day to day basis, in a manner that makes carrying a gun easy to do,” the company says on its website. “From soccer moms to professionals of every type, this gun allows you the option of not being a victim. The gun fires high-velocity ammunition, Business Insider reports , which means it can be discharged with speed. Furthermore, the gun does not have to be cocked before being fired. When not in use, the gun can be “concealed” like in the image above, by folding it up. When you’d need to use it like, the bottom side folds out to make up the gun’s handle and reveal the trigger, like so: The gun retails for $395, and Ideal Conceal has already received over 12,000 preorders in the US, The Times notes . The Ideal Conceal has police in Europe worried. The gun is expected to arrive illegally in the region in the coming months. Belgian police are apparently on high alert — a warning regarding the gun was already issued. "To the eye, nothing can distinguish it from a mobile telephone," the warning read, according to local newspaper Derniere Heure . "Most people possess a smartphone, meaning that it can pass completely overlooked."
  • Japanese rocket suffers catastrophic failure (2017-01-16 21:02:27)
    Japan's ambitious plan to launch a pint-sized rocket equipped with a satellite has come to an abrupt end after the rocket suffered a communication failure and ended up plummeting back to Earth. The tiny rocket was launched from the Uchinoura Space Center at approximately 8:30 on Sunday morning with its microsatellite payload which it hoped to send into orbit.  At first things seemed to be going rather well for the rather small rocket, which measured approximately 35 feet in length. The satellite it was carrying is also a miniature, at just over a foot in width. The rocket managed to cruise skyward and appeared to be working as intended, but Japan's Aerospace Exploration Agency later revealed that the rocket and its satellite ended up in a water grave. The agency explained that communications with the rocket malfunctioned and one of its boosters didn't go off as planned. This caused the rocket to lose its momentum and fall back to Earth. Japan's mini rocket ended up somewhere in the Philippine Sea, making the mission a total loss. The launch had originally been scheduled for January 11 but was postponed several days due to windy conditions. As technology advances many space agencies from around the world are finding ways to make their satellites smaller and smaller, reducing costs and making it easier — in theory — to get them into orbit. In December, NASA released a video showing how its Pegasus XL rocket hauled several tiny satellites into space with the help of a highly modified jet airliner. That launch went much more smoothly than Japan's ill-fated effort, but setbacks are just part of the game.
  • Apple’s TV plans are finally starting to take shape (2017-01-16 20:31:54)
    Apple finally seems to be warming up to the the fact that it needs original programming if it ever hopes to compete in the TV space. To be sure, there are no shortage of movies and TV shows available for purchase and rental via iTunes, but Netflix has demonstrated that a stable of high-quality and exclusive content is what really moves the needle in today's ever-evolving entertainment age. Late last week, word surfaced that Apple was finally preparing to dive into the realm of original content head first. According to a report from the Wall Street Journal , Apple has been busy talking with producers about developing episodic shows similar in style to hit shows like HBO's Westworld and Netflix's Stranger Things . This is a promising development given that shows like  Carpool Karaoke and Planet of the Apps  aren't exactly thrilling programs capable of attracting a wide audience in the same way that a show like House of Cards can pull in viewers. In the wake of that report, Apple Music chief and longtime music industry veteran Jimmy Iovine explained Apple's goals in the media space while appearing at a Television Critics Association event this past weekend. Iovine's remarks were originally relayed by The Hollywood Reporter . "At Apple Music, what we're trying to create is an entire cultural, pop cultural experience, and that happens to include audio and video," Iovine said. "If South Park walks into my office, I am not going to say you're not musicians, you know? We're going to do whatever hits popular culture smack on the nose. We're going to try." Reports indicate that Apple's first stab at compelling original programming may hit Apple Music before the end of the year. As a final point, it's worth noting that Apple's deep pockets could certainly help it roll out any number of hit shows. As we've explained previously, Apple would only need $538 million in order to cumulatively produce one season of each of the following shows: Game of Thrones Breaking Bad House of Cards Orange is the new Black Arrested Development Mad Men Marco Polo The Wire The Big Bang Theory Sons of Anarchy All in all, it's reassuring to see that Apple finally seems to have a semblance of a strategy in a space that it's ignored for far too long.
  • ‘Game of Thrones’ might have more episodes left than we thought (2017-01-16 20:01:22)
    HBO hasn't yet formally renew Game of Thrones for an eighth season, and there’s an exciting — or annoying — reason for that. It all depends on your personal take on the hit TV series. Game of Thrones showrunners David Benioff and D.B. Weiss surprised fans last year when they said that they have some 13 hours left in the Game of Thrones saga. That implied that HBO would only air 13 more episodes over the course of the next two seasons. We already know that season 7 will hit HBO later than initially expected, and it will consist of just 7 episodes. So we thought HBO had settled on a six-episode eight and final season. However, TVLine found out that HBO is still waiting for Benioff and Weiss to decide how many episodes they want in season 8. That’s why the last Game of Thrones season has not been formally confirmed. “The only thing we’re working out is how many episodes they want to do,” HBO programming president Casey Bloys told the site. Bloys “hopes” there will be more than six episodes. “They’re still figuring it out because I think they’re trying to get a shape of the season,” he said. “They always do what they think [will yield] the best version of the show. It’s all about how many they’re comfortable [with]. But I’ll always take more.” However, more episodes of a TV series won’t necessarily make it a better show. Just look at the most recent season of  The Walking Dead . Fans could certainly have done without quite a few of the episodes in the first half of the current season. Moreover, Benioff and Weiss last year said they had a firm conclusion in mind for Game of Thrones when they started it. “I think we’re down to our final 13 episodes,” Benioff said last April. “We’re heading into the final lap.” He then added that it’s ““not just [about] trying not to outstay [our] welcome.” He continued, “We’re trying to tell one cohesive story with a beginning, middle and end,” he continued. “We’ve known the end for quite some time, and we’re hurtling towards it. Those last images from [the Season 6 finale] showed that. Daenerys is finally coming back to Westeros, Jon Snow is king of the North, and Cersei is sitting on the Iron Throne. And we know the Night King is up there, waiting for all of them. The pieces are on the board now… and we are heading toward the endgame.”
  • Russian Cyberattacks 'Sloppy' Compared to What's Next (2017-01-16 19:55:00)
    The Russian hacks of the Democratic National Committee might have gone unnoticed if one of the two attacking groups hadn't made so much "noise," a security expert told the ShmooCon hacker conference here yesterday (Jan. 15). Because that group, dubbed Fancy Bear or APT 28, was so sloppy, it was caught within a few weeks, said Toni Gidwani, director of research operations at Arlingon, Virginia, cybersecurity firm ThreatConnect. The subsequent investigation led to the discovery of a year-old, continuing penetration of the DNC's servers by a rival Russian group, called Cozy Bear or APT 29, that had previously gone undetected.
  • Mark Hamil as ‘The Joker’ thrashes Donald Trump yet again (2017-01-16 19:30:34)
    Outside of his memorable roles in Star Wars , Mark Hamill over the past few decades has enjoyed an incredibly successful run as a Hollywood voice over actor. Taking a look at Hamill's impressively long resume, his voice work as the Joker from  Batman: The Animated Series  truly stands out as something iconic. Last week, Hamill thought he'd have a little fun and decided to record one of Donald Trump's widely circulated tweets using his patented and quintessentially evil Joker voice. The result was nothing short of stunning. This week, Hamill was at it again, this time reading Trump's recent Twitter tirade about Meryl Streep. As for some quick background, Streep during last week's Golden Globe Awards show trashed President-elect Donald Trump without mentioning him by name. "There was one performance this year that stunned me," Streep said in part. "It sank its hooks in my heart. Not because it was good, there was nothing good about it, but it was effective and it did its job. It was that moment when the person asking to sit in the most respected seat in our country imitated a disabled reporter. Someone he outranked in privilege, power and the capacity to fight back." Never one to ignore a insult or even a perceived slight, Trump predictably took to Twitter where he called Streep "one of the most over-rated actresses in Hollywood." In a new audio recording titled "Return of Trumpster", Hamill once again delivers a homerun. And for anyone who missed Hamill's first effort, here it is below for your listening enjoyment. As Trump prepares to take over the Oval Office this week, we can expect to hear more Hamill as Joker as Trump audio recordings in the weeks and months ahead.
  • Here’s the battery that could have saved the Galaxy Note 7 (2017-01-16 19:11:49)
    Samsung's Galaxy Note 7 was absolutely the most publicized example of faulty battery technology in the history of mobile phones, but exploding batteries aren't exclusively a Samsung problem. A quick Google search will produce news stories about defective batteries in phones from Apple, LG, Sony, Nokia, and every other major manufacturer. Lithium-ion batteries are simply not a perfectly reliable power source, and while the Note 7 was an extreme example, every manufacturer could benefit from batteries that are able to extinguish themselves if they get a bit too hot. Now, science has delivered exactly that. A new paper by Stanford University researchers, published in Science Advances , describes an innovative battery technology that includes a flame-retardant substance which allows the batteries to provide power as normal, but will spring into action if things get out of hand. A small amount of triphenyl phosphate is housed inside a thin shell inside of the battery itself. If the battery is working normally, you'll never even know it's there, but if for some reason the temperature inside the battery passes the 150 degree Celsius  (302F) — as it does in cases where batteries balloon up and explode — the shell will melt and the phosphate will extinguish the situation. In their testing, the researchers were able to demonstrate that the battery safeguard could prevent the battery from going nuclear in just four-tenths of a second. In a situation like that of the Galaxy Note 7 — where it is thought defective batteries, casing design, or a combination of both were responsible for the explosions — these batteries would have been able to prevent themselves from spitting fire. Once these new batteries have self-policed their explosive tendencies they are no longer function properly, so Samsung would still have a battery replacement problem on its hands, but there would be no headlines about smartphones burning down homes, garages, or cars.
  • Analyst: Apple’s next MacBook Pros will have Kaby Lake processor, more RAM (2017-01-16 19:00:49)
    Well-known Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo at KGI Securities in Taiwan has issued a new note indicating that this year’s MacBooks will be upgraded with Intel’s Kaby Lake processors, as well as 32 gigabytes of RAM in the 15-inch model. According to Kuo, a new 12-inch MacBook will begin production in the second quarter of this year, new 13-inch and 15-inch MacBook Pros will begin production in the early third-quarter, and a new 15-inch MacBook will begin mass production in the final quarter of the year, featuring 32 gigabytes of memory and aimed at high-end users. It’s unclear whether this last machine will fall into the “Pro” lineup or have simply the “MacBook” nomenclature.
  • Failed Lily drone startup allegedly used GoPro in promotional video, lied about it (2017-01-16 18:44:33)
    The much-hyped Lily drone is officially dead in the water after the company realized it wouldn't be able to actually produce the autonomous flying camera that it had promised buyers for over a year, but the legal battle over how the whole thing shook out is just getting started. In a lawsuit filed in California alleges that the startup was doomed from the beginning, and continued to mislead customers for months, while at the same time using footage from its competitors hardware in an attempt to show its non-existent drone's magical capabilities. As Recode reports, the lawsuit was filed by the San Francisco District Attorney's office, and has been in the works since long before Lily publicly declared failure. The primary issue with how Lily rose to viral fame — while raking in over $30 million in pre-orders — is that the Lily drone never really existed to begin with. In emails that were released as part of the lawsuit, Lily CEO Antoine Balaresque openly mulled the idea of lying to Lily customers by claiming that the footage shot in the promotional video was actually from a Lily drone. "I am worried that a lens geek could study our images up close and detect the unique GoPro lens footprint. But I am just speculating here: I don't know much about lenses but I think we should be extremely careful if we decide to lie publicly," he wrote. In reality, the footage shown in the extremely popular Lily video was shot using a DJI drone and a GoPro camera. The company claimed that the footage was shot on a Lily prototype, but the suit also alleges that it simply wouldn't have been possible since "Lily Robotics did not have a single Lily Camera prototype that had all the features advertised." But despite the inevitable court battle that lies ahead, it seems that Lily did do something right; The company reportedly has every cent from the customer pre-orders on hand and ready to refund to each and every buyer. The cash was held in "cold storage," according to Recode's source, meaning that if you were one of the many who dropped hundreds of dollars on a drone that never existed, at least you'll get a check in the mail.
  • Even Nintendo didn’t know the NES Classic would be this popular (2017-01-16 18:20:27)
    Ever since it came out, the NES Classic Edition has been permanently out of stock . Dribbles have come into Best Buy, Amazon Prime Now and Walmart, but consoles have been snapped up by people willing to wait in line at 3AM, in December. While it might be nice for Nintendo's ego to have people scrambling to find the console, it's not great for Nintendo's bottom line. NES Classic Editions have been going at resellers for around $200, which is a lot of revenue forgone for Nintendo. And, let's not even mention all the consoles that might have been sold as Christmas presents, if customers could have found them in store. In a series of interviews during the launch of the Nintendo Switch , COO of Nintendo America Reggie Fils-Aime explained what caused the stock overruns. Speaking to  Wired , he said that "what happened with NES Classic is that was a situation where the global demand was well in excess of anything we had anticipated, and that’s what created shortages. The good news, at least for consumers in the Americas, is we’re going to continue to make the NES Classic available. With the ongoing level of supply, the ongoing demand is going to be met. We know the concern." "I think that incremental demand is what surprised us. Because again, how many times have you purchased the original Super Mario Bros. ? We thought that the consumer that already had a Wii or a Wii U and had purchased those games once or twice already, we didn’t think that they’d buy the NES Classic. And they did." To paraphrase: we're all a bunch of suckers that keep handing Nintendo our money.
  • What if Microsoft’s Surface Phone is actually a foldable Surface tablet? (2017-01-16 17:56:24)
    Microsoft might be out of the smartphone-making business for the time being, but the company has been rumored to be working on a high-end Surface Phone. It’s unclear whether the company will go forward with a Surface Phone launch anytime soon, although a new discovery suggests that Microsoft is also studying foldable smartphones — the kind of devices that could easily be turned into Windows tablets. Samsung, Apple, and others are also researching foldable smartphones. Just like its competitors, Microsoft also has documentation that highlights its foldable smartphone vision. Found by MSPowerUser , USPTO Patent No. 9,541,962 describes a Mobile computing device having a flexible hinge structure . The patent, awarded on January 10th, features plenty of imagery to explain Microsoft’s vision. The user would be able to easily switch from tablet to smartphone mode, with the screen being placed on the exterior of the device. That way, the tablet could be used as a phone in compact form, or as a tablet when unfolded. A recent report said Samsung will release a smartphone just like the one Microsoft envisions later this year. LG is also rumored to have similar foldable screen technology in place, tech that’s supposedly even more advanced than Samsung’s. The report claimed that LG might even provide foldable screens to its competitors, including Apple and others. The Microsoft patent also imagines devices that would have two hinges and three foldable parts. Furthermore, Microsoft even lays out screen sizes for mini-tablet and smartphone mode, as well as resolutions. Microsoft’s patent doesn’t guarantee that such a device will actually be built. However, The Verge notes that the Surface Studio leaked out months in advanced thanks to patent filings.
  • Bad news: GameStop has already sold out of the Nintendo Switch (2017-01-16 17:28:18)
    While Nintendo can't afford to let the Switch become another NES Classic Edition by harshly limiting the stock in order to increase demand, it looks like snagging a Switch on day one without a preorder is going to be a tall task. On Sunday, GameStop sent out a press release revealing that it had "reserved all of its first allotment of Nintendo Switch systems," and is now working to get more. “The fact that this initial allotment has been completely reserved in a matter of a few days demonstrates gamers desire for this fun and revolutionary gaming system,” said Bob Puzon, senior vice president of merchandising at GameStop. “We’re working closely with Nintendo to get additional Nintendo Switch units, and will let our customers know when they become available." In the meantime, Puzon encourages customers to the Switch page on GameStop's website , where they can scroll to the bottom and sign up to receive updates when and if more units are made available for preorder. Although the Switch itself is sold out at the moment, the games are not, so if you want to preorder The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild , Mario Kart 8 Deluxe or Super Mario Odyssey , you can do so right now. As we did with the NES Classic Edition, we'll be sure to provide updates as often as we can when we hear about Switch preorders going live at retailers both online and off. You can also keep an eye on the Amazon widget below, where stock should be available every so often until the Switch launches on March 3rd.
  • Canada's Portag3 Ventures invests in Street Contxt (2017-01-16 17:21:38)
    By Solarina Ho TORONTO (Reuters) - Portag3 Ventures, a financial technology fund backed by Canada's Power Financial Corp , has invested an undisclosed amount in finance startup Street Contxt, Portag3's president said in an interview on Monday. Started in 2012, Toronto-based Street Contxt lets financial analysts distribute their research reports to capital markets clients and track how they are used, and offers a system for money managers to organize and make the most of the research they amass. "Our target for this coming year is to make 10 to 15 investments," Adam Felesky, Portag3 president and co-founder said.
  • Making an iPhone in the USA wouldn’t bring jobs here (2017-01-16 16:41:44)
    One of President-Elect Trump's few consistent policies has been to vaguely try to bring manufacturing jobs back to the USA. An obvious target for his wrath would be the iPhone, especially given Apple's other problems with keeping cash overseas. Bringing iPhone production from the USA to China would, for Trump, theoretically bring some of Apple's money back to the US, and create a few good ole'-fashioned blue-collar jobs. But there's one problem: if iPhone factories came to the US, you can be sure that robots would be the only ones getting more jobs. A shining example of this comes today from the chairman of Pegatron, a Chinese-based manufacturer that also has some small plants in the US, which mostly make repair components for HP and Dell. TH Tung, Pegatron's chairman, said that those US-based plants could easily increase production by three to five times if necessary -- for example, if Trump introduced crippling tariffs on Chinese-made components. But that increase in production wouldn't come by hiring more workers. Instead, it would almost exclusively come from increased capital spending and automation. The relative cost of skilled labor in the US and China is such that it's cheaper to build a robot than it is to hire one US worker to replace one Chinese worker in the supply chain. Regardless of geographical location, increased automation in technology manufacturing is a given. Foxconn, Apple's biggest manufacturing partner in China, is pushing ahead with building fully-automated assembly lines in its Chinese plants. Foxconn is said to be making 10,000 of its automated "Foxbots" per year, and that's with manufacturing still in China. If Trump forced Foxconn to move production to American plants, where labor is exponentially more expensive, you can be certain that Foxconn's automation plans will pick up speed. This isn't all idle speculation. Following Trump's election, rumors spread that Apple was conducting a feasibility study into moving iPhone production to the US. Although that might seem like a victory for Trump -- Apple never looked at moving iPhone production stateside for Obama! -- it's likely just good forwards planning from Apple. The question of iPhone manufacturing has already come up between Tim Cook and Donald Trump, so Cook having a study that says it's impossible to move iPhone manufacturing to the US is really just an insurance policy. Unfortunately for Trump, it's really a moot point. Even if he could get iPhone manufacturing shifted to the US -- and that's a huge, towering if -- it seems that all he'd be doing is giving new jobs to the people who build Foxconn's robots. "Make the Chinese robotics industry great again" doesn't have quite the same ring to it.
  • Watch the SNL press conference sketch that pissed off Donald Trump (2017-01-16 16:20:58)
    In the final episode before President-elect Donald Trump's inauguration ceremony, Saturday Night Live packed as many shots as it could at Trump in a sketch lampooning the incoming president's recent press conference. Unsurprisingly, Trump wasn't a big fan of the sketch, and lashed out on Twitter once again. Before we get to the reaction, it's worth watching the sketch itself, which focused on healthcare, the star-studded inauguration and the bizarre reports that came out in the days before the press conference: The fact that Trump gave SNL the opportunity to bring Kenan Thompson's Steve Harvey impression into the mix without even having to come up with some contrived reason for him being there was astounding. If nothing else, Trump is making the lives of the SNL writers easier than its been in years. But rather than ignore the show altogether, or perhaps even take credit for the show's ratings bounce through 2016, Trump decided to once again bash the show on Twitter, calling it the worst of the network: One of these days, Trump is going to realize that his tweets are just a signal boost the "really bad television" and... oh, who am I kidding. He's going to continue to tweet about SNL throughout his presidency . We should also expect to see his press secretary, Sean Spicer, stick up for his boss during Trump's reign, as he did this weekend when he appeared on Fox News program MediaBuzz to say that SNL "used to be funny and entertaining and light-hearted," but is now "just bad." Urine trouble now, NBC! No one's going to stream Saturday Night Live  after this.
  • Apollo astronaut Gene Cernan has passed away (2017-01-16 16:09:21)
    Gene Cernan, the last man to walk on the Moon, has died at the age of 82, according to NASA. “Truly, America has lost a patriot and pioneer who helped shape our country's bold ambitions to do things that humankind had never before achieved,” said NASA Administrator Charles Bolden.
  • Today only, save $70 on a 13-inch Chromebook with 10 hour battery life (2017-01-16 15:59:08)
    Windows might still be the most popular desktop operating system in the world, but it sure seems like Microsoft's days at the top are numbered. The company is doing everything it can to stay competitive, and Windows 10 was certainly a massive step in the right direction compared to Windows 8. But an increasing number of computer buyers are looking for decent laptops for the least possible amount of money, and Windows machines still can't offer the same value as Chromebooks. Here's a perfect example: right now Amazon is selling the Lenovo ThinkPad 13 Chromebook for just $179.99. It offers a powerful processor, 4GB of RAM, USB-C connectivity, 10 hours of battery life and more, and it's a fraction of the price of a comparable Windows laptop. Here are some key details from the product page: Ultrafast USB Type-C Data Transfer Rate: ThinkPad Chromebook is equipped with two USB Type-C ports, for powerful and fast connectivity to peripherals. USB Type-C can charge your laptop or your peripherals and provides video and data I/O. The connector is also smaller – narrowing the gap between device and connector size – and reversible, meaning it doesn’t have to be oriented "correctly" to connect to the port. Thin and Light Design; Long Battery Life: Starting at a mere 3.2 lbs (1.4 kg) and just 0.78” (19.8 mm) thin, this Chromebook is ultraportable – it’s perfect for productivity on the go. And with up to 10 hours of battery life, you can work a full day without recharging. Tested to Military Specifications: Military-specification testing validates the ruggedness, durability, and quality of this Chromebook by conducting 12 tests. Integrated 720p HD Webcam & Dual Noise-Cancelling Microphones: Enjoy superior web conferencing on your Chromebook, which includes a low-light sensitive 720p HD webcam with wide-angle viewing and face-tracking, dual noise-cancelling microphones with configurations for crystal-clear private and conference mode VoIP meetings, plus, convenient multimedia keys for quick and easy access to microphone, speaker, and camera controls.
  • All the ways Nintendo screwed up the Switch reveal (and how to fix them) (2017-01-16 15:38:16)
    On Thursday, January 12th, Nintendo finally pulled the curtain back on its next home console: the Switch. As a detractor of the Wii U from the day it was unveiled, I was pleased to see that the company had seemingly veered back on course with the Switch — a hybrid home/portable console with some exciting ideas and one of the most anticipated launch titles in history. But then reality began to sink in. As enthusiastic as I am for the hardware itself ( as you can see in my hands-on report ), it's hard to look past all of the ways that Nintendo botched the reveal of a console that everyone wanted to like. Below, I'm going to explore all of the ways that Nintendo bungled the reveal of a console that absolutely has to succeed, and provide some (potentially untenable) solutions for the company to consider. 1. The Price Nintendo is asking consumers to pay $299 for an underpowered console that doesn't even come with a charging controller. Both the PlayStation 4 and the Xbox One retail for $249 at the moment, and both have massive libraries of games that will only grow larger throughout 2017 and beyond. Whatever Nintendo has to do to lower the price of the launch bundle, it should. Whether that means removing the non-charging Grip controller or selling the Switch Dock separately or throwing all the wrist straps into the ocean, the Switch simply isn't competitive at $299, and never will be. 2. The Launch Lineup This section probably deserves its own post, but I'll try to be brief. At the time of writing, Nintendo has announced five retail games that will be available for the Switch on launch day. Five. I think I downloaded more than five games on my iPhone this weekend. To make matters worse, two of the launch games are ports, and only one actually looks anything like a triple-A console game: 1-2 Switch ($49.99) Just Dance 2017 ($59.99) The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild ($59.99) Skylanders: Imaginators ($59.99) Super Bomberman R ($59.99) If Nintendo wants to convince anyone other than diehard fans to buy a Switch at launch, it needs to make 1-2 Switch a pack-in game. I won't even go into the fact that 1-2 Switch looks like a collection of tech demos worth about $10, but to take it out of the bundle and sell it for $50 is criminal. 3. The Games I know, we just talked about games, but the problem runs much deeper than the launch lineup. According to Nintendo, Only 23 games are currently scheduled to hit the Switch in 2017. Of those, the only true exclusives are Breath of the Wild , Splatoon 2, ARMS, Super Bomberman R  and Super Mario Odyssey , with the remainder of the list consisting of ports ( I Am Setsuna , Minecraft, Skyrim ), remasters ( Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, Ultra Street Figher II ) and indie games ( Has-Been Heroes , Snipperclips ). Super Mario Odyssey could very well be the killer app for the Switch over the holiday season. Zelda might be massive enough to tide us over until the end of summer. But for now, it's hard to see how the Switch is going to avoid the same fate as the Wii U, especially when things dry up completely in early 2018. Thankfully, unlike many of these issues, Nintendo has time to address this one. No matter what it takes, Nintendo needs to come to E3 2017 with as full a slate of releases as it has had since the GameCube hit store shelves in 2001. If 2018 for the Switch is anything like 2016 was for the Wii U, it's already over. 4. The Accessories If you ever needed proof that Nintendo exists in an alternate reality, look at how much it charges for accessories. A set of Joy-Con controllers costs $79.99. A single Joy-Con controller, which you would only ever buy if you broke or lost one, costs $49.99. Yeah, you show 'em, Nintendo. Punish the idiots who break just one of their Joy-Con controllers by charging them an extra $10 to replace it. What's even more stunning than the price of the Joy-Cons — which are more expensive than a DualShock 4 or an Xbox One controller, despite the fact that they don't come with an actual controller shell — is that the Grip that comes in the box of the $299 Switch can't be charged . You have to take the Joy-Cons out of the Grip and slot them back into the Switch console to charge them, or pay $29.99 for Charging Grip. This one's easy: GIVE US A CHARGING GRIP IN THE BOX, NINTENDO. 5. The Online Service Nintendo waited three months after revealing the Switch to actually talk about it. Presumably, this was because there were still elements of the console that needed to be finalized before the company would be ready to show it to the public. Somehow, even after the three months were up, Nintendo still hadn't figured out the Switch's online service is going to look like. All Nintendo knows for sure is that we'll be paying for it. Honestly, the fact that the Switch online service is paid instead of free doesn't bother me all that much — it's the industry standard, whether we like it or not. What does bug me is that Nintendo expects us to buy a gaming console in March 2017 that won't have a full online service until fall 2017. Here's the kicker: Nintendo is going to do its own sort of PlayStation Plus/Games with Gold program and give away a free NES or SNES game every month to those who subscribe to the service. The games will even be updated with online play! Unfortunately, once the month is up, you can't play the games anymore. Another easy solution: let subscribers keep their NES games and figure out what you're going to do with your online service before the console launches in March. You have a month and a half. Get to work. I really like the Nintendo Switch. I dig the Joy-Con controllers, I love the improvements made to the Switch Pro Controller, I can't believe I can play Mario Kart 8 on the go and I want to have one in my home on March 3rd. I just wish that Nintendo would stop finding ways to make desirable products undesirable. The Nintendo Switch will be available on March 3rd for $299.99
  • The original iPhone changed phones as we knew them, but iPhone 4S was a game-changer too (2017-01-16 15:31:15)
    Last week the tech internet lit up with a collective nostalgia around the ten-year anniversary of the launch of Apple’s iPhone. The iPhone dramatically changed a lot of things, least of all the way we use phones.
  • Facebook moves to head off tougher regulation in Germany (2017-01-16 15:18:34)
    By Caroline Copley and Eric Auchard BERLIN/MUNICH (Reuters) - Facebook is stepping up efforts to head off tougher regulation by Germany, a fierce critic of the social media network operator, saying on Monday it would do more to combat fake news as its chief operating officer met with officials in Berlin. Top German lawmakers are planning legislation this year to force Facebook to remove "hate speech" from its web pages within 24 hours or face fines, a push that could force the social mediagiant to bear more responsibility for content posted by users. Germany's strict libel and slander laws are meant to protect citizens by making it a crime to defame others.
  • Everything we already know about the Galaxy S8 (2017-01-16 15:17:02)
    Samsung's next flagship phone, and the first big device since the Note 7 inferno, is set to drop sometime in the next few months. As per hallowed internet tradition, we're already awash with rumors and leaked images about what to expect, and when. Flat screen or edge? One of the biggest questions remaining about the Galaxy S8 is whether we're going to see one phone or two. Last year, Samsung released the Galaxy S7 and Galaxy S7 edge -- basically, the same phones, but the Edge has a curved bezel that lets you do something with the side of the screen when the phone is on your bedside table, or something. So far, rumors are split on whether Samsung is going to go all-out on the edge with the Galaxy S8, or if we're going to get a flat version as well. The edge version of the Galaxy S6 and S7 proved to be reasonably popular, so it's not clear how many people Samsung would be annoying if it goes with an edge-only approach. One this is fairly clear: we are getting a version with a curved edge. Numerous design renderings and leaked photos have shown a curved-screen version, and given that the edge display is one thing that strongly differentiates Samsung from Apple (and the rest of the Android crowd), Samsung is unlikely to do away with the curve. Headphone jack is here to stay One rumor that looks likely is that Samsung will buck the trend and release a flagship smartphone with a headphone jack. This is a no-brainer move for Samsung: Apple has suffered a backlash from loyal fans over its decision to remove the headphone jack, and Samsung has proven itself capable of making a waterproof phone that keeps the headphone jack. This is good news for most of the human race, as a disturbing number of other Android manufacturers have decided to follow Apple's lead and remove the headphone jack. HTC and Motorola are both pushing higher-end phones  that are 3.5mm-jack-free, so Samsung should be able to get easy money selling to the small market of people who have normal headphones. Watch for two sizes Even though Samsung might stick solely with curved screens for the Galaxy S8, that doesn't mean we'll only get one phone. Leaks and rumors from insiders suggest we'll see two Galaxy S8 models this year: a Galaxy S8, with a 5.7-inch screen, and a Galaxy S8 Plus with a 6.2-inch screen. Insert jokes about copying Apple here. If those screen sizes seem big, that's because they are. Apple's two iPhone models have 4.7-inch and 5.5-inch screens, by comparison. If Samsung's phones had the same-sized bezels, they would be objectively huge. But the saving grace here is that screen size does not equal phone size. By shrinking the bezel and using a curved screen, Samsung may well be able to fit a huge screen into a phone the same size as Apple's iPhone, which would be a big advantage when it comes to usability. All the power you'd expect Between a combination of spec leaks and just accepting the obvious, we have a decent idea about what will be powering teh Galaxy S8. You can expect Samsung to use a combination of its own Exynos chip and a Qualcomm Snapdragon 835, depending on which carrier and region a phone is sold for. That chipset will be backed up by 4GB or 6GB of RAM, and 64GB of onboard storage would give Samsung back the edge, as Apple raised the base storage to 32GB on the new iPhones. One detail that has consistently come up is the existence of a "Game Mode," a software setting that would fully unlock the phone's processing power. In addition to boosting gaming power, it would also let Samsung win the battle of benchmarks. This is kind of amusing, as Samsung has been caught out before using software settings to try and game the benchmarks. A "Game Mode" would just make the power-mode software available to everyone, thereby making it OK to use on benchmarking apps.
  • Nvidia’s fantastic new Shield TV is now available (2017-01-16 14:58:42)
    Nvidia didn't make a very big deal about the upgrade it gave its Shield streaming box earlier this month at CES in Las Vegas, but the features list pretty much speaks for itself. Despite being literally identical in design, the new Shield is a lot more capable and packs some really stellar new features that make it one of, if not the best streaming media accessory on the market. Today, the company announced that the refreshed Shield is now available to order. The new Nvidia Shield includes 4k streaming of video content from all the major players, as well as 4k PC-to-TV streaming of games being run on the same network. So, you can boot up League of Legends or Battlefield 1 on your gaming rig and play it from your couch on the big screen in the glorious 4k detail. Those two things are probably enough to make the Shield's $199 price tag seem totally reasonable, but Nvidia really went all out on this thing. Since the Shield runs on a version of Android, it includes not just the bells and whistle associated with Android TV, but now also packs the Alexa-like Google Assistant as well. The assistant can be summoned from whatever room you have your shield in, but that wasn't enough for Nvidia either, so they developed the Nvidia Spot, which is a small speaker and microphone that plugs into any power outlet and spreads the functionality of Assistant to as many other rooms as you want. The Shield comes with a physical remote and a game controller. The Spot add-ons aren't quite ready for the spotlight just yet, however, but Nvidia plans to announce pricing and availability soon.
  • Galaxy S8 release date reportedly set for April 15th (2017-01-16 14:36:26)
    We started the week with a bunch of fresh Galaxy S8 rumors, including an extensive preview of Samsung’s upcoming phone and new renders that may have offered measurements of the handset. That, however, isn’t the whole story. A new report out of Asia claims that the Galaxy S8 is going to be released in mid-April, complete with some big camera improvements. According to Korean-language  site ETNews , Samsung is looking to improve the selfie this year. Therefore, its mobile devices will have better front-facing shooters, Galaxy S8 included. The report says that on Samsung will launch new smartphones that have significantly improved front cameras on April 15th. It’s likely that the Galaxy S8, already expected to arrive in the second half of April, will lead this mini-selfie revolution. The report indicates that Samsung’s Galaxy S8 and Galaxy A will have 8-megapixel cameras. The Galaxy S8 should have an improved 8-megapixel shooter, complete with auto-focus features. It's worth noting that April 15th is a Saturday, and Samsung typically launches flagship smartphones on Fridays. The report also says that the Galaxy S8 might not copy the iPhone 7 when it comes to one critical feature. The iPhone 8 and the iPhone 7s Plus are both tipped to feature dual rear cameras this year. The Galaxy S8 might not have a dual camera on the back as initially planned, as the idea has supposedly been killed during development. Samsung insider Eldar Murtazin did not mention anything about a dual rear camera on the Galaxy S8 in his extensive preview . Existing Galaxy S8 case leaks do not show a dual camera on the phone’s back either. ETNews also says that the Galaxy S8 will have an iris recognition camera on the front side, just like the Galaxy Note 7.
  • Flying cars are real, and Airbus is making them this year (2017-01-16 14:11:21)
    If there's one thing that the year 2000 and beyond really let us down on it's the unfulfilled promise of flying cars. Sure, there are airplanes that can be driven on city streets, but they're not exactly commonplace, and definitely not as impressive as what 80s sci-fi movies had led us to believe. Now Airbus, one of the biggest aviation brands on the planet, is promising to do its part to clear up traffic congestion with autonomous flying taxis, and it plans on having a working prototype flying high by the end of this year. As Reuters reports , Airbus CEO Tom Enders announced the company's plans to continue development within its Urban Air Mobility division of a single-person autonomous flying vehicle at a recent tech conference in Germany. "We are in an experimentation phase, we take this development very seriously," Enders said. "One hundred years ago, urban transport went underground, now we have the technological wherewithal to go above ground." Enders also cited the potential for flying cars to provide some much needed relief for city infrastructure like roads and bridges — after all, flying cars don't stress the pavement. What's more, Rodin Lyasoff, the CEO of A^3, Airbus's advanced projects group, suggests that flying cars are actually much closer to reality than we think. “Many of the technologies needed, such as batteries, motors and avionics are most of the way there,” he says on the company's website. But Lyasoff also notes that one of the biggest hurdles currently is the technology that will allow the vehicles to avoid collisions when flying autonomously, though he says solving that issue is already a top priority. The company's current plans of having a single-passenger craft in the air within the next 12 months are ambitious, but seemingly within the realm of possibility, so grab your air sickness bag and strap in because the future is just around the corner.
  • A Japanese spacecraft has spotted a massive gravity wave in Venus’ atmosphere (2017-01-16 13:57:13)
    The Japanese probe Akatsuki has observed a massive gravity wave in the atmosphere of Venus. This is not the first time such a wave was observed on the Solar System’s second planet, but it is the largest ever recorded, stretching just over 6,000 miles from end to end. Its features also suggest that the dynamics of Venus’ atmosphere are more complex than previously thought.
  • Bose’s hottest Bluetooth speaker is on sale right now on Amazon (2017-01-16 13:46:24)
    If you're on the lookout for a premium wireless speaker, there are a few brands in particular that always bubble up to the top of every list. Among them is Bose, a company that needs absolutely no introduction. Bose has been making industry-leading audio gear for decades. While the company's speakers have consistently improved over the years, one thing has remained constant: Bose gear is expensive. That's why sales on Bose gear are so noteworthy, of course, and one such sale just hit Amazon today. For a limited time, you can save $30 on the Bose SoundLink Bluetooth Speaker III , the hottest Bluetooth speaker Bose has made so far. Some key details from the product page: Connects wirelessly to your smartphone, tablet or other Bluetooth device  Sound performance unlike any other mobile speaker this size Curved edges and thin profile for easy grab-and-go portability Silicone button panel protects from dirt and dust; Rechargeable battery plays up to 14 hours It's unclear how long this sale is going to last, so definitely check it out while you can.
  • Did leaked renders just reveal the Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S8 Plus? (2017-01-16 13:21:06)
    We saw the exciting concepts, and we saw the leaked Galaxy S8 case mockups, but the following renders might actually show us the real thing, complete with actual measurements of Samsung's hotly anticipated new flagship smartphones. Obtained by GSM Arena from an unnamed case maker, the following Galaxy S8 renders come complete with measurements and comparisons to Samsung’s Galaxy S7 models. The Galaxy S8 is said to measure 140.14 x 72.20 x 7.30 mm, which is about as tall as the Galaxy S7, but slightly wider. The handset pictured here has much smaller top and bottom bezels compared to last year’s phone. The Galaxy S8 will also retain the 3.5mm headphone hack, the image above indicates, but won’t feature a USB-C port. The Galaxy S8 Plus is the bigger version of the phone, which is supposed to offer the same overall design, as well as the same bottom ports and speaker placement. The phone should measure 152.38 x 77.61 x 7.940. That would make the Galaxy S8 slightly taller and wider than last year's Galaxy S7 edge. An extensive preview from Samsung insider Eldar Murtazin said the phones will be as big as their predecessors, but they will have an all-screen design with no physical buttons. The report also said the phones will retain the 3.5mm headphone jacks and that they’ll have USB-C connectivity as well. Samsung is expected to release the Galaxy S8 in mid-April, although the phone should be unveiled either in late February or in March.
  • Portlandia renewed for final, eighth season (2017-01-16 13:19:10)
    The critically acclaimed sketch comedy hit on IFC, was renewed for an eighth final season, Variety reports. Brownstein and Armisen’s portrayals depicted the more absurd aspects of gentrification and the creative class’s return to cool urban enclaves, like Brooklyn and Portland, through rose-colored, albeit horn-rimmed, glasses.
  • Caffeine may be able to block inflammation, new research says (2017-01-16 13:12:37)
    Caffeine may be able to tamp down the inflammation that worsens with age, according to a study that investigated caffeine’s effects on immune cells. It’s a correlational study, but it’s one that dives into how caffeine could be affecting the immune system. The findings could help explain why coffee has been purported to help ward off everything from type 2 diabetes, to cardiovascular disease, and even dementia.
  • 10 paid iPhone and iPad apps on sale for free today (2017-01-16 12:56:44)
    It's time to start the week off with a bang, and we've got just the thing. Today's list of paid iPhone and iPad apps on sale for free includes several hot apps that have never been featured on the site before. There are a bunch of noteworthy apps on Monday's list, including one that uses artificial intelligence to help you rap about anything you see. Will wonders never cease? These are paid iPhone and iPad apps that have been made available for free for a limited time by their developers. There is no way to tell how long they will be free. These sales could end an hour from now or a week from now — obviously, the only thing we can guarantee is that they were free at the time this post was written. If you click on a link and see a price listed next to an app instead of the word “get,” it is no longer free. The sale has ended. If you download the app, you will be charged. Rapto Normally $0.99. Ever wished that you could turn your normal day into a rap song? I'm guessing probably not. But hey, this is the kind of thing you don't know that you want in your life until you try it out! Rapto lets you create music using artificial intelligence & your camera. Simply point the camera towards any object around you and Rapto will use it's inbuilt neural network to "understand" the object & create rap music! *Note - Rapto does not send images to any remote servers to do the image processing. You don't even need an internet connection actually, so feel free to bring up Rapto next time you want to pass time in an aeroplane! Download Rapto Remote Mouse for iPad Normally $1.99. Remote Mouse turns your iPhone, iPad or iPod into a wireless user-friendly remote control for your Mac / PC. It’ll surprise you with fully simulated touchpad, keyboard and featured remote panels which make your remote experience simple and efficient. Giving a presentation? Watching an online movie? Or transferring pictures within a second? We make it dead easy to control your PC/Mac! Just sit back and enjoy the day. * * * * * * * * Questions? Suggestions? Cooperations? Or just want to say hello? Join our Superuser forum at: ** FEATURES ** • Fully Simulated Mouse • Magic Trackpad • Multi-Touch Gestures • Function Keyboard in Landscape Mode (full version only) • Key Combination Input • Media Remote – convenient control of iTunes, Keynote, Hulu and PowerPoint... (need unlocking) • Changing Keynote Slides with Physical Volume Buttons (media remote feature) • Remote Image Viewer & Transfer (need unlock) • Application Launcher & Switcher • Shut Down / Sleep / Restart / Log Off Remotely • Numeric Keyboard • Swaying Mode Control • Remotely Typing with Voice (need Siri) • Connect via IP & QR code • Password Protection • Customizable Wallpapers • Works under Wi-Fi and 3G network • Compatible with Windows 10, 8, 7, XP, Vista, Mac OSX 10.6+ ** TO GET STARTED, YOU ALSO NEED ** 1. Visit with your Mac / PC. Download & install Remote Mouse server on computer. 2. Make sure that your mobile device is connected to the same Wi-Fi (or 3G hotspot) as your computer. 3. Open Remote Mouse App, Click “Start” to connect. Download Remote Mouse for iPad Easy Spending Normally $0.99. See where your money goes and take control of where to spend your money effectively using the simple and yet powerful money management App on iOS. The Easy Spending expense tracker, is the most powerful and convenient daily money management App on the GO for iPhone and iPad, that neatly tracks all your cash flow between different accounts that you can budget, and is an easy to use App on a daily basis. It is now, all the more secure, with the addition of Automatic Backup Service as part of its In-App purchase. With this feature you never have to worry about losing valuable financial data, either through accidental deletion or change of device. You can restore it on any device with this App installed. Comes with easy gestures with convenient layout and clutter free interface, with large fonts, well spaced layouts for easy viewing and readability. Great for maintaining monthly recurring bills with reminders, it has the convenience of an Finance Tracker and BILL reminders at one place. HIGHLIGHTS @ Never loose your valuable financial data with the All new Automatic Backup Service, (available as an In-App purchase) @ Excellent and seamless cloud sync of all your transaction data. (available as an In-App purchase) @ BILL Reminders. @ Recurring income/expense tracking @ MULTIPLE ACCOUNT(S) Summary in a single screen, and nice reports. $ Passcode LOCK. $ Support Fortnightly transactions. $ NOTIFICATIONS added to Default calendar for recurring transactions as an option. Using this option, NEVER forget to pay your BILL on time. $ See future bills/payments and income using, "UPCOMING TRANSACTIONS" view. $ Cool Search based on category and notes $ Allows transactions to be emailed as CSV, and also uploaded to your Google Drive account $ Store data for MANY MANY years $ Preview comments in History while drilling down the transactions. $ Use MULTIPLE accounts like Checking, Savings, Credit card, Cash flow, Mortgage accounts etc. $ Preview comments in History while drilling down the transactions. *** REPORTS *** $ Powerful reports, timeline reports $ Doughnut chart reports gives a clean break up of where your money is going. $ Email csv file of all your data for single or all of your accounts. $ Upload csv file also to your Google Drive account --- Automatic Backup Service ---- Automatic Backup Service is an auto-renewable In-App purchase that lets you take automatic backup without you having to do anything manually. Just keep using the App, and an automatic backup of all you data is safely stored either weekly or monthly. When you App is deleted by mistake or phone is replaced there is no hassle in getting your data back. This feature is offered as a free trial for one month, and the cost of subscription is $0.99 per month, after the trial period. It auto-renews every month until it is cancelled. This feature is also offered as an annual subscription with a cost of $7.99 per year, with a initial trial period of 1 month. It auto-renews every year until it is cancelled. Payment will be charged to iTunes Account at confirmation of purchase, and account will be charged for renewal within 24-hours prior to the end of the current period. Download Easy Spending Adventure To Fate Normally $1.99. 2016 Sleeper RPG of the YEAR! -TouchArcade Adventure To Fate : Quest To The Future - is an JRPG style dungeon crawler game -Tons of character creation possibles (8 Classes, 20+ Pets, 6 Professions) -450+ items to loot, craft, buy and find. -170 unique monsters to fight -Fully accessible to the blind using Voiceover Quest To The Future Story Our biggest fears have come to fruition, the defenses of the dimensional ports have failed. An evil force has laid to waste our guards and now pours through the portals without resistance. We've brought you here as our last chance at stopping this evil. You're one of the select few that have used the portals before, to come here for a better life, but in our darkest hour we turn to you one last time, to go back and triumph where we failed. With our guards and roads destroyed, getting back to the portals will not be easy, as this invasion has crippled our ability to send forces en masse to clear a path. You'll be forced down, through the sewers that run underground to the ruins, into the crypt where the portal to the future lies. You must make haste we don't have much time! - Customize Your Hero - 8 Classes - Mercenary, Assassin, Cultist, Mutant, Priestess, Ranger, Time Guardian, Arcane Archer 6 Professions - Weaponsmith, Armorsmith, Leatherworker, Tailor, Jeweler, Alchemist 20+ Pets to accompany you in battle Leveling system that goes up to 27 levels - Crafting System - 6 Professions - Weaponsmith, Armorsmith, Leatherworker, Tailor, Jeweler, Alchemist 200+ Items to craft 30+ Materials to work with Share Items between characters using the Account Vault - Explore Time - 5 Themed Areas from the Past and Future (Sewers, Ruins, Crypt, Frozen Wastelands, Earth Core) Over 2100 rooms to explore, search, and loot. Each area has its own unique enemies, spells, shops, treasures, items and much more! - In Depth Stat & Skill System - Featuring 200+ Spells/Skills Damaging skills - These are direct physical attacks that damage the enemy Damaging spells - These are direct magical attacks that damage the enemy Damaging All spells (AOE) - These are direct magical attacks that damage ALL enemies Summoning spells - Allows certain enemies to summon others to help Healing HP spells - These are spells that heal the casters life/hitpoints (HP) Healing SP spells - These are spells that heal the casters skill points (SP) Buffing skills - A skill that user casts on itself to raise some stats Debuffing skills - A skill the caster casts on enemies to lower some stats Mimicking skills - Use the enemies skills against them Taunts - Enemies you must attack first Death Spawns - Enemies that spawn others upon death Confusing Skills - Enemies that are confused might attack themselves or other monsters - Endless Loot & Treasures - 500+ unique items 12 equipment slots to to fully customize your characters - (Weapon, Shield, Helmet, Chest, Gloves, Legs, Boots, Belt, Bracelet, Necklace, 2x Rings) Randomized drops on all monsters Item rarity color system (Common, Uncommon, Rare, Epic, Legendary) *Share* all your items with the Account Vault System. - Other Features - Game Center Leaderboard enabled. Indie created game built for the people! 100s of hours of game play between all classes! Autosave feature - Easy to pick up and play at any time! Unlimited character slots so you can try every combination possible. Retro Pixel Art 8Bit sound/music Library system that explains general game, character, skills and combat systems. Fully accessible for the vision impaired using Voice Over. Thanks for taking a look! Download Adventure To Fate FlipCam PRO Normally $0.99. Enjoy unwatermarked version of FlipCam! FlipCam is a fast camera to capture the entire moment with instant front-back shots! And it uses 3D force touch pressure gestures, so you can easily and quickly capture beautiful shots, record videos, create and share PhotoBooth shots (application is still usable by all devices but without the use of force pressure)! Features: - Combine front & back camera shots instantly into one photo - With 3D force pressure capable devices, capture photos & videos using force touch - Easily create PhotoBooth moments - Pick and choose favorite photos from your PhotoBooth moments - Add photo & video filters to your shots - Share on Snapchat, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and many more of your favorite social networks Download FlipCam PRO Vima Normally $1.99. Vima is a GPS based tracking app for people who want to keep track of their biking fitness goals. It is an app aimed at simplicity that allows bikers to keep track of their runs easily without a lot of unnecessary stuff getting in the way. APPLE WATCH Easily start, pause, resume, and save a ride without ever getting your phone out of your pocket. Check your distance, speed, time, and altitude from your Apple Watch in realtime. STATS AND MAPS Vima tracks speed, distance, altitude, and time. It also gives you a map showing where you have been while you are saving a ride. COLOR CODED When viewing saved rides your route shows up on the map color coded by speed. It shows where you went the fastest (green) and where you were slowest (red). VOICE SUMMARY Don't want to look at the screen every few minutes? You can have the app tell you updates on your progress in set distance and/or time intervals. SPLIT TIMES Added splits to the history review page. Choose from 9 different distances and see how each section of your workout went. CALORIES See calories burned. Set your weight in settings and get your calories burned in real time and on the history page after your run. BIKE TRACKING Track the distance on your bike so you know when it's time to do maintenance or replace it before problems happen. PAUSE AND RESUME Pause the workout to catch your breath or chat with a friend and then resume when you get back to it. FACEBOOK & TWITTER Share your workout with your friends on Facebook or Twitter with our easy to use integration. PEBBLE SMARTWATCH Vima connects with your Pebble to show you time, distance, and pace on your wrist without making you get your phone out. UNITS The supports both standard and metric units. If you've read this far, you should definitely give Vima a shot. We think you'll love it, and if there is anything you'd like to see for the app in the future just let us know. We love hearing from our users. Note: Continued use of the GPS will reduce battery life. Download Vima FaceGo Normally $0.99. Would you like to be stronger, faster and hotter? Take a selfie and change your face with FaceGo now! Features: - Swap your face with your friend, your idol or your love! - AND HAVE ENDLESS FUN! - Use photos in camera gallery, Facebook, Instagram, our stock photos or web search. No limitation! Infinite possibilities! - Change faces automatically. Being a famous star could never be so easy! - Share your funniest artistic photo with friends and family! Want to laugh some more? No problem! Get our Face Story App to turn face arts into video. Share to show your friends what an artist you really are. Download FaceGo Tungoo Normally $0.99. Welcome to the exciting new world of Tungoo! Get ready for a truly unique mobile gaming experience. Tungoo's world is a seamless vertical adventure starting from the ground and ending at the edge of space. Eat bubbles to fill up with gas and boost your way up to save Tungoo's friends from their alien abductors. Navigate through Tungoo's world with tilt controls and a multi-touch layout that will keep you honed in on the action. Enjoy lip-smacking good collectibles, high flying boosts, bubble bursting excitement, in-game cash reward challenges, awesome wearable gear with stat improvements, and much more! Explore the world of Tungoo and rise to the occasion to rescue his friends. Features - Unlock over 100 pieces of gear to improve your stats and your look - Over 190 challenges to complete with in-game rewards - Sell what you collect for in-game BugBucks - Take a chance on re-rolling gear for better stats! - Track your stats with the personal stat tracker system - Back up to iCloud and play on another device! - In-App purchases that will get you ahead in the game Download Tungoo Wright Normally $1.99. With Wright, anyone can create beautiful markdown documents and notes. The app features a beautiful and streamlined interface, designed for iOS 9 and the latest devices. Your words are instantly synced to all your iOS devices in real time. Wright has the following features: • Beautiful Markdown Styling • Real time data syncing between your devices • GitHub flavored Markdown (for code snippets) • Organize your work into notebooks. • Clean minimal interface. Whether you are a seasoned writer or a beginner, give Wright a try. We think you'll love it Download Wright Annota Normally $0.99. Annota is a simple, full featured app for saving and organizing notes. Features: Edit notes quicker by swiping left and right with one finger to move the cursor, and two fingers to highlight. Double tap the top bar to toggle a dark theme, intended for easy use at night. Add folders to group notes together. Tap and hold a folder or note to edit the title. Search notes and folders with filters to find what you're looking for in a snap. Tap and hold on the back button to jump all the way back to the "All" page. Download Annota
  • The Bragi Headphone is finally shipping (2017-01-16 12:35:43)
    Bragi announced today that the company’s latest Headphone earbuds are finally available for immediate shipping. The news comes after a series of delays in shipping the Headphones, including a mid-December announcement where Bragi was forced to send out a PDF Christmas card for prospective Headphone gift givers to use in lieu of the actual product. The Headphone is a stripped-down version of the Bragi Dash, and eschews the fitness tracking, heart rate monitoring, gesture controls, and app to simply function as a pair of truly wireless Bluetooth headphones.
  • You’ll need another $30 accessory to actually use the Nintendo Switch (2017-01-16 12:31:18)
    The Nintendo Switch's announced price seemed a little too good to be true, and it was. Nintendo has drawn inspiration from budget airline pricing models, showing one fee upfront and then charging extra for using the bathrooms. And by bathrooms, I actually mean $29.99 for a Joy-Con Charging Grip. As  Eurogamer  noticed , listings have started to pop up for a Joy-Con Charging Grip, which confirms what we already thought: the Joy-Con Grip included in the box is a fairly useless piece of plastic that holds the Joy-Con together. If you want to charge the Joy-Con out of the box, you'll need to connect them to the Switch itself, which is difficult to do if it's also attached to your TV. To solve this problem, Nintendo made a Joy-Con Charging Grip, which has a USB port so you can connect it to power, connect your Joy-Con to the grip, and keep playing  Mario Kart  for as long as your thumbs don't fall off. Yes, the Joy-Con controllers should last for around 20 hours of gametime without needing to be recharged, so you can theoretically do without the Charging Grip. But a scientific examination of the USB cables that seem permanently attached to my PS3 controllers prove that people are bad at remembering to plug things in, and at some point your Joy-Con will die, and you won't be able to play games. The Charging Grip is listed for $29.99, so it's not going to break the bank. But it's still a blow for anyone who was still thinking that the Switch is going to be the cheap, multi-purpose gaming console for the masses.
  • Watch La Lisière, a gritty, post-apocalyptic French short film (2017-01-16 12:17:05)
    If you’re looking for a new fix after finishing The Hunger Games, The Last of Us, or any similar piece dark, post-apocalyptic media, then check out La Lisière (The Edge in English). Set in a future where vaguely describes wars and natural disasters have destroyed civilization, La Lisière tells the story of Hama (played by Ouidad Elma), a young woman who lives with her father Selim (Saïd Amadis, who in a neat bit of trivia did the voice dub for James Earl Jones in the French language version of The Empire Strikes Back. ...
  • Five of 2016’s biggest movies just leaked to torrent sites (2017-01-16 12:06:03)
    Throughout history, pirates have been known for their insatiable appetite and reckless abandon, but the same can't be said of movie pirates in 2016. Rather, the Hollywood screener leak scene was suspiciously quiet at the end of last year — a dramatic shift from years prior, where multiple massive movies would arrive via torrent before the holidays, or, on occasion, before they even made it to theaters. Yes, pirates have been significantly more cautious in recent months, but over the weekend, the floodgates finally opened as five DVD screeners of blockbuster films from 2016 found their way on to the internet. As noted by TorrentFreak , Hidden Figures and Patriots Day were the first to leak, followed shortly after by Arrival , La La Land and Moonlight . Interestingly, despite the fact that they were released in such a small timeframe, they arrived from multiple P2P pirate groups, including HIVE-CM8 and 4RRIVED. "Finally first quality release, we do think this is a hot title and we decided to share it with the public," said HIVE-CM8 in the release notes for the La La Land screener. "PS: We are looking for the guys sitting at home with all the 30 discs and posting pictures all over the net, but not sharing with anyone. Not sure why you are hiding. It can be done safely and securely, for private viewing only if requested. Just message us if you need help, we don't bite." [ Fixed some grammar and spelling. ] Finally, HIVE-CM8 says that it does not plan to release every screener to the public this year, but does hope to collect all of the screeners if possible. If another group doesn't take up the mantle, this might mean a smaller set of 2016 leaks than we're used to seeing. We'll be keeping an eye out for updates.
  • Tiny Japanese rocket fails to make it to orbit after communications issue during flight (2017-01-16 11:59:36)
    After the fanfare of SpaceX’s return to flight, Japan attempted to launch a rocket of its own on Saturday — but the vehicle failed to achieve orbit. It was the launch of a tiny, experimental rocket called the SS-520-4, which was carrying a lone 6.6-pound satellite, called TRICOM-1, into orbit. As a result the rocket and the satellite it was carrying fell back into the ocean, according to an update from the Japanese Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA).
  • Report: Trucking firms using gadgets to cheat on emissions (2017-01-16 11:46:28)
    German public broadcaster ZDF reports that trucking companies in Europe may be using electronic equipment to commit large-scale emissions fraud. Tests commissioned by ZDF and freight industry organization ...
  • People are showing off photos of their scratched up Jet Black iPhone 7 handsets (2017-01-16 11:41:58)
    Look, we're just going to go ahead and say it: the Jet Black iPhone 7 and the Jet Black iPhone 7 Plus are the most gorgeous smartphones that have ever been created. This is not open to debate. It's a fact. There's simply nothing else like the sleek glossy finish of Apple's Jet Black iPhones, which reflects just the right amount of light to appear as though the glass face of the phone wraps straight around to the back of the device. It's stunning, but there's a pretty big caveat to that bold statement we made. The Jet Black iPhone 7 and the Jet Black iPhone 7 Plus are the most gorgeous smartphones that have ever been created... for about 3 minutes after you first remove one from the box. After that, Apple's Jet Black finish starts to scratch and scuff like crazy, and it's also a magnet for grease and grime. Apple didn't exactly admit how delicate its Jet Black finish is when it unveiled the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus last September, but it did post a disclaimer on its website. Here's that disclaimer in full: The high-gloss finish of the jet black iPhone 7 is achieved through a precision nine-step anodization and polishing process. Its surface is equally as hard as other anodized Apple products; however, its high shine may show fine micro-abrasions with use. If you are concerned about this, we suggest you use one of the many cases available to protect your iPhone. Translation: the Jet Black finish on the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus is going to scratch. A lot. We've shown you what happens to the Jet Black iPhone finish in a couple of different posts. One showed a Jet Black iPhone 7 Plus after three months , and another showed a Jet Black iPhone 7 Plus after just two months . Both of those posts were scary for potential Jet Black iPhone owners, and now there are even more examples of what Apple's sleek new iPhone finish looks like with normal wear and tear. A post on Reddit from over the weekend asked people to share what their Jet Black iPhones look like now that they've been used. Several people complied, and the photos they shared give us a good idea of what happens to Jet Black iPhones when they're in your hands as opposed to being featured in photos on Apple's website. Reddit user KateWalls shared the highest-quality photos in the thread, and you can see plenty of fine scratching on her Jet Black iPhone 7 Plus — which is only two weeks old. She does note that in person, the scratches are more visible on the antenna bands than they are on the aluminum housing. Here are a couple of examples from her post: There's definitely plenty of scratching there but as you can see, it's much more visible at certain angles to the light. Another user named ctsikh posted one photo of his Jet Black iPhone 7, and you can clearly see some scratching. You can also see how much grease and dirt the Jet Black finish picks up — remember my tweet showing a Jet Black iPhone 7 Plus that had been handled by customers in an Apple store? Yeah. If those photos don't scare you, this one from Redditor polygonarsenal definitely will: He used a filter to accentuate the scratches, which look downright terrible. This is pretty much the stuff nightmares are made of. There are a bunch more photos in the thread on Reddit , so definitely check them out.
  • 6 Apple AirPods alternatives that won’t take 6 weeks to be delivered (2017-01-16 11:16:39)
    Apple’s new AirPods are insanely popular, having reportedly helped Apple’s share of the wireless headphone market skyrocket to 40% in recent months. In fact, they’re so popular that Apple can’t even manage to keep them in stock in a single Apple store anywhere on the planet. New orders placed on Apple’s website today won’t ship for 6 weeks according to the current delivery estimate, so your only option if you want to get them now is to buy them on Amazon and pay a premium. Of course, if you want truly wireless earbuds but you don’t necessarily need them to be AirPods, you’ve got plenty of options. Below you’ll find six suggestions got great alternatives to Apple’s trendy new buds, and they’ll all ship to your door much faster than AirPods will. And last but not least, a pair of knockoffs that look just like AirPods but cost less than half as much:
  • The Nintendo Switch doesn’t come with a Joy-Con Charging Grip (2017-01-16 10:50:23)
    As can be seen when visually comparing the two, the Joy-Con Charging Grip has a translucent shell — similar to the Switch Pro Controller — and features a USB-C port on the top of the device to charge the Grip’s battery. Nintendo is claiming that the Joy-Con controllers (without the Charging Grip) should get around 20 hours of use on a charge, and take about 3.5 hours to recharge, whether that’s connected to a plugged in or docked Switch unit or in the Charging Grip. While fans may be disappointed at the exclusion of the charging feature in the bundled Grip controller, it does make some sense given that the Joy-Con units will charge whenever they’re attached to the main Switch device, while any extra Joy-Cons would need some sort of external method to recharge — like a Charging Grip, for example — given that they contain no charging ports of their own.
  • How to enable the ‘dark mode’ feature hiding in your iPhone browser right now (2017-01-16 10:47:39)
    Apple's iOS 10 software is packed full of new features. In fact, there are so many new features that it's impossible to remember them all, which is why we often publish collections of lesser-known tips and tricks. A perfect example is this collection of 5 iPhone features only power users know about  — we always want to help people get the most out of their smartphones. When iOS 10 was first released as a closed beta last summer during WWDC 2016, developers instantly began picking it apart. In doing so, they stumbled upon a fantastic looking "dark mode" feature hiding inside iOS . The good news is it was there. The bad news, as we all know, is that it wasn't enabled when iOS 10 was finally released in September. Rumors suggest that a new " theater mode " might be introduced in iOS 10.3, but nothing has been confirmed at this point. What you might not know, however, is that there's already a dark mode feature hidden inside your iPhone browser. Night Shift is a nifty new feature Apple introduced in iOS 10 that reduces the amount of blue light emitted by an iPhone or iPad display at night. It theoretically helps users sleep better, but it doesn't do anything to make text more visible in low light situations. For that, you need "dark mode," which switches things up and makes the background black with light colored text. Dark mode is available in many third-party iOS apps and even a handful of first-party apps. Sadly, however, there's no system-wide dark mode feature for the time being. That said, there's actually a special dark mode in Safari that most people don't know about, and it'll let you read just about any article on the web in light text on a black background. Here's how to enable it: 1) First, load any article in Safari (if you're reading this Safari on an iPhone or iPad, you're good to go). 2) Tap the reader mode icon in the left corner of the URL bar. You'll then see something that looks like this: 3) Tap the "aA" icon in the right corner of the URL bar and you'll get a drop down menu that looks like this: 4) Tap the black circle all the way to the right in the top row of the drop down menu. Presto — you've just enabled dark mode in Safari: Here's what your screen will look like once you start scrolling around: In-line pictures will still display normally, but the rest of the page will be dark, as pictured above. It's not the system-wide dark mode we've all been waiting for, but people spend a tremendous amount of time reading in Safari, so this should be a big improvement at night.
  • I really hope Apple’s iPhone 8 looks nothing like this concept (2017-01-16 10:18:37)
    Apple’s 2017 flagship iPhone is supposedly called the iPhone 8, though the company is also rumored to be releasing an iPhone 7s Plus and iPhone 7s this year. Of those three, the iPhone 8 is going to be the most exciting new iPhone. Numerous reports claim that we’re looking at an all-screen, glass sandwich design for the iPhone 8, complete with curved edges, no home button, and wireless charging support. That said, designers out there are looking to get the jump on Apple by trying to imagine what the iPhone 8 will look like. The iPhone 8 concept video below checks off some of the phone's rumored features, but it’s also an iPhone I hope Apple never actually makes. Posted on ConceptsiPhone , this iPhone 8 has the rumored glass sandwich design that reminds us of the iPhone 4 and 4s. The iPhone in the video has a 5.8-inch OLED display with slightly curved side edges, as well as a dual rear camera. Rumors did mention these particular features for the iPhone 8. But the top and bottom bezels are still there, and they’re relatively large — almost as big as their iPhone 7 counterparts. There’s also still a home button in there. Rumors say the home button will be virtualized in iOS 11 on the next-generation iPhone, and the Touch ID sensor is also rumored to be embedded beneath the screen. The physical volume, mute, and power buttons are still present on the sides. Existing Apple patents suggest some of these buttons, if not all, could also be virtualized — though it's not clear that this will happen in 2017. Finally, the concept suggests that wireless charging will be achieved with the help of a Smart Connector placed on the back of the phone. I hope that won’t be the case, since Apple is rumored to be working on wireless charging technology that’s a lot more exciting than Smart Connectors.
  • Nest will sell its smart home products in more European countries (2017-01-16 10:00:04)
    There have been a lot of questions around what the future of Alphabet-owned Nest will be now that Google has stepped firmly into the smart home market, but in the near term Nest continues to ship its home monitoring products. Nest says that will cost €10 per month or €100 a year.
  • The original Nvidia Shield TV gets updated to add features from the new model (2017-01-16 09:20:26)
    Nvidia announced a new, upgraded version of its Shield TV streaming box at CES 2017 that due to come out soon, but the company isn't leaving the original 2015 model out in the cold. As promised, the "Shield Experience Upgrade 5.0" update was released today for the older box, adding several of the new features that Nvidia announced for the upcoming 2017 version of the Shield TV. The update brings the 2015 Shield TV up to Android 7.0 Nougat, adds apps for Amazon Video, Twitter, NFL, and Comedy Central, and offers a new Nvidia Games hub as a centralized place to access games.
  • Longtime industry insider shares all there is to know about Samsung’s Galaxy S8 (2017-01-16 09:20:03)
    We’re used to seeing plenty of Galaxy S rumors this time of year, but there’s always one report that stands out, and it comes from a source who has often provided extensive previews of unreleased Samsung devices. Well guess what, Android fans: Christmas came early this year. Eldar Murtazin, a Russian blogger and Samsung insider who regularly scores early access to the newest phones, just gave us an extensive Galaxy S8 preview over at Mobile-Review . According to him, the Galaxy S8 was already shown to key carrier partners in December, in preparation for the launch. Just as recent leaks have suggested, the Galaxy S8 will come in two versions, and the second model will feature a larger screen than anything seen on a Galaxy S smartphone before. The phones won’t be bigger than last year’s Galaxy S7 versions, but the screen-to-front ratio will be increased. The Galaxy S8 might also sport a fingerprint sensor under the display, although Murtazin can’t yet say for sure. Apparently, Samsung also looked at placing the fingerprint sensor on the back of the phone. Of note, recent Galaxy S8 case renders showed a phone that did not include a fingerprint scanner on the back. Murtazin also said that the design of the Galaxy S8 impressed carrier partners who attended private meetings with Samsung. The phone will be released in the second half of April, a source familiar with one mobile operator's plans noted. This unnamed executive also said that while demand is expected to be high, supply may be constrained at launch. The phone is supposed to come in 5.7-inch and 6.2-inch flavors, sporting new AMOLED display technology that should deliver a larger color gamut, better brightness, improved color accuracy and increased energy efficiency. Murtazin says the phone shown in Samsung Display’s promo videos a few days ago is not the Galaxy S8, but rather a demo of this new OLED tech. The battery size will be similar to what’s found on the current Galaxy S7 models. The phone is also expected to pack a standard 3.5mm audio jack as well as a USB-C port. An Iris scanner will also be found on the front side of the handset, just like on the Galaxy Note 7. Murtazin says that both the Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 and the Exynos 8895 will be built on 10nm process technology, with Samsung’s proprietary chip expected to power most of Galaxy S8 units, as usual. The phone will pack a new GPU, the Mali-G71, and it’ll ship with 6GB of RAM and 64GB of storage on the base model. That’s faster UFS 2.1 memory, Murtazin notes, and microSD support is still in the cards. Aside from screen size and battery life, the two Galaxy S8 phones are expected to offer the exact same features. Murtazin doesn’t mention camera details, although improvements are expected. Curiously, however, a dual rear camera on the back of the bigger Galaxy S8 isn’t mentioned either. Murtazin also says the phone will ship with Android 7.1.1 Nougat on board, sporting several Samsung software features on top of it. That includes Samsung’s UX, Samsung Cloud (complete with new cloud purchase options), Samsung Pay, and the highly anticipated Bixby voice assistant that will compete with Siri, Alexa and Google Assistant. The phone will also feature a special Game Mode (is this the rumored Beast mode ?) that will let users make the most of the hardware. One of the Galaxy S8’s most surprising rumors was apparently also confirmed by Murtazin. The Galaxy S8 will let users connect the phone to a bigger screen, and use Android on the bigger display  in desktop mode. Samsung’s Continuum rival does not have a name at this point. Pricing is expected to start at $700 to $750 for the Galaxy S8, and at around $850 for the Galaxy S8 Plus — it’s unclear what Samsung will call the bigger model, though rumors have suggested it may be called the Galaxy S8 edge or Galaxy S8 Plus. Murtazin’s full report is available at this link .
  • Nvidia’s new Shield TV is a refined media box, but it’s still best for gamers (2017-01-16 09:00:01)
    About two weeks ago, Nvidia announced a new version of its Shield TV media streaming box. For gaming, which is Nvidia’s main focus here, the Shield TV can play Android games, PC games streamed through Nvidia’s GeForce Now cloud service, or games streamed from a PC on the same network with Nvidia’s GameStream feature.
  • Google finally explained one of the most aggravating problems plaguing Pixel phones (2017-01-16 08:51:04)
    Google's Pixel and Pixel XL smartphones are currently the hottest handsets in the world for Android fans. The sleek, iPhone-esque glass and aluminum design is easily among the best you'll find in the market today, and the practically pure Android Nougat build running on the phone provides all of the speed and functionality Android users want. But as is the case with all smartphones, however, the Pixel and Pixel XL aren't perfect. There are a handful of aggravating problems that have been plaguing Pixel phone owners since the handsets debuted last year. We recently told you about one of the Pixel's biggest problems and curiously, it mimicked a similar problem iPhone users have been experiencing for months . There are also a few other troublesome issues with Google's first in-house smartphones, and the company finally explained one of them in a recent email to a frustrated Pixel owner. The battery life issue affecting some Pixel and Pixel XL handsets is annoying, to say the least, but there is a bright side: the problem only appears to be affecting a small number of handsets. There's another problem with Pixel phones that is far more widespread, and a recently published note from Google support suggests that it won't be fixed with a simple software update. Many Pixel and Pixel XL owners report that their phones' speakers have an audio problem that causes crackling and distortion when sound is played at high volumes. The issue was demonstrated in a recent video posted to YouTube by user Mark Buckman: As you can see — and hear — this is a serious problem that has been causing pretty big headaches for users (literally and figuratively). Some chatter bouncing around the web had suggested that it might be a software issue that could be fixed with custom ROMs, but not everyone wants to deal with installing custom software on their phones. What's more, it now appears that any software that had been thought to fix the issue may have just been limiting the loudspeaker volume, because an email from Google posted on Reddit over the weekend states that the issue is actually a hardware problem. Here's the email in question (click to enlarge): The email states that only "select build[s] of device" are affected, though it does not clarify which phones are impacted. Google support also states clearly that the company is not offering refunds for this defect, but it is offering warranty service. Unfortunately, as noted in the YouTube video above, the odds seem fairly good that any replacement phones offered by Google will be affected as well.
  • A rare chance to save big on Amazon’s hottest Kindle bundle (2017-01-16 08:20:01)
    During the holidays, Kindle sales are a dime a dozen. Why? Because Amazon's popular eBook readers make fantastic gifts. Outside of the holidays though, Kindle deals can be few and far between — especially when it comes to Amazon's hottest kindle bundle. The Kindle Essentials Bundle includes a 6-inch Kindle eReader, a black Amazon Cover for Kindle, and a 5W power adapter for faster charging. Separately, those three items cost $130, but Amazon typically sells them for $115. But right now, while supplies last, the Kindle Essentials Bundle is on sale for just $94.97 if you use the promo code KINDLEBUNDLE at checkout. That's an extra $20 off, and it's the best price you'll find on this hot bundle for quite some time. Some key details from the product page: Includes the latest Kindle 6" E-Reader with Special Offers ($79.99), Amazon Cover for Kindle ($29.99), and Amazon 5W Power Adapter ($19.99) Easy on your eyes-touchscreen display reads like real paper No screen glare, even in bright sunlight, unlike tablets Single battery charge lasts weeks, not hours Get lost in your story with no alerts or notifications Holds thousands of books-choose from new releases and bestsellers, or from over a million titles at $2.99 or less Try Kindle Unlimited free for 30 days-includes over 1 million titles Here are the terms and conditions for this deal: This is a limited time offer. Offer only applies to products sold by Amazon Digital Services, LLC. Offer does not apply to digital content. Offer good while supplies last. Shipping charges and taxes may apply to discounted and free promotional items. Items must be purchased in a single order and shipped at the same speed to a single address. Offer limited to one per customer and account. Amazon reserves the right to modify or cancel the offer at any time. Offer is non-transferable and may not be resold. Offer discount will be allocated proportionally among all promotional items in your order. If any of the products related to this offer are returned, your refund will equal the amount you paid for the product, subject to applicable refund policies. If you violate any of these terms, the offer will be invalid. Unless an Amazon Gift Card is the stated benefit of the promotion, promotional codes (including those placed directly in accounts) may not be redeemed for Amazon Gift Cards. This limited-time sale price is good through the end of the day on January 22, or until supplies run out.
  • New Raspberry Pi board: Compute Module 3 means you'll see Pi in more products (2017-01-16 08:20:00)
    The Pi 3 is shrunk down into a slimmer board designed to be built into appliances.
  • Microsoft patent reveals foldable phone that turns into a tablet (2017-01-16 08:12:25)
    Microsoft is attempting to patent a device with a flexible hinge and display that would transform a phone into a tablet. Patent filings discovered by MSPoweruser reveal that Microsoft is, at least, experimenting with this type of concept for a future mobile device. Accompanying notes and diagrams detail what looks like a large smartphone that can fold over and transform into a tablet form factor or even the tent mode found on Lenovo’s range of Yoga tablets.
  • Arrival, La La Land, and others leak in annual ‘screener season’ tradition (2017-01-16 08:08:20)
    Lionsgate Every year, awards season in Hollywood is foreshadowed by its illegal relation: screener season. This is the time when pirated copies of DVD screeners (mailed to industry insiders ahead of the Oscars and Golden Globes) begin to show up online. Last year saw a glut of screeners hit the internet before Christmas, but 2016/2017 is quiet by comparison, with just five DVD screeners currently circulating online. Pirated copies of Arrival, Moonlight, La La Land, Pariots Day, and Fences are all available. ...
  • Video: Top 5 ways self-driving cars will change our lives (2017-01-16 08:00:04)
    The world will look a lot different when people are no longer behind the wheel. Here are five big things that could change.
  • How to view and edit Word documents from Google Drive with ease (2017-01-16 08:00:03)
    If the inability to edit MS Office files in Google Drive has been holding you back, here's how you how you can easily add this much-needed feature.
  • China's Baidu opens augmented reality lab to boost waning profits (2017-01-16 07:49:21)
    Chinese search engine Baidu Inc on Monday launched an augmented reality (AR) lab in Beijing as part of a $200 million effort to revitalize the company's shrinking profits with cutting edge technology. The lab, which currently employs 55 people, will initially aim to drive revenue through AR marketing, though will later explore healthcare and education. "AR marketing is taking off," Andrew Ng, the chief scientist overseeing Baidu's artificial intelligence (AI), augmented reality and deep learning projects, told Reuters.
  • Airbus CEO sees 'flying car' prototype ready by end of year (2017-01-16 07:05:27)
    Airbus Group plans to test a prototype for a self-piloted flying car as a way of avoiding gridlock on city roads by the end of the year, the aerospace group's chief executive said on Monday. Airbus last year formed a division called Urban Air Mobility that is exploring concepts such as a vehicle to transport individuals or a helicopter-style vehicle that can carry multiple riders. "One hundred years ago, urban transport went underground, now we have the technological wherewithal to go above ground," Airbus CEO Tom Enders told the DLD digital tech conference in Munich, adding he hoped the Airbus could fly a demonstration vehicle for single-person transport by the end of the year.
  • Coding school graduates: Are they worth hiring? (2017-01-16 07:00:03)
    More than 90 coding bootcamps across the US aim to quickly train students in computer science skills to fill job gaps. Here's what your company should know about hiring them.
  • Microsoft is finally rebuilding the Xbox One dashboard for speed (2017-01-16 06:59:20)
    The Xbox One dashboard was built with Kinect in mind, from the overall user interface to the basic fundamentals that assign system resources accordingly. Microsoft has slowly been walking back some of those decisions with improvements focused on quick access to features with the controller, but there are still some inherent problems with dashboard performance. It appears that Microsoft is finally about to address the Xbox One dashboard issues.
  • My headphone warranty demands ritual sacrifice (2017-01-16 06:01:14)
    When the left earbud on my Brainwavz Delta IEM Noise Isolating Earphones stopped working for no reason after six months of use, I emailed the company for a replacement. Sure enough, I got a reply saying that that was no problem, but I had to do one thing first to satisfy the warranty: I had to slice up my current pair of earphones, take a photograph, and send the company the grisly image as proof they were no more. Now, I usually break a couple of pairs of earphones a year, but I’m lazy — I just buy a replacement, going for whichever cheap product The Wirecutter recommends.
  • South Korea prosecutor seeks arrest of Samsung chief for bribery (2017-01-16 05:56:19)
    By Ju-min Park and Se Young Lee SEOUL (Reuters) - South Korea's special prosecutor on Monday sought a warrant to arrest the head of Samsung Group [SAGR.UL], the country's largest conglomerate, accusing him of paying multi-million dollar bribes to a friend of President Park Geun-hye. Investigators had grilled Samsung Group chief Jay Y. Lee for 22 straight hours last week as a suspect in a corruption scandal, which last month led to parliament impeaching Park. The special prosecutor's office accused Lee of paying bribes total 43 billion won ($36.42 million) to organizations linked to Choi Soon-sil, a friend of the president who is at the center of the scandal, in order to secure the 2015 merger of two affiliates and cement his control of the family business.
  • South Korea president's friend denies knowledge of Samsung's 2015 merger plan (2017-01-16 05:56:19)
    The friend at the center of a corruption scandal engulfing South Korean President Park Geun-hye's administration, said on Monday she had no prior knowledge of Samsung Group's plans for a controversial 2015 merger of two affiliates. "Even if I knew, I could not have passed on any information because I have no knowledge about mergers or hedge funds, anything like that, in the first place," the friend, Choi Soon-sil, told a public hearing at South Korea's Constitutional Court on Monday. South Korea's Constitutional Court began hearing arguments this month on whether to uphold parliament's vote last month to impeach President Park.
  • Samsung Group says does not accept bribery accusations (2017-01-16 05:56:19)
    South Korean conglomerate Samsung Group said on Monday it could not accept the special prosecutors' accusations that its leader, Jay Y. Lee, paid bribes to further his succession or the merger of two affiliates in 2015. "It is difficult to understand the special prosecution's decision," Samsung Group said in an email statement in response to the special prosecutors' decision to request an arrest warrant for Lee, the third-generation leader of South Korea's top conglomerate. The prosecutors also said in their indictment of National Pension Service (NPS) chief Moon Hyung-pyo that he received an order from President Park Geun-hye to help the 2015 merger of Samsung C&T Corp and Cheil Industries Inc succeed.
  • South Korea prosecutor says Samsung's Lee paid bribes to Park's friend (2017-01-16 05:56:19)
    South Korea's special prosecutor's office said on Monday that Samsung Group leader Jay Y. Lee had paid bribes totaling 43 billion won ($36.42 million) to Choi Soon-sil, the friend of President Park Geun-hye at the center of an escalating corruption scandal. The prosecutor's office said on Monday it will seek a warrant to arrest Lee on charges of bribery and embezzlement. Lee Kyu-chul, a spokesman for the prosecutor's office, told journalists that arrest warrants would not be sought for three other Samsung executives questioned during the investigation.
  • Oracle opens start-up accelerator in Israel for cloud innovation (2017-01-16 05:43:49)
    U.S. software provider Oracle Corp said on Monday it was opening an accelerator program in Israel for startups developing cloud technologies or whose technologies are based in the cloud. A pilot program was first launched in India and more centers will be announced soon. Oracle's startup cloud accelerator program builds on its excellence center for Israeli startups, which was established in 2003 by Oracle Israel in cooperation with the government to support the growth of early stage startups.
  • Angry Birds maker Rovio to open game development studio in London (2017-01-16 05:25:59)
    By Jussi Rosendahl HELSINKI (Reuters) - Finnish mobile games and animation company Rovio Entertainment is stepping up its hunt for new hit games by opening a studio in London to focus on multiplayer games that would not rely on the company's Angry Birds brand. Privately-held Rovio has struggled in recent years as profits from the Angry Birds franchise dropped, prompting deep job cuts and divestments. Rovio is now looking to build a team of about 20 people in London to create "massively multiplayer online" (MMO) games that support a large number of players simultaneously, with a focus on new characters.
  • Donald Trump will reportedly keep tweeting from his personal account (2017-01-16 04:54:02)
    The @realDonaldTrump handle is the most notorious account in Twitter's brief history, and it appears as though its owner and author isn't yet ready to let it go. NBC News' Kelly O'Donnell reports word directly from the transition team of US president-elect Donald Trump that he will continue to use his personal Twitter account. The widespread presumption, with any other president, might have been that he (or she) would pick up the @POTUS handle to conduct all his public-facing tweeting.
  • China, eager for telecoms reform, calls for private investment (2017-01-16 00:48:29)
    The Chinese government has renewed calls for private investment in the country's telecommunication firms as it encourages them to cut fees and other costs and become more competitive in offering internet-related services. The country's big telecoms firms, China Telecom Corp Ltd, China Unicom Hong Kong Ltd and China Mobile Ltd, are all units of unwieldy state-owned enterprises. The government will open the telecommunications industry to private investment and give "free rein to telecommunications companies in the development of the internet," according to a notice issued by the CPC Central Committee and the State Council.
  • Prosecutor seeks arrest of Samsung head as part of spiraling corruption scandal (2017-01-16 00:38:59)
    A South Korean prosecutor is seeking the arrest of Lee Jae-yong, the Samsung vice-chairman and heir apparent, as part of a corruption scandal that has engulfed the nation and led to the impeachment of its president, Park Geun-hye. Prosecutors accuse Samsung of donating tens of millions of dollars to non-profit organizations connected to Choi Soon-sil, a controversial friend of Park’s, in exchange for government support of a merger between two Samsung affliates. Lee, also known as Jay Y. Lee, was questioned for 22 hours at the prosecutor’s office last week.
  • Samsung Electronics probe finds battery was main cause of Note 7 fires: source (2017-01-15 22:03:09)
    By Se Young Lee SEOUL (Reuters) - A Samsung Electronics Co Ltd investigation into what caused some Galaxy Note 7 smartphones to catch fire has concluded that the battery was the main reason, a person familiar with the matter told Reuters on Monday. Investors and analysts say it is critical for Samsung to provide a convincing and detailed explanation about what went wrong with the Note 7 and how it will prevent such problems from recurring if it is to regain consumer trust. "They've got to make sure they come clean and they've got to reassure buyers as to why this won't happen again," said Bryan Ma, Singapore-based analyst for researcher IDC.
  • Samsung Electronics to disclose Note 7 probe results on Jan. 23: Yonhap (2017-01-15 19:23:53)
    SEOUL (Reuters) - Tech giant Samsung Electronics Co Ltd will announce the results of its investigation on what caused some Galaxy Note 7 smartphones to catch on fire on January 23, South Korea's Yonhap News Agency reported on Monday citing unnamed sources. Samsung in October ended sales of the near-$900 Note 7 smartphones in what is one of the biggest product safety failures in tech history. The firm has been looking into what caused the phones to catch fire along with third-party researchers. Samsung could not be immediately reached for comment. ...
  • Amazon is seeking FCC permission to conduct wireless technology tests (2017-01-15 17:22:07)
    Last week, filed an application with the Federal Communications Commission, seeking permission to run experiments on a number of frequency bands that might have some connection to the company’s work with delivery drones. The proposal also specifies that Amazon plans on running the tests in two locations: Seattle and Kennewick, Washington. The application also specifies that the company might incorporate evaluating antennae as part of the study.
  • Facebook introduces measures to tackle fake news in Germany (2017-01-15 16:15:28)
    BERLIN (AP) — Facebook says it's introducing measures to tackle the spread of fake news in Germany, months before the country holds a national election.
  • Rogue One's reshoots show how Disney saved the first standalone Star Wars movie (2017-01-15 16:00:02)
    Now that Rogue One: A Star Wars Story has been out in theaters for a month, the veil of secrecy has been lifted and we’ve learned quite about about how the film came together. Disney put an enormous amount of effort into Rogue One, bringing in writer and director Tony Gilroy in June to help fix up the film by writing new dialogue and directing some additional scenes, earning a screenplay credit for the film and a reportedly hefty, $5 million paycheck for his efforts. Gareth Edwards appears to have taken an unorthodox approach to filming Rogue One.
  • Jude Law had no idea what a meme was before The Young Pope (2017-01-15 15:01:11)
    Despite playing the Church’s holiest supervillain in HBO’s The Young Pope, Law was unprepared for how easily the show could be turned into memes. “Having spent the last week in New York and doing lots of press I’ve become very aware,” Law said during the Television Critics Association press tour yesterday, reports Entertainment Weekly. Surely you knew that the mere idea of a young pope would attract attention and conversation.
  • Google takes another step towards launching its own self-driving Uber-killer with new patent (2017-01-15 14:19:00)
    Google has a lot of self-driving cars that have driven a lot of miles, but so far, no commercial use for them. Recently, Google filed a patent application that could be seen as the first shot across Uber’s bow. The application, first noticed earlier this month by the website Patent Yogi, is for efficiently determining pickup and destination locations for autonomous vehicles.
  • The 2017 Detroit Auto Show in pictures (2017-01-15 13:26:29)
    Sure, there are concepts among the more than 750 cars at this year’s show, like the Nissan Vmotion 2.0 and the autonomous, electric Volkswagen ID Buzz. Volkswagen’s bus concept was far out, but it was was tacked on to the end of a 25-minute presentation about the company’s push into the SUV market. This doesn’t mean the future isn’t on display at the Detroit Auto Show.
  • How to be human: it’s not you, it’s them — no, really (2017-01-15 12:02:19)
    What more can I try to save our relationship? Now, I know how this must sound: Like I’m a mind reader and I know exactly what’s going on with your girlfriend. When I say “what’s going on” I mean in the context of your relationship, because your girlfriend is doing something I am very familiar with.
  • Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Circus will shut down in May 2017 (2017-01-15 11:45:01)
    A year after it announced that it would no longer use elephants in its performances, the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus will hold its final performances in May of this year. The Cirus’s parent company, Feld Entertainment Inc, revealed that it would hold its final shows in at the Dunkin’ Donuts Center in Providence, in Rhode Island on May 7, and at the Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum in Uniondale, New York, on May 21, 2017. In 2015, the company announced that its remaining elephants would be retired to Ringling's Center for Elephant Conservation by 2018, but retired the animals ahead of schedule last year.
  • This disassembled Aston Martin DB11 engine is engineering pornography (2017-01-15 11:30:01)
    The Aston Martin DB11 has a 600 horsepower, twin-turbocharged 5.2-liter V12 engine. It can go from 0-60 mph in 3.9 seconds and can keep going all the way to a top speed of 200 mph. In pure Aston Martin form, the car is even more beautiful than it is quick, and a Grand Touring mode allows for long-distance cruising in sublime comfort. It seems that everything Aston Martin makes is incredibly beautiful, and this disassembled engine is no exception.
  • Take a VR tour of the White House with President Obama (2017-01-15 11:19:08)
    Obama may be just wrapping up his stay in the White House but before he leaves he wants everyone to stop by for a visit, as long as you have a VR headset. Facebook-owned Oculus debuted an impressive 360-degree video tour of the White House, with the sitting President and the First Lady as special guests, and you can enjoy it right now . The eight minute jaunt through the halls of the presidential abode makes stops in several key spots, including meeting rooms, the Situation Room, and of course the Oval Office. President Obama and wife Michelle narrate the trip, but you can check out whatever you want just by looking around — assuming of course you're watching the video on a head-mounted display like the Gear VR. If you're not, you can use your phone to point around the room or click and drag the video on the desktop version of the video. Oculus and filmmakers Felix & Paul Studios took care to keep the camera mostly stationary throughout the course of the tour, though it does move along very slowly as you virtually video each room. Fast, jarring movements are typically a recipe for VR nausea, but you won't find any of that here. The video, which is called The People's House, is actually just part of a longer VR film that is expected to debut later this year. That longer experience will be built solely for virtual reality, so consider the eight minute clip released today something of a preview of the final version.
  • James Cameron will host a series on the history of science fiction on AMC (2017-01-15 11:15:01)
    AMC has greenlit a documentary series that will explore the history of science fiction, hosted by director James Cameron. James Cameron’s Story of Science Fiction will run for six episodes and will debut in 2018. The Museum of Pop Culture of Seattle, home to the Science Fiction and Fantasy Hall of Fame (of which Cameron is a member) will be consulting on the series, which will spend each episode exploring the “‘big questions’ that humanity has contemplated throughout history’, and how science fiction has examined these topics.
  • This is what a frozen lake sounds like (2017-01-15 11:00:02)
    The frozen lake in Rikkenstorp, Sweden Freia Stieger It was an hour into the new year on January 1st, and I was on the shores of a frozen lake in Rikkenstorp, a few hours from Stockholm. My friends and I had rented a house to spend a lovely New Year’s Eve playing board games and eating insane amounts of food. After toasting to the beginning of the new year and before heading to bed, we decided to go out to watch the stars. And that was when I witnessed the most amazing thing I’ve ever heard.The air was cold but not freezing, and the woods were silent. ...
  • Facebook Germany says it will start tackling fake news in weeks (2017-01-15 10:37:57)
    Facebook said on Sunday it would update its social media platforms in Germany within weeks to reduce the dissemination of fake news. "Last month we announced measures to tackle the challenge of fake news on Facebook," the U.S. technology company's German-language newsroom said. "We will put these updates in place in Germany in the coming weeks." German Justice Minister Heiko Mass has repeatedly called on Facebook to respect laws against defamation in Germany that are stricter than those in the United States.
  • Tesla’s latest Autopilot update rolls back its speed cap on undivided roads (2017-01-15 10:05:21)
    In December, Tesla rolled out a new update that limited vehicles driving with its Autopilot engaged to drive at the speed limit on an undivided road. Prior to December’s update, drivers had been able to set their vehicle to drive at up to 5 miles above the posted speed limit on roads and undivided highways. This new update ( allows drivers to set their speed at slightly above the posted speed.
  • Facebook rolls out fake news filter in Germany (2017-01-15 09:34:31)
    Facebook will begin rolling out its fake news filter in Germany, The Financial Times reports, where lawmakers have expressed growing concern over the spread of fabricated news stories and Russian interference ahead of national elections later this year. The social network will begin fact-checking and flagging fake news for users in Germany over the coming weeks, according to the FT. German politicians have warned of the effect that fake news could have on federal elections slated for this fall, following a spate of fabricated articles and hoaxes during the US presidential election.
  • Facebook announces 'fake news' offensive in Germany (2017-01-15 09:24:22)
    Social media giant Facebook announced Sunday that it will introduce new measures to combat fake news in Germany, as Europe's largest economy and most populous nation enters an election year. German politicians have warned that populist parties and foreign nations could use fake news to try and influence parliamentary elections slated for September or October. Facebook's new German initiative targets "unambiguously wrong reports" being shared on the social media platform.
  • China, Europe drive shift to electric cars as U.S. lags (2017-01-15 09:23:10)
    By Laurence Frost DETROIT (Reuters) - Electric cars will pick up critical momentum in 2017, many in the auto industry believe - just not in North America. Tighter emissions rules in China and Europe leave global carmakers and some consumers with little choice but to embrace plug-in vehicles, fuelling an investment surge, said industry executives gathered in Detroit this past week for the city's annual auto show. "Car electrification is an irreversible trend," said Jacques Aschenbroich, chief executive of auto supplier Valeo , which has expanded sales by 50 percent in five years with a focus on electric, hybrid, connected and self-driving cars.
  • The bizarro big business of Mark Wahlberg and national tragedy (2017-01-15 09:19:41)
    In 2017, Mark Wahlberg is the perfect muse for a certain sort of creative. As the star of Lone Survivor (based on a true story of tragedy in Afghanistan), Deepwater Horizon (based on a true story of tragedy at sea), and now Patriots Day (based on a true story of tragedy in Boston), he’s the poster boy for films about needless violence against American bodies — an affectless prism through which viewers can project their own pre-conceived (and carefully catered to) notions of American heroism. At another time, you might have thought Wahlberg was destined to be any number of things, none of them what he is now.
  • Watch this disgruntled customer drive her SUV through a T-Mobile store (2017-01-15 09:00:34)
    Whether you're a customer of AT&T, Verizon, Sprint or T-Mobile, you can probably say that at some point you've wanted to drive your car through your respective wireless carrier's front door. Most of us have enough sense to pull ourselves together before we smash the gas pedal, but one Florida woman apparently just couldn't take it anymore and sped her SUV right through the massive glass wall at a local T-Mobile store. The incident occurred in Palm Springs, and witnesses told the local ABC news affiliate that it was anything but an accident. According to an employee of the store next to the T-Mobile outlet, the woman was cruising down the narrow sidewalk in front of the strip of stores before smashing through the glass. Having been slightly slowed by the metal structure of the wall, she gave it some more gas in order to successfully make it all the way inside. After successfully docking her vehicle inside the store, she proceeded to grab squeegee she found inside and smash store displays and attack some of the employees trying to stop her. The woman's name is Shinobia Montoria Wright. The 26-year-old who had to have emergency surgery because she sliced up her own arms with glass fragments when she plowed through the wall, and is now facing a whole list of charges including battery, burglary, and criminal mischief. So what could have set someone off to the point that they drive a vehicle through the front door of a wireless store? Well, Wright reportedly told police that she was "having a bad day." With a bill of more than $30,000 in repairs from the store alone, along with any fines the law has waiting for her, she's probably going to have a few more of those in the coming weeks.
  • U.S. insurers get inside cars, mouths, grocery carts in profit search (2017-01-15 07:11:49)
    By Suzanne Barlyn NEW YORK (Reuters) - Twice a day, Scott Ozawa's Bluetooth-enabled toothbrush tells his dental insurer if he brushed for a full two minutes. The scheme, devised by Beam Technologies Inc, is just one of the latest uses of technology by insurers hungry for more real-time information on their customers that they say lets them assess risk more accurately and set rates accordingly. In theory, everybody wins, as policyholders adopt better habits and insurance companies save money on claims.
  • E-waste rising dangerously in Asia: UN study (2017-01-15 04:44:28)
    Electronic waste is rising sharply across Asia as higher incomes allow hundreds of millions of people to buy smartphones and other gadgets, with serious consequences for human health and the environment, according to a UN study released Sunday. "For many countries that already lack infrastructure for environmentally sound e-waste management, the increasing volumes are a cause for concern," said Ruediger Kuehr, the report's co-author and head of the UN University's Sustainable Cycles Programme. For many years, China and some other parts of Asia have been a dumping ground for discarded electronics from the developed world, recycling the waste in often unsafe but ultracheap backyard factories.
  • South Korea prosecutor weighs economic impact of arrest of Samsung chief (2017-01-15 03:15:30)
    By Ju-min Park and Se Young Lee SEOUL (Reuters) - South Korea's special prosecutor said on Sunday it will take into account the economic impact of whether to arrest Samsung Group [SAGR.UL] leader Jay Y. Lee in connection with an influence-peddling investigation involving the president. The office also delayed by one day, until Monday, its decision on whether to seek the arrest of Lee, the third-generation leader of South Korea's largest conglomerate, or chaebol, citing the gravity of the case.
  • South Korea prosecutor delays decision on arrest warrant of Samsung's Lee (2017-01-15 01:52:22)
    By Ju-min Park and Se Young Lee SEOUL (Reuters) - South Korea's special prosecutor has delayed until Monday a decision on whether to seek a warrant to arrest Samsung Group [SAGR.UL] leader Jay Y. Lee, a suspect in an influence-peddling investigation involving President Park Geun-hye, citing the gravity of the case. The special prosecution had said it would make a decision on Lee by Sunday.
  • Gadget mountain rising in Asia threatens health, environment (2017-01-15 00:48:37)
    The waste from discarded electronic gadgets and electrical appliances has reached severe levels in East Asia, posing a growing threat to health and the environment unless safe disposal becomes the norm. ...
  • South Korea prosecutor delays decision on whether to seek arrest of Samsung's Lee (2017-01-15 00:05:23)
    South Korea's special prosecutor on Sunday delayed a decision on whether or not to seek a warrant to arrest Samsung Group [SAGR.UL] leader Jay Y. Lee, who was questioned on bribery suspicions in an influence-peddling investigation. "Today we plan not to decide whether to seek an arrest for Vice Chairman Jay Y. Lee," the special prosecutor's office said in a text message. The special prosecutor had said on Friday it would make its decision by Sunday.
  • AMC and the BBC are teaming up to adapt John le Carré’s Spy Who Came in From the Cold (2017-01-14 21:25:39)
    The BBC and AMC had a hit recently with their 6-part adaptation of John le Carré’s novel The Night Manager. The show picked up three Golden Globes for Best Actor (Tom Hiddleston, Best Supporting Actor (Hugh Laurie), and Best Supporting Actress (Olivia Colman). Now, the two networks are turning to another one of le Carré’s novels: The Spy Who Came in From the Cold.
  • How a Russian Musician creates some of NASA's coolest images (2017-01-14 16:58:46)
    On Friday, NASA released an image of Jupiter taken by the Juno Spacecraft on December 11th. Interestingly, the stunning picture was processed by Russian musician Roman Tkachenko, who took the raw data taken by Juno's cameras to produce the final result. The Juno spacecraft has been orbiting Jupiter since July, where it’s been studying the gas giant’s atmosphere and magnetosphere.
  • Nintendo Switch Is a Blast to Play, But It Needs More Games (2017-01-14 16:32:00)
    The Nintendo Switch likely won't be the revolution that the Wii was and can't really compete with the PS4 or Xbox One, but none of that mattered during the joyous few hours I spent with it at a New York preview event. Nintendo's wacky new hybrid console had me shooting, racing, and wildly flailing my arms in real life, and while I'm a bit worried about its game lineup, the Switch could turn out to be a vessel for great and unique games from both Nintendo and its partners. The $299 Nintendo Switch is remarkably simple.
  • Apple just released its first handful of AirPods ads (2017-01-14 16:18:24)
    When Apple first introduced its AirPods earlier this fall, the wireless earbuds were predictably subjected to quite a bit of ridicule. And with good reason, some of the early AirPods photos looked absolutely absurd. What's more, many critics and even prospective buyers were reasonably concerned that free floating design of the AirPods would cause the earbuds to fall out with ease. Following a nearly two-month delay, Apple's AirPods finally began shipping last month and the reviews have been remarkably positive. Not only have users praised Apple's AirPods for delivering robust and crisp sound, initial concerns regarding comfort and the ability for AirPods to remain in place appear to be without merit. Impressively, a research report from Slice Intelligence last week relayed that Apple's AirPods accounted for a whopping 75% of all online headphone sales during the month of December. Looking to keep that momentum going, Apple earlier today released four new AirPods ads on its YouTube channel. And if history is any indication, there's a good chance that these ads will make their commercial debut during today's NFL playoff game between the Patriots and the Texans. All four ads feature the song "Down” by Marian Hill and, as far as Apple commercials go, these are all pretty solid. The first ad highlights the intuitive pairing process that the AirPods bring to the table. The second ad showcases how Apple's AirPods can be used to access Siri and play songs from a particular artist. The third ad is titled "Notes" and features Apple's AirPods pulling double duty as musical notes that correspond to the background piano melody from the aforementioned Marian Hill song. And last but not least, we have the longest commercial yet which is something of an amalgamation of the above three ads. Apple's advertising efforts went through a bit of a lull over the past few years, but as we highlighted not too long ago, the company's advertising game is back on track and fresher than it's been in quite a while.
  • A Chinese regulator is ordering app stores to register with the government (2017-01-14 16:00:01)
    In a notice posted to its website on Friday, the Cyberspace Administration of China announced that it would be requiring mobile app stores to register with its offices in an attempt to clamp down on fraudulent applications. In some cases, app stores will collect information and money from consumers, and shut down before users can take advantage of their services. There are numerous app stores in China.
  • How to Make Your Own Two-Factor Authentication Key (2017-01-14 15:36:00)
    WASHINGTON — You don't need to spend $40 or $50 to get a two-factor authentication (2FA) USB key to help you log into web accounts. Instead, you can build one yourself, or, failing that, buy one for $8 on Amazon.
  • SpaceX returns to flight, sending satellites into orbit (2017-01-14 15:33:02)
    A SpaceX Falcon rocket blasted off from California on Saturday, returning the company to flight for the first time since a fiery launchpad explosion in September. The 230-foot (70-meter) rocket launched from VandenbergAir Force Base at 9:54 a.m. PST (1754 GMT) to deliver 10satellites into orbit for Iridium Communications Inc. "It's a clean sweep – 10 for 10," SpaceX launch commentator John Insprucker said after the satellites were released. SpaceX founder and entrepreneur Elon Musk's ambitious flight plans had been grounded since the Sept. 1 explosion during fueling ahead of a pre-flight test in Florida.
  • Worried About Cyberwar? Worry About Squirrels Instead (2017-01-14 15:33:00)
    Most media reports of cyberattacks and cyberwar are inaccurate and sensationalized, the veteran security researcher known as Space Rogue told the ShmooCon hacker conference here yesterday (Jan. 13). The threat of computer-based attacks upon the United States' critical national infrastructure is real, he said.  But the constant, dire predictions of massive cyberattacks, especially concerning the North American electrical power grid, are exaggerated and misleading. Instead, Space Rogue said, there is a far more prevalent, more easily apparent threat to power lines and electrical networks around the country: squirrels.
  • Former Android chief Andy Rubin to release a high-end iPhone competitor this year (2017-01-14 15:19:02)
    The smartphone market would look a lot different today were it not for Andy Rubin. An exceptional engineer with a keen eye for knowing where the tech landscape is liable to shift, Rubin famously co-founded Android before the company was acquired by Google in 2005. With Rubin steering the Android ship, Google's mobile OS quickly became a viable alternative to iOS before eventually becoming the most prevalent mobile OS on the planet. In late 2014, Rubin left Google and has largely been out of the public eye ever since. While there were rumblings that Rubin was focused on building his own smartphone company, details about the rumored venture were few and far in between. Now comes word via Bloomberg that Rubin's smartphone project is not only real, but is impressively ambitious. Not content with releasing a run of the mill smartphone, Rubin is aiming to release an AI-based high-end premium device meant to compete with the iPhone and top-tier Android handsets like the Google Pixel. Rubin's new company is called Essential and is currently about 40 people deep, according to the report. In addition to releasing a smartphone, Essential is reportedly also working on developing a variety of other AI oriented consumer electronic products. A platform company designed to tie multiple devices together, Essential is working on a suite of consumer hardware products, including ones for the mobile and smart home markets, one of the people said. The centerpiece of the system is a high-end smartphone with a large edge-to-edge screen that lacks a surrounding bezel. At the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas in early January, Rubin discussed the smartphone with mobile carrier executives, including some from Sprint Corp., people familiar with the talks said. One prototype of an Essential smartphone currently being worked on is said to sport a screen larger than the iPhone 7 Plus' 5.5-inch display, albeit with a smaller footprint on account of its edgeless design. If all goes according to plan, Essential is hoping to have a product available for purchase as early as June of this year.
  • Apple kicks off AirPods TV campaign despite limited availability (2017-01-14 14:52:40)
    Apple held off until after the holidays to run its first TV ad for AirPods, perhaps due to their constrained supply. The 60-second “Stroll” is clearly meant to highlight the freedom and, as Apple loves to say, “magic” of truly wireless earbuds.
  • The Latest: SpaceX launch places satellites in orbit (2017-01-14 14:24:30)
    The Latest on the launch of a SpaceX rocket in California (all times local): 11:25 a.m. SpaceX says its first launch of a Falcon 9 rocket since a fiery September accident has successfully placed a constellation ...
  • SpaceX successfully launches its first rocket since last year’s launchpad explosion (2017-01-14 14:14:22)
    SpaceX successfully launched its Falcon 9 rocket today from California — over four months after one of the company’s vehicles exploded on a launchpad in Cape Canaveral, Florida. The rocket took off just before 1PM ET from Vandenberg Air Force Base, putting 10 satellites into orbit for communications company Iridium. After the initial takeoff, SpaceX was also able to land the Falcon 9’s first stage on a drone ship in the Pacific Ocean.
  • SpaceX launches first rocket since explosion in Florida (2017-01-14 13:49:43)
    A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket blasted off from California on Saturday, marking the company's first launch since a fireball engulfed a similar rocket on a Florida launch pad more than four months ago. The two-stage ...
  • Hands on with the Nintendo Switch: Nintendo’s road to recovery begins here (2017-01-14 13:30:32)
    When Nintendo unveiled the Wii at E3 2005, I was skeptical. Beyond the name being bafflingly stupid, the gimmick of motion controls didn't appeal to me in the slightest. Needless to say, the world didn't share my skepticism, as Nintendo went on to sell over 100 million Wii consoles in 10 years. Cut to 2011. I'm sitting in the Nokia Theatre in Los Angeles, waiting to see Nintendo's long-awaited response to the PS3 and Xbox 360. As soon as that bulky touchscreen controller appears on stage, I feel a sense of dread wash over me. Without question, that unveiling was a low point in the history of Nintendo. Nearly six years later, I'm pleased to say that the Switch has a chance to be a high point. Throughout the day on Friday, Nintendo invited members of the press to go hands on with the Nintendo Switch for the very first time. As soon as I arrived at the venue, I made a beeline for The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild , which I didn't have a chance to demo at E3 2016 last year. For the first 10 minutes of the 20-minute demo, I played with the Joy-Con controllers slotted into the Grip, which comes in the box. For such an oddly-shaped device, the Joy-Con Grip is surprisingly comfortable. Although the buttons and triggers are slightly closer together than would be optimal, it's an incredibly clever, convenient solution for when a game necessitates (or a player prefers) to use a more standard controller to play. [ I'll go into more detail about the games in separate articles. ] 10 minutes in, I removed the Joy-Con controllers from the Grip by pushing in two soft button on the back of the Grip and lifting them upward (sort of like removing the Master Sword from the Pedestal of Time). I then slid the Joy-Cons into the sides of the Switch tablet and lifted it out of its dock. Although the mechanism for removing the controllers will take some getting used to, it was about as seamless as you could imagine. As soon as I undocked the Switch, the display on the tablet lit up and the TV went dark. It's been quite a while since Nintendo has done anything with its hardware to surprise and delight me, but watching a full 3D Zelda game be zapped from a television screen to a 6.2-inch tablet put a smile on my face. While there are games better suited for portable mode than Breath of the Wild (i.e. any game that requires the player to keep up with fewer buttons), I didn't feel like I lost a beat when I took the game off the TV screen. Once the demo ended, I stumbled upon the Super Bomberman R demo station, where another attendee had already completed the first few stages. I joined him for two reasons: 1) he seemed like he knew what he was doing, and 2) he was playing the game with a Nintendo Switch Pro Controller. While the Switch Pro Controller clearly takes some inspiration from the Wii U Pro Controller, it felt infinitely more natural in my hands. I'd never choose to play with the Wii U Pro Controller over a DualShock 4 or an Xbox One controller, but I'd have a harder time deciding with the Switch Pro Controller in the mix. The grips are more comfortable, the analog sticks are in the right place and the device simply fits better in my hands than the Wii U model. Plus, it looks a heck of a lot cooler with its see-through faceplate. Finally, I had a chance to try some local multiplayer with Mario Kart 8 Deluxe . Four of us sat down at a table with each of our Switches in portable mode and jumped into the game's new Battle Mode. Playing Mario Kart 8 Deluxe is when the Switch really clicked for me. 720p resolution might not sound like much on a spec sheet, but Nintendo's racer looked amazing on that display. The characters and the courses were bright and colorful, and I didn't feel in the least bit cramped playing on a 6.2-inch screen. As big a fan as I am of Mario Kart DS and Mario Kart 7 , turning Mario Kart 8 into a portable game felt like a revelation. In spite of all my praise, I am once again skeptical about Nintendo's new console. Only one genuine hit will be available at launch ( Zelda ), Mario Kart 8 Deluxe is, for some inexplicable reason, the only Wii U game that Nintendo will be porting to the Switch and Switch owners are going to be drip-fed small titles until Splatoon 2 launches in the summer and Super Mario Odyssey lands over the holiday season. For the first time in three generations, I'm genuinely excited about the gimmick that Nintendo has introduced. Being able to play Breath of the Wild on my commute is a game changer, but if the Switch has only four or five great games by the end of 2017 , compared to the dozens already available on PS4 and Xbox One, I don't see how Nintendo plans to make any more of a dent this time around than it did with the Wii U. The Nintendo Switch will be available on March 3rd for $299.99. If you missed your chance to preorder on Friday,  you can visit this post and find out how to be notified the second they come back in stock .
  • SpaceX launches first rocket since explosion, returns stage to earth (2017-01-14 13:28:38)
    A SpaceX Falcon rocket blasted off from California on Saturday, returning the company to flight for the first time since a fiery launchpad explosion in September. The launch of the 230-foot (70-meter) rocket from Vandenberg Air Force Base at 9:54 a.m. PST (1754 GMT) aimed to deliver 10 satellites into orbit for Iridium Communications Inc. SpaceX's founder and entrepreneur Elon Musk's ambitious flight plans had been grounded since the Sept. 1 explosion during fueling ahead of a pre-flight test in Florida. About 10 minutes after Saturday's launch, the first stage of the rocket, which had separated from the rest of craft, successfully touched down on a platform in the Pacific Ocean, a feat previously accomplished by four other returning Falcon rockets.
  • Woman pleads not guilty to framing husband's ex as stalker (2017-01-14 13:14:34)
    A former Southern California woman has pleaded not guilty to charges that she framed her husband's ex-girlfriend, portraying her as a stalker who made death threats and set up a bizarre "rape fantasy" ...
  • SpaceX lands its Falcon 9 rocket at sea, following first launch since August (2017-01-14 13:04:55)
    Following today’s rocket launch, SpaceX successfully landed its Falcon 9 on the company’s drone ship in the Pacific Ocean. It’s the first landing SpaceX has done since August, and the fifth time one of these vehicles has landed at sea. The company has been on a hiatus from spaceflight, after one of its Falcon 9s exploded on a launch pad in Cape Canaveral, Florida, in September.
  • Nvidia’s leaked Shield Portable is the Switch competitor we may never see (2017-01-14 13:00:01)
    A few months ago, rumors were flying that a new Nvidia Shield Portable might be on the way. Newly uncovered Federal Communications Commission filings have given us our first look at what a new version of the flip-up portable Android-based console could look like. The original Shield was released back in 2013, and while Nvidia has since released a variety of tablets and set-top boxes under the Shield branding, the rebranded Shield Portable hasn’t had a major update since it launched.
  • You will totally never guess the most hated company in America (2017-01-14 12:00:05)
    Every year, survey companies take ghoulish delight in quantifying the most-hated company in America. Every year, without fail, Time Warner breathes a sigh of relief as Comcast pips it to first place. Well, this is 2017, and things are going to be totally different. Pharmaceuticul company and producer of the weirdly-expensive EpiPen, Mylan, has rocketed to third place. Sears is on the list, as is Facebook. But you'll be glad to know that some things never change: death, taxes, and our national hatred of Comcast. 24/7 Wall Street put the list together  using data from its own customer satisfaction survey, other third-party data, and even employee reviews from Glassdoor. First-place Comcast and second-place Bank of America are not contentious results, but the rest of the list is a little more interesting. Rather than being a who's-who of telecoms companies, it includes retailers and brands that people used to actually like, but have recently fallen out of favour. Facebook, for example, comes in at number six on the list, which is attributed to its privacy problems (people don't like having their data collected -- who knew!) and the struggles it has had this year with fake news. Spirit creeps in at seventh, and even Sears comes in the top ten after a dismal year that saw it close stores and axe jobs. While the top 12 was full of telecoms companies, only one cell carrier made the list: Sprint. Although the company doesn't have as many complaints to the FTC as T-Mobile , customer satisfaction tends to be lower overall. That's probably a combination of classically bad cell company customer service and Sprint's surprisingly poor network.
  • Cuba sees explosion in internet access as ties with US grow (2017-01-14 11:07:10)
    HAVANA (AP) — Two days before Christmas, Luis Gonzalez received a little Chinese modem from Cuba's state-owned telecommunications company.
  • $40 device doubles the storage of your 32GB iPhone 7 or 7 Plus (2017-01-14 10:30:18)
    There’s no shame in wanting to save some cash when buying a new iPhone. After all, $649 for an iPhone 7 and $679 for an iPhone 7 Plus is already a very tall order. But now that you’ve spent some time with your new iPhone, you have a bit of buyer’s remorse. That’s right, even with twice as much space, the "not enough storage" error often rears its ugly head on Apple’s upgraded entry-level iPhones. It’s frustrating indeed, but there’s a device that can can help and it’s much cheaper than the $100 you would have spent for the next iPhone model up. Check out the SanDisk iXpand Flash Drive . Some highlights from the Amazon product page: Free up space on your iPhone by moving photos and videos to your iXpand flash Automatically back up photos and videos from your camera Automatically back up your contacts Watch popular video on your iPhone or iPad Designed with a flexible connector to fit through most iPhone cases High-speed USB 3.0 transfer to and from your computer Secure file storage across your computer, iPhone and iPad Videos automatically saved to the drive if captured from within the iXpand Drive app
  • New trailers: Studio Ghibli's first TV series, a mysterious new sci-fi film, and more (2017-01-14 10:00:04)
    A few months later, it came out that Delta, the airline she was on, was censoring Carol, cutting out pretty much all of the physical intimacy in the film. The oddest part of all of this was the strange feeling that we could be lied to so easily, that with the snip of a few seconds of footage here and there, Delta could so significantly change the message of a well-crafted story.
  • Military's shift away from oil clashes with Trump's promises (2017-01-14 09:51:30)
    At a sprawling desert base, a Marine recharged his radio's batteries simply by walking, while nearby fellow troops examined a rocket artillery system and a drone — both powered by the sun. Navy and Marine ...
  • Watch SpaceX launch its first Falcon 9 rocket after September’s launchpad explosion (2017-01-14 09:06:23)
    Tomorrow, SpaceX is hoping to get back to launching — and landing — its rockets again, a little over four months after one of its Falcon 9 vehicles exploded on a Florida launchpad. The company’s vehicle is slated to take off from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California at 12:54PM ET, carrying 10 satellites into orbit for the communications company Iridium.
  • 9 new movie trailers you need to watch from this past week (2017-01-14 09:00:13)
    Curious about new movies launching in the following months? You’ve come to the right place! We’ve got a great selection of fresh trailers this week, including clips for Baywatch , Cars 3 , John Wick 2 , and the new Kong movie. Baywatch If you’re not doing anything on May 26th, you may as well consider going to see Baywatch . It’s the comedy this show deserves, starring Dwayne Johnson and Zac Efron. Yes, Pamela Anderson is also in it. Cars 3 We saw the creepy and strange teasers before, so it’s time to take a look at a proper Cars 3 trailer that actually tells us what’s going on in this new Disney/Pixar animation. It looks like Lightning McQueen is getting too old for this… stuff, and he needs help getting back in shape to compete in modern car racing. The movie comes out this summer, so we’re going to see plenty of clips until then. CHIPs Baywatch isn’t the only TV series getting its own movie this year. On March 24th, CHIPs is hitting the big screen. We’ve got Michael Pena and Dax Shepard in it to make us laugh, though this is a cop drama, so we expect some serious business as well. Gold Gold is a new film about gold. Specifically, we’ve got Matthew McConaughey chasing gold somewhere in Indonesia. Gold launches January 24th, but we have a new trailer for you to check out right now. John Wick: Chapter 2 A new trailer for John Wick: Chapter 2 is out, and it’ll explain everything you need to know about Keanu Reeves famous character, especially if you haven’t seen the first John Wick flick. In fact, most of the new trailer is basically fighting and shooting footage from the first movie. You can expect a symphony of violence in the second chapter as well, which opens on February 10th. Kong: Skull Island Ok, so this is the second international trailer for the new King Kong movie, but it’s still a fresh trailer. Kong: Skull Island comes out on March 10th, starring Brie Larson, Tom Hiddleston, Samuel L. Jackson, John Goodman, and many others. Raw Raw is a movie about a young woman who wants to eat other people. Yes, she’s a young cannibal. I am not joking. And the trailer is somewhat disturbing, which guarantees the movie will be equally disturbing. Just check the trailer below. Raw hits theaters on March 10th. Sleight Sleight is a movie about magic. It’s also a film about drugs and drug-dealing. Sleight launches on April 7th, and you’ll probably want to keep tabs on it. The Shack We talked about The Shack before , a movie starring Sam Worthington about dealing with tragedies. In this case, w have Mack Phillips (Worthington), meeting God in a shack in the Oregon wilderness to deal with a personal loss. The Shack hits theaters on March 3rd. Indiana Bourne We saved the best for last this week. Too bad it’s not an actual upcoming movie, but what if Indiana Jones would be a Jason Bourne -like movie? You know, rather than a regular Indiana Jones movie? The following trailer explores that idea — sadly, there’s no such movie in the works, although I'm thinking Hollywood should probably get on this, stat.
  • SpaceX counts down to first launch after rocket explosion (2017-01-14 08:05:00)
    SpaceX plans to blast off a rocket on Saturday for the first time since a launch pad explosion in the fall sidetracked the ambitious flight plans of company founder and entrepreneur Elon Musk. A 20-story tall Falcon 9 rocket is slated to launch from California's Vandenberg Air Force Base at 9:54 a.m. PST (1754 GMT) to put into orbit 10 satellites for Iridium Communications Inc , which will use them to enhance mobile voice and data relay capabilities. The mission will test changes implemented by Space Exploration Technologies Corp, known as SpaceX, after another Falcon 9 exploded on a launch pad in Florida in September during a routine preflight test.
  • Microsoft buys Canadian AI startup Maluuba (2017-01-14 04:06:09)
    Microsoft announced Friday a deal to buy Maluuba, a Montreal startup focused on making machines able to think the way people do. Bringing on board Maluuba co-founders Kaheer Suleman and Sam Pasupalak, along with their team from the startup, was intended to accelerate Microsoft's "ability to develop software so computers can read, write and converse naturally," the company said. Microsoft did not disclose financial terms of the acquisition.
  • Sony entertainment chief leaving to focus on Snapchat (2017-01-14 02:58:00)
    The head of Sony's entertainment business announced Friday that he is stepping down to devote energy to Snapchat as the startup behind the smartphone messaging app prepares to go public. Michael Lynton will step down from his job running the Japan-based company's pictures and music business as of February 2 to spend more time as chairman of the board of Snap Inc., Sony Corporation said in a release. An early investor in Snap, Lynton has been on the board nearly four years.
  • How to Use Skype as a Remote Control Security Camera (2017-01-13 23:55:57)
    This is one I bet most people don’t know. With a simple webcam (either built-in or external) and a second Skype account, you can turn your webcam on remotely at any time to monitor what’s going on around your computer. Whether you’d like to check in on your pets during a long workday, or you’re using it as an internal security camera, the webcam is only a call away.
  • Whatsapp bug allows viewing of encrypted messages (2017-01-13 23:01:31)
    Whatsapp's messaging app supposedly ensures strong end-to-end encryption, with the idea being that only the people involved in a conversation will ever be able to read the messages. But as it turns out, a programming bug -- that Whatsapp has known about for some time and has not fixed -- theoretically allows Whatsapp to snoop on any encrypted messages sent over the platform. The Guardian  first reported on the bug , which was found by Tobias Boelter, a security researcher at the University of California, Berkeley. The security flaw is related to how Whatsapp handles offline messages, and appears to be the result of a decision by Whatsapp to favor a seamless user experience over total security. End-to-end encryption relies on both users having two parts of a secure key, used to encrypt and then decrypt the message. But to make sure that messages are always sent, even when the recipient is offline, Whatsapp appears to have compromised that system. According to  The Guardian , "WhatsApp has the ability to force the generation of new encryption keys for offline users, unbeknown to the sender and recipient of the messages, and to make the sender re-encrypt messages with new keys and send them again for any messages that have not been marked as delivered." In theory, that would allow WhatsApp -- or any government agency with the appropriate court order -- to snoop on supposedly secure messages. There is no evidence that this has been done, and since the security bug relies on proactive involvement by WhatsApp, it seems unlikely that illegal hackers could use this bug to spy on users. Still, it's a blow for WhatsApp's supposedly tight security. Professor Kirstie Ball, a privacy advocate, told the  Guardian  that   “it is a huge threat to freedom of speech, for it to be able to look at what you’re saying if it wants to. Consumers will say, I’ve got nothing to hide, but you don’t know what information is looked for and what connections are being made.” Separately, a  Buzzfeed  investigation yesterday highlighted a danger associated with Signal, another secure messaging app that has grown in popularity in recent months.  Buzzfeed  pointed out that once you sign up for Signal with your phone number, the fact that you are using Signal is visible to anyone else who has your phone number. Since Signal is an app expressly designed for privacy advocates and whistleblowers, that might show guilt by association.
  • China aircraft carrier capabilities tested on latest mission (2017-01-13 22:13:01)
    China's sole aircraft carrier has returned home following a far-ranging three-week training mission during which its combat capabilities were closely scrutinized and speculation soared over what future ...
  • Snapchat finally fixed one of the app’s biggest problems (2017-01-13 21:19:47)
    Snapchat is one of the most popular apps on the planet, and the second most active social media platform to boot, which is why it's so shocking that it took this long for the app to fix its absolutely horrid navigation controls. For years it's been an huge headache to swipe, tap, and re-swipe the Snapchat screen to switch between the app's various features and functions, but that's finally coming to an end thanks to an update that begins rolling out today.  As TechCrunch reports , the update doesn't completely overhaul the way you switch between snaps, chat, stories, and other parts of the app, but it adds a universal search feature that will probably become your new defacto directory. It brings together all your conversations, groups, friends, and friend requests into one place, and the realtime search instantly produces results even as you're still typing in a friend or group name. The tool also makes it a lot easier to find Snapchat users you want to follow, by bringing up lists of suggested friends as you search. The list is populated with contacts from your address book, so there's a good chance the people it flags are ones you're going to want to connect with anyway. It doesn't completely solve the mishmash of features that Snapchat has crammed into the app over the years, but it definitely makes it faster and easier to find what you're looking for. The update is currently rolling out to select Android users and will be pushed to all other Android users as well as iOS snappers "soon."
  • Star Wars will not digitally recreate Carrie Fisher for future movies (2017-01-13 21:19:12)
    Tonight Lucasfilm took to the Star Wars website to make it very clear that the company will not be using digital effects to recreate Carrie Fisher in future entries of the franchise. “Carrie Fisher was, is, and always will be a part of the Lucasfilm family. The rumor in question began circulating last week, when The Hollywood Reporter ran a story indicating that Lucasfilm was considering several different options in the wake of Fisher’s death last month at the age of 60.
  • Sony Entertainment CEO exiting for a top role at Snap (2017-01-13 21:00:27)
    By Lisa Richwine LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Sony Entertainment Chief Executive Michael Lynton will step down to become chairman of the board of messaging app owner Snap Inc, a move that puts an experienced Hollywood executive in a prominent role as the technology company prepares for an initial public offering. Lynton will give up his current position at Sony's movie and television unit on Feb. 2 but remain as co-CEO for six months to help find a successor, Japanese conglomerate Sony Corp said in a statement on Friday. Lynton was an early investor in the company co-founded by 26-year-old CEO Evan Spiegel, and has served on its board for nearly four years.
  • 2 years after the hack, Sony CEO Lynton exits for Snap Inc. (2017-01-13 20:21:32)
    LOS ANGELES (AP) — Two years after guiding the company through an unprecedented email hack, Sony Entertainment CEO Michael Lynton is leaving the company to become the chairman of the board for Snap Inc., the company behind Snapchat.
  • Brace yourself: Scientists just sequenced the coffee genome (2017-01-13 20:00:21)
    The Coffea arabica plant provides nearly three quarters of all the coffee consumed worldwide, so scientists are pretty interested in the plant's genetic makeup. Today, researchers from UC Davis, funded by the international food company Suntory, announced that they had sequenced the genome of the plant and publicly released it for the first time ever. The genome sequence has been added to the genomics research portal, making it available to other scientists and researchers working with the C. arabica plant. “We hope that the C. arabica sequence will eventually benefit everyone involved with coffee — from coffee farmers, whose livelihoods are threatened by devastating diseases like coffee leaf rust, to coffee processors and consumers around the world,” Juan Medrano, one of the UC Davis researchers, said in the university's press release. The genome will also be presented on January 15th at the Animal Genome Conference, held in San Diego. Coffee is one of the many crops that may suffer greatly if global temperatures continue to rise. By releasing the genome sequence, the researchers hope that others working in the field will be able to develop new varieties of the plant that will be inherently disease resistant and produce greater yield even in the face of a changing climate. This isn't the first type of coffee to be sequenced, however, and the Coffea canephora genome was already made public back in 2014. However, because  C. arabica is cultivated and utilized in much greater quantities, the impact of the public release is much more significant.
  • Tesla finally announces how much Supercharger access will cost drivers (2017-01-13 18:56:17)
    Free access to Tesla's increasingly expansive network of Superchargers has long been an important and ancillary perk to owning a Tesla. In addition to providing Tesla owners with free juice for long road-trips, Tesla Superchargers also helped alleviate longstanding concerns about 'range anxiety'. As Tesla has grown more popular over the years, the number of Tesla vehicles on the road has absolutely exploded. Looking ahead, the number of Teslas in use will likely skyrocket even more once Model 3 deliveries begin later this year. While Tesla hasn't provided us with updated figures lately, last we heard, Model 3 pre-orders are somewhere in the 370,000 to 400,000 range. With more Teslas on the road, long lines at Supercharger stations has become an increasingly frustrating problem for owners. As a result, Tesla late last year had no choice but to announce that free access to its Supercharger network would be coming to an end for new Tesla owners. Notably, existing Tesla owners and those who purchase a Tesla before January 15 of this year will not be affected by the new rules. Upon announcing the change, Tesla assured prospective owners that the price to 'juice up' would be lower than the cost associated with filling up a tank of gas on a similar car. With the January 15 deadline right around the corner, Tesla yesterday  published a blogpost providing us with detailed pricing information about the impending change to its Supercharger network. As promised, what Tesla has in mind appears to be completely reasonable. Per the company, new Tesla owners will be granted about 400 kWh (~1,000 miles) of Supercharger credits every single year. Unused credits, we should point out, will not roll over to the following year. For owners who go over the 1,000 mile threshold in a given year, Tesla relays the pricing breakdown as follows: In North America, pricing is fixed within each state or province. Internationally, pricing is fixed within each country. All prices include taxes and fees. Where possible, owners are billed per kWh (kilowatt-hour), which is the most fair and simple method. In other areas, we bill for the service per minute. When billing per minute, there are two tiers to account for changes in charging speeds, called “tier 1” and “tier 2”. Tier 1 applies while cars are charging at or below 60 kW and tier 2 applies while cars are charging above 60 kW. Tier 1 is half the cost of tier 2. Tier 1 also applies anytime your vehicle is sharing Supercharger power with another car. If you head on over to Tesla's website, you can see the specific costs of charging per kWh on a state by state and country by country basis. For some pricing context, Tesla also provided some estimates as to how much it would cost to travel between a handful of large cities. For instance, Tesla notes that driving from LA to New York City would cost about $120 while driving from Paris to Rome would cost about $64.
  • Sony Entertainment CEO Lynton to step down; to become Snap Inc chairman (2017-01-13 18:33:12)
    (Reuters) - Sony Corp said on Friday Michael Lynton would step down as chief executive of its movie and music businesses, Sony Entertainment, effective Feb. 2. Lynton will join as chairman of Snap Inc, the parent of popular messaging app Snapchat. ( Snap - in which Lynton is an early investor - is expected to go public early this year, vying for a $25 billion valuation. Lynton, who has been with Sony for 13 years, will stay on as co-CEO of Sony Entertainment for the next six months. (Reporting by Aishwarya Venugopal in Bengaluru; Editing by Maju Samuel)
  • Zuli can automagically adjust the lights and temperature when you walk into a room (2017-01-13 18:32:08)
    Smart home solutions are still one of the hottest trends in tech right now, but some are better than others. We’re always on the lookout for connected devices that offer some truly cool functionality, and boy did we find one in the Zuli Smartplug . This affordable smart home kit offers Smart Home control, dimmer features, energy monitoring and timer controls all in one package, but its coolest feature has to be presence awareness. Compatible with Philips Hue bulbs and the Nest Thermostat, Zuli has a presence feature that knows exactly where you are in your home and can adjust your lighting and the temperature in your house based on your exact location. So for example, your basement lights can turn on automatically anytime you walk down the basement stairs. How cool is that? Some highlights from the product page: Control your lights and appliances from one beautiful app on your iPhone Zuli works with the Nest Thermostat and Philips Hue – control both within the Zuli app Set the perfect mood lighting right from your iPhone – Zuli turns any lamp into a dimmer Zuli Presence knows when you're in a room and instantly sets the perfect lighting and temperature View the energy usage of every light and appliance in your home – so you can make smarter choices Zuli works with iPhone 4s, 5s, 6, 6+, 6s, 6s+ and iOS 7.1 or later Rated at 1800W Note that you may have to choose the lower price from the "other sellers" section on Amazon.
  • The next Windows 10 update should make PC gaming better than ever (2017-01-13 17:31:33)
    Microsoft is serious about PC games, a new leak reveals. The next major Windows 10 update due in the coming months will include a Game Mode that should enhance gaming experiences. First spotted in December, the Game Mode is now included in Windows 10 Build 15007, MSPowerUser reports . The feature will make gaming “your PC’s top priority to improve your game’s quality.” It’s unclear at this time what Game Mode will do, once enabled. It’ll supposedly divert system resources, including CPU and RAM, to the game you’re about to play. That means the computer might shut down other processes that take up computing power to prioritize gaming performance. If you’re rocking a brand-new Windows 10 system with plenty of horsepower under the hood, then Game Mode might not be for you. But the feature might come in handy on older machines and laptops. To enable Game Mode, you have press Win and G while in the Game DVR panel. You’ll find the Game Mode option in Settings where you’ll be able to enable and disable it according to your needs. Even if you’re on Build 15007 and you have access to Game Mode, the feature might not work just yet. Microsoft also added a new gaming-related feature in the new Windows 10 release, a Game Broadcasting utility that will likely let gamers broadcast their games. The feature will let players start streaming a game via Beam, a company that Microsoft purchased last year. This feature does not work for the moment either.
  • Tesla removes Autopilot speed limit after users whine on Twitter (2017-01-13 16:46:33)
    Tesla has rolled out a software update for its cars that removes a speed limit on Autopilot mode. Since a previous update, which was unveiled shortly before Christmas, drivers had been forced to travel at the posted speed limit when in Autopilot mode on non-divided roads. Prior to that update, Autopilot let you cruise at 5mph over the posted speed limit, more in line with how people actually drive on the highway. The initial update that forced Autopilot to be legal was rolled out because Musk claimed that people were driving "too fast in general" on winding roads. When it was first released, Autopilot was only supposed to be used on divided highways, but people started deploying it on undivided roads quickly, and a spate of near-miss dashcam videos soon followed on YouTube. But after Tesla limited Autopilot to the speed limit on non-divided roads, users quickly took to Twitter to shout at poor Elon: Similar comments sprung up on Twitter forums and Facebook owner groups. Luckily for owners, it looks like Tesla has reverted the change with a new software update. In the new version, Tesla once again allows Autopilot to go 5mph over the posted speed limit, but also monitors traffic conditions more closely. If the car doesn't like heavy traffic conditions, for example, it may ask the driver to take over or limit its own speed.
  • I can’t wait until this Chainsmokers song about nothing is the biggest song in America (2017-01-13 16:44:24)
    Or that they’re an electronic pop-duo made up of two men named Drew Taggart and Alex Pall? It’s called “Paris,” but it’s not about Paris the city. Lizzie: Ah yes, that paris, the lowercase one, the one that Drew Taggart and Alex Pall, poets both, just made up.
  • DirecTV Now is seriously broken (2017-01-13 16:23:32)
    AT&T's streaming service is off to a rough start. After the initial launch giddiness, the service has had major service problems including crashing apps, apps not loading, the wrong channels being shown in regions, and the much-vaunted 72-hour rewind service not functioning at all. To top things off, an Apple TV update last night that was supposed to fix bugs seems to have broken the Apple TV service for everyone. As you'd expect, AT&T's customer service is dealing with this super well. The way to see for yourself how badly AT&T's train has derailed is the DirecTV Now Twitter support account. In between tweeting out happy ads for the service, it has been trying valiantly to respond to thousands of customer complaints: That's a tiny sampling from recent tweets, but the problems appear to be bad. The DirecTV Now support account has only been around for a few months, but it's already amassed 15,000 tweets. Assuming that the vast majority of those are in response to complaints, that's a lot of unhappy customers. The Verge   also reports that online chat support is swamped, with some users sending in screenshots of waiting over half an hour to chat with a support rep. In the meantime, AT&T's execs appear to be rearranging deck chairs. Rather than acknowledge serious flaws in its much-hyped brand-new streaming service, AT&T Entertainment CTO Enrique Rodriguez said in an interview that "the problems were not as big as I expected," and that "I’m so proud of the quality we delivered.” Hopefully for AT&T, executives will wake up and smell disaster, otherwise DirecTV Now might not have many subscribers in a year's time. Then, we'd all have to go back to paying monthly for a cable TV bundle, renting a set-top box from our cable company for an outrageous price. Wouldn't AT&T just hate that!
  • Every single Apple TV owner needs this accessory (2017-01-13 16:20:15)
    The Apple TV is, without question, one of the best media streaming devices in the world. It supports nearly all of the top streaming apps out there, and now the latest version also supports Sir, which completely changes the viewing experience for the better. We love voice search and being able to say things like "what did he say?" for a quick rewind, or "skip ahead two minutes" instead of fumbling around with a traditional remote. There is one thing about the Apple TV’s design that’s pretty annoying, however: the box is so tiny and light that it always seems to shift around. In fact, a heavy HDMI cable can pull it right off of your entertainment center. Luckily there’s a simple solution that actually completely hides the Apple TV from sight without interfering at all with the remote, and it costs less than $20 on Amazon. Here’s a version for the Apple TV 4th-generation: Mount for Apple TV (Apple TV and remote not included) Perfect for wall-mounted televisions (Attaches Apple TV to the back of your television) Designed for the new Apple TV (Apple TV 4th Generation) Also compatible with older Apple TVs Includes three mounting options: innovative hooks for TV vents, special adhesive for elevated TV temperatures, and screws for wall mounting Here’s one for the Apple TV 2nd and 3rd-generation: Mount for Apple TV - Hides Apple TV behind your television (Not designed for rooms with two-story high ceilings) Compatible with 2nd and 3rd generation Apple TVs (Not compatible with the New Apple TV, which is the 4th generation Apple TV) Easy to install - no tools necessary (Clips onto back of TV without adhesive) Eliminates the need to tunnel an HDMI cable through your wall Apple TV and HDMI cable are not included
  • Driverless electric shuttle being tested in downtown Vegas (2017-01-13 16:00:54)
    LAS VEGAS (AP) — There's a new thrill on the streets of downtown Las Vegas, where high- and low-rollers alike are climbing aboard what officials call the first driverless electric shuttle operating on a public U.S. street.
  • Why carmakers want to keep Apple and Google at arm's length (2017-01-13 15:57:17)
    Automakers bill it as a move to create a seamless experience for their customers, but others in the industry see it as a way to cut Apple and Google out of the equation, so that vehicle manufacturers can continue to sell new services to customers. The boldest move in this direction came from Ford and Toyota, which together founded a group called the SmartDeviceLink Consortium.
  • Here’s what to do if you missed out on preordering the Nintendo Switch (2017-01-13 15:56:49)
    Everyone knew that the Nintendo Switch was hotly anticipated, but we're not sure people fully appreciated how badly Nintendo fans want to get their hands on the next-generation console. The Wii U's failure left a gaping hole in gamers' hearts and now the Switch is here to fill it. Nintendo still has a lot to prove, but the company showed off plenty of exciting games during its unveiling event early Friday morning and gamers were impressed. How impressed? Online preorder inventory sold out in a matter of hours. If you want to get your hands on a Nintendo Switch on launch day, March 3, the bad news is it's no longer as easy as placing a simple preorder. But the good news is you're not out of options, and we'll tell you what to do right now. Long story short, if you want a Switch on launch day you have three options: First, you can visit this page on Amazon's website . You won't be able to preorder the hot new Nintendo Switch console there, unfortunately. What you can do, however, is sign up to be notified the instant the Switch is back in stock. There's a very good chance that Nintendo will make additional inventory available if it can, so this is your best option — and it doesn't involve leaving your house. The second option is to go to your local Walmart store, where you'll be able to reserve a Nintendo Switch to pick up on launch day. You'll need to put 10% down and the balance won't be due until you pick up your console on March 3. Walmart told BGR that stores will have a limited number of reservations available, so you'll definitely want to head out soon if this is the route you choose to take. Your third and final choice is to go to war. This isn't an iPhone launch or anything, but you can still expect to see some lines on March 3 when the Nintendo Switch hits store shelves. Many stores will get inventory to sell in addition to any inventory they receive for people who preordered and chose in-store pickups, so you can always try your luck at stores like Best Buy, Gamestop, Target and Walmart.
  • How to fix the slow apt-get update issue on Linux machines (2017-01-13 15:53:00)
    If apt-get is slowing to a crawl or even stopping, read about the IPv6 fix that will keep your Linux server and desktop updates running smoothly.
  • SpaceX 2015 accident cost it hundreds of millions: Wall St. Journal (2017-01-13 15:47:54)
    CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (Reuters) - - Elon Musk’s SpaceX lost more than a quarter of a billion dollars in 2015 after a botched cargo run to the International Space Station and the subsequent grounding of its Falcon 9 rocket fleet, The Wall Street Journal reported on Friday. The accident derailed SpaceX’s expectations of $1.8 billion in launch revenue in 2016, an analysis of the privately held firm’s financial documents showed, according to the Journal, which said it had obtained the documents. SpaceX declined to comment on the Journal’s report.
  • The most common passwords of 2016 are just as embarrassing as you expected (2017-01-13 15:30:12)
    Every year, security experts and internet bloggers plead with the general public to use more secure passwords for their online accounts . Every year, the public fails to heed their advice, as this list of most common passwords of 2016 reveals. After examining over 10 million passwords that became public following security breaches throughout the year, the Keeper team discovered that an astounding 17% of internet users still use "123456" as a password. And believe it or not, that's only the beginning of the bad news . Here are some of the scariest things that the developers behind the Keeper app discovered: The most-frequently used password list isn't changing from year to year. Four of the top ten most popular passwords are six characters or less. Email providers aren't doing enough to stop spammers from setting up dummy accounts. As Keeper notes, some of the responsibility falls on the user. If you still don't know that "qwerty" and "password" are terrible passwords, you haven't been paying attention. On the other hand, if account providers made password complexity a requirement, it wouldn't be possible to use those passwords in the first place. Here are the top ten most popular password's from Keeper's analysis: 123456 123456789 qwerty 12345678 111111 1234567890 1234567 password 123123 987654321 As you can see from this list, most users would rather be able to slide their index finger across their keyboard than actually remember or keep track of a complex password that could keep them safe from cyberattacks. You can learn more about Keeper's research by checking out the infographic below:
  • SpaceX's finance projections are galactically optimistic (2017-01-13 15:24:18)
    SpaceX lost money in 2015 because of a rocket explosion, according to internal documents obtained by The Wall Street Journal. The documents also show financial details of the satellite internet business SpaceX hopes to launch to fund its Mars mission. The Journal reviewed SpaceX financial results and forecasts, which aren’t publicly available, from 2011 to 2015.
  • 3 iOS apps for learning to code in bite-size lessons (2017-01-13 15:08:52)
    Learning to code, or improving your skills, is a great New Year's resolution. Here are three iOS apps to help you make good on your promise.
  • Marvel shares new details about ‘The Defenders’ (2017-01-13 15:03:24)
    Marvel's upcoming ensemble superhero series The Defenders is still several months away, but  Entertainment Weekly had a chance to sit down with the cast and crew to discuss the upcoming show as it began shooting in Brooklyn this week. These are some of the first concrete details we've learned about the show. In the magazine's cover story , EW describes the scene in which the four heroes meet for the first time: "Each Defender has arrived separately at the offices of Midland Circle (a name that should sound familiar to  Daredevil  fans as the shady operation behind a giant, literal plot hole in season 2), and none of them expected to cross paths. But before they can properly meet and greet, the four have wound up trapped in the middle of a corridor and must brawl their way past a group of enemies." If you've watched the three series that have aired so far ( Daredevil , Jessica Jones , Luke Cage ), you know that these heroes would rather do things their own way, so Marvel's TV team had to find a compelling reason to unite them. That reason turned out to be Sigourney Weaver’s Alexandra , an "utter badass" who will serve as the main antagonist of The Defenders . Showrunner Marco Ramirez says she's a big enough threat to necessitate the team-up, but not too big for the cozy world Marvel has built on Netflix. As for whether or not we might see The Defenders cross over with The Avengers on either the big screen or the small screen, Marvel TV head Jeph Loeb says the following : “If the story warrants it, we will obviously do our best to have folks cross into each other’s story lines.” The Defenders will hit Netflix at some point this summer.
  • The benefits of using Windows 10 on a 34-inch ultrawide monitor (2017-01-13 14:47:00)
    Get a first-hand look at how you can take advantage of extra screen real estate when using Windows 10 on an ultrawide monitor.
  • Android’s co-founder is building a new company and a new kind of smartphone (2017-01-13 14:42:44)
    Andy Rubin, co-founder of the Android operating system, is reportedly building out a new company and working on several new products including a premium smartphone with an edge-to-edge display “that lacks a surrounding bezel.” Bloomberg just published a story with many details on Rubin’s new company, Essential, which he’s preparing to formally announce and lead as CEO. Essential is said to be planning several products — both in mobile and for the smart home, according to Bloomberg’s report. The highlight of these hardware efforts is a high-design smartphone meant to compete with Apple’s iPhone 7, Samsung’s Galaxy S7, the Google Pixel, and other flagship mobile devices.
  • Apple and Samsung set to go to court again over iPhone infringement (2017-01-13 14:36:25)
    Nearly six years after Apple first sued Samsung for patent infringement, the ongoing legal battle between the two tech behemoths shows no signs of slowing down. Even though all of the devices that were at issue in the original case are completely outdated, the two companies are still engaged in a bitter dispute regarding damages. Following a recent Supreme Court ruling that wiped $399 million in damages from Samsung's original bill to Apple, MacRumors reports that the two companies will now head down to the U.S. Court of Appeals where a more precise determination will be made as to how much money Samsung owes Apple for infringing upon the look and feel of the iPhone. Before diving in, it's worth noting what is and what isn't in dispute here: That Samsung released a handful of devices that infringed upon a swath Apple patents is not open for debate, but what remains unresolved is how the damages for said infringement should be calculated. Whereas Samsung believes that Apple should only be entitled to damages based on the portions of its accused devices that actually infringe, Apple maintains that it's entitled to all of the profits Samsung enjoyed from its infringing devices. Previously, Apple quoted Congress while arguing that "it is the design that sells the article” and that it's practically impossible to attribute profits to a specific portion of a device.     As it stands now, Samsung is on the hook to Apple for $149 million and it will be interesting to see the extent to which that figure increases once both sides plead their case before the U.S. Court of Appeals. And so, the epic legal saga between Apple and Samsung continues.
  • The best thing about Nintendo Switch is its slick new controller (2017-01-13 14:34:48)
    One of the biggest selling points of the Nintendo Switch is its hybrid nature. Each Switch comes with two of these tiny controllers — dubbed Joy-Con (L) and Joy-Con (R) — and they both include a variety of buttons, joysticks, and both motion control and vibration feedback.
  • Fiat Chrysler reportedly facing US criminal probe in emission scandal (2017-01-13 14:26:34)
    A few days after being accused by the Environmental Protection Agency of cheating on its emissions tests, Fiat Chrysler is now being investigated by the Justice Department for failing to disclose secret software that allegedly facilitated the fraud, according to Bloomberg. Earlier this week, an EPA administrator said FCA’s software appeared to be in violation of the Clean Air Act and was likely contributing to “illegal pollution.” The EPA stopped short of calling the software “defeat devices,” but has sent a request to Fiat Chrysler asking them to prove otherwise.
  • Outgoing FCC chief Tom Wheeler offers final defense of net neutrality (2017-01-13 14:24:58)
    The outgoing head of the Federal Communications Commission, Tom Wheeler, used his final public speech to make a closing argument for maintaining net neutrality, the signature achievement of his time at the agency. Under Trump, Republicans will regain a majority at the FCC and have already made clear their intention to begin pushing back on, if not completely rewriting or wiping out, the Open Internet Order that established net neutrality. This would be an irresponsible and bad idea, Wheeler seems to say.
  • In 2017, I’ve turned basic mental health into a competitive game (2017-01-13 14:24:42)
    Achievement Club isn’t great for ongoing resolutions, like “eat more kale” or “learn to speak Spanish.” It won’t help us with abstract life-improvement plans like “travel more” or “make new friends.” But it’s been great for helping us overcome inertia and facing the irritating tasks we’d prefer to postpone.
  • Tech workers are protesting Palantir’s involvement with immigration data (2017-01-13 14:11:55)
    Due in part to a Verge report from last month, a group of tech workers in Silicon Valley has announced that it will hold a demonstration outside the headquarters of Palantir Technologies in Palo Alto next Wednesday to protest the company’s involvement in intelligence systems used by federal immigration authorities. Since Donald Trump’s upset victory in November, Palantir has made headlines both for its close relationship with the incoming Republican administration and its involvement in government data platforms that could be used to support Trump’s planned mass deportations and what he calls “extreme vetting” of immigrants seeking to enter the country. “We want to make it clear that the overall tech community is watching what Palantir does,” says Jason Prado, a software engineer at Facebook and member of the Tech Workers Coalition, the group organizing the Palantir demonstration.
  • You can play ‘Super Mario Odyssey’ (but not that one) right now (2017-01-13 14:09:32)
    Prior to the Nintendo Switch presentation on Thursday night, multiple rumors suggested that a 3D Mario game (which we now know as Super Mario Odyssey ) would be when the Switch launched. Sadly, it turns out that Switch owners are going to have to wait until the holiday season to get their hands on the next Mario adventure , but in the meantime, there is actually already a name of the same game that you can try out. Best of all, you don't even need to own a Nintendo Switch to play it. I scrolled past the following tweet in my timeline on Friday afternoon: I did a little bit of digging and discovered that this Super Mario Odyssey is a ROM hack of Super Mario World from a hacker known as BMF54123. You can see the ROM hack in action in the (kind of grainy) video below: You can also play Super Mario Odyssey  yourself in your browser on Emuparadise's website . For a 13-year-old hack of a 27-year-old game, it's actually pretty good! But the best part of this story is that BMF54123 is still out there, and couldn't help but wonder if his ancient hack might have inspired Nintendo: Yes, it's almost certainly a coincidence (and by the time 2100 rolls around, Nintendo will have attached every word in the English language to its  Super Mario titles), but it's still a pretty amazing story, especially for BMF54123. Here's hoping Nintendo acknowledges the TRUE Super Mario Odyssey  in the near future.
  • Hackers steal 900 GB of data from phone hacking company Cellebrite (2017-01-13 14:09:27)
    Hackers have taken records of customer information and technical resources from Cellebrite, an organization which sells hardware designed to extract data from secured smartphones.
  • A closer look at the Nintendo Switch (2017-01-13 14:08:43)
    Nintendo finally unveiled launch details for its its new Switch console today (to recap: March 3rd worldwide for $299). The console consists of a 6.2-inch 720p display, with the ability to attach two Joy-Cons to either side of the tablet portion. It’s tablet hardware that’s designed to be used at home in a special Switch Dock, or on the road with the Joy-Cons either attached or detached for wire-free play.
  • Takata will plead guilty to covering up recalled airbags, pay $1 billion (2017-01-13 14:07:43)
    Takata will plead guilty to a criminal charge related to a cover-up of its defective airbag inflators, and will pay $1 billion in fines and restitution to affected individuals and automakers who purchased its defective airbags, the AP reports. The company will pay a $25 million criminal fine, $125 million to individuals injured by defective airbags, and $850 million to automakers that purchased the inflators, which were used in some 70 million airbags. The defective inflators have been blamed for at least 10 deaths and more than 100 injuries.
  • Deadpool wants to be an Oscar contender (2017-01-13 13:56:50)
    Deadpool made it to the Golden Globes, so the Oscars can’t be that far of a stretch, right? In a new promo spot, the Merc with a Mouth lays out a pretty solid case for why his film debut deserves a Best Picture nomination, including how many chimichangas made it onto the set. Of course, it’s worth noting that Deadpool actually has a real chance of earning a handful of technical and non-technical Academy Awards nominations, including one for Best Picture.
  • Nintendo Switch FAQ: Price, Release Date and Game Lineup (2017-01-13 13:56:00)
    Nintendo's new home console is almost here. Dubbed the Nintendo Switch, this hybrid game console is playable both at home on your TV, as well as on the go thanks to a portable design featuring detachable controllers and an on-board battery. The official launch date of the Nintendo Switch is March 3, 2017, and it will cost $299.99.
  • DirecTV Now appears to be a complete mess (2017-01-13 13:55:13)
    DirecTV Now has been plagued with errors in the month and a half since the streaming service was launched by AT&T. Subscribers have complained of being unable to watch shows, frequent interruptions, missing features, billing issues, and more pretty much nonstop since the service’s November 30th launch. Since just this Monday, there have been over 200 active forum threads on AT&T’s website complaining about DirecTV Now problems. Meanwhile, the service’s support account on Twitter has been apologizing day after day and promising updates that seemingly haven’t come.
  • Nintendo debuts hotly anticipated Nintendo Switch console (2017-01-13 13:44:15)
    Nintendo is trying to Switch it up. The Japanese video-game company revealed details Friday about its hotly anticipated Nintendo Switch, a video game console that also serves as a hand-held gaming device, ...
  • Don’t worry, Nutella probably isn’t giving you cancer (2017-01-13 13:39:31)
    A controversy over palm oil threatens to cast a pall over Nutella, the delicious chocolate-hazelnut spread made by the Italian company Ferrero. Headlines like “Nutella Can Cause Cancer, Study Warns” have circulated across the internet this week, but is Ferrero really including an ingredient that might give consumers cancer? The study, released by the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) last May, does not say that Nutella can cause cancer.
  • WhatsApp’s new vulnerability is a concession, not a backdoor (2017-01-13 13:34:25)
    This morning, a Guardian article reported a new weakness in WhatsApp’s encryption, described as a backdoor in one of the most widely used encrypted chat apps in the world. WhatsApp was quick to push back against the allegation, saying in a statement, “WhatsApp does not give governments a ‘backdoor’ into its systems and would fight any government request to create a backdoor.” The bug described in the article had long been known by security professionals, and there’s no evidence WhatsApp ever tried to conceal it.
  • Microsoft just bought an AI startup that can outperform Facebook and Google (2017-01-13 13:30:25)
    Microsoft announced this morning that it has acquired Maluuba, a Toronto startup focused on using deep learning for natural language processing. Deep learning is an approach to artificial intelligence currently in vogue that has driven incredible gains in the field over the last five years. The Verge covered Maluuba in the summer of 2016, when the startup shared the results of an AI system that could read and comprehend text with near human capability, outperforming similar systems shown off by Google and Facebook.
  • Driverless shuttle is new thrill in downtown Las Vegas (2017-01-13 13:14:56)
    LAS VEGAS (AP) — There's a new thrill on the streets of downtown Las Vegas.
  • Obama's five new national monuments set a US record for land protection (2017-01-13 13:13:59)
    President Obama declared five new national monuments yesterday, bringing the total number he’s created or expanded to 34 — the highest ever, according to The Washington Post. Three of the new national monuments are civil rights sites in the South that have bipartisan support, and underline Obama’s push for protecting sites that speak for the nation’s diverse history and culture. Just last month, he created two new controversial national monuments in Utah and Nevada, ensuring protection for more than 1 million acres of land.
  • Facebook no longer clearly labels edited posts (2017-01-13 13:06:09)
    When you make one on Facebook, you’re thankfully able to correct it no matter how long ago the post was shared. Perhaps on a personal level, this won’t make a difference to you — but the ability to sneak around rewriting the past seems like an odd change given our current plight against misinformation.
  • Brooks Releases Special Edition Rock 'n' Roll Marathon Series Shoe (2017-01-13 13:06:00)
    If you've ever wanted a pair of Brooks' Adrenaline GTS 17 with guitars all over them, today is your lucky day.
  • How Netflix made A Series of Unfortunate Events, its first great TV for families (2017-01-13 12:56:37)
    Netflix’s first major investment in really good television for kids is here. The first eight-episode season of A Series of Unfortunate Events is now streaming on the platform, and it might be the best original children’s series the platform has debuted yet. “I don’t mean to profess any originality to which I am not entitled,” says author Daniel Handler, the show’s head writer.
  • The company that wants to mine the Moon has enough money for its first trip there (2017-01-13 12:44:57)
    Moon Express — the California-based company with hopes of mining the Moon someday — has received full funding for its first trip to the lunar surface, slated for later this year. “We now have all the resources in place to shoot for the Moon,” Moon Express CEO Bob Richards said in a statement. Moon Express is one of the main contenders in the Google Lunar X Prize, an international competition to send the first private spacecraft to the Moon.
  • Nintendo stock takes a hit after awkward Switch unveiling (2017-01-13 12:44:24)
    Nintendo spent a big chunk of the past day explaining to everyone why its new mobile console hybrid, the Switch, is going to be great. Apparently investors haven't quite gotten the message, because the company's stock price has had a hard time keeping itself level. As of this writing, Nintendo's stock on Japan's Tokyo Stock Exchange is down almost 6%, or about 1,450 yen. Nintendo's hotly anticipate Switch reveal event took place on Friday morning in Japan, which was late Thursday night for us here in the United States. The company showcased its new console along with a handful of games from both third party developers and first party teams, but much of the presentation was met with a lukewarm reaction from fans. Perhaps the biggest star of the show, a previously unannounced 3D open world Mario title called Super Mario Odyssey , looked pretty impressive, but then came the unfortunate news that the game wouldn't actually be ready for the Switch's March 3rd launch. Instead, the title is slated for "Holiday 2017," which is not only very vague, but somewhere in the neighborhood of eight to nine months after the Switch will already be on store shelves. Other titles, like Splatoon 2 and the odd motion-control fighting game Arms also got some stage time, but judging from the reactions of viewers on Twitch as well as Twitter commentary, the presentation didn't get very many people hyped for the console's debut. That general feeling of "meh" seems to have carried over to the investor community as well, which has lately been extremely bullish on Nintendo after a pair of mobile successes in Pokemon Go (which they are only tangentially involved with) and Super Mario Run . The company is still up almost 10,000 yen from its most recent low point in July of 2016, but we'll have to see how the Switch launch goes before we can predict whether Nintendo will continue to trend up or return to mediocrity.
  • Startup investors fret over risks of mass data collection (2017-01-13 12:31:01)
    By Heather Somerville SANTA BARBARA, Calif. (Reuters) - Nearly every technology startup wants the same thing: more data. Whether ordering an Uber, streaming music, shopping online or tracking a health condition, consumers are giving an unprecedented amount of information to technology companies. Collecting big data helps Airbnb, for instance, know whether its customers prefer to travel to the beach or mountains, and Uber knows popular drop-off locations and how to price trips.
  • 8 paid iPhone apps on sale for free today (2017-01-13 12:15:53)
    You did it! You survived another week! There's no better way than to celebrate the end of yet another long week than by downloading a bunch of hot premium iPhone and iPad apps that are all on sale for free. Today's list includes a bunch of nifty apps that span a range of categories, and the highlight is likely a very cool app that lets you automate tasks on your iPhone. Check them all out below. These are paid iPhone and iPad apps that have been made available for free for a limited time by their developers. There is no way to tell how long they will be free. These sales could end an hour from now or a week from now — obviously, the only thing we can guarantee is that they were free at the time this post was written. If you click on a link and see a price listed next to an app instead of the word “get,” it is no longer free. The sale has ended. If you download the app, you will be charged. Actions Normally $1.99. The Actions app allows you to automate monotonous tasks on your iOS device. Simply create an action of your choice (i.e.: text message), customise the action settings and tap save. Just like that, you'll have a one tap action to send a message, view the news and much more. Stop wasting time switching between apps, use the Actions app and automate the task at hand. Key features: - Lots of different action types to choose from, including email, text, local weather reports and much more. - Quick access from spotlight: All actions are saved as search results, simply search for the action of your choice and tap to go. - Quick access iMessage app: Run your favourite actions within any of your message conversations. Use template messages, share the latest news, convert currencies, find/share places of interest near by and more, all within the iMessage app. - Quick access widget: Add up to three of your favourite actions, to the app widget for one tap access from the notification centre. - Action notifications: Set action reminders at a particular date/time or location of your choice. - Third party app support: Create actions for your favourite iOS applications. Download Actions Guardify Pro Normally $9.99. Fed up of forgetting passwords? Feeling overwhelmed with different locks and codes? Well here’s your solution! Secure, Convenient, Easy to use. These are the expressions that describes Guardify and its ability to store all your confidential information and important files in one place, behind one password! This is how Guardify helps you: • Secure all your passwords, documents, photos and other files easily • Sync across Apple devices • Simple, hassle free user interface • Only remember one password to log into Guardify • Only YOU can decrypt and access all your data • Customizable password generator • Folders, to organise and categorise • Tap a field to copy it instantly to clipboard • Search bar • Favourites • No ads • Auto-lock when screen turns off, or app exits • Self-destruct if too many incorrect entry attempts • Retrieval of passwords from our secure online storage service if you lose your phone • SSL transmission and AES-256 bit MILITARY GRADE encryption to keep your data safe Download Guardify Pro Rocket Video Cast for Roku Normally $0.99. Unleash your Roku device with Roku Rocket Video Cast. With Roku Rocket you can browse the web and stream any web video on your Roku attached TV, and you can even store those videos and cast them later. The app currently works with following: Roku 4, Roku Streaming Stick, Roku 3, Roku HD (2500) or Roku LT (2400+2450) Player! [Roku 1 and 2 not supported] Rocket is also a fully featured file manager that allows you to store files to your iOS device. You can then view/play the stored files right on your device offline or transfer them to your computer, and of course you can cast your stored videos to your big screen. Additional Features: - Cast videos from all major streaming video sites - Cast from major file sharing sites - Full featured web browser - Start screen with the most frequent visited history entry's - Open saved tabs on startup - Real-time search in your browsing history, bookmarks and tabs - Search engine integration in the Address bar - Share URL's via Twitter, Mail - Search in the website - Passcode protected - HTTP Server to transfer files in and out of the app - Download Manager - FIle Manager to organize your files in folders etc. - Address bar search engine options (Google, Bing, DuckDuckGo, StartPage can be changed App Settings > Search Engine) - (NEW!)Multi format video/audio player allows you to play almost any video and audio format without leaving the app (wmv, mpeg, mpeg1, mpeg2, mpeg4, 3gp, sf, avi, divx, dv, gxf, m2p, m2ts, m2v, m4v, mkv, moov, mov, mp4, mpg, mpv, mt2s, mts, mxf, ogm, ogv, ps, qt, ts, vob, webm, wm, mp3, m4a, wma). - (NEW!) Extract audio from mp4 files (convert to mp3) - (NEW!) File Manager - create folders/organize/move files/etc. ..and lots lots more. Supported format for Roku include mp4, m4v, m3u8, hls, and live streams are supported. IMPORTANT NOTES, PLEASE READ BEFORE PURCHASING: This app currently does NOT support Flash, Silverlight and iTunes purchased movies and other DRM protected videos like HBO now, Hulu, Netflix, Amazon Instant Videos. This app is not affiliated with Roku or one of its products and produced independently. Download Rocket Video Cast for Roku Yumget Normally $1.99. Yumget is a visual photo food diary. It includes a calorie counter and nutrient analysis to help you to perform at your best. A food diary has been proven to be very effective in helping you lose weight and improve your general wellness. Yumget allows you store and input your meal nutritional content into HealthKit. Here is how Yumget works: Take a photo of your meal, and then indicate which ingredients are included in your meal. The app will count the number of calories, vitamins, and essential minerals that are included in your meal. Features: - Easiest way to keep a food diary. It's the simplest app to use. - Built-in sharing and following friends within the application. - Count the number of calories, minerals and vitamins per meal. - Visual calendar of all past meals - Database with up to 100,000 common ingredients with new items added everyday. - Access your account on multiple devices With Yumget you need to create an account with either your email or Facebook. This is necessary since you can save your data for further analysis on different devices or through the web interface. Download Yumget Commander Compass Normally $3.99. Commander Compass is an essential GPS toolkit for outdoors and off-road navigation. Packed with tools it serves as a hi-tech compass with maps, gyrocompass, GPS receiver, waypoint tracker, speedometer, altimeter, Sun, Moon and star finder, gyro horizon, and coordinate converter. It saves your custom places and waypoints, navigates precisely to them later, shows them on maps, displays detailed GPS info, measures distances, angles, and does a lot more. COMPASS & GYROCOMPASS Accuracy improvement techniques, special compass modes and calibration methods available in Commander Compass only make it a real instrument – the most advanced and accurate digital compass. FINDER, TRACKER & NAVIGATION Commander Compass operates in 3D to show real-time object positions, info and directions to them overlaid over maps or a simple background. Save current position, add points from maps, manually enter location coordinates and bearings, add stars by hand or use a built-in star catalogue. Find saved places and objects later simply by following directional arrows. Commander Compass tracks multiple targets simultaneously and shows their info – distance, direction, azimuth, elevation and estimated time of arrival. Copy, paste and share locations, coordinates and map links using many supported formats. GPS, SPEEDOMETER & ALTIMETER Find and track your location and get detailed real-time GPS data – coordinates in dozens of formats, altitude, course, current, maximum and vertical speed, using imperial, metric, nautical and surveying units. MAPS See your and targets’ positions on maps using different map styles and alternative map providers – plan waypoints and measure distances. NAVIGATE BY STARS Track positions of stars, Sun and Moon with arc second precision – use them as a reference to calibrate compass for maximum accuracy. DEMO & HELP Videos: Manuals: Download Commander Compass Dolist Normally $24.99. Narrow your focus, achieve balance Complexity is too many things on your mind at once. Dolist serves up only the most important task the very moment that you need to think of it. Not everything else. That’s it. Prioritize across all of your lists You have many lists in many places. Organizing a single list is simple, but among many it’s almost impossible. Rather if it’s your 9-5 or your family vacation, Dolist, sets priorities based on deadlines and where you are right now. That’s smarts. Capture what’s on your mind In the future, we’ll write emails with in our thoughts. Today, we write lists with Dolist. Tell Alexa, Siri, your smart car, or possibility your fridge, to add tasks from the summit, the sea, your desk or the shower. Free your mind to get more done. That’s you. With Dolist, you can: • Capture tasks quickly and effectively • Seamlessly plan your day by comparing tasks against each other • Add task details seamlessly by following the prompts in the Plan tab • Review your daily productivity over the past seven days Download Dolist HyperVideo Editor Normally $9.99. Ultra high speed video editor. Edit your videos to perfection and share in your favorite social media platforms. Features: - Slowmo/Speedup - Borders - Filters - Text - Music - Blur - Emojis - Stickers - Much more! Send us your feedback and we will continue to improve the app! Download HyperVideo Editor Rap Studio 2 Normally $2.99. The greatest rappers in the world used the greatest beats and the closest mic to make history! It's your turn Download Rap Studio 2. Get started on your mark in history. **Beats format: intro/verse/hook/verse/hook/shortVerse/hook/hook **Mastered Beats! **48+ vocal tracks! **Import your own beats from email or other audio apps! (mp3, wave and aiff files are compatible. Choose Open In Rap Studio 2) **Bounce & Share Everywhere **Unlimited Songs **Track Automations **Mix & Pan vocal stacks **Exclusive Studio Community: see how you stack up against the best around the world using Rap Studio 2. Listen to others and share you songs on the Studio Community within the app. Download Rap Studio 2
  • Bowser is a bad guy, but a very good dad (2017-01-13 12:07:07)
    Bowser is best known as the spiky foil to Nintendo’s golden boy Mario. Bowser is an attentive and loving father. As part of a demonstration of the Switch’s parental controls, Nintendo chose to spotlight the relationship between King Koopa and his son, Bowser Jr.
  • New WhatsApp Scam Is Dangerously Dumb (2017-01-13 12:00:00)
    Homer Simpson once famously quipped that, "It takes two to lie: one to lie, and one to listen." Perhaps there was more wisdom in his words than we thought, if the latest scam involving WhatsApp is any indication. In the scam, users receive a message promising free internet access without Wi-Fi, but following the link leads them only to unwanted software, some of it malicious, and further propagation of the scam. “You can already get Internet Free Without WI-FI (sic) with Whatsapp, and it is by means of invitations, here I give you an invitation!” the poorly written message proclaims.
  • 72 Hours With Google Home (2017-01-13 12:00:00)
    Here's how Google Home stacks up against other voice-controlled smart-speakers.
  • Auto show concepts: Would you build them or forget them? (2017-01-13 11:56:39)
    DETROIT (AP) — Car companies don't just show current models at auto shows. They also unveil prototypes that could be built in the future. These so-called concept cars help them gauge the public's reaction to new designs or technology. They can also amp up excitement about a company's future.
  • YouTube ‘Super Chat' lets users pay to pin comments on live streams (2017-01-13 11:49:33)
    Google is set to launch a new service for YouTube letting users pay a few dollars to pin comments or questions to live streams broadcast by famous content creators. The idea is to connect content creators and fans during live stream events broadcast on the platform, during which viewers can interact with YouTubers by asking questions or leaving comments via a chat function. To boost visibility -- especially if there are hundreds or even thousands of people watching -- YouTube's new "Super Chat" function will allow viewers to pay a few dollars to pin a message in pride of place at the top of the chat window.
  • Our favorite Google Pixel and Pixel XL clear case is on sale right now for $3 (2017-01-13 11:46:30)
    Okay boys and girls, you're going to have to move quickly on this one because it's only good while supplies last. The Google Pixel and Google Pixel XL are two of the hottest smartphones on the planet right now. They're also made entirely of aluminum and glass, so they absolutely need protection. Protecting your Pixel or Pixel XL doesn't have to mean ruining the look or hiding the phones under a bunch of ugly plastic, however. Check out the Noot Clear Hard Back with Soft TPU Gel Bumper for the Google Pixel or the Google Pixel XL . Both versions are on sale for $3 with free Prime shipping right now, but only if you hurry. Some highlights from the product page: Only compatible with the Google Pixel or Google Pixel XL This transparent, slim and protective case comes with a hard back cover. The sides are soft TPU gel bumpers to protect your Google Pixel from drops. This crystal clear case is made of polycarbonate for a shock absorbing frame and scratch resistant to protect your Google Pixel. Raised hard lip protects the front screen display from scratches and scrapes. Accurate cutouts for the camera, power button, speakers, volume buttons, and charging port. The cutouts are bigger to provide easy access to all ports. Because the volume and power buttons are bigger, they are more responsive. 24-month hassle-free warranty on your Google Pixel case. Note that when you click through to the product pages, you might see $9.99 listed as the price. Look over in the right-hand column for the "other sellers" section, and you'll see the $3 price in there if any are left.
  • Nintendo’s motion-controlled Arms is a fun but frustrating fighting game (2017-01-13 11:41:44)
    As one of a handful of new games announced for its Switch console, Nintendo’s fighting game Arms had pride of place in Tokyo today. Arms’ control scheme is simple. The Joy-Cons’ buttons add an extra layer of complexity atop this scheme, allowing players to jump or dodge out of the way of incoming attacks, and turbo-charge their fists for a short time to maximize damage output.
  • Nissan will begin testing its self-driving Leaf electric cars in London next month (2017-01-13 11:29:55)
    Nissan will begin conducting tests of its self-driving cars in London starting in February, according to a report in Reuters. The Japanese automaker, which announced recently its plans to produce a new version of its Leaf electric vehicles, said it will test modified versions of that model on public streets in London. Last year, Nissan unveiled its Pro Pilot autonomous driving technology designed for single-lane highway use.
  • The Lexus UX Concept looks like it will chew you up and spit you out (2017-01-13 11:29:07)
    Lexus announced the UX Concept SUV at the Paris Motor Show, but the Detroit Auto Show was the first chance for many in the United States to see it up close. For every one of the UX Concept’s curves, it has dozens more sharp angles, all tucked into the headlights, the silly interior, the wheels, or the massive front grille. The seats are so crazy that Lexus issued an entirely separate press release and video about them last September.
  • Behold what could be the world’s first clear view of the Galaxy S8 edge (2017-01-13 11:17:14)
    Earlier this week, BGR exclusively gave the world what could be its very first look at the upcoming Samsung Galaxy S8 flagship smartphone . The hotly anticipated handset was rendered by a third-party case manufacturer. According to a source, the handset pictured in that render was based on information that came straight from the factories that are building Samsung's upcoming new flagship phones. While nothing is confirmed until the Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S8 edge (if that's what it ends up being called) are unveiled on stage by Samsung, that image could very well have been our first look at the phone. The following day, several additional renders were published that showed a curved Galaxy S8 edge in a protective case, and may have given us an even closer look at the phone. Now, new renders may very well have given the world its first clear view of the upcoming new Galaxy S8 edge. Ghostek is the case maker that created the renders we published on Wednesday and Thursday, but this new round comes from a different company called Olixar. Unlike the larger waterproof Ghostek model, this Olixar case is a slim minimal case that merely provides scratch protection for the back of the phone. There's also a clear version the company is making, so the Galaxy S8 edge render in the clear case is completely exposed. Here's the image, which was posted on Friday by smartphone accessory retailer Mobile Fun : The Galaxy S8 edge pictured there aligns almost exactly with the renders Ghostek created, though it's unclear if these new renders are based on information from the same factory. The Olixar renders also include the flash on the back of the phone though, suggesting the company may have more complete information. Interestingly, there's no home button and no fingerprint scanner on the back of either case maker's renders. If these mockups are accurate, that could mean Samsung has successfully embedded the fingerprint scanner beneath the display, which is in line with some earlier rumors. Apple is also rumored to be embedding a next-generation Touch ID fingerprint scanner beneath the screen on the upcoming iPhone 8. Samsung is expected to unveil its new Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S8 edge smartphones during a press conference in either February in March. The phones will then reportedly be released sometime in April. Two additional renders follow below.
  • LeEco gets fresh $2.18 billion investment from property developer Sunac (2017-01-13 10:55:09)
    Chinese technology conglomerate LeEco has secured a new round of investment worth 15.04 billion yuan ($2.2 billion) from property developer Sunac China Holdings , according to a stock exchange statement made by Sunac on Friday. Last year LeEco's founder and chairman Jia Yueting said that his company was facing financial obstacles due to the rapid pace of growth in various businesses, but the company soon afterwards announced it had secured commitments for $600 million to support its automotive and other high-tech businesses. Sunac, through its real estate subsidiary Sunac Real Estate, said on Friday it plans to invest 6.04 billion yuan in LeEco's Shenzhen-listed unit Leshi Internet Information and Technology Corp Beijing , by acquiring an 8.61 percent stake.
  • Astronomers just discovered a ‘Hot Jupiter,’ and it’s absolutely massive (2017-01-13 10:52:41)
    Jupiter is the undisputed big dog in our solar system. It's so huge that even if you took all the other planets in our solar system and combined them, Jupiter would still be two-and-a-half times bigger than that. So when astronomers announce that they've discovered a planet that's a whopping 66 percent more massive than Jupiter, you have an idea of just how huge that is. But what's particularly interesting about the newly-discovered alien world named "TAP 26 b" is that it's not a frigid ball of gas like our Jupiter; it's boiling hot. TAP 26 b is thought to be roughly 480 light years away, which isn't really all that far, and that's why researchers were able to detect it in the first place. Using the CFHT telescope located in Hawaii, a team led by Toulouse University's Liang Yu observed the star called TAP 26 and were able to spot the telltale signs of a planet. The group studied data collected over a 72-day period and announced their final findings in a research paper . The "Hot Jupiter" is moving rapidly around its parent start at a rate of one full orbit every 10 days — the Earth, of course, takes 365 days to make it around our own sun, while Jupiter has an astonishingly long 12 years to make the trip. Being as close to its star as it is, the gas giant TAP 26 b is extremely warm. Put simply: You probably wouldn't want to visit. The research team believes that TAP 26 and its Jupiter-alike could help to inform our understanding of how solar systems mature over time, and the changes that take place as they grow older.  
  • MDT: How to automate deployments using CustomSettings.ini (2017-01-13 10:43:00)
    The Microsoft Deployment Toolkit offers advanced settings that allow you to automate the deployment process--and the CustomSettings.ini file lets you take that automation a step further.
  • The Young Pope feels like going to Sunday mass high out of your mind (2017-01-13 10:40:26)
    Let me share something that shines a light on what HBO’s new series The Young Pope is: there’s a kangaroo roaming the gardens in the Vatican. Early on in this show, which drips with portentous symbolism, if not actual substance, the newly elected Pope Pius XIII discovers that the Australian government sent him a kangaroo as a gift. The Young Pope doesn’t make much sense.
  • Brain-Sensing Shades Could Help Relieve Your Stress (2017-01-13 10:31:00)
    Muse, a company that already makes a headband meant to help its users meditate, has announced a partnership with eyeglass company Safilo to embed brainwave sensing technology into the Smith Lowdown Focus sunglasses. The glasses, which will be available later this year for around $350, will be equipped with some of the EEG technology that you'd find at a hospital, plus an accelerometer and gyroscope to track activity, as well as UV, temperature and pressure sensors, turning a traditional-looking pair of glasses into a tech-packed wearable device. Safilo also manufacturers frames for the likes of Givenchy, Dior and Kate Spade, so it may not be much longer until other brands and styles embed this kind of technology as well.
  • You Can Now Hail an Uber from Google Maps: Here's How (2017-01-13 10:30:00)
    Google Maps users can now hail an Uber car and pay for it without having to open or even install the Uber mobile app. Within the Google Maps app, you can tap on the ride-hailing icon, which lists the estimated time it will take to get to your destination. Google is only "trying out" this Google Maps and Uber integration, however, wrote Google Senior Product Manager Sara McKinley Torti in an official Google blog post, so this capability won't be available for all Google Maps users just yet.
  • Is This the Galaxy S8? (2017-01-13 10:30:00)
    Another day, another hint at what the future might look like for Samsung's not-so-secret Galaxy S8. Mobile retail site Mobile Fun has listed for sale the Olixar Ultra-Thin Samsung Galaxy S8 Edge Case. The company, whose post was earlier discovered by Sammobile, has also published images of the case, which wraps around a device believed to be the Galaxy S8 Edge.
  • The iPhone 8 and Galaxy S8 will share one critical feature (2017-01-13 10:27:38)
    The iPhone 8 and Galaxy S8 will turn out to be pretty similar devices if current rumors are to be believed. Naturally, the same can be said about previous iPhone and Galaxy S generations, as Samsung has often borrowed features from Apple when it comes to phone design and Apple borrows from Android all the time. However, this year, the phones are expected to sport similar designs and features, and a new report sheds light on yet another key element they’ll have in common. Sources said to be familiar with the upcoming phones told The Investor that both the iPhone 8 and Galaxy S8 will come with IP68 water and dust resistance. The iPhone 8 is the one that’s getting an upgrade here, compared to the iPhone 7’s IP67 rating. The Galaxy S8, meanwhile, will match the Galaxy S7’s IP68 rating. IP67 means a device can stay under 1 meter of water for half an hour and come away undamaged. IP68 gives you protection in up to 1.5 meters of water for up to 30 minutes. “Apple’s iPhone 8 will feature the IP68 rating protection as part of drastic upgrades marking the 10th anniversary of the iPhone this year,” an industry source told the site. Samsung is looking to add water resistance to a broad range of handsets, not just the Galaxy S8. “Samsung is considering water protection even for the cheapest J series phones as they are the best-selling Galaxy phones,” a different source said. The report goes on to note that both Samsung and Apple will use waterproof tapes to protect their devices, rather than adhesives, as tape makes repair work easier. 3M and NDFOS are the dominant players in the waterproof tape market. LG’s upcoming G6 is also expected to feature water and dust protection, and some Chinese companies will also have waterproof handsets out this year as well.
  • Good old-fashioned gadget talk (2017-01-13 10:27:26)
    You watched the live show at CES and now we’re back in podcast mode. Nilay, Dieter, and Paul get together to share some of their experiences from the Consumer Electronics Show, along with a review of what happened this week. The iPhone turned 10 on Tuesday, so the trio looks back to when it was first announced and discuss what will happen with smartphones in the future. There’s also lots of gadget talk: HTC’s U Ultra, the Nintendo Switch (!), and lots of throwback devices. This is a really good nerdy tech-centric episode of Vergecast, I hope you like it. ...
  • The stakes are higher than ever for tomorrow’s SpaceX rocket launch (2017-01-13 10:27:06)
    Tomorrow, SpaceX is hoping to get back to launching — and landing — its rockets again, a little over four months after one of its Falcon 9 vehicles exploded on a Florida launchpad. The company’s vehicle is slated to take off from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California at 12:54PM ET, carrying 10 satellites into orbit for the communications company Iridium.
  • Watch Nintendo demo Switch games live (2017-01-13 10:17:37)
    Last night, Nintendo announced a slew of games for its new Switch console. Today, the company is demonstrating many of those games live on YouTube and Twitch. At the time of publish, the team is playing match after match of the wacky boxing game ARMS. The stream will show other games throughout the day.A list of demonstration times isn’t currently available, but we expect to see demos of 1-2 Switch, The Legend of Zelda: Breath of Fire, and Super Mario Odyssey. ...
  • Tour Obama's White House one last time in VR (2017-01-13 10:00:03)
    On January 20th, President Barack Obama will step down to make way for Donald Trump. Before leaving, he and First Lady Michelle Obama recorded a tour of the White House shot by virtual reality film studio Felix & Paul. There's actually been a VR tour of the White House before — the Google Expeditions educational initiative filmed a Christmas visit for students two years ago.
  • The most important car companies of 2017 (2017-01-13 09:57:56)
    In the first two weeks of 2017 The Verge has seen 145 displays of automotive-related technology at CES and over 750 show cars up close at the North American International Auto Show. As the dust settles on the two most important auto industry trade shows, we see clear standouts in the competitive race to connectivity, battery powers, and ultimately, the autonomous cars that will drive our future. A decade ago, General Motors was a symbol for all things ancient in autos.
  • It looks like Samsung just leaked the Galaxy S8 in two promo videos (2017-01-13 09:37:47)
    The web is filled with all sorts of Galaxy S8 rumors and image leaks as we approach the phone’s launch. But, as is the case with rumors and leaks, they can’t be verified until Samsung actually announces the phone. However, Samsung may have inadvertently revealed the final design of the Galaxy S8 — or at least a version of it — in two promo videos posted by its subsidiary Samsung Display. Just a few days ago, LG Display unveiled its brand new 5.7-inch 2,880 x 1,440 smartphone display saying that it’ll equip LG’s next flagship. If you’re following tech news, that’s nothing short of a confirmation that the LG G6 will pack that screen. The following clip, discovered by Slashleaks , shows a presentation of a large Samsung AMOLED screen mounted on what might be the Galaxy S8 — or at least a version of the phone. We’re looking at a handset prototype that features a design with minimal side bezels and smaller top and bottom bezels. The phone seems to have a flat design — and yes, there is a rumor that says that a flat Galaxy S8 might be in the cards — and there’s no home button on the front side. The ad highlights the display’s features, although it’s in Korean so we have no idea what it says. But what's interesting about it is that Samsung has not pulled it from YouTube. Samsung Display's YouTube channel has not one, but three clips that show it's new AMOLED displays, and what may very well be Galaxy S8 prototypes. The clip's description reads, via Google Translate: Samsung Display AMOLED has developed Vision Aid technology, which allows users experiencing color fading to feel more natural colors. This technology, which can be implemented thanks to the AMOLED's self-emission method, is a special advantage of display AMOLED for people Here's the second video: And here's its YouTube description: Samsung Display AMOLED is not only excellent image quality because of its high color reproduction rate, but also because it has thin thickness, light weight and low power consumption thanks to its self-luminous structure. Even if the phone in the videos above isn’t the Galaxy S8, it still confirms that Samsung Display is ready to supply the kind of displays the Galaxy S8 (and the iPhone 8) will need this year for their exciting new form factors.
  • WhatsApp vulnerable to snooping: report (2017-01-13 09:35:31)
    The Facebook-owned mobile messaging service WhatsApp is vulnerable to interception, the Guardian newspaper reported on Friday, sparking concern over an app advertised as putting an emphasis on privacy. The report said that WhatsApp messages could be read without its billion-plus users knowing due to a security backdoor in the way the company has implemented its end-to-end encryption protocol. The system relies on unique security keys "that are traded and verified between users to guarantee communications are secure and cannot be intercepted by a middleman," the report said.
  • 4 Windows Hello devices that will change the way you log into your PC (2017-01-13 09:30:00)
    Windows Hello is now found on almost 100 biometric-enabled devices. Here are some of the most interesting options for using the platform.
  • Watch trailers for 11 Nintendo Switch games, including Mario and Zelda (2017-01-13 09:15:02)
    At last night’s Nintendo Switch press conference, the game publishers showed a mixture of sequels, new games, and third-party staples. The roster provides the first real look at Nintendo’s software strategy for the first year of the Switch. The long delayed The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild finally has a serious release date, launching alongside the console on March 3rd.
  • The Nintendo Switch launch games lineup is disappointing and needlessly confusing (2017-01-13 09:10:01)
    In less than two months, Nintendo will release the Switch, its follow-up to the troubled Nintendo Wii U console. The Switch’s hybrid console/portable concept promises a future in which players race in Mario Kart 8 and battle in Splatoon 2 whenever and wherever they like. The only two games promised for launch during the January 12 press event were The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild and 1-2-Switch.
  • Poll: Do you use a password manager? (2017-01-13 09:09:08)
    Password managers are convenient, affordable, and essential to secure your accounts. How do you lock down your sensitive business and personal data?
  • Watch live this morning as Nintendo goes hands-on with Switch games (2017-01-13 09:08:51)
    Last night was a big night for Nintendo. The company finally revealed when its upcoming Switch console would be available to purchase, how much it would cost and how exactly it would work. More importantly, it had a chance to show off a wide selection of games that will launch on the console in 2017 , and on Friday at 9:30 AM ET, Nintendo's Treehouse team is going to play some of those games live on stream. Nintendo Treehouse hasn't said specifically which games it will be playing during the live stream, but over a dozen games were shown off at the event in Japan last night. 1-2 Switch and The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild are the only two launch games that were featured, so we certainly expect to see both of them. We also hope to see more of first-party games like Splatoon 2 , Super Mario Odyssey and Mario Kart 8 Deluxe , as well as third-party titles such as Dragon Quest XI , Skyrim , FIFA and Fire Emblem Warriors : BGR is going to have a chance to play some of the Switch games later today as well, so be sure to check back tonight and this weekend for hands-on reports. In the meantime, we did our best to answer any questions you might have about the Nintendo Switch last night shortly after the event ended. The Nintendo Switch will be available on March 3rd for $299.99. If you want to preorder, we have a guide you need to read . We've also got a list of specifications , in case you want to know how powerful the console is.
  • The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild is Nintendo’s Skyrim (2017-01-13 09:07:55)
    The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild is less than two months away, we found out today, and will be a launch title for the Nintendo Switch. It takes place in an obviously open world, for one, and isn’t shy about throwing players into the mix. From Breath of the Wild’s title screen to reaching its version of Hyrule Field took me about five minutes.
  • Win a limited edition Verge CES 2017 T-shirt! (2017-01-13 09:00:03)
    In case you haven’t heard, The Verge took CES 2017 by storm last week. No, not those limited edition shirts that everyone else can buy from the store. To enter, simply subscribe to Command Line, our newly revamped newsletter, by logging into the widget below! Already a subscriber?
  • 10 Amazon Alexa skills to add to your Echo today (2017-01-13 08:55:52)
    Alexa is the AI digital assistant to beat right now, and adding skills only makes it better. Here are 10 you should make sure you try if you have an Alexa unit at home or work.
  • Everything you could possibly need to know about the Nintendo Switch (2017-01-13 08:47:42)
    Ladies and gentlemen. Boys and girls. It's here. The Nintendo Switch is officially official, and it all happened while you were in bed sound asleep last night. Why would Nintendo host an event to fully unveil its hot new Nintendo Switch video game console in the middle of the night? The event took place in Japan, of course, where Nintendo has a tremendous amount of work to do in order to convince its home country that the Switch will breathe new life into the company. Nintendo's previous-generation Wii U video game console was nothing short of a disaster from start to finish. The company tried far too hard to make fetch happen with its tablet-like controller, and a lack of high-quality games coupled with delays completely ruined the experience for people who actually did buy the Wii U. Will things be different with the new Nintendo Switch? It's far too soon to tell, but we now know everything there is to know about Nintendo's next-generation video game console, and we'll run down all of the details right here in this post. The Console First and foremost, what the heck is the Nintendo Switch and why the heck is it called "Nintendo Switch"? Nintendo's upcoming new console is a portable video game system when you're on the go and a home console when you get back to your house. The body of the device features a large 6.2-inch multitouch display with 720p resolution (1280 x 720 pixels). That resolution seems a bit lackluster compared to the 1080p and 2K screens on smartphones these days, but it'll be fine for Nintendo's unique style of games and it'll help ensure longer battery life. The system will offer anywhere from 2.5 to 6 hours of battery life per charge, depending on how graphics-intensive the games are that you're playing. Nintendo's two-piece "Joy-Con" controller slides onto either side of the Switch console, and the resulting form factor is perfect for single-player gaming. You can also slide the Joy-Con controller off the body of the Nintendo Switch and they'll connect to the console wirelessly, allowing two people to play at the same time. In fact, up to four players can connect Joy-Con to a console in multiplayer mode. Another cool feature is a Wi-Fi based multiplayer mode that allows up to eight Switch consoles to connect to each other, enabling multiplayer gaming on as many as eight different screens. Then, when you get back home, the Nintendo Switch console can be placed into a dock that connects it to your TV and supports 1080p Full HD gaming. Get it now? In an instant, the Switch switches from a portable console to a home console, and then back again. When docked, the Joy-Con controllers slide off either side of the Switch and connect to each other (with a battery pack extender between them) to form a single wireless controller. It's actually a pretty awesome design. The Specs 6.2-inch capacitive multitouch display with 720p resolution (1280 x 720) 1080p resolution output via HDMI when docked Custom Nvidia Tegra processor 32GB of internal storage microSDXC support for up to 2TB of additional storage (up to 256GB right now, since larger cards don't yet exist) Game card slot (games will come on physical cards) Battery life of between 2.5 and 6 hours USB Type-C charging port 802.11ac Wi-Fi The Games This was the biggest question going into last night's Nintendo Switch announcement, and the company did its best to instill confidence that its upcoming new console will support plenty of exciting games at launch and down the road. To start things off, Nintendo announced 11 games during the event... and each and every one looks awesome! The most hotly anticipated titles are definitely Mario Kart 8 Deluxe ,  The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild ,  Super Mario Odyssey and  Splatoon 2 , and each title looked hotter than the last. The bad news is that among those four top titles, only one of them — the Zelda game — will be available at launch. The other three will be released over the course of the year beginning sometime this summer. You can watch trailers for each of the 11 games Nintendo announced right here in this post , where you'll also find release dates for each title — or release time frames, if exact dates aren't available. The Launch Last but certainly not least, when the heck can you get your hands on a Nintendo Switch?! The good news is that Nintendo won't make the world wait very long at all; the official Nintendo Switch release date is set for March 3rd, 2017. That's just over one month away. The bad news, of course, is that it's not going to be east to find at launch. Pent up demand means you'll definitely want to preorder one if you want to have any prayer of getting your hands on a Switch on launch day. Preorders are available from Amazon , Best Buy and Walmart , and the console will cost $299.99 with a single two-piece Joy-Con controller. Additional Joy-Con controllers will cost $79.99 each, a Pro controller will be available for $69.99, and a second Nintendo Switch dock will cost $89.99. That means if you want a console, a dock and an extra Joy-Con controller, it'll cost you $380 plus tax. Toss in two Pro controllers so that four people can play when the Switch is docked at home, and you're looking at $520 plus taxes all-in.
  • 1-2-Switch is Nintendo’s weirdest party game yet (2017-01-13 08:45:02)
    There are lots of ways to play the Nintendo Switch, but the most distinctive is when you break away the little Joy-Con controller attachments to enable multiplayer games around the tablet. Nintendo showed off six of these 1-2-Switch minigames today, but only gave attendees tickets to check out three of them.
  • The 5 biggest announcements from the Tokyo Nintendo Switch event (2017-01-13 08:30:02)
    Nintendo announced a whole bunch of details about the upcoming Switch console last night in Tokyo, including the price, release date, and new games that are coming to the console. The Nintendo Switch will be released internationally on March 3rd for $299.99. The Switch will be available in two versions: either a console with all-gray Joy-Con controllers, or one with a Neon Red and Neon Blue Joy-Con set.
  • The best way to put Alexa in every room of your house (2017-01-13 08:20:37)
    CES 2017 wrapped up last week and while there was plenty to talk about at the event, there’s no question that Amazon Alexa was the star of the show. Third-party companies are integrating Alexa into anything and everything they can, from cars and refrigerators to phones and of course speakers. We definitely saw a lot of great Alexa-enabled gadgets unveiled in Las Vegas this year, but if you want hands-free access to Amazon’s voice controlled assistant in every room of your house, there’s still only one gadget that has you covered better than all the rest: Amazon’s Echo Dot . Some highlights from the product page: Echo Dot (2nd Generation) is a hands-free, voice-controlled device that uses Alexa to play music, control smart home devices, provide information, read the news, set alarms, and more Connects to speakers or headphones through Bluetooth or 3.5 mm stereo cable to play music from Amazon Music, Spotify, Pandora, iHeartRadio, and TuneIn Controls lights, fans, switches, thermostats, garage doors, sprinklers, and more with compatible connected devices from WeMo, Philips Hue, Samsung SmartThings, Nest, ecobee, and others Hears you from across the room with 7 far-field microphones for hands-free control, even in noisy environments or while playing music Includes a built-in speaker so it can work on its own as a smart alarm clock in the bedroom, an assistant in the kitchen, or anywhere you might want a voice-controlled computer Always getting smarter and adding new features, plus thousands of skills like Uber, Domino's, and more Amazon Echo is not required to use Echo Dot
  • Infosys trims revenue outlook as outsourcers brace for tighter U.S. regime (2017-01-13 08:16:08)
    By Sankalp Phartiyal and Darshana Sankararaman MUMBAI/BENGALURU (Reuters) - Infosys Ltd , India's second-biggest software services exporter, pared its full-year revenue growth outlook as it fights uncertainties in its biggest markets that could curb client spending on technology. Infosys and its rivals in India's $150 billion software services sector have struggled in recent quarters as major clients in the United States and Europe, their biggest markets, held back discretionary spending, awaiting clarity on policy shifts under U.S. President-elect Donald Trump and possible changes following the UK's Brexit. India's leading IT industry lobby group last November lowered its forecast for the sector's growth in the full fiscal year to March, to account for the uncertain global environment.
  • Nintendo’s Switch already gets right what the Wii U got wrong (2017-01-13 08:00:04)
    There are still a lot of questions about Nintendo’s Switch, and the Kyoto gaming giant has everything to prove. At the very least, there’s evidence that the Switch is a more credible effort than its predecessor, the Wii U, which was Nintendo’s biggest home console failure to date. With the Wii U and its tablet-style GamePad controller, developers essentially had two options — beam the same image from the TV to the portable screen, or display different content on each.
  • Microsoft's new Windows 10 Game Mode will maximize gaming performance (2017-01-13 07:52:01)
    Microsoft has started officially testing a new Game Mode feature in Windows 10. Traces of the new option were found back in December, but the most recent test build of Windows 10 (15007) includes Game Mode in the Xbox app. MSPoweruser has supplied some screenshots of how you can enable the option, but Microsoft has not yet officially unveiled Game Mode for everyone to test.
  • The most promising headphones from CES (2017-01-13 07:30:23)
    Headphones at the Consumer Electronics Show this year were a subdued affair. Here are my top three picks from among the many headphones I listened to during the big show in Las Vegas. As far as I’m concerned, Klipsch needs to change absolutely nothing about the prototype and just put the HP-3s out on the market.
  • Nintendo Switch FAQ: Everything You Need to Know (2017-01-13 07:29:00)
    Nintendo's new home console is almost here. Dubbed the Nintendo Switch, this hybrid game console is playable both at home on your TV, as well as on the go thanks to a portable design featuring detachable controllers and an onboard battery. The official launch date of the Nintendo Switch is March 3, 2017, and it will cost $299.99.
  • Nissan picks London for first European on-road autonomous car tests (2017-01-13 07:18:47)
    Japanese carmaker Nissan said it will conduct its first European real-world trials of self-driving cars in London, choosing Britain just months after it said it would build two new models in the country despite concerns over Brexit. The government has said it wants to encourage the development and testing of autonomous driving technology in Britain, helping build an industry to serve a worldwide market it reckons could be worth around 900 billion pounds ($1.1 trillion) by 2025. On Friday Nissan said a modified version of its compact electric LEAF car equipped with autonomous driving technology will be tested in the capital next month, the first such demonstrations on European public roads.
  • Chinese tech giant's Taiwan deals unravel as Powertech calls off share pact (2017-01-13 06:53:10)
    By J.R. Wu TAIPEI (Reuters) - Taiwan's Powertech Technology Inc said Friday it was terminating a share agreement with China's Tsinghua Unigroup Ltd, unraveling more than $2 billion in deal-making that the state-run Chinese giant had hoped to seal on the island. Powertech, a Taiwanese chip tester and packager, said the plan was being scrapped because a one-year period authorized by its shareholders to get the deal approved in Taiwan was about to lapse and local regulators had yet to give a green light. "In light of this, the board determined the private placement would not be completed within the timeframe authorized by shareholders," Powertech said in a statement.
  • Astronauts are spacewalking again to upgrade the space station’s power system (2017-01-13 06:30:01)
    It’s time for round two of NASA’s project to upgrade the International Space Station’s power system. NASA astronaut Shane Kimbrough and Thomas Pesquet of the European Space Agency will step outside the orbiting lab this morning and install new lithium-ion batteries to the outside of the ISS, replacing the station’s previous nickel-hydrogen batteries.
  • Android Wear 2.0 and standalone apps expected February 2017 (2017-01-13 04:26:53)
    Google has announced the upcoming release of its Android Wear 2.0 smartwatch operating system early in February in an email to developers. There won't be many of these apps available to try when Android Wear 2.0 launches, but they promise to be particularly useful, with Foursquare (location-based recommendations), Glide (video messaging) and Lifesum (health). Android Wear 2.0 brings a new interface with, for example, a reworked notifications system, offering additional content and actions.
  • Amazon is launching its own $5-a-month anime streaming service (2017-01-13 04:14:28)
    Amazon is launching a new on-demand video service dedicated to anime. A subscription to the newly-unveiled Anime Strike will cost you $4.99 a month, and grants access to more than 1,000 anime titles aimed at older viewers. Anime Strike’s library includes series like Scum Wish and Blue Exorcist: Kyoto Saga (broadcast on the same day they air in Japan) as well as classic films like Akira and Paprika, and exclusives content such as Onihei and The Great Passage.
  • How to preorder the Nintendo Switch right now (2017-01-13 02:39:44)
    Nintendo finally revealed all the important details about its new Switch console today, and preorders for the device are already live. If you’d like to get your hands on the $299.99 console when it launches on March 3rd, you can head over to Walmart or Best Buy to place an order. The company is also conducting a limited preorder run at its Nintendo World location in New York City, but online orders are probably a safer bet at this point.
  • Nintendo announces Switch specs: 720p screen, 32GB of storage, and more (2017-01-13 02:29:52)
    In addition to the wealth of news surrounding the Switch that Nintendo announced at its Tokyo event tonight, we finally got some concrete details on the hardware specifications of Nintendo’s latest console. The Nintendo Switch device offers a 6.2-inch, 720p multitouch display that runs at a 1280 x 720 resolution when used in a handheld mode. Nintendo says that the Switch runs off a custom Nvidia Tegra processor, but hasn’t released more specific details.
  • Nintendo disappoints with $299 price for new Switch console (2017-01-13 02:06:07)
    Nintendo Co Ltd on Friday priced its first console in about four years above market expectations, disappointing investors and clouding its prospects of winning back gamers who have shifted from consoles to smartphones. The Japanese firm said it will launch the Switch, a hybrid home console and handheld device, on March 3. It will be priced $299.99 in the United States, the same as Nintendo's current Wii U console, whereas in Japan, it will cost about 20 percent over its predecessor at 29,980 yen.
  • The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild has damn fine box art (2017-01-13 01:27:31)
    Video game box art isn’t what it used to be, but every once in a while a game comes out in a package that makes you proud to have it on your shelf. The upcoming Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild — which is coming to both the Switch and Wii U on March 3rd — is one such game. The latest Hyrule adventure takes place in a gorgeous open-world that has a hint of Studio Ghibli to it, and that sense of style shows in the box art.Just look at it: The one image lets you know exactly what to expect: a vast, solemn world full of mystery and adventure, all of it just waiting to be explored.
  • Nintendo Switch FAQ: Available March 3 for $299 (2017-01-13 01:17:00)
    Nintendo's new home console is almost here. Dubbed the Nintendo Switch, this hybrid game console is playable both at home on your TV, as well as on the go thanks to a portable design featuring detachable controllers and an onboard battery. The official launch date of the Nintendo Switch is March 3, 2017, and it will cost $299.99.
  • Watch every trailer from the Nintendo Switch presentation (2017-01-13 00:34:52)
    On Thursday night, Nintendo revealed the price and release date of the Switch, along with a host of games that will be available within the first year of launch. While you're welcome to scan through the stream to find the trailers, we figured it would be easier to gather them all together in a single post. The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild Release date: March 3rd, 2017 Super Mario Odyssey Release date: Holiday 2017 Splatoon 2 Release date: Summer 2017 Xenoblade Chronicles 2 Release date: N/A Mario Kart 8 Deluxe Release date: April 28th 1-2 Switch Release date: March 3rd, 2017 ARMS Release date: Spring 2017 Fire Emblem Warriors Release date: Holiday 2017 Sonic Mania Release date: Spring 2017 Super Bomberman R Release date: March 2017 Puyo Puyo Tetris Release date: N/A
  • Nintendo Switch: all of the news announced in Tokyo (2017-01-13 00:19:46)
    At an hour-long event in Tokyo, Nintendo finally provided an in-depth look at its next piece of hardware, the Nintendo Switch. Nintendo has finally revealed the price and release date for its much-anticipated Switch console: it’s launching on March 3rd worldwide, and in North America the console will be available for $299.99.
  • Mario Kart 8 Deluxe is coming to the Nintendo Switch (2017-01-13 00:18:21)
    When Nintendo unveiled the Switch, Mario Kart made a brief appearance to show off the portable console’s split-screen capabilities. And today the company made it official: an updated version of the Wii U’s Mario Kart 8 — titled Mario Kart 8 Deluxe — is coming to the Switch on April 28th.Mario Kart 8 Deluxe is the follow-up to the Wii U’s Mario Kart 8. It brings a new maps, new characters from Splatoon, King Boo, Dry Bones and Bowser Jr., new Balloon Battle and Bob-omb Blast games modes, and new items, along with everything from Mario Kart 8, including all the DLC content. ...
  • Nintendo Switch will get its own paid online service (2017-01-13 00:17:53)
    Nintendo is joining the likes of Sony and Microsoft and launching its own paid online subscription service for the new Switch console. Details are thin, but the company confirmed at its Switch launch event in Tokyo today that a premium online service would replace its previous model of letting players access multiplayer for free. Nintendo stresses that it will be an improvement over its past game-specific services.
  • Nintendo: Nintendo Switch game console to launch in March (2017-01-13 00:12:12)
    Nintendo Co. said Friday that its Nintendo Switch video game console will sell for 29,980 yen (about $260) in Japan, starting March 3. The Kyoto-based maker of Super Mario and Pokemon games made the announcement ...
  • All of your Nintendo Switch questions, answered (2017-01-13 00:05:44)
    On Thursday night, after months of anticipation, Nintendo finally told us everything we'd been waiting to know about the Switch. It took the company over an hour to say everything it needed to say, so we decided to recap all of the most important announcements in a post below. If you want to know when the Switch is launch, how much it will cost and what games you'll be playing on it, read on. When does the Switch launch? March 3rd, 2017 in the United States, Europe, Japan and several other regions. How much does it cost? $299.99 in the US and 29,980 yen in Japan. Nintendo says customers in Europe will need to contact their local retailers in order to figure out how much the console will cost in their region. What games has Nintendo announced? The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild | March 3rd, 2017 1-2-Switch | March 2017 : 2-player party game that only requires the Joy-Con controllers. ARMS | Spring 2017 : A fighting game where the characters have extendable arms. Splatoon 2 | Summer 2017 : Sequel to the popular Wii U third-person shooter. Super Mario Odyssey | Holiday 2017 : 3D sandbox adventure outside of the Mushroom Kingdom. Xenoblade 2 : A new open-world RPG in the Xenoblade saga. Fire Emblem Warriors Dragon Quest X Dragon Quest XI Dragon Quest Heroes I & II Untitled Shin Megami Tensei game Project Octopath Traveler The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim Untitled No More Heroes sequel FIFA How long will the battery last? 2.5 hours to 6 hours, depending on the game being played. The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild , for example, will be playable for approximately 3 hours before the battery dies. Will the Nintendo Switch be region-locked? No! Nintendo says that "in general" region-locking won't be applied to Switch software. How will the online service work? It will be a paid service, similar to PS Plus and Xbox Live, that can be accessed through smart devices. Nintendo says that there will be a free trial of the service for Switch owners, but once the trial ends, they will have to pay. Nintendo plans to share more details in the near future. How do I preorder a Switch? Check the Amazon widget below. Also try visiting  Best Buy ,  GameStop  and other retailers online. Preorders start in Japan on January 21st, but Nintendo didn't say anything specifically about the US preorder date. That said, Nintendo New York will be offering a very limited number on Friday .
  • The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild will launch with Nintendo Switch on March 3rd (2017-01-13 00:05:43)
    Nintendo The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild will be a Nintendo Switch launch title after all. The fate of the game — the 19th main installment in the long-running series — was up in the air after reports of localization issues arose late last year. Those issues don’t appear to have delayed the game past the March 3rd arrival of Nintendo’s newest console. The company announced both the release date for the Switch and the availability of Breath of the Wild in a global livestream from Tokyo today. ...
  • The Nintendo Switch is getting some exciting new RPGs (2017-01-13 00:03:51)
    It looks like the Nintendo Switch will be home to much more than just Mario and Zelda.At its presentation in Tokyo this evening, the company revealed a number of potentially exciting new role playing games that are coming to its next console. Chief among them is Xenoblade Chronicles 2, a sequel to the massive sci-fi open-world game that launched on the Wii U. It’s joined by a huge number of titles in the long-running Dragon Quest series from Square Enix, including DQ X, XI, and and the spinoffs Dragon Quest Heroes 1 and 2. ...
  • FIFA will hit Nintendo Switch after years of passing up Wii U (2017-01-12 23:57:49)
    FIFA 13 was the last game in EA’s massively popular soccer series to appear on a Nintendo console. That will change this year as Electronic Arts bring FIFA to the Nintendo Switch. The appearance of FIFA on Nintendo Switch is bigger than just one game. Nintendo struggled to get third-party developers like Electronic Arts, Activision, and Ubisoft to reliably port their biggest franchises to the Nintendo Wii and Wii U. FIFA on Switch shows that Electronic Arts is at least open to giving the new Nintendo hardware a chance.EA did not provide a release date for FIFA.
  • Nintendo Switch to launch March 3, to cost $299.99 in U.S. (2017-01-12 23:39:37)
    Nintendo Co Ltd will launch the Switch, its first new game console in about four years, on March 3 for $299.99 in the United States and 29,980 yen in Japan, the video game maker said on Friday. The price of the Switch, a hybrid home console and handheld device, compares with the $299.99 in the U.S. and 25,000 yen in Japan that it costs for the firm's existing Wii U console. Nintendo shares were down as much as 3 percent after the announcement, falling from 25,085 yen beforehand to as low as 24,365 yen in afternoon trade - 3.3 percent lower than Thursday's closing price.
  • Super Mario Odyssey is an open world sandbox game for Nintendo Switch (2017-01-12 23:36:54)
    Of course Mario will appear on Nintendo’s new console. Super Mario Odyssey was first teased this past October in the reveal trailer for the Nintendo Switch. During tonight’s press event, Nintendo provided a closer look at the platformer.
  • Nintendo Switch’s first exclusive title is a party game called 1-2-Switch (2017-01-12 23:35:47)
    The first exclusive game for Nintendo’s new Switch console is a party game called 1-2-Switch. The title was announced onstage at the company’s Switch launch event in Japan today, and it will act as a kind of spiritual successor to Wii Sports.
  • Splatoon 2 is coming to the Nintendo Switch (2017-01-12 23:33:32)
    Nintendo’s colorful multiplayer shooter Splatoon is getting a sequel, and it’s coming to the new Nintendo Switch. Like the original, Splatoon 2 will feature teams of teenage squid kids going up against each other, attempting to paint arenas as much as possible. The sequel will add new stages and weapons into the fray, with even more to be added after the game launches. It’s launching this summer.
  • ARMS is Nintendo Switch’s wacky motion-controlled boxing game (2017-01-12 23:32:40)
    Nintendo opened its press conference for the Switch console by showcasing two new games, neither of which feature the company’s iconic characters. The second is ARMS, a colorful motion-controlled boxing game. Dubbed “the extendable arm fight game,” ARMS is being promoted as the newest addition to Nintendo’s expanding roster of characters.
  • Everything new we learned about the Nintendo Switch’s crazy Joy-Con controller (2017-01-12 23:28:03)
    Nintendo is finally sharing details on the upcoming Switch console, starting with the modular Joy-Con controller. The Joy-Con will be available in other colors besides the standard gray, in what Nintendo is calling Neon Blue and Neon Red colors. Each Joy Con has an accelerometer and gyroscope for Wii-like motion controls.
  • Taiwan's Hon Hai, Japan's Sharp considering LCD plant in U.S.: Nikkei (2017-01-12 23:26:53)
    TOKYO (Reuters) - Taiwan's Hon Hai Precision Industry Co Ltd and its Japanese subsidiary Sharp Corp are studying the possibility of building a liquid crystal display (LCD) plant in the United States, the Nikkei reported on Friday. "We will make a decision carefully," the Nikkei quoted an unidentified Sharp executive as saying. Source text: (Reporting by Chris Gallagher)
  • Surprise, the Nintendo Switch will not be region-locked (2017-01-12 23:15:02)
    In an unexpected announcement, Nintendo revealed the Nintendo Switch will not be region locked. “Region-lock” refers to when a console only plays the video games released in a specified region. Region-locking isn’t limited to video games.
  • The Nintendo Switch charges over USB-C (2017-01-12 23:10:01)
    Nintendo announced today that the Switch will charge over USB-C, making it the first Nintendo device to charge over a standard connector. The adoption of a universal charging standard is a big deal for Nintendo, which has stubbornly insisted on using its own proprietary charging ports since the company added rechargeable batteries to its portable consoles with the Game Boy Advance SP. Unfortunately, the Switch only includes the primary charging dock in the box, a trend that Nintendo started with the New 3DS, which also shipped sans charging cable.
  • Nintendo Co. says its Nintendo Switch video game console will sell for 29,980 yen ($299.99) in Japan, starting in March (2017-01-12 23:06:43)
    Nintendo Co. says its Nintendo Switch video game console will sell for 29,980 yen ($299.99) in Japan, starting in March.
  • The Nintendo Switch will launch on March 3rd for $299 (2017-01-12 23:03:09)
    Nintendo has finally revealed the price and release date for its much-anticipated Switch console: it’s launching on March 3rd worldwide, and in North America the console will be available for $299.99.
  • Takata shares surge on news of settlement for U.S. govt air bag probe (2017-01-12 22:52:16)
    Shares in Takata Corp jumped 16 percent on Friday after sources said the beleaguered air bag maker will plead guilty to criminal wrongdoing as part of a $1 billion settlement with U.S. authorities. The settlement includes a $25 million criminal fine, $125 million in victim compensation and $850 million to compensate automakers who have suffered losses from massive recalls, the sources said. "Takata has taken a step forward regarding the airbag issue with the U.S. Justice Department and this is being taken positively by the market," said Mitsushige Akino, executive officer at Ichiyoshi Asset Management but he added that the firm's woes were far from over.
  • This might be the Nokia flagship that’ll take on the iPhone 8 and Galaxy S8 (2017-01-12 21:37:21)
    The first brand new Nokia phone was announced only a few days ago, but the Nokia 6  (above) isn’t the kind of flagship device that you’d expect to take on the iPhone 8 and the Galaxy S8 this year. Instead, the Nokia 6 is an affordable handset that targets the Chinese market. However, HMD is working on a few additional Nokia handsets that are supposed to be unveiled later this year, and the company may soon launch a Nokia 8 flagship to compete against Apple’s and Samsung’s incoming flagships. Nokia already teased a press event for MWC where it may unveil additional Nokia products. According to GSM Arena the Nokia 8 might be one of them. The phone was spotted at CES 2017, apparently, where it was used to demo Qualcomm’s next-gen Snapdragon 835 processor that will power various top-shelf Android devices, including the Galaxy S8. Qualcomm asked attendees not to take pictures or videos of the phone, but one person apparently recorded a video that shows this unannounced Nokia 8. The name isn’t final, but it’s a likely choice for HMD, given that the first Nokia handset to launch this year is called Nokia 6. Not to mention that the brand new iPhone 8 and a Galaxy S8 both have "8" in their names. According to GSM Arena , the Nokia 8 might ship in two flavors. The Snapdragon 821 version is the cheaper one and features 4GB of RAM and an unspecified camera. The Snapdragon 835 version has 6GB of RAM, 64/128GB of RAM, microSD support, 24-megapixel camera with optical image stabilization (OIS) and EIS, 12-megapixel camera, and a dual front-facing speaker. These two devices are apparently featured in the following video, and they appear to lack any physical buttons on the front. GSM Arena speculates that both handsets will have Carl Zeiss optics and feature heart rate monitors.
  • Takata shares jump after sources say group to settle airbag probe (2017-01-12 21:14:25)
    TOKYO (Reuters) - Shares in Takata Corp were suspended limit up on Friday after jumping over 16 percent, following news from Reuters sources that the group is set to plead guilty to criminal wrongdoing as part of a $1 billion settlement with U.S. authorities. The settlement includes a $25 million criminal fine, $125 million in victim compensation and $850 million to compensate automakers who have suffered losses from massive recalls, the sources said. [nL1N1F22KA] (Reporting by Clara Ferreira Marques; Editing by Richard Pullin)
  • Tesla details Supercharging fees for new buyers (2017-01-12 21:10:17)
    Tesla will soon begin charging new buyers of its cars for use of its high-speed charging network, and the company detailed that pricing scheme in a post on its website today. The change, which was announced late last year, will affect new Tesla vehicles purchased after January 15 or delivered after April 15. It does not affect existing Tesla vehicles, and free Supercharging will remain a feature of older cars even when they’re resold.
  • Stephen Colbert has a hilarious take on the unverified Trump report (2017-01-12 20:00:13)
    Three major events took place this week involving presidents. Barack Obama delivered a heartfelt farewell speech a day before Donald Trump’s first scheduled press conference in months, and if that wasn’t enough to keep you busy, an unverified intelligence report about Trump came out just as Obama delivered his speech, alleging that the President-elect has deep ties with Russia. That unexpected report set the tone for the entire news cycle, and Stephen Colbert also focused on it in a hilarious monologue on Wednesday night. Colbert came out with a barrage of jokes referencing the “golden showers” hinted at in the Trump report, without actually mentioning this particular term. “Trump is right in this one way,” Colbert said. “Everyone admits this report is unverified. And the man is about to be President of the United States, so I’m not going to validate that report by sharing the most salacious details from it. Even the detail everyone’s talking about, okay? You might call it the, uh, the No. 1 detail.” He then followed with plenty of innuendoes, all aimed at this particular detail in the report. But Colbert’s 12-minute monologue focused on more than that particular detail. He also humorously referenced bits from President Obama’s speech, and said that Trump’s press conference was the first in 168 days — not counting the speech the President-elect delivered after he won the election. During that conference, Trump asked Russia to help him find Hillary Clinton’s missing emails. Colbert also challenged Trump to prove that he’s not in bed with Russia, regardless of whether the report is fake or not, by doing or saying something that Putin won’t like. Check out Colbert’s full monologue below.
  • Watch live as Nintendo unveils the Switch price, release date and launch lineup (2017-01-12 19:30:24)
    After giving us a sneak peek at its new hybrid console last October, Nintendo will finally share all the relevant details about the Switch during a live presentation in Tokyo, Japan on Thursday night at 8:00 PM PT / 11:00 PM ET. According to Nintendo, the event will focus on the price, release date and initial lineup of games that will be available for the Switch at or around its launch in March. While Nintendo has been characteristically tight-lipped about the specifics of the event, several credible leaks have given us an idea of what we might learn tonight when the company takes the stage. For example, while The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild should be an obvious inclusion, there are also rumors suggesting that Nintendo has been preparing a Mario Kart 8 remaster with new courses and characters . The pressure is also on for Nintendo to bring more third-party developers into the fold this generation , so don't be surprised if the company spends a significant amount of time focusing on third-party titles. We also hope to learn more about how Nintendo will build an online ecosystem that can compete with PlayStation Plus and Xbox Live. In the past, Nintendo has failed to deliver accessible, functional platforms to allow gamers to play online with their friends, but that would be an unforgivable oversight in 2017. Once the presentation has ended, Nintendo plans to pick back up again on Friday morning at 6:30 AM PT / 9:30 AM ET with a Treehouse Live stream showcasing some of the games announced at the event. Finally, on Friday afternoon, BGR and other media outlets will go hands on with the Switch.
  • WhatsApp for Android (2017-01-12 19:30:21)
    Write and send messages to your friends and contacts from your Android device
  • Apple now allows bigger apps and games on the Apple TV (2017-01-12 19:29:54)
    Apple has just alerted developers to a change in the rules for Apple for the Apple TV. The change might encourage more developers to make their games available on the Apple TV. Although it’s not strictly fair to say that developers were unable to get big games on tvOS before, in order to do it they’d needed to store most of the data in Apple’s Cloud.
  • Snapchat overhauls search to make finding friends easier (2017-01-12 19:12:33)
    Under a total assault from Facebook, Snapchat today began rolling out a new version of search designed to make starting chats easier. The update, which is rolling out first to a small group of users on Android, makes the search bar persistent across every screen of the app. The primary use of the new search bar looks to be starting chats with friends — or groups of friends — from anywhere in the app.
  • Skype for Android (2017-01-12 19:07:38)
    Make free Skype-to-Skype video calls, and call phones at Skype rates on the move
  • Nvidia’s next flagship graphics card is tantalizingly close to being ready (2017-01-12 18:41:30)
    PC gamers who are already growing tired of the awesome power of Nvidia's GTX 1080 graphics card (and if that's you, just know that we're all jealous) have been hotly anticipating the reveal of the 1080 Ti, which promises to up the ante considerably. A new report alleges that Nvidia was actually ready to formally announce the new card and even show it off, but decided against it once they watched AMD's press conference, feeling that the announcement of a new high watermark simply wasn't needed just yet.  Citing a purported interview with an Nvidia manufacturing partner, WCCFTech reports that the 1080 Ti was on the slate for CES but was pushed back at the last second once it appeared that AMD's Vega graphics technology wasn't going to headline its own CES presser. Nvidia took that as an opportunity to further refine its 1080 Ti messaging and marketing ahead of an eventual reveal at PAX East, which takes place in March. AMD is said be planning the release of its first Vega-based GPU in late Q2 2017, so it would makes sense for Nvidia — who is already leading in GPU market share by a mile — to hold its next big thing until it can take the most wind out of its competitor's sails. The GTX 1080, which is generally considered the go-to for enthusiasts and gamers with healthy budgets who don't want to jump all the way to the high-priced GTX Titan cards, debuted in late May of last year with a price of $599.
  • Consumer Reports now recommends Apple’s new MacBook Pro after software update (2017-01-12 18:38:21)
    Following a public back-and-forth over the veracity of its battery claims, Consumer Reports now recommends Apple’s new MacBook Pro. According to Apple, the laptops used by the consumer product testing agency suffered from a software bug in the Safari browser that was causing battery irregularities in Consumer Reports’ test (though not, Apple says, in normal usage). Apple worked closely with Consumer Reports to identify the issue and then patched the bug.
  • Notorious iPhone hacking company has its secrets revealed by hack (2017-01-12 18:10:55)
    Cellebrite, an Israeli firm that supplies "forensics tools" to agencies around the world, including US law enforcement, appears to have suffered a serious hack.  Motherboard claims to have 900GB of Cellebrite data , supplied to it by an anonymous hacker. Among other things, the data reportedly shows that the Israeli firm has been selling its technology to regimes known for their human rights abuses, including Turkey, the United Arab Emirates, and Russia. Cellebrite is best known for its rumored involvement in helping the FBI crack the San Bernandino shooter's iPhone, as Apple fought an order to assist through the courts. In addition to helping the FBI in that case, Cellebrite also sells forensics devices and software to dozens of US law enforcement agencies and police departments. It's also actively involved in developing the "Textalyser," a device that would theoretically let cops know if a cellphone was being used right before a car accident. The hack feels very similar to the 2015 breach of HackingTeam , an Italian company that provided spying tools to governments around the world. HackingTeam was shown to have sold its products to government agencies in Sudan, Ethiopia and Bangladesh, among many others. The scope of Cellebrite's sales is not clear, but it's still not a good look to be providing computer hacking tools to a Turkish regime being constantly criticized for its crack-downs on journalists and freedom of speech. According to  Motherboard , the 900GB data dump was provided by an anonymous hacker that disapproves of Cellebrite's choice of customer. The data apparently includes snippets of Cellebrite's customer database, data dumps from Cellebrite devices, and even evidence obtained from target devices. Cellebrite seemingly confirmed the authenticity of the data breach to  Motherboard.  Since the data dump is not public, the backlash against Cellebrite is unlikely to be as bad as the one seen by HackingTeam, which was forced to stop exporting its software after its data was leaked. But even if there's no immediate consequence, details of an Israeli firm supplying digital weapons to nations like Russia isn't going to do wonders for its US sales.
  • Samsung leader leaves South Korea special prosecution office: Yonhap (2017-01-12 18:05:57)
    SEOUL (Reuters) - Samsung Group [SAGR.UL] leader Jay Y. Lee left the South Korean special prosecutor's office on Friday morning after being questioned for more than 22 hours, Yonhap News Agency reported on Friday. The special prosecutor's office has been investigating whether Samsung provided 30 billion won ($25.28 million) to a business and foundations backed by Park's friend in exchange for the national pension fund's support for a 2015 merger of two Samsung affiliates. (Reporting by Se Young Lee; Editing by Richard Pullin)
  • South Korea investigators mull arrest warrant for Samsung leader: Yonhap (2017-01-12 18:05:27)
    SEOUL (Reuters) - South Korean special prosecutor's office is considering whether to seek an arrest warrant for Samsung Group leader Jay Y. Lee amid a probe into an influence-peddling scandal involving President Park Geun-hye, Yonhap News Agency reported on Friday. The special prosecution has been investigating whether Samsung provided 30 billion won ($25.28 million) to a business and foundations backed by Park's friend in exchange for the national pension fund's support for a 2015 merger of two Samsung affiliate. ...
  • Consumer Reports gives Apple’s MacBook Pro a ‘Buy’ recommendation following software fix (2017-01-12 17:51:25)
    The somewhat bizarre saga between Apple and Consumer Reports regarding battery life on Apple's new MacBook Pro models has seemingly come to an end.  Following a software fix that Apple rolled out via its Beta Software Program, Consumer Reports re-tested Apple's lineup of MacBook Pro models and discovered that previous battery life issues were no longer present. "With the updated software," CR writes, "the three MacBook Pros in our labs all performed well, with one model running 18.75 hours on a charge. We tested each model multiple times using the new software, following the same protocol we apply to hundreds of laptops every year." Consequently, Consumer Reports has now bestowed Apple's refreshed MacBook Pro line with a "Buy" recommendation. As to how the whole saga got started in the first place, Consumer Reports ' initial testing found that battery life on Apple's new MacBook Pro models varied wildly. On the non-Touch Bar model, for example, testers found that battery life fluctuated between 4.5 hours on the low-end and 19.5 hours on the high-end. After looking into the matter, Apple discovered that Consumer Reports conducted its testing with a hidden Safari setting (meant only for developers) turned on. According to Apple, the setting is not "used by customers and does not reflect real-world usage." Apple also discovered that the use of this developer setting "triggered an obscure and intermittent bug reloading icons which created inconsistent results in their lab."
  • Elon Musk: Model S could reach a 0-60 MPH time of just 2.3 seconds (2017-01-12 17:46:48)
    A few months ago, Tesla rolled out the Model S P100D, a car that can go from 0-60 MPH in just 2.5 seconds flat with Ludicrous mode enabled. At the time of its unveiling, Elon Musk boasted that it was the fastest production car on the planet. Funny enough, that impressive 2.5 time is already old news. Always looking to raise the bar, Tesla recently enabled, via an over the air software update, an Easter Egg that allows P100D owners to go from 0-60 in just 2.4 seconds. And just when you thought that Tesla might finally be content with a 0-60 time capable of making even supercars jealous, Musk earlier today hinted that it might be feasible for the Model S P100D to hit a 0-60 time of 2.34 seconds. While pushing a Tesla to the limit with absolutely jaw-dropping 0-60 times isn't exactly great for the car's motor, tires or battery, drivers with an unquenchable thirst for speed will be hard pressed to find a vehicle with more bang for the buck than what Tesla provides with the P100D.   Video of Tesla's souped up Model S P100D in action can be seen below. And for anyone curious about how Tesla's flagship car stacks up against supercars from the likes of Porsche and Ferrari, make sure to check out our ranking of the fastest cars on the planet .
  • Court revives suit alleging Apple monopoly on iPhone apps (2017-01-12 17:45:14)
    SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — A federal appeals court has revived a lawsuit accusing Apple of having an illegal monopoly on the sale of iPhone apps.
  • Phone hacking company falls victim to hackers (2017-01-12 17:26:13)
    Cellebrite, a digital forensics firm known for helping law enforcement crack into locked smartphones, has itself fallen victim to hackers.
  • LG teases the main features of the G6 in new video (2017-01-12 17:20:56)
    One of the most highly anticipated new Android phones of 2017 is LG’s G6, especially considering that it won’t be a modular device,  unlike its predecessor. The phone is expected to make its debut at MWC in late February, and launch in early March. And the fact that LG has already started teasing the upcoming flagship is one more indication that an announcement is imminent. The Android handset maker posted a new video on YouTube that lists some of the things people want in an ideal smartphone. The video does not explicitly mention the LG G6, but it doesn’t have to. After showing what people want from a smartphone, LG asks you to “imagine how your wishes will come to life,” and then hints it’ll all happen in February. But before that, LG offers the image above, that lists certain smartphone features that we might see in the LG G6, including a big screen, smaller body, waterproof design, “capture all at once” (camera?), and reliability — whatever that means. LG Display a few days ago announced a brand new type of smartphone display , one that’s not available on any other smartphone, and said it’ll equip its next flagship handset. That’s a 5.7-inch LCD screen featuring 2,880 x 1,440 resolution. LG’s new wish list video below seems to further confirm the G6 will have a big screen display, probably the one LG Display just unveiled.
  • This Apple Watch stand turns your smartwatch into a miniature Macintosh (2017-01-12 16:48:49)
    It’s a $15 silicone smartwatch stand that makes your Apple device look like a miniature Macintosh, equipped with a floppy drive cutout and everything. It supports Apple’s nightstand mode, so you can use your tiny Macintosh replica as an alarm clock on your bedside table. It also works Apple Watch Series 1 and Series 2, including both the 38mm and 42mm versions.
  • New Galaxy S8 leak says the headphone jack is here to stay (2017-01-12 16:31:31)
    The Galaxy S8 is shaping up to be the hottest new Android phone of the beginning of the year. Samsung is expected to unveil it either at MWC in late February, or during a special Unpacked event held in late March. Whatever the case, various reports say you’ll find it in stores only in mid-April. But if there’s one indication we’re getting closer and closer to the Galaxy S8’s launch, it's the increased number of image leaks that we’re getting. After seeing a dubious prototype image and a first Galaxy S8 case leak in the past few days, it’s now time to look at a brand new leak. And this one seems to indicate the standard 3.5mm headphone jack is very much in the picture. Various Galaxy S8 rumors said the phone will not have a traditional headphone jack and rely on USB-C for audio. Furthermore, Samsung is rumored to develop its own Apple’s AirPods alternative, a new pair of wireless headphones made specifically for the Galaxy S8. But a new set of images that depict a purported Galaxy S8 case seems to indicate that the phone will have a 3.5mm port. Found on Slashleaks by SamMobile , the leak also suggests the Galaxy S9 will have a USB-C port that will be placed in the bottom right corner, while a speaker should sit in the opposite corner. Cutouts for the camera and flash are present on the back, and the case also features buttons for three buttons on the left side of the phone, including the volume keys and the standby button. This new render matches the Galaxy S8 case render BGR exclusively obtained , when it comes to side buttons and camera placement. The Ghostek leak from the other day did not show the bottom of the phone where the ports are found, which makes it impossible to determine whether these two distinct leaks are a perfect match. At the same time, we’ll remind you these are still unverified leaks. While accessory makers may have access to inside information regarding the upcoming Galaxy S8 design, we still have to wait for Samsung to confirm everything.
  • Preventable death rates in rural America are higher than in cities (2017-01-12 16:18:34)
    Death rates in the US hit a historic low in 2014, but they’re dropping much more slowly outside of the big metropolitan areas, new science says. This disparity reveals a massive health gap between rural and urban populations. The 46 million people who live in rural areas need better access to affordable medical care, and public health programs that promote healthy habits, CDC scientists say.
  • Microsoft workers say reviewing graphic content caused PTSD (2017-01-12 16:15:16)
    Two former Microsoft workers are claiming their work reviewing abuse, child pornography and other graphic material flagged for removal caused them post-traumatic stress disorder. The Seattle Times says ...
  • Inside Twitter, employees reckon with Trump (2017-01-12 16:12:21)
    Inside Twitter’s headquarters in San Francisco, the run-up to the US presidential election played out much as it did elsewhere. Most employees went about their business assuming Hillary Clinton would win, and Donald Trump would be relegated to a historical footnote. “The political climate then was still pretty giddy about Trump and how he’s a total joke,” said one employee who quit late last spring.
  • Takata to pay $1 billion to settle U.S. air bag probe: sources (2017-01-12 16:07:27)
    Japan's Takata Corp is expected to plead guilty to fraud charges as early as Friday as part of a $1 billion settlement with the U.S. Justice Department over its handling of air bag ruptures linked to 16 deaths worldwide, sources said. It could help Takata win financial backing from an investor to potentially restructure and pay for massive liabilities from the world's biggest auto safety recall. In 2015, Takata admitted in a separate $70 million settlement with U.S. auto safety regulators that it was aware of a defect in its air bag inflators but did not issue a timely recall.
  • Amazon to add more than 100,000 jobs in U.S. hiring spree (2017-01-12 16:04:00)
    By Jeffrey Dastin and Emily Stephenson NEW YORK/WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Inc on Thursday said it will create more than 100,000 jobs in the United States, from software development to warehouse work, in its latest move to win over shoppers by investing in faster delivery. The world's largest online retailer will grow its full-time U.S. workforce by more than 50 percent to over 280,000 in the next 18 months, it said in a press release. Amazon is spending heavily on new warehouses so it can stock goods closer to customers and fulfill orders quickly and cheaply.
  • U.S. appeals court revives antitrust lawsuit against Apple (2017-01-12 15:29:28)
    SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - iPhone app purchasers may sue Apple Inc over allegations that the company monopolized the market for iPhone apps by not allowing users to purchase them outside the App Store, leading to higher prices, a U.S. appeals court ruled on Thursday. The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruling revives a long-simmering legal challenge originally filed in 2012 taking aim at Apple’s practice of only allowing iPhones to run apps purchased from its own App Store. A group of iPhone users sued saying the Cupertino, California, company's practice was anticompetitive.
  • Battery packs on second-generation Boosted Boards recalled (2017-01-12 15:20:26)
    The news follows two reported incidents of smoking batteries, an issue that Boosted had previously announced it was working with the CPSC to resolve. There haven’t been any other reports of smoking batteries beyond the initial two that began the investigation into the issue, but it seems that the CPSC is concerned enough to issue a full recall.
  • GoFundMe page for Facebook Live torture victim has already raised $160,000 (2017-01-12 15:18:06)
    Last week, a Chicago woman took to Facebook Live in order to broadcast her and her friends brutally attacking, beating and torturing an 18-year-old man with special needs. The shocking story and accompanying graphic video sent shock-waves across the country and inevitably reached news stations across the globe. Quickly after the video began circulating online, four individuals were arrested for their involvement in the attack and are currently being held without bail. All of the individuals involved, who range in age from 18 to 24, are being charged with felony aggravated kidnapping, aggravated unlawful restraint and aggravated battery with a deadly weapon. They are also being charged with committing a hate crime on account of some racially-charged comments made by one of the assailants. With the victim still struggling to recover from his traumatic experience, which included him effectively being held captive for 48 hours, a GoFundMe campaign for the victim has already generated more than $160,000, far more than the $10,000 the campaign was initially seeking. "People from all 50 states have donated on the site," the Chicago Tribune reports , "which was established last week by Reddit user Razor Sheldon. A company representative said GoFundMe will make sure the funds reach the 18-year-old's family." Neal Strom, an attorney for the victim's family, said that the money will immediately be used to help detect and subsequently deal with any manifestations of PTSD.
  • Amazon plans to hire 100,000 over the next 18 months (2017-01-12 15:13:00)
    Amazon plans to hire 100,000 full time workers over the next 18 months, highlighting its ambitious expansion plans — and the sharp contrast the e-commerce powerhouse strikes against traditional brick-and-mortar ...
  • Testing wearable sensors as 'check engine' light for health (2017-01-12 15:05:02)
    A next step for smart watches and fitness trackers? Wearable gadgets gave a Stanford University professor an early warning that he was getting sick before he ever felt any symptoms of Lyme disease. Geneticist ...
  • ‘Arrested Development’ season 5 might finally enter production soon (2017-01-12 14:59:26)
    Nearly four years after season four of Arrested Development debuted on Netflix, the streaming service might finally be ready to commence with a fifth season. That's according to executive producer Brian Grazer, who explained to TheWrap this week that the actors have agreed to salaries for new episodes. “I think we’re really close to pulling it off finally,” Grazer told TheWrap  in regards to the long-awaited fifth season. “All of the actors have agreed to do it and I think they’ve agreed to their compensation structure. That’s been the hardest–it’s all hard…But it should be happening soon.” Although it was unclear what the future held for Arrested Development when production on season four began, the season ended on a cliffhanger of sorts, leaving the door open for more episodes or even a movie. Despite a mixed reaction to the Netflix episodes, fans were desperate for more Arrested Development , and creator Mitch Hurwitz said on multiple occasions that both Netflix and the cast were willing to move forward with a fifth season . Unfortunately, just as it was with season four, scheduling has been a persistent issue, but Grazer sounds confident that it's only a matter of time now before the cast will reconvene. Back in 2015, Grazer suggested that the fifth season would begin filming in January of 2016. That never happened, but late last year, Jeffrey Tambor indicated that he had been told to be ready to shoot new episodes in January of this year . If Grazer is to be believed, this schedule might still be on track.
  • The iPhone 7’s screen scratches like crazy, but we’ll show you how to keep it looking new (2017-01-12 14:38:29)
    Apple's new Jet Black finish on the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus is gorgeous, but it doesn't hold up well at all to the test of time. Just look at how scratched up it gets after just two months of usage. But it's not just the finish on Apple's Jet Black iPhones that's prone to scratching — the glass screens on Apple's latest iPhone models are ridiculously easy to scratch. It's frustrating, but don't despair because the Tech Armor 3D Curved Edge iPhone 7 Glass Screen Protector and the Tech Armor 3D Curved Edge iPhone 7 Plus Glass Screen Protector will keep your handsets looking like new. Some highlights from the product page: WHAT IS 3D-CURVED GLASS? - Curved displays are stylish, but make preserving resale value challenging. Tech Armor has developed Curved Ballistic Glass, a unique product which wraps around your iPhone 7 display for complete protection! HOW DOES 3D-CURVED GLASS WORK? ? Tech Armor 3D-Curved Glass (.3mm) Screen Protectors use precision molded contouring to adhere with the iPhone 7 display. Powerful adhesive binds to your device without compromising clarity or touch accuracy. WHY BUY 3D-CURVED GLASS? - Where competitor solutions fall short, Tech Armor 3D-Curved Edge Glass comes through. Our distinct molded glass design hugs your display for complete coverage. From scratches to high impact drops, you are protected. Bubble-free, easy install, and perfect fit, guaranteed by the Tech Armor Lifetime Warranty.
  • Amazon Alexa: The smart person's guide (2017-01-12 14:24:47)
    Amazon Alexa is the leading digital assistant on the market. Find out more about this machine-learning innovation with our Alexa smart person's guide.
  • The NES Classic Edition was in stock at Best Buy for just 20 minutes (2017-01-12 14:17:00)
    It's been months since the NES Classic Edition went on sale, and Nintendo still hasn't managed to get a consistent supply available for me to spend all of my money on. Target, Amazon and Walmart are all still out of stock, and demand hasn't sagged one bit. Best Buy had the NES Classic Edition in stock for online sales as of about 10.30 this morning. But don't bother booting up your browser right now: it was out of stock within a matter of minutes, far too quick for even the shortest of blog posts. The point of this isn't actually to make you jealous for the few hundred people who got their hands on a Best Buy console: it's to help you get on the next sale. You see, in addition to selling through its official website, Best Buy was also selling consoles through its official eBay store . That gets less traffic and is generally not as well known, so if you set up an alert for the eBay Store, there's a good chance you'll get a console next time it's in stock. You can use a service like Visualping  or others to set up a custom alert for any significant change in Best Buy's eBay page. The NES Classic Edition was the first thing listed on the page while it was in stock, so a simple alert should do. Then, you'll want to make sure you have an eBay account set up and ready to go so you can spring on the stock as soon as it's made available. If you don't have any luck with the eBay page, or if you just want to hedge your bets, the NowInStock website has a Target stock checker, and a way to add yourself to a Google Group to be alerted (along with a lot of other people!) whenever the NES Classic Edition is in stock anywhere.
  • ElliQ is a friendly looking Amazon Alexa for the elderly (2017-01-12 14:15:33)
    The ElliQ is a new product from Israeli startup Intuition Robotics that aims to help take care of elderly family members, allowing them to continue to live at home even as they grow older. The company describes ElliQ as an "active aging companion," and it looks like a combination of an Android tablet, a digital assistant like Alexa or Siri, and software designed to help the elderly connect with friends and family. What makes ElliQ unique is the robot component: an attached bobble head-esque animatronic that provides a physical, moving manifestation of the digital assistant.
  • Data from wearables can predict disease (2017-01-12 14:00:02)
    For a study published today in the journal PLOS Biology Stanford University researchers gave 43 participant a Basis B1 or Basis Peak smartwatch and then analyzed nearly a year of their data. Then they analyzed the data and found that out-of-the-ordinary measurements, especially for heart rate, correlated with things like the common cold and even, in one case, Lyme disease. In addition to the 43 participants, the researchers collected much more detailed measurements from one participant, called Participant #1, for nearly two years.
  • An in-depth look at the hot edgeless Android phone everyone wants but can’t buy (2017-01-12 13:54:22)
    The Xiaomi Mi Mix is a glimpse at what the future holds for smartphone users. Ironically enough, it was introduced by a company that grew from nothing into a multi-billion dollar smartphone startup by copying literally every single thing Apple and Samsung did. A Xiaomi executive once unveiled a new phone at a virtual press conference wearing jeans and a black shirt. Its early phones looked just like iPhones. The company released a stylus-friendly "Note" phablet just like Samsung's Galaxy Note phones. And so on. But this time around, Xiaomi managed to debut an "edgeless" smartphone before similar handsets we're expecting from Samsung and Apple this year and down the road... and it's gorgeous. We first told you about the Mi Mix back in late October when it was announced. The handset then went on sale in China in early November, but it has not been released in the United States. And it will not be released in the United States. In fact, no Xiaomi phones will hit the US market anytime soon. Why? Because Xiaomi's phones are packed with so much stolen tech that has been patented by other companies, that Xiaomi would likely be sued into oblivion if it tried to sell them in a market like the US. But hey, we can still appreciate how sleek the practically edgeless design is on the Mi Mix. We've seen plenty of hands-on videos and reviews that feature Xiaomi's Mi Mix, but a reader brought a more recent one to our attention and it's worth checking out. Posted recently by YouTube user Michael Fisher, the video offers a deep dive into the Mi Mix's design and its features. Interestingly, in terms of the overall design, Xiaomi chose to rip off Sony this time around instead of Apple or Samsung. The boxy back doesn't detract from the massive display around front, however, and the barely-there bezels are just awesome. The full video is embedded below. Don't get too excited though — the only way you're getting a Mi Mix in the US is if you're willing to pay a smartphone importer around $1,000.
  • Takata expected to plead guilty as part of $1 billion U.S. settlement: sources (2017-01-12 13:51:53)
    Japanese auto parts manufacturer Takata Corp is expected to agree to plead guilty to fraud charges as early as Friday as part of a $1 billion settlement with the U.S. Justice Department to resolve the government's investigation into deadly air bag ruptures, sources said. The settlement is also expected to include restitution to some victims and automakers, who have been forced to recall vehicles with the defective inflators. Takata air bag inflators have been linked to at least 16 deaths worldwide, including 11 U.S. deaths.
  • What deep, dark secrets does this Pikachu hold within its plushy gut? (2017-01-12 13:51:46)
    Photo from @tiffako Pokémon’s yellow mascot is ageless. The franchise celebrated its 20th anniversary last year, but aside from some small tweaks, Pikachu remains as reliably cute as it was the day it was introduced. But now, we have photographic evidence that something has gone terribly awry. Behold: the melting Pikachu of your darkest dreams.Star Wars Episode VI (1983)Jabba the Hutt— Tiffakoの奇妙な冒険 (@tiffako) January 11, 2017Kotaku first called these images Pikachu in real life, which I honestly relate to. ...
  • Justice Department watchdog will investigate whether FBI acted improperly during election (2017-01-12 13:39:03)
    The Justice Department’s internal watchdog announced today that it will conduct an investigation into the Justice Department and FBI’s actions during the 2016 presidential election, according to a statement. The investigation, conducted by the agency’s inspector general, will focus on several controversial actions taken during the election. Among the items to be investigated are FBI Director James Comey’s July press conference on the Hillary Clinton email server investigation, an out of the ordinary event where he recommended against charges, and his decision to release a controversial letter to Congress just before the election.
  • Peter Thiel believes the ‘age of Apple is over’ (2017-01-12 13:33:23)
    PayPal co-founder and avowed Gawker enemy Peter Thiel has never been shy about expressing his opinions. During the run-up to the 2016 Presidential election, for example, Thiel seemingly stood alone among Silicon Valley luminaries in his support for Donald Trump. More recently, Thiel sat down for a quick and dirty Q&A session with Maureen Dowd of The New York Times where he fired off a number of impromptu answers to a wide array of questions. When the topic of conversation turned to Apple, Dowd asked Thiel if he would confirm or deny that "the age of Apple is over." Thiel responded in the affirmative. "We know what a smartphone looks like and does," Thiel said. "It’s not the fault of Tim Cook, but it’s not an area where there will be any more innovation." It's an interesting take because Thiel, as opposed to many armchair pundits, isn't declaring that we've reached peak iPhone and that Apple is about to enter a 10 year period of stagnation . Rather, Thiel is simply articulating that the next big wave of innovation will not center on the smartphone. Regardless of whether you agree with him or not, it's certainly not an unreasonable take. All the same, it will be interesting to see if Apple has any hidden tricks up its sleeve with its 2017 iPhone, a device that will likely be called the iPhone 8. According to reports, Apple's high-end iPhone 8 will feature an edgeless display with a curved OLED panel. It's also worth noting, if we parse Thiel's comment just a little bit more, that Apple isn't just going to sit on the sidelines if the next big wave of innovation focuses on another area of technology outside of the smartphone. Apple is not only devoting a lot of resources towards wearables research but is also very interested in a number of other areas, including machine learning, virtual reality and augmented reality. To the latter point, reputed analyst Ming-Chi Kuo has come out and said that Apple is working on augmented reality technology that could be more than 3 years ahead of what anyone else is working on. Point being, even if smartphone innovation is slowing down, it doesn't necessarily mean that the age of Apple has or is coming to an end.
  • Trump taps Rudy Giuliani to help with cybersecurity efforts (2017-01-12 13:29:24)
    US President-elect Donald Trump will look to former New York City mayor Rudy Giuliani to share insight and expertise on private sector cybersecurity issues.
  • Chrome is getting the ability to play FLAC (2017-01-12 13:22:33)
    As spotted by 9to5Google, Google has begun adding FLAC support to Chrome, and it should be rolling out to the masses very soon. FLAC support is already live in Chrome’s beta build, and 9to5Google says it’s live in the current version of Chrome OS, too. If you have local FLAC files or come across one on the web, the added support allows Chrome to open it up in a completely bare-bones music player that takes over the entire tab.
  • Watch the first trailer for Raw, the movie about teenage cannibals (2017-01-12 13:18:37)
    This is the trailer for Raw, a French movie about teenage cannibals. I watched it while eating mashed potatoes. I don’t recommend you do that.Raw is the debut film for director Julia Ducournau. It’s about a young girl who, after being hazed at veterinary college, finds herself craving human flesh. So I guess you could say it’s a classic coming-of-age tale, kind of like Old School. The trailer is mostly wordless and very gory. Animal bits get eaten, skin gets peeled off of bodies, blood showers are taken. Legend has it the film’s screening at last year’s Toronto Film Festival made people faint. ...
  • Game of Thrones star will face a new Stark in upcoming Avengers movies (2017-01-12 13:12:07)
    Game of Thrones star Peter Dinklage, who plays Tyrion Lannister on HBO's smash hit TV show, will appear in the two upcoming Avengers movies, a new report indicates. Whether he’ll be a good or bad guy in the superheroes saga, one thing it’s pretty clear: Dinklage is still going to have to face at least one member of a Stark family. A source told Variety that Dinklage is in early talks for a key role in Avengers: Infinity War and for the untitled Avengers flick that will follow it. Winter is coming in Game of Thrones , which means the schedule for the show moved from summer to fall. Production for the seventh season has ended, and Dinklage’s schedule would allow him to appear in Infinity War . Apparently, both Avengers films will be shot back-to-back starting in early summer, with Infinity War set to be released on May 4th, 2018. It’s unclear at this time what this key role would be. The Avengers are supposed to fight Thanos, a Marvel super-villain. Will Dinklage join Stark and Co in defeating Thanos, or will he fight against Iron Man and his friends? Variety says Dinklage will be one of the few new cast members to be added to the franchise, while all of the previous stars are on board for the upcoming movies. Anthony and Joe Russo will direct both Avengers movies, taking over the reigns from Joss Whedon, who was in charge of the previous two. The Russos also directed the last two Captain America pictures.
  • Google Maps now lets you get an Uber without leaving the app (2017-01-12 13:09:32)
    Google’s making it way easier and simpler to hail an Uber with Google Maps. Today the company announced that the latest version of Google Maps on Android and iOS lets users request a ride from Uber without ever leaving the app. Now, the entire request process takes place directly in Google Maps.
  • Robots need 'kill switches', warn Euro MPs (2017-01-12 13:03:19)
    The unstoppable rise of robots in our everyday lives requires urgent EU rules such as "kill switches", European Parliament members warned Thursday as they passed a resolution urging Brussels into action on automaton ethics. Mady Delvaux, a Socialist MEP from Luxembourg, led the campaign and warned that Europe is passively standing by as robots take an increasingly powerful role that will grow even stronger with the emergence of driverless cars. To encourage EU action, Delvaux tabled a resolution at the European Parliament that also includes the need for an EU agency specialised in dealing with artificial intelligence.
  • YouTube launches Super Chat, a tool that lets you pay to pin comments on live streams (2017-01-12 13:00:02)
    YouTube today is announcing a new feature to help creators monetize when they go live. It’s called Super Chat, and allows viewers to pay to pin a comment on live streams. Soon, when someone goes on a live stream, you’ll see a dollar bill symbol in the chat window.
  • Tech skills shortage: Amazon trains veterans to fill the gap (2017-01-12 12:52:17)
    While debate still continues over the extent of the digital skills shortage, Amazon has launched a program that will provide tech industry training and job placements.
  • Not all of Steve Jobs’s iPhone ideas were revolutionary (2017-01-12 12:49:16)
    Pundits keep asking themselves what Steve Jobs would do every time Apple makes a questionable move. But not everything Apple’s visionary leader imagined about the iPhone actually made it into the final product — and that’s really a very good thing, because the iPhone that we know and love may have had an entirely different look and software experience. After a couple of videos leaks showed us alleged prototypes of the original iPhone, running competing UI designs, former iPod guru Tony Fadell, who actually worked on the first iPhone while at Apple, revealed some of the things that happened during development. That includes some of peculiar requests Jobs had for the engineering teams that were working on the product. After Sonny Dickson had released a couple of videos showing an original iPhone design based on the iPhone, Fadell reached out to The Verge to comment on the clips. The former Apple exec said that everyone involved with the iPhone project worked together and that there were not two competing designs, as Dickson had reported. “It was a competing set of ideas, not teams, and we were all working on it,” he said. Fadell also revealed that, while the user interfaces in the video seem to be accurate, they never ran on iPhone prototypes. Instead, they were running on Macs without access to the hardware. It’s unclear who ported the UIs to the iPhones in the video, Fadell said. “Someone, somewhere ported that thing, and that's why it's shown side by side,” he said. “It was never, we never had anything like that at Apple when we were making decisions.” He also revealed some of the things Jobs wanted for the iPhone that could have changed the phone forever. “A lot of us saw very early on that you couldn't make the click wheel work for dialing a phone really quickly,” the exec recalled. “So we’d say, ‘Steve, we don't want to spend time on this.’ And Steve would go, ‘No, I want you to do it. Go and do it. You have to try it. Try.’” The problem with the iPod phone design is that you could do almost anything with the click wheel on it, except for quickly dialing a phone number. That device had a physical click wheel, not a digital one like the one in the video. The UI from the video was actually intended for an iPod that would feature a bigger screen in the same compact body. “We tried everything,” Fadell said about the project. “We tried having little buttons on the click wheel so you could click. There was a Nokia phone where they had a circular pattern for the numbers, in hard buttons, and Steve was like ‘Go make that work.’ So we tried that.” At Jobs’s request, the engineers tried to come up with an iPod phone that would have resembled the Nokia phone in the image above, and they worked on it for about 10 weeks before giving up. Jobs was equally adamant on the iPhone having a virtual keyboard — which was a great idea — even though not everybody working on the project was convinced of its utility. "No, we're going to make this keyboard work, on the glass,” Jobs would tell them. Fadell also revealed that Jobs wanted to make the switch from ARM chips to Intel after the iPhone became a success. Thankfully, that never happened, and Apple ended up creating a series of class-leading ARM chips that currently have no equal in the mobile business . On top of what Fadell revealed in the interview, it’s well documented that Jobs opposed the idea of developers creating apps for the iPhone. He was finally convinced that Apple should open iOS to third-party apps, which proved to be a great decision for Apple, for developers, and for users.
  • A lot more people will now have access to the NSA’s raw surveillance data (2017-01-12 12:46:10)
    The Obama administration has greatly expanded the NSA’s power to share raw intelligence within the US government, as reported by The New York Times. The NSA collects vast quantities of data, including phone calls, emails, and satellite transmissions, but that data is typically only seen by NSA analysts, and only circulated outside the agency if a particular set of signals is found to be noteworthy. The new rules allow raw data collected under Executive Order 12333 to be shared with any of the 16 US Intelligence agencies, including the FBI, CIA, and Department of Homeland Security.
  • Smartphone, internet use at record high in US: survey (2017-01-12 12:42:51)
    More than three-fourths of American adults now use a smartphone, helping to boost internet adoption to a record level, a survey showed Thursday. The Pew Research Center survey found 77 percent owning a smartphone in late 2016, more than double the level of 2011, when 35 percent said they used such devices. The rise was fueled by a "sharp uptick" in smartphone use by those with low incomes and those 50 and older, Pew said.
  • Amazon announces U.S. hiring spree (2017-01-12 12:21:52)
    NEW YORK/WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Inc on Thursday said it plans to create more than 100,000 jobs in the United States, from software development to warehouse work, becoming the latest company to boast a hiring spree since Donald Trump won the U.S. presidential election in November. The world's largest online retailer will grow its full-time U.S. workforce by more than 50 percent to over 280,000 in the next 18 months, it said in a press release. Amazon is spending heavily on new warehouses so it can stock goods closer to customers and fulfill orders quickly and cheaply.
  • Amazon to deliver 100,000 new US jobs (2017-01-12 12:15:45)
    Amazon Thursday announced plans to create 100,000 US jobs over the next 18 months, as President-elect Donald Trump presses the business world to boost activities on American soil. The US tech and retail giant's plan to bring its American workforce to over 280,000 is the latest -- and largest -- of a string of job-creation plans unveiled as Trump prepares to take office on a promise to boost US jobs and curb outsourcing. Amazon made no mention of the president-elect, but Team Trump swiftly took credit for the plan, coming on the heels of similar initiatives by Japan's SoftBank, Ford Motor Co., Fiat Chrysler and air conditioning manufacturer Carrier.
  • UK lawmakers criticize's 'Webminster' tube ad campaign (2017-01-12 12:01:04)
    By Tom Bergin LONDON (Reuters) - Some UK lawmakers criticized an advertising campaign by Inc on Thursday which involved changing the name signs at London's Westminster underground station, where parliament is located, to 'Webminster', branding it "insulting". Amazon paid underground operator Transport for London (TfL) 390,000 pounds to change the signage at the station underneath the Houses of Parliament to publicize their cloud computing business. Members of Parliament (MPs) said the campaign was in poor taste and was inappropriate given lawmakers' frequent criticism of the company's tax affairs.
  • Test Drive: 2017 Mercedes-AMG SL65 (2017-01-12 12:00:00)
    The 2017 Mercedes-AMG SL65 can be yours for just $219,850.
  • Interview with a hacker: Kapustkiy from New World Hackers (2017-01-12 11:56:00)
    New World Hackers claimed responsibility for the Dyn botnet attack. One of the group's database experts explains how he attacks networks, what happens to stolen data, and the mindset of a hacker.
  • US Department of Transportation establishes new federal automation committee (2017-01-12 11:47:04)
    The new committee will begin meeting in mid-January to discuss policies, research, and regulations relative to vehicle automation.
  • The 5 problems Nintendo must solve with the Switch (2017-01-12 11:43:52)
    The executives at Nintendo know that better than most. This week, the video game publisher and hardware maker will present the details of its latest console, the Nintendo Switch. An early trailer shrewdly emphasized Nintendo’s history of excellence, both in building iconic franchises, and dominating the world of portable games.
  • Jeep and Ram trucks accused of Dieselgate-style cheating by the EPA (2017-01-12 11:42:45)
    The EPA has issued a statement accusing Fiat-Chrysler of violating the Clean Air Act by "failing to disclose engine management software" in 2014-2016 Jeep Grand Cherokee and RAM 1500 trucks that use the 3.0-liter diesel V6 engine. Those accusations obviously sound a lot like what VW was found to have done in a range of diesel cars, using software to change engine characteristics in order to pass emissions tests conducted by the EPA. In VW's case, the "defeat device" detected when an emissions test was being administered, and lowered the engine's output in order to pass the test. The car then increased performance -- and emissions -- when being driven normally on the road. The EPA's statement does not outline the specifics of Fiat-Chrysler's violation, just confirms that the Jeep Grand Cherokee and RAM 1500 used software to violate the Clean Air Act in some way: “Failing to disclose software that affects emissions in a vehicle’s engine is a serious violation of the law, which can result in harmful pollution in the air we breathe,” said Cynthia Giles, Assistant Administrator for EPA’s Office of Enforcement and Compliance Assurance. “We continue to investigate the nature and impact of these devices. All automakers must play by the same rules, and we will continue to hold companies accountable that gain an unfair and illegal competitive advantage.” “Once again, a major automaker made the business decision to skirt the rules and got caught,” said CARB Chair Mary D. Nichols. “CARB and U.S. EPA made a commitment to enhanced testing as the Volkswagen case developed, and this is a result of that collaboration.” Fiat-Chrysler has yet to respond to the allegations, but the company's stock has  taken a serious hit .
  • There’s finally a box that lets you control any TV with Amazon Alexa (2017-01-12 11:31:21)
    Amazon Alexa is taking over the world, and you don't even need an Amazon device to use Alexa anymore. Just recently we showed you 5 hot Alexa-enabled devices that aren’t made by Amazon , and now we've got another great gadget to add to the list. The Blumoo Smart Control is a tiny little box that turns your Android device, iPhone, iPad or Apple Watch into a universal remote that can control anything and everything in your home that uses a remote. But it gets even better — combine the Blumoo with an Amazon Echo , Echo Dot or another similar device and you can use Alexa voice commands to control your TV! Some key notes from the Amazon product page: Replaces your pile of remotes with your iOS or Android device - supports multiple users Customize for your family – add/remove buttons, create activities, set favorites Compatible with the Amazon Echo to control all your equipment with your voice (REQUIRES iOS BLUMOO APP) Complete control for over 250,000 different brands and models of TV's, set-top boxes, receivers, sound bars, DVD/Blu-ray, streaming players, and much more
  • AT&T chief executive, Trump meet amid planned Time Warner merger (2017-01-12 11:30:55)
    AT&T Chief Executive Officer Randall Stephenson had an hour-long meeting in New York on Thursday with U.S. President-elect Donald Trump, who has opposed the company's planned acquisition of Time Warner Inc . A spokeswoman for Trump confirmed the meeting after Stephenson was seen entering Trump Tower. A person briefed on the matter said Stephenson was meeting with the Trump transition team to discuss the $85.4 billion Time Warner deal.
  • Exxon Mobil must hand over climate change documents, judge rules (2017-01-12 11:18:40)
    Exxon Mobil must turn over decades’ worth of documents showing how much the company knew about climate change. The decision was taken yesterday by a Massachusetts judge in an investigation brought by the state’s attorney general Maura Healey. In 2015, reports by Inside Climate News and the Los Angeles Times showed that Exxon played down the risks of climate change after its own scientists revealed what those risks would be as early as 40 years ago.
  • Amazon to go on hiring spree in the United States (2017-01-12 11:16:39)
    The world's largest online retailer will add 100,000 full-time positions, growing its U.S. workforce by more than 50 percent to over 280,000 in the next 18 months, it said in a press release. Amazon is spending heavily on new warehouses so it can stock goods closer to customers and fulfill orders quickly and cheaply. The new hires, from Florida to Texas and California, will be key to the company's promise of two-day shipping to members of its Amazon Prime shopping club, which has given it an edge over rival retailers.
  • Google is using machine learning to reduce the data needed for high-resolution images (2017-01-12 11:09:00)
    Last November, Google unveiled a prototype technology called RAISR that uses machine learning to make low-resolution images appear more detailed. Now, the company has begun the process of integrating RAISR with its online services, using the technology to upscale large images on Google+ and save users’ data in the process.
  • 11 paid iPhone apps on sale for free right now (2017-01-12 11:06:14)
    We shared a great collection of paid iPhone and iPad apps on sale for free with you on Wednesday, and several of the apps on that list are still free downloads right now. Of course for Thursday, we've got a fresh new batch of premium apps on sale, and you'll find them all laid out below. These are paid iPhone and iPad apps that have been made available for free for a limited time by their developers. There is no way to tell how long they will be free. These sales could end an hour from now or a week from now — obviously, the only thing we can guarantee is that they were free at the time this post was written. If you click on a link and see a price listed next to an app instead of the word “get,” it is no longer free. The sale has ended. If you download the app, you will be charged. Don't buy Normally $1.99. * * * Don't buy App * * * Let's record the products or services which you dislike. Save Barcodes and Search by Barcode. Don't buy this again. Download Don't buy Extreme Week Calendar Normally $1.99. Light version of the popular Extreme Agenda organizer app. It gives you a 7 day week view and inline day view to add great features not found in the default calendar. Use it as a great week calendar, or as a trial to see the quality of our advanced Extreme Calendar and Extreme Agenda solutions. Once you are ready you can easily upgrade to the more advanced products from within the app. Features Include: Great Calendaring • Powerful Week and Timeline Day with inline editing. • Uses and expands on your native calendar data. • Sync like you would with the default calendar(Google, iCloud, Exchange). • Advanced repeating event options. • Move/Copy Events • Event Templates • Email Events • Show events on Facebook • Military time, ISO week, and week start options. • Uses time bars and icons to keep you informed at a glance • Filter events based on iCal calendars. • Almost 200 professional icons to mark your events Power and Flexibility • Universal Support • TextExpander Support • Portrait and Landscape Support. • Retina Display Support. • Background and color theme choices. • Help System • Easily upgraded to Extreme Calendar or Extreme Agenda Planner --------------------------------------- InApp Purchase When you are ready to upgrade just pay the difference and your Extreme Week can become Extreme Calendar or Extreme Agenda. Extreme Calendar adds Year, Month, and Agenda List views to make the calendar even more powerful. And upgrading to Extreme Agenda adds advanced contact, task, note, and list views along with search, private filtering, a status coloring choice, and 800+ more icons. And it adds categories for coloring, icons, and advanced filtering. Otherwise if you want it all now, look for 'Extreme Agenda' in the AppStore. Download Extreme Week Calendar MyTracks Normally $1.99. Now record GPS tracks, monitor your performance, share your outdoor activities with friends! MyTracks is a professional app for getting GPS data when you are going out (eg. Walking, jogging, driving, bicycling and etc). It’s such a technical solution application based on its high precision instruments. Users can easily track their moving status in terms of Compass, Elapsed Time, Distance, Pace, Latitude, Longitude, Altimeter, Barometer, Course, Speed and GPS Signal power. MyTracks takes the data from the GPS sensor and uses it to determine all of the different statistics to track, including geographic data and velocity calculations. These instruments have been calibrated specially for walking, jogging, driving and bicycling, and you will never miss any valuable information as you want. Application Adaptive: ▪ Great for sking, running, walking, biking, and hiking to track your route! ▪ Great for photographers who need to track location data for their pictures! ▪ Great for hunters and fishermen who need to store specific locations! Main Features: ⊹ Ultra high precision instruments ⊹ Calibration made for walking, jogging, hiking, driving and bicycling ⊹ Accurate speed calculations ⊹ Tracking record, showing tracks on different maps ⊹ Statistic GPS information, sharing track data by csv, nmea, gpx, kml, kmz format ⊹ Able to edit the track and track point nicely, store tracks information for further using ⊹ Able to upload csv, gpx, kml format routines. ⊹ Export tracks by email. (check gps.db and fav.db from attachement.) ⊹ Import tracks by MyTracks local wifi or iTunes Document Sharing, or files. ⊹ Support Barometer data collecting. Instruments: ▪ Compass ▪ Elapsed Time ▪ Distance ▪ Pace ▪ Latitude ▪ Longitude ▪ Altimeter ▪ Course ▪ Speed ▪ Barometer ▪ GPS Signal power ▪ Speed dashboard ▪ TRACK CSV, NMEA, GPX, KML format ▪ TRACK KML for Google Earth Give MyTracks a whirl and see how it works for you. For those of you who already use it, what do you think? What do you like about it, or dislike about it? Do you prefer another app over it? Please share your thoughts with us in the comments! Download MyTracks Dogo Normally $1.99. Your dog is an active animal and needs plenty of exercise, not only physical but also mental stimulation. What makes dogs man's best friends? It is their ability to understand us and communicate with us. There are dogs who can learn more than a few hundred words and most dogs' intelligence is not yet appreciated at its fullest. Unlock this intelligence and improve your communication with DOGO. DOGO app offers daily trainings for you and your dog. The programme is based on positive clicker training, where you encourage your dog to learn new tricks by praising him with treats. The app offers daily trainings, based on a model where you repeat and improve the tricks that you already know and learn new ones. The more advanced commands are subdivided into levels, so the learning process is kept smooth. Every trick has a description, that is divided into little illustrated steps, that guide you as a trainer. Problems? There is always experts that you can consult directly, who would try to help and identify why you and your dog are struggling. There is a Clicker built in App, that you can use during the training. The app offers daily reminders, more than 20 different Tricks and Awards. You can customise your dog's profile and track your progress points and awards for every level. The application is available in English and Lithuanian languages. Strengthen your friendship with DOGO. Download Dogo Beautiful Go Normally $1.99. Beautiful Go has one goal. Capture the beauty of the Go board in a digital medium. - 19x19, 13x13, 9x9, and 5x5 unconstrained Go boards. - Great for independent study or casual pass and play games. - No In App Purchases. - No ads. - No internet connection needed to play. Download Beautiful Go Warp Shift Normally $2.99. Warp Shift is a unique puzzle game set in a mysterious world. AppSpy says that it "is well-balanced and gorgeous to look at and filled to the brim with innovative twists and new ideas.” # # # THE MEDIA LOVES WARP SHIFT # # # ► “Warp Shift certainly sits in the same bracket as Monument Valley.” (PocketGamer) ► “Warp Shift is a leap ahead of any puzzle game we’ve ever reviewed.” (Edamame Reviews) ► “It is well-balanced and gorgeous to look at and filled to the brim with innovative twists and new ideas.” (AppSpy) ► “A mobile game that fans of Monument Valley will enjoy.” (Golem) ► “Warp Shift is genuinely refreshing.” (Gamezebo) ► “Warp Shift is more of an adventure than a standard puzzle app.” (Common Sense Media) ► “Warp Shift is absolutely gorgeous.” (AppAdvice) ► “A must for anyone who likes their games equal parts relaxing and taxing.” (TapSmart) # # # AN AUDIO-VISUAL VOYAGE THROUGH TIME AND SPACE # # # Warp Shift is a unique puzzle game set in a mysterious world. It takes you on a marvelous journey that challenges your mind and stimulates your senses. Experience beautiful visuals, challenging puzzles and intriguing sound design. Guide the little girl Pi and her magical companion through the maze-like confines of the enigmatic ancient chamber that keeps them trapped. Think ahead and alter your surroundings wisely to usher Pi back home – one swipe after another. Embark on an audio-visual voyage through time and space, never knowing where your next step will lead you. # # # MIND-BOGGLING FEATURES # # # • A work of art: Enjoy a mesmerizing game that stimulates your eyes, ears and brains • How to get out?: Traverse maze-like environments that change at your fingertip • A unique kind of puzzler: Alter your surroundings to open new ways • From one realm to another: Explore 6 unique worlds with 15 levels each • Easy of access: Reach your destination via taps and swipes • No stress or hurry: Play to relax, escape and clear your mind # # # JOURNEY ONWARDS… # # # • Deep Silver FISHLABS website: • ISBIT Games website: # # # COSTS & REQUIREMENTS # # # Warp Shift requires at least iOS 8 and runs on iPhone 4s (or higher), iPad 2 (or higher) and iPod touch 5G. The app contains in-app purchases. If you do not want to use them, you can disable them in your device’s settings. Download Warp Shift Spending Tracker Normally $1.99. If you are looking for the best personal finance application, this is the app for you! SpendingTrackerLog helps you to track your income and spendings. You can add transactions under different categories, such as income, food, shopping. Summaries for today/week/month/year are displayed right at home page. You can view detailed report for each month in beautiful graphs and find transaction easily through search. Try it yourself to see more features! Features: - Add multiple accounts - Add multiple payees - Add income/expense transactions under different category - Add customize income/expense category name - Add transactions quickly - Instant summary for today/week/month/year - View history records and compare them - iCloud sync - Passcode lock - Export through email - Separate graph report for income or expense alone - Search for transaction by Category, Payee, Between two dates or any of them - Intuitive UI, easy to use Multiple data export: - Monthly transaction history - Monthly transaction history for each category - All transactions for each account - All transactions for each member - Transactions under custom search conditions - Two date ranges between the transaction records Download Spending Tracker Send Signs Normally $1.99. Learn fingerspelling and have fun! Compete with a conversation partner through iMessages. Your improvements are graphically depicted and both partners will even have a score. Learn fingerspelling (ASL) anywhere with sending messages back and forth! One person acts as the starter, sending either a sign or letter. The receiver has to pick the correct counterpart. The sender can rate or auto-rate the choice. Finally both will obtain points which will be added to a score. Download Send Signs Sums Up Normally $2.99. It adds numbers in your text. If you already have a note containing numbers, copy and paste it to Sums Up and it will show you the total. Positive numbers are shown in blue and negative in red. The app only adds, but subtraction can be done by using negative numbers. When done, you can copy the note and the total to your clipboard. Download Sums Up AllStarSlams Normally $2.99. Feel what it is like to live above the rim in this zany slam dunk game. - Twist and flip towards the rim from all over the court and then explode into the arena, collecting points for rag-doll physics along the way. - Place and stack objects as high as possible, then jump over them and crush a dunk. - Increase your dunk bonus to jump to ridiculous heights. - Master your trick timing to create massive combos and shatter the backboard. - Easily create exciting and dynamic replays to share with friends from within the app and prove you are an AllStar. Download AllStarSlams Klickr Normally $0.99. It is easy to lose track when counting while doing something else. I'm sure you have experienced that before! So that is why we came up with Klickr. An easy App so that you don't have to worry about the numbers and just concentrate on the more important things in life. The first app to integrate your well known tally counter into your new, loved apple watch! Download Klickr
  • Citi Bikes are getting outfitted with laserlights to improve rider safety (2017-01-12 11:02:36)
    Who doesn’t! Soon, if you see a passing projected image shaped like a bicyclist on the streets of New York, don’t be alarmed: that’s just a new Citi Bike outfitted with laserlights to give cars and pedestrians an oncoming traffic warning. Citi Bike, New York’s bike-sharing system, will be installing these safety lights on its entire fleet of 6,000 bikes by the end of the year, reports The New York Post. The safety lasers, created by United Kingdom-based company Blaze, were first implemented in London’s own bike-sharing program, Boris Bikes.
  • How to watch Nintendo’s Switch presentation online (2017-01-12 11:00:02)
    Later today Nintendo will be unveiling a slew of new details about its next console. The device — a console / portable hybrid in the form of a tablet that docks with a television — is called Switch, and is due to launch sometime this March. Nintendo officially unveiled the machine with a teaser video back in October.But at its presentation this evening in Tokyo we’re expecting to learn a lot more about Switch. That includes details on its price and release date, as well as a first look at many of the games that will be available at launch and potentially some spec-related information. ...
  • Attention: This Gravity Rush 2 trailer stars the world's cutest flying cat (2017-01-12 10:49:31)
    At first, Gravity Cat may seem like your average kitten. It crawls on laptops when you’re trying to work. It knocks over liquids with a troll-like speed. It gets into trouble, strutting on the ceiling and then flipping your entire apartment upside down. This video is an ad for Gravity Rush 2 (also known as Gravity Daze 2 in Japan), in which heroine Kat and her actual cat manipulate gravity. If Gravity Rush 2 is the first great game of 2017, this is 2017’s first great trailer. Scratch that: this is one of the greatest game trailers in recent memory. ...
  • After day one, AI is crushing humanity at poker (2017-01-12 10:49:01)
    The first day of the Brains vs. AI poker tournament is in the books, and the Libratus bot from Carnegie Mellon University emerged as the clear winner, collecting $81,716 to the humans $7,228. “I felt like Libratus is playing a lot better than Claudico did in the previous challenge,” wrote Jason Les, one of the four poker pros, in an email to The Verge.
  • Oh boy, Netflix’s iBoy movie sure looks like a wild ride (2017-01-12 10:43:00)
    Netflix released the official trailer for its original movie iBoy today, and boy oh boy, we’re in for an interesting two hours. The film is about a teen named Tom (Bill Milner) who is in an unrequited love situation with a girl named Lucy (Game of Thrones’ Maisie Williams). Because there’s technology in his brain now, Tom sees and hears all internet and phone calls, and I guess some other stuff too because at one point he just glances at a bad guy’s knee and sees an image implying that the knee is weak and he should kick it.
  • Apple will target Netflix and Amazon with original TV shows and movies of its own (2017-01-12 10:41:37)
    With the huge popularity of original content on Netflix and Amazon, Apple wants a piece of the pie. That's according to a new report from the Wall Street Journal which claims Apple is poised to make a play with all-original shows and movies which would be available via the Apple Music service for a monthly subscription fee of $10.  The report says Apple has been shopping around for original content and has been in talks with producers to purchase the rights to a number of episodic shows. Apple has also reportedly been getting advice from — and could potentially poach — television marketing professionals from various other companies to help jumpstart the efforts. Apple has set a timeline for the new content plan and wants to offer scripted shows by the end of the year. Apple's programming efforts will allegedly start rather modestly, with only a handful of shows and/or movies, and as such it would not necessarily strike fear in the hearts of its larger competitors. However, Apple's plan is apparently to produce shows along the same lines as those offered by Netflix and Amazon — think House of Cards or Transparent . Apple has been dabbling a bit in original content recently, with documentaries on Apple Music and even a standalone version of The Late Late Show 's Carpool Karaoke . However, according to the report, the shows Apple is currently eying don't have any link to music as its current video product does, and would instead be positioned as an added value to the Apple Music service — perhaps in the same way Prime Video is a bonus to Amazon's Prime membership.
  • PC shipments have now declined for 5 years in a row (2017-01-12 10:40:14)
    The PC industry has been declining for years, but it just hit a big milestone. While PC shipments briefly returned to growth in the US earlier this year, neither IDC or Gartner are predicting exactly what will happen to the PC industry. Gartner believes the PC market is stagnated and that “the market driven by PC enthusiasts is not big enough to drive overall market growth.” IDC on the other hand thinks the PC market is stabilizing.
  • Creepy 6-Legged Hexapod Teaches Kids to Build Robots (2017-01-12 10:30:00)
    Enter STEMI Hexapod, a very powerful $349 build-it-yourself robot that employs the same standard motors, circuits and boards that makers use in the real world while also teaching you how to use each part. The Hexapod — the first product from Croatian startup STEMI — looks like an electric crab as it walks along the floor on six highly-articulated legs. STEMI Co-Founder Josip Vukičević told us that some students have completed the initial build in as little as 5 to 6 hours.
  • Amazon plans to create 100,000 new full-time US jobs by mid-2018 (2017-01-12 10:21:00)
    Amazon announced today that it plans to create 100,000 new full-time jobs in the United States in the next 18 months. According to the press release, the new jobs will be in all areas of the company, but many will be specifically in new fulfillment centers that Amazon intends to open across the country. Amazon also has numerous, ongoing initiatives that could lead to new jobs in areas like warehouses, shipping, retail stores, and the company’s nascent drone delivery program, all of which could require more support staff for more widespread rollouts on a national scale.
  • See video of Nokia’s first new Android phone unboxed and powered on (2017-01-12 10:18:12)
    Earlier this week, HMD Global—the company that now owns the Nokia brand— unveiled its first phone: the Nokia 6 . Not only will the Nokia 6 serve as HMD's first phone, it will also be the first Nokia-branded Android phone ever produced. Unfortunately, there are no plans to release the phone outside of China at the moment, but on Thursday, YouTube channel TechDroider supplied the internet with an early look at the device. Technically, this is the second unboxing video that TechDroider has uploaded this week, but the new video is of much higher quality than the first. In the video, we get a chance to see the contents of the box (the phone itself, the charger, headphones, a SIM eject tool and a few manuals) as well as the phone in action. While the demo of the phone is relatively short, we do get a chance to see Android 7.0 running on the device. As HMD noted in a press release on Sunday, the Nokia 6 will feature an aluminum unibody, 5.5-inch Full HD display, Qualcomm Snapdragon 430 processor with X6 LTE modem, 4GB of RAM, 64GB of internal storage, 16-megapixel rear camera, 8-megapixel front camera and dual speakers with Dolby Atmos support. At a glance, the Nokia 6 is nearly indistinguishable from any other modern smartphone, but considering this is the first new Nokia-branded phone since 2014, it's understandable that HMD Global would play it safe. According to a recent Facebook post , HMD plans to share more about the Nokia 6 on February 26th — the day before Mobile World Congress 2017 kicks off in Barcelona. We should learn more about the company's other Android smartphones as well, hopefully including some that will launch internationally.
  • Online TV goes backwards (2017-01-12 10:17:32)
    It’s a new year and Ctrl-Walt-Delete is back! On the first episode of 2017, Walt and Nilay reminisce on the origin and legacy of the iPhone, which was introduced 10 years ago this week. Also, Walt’s latest column tackles TV streaming, which is starting to look more and more like cable subscriptions. You might also want to check out Recode Decode, hosted by Kara Swisher, and Too Embarrassed to Ask featuring The Verge's Lauren Goode.
  • Trump picks Rudy Guiliani to meet with companies about cybersecurity (2017-01-12 10:11:09)
    President-elect Donald Trump’s administration will hold private industry meetings on cybersecurity preparedness, led by Rudy Giuliani, the transition team and Giuliani announced today, although important details on which companies may be involved are still unclear. “The president-elect decided that he wanted to bring in, on a regular basis, the people in the private sector, the corporate leaders in particular, and thoughts leaders in the private sector, who are working on security for cyber, because we’re so far behind,” Giuliani said on Fox & Friends as he announced the initiative.
  • Las Vegas launches driverless shuttle bus test run on public roads (2017-01-12 09:54:23)
    An autonomous shuttle developed by French company Navya began navigating Fremont Street in Las Vegas this week, offering free rides to citizens as part of a pilot test.
  • Apple reportedly wants hit TV dramas of its own (2017-01-12 09:51:46)
    Apple may finally get serious about original TV shows. According to The Wall Street Journal, Apple has come around to the idea of buying scripted TV series from outside producers and is thought to be looking for something that could become comparable in popularity to Westworld or Stranger Things. The TV series would reportedly be bundled with Apple Music, Apple’s $9.99 per month subscription service, as a way to help it stand out from Spotify.
  • IBM Watson, FDA to use blockchain tech to build secure exchange for health data (2017-01-12 09:50:56)
    IBM Watson Health and the FDA recently signed a research initiative looking at ways to leverage the blockchain to safely share sensitive health data, starting with oncology records.
  • Nintendo Switch Pre-Orders Start Soon: Here's How to Get One (2017-01-12 09:45:00)
    The Nintendo Switch might not have an official price or release date yet, but you'll be able to pre-order the highly anticipated hybrid console soon — if you live in the New York City area, at least. According to a tweet, Nintendo's flagship New York store will begin taking pre-orders for the Switch starting on Jan. 13 at 9 a.m. ET. Nintendo says there will be a "limited quantity" of the new console up for grabs.
  • Galaxy S7 Gets Android Nougat: What to Expect (2017-01-12 09:43:00)
    Samsung is slowly but surely bringing Google's latest and greatest Android Nougat 7.0 software to the Galaxy S7 and Galaxy S7 Edge. Some Samsung Galaxy S7 and Galaxy S7 Edge owners were alerted by Samsung on Thursday to the official rollout of Nougat to their devices, Android Headlines is reporting.
  • JetBlue Just Added Free, Really Fast Wi-Fi on Every Flight (2017-01-12 09:42:00)
    Air travelers may now have another reason to choose JetBlue over other airlines: it's officially offering free Wi-Fi for all passengers. JetBlue's Fly-Fi will run as fast as your home broadband speed, JetBlue says, and hopefully will let its customers keep working online or surfing the internet without interruption from departure gate to arrival gate. Photo: ShutterstockTaking a jab at other air carriers, JetBlue says its Wi-Fi is better than the "sluggish" Wi-Fi you'd get on other companies' planes.
  • Apple’s ‘boring’ iPhone 7 just stole a ton of market share from Android (2017-01-12 09:01:40)
    Before, during and after launch, there was a narrative that existed on a handful of tech blogs. Because the new handsets used the same hardware design for the third consecutive year, they were "boring." Now, there's precious little question that Apple fans would have liked to see a fresh new design on the iPhone 7. After all, Apple typically introduces new designs every other year and after the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6s, the iPhone 7 was due for a visual refresh. But in 2016, Apple chose not to change the look of the phones, instead reusing its iPhone 6 design for a second time. Why? As we explained months before the iPhone 7 was even unveiled , Apple is planning a big design overhaul for the iPhone 8 so it chose to focus on performance and features in 2017 rather than the housing design. Does that make the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus boring? Was this a misstep on Apple's part? Will iPhone sales take a hit as a result? Apple doesn't report its holiday-quarter earnings for another three weeks so we don't yet know sales numbers, but early market share data from Kantar suggests Apple's new iPhones are a hit. According to new data released this week by leading market research firm Kantar Worldpanel ComTech, Apple's new iPhone models stole a significant amount of market share from Android during the holiday shopping period last year. Of the 10 markets covered in Kantar's report, Apple saw year-over-year growth in six key regions while Android's share of the smartphone market grew in four regions. In the United States, Apple's iPhone 7, iPhone 7 Plus and iPhone 6s were three best-selling smartphones during the three-month period ended in November. According to Kantar, the three devices combined to account for 31.3% of all smartphone sales in the US. Samsung's Galaxy S7 and Galaxy S7 edge took the numbers four and five spots, combining to account for 28.9% of all smartphone sales in the region. Apple's share of the US smartphone market climbed 6.4% on-year to 43.5% in the three months ended in November, while Android slipped 5.1% to 55.3%. The iPhone enjoyed its largest gains in the UK, where sales of Apple's iPhone lineup grew 9.1% year-over-year to 48.3%. At the same time, Kantar says Android's share of smartphone sales slid 1.8% to 49.6%. iPhone's share of the market also grew in France, Italy, Spain and across the EU5 region as a whole. Google's share of the smartphone market grew slightly across EU5 as well, in addition to Germany, Italy and China.
  • Google upgrades its free kids’ animation app to 3D (2017-01-12 09:00:01)
    Google is releasing a new version of its free animation app for kids, giving the software the new ability to work in 3D. The upgrade is a big visual step-up for the app, which is moving from a 2D paper-cut-out style, to a low-poly but high-resolution look. Of course, the new Toontastics 3D isn’t as sophisticated as professional 3D animation software (it’s not clear how much you can roam about any scene or adjust the camera angle and so on), but it does look fun to use. ...
  • Self-tracking headsets are 2017’s big VR trend — but they might leave your head spinning (2017-01-12 09:00:01)
    In the fall of 2016, Microsoft VP Terry Myerson took a pointed swipe at the year’s freshly released batch of virtual reality headsets, casually dubbing them “less immersive accessories” compared with a new Microsoft project. Because, Myerson claimed, Microsoft had perfected inside-out tracking: a nascent technology that could make VR vastly more convenient and accessible, by getting rid of external tracking systems. Now, inside-out tracking seems set to become the big VR trend of the year, though it might still make you a little dizzy.
  • Flipkart reshuffle signals shift to margins over volume (2017-01-12 08:22:49)
    By Sankalp Phartiyal and Shounak Dasgupta MUMBAI/BENGALURU (Reuters) - Even before he was appointed to run India's biggest e-commerce company, Kalyan Krishnamurthy had signaled a change: as head of sales at Flipkart he focused on profitable "big ticket" items, a shift away from the industry's fixation on growth at all costs. Krishnamurthy was named CEO on Monday, while co-founder and outgoing CEO Binny Bansal moved into the new role of group head. The person said investors, led by Tiger, were getting increasingly edgy as the writedowns not only stung early investors who bought in at higher valuations, but made it harder for Flipkart to tap the market and raise fresh capital.
  • Gadget Earth (2017-01-12 08:16:15)
    Wandering the halls of CES 2017 recently with video director William Joel, we were not only struck by how many different “breeds” of gadgets there are in the world, but also by just how many of those gadgets — particularly the robots and drones — seem to have unique personalities all their own. Will and I bravely set off to explore the outer recesses and nether regions of CES, and the deserts of Nevada, in search of gadgets great and small.
  • Opera just released a concept browser that will change the way you surf the web (2017-01-12 08:00:25)
    When it comes to browsing the web, what's your tool of choice? Google's Chrome browser is the world's most popular desktop internet portal, likely in part because it integrates so well with other popular Google products and there are so many useful extensions. Internet Explorer and Edge are popular with Windows users since they come preinstalled on PCs that run Microsoft's operating system, while many Mac users stick with Safari. And then there's Firefox, which was a hugely popular option until Chrome came along. That's just the tip of the iceberg. There are actually dozens of web browsers out there, many of which you haven't even heard of. Some are better than others but by and large, a browser is a browser is a browser. They all look about the same and they all function about the same. But Opera has a bold vision for the future of web browsing, and the company just released an exciting new concept web browser that is available for download right now. Tabs. An address bar. Buttons. Favorites. A browser window. There are variations here and there, but most browsers have the same basic look and functionality. Opera Neon is not most browsers. In a sense, Neon is a web operating system that lives on top of either Windows or macOS. Many people spend almost all of their time on a desktop or laptop computer in the browser anyway, so it makes sense to take things in this direction. By creating an app-like interface and adding in smart features like an intelligent tab management system, a simple split-screen view and a versatile and configurable omnibox, Neon lets the user stay inside a single browser window while multitasking. There's even a feature similar to picture-in-picture that lets users pop out a video and continue watching while browsing other pages. "Web browsers of today are basically from the last millennium, a time when the web was full of documents and pages," Opera boss Krystian Kolondra said. "With the Opera Neon project, we want show people our vision for the future of the web." Opera says its new Neon browser won't replace the existing Opera browser, but some features of Neon will be added to the main Opera browser this spring. We can only hope Neon's new tab management solution is among them. Opera likens the solution to gravity, and the concept is quite simple: frequently accessed tabs will "float" to the top of the new icon-based tab switcher while tabs that haven't been used in a while sink to the bottom. The result is quicker access to commonly used tabs without any thought or action on the part of the user. A screenshot feature has also been integrated directly into the Neon browser. With it, users can capture an image of the entire browser window or crop a portion of the screen, and then save the resulting picture to a gallery. Using the gallery, screenshots can be accessed quickly and shared easily. Neon as a whole is a very nifty concept, though users who rely heavily on extensions will have a difficult time switching to it entirely at this early stage. Even still, Neon introduces a number of intelligent new features that are a breath of fresh air in a software category that has been stagnant for practically a decade. Opera's Neon browser is available as a free download for Windows or Mac on the Opera website . A video of the new Neon browser in action is embedded below.
  • India's Tata Consultancy beats third-quarter profit estimates (2017-01-12 07:54:34)
    India's biggest software services exporter Tata Consultancy Services Ltd (TCS) said it would continue to focus on expanding its digital business after beating analyst estimates with a 10.9 percent rise in profit for the quarter to December. The company's digital business grew 30 percent annually in the December quarter. "Our investments in digital, our investments in building the right skills in people are positioning us to capture that segment extremely well," TCS Chief Executive Officer N. Chandrasekaran said .
  • Trump, tech tycoons talk overhaul of H1B visas (2017-01-12 07:29:39)
    By Mica Rosenberg, Stephen Nellis and Emily Stephenson NEW YORK/SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - President-elect Donald Trump's transition team has been actively considering ways to revamp a temporary visa program used to bring foreign workers to the United States to fill high-skilled jobs, according to sources familiar with the discussions. Possibilities for reforming the distribution of H-1B visas, which are used largely by the tech industry, were discussed at a meeting last month with chief executives of tech companies at Trump Tower, said two sources, who asked not to be named because they were not authorized to talk about the closed-door talks. Trump senior policy adviser Stephen Miller proposed scrapping the existing lottery system used to award the visas.
  • Amazon is confusing Londoners by changing the name of Westminster Tube (2017-01-12 07:14:41)
    Last December, Amazon launched a new data center in London to support its extremely profitable cloud service business. You probably don’t care and almost certainly didn’t notice, and so to remedy this situation, Amazon has decided to confuse London’s commuters. The company has temporarily fiddled with the signage in the central Westminster Tube station (“alight for Big Ben and the Houses of Parliament”), changing the name on maps and roundels in the station to read “Webminster” instead.
  • Top 10 CXO trends to watch in 2017 (2017-01-12 07:00:05)
    The C-suite will become more involved in cybersecurity, analytics, and IoT as we move further into the new year, experts predict. Here's what your company needs to know.
  • How Credit Karma uses Akka to manage big data at scale (2017-01-12 07:00:03)
    Big data can be a big headache, unless you know how to manage it at scale. Credit Karma engineering manager, Dustin Lyons, spoke with TechRepublic about how the fintech giant handles its data.
  • Trump, tech tycoons talk overhaul of high-skilled visa program (2017-01-12 06:08:18)
    By Mica Rosenberg, Stephen Nellis and Emily Stephenson NEW YORK/SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - President-elect Donald Trump's transition team has been actively considering ways to revamp a temporary visa program used to bring foreign workers to the United States to fill high-skilled jobs, according to sources familiar with the discussions. Possibilities for reforming the distribution of H-1B visas, which are used largely by the tech industry, were discussed at a meeting last month with chief executives of tech companies at Trump Tower, said two sources, who asked not to be named because they were not authorized to talk about the closed-door talks. Trump senior policy adviser Stephen Miller proposed scrapping the existing lottery system used to award the visas.
  • US Department of Transportation sets up new committee to steer automated tech (2017-01-12 05:49:06)
    The US Department of Transportation (DOT) has announced the formation a new committee dedicated to guiding policy on automated tech. The DOT says the committee is necessary for the US to “prepare for its infrastructure needs in the coming years.” As outlined in the Department’s report last year on the future of transportation, the population of the US is expected to grow by 70 million over the next three decades, accompanied by a 40 percent increase of freight volume. In the past, the DOT has established massive projects like the Federal Aid Highway Act, and current Secretary of Transportation Anthony Foxx has spoken of similarly revolutionary ambitions (though hopefully without the socially-disastrous effects of the Highway Act).
  • India's Tata Consultancy third-quarter net up 10.9 percent, beats estimates (2017-01-12 05:27:56)
    MUMBAI (Reuters) - Tata Consultancy Services Ltd , India's biggest software services company, posted a better-than-expected 10.9 percent rise in third-quarter profit, helped by demand for digital services. Net profit rose to 67.78 billion rupees ($995 million) for the three months to Dec. 31, compared with a net profit of 61.10 billion rupees a year ago. That compares with the consensus profit estimate of 65.11 billion rupees by 25 analysts, according to Thomson Reuters data. Revenue rose 8.7 percent from a year earlier to 297.35 billion rupees. ...
  • Microsoft releases new, improved version of Windows 10 to Windows Insider testers (2017-01-12 04:54:39)
    Although the next major Windows 10 update ("Creators Update") is expected in spring 2017, Microsoft has released a new and improved version of its operating system (Build 15002) for testers signed up to the Windows Insider program. Microsoft just can't leave the "Start" menu alone, it seems. This latest update lets users create custom folders filled with the tiles of their choice.
  • Former child porn moderators claim Microsoft failed to treat their PTSD (2017-01-12 04:45:19)
    Two former Microsoft employees who were responsible for monitoring child pornography and other criminal material have filed a lawsuit against the company, The Daily Beast reports, alleging that they were not provided with psychological support to treat post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). The employees, Henry Soto and Greg Blauert, were part of Microsoft’s Online Safety Team, where they were charged with reviewing material that had been flagged as potentially illegal. Both men say they suffered “vicarious trauma” and symptoms associated with PTSD, including nightmares, anxiety, and hallucinations.
  • The autonomous Lily drone is dead and buyers are being offered refunds (2017-01-12 04:29:32)
    Another ambitious crowd-funded drone has died — this time, the autonomous Lily camera drone. After collecting more than $34 million in pre-orders from 60,000 customers, the company behind Lily has closed after failing to secure financing for full-scale production. In a blog post titled “The Adventure Comes to an End,” Lily founders Antoine Balaresque and Henry Bradlow said they would be offering refunds to all customers, and that they were “sorry and disappointed” about the company’s demise.
  • India outraged over national flag doormats sold on Amazon (2017-01-12 04:01:42)
    India's foreign minister demanded an apology Wednesday from Inc. for selling doormats depicting the Indian flag on the online shopping giant's Canadian website. External Affairs Minister Sushma ...
  • HTC’s new flagship phone has AI and a second screen, but no headphone jack (2017-01-12 03:30:01)
    HTC is getting 2017 off to a flying start with an unseasonably early announcement of its next flagship phone: the U Ultra. This 5.7-inch device inaugurates a new U series of smartphones and is joined by a smaller and lesser U Play, which scales things down to 5.2 inches and a humbler camera and processor spec. HTC is touting a new Sense Companion, which is its take on the growing trend for putting AI assistants into phones, plus the addition of a second screen at the top of the U Ultra.
  • Alphabet drops dream of drones providing internet (2017-01-12 03:18:37)
    Google parent company Alphabet on Wednesday confirmed that it is opting for balloons instead of drones in its quest to deliver internet service from the sky. Alphabet, which not only owns Google but also Google X, which is devoted to creating world-changing new technologies, told AFP that it gave up on its internet drone project, called Titan, about a year ago. Its staff moved elsewhere at X, including a project called Loon focused on creating a network of high-altitude balloons that would provide internet service to people on the ground no matter how remote.
  • China's Xiaomi targets 2017 sales of $14.5 billion after 2016 overhaul (2017-01-12 03:03:09)
    By Sijia Jiang HONG KONG (Reuters) - China's Xiaomi targets 2017 sales of over 100 billion yuan ($14.47 billion), Chief Executive Lei Jun said on Thursday, after a year that saw the firm fall down the smartphone vendor rankings while it overhauled its business. "The worst is over," Lei said at an annual meeting in Beijing, describing 2016 as a "make-up year". Seven-year-old Xiaomi was briefly the world's most valuable startup and had hopes to be China's equivalent of Apple Inc. But it fell out of the top five in China for smartphone vendors in 2016, after reaching No. 2 in 2015.
  • Samsung chief questioned by prosecutors in South Korea political scandal (2017-01-12 02:44:29)
    Special South Korean prosecutors questioned the head of top conglomerate Samsung Group [SAGR.UL] on suspicion of bribery on Thursday in an influence-peddling scandal that led to President Park Geun-hye's impeachment. "I am very sorry to the South Korean people for not showing a better side," Samsung Group leader Jay Y. Lee told reporters as he arrived at the prosecution office in a black sedan, greeted by protesters holding signs calling for his arrest and accusing him of being the president's accomplice. Investigators would now decide whether to seek an arrest warrant against Lee, 48, special prosecution spokesman Lee Kyu-chul told reporters.
  • South Korea special prosecutor yet to decide on seeking arrest of Samsung leader (2017-01-12 01:07:43)
    South Korea's special prosecutor has not yet decided whether to seek an arrest warrant for Samsung Group [SAGR.UL] leader Jay Y. Lee, a spokesman for the investigation team said on Thursday. An investigation of Lee is underway, and a decision on an arrest warrant will not be made until Thursday's investigation is completed, said Lee Kyu-chul, a spokesman for the special prosecutor's office.
  • ‘The Binding of Isaac: Rebirth’ is finally available on the App Store (2017-01-11 22:35:18)
    Nearly a year after being rejected by Apple, The Binding of Isaac: Rebirth  successfully made its way to the App Store on Tuesday night. Rebirth is a remake of the original Binding of Isaac , which launched on PC in 2011. Although its subject matter has been the subject of controversy, the roguelike twin-stick shooter managed to find an audience, warranting a remaster for PS4, Xbox One, Wii U, Vita and 3DS in 2014. And now, despite having made no changes to the game ( according to creator Edmund McMillen ), The Binding of Isaac: Rebirth finally made it through the approval process on the App Store this week. "The Binding of Isaac is a randomly generated action RPG shooter with heavy Rogue-like elements," reads the description on the game's App Store page. "Following Isaac on his journey players will find bizarre treasures that change Isaac’s form giving him super human abilities and enabling him to fight off droves of mysterious creatures, discover secrets and fight his way to safety." There are hundreds of items to collect, hundreds of enemies to defeat and nearly infinite variety from playthrough to playthrough, as each run will feature a randomly-generated environment to explore. While the price is somewhat steep for a premium app, the developers claim you can squeeze 500 hours of gameplay out of The Binding of Isaac: Rebirth , which certainly sounds like a fair trade-off for $14.99. [ Download The Binding of Isaac: Rebirth from the App Store ]
  • China turns to robots as workers age (2017-01-11 22:21:02)
    Flat, orange robots glide under stationary cars and ferry them to empty Chinese parking bays, using space more efficiently and, their creators say, reducing driver stress. It is one of a number of elegant -- and expensive -- mechanical solutions China is turning to as it faces an ageing population, which, even in the world's most populous country, is making workers harder to come by. With an eye on the rising numbers of cars on Chinese roads, Hikvision has been testing a robotic parking system in Wuzhen, 130 kilometres (80 miles) west of Shanghai.
  • Samsung leader Lee arrives for questioning by prosecutors (2017-01-11 21:07:38)
    Samsung Group [SAGR.UL] leader Jay Y. Lee arrived at the South Korean special prosecutor's office on Thursday for questioning over bribery suspicions as part of a widening influence-peddling scandal that may permanently unseat President Park Geun-hye. The prosecution named Lee as a suspect on Wednesday and is investigating whether 30 billion won ($25.28 million) provided by Samsung to a business and foundations backed by Park's friend, Choi Soon-sil, were connected to a 2015 decision by the country's national pension fund to support a controversial merger of two group affiliates. "I am very sorry to the South Korean people for not showing a better side," Lee told reporters after arriving at the office in a black Korean-made Ssangyong sedan, greeted by protesters holding signs calling for his arrest and accusing him of being an accomplice to President Park.
  • Trump news conference sets worldwide social media afire (2017-01-11 20:14:25)
    By Melissa Fares NEW YORK (Reuters) - In his first news conference since the Nov. 8 election, President-elect Donald Trump set social media ablaze on Wednesday with remarks including harsh criticism of the press and a defense of his goal to improve ties with Russia. The session, held in the lobby of his Trump Tower headquarters in Manhattan, featured a number of viral moments, like an exchange with a reporter whom Trump accused of peddling "fake news." "I'm not going to give you a question," Trump told the journalist from CNN, which reported on Tuesday that the Republican president-elect had been briefed by U.S. intelligence agencies about allegations that Russian operatives had compromising information about him. "You are fake news!" he told the reporter in a moment that reverberated on Twitter.
  • This machine makes you work out by shivering on your couch (2017-01-11 20:00:03)
    Machines that effortlessly make you burn calories and tone muscle and normally seen on the Shopping Channel sometime after 11PM, and spend less on science than on makeup artists for the infomercial. So when an Indiegogo comes along promising the same sort of thing, I wouldn't normally look twice. But a wealth of science , medical backing and peer-reviewed studies makes this look legitimately interesting. The premise behind BionicGym is simpler than most auto-weight-loss machines: shivering burns calories, so if you can attach electrodes that make your muscles shiver at a particular frequency, that will indeed burn calories. It doesn't sound like a pain-free workout, but rather just a more convenient alternative to going to the gym. The device uses electrical muscle stimulation (EMS), a fancy way of saying electrodes zap your muscles into movement. It's been used in clinical settings before, but the team behind BionicGym is trying to turn it into a commercial alternative to treadmills. In their test , which has been published in a properly peer-reviewed journal, an EMS device was used on a person for a series of exercise sessions, during which heart rate and oxygen uptake increased dramatically, just like you'd see during a normal gym session. As a proof of concept, EMS as an alternative to exercise seems to broadly work. The bigger question with BionicGym is how it will scale to different people in different settings, and whether the device can be manufacturered on schedule and under budget. Those are the same concerns with every crowdfunding campaign, and why you need to treat every project with a healthy dose of skepticism. One BionicGym will run $350 from the Indiegogo campaign . That's a lot of money for an idea, but also really just the same as a gym subscription for a few months.
  • Samsung Group leader Lee arrives at South Korea prosecution office for questioning (2017-01-11 19:46:01)
    SEOUL (Reuters) - Samsung Group [SAGR.UL] leader Jay Y. Lee on Thursday arrived at the South Korean special prosecutor's office for questioning over bribery suspicions as part of a widening political scandal that may permanently unseat President Park Geun-hye.
  • UK's Funding Circle, an online marketplace lender, raises $100 million (2017-01-11 19:33:43)
    By Anna Irrera NEW YORK (Reuters) - Funding Circle, a peer-to-peer lending marketplace used by small- and medium-sized companies, has raised $100 million in an investment round led by venture capital firm Accel. Existing investors including Baillie Gifford, DST Global and Index Ventures, Ribbit Capital, Rocket Internet, Sands Capital Ventures, Temasek and Union Square Ventures also participated in the round, the company said.
  • China puts up Stop sign for Pokemon Go (2017-01-11 19:24:04)
    China will not allow its mammoth mobile online population to play Pokemon Go or other augmented-reality games until it completes a review of potential security risks, a Chinese digital publishing group said. The roadblock was put up amid concerns that such games contain "rather big social risks" including potential threats to consumer and traffic safety, and the security of "geographic information", the China Audio-Video and Digital Publishing Association (CADPA) said this week. The industry group said in a statement that it was informed of the move by China's State Administration of Press, Publication, Radio, Film and Television (SAPPRFT).
  • This is a terrible recap of The Expanse, except that it’s full of cats in cute costumes (2017-01-11 19:14:07)
    Syfy There’s an adage on the internet: everything is better with cats. Someone at the Syfy Channel clearly took that to heart when it came time to put together a recap (“recat”) for The Expanse. This is internet marketing at its best. There’s Bobbie in her Martian power armor, Miller’s glorious combover-and-bowler combo, and of course, Julie Meow and the alien protomolecule. Chrisjen Avasarala’s glare? Dead on. Casting sphynxes as Belters? Genius. Mars is a litterbox? Scientifically accurate.This isn’t actually a great recap of the show. ...
  • Android Wear 2.0 is launching next month (2017-01-11 18:59:13)
    Android Wear 2.0, the next iteration of Google’s smartwatch operating system, will be released to the public in February. The calendar date is not yet set in stone, but Google is now notifying developers of an impending release just a few weeks away to help those with unsupported Android Wear code be prepared to update their apps or else find the software unavailable in the Play Store. Specifically, Google is trying to ensure that developers update their apps to allow them to run in standalone mode, meaning without a dependency on a connected smartphone for connecting to Wi-Fi networks and installing apps.
  • AirPods are even more insanely popular than you could have guessed (2017-01-11 18:57:31)
    Following a lukewarm reaction to the announcement of AirPods and the subsequent release date delay, the skepticism surrounding Apple's wireless earbuds at launch was understandable. It was also misguided, as a new report from research firm Slice Intelligence shows that AirPods were likely responsible for a major uptick in wireless headphone sales over the 2016 holiday season. According to Slice's data, wireless headphones accounted for 75% of all headphone sales online through the month of December. On December 13th specifically (which happens to be that day Apple's AirPods finally hit the market), ten times more money was spent on headphones than the pre-holiday average. There is a legitimate argument to be made that wireless headphone sales had been catching up with wired headphone sales in recent months (which Slice's data also backs up), but it's hard to deny that AirPods had a major impact last month. This chart from Slice is possibly the most telling of all: Headphone sales were higher on AirPods launch day that on Prime Day, Black Friday or Cyber Monday. No other day of the year saw more headphone sales than the day Apple made its wireless headphones available. But the most impressive statistic of all comes from another chart, which shows how ten popular consumer electronics companies that produce and sell headphones fared before and after the launch of AirPods: Since the AirPods launched last month, Apple has received more than a 25% share of all wireless headphone revenue in the market. In other words, AirPods have been significantly more popular than headphones from household brands such as Bose and Beats (which Apple also happens to own). So we can make fun of AirPods all we want, but they're clearly no laughing matter .
  • New photos of Tesla’s highly anticipated Model 3 surface online (2017-01-11 18:35:20)
    Earlier this month, Tesla held an "investor event" at its Gigafactory where invite-only guests were given the opportunity to tour the plant, sit down for a Q&A with Tesla CEO Elon Musk, and of course, get an up close and personal look at the company's highly anticipated Model 3. Originally spotted by Electreck , some folks who were lucky enough to attend have since posted never before seen photos of the Model 3 on their Instagram pages. While the photos don't necessarily reveal anything new, they're still interesting insofar as we haven't seen too many Model 3 sightings out in the wild over the past few months. Without question, the Model 3 launch -- still slated for late 2017 -- will be one of the more closely followed and talked about tech stories of the year. All the more intriguing is that there's still quite a bit we don't know about Tesla's highly anticipated mass market EV. For starters, Tesla's plan for the Model 3 dashboard remains murky at best. As we've highlighted previously, the Model 3 instrument cluster is non-existent , a design choice which has led many to believe that the company will implement a HUD before the car ultimately begins shipping. That aside, below are a few new photos of the Tesla Model 3 that have been making the rounds lately. As to projected Model 3 launch, a November research note from Morgan Stanley analyst Adam Jonas claims that the first batch of Model 3 deliveries may not begin in earnest until the very end of 2018. For what it's worth, Tesla remains adamant that it will be able to deliver at least 100,000 units to customers before the end of 2017.
  • You can pre-order a Nintendo Switch starting Friday (2017-01-11 18:20:59)
    The Nintendo Switch is one of the most hotly anticipated consoles of 2017. While we don't fully know all the details yet, Nintendo has leaked one piece of information: you'll be able to pre-order the console at 9AM on Friday, provided you can make it to the Nintendo NYC store. You might question why a sane person would want to pre-order a console they know very little about, from a company with limited hardware success in recent years. The answer is simple: the NES Classic Edition. Nintendo's randomly-released retro console has been in huge demand and out of stock ever since it was released late last year; it's a fair bet that the Switch will also be selling like crazy on launch day. It's unclear if the pre-order is just going to be available at Nintendo World NYC, or if other cities and locations will have a chance to place a pre-order at some point. The early release of pre-order info does give me one tiny glimpse of hope, though. The NES Classic Edition has only been out of stock because Nintendo didn't anticipate demand properly. By drip-feeding us info and pre-release sales, you get the impression that Nintendo knows it has another hit on its hands.
  • Personal computer sales fall for fifth year in a row (2017-01-11 18:16:14)
    Sales of desk and laptop computers declined last year, extending a slide started in 2012, according to figures released on Wednesday by two market trackers. Preliminary figures from Gartner indicated that PC shipments last year tallied 269.7 million units in a 6.2 percent decline from the previous year. Internation Data Corporation pegged the number of machines shipped last year at 260 million, calculating a 5.7 percent drop from the previous year.
  • Adobe’s AI editor could make anyone a Photoshop pro (2017-01-11 18:10:42)
    Adobe Photoshop is a ridiculously powerful GIF maker/photo editor, if you have a thousand hours to invest in online tutorials. While Photoshop professionals might not like it, Adobe obviously wants to make Photoshop as noob-friendly as possible -- and that doesn't just mean more magic Auto-Fill features. Adobe Research's newest project is a voice-based digital assistant that will automatically complete photo editing tasks for you. The appeal is obvious: rather than having to understand the difference between Magic Wand and Quick Select, you just tell Photoshop you'd like your teeth to become whiter, and it happens. The demo shows the voice assistant performing basic tasks like cropping and rotating on an iPad. Simple tasks like that are the most obvious and easy application for this tech, which means that desktop Photoshop's million menus aren't going anywhere fast. But it's also a good look at where Photoshop is going next. For years, Adobe's biggest improvements in Photoshop have been in computer algorithms that can automate tasks. Things like Auto-Fill and Auto-Move have replaced a lot of the clone stamping and selection tools of old Photoshopping. But that's all automating tools; what Adobe is hinting at here is automating the entire process.  
  • Facebook takes on a bigger role in journalism (2017-01-11 18:09:15)
    NEW YORK (AP) — Facebook is launching a journalism project aimed at strengthening its ties with media organizations to help them expand their audiences, come up with new products and generally promote trusted news in today's "post-truth" era.
  • Las Vegas to begin testing autonomous shuttles this week (2017-01-11 18:00:18)
    The city of Las Vegas will be home to a two-week autonomous shuttle trial starting today, according to a report from The Las Vegas Sun. The shuttle is a small 12-person vehicle known as Arma, similar in appearance to Google’s original driverless car prototype, and it’s developed by a French company called Navya. The shuttle will offer free rides from 10AM to 6PM down Fremont Street between Las Vegas Boulevard and Eighth Street. While it is only a trail for now, Las Vegas Mayor Carolyn Goodman hopes to have a fleet of Arma vehicles operating in the city as soon as this summer or by early fall.
  • Google will be forced to stop reading your Gmail for ads (2017-01-11 17:48:05)
    The European Union is looking to take additional steps to guard the privacy of European internet users. The new initiative might limit the power of internet companies when it comes to collecting user data for various purposes. Targets include Facebook, WhatsApp, Google, Apple and pretty much any other company that handles any sort of user data. The new initiative might, for example, force Google to stop reading your Gmail to serve targeted ads without your approval. The European Commission said in a press release on Tuesday that it proposes a “high level of privacy rules for all electronic communications and updates data protection rules for EU institutions.” The updated rules would treat telecom operators and internet service providers similarly when it comes to the handling of user data. Internet companies including Facebook, WhatsApp, Google, Apple, and others would have to guarantee that messages, voice calls, and email conversations are confidential. The new proposed laws would also affect cookies, which companies can use for various purposes including tracking users online. The new rules should make users “more in control of their settings, providing an easy way to accept or refuse the tracking of cookies and other identifiers in case of privacy risks.” Users will have to explicitly opt-in when it comes to sharing data with third parties. Services that use location data and other metadata would still be available to internet companies, and the EU believes they’ll bring over new business opportunities. But privacy has to be guaranteed, and businesses would have to ask for consent before using any data from their customers. “Privacy will be guaranteed for both content and metadata derived from electronic communications (e.g. time of a call and location),” the EU writes. “Both have a high privacy component and, under the proposed rules, will need to be anonymized or deleted if users have not given their consent unless the data is required for instance for billing purposes.” Naturally, the proposal was met with some opposition, with the European Telecommunications Network Operations (ETNO) arguing that the new rules would still put more pressure on traditional telecom companies. The Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) is also unhappy about the new cookie stance the EU is taking, as the new laws could impact advertising revenue. The EU’s new privacy rules are just proposals at this time, but the Commission is looking to “ensure their smooth adoption” by May 25th, 2018.
  • Google may be forced to stop reading your Gmail for ads (2017-01-11 17:48:05)
    The European Union is looking to take additional steps to guard the privacy of European internet users. The new initiative might limit the power of internet companies when it comes to collecting user data for various purposes. Targets include Facebook, WhatsApp, Google, Apple and pretty much any other company that handles any sort of user data. The new initiative might, for example, force Google to stop reading your Gmail to serve targeted ads without your approval. The European Commission said in a press release on Tuesday that it proposes a “high level of privacy rules for all electronic communications and updates data protection rules for EU institutions.” The updated rules would treat telecom operators and internet service providers similarly when it comes to the handling of user data. Internet companies including Facebook, WhatsApp, Google, Apple, and others would have to guarantee that messages, voice calls, and email conversations are confidential. The new proposed laws would also affect cookies, which companies can use for various purposes including tracking users online. The new rules should make users “more in control of their settings, providing an easy way to accept or refuse the tracking of cookies and other identifiers in case of privacy risks.” Users will have to explicitly opt-in when it comes to sharing data with third parties. Services that use location data and other metadata would still be available to internet companies, and the EU believes they’ll bring over new business opportunities. But privacy has to be guaranteed, and businesses would have to ask for consent before using any data from their customers. “Privacy will be guaranteed for both content and metadata derived from electronic communications (e.g. time of a call and location),” the EU writes. “Both have a high privacy component and, under the proposed rules, will need to be anonymized or deleted if users have not given their consent unless the data is required for instance for billing purposes.” Naturally, the proposal was met with some opposition, with the European Telecommunications Network Operations (ETNO) arguing that the new rules would still put more pressure on traditional telecom companies. The Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) is also unhappy about the new cookie stance the EU is taking, as the new laws could impact advertising revenue. The EU’s new privacy rules are just proposals at this time, but the Commission is looking to “ensure their smooth adoption” by May 25th, 2018.
  • You’ll be able preorder a Nintendo Switch on Friday (in NYC, at least) (2017-01-11 17:42:51)
    Nintendo is releasing more details on the upcoming Nintendo Switch later this week, but the first piece of official news has already dropped. The New York-based Nintendo store Twitter account announced that a “limited quantity” of preorders for the new console will be available this Friday, January 13th at 9AM ET at the Nintendo World NY location.
  • You’ll be able to preorder a Nintendo Switch on Friday (in NYC, at least) (2017-01-11 17:42:51)
    Nintendo is releasing more details on the upcoming Nintendo Switch later this week, but the first piece of official news has already dropped. The New York-based Nintendo store Twitter account announced that a “limited quantity” of preorders for the new console will be available this Friday, January 13th at 9AM ET at the Nintendo World NY location.
  • New FCC report says AT&T and Verizon zero-rating violates net neutrality (2017-01-11 17:37:20)
    Just a week and a half before he is set to leave office, FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler has issued a new report stating that the zero-rated video services offered by AT&T and Verizon may violate the FCC’s Open Internet Order. Assembled by the FCC’s Wireless Telecommunications Bureau, the report focuses on sponsored data programs, which allow companies to pay carriers to exempt exempt their data from customers' data caps.
  • Watch an AI supercomputer battle top pros in a $200,000 poker tournament (2017-01-11 17:01:31)
    The Brains vs. AI poker tournament being put on by Carnegie Mellon University kicked off today. It pits four humans pros against an AI trained to play Heads Up (1 vs. 1) No-Limit Texas Hold’em poker. The stream for each human pro is distinct, and you can find them all on the website of the Rivers Casino, which is hosting the games.
  • Trump's latest health initiative is an attack on lifesaving vaccines (2017-01-11 16:59:54)
    Yesterday, President-elect Donald Trump met with Robert F. Kennedy Jr. — a man who believes in the debunked and fraudulent theory that vaccines cause autism. Trump also reportedly asked Kennedy to head a new “commission on vaccine safety and scientific integrity.” The purpose of this new commission isn’t exactly clear, but hours after the meeting a Trump spokeswoman said in a statement that the president-elect is “exploring the possibility of forming a commission on Autism.” That statement makes it seems that, once again, Trump is legitimizing a dangerous conspiracy theory that is already putting American lives at risk. Vaccines are key to preventing horrible, debilitating, and often fatal diseases that have been plaguing our society for centuries.
  • Just what Uber needs: more creepy information about your personal life (2017-01-11 16:46:42)
    Everyone who converts from cabs to Uber tends to rave about the pricing and service. But one thing that Uber is not so great at is customer privacy. The company has come under fire before for allegedly following customer's rides and tracking location data from smartphones when you're not using the app. So although Uber's new "Calendar Shorcuts" feature sounds superficially useful, it might be worth thinking about whether you want to give Uber access to your entire calendar. The new feature, which is rolling out today, allows riders to integrate their calendar with Uber's app, if they so wish. Once you've done that, an upcoming calendar appointment will automatically appear in the Uber app as a destination, saving you the hassle of a few clicks. It's an obvious move for Uber, which is always trying to cut down on the "friction" between thinking about going somewhere, and stepping into an Uber. But it raises obvious privacy concerns: although the data might be anonymized or stay on your phone for now, Uber's shown a tendancy to use all the data at its disposal to enhance the service. Best case scenario, it's easy to see Uber using an algorithm to parse calendar appointments, predict demand, and pre-emptively assign drivers (or enable surge pricing) to handle a rush of Saturday night dinner appointments.
  • Microsoft is finally addressing privacy concerns in Windows 10 (2017-01-11 16:20:47)
    Microsoft received plenty of criticism for the aggressive data collection practices attached to Windows 10. The company kept defending its choices, saying that it needs to collect certain data so that Windows 10 can operate smoothly and safely. But the company on Tuesday announced it’s ready to make some concessions, starting with a future Windows 10 update that will better protect your privacy. The company acknowledged in a blog post that many people “have asked for more control over your data, a greater understanding of how data is collected, and the benefits this brings for a more personalized experience.” That’s why Microsoft is launching two experiences to help you manage your privacy. The first one is a new web-based privacy dashboard where you’ll be able to see what kind of activities and data Microsoft has access to, “including location, search, browsing, and Cortana Notebook data across multiple Microsoft services.” This sounds very much like what’s available from Google on a user’s Account page. You’ll be able to check out your activity and delete your data at this address: . The second one is probably going to be more important to some people: a new privacy setup experience. Diagnostic data levels will be simplified in Windows 10 Creators Update, and beta users will have access to the new settings before anyone else. The new setup experience will let you customize settings, and it’ll be slightly different from the previous Express Settings features. Furthermore, the diagnostic data Microsoft will collect will now has just two levels, Basic and Full, down from the three levels in previous versions. At the Basic level, the amount of data collected has further been reduced. “This includes data that is vital to the operation of Windows,” Microsoft said. “We use this data to help keep Windows and apps secure, up-to-date and running properly when you let Microsoft know the capabilities of your device, what is installed, and whether Windows is operating correctly. This option also includes basic error reporting back to Microsoft.”
  • EU says U.S. explanation of Yahoo email scanning not enough (2017-01-11 16:20:44)
    By Julia Fioretti BRUSSELS (Reuters) - The United States has not satisfied the European Union's concerns about Yahoo's scanning of all customers' incoming emails for U.S. intelligence purposes, the bloc's justice chief told Reuters in an interview. The European Commission, the EU executive, asked the United States in November for clarifications on the secret court order served to Yahoo as part of its monitoring of a new transatlantic pact facilitating the exchange of personal data by businesses. To clinch an agreement on the EU-U.S. Privacy Shield, as the data transfer framework is known, Washington pledged not to engage in mass, indiscriminate surveillance.
  • Percentage of intersex fish drops after sewage treatment plant upgrades (2017-01-11 16:00:49)
    A sewage treatment plant in Canada has figured out a way to reduce the levels of chemicals that stick around in the treated wastewater, according to a new study. Eliminating them from our water system is important because they are devastating fish populations, and they can end up back in our bodies, too. Hormones from drugs like birth control, as well chemicals that mimic hormones, get into the water through normal human usage, because most drugs aren’t completely broken down and used up by the body.
  • Read the full synopsis for the second half of ‘The Walking Dead’ season 7 (2017-01-11 16:00:32)
    Despite introducing one of the most iconic villains from the comic book series, The Walking Dead has still yet to find its footing in season 7. The story moves too slowly and there are far too many filler episodes, especially for a show that takes a two month break after the first half of the season has aired. While it's impossible to know whether or not the writers will pick up the pace in the second half, the synopsis of season 7, part 2 shared by AMC this week is promising, especially for those who prefer action scenes. Here's the complete, lengthy synopsis for the upcoming story arc on The Walking Dead : The first half of Season 7 saw Rick (Andrew Lincoln) and the group broken by Negan (Jeffrey Dean Morgan), forced to fall under his will and brutally convinced to live under his rules. The second half of the season will focus on preparing for war and gathering the supplies and numbers to take Negan down once and for all. Rick’s group will find out yet again that the world isn’t what they thought it was. It’s much bigger than anything they’ve seen so far. While they have a singular purpose - to defeat Negan - it won’t come easy. More importantly, victory will require more than Alexandria. They need the numbers of the Kingdom and the Hilltop, but, similar to how Rick felt, Ezekiel (Khary Payton) and Gregory (Xander Berkeley) do not want bloodshed. To convince them otherwise will take more than speeches. The lengths Rick and the group will have to go to in order to find weapons, food and new fighters is nothing short of remarkable. We’ll meet new survivors in incredible places. We’ll see Rick and the group tested in ways we’ve never seen before. We’ll see treachery from people we trust. Rick is confident as he will see his group and many others band together with the common goal of taking down Negan. But no amount of planning will prepare the group for all-out war with Negan and his army. The show has relied on cliffhangers as heavily as any show on television recently, so we're hopeful that the war actually begins in season 7. Then again actor Jeffrey Dean Morgan (Negan) has already confirmed he'll be sticking around for season 8 , so we likely won't see the conclusion of the war until fall, at the earliest. In addition to the synopsis, AMC also published a few new photos from season 7B: The Walking Dead season 7 returns to AMC on February 12th.
  • JetBlue’s free high-speed Wi-Fi is now available on all flights (2017-01-11 15:59:52)
    Photo by Andrew Burton/Getty Images JetBlue has completed its rollout of Fly-Fi, it’s free high-speed internet service, to its entire fleet of planes. The service, which launched in 2013, offers speeds between 12-15Mbps (although those speeds may dip if everyone is streaming Netflix), and is available at every seat, far exceeding the usual GoGo Inflight experience found on most airlines these days. Given that inflight Wi-Fi usually costs around $20 on most major airlines, JetBlue is stepping into unchartered territories. ...
  • More than 96% of Samsung Galaxy Note7 phones returned, FAA drops pre-flight speech (2017-01-11 15:50:45)
    Samsung announced that more than 96% of its Galaxy Note7 smartphones have been returned, and the US Department of Transportation will no longer require pre-flight notifications about the device.
  • Adobe is working on a voice-activated digital assistant that can edit pictures for you (2017-01-11 15:47:35)
    The video depicts a modified version of one of Adobe's photo apps that features a microphone button, which activates a digital assistant that interacts with the user and helps crop, reframe, and share the picture entirely though voice commands. The video is a proof of concept for the idea, which Adobe hopes will allow for "image editing either locally through on-device computing or through a cloud-based Natural Language understanding service." While the edits being done are relatively simple, it's easy to imagine how Adobe could build out the system for automating more complex tasks.
  • How to insert an image into a LibreOffice Base database (2017-01-11 15:38:16)
    Did you know you can add images to your LibreOffice Databases? Here's how to to it, step by step.
  • Tony Fadell tells us the story of the iPod-based iPhone prototype (2017-01-11 15:32:01)
    This week marks the 10th anniversary of the original iPhone introduction, and with it, a flood of stories about the design and development of the device. One video from Sonny Dickson, showing what looks like an iPod interface with a virtual click wheel, has attracted a ton of attention, since the longstanding story has been that two teams inside Apple competed to make the iPhone — one to turn the iPod into a phone, and the other to shrink OS X to work on a mobile device. Not so, says Tony Fadell, who led the iPod team at Apple and then the iPhone team.
  • The ultimate conspiracy: a conspiracy against Reddit’s conspiracy community? (2017-01-11 15:31:59)
    The r/conspiracy subreddit is the birthing ground of such feats of imagination as “Hillary Clinton has financial ties to ISIS” and “the Ft. Lauderdale shooting was a failed MKUltra experiment,” as well as the adopted home of Pizzagate theorists after Reddit shut down r/pizzagate. The users are worried there’s a conspiracy to shut down r/conspiracy. “Theory: those in power have noticed they can’t destroy ‘conspiracy theories’ and that many people trust more ‘conspiracy theories’ than their scripted narratives.
  • 5 apps to keep your Android device running smoothly (2017-01-11 15:21:00)
    Android devices are powerful, but they suffer from bloat and slowdowns as they age. Here are five apps to help you keep your device in peak condition.
  • Your fingerprint sensor could be hacked with a single photo (2017-01-11 15:18:12)
    Our fingerprints guard our digital lives more than ever before and, between Apple's Touch ID and the various fingerprint unlock features from Android manufacturers, biometric data is an increasingly hot commodity for hackers. Researchers from the National Institute of Informatics in Japan (NII for short) are taking the risk of stolen fingerprints extremely seriously. In fact, the scientists suggest that even something as simple as waving your fingers in the air could compromise your security, and they're hard at work on a technology for the public to hide their prints from the prying digital eyes that surround each and every one of us. "Just by casually making a peace sign in front of a camera, fingerprints can become widely available," Isao Echizen, a researcher from NII, told a local Japanese newspaper this week, PhysOrg reports . He also explained that if the lighting is right in a photo, even a smartphone camera could potentially capture enough fingerprint data to recreate a user's biometric identity. So how do you keep your prints safe from, well, everyone? The NII team thinks it has a solution. The group has created a film that can be applied to a person's fingers that obscures the print in photographs but doesn't prevent the user from using their fingers for biometric identification. The film is transparent but contains a titanium oxide, which is apparently the secret sauce. In a paper released by NII, the group says it is continuing development on the print-hiding film, but that it could be another two years before it's actually available. I guess you'll just have to keep your hands in your pockets until then.
  • Third of global consumers open to Google, Amazon banking: survey (2017-01-11 15:15:01)
    Roughly one in three banking and insurance customers globally would consider switching their accounts to Google , Amazon or Facebook if the Silicon Valley giants offered financial services, according to a new survey on Wednesday. The survey, conducted by consulting firm Accenture, found that among 32,715 people polled in 18 countries there was broad consumer demand for banks and insurance companies to use robo-advisory services, or software propelled by artificial intelligence or less human intervention. In Brazil, 50 percent of respondents said they would be willing to switch their personal accounts.
  • Scientists pinpoint the exact age of the Moon — and it’s older than we thought (2017-01-11 15:11:31)
    Scientists say they have figured out the most precise age for the Moon than ever before, thanks to samples of lunar rocks gathered during NASA’s Apollo 14 mission. Analysis of the rocks pinpoint the Moon’s creation to 4.51 billion years ago, just 60 million years after the Solar System first formed. This suggested age makes the Moon a lot older than some recent estimates, which claim our lunar neighbor is 4.3 or 4.4 billion years old.
  • Alphabet is killing off its solar drone project (2017-01-11 15:03:27)
    Back in 2014 Google (now Alphabet) bought Titan Aerospace, a company specializing in solar-powered drones that could fly at high altitudes for long periods of time. The goal was to offer internet access to rural areas that lacked connectivity by beaming it down from on high. In that way it was similar to another moon shot, Project Loon, and to Facebook’s Aquila.
  • The Most Important New Products From Outdoor Retailer 2017, Ranked (2017-01-11 15:00:00)
    Here's what impressed us at this year's Winter Outdoor Retailer 2017 show.
  • Hackers cram Famicom Mini inside a Game Boy, and you’re going to want one (2017-01-11 14:59:53)
    The NES Classic Edition might be the hottest Nintendo gadget in years but over in Japan they don't really care. That's because the NES as we know it doesn't exist in the Japanese market. Instead, Japanese gamers got the Famicom, which is essentially an NES in a red and gold body, and since the company is feeling all nostalgic recently they also produced a tiny version of the console for release alongside the NES Classic. It's called the Famicom Mini, and even though it's awesome all on its own, some inventive hackers decided to make it portable by cramming the guts into the body of a classic Game Boy. The result is absolutely awesome. In a blog post on their site explaining how they pulled off the impressive feat, the modders known as Kei Studio give a thorough rundown of all the parts they used to make the conversion happen. For starters they nabbed a red original Game Boy, a 3.5-inch color LCD screen, HDMI downscaler, multiple rechargeable batteries and various other small components. Then, with the Famicom Mini torn apart, they began the process of disassembling, reassembling, and testing how all the parts would work together. Eventually they were able to piece together a working Mini board that could fit inside the Game Boy case, along with the controller board and buttons. Not satisfied with the already impressive accomplishment of making the hacked hardware functional, Kei Studio decided to give the Game Boy a Famicom makeover of its own, complete with gold trim and custom "Famicom Pocket" branding. The team made a pair of the devices, and with a special link cable they can actually play two-player games as well. The handhelds provide roughly two and a half hours of playtime on a single charge. That may not be enough for a Mario marathon, but it'll definitely help pass the time on the subway.
  • Volkswagen pleads guilty, will pay $4.3 billion to settle criminal, civil case (2017-01-11 14:59:24)
    Even after agreeing to shell out a massive $14.7 billion settlement in California and initiating the recall and buyback program for its emissions-cheating vehicles, Volkswagen knew that its days in court weren't quite over with. Today, the company finally faced the music in its lawsuit brought on by the US Justice Department and pled guilty to a trio of criminal charges. A half dozen senior VW employees have also now been indicted, and the AP reports that upwards of 40 Volkswagen employees sought to cover up evidence of wrongdoing. As part of its punishment, Volkswagen will pay a massive $4.3 billion penalty, which is by far the largest such penalty for an automaker, ever. Additionally, the company will be forced to work with a fully independent overseer for a period of three years. By pleading guilty, VW must now also support the continued investigation into the "defeat device" — the gadgetry that allowed the vehicles to appear to be passing emissions tests when in reality they weren't — as well as the subsequent coverup by Volkswagen employees.  
  • Snapchat for Android (2017-01-11 14:56:12)
    Snap a photo or a video, add a caption, and send it to a friend
  • Department of Energy finally releases new guidelines to protect scientists from political pressure (2017-01-11 14:53:54)
    The US Department of Energy has released new rules to protect government scientists from political agendas, and not a moment too early given the troubling relationship President-elect Donald Trump has already developed with scientists. Outgoing energy secretary Ernest Moniz announced the rules on Wednesday while speaking at the National Press Club in Washington, DC. The policy could have widespread effects, as the Energy Department is a major funder of scientific research—notably, funding most of the work on nuclear weapons.
  • The Steadicam Volt is a camera stabilizer for your smartphone (2017-01-11 14:46:06)
    Steadicam's camera stabilizer is legendary in Hollywood, and now the famed video technology is making its way to an even more portable form factor: smartphones. The Steadicam Volt Smartphone Stabilizer is a new Steadicam device from parent company Tiffen that's currently looking for funding on Kickstarter. It's a handheld device similar to DJI's Osmo stabilizing system, but unlike the purely motorized Oslo, the Volt uses Steadicam's traditional mechanical gimbal in combination with an electronic motor system to steady tracking shots.
  • Netflix killed the best way to download videos to your PC (2017-01-11 14:38:32)
    Netflix recently introduced an option for users to download some videos for offline playback. It's a fantastic feature for plane flights or long road trips, but only available on mobile devices. If you want to use your laptop to watch Netflix on the plane, good luck. That's the problem DVDVideoSoft's "Free Downloader for Netflix" application was supposed to solve, but as you can imagine, Netflix wasn't too happy about it. The software did exactly what you'd expect: allow you to pull videos off Netflix and onto your hard drive for offline viewing. Rather than using an official Netflix system, like the iOS and Android apps that allow offline downloads, this is the internet equivalent of a bootleg DVD ripper. TorrentFreak  reports that DVDVideoSoft received a complaint from security company Netcraft, which accused DVDVideoSoft of infringing on Netflix's trademark. As a result, the "Free Downloader for Netflix" software has been removed from download, and is no longer officially available. However, some forums suggest that the software itself is still working, and if you can find a copy to download, you'll be in good shape to illicitly take videos off the streaming service. For everyone else, however, we're out of luck: DVDVideoSoft apparently told   TorrentFreak that it has no plans for a comeback.
  • Amazon halts sales of Indian flag doormat after visa threat (2017-01-11 14:34:27)
    By Sankalp Phartiyal MUMBAI (Reuters) - removed doormats resembling the Indian tri-color flag from its Canadian website on Wednesday, after an Indian government threat to rescind visas of the U.S. company's employees if they did not stop selling the product. "Amazon must tender unconditional apology," India's external affairs minister Sushma Swaraj said on Twitter. "They must withdraw all products insulting our national flag immediately." "If this is not done forthwith, we will not grant Indian Visa to any Amazon official," she added.
  • How to create and use templates in Google Inbox (2017-01-11 14:21:28)
    Google Inbox users, you'll be happy to know there is a templates tool built into the app. Discover how to use this handy templates feature for custom signatures, canned replies, and more.
  • Amazon removes Indian flag doormat link after visa threat (2017-01-11 14:13:37)
    By Sankalp Phartiyal MUMBAI (Reuters) - removed doormats resembling the Indian tri-color flag from its Canadian website on Wednesday, after an Indian government threat to rescind visas of the U.S. company's employees if they did not stop selling the product. "Amazon must tender unconditional apology," India's external affairs minister Sushma Swaraj said on Twitter. "They must withdraw all products insulting our national flag immediately." "If this is not done forthwith, we will not grant Indian Visa to any Amazon official," she added.
  • The simple and creepy reason Google Maps knows when there’s traffic (2017-01-11 13:51:31)
    One of the great features of Google Maps is that it will warn you in real-time if there’s any traffic on your route, and suggest alternative options so you don’t get stuck in traffic. If you’ve ever wondered about the secret sauce behind that feature the answer is pretty simple. And as you might expect, it’s also very logical and somewhat creepy. Every time you use Google Maps and allow it to access your location, the app will also send location data back to its servers. That way, when your location is on a roadway, Google is able to analyze in real-time whether you’re actually moving or if you’re stuck in traffic. By pooling data from millions of users around the clock, Google is also able to see when and where you can expect heavy traffic. As the  Business Insider video  below shows, there are other sources that contribute to Google’s traffic analysis, including crowd-sourced data from Waze — technically, that’s still data that you send to Google — and data from local transportation authorities. That said, this is actually one Google Maps feature that many people rely on. Switching off location services on your phone is one way to prevent Google from accessing your location. But if everyone did it, then one of the best Google Maps features would be severely crippled, since Google wouldn’t be able to measure and predict traffic in real-time as easily as it does now.
  • Media firestorm over Trump-Russia dossier (2017-01-11 13:49:33)
    A fierce controversy erupted Wednesday after BuzzFeed News published an unsubstantiated dossier containing lurid details on purported intelligence gathered by Russia about President-elect Donald Trump. Two media outfits -- BuzzFeed and CNN -- were singled out by Donald Trump who publicly attacked both as purveyors of "fake news" in connection with the report. CNN was first to report that Trump had been briefed on the existence of a dossier circulating in US political circles, that alleged Russian possessed compromising information about him.
  • Samsung's Next Phone May Fold Out Into a Tablet (2017-01-11 13:47:00)
    Samsung will reportedly come out with a foldable smartphone for later this year. A 2014 Samsung concept video shows a bendable phone.Samsung has told its suppliers to ready at least 100,000 foldable devices for later this year, reports Korea Herald, citing sources who claim to have knowledge of the company's discussions. According to the Korea Herald's sources, the unfolded handset would convert into a 7-inch tablet.
  • Huh? iPhone 8 Might Have Holes In It (2017-01-11 13:47:00)
    Apple has won a patent on a new technology that could blast a hole in a future iPhone. The patent, which was earlier reported on by AppleInsider, describes a wide array of ways the openings in the device could be used to enhance a smartphone's functionality. While the feature could improve the overall visual experience of using the smartphone, it also allows for more design opportunities.
  • Why the age of connected cars presents a 'very real threat' in cybersecurity (2017-01-11 13:40:00)
    At NAIAS 2017, experts in data management and cybersecurity discussed the risks that come with the 'internet of cars.' Here's what you should know.
  • Instagram adds advertising to Instagram Stories (2017-01-11 13:39:57)
    Facebook Inc's Instagram is bringing more than 30 advertisers into one of its fastest-growing features, Instagram Stories, in a bid to boost advertising revenue, the company said on Wednesday. The social media company will become a more important player in maintaining Facebook’s growth in advertising revenue in 2017. During the last two earnings calls, Facebook executives said they may soon reach a limit on the amount of ads they can place before users, one of the factors that had driven ad revenue growth.
  • Alibaba considers European logistics center in Bulgaria: government (2017-01-11 13:30:37)
    Chinese e-commerce group Alibaba is considering setting up a European logistics center in Bulgaria, the Bulgarian government and Xinhua said on Wednesday. No comment was immediately available from Alibaba. Representatives of Alibaba Group, GS-Solar Company and GoldPoly Group met Bulgarian Prime Minister Boyko Borisov on Wednesday to explore investment opportunities, the government said in a statement.
  • GameStop seemingly confirms upcoming Pokemon game for Nintendo Switch (2017-01-11 13:24:26)
    With just hours remaining until  the Nintendo Switch presentation in Tokyo, Japan , the number one concern among gamers for the new console has to be the library of games that will be available within the first year of launch. The Wii U was a flawed experiment from the outset, but had Nintendo managed to attract third-party publishers and developer first-party games at a reasonable rate, it might have had a chance to succeed. That's one of the reasons why many were excited to learn late last year that a Pokemon game was reportedly in development for the Switch , and why a new leak from GameStop has gotten our attention. Although it has since been removed, for a short time, a line of text on GameStop's Nintendo Switch landing page hinted that an unnamed  Pokemon game would be playable on the new hybrid console: "You will even be able to play Skyrim on the go, or Pokemon at home with the Nintendo Switch," reads the copy on GameStop's website. We don't want to read too much into this, but the way that the line is phrased makes it sound like Switch owners will have the ability to play a Pokemon game they'd normally play on a mobile device on a home console, which gives even more credence to the report about a third version of Pokemon Sun and Pokemon   Moon  codenamed  Pokemon Stars . Then again, this could be in reference to a completely separate, unannounced Pokemon title or it could simply be a clerical error on the part of GameStop. That said, considering how much Nintendo has riding on the success of the Switch, a full-fledged Pokemon game seems like a no-brainer. Hopefully we'll find out more at the Switch presentation on Thursday night .
  • DirecTV Now: A trial is free, but it's a hard sell for some (2017-01-11 13:23:26)
    NEW YORK (AP) — AT&T says the market for its new internet cable service , DirecTV Now, could be as large as 20 million households. To put it to the test, I farmed out part of this review to several friends and relatives. It's TV, it's fun, it's a free trial with no hassle. Why wouldn't people jump at the chance to try something new?
  • Surviving Carpenters member sues over digital royalties (2017-01-11 13:20:34)
    LOS ANGELES (AP) — Grammy winner Richard Carpenter sued Universal Music Group on Wednesday for millions in royalties he contends are owed from licensing Carpenters songs for online services such as Apple's iTunes.
  • Canada's Shaw turns to Comcast technology to regain market share (2017-01-11 13:19:15)
    Canada's Shaw Communications Inc announced a voice-controlled television product on Wednesday that it hopes will help it stem years of market share losses to western Canadian telecom rival Telus Corp . The product, named BlueSky TV, is available in Calgary and will expand to other markets in coming months, Shaw said in a statement. The product is powered by Comcast Corp's X1 technology, which is making its first foray outside of the United States.
  • Trump calls CNN ‘fake news’ and BuzzFeed ‘garbage’ during press conference (2017-01-11 13:14:48)
    For the first time in 167 days, President-elect Donald Trump held a press conference today. The session was, in part, an opportunity to discuss a damning, but unverified report detailed by CNN, then published in its entirety by BuzzFeed last night. The report, which sources believe came from a former British intelligence agent, claims Trump has been “supported” and “cultivated” by the Russian government for years.
  • The worst and weirdest cars at the Detroit Auto Show (2017-01-11 13:14:13)
    Here at The Verge, we like to cover cars from a slightly different angle. Also at The Verge, we like to focus on the weird side of internet culture (and just culture) under the banner of TL;DR. Lucky for us, car shows, like any big press event, are inherently weird.
  • Brussels and London form 'fintech bridge' (2017-01-11 13:05:54)
    By Jemima Kelly LONDON (Reuters) - A delegation from Belgium's financial technology sector came to London with its finance minister this week to set up a "fintech bridge" with the British capital that will enable cooperation on the burgeoning sector. "B-Hive", the part-government-owned platform set up to facilitate innovation between Belgium's fintech sector and the traditional financial and technology sectors, has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Innovate Finance, the trade body for Britain's fintech sector, it said on Wednesday. The initiative follows similar "fintech bridges" Britain has signed with Australia, Singapore and South Korea.
  • Amazon to pay C$1.1 million to settle Canada pricing case (2017-01-11 13:02:17)
    The Canadian unit of will pay a C$1 million ($756,658.60) fine to settle an investigation into pricing activities on its website that gave an inaccurate view of how much consumers could save, Canada's competition watchdog said on Wednesday. After a two-year investigation, the Competition Bureau found that Amazon's practice of comparing its prices to regular prices on its Canadian site gave consumers the impression that the website was selling items at a price lower than the general market. The Competition Bureau said Amazon relied on its suppliers to provide list prices without verifying their accuracy and advertised the savings on its site and in other places.
  • Samsung’s first foldable smartphone will transform into 7-inch tablet (2017-01-11 12:59:43)
    A report earlier this week indicated that Samsung may be working on two distinct “Galaxy X1” foldable devices  that could be announced later this year. The rumor follows a variety of similar reports that claimed Samsung is looking to launch foldable smartphones this year, as component makers are finally ready to deliver the parts required to make devices with foldable touchscreen displays. Now, sources from Korea expect Samsung’s first foldable smartphone to launch in the third quarter of the year and feature a large display that will measure 7 inches when unfolded Initially, Samsung placed the screen on the inside of the fold, making it inaccessible to users when the device is closed. The company in August began the development of fold-out technologies that would allow the screen to be placed on the exterior of a folded phone. That way, users would still be able to interact with the phone without unfolding it. “Since the company already secured fold-in phone technology, it was not a big challenge to shift into the fold-out phones,” a source told The Korea Herald . “Samsung is expected to roll out more than 100,000 units of fold-out devices in the third quarter,” the source continued, but the company is still determining whether such a device would be met with much demand. “The final decision will be made after the personnel reshuffle of the company’s information technology and mobile communications unit is carried out.” LG is also looking to make 100,00 foldable devices in the fourth quarter, a different source said. Apparently, LG started development of fold-out technology two to three years ago, and its technology beats Samsung’s, at least according to this particular source. Interestingly, LG may use the folding screens for smartphones built by other companies rather than in its own devices, with the report noting Apple and Huawei as potential clients.
  • Proposed EU law could kill cookie banners that no one reads (2017-01-11 12:45:25)
    The European Commission has proposed new regulations that would curb the way companies track users on the internet. Part of that plan would be to remove website banners that provide disclaimers on cookie policies and have the user’s browser preferences automatically apply to each site they visit. Cookies are small data files that a website saves to “remember” you.
  • New Facebook project aims to fight the spread of 'fake news' (2017-01-11 12:44:40)
    Facebook announced Wednesday the creation of a Journalism Project aimed at fostering "a healthy news ecosystem" and curbing the spread of fake news. The move comes with the world's leading social network under intense pressure for allowing misinformation to flourish and sometimes go viral, with some critics claiming fake news affected the US presidential election. While Facebook has dismissed claims that it is a "media company," the social network said its new effort aims to boost credibility of information it circulates.
  • Amazon Echo murder case raises IoT privacy questions for enterprise users (2017-01-11 12:34:00)
    Police in Arkansas want to access an alleged murderer's Amazon Echo recordings, raising new privacy issues around the Internet of Things.
  • The original Ghost in the Shell is returning to theaters before the live-action film debuts (2017-01-11 12:20:59)
    Ahead of the release of the live-action Ghost in the Shell adaptation, the original 1995 classic will hit theaters and Blu-ray. The film will have a one-night-only screening on January 25th in the UK, and Funimation will screen both the subtitled and dubbed versions on the film and February 7th and 8th. Limited screening events have become more popular in the last few years, thanks to theater chains like Alamo Drafthouse Cinema.
  • How smartphone home screens can streamline team building and project management (2017-01-11 12:16:42)
    Home screen snapshots show what apps people value and use. Here's how these home screen images can be used to kick off a group project and determine what tools the team should use.
  • Tesla poached two of Apple’s top engineers in just one week (2017-01-11 12:06:42)
    One of the more interesting challenges currently facing Apple centers on its ability to retain top talent. Apple may have billions of dollars in the bank and no shortage of hit products, but there's no denying that many of the company's best and brightest engineers, by their very nature, are always on the lookout for interesting and new opportunities. That said, Tesla over the past few years has become an absolute haven for literally hundreds of engineers, designers, research scientists, marketers and publicists who previously put in time working for Apple. As a prime example, Tesla yesterday announced that it recently hired Chris Lattner to serve as the company's VP of Autopilot development. Lattner may not have the name-recognition that, say, Scott Forstall had, but as the man in charge of Apple's Swift and Xcode teams, Lattner was widely regarded as a software superstar within Apple. Now comes word via 9to5Mac that Tesla has poached yet another top Apple engineer. According to the report, Tesla recently hired Matt Casebolt, a mechanical engineer at Apple who previously helped develop the MacBook Air, the beloved and seemingly forgotten cylindrical Mac Pro, and the recently released MacBook Pro with the TouchBar. At Tesla, Casebolt will serve as the company's Senior Director of Engineering, Closures & Mechanisms. It may seem like ancient history now, but Tesla and Apple for a while were engaged in a high-stakes back and forth poaching war, though that has seemingly died down amid rumors that Apple is re-thinking its plans in the auto space. At one point, it was even rumored that Apple was offering Tesla employees a 60% bump up in salary if they opted to jump ship. Tesla, though, never seemed outwardly concerned with Apple's poaching efforts. You might recall that Tesla CEO Elon Musk in 2015 jokingly said that Tesla folks view Apple as a Tesla Graveyard. “If you don’t make it at Tesla,” Musk said at the time, “you go work at Apple. I’m not kidding.”
  • Google Cloud ups encryption efforts with new key management service (2017-01-11 12:00:03)
    Google recently unveiled its Cloud Key Management Service in beta, which aims to be a scalable solution for management and auditing of encryption keys.
  • 3 steps to maximize big data harvesting and refining yields (2017-01-11 11:58:01)
    Too much data that is harvested goes to waste. Here are simple ways to get the most from your big data refining and harvesting efforts.
  • Twitter: Obama's 'thank you' tweet his most popular ever (2017-01-11 11:55:10)
    WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama's tweet following his farewell address to the nation has become the most popular post on the presidential account.
  • The best way to find AirPods in stock just got even better (2017-01-11 11:51:24)
    If you want to score yourself a pair of Apple's white-hot AirPods, you essentially have three options. First, you can pay a premium and order AirPods on Amazon . You'll have them shipped to your door in two days, but it'll cost you. The second option is to just order a pair on Apple's website. At the time of this writing, Apple was quoting an estimated delivery time of six weeks for new AirPods orders. So, with any luck, you'll have them in your hands — and in your ears — by mid-February. Your other option is to use one of several different AirPods inventory websites that have popped up since Apple's hot new truly wireless earbuds debuted. And on that front, we have some good news: Our favorite site among them was recently updated with several great new features. " AirPods Is In Stock " emailed BGR last week to let us know about a few important site updates. What's more, at the time the company sent us the email, 115 different Apple stores across the United States and Canada had received AirPods inventory during the previous 10 hours. They were all sold out practically as fast as stock had arrived, but there'd an important takeaway here: AirPods are shipping to Apple stores with increasing frequency, so now is the perfect time to register for notifications. This particular site works two ways. You can use the Locations page to see a world map that plots out each and every Apple store across the globe. An example of a portion of the map can be seen at the top of this post. Stores with AirPods in stock are marked with green pins, which stores without any inventory are marked in red. Checking the map constantly is a pain, so AirPods Is In Stock also lets you enter your email and location, and you'll receive a notification as soon as any nearby stores receive AirPods. In addition to Apple store locations, the site is now also tracking Best Buy stores, AT&T stores and Verizon stores. This means you now have an even better chance of finding your precious AirPods before someone else snaps them up.
  • Get ready for the rise of spymail, the hottest trend in email hacking (2017-01-11 11:43:00)
    A dramatic spike in malicious email code that monitors user behavior used in phishing attacks has cost business over $3 billion in recent years. Learn how to discover who's snooping on your email.
  • Meet the $250 Android phone that has the $770 iPhone 7 Plus’ best feature (2017-01-11 11:28:06)
    It's official: 2017 is going to be a huge year for smartphone fans. Don't believe us, check out the just-launched Huawei Honor 6X , which features killer specs and a gorgeous design at a price point you seriously won't believe. This sleek smartphone sports an octa-core processor, 3GB of RAM, a 12-megapixel + 2-megapixel dual rear camera setup, and a battery that lasts for more than two full days per charge with typical usage. That's right... more than two full days! What's more, the cool dual-camera configuration on the back of the Honor 6X enables a special portrait mode bokeh effect just like the $770 iPhone 7 Plus, but Huawei's new handset costs just $250 unlocked. Seriously, this thing is straight-up awesome. Here are some highlights from the product page: The dual-lens 12MP + 2MP rear Camera captures colorful HD photos day or night and Features an ultra-fast focus time of 0.3 Seconds. An Octa-Core processor(16nm) and 3GB RAM, Plus the smart file system allows for gaming, browsing, listening to music or running multiple apps at the same time. Wide Aperture range (F/0.95-Back for/16) allows for a professional-grade shallow depth of field blurred background effect. Cutting-edge color quality, sharpness and noise reduction thanks to 1.25Μm pixel size, a prim isp and dti pixel isolation technology - makes top-of-line photo quality. The battery delivers 2.15 days of usage and 1.5 days of heavy usage on a full charge. The Huawei Honor 6X was just released, and it's available in gray, silver or gold.
  • Could 2017 bring AR glasses from Apple? (2017-01-11 11:24:51)
    Apple is reportedly working on a pair of connected augmented reality in collaboration with German precision optics specialist, Carl Zeiss, according to the website 9to5Mac. The rumor comes from American blogger Robert Scoble, who reportedly spoke to Carl Zeiss employees at the recent Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas. In fact, Bloomberg reported in 2016 that Apple was developing this kind of device.
  • Facebook launches project to improve ties with news media (2017-01-11 11:16:32)
    (Reuters) - Facebook Inc launched its "Journalism Project" on Wednesday, as the world's biggest social media network looks to deepen its relationship with news organizations. The launch comes less than a week after the company said it was hiring former CNN reporter, anchor and host Campbell Brown to lead its news partnerships team. As part of the new project, Facebook said on Wednesday it would focus on improving its current storytelling formats such as Live, 360, and Instant Articles.
  • Trump leak raises new questions about Telegram security (2017-01-11 11:10:51)
    Last night, BuzzFeed published an unconfirmed intelligence report on President-elect Donald Trump’s ties with Russia, sending the political world into red alert. An FSB [Russian secret service] cyber operative flagged up the ‘Telegram’ enciphered commercial system as having been of especial concern and therefore heavily targeted by the FSB, not least because it was used frequently by Russian internal political activists and oppositionists. The report raised an alarming thought for Telegram users.
  • Media firestorm over Trump-Russia report publication (2017-01-11 11:07:00)
    A media firestorm erupted Wednesday after BuzzFeed published an unverified report with salacious details on purported intelligence gathered by Russia on President-elect Donald Trump. Many media outlets and analysts joined Trump in denouncing the decision by BuzzFeed to release the report, which had been circulating in Washington for weeks. "I think it was incredibly irresponsible." said Dan Kennedy, a journalism professor at Northeastern University.
  • Hamas sets 'honey traps' to hack Israeli soldiers' phones: army (2017-01-11 11:05:13)
    By Maayan Lubell TEL AVIV (Reuters) - Using photos of young women and Hebrew slang, the Palestinian militant group Hamas chatted up dozens of Israeli soldiers online, gaining control of their phone cameras and microphones, the military said on Wednesday. Hamas spokesmen did not immediately respond to requests by Reuters for comment. Mainly using Facebook, Hamas used fake online identities and photos of young women, apparently found on the Internet, to lure soldiers in, the officer said.
  • Exclusive: This image could be the world’s first look at the Galaxy S8 (2017-01-11 11:03:16)
    Samsung's flagship Galaxy S phones are always among the most hotly anticipated handsets of the year, but the Galaxy S8 is something more. After a tumultuous holiday season that followed the unprecedented cancellation of the company's Galaxy Note 7 smartphone, Samsung must now set itself on a path toward regaining consumers' trust. The company isn't off to a good start at all, in light of recent news that Samsung's leader has been officially named as a suspect in a scandalous political bribery probe that could ultimately see South Korea's president removed from office. It's a tough time indeed for the world's top smartphone maker by volume, but the company hopes that its upcoming Galaxy S8 flagship will help it turn a corner. Now, BGR has exclusively obtained an image that may be the world's first look at the Galaxy S8 handset. In a recent post, BGR recapped everything we think we know so far about the upcoming Galaxy S8 . We're expecting not one but two new Galaxy S8 models to be released by Samsung this coming April, though conflicting reports can't seem to agree on the form factors. We know one will be the main handset and the second will be a larger version, just like last year's Galaxy S7 and Galaxy S7 edge. What is unknown, however, is whether both phones will feature curved edges or if we can expect a flat Galaxy S8 and a curved Galaxy S8 edge. In terms of specs, the US model will be powered by the new octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 chipset, while the global model will feature a similar processor designed and built by Samsung. We're also expecting an updated Quad HD Super AMOLED display that occupies much more of the Galaxy S8's face than we've seen on earlier models. Samsung's signature oblong home button will reportedly be removed so that the bottom bezel can be made smaller, and the top bezel will be smaller as well. It's currently unclear if the phone's fingerprint scanner will be relocated to the back of the phone, or if it will be embedded beneath the display itself, which is what we're expecting from Apple's upcoming iPhone 8 . Last week, a photo leaked that may have been the first live photo of a Galaxy S8 prototype. The handset pictured matches the descriptions we've read so far in leaks, but the source was an anonymous user on Chinese microblogging site Weibo who has an unproven track record. What's more, there were questions raised by that photo, which shows a phone that doesn't include any physical or virtual navigation buttons. With the authenticity of that leak in question, an image obtained by BGR on Wednesday may offer the world its first ever look at Samsung's upcoming Galaxy S8. The image is a render created by third-party smartphone case maker Ghostek . The well-known brand makes cases for iPhones and Samsung Galaxy smartphones, and the render in question shows a Galaxy S8 smartphone inside one of the company's Atomic 3 waterproof cases. While parts of the Galaxy S8 render are obscured by the case, much of the phone is visible. The Galaxy S8 pictured in the image aligns with several rumors we've seen so far. The phone's curved Super AMOLED display occupies a much larger portion of the device's face, and there is no home button on the smaller beneath the screen. Interestingly, there is also no fingerprint scanner on the back of the device, which would mean Samsung's scanner would have to be embedded in the display itself if this image is accurate. Third-party case makers often get early information about unreleased handsets in order to have cases ready to ship as soon as new smartphones are released. We see it happen time and time again with Apple's upcoming new iPhones, for example. With this image from Ghostek, BGR has been told by a source that the render is based on actual data acquired from factories that produce Samsung phones. This source is well-positioned to know whether or not that is indeed the case, but BGR has not been able to confirm the claims. Samsung is expected to unveil its new Galaxy S8 smartphone lineup during a press conference in either February or March, ahead of a global release that should take place sometime in April.
  • Listening to machines to understand why they break (2017-01-11 10:55:16)
    There is nothing more frustrating than taking your car into the mechanic with only the vaguest sense that something is wrong. You know that odd little creak or strange whine is new, but you don’t have a clue what it’s trying to tell you. You would like to know before it becomes a serious problem, and an expert is going to charge you a bunch of money to find out. What if we could diagnose machines, and keep them healthy, just by listening to the noises they make. That’s the premise of Augury, a startup based in New York City. ...
  • How to stream Donald Trump’s first press conference since the election without pay TV (2017-01-11 10:40:46)
    Donald Trump will hold his first press conference since July 27th, 2016, on Wednesday afternoon. It will be his first press conference as president-elect of the United States, coming amid a flurry of bizarre and troubling reports regarding his ties to Russia. The conference was originally scheduled to take place on December 15th, but was postponed as Trump and his team attempted to navigate the treacherous waters of making cabinet appointments and putting together a transition team. Providing there are no further delays, Trump is currently scheduled to speak at Trump Tower in New York City at 11:00 AM EST / 8:00 AM PST on Wednesday morning. Certainly, Trump's plans for the Affordable Care Act— which he recently confirmed he wants repealed and replaced as quickly as possible —will be a topic of discussion, along with the controversial cabinet appointments he has made since winning the election. But after Tuesday evening,  CNN's shocking report  will likely take center stage. According to the report, both President-elect Trump and President Obama were shown classified documents last week that allege Russian operatives "have compromising personal and financial information about Mr. Trump." While the FBI is investigating the legitimacy of the allegations, which were based on information provided by a former British intelligence operative and multiple unnamed Russian sources, BuzzFeed went ahead and published the full 35-page document late on Tuesday , setting off a wildfire online just as President Obama was taking the stage to deliver his farewell address. Considering the extraordinary nature of some of the details included in the document—one which was responsible for a popular, vulgar hashtag on Twitter on Tuesday evening—Trump is seemingly going to have no choice but to address the document during the press conference, at the very least to deny is legitimacy. If you want to watch what is sure to be a fascinating press conference, you can watch the live stream we've embedded at the top of the post, or visit any of the following news sites: ABC News , CBS News , Fox News and CNN . Some of those links might require you to log in with cable information, but the live stream at the top of this post obviously doesn't.
  • Three different companies told the FBI they could hack the iPhone (2017-01-11 10:27:25)
    One of Apple's most public bits of drama from 2016 was its clash with the FBI over an iPhone 5c belonging to a gunman who killed 16 people and injured a further 24. The government demanded that Apple help it in unlocking the shooter's phone in the search for additional evidence, but Apple refused on the grounds that it would be a violation of the privacy of not just the suspect himself, but of all smartphone users. Now, as part of a lawsuit brought on by several news agencies who want to know how the FBI ended up breaking into the device without the company's help, the government has disclosed a lengthy report on the entire investigation. The report has been heavily censored, and much of the nitty gritty has been totally covered up, but there are a few key facts that the documents reveal, including the fact that three different companies tried to get the FBI to hire them for the job. The three companies' names have been removed from the report, but the documents do show that the agency accepted one of their bids for an undisclosed amount. Furthermore, the documents reveal that the FBI had the company commit to a nondisclosure agreement which would prevent them from actually talking about the methods used to breach the iPhone's security features. Ultimately the entire effort was for naught, as the shooter's iPhone held absolutely zero useful information pertaining to the investigation. When pressed for further details, the FBI reportedly told CNET and others that it would not provide any additional information other than what was already released via the report.
  • Zero-emission boat prepares for round-the-world odyssey (2017-01-11 10:10:23)
    The first self-sufficient boat powered only by emission-free energy will start a six-year trip around the world in the spring. Energy Observer, a former multi-hull race boat converted into a green vessel ...
  • ESPN adds support for Apple’s iOS single sign-on (2017-01-11 09:43:40)
    ESPN updated its iOS apps yesterday to add some new options for sports fans looking to get video content on other devices: support for Apple's iOS single sign-on, and Chromecast support in the flagship ESPN app. Apple launched single sign-on for the Apple TV and iOS platforms over a month ago, but the service is still missing some fairly major partners on both the app and cable company sides. Shortly after the feature was launched, ESPN parent company Disney added support for its Watch ABC and Watch Disney apps, so ESPN joining the platform isn't a total surprise. ...
  • There will soon be a new bright spot in our night sky (2017-01-11 09:43:34)
    A college professor and his students might be at the cusp of accurately predicting a change in our night sky. Larry Molnar of Calvin College, with the help of colleagues Karen Kinemuchi and Henry Kobulnicky, say that a gigantic explosion in space is just a few years away, and that it's going to be visible to the naked eye.  Molnar's prediction is based on a star called KIC 9832227, which he began observing three years ago after hearing a presentation by Kinemuchi. KIC 9832227 was discovered to be a binary star, which means that it's actually two stars in close orbit of one another. But unlike most of the observed binary stars, Molnar believes that the two volatile spheres are actually about to collide, which is something scientists have never before been able to witness. Molnar says the epic collision will happen sometime in 2021 or 2022, and the fantastic explosion it creates will actually be visible as a bright spot in our view of the night sky here on Earth. The resulting luminous red nova it creates should stick around for around a month, and if Molnar is correct, the new bright dot will appear in the constellation Cygnus. Of course, we won't actually be seeing the explosion in real-time, but rather as it appeared roughly 1800 years ago, with the light of the event just now making it all the way to Earth. It's a once-in-a-lifetime chance for astronomers to see such an event in action, and it's a huge deal for all of the scientists and observers involved. For that reason, the entire investigation and eventual observance of the event (or not) is being shot for a full-length documentary feature called Luminous, which is scheduled to be released in 2022 or 2023, depending on how the whole space saga plays out.
  • The latest scientific debate on Twitter: what’s the best carcass? (2017-01-11 09:42:13)
    @CrawliesWithCri / TwitterScientists on Twitter have been sharing their grossest, goriest, and most striking photos of carcasses — a fun way to pass the time if you’re into death and wildlife photography. The #BestCarcass debate comes on the heels of the #BestBeard, #BestStripes, and #BestSpots, and it’s as tight a contest as ever. In fact, this looks like the biggest field of entrants yet, with over 100 entries this morning alone. Apparently there’s something in the air that makes it feel like a good time to be morbid — perhaps winter, or a different thing looming in the near future. ...
  • Microsoft agrees to Windows 10 adjustments with Swiss data watchdog (2017-01-11 09:39:44)
    Switzerland's data protection czar will not take Microsoft to court after the U.S. company agreed to adopt recommendations for improving data processing transparency for its Windows 10 operating system, the government agency said. The Swiss Federal Data Protection and Information Commissioner (FDPIC) said on Wednesday it had concluded an investigation into the operating system begun in 2015, which it said revealed data protection gaps under Swiss law. "The FDPIC investigations revealed that data processing in connection with Windows 10 did not conform in every respect with the data protection legislation," the authority said in a statement.
  • Memoranda is a surreal adventure game inspired by the stories of Haruki Murakami (2017-01-11 09:30:01)
    While working on his new game, a point-and-click adventure called Memoranda, lead developer Sahand Saedi kept a stack of books written by Japanese author Haruki Murakami next to his bed. Memoranda is launching later this month, and the game is inspired in large part Murakami’s stories.
  • Tesla will power its Gigafactory with a 70-megawatt solar farm (2017-01-11 09:20:37)
    Tesla plans to power its Gigafactory in Nevada with a 70-megawatt solar farm, according to a company investor relations document obtained by Electrek. At the same time, Tesla announced that it had started production of battery cells at the facility. The 70-megawatt solar array installation planned for the roof is the biggest news, and Tesla claims it will be seven times larger than the world’s next biggest rooftop solar installation.
  • Video: The iPhone revolution started with two horrendous prototypes (2017-01-11 09:18:35)
    The iPhone turned 10 this week, although the phone was in development more than two years before Steve Jobs felt comfortable enough with the product to actually announce it. A video last week showed us an original iPhone prototype that ran iPod-based software complete with a digital click wheel. Thankfully, that idea was killed during the iPhone’s early days of development... but that doesn’t mean its alternative at the time looked any better. Sonny Dickson, the same Apple insider who uncovered that iPod-based iPhone and who’s been a constant source of iPhone leaks over the years, shared a new video on YouTube that shows two original iPhone prototypes. The P1 and P2 came from two Apple teams that were competing for Steve Jobs’s attention. The P1 project was Tony Fadell’s, who was the iPod guru inside Apple at the time. Fadell confirmed that Apple considered an iPod-based UI for the original iPhone, but that idea was killed. Scott Forstall, who ended up winning the battle against Fadell and went on to create and develop iPhoneOS and then iOS for many years, lead the P2 project. These iPhones “are the earliest stage of real prototyping, they hardly ever get out of Apple, and are the hardest devices to find,” Dickson explains . “They often make hundreds of small little iterations but rarely have finished materials on them. These iPhones, being P devices, have plastic screens, raw bezels, and unfinished home buttons, and do not usually function as complete finished projects. Think of them as Apple’s proofs of concept.” As seen in the video at the end of this post, the P2 isn’t a better alternative to the P1, but it’s definitely what you’d expect it to be. It’s a very early version of the software, and the UI is terrible. However, it’s pretty clear that the P2 was based on a different concept, having individual icons the user could interact with. "The P2 loads octopus whereas the P1 has the iPod classic logo,” Dickson writes. “The P2 takes a significantly longer to load because it actually has a real OS, whereas the P1 takes much less time since the OS is slimmer. These P unit prototypes are so early in the development process that they rely on a custom process to be turned off, and can only be powered down during a certain step of the boot process." Check out the video below to see these original iPhone prototypes in action.
  • George Lucas' narrative arts museum will be located in Los Angeles (2017-01-11 09:13:44)
    While he’s best known for his Star Wars films, something you might not know about George Lucas is that he’s an avid art collector, and he’s been trying to find a place to showcase his collection for a decade. Now it seems that his Museum of Narrative Art has found its home in Los Angeles. Lucas has had a surprisingly difficult time trying to find a city to host the museum.
  • Mossberg: Streaming TV is beginning to look a lot like cable (2017-01-11 09:00:03)
    Streaming TV shows, movies, and other types of video over the internet to all manner of devices, once a fringe habit, is now a squarely mainstream practice. Until recently, however, almost all of these streaming apps and services followed what you might call the Netflix / Hulu model. Sometimes, you had to prove you had a cable subscription to enjoy this a la carte approach at no extra cost.
  • What to expect from Nintendo’s Switch event (2017-01-11 09:00:02)
    After this week we’ll know a whole lot more about Nintendo’s next console. The company is holding a pair of events — one in Tokyo, one in New York — where it plans to unveil some important new details about the Nintendo Switch, most notably when the hardware will launch and how much it will cost.
  • Binary options firm Banc De Binary says winding down operations (2017-01-11 08:59:59)
    By Tova Cohen TEL AVIV (Reuters) - Banc De Binary, one of the biggest and best-known providers of online trading in binary options, which allow investors to bet on short-term moves in financial assets, said it is winding down its business, citing regulatory pressures. "Banc De Binary will be gradually downsizing its operations due to regulatory constraints," the Israeli-owned and Cyprus-registered company said in a statement emailed to Reuters. "For clients that have eligible funds in their account, we are encouraging them to withdraw the remaining balance." Banc De Binary paid $11 million in restitution and penalties in the United States last year over allegations it had signed up U.S. investors illegally.
  • France’s ‘right to disconnect’ is a nice idea, but it’s also pretty vague (2017-01-11 08:53:31)
    Photo by Amelia Holowaty Krales / The Verge Lengthy vacations and short work weeks have long been staples of life in France, but technology has made it increasingly difficult for employees to leave their jobs behind when they head home. Smartphones and laptops have blurred the line between professional and personal spheres, raising health concerns that have prompted the government to take action. Under a law that went into effect on January 1st, employees at some French companies now have the “right to disconnect” from their jobs once they leave the office. ...
  • The demand for AI is helping Nvidia and AMD leapfrog Intel (2017-01-11 08:49:59)
    Intel is the king of a shrinking kingdom. Apple’s most important personal computers now run iOS, Google’s flagship Chromebook has an ARM flavor, and Microsoft just announced Windows for ARM. If you want to talk about the most influential chip company in history, Intel’s name is the one you want.
  • Windows 10 snooping: Microsoft will harvest less data but still awaits nod from watchdog (2017-01-11 08:36:21)
    Microsoft dials back data collection in its flagship OS but one privacy watchdog is still assessing whether the changes go far enough.
  • Amazon upgrades its Prime credit card with 5 percent cashback (2017-01-11 08:20:32)
    Amazon and Chase Bank’s Prime credit card has simple appeal: every time you buy stuff from Amazon you get money back (in the form of points) for further purchases. The card has been around for a few years now, but today got a neat little upgrade: instead of getting three percent cashback on Amazon purchases, you’ll now get five percent. To be clear though: this isn’t putting cash into your wallet, it’s giving you “points” you can spend only at Amazon.
  • Samsung boss named a key suspect in political bribery probe (2017-01-11 07:45:15)
    The New Year has not been kind to Samsung thus far. Just yesterday, both Samsung and LG were found by the US International Trade Commission to have violated US and international trade laws  following a complaint filed by Whirlpool. Now, less than one day later, Samsung boss Jay Y. Lee was named by the South Korean special prosecutor's office as a suspect in a political bribery probe. Special prosecutors in South Korea have officially named Jay Y. Lee as a suspect in an ongoing probe tied to an influence-peddling scandal that may ultimately see current South Korean president Park Geun-hye removed from office. At this point, it appears as though Park will become South Korea's first elected leader to be forced out of office; the country's parliament voted in December to impeach her over the Samsung corruption scandal for which Lee is currently being investigated. The country's Constitutional Court is now tasked with either upholding or overturning the impeachment vote. The prob stems from a scandal involving President Park, her friend Choi Soon-sil, and payment made by Samsung to a business and several foundations backed by Choi. According to earlier findings in the investigation, the payments totaled approximately $25 million. Samsung acknowledges making the payments to two foundations and a consulting firm, but denies that they were tied to its lobbying efforts to gain approval for the 2015 merger of Samsung C&T and Cheil Industries Inc, a deal that was embroiled in controversy. The prosecutor's office has not yet issued formal indictments for Jay Y. Lee or other Samsung executives named in the probe, but arrest warrants could soon be issued, The New York Times noted . Lee, whose net worth is estimated at $5.8 billion by Forbes , is the son of former Samsung boss Lee Kun-hee, who stepped down as chairman of the Samsung Group in 2008 after being convicted of embezzlement and tax evasion. He was later pardoned by the president of South Korea.
  • China's anti-Teslas: cheap models drive electric car boom (2017-01-11 07:42:54)
    -nuBEIJING (Reuters) - More electric cars are sold in China than in the rest of the world combined, but are mainly locally-branded models that are cheaper and have a shorter range than those offered by foreign automakers such as Tesla and Nissan. The Chinese-branded electric vehicle (EV) market is propped up by huge government subsidies as part of Beijing's policy to build global leadership in cleaner energy driving. China has spent billions of dollars on subsidies to help companies including Warren Buffett-backed BYD and BAIC Motor achieve large-scale production of plug-in vehicles, which are gaining traction among urban drivers as well as taxi fleets and government agencies.
  • Uber signs deal with Dubai regulator after pricing rows (2017-01-11 07:31:46)
    By Celine Aswad DUBAI (Reuters) - Ride-hailing service Uber [UBER.UL] signed an agreement with Dubai's transport authorities on Wednesday to become fully regulated after a series of clashes over pricing and availability. The two will also team up on a project to study how to cut congestion and the cost of transport in the Emirate, which Uber hopes will open up more business opportunities in the future. Under the deal between Uber and the Roads and Transport Authority (RTA), Uber will be able to use 14,000 vehicles through its app "as per the laws governing the operation of taxis and limousines in Dubai emirate", an RTA statement said.
  • Corephotonics raises $15 million from Samsung, Foxconn, MediaTek (2017-01-11 07:19:07)
    JERUSALEM (Reuters) - Corephotonics, an Israeli maker of dual camera technologies for smartphones, said on Wednesday it raised $15 million in a funding round that included Samsung Ventures, iPhone manufacturer Foxconn and chipmaker MediaTek. The latest round brings total fundraising to more than $50 million. Corephotonics' other investors include Magma VC, Amiti Ventures, Chinese billionaire Li Ka-shing and Solina Chau's Horizon Ventures, OurCrowd – the equity crowdfunding firm, flash storage solutions company SanDisk and Chinese telephony services provider CK Telecom. ...
  • How Northeastern plans to reach equal male-female CS enrollment by 2021 (2017-01-11 07:00:03)
    Carla Brodley, dean for the College of Computer Information and Science at Northeastern University, explains how to make computer science attractive to all students to fill workforce gaps.
  • Nokia teases new Android phone for February 26th (2017-01-11 06:58:45)
    Nokia revealed last month that it would be returning to the smartphone market this year. HMD Global, a Finnish company that was founded to create phones under the Nokia brand name, revealed the first new Nokia-branded Android phone at the weekend. Dubbed Nokia 6, the new handset will only be available in China in the coming months.
  • Volkswagen prepares to plead guilty and pay US regulators $4.3 billion (2017-01-11 06:52:59)
    Volkswagen is close to reaching a final deal with US regulators over its 2015 diesel emissions scandals, reports Reuters. The German automaker said it expects to plead guilty to criminal charges and pay the government some $4.3 billion as a settlement.
  • Seagate to cut more than 2,000 jobs in China (2017-01-11 06:48:22)
    (Reuters) - Hard-disk drive maker Seagate Technology Plc said it would cut more than 2,000 jobs as it shuts down its Suzhou factory in China. The latest job cuts were part of its earlier restructuring plans announced in July to reduce its global manufacturing footprint, Seagate spokeswoman Kelly Zhang said on Wednesday. (Reporting by Rishika Sadam in Bengaluru; Editing by Shounak Dasgupta)
  • Swiss clinch U.S. data exchange pact along lines of EU deal (2017-01-11 06:22:24)
    Switzerland has struck an accord on exchanging personal data with the United States along the lines of a deal Washington and the European Union agreed last year aimed at ensuring Europeans' data privacy, the government said on Wednesday. Under that Privacy Shield agreement that came into force in August, the United States agreed to limit the collection of and access to Europeans' data stored on U.S. servers because of EU concerns about data privacy and mass U.S. surveillance.
  • Norway starts tuning out analog radio in favor of digital (2017-01-11 05:59:18)
    OSLO, Norway (AP) — Norway began shutting down analog radio technology Wednesday as the Scandinavian country becomes the first in the world to phase out the FM signal for national and some regional broadcasting.
  • Windows 10 will soon lock your PC when you step away from it (2017-01-11 05:46:11)
    Microsoft is working on a new Windows 10 feature that will automatically lock and secure a PC when the operating system detects someone has moved away from the machine. The feature is labelled as Dynamic Lock in recent test builds of Windows 10, and Windows Central reports that Microsoft refers to this as “Windows Goodbye” internally. Microsoft currently uses special Windows Hello cameras to let Windows 10 users log into a PC with just their face.
  • Bitcoin slides after China central bank launches investigation (2017-01-11 05:03:23)
    The price of digital currency bitcoin slid around $50 on Wednesday after China's central bank said it had launched spot investigations on bitcoin exchanges in Beijing and Shanghai in order to fend off market risks. The investigation of bitcoin exchanges, including BTCC, Huobi and OKCoin, was to look into possible market manipulation, money laundering, unauthorized financing and other issues, according to the statements posted on the People's Bank of China's website.
  • Norway becomes the first country to shut down national analogue radio (2017-01-11 04:42:11)
    Today, Norway will start shutting down analogue radio signals nationally, becoming the first nation in the world to broadcast digital radio only. Norway has offered both FM radio and Digital Audio Broadcasting (DAB) since 1995, but the country’s Ministry of Culture says the price of supporting the older format has become unreasonable. For an eighth of the price, says the Ministry, DAB will offer better audio quality and greater choice — more than 20 national channels as opposed to the five currently offered on FM.
  • Samsung leader named a suspect in South Korea political probe (2017-01-11 04:14:58)
    SEOUL (Reuters) - A South Korean special prosecutor's office will question Samsung Group [SAGR.UL] leader Jay Y. Lee as a suspect in a widening influence-peddling scandal that may force President Park Geun-hye from office.
  • Watch Apple's early, ugly iOS prototype in action (2017-01-11 03:31:24)
    When Apple first announced the iPhone, ten years ago this week, it showed off a device with now-familiar app icons and a natural touchscreen interface. But that wasn't always the plan — internally, Apple had different teams competing on different projects to find the best operating system for its new device. We got our first look at one of these systems last week, a click wheel prototype designed by Tony Fadell and his team, and known as P1. Now we've seen another: a very early version of the touchscreen operating system, codenamed P2, that would become iOS. ...
  • European carmakers hope to catch Tesla with faster e-car chargers (2017-01-11 02:03:26)
    By Christoph Steitz FRANKFURT (Reuters) - Europe's biggest carmakers are drawing on the full force of the continent's industrial prowess to build a network of ultra-fast charging stations as they look to stoke demand for electric cars and break Tesla's stranglehold on the market. BMW, Volkswagen , Ford and Daimler plan to build about 400 next-generation charging stations in Europe that can reload an electric car in minutes instead of hours. The long time it takes to charge batteries is one of the main disadvantages of electric cars compared to conventional cars with gasoline tanks that can be filled up in seconds.
  • Airlines can stop warning passengers about the Galaxy Note 7 before boarding (2017-01-11 01:31:11)
    The Department of Transportation has lifted a requirement that airlines notify passengers that the recalled Samsung Galaxy Note 7 is a prohibited flight risk, according to a press release from the Federal Aviation Administration. In a statement following the FAA's announcement, Samsung says that over 96 percent of Note 7 devices have been returned so far.
  • The Coen brothers' first TV series is a western called the Ballad of Buster Scruggs (2017-01-11 01:06:25)
    Oscar-winning movie directors Joel and Ethan Coen are making the leap to the small screen, Variety reports. The duo have written and will direct a TV miniseries called The Ballad of Buster Scruggs, a Western that sources tell Variety was deemed too broad in scope to tackle in one feature film. It's not clear yet how many episodes the miniseries will run, but Variety says that Annapurna Television — the company partnering with the Coens for the show — is planning to pursue an "innovative approach that could combine television and theatrical." Exactly how the two mediums will be entwined is not yet known, and it's not clear yet when the show will be premiered, nor which network or service it will appear on.
  • Exclusive: Alibaba, part of planned Taiwan fund, won't seek board seats at local firms - source (2017-01-11 00:57:12)
    By Faith Hung TAIPEI (Reuters) - Alibaba Group Holding, which is awaiting regulatory approval for a $45 million fund it is participating in, has promised the Taiwanese government it will not take board seats at local firms the fund invests in, a source with direct knowledge of the matter said. The deal has yet to be approved by Taiwan's Investment Commission despite an application three months ago, raising concern that the fund may be rejected amid a chill in political relations with China. It follows a $300 million Taiwan Entrepreneur Fund that Alibaba founder Jack Ma announced in 2015 but while the start-ups that the fund has invested in so far are based in Taiwan, they are not incorporated in Taiwan.
  • How to automate database backups with backupninja (2017-01-10 23:42:00)
    Your databases need to be backed up with regularity. Learn how to do that with the help of the Linux tool backupninja.
  • Why Evie Launcher is now my favorite Android screen launcher (2017-01-10 23:11:29)
    Longtime Nova Launcher fan Jack Wallen says he's switching to Evie Launcher after checking out the app's latest improvements. Find out what they are.
  • Cop tickets Michigan man for warming up his car in the driveway (2017-01-10 23:03:09)
    As someone who lives in Wisconsin, I can tell you that in the winter just about everyone with any sense takes a moment to start their car and leave it running for five or ten minutes before they actually depart. The same is true in Michigan, which shares Wisconsin's habit of frigid winter. But one unlucky driver ended up on the wrong end of a moody cop near Detroit and found himself with a $128 ticket for doing what virtually every other driver in the state does whenever the weather hits the single digits: warming up his car.  Nick Taylor, a Roseville, Michigan, resident left his vehicle idling in the driveway of his girlfriend's house during the state's recent cold snap. He intended to warm the car up enough so that his significant other and her child could comfortably hop in, but a Roseville police office had other thoughts. Instead of walking up to the door of the home or simply ignoring the very common sight of a car warming in a driveway, the officer left a pricey ticket on Taylor's windshield for leaving the vehicle unattended. "Every person warms up their car," Taylor told local news station WDIV . "We live in Michigan!" Taylor estimates that he left the car in the driveway for five to seven minutes. In the TV news report on the incident, the street where Taylor's vehicle was ticketed appears to be a quiet residential neighborhood — not the kind of place you'd expect a running vehicle to be stolen in broad daylight and in the dead of winter. In fact, the vehicle's spot in the driveway was no more than ten feet from the front door of the home itself. Roseville's police chief, James Berlin, is standing by the officer's decision to ticket the vehicle, stating that warming a car in the driveway with the door unlocked "is purely a public safety issue." If cops are indeed cracking down on such a common habit of many cold-weather drivers, it's a wonder not more tickets are being handed out. "I've done this every day for seven years," Taylor said, and I'm right there with him.
  • ‘Star Wars: Episode VIII’ writer reveals secrets about the upcoming movie (2017-01-10 22:02:35)
    Rian Johnson, who wrote and directed the untitled Star Wars: Episode VIII movie, revealed some secrets for the highly anticipated sequel to The Force Awakens. However, don’t expect major spoilers just yet, as Johnson has only started teasing the things to come. For starters, we have no idea what Episode VIII will be called, but that doesn’t mean Johnson doesn’t know it. According to what he told USA Today , he had the title in mind all along, ever since he started working on the second episode of the third Star Wars saga. “It was in the very first draft I wrote,” Johnson teased, but that doesn’t mean we get to find out what it is just yet. “I’ll just blurt it out right now!” the director joked before saying that. “All [is coming] in good time, my friend.” Episode VIII is currently in post-production, and USA Today ’s interview took place before Carrie Fisher’s unexpected death. If there’s one thing Johnson revealed that’s somewhat conflicting earlier spoilers is that Episode VIII will be a fun movie, rather than a dark one . Well, all Star Wars flicks have a healthy dose of humor, so we’d expect the same thing from Episode VIII . “I want it to be a blast and to be funny and to be a ride the way The Force Awakens and the original Star Wars movies were,” Johnson said. Luke will be more present in the film than in The Force Awakens . "What's going on with Luke Skywalker?" is the question Johnson wants to answer. "I’m approaching it with a take that I hope feels honest and real and is going to be interesting to folks and make sense.” Furthermore, Luke and Rey will establish a special bond, but Johnson won’t say if he’s her father. However, family will still play a major role in this episode. After all, it’s Star Wars . Family is "a huge part of especially Rey’s character, something that was a really powerful part of her setup and something I really wanted to dig into with this,” the director revealed. But Johnson isn’t going to explore just Rey’s background, as his movie will focus on all three new Star Wars heroes. “I wanted to know more about each of them, and that doesn’t just mean information or backstory," Johnson said. "Figure out what’s the most difficult thing each of them could be challenged with now — let’s throw that at them and dig into what really makes them tick by seeing how they handle that." Maybe this is where the rumored dark side — pun intended — of this Star Wars episode comes. As for a trailer? Well, we don’t even have an official title for the thing yet.
  • There’s a skin that will make your iPhone 7 Plus look like the original iPhone (2017-01-10 21:01:55)
    Apple's iPhone has come a long way in 10 years. A loooooong way. The first-generation iPhone unveiled 10 years ago this week featured a tiny 3.5-inch touchscreen with 320 x 480 resolution (oh, but what a touchscreen it was ), a 412MHz single-core processor, between 4GB and 16GB of storage and a 2-megapixel camera. Those specs don't exactly translate to 2017 very well, but the design of the phone really does. That sleek metal housing is as sleek today as it was back then, and now a company has made a throwback skin that transforms the last iPhone into the first iPhone. Apple's iPhone 7 Plus is the latest and greatest handset to come out of Cupertino, and now you can make it look like the first handset to come out of Cupertino. If there's a better way to celebrate the original iPhone's tenth anniversary, we're not sure what it is. The skin is made entirely of vinyl according to Grafixpressions, the company that makes it, and it ships with "E-Z Application Spray" as well as a squeegee to push out excess liquid along with any bubbles. The cost? Just $6 on the company's website . Here are a few more photos of the skin on an iPhone 7 Plus:
  • Human error in a nuclear facility nearly destroyed Arkansas (2017-01-10 20:45:26)
    Here in the US, we like to think that our nuclear weapons exist to prevent our enemies from detonating a nuclear explosion on US soil — that is, when we think about them at all. The thing is, nuclear weapons are just machines. Because the consequences for a mistake are enormous.
  • This unverified report about Trump’s Russian ties is Twitter gold (2017-01-10 20:44:40)
    Normally, Twitter loses its mind over something President-elect Donald Trump has tweeted. This evening, it’s losing its mind over an unverified, leaked report that supposedly details the ways in which Russia has been alternately teaming up with Trump and working to collect compromising information about him. The allegations contained in it are startling.
  • Bitstamp adds Ripple currency XRP to trading platform (2017-01-10 20:30:41)
    By Gertrude Chavez-Dreyfuss NEW YORK (Reuters) - One of the leading European-based bitcoin exchanges is adding another virtual currency to the bitcoins already traded on its platform. Ripple, a U.S.-based provider of blockchain-based banking payments technology, said on Tuesday its digital currency XRP will start trading on Bitstamp on Jan. 17. In a blog posted on Ripple's website, the company said the XRP/euro and XRP/dollar currency pairs will be available to all customers and regions currently supported by Bitstamp.
  • Try and guess how long this man spent manually scrolling to the bottom of a 1.04 million row Excel spreadsheet (2017-01-10 20:30:23)
    For centuries, mankind has sought answers to some of the universe's most perplexing and troubling questions. While some of these questions stretch back thousands of years -- what is the meaning of life? -- the advent of the technological age has ushered in an endless stream of new and equally challenging questions. As a prime example, we've long wondered how long it would it take for someone to manually scroll to the bottom of an Excel spreadsheet. After years of waiting in vain for an answer from Computer Scientists and engineers who apparently had more important things to do, Hunter Hobbs of Oklahoma recently decided to take matters into his own hands. Armed with nothing more than a computer, a bottle of energy pills and his trusty index finger, Hobbs set out to answer the unanswerable. After firing up an Excel spreadsheet, Hobbs pressed the downward arrow key and got his scroll on, blasting through 1,048,576 Excel rows with machine-like determination. Better yet, Hobbs video taped his heroic and unprecedented experiment for our viewing pleasure. After years of wasting time on the Internet, isn't about time that you spend some time watching someone else waste time on the Internet? Originally spotted by Vice , Hobbs managed to distill his entire endeavor into a 2.5 minute time-lapse video that's actually more entertaining that you might otherwise imagine. I mean, we've seen people scroll through Microsoft Word documents before, but Excel? Some didn't think it was even possible. By the time Hobbs' fearless experiment was completed, he wasted a total of 9 hours 36 minutes and 10 seconds. Time well spent if you ask us. Incidentally, Hobbs said that if his video receives 2,000 likes on Facebook, he'll upload the full unedited video. Go Sooners!
  • J.J. Abrams doesn’t ‘feel any desire’ to make more reboots or remakes (2017-01-10 20:00:47)
    Following his incredibly successful television career, having a hand in the creation of shows like Felicity, Alias and Lost, J.J. Abrams was handed the keys to some of the biggest film franchises in history. It started with a sequel — Mission: Impossible III . Up next, he was asked to reboot Star Trek for the 21st century. Finally, everything culminated in Disney asking Abrams to help reboot Star Wars with a new cast of heroes . Needless to say, it's been an incredible run for the guy who wrote Regarding Henry , but when asked about whether or not he'd be willing to reboot or remake another classic franchise, he sounded like he was done. “You know, I feel incredibly lucky to have gotten involved in things that I loved when I was a kid,” Abrams told People in a recent interview. “In fact, even  Westworld , which we’re here for tonight, is one of them. But I don’t feel any desire to do that again. I feel like I’ve done enough of that that I’m more excited about working on things that are original ideas that perhaps one day someone else will have to reboot.” While a vast majority of Abrams' successes over the past decade have been reboots of or sequels to popular pre-existing properties, he appears to be on the verge of closing that chapter and starting a new one. “You know, I do think that if you’re telling a story that is not moving anything forward, not introducing anything that’s relevant, that’s not creating a new mythology or an extension of it, then a complete remake of something feels like a mistake,” he said. “But film is a fairly young medium and there are stories that have lasted for centuries. And it’s not uncommon, I think, for stories to be retold — whether it’s at campfire or on film, but I think you always have to be additive. You can’t just be remaking something just for the sake of remaking it.” We're excited to see where Abrams take us next, which should come sooner than later .
  • Tesla taps Apple engineer for Autopilot software (2017-01-10 19:16:35)
    Electric carmaker Tesla Motors Inc has hired a key Apple Inc software engineer to oversee its Autopilot self-driving software efforts, Tesla said in a blog post Tuesday. Chris Lattner, who served at Apple for more than a decade, said in a online message to Apple developers on Tuesday morning that he would "leave Apple later this month to pursue an opportunity in another space" without saying which company he planned to join. Later in the day, Tesla posted a message on the company's website saying that Lattner had been hired as vice president of Autopilot software but did not say when he would start work there.
  • Pokemon Go is still banned in China (2017-01-10 19:05:11)
    Millions of Pokemon Go players are still trying to catch every Pokemon creature that the game has spread all over the world. But not in China. The popular app is still not available in the region, and it might not launch anytime soon. Apparently, the country's censoring body is still evaluating security risks related to Pokemon Go. And it’s not just Niantic's hit iPhone and Android game that’s affected. Any other similar application that uses augmented reality (AR) might not be allowed in the country. The State Administration of Press, Publication, Radio, Film and Television is the local authority that’s investigating Pokemon Go and other AR apps in China, Reuters reports . The censor is coordinating with other government departments to evaluate the game’s risks. Apparently, it’s "a high level of responsibility to national security and the safety of people's lives and property" that convinced the censoring body to act. The risks include "threat to geographical information security and the threat to transport and the personal safety of consumers,” the organization said via a games panel of the China Audio-video and Digital Publishing Association. Reuters says that some Chinese companies have developed similar AR games that include location-based services, which prompted the panel to seek advice from the licensing body. One other cause of concern for China might be Google Maps. Niantic relies on game data from Google Maps, a navigation app that’s not available in China. Niantic’s viral AR game is available almost everywhere else in the world, but China is still not taking part in the Pokemon Go phenomenon. That’s likely a major problem for Niantic, given that China is the biggest mobile market in the world and the largest online gaming market.
  • These HDTV antennas will let you watch the Super Bowl without paying for cable (2017-01-10 18:40:50)
    The Super Bowl is one of the few times each year when cord cutters feel a bit of remorse for having ditched pay TV. Instead of being able to host a Super Bowl party yourself, you have to go to a friend's house where you can't fully enjoy the game since you have to drive home when it's over. This year's Super Bowl is shaping up to be a huge one considering how great the playoffs are turning out already, and guess what: You won't need pay TV to watch it from the comfort of your own home. Pick up one of the top-rated HDTV antennas we've laid out for you below, and you'll enjoy live network TV in 1080p Full HD for free... for life. Our favorite overall HDTV antenna is definitely the 1byone 50-Mile Amplified HDTV Antenna . FREE FOR LIFE - Never Pay Your Cable or Satellite For Television Again! 1byone antenna can pull in all of your local news, weather, sitcoms, kids and sports programs absolutely FREE. Just connect it to your television and let the antenna do all the work. Slim and High Performance - Extremely soft design and lightweight. You can hide it behind the TV, lay flat on table; stick it high on window (stand moisture weather or exposed to sunshine). It'll pull in hundreds of crystal clear digital & HD shows! 10FT LONG CABLE - Makes it easier for you to place it in your house to get the best reception, especially for customers whose televisions are quite far away from windows. WHAT WE CARE – Our biggest concern isn't with earnings or profits; It's with customers' experiences purchasing and using our products. We want satisfied customers and to develop trust in the 1byone brand. Simply contact us if you have issues with your antenna. As with any antenna, you may find many variables contribute to your antenna's performance. If your antenna is not working as expected, try one of the following: 1.) Check the antenna is correctly connected to your HDTV or 3rd party HD receiver. 2.) Set the mode to Antenna or Air in the TV's setup menu and re-scan for channels. 3.) Antenna signal strength can vary depending on distance from the tower, terrain, and weather. If needed, reposition the antenna in a different location. It is best to place the antenna in line of sight with the TV tower(s) and avoid obstructions. Always re-scan for channels after moving the antenna. 4.) This is an amplified antenna; If a signal cannot be received with the external amplifier, remove the amplifier and try again. In some instances, the amplifier may cause self-oscillation, which may interfere with the signal. Here are a few other options, including one more indoor model and then two outdoor models:
  • AT&T is raising the price of grandfathered unlimited plans again (2017-01-10 18:34:20)
    AT&T’s grandfathered unlimited plans are vestiges of an earlier era, when unfettered access to mobile data was a perk offered to those willing to buy into the smartphone before it became ubiquitous. AT&T has just announced a $5 increase on its grandfathered unlimited plans, bringing the total cost per month to $40, according to a report from DSLReports yesterday and confirmed by ArsTechnica today. The price hike won’t occur until March 2017.
  • Night into daytime: behind the scenes with The Verge at CES 2017 (2017-01-10 18:26:25)
    Photo: James Bareham The Consumer Electronics Show can be broken down in numbers a billion different ways. 177,000 attendees. 2.47 million square feet of exhibitions. One extremely dubious electric car startup. For The Verge? 240+ posts. Three Twitter Live shows. Seven nights and six days in the desert. Thirty-something twenty-something and thirty-somethings. One, and only one, production trailer. CES is where we preview the future, even though it’s hard to see through the noiseLook, we hate to love and love to hate the madness of CES. ...
  • Samsung might be making two different Moto Razr successors (2017-01-10 18:18:15)
    If there’s one company that told us for years that it wants to make foldable smartphones, it's Samsung. It’s certainly not the only one, but it is the only company rumored to release at least one foldable flagship this year. A new report from Asia indicates that Samsung may already be working on two differently sized such devices. Dutch site TechTastic picked up chatter on Weibo about two unreleased Samsung devices, codenamed SM-X900 and SM-X905. These are believed to be foldable devices that might be called Galaxy X1 and Galaxy X1 Plus. Apparently, these two devices are tested running Android 6.0.1 Marshmallow and Android 7.1.1 Nougat, respectively. That said, there aren’t any details available about any of them. We don’t have any images or specs for the phones, and it’s not known when Samsung will announce them — or if it’ll happen this year. What’s also somewhat puzzling is that Samsung would make two distinct sizes. Foldable smartphones would let the user switch between a compact and a large display format — or between a smartphone and tablet mode. But would we even need small foldable phones and large foldable phones? That remains to be seen. There’s no denying that Samsung is innovating, at its own pace , in the mobile landscape. The company was the first to make big-screen smartphones popular with its Galaxy Note family and made curved displays look amazing with its Galaxy S6 edge and its successor, after failing to generate any real interest around the Galaxy Round curved smartphone. And, from the looks of it, Samsung may be first to market with a foldable smartphone.
  • Ellen Pao, once at center of gender case, joins Kapor in diversity role (2017-01-10 18:16:39)
    By Deborah M. Todd SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Former Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers partner Ellen Pao, whose 2012 gender discrimination lawsuit against the venture firm fueled a debate over tech industry diversity, has joined Oakland-based Kapor Center for Social Impact as an investor and diversity advocate, Kapor announced Tuesday. Pao, also a former chief executive officer of the social network Reddit, was named Chief Diversity and Inclusion officer for the non-profit founded by Mitch Kapor, creator of the pioneering Lotus spreadsheet software, and his wife Freada Kapor Klein. Pao will also be a Venture Partner at Kapor Capital, which invests in startups that solve problems for under-served people.
  • US warns of unusual cybersecurity flaw in heart devices (2017-01-10 18:00:49)
    WASHINGTON (AP) — The Homeland Security Department is warning the public about an unusual cybersecurity flaw for one manufacturer's implantable heart devices that could allow hackers to remotely take control of a person's defibrillator or pacemaker.
  • The most popular Netflix, Amazon and Hulu shows of 2016 (2017-01-10 17:48:55)
    While CBS, NBC, Fox, FX and other traditional networks are thrilled to share viewing figures when one of their shows performs well, the streaming services keep their cards much closer to the vest. That was the case once again in 2016, but last week, media insight and measurement company SymphonyAM , using independent data, put together a list of the 25 most-watched streaming shows of last year. As Newsweek explains, SymphonyAM uses a metric called "L35" to determine the popularity of a show, which is the engagement that those shows attract on their streaming platform of choice in the first 35 days of availability. Perhaps unsurprisingly, Netflix dominated the list. 21 of the 25 shows are Netflix originals, while Hulu and Amazon Prime Video only managed to get two shows a piece to rank. That said, SymphonyAM did warn that Amazon's The Grand Tour likely would have made the top 10, but the L35 metric wasn't stable yet. Without further ado, here are the top 25 streaming-only TV shows of 2016 according to SymphonyAM's L35 metric (and originally shared by Newsweek at the beginning of January): Orange Is the New Black: Season 4  — 23 million viewers Stranger Things  — 21.7 million viewers Fuller House  — 21.5 million viewers Marvel’s Luke Cage  — 12.1 million viewers Marvel’s Daredevil: Season 2  — 11.6 million viewers House of Cards: Season 4  — 8.8 million viewers Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt: Season 2  — 8.4 million viewers The Ranch — 5.8 million viewers 11.22.63  — 5.3 million viewers Amanda Knox  — 4.96 million viewers The Get Down  — 4.91 million viewers Gracie and Frankie: Season 2  — 4.5 million viewers Love  — 4 million viewers Narcos: Season 2  — 3.8 million viewers Black Mirror: Season 3  — 3.7 million viewers The Crown  — 3.5 million viewers Bloodline: Season 2  — 3.3 million viewers Longmire: Season 5  — 3.2 million viewers Chelsea Does  — 2.7 million viewers The Path  — 2.06 million viewers Flaked  — 2.04 million viewers Bojack Horseman: Season 3  — 2 million viewers Marco Polo: Season 2  — 1.9 million viewers Goliath —  1.8 million viewers Bosch: Season 2  — 1.6 million viewers
  • All-Glass iPhone 8? New Report Says Yes (2017-01-10 17:34:00)
    Apple's newest flagship iPhone could take some cues from one of its old iPhones. Apple is planning to deliver an iPhone 8 design that might resemble the iPhone 4, Digitimes is reporting, citing sources within the company's supply chain. The next iPhone, believed to be known as the iPhone 8, will use two glass panes for the front and back and a metal frame in the middle to keep them together.
  • Tesla's new Autopilot chief is a longtime Apple veteran (2017-01-10 17:24:55)
    Tesla has hired Chris Lattner as vice president of autopilot software, bringing him over from Apple where he was in charge of the Developer Tools Department. At Tesla, Lattner will lead the Autopilot engineering team and “accelerate the future of autonomous driving,” according to a Tesla blog post. In his 11 years at Apple, Lattner led development of the Swift programming language and also led work on Xcode and Apple’s CPU and GPU compilers and a number of other development tools across a variety of roles.
  • The rise and fall of Google’s modular phone dream (2017-01-10 17:24:30)
    Modular phones had a brief flirtation with popularity over the last few years. Between the Moto X, LG G5 and Google's Project Ara, a couple notable companies made real stabs at modular smartphones, only to be met with a resounding meh. We can write off the Moto X and LG G5 as phone companies trying to keep up with the fads, but Google's Project Ara always felt like something a little more ambitious. A completely modular phone would have revolutionized the industry, had it ever actually worked. VentureBeat 's Harrison Weber spoke to a number of the execs and designers on the inside of Google's Project Ara to try and work out what happened to the concept. Ara was a promising lead for Google for a number of years, with a serious demo at last year's I/O conference, and a promise in May  that you'd be able to buy a modular phone in 2017. But in September, Google unceremoniously axed the project, which had already missed development and pilot project milestones. Weber's profile paints a picture of a project lacking vision and a precise demographic. As he explains, Ara's popularity was kickstarted by a confusing relationship with Phonebloks, a viral video for a modular smartphone made by Dutch designer Dave Hakkens. His video was released just as Google's ATAP division was working on a prototype for a modular smartphone, and the two projects lived an uneasy relationship, with some communication between Hakkens and Google, for over a year. Initially, the idea of the ATAP project was to make a fully modular smartphone that had a very low price point for a basic phone. Google's idea was that the $50 base phone could be cheaply configured to work in different markets, extending Android's reach in the developing world. But as costs and time spiralled, the vision was changed until it started looking more like LG's idea of a modular phone -- a fully functioning smartphone that can have capabilities added on. In the end, a combination of senior staff leaving, Google's austerity drive and waning public interest saw the project shelved. Weber's article does a neat job of explaining how Google took a viral idea, built hype, and then failed to ever see it through.
  • Italy arrests siblings accused of huge VIP hacking campaign (2017-01-10 17:21:28)
    ROME (AP) — Police have arrested a brother-and-sister team suspected of conducting an ambitious, years-long campaign of hacking that targeted thousands of accounts belonging to some of the leading political and business figures in Italy.
  • Google just fixed a serious Android security vulnerability (2017-01-10 17:00:23)
    Over the years, Android has become one of hackers' favorite targets, and there are plenty of reports detailing various malware attacks against Android devices. One of the most recent ones revealed that Russia found a way to track Ukrainian artillery sites by targeting soldiers' phones with Android malware. At the same time, Google is busy patching the various security vulnerabilities that are discovered by hackers, and the company has just plugged a severe bootmode issue that could have exposed devices to spying. The vulnerability, Ars Technica reports , is part of a series of Nexus 6 and Nexus 6P security holes found by IBM’s X-Force , all related to a flaw in the phone’s bootmode, that’s tagged CVE-2016-8467. Using this security hole, hackers would be able to remotely access the modem and eavesdrop on calls. The exploit also allowed attackers to find ”exact GPS coordinates with detailed satellite information, place phone calls, steal call information, and access or change nonvolatile items or the EFS partition." Patches were rolled out in November for the Nexus 6 and in January for the Nexus 6P before the issue was made public. However, other Android devices won’t get them as fast. Before you freak out, you should know that the malware also involves other components, including malware-infected PCs, and malicious power chargers so that it can access hidden USB interfaces. Moreover, the victim would have to have Android Debug Bridge enabled on their devices and manually authorize ADB connectivity with the infected PC or charger for it to work. The IBM researchers only singled out the Nexus 6 and Nexus 6P as devices that can be affected by the hack. Hopefully, other devices can’t also be attacked in a similar manner. After so many years, Google still can’t control Android updates for vendor handsets. Device makers and mobile operators are still deeply involved in the process, meaning that any fixes Google releases will not be available immediately on any other devices.
  • Watch President Obama’s farewell speech live tonight in VR (2017-01-10 16:34:14)
    Tonight at 9PM ET, President Barack Obama will give his farewell address, before handing the reins over to President-elect Trump later this month. You can watch it either in full virtual reality (through YouTube on PlayStation VR and Google Daydream, for instance, or Facebook on Samsung Gear VR) or as a flatscreen 360-degree video online. You can read more about the farewell address, or watch it normally, on the White House site.
  • Chan Zuckerberg Initiative hires Obama campaign mastermind David Plouffe (2017-01-10 16:27:42)
    Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and wife Priscilla Chan have hired David Plouffe, the manager of Barack Obama’s 2008 presidential campaign, to lead policy and advocacy efforts for their philanthropic arm. The news of Plouffe’s new role at the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, as the organization is called, was announced in a Facebook post published on Zuckerberg’s page this afternoon. Also joining the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative is Ken Mehlman, the manager of George W. Bush’s 2004 reelection campaign and a former Republican National Committee chairman from 2005 to 2007.
  • The D3-U virtual reality camera controller desperately needs a Pokémon Snap game (2017-01-10 16:15:54)
    HTC announced the Vive Tracker — a small puck that lets third-party companies make motion-tracking VR accessories — last week at CES 2017. Now, as far as I can tell, the D3-U is just a controller: it doesn’t actually take real-life pictures, but it does offer a tactile object with controls that you can hold in your hand and interact with in VR to take pictures of things in virtual reality. For now, the DE-U is just a proof-of-concept designed to show off what’s possible with HTC’s Vive Tracker, so we don’t know how much it will cost or even whether it will ever get a public release.