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August 2017

Meet R2-D2 and BB-9E, Sphero’s new ‘Star Wars’ toys

It’s been nearly two years since Sphero introduced its app controlled BB-8, a replica of the cute rolling droid that first appeared in Star Wars: The Force Awakens. That toy quickly became one of the most coveted by fans of Disney’s franchise, and it… – Source

Lenovo’s first augmented reality glasses are a Star Wars exclusive

Compared to virtual reality, augmented reality has been slow to take off. Sure, phone-based augmented reality is getting a bit of a boost right now — Apple and Google are certainly investing in it — but there’s still a dearth of commercially-availa… – Source

BB-8 is getting an evil twin in ‘The Last Jedi’

So round, so active, so absolutely evil. BB-9E is the literal dark side version of the lovable BB-8 droid from Star Wars: The Force Awakens.

It’s not cute. It’s not happy. This astromech makes angry sounds and has a utterly mysterious story line and purpose, which makes it 10 times more evil.

SEE ALSO: Show your support for the Rebels
with this Star Wars space skirt

News of the brand new drone dropped on the eve of Force Friday II, the Star Wars merchandizing-palooza that’s hitting September 1 to celebrate the upcoming release of Star Wars: The Last Jedi in December.

Visually and technically, BB-9E works just like BB-8. There’s a large ball body and a small dome-ish head that moves independently of the body. We got our first glimpse of the new evil droid thanks to Sphero, which introduced a new BB-9E App-enabled Droid on Thursday, …

More about Robots, Star Wars, Bb 8, Sphero, and Star Wars The Last Jedi – Source

BB-8 finally gets the Lego kit it deserves

Admit it, there’s no bigger star to come out of the Star Wars reboot Star Wars: The Force Awakens than BB-8.

When that roly-poly robot is in a scene, nothing else matters; you can’t help but watch the emotive orange and white droid. I’d argue that we wouldn’t have grown so attached to Rey if BB-8 hadn’t fallen for her first. Which is why I was so shocked to learn that there’s never been a BB-8 Lego building kit, until now.

SEE ALSO: Lego Boost can turn anyone into a robot genius

BB-8 is already part of the Lego family, but only as a tiny, two-piece figure. The all new Lego BB-8 kit increases that piece number by 1,104. …

More about Lego, Star Wars, Bb 8, Star Wars The Last Jedi, and Force Friday

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Olympus announces OM-D E-M10 III compact camera

Olympus has launched the OM-D E-M10 III interchangeable lens camera. It’s a compact, lightweight camera for beginners who want something small but with good video capabilities.

The E-M10 III has a 16 megapixel Micro Four Thirds sensor with an in-body 5-axis image stabilization that works with any lens to provide smooth, blur-free images and videos. Speaking of videos, the E-M10 III can record 4K videos internally at up to 30fps.

Still shooters will appreciate the 121 point AF system, 8.6fps burst capture, 2.36M dot OLED viewfinder and 3-inch, 1.04M dot tilting…

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These Screen Protectors Are a Good Idea if you Own an Essential Phone

How can I keep my Essential Phone screen protected?

The Essential Phone features one of the most unique-looking screens we’ve ever seen on an Android phone. With tiny bezels around the display and the unique camera divot at the top, it’s a phone that’s sure to stand out from the crowd for some time.

But you’ll want people to be staring at your Essential Phone for the right reasons. That means keeping it protected from scratches, cracks and worse with a quality screen protector. We’ve rounded up some of your best screen protector options and the good news is there’s value to be had across the board.

amFilm Essential Phone Tempered Glass Screen Protector (2-Pack)
Mr Shield Tempered Glass Screen Protector (3-Pack)
J&D Tech Matte Film Screen Protector (8-Pack)

amFilm Essential Phone Tempered Glass Screen Protector (2-Pack)

First up is this two-pack of tempered glass screen protectors from amFilm. These screen protectors are just .33mm thick but will provide the necessary protection for your Essential Phone against drops, bumps, scratches, and normal wear and tear.

This kit includes everything required for a clean installation: wet and dry wipes, dust removal stickers, and a squeeze card for removing any air bubbles. With this two-pack, you’ll have a backup in case your first one takes a hit on behalf of your phone. Get yours for just $8!

See at Amazon

Mr Shield Tempered Glass Screen Protector (3-Pack)

Two is good, but three is better! If you’re seeking out the best value on tempered glass screen protectors for your new Essential Phone, look no further than Mr Shield’s offerings. You get three slabs of rugged tempered glass that feature rounded edges for a smooth feel for your fingers, along with everything you need for a clean installation — all for only $8 on Amazon.

These protectors are also covered by Mr Shield’s lifetime replacement warranty, which means they will send you a replacement free of charge if you run into an issue during installation such as air bubbles.

See at Amazon

J&D Tech Matte Film Screen Protector (8-Pack)

Tempered glass is typically the way to go, but if you’re more concerned about scuffs and scratches on your screen, a film screen protector should offer adequate protection. That makes this 8-pack of Essential Phone screen protectors from J&D Tech virtually a lifetime supply for only $8.

Made from high-quality PET film, these screen protectors feature a matte finish that helps to cut down on glare and they’re also resistant to fingerprint smudges. It protects the full display, but does not provide edge-to-edge coverage because of the curved edges of the phone — but it does allow these screen protectors to be compatible with cases. You just get the eight screen protectors in the box, so – Source

Sphero’s new Star Wars toys include R2-D2 and a new droid from ‘The Last Jedi’

Star Wars and Sphero were a match made in heaven. The company had spent a few years in relative startup obscurity when Disney came along with the design for a new droid. The resulting BB-8 remote control device changed the company’s fortunes overnight. With The Last Jedi a few months away, the companies are looking to recapture the magic with another brand new, spherical droid and the… Read More

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Razer Blade Pro (2017, Nvidia 1060) Release Date, Price and Specs – CNET

The 17-inch gaming laptop now has a more-reasonable version with an Nvidia 1060 GPU and HD screen. – Source

Ford’s self-leveling cup holder keeps your coffee safe at speed – Roadshow

Is there any problem gimbals can’t solve? – Source

A galaxy of ‘Star Wars: The Last Jedi’ toys for Force Friday – CNET

Take a closer look at some of the Star Wars toys, droids, drones and other products hitting this galaxy for Force Friday II. – Source

Use a lightsaber and an AR headset in Lenovo’s new Star Wars: Jedi Challenges experience

This post originally appeared on our sister site,

Let’s face it: the minute you saw Star Wars for the first time, you wanted to become a Jedi Knight. While the real world may not have Force powers, Lenovo is teaming up with Lucasfilm and its parent company Disney to give anyone a chance to become as close to a Jedi Knight as they can. Today, as part of IFA 2017, Lenovo announced Star Wars: Jedi Challenges, a new smartphone-based augmented reality experience that’s due for release sometime this holiday for $199.

See also:Disney launching a Star Wars-themed AR ‘treasure hunt’Disney launching a Star Wars-themed AR ‘treasure hunt’6 days ago

Lenovo has created a custom AR headset for Star Wars: Jedi Challenges, along with a Lightsaber Controller, which is designed to look like Luke’s lightsaber. Finally, there’s a tracking beacon, which is placed on the floor and tracks the AR headset’s movements with its cameras.

Users will then download the Star Wars: Jedi Challenges app on their smartphone and put the phone inside the Lenovo Mirage AR headset. The lightsaber will let users navigate the app’s user interface, with all of its controls handled with a two-button configuration.

The truth is, buying an AR headset, a custom controller, and a beacon to play just one game for $199 is going to be a challenge all by itself for consumers. We will have to see if the game is going to be worth that price. When it does go on sale, it will be available to buy via Lenovo’s web site, along with Best Buy.

What are your initial impressions of Star Wars: Jedi Challenges? Do you think it could be worth spending $199 to check it out? Let us know what you think in the comments!

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Lenovo Mirage AR headset Release Date, Price and Specs – CNET

The augmented reality headset lets Star Wars fans fight Darth Vader in a lightsaber battle, play Holochess and more. – Source

Star Wars Battle Quad Release Date, Price and Specs – CNET

Returning for 2017, these agile X-wing, TIE fighter and speeder bike toys feature loads of detail. – Source

Star Wars has finally made holochess an (augmented) reality, so remember to let the Wookiee win

It was one of the most memorable scenes in Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope: A droid and a Wookiee face off over a game of holographic chess, in which the pieces battle like gladiators in an arena, seemingly with a mind of their own.

The scene perfectly encapsulated the fantastical nature of the Star Wars universe, where imagination and technology meet — and now, 30 years after that scene debuted, we finally have the opportunity to play the game for ourselves.

Lenovo and Disney have partnered for a new in-home augmented reality experience — Star Wars: Jedi Challenges — which allows fans to channel their inner Jedi through a series of immersive games and activities, from the aforementioned game of holochess to thrilling lightsaber battles against some of most legendary villains of the dark side, including Kylo Ren, Darth Vader and Darth Maul. …

More about Lenovo, Star Wars, Star Wars The Last Jedi, Force Friday, and Force Friday Ll

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Sphero’s new droids bring a galaxy far, far away a bit closer – CNET

The toymakers at Sphero roll out two new remote-controlled droids, R2-D2 and BB-9E. – Source

‘Star Wars: The Last Jedi’ Hasbro toys peek at movie’s look – CNET

Warning: Spoilers abound in these upcoming Star Wars toys released for Force Friday. – Source

If you’ve ever wanted to build your own droid, Star Wars just made your dreams come true

You don’t have to be Anakin Skywalker to build your own droid these days — you just need the littleBits Droid Inventor Kit, which launches Sept. 1 as part of Force Friday II, the worldwide event unveiling of all the Star Wars merchandise set to be released for Episode VIII: The Last Jedi.

Similar to Lego, littleBits provides an open source system of color-coded electronic building blocks that snap together using magnets — so you can’t connect the wrong pieces — making it surprisingly easy for kids (and grown-up kids) to come up with their own inventions. The blocks each have a unique function, including sensors, lights, motors, wheels and sounds, creating endless possibilities for design and play. …

More about Star Wars, R2 D2, Star Wars The Last Jedi, Force Friday, and Force Friday Ll – Source

‘Look What You Made Me Do’ director defends Taylor Swift against music video backlash

Taylor Swift’s music video for her new revenge-inspired hit “Look What You Made Me Do” came out less than one week ago, and there are already so many opinions.

Taylor has embraced the slithering snake identity she’s been dubbed with and has declared that the old, good-girl Taylor is officially dead. But many people still aren’t buying it.

SEE ALSO: Taylor Swift just broke another video record

Not only did some slam her video for resembling Beyoncé’s “Formation,” others felt her symbolism-heavy video was too calculated and disingenuous.

Now “Look What You Made Me Do” director and Taylor’s longtime collaborator, Joseph Kahn, is defending Taylor against the music industry’s “double standards.” …

More about Watercooler, Music, Taylor Swift, Director, and Music Video

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Hasbro Star Wars Force Link Release Date, Price and Specs – CNET

Use this wristband to activate a new line of Star Wars toys. – Source

Rule your own house in new ‘Game of Thrones: Conquest’ app

If you find yourself wishing you were a character in Game of Thrones, A, you’re insane, B, there’s an app for that.

Game of Thrones: Conquest is an upcoming mobile game coming to iOS and Android later this year, allowing fans of the series to control their own family house in Westeros and attempt to take the Iron Throne.

SEE ALSO: ‘Game of Thrones’ Season 7 finale smashes ratings records

Of course, this is Game of Thrones we’re talking about, so you’re not going to be handing out flyers to smallfolk in the hopes of earning their vote. There will be battles, there will be political allegiances, there will be deception, and there will be deaths. …

More about Gaming, Apps, Game Of Thrones, Tv Shows, and Entertainment – Source

Sony unveils its own smart speaker equipped with Google Assistant

Sony has now joined the growing number of tech firms offering a smart speaker, which will be listed as the model number LF-S50G. The smart speaker craze, kicked off by the launch of the Amazon Echo in the U.S. on June 23rd 2015, has taken hold in 2017. Besides Amazon and Google, whose smart speakers make up most of the models currently sold, later this year we will see new versions of the product launched from Microsoft, Apple, Samsung and now Sony.

Each smart speaker is typically comprised of a speaker and a virtual assistant. On the Echo, Amazon introduced Alexa who has become … – Source

These new Star Wars drones are the most fun you can have with a controller

“This is not a toy. I can’t stress that enough.”

Propel CEO Darren Matloff stood six feet from me earlier this week, resting a tiny replica of the classic Tie Advanced fighter in his hand, with the most serious face he could muster as he uttered that phrase. It sure looked like a toy; in fact, it looked like a palm-sized drone I’d be able to fly around my office in a few days. But he was seriously standing there telling me the three Star Wars-themed drones being introduced to the world were not toys.

If not toys, what are they? For Propel, these drones are a huge step forward in being publicly recognized as a leader in the drone world. For the rest of us, these drones are the most fun way you could possibly have to learn to fly any kind of drone like a pro. They are also toys, ridiculously fun toys, but I get where Darren is coming from.

Advanced Laser Battle Drones

The partnership between Propel and Disney is, like all of the truly special Star Wars products released every year, an effort to go above and beyond what consumers would expect. These aren’t just drones you fly around one at a time, they’re designed with a laser tag-like combat system and a communication platform for gameplay in a public space with up to 11 other pilots. So yeah, not your average drone.

Currently, Propel is selling the Tie Advanced X1 alongside the T-65 X-Wing and the 74-Z Speeder Bike. While one of those things is clearly not like others when it comes to the actual Star Wars universe, these little drones are plenty detailed and can really move when you know how to fly them.

With the safeties unlocked, these drones are capable of 30MPH and can fly for up to 8 minutes on a charge. The drones all light up in ways that line up with the classic designs of the vehicles, and the use of clear propellers on the bottom of the drones makes the designs a little more realistic.

Not only are the drones themselves impressive to look at, the limited edition boxes available with these drones are staggeringly beautiful. Break the wax seal and lift the case up to see a lit display to show off your tiny drone, with its controller safely tucked underneath. It makes a compelling display case, assuming you don’t crash your drone a few minutes after using it the first time.

The perfect training system

To complement these drones, Propel has an app that – Source

SanDisk’s 400GB microSD card is an Android phone’s best friend

SanDisk has a new record-breaking microSD coming to market, which will deliver so much storage you might be at a loss as to what to do with it all. The new 400GB SanDisk Ultra microSDXC UHS-I card is the world’s highest capacity card of its type, and is ideally suited for use in Android smartphones that feature an expansion slot.
Android’s most recent versions allow you to adopt… Read More

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Dashcam footage catches police officer in Georgia telling a woman, ‘We only kill black people’

“We only kill black people.”

That’s what Cobb County, Georgia police officer Greg Abbott told a woman at a traffic stop when she said she was afraid to reach for her cellphone.

The traffic stop happened last year, but footage of the event, originally obtained by WSB-TV in Atlanta, has recently surfaced, revealing details from the exchange.

In the video, Abbott can be heard telling the driver to use her phone. When she responds that she’s afraid to reach for the device for fear of being shot, Abbott says, “But you’re not black. Remember, we only shoot black people. Yeah, we only kill black people, right?” …

More about Police, Georgia, Police Officer, Dash Cam, and Greg Abbott

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Engine maker Cummins shows off all-electric truck, high-efficiency diesels


This week, diesel truck engine company Cummins made an unusual announcement. In addition to several new high-efficiency diesel engines, it also showed off an all-electric truck called the Concept Class 7 Urban Hauler EV. The truck is just a concept at the moment, but it’s coming in the nick of time—just as Tesla is about to announce its own semi EV.

The 18,000-pound tractor cab, built by Roush, comes with a 140kWh battery and is capable of hauling a 22-ton trailer. According to Forbes, Cummins hopes to be able to sell its battery to truck and bus manufacturers by 2019. Forbes says the truck can run for 100 miles and be recharged in an hour, although Cummins is allegedly working on improving the battery so that by 2020, that recharge time is reduced to 20 minutes.

Read 7 remaining paragraphs | Comments

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Philips Hue expands on HomeKit, teases new ‘Hue Entertainment’ – CNET

Philips Hue’s motion sensor, dimmer switch, and self-powering Hue Tap light controller will soon work with Apple HomeKit. Lighting integrations with TV, music and gaming are on the way, too. – Source

Moto X4 leaks in full hours before official announcement

The Moto X4, Moto’s new mid-ranger, has leaked in full mere hours before its official unveiling!

Sporting a 5.2-inch 1080p display, the Moto X4 is an upper-mid-range handset powered by a Snapdragon 630 processor, clocked at 2.2GHz, and backed by a 3000 mAh battery with Turbo Charging. Other highlight features include IP68 rating for dust- and water-resistance, a dual-camera system that pairs together a 12 MP and an 8MP shooter, capable of delivering the oh-so trendy shallow depth of field simulation, affectionately referred to by many as “bokeh”, and a 16MP camera … – Source

Sphero’s new droids bring you closer to a galaxy far, far away video – CNET

Sphero unveils two new app-enabled droids as the hype around the next Star Wars installment builds. – Source

LG V30 is the first phone to support T-Mobile’s new 600Mhz LTE band for rural areas

The new LG V30 will be the first phone to support T-Mobile’s new 4G LTE frequency, the 600MHz channel, or simply: LTE band 71, according to T-Mobile chief executive officer John Legere.
First some background: T-Mobile acquired a huge, 30MHz chunk of spectrum in an auction that ended this summer, and this new LTE channel is part of that acquisition. This added spectrum strengthen T-Mobile’s weakest areas of coverage: the rural areas, and with this added spectrum, it can finally compete with Verizon Wireless and AT&T.
Interestingly, … – Source

DJI Mavic Pro Platinum edition boasts longer battery life

DJI’s Mavic Pro drone already has fantastic battery life, but it’s still got nothing on its upgraded sibling. The dronemaker has revealed the Mavic Pro Platinum edition at this year’s IFA convention in Berlin, and it boasts 11 percent more battery li… – Source

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