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6th September 2017

People are cheering on a heroic palm tree that stands defiant as Hurricane Irma rages

A solitary palm tree has become a symbol of resistance in the face of overwhelming adversity.

SEE ALSO: Hurricane hunters see ‘stadium effect’ inside Irma’s eye

Named “Hector” (like the Trojan prince), the tree stands defiant in the port of Gustavia, the capital of the tiny Caribbean island of Saint-Barthélemy, or St. Barts, a French overseas territory currently being battered by Hurricane Irma.

This morning, between 7,000 and 8,000 people were watching and commenting simultaneously on a pretty wild livestream on YouTube of the port of Gustavia during the passage of Irma.

And many of those watching in apprehension were cheering for Hector, who despite being hit by the hurricane is still standing: …

More about Palm Tree, Hector, Hurricane Irma, Irma, and Culture – Source

Bowers & Wilkins’ shiny new 700 series gives kevlar the bullet – CNET

Bowers & Wilkins’ new 700 series of high-end loudspeakers ditches kevlar drivers for “Continuum” material, among other improvements. – Source

The surprisingly lackluster rise of VR porn

“It’s like being inside of a womb or a particularly immaculate throat, all gently pulsating, mucus-y pink flesh.”

NSFW Warning: This story may contain links to and descriptions or images of explicit sexual acts. – Source

The Best Music Videos to Watch in VR

If music be the food of love, 360 degrees of music is a banquet.

While researching this article we had to wade through some appalling music videos to find some that are worthy of your time. A lot of the 360 videos don’t really use the power of VR to the fullest. We have combed the internet and found some of the best, ones that showcase what VR can bring to different genres.

These music videos may not be the best songs or be your type of music but all of them show some positive action towards making good VR content.

at VRHeads

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Virtual science lab startup Labster bags $10M to accelerate its ed tech play

Ed tech startup Labster whose software platform enables virtual simulations of laboratories for teaching life science to students, has closed a $10 million Series A round of funding led by early stage European VC firm Balderton Capital. Read More

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Flip-flop qubits: Radical new quantum computing design invented

Engineers have invented a radical new architecture for quantum computing, based on novel ‘flip-flop qubits,’ that promises to make the large-scale manufacture of quantum chips dramatically cheaper — and easier — than thought possible. The new chip design allows for a silicon quantum processor that can be scaled up without the precise placement of atoms required in other approaches. – Source

Parkinson’s severity assessed through drawing

Researchers asked volunteers to draw a spiral on a sheet of paper. By analyzing how long it took them to draw the spiral and how hard they pressed on the paper with the pen, the team could not only tell which volunteers had Parkinson’s disease, they could also tell how severe it was. Doctors could use the automated system in their surgery to easily diagnose the disease or keep track of the progress of existing patients. – Source

Unraveling a major cause of sea ice retreat in the Arctic Ocean

Quantitative analysis has evidenced the acceleration system of melting ice: dark water surfaces absorb more heat than white ice surfaces, thus melting ice and making more water surfaces in the Arctic Ocean. – Source

Colon of patients with IBS reacts differently to bacteria

The intestinal barrier of patients with the gastrointestinal disease IBS allows bacteria to pass more freely than in healthy people, according to a study. The study is the first to investigate IBS using living bacteria. – Source

Hackers breach US and European energy companies: report

A group of hackers has targeted US and European energy companies in an extended campaign that has, in some instances, led to cybersecurity breaches that expose the systems that control companies’ operations. The attacks were outlined in a new report from Symantec.

The report claims that attacks have allowed the hackers to bypass the security of energy firms in the US, Turkey, and Switzerland, while companies in other countries are thought to have been affected. The hackers appear to have used multiple methods to access target networks, including malicious emails, watering hole attacks, and Trojanized software. …

More about Hackers, Energy Company, Symantec, Phishing Attacks, and Dragonfly

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Michael Kors Grayson smartwatch review: Fashionably late to excellence

Michael Kors is back for round (Android Wear) 2.0.

For a time, it seemed like every phone manufacturer was hot on Android Wear, but those days are long behind us. While we still have big names like LG and Huawei building watches for the masses, it’s the fashion brands like Fossil, Tag Heuer, Movado — even Louis Vuitton — that have picked up the mantle. Oh, and Michael Kors, which is far more associated with high-end bags, shoes and analog watches than gadgets.

Last year, I took a look at a promising but flawed Dylan Access smartwatch from Michael Kors, which shared dozens of problems with Android Wear watches launched in the previous two years. But Michael Kors is working with a more mature market now, and has access to better hardware. To wit, the Grayson and Sofie watches that were pre-announced during Baselworld in March and are now shipping starting at $350.

I want to point out some massive improvements to both of these watches: they no longer have the dreaded flat tire that became the butt of a million jokes on the Moto 360 series; and the displays themselves are of considerably higher quality. Finally, and perhaps most importantly, they run Android Wear 2.0, which pairs really nicely with the rotating crown on the Grayson’s right side (it sits in the middle of two programmable buttons). Given that I have yet to use the LG Watch Sport, this is my first interaction with a crown on Android Wear, and I am quite impressed: it makes navigating the UI considerably easier and more fluid. And while the Grayson’s crown isn’t as well-calibrated as that of the Apple Watch (my only other source of comparison at this point), it’s pretty damn good.

Both Grayson and Sofie also have nice-looking round AMOLED displays, Sofie’s a 1.19-inch 390×390 panel with beautiful colors and excellent viewing angles. Grayson’s is even better, measuring at 1.39 inches and 454×454 pixels, one of the highest-resolution on the market today. They’re paired with 300mAh and 370mAh batteries as well, and feature the standard loadout of Android Wear specs, including a Snapdragon Wear 2100 chip, 4GB of storage, 512MB of RAM and IP68 water resistance. And yes, they come with ambient light sensors this year.

There’s a great smartwatch underneath the fashion marketing.

The charging mechanism is still clumsy, but the magnets have been strengthened to prevent the attachment from ignominiously slipping off during the night (which is why I stopped wearing the Dylan — I woke up to a dead watch almost every morning). In my week or so using the Grayson, I’ve had no problems with its magnetic charging, which is a nice surprise.

Both Sofie and Grayson are a part of Michael Kors’ commitment to smartwatches; the former comes in eight color combinations – Source

Supercharging silicon batteries

Scientists have designed a novel silicon-based anode to provide lithium batteries with increased power and better stability. – Source

Fall movie preview: What to watch if you want to feel good

You’re reading our 2017 fall movie preview. So far, we’ve covered superhero flicks and prestige pics. Today, it’s all about feeling good.

The days may be getting darker and colder, but that doesn’t mean your mood has to go with it. Put on your coziest sweater, get yourself a hot chocolate, and warm yourself up (spiritually, if not physically) with a movie that puts a smile on your face.

SEE ALSO: 10 free ways to treat yo’ self

Here’s what to watch if you want to feel good …

… and you’d like a break from reality: Home Again (September 8)

Home Again is the cinematic equivalent of mac and cheese: gooey, cheesy, and oh-so-satisfying. Reese Witherspoon plays a recently separated mother of two who starts the film on a low note, but quickly rebounds with the help of two adorable children, three handsome young men, and a sassy but supportive mother. Sure, it resembles the “real world” about as much as The Hobbit does – but isn’t it nice to escape into a pleasant dream every once in a while? …

More about Movies, Battle Of The Sexes, Coco, Ferdinand, and American Made – Source

Apple and Amazon reportedly pursuing James Bond franchise rights

A new report from The Hollywood Reporter claims that Apple and Amazon are vying for the distribution rights for the next Bond films, right alongside current leading bidder Warner Bros. This represents a potentially huge change in the way Hollywood distributes movies, of course, and puts Amazon and Apple in the same competitive bucket as Sony, Universal and Fox, all of which have been talking… Read More

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Apple won’t stop nagging people about iOS 11’s new features

iOS 11 is coming next month, and it’s going to be the mother of all releases.

To prepare everyone, Apple has already started sending out notifications to iOS users through the Tips app inviting them to learn more about the various new changes coming in iOS 11.

SEE ALSO: The 12 best iOS 11 features you haven’t heard about yet

Mashable Tech Editor Pete Pachal and other users started seeing the notification on Tuesday. If you removed the app (like I did because I know how to use my phone, thank you very much) from your iOS device, you will not receive the notifications.

Huh. OK!

— Pete Pachal (@petepachal) …

More about Apple, Ios, Tips, Ios 11, and Tech

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Google app v7.11 beta suggests the next Android version is 8.1, adds battery levels for Bisto headphones, prepares to tweak user-defined actions, and more [APK Teardown]

The latest update to the Google app is rolling out to beta channel members right now. There aren’t any immediately obvious changes on the surface, but as the tradition often goes, there are some things under the hood worthy of discussion in a teardown. This version brings a pretty good indicator that 8.1 will be the next version of Android. There are also signs that user-defined actions are going to get some changes in the future.

Read More

Google app v7.11 beta suggests the next Android version is 8.1, adds battery levels for Bisto headphones, prepares to tweak user-defined actions, and more [APK Teardown] was written by the awesome team at Android Police.

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Deal: Motorola Moto Z is on sale in the US for less than $400

The Moto Z is perhaps one of the most underrated flagships out there. Although Motorola claims sales of the Moto Z have been beyond expectations, it wasn’t an easy fight as the smartphone had to compete with other flagships from Samsung, LG, and Apple.

In the United States, the Moto Z can be purchased via all major retailers across the country, but Motorola sells the smartphone through its webstore as well. Even though just about all authorized retailers usually sell the Moto Z for $699.99, Motorola displays a much lower price on its website: $499.99.

Even … – Source

Mini’s new John Cooper Works GP Concept has me hot and bothered

It turns out Mini had more up its sleeve for this year’s Frankfurt Auto Show than just the Electric Concept we showed you last week. It’s unwrapping another concept, one that looks suspiciously production-ready. It’s called the John Cooper Works GP Concept, and it has me all hot and bothered. It’s meant to be a pure expression of Mini-flavored driving fun. Or, as head of BMW Group design Adrian van Hooydonk says, “[what] we’re looking at here is maximum performance, maximum Mini.”

Who’s this John Cooper then?

Alec Issigonis was the designer responsible for the original mini. But would it have been quite the success it was without the influence of another engineer named John Cooper? He was a successful builder of racing cars in the 1950s and the man to realize that smaller, lighter, mid-engined cars were more than a match for the big front-engined competition in Formula 1 and at Indianapolis. When BMC wanted to polish its then-new Mini with a racing halo, it was to Cooper that it reached out.

Read 5 remaining paragraphs | Comments

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You’ll look like ‘Robocop’ with this smart cycling helmet

Bike helmets should be about safety first and foremost, but that doesn’t mean you can’t rock one that’s also stylish. Livell’s BH51, introduced at IFA 2017, is exactly that. This cycling helmet is designed to protect your head whilst offering a sleek… – Source

Best Cases for the LG V30

What are the best cases for the LG V30 so far?

The LG V30 is the latest flagship from LG and a really well-designed phone. It’s got waterproofing and wireless charging capablilities, but it’s got glass on both sides, so you’re going to want a case to keep it free from scratches and other damage.

Here are some of the best cases you’ll find for the LG V30. We’ll be sure to update this list as more accessories are released.

Spigen Rugged Armor Case
SUPCASE Full-body Rugged Holster Case
UAG Plasma Series Case
LK Ultra Slim Thin Case
Ringke Fusion Case

Spigen Rugged Armor Case

Looking for a sleek case that offers great protection? You want the Spigen Rugged Armor case for your LG V30. Made from TPU material with a matte finish and carbon fiber detailing, this case looks slick and keeps your phone protected without adding much bulk. Wireless charging will still work with this case on, and precise cutouts around the fingerprint scanner and dual-camera setup around back ensure that all the phones functionality is unimpeded.

Spigen’s Rugged Armor case is my go-to choice for any phone I’ve owned, so it comes highly recommended for any new device. If you want to keep your phone protected while keeping it looking sleek and thin — all for just $13.

See at Amazon

SUPCASE Unicorn Beetle PRO Series Case

Some cases claim to be rugged, but few live up to the name quite like SUPCASE. The Unicorn Beetle PRO Series is tough as hell, designed for heavy users and those who love to take their phone into the great outdoors.

Made of a combination of premium TPU and PC materials and includes ports to block dust and debris from getting in — the phone already has IP68 water resistance and dust-proofing, but redundancy is always a good thing. It also comes with a swivelling belt clip and holster, if you’re into that look. You can pre-order yours today for just $18.

See at Amazon

UAG Plasma Series Case

Some cases are simply iconic, and it’s fair to say that the Urban Armor Gear’s Plasma series is one of those.

Part clear case and part rugged protection, UAG never compromises on the construction of its cases— despite the premium materials and heavy-duty design, the case remains feather-light with thoughtful design elements like non-slip rubberized edges so your phone will never slip off a table when you put it down.

It’s passed military-grade drop-test standards, but you probably won’t be dropping it too often thanks to all the textures for your fingertips to cling to. You can get the premium Plasma Series case for a premium price from UAG’s website — yours for $40.

See at Urban Armor Gear

Ringke Fusion Case

The Ringke Fusion case blends rugged design features with a sleek and clear case that – Source

Eharmony and Alexa team up to make finding a date that much more weird

I’ve been married for 13 years next week. I can’t even imagine what it’s like to do that in the age of smartphones and dating apps and Instagram and text messages. I am old.

Also: There’s now an Amazon Alexa Skill that ties eharmony to your Amazon account. So you can find more info on potential lifelong partners without even having to pick up your phone, or log into a computer.

Or, as eharmony puts it:

It’s a hands-free way to navigate the dating process, as the eharmony skill for Alexa acts like your own personal matchmaker, introducing you to the selected daily matches eharmony has chosen for you.

Or, as eharmony also puts it: “With the eharmony skill for Alexa, people can focus more on the other elements of a profile by listening to her.”

OK, then.

You can enable the eharmony Skill for Amazon Alexa here.



The eharmony skill for Alexa, Reading New Matches, Sharing Messages, and Summarizing Your Daily Activity

September 6, 2017 – Los Angeles, CA – Whether you are lounging at home or getting ready to start the day, eharmony brings a new element of excitement to online dating with a skill for Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) Alexa. eharmony users will be able to enable the eharmony ‘Skill’ for Alexa, hear their matches and messages by voice and then ask Alexa for more info on dating prospects. It’s a hands-free way to navigate the dating process, as the eharmony skill for Alexa acts like your own personal matchmaker, introducing you to the selected daily matches eharmony has chosen for you.

The ability to listen to eharmony matches through Alexa is the latest move by eharmony to make it easier for people to connect with possible matches in a fast paced world.

“Alexa provides a unique, human element to eharmony,” said Grant Langston, chief executive officer of eharmony. “The eharmony skill for Alexa advises singles on matches who are compatible and sent messages. The eharmony skill for Alexa also surfaces pertinent information, like location and occupation that some people might gloss over if they are just quickly swiping at attractive pictures. With the eharmony skill for Alexa, people can focus more on the other elements of a profile by listening to her.”

How It Works

To get started, first enable the eharmony skill, then link your eharmony account in the Alexa app, and say “Alexa, open eharmony.” From there you can navigate to the sections of eharmony that you’d like to hear about. As the skill reads through the profiles and tells you about your matches, it also sends a photo of a potential love interest to your smartphone. And those with an Echo Show can see their matches photos right there, resulting in a completely hands-free way to experience eharmony.

Here are some helpful phrases to use with Alexa.

To check out your matches, say “Alexa, ask eharmony for my matches.”
To read your unread messages, say “Alexa, ask eharmony to read my messages.
To – Source

Critics say ‘It’ is missing something, but will still scare you silly

Nothing says “Summer’s over” like a murderous clown. Stephen King’s It releases in theaters Friday, and early reviews point to scream-worthy violence, clown imagery, and what Mashable’s own Angie Han describes as “the very specific terrors of early adolescence.” The film will likely perform well at the box office, but as reviews trickle in, it seems to fall slightly short of the massive weight upon this cultural legacy.

Read on for more reviews of Stephen King’s It.

SEE ALSO: Scary clowns have nothing on cruel everyday reality in Stephen King’s ‘It’

The cast

Andrew Barker, Variety:

Clarisse Loughrey, …

More about Entertainment, Movies, Reviews, Stephen King, and It – Source

Hurricane Irma is the most powerful storm to slam the Atlantic Ocean. Here’s what you need to know.

When its maximum sustained winds hit 185 mph on Tuesday, Sept. 5, Hurricane Irma became one of Atlantic Ocean’s most intense storms on record.

The storm appears to be destined to target the U.S., with Florida at particular risk of seeing landfall over the weekend, but not before the storm wreaks havoc from the Lesser Antilles in the Caribbean to Puerto Rico, Dominican Republic, and Cuba. …

More about Mashable Video, Florida, Caribbean, Cuba, and Atlantic Ocean

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Man creates ‘Game of Thrones’- inspired dragon egg and holy sh*t it’s beautiful

Using several metaling techniques, a design shop based out of Poland created a replica of a dragon’s egg and it looks seriously legit.

We’re pretty sure that even Khaleesi would be impressed at how realistic it looks. …

More about Entertainment, Mashable Video, Game Of Thrones, Game Of Thrones Season 7, and Real Time – Source

Add Bluetooth functionality to any car with Anker’s $17 SoundSync Drive

Our friends at Thrifter are back again, this time with a deal on a Bluetooth Car Receiver!

Wouldn’t it be nice to get into your car and have your phone pair instantly with its sound system? Some people are lucky enough to have the functionality built-into their new car, but for those of us out there who aren’t as fortunate, Anker’s SoundSync Drive Bluetooth Car Receiver is now down to just $16.99 on Amazon, a savings of $10 off its average price.

Simply plug this device into your AUX port and cigarette lighter socket and you’re all set to connect to the SoundSync Drive via the Bluetooth menu on your phone. Not only is connecting and listening easier from then on, but it’s also safer for you as well as now your calls can be hands-free, leaving your eyes on the road.

The SoundSync Drive has a small circular remote-like device which you adhere to your dashboard. With the few buttons it has, you can pair your device, pause or start music or call, or switch songs. It also supports lossless audio playback and active noise suppression to provide superb sound quality on both ends of a call. You can even activate Siri or other personal virtual assistants through this device.

To complete your new setup, you might also want to pick up Anker’s Magnetic Car Mount that clips into your air vent. It’s now down to $7.99 with the coupon code YTXCPYKJ and would be the perfect companion to fully go hands-free. That saves you $2 off its current sale price. You can also currently save on USB-C and standard USB car chargers with some under $7.

See at Amazon

More from Thrifter:

How to get the most out of your Amazon Prime membership
How to save money using Target’s Cartwheel service

For more great deals be sure to check out our friends at Thrifter now!

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All T-Mobile ONE family plans now include a Netflix subscription

Keep your binge going with one less subscription.

T-Mobile‘s “Un-carrier next” announcement this morning boiled down to one thing: giving Netflix subscriptions to customers for free. Yup, there isn’t much else to it — but that’s still awesome for the millions of people who are paying Netflix $10 (or more) per month on top of their T-Mobile bill.

There are two (minor) catches here. One, you have to be on a new T-Mobile ONE plan. Two, individual lines of service aren’t eligible. So you’ll need to have a T-Mobile One “family” plan with at least two lines — presumably the economics of such a deal only start to work out for the companies when you spread out that cost among multiple people.

Free Netflix seems like a whole lot easier deal to manage than buying a TV provider.

On the face of it this is a win-win for both T-Mobile and Netflix, which can both better retain customers since the two services are ostensibly tied together. T-Mobile sees this is as an easy counter-strike against Verizon and AT&T, which have each bought up content producers in order to make a bunch of in-house video deals that it then pushes as add-ons to raise their plan prices. It sure seems like simply inking a deal with Netflix is a lot easier than buying DirecTV, doesn’t it?

So how do you get Netflix for free on T-Mobile? Starting September 12, if you have a qualifying T-Mobile ONE family plan you can activate your Netflix subscription online, in a T-Mobile store or by calling T-Mobile customer support. If you already have Netflix, as surely most of you do at this point, T-Mobile will cover the cost of the subscription you’re already paying — up to $120 per year.

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Amazon’s out of the original Amazon Echo right now, and they won’t say why

More about Amazon, Smart Home, Echo, Tech, and Innovations – Source

Google Fiber shut off customer’s service because she owed 12 cents

Enlarge / Google Fiber equipment boxes in a Kansas City home in 2012. (credit: Google Fiber | Bloomberg)

One day last month, Kansas City resident Victoria Tane’s Google Fiber Internet service stopped working.

It turned out that Google Fiber cut off her Internet access because she owed 12 cents after an odd series of events involving an unused e-mail address, automated customer account systems, and a sales tax increase. Google Fiber quickly restored her connection and forgave the 12-cent balance after she called customer service, but the incident highlights a problem that Google Fiber may need to fix in order to prevent other customers from losing service over similarly trivial amounts.

The Kansas City Star of Missouri detailed what happened in a story yesterday. Tane has Google Fiber’s basic 5Mbps Internet service which has no monthly payment and required only a $300 construction fee. Google Fiber no longer offers that package to new customers, but those who signed up for it and paid the construction fee can use the service with no further payments for a total of seven years.

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Alexa and Siri are vulnerable to ‘silent,’ nefarious commands

Hacks are often caused by our own stupidity, but you can blame tech companies for a new vulnerability. Researchers from China’s Zheijiang University found a way to attack Siri, Alexa and other voice assistants by feeding them commands in ultrasonic f… – Source

Android Oreo seems to have broken Exchange sync in Gmail

The bug watch continues here at Android Police. It’s not that we love these infamous little buggers that annoy us by breaking things that used to work or completely blocking us from using certain features, it’s that we think you might appreciate knowing you’re not the only one if you were facing the same issue, and we may, just a little bit, believe that highlighting something on this site helps get it fixed a teeny bit faster.

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Android Oreo seems to have broken Exchange sync in Gmail was written by the awesome team at Android Police.

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