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8th September 2017

Lawyer who sued Gawker and Techdirt has a new target: Jezebel

Enlarge / LAS VEGAS – JUNE 11: Greg Scherick (L) at the CineVegas film festival in 2006. Scherick has sued Gizmodo Media Group, claiming that an article in Jezebel about his project “Superstar Machine” was libelous. (credit: Photo by Michael Buckner/Getty Images for CineVegas)

An Oregon life coach, represented by the lawyer who won a $140 million verdict against Gawker Media on behalf of Hulk Hogan, has filed a defamation lawsuit against Jezebel, one of the websites that was once part of Gawker’s online media group.

Jezebel, a culture and news site geared towards women, ran a story about a group called “Superstar Machine,” which quoted some ex-members referring to the group as a “cult.” The founder of Superstar Machine, Greg Scherick, has sued Jezebel for defamation.

The article described Scherick as running a self-help group in which women gathered around him in a semi-circle and Scherick proceeded to “call people on our shit,” in the words of one former follower. Scherick would tell women “what he perceived their spiritual and romantic failings to be,” according to the article. This often led to tears, and crying in the group was “frequent” and “praised.”

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Bits: Farhad’s and Natasha’s Week in Review: Tech Tackles Trump, Again

Once again, the tech industry tried to get the president to change his mind. Once again, they failed. Plus a look at the week’s other tech news. – Source

Best Mesh Wi-Fi Router Kits

What are the best mesh network kits?

Mesh Wi-Fi kits are becoming popular for people who are sick of dead spots in their network coverage. Whether you have a large home or a small place with thick walls, grabbing one of these kits can alleviate a poor signal. The idea is simple — connect a few satellite Wi-Fi points to the main point and spread out the signal evenly around your house.

Why not just grab an extender or a powerful router? You certainly can, but extenders don’t usually work in unison, and powerful routers can be just as expensive as one of these mesh kits.

If you’re interested in setting up a mesh network, here are the standouts of the current mesh network kits on offer.


Unlike the other mesh network kits that use a mobile app for configuration, Orbi takes advantage of the same solid method that the NETGEAR Nighthawk routers use — you don’t need an internet connection to get inside your Orbi and change a wide variety of settings, nor must you rely on an Android or iPhone app.

Awarded an Editors’ Choice by PCMag and chosen as the top overall unit by The Wirecutter, the latter site had this to say:

Thanks to a dedicated high-bandwidth Wi-Fi connection between the base and the satellite, the Orbi kit had the best throughput and range of the kits we tested, even with only two units to the other kits’ three.

You get tri-band Wi-Fi, MU-MIMO connectivity, and a ton of Ethernet ports on each unit. Each Orbi Wi-Fi point is good for up to about 2,000 square feet, meaning the two-pack at about $350 is good for a pretty large space.

Note: The NETGEAR Orbi is not a true mesh Wi-Fi system. Instead of each satellite being able to talk to each other and bounce your data over to the main router, each satellite can only talk to the main router. Still, the Orbi has great throughput but isn’t quite as scalable due to the lack of satellite communication.

See at Amazon

Google Wifi

Google Wifi is simple to set up and does exactly what is advertised. Just grab the app on your Android or iPhone, plug the Wi-Fi point in, and you’re pretty much good to go. You can see all devices connected to the network, you can prioritize certain devices — gamers love this — and you can even block access to others. Google Wifi will automatically select the clearest channel and will take the fastest band depending on each individual device. MU-MIMO connectivity included? You bet.

CNET gave Google Wifi a stellar rating in their review, and PCMag, in their review, stated:

If you’re looking for a super-simple way to get Wi-Fi to every corner of your home, Google Wifi could be the answer. Delivering seamless wireless connectivity on a single network, the system is easy to install and – Source

YouTube’s Robert Kyncl on vlogging and big tech jumping into high-end video

YouTube isn’t just for cat videos. People have built empires by “vlogging,” sharing parts of their real lives or taking on different personalities in online videos.

As YouTube’s chief business officer, Robert Kyncl is tasked with supporting these creators. He helps make sure they have the right tools to cater to their subscribers and earn revenue, and, hopefully do not abandon the platform for another tech giant.

SEE ALSO: Meet the Muslim YouTuber making people laugh as he tackles extremism and Islamophobia

Kyncl just released a book with titled “…

More about Facebook, Youtube, Online Video, Youtube Creators, and Robert Kyncl

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CBS, Comcast deal brings fantasy football to your cable box

We’ve seen a few attempts to put fantasy football on TV screens over the years, but despite the game’s increasing popularity none have really made an impact (we never did see more fantasy leagues appear for the Xbox One). Now CBS has struck a deal wi… – Source

Fall movie preview: What to watch if you just want to see the best of the best

We’ve come to the final chapter in our 2017 fall movie preview. Click through for our earlier installments: superhero flicks, prestige pics, feel-good movies, and feel-bad movies.

The fall movie season is unofficially underway as of this weekend, and that means it’s time for us to wrap up our fall movie preview. All week, we’ve been sharing our top picks across different categories.

Today, we’re doing something different, and showcasing our six most highly anticipated fall movies of any kind. And wouldn’t you know it – there’s a little something here for everyone, whether you favor romance, comedy, drama, adventure, or what have you. …

More about Movies, Star Wars The Last Jedi, Call Me By Your Name, The Disaster Artist, and The Shape Of Water – Source

Red Cross to start testing drones in disaster relief efforts

The American Red has teamed up with the UPS Foundation and drone manufacturer CyPhy Works to bring drones to sites of natural disasters. The goal is to use drones tethered to the ground to assess damages through constant aerial observations. This is where CyPhy Works comes in. The pilot program utilizes CyPhy Works’ Persistent Aerial Reconnaissance and Communications (PARC) platform. In… Read More

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Uber wants all its cars in London to be electric by 2025 … and you’re going to pay for it

Uber announced on Friday that it wants all its cars in London to be electric by 2025.

It’s an ambitious goal, one that will take some serious investment. But Uber has a plan for that—add a little extra charge to every single ride. Riders will soon see an extra 35 pence tacked onto their London jaunts.

UberPool Trips, however, won’t have the added charge.

SEE ALSO: Uber’s (probable) new CEO is known to be ‘fair and nice,’ for a change

The new surcharge is part of Uber’s larger “clean air” fund that follows on the UK government’s recent efforts to limit pollution, which include a plan to …

More about Uber, Electric Cars, Business, and Big Tech Companies

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Equity podcast: Roku is going public, 23andMe raises $200M and Juicero is dead

Hello and welcome back to Equity, TechCrunch’s venture capital-themed podcast.
This week Matthew Lynley, Katie Roof, and myself — Alex! — sat down with Micah Rosenbloom, an investor with Founder Collective to sit down and chew over the week’s news.
We managed to not talk about Uber this episode, which was a welcome respite from the last few months during which we… Read More

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Cry of the week: Existentially depressing comedy ‘You’re The Worst’ returns

Welcome to our weekly series “Cry of the Week,” in which we highlight whatever moment made us ugly cry on our couches the most in the past seven days.

FXX’s twisted comedy lovechild You’re The Worst made its Season 4 debut on Wednesday, and while it’s biting, witty, and sexy as ever, it’s still in an exceedingly dark place.

SEE ALSO: The ‘You’re The Worst’ finale will emotionally destroy you

Season 3 ended with Lindsay finally through with her marriage, Edgar on the cusp of his comedy career, and Gretchen and Jimmy engaged…for all of two minutes, before he drove away and left her abandoned in the Hollywood Hills (he’s been on his own journey, but that’s another piece for another time). …

More about Entertainment, Television, Comedy, Fx, and You Re The Worst – Source

Don’t throw away your eclipse glasses

Now that the eclipse is over (for those of you who managed to see it, I hope it was worth the hype), you may be ready to toss your eclipse glasses. But before you do, take a look at what Astronomers Without Borders is doing. Along with their partner… – Source

Volvo acquires car valet startup Luxe to boost its digital services business

After a pivot and months of speculation about the future of car valet and concierge startup Luxe, the company has finally found a home. Today, automaker Volvo Cars announced that it is acquiring the startup’s platform, technology, key staff and other assets, which it will use to put some fuel into its own digital services strategy. The terms of the acquisition are not being disclosed, but… Read More

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The Equifax hack, and how to protect yourself from identity theft

The credit monitoring company Equifax has been hid by a mammoth hack that is one of the most serious data breaches of all times. This is not yet another day, yet another data breach — you need to take action and quickly to protect yourself and loved ones.

The data beach is simply enormous, both in size and richness of leaked data. Equifax announced that as early as mid-May 2017, 143 million US consumers were affected after unauthorized access of their data. The hack was discovered by Equifax on July 29th and it’s now taken the credit agency two months to announce the details, so consumers may already be affected.

The data breach is not 143 million email addresses or passwords. It’s detailed personal information — birth dates, Social Security numbers, addresses, and driver’s license numbers are all out there. Given social security numbers can’t be changed, this is highly valuable data for hackers that will remain useful for years to come.

For some particularly unlucky 209,000 US consumers, it’s their personal information, along with financial information and credit card data, which is another magnitude worse. For another 182,000 US consumers, certain ‘dispute documents’ with sensitive ‘personal identifying information’ were also accessed.

Equifax have set up a site where you can check if your data was compromised, although initial reports suggest that it’s frustratingly unclear – either telling affected people to check back again after September 13th, or seemingly confirming that data was breached with the line: “Based on the information provided, we believe that your personal information may have been impacted by this incident.”

Many people aren’t affected immediately by a data breach, but months or years later when their identity is fraudulently used. In an awful irony, this also can damage your credit score.

What you can do to protect yourself

Unfortunately, the onus is on thoroughly checking your financial statements and information closely. This includes checking for new credit applications that have been filed on your behalf by someone else or late payments on debts that don’t appear to be your own.

Equifax is offering a year of free credit monitoring and identity theft insurance for all US consumers via TrustedID Premier, regardless if you were hacked or not. (Users are reporting that the fine print says signing up for this free year may forfeit your right to sue Equifax for their data breach, so if your data was breached, do consider alternatives such as Credit Karma). Just 12-months coverage isn’t recommended either, you’ll be wanting checking for some years in the future.

It may be worth investigating putting a security freeze or credit freeze on your account

For those that appear to have had significant data breached, it may be worth investigating putting a security freeze or credit freeze on your account. This puts a lock on your Social Security number to prevent new lines of credit being opened.

Krebs On Security has some details in an old post on embracing a security freeze, while the Federal Trade Commission – Source

Snapdragon 836 delayed until next year, Pixel 2 will use 835

The Google Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL will likely be powered by a Snapdragon 835, instead of a Snapdragon 836.

Apparently Qualcomm has been forced to delay the upgraded chipset until the beginning of next year. Snapdragon 836 is still likely coming, despite some other rumors.

So, 836: QCT had told GOOG to expect it, but then delayed it until early next year (tho perhaps under diff branding), forcing Pixels to 835.— Evan Blass (@evleaks) September 8, 2017

The Pixel duo is expected to become official on October 5.

If the differences between the Snapdragon 820 and 821 are anything to…

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Facebook plans to spend up to $1B on original shows in 2018

Facebook could spend as much as $1 billion to fund original content initiatives for its new Watch video platform, according to a new report from the Wall Street Journal. The amount might seem familiar – it’s the same investment Apple is said to have earmarked for original shows and movies through 2018. Facebook’s spend could vary depending on the success of programming,… Read More

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Apple’s Siri: Be less of a novelty and more like HAL 9000 – CNET

Commentary: A pep talk with Apple’s AI assistant. – Source

Bored? Try the Goodwood Revival livestream

Enlarge (credit: Tristan Fewings/Getty Images)

Over in the UK, the Goodwood Revival is just getting underway. It’s a race-weekend/fancy-dress garden party, where people dress up in period attire to match the vintage and historic cars that battle it out over the course of three days. The racing is the antithesis of what we saw a few weeks ago in Monterey, although the cars are no less rare or valuable. And best of all, the entire thing is streamed on YouTube:

The Goodwood circuit was one of the UK’s fastest. It was built in Sussex on the Goodwood Estate in 1948 but closed in 1966 as it became too dangerous for the cars of the time. When Lord March (who owns the estate) realized the success of his Goodwood Festival of Speed, a decision was made to reopen the circuit, but the only racing that happens there is for classic cars. What makes the Revival truly amazing are both the cars and drivers that turn up to compete.

For one thing, you literally won’t see an assortment of cars like these anywhere other than at Laguna Seca during Car Week. As I type this, nine (!) Ford GT40s are lapping a rather wet track in search of pole position for the Whitsun Trophy, which happens on Saturday afternoon. (Did I mention all the races have cool names?) Second, everyone takes the racing a lot more seriously than in California—a lot. Part of that is the driver lineup; in addition to the wealthy amateurs, pros are drafted in for the weekend.

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Google Allo is getting in-chat translations, adaptive icon support

Image source: Android Police
Google’s chat app Allo is receiving another update, this one adding in-chat translations for everyone and adaptive icon support for users running Android 8.0 Oreo.
The translation feature is pretty simple to use. All you need to do after you update, is to long-press a message and the Google Translate icon will pop up at the top of your screen. Tap the icon and the message will be automatically translated. To hide the translation, long press the message bubble again and tap “Undo.”
Interestingly, … – Source

Disney Movies Anywhere drops Microsoft as a partner

Disney has recently sent out emails to its Movies Anywhere users telling them that the service no longer supports Microsoft’s Movies and TV store. The Movies Anywhere app gives you a way to stream all the Disney movies you’ve purchased, so long as yo… – Source

It’s time to build our own Equifax with blackjack and crypto

The private data of 143 million Equifax “customers” is now available for download. Have no doubt: This means you will be hacked. This means your SIM card can be spoofed. This means someone will try to get into your email and online accounts. This means someone will try to open a credit card in your name. This crass, callow, and lazy treatment of our digital data cannot stand.… Read More

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WhatsApp finally updated with picture-in-picture video calling and text status updates

WhatsApp formally announced that two new highly-anticipated features are now functional for those using its messaging app. As the title says, PiP (picture-in-picture) mode is available for video calls, as well as text status updates.

However, picture-in-picture video calling will only work on devices running Android 8.0 Oreo and higher since it’s the only version of the OS that includes the necessary API for the new feature to function properly. If you do own an Android 8.0 Oreo smartphone, then you can now tap back to continue the video call in picture-in-picture mode during a video call.

The … – Source

Facebook is dropping $1 billion on video, and that’s pretty great news

For years now, media companies have hoped and prayed that Facebook would get serious about shelling out cash to partners.

Looks like that time has come.

Facebook is reportedly prepared to spend up to $1 billion on video as part of its big move into original content, exemplified by its recent launch of Watch (Mashable is a Watch partner).

The news, reported …

More about Facebook, Facebook Watch, Business, Media Industry, and Big Tech Companies

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Engadget Podcast Ep 41: High Hopes

This week senior editor Chris Velazco and I meant to recap Chris’s review of the Galaxy Note 8, but this quickly devolved into speculation about next week’s Apple event and opining about the crowded smartphone space in general. Also, we made some div… – Source

Original Content turns a ‘Little Evil’

It’s a familiar story: Woman joins satanic cult, woman becomes mysteriously pregnant, child kills one boyfriend after another, child is probably the Antichrist. For the latest episode of TechCrunch’s Original Content podcast, we take a break from superheroes and review Little Evil, a Netflix film offering a comedic twist on Rosemary’s Baby and The Omen. It’s partly… Read More

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Ouch! The Galaxy Note 8 gets scratched, burned, and bent on video

YouTuber JerryRigEverything is popular for his tasking durability tests that a multitude of smartphones have passed with flying colors though some have provided a shameful display.
And, of course, with the Note 8 being one of the hottest devices of the past few weeks (on par with the LG V30) it’s only natural to see that Samsung’s latest S Pen handset receive the JerryRIgEverything treatment on video.
As usual, a scratch, burn, and bend tests get demonstrated and, spoiler alert, the Note 8 passes all these fairly well. It would seem … – Source

Martin Shkreli could go to jail for offering people $5,000 to grab Hillary Clinton’s hair

Martin Shkreli may have gone too far posting a $5,000 bounty on Facebook for someone to “grab” hair from former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

Federal prosecutors now say the former pharmaceutical executive once dubbed “the most hated man in America” should be locked up immediately.

Shkreli, who was found guilty by a jury last month of defrauding investors in two hedge funds, has been out on bail awaiting his sentencing hearing. He’s engaged in a “pattern of threats and harassment” and his bail should be revoked, prosecutors told a Brooklyn, New York, federal judge in a filing Thursday.

“So on HRC’s book tour, try to grab a hair from her,” Shkreli posted on his Facebook page on Sept. 4. “I must confirm the sequencing I have. Will pay $5,000 per hair obtained from Hillary Clinton. Payment after the sequence matches. Good luck patrollers.” …

More about Martin Shkreli, Hillary Clinton, Business, and Politics – Source

Uber is apparently facing a third federal criminal investigation

Enlarge / Travis Kalanick, ex-CEO of Uber Technologies. (credit: Qilai Shen/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

Federal investigators are probing an internal program, dubbed “Hell,” that Uber used to keep tabs on its leading competitor, Lyft, the Wall Street Journal is reporting.

“Uber created fake Lyft customer accounts, tricking Lyft’s system into believing prospective customers were seeking rides in various locations around a city. That allowed Uber to see which Lyft drivers were nearby and what prices they were offering for various routes,” the Journal reports. “The program was also used to glean data on drivers who worked for both companies, and whom Uber could target with cash incentives to get them to leave Lyft.”

Federal investigators are reportedly probing “whether ‘Hell’ constituted unauthorized access of a computer”—which is a federal crime under the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, the anti-hacking statute Congress passed in 1986.

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LeEco takes its US site offline for a week, which is a totally normal thing for a company to do

Chinese tech firm LeEco exploded into the US market last year with a number of compelling deals on powerful smartphones. but things haven’t gone as planned for the company. As its operation back in China faltered, the future of its US expansion has become unclear. It’s more unclear than ever now that the LeEco US website is gone. According to the message left in place of the website, the company is busy “upgrading the system.”

LeEco was essentially unknown to US consumers until last year, but it was a big player in China with ventures in mobile, film, streaming media, and even cars.

Read More

LeEco takes its US site offline for a week, which is a totally normal thing for a company to do was written by the awesome team at Android Police.

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Stephen Colbert’s ‘Late Show’ is rewriting the rules of late night TV for a digital audience

2017 hasn’t been a great year for America, but it’s certainly been good for late night TV.

Samantha Bee, Trevor Noah, John Oliver and Seth Meyers have all gotten a boost from observing the surrealism of life in the Age of Trump, but no host has managed to spin society’s straw into ratings gold quite like Late Show host Stephen Colbert.

The CBS star manages to blend his trademark political humor with broader cultural commentary, a relaxed interview style and a healthy dose of mischief, resulting in a show that can be both weighty and light, sweet and snarky, all in the space of one episode.

“We’re not a political show, we’re a topical show, but if you do anything right now and pretend that it has nothing to do with Trump, you’re just wrong,” says The Late Show’s executive producer Chris Licht. “So really, we’re a reflection of where society is, and if that wanes then we will adjust. We’re not on the air to be a Trump show, we’re on the air and we’re in the digital space to be entertaining and relevant and topical.” …

More about Cbs, The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon, Stephen Colbert, Jimmy Fallon, and James Corden – Source

vivo X20 to come with Snapdragon 660, blazing fast Face Unlock

The upcoming vivo X20 will be powered by a Snapdragon 660 chipset and offer facial recognition that will be able to unlock the device within 0.1s.

vivo itself confirmed the Face Wake (as it calls it) feature officially through a teaser on its Weibo account while the chipset comes by way of a leaked image showing the phone in the wild.

vivo X20 Face Unlock and Snapdragon 660

This clears the air as to the differences between the vivo V7+, which was officially announced yesterday, and the X20. The V7+ uses a Snapdragon 450 chipset with 4GB of RAM (or 3GB depending on the model)…

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