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19th October 2017

How to set up Alexa voice control for Sonos – CNET

Have a Sonos speaker? Own an Amazon Alexa-powered device like an Echo or Echo Dot? Now you can control Sonos by talking into thin air. – Source

Creator of The Matrix code reveals its mysterious origins – CNET

The production designer of the “Matrix” films and “The Lego Ninjago Movie,” which is out now, takes CNET down a rabbit hole of Zack Snyder, Harry Potter, Star Wars and Lego. – Source

Hidden iPhone 8 Plus features and toggles that you should know about

So, the iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus are out and with them came iOS 11 — Apple’s latest rehash of its mobile operating system. And we’ve got quite a lot of new things — a reworked Control Center, a screen recording feature, and tons of smaller tweaks.

If you’ve been an iPhone user for a while, you probably know your way around the device. But still, there may be some small tidbits here and there that you missed or forgot about. So, without further ado, let’s take a look at all the little-known secrets that Apple’s current most-powerful iPhone — the iPhone 8 Plus — … – Source

Native American tribe sues Amazon and Microsoft

The Saint Regis Mohawk Tribe was assigned data-processing patents by technology company SRC Labs. – Source

Here’s the badass grime recap of ‘The Walking Dead’ you never knew you needed

When a TV show reaches its eighth season, there’s a whole lot of stuff to remember. A reminder of all the key plot points is essential.

But ordinary, non-musical recaps are pretty boring, right? Who wants to sit through one of them?

SEE ALSO: ‘The Walking Dead’ Season 8 may be making a big mistake with Negan

Well, good news: in the run-up to Season 8 of The Walking Dead, NOW TV has released a grime-themed recap featuring MC Bugzy Malone.

You have to admit, it’s pretty darn catchy. …

More about Music, Uk, The Walking Dead, Grime, and The Walking Dead Recap

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Google’s AlphaGo AI no longer requires human input to master Go

Google’s AlphaGo already beat us puny humans to become the best at the Chinese board game of Go. Now, it’s done with humans altogether. DeepMind, the Alphabet subsidiary behind the artificial intelligence, just announced AlphaGo Zero. The latest iter… – Source

YouTube Gaming v2.02 adds Autoplay and introduces a new icon and splash screen [APK Download]

The YouTube Gaming app has been flying under the radar for a while as most of the updates have been focused on fixing bugs or making fairly minor changes–there haven’t even been any new easter eggs since v1.97. Yesterday’s update shows a little bit more activity as both cosmetic and functional changes were made. A revamped app icon and splash screen bring a little freshness to the look, and the always familiar autoplay feature from the core YouTube app is now available so you can put on an endless stream of game reviews or let’s plays.

Read More

YouTube Gaming v2.02 adds Autoplay and introduces a new icon and splash screen [APK Download] was written by the awesome team at Android Police.

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Ultimate Ears adds Amazon Alexa to Blast and Megablast speakers

Ultimate Ears, maker of fine portable Bluetooth speakers and custom-fit headphones, has hopped on the digital assistant bandwagon with the new Blast and Megablast Bluetooth speakers. Now with built-in Wi-Fi and Amazon Alexa, the Blast and Megablast have the full suite of Alexa services, including voice control for the likes of Spotify and Amazon music, as well as for smart home tech like Philips Hue bulbs and Logitech Harmony remotes.

The Blast costs £200 and the Megablast £270. Both are up for pre-order today, with launch due in “late October.”

Read 7 remaining paragraphs | Comments

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Want to Clap for Xi Jinping’s Speech? Use Your Smartphone

A WeChat app lets users show appreciation for the Chinese leader’s words by mashing their screens. The game says players have clapped a billion times so far. – Source

UE Blast and Megablast smart speakers launch with Alexa support

Ultimate Ears products are widely known as some of the best portable speakers, and they hit all the right spots with the Boom 2 and Megaboom. Today they just improved the experience even further with Ultimate Ears Blast and Megablast, packing Amazon’s digital assistant, Alexa.

Are the latest in a series of new Alexa-powered smart speaker, including the Moto Smart Speaker and the Sonos One. They are bigger and more powerful devices compared to their Bluetooth-only counterparts, the Boom 2 and Megaboom. The bigger of the two, the Megablast, can reach a sound pressure of over 93 dB – that’s 40% louder compared to Megaboom, and the improvements don’t stop here. The Megablast comes with two 25 mm tweeters, two 55 mm active drivers and two large 85 x 50 mm passive radiators, where the Blast has two 35 mm active drivers and two 81 x 39mm passive radiators.

Both smart speakers can now be attached to a dedicated wireless charging dock called Power Up. The dock will rid you of tangled cables and make for a sleeker appearance in your favorite spot at home. You don’t need it, though – the Blast is guaranteed to work for up to 12 hours, and Megablast improves it even further with 16 hours of non-stop music. Both of them can be charged with any regular USB cable, sans the fancy dock.

These smart speakers are tough and robust, as well as IP67-certified, so you can take them with you at a pool party and don’t worry about them. They have been tested for 30 minutes under three feet of water, so they can survive drink spills, splashes of water, rain, and even a quick dip into the pool. A crucial advantage over Amazon Echo and Echo Dot – as well as other smart speakers – is that you can take them anywhere without worries thanks to their sturdy build.

The Wi-Fi enabled Blast and Megablast let you use Alexa for a variety of tasks: play your favorite playlist, order food, listen to a news brief, call up a friend, or use any of the other 25,000 Alexa Skills. You don’t need to connect a phone (though you can, via Bluetooth), just ask Alexa to stream music from cloud services like Amazon Music, iHeartRadio and TuneIn.

In the US, the Blast and Megablast will be available in Graphite (Black), Blizzard (White), Blue Steel, and Merlot (Red). Pre-orders start today with the Blast available for $229 and Megablast for $299. They will also come in bundles available with the wireless charging dock Power Up from AT&T, T-Mobile and Verizon for both the Blast ($260) and Megablast ($330). Customers buying one before January 13th 2018 will be entitled to a free three-month Amazon Music Unlimited subscription.

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Samsung 360 Round is a 3D 360° camera for the pros

After years of development, the Samsung 360 Round is official. This a 360° camera that can stream VR content in a more professional setting, unlike the Gear 360.

For one, it has a total of 17 cameras organized in 8 pairs plus one on the top. This allows it to stream immersive 4K 360° videos in 3D (something the Gear camera cannot do).

If you’ve tried watching 360° video from a consumer camera, you’ll likely have noticed that it’s in 2D, which spoils the illusion. It takes pairs of cameras to create a 3D image with depth.

High quality audio is supported out of the box with 6 internal…

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Pixel 2 XL teardown reveals LG battery, heat pipe, and Google’s first custom processor

The crafty folks from iFixit have gone through the trouble to take apart the new Google Pixel 2 XL, and it turned out that it wasn’t much of a trouble, at least as far as today’s sealed waterproof flagships are concerned, as we’ve seen recent phones much harder to repair. The Pixel 2 XL got a 6/10 score for repairability, and, despite that it is water-resistant with IP67 certification, it doesn’t even need heating to open up, unlike the vast majority of today’s glass-and-metal flagships.
The phone is indeed LG inside, as given away by the branding of … – Source

Elon Musk’s Boring company readies its second, poetic tunnel digger

The Boring Company, Elon Musk’s third or fourth company (who can keep track) is nearly ready to double its tunnel digging capacity: The venture’s second boring machine is “almost ready” according to Musk, and it’ll be named ‘Line-Storm,’ borrowing its name from a poem by Robert Frost. Maybe this is what Steve Jobs really always meant when he talked… Read More

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Marriott’s Slack extension proves booking corporate travel software doesn’t have to suck

Marriott is using Slack and emoji to make booking a hotel room as easy as giving a 👍 .

The hotel chain introduced a new Slack extension that lets teams browse and book hotel rooms directly in their chats. And, being Slack, of course, there’s an emoji feature.

SEE ALSO: How dancing emoji hijacked your job — and why there’s no going back

Start by providing a city and dates, and the extension will surface a handful of options. Everyone in the chat can then vote — using Slack’s …

More about Tech, Travel, Emoji, Slack, and Marriott – Source

Dear Mr. Bezos: Pick Mashable’s proposal for Amazon’s new headquarters

More about Amazon, Amazon Headquarters, Business, and Big Tech Companies

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Moto X4 review: A mid-range phone done right

Not everyone wants to spend top dollar on a phone — if that’s the case, the Moto X4 is a fantastic choice a couple steps below that top level.

The quick take

Project Fi was in dire need of a new, solid, mid-range phone — and now it has one in the Moto X4. Motorola’s $399 phone offers build quality that will make you feel like you paid far more, with hardware features like waterproofing that are great to see. And Google has managed to make a Motorola software experience even more appealing by adding guaranteed updates through the Android One program. Performance, battery life and camera quality are all befitting a phone of this price range. The Moto X4 is a capable leader in the sub-flagship space.

The Good

Excellent software
Great build quality with nice materials
Good cameras for the money
High quality display in all respects

The Bad

Just average battery life
Notable step down in performance from the high-end
Android One version limited to Project Fi
Confusing variety of SKUs globally

See at Motorola
See at Project Fi

The internals

Moto X4 Tech Specs

Operating system
Android 7.1 Nougat
5.2-inch IPS LCD, 1920×1080 (424 ppi)
Corning Gorilla Glass 3
Snapdragon 630 octa-core, 2.2 GHz
Adreno 508 GPU, 650 MHz
3/4GB (EMEA)
32/64GB (EMEA, APAC)
microSD up to 2TB
Rear camera 1
12MP, 1.4-micron pixels, f/2.0, Dual Autofocus Pixel
2160p30, 1080p60 video
Rear camera 2
8MP, 1.12-micron pixels, f/2.2, 120-degree wide-angle lens
Front camera
16MP, 1-micron pixels, f/2.0, selfie flash
Turbo Charging
802.11ac dual-band Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 5.0 BR/EDR/BLE, NFC
Headphone jack
Water resistance
IP68 rating
One-touch fingerprint sensor
148.35 x 73.4 x 7.99 mm
163 g
Super Black, Sterling Blue

Great for the money

Moto X4 Things you’ll love

Motorola has its hardware processes absolutely locked in. For all of the valid criticism that it doesn’t vary things much from generation to generation, every phone it’s put out in the past few years has been built like a tank out of great materials — the Moto X4 is no different, even at $399.

The Moto X4 feels fantastic, and has hardware features you don’t expect at this price.

You get the same solid metal frame with tasteful texturing, and finely milled edges that join the glass on both sides perfectly. It feels great all around — befitting a far more expensive device — even though the glass on the back is definitely a weak point when it comes to long-term durability concerns. Yes it’s rather generic, looking like just about every other Motorola phone, but that’s no big deal in this price range — I’d rather have time and money spent on the actual build of the device rather than extra flare that serves no purpose.

Beyond the external design, the Moto X4 also gives you a set of nice-to-have features you wouldn’t always expect for this segment. You get USB-C with fast charging, IP68 – Source

Moto X4 review: Motorola’s ‘basic’ phone is a good value for $400

I was ready to give the Moto X4 a middling to negative review when a colleague asked me about phone recommendations, specifically non-iPhones. Since the X4 was in my hand, I showed it to her. After showing her everything I liked and didn’t like, I surprised myself when I actually ended up recommending it.

The reason I came around is really for one reason: the price. The …

More about Android, Reviews, Motorola, Mashable Choice, and Moto X – Source

Moto X4 (Android One edition) review: This is not the Moto X you’re looking for

Motorola had hit a rough patch when Google came calling back in 2011. It took some time to clear out the queue of sub-standard devices, but the first true Google-backed Motorola effort came in 2013 with the launch of the Moto X. This device broke new ground with clever software features like Moto Display (called Active Display at the time) and a customizable design. Motorola made a few more Moto X phones, all of which were excellent devices.

Read More

Moto X4 (Android One edition) review: This is not the Moto X you’re looking for was written by the awesome team at Android Police.

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Twitter took a year to close a fake GOP account run by Russians

The Russian troll farm that bought ads pointing to fake news sites on Facebook also ran a fake Twitter account impersonating the Tennessee Republican Party. While it has now been permanently suspended, Buzzfeed says the platform refused to take the a… – Source

The Galaxy Note 8 is a curious smartphone

Rising from the ashes of the Galaxy Note 7, this year’s Galaxy Note has a lot to live up to. After a few weeks with Samsung’s flagship, one thing is perfectly clear to me: the Galaxy Note 8 is a curious smartphone.

With an illustrious history of devices that helped usher in the big screen smartphone trend, each new addition to the Galaxy Note range comes with expectations that it’ll live up to the example of its predecessors. The Galaxy Note 7 was Samsung’s biggest breakout handset in the US market, but it unfortunately proved to be a short-lived affair.

High expectations

The Galaxy S8 was the first flagship to follow the Galaxy Note 7, albeit under a different product line, with minimal negative reactions. The Galaxy Note 8 arrived soon after to much aplomb. With record pre-orders and sales, it certainly looks to have delivered the follow-up superstar the Galaxy Note 7 deserved.

The Galaxy Note 8 somehow doesn’t feel the same as previous Galaxy Note devices.

Yet it somehow doesn’t feel the same as previous Galaxy Note devices. I’ve used every Galaxy S and Galaxy Note flagship released – including the Galaxy Note 5 which I had to import into Europe – and the Galaxy Note 8 elicits very different feelings than previous devices.

It could be because past Galaxy Note devices have often launched when the smartphone industry was looking for something new and shiny to fawn over. This year, the smartphone industry has so much competitive choice that the allure of a shiny new Galaxy Note doesn’t have quite the same appeal.

Almost-flawless fundamentals

Fundamentally, the Galaxy Note 8 is almost flawless as a smartphone. With a few tweaks over the Galaxy Note 7, it offers a lot of the same refinement and polish as its popular predecessor and brings an experience that is mature in many ways.

Six weeks in, it can get a little hot, especially around the camera area, but there are no safety concerns with the Galaxy Note 8.

The 3,300 mAh battery shows that Samsung is playing it safe, much like with the Galaxy S8. I’m happy that they’re not taking risks like in the Galaxy Note 7, but sadly the battery doesn’t last as long as I’d like. Average battery life is in the 18 to 24 hours range, with around 4 to 5 hours of screen-on time. Given the screen size, a larger battery would have been welcome but the old adage that advancements in batteries haven’t kept up with advancements in other technology is certainly apparent.

The biggest criticism of the Galaxy S8 was the odd choice of fingerprint placement, and the Note 8 somewhat addresses this with a slightly rearranged order of the camera and sensors. The Note 8 features the dual cameras on the left, with the heart rate sensor and flash in the middle and the fingerprint sensor on the right. The sensor itself is slightly recessed, which makes it easier to find than the Galaxy S8 – with fewer fingerprints on – Source

Mapping the Great Barrier Reef with cameras, drones and NASA tech – CNET

New and old technologies reveal what’s killing Australia’s great marine wonder. – Source

Clarion Builds Acura NSX heads to Barrett-Jackson for charity – Roadshow

All auction proceeds will benefit the American Red Cross. – Source

Deal: Buy an unlocked Essential Phone for $100 off

With its high-end specs and rare build materials (including
ceramic and tough titanium), the Essential Phone is not a cheap device, being
sold for $699.99 unlocked. If this rather high price is what stops you from
getting the handset, we have good news – the Essential Phone can now be purchased
for $599.99 ($100 off) via Best Buy.

Only the black version of the Essential Phone is offered for
$599.99, so the newly-released white model still costs $699.99. Nevertheless,
if you’re interested in getting the smartphone, go ahead and visit Best Buy via the source
link below.

The … – Source

Scoot is adding battery-swapping cars to its San Francisco lineup

If you spend any time in San Francisco you’ll see them. The red electric scooters with a white lighting bolt and the word “Scoot” plastered on the side of the cargo box. Scoot, the company behind these ubiquitous two-wheeled vehicles has been able to… – Source

The $24 Lumsing TV wall mount lets you watch your favorite shows from any angle

This thing is built to last.

Is this deal for me?

The Lumsing dual articulating arm TV wall mount is down to $23.99 with code DSUMLN65 on Amazon. This wall mount normally sells around $40 and has never dropped much lower than that through direct price drops.

The dual articulating arm is a key component to this wall mount because it gives it a huge range of motion and allows you to move the TV to the best possible angle for you whether you’re chilling on the couch or watching a game with a bunch of friends.

Features include:

Fits most of 27-70-inch TVs up to 99lbs
Fits VESA (mounting hole pattern): 75x75mm, 100x100mm, 100x200mm, 200x200mm, 300x200mm, 300x300mm, 400x200mm, 400x300mm, 400x400mm, 600x400mm
Low Profile mount retracts to 4.3-inches to save space, extends 20-inches from the wall
Tilt: 15 degrees down/forward
Total Rotation: 60 degrees right/left
Easy installation, installation manual and fitting screws and bolts included
NOT suitable for 16-inch wood stud spacing. Fit below 12-inch wood stud spacing.

If you have a TV smaller than 27-inches or want a wall mount with a smaller footprint, you can get this AmazonBasics mount that is also on sale.


What makes this deal worth considering? – This is one of the best prices we’ve ever seen. Beats any direct price drop on this item.
Things to know before you buy! – Read the features and make sure this mount will work for what you’re trying to do. Check your stud spacing, your VESA mounting holes, and TV weight before making this purchase.

See at Amazon

More from Thrifter:

8 weird things you probably have in your house that sell on eBay
How to save money when driving

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

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Legend introduces diamond-studded iPhone X collection

Apple introduced the iPhone X in September, and the phone will go on sale on November 3. But if the starting price of $999/£999/€1,149 doesn’t seem like much to you, you may want to consider one of the customized units by Finnish company Legend. It is selling 256 GB iPhone X’s with diamonds on the back and gold rim to add extra fancy to the premium smartphone package.

Some of the variants Legend offers

At €2,950 the Aurum model is the cheapest in the rooster. It has a 24K gold-plated back panel, nacre (mother of pearls) inlaid logo and a solid 18K gold rim.

The Fusion…

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Stardock CEO talks Star Control: Origins’ player crafting and upcoming beta

Enlarge / You’ll be given a lot of parts with which to build your custom ship. Stardock hopes each player will end up with a completely different ship at the end and compare screenshots. (credit: Stardock)

Star Control is back—or at least it will be imminently. Next month, Stardock Entertainment will begin a beta test of Star Control: Origins, a space-exploration adventure game that the company’s CEO, Brad Wardell, hopes will be a true successor to fan favorite Star Control II. The beta will include a ship-creator tool and playable super melee, 1v1 PvP mode. The beta coincides with the 25th anniversary of Star Control II.

Originally, Star Control: Origins was slated for release at this time, but it has been pushed back to next year. Stardock CEO Brad Wardell says the game has been delayed in part because its development team decided to implement robust, in-game creation tools that will allow players to create ships, planets, structures, stories, and more—Minecraft-style—then share them on the Steam Workshop.

I spoke at length with Wardell about the game, his personal history with Star Control, these newly revealed features, and more. And we have new art, new screenshots, and a video showing the game’s current state of development.

Read 32 remaining paragraphs | Comments

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Intel wants to be inside your Alexa devices – CNET

With a vision for improving the smart home, and a new Alexa developer’s kit, Intel has a plan to grow its profile in the smart home. – Source

Chelsea Handler’s Netflix talk show will end after two seasons

More than three years after Chelsea Handler and Netflix teamed up to “revolutionize the talk show” their quest is coming to an end. Handler tweeted that she has decided not to return after the second season of Chelsea wraps up (later this year), inst… – Source

The canaries in a coal mine

I’ve seen startups come and go over the years and I was particularly interested to see what happened to August Smart locks today. The company originally tapped Yves Behar to make a better smart lock, one that would meld with the sensitivities of a certain kind of smart home stylist with the high-concept, high-tech design of the Nest thermostat. The products, while beautiful, were unusable… Read More

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