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21st October 2017

Here’s how we can help Mother Nature save the Great Barrier Reef – CNET

The reef is big, beautiful and on its deathbed. Nature can heal it, but she needs our help. – Source

Asus ZenPad Z8s review – CNET

The Asus ZenPad Z8s tablet is a small and stylish Verizon exclusive that costs considerably less than the iPad Mini 4. – Source

This full-size travel bag fits in a shoe box

More about Travel, Transportation, Mashable Video, Real People, and Real Time

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How to hide ‘Apps are running in the background’ notification on Oreo

Oreo has a useful but annoying feature where you will be notified of every app running in the background. This app fixes that.

One of Android’s long-time features is the ability for apps to run in the background to pull new information and deliver notifications. This comes with a cost for battery life, so in Android 8.0 Oreo the system notifies users when an application is running in the background. This is great on paper, but in reality, all this does is tell me that my music player is indeed playing music, and shame me for still using a Pebble Classic. Worse yet, there’s no way (at the time of writing) to hide this notification, so it just sits there, mocking me. Fortunately, there’s a way to fix that.

Developer iboalali released an application simply titled Hide “running in the background” Notification, and it does just that: the “apps running the background” notification is gone. The source code is available for anyone who (rightfully) wants to make sure they aren’t installing something shady onto their phone. The app itself is free, but there is an in-app donation option for those that want to thank the developer.

Do you plan on using the app to hide the persistent notification? Let us know down below!

Download Hide “running in the background” Notification (free)

Android Oreo

Android Oreo review!
Everything new in Android Oreo
How to get Android Oreo on your Pixel or Nexus
Oreo will make you love notifications again
Will my phone get Android Oreo?
Join the Discussion

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Amazon Echo, Pixel 2 get strong reviews, and Wi-Fi devices KRACK up video – CNET

The biggest stories in tech from this week include reviews of Amazon’s new Echo, Google Pixel 2 and 2 XL reviews and the discovery of a major security flaw in the widely popular WPA2 Wi-Fi protocol. – Source

Our favorite zombie movies and TV shows – CNET

Every week we ask people around the office a question about pop culture to see what makes them tick. With “The Walking Dead” returning this Sunday on AMC, we wanted to know which zombie movies or shows are their favorites. – Source

Artificial eye dominance may speed reading for people with dyslexia

Enlarge / Things tend to be a bit out of focus for my kids. (credit: Baruk Feddabonn)

I have to admit that my only experience of dyslexia is via family members. My youngest daughter has just started high school, and she’s struggling with all the reading associated with three languages, an issue that bleeds over into all the other subjects. In testing, she scores high on reading comprehension but really low on reading speed. My oldest son reads and reads and reads… but cannot write worth a damn. Both have trouble internalizing spelling rules and multiplication tables.

These all standard symptoms of dyslexia. Dyslexia is a spectrum disorder, one that covers many aspects of reading and writing, so when people start touting single causes, my skepticism goes into overdrive. But it turns out that new research on its causes is reasonably solid, and it raises some interesting questions.

Your brain in the mirror

When the brain creates an image, it’s faced with a problem. The two eyes report two images that are extremely similar, but shifted with respect to each other. The displacement is awesome, because it provides us with better depth perception. However, in the absence of a large amount of alcohol, the brain still has to decide on a single coherent image so it has something to present to our consciousness. To do that, the two images are melded into one, which is fine for displacement. But for mirror images, the brain must choose a single image.

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What can a 24-megapixel selfie camera do for you? We reviewed the Vivo 7+ to find out

My wife recently decided to print out a hundred or so of the best photographs we’ve taken with our smartphones over the years. Looking at them, I’ve noticed something interesting: More than half of them were selfies.

It’s hardly surprising. Rear cameras are great for taking photos of sunsets, but for those family moments you really want to remember, a selfie makes more sense. So why are rear cameras on phones vastly better than the selfie cameras?

China’s Vivo, a …

More about Selfies, Vivo, Selfie Camera, Vivo7, and Tech – Source

How Microsoft embraced ‘messy’ creativity with Windows Ink

Windows Ink isn’t Microsoft’s first stab at bringing stylus support to PCs — that would be Windows XP Tablet Edition — but it is the company’s most successful. It made stylus support a core part of Windows 10, and it’s a big reason you’re seeing so… – Source

A Brooklyn chemist’s 1800s photos capture New York in motion

More about History, Retronaut, New York, New York City, and Brooklyn – Source

TENAA spilled the beans on a new Xiaomi phone. Likely the Redmi Note 5.

A pair of unannounced Xiaomi devices popped up on the Chinese certification authority’s website, bearing the model numbers MET7 and MEE7. Both share identical specs sheets, including a trendy new ultra-wide, 18:9 panel and only differ in color, leading us to believe this might be the eagerly-anticipated Redmi Note 5.

We’ve already heard a lot about the next generation of the company’s most popular, value-centric offer, but recent renders and leaks appear to agree on a dual main camera setup for the device. The two listings at TENNA both show a single snapper above an LED flash and a round…

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5 times the Pixel 2’s Portrait Mode was almost awesome

Take a second glance at your Portrait Mode photos on the Pixel 2.

Of the many things that truly impress me about the Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL, the camera stands out as the most incredible step forward from last year. This camera is incredible, and my favorite feature by far is Portrait Mode. This isn’t a new feature in smartphone cameras by any means, but Google is managing to do with a single camera and some clever AI what many other manufacturers need two sensors to pull off. This is especially awesome now that you can use Portrait Mode on the front facing camera, something no other phone maker is doing right now.

As exciting as it is when these photos are enhanced by Portrait Mode, like every other phone with this tech it’s not without flaws. Here’s a quick look at some of the stumbles we’ve seen so far.

Kiss the Blur

Portrait Mode does a really good job with multiple people in a shot, unless they are touching in specific ways. Unfortunately, kissing is one of those ways this software really struggles with.

In my testing, it seems like the software picks the thing that looks most like a face and blurs out the rest. It doesn’t happen every time from every angle, but it’s really funny when the software fails like this.

Uneven backgrounds

The background to this photo is at an angle, which means the camera software only chooses to blur out parts of it. Look at the far right of this photo next to the side of R2-Q5 compared to the far left side of R2-D2. Also notice the space in between the droids that isn’t blurred at all.

This is a challenging shot even for an actual DSLR to create an effective balanced shallow depth of
field, so it’s not surprising the software struggled here. The lighting is also a little crazy, so it’s not clear how much can be done in software to make this kind of photo really pop.

Look Ma, no hands!

Placement of your extremities is important for Portrait Mode, apparently. Jen’s hand is clearly visible on her shoulder, but completely blurred out by the software.

It’s the kind of thing you only notice after a double-take, and likely something Google’s software will get better at noticing over time, but hilarious all the same.

Missing a bit there

This is a really good Portrait Mode shot, right until you get to the stem of the pumpkin. It’s angled back on my head, pointed away from the rest of me, so Google’s depth logic didn’t see it as part of the foreground.

This is still a perfectly sharable photo, but a funny little mistake to see after you’ve taken the photo.

What happened to my glasses?

Make your Stranger Things binge a little gooier with our baked treat ideas

Enlarge (credit: Aurich Lawson)

I love October. As an avid baker and Halloween reveler, I usually spend the whole month whipping up my favorite fall desserts and packing in as many gnarly sci-fi and horror flicks as possible. It’s just not October without the smell of spiced apples baking in the oven, knife-wielding serial killers, sage and sausage stuffing, flesh-eating zombies, pumpkin bread, and ferocious aliens.

But this year—this October—is extra special. With the upcoming release of the much anticipated second season of Stranger Things, I, along with some folks at Ars, thought we should go a little bigger. I’ve spliced together my two favorite pastimes to create sci-fi inspired treats that can fuel a lengthy, nostalgia-fueled Netflix binge.

I could pull out a themed recipe or two that would provide adequate sustenance for a binge of the entire new season plus a full re-watching of the first season. But this isn’t amateur hour. There’s just so much amazing sci-fi to celebrate.

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HTC U11 Plus leaked, along with more U11 Life details

The HTC U11 was the company’s second flagship of the year, and by most accounts, a pretty great phone. We’ve already heard rumors of an upcoming budget phone with Android One, the U11 Life, but now details about a U11 Plus have also leaked.

HTC U11 Plus

First up is the U11 Plus, which has appeared on a Chinese telecommunications certification site. The below pictures don’t expose much, besides a rear-facing fingerprint sensor (HTC usually puts them on the front).

Read More

HTC U11 Plus leaked, along with more U11 Life details was written by the awesome team at Android Police.

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8 things you didn’t know you could do with Google Assistant

Google Assistant keeps on growing. New features and functionality are constantly appearing and that’s made keeping track of all the service’s little quirks and features tougher than ever. You can do much more than just searches these days.

Here’s a list of some of Google Assistant’s lesser known but still incredibly handy features.

> What is Google Assistant, and what devices use it?

Control your smart home

You don’t need a Google Home to be the ear in your living room, Google Assistant on your smartphone can also control the various smart doodads dotted around your home.

Google Assistant plays nicely with smart home products from Nest, Philips Hue, Belkin, and a few others. You can control your lighting, thermostat, and other products using voice controls from your phone. Assistant also recently received support to work with Google’s Chromecast, so you can also start up content from YouTube, Netflix, Spotify, and the like from your phone and push it directly to your TV if it’s on the same WiFi network. Simply request the title of a TV show and your Chromecast will start right up. You can also issue commands to pause, play, adjust playback volume, and even skip songs.

Toggle your Quick Settings

The real power of Google Assistant is hot-word detection from any app or even when your screen is locked. As such, you can use the software to open up apps and even toggle your phone’s hardware settings regardless of what app you’re in or what you’re currently doing. Saying “OK Google, open [app name]” will boot up what you’re after, without having to sift through the app draw.

The same works for hardware toggles like Bluetooth or Wifi. Simply say “OK Google, turn off my WiFi” and that’s it. Google also presents a little toggle to confirm the setting is off, or for you to manually switch the option back on. This feature works for Bluetooth, WiFi, location, NFC, mute, Flight mode, and your phone’s flashlight.

Keep working when offline

Although most of Google Assistant’s features require an internet connection, it’s possible to add events to your calendar, manage alarms, and play music when stuck outside of data range. Commands that are linked to most apps won’t work, but many of your phone’s hardware voice commands keep on working when your phone is offline. Here’s the list of features that work even when offline:

Open an app by name
Play Music
Add an event to your calendar
Place calls and sends texts to contacts
Set new and cancel alarms
Toggle WiFi, Bluetooth, Airplane mode, and flashlight
Adjust your phone’s volume
Dim the screen
Ask follow up questions

Google Assistant actually has a little bit of a memory. This means you can “have a conversation” about something and Assistant won’t forget what you’re taking about. Google likes to give the example of finding movie showtimes, but it works for other topics like finding your way to a local shop or restaurant just as well.

Here’s an example of how a conversation with Google would go. “OK Google, find Italian restaurants near me” and you’ll be – Source

7 ‘Stranger Things’ Season 2 predictions

It’s been over a year since we rampantly binged our way through the sweet ’80s nostalgia of Stranger Things Season 1, and now — finally — the sequel is less than 10 days away.

The final trailer is out, a clip of Eleven has been released, and the Upside Down is so close you can practically smell it.

SEE ALSO: Netflix shuts down ‘Stranger Things’ pop-up bar in the nicest way possible

Still, we’ve got to find some way of killing time until those nine beautiful episodes glide their way into our hungry, hungry Netflix accounts.

In a desperate attempt to guess some of the things that might happen in Stranger Things Season 2, I’ve combed through as many clues as I could find in the trailers and promotional material. …

More about Netflix, Predictions, Stranger Things, Stranger Things Season 2, and Entertainment

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Southeast Asia gaming and e-commerce firm Sea ends first day on NYSE up 8%

Sea, the gaming and e-commerce company holding the first major U.S. IPO from a Southeast Asian tech firm, had a bumpy start to life on the NYSE after closing the day up around eight percent on its list price of $15. The company raised $884 million from its listing, but it could surpass $1 billion if all allotted shares are purchased by underwriters. The share — listed as… Read More

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Google’s annual report shows more web traffic is encrypted

For several years now, Google has been exerting pressure to increase the usage of HTTPS across the internet. By defaulting to secure connections on both ends, users can be protected from anyone who may intercept or even manipulate data as it flows ba… – Source

With…Susan Fowler: Uber’s Whistle-Blower Is Developing a Movie and Having a Baby

In her first interview since the essay that started a wave of sexual-harassment revelations, Susan Fowler tells her life story and looks to the future. – Source

Confirm or Deny … Susan Fowler

The former Uber employee has deleted her account. But would she ever go back? – Source

Facebook Messenger will soon let you pay your friends back with PayPal

Paying back your friends is getting even easier. Facebook Messenger has supported sending money through its platform for a few years now, but you had to use a credit or debit card. Now, Facebook is bringing PayPal into the fold. PayPal certainly has its faults, but it does provide another layer of protection in case someone gets ahold of your account.

You can access the new feature the same way you’d pay with your credit or debit card. Tap the blue plus icon, then hit the green Payments button. It’ll bring up two options and you can just move on with PayPal from there. Pretty easy stuff. If you’ve previously been using Facebook Messenger for payments like this, you can just tap the Change button and select PayPal. That’ll allow you to connect your PayPal account with Messenger.

In addition to the expanded payment functionality, you’ll now also be able to chat with a PayPal bot. The bot will assist you in tasks like answering questions, requests for help, and resetting passwords.

See alsoFacebook Messenger Lite launches in the US, Canada, UK and Ireland

Facebook Messenger Lite, which was initially aimed at users in emerging markets, has surprisingly launched in the US, Canada, UK, and Ireland.

The app was announced last year and is currently available in more than 100 …The new PayPal payment feature is locked to the US as of right now, which is a bit of a bummer. Also, it looks like iOS is getting the feature first, but we’re hoping it shows up on Android soon. While finding a platform to pay your friends back hasn’t been a massive problem with popular apps like PayPal and Venmo out there, using an app that virtually everyone is on does have its benefits.

What do you think about this new feature? Do you use Facebook Messenger currently to send money? Will the addition of PayPal change that? Let us know down in the comments.

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Take an online class in business management and skip the MBA

Just to let you know, if you buy something featured here, Mashable might earn an affiliate commission.

Two years of business school? Hard pass. Student debt? Double hard pass.

SEE ALSO: If you want to grow your business, start by increasing your social media following

Avoid both of these factors on your journey to becoming an expert manager or executive by enrolling in …

More about Business, Online Learning, Mashable Shopping, Shopping Stackcommerce, and Shopping Solo – Source

Pay $25 for these Bluetooth earbuds that are usually $90

Just to let you know, if you buy something featured here, Mashable might earn an affiliate commission.

Choosing a new pair of workout headphones is more complicated than it should be. Beats are too expensive, Bose are way too expensive (the dream), and the internet is full of knockoff pairs that were potentially built with Elmer’s Glue. And all you want is a reliable stream of your favorite track playing during your daily jog. Is that so much to ask?!

SEE ALSO: Pre-order Samsung’s Gear IconX headphones and the Gear Sport watch

The …

More about Earbuds, Bluetooth, Mashable Shopping, Shopping Stackcommerce, and Shopping Solo

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Become fluent in Arduino for less than $30

Just to let you know, if you buy something featured here, Mashable might earn an affiliate commission.

Today’s aspiring robot inventors have an advantage over droid-loving Anakin Skywalker and it comes in the form of the Ultimate DIY Arduino Robotics Bundle. Over the course of 22 hours of expert training, you’ll get familiarized with the world’s most popular open-source electronics platform so you can break into the fields of robotics and coding and start building the next C-3PO or HAL 9000* in the comfort of your home. (*Results may vary.)


More about Robotics, Arduino, Online Learning, Mashable Shopping, and Shopping Stackcommerce – Source

Nokia 9 leaks in new image; Nokia 2 gets certified in Russia

The Nokia 9 has already been the subject of several leaks and rumors so far. And now, another image for the device has leaked. Specifically, the image in question shows the back plate of phone.

If you compare, the design this new image leaks – including the dual-camera hump – is inline with what we have already seen before.

As for specs, rumors so far have revealed the phone will sport a 5.50-inch AMOLED display (an 18:9 panel with QHD+ resolution). It will measure 140.9 x 72.9 x 7.5mm, although thickness would be 8.9mm if you take the camera hump into consideration.


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CapHorn Invest raises $150 million fund to invest in B2B startups

French VC firm CapHorn Invest recently closed a new $150 million fund (€130 million). Around 250 CEOs and executives of big established companies invested in the fund as limited partners. This is CapHorn Invest’s second fund. The firm plans to focus on Series A rounds, from $600,000 to $6 million (€500,000 to €5 million). What’s interesting about this VC firm is that it… Read More

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Key e-mail from feds got caught in body-cam maker’s spam filter

Enlarge / A Los Angeles police officer wear an AXON body camera during the Immigrants Make America Great March to protest actions being taken by the Trump administration on February 18, 2017 in Los Angeles, California. (credit: David McNew/Getty Images)

In a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission, Axon, the largest manufacturer of body-worn cameras, said Thursday that it had missed e-mails from the agency due to “miscommunication issues.”

According to Bloomberg, the snafu was due to an e-mail that the SEC sent on August 10 to the company’s new chief financial officer—however those messages were quarantined in a spam filter, and he seemingly did not see them.

The SEC was seeking clarification about the company’s financial disclosures, particularly surrounding its 2016 financial report and its first quarter 2017 report.

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Redesigning the TechCrunch app

Over the last two years we have been working hard to improve the experience of TechCrunch products for our readers. Our tiny-but-mighty product team launched the brand new TechCrunch mobile app earlier this month and we couldn’t be more excited. It has been completely redesigned with the goal of giving you easy access to the news you care about most, no matter where you are. Read More

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The origin of trick-or-treating is one big ghostly Halloween tale

The best part of Halloween by far is the candy.

If you’re young and hungry for those sweets, obviously the best way to get them is to go trick-or-treating

But, have you ever wondered who created this prestigious celebration (still not a federal holiday, but whatever) and who decided to add trick-or-treating to the mix.

One spooky night…

Image: giphy

Halloween derives from the three-day Celtic festival Samhain. The Celts believed the dead would return on Earth at the end of the harvest season (Oct. 31) and decided to honor them. The “villagers disguised themselves in costumes made of animal skins to drive away phantom visitors; banquet tables were prepared and edible offerings were out to placate unwelcome spirits,” states …

More about Halloween, Culture, Web Culture, Trick Or Treating, and Culture – Source

The Morning After: Weekend Edition

Hey, good morning! You look fabulous.

Welcome to the weekend. We’ll recap this week’s news highlights, plus big stories from Friday like Project Loon-distributed internet going live in Puerto Rico. – Source

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