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1st November 2017

Where the STEM Jobs Are (and Where They Aren’t)

The enthusiasm for science education rests on the assumption that these fields are flush with opportunity. Physicists, go digital. – Source

On Technology: Not the Bots We Were Looking For

Technologists once told us that social bots would change our lives forever. They were right — but not in the way they expected. – Source

State of the Art: The Upside of Being Ruled by the Five Tech Giants

What if it’s not that bad that so much economic, social and political power is held by Apple, Amazon, Google, Facebook and Microsoft? – Source

Focal Sib Evo Dolby Atmos 5.1.2 review – CNET

The Focal Sib Evo Dolby Atmos 5.1.2 surround kit offers great looks and decent performance, but audio quality, especially from the sub, falls short of competitors. – Source

Sony’s Fortunes Improve, From Rising Profit to a Return for Aibo

The Japanese electronics giant has projected what would be its largest-ever annual operating profit, and announced a revival of its mechanical dog. – Source

BlackBerry Motion heading to Canada November 10 for $599 CAD

TCL unveiled its latest smartphone, the BlackBerry Motion, earlier this month. This is TCL’s first dust and water resistant BlackBerry phone — it arrives with an IP67 rating — and, unlike more traditional BlackBerry handsets, it arrives without a physical keyboard.

The Motion is also seeing a limited rollout and won’t be sold in as many markets as the likes of the BlackBerry KeyONE (it hasn’t yet been announced for the US). However, a press release issued by TCL yesterday (via Android Central) has revealed that it will be heading to Canada in just nine days time.

Editor’s PickBlackBerry Motion specs: All-touch design, all-day battery

The latest smartphone from BlackBerry has arrived, but are the BlackBerry Motion specs worthy of your attention?

After teasing an all-touch smartphone at IFA, BlackBerry and TCL are back with a solid mid-ranger that will appeal …

TCL says that the new handset is coming to Koodo, Bell, TELUS, and SaskTel, starting at $599 CAD (~$465 USD) outright or $99 on a two-year contract; check out the current list of plans from TCL below.

Bell: $99 CAD on a 2-year premium plan; $599.00 CAD outright
TELUS: $100 CAD on a 2-year premium plan; $605.00 CAD outright
Koodo: $100 CAD on a Tab Large plan; $605.00 CAD outright
SaskTel: $99 CAD on a 2-year premium plan; $599.99 CAD outright

This means that the Motion undercuts the current KeyONE price by 100 bucks or so, and even provides the better specs. It’s essentially the same as the KeyONE except it comes with a larger display at 5.5 inches compared to 4.5 inches, bigger battery (4,000 mAh vs 3,505 mAh), an extra gigabyte of RAM (4 GB vs 3 GB on the base KeyONE model) and water-resistance. It’s even said to have a stronger, nano-diamond display protection.

It lacks the KeyOne’s QWERTY keyboard, dual-sim tray and possibly FM radio — I’m not sure if TCL has confirmed the radio in the Motion, yet — but many people prefer touchscreen phones anyway.

All told, it looks like it could be a smart product release from TCL, it’s just a shame it might not reach many markets. Take a look at the rest of the BlackBerry Motion’s specs and features at the link.

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Here’s a handy list of every smart home device supported by Google Home

Google Home is getting smarter with each new update, but while Google Assistant continues to impress on its own, a Google Home device only truly comes to life when it has a few equally smart neighbors to interact with.

With the recent release of the smaller, cheaper Google Home Mini, there will be plenty of families welcoming a Home smart speaker into their own living rooms for the first time. Many of those same buyers will also be in the market for other smart home devices shortly after.

Thankfully, finding out whether a smart home product is compatible with the original Google Home, Google Home Mini, or the upcoming Google Home Max, is now easier than ever. Thanks to a new Google support page, you can see a list of over 1,000 supported devices from more than 150 popular brands.

Editor’s PickGoogle Home vs Amazon Echo – Is Google finally the king?

The Google Home smart assistant was released just over a year ago, and a lot has changed since then. At the time of launch, a lot of people were disappointed at its ability vs the …

The page lists off “Home Control Partners” in alphabetical order, or you can narrow your search by entering keywords or selecting a specific tag. For example, if you’re looking to bolster your home security, typing in “Security” will present links to the online stores for Canary, Ring, and similar companies.

Other categories include smart plugs, lighting, robot vacuum cleaners, electric vehicle companion apps, and even a precision cooker. The comprehensive list even includes devices that make use of Actions on Google services built by third-party developers.

Read: What is Google Assistant? How can you use it?

In short, if there’s a device out there that will listen to Google Home voice commands – and in some cases even Google Assistant on your phone or tablet – it’s almost certain to be here. Even if you’re not immediately looking for more smart home devices, we would definitely recommend bookmarking the page for any future shopping sprees.

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‘Monster’ planet discovery challenges formation theory

Scientists have discovered a ‘monster’ planet orbiting a small, distant star, a finding that defies theories which state that such a massive planetary body cannot form around a small stellar host. The newly discovered planet ‘NGTS-1b’ however, is a ‘gas giant’. – Source

Nintendo’s Black Friday deals are perfect for ‘Legend of Zelda’ fans

Nintendo is getting in the Black Friday spirit this year with deals on Legend of Zelda goodies, including a new 2DS and a Breath of the Wild bundle.

For the biggest sales day of the year on Nov. 24, Nintendo is doing two big Black Friday deals: a Zelda-inspired 2DS packed with The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time 3D at $79.99, and The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild Explorer’s Edition for the Switch at $59.99.

SEE ALSO: ‘The Legend of Zelda Encyclopedia’ is a 320-page dream for superfans

The new 2DS is a bright green, just like Link’s classic green tunic, with bright yellow buttons. It’s the third 2DS bundle that Nintendo has offered for the same price. …

More about Gaming, Nintendo, Legend Of Zelda, Nintendo Switch, and Black Friday – Source

Apply to bring your school or organization to Disrupt Berlin

Applications are now open for student groups to attend Disrupt Berlin at Arena Berlin on 5 December (Tuesday). The program is part of Include, TechCrunch’s diversity program aimed at facilitating opportunities for underrepresented groups in tech to gain better access to the startup scene. Read More

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If Thor: Ragnarok is a Marvel comedy, Infinity War is a heist film – CNET

Directors Joe and Anthony Russo are leading the charge in the next Avengers battle. We sat down with them to discuss how the MCU may never be the same. – Source

Dell’s Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals start today – CNET

Black Friday is officially still over three weeks away, but some companies are already announcing deals — with a few bargains that are available even now. – Source

Honeywell Smart Home Security System Release Date, Price and Specs – CNET

Honeywell’s Smart Home Security System hits Indiegogo today, and it looks kind of awesome. – Source

Android Pay starts showing full purchase history for supported cards

Many months ago, Cody predicted through his all-seeing eye (and some strings in the app teardown, but I prefer to think of Cody’s powers as absolute magic – is there a thing the guy doesn’t know beforehand?) that the Android Pay app would start showing full transaction histories on your supported cards, even for those transactions where Pay wasn’t used.

Now it looks like the option has started showing up through a server-side switch as reported by u/shiruken.

Read More

Android Pay starts showing full purchase history for supported cards was written by the awesome team at Android Police.

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The 15 coolest things you can do with your Amazon Echo – CNET

Get a new Echo and want some ideas on what to do with it? Thinking about buying one and curious about Alexa’s appeal? You, my friend, have come to the right collection of images and captions. – Source

Apple TV 4K update will fix its video output problem

Apple TV 4K saw the set-top box leap into the same league as its rivals. But, despite getting so much right, the device still had a handful of flaws — among them its one video output fits all functionality. AV enthusiasts cried foul, and it seems Ap… – Source

Another actor accuses Kevin Spacey of sexual harassment

Another actor has come forward to accuse Kevin Spacey of sexual harassment.

SEE ALSO: Read Zachary Quinto’s note in response to Kevin Spacey’s coming out

It comes after Star Trek: Discovery star Anthony Rapp said Spacey had made a sexual advance on him when he was only 14.

Mexican actor Roberto Cavazos detailed in a Facebook post how the House of Cards star tried to touch him against his will at the bar of London’s Old Vic Theatre.

“There are many of us who have a ‘Kevin Spacey story’. It seems the only requirement was to be a male under the age of 30 for Mr Spacey to feel free to touch us,” he wrote. “It was so common that it became a local joke (of very bad taste).” …

More about Sexual Harassment, Sexual Assault, Kevin Spacey, Roberto Cavazos, and Old Vic

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SquareTrade announces the lowest cost protection plan for the iPhone X and other smartphones

SquareTrade, the protection plan provider that covers devices including smartphones, announced this morning some new plans including the lowest priced coverage for the Apple iPhone X. Now owned by well known insurance company Allstate, you can have the same Good Hands that protect Allstate customers protecting your handset. Starting today, November 1st, a two-year protection plan for all smartphones, including the iPhone X, will cost you $129. For just $30 more, you can extend your coverage to three years. With most carriers charging $15 a month, you can save over $200 by choosing SquareTrade instead.

In … – Source

Social-media images shown as evidence of ‘Russian trolls’

Alleged Russian propaganda designed to sway voters is put on show by US senators. – Source

Schlage Sense Smart Deadbolt lock now works with Amazon Alexa for voice control

Schlage recently announced Android support for its Sense Smart Deadbolt lock, along with the launch of a new Wi-Fi adapter that enables remote access through the company’s app. The same lock is now getting even smarter as it gains Amazon Alexa integration, which will allow you to lock or check the status by voice via an Alexa-enabled device such as the various Amazon Echos.

As well as control and checking capabilities, the Schlage Sense skill can be used in conjunction with the Alexa app to add door locking to multi-step routines – a good way to ensure your door is locked before bed by adding it to your ‘good night’ routine.

Read More

Schlage Sense Smart Deadbolt lock now works with Amazon Alexa for voice control was written by the awesome team at Android Police.

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This is why the Pixel 2 XL’s $200 premium is worth it

Are slimmer bezels, a bigger display, and larger battery worth the added price?

Google’s Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL are very similar in a lot of ways. The camera package is the same, the software experience is identical, both phones come equipped with front-facing speakers, and even the design remains mostly unchanged from phone-to-phone.

Even with this being the case, there are still a few key differences between the devices. The Pixel 2 XL has a considerably larger display with much smaller bezels compared to the regular Pixel 2, and thanks to its bigger footprint, there’s also room for a beefier battery.

The Pixel 2 XL is the more impressive of the two phones, but is it really worth the extra $200 over its smaller brother?

Here’s what some of our forum users had to say.

10-30-2017 09:31 AM

I agree with the bigger screen; having had several “big screen” phones in a row now, I don’t think I could go back to a small one.

OTOH, I was getting an old Nexus 5 ready to list on Swappa the other day and I was pleasantly reminded of just how great the 5 fits my hand.


Richard Servello
10-30-2017 09:22 AM

bigger screen, bigger battery.


10-30-2017 09:49 AM

I have both the 2 XL and 2, honestly the Pixel 2 screen feels very small to me. Screen is better and feels great and all I agree, but I think I’m used to bigger screens now and the Pixel 2 screen feels small. Battery life has been surprisingly good on the Pixel 2 as well even with smaller battery size. I’m still torn which one to keep, most likely will keep the 2 XL and return the Pixel 2. But if…


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This guy leaves fake costumes in Halloween stores and it’s amazingly awkward

Another year, another bunch of weird Halloween outfits — but none quite like this.

Forget your “sexy” fake news costumes and your various examples of outfits based on popular memes — this year it’s all about the “Absent Father” (complete with “the pack of cigarettes he went out for”) and “Milkshake Duck”.

SEE ALSO: Celebrities who nailed it this Halloween

The costumes in question come courtesy of comedian Jeff Wysaski. Over on his …

More about Funny, Viral, Halloween, Halloween Costumes, and Culture – Source

The makers of ‘Resogun’ are leaving arcade shooters behind

Over the past decade, the name Housemarque has become synonymous with arcade-style games. From the early PSN title Super Stardust HD to the PS4 launch savior Resogun, the Finnish studio has produced many critically acclaimed and commercially successf… – Source

Gionee M7 Plus hands-on images leak

Gionee M7 and its sibling M7 Power were introduced back in September, and now another M7 device is likely to arrive. The Gionee M7 Plus appeared in some hands-on images which revealed the front and back design of the phone.

Gionee M7 Plus back and front

The screen is expected to measure 6.43 inches and sport an 18:9 ratio. The screen reveals that the phone will come with the latest Amigo 4.0 UI that Gionee placed on top of Android Nougat 7.

The back also shows some intriguing details. We see a leather panel, although this might be just a plastic cover like we’ve seen in …

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The USO gets a well-designed Android application

It’s always a nice surprise when an official app, whether it be for a government or an organization or a company, is well designed and built with the most modern guidelines and the most responsive elements. Given how often we come across poor apps that look clunky and feel clunkier, from those that you’re dead sure have been copied straight from iOS to those that are easy to recognize as web wrappers, I’ve sort of lowered my expectations for official apps.

Read More

The USO gets a well-designed Android application was written by the awesome team at Android Police.

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Google Voice 5.5 adds billing history [APK Download]

While I can’t use Google Voice myself, I see a lot of positive feelings for the service online. And now the Android app will be getting just a little bit more approval thanks to a handy addition: billing history.

If you use Google Voice for placing calls, you’ll be able to track your available credit through the app’s Settings > Billing history. There, you’ll find your recent activity with each call, its date and time, duration, how much it cost you, and your balance after it was over.

Read More

Google Voice 5.5 adds billing history [APK Download] was written by the awesome team at Android Police.

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Target, Walmart, and Ebay are pushing Christmas way too early

Halloween’s over, and Christmas is right around the corner.

At least that’s how the retail gatekeepers of America’s ever-elongating holiday shopping season now see it.

Ebay and Walmart are already breaking out the tinsel this week with yuletide promotionsAmazon’s Black Friday deals are already being teased. Meanwhile, Target has outdone them both by vowing to keep festivities within a respectable window (*at a small number of stores) and then immediately decorating its sales racks with an an odd mix of candy corn and canes days before it was even time to trick-or-treat.

“There’s simply no reason to wait for Black Friday to find the best prices or top gifts this holiday season when shoppers can start AND finish early with eBay,” Ebay chief marketing officer Suzy Deering said in the site’s holiday deal announcement. …

More about Amazon, Christmas, Halloween, Ecommerce, and Ebay

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This website helps victims report hate crimes – CNET

Seeking justice can be challenging for many hate crime victims. Hate Crime Help wants to make it easier. – Source

New science fiction and fantasy books to help you escape this holiday season

Enlarge / Cover detail from New York 2150, by Kim Stanley Robinson. (credit: Illustration by Stephan Martiniere)

It is the dreaded season of airport delays, family “fun,” and long weekends spent in delightful locations with no cellular reception. That means it’s book reading time! Whether you want to fire up your brain or just need to escape, we’ve got a handful of new releases from 2017 in science fiction and fantasy that should keep you distracted for as long as you need.

Sourdough, by Robin Sloan

If you’ve ever worked insane hours at a tech job, not knowing whether anything you do will make a difference, this novel is for you. Sloan is the author of the bestseller Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore, and his second novel Sourdough is just as delightful and weird. Lois spends all day writing software for robotic arms at a startup, where she’s beginning to feel numbed out and depressed. All her colleagues are obsessed with drinking Slurry, a Soylent-like food substitute, but her only joy in life is ordering the “double spicy” soup and sandwich from a local popup in her neighborhood. Eventually the guys who run the popup skip town but leave Lois with their special, secret sourdough starter. Lois becomes fascinated with making her own bread, eventually joining a strange community of scientist chefs who ask her to make bread with robot arms. Things get even more bizarro from there, taking us deep into the world of yeast biohackers. Throughout it all we’re buoyed by Sloane’s funny-but-sometimes-dark observations about the San Francisco tech scene.

Null States, by Malka Older

We loved Infomocracy, the first novel in Older’s Centenal series about a newly born global democracy on the brink of destruction. Null States, the sequel, just came out. After a nationalist party almost wrecks the election, using a combination of fake news propaganda and targeted violence, peace has been (kind of) restored. But now the newly elected Supermajority must convince the world of its legitimacy. Plus the Google-like information company that manages the elections must recover from internal corruption.

Read 13 remaining paragraphs | Comments

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Essential Phone is the best deal in smartphones thanks to camera updates

The Essential Phone has come a long way since launch in one key area: Photography. When it first hit the market a few months ago, the camera had a nasty tendency to crash and was a bit slow to load and process photos. But Essential has stayed true to its promise of delivering frequent and effective Camera app updates, and the result is a smartphone total package that is easily the best value… Read More

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