Uber launches scheduled rides in London


Uber users in London can now request a ride hours, days or weeks in advance, the company announced Thursday. 

London is the first European city to get the “Scheduled Rides” feature. It goes live at 4 p.m. Thursday local time for folks who have an Uber for Business account or a Business Profile, and it will be rolled out to other Uber customers in London “in the next fortnight.” 

The feature works as follows: Tap on “Schedule a ride” on the main screen, select a pickup date and time — it can be as little as 15 minutes from now, or a maximum of 30 days in advance — your pickup location and destination and you’re set.  Read more…

More about Scheduled Rides, London, Uber, Tech, and Mobile


Xiaomi Redmi Note 4 is a 10-core smartphone with a huge battery


Xiaomi has launched the newest addition to its Redmi Note line, and as expected, it’s a large, powerful smartphone sold at a ridiculously low price. 

The Xiaomi Redmi Note 4 is a 5.5-inch phone with a 10-core Helio X20 processor, 3GB of RAM, a full HD screen, 16/64GB of storage memory (expandable via microSD cards), a 13-megapixel back camera, a 5-megapixel selfie cam, a fingerprint scanner and a 4,100mAh battery. 

It has a metal, unibody design with slightly curved glass edges (Xiaomi, like several other companies, calls this 2.5D glass), and while it doesn’t break any new ground, it looks just as good as any other flagship that came out this year. In fact, you’d have to look closely to find many differences between the Redmi Note 4 and the Redmi Pro that was launched in July.  Read more…

More about Smartphone, Android, Xiaomi, Tech, and Mobile


Where to stay in the 10 most popular US national parks

To mark the US National Park Service turning 100 this week, Mary Caperton Morton picks the best places to stay, from hotels and cabins to campsites, in the country’s favourite parks

On the border between North Carolina and Tennessee, this is the most visited park in the country, attracting more than 10 million visitors in 2015. Rough it for free in one of the 12 primitive Appalachian Trail backpacker shelters or relax in an Almost Heaven log cabin in Gatlinburg. Gatlinburg is the gateway to the park and has a range of dining options, or save money by cooking in the cabin, which has a kitchen, outdoor barbecue grill, outdoor pool, private jacuzzi and fireplace.
One-bedroom cabins from $145 a night, For shelter reservations (most are free of charge), see

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Dyson debuts a heater-fan-purifier triple threat


If you have poor air quality in your home, no central heat or air conditioning, and an extra few hundred dollars, your day is about to get much better. 

Dyson has come out with the Pure Hot + Cool Link, which combines a heater, fan and air purifier all into one $599.99 package. The announcement comes just a few months after they released their Pure Cool Link, which doesn’t come with the heater. The new Pure arrives in stories on Sept. 6. 

But, as Dyson design engineer Sean Hopkins explained to Wired, combining the heater and purifier is actually sort of genius, but also difficult. Because heat and humidity often make allergens worse, an air purifier has to work overtime to clear the air. “It comes down to taking into account how do we make the most efficient use of the purifier function while maintaining the room at a certain temperature,” he said. “It’s a well-timed balancing act, or more like a see-saw.”  Read more…

More about Air, Purifiers, Fans, Heaters, and Dyson


Google’s VR platform Daydream may launch within weeks


At Google’s annual I/O developer conference in May, the company announced Daydream, an Android-based, virtual reality development platform. Daydream will offer users a VR experience with just a smartphone, some apps, a headset and a controller. 

However, none of that actually launched at the conference. The headset was merely a  drawing of a reference design, and Daydream was given the somewhat vague fall launch window. 

But now, according to a Bloomberg report  published Tuesday, the launch may come sooner than you think.

More about Daydream, Virtual Reality, Vr, Google, and Tech


10 of the least-visited US national parks

With US national parks such as Yosemite and Yellowstone facing overcrowding, we take a look at 10 beautiful but little-known parks where you’re more likely to see a bear, moose or ‘champion tree’ than another human

Katmai, in southern Alaska, is for the bears: it’s home to the world’s largest population of Alaskan brown bears, a subspecies of the grizzly. Over 2,000 bears live in Katmai and thanks to their salmon-rich diet, they are some of the largest bears in the world, with mature males routinely reaching over 1,000 pounds (453kg), more than twice the size of the average Yellowstone grizzly. With the backcountry full of bears, people usually stay within a small section of the four-million-acre park. The most popular area is Brooks Camp, at the mouth of the Brooks river, on the shore of Nanak lake.

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Wednesday is officially ‘Kobe Bryant Day’ in Los Angeles


Did you really think Kobe Bryant‘s retirement tour would end with his final game? 

This thing could drag on until the end of time, baby. 

The Los Angeles City Council officially declared this Wednesday to be “Kobe Bryant Day” in honor of the Lakers icon four months after he went for 60 points in an unforgettable final performance

Wednesday’s date is Aug. 24 — also known as 8/24. Eight and 24 are the two numbers Bryant wore during his 20-year NBA career after leaping to the pros straight from high school. See what the city council did there?  Read more…

More about Nba, Sports, and Entertainment


‘Stranger Things’ have happened: How the Duffer bros. many failures led to this


LOS ANGELES — When Netflix’s spooky sci-fi series Stranger Things became the talk of the summer, it seemed like sibling creators Matt and Ross Duffer arrived in the blink of an eye. 

Except for one thing … the Duffers didn’t come out of nowhere. In fact, they’ve been on my radar for nearly a decade, thanks to a mutual friend who witnessed their rise. 

When I first moved to Los Angeles, I worked as an intern for The Girl Next Door director Luke Greenfield, spending most of my days swapping far-fetched Hollywood dreams with a young Chapman University film student named Sam Winkler. Far-fetched, that is, until the following year, when he started talking about a short film titled Eater that he was making with two of his standout classmates — twin brothers from North Carolina named Matt and Ross Duffer. Read more…

More about Vessel, We All Fall Down, Eater, Sam Winkler, and Ted Sarandos


7 careers that don’t require a traditional office


Think your only career options involve sitting at a desk in an office?    

Think again.   

When it comes to many professions, offices are outdated.   

People simply don’t need a brick-and-mortar headquarters for their jobs, and are better served working remotely, wherever that may be.    

Here are just seven of the many career options that you can get into where you won’t be tethered to a cubicle. 

1. Travel blogger   

When your job is to write about travel, you kind of have to, you know, travel to the places you’re writing about so you can experience the scenery and local culture. This means you need to rely on a suitcase and your mobile devices much more than on an actual office.    It may sound weird, but with this type of gig the world is not only your oyster, it’s your office.  Read more…

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Instagram passes 1 billion Android installs


Instagram has reached 1 billion app installs on the Google Play store, Android Police has noticed

This makes the photo sharing app the fourth Facebook-owned app to reach the milestone, after Facebook itself, WhatsApp and Messenger. 

The number does not accurately reflect the number of users, as it counts multiple app installs, but it’s still a nice milestone that only a handful of apps have managed to achieve. 

A screenshot from Instagram's page on Google's Play Store shows the app has been downloaded more than 1 billion times.

A screenshot from Instagram’s page on Google’s Play Store shows the app has been downloaded more than 1 billion times.

Image: Stan Schroeder, Mashable Read more…

More about Android, Play Store, Facebook, Milestone, and Billion


Budapest to Berlin: stranger on a train

Returning home from a beery few days in Budapest, Ed Cumming decided to try the train. Soon he was lost in Berlin

In early June, when everyone in Britain was arguing about Europe, I found myself in Budapest. I had fond memories of my only previous visit, in 2013, when I’d been there for a literary festival. After one of the endless drinks parties I’d fallen into step with a group in search of dinner and wound up talking to a tall man with prominent eyebrows and burgundy trousers. “I got married in there,” he said casually, pointing at St Stephen’s Basilica.

“It must have been hard to fill,” I replied with a certain froideur. This was a bit like someone nodding at Wembley Stadium and mentioning their seven-night run there. I wasn’t about to wave it through unchecked.

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This unimpressed mom understands your ‘Pokémon Go’ problems


If you’re the only person not playing Pokémon Go in your circle of friends, it has probably been a tough couple of months.

Reddit user SamwiseGamchi posted a picture of his or her mom, who is most likely not a Pokémon fan, apparently getting a full tutorial on the mobile game from her grandson (the Redditor’s nephew).

We are with you, mom.  Read more…

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If US national parks are to continue to thrive they must reflect the diversity of our population

As the National Park Service turns 100, a new campaign aims to make the country’s natural spaces more appealing to all Americans, regardless of race, over the next century. It’s vital they succeed

In the sweltering heat of a summer day, I walked along the visitor trails of Yosemite national park. I had just made the five-hour drive from my childhood home in Los Angeles to glimpse a vision of the future. There in the valley surrounded by high towers of stone, I watched as thousands of tourists from all over the world marvelled at the sheer granite walls of El Capitan, Washington Column and Half Dome. Like ancient cathedrals of divine architecture, these magnificent features stand as monuments to the notion that the natural heritage of our nation must be preserved for all time.

Throughout my life I have enjoyed spending time in the outdoors. Despite having grown up in the urban heart of LA, I frequently ventured into the wild places of California, from the slopes of the San Gabriel mountains to the summit of Mount Whitney. Though I was blessed, thanks to sacrifices of my parents, with a lifetime learning and playing in nature, on this occasion, as with many visits to the valley, I noticed that I was among the very few people of colour there. And though I felt no less welcome to enjoy the splendour of this magnificent place, I wondered how it might be possible to encourage tourism to Yosemite – and other national parks – that reflects the diverse population of the US as a whole.

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Nimble corgi deserves a spot in the Olympics


Trinket the corgi deserves the gold medal in bike rack weaving, a sport we just invented but feel very strongly belongs in the games.

Behold this corgi’s agility. Behold her flexibility. Behold her wiggles.

This is top-level athleticism, people.

More about Dogs, Viral Videos, and Watercooler


Wild Scandinavia: adventure without breaking the bank

This is a pricey part of the world, but these adventures in Norway, Sweden, Denmark and Iceland, from the new Wild Guide Scandinavia, are pleasantly surprising in more ways than one

With some of the largest remaining tracts of true wilderness in Europe, Scandinavia and Iceland offer a multitude of adventure opportunities and, if you head off the beaten track, they can work out a lot cheaper than you might expect. The centuries-old tradition of allemansrätten (every man’s right) means people can roam and wild camp just about anywhere so long as they do not disturb or destroy the environment. Foraging is also permitted, and provides a seasonal abundance of delicious berries, mushrooms and fish. Travelling by train, bike or on foot takes you into these magnificent landscapes.

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Is Samsung’s Galaxy Note7 really the best phone?


On this week’s MashTalk, Lance, Pete and I talk about the new hot smartphone in town: Samsung’s Galaxy Note7 (1:17) and whether or not it really is the best smartphone money can buy right now. 

We dive into whether Apple should be scared now that Samsung’s got this momentum (15:35) and if the Note7 is worth the $850 price (15:45).

We then shift gears to talk about the latest iPhone 7 (17:15) and Apple Watch 2 rumors. With only a few weeks left to go before Apple is expected to announce the new iPhones, we’re still wondering what the deal will be with the headphone jack and the two screen sizes (20:01).  Read more…

More about Apple Watch, Apple Watch 2, Rumors, Autonomous Cars, and Self Driving Cars