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Apple adds Earth Day fitness badge to Apple Watch

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Just a couple of days after releasing its new NikeLab version of the Apple Watch, Apple is leveraging the device’s reputation as a fitness tool to join in the Earth Day festivities. 

Early Saturday, Apple CEO Tim Cook posted a photo of a new special edition achievement badge on the Apple Watch designed to get people outside and active. 

“Get outside, enjoy our planet and complete a 30-minute workout today,” said Cook on Twitter

If you open the Apple Watch-associated Activity app, you’ll now see a badge that comes with a message dedicated to Earth Day.  Read more…

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Lifestyle

Samsung Galaxy S8 is now available in the U.S.

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The day has come: after a pre-order period that ended yesterday, Samsung’s new flagship phones — the Galaxy S8 and the Galaxy S8+ — are now available for purchase in four markets: the U.S., Canada, Puerto Rico, and South Korea. 

Samsung said the device would be rolling out to additional markets “in the weeks ahead.”

Samsung’s new phones are available on Samsung’s website with pricing starting at $720 for the S8 and $820 for the S8+. You can also get the phone from all major U.S. carriers: Here are the links for the S8 at AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile and Verizon. For the S8+, go here: AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile and VerizonRead more…

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Business

Trust us: You probably don’t actually want a real life hoverboard

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Trust us: you don’t really want a real life hoverboard — at least not in the first few iterations of the future tech.

Sure, you’ve probably been impatiently waiting for the day you’d finally be able to zoom above the pavement from the moment you saw Marty McFly defy the laws of gravity in Back to the Future Part II — but there’s more than just a crew of angry bullies that could make the practice IRL a bad and dangerous idea. 

Your dream hoverboard would probably be a floating injury machine at first, with potentially sketchy internals, a super-high price tag, and a high level of skill needed just to take it for a spin.      Read more…

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Lifestyle

HTC will launch its squeezable phone on May 16

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HTC was once the maker of some of the best Android phones on the planet. It still makes solid phones, but after a few uninspiring models and several years of financial troubles, the brand lost a lot of its luster. 

Soon, all that could be forgotten, as the company just announced the launch of its new flagship, the HTC U. 

The announcement, posted on HTC’s Twitter feed, contains a video that actually shows the new device. True, we don’t see much else besides its seemingly very thin profile and a hint that the phone will have stereo speakers (HTC has long focused on building phones that have great sound), but it’s just enough to tickle the imagination.  Read more…

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Lifestyle

Samsung Galaxy S8 shows amazing resilience to abuse in new video

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How much abuse can Samsung’s Galaxy S8 take? In most cases, the question is mostly an academic one, as the vast majority of users won’t expose their phone to potential damage beyond a few drops and perhaps a brush with the car keys. 

But after the disastrous launch of the Galaxy Note7 — a phone Samsung had to pull from the market after numerous reports of it overheating and bursting into flames — all eyes are on Samsung’s new flagship. 

A recent test took things to the extreme, damaging the S8’s battery with a Dremel tool, and the phone passed with flying colors — nothing blew up.  Read more…

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Business

Facebook’s plan to tap into your brain is strange, scary … and fantastic

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Frankenstein.

It’s all I could think as I listened to Facebook’s VP of Engineering Regina Dugan speak about skin and brain interfaces.

Like the first time you encounter Dr. Frankenstein outside his lab, Dugan, who made her F8 developers conference debut on Wednesday, started off sounding reasonable enough, telling us that the choice between paying attention to the person in front of you and checking your smartphone was a false one. 

Yeah, I could get on board with that. There’s important stuff on my pocket device, a world of information, social media, and breaking news that I shouldn’t have to miss, just because there’s someone in front of me craving my attention.  Read more…

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Lifestyle

Early Samsung Galaxy S8 owners are seeing red … screens, that is

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Looks like Samsung’s not out of the woods quite yet.

After the explosive Note7 debacle of 2016, the newest Samsung phones have a lot to make up for. Unfortunately, early Galaxy S8 users have already found a flaw in the device: the screens appear to have a red tint to them.

According to ZDNet, since Samsung unveiled the Galaxy S8 devices at a March event, the company has sent several phones to customers in South Korea, who were able to pre-order about a week ago.

The early owners noticed something a little off—some of their screens had a red/pinkish hue to them. Users posted photos to social media sites and held discussions on the Korean forum, PPOMPPU, to figure out what was up with the altered phone display. According to ZDNet, on Tuesday, “Galaxy S8 Red Screen” was a trending search topic on South Korea’s largest search engine, Naver.  Read more…

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Design

These engaging, hyper-visual maps can help us better understand homelessness

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A new data project immediately hits you with a simple yet devastating message on its homepage: “The issue of modern homelessness is broad and complex, affecting too many of our neighbors and communities.”

But not all hope is lost. And for the site Understanding Homelessness, that’s the goal — to explore solutions to this intractable problem across the U.S. through compelling data visualizations, maps, and human-centered design.

The project, which is supported by the Massachusetts-based design firm Sasaki, aims to fight stigma surrounding people experiencing homelessness through education and transparency. By compiling various aspects of data into interactive maps, Understanding Homelessness offers an engaging and digestible look at the problem. Read more…

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Business

iPhone 8 could be delayed because of this cool feature

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A shiny new iPhone is expected on the device’s 10th anniversary—but a new report hints there could be delays.  

One of the features expected in the upcoming iPhone 8 is a fingerprint sensor placed under the phone’s glass exterior. The result would be an even sleeker, seamless design and, presumably, more space for the iPhone’s display. 

However, according to a new Pacific Crest Securities analyst report, surfaced by Investor’s Business Daily, the virtual home button may be giving Apple component partners trouble. Because of this, there are now concerns that the feature may cause a delay or be eliminated so Apple’s device launches on time.  Read more…

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Lifestyle

A new study uncovered this terrifying fact about the way we drive

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April is National Distracted Driving Awareness Month. It doesn’t come a moment too soon: A troubling new study has found that a terrifyingly high amount of drivers still use their phones behind the wheel.

Despite the proliferation of apps and devices aimed at preventing phone usage while driving, the study—by driver analytics company, Zendrive—revealed that drivers in America use their mobile devices during 88 out of 100 car trips.

That’s A LOT.

In what Zendrive calls the largest behavior study on distracted driving, the company analyzed three million anonymous drivers for three months, reviewing 570 million car trips taken between Dec. 2016 and Feb. 2017, covering 5.6 billion miles. Read more…

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Business

Travel back to a black-and-white Mac interface with this Apple emulator

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About 25 years ago, Apple released what was considered by some to be the most elegant personal computing interface available at the time, MacOS 7.0.1. 

Apple’s System 7 interface hasn’t aged as well as other relics from 1991, like Terminator 2: Judgment Day and Nirvana’s Nevermind, but the ancient computing platform nevertheless retains a certain charm. Now, thanks to the Internet Archive, you can experience some of that old school computing magic using your existing computer and a web browser. 

The black-and-white graphical user interface was a simple but powerful tool that allowed anyone to use applications like Microsoft Word, BBEdit Lite, HyperCard, Microsoft Excel and design tools like Pagemaker, MacDraw, MacPaint.  Read more…

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Business

In the rapidly expanding Mastodon fediverse, there’s an instance for everyone

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Burners, furries, book lovers, bots, cuties, pizza lovers — there’s a place for everyone in the federated Mastodon universe.

And if there isn’t yet, there soon will be. 

The distributed social network Mastodon burst into the popular consciousness last week, and is expanding at a rapid clip. There are over 216,000 users at the time of this writing, along with 684 instances being tracked — up from 649 just earlier in the day. 

This is what a growing community looks like. 

For the uninitiated: An instance is a server running Mastodon, and can be themed or not. Members of one instance can talk with members on other participating instances — the entire group of which is called the fediverse — if everyone decides to play nice. A user can, however, choose to keep what is tooted (aka posted) only within their instance. This neat privacy feature allows for narrowly focused instances to form.  Read more…

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Business

We finally have proof Apple is working on a self-driving car

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Looks like Apple’s finally stepping on the gas. We’ve now got confirmation that Apple’s gearing up to make a big move in the auto industry.

Cupertino’s been granted a permit to test self-driving cars in California, according to DMV records. The permit, first reported by Business Insider, follows months of rumors about Apple’s efforts to build a car.

Apple’s exact plans in the space aren’t yet clear, but as of Friday, April 14th, Apple’s holding a permit to test three self-driving Lexus RX540h SUVs, according to the California DMV. The state requires carmakers and others to apply for permits before they can test self driving vehicles on state roads—remember Uber’s squabble with the DMV over permits late last year? Read more…

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Lifestyle

Here’s yet another way Google Photos is better than Apple Photos

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Google Photos continues to blow away the competition.

The two-year-old service is easily the best free way to back up and store all of your photos and videos. But what’s better than all the storage you want (limited to 16 megapixels for photos and 1080p resolution for videos, of course) are Google’s impressive software enhancements.

Over the years, Google’s added many advanced features to improve your photos using its magical algorithms. And now, the app can fix shaky videos.

As discovered by Android Police, the latest version of Google Photos (2.13) for Android has a new video stabilization feature that’ll help correct wobbly footage and hopefully make it more watchable. Read more…

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Business

Hate United all you want but trashing its app accomplishes nothing

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Amid the outrage over that United incident, a familiar scenario is playing out in in the App Store.

Not satisfied with 1-star Yelp reviews, a flood of glorious memes, and actual IRL protests, furious people are also taking their rage to the App Store, where hundreds of users are completely trashing United’s app. It currently has a one-star rating. 

In total, at least 864 people have left negative App Store reviews in the last three days, according to data from app analytics firm Sensor Tower

And the reviews are, predictably, brutal. Read more…

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