Vision Mercedes-Maybach 6 Cabriolet is a Pebble Beach stunner

Meet the drop-resistant Moto Z2 Force

The Moto Z2 Force is really thin, with a fast processor and great battery life. It can survive drops without shattering.

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Solar eclipse: Desperate brands leap on the sunny side

Technically Incorrect offers a slightly twisted take on the tech that’s taken over our lives.

Eclipse Glasses, Season's Must Have For Upcoming Eclipse Viewing

See the eclipse, enjoy the brands?

Spencer Platt/Getty Images

You’ve probably been wearing your solar eclipse glasses around the house for days already.

You need to make sure they fit perfectly so that you can enjoy, what, a couple of minutes of oohing, aahing and “I flew to Idaho just to see it-ing.”

The moneymaking corporations of America, though, are desperate for you to think that they contributed to your eclipse-viewing pleasure.

I’ve already written about banana brand Chiquita, which released a slightly absurd effort at suggesting that you should really watch the banana eclipse. (It’s shortly before and after the solar one.)

Naturally, Chiquita wasn’t alone. Many are trying to associate the eclipse with their own products.

Denny’s, for example, insists that it’s serving “mooncakes.” They are, in fact, the same pancakes you can buy any other day of the week. But, says the ad, “Regular pancakes look a lot like the moon.”

Krispy Kreme couldn’t help itself either. 

But what can you do with a doughnut? Can you find some way to eclipse it? In Krispy Kreme’s case, the solution was staring it in the face. Welcome, then, to the chocolate-glazed Krispy Kreme. Complete with spacey music

Mitsubishi actually has a car called the Eclipse Cross. Which is odd for a brand that, at least in my mind, has been eclipsed for a while.

Still, its shtick on Monday is to be the exclusive sponsor of ABC’s “Great American Eclipse” special. During this event, Mitsubishi’s photographers — oh, you’ve already guessed, haven’t you — will be trying to capture a picture of the eclipse and the car together in Salem, Oregon.

It’s what you might call a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. Or, well, an extended ad.

Retailers such as McDonald’s (in Oregon), Best Buy and Kroger have become purveyors of official solar glasses approved by NASA and the American Astronomical Society.

DoorDash is giving away free half-moon cookies between 2 p.m. and 4 p.m. on Monday. Which seems a little late.

Blessed coolster Nike has a web page encouraging you to wear black on the big day.

Talking of blessed, even churches are joining in the branding exercises.

There’s the Sinking Fork Baptist Church in Hopkinsville, Kentucky, for example. Its brand message? “Without God, your darkness will exceed 2 minutes and 40 sec.”

Towns In Midwest Prepare For Influx Of Tourists For Upcoming Eclipse

It’s all about marketing.

Scott Olson/Getty Images

I was getting a little tired of the strained associations to which some brands were stooping when I came across Southern Pressed Juicery, a cheerily organic place in Greenville, South Carolina. 

It’s offering Black Sun Lemonade. This concoction of ginger, cayenne, lemon, lime and maple syrup also includes charcoal. 

When you pick it up, it’s yellow. Shake it and it turns black. 

Doesn’t that have a gloriously simple, scientific appeal? 

I hope they make a lot of money out of it.

Tech Culture: From film and television to social media and games, here’s your place for the lighter side of tech.

The Smartest Stuff: Innovators are thinking up new ways to make you, and the things around you, smarter.

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Uber favors former GE leader as its next CEO

There’s no certainty that Immelt will take the top spot. The other two (as yet unnamed) candidates are still under consideration. If the report is accurate, however, Uber’s board is expected to vote on a new CEO within two weeks.

We’ve asked Uber for comment. However, Immelt could be one of the better choices. A Recode insider notes that Immelt isn’t someone you can “push around easily,” so he could take a firm course of action rather than bow to pressure from insiders. He’s also a well-known industry figure, and isn’t shy about cutting initiatives that don’t fit into his vision. When GE made a big push toward the ‘industrial internet’ under Immelt’s tenure, it ditched or downplayed numerous businesses, including NBC and light blubs. That nothing-is-sacred mentality may be helpful at Uber, where some problems seem deeply entrenched.

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How to photograph the eclipse with your phone

Do you live in the path of the solar eclipse?

On Aug. 21, the United States will witness a total solar eclipse. NASA has released a video animation showing the eclipse’s path of totality. See if your city is on the route!

by Stephen Beacham

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you undoubtedly know about the total solar eclipse moving across the US on Monday, August 21. Of course, where you live (or plan on traveling to) will impact just how much of the eclipse you can see, but nonetheless, even if you can only see a small portion of it, you surely want to take photos. Right?

And since our phones are often our camera as well, here are some tips to take the best eclipse photos you can use with an iPhone or Android device.

Here’s everything you need to know about the eclipse.

Protective glasses are a good idea

It should go without saying, but I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention it: If you are going to be directly looking at the sun during the eclipse, you need to wear protective glasses. Not doing so can cause permanent damage to your eyes, and nobody wants that.

Putting those same glasses on your phone, on the other hand, is optional. The eclipse won’t damage your phone’s camera, however, the glasses will help you get the best shot possible by reducing glare. Use a small piece of Scotch tape if you’re having a hard time placing the glasses over your phone’s lens.


Use a tripod or selfie stick to hold your device still. Not only does this allow you to watch the eclipse without having to hold up your phone, but it will ensure you take a photo with the best results.

Here are three DIY tripods you can make yourself with common household items.

Lock focus and exposure

Most phones have a camera app that allows you to lock both the focal point and the overall exposure. Once you have your phone placed on a tripod, long-press on the display to lock in the focus on the sun itself. From there, typically, you will need to slide a finger up or down on the display to adjust the exposure amount.

In this instance, you will undoubtedly want to lower the exposure setting in order to balance out the brightness of the sun.

Take a time-lapse

For the set-it-and-forget crowd, the easiest way to capture the entire eclipse is to take a time-lapse video.

Popular phones such as the iPhone and Samsung Galaxy line all have a built in time-lapse mode. Open the camera app, select time-lapse mode, and press the shutter button. The phone will take care of the rest.

For Android devices, such as the Google Pixel, without a time-lapse setting, you will need to install a third-party app. I recommend Camera FV-5 but there are plenty of other options in the Play Store. Just search for time lapse apps and find one that works best for you.

Remote shutter

Keep your (protected) eyes on the eclipse to watch the real thing, and don’t watch through your phone’s display. Instead of running over to your phone at the precise moment you want to take a photo, use a remote shutter to trigger the camera and capture the shot.

Apple Watch owners can use the camera app installed on the watch to open and trigger the iPhone’s camera. Remember there’s a three or 10-second countdown, so time it accordingly.

Android Wear users can also use one of the many apps in the Play Store to perform the same function. Most of the apps listed as a remote shutter haven’t been updated in some time, so I’m not linking directly to one specific app. My advice is to install a few of them and find one that works with your phone. 

If you don’t have a smart watch, use a pair of headphones and push the volume up or down button while the Camera app is open and active.

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Galaxy Note 8 preorders may come with some serious extras

Samsung may be throw in some extra goodies for people who preorder the Galaxy Note 8 phone, according to frequent mobile tipster Evan Blass.

Samsung is set to unveil its next Galaxy phone on August 23. Some serious pressure is surrounding the Samsung event after the last Note phone, the Galaxy Note 7, shipped with faulty batteries that caused explosions and led to two separate product recalls. Since then Samsung has vowed better batteries and recommitted to the Note brand

With the grand announcement coming on August 23, Note 8 preorders may start as soon as the next day.

The rumor claims that a 256GB microSD card will come with Note 8 preorders, plus a choice of either a convertible wireless charger (a now-standard feature in Samsung’s top phones) or a 360-degree camera. Although Samsung’s Note 8 phone is likely to cost more than the Galaxy S8 and S8 Plus, Samsung seems to be carrying on the tradition of offering a bundle to sweeten the deal. The bundle represents hundreds of dollars in saving if you were to buy the pieces separately.

Last year Samsung released the Gear 360 camera, which paired well with Samsung’s Galaxy phones, and since then it released a refreshed 2017 Gear 360 camera. Regardless if you are an aficionado of 360-degree video, the camera would make a nice little supplement if included with your new Note.

If you’re a European customer, you may get a different bonus with your Note order. Instead of a microSD card, wireless charger, or 360 camera you may get a Samsung DeX dock as your “preorder gift,” according to a second tweet from Blass.

It isn’t clear if Samsung would also offer original Note 7 buyers a discount for buying the Note 8, but that’s something we’d like to see.

Although the alleged preorder date is August 24, the Note 8 might not release until September 15, Blass tweeted separately. Samsung has said it will sell the Note 8 in September and October, depending on the region. 

We’ll likely hear more about Note 8 availability next week during the Samsung event. So stay tuned to CNET and keep an eye out for more preorder info then.

Samsung did not respond to a request for comment.

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Samsung Galaxy Note 8 might be out as soon as September 15th

For a while after the Note 7 debacle, the fate of Samsung’s supersized phone line was uncertain. It soon became pretty clear, though, that the Korean manufacturer isn’t killing the name: Samsung is launching the Galaxy Note 8 on August 23rd, and according to notable leaker Evan Blass (evleaks), it will be available as soon as September 15th. In addition, you’ll reportedly be able to pre-order the phone on August 24th, a day after the the company’s Unpacked event.

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