Tag Archives: Gadget Features

‘Star Trek: Discovery’ spaceship flies over New York City


The USA Discovery, in the form of a light effect, flies over New York.

Mike Sorrentino/CNET

Star Trek: Discovery” blasts off this weekend, and in celebration, so has a real-life USS Discovery.

To mark the show’s Sunday premiere, CBS launched a re-creation of the show’s spaceship in New York from City Vineyard at Pier 46 Saturday night.

The ship is actually a light illusion put together via many LED lights attached to a truss flying out to the George Washington Bridge with the help of a Black Hawk helicopter.

The effect was put together by Remarkable, a company who previously did a similar type of stunt for the MTV Video Music Awards last year.

Remarkable CEO Simon Powell said that his company worked with CBS’ assets of the ship in order to put together the visual effect.

The new show takes place 10 years before the original “Star Trek” show, and stars Sonequa Martin-Green as First Officer Michael Burnham.

“Star Trek: Discovery” debuts its first episode in the US on CBS and CBS All Access Sunday, Sept. 24 around 8:30 p.m. ET/PT (a late afternoon NFL game and an episode of “60 Minutes” may shift the premiere time slightly). Subsequent episodes will debut on the CBS All Access streaming service. (Disclosure: CBS is CNET’s parent company).

Internationally the show will stream on Netflix.

Star Trek (CBS All Access)

Article source: https://www.cnet.com/news/star-trek-discovery-cbs-spaceship-new-york-city/#ftag=CAD590a51e

Google Doodle celebrates Asima Chatterjee, pioneering chemist

Asima Chatterjee Google Doodle


Can women succeed in STEM fields? You might look to Asima Chatterjee for guidance on that one.

Chatterjee, honored with a Google Doodle on Saturday — on what would’ve been her 100th birthday — was the first woman to land a doctorate in science from an Indian university, the University of Calcutta in 1946.

The specialist in organic chemistry was most noted for her work with vinca alkaloids, Google says in a blog post on its site. The alkaloids come from the Madagascar periwinkle plant and are used in chemotherapy because they help inhibit the multiplying of cancer cells.

The doodle follows similar celebrations of trailblazing women. Among others honored: Bessie Coleman, the first female pilot of African-American descent and the first woman of Native American descent to earn a pilot’s license; Dolores del Río, the first major female Mexican film star in Hollywood; and Zaha Hadid, the first woman awarded architecture’s prestigious Pritzker Prize.

Chatterjee, who died in 2006, received one of India’s highest civilian medals, the Padma Bhushan, and was appointed to India’s Parliament. You can learn more about her life and achievements by way of a slideshow at Google Arts Culture.

Solving for XX: The tech industry seeks to overcome outdated ideas about “women in tech.”

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

Article source: https://www.cnet.com/news/google-doodle-celebrates-asima-chatterjee-pioneering-chemist/#ftag=CAD590a51e

We smashed the iPhone 8


Spoiler alert: Don’t throw the iPhone from a high window.

James Martin/CNET

At first glance, not much has changed on the iPhone 8. Head on, it could easily be mistaken for an iPhone 7, or even a 6 for that matter. But the back is a different story.

This year Apple’s iPhone 8 and 8 Plus ditched the iPhone 7’s aluminum backing in exchange for a glass plate. Glass is what makes the iPhone’s new wireless charging feature possible, and while that’s great, it also means there are now two glass surfaces that could potentially break in a fall. The glass backs on Samsung’s Galaxy S8 and LG’s G6 both shattered in our previous drop tests.

But this is apparently not just any glass. According to Apple, the glass on the new iPhones “are reinforced by a steel and copper structure with the 50 percent deeper strengthening layer using our dual ion-exchange process” making it “the most durable glass ever made in a smartphone”.

Exactly how durable? We subjected a brand new iPhone 8 to three drop tests to find out.

Drop 1: Pocket height (3 feet, about 1m)

Phones fall out of pockets all the time, so for our first test, we dropped a brand new iPhone 8 from three feet — about my pocket height — onto a cement sidewalk.

The first point of impact happened on the metal frame. Then the iPhone 8 landed on its back. The frame and the back sustained some minor damage, but the screen remained intact. The metal was scuffed on the side where the phone hit first, and there were two tiny fractures on opposing corners of the glass back.

Having survived our first test, we moved on to the next.

Drop 2: Eye-level (5 feet, 1.5m)

You’re going to take that picture and oops, the phone slips out of your hands. That’s exactly what our second drop was designed to simulate. We dropped the iPhone 8 from about eye-level onto the sidewalk again.

The sidewalk where we were stationed this time was not completely level, which may have affected the impact pattern.

The corner of the phone hit first, then landed screen-side down before flipping over onto its back. This time the screen was completely shattered. The phone still worked, but tiny shard of glass were peeling off the front.

The back, however, did not sustain any further damage.

Drop 3: CNET’s fourth floor (50 feet, about 15m)

In earlier drop tests, we broke the iPhone 8’s screen, but the back had very little damage. That’s a good sign for normal wear and tear. But being a torture test, we wanted to push the iPhone 8 to the very brink, and maybe past it So for our final test, we asked the Twitter-verse to tell us about the craziest ways they had broken their phones.

And this is what they came up with:

There are no carnival rides at CNET, but we do have a fourth floor at about the same height described in the tweet. So that’s where we went to drop the iPhone 8, again, onto the pavement below.

And you can guess how this went. Just about any object dropped from that height would shatter into dozens of pieces. Definitely any phone would, anyway. And that’s exactly what happened to our iPhone 8. This time it landed with the back-side down. Even the camera lens had cracked. The glass was falling off the phone, exposing some of the iPhone’s guts, and the screen continued to shatter. It still lit up, but the front was so broken up, you couldn’t actually read anything on it.

Most durable glass ever made on a smartphone?

Maybe. But it’s a tough call. The Gorilla Glass 5 back on Samsung’s Galaxy S8 cracked after the first drop in our previous test, but the screen, made of the same glass, never broke. The LG G6‘s Gorilla Glass 3 screen broke when we dropped it from hip height, but the Gorilla Glass 5 on the back survived.

The glass may be durable, but none of these phones is unbreakable and they don’t claim to be.


When we reached out about the damage we caused in our first two tests, Apple responded:

“The new iPhones are designed to be durable, but not indestructible, and go through rigorous real world testing… If anyone is concerned about dropping their iPhone and damaging it, we suggest using one of the many beautiful cases available to protect iPhone.”  

These tests were meant to simulate real world scenarios (at least the first two), but are by no means scientific, so don’t base your purchasing decision on the results. If you just bought or are planning to buy the iPhone 8, add a case to your order, secure the phone on carnival rides and never ever drop it from a fourth story window. 

Article source: https://www.cnet.com/news/iphone-8-drop-test/#ftag=CAD590a51e

Hackers targeted election systems in 21 states, DHS says

US Embassy in Moscow.  The US Department of Homeland Security told 21 states Friday that hackers targeted their election systems.

A US flag waving at the US Embassy in Russia. The US Department of Homeland Security told 21 states Friday that hackers targeted their election systems.

Anton Novoderezhkin/Getty Images

The US Department of Homeland Security notified 21 states on Friday that hackers targeted their election systems in 2016. None of the systems targeted were involved in tallying votes, and hackers were able to breach only a small number of networks. 

“As part of our ongoing information sharing efforts, today DHS notified the Secretary of State or other chief election officer in each state of any potential targeting we were aware of in their state leading up to the 2016 election,” Homeland Security spokesman Scott McConnell said in statement. 

Despite the news that vote counting systems seem to have been left unmolested, the notifications are one more piece of worrying news about the integrity of the US election system. The word came as Homeland Security continues its investigation into security breaches during the 2016 presidential election. Multiple intelligence agencies have said that the government of Russian President Vladimir Putin was trying to influence the election by hacking the emails of US political campaigns and through misinformation efforts. The DHS news also follows Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s announcement Thursday that his social network will hand over to Congress thousands of election-related ads it believes Russian agents bought on its platform.

This isn’t the first time we’ve heard that hackers tried to get into state election systems before the 2016 presidential elections, which Donald Trump won amid fears the Russian government was trying to influence vote. According to reports from last September, the US government informed election officials that hackers targeted the election systems of more than 20 states, and successfully infiltrated those of four unnamed states. McConnell didn’t specify whether the hacking attempts reported today were different from the ones states heard about last year.

Though none of these hacking efforts focused on vote tallying machines, Barbara Simons, president of election security advocacy group Verified Voting, said that doesn’t rule out the possibility that hackers tampered with the vote.

“In reality I don’t think we know for sure whether votes were changed in 2016,” Simons said. Simons’ organization is pushing for the use of paper ballots and manual election audits throughout the country.

Arizona was among the states notified Friday. “DHS has let us know that the Russian government was involved in attacks on Arizona’s voter registration system in 2016,” a government representative said in a statement Friday.

The Associated Press also reported that Alabama, Colorado, Illinois, Maryland, Virginia, Washington and Wisconsin were among the states notified.

McConnell said Homeland Security is leaving it up to individual states to decide whether to tell the public that their voting systems were among those targeted by hackers. “We will continue to keep this information confidential and defer to each state whether it wishes to make it public or not.”

First published Sept. 22, 3:49 p.m. PT
Update, 5:24 p.m.: Adds detail.

Tech Enabled: CNET chronicles tech’s role in providing new kinds of accessibility. Check it out here.

Technically Literate: Original works of short fiction with unique perspectives on tech, exclusively on CNET. You can read them here.

Article source: https://www.cnet.com/news/hackers-trump-putin-dhs-election-systems-in-21-states-dhs-says/#ftag=CAD590a51e

5 things we just learned from the iPhone 8 teardown

After a giant leak, a huge reveal, and a full week with Apple’s new iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus, you’d think we’d know everything about the company’s latest phones. But new details keep trickling out. (Did you can charge faster with a USB-C cable?)

Now, we’re seeing the first teardown experts rip apart the iPhone 8 to show us its gleaming guts, and we’ve learned a few brand-new things as a result. So here’s what iFixit discovered in their brand-new teardown.

1) The iPhone 8’s battery is… smaller?

Yep. While Apple claims you’ll get the same battery life from an iPhone 8 as an iPhone 7, iFixit discovered the new phone actually has a smaller-capacity Lithium-ion battery pack inside. 


iFixit examines the iPhone 8’s new battery.


It’s rated at 6.96 watt-hours (roughly 1822mAh), compared to the 7.45Wh (1960mAh) battery you’d find in an iPhone 7. 

Those numbers line up with documents Apple filed with Tenaa, the Chinese equivalent of the FCC.  

2) The iPhone 8 modem is technically Gigabit LTE-ready

Why didn’t Apple future-proof the iPhone 8 for the latest, greatest high-speed cellular networks? We may never know. 

What makes it doubly frustrating: The chips inside at least some iPhone 8 models are technically capable of doing so. iFixit discovered a Qualcomm X16 modem inside its iPhone 8 that has the capability to support Gigabit LTE, and the Qualcomm WTR5975 RF transciever chip designed to complement it in Gigabit LTE phones. 


The iPhone 8, fully torn down.


Does that mean the iPhone 8 could be updated to support Gigabit LTE? Not likely. Particularly if, as rumored and as Apple has done before, some iPhones use Intel modems instead of Qualcomm ones. (Intel doesn’t have a Gigabit LTE modem yet.) 

You might want to check out this article we wrote about the Apple-Qualcomm legal spat, because it may have something to do with why the new iPhones don’t have this technology. (At least LTE-Advanced, which they do support, is pretty fast.)

3) If that glass back cracks, it won’t be easy to replace

iFixit had a heck of a time prying off the iPhone 8’s new rear cover glass, which is attached to a steel reinforcement plate with what appears to be loads of glue. The repair firm tried to soften it, but wound up having to slice through with a knife — damaging the metal a bit in the process. 

Sure, adhesive is necessary for a water-resistant phone, but it means you’d have a heck of a time replacing the glass yourself. Which also explains why Apple will probably charge $99 to repair a cracked glass back — even if you’ve got AppleCare+.

Curious what a thoroughly cracked iPhone 8 looks like? It’s not a pretty sight:

4) How the iPhone’s wireless charging works

What’s the quickest way to an iPhone 8’s heart? Through the charging coil!

That’s what iFixit and friends discovered when they X-rayed the new iPhone:

iphone-8-ifixit-x-ray-wireless-chargingEnlarge Image

That’s an inductive charging coil, right underneath the back of the phone.

iFixit/Creative Electron

There’s nothing all that special about an inductive charging coil these days, of course — you can add one to any iPhone for just $13. (Here’s how they work.)

But it’s neat to see anyhow — particularly compared to the rest of the phone. 

5) Inside, the Lightning port matches the phone’s color

Okay, it’s not exactly a revelation — but it’s interesting nonetheless. Apple has long been obsessed with making its devices beautiful inside and out, dating back (at least) to the time every member of the Macintosh team signed the inside of the case.

(There are also stories of how Steve Jobs had the NeXT factory repainted when he didn’t like the color inside.)



Anyhow, it turns out that the new housing for Apple’s Lightning port now matches the inside of the phone. If that makes you happy inside, Apple’s job is done.

Our iPhone 8 review: It’s a solid pick.

iPhone 8: Should you upgrade? Our guide to exactly what you’ll get — and lose — by buying a new iPhone.

Article source: https://www.cnet.com/news/iphone-8-teardown-whats-inside/#ftag=CAD590a51e

iPhone 8 survives bend, burn and scratch test

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


It’s made of sterner stuff.

JerryRigEverything/YouTube screenshot by Chris Matyszczyk/CNET

It seems a lifetime ago that the devoted foamed at the gills, as the iPhone 6 was bent out of shape in torture tests.

iPhone 7 had a much stiffer upper lip.

Now, with the iPhone 8 emerging, the torturers have immediately seized one, in order to pummel it. 

Zack Nelson, aka JerryRigEverything, who recently tried to set the Samsung Galaxy Note 8 on fire, did his usual thing with Apple’s new iPhone, a few hours before the rest of the world got hold of it. (We reached out to him to figure out how he got it so early and will update with any response.)

The 8 and 8 Plus launched Friday, but many are likely going to wait for the iPhone X, which is due out on November 3. After all, my colleague Scott Stein called the 8 “the status quo upgrade.”

The iPhone 8 seems to be a sturdy upgrade, all the same. It resists relatively gentle razor-blade scratching on its front glass. Even the new glass back appears strong. 

Those of deep Apple persuasion will be pleased that the Apple logo is actually beneath the glass, so you can’t damage it with surface abrasions. 

It won’t begin to disappear with wear and tear, either. So you can stare at it lovingly, when all else in your life is imperfect.

The sides of the phone seem not to fight the razor blade so well, however. 

Still, the more exciting parts come at the end. First, will it catch fire? Again, the resistance is strong, with the phone screen returning to cool quite quickly after a lighter flame is placed against it.

Most importantly, the bend test.

Increasingly, people do seem to carry their phones in their back pockets. And, those with more musculature on their behinds might be concerned that they will permanently disfigure their 8. 

They need not fear. Not even the waterproofing adhesive shows a shift. The glass doesn’t separate either, no matter how hard the pressure of human hands.

Apple didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.

Ultimately, then, it appears another good, sturdy, well-built phone. Like the Note 8. 

It’s hard to get excited when it doesn’t bend, break or catch on fire, isn’t it?

Technically Incorrect: Bringing you a fresh and irreverent take on tech.

Special Reports: CNET’s in-depth features in one place.

Article source: https://www.cnet.com/news/iphone-8-survives-bend-burn-scratch-torture-test/#ftag=CAD590a51e