Tag Archives: Gadget Reviews

Netflix thinks people still like Adam Sandler movies

Adam Sandler’s recent output has been… well, it’s probably best not to talk about it. Regardless of how you feel about his work, Netflix and its viewers seem to be fans and as such the streaming juggernaut has inked another four-movie deal with the Saturday Night Live alum. The first, romantic comedy Sandy Wexler, debuts April 14th and stars Academy Award winner Jennifer Hudson, and Sandler’s usual suspects: Kevin James, Terry Crews, Nick Swardson and Rob Schneider among others.

Article source: https://www.engadget.com/2017/03/24/netflix-thinks-people-still-like-adam-sandler-movies/

The Morning After: Friday, March 24th 2017

Roll ’em back.Senate votes 50 – 48 in favor of letting ISPs sell your private data

Yesterday, the US Senate voted for “congressional disapproval” of an FCC rule that prevented ISPs from selling their customer’s personal data without getting permission first. Sen. Jeff Flake (R-AZ) wrote the resolution, claiming the rule made for an unfair burden on ISPs compared to companies like Google and Facebook. He is apparently unbothered by the idea that consumers have less choice in what ISP they can use than whether or not they maintain an account on those sites. In response, the ACLU argues that “The House must now stop this resolution from moving forward and stand up for our privacy rights.”

The convertible dream will never die.Apple explores using an iPhone or iPad to power a laptop

Apple has filed a patent filing this morning detailing how an iPhone, or an iPad, could be used to power an ultraportable laptop. One diagram features a slot near the trackpad area where you can drop in an iPhone, which provides all of the hardware necessary to run the Macbook-looking ultraportable. And, in a truly unique spin, the iPhone would also serve as the actual trackpad.

This is not a drill.Hackers are threatening to erase iPhones if Apple doesn’t pay up

A hacker group claims it has accumulated credentials for hundreds of millions of iCloud and Apple ID accounts (likely due to leaks on other services where people used the same passwords). While Apple maintains that its systems have not been breached, ZDNet has been able to authenticate a few credentials provided by the group. Now the group claims it will use the Find My iPhone tool to wipe devices unless it’s paid a ransom. What does this mean for you? If you have an Apple account (or Google, or anywhere else, really) make sure you’re using strong, unique passwords, and enable two-factor authentication — right now.

Would you pay for Twitter?Twitter floats the idea of a $20 subscription version of Tweetdeck

As a service, Twitter is indispensable for information addicts but still struggles to make money. One thing that could bring cash in is finding new ways to profit from heavy users like businesses and news outlets, and it looks like Twitter has an idea: subscription Tweetdeck. It’s currently surveying users to find out how they feel about the plan, which could run $20 per month for things like personalized news summaries and alerts, priority customer support, an ad-free experience and more.

The right clothes for you are out there, but you might not find them in stores.What the internet taught me about dressing like an adult

Nicole Lee bought a pair of jeans from Uniqlo — and that was the only time she’d purchased clothing from a brick-and-mortar store in all of 2016. For the past few years, her clothes shopping has happened online. Not just because it’s convenient, but because the internet provides her with fashion alternatives that she said she would have never have discovered otherwise. She explains how and why.

Brands are upset over their ads appearing on content related to terrorism and hate.ATT, Verizon join companies pulling ads from Google and YouTube

YouTube video creators are fighting against the video service’s filter screening out LGBTQ+ voices, while on the other end, advertisers are worried about a different type of content. In a movement that started with several UK brands (McDonald’s, BBC, Channel 4, Lloyd’s and others), companies and regulators have become concerned that ads are being placed by Google on websites and videos promoting extremist and hateful views. Although Google has promised new tools will give partners more control over where ads appear, it may not be moving fast enough. Now, ATT and Verizon (parent company of AOL, which owns Engadget), are pulling online ad campaigns.

A series veteran and a newcomer walk into a bar…What we love and hate about ‘Mass Effect: Andromeda’

How does Andromeda compare to previous Mass Effect games? Does it stand on its own as a worthy addition to the sci-fi genre? Are the animations always this messed up? In the following conversation, Tim and Jessica discuss Andromeda’s highs and lows from two vastly different perspectives — and somehow, they end up with similar conclusions. There might be a few narrative spoilers, but nothing too awful.

But wait, there’s more…

Article source: https://www.engadget.com/2017/03/24/the-morning-after-friday-march-24th-2017/

Facebook adds more familiar features to Messenger chats

Message reactions work exactly as they do in iMessage — you just press and hold a message to bring up Facebook’s set of seven basic love/laugh/cry emoji. For anyone keeping score, a small counter will tally up the reactions and show you who in the chat is showering you with all these emoji. Of course, everything gets a playful animation and its own notification on the lock screen.

Mentions should seem pretty familiar as well: start typing @ and you’ll bring up a list of people in the chat. Tag a name and that user will get a special notification letting them know they’ve been called out.

Mentions and Reactions began rolling out to users today, and they should be available to everyone in the next few days. And for companies using Facebook Workplace, the same features will be available in Work Chat.

Article source: https://www.engadget.com/2017/03/23/facebook-messenger-mentions-reactions-chats/

The Morning After: Thursday, March 23rd 2017

Because unplugging isn’t always realistic.Adult Week: Finding inner peace (with help from your smartphone)

Technology is draining. Social media networks are programmed to make you come back for more, always swiping to refresh, like and post. You are constantly on your PC, your smartphone, your TV. You fall asleep to Netflix or reading Twitter as it spits up funny gifs or more bad news. It can wear you down. So what did Mat Smith do? What should you do? Those are probably different answers. There’s no shortage of introductory guides to meditation, relaxation podcasts and devices that promise to help or offer relief, but here are some things to start with.

The new iPad cuts corners, but it’s hard to complain at that price.Apple hopes cheap, not powerful, will turn around iPad sales

Apple has been trying to reverse declining iPad sales for several years now, without much success. For the past year and a half, that strategy could be summed up in one word: more. More power, more screen real estate, more accessories. And more money. Its new iPad, however, is cheaper. It might be what the company needs to get the many people who bought iPads three or four years ago to upgrade.

Update ASAP.Critical LastPass bugs identified that could leak passwords or worse

Using a password manager is a convenient way to not only keep track of logins but make sure they’re all unique. That’s key to keeping accounts safe in a world where billion-account databases are available on the dark web, but it does rely on the app remaining secure. Google Project Zero researcher Tavis Ormandy identified a few bugs in extensions for LastPass that could allow someone to steal a target’s passwords, or in some cases run code on their computer.

The company quickly responded to deal with the issues, so any users should make sure they’re patched up (and using two-factor authentication in addition to unique passwords, or perhaps another manager that works separately from the browser like KeePass.)

Let your friends know exactly where you are when you’re running late.Google Maps’ location-sharing feature is one you might actually use

Google has been busy beefing up Maps recently. Beyond just using it for turn-by-turn directions, you can now use Maps to remember where you parked, find reviews for nearby restaurants and avoid heavily congested areas. This week, it added location-sharing. With just a few taps in the app, you can now share your real-time location with friends and family. It’s a feature that can be handy for when you’re running late to an appointment or if you simply want your buddies to keep tabs on your whereabouts.

You’re paying a premium for the S Pen and an HDR display.Review: The Galaxy Tab S3 is good, but not $600 good

The Galaxy Tab S3 has a promising list of features, including its HDR-friendly screen, quad-speaker array, included S Pen and powerful processor. And they mostly work as touted. Its colorful and sharp display, coupled with loud audio, makes for satisfying multimedia consumption. It’s also a responsive machine and lasts more than 11 hours on a charge. But the Tab S3 and its companion keyboard, which costs an extra $130, aren’t good enough for intensive typing and multitasking.

It can fix your finicky left Joy-Con with a bit of conductive foam.Nintendo cites ‘manufacturing variation’ for Joy-Con issues

Since the Switch started to show up in gamer’s homes, some have been complaining about issues with its wireless Joy-Cons. Problems with losing connection, particularly on the left one, have plagued some enough to attempt DIY fixes, but Nintendo says a “manufacturing variation” is to blame for the issue. The company added that it’s figured out a “simple fix” for anyone with affected Joy-Cons to improve patchy connectivity. It seems to involve a spot of conductive foam.

Finally‘Super Mario Run’ for Android is here

If you were expecting to see Nintendo’s new mobile game on Android today, then surprise — it’s already out. No matter what platform you play on, Super Mario Run is updated to version 2.0 with new character choices and more. It’s free to try, so grab it on Google Play and find out why iOS players spent $53 million bucks on the game in January.

BelieveGoogle plans faster updates for all Android phones in 2017

Once again, Google says it’s prioritizing updates for Android devices. The platform has historically struggled with slow rollouts of updates to many devices, limiting features and current security patches to a small group. To turn that around, Google says it’s giving manufacturers more data on how each one is doing with rollouts and it’s reducing the size of patches. Already, it claims 78 percent of flagship devices were current with security updates at the end of 2016 — hopefully, that trend continues to spread this year.

But wait, there’s more…

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Article source: https://www.engadget.com/2017/03/23/the-morning-after-thursday-march-23rd-2017/

Browse Airbnb’s vacation add-ons from your desktop

In total, Airbnb says they have over 800 active Experiences like surfing off the grid in Dana Point, Fascinators and afternoon tea in London or following Hemingway’s footsteps in Havana. Experiences now span more than 73 different countries, with 91% of them receiving five-star ratings. If you’re looking for something to do on your next vacation, Airbnb says Paris, Tokyo and Los Angeles are their top destinations for Experiences but LA, London and San Francisco are leading the pack for the most new Experiences being submitted to the platform. On the other hand, it might be a little difficult finding an actual place to stay in San Francisco, now that the site has started complying with local regulations and booting many illegal hosts from its service.

Article source: https://www.engadget.com/2017/03/22/airbnb-experiences-desktop/

The Morning After: Wednesday, March 22nd 2017

Say goodbye to the Air. Apple’s new 9.7-inch iPad is its cheapest yet

Apple just simplified its tablet lineup in a big way. The company has introduced a new 9.7-inch iPad — not the Air 3, just… iPad. You’ll find a slightly older but still speedy A9 processor inside instead of the Air 2’s aging A8X chip, and Apple has doubled the capacities to give you either 32GB or 128GB of storage. There are some drawbacks, however, that come with that cheaper price tag.

Beats two different shades of black. Apple’s iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus now come in red

Apple has also just snuck out a new special edition red iPhone 7, with barely any fanfare. (Although rumors that something was afoot began earlier today when Apple’s online store went down.) The red aluminum iPhone 7 and 7 Plus will be launching globally, adding some welcome color to the black and plainer metallic shades we’ve had until now. The pair of iPhones (with either 128GB or 256GB of storage) will launch in stores and online this Friday, March 24th, starting at $749.

The 16GB iPhone is dead.Apple doubles the storage of the iPhone SE and iPad Mini 4

Apple is also increasing the storage across all iPhone SE and iPad Mini 4 configurations. The lowest-capacity 4-inch iPhone SE is now 32GB, up from 16GB, and the 64GB model has been scrapped in favor of a 128GB version. Basically, Apple has doubled the storage and finally killed off the last 16GB iPhone, but good news: The prices haven’t changed.

You can try it out todayMeet Android O

Google has officially announced the next version of Android, and it’s O. There’s no dessert-themed nickname yet, but the next big update will have some tweaks aimed at extending battery life. They’ll work by managing how apps operate in the background, limiting services, location updates and broadcasts to help squeeze out more time between charges. Other new features include picture-in-picture on phones and tablets, and an autofill feature that should make it easier to use a password manager. If you want to get an early jump, there’s a developer preview available right now for several Nexus and Pixel devices.

It involves more than just emptying your Trash folder Adult Week: The life-changing magic of tidying up (your computer)

Now that many of us have terabytes of storage at our fingertips (or in the cloud), there’s a temptation to keep everything, from apps to old bookmarks. Despite that, Dan Cooper tried applying strategies from Marie Kondo’s famous book to his digital life, hitting the delete button on things that don’t provide some form of joy.

Deal from the middleThe hidden depth of mobile puzzle game ‘Where Cards Fall’

This top-down 3D puzzler will have players follow a handful of teenagers over the course of ten years, building houses of cards to navigate them along the way. Coming from the developers of Alto’s Adventure, Where Cards Fall will arrive later this year on iOS, Apple TV and Steam with more complex mechanics and story than we’re used to seeing in a mobile game.

How did it not have this already? iTunes movie rentals finally work across multiple devices

Nearly a decade after iTunes added movie rentals, Apple has finally made it work across devices. Previously, if you watched a rental on one phone, tablet or Apple TV, it would be stuck there until it expired. With the latest update, viewers can pause and resume on another iPhone or anywhere else they’re logged into the app. The only problem is that for now, the feature is limited to beta and developer builds, but it should be available widely soon enough.

But wait, there’s more…

Article source: https://www.engadget.com/2017/03/22/the-morning-after-wednesday-march-22nd-2017/