Tag Archives: Gadget Reviews

Tesla reveals a new Roadster, due in 2020

At Tesla’s Semi event, the automaker dropped its new Roadster. It’ll have a 620-mile range via a 200kWh battery pack.”You’ll be able to travel from LA to San Francisco and back without recharging,” CEO Elon Musk said. The new Tesla Roadster will do zero to 60 in 1.9 seconds, and it’ll blast through a quarter mile in 8.9 seconds, before reaching a top speed of over 250 MPH.

Oh, and it’s a four-seater.

Article source: https://www.engadget.com/2017/11/17/tesla-reveals-a-new-roadster-due-in-2020/

Create Instagram stories in your phone’s web browser

Also, the Pinterest-like ability to save posts is coming to your phone’s browser. If there’s a travel destination or savory meal you want to remember for late, you can bookmark posts and visit all your saved examples.

These features will take a few weeks to reach everyone, so don’t be disheartened if they aren’t available right away. When they do, though, the mobile web version of Instagram will be considerably closer to its native app version. There are still clear reasons to download the app if you can (receiving notifications and posting video in particular), but there isn’t as much of a rush as there was in the past.

Article source: https://www.engadget.com/2017/11/16/create-instagram-stories-in-your-phones-web-browser/

Duolingo adds Mandarin course to its language library

Online language learning company Duolingo has finally added a Mandarin course to its offerings. With more than one billion speakers, Mandarin is the most popular language on the planet, but it’s also on one of the hardest to learn, which is why the course will prove a little beefier than its European language counterparts. English speakers will learn the language’s characters as well as the four tones of Mandarin, with lessons structured by themes such as greetings, food, health and sports.

Article source: https://www.engadget.com/2017/11/16/duolingo-adds-mandarin-course-to-its-language-library/

Scientists issue a dire warning about climate change (again)

The letter appeared in the journal BioScience, and its message is (understandably) dire. “Humanity has failed to make sufficient progress in generally solving these foreseen environmental challenges, and alarmingly, most of them are getting far worse,” it says. “Soon it will be too late to shift course away from our failing trajectory.”

There isn’t much in the way of good news here. Not only have the issues identified in the original letter gotten worse, but a whole new host of problems have emerged. From access to clean water to a population explosion, things aren’t looking great. The only issue that has improved is the hole in the ozone layer, which has shrunk considerably.

However, all is not lost, at least not yet. Scientists outline 13 things we can do in the very near future to correct our course. These include developing more environmentally friendly tech, creating nature reserves and putting economic policies into place that will change our consumption habits. The paper also announces the establishment of the Alliance of World Scientists, which will “develop clear, trackable, and practical solutions while communicating trends and needs to world leaders.” Let’s just hope it’s not too late.

Article source: https://www.engadget.com/2017/11/15/climate-change-warning-from-13000-scientists/

Feds reveal technical details of North Korea’s cyber attacks

They also contain info on the FALLCHILL malware North Korean hackers have reportedly been using to compromise networks in the aforementioned sectors. FALLCHILL gains entry into a computer when a user visits an infected website and unwittingly downloads it. It could also come as a secondary payload brought about by another malware that had infected the system. Once it’s in, FALLCHILL can retrieve info, as well as execute, terminate and move processes and files. The malware can also clean up after itself, making it hard to detect its presence.

According to the feds, both Volgmer and FALLCHILL are part of North Korea’s “Hidden Cobra” program, which was created to deploy cyber attacks against enemy states. The US government had already issued a warning about Hidden Cobra earlier this year, claiming that it’s been infiltrating media, financial, aerospace and critical infrastructure sectors in the US and around the globe since 2009.

If the name doesn’t exactly sound familiar, it’s because they’re apparently more widely known as the Guardians of Peace — the group that claimed responsibility for the massive Sony Pictures hack in 2014 — and the Lazarus Group. North Korea, however, continues to deny all the hacking allegations thrown at it, including the attack on Sony Pictures and the theft of F-15 fighter jet wings’ blueprints from South Korea’s computers.

Article source: https://www.engadget.com/2017/11/14/technical-alerts-north-korea-cyber-attacks-fallchill/

Pandora’s app now offers direct control for Sonos speakers

Additionally, Sonos now works with Pandora Premium, the company’s on-demand music service. Previously, Sonos only worked with the traditional radio-style stations that Pandora creates based on songs, artists or genres, but Premium subscribers can now send any music they want from Pandora’s catalog to their speakers.

It’s a pretty notable addition that rounds out the Pandora experience — as a Sonos owner, using Pandora Premium has been a non-starter until now. And being able to control music directly through the app makes for a much-improved experience as well. Just like using Spotify Connect with Sonos, you can group and un-group speakers, move music to different speakers around the house and adjust volume right in the Pandora app. This all follows the recently-added support for Pandora stations on the Alexa-powered Sonos One speaker. Unfortunately, you can still only use your voice to start stations — Pandora Premium users can’t just pick anything from their libraries and ask Alexa to play it just yet.

Anyone who uses Pandora will be able to use the app to control their Sonos speakers, regardless of whether they pay for one of Pandora’s two subscription options or use the free, ad-supported station service. And with the addition of Pandora Premium support, Sonos users will be able to access their full Pandora libraries through the Sonos controller app, as well. These updates are going live in the Google Play Store and App Store today — if it’s not on your phone yet, it should be soon.

Article source: https://www.engadget.com/2017/11/14/pandora-sonos-direct-connect-premium-support/