Tag Archives: Gadget Reviews

Amazon Music’s iOS app infiltrates CarPlay

Why would you want to cruise to the sounds of Amazon Music if you’re an Apple fanboy, though? Both companies’ streaming services run $9.99 per month (or $14.99 for a family of six), and offer tens of millions of tracks. But, if you’re a Prime subscriber you get a $2 a month discount on Amazon Music. Plus it’s available on Android, PlayStation 4, Amazon’s popular Echo devices — way more places than Apple Music.

Basically, Amazon just wants you to use its service, and doesn’t care what kind of hardware you own. Getting into your dashboard is part of that formula for success. (Especially since we’re pretty sure Fire Auto won’t be hitting dealerships anytime soon.)

Article source: https://www.engadget.com/2017/03/21/amazon-music-apple-carplay/

The Morning After: Tuesday, March 21st 2017

Grown-ups are talking.

Welcome to Engadget’s Adult Week

It’s time to become an independent and constructive member of society, and Engadget can give you some tips on how to do it. All week we’ll be bringing you stories about how to use technology to become a better grownup and navigate our tech-saturated world in a manner befitting a real deal adult. First up, is advice on how to do some good online.

A “biomarker” protein hangs out on cells where the virus hides from treatment.
HIV breakthrough may help scientists kill sleeping virus cells

AIDS patients must endure a lifetime of drugs because the virus conceals itself in the immune system and reactivates with a vengeance once the treatment stops. However, French scientists have discovered a marker that makes it possible to identify dormant, HIV-infected T-cells from healthy ones. That could lead to drugs that target those “reservoir cells,” eradicating the virus completely and curing the patient.

Samsung unveils its Siri competitor ahead of the Galaxy S8

It was only a matter of time until Samsung launched a full-fledged virtual assistant of its very own — “S Voice” just never quite cut it. Today the company unveiled Bixby, a new assistant that’ll debut with the Galaxy S8 on March 29th. Naturally, it’s meant to help Samsung differentiate itself from Apple’s Siri and Google’s Assistant. Bixby seems different on a conceptual level: It’s meant to serve as a new voice-based interface for controlling your apps, rather than just something that you can ask a few questions.

Rate our editors.
What the world needs now: an app that lets people rate your selfies.

59.8. That is Dan Cooper’s average score, as calculated by the swaths of people using a selfie-judging app called Spontana. He spent the past few days sharing pictures of himself on the service and receiving the unvarnished truth in response. Thankfully, he also got to deal judgements out.

The 4-day ban also covers some African carriers.
US temporarily bans most electronics on Middle Eastern airlines

The US just made traveling to certain parts of the world considerably more complicated, at least if you’re a technology fan. Middle Eastern and African airlines (including Royal Jordanian and Saudia) say the US has asked them to institute a 96-hour ban on carrying most electronics on flights to or from the US, starting on March 21st. You can sit down with your phone or any necessary medical devices, but cameras, laptops and other gadgets will have to go into your checked baggage. A US official speaking anonymously to the BBC says the device ban would affect nine airlines in 10 airports. It’s believed to be in response to intelligence reports hinting at threats.

Work smart, not hard.ARM ‘DynamIQ’ chips are ready for an all-AI future

Processor heads are familiar with the ARM tech that powers everything from mobile devices to game consoles, and the company just announced what’s next for its multicore processor designs. Called DynamIQ, it improves on existing designs by allowing for multiple CPU cores that are designed for specific purposes. It’s all done to work better with AI and machine learning, perfect for not only tomorrow’s smart phones, but also self-driving cars and servers.

Trying to avert the #YouTubeIsOverParty
YouTube apologizes for ‘Restricted Mode’ blocking LGBTQ+ content

Over the last few days, YouTubers caught on to the fact that a screen to block mature content from school computers and the like was going too far. Restricted Mode made a habit of blocking anything with a hint of LGBTQ+ content, even if it was completely innocent. Now, the company has unblocked some content, and VP Johanna Wright says that “We’re sorry and we’re going to fix it.”

But wait, there’s more…

Article source: https://www.engadget.com/2017/03/21/the-morning-after-tuesday-march-21st-2017/

Disney shows how you catch a real ball in VR

Even in its early form, the system is both effective and flexible. Testers had little trouble catching the ball in a conventional way, where they only saw where the ball was at any given moment, but they could also catch it when they were shown either the trajectory or a predicted target area.

There are no immediate plans to put this into software you can use, but you can spot the practical applications from a mile away. You could build VR apps where catching and throwing are not only more realistic, but easier for those without keen instincts. A catching game could teach rookies how to anticipate the ball’s path, rather than expecting them to learn through trial and error. While there would be limits to this (you wouldn’t want to have VR players whipping fastballs), it would expand the range of possible VR activities.

Article source: https://www.engadget.com/2017/03/20/catch-a-real-ball-in-vr/

The Morning After: Monday, March 20th 2017

Say bye-bye to the Model S 60 and 60D… again.
Tesla kills its relatively affordable 60kWh Model S options

After April 16th, people will no longer be able to buy the most affordable Tesla cars available today. The automaker has decided to stop offering the Model S 60 and 60D options to “simplify the ordering process,” according to a newsletter it sent to subscribers. They’re merely software-locked to 60kWh, and customers can pay an additional fee to unlock the remaining 15kWh. Tesla says most people ended up paying for the software unlock, so it sees no reason to continue selling the 60kWh versions of the vehicle.

The browser now supports WebGL 2.0’s advanced visuals.
Chrome quietly received a big 3D graphics boost

Notice a boost to 3D web graphics while using Chrome? It’s not just you. Google says that Chrome version 56 and later releases support the WebGL 2.0 standard. You should see faster performance, new texture types and visual effects (such as volume-based effects and tone mapping). And importantly, it’s now on par with the same OpenGL ES 3 spec you see in newer mobile games

This wasn’t the company he thought he joined.
Uber president quits following a rough few months

Uber might be on the hunt for a second-in-command to keep its behavior in line, but that isn’t stopping one key executive from heading out the door. Company president Jeff Jones is leaving after having been on the job for less than a year. Reportedly, the string of controversies in recent weeks were simply too much. In a statement, he said that his values and leadership style are “inconsistent with what [he] saw and experienced at Uber,” and that he “can no longer continue” at the company.

FB’s Building 8 works on everything from augmented reality to brain scans.Facebook may show off new hardware very soon

When Facebook launched its hardware-focused Building 8, it raised all kinds of questions: just what was it making in there, and when would you see the first fruits of its labor? You might not have to wait long to get the details. Sources speaking to Business Insider claim to have a broad overview of not only what Building 8 is creating, but when you might get to see it. The team is reportedly working on four advanced technology projects, and is poised to play a key role in Facebook’s F8 conference in April. At least it won’t be another effort to ape Snapchat. Unless it’s specs?

But wait, there’s more…

Article source: https://www.engadget.com/2017/03/20/the-morning-after-monday-march-20th-2017/

Canada’s first spaceport could host launches in 2020

The spaceport is a commercial venture between MLS and a Ukrainian firm — there’s no government funding involved at all. MLS wants the first launch to happen as soon as 2020, and it wants to the spaceport to host as many as eight launches per year by 2022. Most of those missions will involve Ukrainian-built Cyclone 4M rockets, and it’s unclear if Canada’s space agency and other private space companies can use it. If the agency can, then it’ll no longer have to ship rockets to Virginia. For now, the company is working on getting federal and provincial approval so it can break ground and start with the spaceport’s construction.

Article source: https://www.engadget.com/2017/03/19/canada-first-spaceport/

Windows 10 will push some updates over limited data plans

Windows 10’s Creators Update should generally be more considerate when delivering updates, but you might not be the biggest fan if you have limited internet service. Microsoft has confirmed that the new version of Windows will automatically download updates “required to keep Windows running smoothly” even when you’re on a metered connection. What does that mean, exactly? A spokesperson tells Supersite Windows that the operating system will avoid pushing “large” patches and will focus on “critical fixes,” but it’s not clear where the threshold will be.

Article source: https://www.engadget.com/2017/03/19/windows-10-to-push-key-updates-on-limited-data-plans/