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13
Feb

Here’s how to get Twitter’s Best Tweets on your timeline


motorola_moto_x_pure_edition_twitter_profile_TA

In February, Twitter received a ton of heat when BuzzFeed uncovered that the company was going to introduce a new way in which tweets would be presented to users. The timeline would be restructured to have tweets from different times shown next to each other, a clear departure from the chronological order currently presented. Twitter stepped forward, though, to say things wouldn’t be changing very much and users would have the option to accept or reject the new approach. It turns out the Best Tweets feature is really just an extension of the existing “While you were away…” banner which appears when a user hasn’t checked his or her timeline for long periods of time.

Let’s get Best Tweets on your timeline so you never miss out on anything important.

  1. Head over to the Play Store, search “Twitter,” and launch the download to install the app on your phone or tablet.
    twitter_download_page
  2. Create a new Twitter account or log in to your existing one. Just give the app a minute or two to sync up with your profile.
    twitter_timeline_chronological_order
  3. Select the button at the top right of the app to display the dropdown menu. Here, you’ll need to head into Settings.
    twitter_menu
  4. Since Best Tweets involves your timeline, select Timeline.
    twitter_settings
  5. And now all you have to do is check the box to the right of Best Tweets’ description.
    twitter_best_tweets_option

Now all of the best content from your friends and other favorite accounts will appear atop your timeline upon returning after a break from Twitter. Best Tweets will mix in stuff from the past with current tweets in a seamless layout; therefore, the only way you’ll actually know if a tweet is recent or not is by checking the timestamp.

http://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js

If you want to disable Best Tweets after feeling it waters down the real-time aspect of the service (because I know I do), follow the same exact directs and uncheck the box in the final step.

Come comment on this article: Here’s how to get Twitter’s Best Tweets on your timeline

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13
Feb

Retailers now selling Samsung’s Galaxy View for $449


samsung_galaxy_view_screen_rich

The Galaxy View, which Samsung released only a few months ago, is seeing its price cut yet again by retailers. Samsung, Amazon, B&H Photo, and Best Buy all started selling the tablet in November for $599; however, sales don’t seem to be very strong because the Galaxy View’s price has now been lowered for a second time.

samsung_galaxy_view_tablet_content

Samsung’s Galaxy View experienced its first price drop weeks after its release when retailers were selling the tablet for $499, a discount of $50. This weekend, the aforementioned retailers lowered the Galaxy View’s price once again, and now you can get the tablet for $449. It still feels like a steep asking price considering the Galaxy View is massive due to its 18.4-inch display, so buyers will probably be leaving it on kitchen counters for use by family and friends.

[Amazon] [B&H Photo] [Best Buy]

Come comment on this article: Retailers now selling Samsung’s Galaxy View for $449

13
Feb

Here are the videos you don’t want to miss this week – February 13, 2016


lg g4 now aa (3 of 23)

2015 was a really great year for Android smartphones. The Nexus 6P, Samsung Galaxy S6, LG G4, Moto X Pure Edition are among a long list of great handsets that make little to no compromises. So with the Galaxy S7 and LG G5 on the horizon, it was only natural for us to take a look back at two of the best devices of last year – the Galaxy S6 and G4.

While Josh and Lanh were covering the flashback videos this week, Krystal went ahead and published her review of the Samsung Galaxy A9 (seriously, you need to watch it). Gary also brought us a great video explaining the ins and outs of CPU frequency scaling, and Jayce made a detailed video about the upcoming flagships of 2016.

Here are the Android-related videos you don’t want to miss this week.

Looking back at the flagships of 2015

LG G4… now

The LG G4 was one of the best Android handsets of 2015, and possibly of all time. It has an amazing camera, unique design and some powerful under-the-hood specs. How has it held up overtime? Don’t miss Josh’s LG G4 flashback video to learn more.

Samsung Galaxy S6… now

Like the G4, the Samsung Galaxy S6 was one of the best smartphones of this past year. And with the Galaxy S7 coming right around the corner, it’s definitely worth taking another look at the S6, and how it’s held up overtime. Check out Lanh’s Galaxy S6 flashback video attached above and full post below.

Samsung Galaxy A9 review

Samsung’s Galaxy A9 might not be available in all parts of the world, but it’s certainly a device worth talking about. It’s big, powerful, and sports a great fingerprint sensor – what more could you want? Be sure to check out Krystal’s wonderful review to learn all about the Galaxy A9.

A look at what’s to come in 2016

2015 was a great year for Android. The Samsung Galaxy S6, LG G4, Moto X Pure Edition and Nexus 6P are among the best Android handsets ever produced, which makes us excited to think about what’s to come in 2016. In this post, we’ve rounded up 6 of the smartphones we’re most looking forward to seeing in the year to come.

Android Apps Weekly

Microsoft buys SwiftKey, more Apple apps to come, Adventures of Mana! – you don’t want to miss the latest episode of Joe’s Android Apps Weekly show.

What is CPU frequency scaling?

There is a feature in Android (via the Linux kernel) which allows the clock frequency of the CPU to be varied. What is it and how does it work? Gary explains in this informative video and post.

13
Feb

Where the consumer technology world is headed in 2016


Samsung Gear VR CES 2016-AA

After getting back home from CES 2016, I had a few days to think about what I had just witnessed. Attending one of the largest technology trade shows in the world was a first for me, and it was quite interesting, to say the least. The entire Las Vegas Convention Center was packed full of different vendors and plenty of companies with which I was unfamiliar. I recognized many of them, but it was clear to me from beginning that this trade show featured far more than smartphone-controlled toys and “revolutionary” Bluetooth speakers.

There was an underlying theme that very clearly showed off what the future of consumer technology will look like in 5, 10 and even 50 years from now. The theme that I’m talking about is being connected, or the general idea that everything with which we interact on a daily basis will be able to communicate in order to make our lives easier. We still have a way to go before “dumb” devices are a thing of the past, but we’re getting there. Here are just a few things that consumers can expect to see in the technology world in 2016.


oneplus 2 vs samsung galaxy s6 aa (3 of 25)Related: A letter to the manufacturers – here’s what we want to see in 2016150

Slight advancements in the connected home

Samsung-Android-Fridge-1

The “Internet of Things” is a buzzword that’s been growing in popularity, and for good reason. Just about every technology company out there, whether we’re talking about smartphone OEMs or accessory makers, have launched at least one connected product over the past two years or so. According to Gartner, there will be upwards of 6.4 billion connected “things” in use worldwide in 2016, up 30 percent from 2015. The research company also says the number of IoT devices will reach 20.8 billion by 2020.

Unless Gartner is incredibly off with their predictions, it’s looking like the IoT craze shows no sign of stopping.


what-is-iot-video-thumbnailSee also: What is the Internet of Things? 14

Pretty much every household item you can think of has some type of connected variant out in the wild. But that’s not really a good thing. With the addition of one really cool and useful connected product added to the IoT world, there are 5 more that are completely pointless. From the GreenIQ Smart Garden Hub that takes the “hassle” out of watering plants, or the $100 Vessyl smart cup that monitors how much water you drink (seriously). Every time the IoT “revolution” looks like it’s going to start changing, it just stays the same, and that probably won’t change in 2016. It might in 2017 and 2018, but not this year.

2016 won’t give us as many connected devices as we’re used to, but that doesn’t mean companies are giving up on the connected home

2016 won’t give us as many connected devices as we’re used to, but that doesn’t mean companies are giving up on the connected home. Now that we have proper standards like Google’s Weave and Project Brillo, as well as Apple HomeKit, device makers will start producing products that adhere to these standards rather than adhering to their own. This means that there will be less fragmentation from here on out, and that is a very good thing for the connected home as a whole, and a not-so-good thing for early adopters. Connected devices that will be launching next year will begin to work well and talk to one another, which is where the smart home idea starts to take shape. But that also means that many of the products that launched in 2014 and 2015 won’t be compatible with Weave, HomeKit, or even standards that are being put in place by Samsung, LG, Nest and Amazon.

The Internet of Things will always be fragmented, and there’s no way around that. Things will start taking more shape over this next year, sure, but we still won’t see as much progress in this space in 2016 as many of us have hoped.

VR making it mainstream

google cardboard io 2015 aa (6 of 9)

2016 is going to be an iconic year for virtual reality. This is the year Oculus, who have been working on a consumer version of their Rift headset for going on four full years now, will finally come to market. After a seemingly endless amount of delays, the Rift will ship out to early adopters in March for $599, which surprisingly isn’t as much as many folks were expecting the first-gen headset to cost. Years ago the Rift was considered to be the quintessential virtual reality experience. But it’s been a long time coming, and other VR platforms have already surpassed the Rift in making their way to consumers.

That brings us to the other high-end VR platform, the HTC Vive. Now known as the Vive Pre, HTC’s foray into the VR world marks an iconic one for the well-known electronics maker. It gives the company not only a way to make up for its failing smartphone business, it also puts them in a scenario that’s quite reminiscent of a time when smartphones were just becoming popular. HTC was on the forefront of smartphone design and Android software innovation, and that’s similar to what it plans to do with virtual reality. HTC may not have been building its VR platform for as long as Oculus have, but the company will be one of the first to market, and that’s important.

When it comes to higher-end VR platforms like the Oculus Rift or HTC Vive, we’re going to see lots of baby steps in the year to come. Oculus and HTC already have hundreds of content creators making great games and apps for their platforms, though not everything will be a smash hit right out of the gate. Like all emerging trends in tech, 2016 will be a year in which we find out what works and what doesn’t.

On the opposite side of the high-end spectrum, there are a few affordable options that have already made their way to consumers. Samsung’s Gear VR, which was made in partnership with Oculus, is a consumer-friendly VR headset that’s powered by a user’s Samsung smartphone. The headset itself only costs about $100, and works with any of Samsung’s latest flagship Android phones. The Gear VR is somewhat of an entry level product, bridging the gap between the Oculus Rift and Google Cardboard. It’s not cheap, but not nearly as expensive as the higher end options launching this year. No, the Gear VR isn’t launching for the first time in 2016, but I think we will see a large influx in sales in the coming year. Virtual reality is popular right now, and the Gear VR is hitting all the right notes to fly off store shelves.


what-is-vr-video-thumbSee also: What is Virtual Reality, and what role will Android play?3

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But why is VR so popular nowadays? Sure, the Rift and Vive are really cool products, but they didn’t start the widespread craze. That’s mostly thanks to Google Cardboard. First released in 2014 as somewhat of a joke product at Google I/O, this affordable headset has been growing in popularity ever since its inception. It’s super affordable, easy to use, and lightweight. Cardboard headsets aren’t the most durable things ever, but there’s something to be said for being able to make your own VR headset out of a pizza box.

Google isn’t just pushing to bring Cardboard to everyday consumers, either. Since 2014, Google has launched two new programs that will help the widespread of VR – “Expeditions” and “Jump.” Expeditions is a way for students and teachers alike to take field trips to basically anywhere in the world, without ever having to leave the classroom. Google will actually send out phones, Cardboard headsets and a tablet for the teacher, allowing the class to take a virtual field trip, all at the same time. Google also unveiled Jump a few months ago, which allows anyone interested to create 360-degree video capture rigs. Videos captured with these (albeit expensive) rigs will be converted into immersive 3D content that everyone can experience on the web.

2015 was a pretty big year for VR, and 2016 will be even bigger. Oculus, Samsung, HTC and Google are all doing their best to go mainstream with VR, and that’s very apparent by the progress they’ve all been making thus far. Aside from the already announced devices, there’s no telling what else we’ll see out of VR this year. But it’s an area in which some of the biggest names in technology are focusing their efforts, so we should probably expect to see some big improvements in this space in 2016.

Wearables no longer being considered “niche” products

pebble time round review aa (28 of 28)

Connected wearables have been around for years now, but they didn’t start getting good until just last year. Some of the first smartwatches on the scene – Pebble, Sony Smartwatch, Martian Passport – were good first steps, don’t get me wrong, but they couldn’t really do much other than feed you notifications and tell the time. Oh, and they weren’t very attractive, either.

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Then Android Wear came onto the scene, and a lot changed. Google’s new wearable platform proved that connected wristwatches could not only provide notifications, driving directions and restaurant recommendations, they could also look good while doing it. The first wave of Wear devices weren’t the most stylish things, and it took a little while for them to stop looking so much like computers on our wrists, and start looking more like fashion accessories. And after a brief lull in the first part of 2015, the second wave of Wear devices arrived. The Huawei Watch and Moto 360 (2nd Gen.) were great all-around devices, with impressive battery life, higher-resolution displays and better designs than the first-gen watches. But they were built by smartphone manufacturers.


LG G Watch Sony Smartwatch 3 Moto 360 LG G Watch R Android Wear-6Related: Failure to launch: a few reasons why smartwatches haven’t caught on91

2015 also ushered in a new wave of smartwatches built by actual watchmakers, such as the TAG Heuer Connected and Fossil Q Founder. I have no doubt that more and more high-end watchmakers will try their hands at smartwatches in 2016, and that’s exciting. TAG Heuer and Fossil proved that they can make high-end smartwatches, so it’ll be interesting to see which other companies try to flex their smartwatch-making skills. We know we’ll see at least one smartwatch from Casio in 2016, but other than that, watchmakers have been remaining pretty quiet.

In 2016, the third wave of Wear devices will arrive. There will be more options and less sacrifice, which means more consumers will get on-board with the wearable trend. As far a specifics are concerned, we can likely expect new wearables from LG and Motorola, and possibly even Huawei and HTC.

The expansion of mobile payments

Android Pay AA

2015 was a big year for mobile payments. We saw the launch of Android Pay, Samsung Pay and a wider rollout of Apple Pay. Starting off with the first on our list, Google officially launched Android Pay in September 2015. This was the app that was meant to both compete with Apple Pay and replace the longtime pre-installed Google Wallet app on our Android phones. It’s not compatible with a huge amount of banks at the moment, and many major retailers still haven’t integrated the platform into their payment terminals. If you do have a larger bank that supports Android Pay and happen to find a supported retailer, the payment process is generally pretty easy – unlock your phone, hold your device next to the terminal, and you’re all set.

Samsung also launched its own mobile payment service in 2015, called, you guessed it, Samsung Pay. This one is a bit different than Android Pay, as the service works with not only standard NFC-enabled terminals, but it’s also backwards-compatible with legacy terminals. By using the payment system’s “magnetic secure transmission” technology, your phone will be able to make payments by means of a small electromagnetic field that closely resembles that of a credit card swipe. This is particularly handy when you’d like to use your phone to make a payment but the store at which you’re shopping doesn’t accept NFC payments.

There’s also Apple Pay, which is quite similar to Android Pay. They use the same technologies to make payments, though Android Pay can be installed on any device running Android 4.4 KitKat or later, whereas Apple Pay can only be used on newer iPhones.


Google Wallet card AASee also: The fight for your wallet: A look at the mobile payment scene’s new big three15

The launch of these three mobile payment services come at a time where mobile payments are, for the most part, still a very new thing to the everyday consumer. It’s not too farfetched to think that a wider rollout of mobile payments will happen in the coming year. Here are a few reasons why paying with our smartphones will grow in popularity.

The last thing I want is to hold up a long line at a store because I can’t get my mobile payment to go through

Deals, deals, deals – it won’t be long until we see new and exclusive coupons, discounts and loyalty schemes make their way to mobile payment platforms. We’re already starting to see deals come to Android Pay from Google, such as the Tap 10 promotion that started over the holidays. It’s a good way for Google to get more users on board with Android Pay, and this is definitely not the last time we’ll see users get rewarded for using the platform.

Personally, I’ve been pretty shy about using mobile payments. The last thing I want is to hold up a long line at a store because I can’t get my mobile payment to go through, which is probably the main reason I’ve held back from using it. As more businesses start adopting the payment methods, more places will start to advertise Android/Apple/Samsung Pay as an incentive to visit their stores. Once everyone has their payment terminals upgraded to work with these platforms, users – like me – will feel more comfortable pulling out their phones to pay, instead of having to guess which businesses support the service, and which ones don’t.

It will ultimately be a slow adoption process, and that process will be spearheaded by the younger generation of users.

According to Bryan Yeager, an analyst at eMarketer:

Younger consumers generally have fewer apprehensions when it comes to experimenting with and eventually adopting new technologies. That’s certainly true for mobile payments, where security concerns are more pronounced among older consumers. Ultimately, mobile wallets will need to have a strong track record of security to attract more users across all demographics long-term.

Google, Apple and Samsung are doing their part to make sure these payment methods are safe to use. They’re constantly thinking of more ways to enhance security, like adding new layers of fraud protection such as tokenization, where transactions can be completed without sharing sensitive info like a user’s credit card number or card expiration date. A wider rollout to more banks and retailers is just half the battle – these three companies will need to build trust overtime.

A bigger stress on mobile securityNexus-6P-Gold-Hands-On-AA-(5-of-10)

This past year was interesting one for mobile security. Back in July, a team of security experts at Zimperium discovered a potential exploit (nicknamed Stagefright) in Android that would allow hackers to gain access to Android devices by simply sending a malware-laden MMS. Although no users actually fell victim to this exploit, it still caused quite an uproar, as it meant millions of Android users were vulnerable to the attack until the manufacturer of their smartphone sent out a security patch. This proved to be a problem, though, since many Android OEMs have been notorious for not sending out security updates in a timely fashion.

Just about everyone that owned an Android phone – and many folks who didn’t – made a big deal out of the potential harm that could come from an exploit such as this one. Even though no one was ever affected by this exploit, that didn’t matter. What did matter was that Google and OEMs needed to take security more seriously, and they did just that.

Soon after this became a big deal, Google announced that it would commit to pushing out monthly security-focused over-the-air updates to Nexus devices, in addition to regular platform updates. These fixes would also be released to the public through the Android Open Source Project (AOSP). This was certainly good news for Nexus owners, but they weren’t the only Android fans that would get monthly security updates. Soon Samsung, LG, Motorola, and many other OEMs announced that they’d also commit to rolling out security patches each month.

2015 was a year for changes in mobile security, and 2016 will be a year of refinement

2015 was a year for changes in mobile security, and 2016 will be a year of refinement. What we hope to see in the year to come are more timely updates from manufacturers that have promised to roll out regular security patches. Do I think this will happen? Not so much, but I’m remaining hopeful. Aside from the first wave of Stagefright patches, not many manufacturers have kept up on their promises. I hope this changes in 2016.

Other than security patches, we saw a few other consumer-facing advancements on the mobile security front. Google added native fingerprint support to Android 6.0 Marshmallow, allowing for manufacturers to take advantage of a more advanced authentication-based security method. In 2015, mostly all major manufacturers included a fingerprint on their flagship devices – Google, Samsung, LG, OnePlus and a few others. In 2016, we’ll see more manufacturers jump onboard with the fingerprint craze, and we’ll see biometric scanners get even better. Advancements in biometric technologies will not only help consumers access their data faster, it will also put us one step closer to Google’s goal of doing away with passwords altogether.


What are your thoughts? Do you think we’ll see any other major advancements in the consumer tech world? Be sure to speak up in the comments.

13
Feb

Ben Heck’s FPGA dev board tutorial


The Ben Heck Show - Episode 224 - Ben Heck's FPGA Dev Board Tutorial

Thanks to a request from the element14 community, Ben chooses a DE0-Nano softcore microprocessor (FPGA) and gives us a tutorial on the basics of low-level digital programming, helping us to see that it’s not as scary as it may sound. In particular, he explains concepts such as phased lock loop and the verilog language. The team also reveals its plans for the Nintendo Gameboy. Find out more and watch behind-the-scenes content from The Ben Heck Show team on the element14 community.

13
Feb

Google is finally shutting down Picasa


Google Photos AA

I think we all knew this would happen eventually, and the day is finally here – Google has just announced that it will soon retire Picasa. For those unfamiliar, Picasa is a photo-sharing and storing website that’s been in Google’s lineup since 2004. Ultimately, Google stopped rolling out any notable updates to the service, so it was only a matter of time until the photo website was shut down.

So what are Picasa users to do now that their photo service is getting shut down? Google is unsurprisingly telling folks to move over to Google Photos, the company’s new-and-improved photo service. The idea here is for Google to focus on one service that works across both mobile and desktop, rather than split its efforts across two different products. If you happen to have photos or videos stored away in a Picasa Web Album, Google says all of your media will already be available in Google Photos. Once you access Google Photos, you’ll be able to share, download and organize all of your media in one location. For those who aren’t keen on using Photos but would still like to view tags, captions and comments, Google will be creating a new place for you to access your Picasa Web Albums data. You’ll still be able to view, download and delete your albums, you just won’t be able to create, organize or edit your albums. Google Photos can do all of these things, so you might want to think about giving it a try if you’re on the fence.

This is all happening very soon, but not today. Google will start rolling out the changes on May 1st, 2016.

The company also says it will stop supporting the Picasa desktop application on March 15th, 2016. It will still work beyond March 15th, but Google will stop developing it and there will be no future updates. Also, Google is retiring some functions of the Picasa API. Developers can learn more about those changes here.

Download Google Photos from the Play Store

best free android appsNext: 15 best free Android apps123

13
Feb

Google is finally shutting down Picasa


Google Photos AA

I think we all knew this would happen eventually, and the day is finally here – Google has just announced that it will soon retire Picasa. For those unfamiliar, Picasa is a photo-sharing and storing website that’s been in Google’s lineup since 2004. Ultimately, Google stopped rolling out any notable updates to the service, so it was only a matter of time until the photo website was shut down.

So what are Picasa users to do now that their photo service is getting shut down? Google is unsurprisingly telling folks to move over to Google Photos, the company’s new-and-improved photo service. The idea here is for Google to focus on one service that works across both mobile and desktop, rather than split its efforts across two different products. If you happen to have photos or videos stored away in a Picasa Web Album, Google says all of your media will already be available in Google Photos. Once you access Google Photos, you’ll be able to share, download and organize all of your media in one location. For those who aren’t keen on using Photos but would still like to view tags, captions and comments, Google will be creating a new place for you to access your Picasa Web Albums data. You’ll still be able to view, download and delete your albums, you just won’t be able to create, organize or edit your albums. Google Photos can do all of these things, so you might want to think about giving it a try if you’re on the fence.

This is all happening very soon, but not today. Google will start rolling out the changes on May 1st, 2016.

The company also says it will stop supporting the Picasa desktop application on March 15th, 2016. It will still work beyond March 15th, but Google will stop developing it and there will be no future updates. Also, Google is retiring some functions of the Picasa API. Developers can learn more about those changes here.

Download Google Photos from the Play Store

best free android appsNext: 15 best free Android apps123

13
Feb

ZOPO Speed 8 to launch at MWC 2016


zopo_speed_8_reveal_invite

If you think the maturing Chinese smartphone market and emerging markets like India have the side effect of lots of manufacturers surfacing that you may not be familiar with, you are probably right. Although in the case of ZOPO, they have been around for a while, but as a small player in the market. They appear to be hopeful that may change this year as they have a new flagship device set to launch in a very big way at MWC 2016.

The ZOPO Speed 8 is set to be introduced at a “reveal event” on February 24th at MWC 2016. ZOPO has retained MotoGP World Champion Jorge Lorenzo to help promote the brand and be present at the event in Barcelona.

ZOPO is not holding back on the specs for the Speed 8 which will supposedly be powered by the new Mediatek Helio X20 processor, making the Speed 8 one of the first devices to hit the market with the new chip. ZOPO is also expected to pack in 4GB of RAM, a fingerprint reader, and a 2K display, so the Speed 8 should be able to hold its own in many respects. The big question market out there will be the camera sensors and what ZOPO equips the the Speed 8 with for photography purposes.

We will keep an eye out for more details on the Speed 8 from MWC 2016 like pricing, availability and what markets will see this smartphone.

zopo_speed_8_helio_x20

source: ZOPO (Twitter)
via: GSMArena

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13
Feb

Engadget editors on the highs and lows of online dating


Years ago, getting involved in a relationship with someone you met online was a bit of a taboo. Not only was it supposedly for weirdos, but it was also seen as a bit dangerous, since you couldn’t tell who was on the other end. These days, however, online dating is not just mainstream; it’s almost expected. Young professionals are often too busy to go to singles clubs and bars (not to mention these venues aren’t for everyone) and it’s just easier to use an app like Tinder than whip up pickup lines.

It turns out that many of the staff at Engadget have quite a bit of experience in the online dating world. From those who met their significant other on the internet well over a decade ago to those who are still exploring this brave new world of digital courtship, we’ve selected a few stories to share with you. Check out our video above and read on below for more.

Matt Brian, Managing Editor, Engadget UK

I always chuckle when someone asks me how I met my wife. I begin by saying we found each other online and then drop in the fact it was via MySpace. Not Facebook. Not a dating site. MySpace. Yeah, the site with garish glitter GIFs and a “Top 8 friends” box was where I met my best friend ten years ago. And it wasn’t me who initiated, either.

It happened like this: Just hours after I had returned to my parents’ house from celebrating my 22nd birthday over a few beers, I checked my PC (which was normally always left on downloading something) and noticed there was a message in my MySpace inbox.


Matt and his wife, nine years ago

“You’re hot,” read the message. “Thanks!” I replied, adding: “Are you sure you’ve got the right person?” I’m not good at handling compliments.

We exchanged pleasantries and decided to ramp things up a bit: We took it to MSN Messenger. Back then, my future wife was studying to be a nurse, so we would chat whenever she had a spare minute. Smartphones were only just becoming a thing, so we’d either text each other on our Sony Ericssons (I like to think we had good taste in phones) or catch each other online.

I moved quickly and we were engaged 18 months later. Exactly one year after we got engaged, we wed. Our two boys came consecutive years after that.

We celebrate eight years in July, and it may never have happened if MySpace hadn’t let people search for “Men Within 20 Miles of Southend [England].”

Nicole Lee, Senior Editor

In December 2001, I joined Kiss.com, a now-defunct competitor to Match. A friend had invited me to log onto the site to check out a potential suitor and, seeing as I was single at the time, I decided to give it a shot too. From what I can recall, Kiss.com worked by figuring out your potential mate based on interests and location.

After I entered in a few pertinent details, I was immediately matched to several people in San Francisco, and they were listed from “most compatible” to least. I contacted the guy who was ranked number one through the Kiss website interface. It’s worth nothing here that this was the only way to make first contact with someone on Kiss. Not only that, but in order to respond to that initial contact, you had to pay $5, and if you wanted to respond to that response, you’d have to pay another five bucks.


Nicole and her husband on their wedding day

I didn’t hear a response from guy number one after several days. So I then sent a message to the guy who was ranked second. His name was Brandon, he was interested in comics and geek stuff just like I was, and he looked pretty attractive in his profile photo. This time, I got a response.

After a few back-and-forth messages, the conversation escalated to email, IM and then phone (much cheaper than constantly having to pay $5). We then suggested a meeting in person, and our first date took place at a sushi restaurant in downtown San Francisco. After dinner, we took a walk in Yerba Buena Park and strolled underneath a man-made waterfall. It was then that I grabbed him and kissed him, which took him by surprise. For several months after, we met every day, and he moved in with me six months later. In July 2003, he proposed to me at a beach that was only miles away from San Diego Comic-Con.

As of February 12th, 2016, we’ve been married 11 years. As it turned out, that $5 was the best investment either of us has ever made.

Timothy Seppala, Associate Editor

Grand Rapids, Michigan, is a town where “only after the wedding” is a fairly common sight on a lady’s OKCupid profile. So when I downloaded Tinder two years ago, I’d never have expected the app to live up to its lascivious reputation.

I’ve since learned that my city likes sex more than I thought. Perhaps that’s why there are so many delivery room photos used as the main picture that I’ve swiped (left) past in these two years, despite the majority of profiles saying they weren’t looking for a hookup. The other day, I ran across a profile that simply read: “I have kids, so basically you know I go all the way.”

But it’s just a part of the app in my town. Same goes for ladies shooting firearms, participating in color runs, touching the Bean in Chicago’s Millennium Park (or sitting on the Willis Tower skydeck) or posing in front of Detroit’s Comerica Park.

What’s surprised me most, however, is how unique a tool it is for getting a read on a given city’s population of singles. LA is all about rooftop pool parties. The Windy City? Standing on one of the many bridges crossing a Chicago River dyed green for St. Patrick’s Day. A few women in New York liked showing off their “Sleep No More” masks. Funny enough, after a week in Las Vegas I had fewer bot matches than I normally do in just a few days at home.

The biggest shocker I’ve had is that just when I’m ready to uninstall the app, I can’t pull the trigger. I don’t generally have an addictive personality, but Tinder is just too damn easy to use. Even despite the ads, the aforementioned bots and the flakiness that pervades early messaging (I’m guilty of it, too), there’s still a slot-machine-like draw to the swiping process that urges me to “keep playing,” in the app’s parlance. “Could she be cool, or is she going to bail as soon as I send my phone number?” Other apps are doing it better and feel less salacious, but when it comes to sheer numbers, as much as I hate to say it, Tinder is hard to beat.

Christopher Trout, Executive Editor

I’m new to the world of online meat markets, and I can tell you they smell just as bad as the real thing. Over the past nine months I’ve been catfished and ghosted; learned that gonorrhea and strep throat look strikingly similar; and seen more geriatric dick pics than I care to shake a stick at. I’ve also learned that there are grown men who think emojis are a perfectly normal way to express human emotion. Online dating is sad, pathetic and lonely. So, basically just like dating in the real world.

I’ll be spending my Valentine’s Day getting drunk on red wine with a friend who thinks she’s allergic to gluten and trying to figure out why you haven’t texted me back. Seriously, did I do something wrong? It was strep, I swear.

Dana Wollman, Managing Editor

I believe in online dating. I met my last two boyfriends online, and though neither relationship worked out, I at least know that it’s possible to select a stranger on the internet, taking into account little more than looks and shared interests, and discover you actually connect in real life.

I’ve had the most luck with OKCupid. I’ve been told it’s getting a little passé, but I still prefer old-fashioned profiles: You can get a good feel for someone’s personality based on how they respond to prompts like “I’m really good at…” and “The six things I could never do without.” If nothing else, I can rule out people who don’t respect common rules of grammar and punctuation. And assuming a profile is fairly lengthy, and written in earnest (which I like), I can find something around which to write a personalized message. (Something more personal than “Your body looks delicious in the shorts,” I mean. Thanks, random stranger!)

That’s why I don’t like Tinder: I never know what to say. “So, you’re a six-foot-two lawyer and went to Harvard? HUBBA HUBBA.” Unless a man fleshes out his profile, my options are slim: inquire how his week is going, or ask a question so random, so out of left field, that it would only serve to establish me as a weirdo (which I totally am). I’m also convinced that men think Tinder is a game. I can just picture them, lying on the La-Z Boy, one eye on the television, swiping right on everyone to see how many chicks they can match with. I know this because in a way, that dude is me: I use Tinder at home, when I’m bored, and because matching with 20 men in three minutes is a nice ego boost. In any case, most of the men I match with don’t message with me, so I can only assume they’re not taking this thing very seriously. That or, like me, they have so many matches and so little time. Basically, I only talk to guys who message me first.

Your body looks delicious in the shorts.

That includes a fair number of Engadget readers, by the way. I’ve experimented with saying in my profile where I work, or just saying I’m a tech journalist, or not saying anything at all, but either way, I’ve been recognized a few times, either online or once I sat down to meet someone face to face. (I once blocked a guy whose introductory message amounted to “Hey, you’re the laptop lady.”) Don’t get me wrong, I’m tickled that you all read Engadget. I just hate talking shop on a date. Nothing makes me feel less sexy than dishing about LED projectors and Android SDKs. I’d much rather hear about what movies you’ve seen lately, what books you’re reading, places you’ve traveled. How many siblings you have, if we run out of stuff to talk about. I guess what I’m saying is, if you stumble across my profile on OKCupid, better if you pretend at first that you don’t know who I am.

You might be wondering by now why I like online dating. I don’t, really, but I still believe in it. Dating apps aren’t a shortcut to finding someone I connect with. But they do make it easier to find dates, including with people I wouldn’t meet otherwise. I’d like to be done with all this nonsense soon, but until then, I at least have a lot of stories.

13
Feb

Lenovo renames Moto’s Twitter account


moto_us_twitter_account

As part of their rebranding efforts related to Motorola, Lenovo updated the name on the company’s Twitter account. The account is now @Moto_USA and is named “Moto US” to reflect the dropping of the Motorola brand.

To kick off 2016, Lenovo announced that they would be dropping the Motorola name from their branding efforts. This does not mean the company is dropping Motorola’s line of devices though and they are keeping the Moto brand name for what will become the company’s higher end devices. The Moto devices will join Vibe devices in Lenovo’s branding portfolio.

Lenovo has already announced they have plans for a new Moto smartphone to be launched this summer. Leading up to that Lenovo will be working to implement a variety of changes to effectively purge the Motorola brand so that Moto can stand on its own. This move to rename the Twitter account is one of those steps.

source: Moto US (Twitter)

Come comment on this article: Lenovo renames Moto’s Twitter account

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