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1
May

Uber settlement protects travel with your guide dog


Uber has made some effort to accommodate passengers with special needs, but it certainly hasn’t been perfect: in 2014, the National Federation of the Blind’s California branch sued Uber for denying rides to poor-sighted passengers with guide dogs and other service animals. However, it might soon make amends. The ridesharing company has proposed a settlement in that lawsuit that would protect your ability to take service animals with you on trips. Drivers would get in-app pop-ups and emails reminding them of their duty to carry your companion, and there would be a formal policy that bans drivers if they’re caught rejecting passengers with animal helpers.

The settlement won’t do much damage to Uber’s bottom line if it’s approved — the company will pay just $225,000 over the space of 3 years. With that said, it could do a lot to protect passengers. Even if drivers aren’t immediately aware of their obligations, you’ll have direct recourse if they ever threaten to cancel your trip.

Via: VentureBeat

Source: Uber Newsroom

1
May

TELUS will roll out the Marshmallow update for BlackBerry Priv on May 3


The Canadian carrier TELUS has announced that it will begin rolling out the Android 6.0.1 Marshmallow update for the BlackBerry Priv on May 3.

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The reveal was posted on the TELUS update schedule, and notes that the Priv will get a security update along with the Marshmallow rollout. BlackBerry began updating the Priv to Marshmallow 6.0.1 earlier this week for people who bought the phone directly from the ShopBlackBerry site in the U.S., the UK. Canada and France.

Here’s everything you need to know about Marshmallow on the Priv

1
May

US surveillance court didn’t reject a single spy order last year


For years, critics have claimed that the US’ Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court is a pushover: it’s allegedly so reluctant to reject spying orders that it’s little more than a speed bump for the FBI and NSA. True or not, that reputation isn’t about to change any time soon. Reuters has obtained a Justice Department memo showing that FISC didn’t reject any of the 1,457 surveillance order requests it received in 2015, even in part. That’s no different than in 2014, but it suggests that the court isn’t any less forgiving in an era of tighter government controls.

The good news? It’s at least willing to tweak more of those requests. FISC changed 80 surveillance applications in 2015, or four times as many as it did in 2014. It’s at least giving serious thought to those demands before approving them. The problem, as you might guess, is that the court’s secretive nature makes it impossible to verify that behavior. How do you know that the approved requests genuinely respect privacy (for Americans, at least) and minimize overreach? You don’t — you still have to trust that court officials aren’t just giving federal agents a free pass.

The memo also sheds some light on the FBI’s fondness for National Security Letters. The bureau sent 48,642 request letters to companies last year, most of which (31,863) were to collect information on non-Americans. It also asked for Americans’ information 9,418 times, and demanded basic subscriber data 7,361 times. The ratios aren’t shocking, but it’s difficult to gauge the potential for abuse when secrecy orders prevent companies from saying anything about the nature of the requests.

Source: Reuters

1
May

Tech doesn’t work with children and animals


It’s a tale as old as time: Kids and animals don’t mix with tech. Whether it’s little Billy turning your new flatscreen on and off until it burns out or Rover chewing through another pair of fancy headphones, you’d think we’d know better by now that letting pretty much anything that isn’t capable of voting near technology is a bad idea. But as you’re about to find out, sometimes it just can’t be helped.

First up we have National Public Radio and a mishap suffered as a result of Take Your Kids to Work Day. A “junior journalist” hit the exact sequence of buttons on the control board that, from the sounds of it, would be required to swap broadcasts. Except it instead caused 73 seconds of dead air during Morning Edition for a handful of West Coast NPR stations, according to Gawker. Nothing too crazy. It’s not like the kid threw the Large Hadron Collider offline.

That’s the sort of thing weasels do, according to papers spotted by New Scientist. And no, this wasn’t the result of a shifty human, but a rodent. You know, an actual weasel that chewed through a 66-kilovolt electrical transformer. The pest has taken the particle collider offline temporarily and it should be back online pretty soon. While the tyke who knocked NPR off the air (presumably) got off scot free, the same can’t be said of the weasel — that much juice combined with our furry, four-legged friends doesn’t end well.

Via: AV Club, New Scientist

Source: Gawker, Imgur

1
May

Google is no longer selling its $999 2015 Chromebook Pixel


Google has quietly removed the $999 model of the 2015 Chromebook Pixel from the Google Store site. The company is still selling the higher end $1,299 version of the ChromeOS notebook.

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Google confirmed to VentureBeat that the $999 model won’t be made available for sale again. The notebook had an Intel Core i5 processor inside, along with 8GB of RAM, 32GB of internal storage, and a touchscreen. The $1,299 model, with an Intel Core i7 chip, 16GB of RAM, and 64GB of storage is still available.

Google removed the $999 version of the 2015 Chromebook Pixel from the Google Store the same week the HP Chromebook 13 was announced. It will be the first Chromebook with a 6th-generation Intel Core M processor, and will have a starting price of $499 when it goes on sale in May.

See at Google Store

1
May

Watch face roundup: Free faces for your Gear S2


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It’s time once again for our bi-weekly watch face roundup!

This weekend we’ve got 5 awesome and free watch faces that are available for your Gear S2 smartwatch. While the options for watch faces are a bit more limited for the Gear S2 than for an Android Wear device, there still are some perfectly awesome faces out there.

If you’re looking for a new watch face that won’t cost a dime, be sure to check out these 5 watch faces.

Radiation Night

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Radiation Night is the first watch face on our list of awesome faces that are free. It’s got a great design that gives you access to the time, the date, and your battery percentage. It does so in a way that is bright, and easy to read, without seeming overloaded by information. You also won’t find a digital display of the time, because this is a full on analog watch face.

In the very middle of the watch face is where you’ll find the date along with your current battery percentage. Designed in blues, with yellow for emphasis, it’s quite easy to read even at a glance. As mentioned above, this is an analog display with hands for hours, minutes and seconds. The minute and second hands are the easiest to read, as both are tipped in glowing yellow to help you focus on them.

The Radiation Night watch face is available for free.

CWF Aquarius

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If you prefer a more classic look for your watch face, then you should definitely take a look at the CWF Aquarius. It’s got an elegant design and display that in reminiscent of the days when a wristwatch was the norm. You get access to the date, digital and analog displays of the time, and your battery percentage. It designed with multiple dials on the face that read off the data for you.

The lower half of the watch face has three dials. On the left is the month, on the bottom is your battery, and on the right is the hour in a 24 hour format. You’ll also find the day of the month on the lower right side of the face. The upper half of the face has the day of the week, and the time in a 12 hour format. Additionally you’ll find the numerals for the time around the edge of the watch, along with markings for seconds passing.

The CWF Aquarius watch face is available for free.

Weather Face

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If you’re looking for the most minimalist watch face that you can find, that still gives you some basic information then look no further than the Weather Face. You won’t find gauges, or a lot of information here. Just the time, temperature, and weather conditions. It works really well though, and has some gorgeous backgrounds to show you the current weather.

The background is how you’ll see current weather conditions. It changes for a sunny afternoon, the evening, rainy conditions, and more. The temperature is displayed in Celsius on the lower half of the screen. The time, in a 24-hour format, is displayed fairly large right in the middle of your watch face. It works together very well, and adjusts quickly to changing conditions.

The Weather Face is available for free.

Nuclear Face

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If you’re looking to display some information without being overloaded, and you’re a fan of the apocalypse, then it’s the Nuclear Face that you should check out. This is a fairly simple watch face that rocks a black and yellow radiation symbol as it’s background. You’ll get access to a pedometer, the time, the date, and a battery gauge.

The middle of this watch face is dominated by the time and date written out in white. Above the date is a gauge with a shoe, that works as a pedometer. It won’t tell you precisely how many steps you’ve taken, instead slowly filling the gauge as you travel. Underneath the date is another gauge, this one displays your battery percentage. Much like the pedometer it won’t display a precise percentage, instead giving you a rough idea of your remaining battery percentage.

The Nuclear Face is available for free.

Hobbes Digital Face

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If you never got to spend time with Calvin and Hobbes, you might not understand why this watch face is kind of exciting. It’s a minimalist watch face that will probably bring back memories for fans of the comic strip. It is an seriously minimalist watch face though, and includes no information other than the time written out in a 12-hour format.

Most of the watch face is taken up by an illustration of Calvin and Hobbes wobbling across a log. At the bottom of the screen it’s where you’ll find the time, tucked underneath that log. It won’t tell you much, but it is a very quite, and simple watch face.

The Hobbes Digital Face is available for free.

Did we miss an awesome free watch face? Is there a watch face you’d like to see us talk about? Let us know about it in the comments.

1
May

Mobile Nations Weekly: A little bit of give and take


The tech gods giveth and the tech gods taketh.

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The news this week around Apple revolved around money. Apple reported their quarterly earnings, and while they were right in track with what Apple had predicted, it was the first time that Apple saw a year-over-year drop thanks to a slip in iPhone sales. And Wall Street lost its collective mind despite Apple’s forecasting of a great-but-not-spectacular quarter three months prior.

Oh, happy day — Facebook and Facebook Messenger arrived for Windows 10! And Instagram is officially on windows 10 Mobile — and it matches the Instagram for iPhone app feature-for-feature! But wait, Windows Phone is dead, right? Far from it, says Windows chief Terry Myerson.

Comings and goings were the story on the Android front. Gmail picked up Exchange support, Marshmallow came to the BlackBerry Priv, and rumor has it the Google Play Store might be coming to Chrome OS. Meanwhile, the classic Nexus 9 tablet left the Google Store and a popular Twitter app left… and then came back.

We’re still about 18 months out from the launch of the Tesla Model 3, but that doesn’t mean excitement can’t build until then — especially when there’s a Ludicrous Mode upgrade waiting in the wings. And, just for giggles, how’s the Model 3 compare to the Nissan Leaf? (hint, it doesn’t fair well for Nissan — or Vice President Biden). And if the $35,000 starting price for the Model 3 is too rich for your blood, and we totally understand if it is, don’t worry — there’s a smaller and more affordable Tesla coming after it.

Android Central — Google has a big week

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As we approach Google I/O, interesting information about the Google Play Store coming to Chrome OS has emerged — that’ll be one to watch in a few weeks. In more Google news, the Gmail app now supports Exchange email accounts. The Google Camera app also received an update this week with performance improvements and some slick new graphics. The Nexus 9 is no longer on sale from Google — let the speculation begin!

You may have noticed that popular Twitter app Fenix was pulled from Google Play this week … only to triumphantly come back days later. We’re not sure how long that’ll last.

The transition to USB-C has been … less than perfect, but Qualcomm assures us that phones using the new connector are fine to work with its Quick Charge 3.0 standard.

  • LG V10 vs. Samsung Galaxy S7 edge
  • A love letter to the LG G5
  • Podcasts in Google Play Music: It’s better than nothing
  • LG G5 vs. Samsung Galaxy S7
  • Samsung is working on a new TouchWiz launcher
  • Hands-on with the Nextbit Robin update — a major improvement
  • Google’s new MODE bands change the smartwatch game forever
  • HTC 10 vs. Samsung Galaxy S7 edge
  • Marshmallow is here for the BlackBerry Priv

CrackBerry — Marshmallow!

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This week, Marshmallow arrived officially factory unlocked Priv’s, BlackBerry hired a new senior vice president for global device sales and finally, rolled out BBM Video in beta form for Android and iOS through a BBM update.

  • Marshmallow is here for the Priv: Here’s everything you need to know
  • BlackBerry hires Alex Thurber to lead global sales of its devices
  • BBM for Android updated to include BBM video chat in beta

iMore — Unhappy amounts of money

iMore is now on Instagram! That’s right, you can now follow @imoregram for super-slick shots of Apple products, live action from events, and exclusive glimpses behind-the-scenes at iMore! You can even submit your own pics by using the hashtag #imore!

Oh, and some other stuff happened, like Apple still reporting more money than almost anyone else in the world and getting punished by Wall Street for doing so. Phil Schiller having some fun — and causing some chaos — on Twitter. And yet more iPhone 7 rumors rumors about the lack of a headphone jack, of course…

  • 12-inch MacBook review
  • Complete transcript of Apple’s Q2 2016 earnings call
  • Apple Watch review: One year later
  • What does Apple look like without the iPhone?

Tesla Central — Absolutely Ludicrous

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We’re still about 18 months out from the first Tesla Model 3 sedans rolling off the assembly line, so there’s still plenty to learn about the car — and plenty of comparisons to make. So we decided to pit the Model 3 against its best available EV competition: the Nissan Leaf. The Leaf is an okay car, and by virtue of its price the best-selling EV to date. But, at least on paper, the Tesla Model 3 absolutely obliterates the Nissan Leaf. And that’s before we even get to fancy versions like the kind that will be equipped with Ludicrous Mode.

And for a taste of what Ludicrous Mode can do, here’s a 3-ton Model X electric SUV with Ludicrous Mode beating the pants off a Ferarri.

While the Model 3 may be the most affordable EV that Tesla’s made, its $35,000 starting price is still going to be a big ask for a lot of people around the world — even in developed nations. Tesla knows this, as CEO Elon Musk revealed that after the Model 3 will come a smaller and more affordable EV for the masses. Even so, Tesla’s already received around 400,000 reservations for the Model 3.

  • Tesla Model 3 vs. Nissan Leaf: showdown of the affordable EVs
  • Model X P90DL vs. Ferrari F430 drag race shows the raw power of Ludicrous Mode
  • Tesla Autopilot’s safety record should impress even luddites
  • Tesla will make a smaller and more affordable EV after the Model 3
  • “Of course” the Tesla Model 3 will have Ludicrous Mode, says Elon Musk

Windows Central — Retrenched, not dead

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This week Microsoft continued to improve Windows 10 with a cumulative update for those on the Preview Release Ring of the Insider program. Build 10586.240 for PC and 10586.242 for Mobile hit devices late Wednesday with a noteworthy changelog.

Facebook released their official apps for Facebook and Messenger on Windows 10 for PC this week, making millions of users happy.

Beta no more! The official Instagram app for Windows 10 Mobile is here and it’s a direct and current port of the iOS version. While scrolling performance could be better, it’s great to see feature parity for once.

Is Windows Phone dead? Microsoft’s current position is retrenched, but we acquired an internal email from Windows head Terry Myerson revealing that the company is very committed to Windows 10 Mobile for years to come. However, the big push for Mobile won’t come until 2017 when the company refocuses its efforts around “innovation” around phones.

Likewise, while a Surface phone is in the works it will have to wait until the Windows 10 Redstone 2 OS update in April 2017.

  • Cortana on the Windows 10 lock screen is even cooler than you think
  • Windows 10 build 14328 (Redstone): Everything you need to know
  • How to use Messaging Everywhere in Windows 10
  • DOOM multiplayer impressions: Back from the dead, or dead on arrival?

1
May

Bentley compliments ultra luxury with Android in the new Mulsanne


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Does Android in the car get any more exquisite than this?

At the recent Beijing Auto Show, manufacturer of things that are luxurious, Bentley, was on hand to show off the new Mulsanne First Edition. This is a car for the ultra wealthy, and the ultra wealthy that like to travel in ultimate style and comfort. It’s one of those cars that it’s better to sit in the back of.

And to aid in the sophisticated enjoyment is Android. Yes, that’s right, Android. The Mulsanne comes equipped with something known as the “Bentley Entertainment Tablet.” Running Android.

Of course, this being Bentley it’s not as though it just threw in a couple of Pixel C tablets and called it a day. No, no no. It’s far more elegant than that.

“With typically exquisite attention to detail, a single touch of a button engages a beautifully weighted mechanism, smoothly deploying the screens from their stowed positions.”

On the tech front, Bentley is using a pair of 10.2-inch tablets of undetermined origin packed with 4G LTE. Because when one is in the back of a Mulsanne, one doesn’t want to be faffing around with a mobile hotspot. Each has 32GB of internal storage and a microSD card slot, as well as a front facing camera for conducting those ever important video conferences with the board members. They can also be taken away from the car should you so wish.

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While Bentley has designed a custom interface for the tablets, they’re still fully Google certified which means full access to the Play Store and all its apps and content. If you’re in the mood, audio can be streamed from the tablets through the Mulsanne’s sound system. You can also send route information directly to the on-board navigation system. So you don’t even have to talk to your driver.

And you probably wouldn’t have the energy to lean forward either, what with sinking into airline-style reclining seats trimmed in only the finest leather. And it’s probably best not to ask how many trees worth of wood is inside, either.

What the new Mulsanne is, is the ultimate in luxury with a slight twist embracing modern smart technologies. It would have been incredibly easy just to throw in an iPad or two, a couple of custom apps and have done with it. But Bentley went the whole nine yards and embraced Android, allowing it to do much more than that. Even if most of us will never, ever get to experience it.

1
May

Best accessories for the Huawei Watch


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Huawei watch accessories represent!

Whether you want a different watch band to wear with your Huawei Watch or you need to replace your charging cradle, there’s an accessory for the Huawei Watch out there for you.

Here’s our roundup of the best accessories for this smartwatch.

  • Motong tempered glass screen protector
  • Yesoo magnetic Milanese stainless steel strap for Huawei watch
  • Huawei Watch charging cradle
  • Swiss Watch International 24-slot watch strap storage case
  • Mudder 5-piece watchmakers screwdriver set
  • Mode Bands

Motong tempered glass screen protector

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You paid good money for your Huawei Watch. Protect your investment with a tempered glass screen protector.

Motong’s tempered glass screen protector melds closely with your watch’s screen so that there aren’t any gaps where dust can accumulate or that might get damaged.

At 0.3mm, the glass overlay is very thin and is therefore hardly noticeable. Better still, since it is designed with touchscreens in mind, it doesn’t interfere at all with the screen’s sensitivity.

Although thin, it is quite strong with a hardness level of 9H, just under the hardness rating for diamonds.

See at Amazon

Yesoo magnetic Milanese stainless steel strap for Huawei watch

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If you’re looking for style and that rich, upper-crust feeling, then look no further than Yesoo’s magnetic Milanese watch strap.

Yesoo blends elegance and durability together with this watch band. Made of stainless steel, its beautiful Milanese loop pattern won’t look out of place at a black-tie event.

Forget fumbling and struggling with buckles to get your watch strapped on. Yesoo’s magnetic clasp clicks into place with little effort and stays closed until you decide to take your watch off.

This watch band is 18mm wide and adjusts to fit wrists that measure 12.5mm to 17.5mm in circumference.

For more watch bands, head on over here.

See at Amazon

Huawei Watch charging cradle

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If you’ve misplaced the charging cradle for your Huawei Watch — or if you just want a spare one for the office or your travel bag — you’re in luck because the Google Store sells a replacement.

Made of brushless stainless steel, the cradle is attractive and strong.

See at The Google Store

Swiss Watch International 24-slot watch strap storage case

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There are so many different watch bands available for your Huawei Watch — so many in fact, that you need a place to keep all of them

This storage case from Swiss Watch International is perfect for all your watch band storage needs. The exterior is made out of durable synthetic leather while the interior is covered with soft black velvet that’s perfect for protecting your watch straps

It holds up to 24 straps that measure up to 22mm wide. Each watch strap slides onto a holder though the loop in the band.

See at Amazon

Mudder 5 piece watchmakers screwdriver set

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If you frequently replace your watch band, then you might like to have a watchmaker’s screwdriver set. These small tools make removing those tiny watch screws a simple matter.

Mudder’s watchmaker tool-set has five pieces:

  • 0.80mm screwdriver
  • 1.00mm screwdriver
  • 1.20mm screwdriver
  • 1.40mm screwdriver
  • 1.60mm screwdriver

Each screwdriver is color-coded so that you can easily find the size you need, and replacement tips are included, too.

See at Amazon

MODE Bands

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If you are tired of watch band pins and the tiny tools you need install them MODE bands could be for you! Google has now released their MODE bands and they might just be the easiest watch bands to install ever! If you take a look at the neat video on the MODE site, you can see just how easy these bands can attach to your Huawei Watch.

All you have to do is replace the original pin that is on your Huawei Watch add the MODE pin. The it’s just a simple matter of sliding your MODE band over the pin, and locking it shut!

Hadley Roma is currently the only manufacturer making the MODE bands, and they start around $50. Remember, in order for this to work with your Huawei Band you need to get the the 18 mm band so it fits properly.

See at Amazon

Do you use accessories for your Huawei Watch?

Tell us in the comments which accessories you like to use, and which are your favorites!

1
May

Windows 95 on an Apple Watch is wonderfully impractical


The quest to put Windows 95 on seemingly everything just achieved one of its biggest — or rather, smallest — feats to date. Nick Lee managed to get Microsoft’s classic operating system running on an Apple Watch by modfiying a WatchKit app to load his own code (in this case, the Bochs x86 emulator) instead of Apple’s usual foundations. The interface is incredibly miniscule, of course, but it works. While you don’t have a true mouse pointer, you can use the touchscreen to navigate the Start menu and open apps.

Just don’t plan to relive the halcyon days of MSN and Full Tilt Pinball. It takes an hour for Windows to load, and calling the interface response time “glacial” might be generous. Lee even rigged a motor to keep touching the crown so that the watch screen wouldn’t shut off after several seconds. If you’re determined to recreate this Frankenstein’s-monster of a Windows port, though, the developer has posted what code he can distribute on GitHub so that you can give it a shot yourself.

Source: Nick Lee (Medium), GitHub

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