Remember when Verizon bought out AOL (Engadget’s parent brand) last year? Then get ready for deja vu: the communications giant is reportedly in closing talks to purchase Yahoo later this year. Sources familiar with the deal have told Bloomberg and ReCode that Verizon is offering almost $5 billion to take over Yahoo’s core business and real estate holdings. The deal still isn’t finalized, but sources say it’s close. That’s good news for Tim Armstrong, who’s been hoping to use the buyout to expand the AOL userbase from 700 million to almost two billion.
For Yahoo, the selling processes is the end of a long journey. When Marissa Mayer took over as CEO in 2012, the company’s core services were struggling to maintain relevancy. Mayer restructured the firm to focus on mobile development, cut fat and eventually performed a “reverse spin-off” to save on taxes, moving all of its business except Alibaba into a new company. Despite this, the company still wound up pitching a sale to bidders earlier this year. It looks like they may finally have a buyer.
Even so, don’t place any bets just yet: negotiations are still ongoing, and the presumptive sale could still fall apart. Even if it does, one thing is clear — Yahoo’s days as an independent company seem to be numbered.
With just over six weeks remaining until Apple is expected to unveil the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus, leaked photos and rumors surrounding the smartphones are starting to become clear and consistent.
Deutsche Bank is the latest group to add its expectations to the mix, issuing a research note obtained by Business Insider that corroborates several previously rumored features coming in this year’s refresh.
New photo of iPhone 7 and 7 Plus rear shell molds (Image: KK低调 on Weibo)
The bank, which allegedly made supply chain checks, believes the 4.7-inch model will have an improved camera and optical image stabilization, while the larger 5.5-inch model is set to gain a dual-lens camera and 3GB of RAM.
Both models are also expected to have no headphone jack, a touch-sensitive home button with haptic feedback, a new darker color, “professional class” waterproofing, and improved sound, possibly by way of stereo speakers.
Perhaps the most interesting bit is Deutsche Bank’s belief that the iPhone 7 will ship with a Lightning-to-3.5mm headphone jack dongle in the box, rather than Lightning-based EarPods as previously speculated.
Many aftermarket Lightning-to-3.5mm adapters are bulky and clunky looking due to the need for a digital-to-analog converter, however, so it remains to be seen if Apple could create a dongle that meets its high standards of design.
Every single one of Deutsche Bank’s predictions have surfaced previously:
– No 3.5mm headphone jack: WSJ, Fast Company, Mac Otakara, and many others
– Dual-lens camera for iPhone 7 Plus: Ming-Chi Kuo, Mac Otakara, and many others
– 3GB of RAM for iPhone 7 Plus: Ming-Chi Kuo
– Touch-sensitive home button: DigiTimes, Cowen and Company
– Improved waterproofing: WSJ, Fast Company, DigiTimes, Commercial Times, Weibo
– Stereo speakers: DigiTimes, Mac Otakara
– A new darker color: Mac Otakara and leaked photo
– Lightning-to-3.5mm adapter: Mac Otakara
Apple is widely expected to announce the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus in September. Other rumored features include a faster TSMC-made Apple A10 processor, repositioned antenna bands, faster LTE and Wi-Fi, a slightly larger battery, and a minimum 32GB of base storage. A larger 256GB model may also be available.
Related Roundup: iPhone 7
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With dozens of queries every day, you probably feel like you have a pretty good grasp of Google by now. You type in a few words, hit enter, scour for a second, reword your search phrase, hit enter again and repeat until you find what you’re looking for.
What you may not know is exactly how precise you can be with your search terms, all without ever having to click the somewhat hidden Advanced Search feature.
All you need to know are some operators and symbols to quickly cut through the muck and narrow your search results.
1. Search only specific sites or domains
If you happen to be looking only for results from a specific website, you can limit the scope of your search to that domain using the site: operator.
For example, say you want to search for Amazon Alexa content on CNET. Type Amazon Alexa site:cnet.com into the search bar and hit enter. All of the results will be restricted to the CNET domain.
2. Search for a specific word or phrase
Likewise, if you have a specific word or phrase in mind, you can wrap your search query in quotation marks to restrict the results to that exact wording.
Searching Amazon Echo review provides around 22.5 million search results, while “Amazon Echo review” narrows those results to roughly 91,700 results.
3. Exclude sites or words
On the flip side, if there’s a specific website or word you would like to exclude from your results, just place a hyphen before the word or operator, such as: Amazon Alexa -site:cnet.com or Amazon Echo review -Dot.
This is very helpful when searching for something like an animal which also has a car named after it, like a mustang or jaguar. Search jaguar -car to get results more related to the animal. This won’t filter every Jaguar (the car) result, but the animal results will be more prominent. To filter even further, try stacking the operators, like jaguar -car -auto.
4. Idioms or phrases can’t fully remember
If you can only remember part of an old saying that your grandmother used to say or part of a song lyric, you can use the wild card operator, an asterisk, to fill in the blanks for you.
Search “a * saved is a * earned” or “I don’t want to set the * on fire.” Usually, this can help you find the phrase you were looking for.
5. View a cached version of a site
Not all web pages stay around forever. If something you were hoping to come back and read has disappeared since you first visited the site or page, you can check to see if Google cached it. However, this operator needs to be used in the address bar, not the search bar.
Type cache: before entering a URL and hit enter. If you’re lucky, Google will have a cached version of the page so that you can still view it. Just know the cached version of the page won’t stick around forever.
6. File types
If you’re after a powerpoint or PDF, you can narrow your results to that specific type of file using the filetype: operator.
To use it, you would want to search something like productivity filetype:pdf or brew coffee filetype:ppt.
7. Reverse image search
Finding a larger version of an image you found somewhere is very easy if you use Google’s reverse image search. Go to Google.com, click the Images link in the upper right corner and either drag and drop an image onto the page or click the camera icon and paste the image URL into the field. When the image uploads or you hit enter, any other indexed instances of that image online will appear.
This doesn’t always give you the original source of the image, but it’s definitely a great way to check exactly how much an image has been used before, such as a listing on Craigslist that seems scammy or questionable dating profiles.
8. Search a range of numbers or dates
When you’re shopping on a budget, you can search for products within a specific price range. Just search something like coffee maker $50..$100. In most cases, this will narrow the results to products within your price range. However, with things with more complex pricing, such as computers, smartphones or graphics cards, the results can be hit or miss.
9. Don’t forget about OR
You don’t always want to just search for one thing. If you’re looking for something that could an either-or, use the OR operator.
This operator is somewhat busted by product comparisons, such as Coffee or Tea: Which is better for you? That said, it can still be helpful in many situations. For instance, if you’re looking for some DIY home automation, you could search home automation Raspberry Pi or Arduino to get results for both devices.
10. Track packages
If you need a quick tracking update on something you’ve purchase online, just search track package or paste a tracking number into the search bar. Google will recognize that it’s a tracking number. Choose which carrier the package is being delivered by and jump to the tracking website.
Alternatively, instead of copying and pasting, in Chrome, you can highlight the tracking number, right-click and select Search Google for “[tracking number]”.
11. Find similar websites
Broadening your horizons is great, and branching out to find new, similar content can be difficult. A great place to start is by using the related: operator on Google to find similar websites to those you love most. Search related:www.express.com and get a long list of similar clothing stores.
12. Search specifically within the body, title or URL
If you want to narrow your search to the body of an article, a headline or the actual URL itself, there are three operators which you will find extremely useful:
- Use inurl: to limit the search results to only those with the terms actually in the URL.
- The operator intext: searches for the terms inside the body of text.
- And intitle: looks for the search terms in the title of the article or page.
The operators for Google Search aren’t limited to things like site: or a hyphen. Other symbols, like the pound symbol, plus, dollar and at signs, also work pretty much how you’d expect them to.
If you want to find a trending hashtag, you can search it on Google — such as #IoT — to find results for Twitter, articles, Facebook and more.
To find someone’s or a company’s social handle, put an at symbol before the company name. This is useful in a scenario where the company’s Twitter handle isn’t the name of the company exactly, such as Denny’s, which is actually @DennysDiner (and well worth the follow).
The dollar sign helps clarify that you’re searching for the price of something, while the plus sign can help you find information on blood types and Google+ users.
The Good The Sony HT-NT5 gets nearly everything: right, design, features and sound for music and home theater.
The Bad Sound quality, while excellent, is not twice as good as a $400 sound bar. Setting up rear speakers is expensive and a little frustrating.
The Bottom Line The Sony HT-NT5 offers distinctive good looks, a superlative feature set and generous performance, making it our favorite sound bar for the price.
Audio equipment, and the sound bar in particular, is a little bit like local government. Everyone sees the “little people” — the street sweepers, the meter readers and so on –and everyone knows the “mayor”, but from the outside looking in it’s hard to know about the ones in the middle. Until now there haven’t been any significant soundbars between $400 and $1200 that we highly recommended.
One problem is that most soundbars, regardless of price, sacrifice sound quality in favor of form factor, so in many cases it doesn’t make sense paying over, say, $400. But there are a couple of models that manage to solve the “can’t block the TV screen or IR sensor” problem without sacrificing much performance. The Sony NT-H5 is one of these.
With a raft-load of features, reasonable future-proofing and excellent sound quality to boot, Sony offers an excellent upmarket soundbar with a plenty of flexibility. In short, the HT-NT5 is a keeper. The Sony HT-NT5 is available in the US for $799, Australia for $999 and the UK for £599.
Design and Features
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The Sony HT-NT5 is a stylish 2.1 soundbar which offers extensive connectivity and the ability to add wireless rears.
The Sony manages to counter the low height requirements for a sound bar — they typically need to fit under a TV–by angling the drivers back. In this way the unit is able to incorporate a pair of two three-eighths inch drivers and two sets of silk dome tweeters. Why two sets I hear you say? The unit can be placed horizontally or vertically on a wall and it is configured in such a way so it always has one set facing towards the listening position. The bar is 42.5 inches wide and 2.5 inches when lying flat on your AV unit (about 108cm by 6.4cm).
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The unit comes supplied with a wireless subwoofer which includes a front ported design and a 6.5-inch driver. It’s moderately large at 7.5 inches wide by roughly 15 inches both tall and deep (19.1cm by 38.1cm).
The onscreen display mimics the company’s SongPal app, with a graphical representation of the inputs and a helpful “Wireless Rear” button at the top (of which we’ll hear more later).
Sony was one of the first hardware manufacturers to support Google Cast, and the HT-NT5 continues the trend. This extra allows you to control music from Cast-compatible audio apps on your phone or other device, and have them play through the sound bar. Even cooler, now that Chromecast Audio and other companies’ Google Cast products can support multiroom audio, the HT-NT5 can become part of a whole-home audio system, with simultaneous playback in multiple rooms from one app (a.k.a. “party mode”), for a price much lower than Sonos.
If you want to dabble in other all-you-can-eat streaming apps, Sony does provide its own proprietary SongPal Link multiroom system and Spotify Connect as well.
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The unit comes with three HDMI ports (while many competitors don’t even offer one), each equipped HDCP 2.2 and HDR support for 4K sources.
Ah, the future. You don’t even have to use Cosmopolitan Virtual Makeover to try on different hairstyles and other looks these days even if you aren’t proficient with Photoshop. All you need is a selfie to try out curly hair, the 1930s or even a different culture.
It’s possible using Dreambit, a face-swapping search engine that automatically analyzes any photo you upload and figures out how to crop it into images you search for. Your results incorporate your face, cropped and colorized and adapted to the images you receive. It sure does beat the heck out of doing it all manually.
Created by computer vision researcher Ira Kemelmacher-Shlizerman at the University of Washington, Dreambit is an interesting tool that can and will be used for tons of silly applications, but the serious implications it has are infinite as well. In a press release, Shlizerman noted how the engine could be used in missing persons cases as it can adapt how victims in said cases can change their looks over time. As the software’s still in beta, however, it’s far from use by law enforcement just yet.
Dreambit will be on display at SIGGRAPH next week, but unfortunately it’s not available to the public just yet. You can, however, sign up for beta access right now if you’re so inclined.
To celebrate the Olympic games, the Apple Watch is getting a series of commemorative straps that match the flags of 14 participating countries. GQ got the exclusive, saying that each model will set you back $49, and match the colors of the respective flags, such as the USA, Great Britain and New Zealand. Sprinter Trayvon Bromell (pictured) got his Team USA band a little earlier than everyone else, but it won’t be that easy to imitate him. That’s because the straps are only going to be sold in one Apple Store — the Barra da Tijuca location in West Rio de Janeiro through the month of August. Yeah.
It’s not the first time that Apple has produced ultra-rare nylon straps for its market-leading wearable. To celebrate Pride, the company gave participating employees a rainbow watch band. TNW suspected that the bands would soon make their way to eBay at a hefty premium, although we can’t find any available right now. It looks like limited-edition bands to celebrate special events is going to be one way that Apple keeps loyalists happy, and those who don’t fancy flying to Brazil to get that sweet Japan band quite miserable.
The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) has sued the US government in an attempt to overturn a part of the DMCA that it says violates the First Amendment. The provisions, contained in Section 1201, restrict user access to purchased content including videos, music and the software used in cars, appliances and devices. “The First Amendment preserves our right to … research and talk about the computer code that controls so much of our world,” says EFF Staff Attorney Kit Walsh. “Section 1201 threatens ordinary people with financial ruin or even a prison sentence for exercising those freedoms.”
Section 1201 was originally enacted to combat piracy, but has instead has “served to restrict people’s ability to access, use and even speak about copyrighted materials,” the EFF says. It can inhibit, for example, a buyer’s ability to repair their own device, remix music or video and study software installed in cars, computers and other devices. Firms often sue users even when they make “fair use” of content for things like satire or criticism, a practice that’s full protected by free speech laws.
The organization is suing on behalf of two individuals well known in the tech world, inventor Andrew “bunnie” Huang (who recently worked with Edward Snowden on a cellphone signal-blocking device) and John Hopkins security researcher Matthew Green. Huang is interested in developing devices that would allow consumers to add Twitter comments, captions and other overlays to high-definition video, but fears running afoul of the law. “Section 1201 prevents the act of creation from being spontaneous,” said Huang, who added that America will soon fall behind other nations in tech if the law isn’t changed.
YouTube is a frequent target of DMCA takedown orders.
Matthew Green and his students have uncovered security flaws in vehicles, Apple’s iMessage text system and the encryption used for the web. He calls such work a “precious commodity,” but says that a lot of companies don’t feel that way, even when it ultimately benefits them. “Companies use the courts to silence researchers who have embarrassing things to say about their products, or who uncover too many of those products’ internal details,” Green said on his blog.
Working with its own counsel and a private law firm specializing in tech law, the EFF is challenging the anti-circumvention and anti-trafficking provisions contained in Section 1201. While the organization is suing the US government, it’s also likely to face the MPAA and RIAA, which represent the recording and motion picture industries in the US. Those associations are often the ones filing lawsuits and takedown notices against consumers, and have reportedly spent tens of millions of dollars lobbying in Washington.
Via: Fast Company
Source: Electronic Frontier Foundation
FutureBrand recently released the results of a survey that questioned 3,000 consumers about the 100 biggest companies in the world, asking them to score each company on 18 different factors like trust, innovation, individuality, and price premium. The 2016 results crowned Apple as the top company in the world, “in terms of perception strength, rather than financial strength” (via CNET).
Some of the highest marks Apple received this year surrounded its individuality, authenticity, and purpose, while it scored less well in resource management, wellbeing, and respect among the consumers surveyed. Compared to the second-place entry in the Top 100 listing, Microsoft, Apple edges out ever so slightly in personality and consistency, while customers questioned believed Microsoft to be more innovative than Apple.
Technology companies occupy the top two spots in this year’s rankings and enjoy strong perceptions across our measures. Six of the twenty four ‘future brands’ are in the technology sector – one fewer than in 2015.
A ‘future brand’ is a brand that is more likely to succeed in the future, not just one that is strong now. This is because it perfectly balances strong perceptions of its purpose in the world with the experience it delivers.
Apple’s 2016 win comes after it lost the top spot to Google last year, but a bit of behind-the-scenes reorganization seems to be the reason for the search engine company’s egress from FutureBrand’s list this year. Since Google is considered wholly part of parent company Alphabet, only the latter could appear as a contender for Apple’s first place spot. But consumer knowledge — or lack thereof — surrounding Alphabet and its relationship with Google most likely led to Alphabet’s 21st place ranking.
The rest of the top spots are rounded out by companies like Disney, Amazon, Samsung, Toyota, and Facebook. Specifically in the Technology Sector, Apple’s numbers rise even higher. The Cupertino company is 36 percent above the sector average when it comes to thought leadership, and 33 percent above the average in terms of consistency in producing high quality products. Similarly, many survey respondents confirmed they would like to work for Apple (37 percent above sector average), and that they would buy its products (39 percent above sector average).
You can look over FutureBrand’s 2016 rankings here.
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Apple’s new iPhones – the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus – are due to launch in the next few months, with most placing their bets on a September announcement.
Rumours of the two devices, as well as a third, have been circulating around the rumour mill for several months now though, giving us a few clues as to what we might be able to expect.
We’ve compared the rumoured standard iPhone 7 to the iPhone 6S and iPhone 6 already, but this feature focuses on the iPhone 7 Plus against the iPhone 6S Plus and the iPhone 6 Plus. Read on to find out what differences and similarities there might be, based on the speculation.
Apple iPhone 7 Plus vs iPhone 6S Plus vs iPhone 6 Plus: Design
The Apple iPhone 6S Plus measures 158.1 x 77.9 x 7.3mm and weighs 192g, while the iPhone 6 Plus measures 158.1 x 77.8 x 7.1mm and is 20g lighter at 172g. Both offer a metal build that’s identical in appearance, though the iPhone 6S Plus is made from a different grade of aluminium.
The two current devices have Touch ID built into the Home button at the front, although the 6S Plus features the second generation of the fingerprint sensor, which is faster and more responsive than the original.
The Apple iPhone 7 Plus is rumoured to be coming with a very similar design to the iPhone 6S Plus, but with a couple of differences. It is thought Apple will move the antenna bands across the rear to just the top and bottom for a cleaner look, as well as ditch the headphone jack, but the thickness of the new device is reported to remain at 7.3mm.
Other rumours have claimed the iPhone 7 Plus will feature water and dustproofing, a dual-SIM tray and it is claimed the Home button will be replaced with a Force Touch capacitive component.
The iPhone 6S Plus comes in silver, space grey, gold and rose gold colour options, while the iPhone 6 Plus is only available in silver and space grey now. It isn’t clear what the iPhone 7 Plus will arrive in but we wouldn’t be surprised to see the same four options as the iPhone 6S Plus.
Apple iPhone 7 Plus vs iPhone 6S Plus vs iPhone 6 Plus: Display
The Apple iPhone 6S Plus and iPhone 6 Plus both feature 5.5-inch displays with Full HD resolutions that put their pixel densities at 401ppi.
They are both IPS LCD displays with LED-backlights, but the iPhone 6S Plus also features Apple’s pressure sensitive technology called 3D Touch that allows users to do more depending on the force with which they press.
The Apple iPhone 7 Plus is also rumoured to be coming with a 5.5-inch display, but reports have suggested Apple may change the display technology to AMOLED for the new device. It has also been claimed the resolution will increase to 2560 x 1440 pixels, which would mean a slightly sharper screen than its predecessors with a pixel density of 534ppi.
We would expect 3D Touch to make an appearance again on the iPhone 7 Plus, but rumours suggest it could evolve to multi-force touch.
Apple iPhone 7 Plus vs iPhone 6S Plus vs iPhone 6 Plus: Camera
The Apple iPhone 6S Plus features a 12-megapixel rear camera coupled with a 5-megapixel front-facing camera, both of which feature an aperture of f/2.2. The front facing camera features a Retina Flash and the rear camera is capable of 4K video recording.
The Apple iPhone 6 Plus has an 8-megapixel camera and a 1.2-megapixel front-facing camera, both of which again have an aperture of f/2.2. There is no front flash on the iPhone 6 Plus and the rear camera is only capable of Full HD video recording.
Both the iPhone 6S Plus and the iPhone 6 Plus have optical image stabilisation on board, but the iPhone 6S Plus also features OIS for video recording too, which the 6 Plus doesn’t.
The iPhone 7 Plus has been rumoured to be coming with a dual-camera setup, but this claim has also been associated with the iPhone 7 Pro. There haven’t been any suggestions as to what resolution or aperture to expect, but we are not expecting a different sensor resolution to the iPhone 6S Plus, unless the dual-camera theory is adopted.
Apple iPhone 7 Plus vs iPhone 6S Plus vs iPhone 6 Plus: Hardware
The Apple iPhone 6S Plus features the A9 processor with an embedded M9 motion coprocessor. It offers 2GB of RAM, is available in storage options of 16GB, 64GB and 128GB and its battery capacity is thought to be 2750mAh.
The iPhone 6 Plus has the A8 processor with a separate M8 motion coprocessor. There is 1GB of RAM on board, it is now available in 16GB and 64GB storage options, and its battery capacity is said to be 2915mAh.
The iPhone 7 Plus is expected to arrive with the A10 processor and it is rumoured to upping the RAM to 3GB. It has also been claimed that Apple will ditch the 16GB storage option, starting at 32GB instead, and there has been talk of a 256GB model too. The battery capacity for the new device is also reported to see an increase to 3100mAh.
Apple iPhone 7 Plus vs iPhone 6S Plus vs iPhone 6 Plus: Software
The Apple iPhone 6S Plus and the iPhone 6 Plus both currently run on iOS 9 but they will both get an update to iOS 10 when it launches later this year on the new iPhones.
There are a couple of software features the iPhone 6S Plus is capable of over the iPhone 6 Plus, such as Live Photos and 3D Touch functions, but the software experience is mainly the same.
The iPhone 7 Plus will launch on iOS 10 as we mentioned, bringing the new features and functions directly to the new device, all of which you can read about in our separate feature. As the iPhone 6S Plus and iPhone 6 Plus will both be updated though, again the software experience should be very familiar, bar perhaps a couple of extra features.
Apple iPhone 7 Plus vs iPhone 6S Plus vs iPhone 6 Plus: Conclusion
Based on the current rumours, it looks like the Apple iPhone 7 Plus will be very similar to the iPhone 6S Plus in terms of appearance, with a few changes here and there.
As with every succeeding device, we will no doubt see improvements in hardware but the software experience will remain familiar across these three devices being compared, aside from the odd extra function.
Everything is speculation at the moment though. For all the rumours surrounding the iPhone 7 Plus, you can read our separate feature.
- Apple iPhone 7 Pro: Will it happen and what’s the story so far?
- Apple iPhone 7 vs iPhone 6S vs iPhone 6: What’s the rumoured difference?
- Apple iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus rumours, release date and everything you need to know
We Happy Few was one of my coworker Jess Conditt’s favorite games from E3 this year, and for good reason: its alt-history, drug-and-paranoia fueled take on a dystopia is unlike anything we’ve ever seen. But how did it all begin? With a question, according to an Xbox Wire post by developer Compulsion Games’ Sam Abbott. The team was trying to figure out how to make a bigger game than its first (Contrast, which made its debut with the PlayStation 4) but wanted to keep its staff size from ballooning. That’s why Compulsion turned to procedural generation — akin to No Man’s Sky — for its 1964 English city.
That single question led to more regarding what you’d actually do in We Happy Few. “What kind of gameplay made sense in a city? Certainly not survival — it should be easy to survive in a city. Except… what if it wasn’t? Wouldn’t that be interesting?” Abbott writes. We saw a little bit of that onstage during Microsoft’s E3 keynote this year. There was a lot of running from police just itching to bash you with their clubs because you didn’t take your soma Joy.
The game also employs something unique for an AI-assembled setting: a story. When We Happy Few hits Xbox Game Preview on July 26th as a work in progress, though, it won’t have a narrative — that’s something Compulsion is holding back until version 1.0. What sorts of things does the game have in store next Tuesday? You’ll have to download it to find out.
Source: Xbox Wire