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30
Aug

Belkin Launches 2-in-1 iPhone and Apple Watch Dock With Both Charging Cables Included for $99


Belkin has introduced the PowerHouse, a new 2-in-1 iPhone and Apple Watch charging dock with both a Lightning-to-USB cable and magnetic charging cable included for $99. PowerHouse serves as a cheaper and smaller-sized plastic alternative to Belkin’s existing 2-in-1 dock, the Valet, released earlier this year for $129.

PowerHouse is compatible with all Apple Watch models, and the iPhone 5 or newer. The dock uses Belkin’s proprietary VersaCase dial that can adjust the height of the Lightning connector to allow for the PowerHouse to be used with virtually any iPhone case. The dock delivers a 2.4A charge for iPhone and 1A charge for Apple Watch.


PowerHouse is available now on Belkin’s website and at select retailers worldwide for $99.

Tags: Belkin, iPhone accessories, Apple Watch accessories
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30
Aug

Kwikset Launches 2nd Gen ‘Kevo’ Smart Lock With Improved Security [Updated]


Lock manufacturing company Kwikset today released the second generation of its Kevo smart lock, keeping the same aesthetic of the original Kevo but bringing in a “refined user experience,” more compact interior design, and improved security. Like the original Kevo, the second generation of the smart lock lets user easily gain entry into their home thanks to Kevo’s ability to register a paired smartphone within a certain distance, subsequently unlocking itself when a user taps on the outside part of the lock.

The inside design change of the Kevo smart lock
The first major addition to Kevo is a new in-app installation process (found within the Kevo app on the App Store [Direct Link] and Google Play Store), which streamlines the steps it takes to add the smart lock into your door with an “interactive installation experience.” In terms of design change, the company only altered the look and size of the interior module of the Kevo, making it sleeker and smaller, while keeping the circular outside part the same as the first generation.

“Kwikset listened to homeowners’ everyday experience with Kevo 1st Gen and put their feedback at the center of the Kevo 2nd Gen development strategy,” said Keith Brandon, Kwikset Vice President of Residential Access Solutions, Spectrum Brands, Inc. – Hardware and Home Improvement Division. “I truly believe the time to buy Kevo is now for any consumer waiting for technology to evolve before purchasing a smart lock.”

The biggest change comes in the form of improved security on the smart lock, which has the latest version of Kwikset’s patented SmartKey security to provide “strong resistance” against attempts at forced entry. According to the company, the updated Kevo also passes “the most stringent lock-picking standards” and uses a feature called “BumpGuard” in order to prevent lock bumping.

kevo lock gen 2 1The outside design of the Kevo lock remains unchanged
Kwikset is selling the second generation Kevo on Amazon for $229.00 in polished brass, satin nickel, and venetian bronze. The new Kevo is also expected to be available to purchase across the United States in brick and mortar stores, but Kwikset didn’t specifically mention when the second generation smart lock would begin making its way to retailers following today’s online launch.

Update: Regarding HomeKit compatibility, Kwikset told MacRumors that while Kevo is currently unable to support Apple’s connected-home platform, the company “will continue to prioritize HomeKit on our product roadmap.”

Kevo is not currently Apple HomeKit-compatible. Kevo requires a longer development process to become compatible with HomeKit due to the custom nature of the Kevo platform. Kwikset truly believes in the secure smart home technology offered by Apple HomeKit and specifically developed Premis, which launched at CES this year, to be compatible with the HomeKit platform.

That said, Kwikset is investing in the Kevo platform and continuously updating its products. Kwikset introduced its first HomeKit compatible smart lock at CES and will continue to prioritize HomeKit on our product roadmap.

Tags: Kevo, Kwikset
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30
Aug

BitTorrent Client Transmission Again Victimized by OS X Malware


Just five months after Transmission was infected with the first “ransomware” ever found on the Mac, the popular BitTorrent client is again at the center of newly uncovered OS X malware.

Researchers at security website We Live Security have discovered the malware, called OSX/Keydnap, was spread through a recompiled version of Transmission temporarily distributed through the client’s official website.

OSX/Keydnap executes itself in a similar manner as the previous Transmission ransomware KeRanger, by adding a malicious block of code to the main function of the app, according to the researchers. Likewise, they said a legitimate code signing key was used to sign the malicious Transmission app, different from the legitimate Transmission certificate, but still signed by Apple and thereby able to bypass Gatekeeper on OS X.

The researchers said they notified the Transmission team about the malware, and within minutes they removed the malicious file from their web server and launched an investigation. The researchers believe the infected Transmission app was signed on August 28 and distributed only on August 29, and thus recommend anyone who downloaded version 2.92 of the app between those dates to verify if their system is compromised by checking for the presence of any of the following files or directories:

  • /Applications/Transmission.app/Contents/Resources/License.rtf
  • /Volumes/Transmission/Transmission.app/Contents/Resources/License.rtf
  • $HOME/Library/Application Support/com.apple.iCloud.sync.daemon/icloudsyncd
  • $HOME/Library/Application Support/com.apple.iCloud.sync.daemon/process.id
  • $HOME/Library/LaunchAgents/com.apple.iCloud.sync.daemon.plist
  • /Library/Application Support/com.apple.iCloud.sync.daemon/
  • $HOME/Library/LaunchAgents/com.geticloud.icloud.photo.plist

Transmission version 2.92 remains available through the software’s update mechanism.

Tags: malware, Transmission
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30
Aug

Actress Jessica Alba Joins Apple’s ‘Planet of the Apps’ TV Show as a Mentor


Actress and businesswoman Jessica Alba has signed on to serve as a mentor on Apple’s upcoming reality television show “Planet of the Apps,” reports Variety. Alba joins actress Gwyneth Paltrow, hip hop artist will.i.am, and tech investor Gary Vaynerchuk, all of whom will also be acting as mentors and advisors to app developers.

Jessica Alba has starred in a number of movies and television shows, including Sin City, Fantastic Four, and Into the Blue. In 2012, Alba moved beyond acting and founded The Honest Company, devoted to selling non-toxic household goods. The Honest Company has grown steadily since 2012 and is valued at $1 billion.

“I started The Honest Company because I saw an opportunity in the market for a brand that spoke to conscious consumers and created safe and effective products for every need,” said Alba said in a statement. “As a mentor on ‘Planet of the Apps,’ I’m looking forward to meeting entrepreneurs looking to address a problem with an innovative solution, and to help them realize their vision. I can’t wait to see the ideas the app developers bring to the table.”

Lightspeed Venture Partners, one of the initial investors in Snapchat, has also joined the show as a venture-capital partner. Lightspeed will spend $10 million to fund app development during the course of the show.

“Planet of the Apps” is described on a casting website as an unscripted reality television series focusing on apps and the developers who create them. The exact format and content of the show remain a mystery ahead of its 2017 launch, but advisors will offer developers chosen for the show “hands-on guidance” and “funding from top-tier VCs” to improve their apps. Apple plans to use the show to promote iOS, macOS, tvOS, and watchOS apps and its App Stores.

Casting for “Planet of the Apps” began back in July and applications are still being accepted until September 21, with the series seeking up to 100 developers to participate. The inaugural season will take place in Los Angeles with filming beginning in late 2016.
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30
Aug

Here’s how fast your internet connection really is – CNET


30
Aug

That rubber thingy on your Canon dSLR’s strap? It has a purpose – CNET


Your Canon dSLR has a useful tool on its strap that has likely gone unnoticed. PetaPixel points out that the small rubber thingy, (for lack of a better term) on the strap that came with your Canon camera is an eyepiece cover that prevents light from leaking into the viewfinder.

Whenever you don’t use the viewfinder to shoot a photo — when using the self-timer or remote switch, for example — light can enter the viewfinder and throw off the exposure. To prevent that from happening, just mask the viewfinder with the rubber eyepiece cover.

I use an old Nikon D50 and have no such rubber thingy on the strap. According to my D50 user manual, an eyepiece cover was included in the box. Since it wasn’t cleverly integrated onto the strap, I lost it years ago.

canon-eyepiece-cover.jpgEnlarge Image

Matt Elliott/CNET

I shoot with a Nikon, so I went to my local Best Buy and asked a patient store associate to open a Canon dSLR box. The included strap had the eyepiece cover that my Nikon lacks. To use the eyepiece cover, I had to remove the rubber eyepiece cup from the back of the camera and then slipped the cover over the viewfinder.

If you need to cover the viewfinder and don’t have a rubber eyepiece cover handy — Lori Grunin, one of CNET’s resident photography experts, suggests you simply drape a black microfiber cloth over the viewfinder.

For more photo tips, learn how to protect your camera from rain and snow for less than $1 and how to use everyday items as DIY phone camera lenses and filters.

30
Aug

Airmotion Aura Release Date, Price and Specs – CNET


airmotionaura01.jpg Aloysius Low/CNET

I live in Singapore, where the air is usually clean, but for about a month every year, the island gets shrouded in terrible smoggy haze from burning forests in nearby Indonesia. While you can get disposable masks, these can be very uncomfortable, especially in Singapore’s hot and humid weather. The Airmotion Aura air mask has a filter to protect your lungs and a ventilator to pump in fresh air to keep things cool. I got to try it out.

This new gadget is modular: the air filter is replaceable, and the ventilator swappable. It retails for around S$98, which converts to approximately $70, £50 or AU$95. Its straps are adjustable and the ventilator promises a charge of around 3 hours.

Air pollution isn’t just about the lowered visibility that happens when smog fills the skies. Much of the danger to your health from polluted air comes from particulate matter (PM) that’s thinner than a strand of hair, PM2.5. The number designates the size of the particle — in this case, 2.5 micrometers — and your respiratory tract isn’t quite capable of filtering particles of such sizes and smaller. You’ll need a special N95 mask that’s capable of doing so, and Aura meets this standard.

airmotionaura02.jpgairmotionaura02.jpg

A ventilator helps to circulate air.

Aloysius Low/CNET

Designed by a Singaporean living in Beijing — where the air is famously polluted — the Aura is modular, which means you’re able to swap out parts such as the ventilator for other, as yet unannounced, features in the future. The N95 filter is replaceable, so you don’t have to buy a completely new set every time it wears out. The medical grade silicon seal and straps don’t chafe on the skin, and are washable with warm water and soap.

Key specs

  • Modular system
  • N95 filter to block out PM2.5 pollutants
  • Ventilator helps keep things cool
  • Medical-grade silicon straps and face seal

You will look like Bane wearing this, which I didn’t quite appreciate. I did find that the ventilator helps keep things a little cooler, though I still found myself perspiring thanks to Singapore’s humid weather. I did quite a lot of brisk walking with the ventilator in sports mode, and found that it does help to circulate air. A normal disposable mask would have trapped my exhalations, which isn’t ideal due to CO2 buildup, of course.

Compared to a regular disposable mask, the Airmotion Aura isn’t cheap, but it can be reused and the ventilator helps if you’re looking to exercise even in polluted weather.

airmotionaura03.jpgairmotionaura03.jpg

Because it’s modular, you can easily replace parts that have broken down, or get longer straps if needed.

Aloysius Low/CNET

30
Aug

YI Erida Release Date, Price and Specs – CNET


At the end of July, GoPro announced its Hero5 camera and Karma drone will launch ahead of the holiday season. YI Technology, on the other hand, has already released its $250 YI 4K camera and now it’s got a drone to go with it — the YI Erida.

Made of light-yet-strong carbon fiber, YI says the tricopter can reach speeds of up to 75 mph (120 kph) and stay in the air for up to 40 minutes. If true, this is longer than any other ready-to-fly drone. Two of its three prop arms rotate and fold back for travel.

Yi Erida carbon fiber drone flies fast, folds…
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On its belly is a motorized gimbal to stabilize the included YI 4K camera. The drone will be completely controlled with a mobile app, so you’ll just need your smartphone and the drone when you head out to fly.

No pricing or availability was announced. However, if the Erida looks or sounds familiar, it might be because YI is making the drone with Atlas, a team of developers and engineers that tried to get the Erida crowdfunded last year. The contribution amounts start at $499, but the retail price is listed at $1,100. That’s about £380 to £840 and AU$660 to AU$1,500.

30
Aug

Petnet SmartFeeder Release Date, Price and Specs – CNET


press-lifestyle-3-2x.jpg Petnet

Have you ever wished your cat could open a can of food himself? Or that your dog could pour the giant bag of food pellets into her own bowl? While it can’t teach your pets new tricks, Petnet’s $150 new gadget might be a step in the right direction.

The SmartFeeder is essentially a feeding bowl with a holding tank above it. Beyond simply supplying more food when the bowl goes empty, though, the SmartFeeder will control portions for your pets. How does it know how much to feed them? This is where it gets interesting.

During setup, you enter your pet’s weight, age, activity levels and other information in the SmartFeeder app. Once the SmartFeeder starts portioning out food for your pet, it continues to monitor behavior, like whether your pet is eating all the food, how quickly and whether that involves multiple trips to the bowl. This data plus the originally entered info gets plugged into a massive database that not only determines serving sizes, but also decides what types of food might fit best for your pet.

press-lifestyle-6-2x.jpgpress-lifestyle-6-2x.jpg Petnet

The appeal of the SmartFeeder is twofold. First, since the tank holds about 7 pounds of food, you only need to refill it once every week or two. That’s a big part of the work of pet ownership, taken care of. Second, if it works as intended, Petnet’s device should help your pet be healthier. Proper serving sizes are important to a pet’s long-term health.

The SmartFeeder also offers a pet food marketplace. The idea is that the device will prune down the thousands of pet food options to a select few — ones that are supposed to be appropriate for your pet. You choose which to buy, and the SmartFeeder app will order the food for you when supplies get low.

Personally, I’m cautious about any device that orders products with my credit card, but for people who have comfortable patterns and understand what’s involved, the service could be a helpful relief.

The SmartFeeder won’t work for everyone. The size of the bowl is about 2 cups, so it’s too small for larger dogs. And because of the design, the feeder can only dispense dry food.

The Petnet SmartFeeder is available now online and at Petco stores.

30
Aug

ZTE Warp 7 (Boost Mobile) Release Date, Price and Specs – CNET


zte-warp-7.jpg

The Warp 7 is ZTE’s latest offering for Boost Mobile.

ZTE

ZTE’s latest affordable handset is the Warp 7, a $100 phone available on September 5. The device is compatible with carriers using both CDMA and GSM technology, but it will be sold through Boost Mobile, which uses Sprint’s CDMA network.

The Warp 7 features a 5.5-inch display (720-pixel resolution), a 1.2 quad-core processor and a removable 3,080mAh battery. For your photo needs, it has a 13-megapixel rear-facing camera and a 5-megapixel shooter in the front. It runs Android Marshmallow 6.0 and has 16GB of memory that you can expand up to 64GB with a microSD card.

The Warp 7 follows ZTE’s other $100 prepaid handset, the ZMax Pro, which was announced in July for MetroPCS. Despite a similar price tag, the ZMax Pro has slightly better specs, including a 6-inch screen with a sharper 1,080-pixel resolution, an octa-core Snapdragon 617 processor and a 3,400mAh battery.

Still, Boost Mobile’s handset is a pretty decent deal and we’ll know more once we get our hands on it. But on paper, the ZMax Pro looks to be the better choice (for now) if you’re looking for an inexpensive prepaid phone.

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