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6
May

Recommended Reading: A second act for ‘Guardians of the Galaxy’


‘Guardians of the
Galaxy 2:’ Twice
Is (Still) the Charm

Christopher Orr,
The Atlantic

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 hits theaters this weekend, the sequel to the 2014 film that introduced us to Star-Lord, Gamora, Groot, Grax and Rocket on the big screen. While the new installment appears to be just as entertaining, the plot suffers where the original shined. The Atlantic has a full review of the film if you want to read up before, or after, you go see it. And yes, there are spoilers. When you do decide to head to the theater though, don’t forget to sneak in your Doritos.

ESPN Can’t Afford to Go On
Like This

Joe Nocera, Bloomberg

It’s no secret that ESPN is shedding subscribers like crazy and last week, the network laid off 100 people as it tries to right the ship.

‘American Gods:’ How Neil Gaiman’s Cult Novel Became an Instant Weird-TV Classic
David Fear, Rolling Stone

By now, you’ve likely hear something about the love scene in the series premiere of American Gods, but there’s a lot more to the show than that.

Mark Zuckerberg’s Tour of the Country Is Fueled by Cliches and Stereotypes
Lousie Matsakis, Mashable

The Facebook CEO says he’s touring the US “to get out and talk to more people,” but his trips won’t provide much enlightenment.

Hubert L. Dreyfus, Philosopher of the Limits of Computers, Dies at 87
William Grimes, The New York Times

NYT’s William Grimes reflects on the life of Dreyfus, a man whose work became an inspiration to those researching artificial intelligence.

6
May

Will your watch get Android Wear 2.0? Read our guide to find out


After announcing it at I/O 2016, Google is finally launching Android Wear 2.0, a major revamp that’s meant to breathe new life into the company’s smartwatch platform. The release — which was delayed several months so Google could fine-tune the software — has had five developer previews since May, all of which were only compatible with the Huawei Watch and the LG Watch Urbane 2nd Edition LTE. Many manufacturers decided to hold off on debuting a new smartwatch until Google released the update, which is partly why there were few new smartwatches last year.

This year looks to be different, though. February saw the release of the LG Watch Style and Watch Sport, the first two smartwatches designed in close collaboration with Google to run Android Wear 2.0, much like the company’s Nexus devices.  Many other watches have been announced since then, such as the Huawei Watch 2 and its predecessor, the Huawei Watch; Casio’s WSD-F20; Tag Heuer Connected Modular 45; and more.

But not everyone can afford to purchase a new smartwatch. When can we expect the update to roll out on existing smartwatches? Read on to find out.

Which watches get the update?

All new smartwatches going forward will launch with Android Wear 2.0, such as the Huawei Watch 2, and a number of older watches are slated to get an update.

It won’t be right away, though. According to Google, a bug in final testing has delayed the update. “We will push the update to [the remaining] devices as soon as the issue is resolved,” a company spokesperson said in March.

Still, Android Wear 2.0 continues to trickle out. Here’s a list of the older watches that are getting it.

Watches that have received the update

LG

  • LG Watch R
  • LG Watch Urbane

Fossil

  • Fossil Q Founder
  • Fossil Q Marshall
  • Fossil Q Wander

Fossil updated its portfolio of smartwatches to Android Wear 2.0 beginning in mid-March.

Tag Heuer

  • Tag Heuer Connected

Casio

  • Casio WSD-F10

Nixon

  • Nixon Mission

Polar

  • Polar M600

Michael Kors

  • Michael Kors Access Bradshaw
  • Michael Kors Access Dylan

New Balance

  • New Balance RunIQ

Huawei

  • Huawei Watch

Watches that will receive the update later this year

Lenovo

  • Moto 360 2nd Gen
  • Moto 360 for Women
  • Moto 360 Sport

We’ve reached out to Lenovo about the timing of its Android Wear 2.0 updates.

Asus 

    • Asus ZenWatch 2
    • Asus ZenWatch 3

Asus told Digital Trends that its smartwatches will be updated to Android Wear 2.0 in the second quarter of 2017.

LG

  • LG Watch Urbane 2nd Edition LTE

Polar said that its high-end Android Wear watch, the M600, will receive Android Wear 2.0 in the spring. The update will also pack Polar-specific features, like a swim-tracking mode that will measure metrics such as distance, pace, strokes per minute, stroke length, and strokes per pool length. It will even tout support for additional languages, a newly designed interface, and boost battery life to 36 hours.

6
May

How to use Apple Clips: The perfect video app for your social feeds


The Apple Clips app specializes in making video clips, ones specifically designed to be shared on social media. You are probably already familiar with Stories on Facebook and Instagram, but Apple Clips separates these into a standalone app that is more powerful and easier to use. Apple’s app creates videos that are square, which is perfect for sharing on a social media timeline.

As per usual with Apple’s proprietary apps, however, Clips doesn’t come with an instruction manual. Even though it is pretty intuitive, there may be some things that aren’t readily obvious. To help, we’ve prepared an easy-to-follow guide so you can jump straight into making awesome clips.

The interface

how to use apple clips

When you open Clips for the first time, it will default to video. Apple wants you to make small video clips that will be stitched together at the end. If you’ve ever shared a story on Facebook or Instagram, then you’re already familiar with this concept. It doesn’t matter what you share, whether it be a video or photo, you have to hold the big red button to record it. Once you’ve finished recording, Clips will add it to the timeline. You can choose to record a video, take a photo, or add a video or photo from your library. Regardless of what you add, you have to hold the red button to record it, and tell Clips for how long to play the video or showcase the photo.

Directly right of the big red button, you can select either the front-facing camera or the primary camera on the back of your iPhone. The microphone icon is so that you can choose to record the audio or simply mute it. If you forget to mute the audio, don’t worry, you can go back and mute it later.

At the top of the app window, you will see six icons. On the very far left you have a down arrow, and if you tap this arrow, you will see all the clips you’ve previously saved. Here, you can also choose to edit them, or you can hold down the clip for a couple of seconds to delete it. Next, you will find an icon that resembles a speech bubble, and it’s called Live Tiles. The icon next to this should also be very familiar, because it is the same icon used for filters in the Photos app. Next, you will see a star icon that stands for Overlays. This section allows you to access speech bubbles, arrows, and smileys. We will look at this in more detail shortly. The last two icons are a letter “T,” short for Posters, and a music icon you can use to add background music to your clip.

The best way to understand what all these icons do is to make a short video, so let’s dig in and make a clip to share on social media.

Making a clip

Video

how to use apple clips

The first thing you should do is tap and hold the red button to record a short clip. For this example, we will say: “Hello, we are working with Apple Clips for Digital Trends.” That was easy! We have our first clip in the timeline.

Photo

The photo mode will let you take a photo, with or without flash, using your phone’s front-facing or rear camera. Keep in mind that the photo won’t be added to the timeline right away, however. After you take the photo, you’ll have to hold the red button to add the photo to the timeline. To do so, hold the red button for five seconds and then let go. The photo should now be part of the timeline, and you can drag and drop these clips anywhere you want to. If you want to start with a photo, for instance, just drag it to the start of the timeline.

Library

Using the library is very easy, and allows you to make these clips later with videos and pictures you’ve taken during the day. Just like we did before, you select the photo or video that you want to add, and then hold the red button to add it to the timeline. How long you want the picture or video to be is up to you.

Keep in mind that any time you are holding the red record button, you can also talk to add your voice.

Even if you add a video from your library, you can still talk while you’re pressing the red button. If the original video has sound don’t worry, we will show you how to mute it in the next section.

6
May

Galaxy S8: These are the 5 worst things about Samsung’s new phone


The Samsung Galaxy S8 is probably the most important Android phone of the year. It’s also really, really good. The S8+ is my daily driver right now, and I love the enormous display, the phenomenal design and the whole direction Samsung’s taken its software.

But like any phone, after you’ve been using it for a while, there are things that start to grate. Some small things, some not so small things, that just make the whole experience less enjoyable.

So with a couple of weeks of use under our belts, it’s time to take a look at few of them: These are our five least favorite things about the new best Android smartphone.

  • Android Central on YouTube
  • Why the GS8 is the best Android phone
  • First things to do with your new Galaxy S8
  • Samsung Galaxy S8 review

6
May

Get lifetime access to 2TB of Degoo Ultimate cloud storage for only $60


The amount of data we all deal with on a daily basis is quite astounding, and there doesn’t seem to be any sign of slowing down. To help contend with growing file sizes, there are plenty of cloud storage services out there promising easy backup and sync of your most important files.

Get 2TB of cloud storage for life for only $60! Learn more

The only problem with cloud storage is that renting space is usually quite pricey when you hit the 1TB or even 2TB mark. The price is usually subscription-based, so you can expect to be paying for a long time.

stack-degoo-01.jpg?itok=hsUpFOPk

To help cut down on storage and backup prices, Android Central Digital Offers has a deal on a lifetime subscription to Degoo Ultimate. You get a lifetime subscription with 2TB of storage for only one payment of $60. That’s 95% off the regular price of $1,200.

Share files easily via email or unique links, and rest easy knowing your data is secured with 256-bit AES encryption. You can even set up automatic file-change detection to keep everything as up to date as possible.

Get a lifetime subscription to 2TB of Degoo Ultimate storage at 95% off! Learn more

Tired of paying high subscription fees for a low amount of cloud storage? Grab this lifetime plan to Degoo Ultimate and enjoy 2TB of storage forever for only $60. Don’t wait too long; this deal doesn’t last forever.

6
May

Android Pay could use your face to authenticate loyalty programs


It’s not that hard to add points to your loyalty cards on Android Pay, but it looks like Google is mulling on an experimental feature to automate the process. 9to5google has torn the latest version of the app apart and found lines of code that hint at a feature called “Visual ID,” which authenticates your loyalty points by using facial recognition. Based on the strings the publication found, you’ll have to create a “face template” when you activate the feature. Participating stores that have Visual ID cameras installed will then confirm your identity when you walk in. Once the system determines that it’s you, and it ascertains your location using Bluetooth, Google will send them your loyalty details.

The fact that a camera in store can take your picture and identify you sounds like a cause for concern when it comes to privacy. It’s totally different from a CCTV that only captures you on cam without identifying who you are. According to the codes in the app, though, the images Visual ID cameras capture can’t be accessed by the store and are deleted shortly after they’re taken:

<string name=”handsfree_consent_text_identity_text”>”Google creates and stores a face template based on the photo you save during setup. When you’re at a participating store, Visual ID will automatically confirm your identity using facial recognition technology (your face template is compared to the image captured by the in-store Visual ID camera). Images captured by the in-store Visual ID camera can’t be accessed by the store and are deleted shortly after they’re captured. They’re not stored or saved.”</string>

Another string also said that Google won’t share any other details about you other than your loyalty account info. Android Pay won’t use your face to authorize payments like MasterCard’s new selfie security does. You can also switch off Visual ID anytime.

The feature is obviously still in its very early form, and we still don’t know whether Google will ever launch it. If the big G does, it still remains to be seen how well it will work: facial recognition tech is far from perfect at this point in time, especially when it comes to recognizing non-white faces.

Source: 9to5google

6
May

Facebook to Debut Original TV Programs as Early as Next Month


Facebook is actively developing around two dozen television shows with plans to premiere some of them in mid-June, according to a report on Saturday.

The social media company has big-budget marquee shows geared towards a TV audience in the works, alongside a tier of less expensive shows that will span about 5 to 10 minutes, according to sources who spoke to Business Insider.

The news comes amid an apparent frenzy of similar plans by companies like Amazon, Snap, and Apple, as the digital rivals compete for a piece of the emerging online video programming market.

According to the report, Facebook aims to play a more hands-on role in controlling the content that its nearly 2 billion members see on the social network. To this end, the company considers high-quality, scripted video as an important feature that will help it retain users, particularly a younger demographic that spends an increasing amount of time on the rival Snapchat network.

Facebook also hopes to attract big sponsors typically associated with traditional TV networks, but a question hovers over whether users will consider video that autoplays in Facebook’s news feed as a destination for viewing longer-form content.

The report goes on to explain that a virtual reality dating show from Condé Nast is among the content that Facebook has in the pipeline. “A-list celebrities” are said to be in talks to appear in other shows, with one major star already having agreed to a deal.

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has referred in the past to his desire to lure users to the social network with “episodic content”. The latest information on the company’s plans comes just a day after YouTube revealed it would be developing free-to-view original content supported by ads.

Tag: Facebook
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6
May

The Morning After: Weekend Edition


Hey, good morning! You look fabulous.

Welcome to the weekend. We have some very familiar presidential election news, plus a leaked pic of Amazon’s next big thing. Oh, and Bob Ross is about to become a playable character in Smite.

We’re not sure about its looksThis is probably Amazon’s touchscreen Echo

touchscreen-echo-amazon-evleaks_640.jpg

Courtesy of AFTVnews and @EvLeaks, we have pictures of what appears to be the touchscreen-equipped version of Amazon’s Echo speaker. Earlier rumors indicated it would feature a 7-inch touchscreen, which should give some idea of the footprint. It’s clearly designed for bedside/counter top placement and appears to have a camera embedded which could bring some styling features over from the just-unveiled Echo Look or enable video calling.

Instant replayFrench presidential candidate reports a ‘massive’ hack and leak of emails

dims+%2867%29_640.jpg

This weekend is the second round of presidential elections in France. Just before the start of a legally-mandated quiet period locking down campaigning until the polls close Sunday night, a cache of emails allegedly stolen from candidate Emmanuel Macron’s campaign leaked onto the internet. Because of the quiet period, there isn’t much information available; however, the campaign said in a statement that false documents might have been mixed in with real ones to sow confusion.

No gimmicks neededMicrosoft unveils the Surface Laptop and Windows 10 S

dsc00874-1_640.jpg

Now that Windows 10 is firmly in place, Microsoft’s next step, apparently, is this laptop that takes on both Chrome OS devices and MacBooks. The Surface Laptop is more traditional than earlier combo devices in the line, with a 13.5-inch screen and advertised 14.5-hour battery life. It launches with Windows 10 S, which will only run Windows Store apps and locks defaults to Microsoft’s Edge browser and Bing Search — unless you upgrade to full Windows 10 (available for free in the first year). With prices starting at $1000 for a Core i5 model with 4GB of RAM, that could be too much of a compromise, but we’ll need more time to find out.

And yes, he’s bringing the happy treesBob Ross comes to the ‘Smite’ MOBA next week

dims+%2868%29_640.jpg

‘The Joy of Painting’ host will be immortalized in the game as a skin for Sylvanus.

1337 but not equal.Bad Password: The enduring myth of the hacker boy-band

Erased-01-ed-2_640.jpg

Despite what you may have heard, all hackers don’t fit the (young, male) stereotype. Columnist Violet Blue reveals who is being erased by lazy media coverage, and how it fails to accurately represent the past, present or future of hacking.

Splitting the differenceNintendo’s 2DS XL brings the best of the 2DS without the gimmicks of the 3DS XL

dsc00957-1_640.jpg

We weren’t sure if anyone needed another Nintendo handheld after the 2DS, 3DS XL and Switch, but the New 2DS XL has some notable differences. As Edgar Alvarez found out, it’s noticeably lighter than the 3DS XL (for better and worse), and features an easily-accessible microSD slot. Also, it brings larger screens than the 2DS and support for more software.

But wait, there’s more…

  • The Apple Watch outsold every other wearable last quarter
  • LG’s latest 4K monitor puts four displays in one 42.5-inch panel
  • Hulu’s Live TV beta launches: $40 for 50+ channels and DVR
  • Apple earnings: iPhone sales continue their slow and steady slide
  • OnePlus’ next phone will be the 5 (no, you didn’t miss one)

The Morning After is a new daily newsletter from Engadget designed to help you fight off FOMO. Who knows what you’ll miss if you don’t subscribe.

6
May

This artist gives broken records new life through stunning vinyl portraits


Vinyl has been flying off the shelves at an incredible rate in recent years, with 2016 seeing the most sold in a quarter century.

Why the sudden uptick in vinyl interest is anyone’s guess. But while the rest of the world has been listening and collecting records, Greg Frederick has spent the last six years breaking them into pieces.

Frederick is a Brooklyn-based artist who creates portraits of iconic figures with an intricate tapestry of vinyl record pieces as part of his business, Vinyl Pop Art. The photographer started Vinyl Pop Art around 2011 after moving to New York City from London with aspirations of finding ways to make his photos stand out. A bit of serendipity on the streets of New York, mixed with some trial and error, led to an epiphany that changed his life, and his livelihood.

“Someone commissioned me for a gift for Stevie Nicks, so she owns one of my pieces.”

“One day walking around Brooklyn, I found a box of chipped 45s, took them home, started playing with those, and adding to it,” Frederick said. He initially tried arranging pieces of vinyl on already made photographs before deciding it would be cooler to make portraits with just the vinyl. “One day I thought ‘what if I got rid of the photo?’ That’s pretty much how Vinyl Pop Art started.”

Greg has since made vinyl portraits in various sizes of a host of stars, including Sade, Erykah Badu, Michael Jackson, and Mick Jagger, just to name a few. He’s even been commissioned to make portraits for some of the biggest artists in the world. “Someone commissioned me for a gift for Stevie Nicks,” Frederick said. “So, she owns one of my pieces.”

Frederick’s art is truly DIY to the core. He only uses discarded, unplayable vinyl records he gets from record stores and on eBay. Now, with his latest collection, he’s upping the ante on the nostalgia and incorporating cassette tapes as the canvas the vinyl pieces will rest upon.

“The most difficult part of my new process is definitely the resin,” Greg said. “Air bubbles seep through into the plastic. Think of Jurassic Park with the mosquito inside. It’s like, try and get that mosquito out.” Frederick says each resin process takes a full day to set in. So, unless you have time and patience, this DIY project may not be for you.

greg frederick vinyl pop art broken record interview portraitsAdam Balkin/Digital Trends

greg frederick vinyl pop art broken record interview portraitsAdam Balkin/Digital Trends

greg frederick vinyl pop art broken record interview portraitsAdam Balkin/Digital Trends

greg frederick vinyl pop art broken record interview portraitsAdam Balkin/Digital Trends

Frederick has been successful enough selling his portraits to make it his livelihood, thanks in large part to technology. “I could not be a full time artist if it wasn’t for social media … It’s like a comic without Twitter,” Frederick said before belting out a hearty laugh.

“With any artist, your main goal is to have as many eyes on your art as possible. Instagram is my best friend. ”

Frederick is preparing to share his new collection in an upcoming exhibit, and you can check out pictures of his past projects on his official website. You can also get an intimate look inside his process and the story behind some of his most notable portraits in our exclusive video above.




6
May

Apple VP Phil Schiller Suggests Voice-Activated Smart Speakers Could Benefit From a Screen


Gadgets 360 published an interview with Apple SVP of Worldwide Marketing Phil Schiller this week that could shed some light on Apple’s plans for a dedicated Siri-based voice-assistant for the home. Rumors have swirled in recent weeks about Apple’s plans to unveil an Amazon Echo-like smart connected speaker, possibly as early as WWDC in June, so Schiller’s thoughts on the topic could potentially relate to the way Apple is approaching the design of its Echo rival.

During the interview, Schiller demurred when asked what he thought about Amazon’s Echo and Google Home, but his comments clearly imply that the two speakers leave a lot to be desired: “My mother used to have a saying that if you don’t have something nice to say, say nothing at all.” More revealingly perhaps, Schiller took pains to distinguish between different usage scenarios for voice assistants: handsfree, such as while driving, when simple voice-activation is convenient – but limited – and most other occasions when the availability of a screen is preferred.

“We think it’s important that there are times when it’s convenient to simply use your voice when you are not able to use the screen,” said Schiller. “For example, if you’re driving [and] you want Siri to work for you without having to look at the screen, that’s the best thing. Or maybe you’re across the room, and you want to ask Siri to change the song you’re listening to.”

So there’s many moments where a voice assistant is really beneficial, but that doesn’t mean you’d never want a screen. So the idea of not having a screen, I don’t think suits many situations. For example if I’m looking for directions and I’m using Maps, Siri can tell me those directions by voice and that’s really convenient but it’s even better if I can see that map, and I can see what turns are coming up, and I can see where there is congestion, I understand better my route, and what I’m going to do.

Schiller continued his argument for voice assistants with screens using the example of photography and photo sharing. “With all the social networking apps that are now embracing photos more and more, well, it doesn’t work really so great in voice-only assistants,” said Schiller. The same goes for games, he said, calling them the “biggest category of all”.

I have yet to see any voice-only games that, for me, are nearly as fun as the one that I play on my screen. And so I think voice assistants are incredibly powerful, their intelligence is going to grow, they’re gonna do more for us, but the role of the screen is gonna remain very important to all of this.

Schiller ended his comments on the topic by calling the dual role of voice-assistants “an interesting discussion”, especially with respect to “when each is appropriate, and what they can do in our lives”.

It’s unclear how Schiller’s comments fit in with the recent uptick in rumors that Apple is working on a Siri-based smart speaker for the home. Often-reliable analyst Ming-Chi Kuo of KGI Securities has said the product will double up as an AirPlay speaker and feature a custom W1 Bluetooth chip for easy pairing, while Sonny Dickson has suggested the device will run a variation of iOS and have a Mac Pro-like concave top with built-in controls. However, none have claimed Apple is working to integrate a screen into the device.

By contrast, recent alleged leaks have suggested Amazon’s next-generation Echo could have a built-in touchscreen and camera with the potential to support phone and video calls.

In the Gadgets 360 interview quoted from above, Schiller also spoke about other topics, including Apple’s Swift programming language, and the company’s app subscription model as it relates to developers and users of the App Store. You can read the full interview here.

Related Roundup: Siri Smart Speaker
Tags: Siri, Phil Schiller, Amazon Echo
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