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22
Dec

Coinbase halts trading after volatile bitcoin price fluctuation


At 11:11am ET this morning, the cryptocurrency marketplace Coinbase temporarily disabled buying and selling for all currencies on its site. This came after wild surges in bitcoin’s price in the last 24 hours: It plunged from a high of $15,800 late last night down to a low of $10,800 hours ago.

Bitcoin’s price has climbed back up to around $12,800 as of the time of publishing, and Coinbase noted that buying and selling may still be blocked. The latest update on the site’s status page, which went up at 11:35am ET, reads, “Due to today’s high traffic, buys and sells may be temporarily offline. We’re working on restoring full availability as soon as possible.”

Coinbase had disabled buying and selling yesterday at 5:57pm ET according to its status page, but that issue had been resolved within 15 minutes, with no indication of cause. While other occasional temporary blocks in the last month have been logged, the last few days have seen an uptick in holds put on bitcoin, bitcoin cash and ethereum. Some of these incidents weren’t explained, while others were explicit processing delays due to high transaction volume.

Via: CNBC

Source: Coinbase status page

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22
Dec

The best coffee grinder


By Liz Clayton

This post was done in partnership with Wirecutter, reviews for the real world. When readers choose to buy Wirecutter’s independently chosen editorial picks, it may earn affiliate commissions that support its work. Read the full article here.

After more than 65 hours of research and hands-on grinding over the past two years, we think the über-consistent, no-frills Baratza Encore is the best grinder for most people. It reliably delivers the high-quality grind needed to make a great cup of coffee at a practical price for this kind of appliance.

Who this is for

A good grinder makes all the difference in brewing a balanced, flavorful pot of coffee. Photo: Michael Hession

If you consider your morning (or afternoon, or anytime) coffee a serious matter, you’ve likely already heard that the most important item in your brewing setup is a quality burr grinder. Unevenly ground coffee will brew unevenly, yielding a muddied or overly bitter cup. So a good grinder is integral to keeping the most essential part of your brewing technique—the coffee itself—at its most flavorful, and it will ensure the consistency required to produce, and reproduce, that flavor.

How we picked and tested

From left to right: Baratza Encore, Baratza Virtuoso, Porlex Mini Hand Grinder, and Capresso Infinity. Photo: Michael Hession

A quality burr grinder will cost at least $100, which is one reason so many coffee lovers linger in the purgatory of affordable, substandard blade-grinder land. But a good grinder should justify the price: It will last for years with proper maintenance and be easy to clean. It will grind more consistently than a blade grinder, which is the most important aspect of brewing an even, balanced cup of coffee. It should have high-quality, conical burrs made from a hard material like steel or ceramic, and adjusting the grind settings should be straightforward. We also like to see features for controlling dosage, like a timer or a built-in scale, but we don’t think these features are 100 percent necessary.

For this year’s tests, we looked at eight electric models. And because someone will always chime in with the question, “Can’t I just buy a much more affordable hand-grinder?” we also tested a couple of those.

We brought the grinders to the Counter Culture Coffee lab in Manhattan, where Matt Banbury and Ryan Ludwig helped us grind, brew, and taste one of their staple coffees, the Fast Forward blend. They also helped us measure how well the coffee extracted from the grounds, using professional tools such as a refractometer.

Later, we tested our favorite machines in a home setting, to learn about real-world conditions like footprint, noise, ease of use, and speed. Please see our full guide for details about our testing process.

Our pick

Photo: Michael Hession

The slim and trim Baratza Encore is lower priced than most of the competition—currently at about $140 versus about $200 for anything else in its echelon—and it performs as well as or better than any home grinder we tried. Baratza offers a range of similar grinders with different features and prices, but we found the entry-level Encore to be the best grinder with the best features for most people. It grinds beans quickly and evenly, it’s simple to use, and adjusting the settings is a breeze. It’s also easy enough to clean and maintain that you’ll use it for years to come. Baratza has a great reputation for durability and customer service.

Absent the bells and whistles of nearly all the competitors we tested, the Encore boasts only a modest on/off toggle dial on the side and push-down pulse button on the front of the machine. We don’t see its simplicity as a real drawback, but the inclusion of a timer would have been nice.

Upgrade pick: Baratza Virtuoso

Photo: Michael Hession

If you’re willing to pay more, the Baratza Virtuoso is a nearly identical grinder to the Encore, but it has a slightly speedier burr set, a timer switch on the side, and a heavier base that helps the grinder stay in calibration. We also think it’s a little better-looking than the Encore. In previous years, the Virtuoso was our top pick, but in our recent tests, we found the grind consistency comparable with that of the Encore. So, because you’re paying more for the features rather than the performance, we think it’s only worth the investment for serious coffee lovers.

Budget pick: Capresso Infinity

Photo: Michael Hession

If you really don’t want to spend more than $100 on a coffee grinder, the Capresso Infinity is a great choice. The Infinity did well in our tests, though it’s better at grinding coffee into very fine particles than into coarse ones, and we found the usability a bit arbitrary, with the numbers on its timer switch indicating some duration of time that isn’t seconds. But we liked it for consistency—not as good as our top picks, but better than all the rest—and for the ease of cleaning and maintenance. We also thought it felt sturdier and significantly more durable than any other machine in that price range.

Also great

Photo: Michael Hession

For those in the market for a truly portable hand-grinder—or a nice forearm workout—we recommend the Porlex Mini. Compared with the other hand-grinder we tested, the Porlex was easier to hold, with smoother and faster hand-cranking action. It’s also made of durable stainless, and fits perfectly inside the chamber of an AeroPress brewer for compact packing. It’s great for travelers or people living off-grid, but because the grind speeds feel glacial, don’t expect to use it as an affordable alternative to an electric grinder, especially if you want to brew more than one cup of coffee at a time.

This guide may have been updated by Wirecutter. To see the current recommendation, please go here.

Note from Wirecutter: When readers choose to buy our independently chosen editorial picks, we may earn affiliate commissions that support our work.

22
Dec

CNN kills its made-for-Snapchat daily show


Four months after it launched The Update on Snapchat, CNN is canceling the daily news show. According to the Wall Street Journal’s sources, CNN realized “there wasn’t a clear enough path to make money” with the show. That’s not the most surprising revelation – no one really knows if Snapchat shows are actually successful or how to measure the results.

CNN was one of many traditional media outlets, including Disney, NBC, A+E, MGM Television and ESPN, that launched shows for the millennial-friendly app. NBC even went as far as to partner with Snap on a mobile-only studio dedicated to creating content for the vertical video platform. But despite the hype and enthusiasm from the industry, Snapchat has struggled to add users at a satisfactory rate, leading the company to redesign the app last month.

CNN isn’t completely ditching Snap, though. In a joint statement provided to Engadget, the two companies said “Our relationship will very much be continuing.” They plan to “keep working together and mutually decided to hit pause as [they] explore the best opportunities for doing that.” CNN will continue to publish to the platform and pursue new projects with Snap. Who knows what that will bring, but in the meantime it’s probably a good idea for both parties to take a break until there’s a better way to measure the success of a Snapchat TV show.

Via: Mashable

Source: Wall Street Journal

22
Dec

The five best Razer Phone cases to keep your phone looking sharp


The Razer Phone is a multimedia marvel, with a 120Hz display, a massive 8GB of RAM, and the Snapdragon 835 powering the latest games, movies, and music. But those impressive innards won’t help if you drop it onto solid concrete. You can either risk the world taking away your techno-baby, or you can wrap it up in one of the best Razer Phone cases around.

Olixar Clear TPU Case ($8)

We always like to start our roundups with a clear TPU case. Because what’s the point in spending hundreds of dollars on a device you can’t see? This case from Olixar is made of a flexible and durable TPU material that’s fully clear so you can see the unique design of your phone — as well as the Razer logo on the back. It won’t provide the most protection against drops, but the soft TPU will absorb some force, and it will help to stop scratches, dirt, and other potential hazards from reaching your device. This is decent protection that doesn’t obscure your view, at a great price.

Buy one now from:

Mobile Fun

Abacus24-7 Slim Fit Case ($9)

If you really value the “naked phone” experience, but are still worried about protection, then you might be interested in this super-slim case from Abacus24-7. It’s very thin, adding barely any additional bulk to the phone, and the TPU adds extra grip as well, helping to keep your phone safely in your hand. While the thin nature of the device won’t cushion the phone too much from falls, it’ll still help against minor bumps and scratches, and a raised lip also protects the screen from touching surfaces. It comes in an understated black color, and the slim profile allows room for all the buttons and ports to peek through.

Buy one now from:

Amazon

Orzly PU Leather Wallet Case ($10)

All these normal cases leaving something to be desired on the style front? A good wallet case is timeless, and this case from Orzly is exactly that. The Razer Phone might not scream “executive” or “boardroom” normally, but it will once it’s clad in this protective PU leather case. The case’s cover protects the display when not in use, and can be flipped behind the phone to act as a stand when needed — especially important with a phone as media-savvy as the Razer Phone. It’s easy to maintain and keep clean, thanks to the PU leather, and the card slots on the inside cover can serve double-time as a wallet when needed. This is a great case that transforms your phone into a sleek and executive device, while keeping its strong media focus.

Buy one now from:

Amazon

Tudia Heavy Duty Dual Layer Case ($13)

If you’re looking for a case with a little more armor, then a dual layer case is a great compromise between protection and size. Made from a combination of soft TPU and hard polycarbonate, the inner core of TPU absorbs shocks and impacts, while the outer PC shell protects against more direct damage. The TPU also helps to aid grip, while a raised lip around the edges elevates your camera and display from dirt and grit when you lay your Razer Phone down. You’re generally paying a bit more than you would for a simple TPU case, but the added protection will be worth it for many users.

Buy one now from:

Amazon

Razer Rugged Case ($40)

Of course, we can’t forget about Razer’s own offerings. Razer has released a bunch of different cases, but we like this rugged one the most. Made from a combination of hard and soft materials like other dual layer cases, this case does bring its own particular spin on that formula. The outside of the case is made from a blend of hard PC and ABS (acrylonitrile butadiene styrene), which gives usually rigid PC more shock absorbency than usual. That’s not all — the inner lining is made from TPU, to further cushion your device against shocks and drops. It’s pricier than most on this list, but if you want Razer’s own vision for its device, look no further.

Buy one now from:

Amazon Razer

Want more for your new phone? We’ve put together a list of the best Razer Phone tips and tricks, just for you.

Editors’ Recommendations

  • The best Pixel 2 XL cases to keep your Google phone pixel perfect
  • Stay Pixel-perfect: Ten of the best Pixel 2 cases and covers
  • Here are the best OnePlus 5T cases to keep the flagship-killer beautiful
  • Razer Phone review
  • Check out 30 of the best iPhone 7 cases and covers for your shiny new phone




22
Dec

How to buy Ethereum


As much as bitcoin has shown amazing growth over the past few months, it’s been followed closely behind by some of the other popular alternative cryptocurrencies, the so-called alt-coins. One of the most exciting of those with an intriguing potential for the future, is Ethereum. If you want to get on that gravy train now, here’s how to buy Ethereum.

Proposed as a potential successor to bitcoin in 2014, Ethereum and its cryptocurrency token, Ether, offer some interesting features which could make the platform a better transactional medium than some of its contemporaries. Smart contracts make fraud and censorship even less likely than with other cryptocurrencies and the Ethereum blockchain is great for crowdsourced funding that doesn’t require a third-party middle-man like Kickstarter or IndieGoGo.

But whether you want to dig into the technicalities of what Ethereum and Ether are, or whether you just want to buy some to make some money out of it, in this guide we’ll walk you through the best ways to do so, so you can get together your own collection of “ETH” in no time at all.

Buying on an exchange

Arguably the simplest way to buy your first Ether is through an exchange platform. They do all the hard work of checking prices and making the actual transaction for you. Although Ether differs from bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies in a few ways, using an exchange makes the practice of buying it no different.

But which exchange should you choose? There are tens of popular exchange platforms and each of them is a little different from one another. The simplest suggestion is to pick an established and insured exchange with full support for Ether trading like Coinbase, Kraken or BitStamp, but you can always use Bitcoin.com’s exchange page to sift through some of the alternatives to pick one that best suits you.

Once you’ve picked an exchange, you’ll want to sign up to it. That usually involves verifying your identity, so make sure you have some valid form of I.D. handy. In the cases of some, you’ll be able to twin your bank account or debit/credit card with the site to make purchases, but some will require you to transfer funds directly to a fiat currency (U.S.D etc.) account on the site first.

With your real-world money ready to go, it’s time to actually make a purchase. Some sites will offer you more options than others, but for most, you’ll input an amount of Ether you want to buy (or an equivalent amount of fiat currency you’re willing to spend) and click the “Buy” button.

If everything goes to plan, your investment funds will be deducted from your account or relevant wallet and your Ether will be transferred into its respective wallet. Although Ether is less susceptible to market congestion than bitcoin, trades aren’t always instantaneous, so if your cryptocurrency doesn’t show up immediately give it some time before starting to worry.

Once it does show up, you can hold on to it for selling later, trade it for another cryptocurrency, or even use it for various online transactions.

For those more comfortable using their smartphone to conduct financial transactions, there are various smartphone apps for some of the big exchanges, and they can be even more of a smooth experience. Take the same steps as described above but with taps rather than clicks, and you’ll have a stack of readily accessible Ether at your fingertips.

If you plan to hold your Ether for an extended period of time, or purchased a lot, you may want to take the extra security step to transfer for your Ether to an account that’s not linked with an exchange. There have been instances of exchanges being hacked or going down during times of extreme trading, so keeping your cryptocurrency in a more secure wallet — possibly even in “cold storage” — is a good practice for serious traders.

Buying through direct trade

If all of this exchange trading is a little too hands-off for you and you’d rather have more of a say in where your cryptocurrency is coming from, direct trade or peer-to-peer trade sites may be what you’re looking for. They let you set up a trade with a specific seller, but you do need to be present at the time of the trade and conduct the transaction yourself. They’re not particularly complicated, but you’ll want to make sure you double check all of the details before hitting the buy button.

Another advantage of direct trades is that you don’t necessarily have to use your bank account to fund the purchase. In the case of sites like LocalEthereum, you can use Paypal, Amazon gift cards, or even cash in person. If you have already purchased some bitcoin that you want to use to buy Ether with, you can also use sites like Paxful to “sell” it for Ether — but for the purpose of this guide, we’ll assume you don’t. In that case, LocalEthereum is your best bet for now, as direct trades with Ether are still a relatively young concept.

Head to LocalEthereum’s homepage and browse through the available offers. There will be a number of different people from all over the world offering Ethereum at various prices, so filter your results by location or payment method to find the deal that’s right for you. Double check the numbers against active trading rates for the cryptocurrency on a site like CryptoCompare or LiveCoinWatch and if you’re happy, click the respective “Buy” button on the right-hand side.

At this point, you’ll need to make an account on the site to continue the purchase, but it’s not a laborious process and doesn’t require the verification often required by exchanges. You’ll then enter into an encrypted conversation with the seller, who will discuss the terms of the deal. When they’re happy, they’ll transfer the Ether into an escrow account. You then make the payment in whatever form you chose, and the Ether will be released into a wallet of your choice.

Privacy and security concerns

A key component of LocalEthereum is its privacy, so once a transaction is completed, your message history is invalidated by the destruction of your unique, private key. However, if at any point during the transaction one party isn’t happy, an arbitrator can be called in who will be able to view messages at your request.

Because it’s peer to peer rather than operating on a large exchange, LocalEthereum and sites like it are far less susceptible to the slowdowns and crashes that occur during heavy trading periods. While Ether transfer times can still be affected, you don’t need to be so concerned about your currencies being locked up in the case the site isn’t accessible.

However, if you do decide to perform in-person trades for cash or some other medium, do note that you should take the same kind of precautions as any other trade with a stranger. Meeting in a well-lit, public place is a good idea. Although it’s unlikely you’ll run into problems, you never know the intentions of strangers you met online until the transaction is completed.

Editors’ Recommendations

  • CryptoKitties lets you buy, sell, breed virtual cats using real digital currency
  • How to buy bitcoin
  • How to sell bitcoin
  • Ethereum bug locks $280 million of cryptocurrency in owners’ accounts
  • Go ahead, pass laws. Governments can’t kill bitcoin, even if they try




22
Dec

What size data plan is right for you? It all depends on what you use it for


The world runs on data these days, and making sure you have enough to get the most out of your phone, while not paying for more than you need, is a crucial balance to find.

When it comes to data plans, the best size correlates to how you use your data. Do you use your phone primarily for email and social media? You can probably get away with a smaller data plan. Using your device as a game console, or for video streaming? You’ll want to opt for a larger or even an unlimited plan. We’ve given you some numbers to work with below, so you can see exactly how much data certain tasks use up and get a real sense of what your monthly data needs will be. We’ll also breakdown the plans available from each of the four major U.S. phone companies to help you in making the right decision.

How much data are you using?

Not all apps use the same amount of data. It’s important to know where your data is going and how much you’re using to find the best plan for you. Before we break down the data usages for different apps and features, it’s worth mentioning ways to mitigate data use. No matter what your data limit, it’s always a smart idea to connect to a Wi-Fi network whenever you can. This is an easy thing to do while at home, as most people have wireless internet these days, but when out and about, it can be tricky. Coffee shops and restaurants often have a network customers can connect to (though you may want to use a VPN), and connecting to your workplace’s Wi-Fi may also be an option.

Why is connecting to Wi-Fi important? If limiting data usage is your goal, then Wi-Fi is going to be your greatest ally. Any data used while connected to a wireless internet network will not affect your monthly 3G/4G allocation from your carrier, so you can stream, download, post, and email to your heart’s content. Most devices and apps also have settings to limit the use of certain features while not connected to Wi-Fi, which takes the guess work out of tracking what apps you should and shouldn’t be using.

Social media

Many of us use social media apps on smartphones. But how much data do our tweets, likes and Instagram posts use up? Updating your Facebook feed takes up about 50KB on average, each time you open the app. Updating your Twitter feed takes about 70KB. Instagram, on the other hand, can utilize anywhere between 30 and 150KB per picture. Posting also takes up a little bit more data than simply updating your feeds. If you post 10 times a day — for instance — you’ll use about 0.07GB in a month, while posting 200 times day will use roughly 1.43GB in a month. That’s an unrealistic number for even the most obsessive socialite, so unless you’re going hog wild with your status updates, social media isn’t going to make much of a dent in your monthly allocation.

Web browsing

Depending on the webpages you visit, surfing the web on your smartphone is economical on your data budget. Of course, every website is different, and your data numbers will be higher if you tend to visit pages with lots of multimedia features. If you are planning on doing some light browsing on your phone, then you should expect to use less than 100MB of data a month. On the other hand, if you are browsing some data-heavy sites that aren’t optimized for smartphones, you could find yourself using more than 1GB of data. There is a big difference there, but unless you know for sure that you are going to be surfing a lot, you shouldn’t be using more than roughly 200MB a month.

Email

Alongside social media and web browsing, email is probably the next most-used feature on smartphones. Luckily, even if your inbox is constantly being flooded and you’re responding to emails all day long, your data isn’t going to take much of a hit. Let’s say you’re sending 500 emails a day — a gross overestimation for the majority of people — you’ll wind up having used just 0.5GB of data by the end of the month. A more realistic estimate of about 10 to 20 emails equates to a measly 0.02GB of data; that is, assuming they’re text-only.

There is a big difference between text emails and emails with attachments, though. If you were to send 5,000 emails, each with a picture attachment, you could be looking at more than 2GB of data a month. However, most of us don’t take and send that many pictures, so you’re more likely looking at around 100MB of data resulting from sending a couple of emails with images a day.

Streaming music and podcasts

Now we’re getting into the more data-intensive apps. Whether using a music app like Spotify or a podcast app like Stitcher, streaming audio is going to eat up your data plan quickly. Streaming two hours of audio every day for a month is going to use more than 3.5GB, and since it’s not hard to imagine spending more than two hours a day listening to music or podcasts, one could easily rack up 6GB a month or more streaming audio data alone. This is one feature you’ll likely want to use when connected via Wi-Fi. T-Mobile and Sprint are exception to the rule, as they both allow for unlimited music streaming.

Video

Here’s the big one. Apps such as Netflix and YouTube may allow us to easily to catch up on our favorite shows while on the go, but they also gobble up a monstrous amount of data in the process. Watching a mere 60 minutes of standard-definition video a day can utilize up to 8GB of data in a month, while that same amount of time spent watching HD videos can take up nearly 30GB. That being the case, we suggest holding off on that next episode of House of Cards until you’re connected to Wi-Fi.

All the major carriers throttle streaming video speeds beyond a certain point or limit the resolution you can stream video at to 720p or sometimes 480p. AT&T offers unlimited streaming of video through DirecTV Now — but any non DirecTV video counts against your data allotment, even though the company now offers unlimited plans (your connection may be slowed after 22GB of used data each month). Verizon is similar with its own unlimited offering, and they too might throttle your connection after 22GB. Sprint does the same after 23GB, and T-Mobile after 50GB of use.

Apps like Netflix now also let you download certain movies and shows to your device, so you don’t need a data connection to watch them later — we recommend downloading these when connected to Wi-Fi.

Gaming

With phones becoming more and more sophisticated, their potential as dedicated gaming machines only becomes greater. Smartphones support 3D graphics and even online multiplayer, which makes them suitable for games more complex than Threes and Candy Crush. However, what’s their data footprint like?

As long as you’re sticking to single player games, your data usage should be limited — the effect on battery life is another issue, though. Online modes and multiplayer games are going to take up a chunk of data, but exactly how much varies from game to game. Short sessions ranging between 10 and 30 minutes for a game like Candy Crush will certainly add up, but likely won’t push you into data overages. However, it’s still best to connect to Wi-Fi if you’re planning on indulging in intense multiplayer matches for an afternoon; it’s likely a more reliable connection, anyway.

Downloads

We discussed using Wi-Fi above, but another strategy for reducing data usage is to stick to using media that you’ve downloaded directly on your device. Try to download podcasts, playlists, or videos for your commutes and long trips in advance while connected to Wi-Fi. Doing so will help you stay within data limits each month, leaving plenty for downloading smaller files like email attachments, new apps, and similar content on the go.

What next?

So, now that you’ve hopefully got an idea of what kind of data your apps and activities will take up, what comes next? It’s time to find a plan that’s right for you. The following pages detail the plans available from each of the four major U.S. carriers (i.e. Sprint, T-Mobile, Verizon, and AT&T). You may also want to check out the best cheap phone plans.

22
Dec

This new social media platform wants to turn your likes into cash


All those likes on social media might be worth more than personal gratification. Today, December 22, Selfllery announced the pre-sale launch of its social platform by the same name, a network that turns likes into cryptocurrency. Every like turns into a “you token,” which users can then use to make purchases from Selfllery’s store or even donate to charity.

Selfllery generates income by selling those uploaded photos and videos as stock content, while a system based on user activity determines how much a user receives for each like on their photo. A user’s profile rating determines how many you tokens a like is worth, with the scores (and rates) increasing based on the total number of likes, comments, and views across all that user’s content, as well as factors like participating in photo contests and getting top ratings. That means the more active a user is, the more those likes are worth.

Unlike a traditional stock photo platform, Selfllery says, users don’t have to wait 30-60 days to actually see their rewards, with you tokens awarded immediately. So what can you actually buy with you tokens? There’s a Selfllery marketplace for users to spend their tokens launching in May 2018 and the platform will be open to any vendors in order to create a variety of options.

Users can also choose a percentage to donate to charity. Tokens are also good for participating in photo contests and quests, and in turn, winning one results in even more tokens. Businesses can also use their tokens to take out ads on the platform. You Tokens can also be converted into cash using the Ethereum blockchain, Selfllery says.

Selfllery says no prior experience in photography or knowledge of cryptocurrency is required to join. Blockchain technology is used to allow users to see where their tokens are coming from, and to add a layer of security to the system.

Selfllery is a 2016 startup and now its social platform is launching in the initial pre-sale form, inviting early users to try the platform with the promise of additional tokens awarded only to early users at the full launch. Registration is open on the Selfllery website and inside the Android app, while the Initial Coin Offering (investor-speak for the launch to early backers) is planned for March. In the future, the platform plans to expand beyond just still photos, adding support for video as well as live-streaming.

“People like to look at pictures again and again, and we believe that has value,” says Vadim Onishchenko, founder and CEO of Selfllery. “From the rock art to modern ads, humans have placed value on art. Today’s social networks have mechanisms in place for users to make money from their online activity, but these mechanisms take time and skill to operate, and in the meantime, the corporations behind these networks are the ones making money from the users’ content. At Selfllery, we want to break this. We are introducing blockchain into the mechanism, and allowing anyone to be rewarded for their visual content, quickly and automatically.”

Selfllery’s likes-for-cash platform appears to be a rather unique system, with the closest options being Periscope’s likes-for-cash option, while other platforms like EyeEm mix stock photos and social.

Early users can sign up from a web browser or inside the Selfllery app from the Google Play store before the full launch.

Editors’ Recommendations

  • How to buy Ethereum
  • EyeEm’s new Custom platform connects you with photographers for hire
  • Adobe’s new Lightroom leverages the cloud for cross-platform photo editing
  • You’ll need to sell your Bitcoin if you want to buy games with it on Steam
  • Twitter to take back those verified badges if users don’t follow its new rules




22
Dec

Got a brand new HDR monitor? Now you can watch Netflix in HDR on Windows 10


If you’ve recently found yourself the owner of a shiny new HDR monitor, but find that outside of a few games, there’s not much you can use those high dynamic range capabilities for, you’re in luck. On Thursday, December 21, Netflix announced that its entire library of HDR-enabled content can now be viewed on Windows 10.

Despite only introducing HDR last year, Netflix now has over 200 hours of HDR content available. This includes hit series like Stranger Things, the documentary Chef’s Table, and the upcoming movie Bright, starring Will Smith.

Of course, to be able to watch in HDR on your PC, you’ll need to make sure it meets the system requirements. To start, you’ll need to be running Windows 10’s Fall Creator’s Update, and of course you’ll need a monitor compatible with the HDR10 standard that Netflix uses.

Then you’ll need to check your hardware: Intel seventh-generation and later Core processors are required, and you’ll either need to use the integrated graphics, or a GPU that supports HDR like the Nvidia GeForce GTX 1050 and up. Unfortunately, at least for the time being, AMD graphics aren’t supported.

You won’t be able to watch in Chrome or Firefox, either. In order to view HDR content on Netflix, you’ll either need to use the Netflix Windows 10 app or Microsoft’s Edge browser. You probably wouldn’t want to be watching in a different browser anyway, since Chrome and Firefox still only display Netflix in 720p.

We’re still in the early days of HDR on PCs, so you’ll need to keep that in mind. While Windows 10 supports HDR, it can be finicky, and you’ll likely find yourself manually turning it on for Netflix or games, and leaving it turned off the rest of the time.

HDR monitors are also still fairly new, and there aren’t many of them available yet. Even those that are currently available have their issues. Of course, as time moves forward, both the hardware and software will get better, and we’re sure we’ll see plenty of impressive new HDR monitors at CES next month.

In the meantime, for more information on what you need to get started watching Netflix in HDR on Windows 10, check the Netflix help center.




22
Dec

Xiaomi Mi Max 3 rumor hints at a massive 7-inch display, 5500mAh battery


The Mi Max 3 may feature a monstrous battery and a tablet-sized 7-inch display.

The Mi Max series turned out to be a sleeper hit for Xiaomi, and if a new rumor out of China is to be believed, the Mi Max 3 will be the company’s most ambitious phablet yet. According to CNMO, the Mi max 3 will feature a 7-inch display, considerably larger than the 6.44-inch screen we’ve seen on this year’s Mi Max 2. To bring down the overall size and make the device conducive for everyday usage, Xiaomi is said to be offering an 18:9 panel with minimal bezels at the top and bottom.

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The Mi Max 3 is also rumored to feature a dual camera setup at the back, along with a larger 5500mAh battery. One of the standout features on the Mi Max 2 is the 5300mAh battery, so the idea of a larger battery in the Mi Max 3 makes the device that much more enticing. Like this year’s model, the Mi Max 3 is set to include Quick Charge 3.0.

We don’t have details on memory or storage, but the Mi Max 3 will likely be offered with 3GB/4GB of RAM and at least 32GB of storage. The phone is said to be offered in two variants: a base model powered by the Snapdragon 630, and a high-end version featuring the Snapdragon 660.

Xiaomi switched to 18:9 displays with the Redmi 5 series, and it looks like the company will be offering the form factor across its entire range. Early rumors of the Mi 7 also hinted at a 6-inch 18:9 screen, with the phone slated to be the first to be powered by Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 845.

What do you guys think of the rumored specs of the Mi Max 3?

22
Dec

Verizon Moto Z2 Force now getting Android 8.0 Oreo


Verizon’s Moto Z2 Force is the first one to get the Oreo update.

The Moto Z2 Force shipped this past August with Android Nougat out of the box, and as per usual with Motorola phones, the software experience was one of the Z2 Force’s best attributes. If you purchased the phone through Verizon Wireless, the user experience is about to get even better thanks to the Android 8.0 Oreo update.

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Users started receiving 8.0 on the Verizon Z2 Force in the wee hours of the morning on December 22, making this the first version of the phone to get Oreo in the United States. Verizon’s not typically known for fast software updates, so this is a very pleasant surprise.

As per usual with the Oreo update, this upgrades the Z2 Force with adaptive notification dots, picture-in-picture, a new look for emojis, and overall faster performance. Also, as noted in the changelog, the update adds a new call screen to the Z2 Force.

Oreo is starting to roll out now, and we’ve still yet to hear when other carriers in the U.S. will follow suit.

Moto Z2 Force

  • Moto Z2 Force reviewl
  • Moto Z2 Force specs
  • This is the Moto 360 Camera Mod
  • The ultimate guide to Moto Mods
  • Moto Z2 Force vs. Galaxy S8
  • Join the discussion in the forums!

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