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26
Dec

The Vivofit 4 from Garmin is a wearable you’ll actually wear all day long


As useful as your activity tracker may seem in theory, it’s a whole lot less effective in practice if you’re constantly taking it off to charge the battery, protect it from your shower, or save it from your swim. After all, that represents quite a bit of activity that you’re tracker is not keeping tabs on. But here to solve for that inefficiency is Garmin, who has debuted the Vivofit 4. Promising a yearlong battery life and a sunlight-readable, always-on color display, this is one wearable that’s really meant to be worn — all the time. Capable of going in the pool and in your bath alike, this activity tracker also claims to have a comfortable band, so there really shouldn’t be a reason for you to ever take this guy off.

“An activity tracker is only as effective as how often you wear it, and this is where the Vivofit 4 really shines — you can set it and forget it,” said Dan Bartel, Garmin vice president of worldwide sales. “It’s the ideal device for customers who want something reliable that they don’t need to hassle with or take off to recharge.”

Said to work right out of the box, the Vivofit 4 does just about everything your standard activity tracker will do. You can count your steps, set activity reminders, or have the smartwatch assign daily step goals based on your activity levels to propel you toward a healthier lifestyle.

If you’re looking for slightly more advanced functionality, you can pair the Vivofit 4 with a smartphone. With the help of your mobile device, the activity tracker can keep tabs on your sleep habits, and thanks to Move IQ, the Vivofit 4 can instantly adjust to any changes in your movement. So if you move from a walk to a run to an elliptical, the wearable can keep up.

Of course, the Vivofit 4 can also serve simply as a watch, featuring a countdown timer, stopwatch, and multiple alarms. And with the weather widget, you need only to look at your wrist to determine whether you need an umbrella.

The Garmin Connect app will allow users to customize the Vivofit 4, adding different watch faces, color themes, or personalized text. And if you want to personalize the watch even further, you can purchase the interchangeable accessory bands. Available in White, Limegreen Speckled, and Black color variations, the Vivofit 4 is available now for $80.

Editors’ Recommendations

  • The best fitness trackers you can buy
  • Garmin Vivosport (2017) review
  • Make some time for the best smartwatch deals available right now
  • $70 Huawei Band 2 Pro shows the right stats to measure your fitness progress
  • Samsung Gear Fit2 Pro review




26
Dec

These 5 Apps Are Almost Guaranteed To Help You Save Money On Your Cellphone Plan


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There’s an app for everything — even saving some money every month on your phone bill!

Everyone likes to save a little cash when it comes time to pay the monthly cell phone bill. Once you’ve done all your homework and found the plan that’s best for you from the company that offers the best service there are still a few things you can do to make sure you’re not spending too much on things you don’t need or want. Like everything else, there are apps for that!

Here are five apps that can help you trim a little fat from your monthly phone bill.

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My Data Manager

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You should only be paying for the data you need. While some carriers like Google’s Project Fi only bill for the exact amount of data you use each month, most companies don’t give credit for data paid for but not used. That means paying for the right amount is pretty important.

Ways to monitor how much data you use are probably built into your phone, but the best way to make sure we use any software utility is to make it easy. Enter My Data Manager. Track how much data you use through mobile and Wi-Fi with roaming data accounted for separately, keep track of voice minutes and text messages, track shared or family plan data totals and more all from one app or home screen widget. Finally, My Data Manager also has what’s called a Plan Matcher that keeps track of plans offered in the U.S. and can help make sure you’re using the right one based on your usage history.

Download: My Data Manager (free)

WhatsApp

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Stop paying for texts or for any international texting plan. Just stop right now!

WhatsApp was designed to replace SMS plans from the ground up because in most places around the world texting isn’t “free” or built into the monthly plan costs — just like international messaging for many plans in the U.S. And there are now over a billion daily users because it’s really good at it. Spending the extra money to text a friend or relative overseas is crazy when you can do it better for free.

Download: WhatsApp Messenger (free)

Skype

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Those same friends and relatives who are outside the U.S. might enjoy a phone call every now and then, too. Of course, those aren’t usually part of your “free unlimited voice calls” either.

Skype is to voice calls what WhatsApp is to texting — a better way to do it that doesn’t cost any extra cash. Both parties install the free app and set up an account with Microsoft (you probably already have one of these anyway) and you can make calls that usually have the same or better quality than they would if you just called the “regular” phone number.

There are a ton of apps that can do this, but since Microsoft is behind Skype we’re pretty sure it’s here to stay and isn’t suddenly going to stop working. As a plus, you can use Skype on any computer with internet access, too.

Download: Skype (free)

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Your cable company’s Wi-Fi network

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Chances are you have cable television, and chances are the company you pay for it offers a Wi-Fi network you can use with your account login.

The way this works is through an app that notices when a Wi-Fi hotspot through your cable company (Comcast, Time Warner, AT&T, whoever) and when it finds one you connect through it instead of your data plan.

It’s “free” as in its part of your monthly cable bill, it’s secure because it’s not a public Wi-Fi network and it’s automatic so you won’t need to remember to do anything. All you need to do is install the right app and set it up.

  • Xfinity WiFi
  • TWC WiFi finder
  • Cox Connect
  • Ask your cable company for more info

Datally

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Datally is a relatively new service from Google you’ve probably never heard of. But you will be glad you did if you want to see about saving some money on your cell phone bill.

It’s a data monitor with a twist — it also uses your phone’s built-in tools to set up a local VPN (no data goes to Google or outside of your phone, ever) that can block or manually dole out data access to specific apps that you define. Use this in tandem with My Data Manager to find the very best plan that fits your needs and stop paying any extra money.

Download Datally (free)

Alternative carriers (MVNOS)

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  • What is an alternative mobile carrier?
  • What are the advantages of going with an alternative carrier?
  • How to make sure your phone works on a prepaid alternative carrier
  • 8 Important Considerations When Switching To An MVNO
  • These are the cheapest data plans you can buy in the U.S.
  • Mint SIM vs. Cricket Wireless: Which is better for you?

26
Dec

Canadians save big on Boxing Day with dozens of Amazon sales


Hey, hey, it’s Boxing Day!

Amazon Canada is celebrating the holiday with dozens of sales covering everything from printers to headphones to KitchenAid stand mixers. Many of the products on sale are down to their lowest prices ever, and there’s just a huge variety to choose from.

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These are the best sales going on right now:

  • 40% off Corsair products including the Strafe mechanical keyboard for $87.99 (from $120) and the Void Pro RGB gaming headset for $89.99 (from $130)
  • Sennheiser HD 598 open-back heapdhones for $109 (from $160)
  • KitchenAid Ultra Power Series 4.5-quart stand mixer for $249 (from $350) – There are several attachments on sale as well
  • Up to 40% off gaming laptops and PC components including brands like SteelSeries, Cooler Master, and more
  • Lucid 10-inch memory foam Full XL mattress for $244.99 (from $350) – Check out all the other mattresses on sale right now
  • Up to 30% off AmazonBasics rechargeable batteries, HDMI cables, and more
  • Up to 30% off surge protectors and battery backups from APC and CyberPower
  • Miracle-Gro AeroGarden Sprout LED for $64.95 (from $100)
  • Tekton 27-piece Bit and Driver Kit for Electronics for $9.75 (from $13) – Plus other tools, chests, and kits on sale
  • Up to 50% off Samsung wearables including Bluetooth earbuds, virtual reality headsets, and smartwatches

See on Amazon

26
Dec

How to use an iTunes gift card as an Android user


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Gift cards are great if you get one you’ll actually use. When you get one you won’t, that’s when things can get complicated.

It’s rude to refuse a gift card, and they seldom come with gift receipts because people don’t think they’re going to return gift cards. I mean, who returns store credit?! Well, I would. Cash is more helpful to me than an iTunes gift card, but here we are. At least I know I’m not alone — we’ve all received gift cards that seem like a White Elephant.

Well, there’s more than one way to spend a gift card. Here are a few ways to utilize a gift card to a digital store you don’t use.

Before we go any further, go thank the person who gave you the card before you turn it into something useful.

Swap with a friend

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Have a friend who actually could use an iTunes gift card to buy apps for their iDevices? Have a friend who uses gift cards to reload their kiddos’ accounts rather than keeping a credit card on file? Ask them if they want to buy your card off you. You can do the transaction in person, and since you already know the person, you don’t really have to worry about them taking your gift card and running. This is likely the easiest way to swap your gift card for cash or a gift card to another store.

Regift physical cards

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So long as they didn’t write your name on the card itself, you can keep the gift card and give it to someone down the line who could use it. Most major digital stores don’t have gift cards that expire, and you can just remove the card from the paper slip if your name was written on there. Buy a nifty maze gift card case — or just use a nice decorated Altoids tin — and regift away.

If you received a digital gift card in your email, that’s a little harder to regift. If the digital gift card came with a code, you can send those in another email/text, but they look a little odd. But hey, so long as they can use it, who cares?

Reddit Gift Card Exchange

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This is a digital age where there are lots of people who want and need different gift cards out there, and Reddit has one of the better places online to try and swap them. Just as people can swap digital copy codes, PC parts, and all manner of interesting and insane gear on Reddit, the Reddit Gift Card Exchange is a subreddit dedicated to helping users safely and legitimately swap gift cards. Some people will buy gift cards from each other, some will swap for gift cards of equal value, and after Christmas, chances are higher you’ll be able to find someone willing to barter for your gift card.

Just be sure you read their guide and be prepared to lose a few dollars on the exchange. It was a gift anyway, and 85% of money on a store you do use beats 100% of money on a store you don’t.

Use it on Movies Anywhere-eligible films and music

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Should you not be able to offload your card, or you just don’t want to hassle with it, don’t worry, there are some things you can do with your card. If the gift card you’re trying to blow is for iTunes or Vudu, then you can just do yourself a favor and buy films that are Movies Anywhere eligible. Movies Anywhere can connect and sync your movie library between iTunes, Vudu, Amazon Video, and Google Play, allowing you to buy movies at any of the four retailers and enjoy them on all four platforms. Not ever studio is onboard with Movies Anywhere yet, so check the film listing on the store and make sure it says it is Movies Anywhere eligible.

The other media that’s easily purchasable and shareable between digital retailers is music. If you have a digital gift card to burn, you can buy a few albums you’ve had your eye on and download them to your computer, or upload them to the music locker service of your choice. iTunes often has more albums on sale than Google Play, so this could be a golden opportunity to buy an album you haven’t found on your regular store.

New Android phone? Start here

26
Dec

Garmin Vivofit 4 announced with year-long battery and $80 price tag


Available today on Amazon.

Gamin’s Vivofit line of fitness trackers has proven to be respectable competition for the likes of Fitbit, Misfit, etc., and the latest in this series has just been announced as the Garmin Vivofit 4. The Vivofit 4 might not be as flashy as something like the Samsung Gear Fit2 Pro, but where it shines is with its battery performance and affordable price.

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Unlike most fitness trackers that last a few days on a single charge, the Vivofit 4 has a battery that will stay powered for over a year. There’s no sort of charging required, meaning you can just unbox the wearable, set it up, and you’re good to go. When you do eventually run out of juice, you can easily take off the back of the Vivofit 4 and replace the two SR43 batteries that typically cost just a couple bucks.

Even with that sort of longevity, the Vivofit 4 still does just about everything you can ask from a fitness tracker in this price range. There’s a step-counter, sleep-tracking, weather information, Find My Phone feature, and even an always-on color display. Add this together with waterproofing and interchangeable bands, and you end up with a pretty complete package.

The Vivofit 4 is available for purchase starting today on Amazon in White, Black, and Limegreen Speckled for $79.99 alongside a few other bands that range in price from $19.99 up to $29.99.

See at Amazon

26
Dec

Android Oreo beta comes to Xiaomi Mi A1 with fast charging


Say goodbye to two hours of charging.

When we reviewed the Xiaomi Mi A1 in September, Harish came away rather impressed with Xiaomi’s first phone running stock Android. The smooth and clean software experience combined with a premium design, excellent display, and solid cameras resulted in a really compelling package, but there was one area that stuck out like a sore thumb – recharge speed.

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The Mi A1’s battery lasts surprisingly long, but having to wait two hours to go from 0 to 100% is never fun. Thankfully, this will soon be changing.

Xiaomi is currently running a closed beta of Android Oreo on the Mi A1, and a unit running on this new software has been discovered to now feature drastically increased charge speed. TelecomTalk reports that charging from 0 to 100% on the Oreo beta took just 92 minutes, but what’s peculiar is that this was accomplished using a OnePlus 5T Dash Charger.

There’s no ETA as to when Oreo will be publically released for the Mi A1, but the fact that a beta is already out in the wild suggests that we won’t have to wait too much longer for it.

Android Oreo

  • Android Oreo review!
  • Everything new in Android Oreo
  • How to get Android Oreo on your Pixel or Nexus
  • Oreo will make you love notifications again
  • Will my phone get Android Oreo?
  • Join the Discussion

26
Dec

Tips and Tricks for Getting the Most Out of Your New AirPods


AirPods were a hot ticket item this holiday season, selling out from Apple and other retailers.

We’re guessing quite a few MacRumors readers got new AirPods during the holidays, so we thought we’d share some super handy tips and tricks that’ll help you get the most out of your new earphones.

AirPods Requirements

To use all of the below features, you’re going to need to install iOS 10.2 or later, and for some features, iOS 11 or later is required. On the Apple Watch, watchOS 3 or later is required, and on Mac, macOS 10.12 Sierra or later is required.

Devices that support iOS 10.2 or later include the iPhone 5 and later, the iPad mini 2 and later, the iPad Air and later, the 6th-generation iPod touch, and all iPad Pro models. All Apple Watch models work with AirPods, as do Macs that support Handoff functionality.

To take full advantage of AirPods, an iCloud account is required, but if you have an Apple device, you likely use iCloud regularly.

Customize Tap Functionality

Your AirPods are equipped with accelerometers and other hardware that allow them to respond to a double tap, and though it isn’t obvious, these gestures can be customized to your liking. Here’s how:

Make sure your AirPods are connected to your iPhone or iPad, either when you’re wearing them or with the case open and nearby your device.
Open up the Settings app.
Choose “Bluetooth.”
Next to the AirPods in the Bluetooth menu, tap the little “i” button.
Select “Left” and “Right” to customize what your AirPods do when you double tap them. Each one can be set to a separate action.Choices include “Siri,” which activates Siri, “Play/Pause,” which starts or stops a song, “Next Track,” which moves to the next track of whatever’s being played, and “Previous Track,” which goes back to the track that was previously being played. “Off” turns off whatever’s playing.


Once you have your settings in place, whenever you double tap on an AirPod, it will activate whatever action you chose. With Siri, for example, you can double tap to bring up Siri.

You can also use this AirPods setting menu to change the name of your AirPods, deactivate Automatic Ear Detection and set either the left or right AirPod to serve as a fixed microphone.

Note: “Next Track” and “Previous Track” are both options that were introduced with iOS 11, so you will need to have iOS 11 installed to see these two AirPods options. Without iOS 11, you can only choose “Siri,” “Play/Pause,” and “Off.”

Tap Your Ear

You don’t necessarily have to tap right on your AirPod to use the double tap gestures. Many people prefer to tap softly on the back of an ear instead. It’s a little less audibly jarring and it works just as well.

Switching Devices

There’s an Apple-designed chip called a “W1” inside of your AirPods, and this chip connects your AirPods to your iCloud account. What this means is that every device you have where you’re signed into iCloud knows your AirPods exist and can connect to them without having to go through a pairing process every time.


Switching between devices is as simple as opening up the Bluetooth settings on a given device and then choosing your AirPods to connect seamlessly. On the device you used to set up your AirPods, they’ll connect automatically whenever you open up the case.

Quickly Pair to Apple TV

There’s a little trick to make it easier to pair your AirPods to your Apple TV. With the AirPods in your ears or in the case with the lid open, turn on your Apple TV.


At the main Apple TV screen, hold down on the Play/Pause button on the Siri Remote to bring up an interface that lets you select an audio source. Swipe down to your AirPods, click the main button on the remote, and a connection is established.

If you’re using the Apple Remote app or the Control Center Apple TV Remote, you can long press on the Play/Pause button to bring up the audio menu.

Quickly Pair to an iOS device

To pair your AirPods on an iOS device running iOS 11, you don’t need to open up the Settings app. Instead, you can use the Now Playing widget in Control Center. Here’s how:

On your iOS device, swipe up from the bottom of the display to bring up Control Center.
On the main music widget, tap the two lines located in the upper right corner.
From the list, choose your AirPods.
Once selected from the Control Center list, your AirPods will connect to your iOS device automatically. It takes a few swipes and taps, but it’s ultimately quicker than opening up the Settings app.

Pair AirPods to Your Apple Watch

You can pair the AirPods directly to Your Apple Watch to listen to music. Here’s how:

With the AirPods in your ears, swipe up from the bottom of the Apple Watch display to bring up Control Center.
Tap on the AirPlay icon at the bottom of control Center.
Choose AirPods.

Take Advantage of Siri

If one of your AirPod double-tap gestures is set to “Siri,” you can tap on an AirPod to activate Siri. Siri can play songs and albums from your Apple Music Library, or if you’re in the mood for something like 80’s music, just ask Siri. Siri will play music from different genres, Apple Music playlists, and radio stations if you have an Apple Music subscription.

Using Siri is a simple, hands-free way to listen to whatever you want on your AirPods, and Siri’s also, unfortunately, the only way to adjust the volume on the AirPods without having to use your connected device.


In addition to asking Siri to play music, all of the standard Siri commands are supported, since it’s just routing through your phone. Siri can make phone calls, send texts, set reminders, control HomeKit devices, open apps, answer simple questions, and more.

Siri requires an internet connection to function, so the device connected to your AirPods will need to be connected to WiFi or Cellular for Siri on AirPods to work.

Using Just One AirPod

You don’t need to use both AirPods at once. If you want to make a call or better hear your ambient surroundings, you can choose to use just one AirPod.

If you have Automatic Ear Detection turned on and take an AirPod out, you may need to press play again, but once you do, it works just like having two AirPods in your ears. Music won’t play out of the AirPod not in use, and if you do put it back in, your music resumes in both AirPods.

Pairing AirPods with a non-Apple Device

Your AirPods are designed to work with Apple products, but they use Bluetooth and can pair with your Android device, your Nintendo Switch, your PC, or any other device that works with Bluetooth headphones. Here’s how to pair with a non-Apple device:

Put the AirPods in the AirPods case.
Open up the lid.
Press and hold the button on the back of the case until a white light flashes.
Open up Bluetooth settings on the device you’re connecting to and choose the AirPods.

Get Your Calls Announced

If you get an incoming call while your AirPods are in your ears and want to know who it is without having to look at your iPhone, there’s an “Announce Calls” feature for that. Here’s how to use it:

Open the Settings app.
Scroll down to “Phone.”
Select “Announce Calls.”
Toggle on “Headphones & Car” to have calls announced when either headphones are connected or you’re in the car. “Headphones Only” will announce calls only when your headphones are in, and not when you’re in the car, and “Always” means your iPhone will audibly tell you who’s calling even when headphones aren’t in.

Locate a Lost AirPod

As of iOS 10.3, there’s a dedicated “Find My AirPods” feature for keeping track of your AirPods. Find My AirPods is limited to the AirPods themselves — it can’t locate a lost case, nor does it work when the AirPods are disconnected from an iOS device and stored in a case.


Find My AirPods basically lets you know the last known location of your AirPods. You can access it from the Find My iPhone app or from iCloud, but for detailed instructions on the feature, check out our dedicated how to.

Check Your AirPods Battery

To check the battery of your AirPods while you’re using them, swipe on the right of the iPhone or iPad display to bring up your widgets. Find the “Batteries” widget to get a readout on the battery life of your iOS device, your AirPods, and any other connected Bluetooth devices that support the feature.


If your AirPods aren’t in your ears, just open up the case when it’s near your iPhone to get a popup that shows you the battery life. This is also the only way to see the battery of the AirPods case.

If you have an Apple Watch, you can open up the Control Center while you’re using the AirPods and tap the battery icon to see the battery life of both the Apple Watch and the AirPods. On Mac, use the Bluetooth menu to check battery on paired AirPods.

You can also ask Siri to tell you what your remaining battery life is.

Interpreting the Light on the AirPods Case

If you open up the case for your AirPods, you’ll see a little light located inside.


Here’s what each color means:

Green: Fully charged
Orange: Not a full charge
Amber: Less than one full charge remains
Flashing white: Ready to pair

Charging

AirPods charge with a Lightning cable, so it’s super simple to charge them up when the battery is low. Given the design of the AirPods, they’re compatible with many iPhone docks on the market, so if you have a dock for your iPhone, you can also use it to charge the AirPods.

Get Your AirPods Serial Number and Check Firmware

If you need the serial number for your AirPods or want to make sure you’re running the most up-to-date version of the AirPods firmware, here’s how:

Open up the Settings app on your iOS device while your AirPods are in your ears.
Choose “General.”
Choose “About.”
Scroll down to “AirPods” and tap it.This menu lists model number, serial number, hardware version, and firmware version.

Wrap Up

The AirPods are one of Apple’s most popular accessories in recent history, and they’ve been largely well-received by Apple customers thanks to the ease of use, simple pairing, long range Bluetooth connectivity, universal fit, easy device switching, and decent battery life.


If you’re new to AirPods, you’ll likely fall in love with them after just a few uses, and even more so when you’ve read through our tips and figured out everything they’re capable of.

Are there must-know AirPods tips and tricks we’ve left out? Let us know in the comments!

Tag: AirPods
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26
Dec

UEFA secures UK court order to block illegal soccer streams


Tearing a leaf out of the English Premier League’s playbook, the Union of European Football Associations — better known as UEFA — has been granted the power to block illegal match streams by the UK’s highest court. UEFA won’t actually be doing any of the dirty work, of course. Rather, the injunction allows UEFA to instruct the UK’s biggest ISPs (BT, Virgin Media, Sky, TalkTalk, EE and Plusnet) to do the blocking on its behalf. Instead of targeting random websites hosting illegal football (yes, we mean soccer) streams, this particular anti-piracy measure stops the signal at the server level, effectively killing the weed at its root.

The Premier League won an identical court order in early March, at the tail end of the 2016/17 season. ISPs are no strangers to requests to restrict torrent sites and such, but what’s unique about their arrangement with the Premier League is that they block illegal streams in real-time, as matches are being played. The technology that’s used to find streams and track down the servers hosting them is something of a trade secret. Naturally, the League would rather pirate captains didn’t know the whole process, thereby giving them the opportunity to come up with a workaround. Brits can still circumvent the blocks with VPNs, but in that sense only a few enterprising fish are wriggling through the net.

The reason the Premier League sought the injunction in the first place is because it’s so easy (or at least it was) to watch matches for free. You don’t need to be at all tech-savvy to hook a Kodi box up to your TV, download the right plugins and press play. And if people stop paying for sports channel packages, broadcast rights start losing their value. By blocking streams at the server level, in real-time, you cut the feeds the user-friendly, pirate IPTV services rely on. Kodi particularly, you may’ve seen, is being hunted by rights holders with escalating intensity, even if it’s third-party plugins responsible for the witchcraft.

The Premier League, which flexed its court order by blocking over 5,000 server IP addresses during the last two months of the 2016/17 season, renewed its license to block in July to cover the whole 2017/18 season. And like that injunction, UEFA seeking permission from the UK’s High Court for one of its own was little more than a formality. After all, UEFA’s application is backed by the Premier League and the Formula One World Championship, and supported by all major ISPs barring TalkTalk, which communicated neither approval nor complaint to the courts (the provider reacted the same way to previous applications). What’s more, UEFA is using the same classified technology to identify illegal streams, so judge Justice Arnold was hardly going to deny the football association blocking powers having overseen the Premier League’s applications.

The only difference this time around is the injunction contains “an additional safeguard” against over-blocking — a scenario whereby UEFA might be throwing so many IP addresses at ISPs that servers get blocked or remain blocked erroneously. Justice Arnold noted, however, that there’s no evidence injunctions issued to date have resulted in this to any great extent. As with previous court orders, UEFA’s has an expiry date. The association’s kicks in on February 13th next year and ends on May 26th, which just so happens to cover the entirety of the Europe-wide UEFA Champions League tournament. BT is doubly invested this year, since it’s both the exclusive pay-TV broadcaster of the matches — it pays UEFA hundreds of millions of pounds a year for this privilege — and it’s responsible for blocking illegal streams as and when they pop up.

Source: TorrentFreak

26
Dec

Uber is offloading its money-losing car lease business


Uber has been eager to ditch its car leasing business for months, and it appears to have found a buyer. Wall Street Journal sources claim that the ridesharing company is selling its Xchange Leasing unit to the car marketplace Fair.com. While it’s not clear how much Fair is paying, it reportedly won’t be a clean break. Uber will both take a stake in Fair and point would-be drivers to the site through its app. Fair, in return, will offer jobs to roughly 150 workers affected by the switch.

Other companies in the running had included Avis Budget Group (yes, the car rental agency), activist investor Carl Icahn’s self-titled Icahn Enterprises, Innovate Auto Finance and two capital investment firms.

The sale comes hot on the heels of Uber merging its Russian business and reflects the company’s increasing determination to improve its bottom line. Simply speaking, Uber is bleeding cash — it can’t keep running money-losing operations forever. Even though the leasing business helped prospective drivers who might not otherwise have a car, it wasn’t going to be worthwhile if it ultimately dragged down the entire business.

Source: Wall Street Journal

26
Dec

Analysts Predict High Price of iPhone X Will Lead to ‘Weakened Demand’ in Q1 2018


Apple will reduce its shipment forecast for the iPhone X in the first quarter of 2018 from 50 million units down to 30 million units, according to a report this week by Economic Daily News (via Reuters). A handful of similar downgraded shipment predictions were shared by Apple analysts recently, most believing that the price of the iPhone X will lead to a decline in user demand early next year. The reports have caused shares in both Apple and some of its suppliers to fall.

JL Warren Capital predicted shipments of 25 million iPhone X units for Q1 2018, citing a “high price point and a lack of interesting innovations,” while Sinolink Securities said the device’s $1,000 price would “dampen consumer enthusiasm.” Now that early adopters have gotten their hands on the iPhone X and the first wave of demand has been fulfilled, the high price of the device is again causing market watchers to predict “weakened demand” in early 2018 (via Bloomberg).

Analysts have lowered iPhone X shipment projections for the first quarter of next year, citing signs of lackluster demand at the end of the holiday shopping season.

“After the first wave of demand has been fulfilled, the market now worries that the high price of the iPhone X may weaken demand in the first quarter,” Zhang wrote.

Lowered shipment and demand expectations are typical around this time of year. In 2016, a Nikkei report said that Apple would reduce iPhone 7 production by 10 percent in Q1 2017 because of “sluggish” demand and accumulated inventory building up throughout the holiday season.

In terms of availability, iPhone X has been pretty easy to obtain for those looking to purchase the smartphone. Shipping times improved consistently in the lead-up to Christmas and availability at U.S. Apple Stores increased to an average of 75 percent, up from 44 percent the week before Christmas, according to Gene Munster.

Although downgraded shipping estimates have begun to proliferate, other analysts are looking at higher shipment forecasts for the iPhone X. Loop Capital increased iPhone X shipment numbers to between 40 and 45 million units in Q1 2018, while analysts at Jefferies forecast about 40 million iPhone X sales for the quarter.

Related Roundup: iPhone XBuyer’s Guide: iPhone X (Buy Now)
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