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15
Mar

Top things you need to know about the Samsung Galaxy S9’s SD card slot


Knowing a few tips and tricks can help you make the most of your SD card.

Outside of the Galaxy S6 series, Samsung has stood by having a microSD card slot as a major feature of its phones. The great thing about having the slot there is that if you don’t need it, it doesn’t change anything about how you use the phone — but if you do want it, you can add up to 400GB to your phone in a matter of seconds.

There are some limitations to what you can do with your SD card, and a few things to keep in mind when buying one, but this is mostly a plug-and-play affair. Here’s what you need to know about using a microSD card in your Galaxy S9 or S9+.

Adoptable storage isn’t here — and that’s OK for most people

galaxy-s9-plus-storage-info-screen.jpg?i

Samsung continues to use the SD card as removable storage rather than the newer “adoptable storage” system. What that means is that instead of integrating the SD card as part of the internal storage, it remains its own separate silo. You have to choose to put a file either on the SD card or the internal storage — it won’t be able to span the two seamlessly, which takes a bit more management.

In practice, this has the benefit of being more familiar to those who used SD cards in previous Samsung phones or have used them typically with computers or cameras. You can remove the SD card from a Galaxy S9 freely without worrying about how it will affect the system, because you only lose the data files on the card. You can pop out the card, put it in your computer and transfer files to and from it, then put it back in the phone with no worries.

Just know that you may run into some rare circumstances where a very large file will have to go exclusively on the SD card because it can’t overlap onto the internal storage.

Most apps can’t be moved to the SD card

One downside of mounting the SD card as removable storage instead of adoptable storage is that there are limitations on what files can be moved to it. For the most part, you can think of the SD card as a place to store big chunks of data, not live applications that you need to access regularly.

You can have photos, music, videos, podcasts, and documents all stored on your SD card without issue, and those are great ways to free up space on the faster, more versatile internal storage. But you won’t be able to move most apps or games to the SD card, as they need to be on the internal storage in order to run. You may find that some simple apps or assets for apps that don’t need to be run on demand can be stored on the card — but as a rule, you shouldn’t count on being able to move apps to the SD card.

Pictures and video save to the card by default

Because the types of data you can put on an SD card are limited, the Galaxy S9 wants to take advantage of it right away for types of data it knows it can move there. The best example is the camera, which automatically starts saving photos and videos to the SD card as soon as you insert one. High-bandwidth capture like burst shots and 960 fps slow-motion video are likely to be saved directly to the internal storage rather than the SD card, but that’s what you won’t in order to get the best possible performance.

If, for whatever reason, you don’t want photos and videos to save to the SD card, you can head into the camera’s settings, then storage location, and tap it to change back to device.

Choosing a fast enough card so you don’t have to worry about performance

galaxy-s9-sd-card-4.jpg?itok=20KYtCIc

One great thing that’s happened in the world of SD cards is the proliferation of amazingly fast cards at reasonable prices that anyone can buy. Earlier on in the life of Android phones, it was rather hit or miss as to whether or not the card you bought was fast enough to consistently be used inside an Android phone, and now that’s rarely the case.

Stick to big brands and look at ratings online before buying, but chances are if you find a modern card out there it’s going to do what you need it to do in a Galaxy S9. As a rule of thumb, you shouldn’t buy anything lower than a “Class 10” rated card. If you plan on running apps off of the card, making big file transfers or recording lots of video, you want to get a UHS-rated card — at least a U1, but ideally U3.

Everything you need to know about SD card speeds and your phone

Where to find good SD cards

SD cards have improved dramatically across the board, but that doesn’t mean every card is the same. You still want to make a well-educated decision about the SD card you buy, balancing speed, reliability, capacity and price. There are so many available out there and many places to buy, but we’ve narrowed down a few for you to choose from if you want to let us do some of the hard work for you.

Best microSD cards for the Galaxy S9

You can encrypt your SD card for your safety

galaxy-s9-plus-sd-card-encrypt.jpg?itok=

One of the problems with an easily removable SD card that’s formatted as removable storage is the data on there can be easily accessed by anyone with a SIM tray tool — they don’t have to unlock your phone to get it. Of course the best way to secure your phone is to not let anyone have it in the first place, but accidents happen — and the best way to secure the data is to encrypt the SD card. With encryption enabled, the data is only readable by the Galaxy S9 that encrypted it.

To encrypt your SD card, head into the phone’s settings, lock screen and security, and encrypt SD card. The process will only take a few seconds if you don’t have much data on it, but it could take a while longer if you’ve already loaded it up before encrypting.

Now, there’s one big downside to this: when you encrypt the SD card, it also can’t be read by any other devices you have. That means that if you pop out the SD card and put it in your computer, it won’t be able to read the data. It also means if you break your phone beyond repair, you will lose the SD card data forever. If your intention is to use the SD card in your Galaxy S9 as a quick way to transfer large amounts of data between devices, you’ll have to use a USB cable from your phone or decrypt the card first.

Removing your SD card also removes the SIM

It’s a relatively trivial thing, but remember that your SD card lives in the same tray as your SIM card. So if you plan on using the removable storage capabilities of your SD card for transferring files back and forth with a computer, you’re going to knock out your cellular service while you do it.

In some cases, removing the SIM card and reinserting it will require a full device reboot to get your mobile data back up and running. If you can’t manage to wait a few minutes without data, wait to pull out your SD card until you’re done with your mobile data usage!

Samsung Galaxy S9 and S9+

  • Galaxy S9 review: A great phone for the masses
  • Galaxy S9 and S9+: Everything you need to know!
  • Complete Galaxy S9 and S9+ specs
  • Galaxy S9 vs. Google Pixel 2: Which should you buy?
  • Galaxy S9 vs. Galaxy S8: Should you upgrade?
  • Join our Galaxy S9 forums

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15
Mar

Deals: 2018 Mac Essentials Bundle, New Anker Chargers, and Latest 4K iTunes Movies on Sale


StackSocial this week launched the 2018 Mac Essentials Bundle, made up of ten apps that can help you be more productive, keep your online identity secure and private, clean up your Mac, and more. The bundle has an estimated value of $524.90 when adding up the cost of all ten apps included, but StackSocial knocked the price down to $19.99 for a limited time.

Additionally, those interested can enter the promo code SAVEMAC during checkout to get the 2018 Mac Essentials Bundle for an even cheaper price of $14.99. Note that you’ll need a StackSocial account to checkout on the company’s store. Once you have an account created, add the bundle to your cart, tap checkout, then enter SAVEMAC in the promo code box under “Order Summary” on the right side of the screen to take a further $5.00 off your order.

Note: MacRumors is an affiliate partner with some of these vendors. When you click a link and make a purchase, we may receive a small payment, which helps us keep the site running.

The bundle offer should last for the next few weeks, so if you’re interested head over to StackSocial for more information and to place your order. Below we’ve listed each app included in the bundle, license and access information where applicable, and a brief description.

  • BusyCal 3 / single-user license / lifetime access – A customizable calendar app that integrates with iCloud, Google, Exchange, and more, offering features like To Do lists, smart filters, iPhone syncing, and live weather forecasts.
  • Cargo VPN / two year access – Provides you with the ability to encrypt an internet connection and keep your personal data private.
  • HoudahSpot 4 – Find files by “hundreds of criteria” like name, file extension, pixel count, and more.
  • uBar 4 / single-user license / lifetime access – Dock replacement with tab grouping options, window previews, in-dock reminders, and more.
  • Cisdem DuplicateFinder 4 / lifetime access to all updates – Find and delete duplicate files in one go so that your Mac runs more efficiently.
  • RollerCoaster Tycoon 3: Platinum – Build your own theme park and gain access to expansion packs “Soaked!” and “Wild!” with the Platinum version.
  • Systweak Anti-Malware Pro / 2 year subscription – Detects and quarantines unwanted or malicious programs automatically.
  • Concealer / lifetime access – Hide and encrypt files, passwords, credit card details, and more.
  • Movavi Photo Editor – Edit photos, add filters, correct photo orientation, change backgrounds, insert watermarks, scale down photos, and more.
  • Flip PDF for Mac / lifetime license – Convert PDF files into mobile-friendly flipbooks, aimed at designers, publishers, and advertisers who want to create e-books, brochures, catalogs, and more.

In other deals, Anker today launched its new 7.5-watt ‘PowerWave’ Wireless Chargers, along with a set of promo codes that offer savings on the new chargers. For a limited time on Amazon, you can get 15 percent off one charger (with promo code POWER752) or 20 percent off two or more (with promo code POWER753).


The new devices include the PowerWave 7.5W Stand and PowerWave 7.5W Pad, each coming with built-in fans to help keep things cool and the ability to charge iPhones up to an hour faster than other accessories on the market, according to Anker. For a more detailed look at the new Qi-compatible chargers, be sure to read our full review.

Recently, DirecTV Now launched its latest offer for new subscribers, allowing them the chance to get $25 off each month for the first three months of any channel package. For example, you could get the low-tier “Live a Little” package for just $10/month for your first three months, down from $35/month. New subscribers interested can enter the promo code YESNOW3 in the checkout process, but this code is incompatible with DirecTV Now’s ongoing Apple TV 4K offer.

In regards to that offer, it’s worth noting that we’re now entering what is expected to be the last few weeks of DirecTV Now’s free Apple TV 4K deal. If you’ve been on the fence about it, definitely check out our full post on the deal and head over to DirecTV Now to place your order. For those who haven’t been following, the offer lets new users prepay for three months of DirecTV Now at $105, and then receive a 32GB Apple TV 4K for free.


Lastly today, we’ve rounded up a few of the latest sales hitting 4K HDR films on the iTunes Movies store and some notable discounts on iOS gaming apps.

4K HDR movies on sale

  • The Dark Tower – $9.99, down from $19.99 (Movie of the Week, $0.99 rental)

  • The Silence of the Lambs – $9.99, down from $19.99

  • Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets – $9.99, down from $14.99

  • mother! – $9.99, down from $14.99

  • Daddy’s Home 2 – $9.99, down from $19.99

  • Only the Brave – $9.99, down from $14.99

  • Lara Croft: Tomb Raider – $9.99, down from $14.99

  • Lara Croft Tomb Raider: The Cradle of Life – $9.99, down from $14.99

  • Alien: Covenant – $14.99, down from $19.99

  • War for the Planet of the Apes – $14.99, down from $19.99

iOS games on sale

  • Anomaly 2 – $3.99, down from $14.99

  • The Witness – $4.99, down from $9.99

  • Bridge Constructor Portal – $2.99, down from $4.99

  • Gorogoa – $3.99, down from $4.99

  • Darkest Dungeon: Tablet Edition – $0.99, down from $4.99

  • FROST – $2.99, down from $4.99

Visit our full Deals Roundup for more of the latest sales, this week including 10 percent off all certified pre-owned MacBooks on Gazelle.

Related Roundup: Apple Deals
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15
Mar

Tribeca Games returns with a dive into ‘Shadow of the Tomb Raider’


Last year’s Tribeca Film Festival included a companion festival all about gaming and this year sees the return of Tribeca Games. During the 2018 festival, which runs from April 18th through 29th, Tribeca Games will give attendees behind-the-scenes looks at the upcoming Shadow of the Tomb Raider and God of War reboot as well as a League of Legends tournament.

On April 27th, the creative team behind the latest Tomb Raider installment will discuss the evolution of Lara Croft as well as the techniques and tools needed to create the series and the inspiration that guides it. The panel will include Senior Game Director Daniel Bisson, Franchise Creative Director Noah Hughes, writer Jill Murray, Senior Brand Director Rich Briggs and Camilla Luddington, the performance artist for Lara Croft. There will also be an extended gameplay demo of Shadow of the Tomb Raider.

Also on the 27th, Creative Director Cory Barlog will give attendees a look at the creative process behind God of War and will share stories about its development as well as insights into some of the creative decisions that went into the game’s making.

Tribeca Games will also parter with Super League Gaming to host a League of Legends tournament. NYC players who are level 30 and above can take part in online qualifiers starting on April 14th and the top players will compete live at the festival on April 28th.

And lastly, Tribeca Games has invited 15 New York-based independent game developers to build new games within 48 hours using IBM technology. The games they produce will be available for attendees to play during the Tribeca Film Festival.

Tickets for Tribeca Games are free and will be available starting march 27th through the Tribeca Film Festival website. Those interested in registering for the Battle of the Boroughs League of Legends tournament can do so here.

15
Mar

Google rebrands Android Wear as Wear OS


Android Wear, Google’s big attempt to get into the wearables space, hasn’t been the runaway blockbuster hit the company had banked on. In order to give the platform a much-needed shot in the arm, the company has sought to rebrand the software as Wear OS by Google.

The news has dropped in the run-up to Baselworld, the biggest trade show for the watch industry, which takes place in Basel next week. It’s likely that a number of new timepieces that run Google’s software will make their debut at the show, coupled with the new push.

Google’s Dennis Troper hints to the reasons behind the change in his blog post, pointing out that one in three new Android Wear users own an iPhone. By pushing Google’s wearables ecosystem away from Android, it could help clear up any implied confusion that the devices don’t work with rival platforms.

That sentiment was echoed by Fossil’s Greg McKelvey, who said that “many of our smartwatch customers are iOS users.” The rebrand should, therefore, ensure that everyone knows that Wear OS is a broad, and welcoming church.

A new name may not be enough, however, for Google and its numerous partners to reclaim ground on Apple in the watch space. In September of last year, analysts believed that 33 million people had purchased an Apple Watch — compared to just 10 million that run Android Wear.

Source: Google

15
Mar

Spotify is testing in-app voice search


Spotify is currently compatible with voice search, but it only works through integrations with voice assistants, such as Google Assistant and Alexa. That might not be the case much longer. Twitter user Hunter Owens (@Owens) spotted the new feature on the music streaming service. We’ve reached out to Spotify for confirmation that this test is in the works.

I spy @Spotify laying the foundation for a smart speaker… pic.twitter.com/n1slxIFUNA

— Hunter Owens (@owens) March 14, 2018

The feature appears to work by asking the app to play an artist, album, song, genre or playlist. Hunter found it by pulling up Spotify’s search screen. In the bottom right-hand corner, there was a microphone button. Hitting it brought up entirely new voice options.

In the app, from the Search screen pic.twitter.com/a1uofk0Hjh

— Hunter Owens (@owens) March 14, 2018

This venture makes sense, given Spotify’s hardware ambitions. Right now, the streaming music service is dependent on other companies for voice control through Spotify Connect. If Spotify does start manufacturing a smart speaker, these companies will become its competitors. The company recently filed to go public via a direct listing.

Via: TechCrunch

Source: Twitter

15
Mar

Movies Anywhere link unlocks a score-only ‘The Last Jedi’ extra


If you watched Star Wars: The Last Jedi and thought “this would be better if we just removed all the words and sound effects” then we have a treat for you John Williams fans. Now that the movie is out for home viewing on digital services (the 4K Blu-ray and other disc versions go on sale March 27th), director Rian Johnson revealed buyers have access to a silent film-style score-only version of the movie. It’s not the first time we’ve seen something like this (having one might have improved the Tron: Legacy home release, but that movie’s director made sure there was a score-only version included with his next movie, Oblivion), but there is an extra wrinkle: Movies Anywhere.

Inside the Movies Anywhere app

The revamped digital locker service that ties into a number of retailers (including the recently-added Fandango) is your key to the special release. Just make sure it’s linked to whatever account you bought the movie with, and then if you check in the Movies Anywhere app (on iOS, Android, Fire TV, Chromecast, Roku or the web) it will be available. Unfortunately, that means you can’t watch it that way on devices that don’t have the MA app yet (game consoles, Blu-ray players or connected TVs for example), and, as far as we know, isn’t out yet outside the US where Movies Anywhere isn’t available.

This is the full movie, but with no dialogue, fx or backgrounds… just John’s score. I really wanted to put this out, it’s really something to see John’s music play with the movie, like a silent film.

— Rian Johnson (@rianjohnson) March 13, 2018

The one hoop you have to jump through to get it: get the Movies Anywhere app and link whatever account you bought the movie with to it. It’s free, it works pretty painlessly. Kinda a pain I know, but I think it’s worth it to get this version.

— Rian Johnson (@rianjohnson) March 13, 2018

Source: Rian Johnson (Twitter)

15
Mar

The Acura RLX Sport Hybrid is an agile car with some outdated tech touches


Luxury cars need more than a smooth ride to appease drivers. When dropping $50,000 (or more) on a vehicle, people want something that glides but can also quicken the pulse. Audi, BMW, Mercedes and even Cadillac are delivering on all of those fronts. Now with the RLX Sport Hybrid (starting at $61,900), Acura is getting close too.

The top-of-the-line Acura sedan takes cues from the automaker’s NSX supercar. Make no mistake, these are two different cars, and the chances of seeing an RLX drifting around a corner during a track day are pretty much nil. But what the car lacks in pole-position cred it makes up for in solid AWD (all-wheel drive) handling, comfortable accommodations and aggressive styling. Unfortunately, the infotainment system doesn’t live up to the rest of the car.

At its core, though, the RLX has all the attributes of a luxury car: a smooth ride that all but eliminates rough roads, a quiet cabin that forces you to open the window if you want to actually hear the engine and steering that has a casual relationship with the road. During my drives in San Francisco’s city streets and on the highway, I half expected the inclusion of an AWD system to be wasted. What’s the point of added cornering prowess if the car is going to float all over the road? Then I hit the mountains and pressed the Sport button.

In the switchbacks near Muir Woods, the RLX surprised me with its ability to stick to a line around tight corners. Yes, there was body roll but nothing near what I expected. On twisty roads, it’s almost like two cars: an interior that reminds you where all your money went and an AWD system that’s up to the task of keeping the wheels planted onto the asphalt.

That impressive cornering has a lot to do with parent company Honda’s Super Handling All-Wheel Drive (SH-AWD). It might be a feature that sounds like it was coined by an eight-year-old, but the tech behind it (especially in the RLX hybrid) makes a potentially boring car almost exciting to drive in the mountains. The system dynamically sends torque to the wheels to adjust for a corner. At a basic level, it pushes more torque to the outside wheels during a turn. On the RLX the electric motors are used to deliver that extra power. Unfortunately, that power never translates into thrilling forward motion.

The RLX’s combined power output of 377 horsepower and 341 pounds of torque feels adequate. It’s not slow by any means and I had zero issues getting up to highway speeds from a dead stop, but still: It lacks pizzazz. When I stomped on the accelerator, I wanted more.

During my quest for a faster car, the seven-speed dual-clutch transmission worked great on the highway. But during spirited driving I’d recommend switching to the paddle shifters to keep your momentum up.

Because the RLX only has a normal driving mode and Sport, you don’t get a lot of control over the hybrid system. Many hybrids on the road today are giving drivers a plethora of options to fine-tune their gas versus electric driving. The RLX, not so much, but after a day I was fine with it. Sometimes you just want the car to figure it out, and the RLX does that with aplomb.

It also does a fine job pampering its occupants. The seats are plush and comfortable. Long hours in the car melted away with nary an ache or pain while the headrest felt more like a pillow than protection against whiplash (it’s still protection against whiplash). All four seats have adequate legroom and warmers so that driving home after a day on the slopes is an opportunity to raise your core temperature via your butt.

While the car is great at making your rear end feel cushy, its infotainment system is disappointing. With a dated color scheme and design that reminded me of the Windows BIOS screen, it feels out of place in a car with this many amenities. It’s like putting a Compaq computer into a smartly furnished apartment. The information it shares about the vehicle’s efficiency feels cluttered, and the media player looks more like Real Player than anything else on the market right now. Navigating the system is a chore, and it doesn’t get better when you talk to the car.

The voice control is also frustrating — it forces you to follow a script with multiple choices. It made me pine for the natural voice control found in other cars, smartphones and smart speakers. To make matters worse, the car does not support Android Auto or CarPlay.

But if you can get past the infotainment shortfalls and you’re not expecting too much based on the “Sport” moniker, Acura’s sport sedan makes for a comfortable cruiser. Thanks to Honda’s stellar SH-AWD, the car will pleasantly surprise you in corners. Plus will likely to give you peace of mind in inclement weather.

Source: Acura

15
Mar

GM is spending $100 million on production-ready autonomous cars


If GM is going to release a fully autonomous car in 2019, it has to be ready to build more than just a handful of test vehicles… and it’s willing to spend a fair sum to make sure that happens. The automaker has announced that it will build production versions of its Cruise AV at its Orion and Brownstown plants in Michigan, and will spend over $100 million to upgrade both plants for self-driving car manufacturing. Orion will assemble the cars, while Brownstown will assemble the sensor-laden roof modules.

The Orion plant may be familiar if you’ve kept tabs on GM’s forays into electric and driverless vehicles. It’s best known as the manufacturing home for the Bolt EV, but it has also assembled Cruise test vehicles and the Sonic.

News like this from GM was really just a matter of time, but it underscores one of the major challenges in bringing self-driving cars into the mainstream: companies have to spend hefty amounts upgrading their facilities to produce technology that had never been a factor before. It’s not surprising to see collaborations like the Lyft/Magna partnership, as many of the companies in the autonomous vehicle world might face trouble developing and building vehicles all on their own.

Source: GM

15
Mar

Rihanna slams Snapchat over ad that mocked domestic violence


A few days ago, Snapchat allowed an ad on its platform that plenty of folks thought made light of domestic violence. The ad was apparently for a game and it asked if viewers would rather “Slap Rihanna” or “Punch Chris Brown,” likely referencing Brown’s 2009 felony assault on the pop star. Snap then apologized for letting the ad through, telling the BBC that the ad had been published in error and had been removed immediately. Now Rihanna has seen the ad and responded on her Instagram Story, and Snap came back with another apology.

When Snap pulled the ad, it said, “The advert was reviewed and approved in error, as it violates our advertising guidelines. We immediately removed the ad last weekend, once we became aware.” It also added, “We are sorry that this happened.” The content apparently violated Snap’s advertising policy, which bans content that Snap deems “shocking, sensational, or disrespectful.”

Rihanna’s response says that Snapchat isn’t her favorite app out there, and that the company “spent money to animate something that would intentionally bring shame to [domestic violence] victims and made a joke of it!!” While the ad didn’t originate with Snap, the company did allow it on its platform. “Shame on you,” said Rihanna. “Throw the whole app-oligy away.”

Snap responded yet again today, according to CNN. “This advertisement is disgusting and never should have appeared on our service,” said a company spokesperson. “We are so sorry we made the terrible mistake of allowing it through our review process. We are investigating how that happened so that we can make sure it never happens again.”

Via: Pitchfork

Source: Rihanna/Instagram

15
Mar

Ford’s Co-Pilot360 tech will make driver-assists standard equipment


Contrary to what you might think, Ford isn’t ignoring autonomous and driver assist systems, it just hasn’t talked about them too much recently. As part of its Ford Uncovered event at its Michigan headquarters in Dearborn, the automaker announced its Co-Pilot360 automation suite. The plan is to make automatic emergency braking systems with pedestrian detection, blind spot avoidance, a lane keeping system, automatic high-beam headlamps and backup cameras standard equipment across most of its trucks and SUVs by 2020. If you want a peek at the tech, this fall the Ford Edge and Edge ST will arrive on showrooms with it.

Let’s run through these features, shall we? The emergency braking system was designed to keep you from hitting a pedestrian or another vehicle because you weren’t paying attention to the road, or someone jumped off the sidewalk in front of your bumper. Ford says that before the auto-brake kicks in, an alert will sound in the cabin and there will be warning flashes. If you don’t react fast enough, the car will automatically apply the brakes. By 2020, Ford promises 91 percent of its offerings will have this feature.

A lane-keeping system will vibrate the steering wheel when your car notices you’re riding too close to lane-markers on the road, and applies steering torque to re-center your auto. There’s also a more aggressive function that employs a front-facing camera to detect when you’re doing a bad job at being an “attentive” driver, and will flash lights and play sounds to get your eyes back on the road (or fully open).

The blind spot detection system uses radar to detect when another vehicle enters, well, your blind spot. The alert will come in the form of a light on the side-view mirror. Other automakers including Nissan have something like this in place already, but the light is inside the cabin, near the rear-view mirror. Ford also teased additional, optional driver-assist features would become available, without naming what they would be.

While this sounds like great tech for you and me, the truth is, it could be even more valuable for long-haul and commercial drivers. Ford says that these technologies will also be available across its E-series, F-650, F-750 and F-59 delivery truck line.

With this announcement, it shows that Ford is inching us closer to a world where every vehicle on the road has assistive technologies, not just those owned by folks who want bleeding edge tech in their cars. That’s not to say that these standard features won’t increase the sticker price (they almost assuredly will), it’s just that they’ll be hard to avoid when you’re buying a new ride.

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