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1
Apr

After Math: This is a witch hunt


It was a dangerous week for some of the biggest names in technology as they they were forced to face off against these new things called “consequences” which have come about due to their ongoing “actions.” It’s all so very unfair. Ashley Madison is still super duper sorry about the whole exposing of America’s least competent infidelitors thing, Reddit is saying “sayonara” to bitcoin (but not its resident racists), and the government of Ecuador went and changed up the Wi-Fi password on poor Julian Assange. But hey, at least Zuck won’t be out of a job anytime soon. Numbers, because how else will we know whether she’ll sink or float?

18 years: The wheels of justice turn slowly, even when they’ve gone off the rails. Adnan Syed spent nearly two decades in a cell for a crime he reportedly didn’t commit. But, thanks to some sterling reporting from the producers of the Serial podcast, Mr. Syed has been awarded a new trial by the state of Maryland.

CRC9BB facebook website

136,000 data points, I mean “people”: In the wake of the Cambridge Analytica scandal, the data collection company promised that it would “delete” all of the data it had acquired. Yeah, just like I’m going to “stop drinking” and “get my shit together”. Channel 4 just discovered a cache of data from 136,000 Colorado residents, including their personality profiles, which is just wow. So, if you haven’t deleted your Facebook profile yet, now would probably be a good time to do so before that information leaks and the internet gets to play head shrinker with your most personal of datas.

PICTURE POSED BY MODEL A man wearing a wedding ring looks at the Ashley Madison website, as a second wave of personal data alleged to have come from the adultery site has been published online by the site's hackers.

30 million exposed accounts: The team behind the voluntary adultery site, Ashley Madison, is somehow back, having clearly not learned their lesson. After being fined more than $12 million, the site is still online and attracting a new crop of philanderers with its new slogan, “Find your moment”. That has such a nicer ring than “Life is short. Have an affair,” doesn’t it.

5 years: Reddit, at least they’re not 4Chan.

1,099,511,627,776 combinations: So the Ecuadorian embassy has apparently had enough of Julian Assange’s shenanigans and has revoked his internet access. All Big Jules has to do is guess the right 16-digit character combination and he can get right back to helping subvert US elections. Granted, it’s going to potentially take slightly more than a trillion tries, but what else are you going to do while trapped in a downtown London closet with nothing but time on your hands?

Facebook Founder Mark Zuckerberg Delivers Commencement Address At Harvard

0 repercussions: Mark Zuckerberg has built a global data mining operation and somehow convinced us all that it’s worthwhile. His company has facilitated meddling with the US political system and given the Winklevoss twins 14 minutes more spotlight than they deserve. His penance for these sins, of course, will be to remain one of the richest people on Earth.

4/22: I’ve never actually watched “Westworld” so I’m going to go ahead and just assume its just robotic witches fighting robosamurai like from this trailer for the second season which I also didn’t watch.

1
Apr

Facebook will crack down on unwanted ad targeting by email


Facebook is still determined to limit data access in the wake of the Cambridge Analytica scandal. TechCrunch has learned that the social network is launching a certification tool requiring advertisers to pledge that they’ve obtained your permission before using your email address for ad targeting. The company has “always had terms in place” that required consent, Facebook spokesperson Elisabeth Diana said in confirming the report, but it’s aiming to make those terms “much more prominent.” It will also “educate advertisers” on how they can use that data.

The company added that the tool wasn’t in response to a specific incident. However, the firm does expect to reexamine its involvement with outside data measurement partners to ensure they handle info in a responsible way.

Whether or not this is a reaction to Cambridge Analytica, there’s no question that Facebook has been improving its privacy controls in the days since the data sharing scandal became public. In addition to slapping restrictions on third-party data providers, it recently introduced a simpler way to manage and delete data on your phone. Facebook wants you to know what you’re sharing and where that data is going.

The main question here is implementation: how will this permission tool work? Facebook declined to elaborate, so it’s difficult to say whether the tool will actively enforce the email requirements or just obtain promises. If it’s the latter, that could be a problem. Facebook’s terms didn’t prevent the misleading data collection and sharing in the Cambridge Analytica mess — a stern warning isn’t likely to deter unscrupulous advertisers bent on collecting your email info without asking.

Source: TechCrunch

1
Apr

Scoot your commute! Here are the 9 best electric scooters on the market


As of now, the grid and recharging stations needed to support tens of millions of electric cars on our highways and byways is years away. In the meantime, however, there is a wealth of electric scooters available to help you minimize your carbon footprint and reduce your greenhouse emissions. Plus, unlike electric cars, these electric scooters come with a lower price tag, and many of them can be readily used in most jurisdictions without having to purchase an insurance policy. Below are a few of our favorites, from Jetson to Electric Works.

Razor EcoSmart Metro ($369)

The EcoSmart Metro Electric Scooter is a refined, practical version of the first-generation Razor. Released last year, recent price cuts have brought it down to under $400, and it’s the cheapest model on our list. A 500-watt motor provides plenty of pop and a top speed of 18 miles per hour, while the sleek bamboo deck, adjustable seat, and removable luggage carrier add a welcome touch of style and pragmatism.

The rather limited max distance of 10 miles per charge and a daunting recharge time of up 12 hours are both glaring cons, but it’s hard to expect more from a scooter at this price point. You might not be able to fingerwhip the EcoSmart Metro Electric Scooter as easily as its first-gen counterpart, but getting around town will be much easier.

Max Speed
Max Distance
Charge Time
Motor Wattage
Weight
Max. Rider Capacity

18 mph
10 miles per charge
12 hours
500-watt
67 pounds
220 pounds

Buy one now from:

WalmartAmazon

Glion Dolly ($749)

Nowadays, many manufacturers tout the portability of their foldable scooters, yet, if said scooter weighs more than 70 pounds, it really isn’t all that “portable.” Thankfully, the Glion Dolly folds up nicely and weighs a cool 26 pounds, rendering it a true portable. If carrying the Glion around isn’t your thing, the Dolly Model also comes equipped with a handle extension that’s built directly into the frame. Simply fold the scooter, extend the handle, and roll the scooter behind you like a piece of traditional luggage. The Glion’s 250-watt motor might not provide a lot of power, but the scooter’s durable aluminum frame, 15-mile range, and low recharge time (3.5 hours) are all pros for this practical option.

Max Speed
Max Distance
Charge Time
Motor Wattage
Weight
Max. Rider Capacity

15 mph
15 miles per charge
3.5 hours
250-watt
26 pounds
250 pounds

Buy one now from:

Amazon

Super Cycles Super Turbo 1000W Elite ($899)

Do our previous suggestions leave you wanting just a bit more? Then Super Cycles Super Turbo 1000W Elite should get you a bit more excited. With a 1,000-watt motor, you can attain top speeds of 26 mph — that is, depending on rider weight and the surrounding terrain — rendering the Super Tuber one of the faster scooters on our list. The Turbo 1oooW Elite also borrows considerably from motorcycle tech, and as such, it features key-based ignition, mono shocks, disc brakes, wide tires, and a twist throttle. There are also two modes, econo and turbo, meaning you can easily dial down the power if you’re looking to go a bit further. The maximum distance is a little disappointing when you consider the scooter’s robust battery capacity, but it’s a small trade-off for speed.

Max Speed
Max Distance
Charge Time
Motor Wattage
Weight
Max. Rider Capacity

26 mph
18 miles per charge
Up to 8 hours
1,000-watt
72 pounds
250 pounds. + 300 pounds (w/ “hill kit”)

Buy one now from:

Amazon

Scrooser ($4,999+)

At nearly $5,000, the zero-emissions Scrooser isn’t cheap. However, the design of the Scrooser is one of the sleekest we’ve seen, one that should make for an equally smooth ride. The German-built scooter doesn’t break any land speed records — top speeds max out at 3.7, 12.4, or 15.5 mph, depending on your configuration — but a maximum range of 34 miles puts it at the top of our list. Charge time is pretty average for the 500-watt motor, coming in at around 2.5 to 4 hours, though you can can get it up to 80-percent strength in a mere two hours. Another interesting feature is the impulse motor that lies at the heart of the drive train, which is how you start the scooter. The more force you use to push off, the faster the Scrooser will go. The models configured for higher speeds even have a built-in throttle, which controls the electric motor with or without your help. Read more here.

Max Speed
Max Distance
Charge Time
Motor Wattage
Weight
Max. Rider Capacity

15.5 mph
30 miles per charge
2.5-4 hours
500-watt
123 pounds (without battery)
330 pounds

Order one now from:

Scrooser 

GigaByke Groove ($1,400)

With a one of the longest ranges on our list, the GigaByke Groove doesn’t intend to limit you to short trips like some other scooters on the market. The nimble machine can travel up to 35 miles on a single charge, yet, that doesn’t necessarily mean that you’ll be burning rubber in the process — the Groove tops out at 20 mph given its ample 750-watt motor (probably to give you such great range, we’d think). An LED headlight, turn signals, digital speedometer are all added perks for inner city commuters. If distance rather than speed is your thing, the Groove is one of the best scooters out there for achieving it, and you have four different color options to get there in style.

Max Speed
Max Distance
Charge Time
Motor Wattage
Weight
Max. Rider Capacity

20 mph
35 miles per charge
6 hours
750-watt
180 pounds
250 pounds

Buy one now from:

Amazon

Jetson Electric Bike ($1,780+)

Jetson took an aesthetically classic approach with their latest eBike series, but the underlying mechanics and 500-watt electric motor are anything but traditional. With a charge time of less than an hour, the Jetson eBike won’t bog you down with charge-related delays between trips. The electric scooter also allows you to partially recharge the battery by simply pedaling, but suffers from a rather mundane top speed of 20 mph. It is capable of hauling up to 375 pounds and going 40 miles on a single charge, which makes for an enjoyable — albeit, rather slow — ride for two.

Max Speed
Max Distance
Charge Time
Motor Wattage
Weight
Max. Rider Capacity

20 mph
30-40 miles per charge
1 hour
500-watt
125 pounds
375 pounds

Buy one now from:

Amazon

Mahindra GenZe 2.0 ($3,000)

GenZe unveiled its second-generation scooter earlier this year. The latest model, GenZe 2.0, starts at $3,000 and comes loaded with a plethora of handy features. One of the scooter’s real standouts is its 7-inch touchscreen display and digital speedometer, which allows you to switch between various performance options (Safe, Econ, Sport) while the vehicle isn’t in motion. The GenZe 2.0 also utilizes the touchscreen when starting, requiring drivers to input a four-digit PIN.

An on-board CAN bus continuously sends data to the company’s servers and the official companion app iOS and Android. Nearly 95 variables are updated every five seconds, spanning everything from engine temperature to the status of the built-in kickstand. An embedded GPS also allows you to locate your GenZe at anytime, and you can also receive an alert via the app if the scooter ever happens to exit a predetermined geographical range. It utilizes AT&T’s cellular network when it cannot access Wi-Fi hot spots, too, at no additional cost.

There are plenty of practical features as well, including a pair of charging docks housed beneath the seat and an open cargo space in the rear for 75-pound loads. The GenZe 2.0’s aluminum frame weighs in at a mere 232 pounds, too, though the low weight does not translate to increased speed. The paltry acceleration time — it can go from zero to 30 mph in 8 seconds — isn’t exactly telling of a white-knuckle experience, either. Read more here.

Max Speed
Max Distance
Charge Time
Motor Wattage
Weight
Max. Rider Capacity

30 mph
30 miles
3.5 hours
N/A
232 pounds
295 pounds

Buy one now from:

GenZe

Works Electric Rover BR2 ($5,950+)

With a price tag starting at $5,950, Works Electric’s BR2 is by far one of the most expensive electric scooters on the market. On the same token, the BR2 is also virtually unmatched in performance and technology. Brad Baker, owner of Works Electric and creator of the BR2, addressed the high price quite straightforwardly: “You want something cheaper, go buy something else.” With a powerful, 4000-watt ZM2 Brushless Drive System, a top speed of 35 mph, and the ability to go from 0 to 30 mph in 4.1 seconds, Baker does have a point. The scooter’s 30-mile range just seals the deal. Read more here.

Max Speed
Max Distance
Charge Time
Motor Wattage
Weight
Max. Rider Capacity

35 mph
30 miles per charge
5 hours
4,000-watt
79 pounds
260 pounds

Buy one now from:

Works Electric

Ecoreco S5 ($699+)

Lightweight and affordable, Ecoreco’s scooters come in a wide variety. The company’s newest addition — the Ecoreco S5 — is an urban commuter’s dream. Weighing in at 30 pounds and sporting a slim, collapsible chassis, finding a spot for it on the bus or under your desk won’t be a problem. With a customizable max speed of 7, 12, or 20 miles per hour,  and a running distance of 10 to 20 miles per charge; this scooter will get you where you need to go quickly and reliably. With its included safe-start throttle, three stage braking, LED lights, and mounts for your gadgets; Ecoreco’s S5 is a great choice for anyone looking to hack their commute without breaking the bank.

Max Speed
Max Distance
Charge Time
Motor Wattage
Weight
Max. Rider Capacity

20 mph
10-20 miles per charge
2-5 hours
700-watt
30 pounds
250 pounds

Buy one now from:

Ecoreco

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1
Apr

Huawei P20 Pro vs. Huawei P10 Plus: A year is a long time in tech


The Huawei P20 Pro has been grabbing headlines because of its triple-lens camera, but it has plenty besides that to recommend it. This is a real, cutting-edge 2018 flagship with a price tag to match. But how does it measure up against its predecessor, the Huawei P10 Plus? A lot can happen in a year. Let’s take a closer look and see how these phones compare.

Specs

Huawei P20 Pro
Huawei P10 Plus

Size
155 x 73.9 x 7.8 mm (6.1 x 2.9 x 0.3 inches)
153.5 x 74.2 x 7 mm (6.04 x 2.92 x 0.28 inches)

Weight
174 grams (6.14 ounces)
165 grams (5.82 ounces)

Screen size
6.1-inch OLED display
5.5-inch LCD display

Screen resolution
2240 x 1080 pixels (408 pixels-per-inch)
2560 x 1440 pixels (540 pixels-per-inch)

Operating system
Emotion UI 8.1 (over Android 8.1 Oreo)
Emotion UI 5.1 (over Android 7.0 Nougat)

Storage space
128GB
64GB or 128GB

MicroSD card slot
No
Yes

Tap-to-pay services
Google Pay
Google Pay

Processor
Kirin 970
Kirin 960

RAM
6GB
4GB or 6GB

Camera
Triple lens 40MP, 20MP, and 8MP rear, 24MP front
Dual lens 20MP and 12MP, 8MP front

Video
2160p at 30 frames per second, 1080p at 30 fps, 720p at 960 fps
 2160p at 30 frames per second, 1080p at 60 fps

Bluetooth version
Bluetooth 4.2
Bluetooth 4.2

Ports
USB-C
USB-C

Fingerprint sensor
Yes
Yes

Water resistance
IP67
IPX3

Battery
4,000mAh
3,750mAh

App marketplace
Google Play Store
Google Play Store

Network support
T-Mobile, AT&T
T-Mobile, AT&T

Colors
Black, Blue, Pink Gold, Twilight
White, Blue, Gold, Black, Silver, Rose Gold, Green

Price
899 euros (around $1,100)
700 euros (around $850)

Where to buy it

Huawei,

Huawei, Amazon

Review score
Hands-on review
4 out of 5 stars

Performance, battery life, and charging

Andy Boxall/Digital Trends

The snappy performance of the P20 Pro is down to Huawei’s own Kirin 970 processor, along with its Neural Processing Unit (NPU), which has a number of special artificial intelligence (A.I.) tricks up its sleeve and is designed to take the burden off the main processor. The P10 Plus has the older Kirin 960 processor and predates Huawei’s push into A.I. There’s no doubt that the P20 Pro will outperform the P10 Plus.

You get 6GB of RAM in the P20 Pro, while the P10 Plus comes in two versions, one with 4GB of RAM and one with 6GB. The P20 Pro offers 128GB of storage, but there’s no MicroSD card slot. The P10 Plus comes with 64GB or 128GB of storage and there is room for a MicroSD card, offering expansion by up to 256GB.

These phones both boast big batteries: The P20 Pro has a 4,000mAh battery, while the battery in the P10 Plus is rated at 3,750mAh. The P20 Pro has a bigger screen, though the resolution is lower, so we’d expect the extra capacity to tell. Sadly, there’s no wireless charging support, but both phones offer Huawei’s SuperCharge fast-charging standard.

Winner: Huawei P20 Pro

Design and durability

Andy Boxall/Digital Trends

These are both expensive-looking, attractive phones, but the P20 Pro looks much more modern than the P10 Plus. Huawei has embraced the notch trend we’re seeing in Android phones and created a gorgeous glass back in various colors. Unusually for a new phone nowadays, the fingerprint sensor is on the front of the P20 Pro, just like it is with the P10 Plus, but the older phone has much larger bezels above and below the screen. On the back, the P10 Plus has that distinctive camera module along the top, whereas the P20 Pro opts for three vertically stacked lenses.

In terms of durability, the P10 Plus has a distinctly disappointing IPX3 rating, while the P20 Pro scores an IP67 rating. In simple terms, this means that the P20 Pro can survive submersion, while the P10 Plus is only equipped to deal with the odd splash.

Winner: Huawei P20 Pro

Display

Andy Boxall/Digital Trends

The P20 Pro boasts a 6.1-inch OLED screen with a 2240 x 1080 pixel screen resolution. The P10 Plus only has a 5.5-inch LCD screen, but it does boast a higher resolution of 2560 x 1440 pixels. In terms of pixel density this means that the P20 Pro scores 408 pixels-per-inch, while the P10 Plus offers 540ppi. The P10 Plus screen is significantly sharper, but the OLED in the P20 Pro has a much higher contrast ratio, with rich colors and really deep blacks. We think the P20 Pro has the superior screen and it’s also much bigger despite the body of the phone not being that much bigger.

Winner: Huawei P20 Pro

Camera

Andy Boxall/Digital Trends
Andy Boxall/Digital Trends

We’re not necessarily convinced that more lenses makes for a better camera, but Huawei clearly is. The P20 Pro has an unprecedented three lenses making up the main camera: There’s a 40-megapixel main lens, an 8-megapixel telephoto lens, and a 20-megapixel monochrome lens. Put that together and you get a very high level of detail, powerful optical zoom, a solid bokeh effect for blurred backgrounds, and great low-light performance.

By contrast, the P10 Plus combines a 12-megapixel primary lens with a 20-megapixel monochromatic lens. We were very impressed with some of the photos we were able to capture with the P10 Plus, but there’s little doubt that the P20 Pro is capable of more — we’re just beginning to test so we can find out how good that triple lens camera really is.

The P10 Plus has a typical 8-megapixel front-facing camera, but the P20 Pro boasts a selfie camera rated at 24-megapixels.

Winner: Huawei P20 Pro

Software and updates

Andy Boxall/Digital Trends

You’ll find the latest Android 8.1 Oreo on the P20 Pro, with Huawei’s EMUI 8.1 user interface on top. The P10 Plus shipped with Android 7.0 Nougat and EMUI 5.1, though it has since been updated to Android 8.0 Oreo and EMUI 8.0. Huawei’s Emotion UI is a real departure from stock Android, but it does offer some nifty tricks. The software experience on these two phones will be very similar, but the P20 Pro has slightly newer software and we expect it to get updates for longer.

Winner: Huawei P20 Pro

Special features

Andy Boxall/Digital Trends

Huawei is firmly focused on the triple-lens camera as the standout feature of the P20 Pro, though the camera was also a headline feature for the P10 Plus. There are no real standout extras that might be described as special features here, but everything you might point to in the P10 Plus, from the software to the battery life, is done better in the P20 Pro.

Winner: Huawei P20 Pro

Price

The P10 Plus has struggled to put up much of a fight here, but it definitely wins on price. The Huawei P20 Pro costs 900 euros (around $1,100), while the P10 Plus costs 700 euros (around $850), though you can get it even cheaper now if you shop around.

We’ve been fans of Huawei’s phones for a while now, so it’s shame the company has run into problems trying to crack the U.S. market. Though you can’t get either of these phones from your carrier, you can still buy them direct from Huawei and use them in the States on T-Mobile or AT&T and they’re widely available in the rest of the world.

Winner: Huawei P10 Plus

Overall winner: Huawei P20 Pro

With a triple-lens camera, a superior processor, a better design, a bigger battery, and greater durability, the P20 Pro is the clear winner here. It looks to be an excellent phone that will surely turn a lot of heads. The only reason you might choose the P10 Plus is to save yourself some money.

Editors’ Recommendations

  • Huawei P20 Pro vs. the P20: Which smartphone is the right Huawei to go?
  • Huawei P20 Pro vs. Samsung Galaxy S9 Plus: Are three better than two?
  • Huawei P20 Pro hands-on review
  • Here’s everything you need to know about the Huawei P20
  • Huawei Mate 10 Pro review


1
Apr

Where’s Waldo? He’s hiding out in Google Maps for the next few days


Albert Khoury/Digital Trends

In celebration of April Fools, Google has brought Waldo and his iconic, red-and-white sweater to Google Maps on iOS, Android, and desktop browsers.

Starting today, whenever you open Google Maps on any of the above platforms, you’ll find Waldo waving at you. Waldo will share his location with you too, so you can search for him in various locales using Google Maps. You can start your hunt by asking Google Assistant, “Hey Google, Where’s Waldo?”

The game itself is basically a digital version of the classic children’s books. Players can use Google Maps to search for Waldo in various locations across the world. Players will need to make use of the various viewing features within Google Maps to find where Waldo is hiding among well-known spots.

Google fans know that this is far from the first time the search giant has created something like this. The company is well known for inserting little games and Easter eggs into its services (here are our favorites). Some of the more well-known ones include Chrome’s dinosaur-run game to help you kill time when your internet is down, or a missile command game embedded within YouTube. The iconic video game character Pac-Man, as well as his better half Ms. Pac-Man, have also appeared in Google Maps around this time over the past couple of years.

Those who are still upset over never receiving their owl to Hogwarts can even get a small taste of what it is like to be a wizard by way of Google Assistant. If you’re on an Android phone, simply tell Google Assistant “Lumos” and watch as the phone’s flashlight turns on. To turn it off again, simply say “nox.” Those who want some peace and quiet can even silence their phones via the command “Silencio.” Sure, it’s not quite as good as attending Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, but it’s still pretty fun.

While the Hogwarts spells appear to be a permanent addition to Google Assistant, Waldo will not be hanging around for very long. As part of a celebration for April Fools, Waldo will only be here for a few days. Waldo and friends will be hiding in Google Maps from March 31 to April 4. After that, you’ll have to go back to looking for him the old-fashioned way.

Editors’ Recommendations

  • Setting up Voice Match on your Google Home? Here’s a step-by-step guide
  • Pay and get paid instantly with Google Assistant’s new command
  • Google’s new Assistant Go brings Assistant to low-power phones
  • The JBL Link View could be another one of Google’s answers to the Echo Show
  • Google’s new recommendation program showcases the best phones for business


1
Apr

Uber kills UberRush on-demand delivery service


In a move that will likely come as no surprise, Uber has confirmed that it is shutting down its on-demand delivery service, UberRush. The service, which was conceived as an on-demand parcel delivery service for merchants, has been confirmed to be entering its final days. Tech Crunch reports that those who make use of the service have received an email informing them that UberRush will cease operations on July 30 of this year.

“We’re winding down UberRUSH deliveries and ending services by the end of June,” an Uber representative told Tech Crunch. “We’re thankful for our partners and hope the next three months will allow them to make arrangements for their delivery needs. We’re already applying a lot of the lessons we learned together to our UberEats food delivery business in over 200 global markets across more than 100,000 restaurants.”

Launched in New York City in 2014 before expanding to Chicago and San Francisco, UberRush allowed customers to request deliveries for small packages, though it made exceptions for things such as guns, animals, and illegal drugs. However, the service does not appear to have been too successful. A large part of that might be the fact that, during the early period of its existence, UberRush was mostly used by restaurants as a way of handling food deliveries. Last year, Uber felt that Rush was competing too much with UberEats and told restaurants that they would have to make the switch over to Uber Eats.

Whereas UberRush never made it outside of those three cities, UberEats is available pretty much everywhere in the United States from New York City to small towns. It has also expanded outside of the United States to multiple different countries.

UberRush is not the only such service to meets its end in recent weeks. Earlier this month, Shyp announced that it would be shutting down. The on-demand shipping service offered services similar to those offered by UberRush. Unlike Uber’s offering, Shyp never made it out of the Bay Area and the company shut down after failing to meet several of its target goals.

Overall, it seems that on-demand shipping simply isn’t ready for prime time. With the USPS, FedEx, and UPS all being well-established, it may be very difficult for start-ups to break in, whereas food delivery services are something that many restaurants can afford to outsource.

Editors’ Recommendations

  • Nuro wants to make pizza delivery guys a thing of the past
  • More than just smartphones: 5 emerging technologies from MWC 2018
  • David Chang’s food-delivery concept Ando is now in the hands of Uber Eats
  • Hungry? These are the 9 best food-delivery apps that bring deliciousness to you
  • From ‘Anthem’ to ‘Smash Bros. on Switch,’ here are the games coming to E3 2018


1
Apr

Huawei P20 Pro vs Google Pixel 2 XL: Can the P20 Pro dethrone Android royalty?


Huawei has finally unveiled its latest and greatest flagship smartphone, the Huawei P20 Pro. The phone boasts some very interesting features, including a beautiful new design, edge-to-edge display, and three camera sensors.

But how does the P20 Pro compare with other recent flagship phones? The Google Pixel 2 XL has been a huge hit since its release in October, largely because of its excellent camera and stylish design. Which of the two devices is the one to go for? We put them head to head to find out.

Specs

Huawei P20 Pro
Google Pixel 2 XL

Size
155 x 73.9 x 7.8 mm (6.1 x 2.91 x 0.31 inches)
157.9 x 76.7 x 7.9mm (6.22 x 3.02 x 0.31 inches)

Weight
180 grams (6.34oz)
175 grams (6.17oz)

Screen Size
6.1-inch AMOLED display
6.0-inch P-OLED display

Screen Resolution
2,240 x 1,080 pixels (408ppi)
2,880 x 1,440 pixels (538ppi)

Operating System
Emotion UI 8.1 (over Android 8.1 Oreo)
Android 8.1 Oreo

Storage Space
128GB
64GB/128GB

MicroSD Card Slot
No
No

Tap To Pay Services
Google Pay
Google Pay

Processor
Kirin 970
Qualcomm Snapdragon 835

RAM
6GB
4GB

Camera
Triple lens 40MP, 20MP, & 8MP rear, 24MP front
12.2MP rear, 8MP front

Video
2,160p at 30 frames per second, 1,080p at 30fps, 720p at 960fps
2,160p at 30 frames per second, 1,080p at 120fps, 720p at 240fps

Bluetooth Version
Bluetooth 4.2
Bluetooth 5.0

Ports
USB-C
USB-C

Fingerprint sensor
Yes
Yes

Water resistance
IP67
IP67

Battery
4,000mAh
3,520mAh

App Marketplace
Google Play Store
Google Play Store

Network support
AT&T, T-Mobile
AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, Verizon

Colors
Black, Blue, Twilight, Pink Gold
Just Black, Black & White

Price
899 euros (around $1,100)
$850

Buy From
Huawei
Google, Amazon

Review Score
Hands-on review
4.5 stars

Performance, battery life, and charging

Andy Boxall/Digital Trends

Both of these phones are flagship devices, and as such they offer a high level of performance. The Huawei P20 Pro is equipped with Huawei’s Kirin 970 processor, which is the company’s own latest and greatest chip. The Google Pixel 2 XL, on the other hand, offers the Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 processor — which is Qualcomm’s 2017 flagship chip. It’s a little hard to compare these chips considering they’re made by different manufacturers, but the gist of things is that they perform very similarly. Benchmark results from the Huawei Mate 10 Pro — which offers similar specs to the P20 Pro with the same processor — and the Google Pixel 2 XL, show that you should expect almost identical performance. The P20 Pro has 6GB of RAM, while the Pixel 2 XL makes do with 4GB of RAM, though only major multitaskers will feel the difference.

When it comes to storage, the P20 Pro offers 128GB, while the Google Pixel 2 XL comes in with either 64GB or 128GB of storage. Neither has a MicroSD card slot.

Then there’s battery life, and despite the fact that the Huawei P20 Pro offers a slightly larger display, it also offers a much lower display resolution — meaning the larger, 4,000mAh battery will probably be much more effective than the Google Pixel 2 XL’s 3,520mAh battery. We think it’s the clear winner here.

While you could argue that the performance between these two phones is very similar, the battery life and extra RAM in the Huawei P20 Pro earns it the win.

Winner: Huawei P20 Pro

Design and durability

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Both the Huawei P20 Pro and Google Pixel 2 XL feature beautiful designs that are very “2018.” The P20 Pro features a “notch,” a design choice popularized by Apple with the iPhone X, and the notch includes the front-facing camera and earpiece for phone calls. It also offers a nice big, edge-to-edge display, along with a curvy glass back and metal frame that should help keep the phone generally well-protected. The fingerprint sensor can be found on the front beneath the screen. It also boasts IP67 water-resistance.

The Google Pixel 2 XL is a little different in terms of its design. Its display is nice and big, but there’s thankfully no notch. The phone also features a largely metal back with a glass shade at the top, and a fingerprint sensor. It too offers IP67 water-resistance.

We think the design of the Huawei P20 Pro is a little more modern, apart from the fingerprint sensor placement, however the Google Pixel 2 XL is a good-looking phone that we’ve enjoyed using. This one comes down to personal preference.

Winner: Tie

Display

Andy Boxall/Digital Trends

When it comes to display, there’s a slight trade-off. The Huawei P20 Pro’s AMOLED display is slightly larger, coming in at 6.1-inches compared to the Google Pixel 2 XL’s 6-inches. Still, we think the tiny size difference is irrelevent considering the difference in display resolution. While the Huawei P20 Pro’s display offers a resolution of 2,240 x 1,080 pixels, with a pixel-density of 408 pixels-per-inch, the Google Pixel 2 XL seriously steps things up with a resolution of 2,880 x 1,440 pixels, which equates to a pixel density of 538ppi. That will be really helpful for things like mobile VR. Because of that, the Pixel 2 XL is the clear winner.

Winner: Google Pixel 2 XL

Camera

Tinh tế Photo/Flickr

Huawei has done a lot of work on the camera tech for its new phones. In fact, the Huawei P20 Pro boasts a hefty three camera sensors — which should help create some pretty awesome shots. It offers a massive 40-megapixel primary sensor, which is joined by an 8-megapixel telephoto lens. Then, you’ll find a 20-megapixel monochrome lens, which will be used when taking photos to create sharper images that look better in low light.

None of that means it’s much better than the single sensor on the Google Pixel 2 XL, which is our current pick of the best camera phones. The Pixel 2 XL may only offer one 12.2-megapixel sensor, but Google has been working hard on machine learning and artificial intelligence to create dual-sensor effects and produce excellent images.

While it looks better on paper, we’ll have to wait and see exactly how well the Huawei P20 Pro’s three lenses perform. Until then, this one’s a tie.

Winner: Tie

Software and updates

Andy Boxall/Digital Trends

Both the Huawei P20 Pro and Google Pixel 2 XL feature Android 8.0 Oreo, but they offer slightly different implementations of it. While Google sticks with stock Android for the Google Pixel 2 XL, Huawei has instead opted for its Emotion UI 8.1. Emotion UI seems to be pretty fluid and easy to use, though die-hard stock Android fans won’t like the tweaks that are there.

Google’s stock Android can be considered “Android as Google intended.” It’s fluid, a little more minimal, and relatively easy to use.

There’s another advantage to using stock Android — updates are immediate. You won’t have to wait for Huawei and/or carriers to push out their versions of Android updates. Instead, they’ll become available on your phone as soon as Google releases them. That means you have the latest security updates and new features as soon as they roll out. Because of that, we’re giving Google the win here.

Winner: Google Pixel 2 XL

Special features

Andy Boxall/Digital Trends

The Google Pixel 2 XL offers all the latest and greatest A.I. features — like Google Lens, an object-recognition system that might come in handy. Of course, the Huawei P20 Pro has some A.I. features of its own — it’ll offer Huawei’s Neural Processing Unit, or NPU, to handle A.I. tasks like smart image processing and translation. We expect to see more phones with dedicated chips for artificial intelligence in the near future.

Still, both of these phones have some cool special features — so this one’s a tie.

Winner: Tie

Price

Huawei seems to be taking a page out of Apple’s book for the P20 Pro. The phone is being released at 899 euros (around $1,100), which is a lot of cash for a smartphone. The Google Pixel 2 XL, on the other hand, sits in at $850. That’s still a lot of money, to be sure, but it’s a significant amount cheaper than the Huawei device.

The Huawei P20 Pro also won’t be released in the U.S. through carriers, so if you want one you’ll need to buy it outright. Google offers monthly financing for the Pixel 2 XL or you can buy it at Verizon.

Winner: Google Pixel 2 XL

Overall winner: Google Pixel 2 XL

Despite being a little older, the better all-around phone is the Google Pixel 2 XL. It features similar processing power, an excellent camera, quick software updates, and more.

Of course, that doesn’t mean the Huawei P20 Pro isn’t worth buying — it looks to be a great device. If you like the big edge-to-edge display and the prospect of a triple lens camera, then it may be the phone to go for.

Editors’ Recommendations

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1
Apr

Samsung Galaxy S9 vs. Galaxy S8: Should you upgrade?


This one is a tough sell — but a sell Samsung isn’t really trying to make in the first place.

It doesn’t take long to realize the Galaxy S9 is very similar to its predecessor. Hand the two phones to an average person, and they wouldn’t likely know which one is the “newer” device. They have extremely similar designs, the software is near-identical and the insides haven’t dramatically changed either.

Nevertheless, people who love their Galaxy S8 are likely to be interested in anything Samsung has to offer, and will want to know whether the next flagship is worth their time and money. Here’s what you can expect when looking to upgrade from the Galaxy S8 to the Galaxy S9.

What’s the same

Samsung seems happy with its current design language because it kept things nearly identical for its 2018 flagship. The Galaxy S9 is almost the exact same physically as the outgoing Galaxy S8, with only a 1.2 mm reduction in height and 8-gram increase in weight separating the two. The metal and glass are both thicker, but you’d be hard-pressed to tell if someone didn’t let you in on the secret. You may notice the subtle change from a glossy to lightly textured finish on the metal — but the actual feel of it isn’t much different.

Physically, these two phones are nearly identical.

That means that the screen size remains the same at 5.8-inches in the Samsung standard 18.5:9 aspect ratio, with the same resolution, curved sides, rounded corners, and Gorilla Glass covering. The buttons all remain in near-identical positions, including the Bixby button on that left side underneath the volume rocker. Inside you have the same 64GB storage (plus SD card slot), 4GB of RAM, wireless charging, fast charging and all of the other Samsung standards. It also notably did not improve charging speeds, leaving things at Quick Charge 2.0 levels.

The important thing to note here is that nothing has gotten worse or less capable for 2018 — Samsung only built upon and improved from the Galaxy S8. In a way that’s a feature of this release, as so many times we see companies try to push the envelope year-over-year in a way that ends up leaving behind well-liked features from previous versions. So, look on the bright side.

What’s different

The most substantial change in the Galaxy S9 is an all-new camera setup, comprised of a new “Super Speed” Dual Pixel sensor and a lens with a physically variable aperture. The sensor offers dramatically reduced grain and improved fine edge processing, which was a sore spot of the Galaxy S8 in low-light scenes. Speaking of, the move to an f/1.5 aperture also lets in more light in badly lit scenes, giving that improved sensor even more to work with. The result is notably improved low-light photography that’s among the best in the industry. The new sensor also gives the Galaxy S9 a 960 fps super slow-motion mode, going well beyond the Galaxy S8 for a super dramatic effect.

Lots of subtle improvements, and absolutely no downside.

Even though the battery hasn’t gotten any larger, the Galaxy S9 has more efficient processor that can help a little with overall longevity. Whether you get the Snapdragon 845 or Exynos 9 version, both processors are more frugal with power for normal tasks, which in the end will save you battery (though the Snapdragon model seems to be the better of the two this year). Just how much is really going to depend on how you use the phone, but considering the rest of the experience has remained effectively constant, don’t expect this to be a massive improvement.

Samsung’s only claimed improvement with the 5.8-inch display for 2018 is a bump in brightness, but at a 15% increase that’s pretty substantial. That puts the GS9’s display roughly on par with the Galaxy Note 8 in overall brightness, and that’s noticeable over the Galaxy S8. The Galaxy S9 bests the S8 and the Note 8 with audio, though, firing up a second speaker above the screen for stereo sound that’s louder and has crucial stereo separation.

And it’s a relatively small thing, but the one real change to the usability of the Galaxy S9 is its fingerprint sensor, which is far easier to reach and use than on the Galaxy S8. It makes the swipe-down gesture for the notification shade useful, and generally reduces frustration when you’re trying to unlock your phone — something you do hundreds of times a day.

Should you upgrade?

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I’ll say it right away: most people who have a Galaxy S8 shouldn’t expect to upgrade to a Galaxy S9. And with all of Samsung’s product decisions and messaging around the Galaxy S9 launch, it doesn’t expect many people to make the one-year upgrade either. There’s a massive base of Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S7 owners out there that are being targeted here, getting a refreshed and improved Galaxy S8 that’ll still look fantastic compared to those older phones.

If you bought your Galaxy S8 on Day 1 last year and have had it for a year now, you may be willing to sell off your phone to a third party and pay up the difference, but even in that case you’re looking at hundreds of dollars of outlay to get this newer phone that isn’t that much better. The one thing you could say for upgrading is that the Galaxy S9 does everything the S8 does, plus more — you don’t lose anything in the upgrade process. Even with that in mind, it’s tough to argue that a new camera system, moved fingerprint sensor, slightly faster processor and brighter screen is worth the hundreds of dollars it’ll cost to make the jump.

Samsung Galaxy S9 and S9+

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  • Join our Galaxy S9 forums

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1
Apr

Best PlayStation 4 Games of 2018


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Want to know what to get for your PlayStation 4? Start with these, the best games you can buy!

The PS4 has a ton of great titles available, but we all have a limited amount of time (and money) so we can’t just aimlessly pick games. That’s why we have a list of fantastic choices for you to check out if you’re looking for something new to play on your PlayStation 4.

1. Far Cry 5

While the Far Cry franchise has historically taken you to exotic locations to fight evil warlords of some description, this new game places you in a rural part of America to take on a doomsday cult pretending to be a semi-religious town. It’s true the supposed politics of this game has earned it a little bit of extra attention, but that quickly goes away when you see the actual story played out on the screen.

This is a great, straightforward shooter where the bad guys resemble something you’ve seen on TV. In other words, a standard visually fantastic Far Cry game. And for $60 you get lots of story to go with those visuals and violence.

2. Horizon Zero Dawn

If you own a PlayStation 4 and haven’t considered playing Horizon Zero Dawn, you’re just plain wrong. This is the best PlayStation 4 game of 2017 by a wide margin, especially if you’re into large open worlds and smashing brutal killer robots into pieces.

This game puts you in the skin of Aloy, an outcast from birth who fights her way into the hearts and minds of the entire world by uncovering the truth of how humanity got where it is in this post-apocalyptic nightmare.

Best of all, there’s a massive DLC for this game headed your way very soon!

See at Amazon

3. Monster Hunter: World

It doesn’t get much more open world than this. You can create a character with meticulous detail, join friends in teams for big fights with ease, and roam a massive new continent in search of all the biggest and baddest creatures you can find. Monster Hunter: World is as visually stunning as it is complex, and the perfect game for those who want to lose themselves in a good game for hours at a time.

Best of all, the game has had crossover events with other PlayStation 4 worlds like Horizon: Zero Dawn to help keep your style fresh and your missions full of excitement. Not bad for $45, especially if you’ve got some time to kill.

See at Amazon

4. The Witcher 3

The Witcher 3 is one of the most acclaimed games ever made, taking place in a huge open-world densely packed with incentives to explore, secrets to uncover and stories to unravel. It’s as action-packed as they come, interweaved with a darkly mature plot, choice and consequences, and a virtual world teeming with life.

The game has been continuously updated and refined since its launch, adding new features for free in addition to large expansions that heap value on top of its solid foundation. The Witcher 3 is completely unmissable.

See at Amazon

5. Resident Evil VII: Biohazard

It’s been a while since a horror game has been able to spook me a little and Resident Evil 7: Biohazard actually did it. This new entry in the horror series which was starting to feel a bit long in the tooth managed to breathe some new life into the franchise.

Resident Evil 7 dishes out equal parts jump-scares and creepy mood while engaging the player in genuinely satisfying game-play elements. If you’re looking for something scary and fun then I would absolutely recommend Resident Evil 7: Biohazard.

See at Amazon

6: Yakuza 0

There are so many things to love about the quirky yet endlessly fun Yakuza 0. If you like Yakuza films or Asian cinema in general then you are going to love Yakuza 0. The cinematic nature of the game is worth the price of admission alone. However, there is a ton of other reasons to love it as well.

Yakuza 0 is chock-a-block with side quest and mini games that are actually fun and engaging. There are loads of bits that will elicit genuine laughter and more than a few WTF moments to keep you on your toes. If you want a game that is incredibly fun and will keep you coming back then Yakuza 0 is for you.

See at Amazon

7: What Remains of Edith Finch

There is a reason that What Remains of Edith Finch won Best Narrative at the Game Awards 2017. It is an undeniably exceptional exercise in story-telling. What Remains of Edith Finch is yet another game to point to when you need to prove that video games are art.

Is there some issues with the game? Of course there are. However, I believe that What Remains of Edith Finch is a game that every gamer should experience, if nothing else just to see what can be done when it comes to narrative design in video games.

See at Amazon

8: Injustice 2

There is one thing that is incredibly important when it comes to fighting games and that is feel. It is an absolute imperative that a fighting game feels right and NetherRealm nailed it with Injustice 2. Setting aside character content for a moment, Injustice 2 is an amazingly satisfying fighting game that keeps me coming back again and again.

Injustice 2 also just happens to be the best superhero fighting game ever developed. All the DC characters act, speak, and fight the way any comic fan would expect. On top of all that the story mode is actually really great! Injustice 2 is well worth the time of any fighting game or comic fan.

See at Amazon

9: Life is Strange

To my mind, Life is Strange represents the collision of indie film making and indie game design. Life is Strange feels veritably unique. It feels like a piece of art that someone made with passion because they felt like they had something to say. It also happens to be one heck of a game.

Like What Remains of Edith Finch I think it proves all sorts of points about the effectiveness and beauty possible when it comes to storytelling in video games. Unlike Edith Finch, however, I think Life is Strange has a little meat on its bones as far as mechanics go.

And the great news is that if you love it then you can also pick up the prequel; Life is Strange: Before the Storm.

See at Amazon

10. Fallout 4

Fallout 4 is the latest installment in Bethesda’s post-apocalyptic RPG series, and is one of the finest open-world games around. This time Fallout heads to Boston and Vault 111, the hole in the ground from which you emerge in a future destroyed by nuclear weapons.

With its rich RPG systems, improved shooting mechanics, deep settlement construction engine and console-exclusive Xbox One mods, you’ll struggle to see everything Fallout 4 has to offer.

See at Amazon

11. NieR: Automata

Nobody will blame you for accidentally sleeping on a game with a name like this, but now that you know better it needs to be a part of your collection ASAP. NieR: Automata is a beautiful, dark hack and slash with heaps of futuristic tech and no shortage of epic scale.

It’s the kind of game you play with the lights down low and the speakers up high, because the action is nonstop and the balance of bright colors against the dark backgrounds of this game are brutally intense.

See at PlayStation

If you’re looking for the very best games you can find for PlayStation VR, then head on over and visit our buddies at VR Heads who’ll walk you through the best games for your headset!

Update, April 2018: We’ve updated this article to bring you the latest and greatest from the PlayStation library!

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1
Apr

The best smart smoke alarm


By Jennifer Pattison Tuohy

This post was done in partnership with Wirecutter. 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.

It’s hard to overstate the importance of having functioning, reliable smoke detectors in your home. From 2007 through 2011, almost a quarter of all home fire-related deaths in the US occurred in homes with nonworking smoke alarms. Although any functioning smoke alarm will alert you to problems if you’re at home, a smart alarm can alert you anywhere your smartphone has an Internet connection. For our tests, a former firefighter installed smart smoke alarms in her own home—both hardwired versions and battery-powered models—to find the best one for keeping you informed about your home’s status, whether you’re there or away. After mounting them to ceilings and walls, blowing smoke at them, fiddling with their batteries and accompanying apps, and generally pushing their buttons, we found that the second-generation Nest Protect smoke and carbon monoxide alarm is the best smart smoke alarm.

Who this is for

Among all the smart-home devices available today, a smart smoke alarm is probably the most important—even smart-home skeptics should consider getting one. Whether you’re across the street or across the country, a smart alarm will let you know (via your smartphone) when it detects smoke in your home. You can also remotely test the batteries or silence the alarm, as well as sync multiple smoke detectors across your home.

How we picked and tested

We looked at both battery-powered and hardwired alarms, and we evaluated their wireless interconnectivity features. Photo: Jennifer Pattison Tuohy

A smart smoke alarm should alert you on your smartphone when it senses smoke, as well as tell you which room is in danger; it should also include intelligent low-battery alerts and remain easy to silence safely from the app. Some other features worth having include voice alerts, self-testing and reporting, and the ability to reach an emergency-contact person automatically if you don’t respond.

Most important, an alarm should connect with other alarms in the home, either wirelessly or (if your home supports it) through a hardwired connection. This means that when one alarm senses danger, all of the alarms will sound. This is a crucial safety feature that can save you precious seconds in evacuating your home.

We tested seven smart fire alarms and similar devices that met these criteria by installing them in a two-story, detached home. We installed both battery-operated and hardwired versions (when available) and used their self-testing features to evaluate the effectiveness of their smart alerts and wireless interconnectivity capabilities. Additionally, we simulated smoke with each device to determine how well the alert features worked in a “real-life” scenario. We also tested each device’s companion app, evaluating the effectiveness and usefulness of added features like IoT connectivity.

Our pick

Photo: Michael Hession

We think the second-generation Nest Protect smoke and carbon monoxide alarm is the best smart smoke alarm because it reliably and calmly alerts you to potential danger before the actually loud and grating alarm kicks in. It also informs you of problems such as a device malfunction or low batteries without waking you up at 2 a.m. You can silence nuisance alarms through its app, so you’re less likely to disable it in a fit of annoyance. On top of that, it connects wirelessly with other Protects to sound the alarm throughout your home, and it can integrate with other smart-home components such as security cameras or HVAC systems to further mitigate the dangers of a fire or carbon monoxide event.

The Protect’s sensors can detect carbon monoxide, heat, humidity, room occupancy, and ambient light. It also has the Split-Spectrum Sensor, a sensor unique to Nest that promises to detect fast-burning fires more quickly than traditional photoelectric sensors do. It also self-tests its functions every 200 seconds, in addition to performing a sound check once a month to test its speaker and horn. Colored status lights (green for good, yellow for problems) let you know the Protect is working properly.

Budget pick

Roost’s smart functions come as a battery that you install in any smoke alarm, or as a complete alarm with the battery already installed. Photo: Jennifer Pattison Tuohy

If notifications when you are away from home are your main priority, a Roost Smart Battery is an excellent, inexpensive choice. This 9-volt smart battery is not a smoke alarm itself (Roost sells actual smoke alarms, too) but thanks to its built-in microphone and Wi-Fi chip, it can turn any smoke alarm powered by a 9-volt battery or hardwired with a 9-volt backup into a smart one. Once connected to the Roost app, the battery will send you alerts when an alarm goes off, what location the alarm is in, when the alarm stops, and when the battery is running low. If you have a hardwired smoke detector system, you need to install only one battery to monitor the entire system.

Though Roost makes it easy and cheap to add whole-house interconnectivity to a hardwired system, the biggest flaw is its lack of wireless interconnectivity between battery-powered alarms. If a battery-powered alarm loaded with a Roost battery sounds, it will bleep away sadly on its own until the danger spreads in the direction of the other alarms, but at least you get an alert on your phone.

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