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5
Oct

UK Daily Deals: Sengled smart light bulbs, Casper mattresses, and more


Whether you’re looking for new tech gear or household items, we’ve got you covered.

We found plenty of great deals today on Sengled Smart LED Light Bulbs, Casper mattresses, Samsung EVO Plus microSD cards, Philips 4K UHD TVs, and much more!

View the rest of the deals

Each day, the Thrifter UK team scouts out and shares amazing deals on products you know and love, helping you find the best prices on the ‘net.

For more UK deals coverage, be sure to keep an eye on Thrifter UK and follow the team on Twitter for the most up-to-the-minute coverage.

5
Oct

Protect your Galaxy Note 9 with a protective back panel or screen glass


He protecc. He attacc. But most importantly, he call bacc.

This Dome Glass reinforced hard back panel cover for the Samsung Galaxy Note 9 is down to $6.99 with code NT9THRFT on Amazon. The hard cover normally sells for around $10, and this price brings it down to one of the best we’ve ever seen.

whitestone-dome-note-93.jpeg?itok=6IX_xs

The same NT9THRFT will discount a couple of tempered glass screen protectors from Dome Glass, too. The 1-pack drops to $31.49 from a street price of $45. Grab the 2-pack for $41.99 instead of $60. These screen protectors fully cover the screen, are easy to install, and come with a limited lifetime warranty.

The hard back panel cover uses a transparent body so you can still stare at your pretty phone. It is also completely compatible with the Note 9’s wireless charging features so you won’t need to remove it or anything like that. The case has perfect cutouts for every port and long-term protection from scratches.

The Galaxy Note 9 is one of the most powerful phones of 2018, and it’s available at several retailers including Amazon and Best Buy, where it actually comes with a free 32-inch TV as well.

See on Amazon

5
Oct

Where to buy the Nokia 7.1


All the pre-order info you need in one place.

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Mid-range Android phones are a dime-a-dozen these days, but the recently announced Nokia 7.1 is shaping up to be one of the better ones you can buy.

The phone officially launches on October 28, but in the meantime, you can pre-order it from a number of retailers to ensure you’re among the very first to own it.

If you’re looking to buy the Nokia 7.1 in the U.S., here’s where you can get it.

Amazon

Amazon’s been confirmed as one of the retail partners for the Nokia 7.1, but at the time of publishing this roundup, it’s still nowhere to be seen. Once that changes, we’ll update this accordingly.

Best Buy

Pre-orders for the Nokia 7.1 in its Blue color are available right now at Best Buy for the expected retail pricing of $349.99.

Shipments are expected to be delivered by October 26, and if you’d like, you can add one or two years of Geek Squad accident protection for $70 and $110, respectively.

To help you save some cash, Best Buy is also offering $50 off if you buy the Nokia 7.1 and activate it on Cricket, AT&T Prepaid, or Simple Mobile.

See at Best Buy

B&H

Last but certainly not least, B&H is offering pre-orders for both the Blue and Steel variants of the Nokia 7.1. Pricing is slightly cheaper at $349.00, and depending on where you live, sales tax may not be required.

B&H also includes its Basic Photo/Video Kit for Smartphones that includes a smartphone mount clamp, flexible tripod, and LED light accessory that usually retails for $64.93

See at B&H

5
Oct

Apple Pay is ‘Coming Soon’ in Saudi Arabia


Apple today announced that Apple Pay is “coming soon” in Saudi Arabia, without providing a more specific timeframe.

The Saudi Payments Network (MADA), a major payment system in Saudi Arabia, also confirmed that it will soon introduce support for Apple Pay.

#Saudi Payment Network (MADA) announces it will soon Introduce #apple pay in #SaudiArabia 🇸🇦

Visit us at https://t.co/eE9VdOyjxb pic.twitter.com/KjpQYmWq7u

— People Of Saudi Arabia (@pplofKSA) October 5, 2018

Saudi Arabia would become at least the 30th region where Apple Pay is officially available. Apple Pay is also set to launch in Germany later this year, as Apple CEO Tim Cook confirmed on the company’s earnings call in late July.

Apple Pay first launched in the United States in October 2014, and has since expanded to many other countries, such as the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, China, Singapore, Switzerland, France, Japan, Spain, Italy, Sweden, Finland, Denmark, Russia, New Zealand, Brazil, Poland, Ireland, and Ukraine.

(Thanks, Abdullah and Ahmad!)

Related Roundup: Apple PayTag: Saudi Arabia
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5
Oct

Tim Cook Tweets in Memory of Steve Jobs, Who Passed Away Seven Years Ago Today


Apple CEO Tim Cook has tweeted in memory of his former boss and mentor Steve Jobs, who passed away on October 5, 2011. Today marks the seventh anniversary of the Apple co-founder’s death. He was 56 years old.

“Steve showed me—and all of us—what it means to serve humanity,” tweeted Cook, alongside a photo of Steve.

Steve showed me—and all of us—what it means to serve humanity. We miss him, today and every day, and we’ll never forget the example he set for us. pic.twitter.com/fsdeOIl6LB

— Tim Cook (@tim_cook) October 5, 2018

Here’s what Cook said on the day of Steve’s death:

Apple has lost a visionary and creative genius, and the world has lost an amazing human being. Those of us who have been fortunate enough to know and work with Steve have lost a dear friend and an inspiring mentor. Steve leaves behind a company that only he could have built, and his spirit will forever be the foundation of Apple. […]

No words can adequately express our sadness at Steve’s death or our gratitude for the opportunity to work with him. We will honor his memory by dedicating ourselves to continuing the work he loved so much.

We rounded up many other comments in our 2011 article for those who wish to look back, while Apple still has a Remembering Steve page on its website with condolences and memories from customers.

Steve Jobs narrated this unaired version of Apple’s famous Think Different ad in 1997:


Steve Jobs’ 2005 Stanford Commencement Speech, where he addresses his mortality:


Lisa Brennan-Jobs, the eldest daughter of Steve, recently shed a less flattering light on her father. In her “Small Fry” memoir released last month, Brennan-Jobs described both “moments of joy” and “coldness” about her father, including his “frequent use of money to confuse or frighten her.”

Tags: Tim Cook, Steve Jobs
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5
Oct

UK’s Cyber Security Agency Supports Apple’s Denial of China Having Infiltrated iCloud Servers


The United Kingdom’s National Cyber Security Centre has backed Apple’s and Amazon’s denials of a Bloomberg Businessweek report that claimed Chinese spies planted tiny chips the size of a pencil tip on motherboards manufactured by Supermicro, which both Apple and Amazon used at one time in data center servers.

“We are aware of the media reports but at this stage have no reason to doubt the detailed assessments made by AWS and Apple,” the agency, a unit of the GCHQ, said in a statement provided to Reuters today.

“The NCSC engages confidentially with security researchers and urges anybody with credible intelligence about these reports to contact us,” it added.

Apple was a Supermicro customer for several years, using its servers to power the likes of iCloud, Siri, and the App Store, although it severed ties with the company in 2016 due to a previously-reported and allegedly unrelated incident in which Apple discovered an infected driver on a single server in one of its labs.

Bloomberg Businessweek yesterday reported that Apple discovered the suspicious microchips around May 2015, after detecting odd network activity and firmware problems. Two senior Apple insiders were cited as saying the company reported the incident to the FBI, but kept details tightly held.

The insiders cited in the report said in the summer of 2015, a few weeks after Apple identified the malicious chips, the company started removing all Supermicro servers from its data centers. Every one of the 7,000 or so Supermicro servers was replaced in a matter of weeks, according to one of the insiders.

One government official cited in the Bloomberg Businessweek report said China’s goal was “long-term access to high-value corporate secrets and sensitive government networks.” No consumer data is known to have been stolen, the report added, but the extent of the alleged attack appears to be unclear.

Apple denied Bloomberg Businessweek’s report in a strongly-worded statement:

Over the course of the past year, Bloomberg has contacted us multiple times with claims, sometimes vague and sometimes elaborate, of an alleged security incident at Apple. Each time, we have conducted rigorous internal investigations based on their inquiries and each time we have found absolutely no evidence to support any of them. We have repeatedly and consistently offered factual responses, on the record, refuting virtually every aspect of Bloomberg’s story relating to Apple.

On this we can be very clear: Apple has never found malicious chips, “hardware manipulations” or vulnerabilities purposely planted in any server. Apple never had any contact with the FBI or any other agency about such an incident. We are not aware of any investigation by the FBI, nor are our contacts in law enforcement.

In response to Bloomberg’s latest version of the narrative, we present the following facts: Siri and Topsy never shared servers; Siri has never been deployed on servers sold to us by Super Micro; and Topsy data was limited to approximately 2,000 Super Micro servers, not 7,000. None of those servers has ever been found to hold malicious chips.

As a matter of practice, before servers are put into production at Apple they are inspected for security vulnerabilities and we update all firmware and software with the latest protections. We did not uncover any unusual vulnerabilities in the servers we purchased from Super Micro when we updated the firmware and software according to our standard procedures.

We are deeply disappointed that in their dealings with us, Bloomberg’s reporters have not been open to the possibility that they or their sources might be wrong or misinformed. Our best guess is that they are confusing their story with a previously-reported 2016 incident in which we discovered an infected driver on a single Super Micro server in one of our labs. That one-time event was determined to be accidental and not a targeted attack against Apple.

While there has been no claim that customer data was involved, we take these allegations seriously and we want users to know that we do everything possible to safeguard the personal information they entrust to us. We also want them to know that what Bloomberg is reporting about Apple is inaccurate.

Apple has always believed in being transparent about the ways we handle and protect data. If there were ever such an event as Bloomberg News has claimed, we would be forthcoming about it and we would work closely with law enforcement. Apple engineers conduct regular and rigorous security screenings to ensure that our systems are safe. We know that security is an endless race and that’s why we constantly fortify our systems against increasingly sophisticated hackers and cybercriminals who want to steal our data.

Apple later clarified that it is not under any kind of gag order or other confidentiality obligations after speculation mounted.

Note: Due to the political nature of the discussion regarding this topic, the discussion thread is located in our Politics, Religion, Social Issues forum. All forum members and site visitors are welcome to read and follow the thread, but posting is limited to forum members with at least 100 posts.

Tag: China
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5
Oct

Japan’s next-generation Shinkansen is its coolest bullet train yet


Designs for each end of Japan’s next-generation Alfa-X bullet train. JR East

Japan’s bullet trains feature some of the coolest train designs in the world, those sleek front cars maximizing their efficiency as they hurtle between the nation’s major cities.

Each new generation of Shinkansen brings with it a design even more dazzling than the one that went before, and the so-called Alfa-X, which stands for “Advanced Labs for Frontline Activity in rail eXperimentation,” is certainly no exception.

At 22 meters, Japan Railways’ next-generation bullet train sports the longest, sleekest nose of any train that’s gone before. The high-speed Alfa-X is set to begin testing in 2019 and will serve routes in the region of Tohoku east of Tokyo, and north to the island of Hokkaido.

The fastest bullet train in operation today travels at almost 320 kmh (198 mph), but the Alfa-X— or E956 Series to give it its official name — will whisk passengers along at a breathtaking 360 kmh (224 mph). During the test phase, however, Japan Railways hopes to push its next-generation bullet train to speeds of 400 kmh (248 mph).

It’ll be the fastest commercial train service in the world, though Shanghai’s maglev train, which admittedly uses different technology, carries passengers at an even greater speed of (431 kmh) 267 mph.

The high speed of the Alfa-X has been made possible by reducing the weight of the train’s components, Nippon.com reports. Work has also gone into reducing train noise inside and out, and, for an even smoother ride, new vertical vibration damping devices have been introduced to accompany the existing lateral ones. As for that extraordinary 22-meter-long nose, it’s been designed that way to reduce the pressure waves that are created when entering tunnels at high speed.

A bullet train currently operating in Japan. Trevor Mogg

In a country that has to deal with the constant threat of earthquakes, the Alfa-X will also incorporate new “anti-earthquake dampers” that automatically activate in response to strong tremors to stabilize the train’s movement and prevent it from toppling off the tracks. Bullet trains brake automatically and rapidly when nearby tremors occur, but the new dampers will help to improve stability not only as it’s moving, but also after it’s come to a stop.

The new design certainly promises an exhilarating experience for locals and tourists traveling east of Tokyo when the train goes into commercial service following testing.

Japan is also developing a high-speed maglev train. Using powerful magnets for levitation and propulsion, the train has already reached speeds of 603 km/h (375 mph) in testing, though a commercial service isn’t expected to launch until 2027 at the earliest.

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5
Oct

Motorola has the Power, and will use it on the 2019 Moto G7


Lenovo will return in 2019 with four new Motorola Moto G smartphones, according to rumors, adding a further model on top of the three announced in 2018. Currently known as the Moto G7, eager Moto fans should look out for the Moto G7, Moto G7 Play, Moto G7 Plus, and a Moto G7 Power.

The G6 range also has a Play and a Plus model, but Motorola last used the Power suffix on the Motorola One, announced in August. If the Moto G7 does get a Power model, we expect it will be a device with a larger, longer lasting battery. The Motorola One Power’s cell lasts for two days without a recharge, and has a fast charge feature for six hours use after just 15 minutes plugged in.

The rumor comes from reliable mobile leaker Evan Blass, who tweeted the comment; but it’s different to a rumor regarding 2019’s Moto G7 phones that came in September. It was suggested Motorola would take the opposite approach and release only two Moto G phones in 2019, keeping the standard and the Plus model, but abandoning the cheapest Play option. There was little to go on in the leak, which consisted of two logo images, and cannot be taken as absolute evidence of Motorola’s plans.

We aren’t likely to know anything certain for quite some time. Lenovo only released the new Motorola Moto G6 phones in May, so we shouldn’t expect anything official regarding the G7 until at least that time next year. However, further leaks may give us more clues as to Motorola’s intentions with the G7 range.

Once the undisputed champion of midrange, low-cost smartphones, Motorola has found itself competing against many other manufacturers over the last two years. Xiaomi, Honor, Nokia, and even OnePlus threaten Motorola’s G6 phones already, and we’re expecting Samsung to target them all with an interesting upcoming Galaxy A series phone, along with the new Galaxy A7 2018.

Motorola may feel it has to release more G7 devices to take on the rising challenge. A G7 Power with a larger battery will fill another niche, should it be added to the range. We’ll keep you updated.

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  • The Motorola Moto Z3: Everything you need to know



5
Oct

6 best alternatives to the Jaybird X4


jaybird-x4-review-7.jpg?itok=YBmhp393

The Jaybird X4 offers a modest upgrade from its predecessor, but if you’re in the market for workout earbuds, there’s no shortage of options available. The truly wireless Jabra Elite Active 65t in particular is a standout choice as it offers great sound quality, a comfortable fit, and Bluetooth 5.0 connectivity. Here are the best alternatives to the Jaybird X4.

Our pick

Jabra Elite Active 65t

elite-65-t-active.jpg?itok=S_IWfEOp

The active variant of Jabra’s Elite 65t share the same great sound quality and secure fit as the standard model, but come with IP56 rating (versus IP55) and a 2-year warranty against sweat and dust ingress. You get Bluetooth 5.0, 5-hour battery life with the case offering a further 10-hour charge, and Alexa or Google Assistant connectivity.

$189 at Amazon

Excellent sound quality

Bose SoundSport Wireless

bose.jpg?itok=7CDcobkS

The sound quality of the SoundSport Wireless is a notch above what you get with the X4, and the range of wingtips provided ensure you get the perfect fit. The earbuds don’t fully isolate noise, so you’ll be able to hear your surroundings when you’re out running. They’re good for six hours’ worth of use, and are sweat-resistant.

$149 at Amazon

Bone conduction tech

AfterShokz Trekz Titanium

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Unlike the rest of the headphones on this list, the Trekz Titanium use bone conduction tech to deliver sound through your cheekbones to the inner ear. These headphones sit outside your ear, allowing you to hear ambient noise when you’re working out, and the neckband ensures they stay on even during extended running sessions. The Trekz Titanium is also IP55 rated and has a battery life of six hours.

$98 at Amazon

Ideal for runners

Jaybird Tarah

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Jaybird’s $100 Tarah is designed for runners. The earbuds come with an IPX7 rated design, fast charging, 6-hour battery life, customizable EQ, and a range of silicone ear gels that ensure you get a comfortable fit. They cost $30 less than the X4 and offer a similar design, so if you’re looking to save some cash, the Tarah is a great alternative.

$100 at Amazon

Great budget pick

Anker SoundBuds Surge

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Retailing for $24, you can pick up five of these for the price of a Jaybird X4. The SoundBuds Surge offer a lightweight design with wingtips that ensure a tight fit, aptX codec for great sound quality, IPX5 water resistance, a 3-button remote, and 6-hour battery life. Oh, and the earbuds have magnetic connectors at the end, so they snap together just like OnePlus’ Bullets Wireless.

$24 at Amazon

A versatile option

Plantronics BackBeat Fit

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The best thing about the BackBeat Fit is that they stay in place regardless of the workout. They offer an IP57 rating and a sweatproof nano-coating for added durability, and you can also access an on-demand coaching feature to get you motivated to hit your fitness goals. With an 8-hour battery life, the BackBeat Fit can also help keep you motivated no matter how long your race or workout runs.

$106 at Amazon

Whether you work out at the local gym or prefer running on the road, there are several options in the market today to suit your needs. The Jabra Elite Active 65t gets our vote because of the freedom you get with the truly wireless earbuds. They provide a secure fit that ensures they don’t fall out, and the 5-hour battery life should be more than adequate for marathon running sessions.

Google Assistant integration is an added bonus that lets you change tunes or switch to your favorite podcast directly with your voice. At $189, you’re getting your money’s worth with the earbuds.

5
Oct

Should you buy a Nest Protect?


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Best answer: The Nest Protect is the best smart smoke detector you can buy. It ties in seamlessly with other Nest products as well as the Google Home ecosystem. It also outperforms other models in controlled testing because of it’s superior sensing abilities. It’s also very expensive, but a smoke detector is one of those things worth spending more on to get the best. So, yes, you should buy a Nest Protect.

Amazon: Nest Protect ($125)

Why do I want a smart smoke detector?

It seems like everything is smart these days. While some things are unnecessarily smart — and we all have our definitions here — some make us curious. A smart smoke detector is one of them.

Besides the obvious — you can get an alert on your phone when the detector goes off — there are other really good reasons to have a smart smoke detector. Most of us have witnessed a smoke detector going off because someone burnt dinner, or have dealt with having one too close to the bathroom door and hearing it wail when our hot shower has gone on a little long. Having a way to instantly silence the alarm can be a godsend, and so can knowing exactly which detector is going off, or hearing a spoken alert describing everything if you’re driving.

Because Nest works with Google Assistant and Alexa, you can also extend the capabilities. For instance, if an alert would trigger late at night you could have smart lights throughout your home turn on or your doors automatically unlock. You can even make sure the window blinds are raised in case things call for more drastic measures and you need to climb out a window. All the while, the Nest app is making sure whoever needs to know about the alert is hearing their phone ring.

On its own, the idea of a smart smoke detector doesn’t seem compelling, but when you tie it to the other smart products in your home and factor in the remote alerts it can give via the app, having a smart detector like the Nest Protect makes sense.

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What makes it worth the price?

A smart smoke detector is going to be more expensive than one that’s not connected. There are more parts that needed installed and the development of the product wasn’t cheap. We should expect a smart device to cost more than its “dumb” counterpart. But there is another reason a Nest Protect is more expensive. It’s supposed to do one thing — let us know if something dangerous is happening — and it does it better than any other device of its kind.

Tom’s Guide tested the Nest Protect in its testing lab and found it’s not only the best smart detector but that it is the only detector that passed every one of its tests.

In our lab, we tested the Nest Protect (as with all smoke detectors) by spraying an aerosol smoke-detector-tester spray from 5, 10 and 15 feet away, and timing how long it took each alarm to go off. At the 5- and 10-foot mark, the Nest Protect sounded after 18 seconds. At 15 feet, the alarm activated after 28 seconds. Moreover, it was the only device to pass all of our tests.

This is because of the types of sensors the Nest Protect uses. Besides the carbon monoxide, heat, humidity, and occupancy sensors it has (a package you won’t find elsewhere) it houses a split-spectrum photoelectric sensor to detect a fire. Photoelectric sensors are really good at detecting smoldering fires, but ionization sensors are better at detecting flames. The problem is that ionization sensors give a lot of false alarms. Nest solves this by using a separate secondary wavelength in its photoelectric sensor to detect flames, which doesn’t trigger so many false alarms.

You get the accuracy you want in a smoke detector without the nuisance false alarms you don’t. You get the ability to tie an important piece of safety equipment into the rest of your smart home to make getting out easier if there is a fire or other emergency. And you get to be able to notify yourself if you’re away, or up to 19 other people any time the alarm goes off.

Bottom line

A smoke detector is one of the most important things you can have in your home. The Nest Protect is the best one you can buy, and the features it brings make it well worth the price.

Our pick

Nest Protect

nest-protect.jpg?itok=hPuAY7-c

$125 at Amazon

Keep safe the smart way

The Nest Protect is not only great at detecting dangerous conditions in your house. It also can be an integral part of your smart home and that makes things easier if you need to leave in a hurry. It’s one smart product that is well worth its price.

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