Turkey has been cracking down on internet activity at a frenetic pace ever since an attempted military coup in the summer, and it’s now clear that there are a lot of people caught in the dragnet. The country’s interior ministry has revealed that officials are investigating about 10,000 social network users suspected of backing terrorism. About 3,710 people have been questioned in the past 6 months, authorities say, and 1,656 were arrested. The rest were let go, but 1,203 of them are still under watch.
There’s one inescapable question, however: just how many of those internet socialites really support terrorism? Despite protests to the contrary, the Turkish government is notorious for blocking Facebook, Twitter and other internet services whenever there’s a surge of dissent against President Erdogan, and that kind of knee-jerk response has only intensified since the coup. The country has closed down 150 news organizations in the period as well. While it’s certainly possible that some of those 10,000 users are plotting senseless acts of violence, the terrorism charges may simply be a pretext for silencing online political opposition.
You can easily tame some of the chaos that is the Gear S3’s app and widget situation.
With so many apps, services and utilities available on Samsung’s Gear S3 smartwatches, it’s easy to get carried away while setting things up and all of a sudden be in a stressful situation. Dozens of apps across multiple pages of the app drawer sit beneath a dozen pages of widgets to the right of your watch face — but thankfully you can clean up this situation to make it easier to get just what you want.
While you can’t altogether hide or delete most of the pre-installed apps on the Gear S3, you can rearrange them in a way that puts what you want front and center, leaving the rest to the background so it isn’t in the way. Here’s how to get it done.
Widgets on the Gear S3 are the glanceable bits of information that are available to the right of your watch face. You can think of them as full-screen app experiences that are always available to you, without having to explicitly launch an app. By default Samsung loads up the Gear S3 with a bunch of widgets, and you can even install more on your own. Either way, you can have as many or as few as you see fit — adding as much functionality or simplicity as you desire.
This is how you configure widgets on your Gear S3:
Rotate the bezel clockwise to view a widget on screen.
Press and hold anywhere on the screen to activate “Edit mode”.
- Rotate the bezel to select widgets to interact with.
- Press the – button to remove a widget.
- Press and hold a widget, dragging it left or right to rearrange its position in the list.
To add more widgets, rotate the bezel clockwise to the very end of the list and tap Add widget.
Select the widget you want, then press and hold the widget to rearrange its position in the list.
Rearranging the app drawer
For all of the apps on your Gear S3 that aren’t worthy of their own dedicated widget, you can open up the app drawer by pressing the home button while on the watch face. Just like your phone, the app drawer holds every app that’s installed on the watch, and by default is placed in a haphazard order. Samsung defines the app drawer on its own terms, and any additional apps that you download are put at the very end of the list — which could mean scrolling through three or four pages before you get to it.
But it doesn’t have to be that way for long — here’s how you can rearrange your apps:
Go to your watch face and press the home button to enter the app drawer.
Press and hold on the center of the screen to enter “Edit mode”.
Rotate the bezel to the page you want to rearrange.
Press and hold the app you want to move, drag it to its new position, and lift your finger to place it.
- To move an app between pages, drag the app to the multi-colored circular page indicator at the 1 or 11 o’clock position.
- If an app can be uninstalled, it will have a red – on the corner of the icon; tap it to delete and confirm with the check mark.
When you’re finished editing, press the back button to exit Edit mode.
Once you spend a few minutes getting both the widgets and app drawer on your Gear S3 set just how you like them, you’ll find it much easier to access the information you need when you need it. Skip over the distraction of unused apps and widgets, and take control of your smartwatch!
Welcome back from the long festive weekend. In the midst of all that egg-nog, present opening and family router troubleshooting, you might have missed Apple’s first published AI research, the worst gadgets of the year, and the latest Chinese luxury smartphone that goes all-in on battery life.
No, you’re the worst.
The worst gadgets of 2016
Sidestepping the rest of the bad news that 2016 managed to deliver, there were some stinkers when it came to this year’s new gadgets. Smoking (then exploding) phones, plain racist app photo filters, excessively overpriced smartwatches and those dongles.
It’s all about object recognition.
Apple reveals its work on artificial intelligence
When Apple said it would publish its artificial intelligence research, we had a few questions: Would the company keep potential trade secrets close to the vest? What exactly is the company working on? Well, in its first published AI paper, it outlined the issues with teaching AI to recognize objects using simulated images, which are easier to use than photos (since you don’t need a human to tag items) but poor for adapting to real-world situations. Apple says the trick is to pit neural networks against each other: one network trains itself to improve the realism of simulated images (in this case, using photo examples) until they’re good enough to fool a rival “discriminator” network. Ideally, this pre-training would save massive amounts of time. It’s still far too early to say how this will make its way to Apple’s assembled collection of goods or services. For now.
Big battery, big price tag.
China’s latest luxury phone goes all-in on battery life
China’s Gionee is taking a different approach with its new big-screened premium phone: it’s giving you one huge feature that might help to excuse its ‘luxury’ price tag. It just launched the M2017, a metal-and-leather 5.7-inch phone that houses an enormous 7,000mAh battery. Possibly a bigger battery than your tablet. When the M2017 goes on sale in China on January 6th (an international release isn’t likely), it’ll start at about $1,007 for a 128GB version and jump to $2,500 for a 256GB model. Not the most expensive smartphone, but likely more than that iPhone 7 Plus model you were eyeing up in the new year sales.
LG has a floating speaker ready for 2017
Levitating (and magical) Bluetooth speakers have been around for years, but LG is the first major electronics company to throw a product in the ring, and is doing so with its classy-looking, albeit blandly named, “Levitating Portable Speaker,” which will make its debut at CES in January. The company promises 10 hours of playback, although it looks like we’ll have to wait for the big tech show in a week to pin down a price.
But wait, there’s more…
- Tesla’s next-generation Superchargers should be much faster
- This week: The biggest losers of 2016
- Fake news starts an Israel-Pakistan Twitter dispute
- A new ‘Double Dragon’ game is on its way next month
Cross-platform video transcoder Handbrake reached a milestone over the holiday break with the release of version 1.0.0 of the app after over 13 years in beta.
Despite the lengthy beta-test format and the demise of the built-in DVD drive in Apple’s Mac line-up, the free open source transcoder has remained the go-to application for converting video files for playback on iOS devices and Apple TVs.
The program has stood the test of time thanks to its ease of use, vast array of options for more advanced users, and extensive video format support.
Version 1 brings a raft of new tools to the Mac version of the app, with updated presets for the latest devices and a number of interface improvements and added settings to keep the app relevant and broaden its appeal. The new features include:
– Updated all tooltips
– Added undo/redo support to the graphical interface
– Improved drag and drop support
– Added Open Recent to the File menu
– Added Add Titles to Queue… to the File menu (batch queueing)
– Preview prompts to open in an external application when the internal player does not support the format
– Preview now displays volume and audio/subtitles language selection during playback
– Picture and Filters settings are now part of the main window
– Settings are preserved when selecting a new title (instead of reloading the last selected preset)
– Improved support for importing/exporting comma-separated (.csv) chapter markers
– Queue is now automatically paused when available disk space is low
– When Done action can now be changed directly from the Queue window
– When Done notification is now interactive (reveals the encoded file in Finder)
– Activity Log window is now searchable (press “?”+”f” to activate)
– XQuartz is no longer required for subtitle burn-in
– Updated Sparkle software update library
– Enabled DSA signature checking for improved security
– Usability improvements
– Miscellaneous bug fixes
Handbrake is a free download available directly from the Handbrake website.
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Can an SUV ever be a truly exciting drive? Now in its third generation, the Kia Sorento has had more than just a facelift to bring it up to date, and while its new body and wheelbase is never going to feel like a Ferrari on the road, for carting around the whole family it’s an appealing prospect.
Sat in among the likes of the Nissan X-Trail and Volvo XC90, the Sorento is Kia’s top-of-the-line car. There’s bundles of tech and appealing trim on board. Well, if you’re willing the pay the extra for it – but even the top-of-the-range model with all the toys tops out at £41,500 compared to the entry level Volvo’s £50,000 starting price.
Does the Kia Sorento get the balance of functional and fun right?
Kia Sorento KX-4 review: Lupine looks
The Sorento’s face has supposedly been fashioned on a wolf’s appearance (albeit minus the fur coat); we don’t quite see the lupine snarl, but it’s less bulbous than the X-Trail’s rounded front, and there’s more natural motion to the headlamp lines than something like the tech-faced, more rigid Honda CR-V.
The grille is broken only by the Kia badge, and is considerably beefier than the smaller Kia Sportage. The choice of front grille – if it can be called exactly that – is an unusual series of triangles. It’s very Jaguar-esque, but not as premium.
To the rear, the sizeable rump features LED lamps, a sharkfin spoiler up top, and a broader shouldered look than the gentler front. The wolf’s gone out the window from this angle, it’s a little more hippo – but the form has definite function, as boot space definitely doesn’t lack.
Kia Sorento 2015 review: Seat arrangements, boot space
Compared to the Nissan and Honda the Sorento is the slightly larger model: at 4.78-metres there’s a lot of car to squeeze the family into. We drove two 5-seat configurations on the roads in Europe in 2015 and a 7-seat version in the UK in 2016.
If seven seats are going to be too much then the two rear-most seats will fold down into the floor giving you plenty of space for the weekly shop, or luggage space for a week away, or a couple of kids’ bikes.
With the seven seats up you get a 142-litre boot space. With five seats up you get 605-litre capacity. The middle row also flat-packs (to a point) so you can move the occasional wardrobe around too. The boot spans a 1.37m width, meaning you can fit stacks in without sacrificing on comfort for anyone. The Sorento certainly serves its SUV purpose.
Inside there’s ample space to feel immediately comfortable, whether driving or being carted about as a passenger either front or back. With a metre of headroom up front and exactly a metre of legroom in the second row – the far back row is a bit of a squeeze, as to be expected – it’s all very light and breezy. Access to the third row is really only for the nimble though.
The optional leather seats are particularly cushy, with more electronic adjustment controls available than offered by a first class airline seat. It puts our office chair to shame – we so need eight-way power-adjustable positioning with lumbar support in our lives.
However comfortable, the car’s long nose does place the A-pillar in that typically irksome position relative to driver, which isn’t ideal for ambling around curvy mountainous roads. A bit of head-bobbing and you’ll see through the large windscreen no problem though.
Kia Sorento review: Tech-tastic treats
On the tech front we were daubed with stacks of quality in our top-trim KX4 automatic model. Finished in light grey and black the interior looks good, complete with flourishes such as a wrap-around dashboard with stitching. If that interior colour scheme is too boring, then how about beige or brown? No, still too boring? Well, it’s that or simple plain black – the Sorento doesn’t cater for the colour splashes of company’s the more youthful Soul Mixx.
But the tech on board adds a lick of colour to proceedings, including glowing Sorento logos in the footwells when the doors are open (good for not tripping up in the dark), digital dials and a 7- or 8-inch touchscreen centrepiece.
The digital speedometer is particularly fun too: the luminescent orange digital hand smoothly moves along, looking very elegant indeed. There’s also sign-detection system which was particularly useful in foreign lands to recognise the speed limits and have them display directly within peripheral vision. All non-standard stuff, of course, but a show-your-mates feature should you fork out the extra cash.
The touchscreen to the centre, which is used for sat nav and beyond, feels responsive – plus there are plenty of traditional buttons and dials for control too. Perhaps too traditional: the air conditioning controls, which offer independent driver and passenger side controls, look a bit retro, and the angle makes it all a bit “in your face”
Elsewhere there’s advanced smart cruise, plus options for lane-departure alert, reverse camera, 360-degree cameras, self-parking, and all such mod cons.
Kia Sorento KX-4 review: All the tech
Cushy seats and electric dials are all well and good, but what’s the Sorento like to drive?
Well, the 2.2-litre CRDi engine (149g/km being the all important emissions) is the only one that’s available in the UK, and with that pulling the steel chassis – which is 30-40kgs heavier than the second-gen Sorento due to increased size, so over the 2.5-tonne mark – lacks a huge amount of grunt.
Saying that, it’s smooth as butter down the motorways, with little cabin noise or rattling to speak of, making for a very comfortable cruise. And there’s enough pep to overtake those cautious drivers too.
As with all SUVs the Kia Sorento can suffer from being a little “top heavy”, so you aren’t going to want to throw it around tight country corners. However, it feels considerably more stable than, say, a BMW X5 on the same roads. No surprises though, this is a SUV after all, it’s not going to dance around like a ballerina at this scale.
All told, we’re very content with the way the Sorento glides along the roads, the comfort of the ride and the all-wheel drive (AWD) system being there to kick into four-wheel drive mode when the on-board computer feels it’s necessary (manual differential lock is possible for a traditional 50/50 4×4 split).
The Kia Sorento is a smooth ride that’s clearly pitched at families that will ride in it while making sure mum and dad have some added comforts.
Loaded with tech (in the higher-specced models) it comes with all the usual toys like parking cameras, Bluetooth, sat nav, adaptive smart cruise control and lane assist.
But it’s the robustness of the interior that is likely to appeal most to families. Everything is wipe clean, there’s plenty of storage for all, and for those younger tots ISOfix aplenty.
And all that before we even mention the lure of the 7-year warranty.
A luxury phone with a battery that rivals most tablets.
Gionee has carved out a niche for itself in China and India in the mid-range segment, but with its latest handset, the company has set its sights on the luxury market. The M2017 is made out of premium materials and is set to retail for ¥6,999 ($1,005).
The highlight of the M2017 is its battery capacity, with Gionee cobbling two 3500mAh batteries to create a 7000mAh monster. The phone supports Quick Charge 3.0, and Gionee claims that it’ll offer 32 hours of talktime for calls and 26 hours of video playback on a full charge.
The rest of the specs aren’t bad either. You get a 5.7-inch dual curved QHD AMOLED display, 6GB of RAM, 128GB storage, dual cameras (12MP + 13MP) at the back with 2x optical zoom and 8x digital zoom, 8MP front shooter, an encrypted call service for those on China Telecom, fingerprint sensor with support for WeChat and Alipay, and dual-SIM connectivity.
The only drawback is the processor of choice. Gionee went with the mid-range Snapdragon 653, which has four Cortex A72 cores clocked at 1.95GHz and four Cortex A53 cores at 1.44GHz. Considering the QHD screen and the rest of the hardware, it would’ve made more sense to offer the Snapdragon 821. There isn’t a microSD card slot or 3.5mm jack either, so you’ll have to resort to the USB-C port for wired audio.
The phone measures 155.2 x 77.6 x 10.78mm, and comes in at 238g. On the software front, the M2017 runs Amigo 3.5 UI atop Android 6.0 Marshmallow. Gionee will also sell a variant of the M2017 with “Italian custom alligator leather back” and 256GB storage that will retail for ¥16,999 ($2,445). As of now, it looks like this phone will be limited to China. Should that change in the future, we’ll let you know.
How to get the iPhone 7 from £26.57 per month
UNSHACKLED.com has been set up to “rip up the rulebook”, letting you get the latest and greatest phones for a fraction of what you would pay in a contract with a mobile operator.
The UNSHACKLED.com way is to choose whatever phone you want – quite literally – then add a SIM plan from any one of 16 UK mobile operators.
The phone portion of the deal can be spread out over 24 months, but you’re free to pay this off whenever you want – and that’s without getting hit by penalties. The idea is to give you total freedom over your mobile phone choices.
“But exactly how much can you save?” we hear you ask. One of the best ways is to look at different offerings for the Apple iPhone 7. Apple’s latest iPhone is in high demand right now, and rightly so, so finding the best deal is paramount to many.
Starting with UNSHACKLED.com’s plans for a 32GB iPhone 7 (in black, gold, rose gold or silver). You can choose just how much you pay upfront, starting with £19, but the more you can pay upfront, the lower the monthly costs will lower, because it’s just about spreading out the payments for the phone – it’s not a contract. Paying just £19 upfront will make your monthly payments £26.57.
Next you’ll need to add a SIM plan. Lets take EE’s 12 month SIM card which gives you unlimited minutes and texts with 20GB of data for £19.99/month.
Overall you’ll be paying £46.56 a month (£26.57 x 24 months) + (£19.99 x 24 months) + £19 = £1136.44
A similar plan on EE will give you unlimited minutes and texts with 25GB of data for £65.99/month with a £9.99 upfront payment. Overall that would set you back £1593.75.
We’re not sure about you, but we’d happily sacrifice 5GB of monthly data to save £457.31. Even with choosing a 10GB plan with EE you’ll still be spending around £200 more than going through UNSHACKLED.com.
This comparison is pitching an EE contract against using UNSHACKLED.com to get an EE SIM deal, but let’s look at a simple comparison of tariffs, so any 1GB phone contract against a 1GB plan found through UNSHACKLED.com.
We found a 1GB phone contract with Vodafone on Carphone Warehouse for £37 a month with £49.99 upfront. That comes to £937.99 – much cheaper than previous. Can UNSHACKLED.com beat it?
Of course – they list a SIM with 1.25GB for £4.99, so if we match the £49.99 upfront cost that Vodafone asks for, with UNSHACKLED.com you’d be paying £30.19 a month and £774.55 altogether, saving yourself £163.44 overall.
It’s clear that doing things the UNSHACKLED.com way will save you money whichever type of plan you choose. So when it comes to upgrading or changing your smartphone, head to UNSHACKLED.com’s website to grab yourself a bargain.
Many luxury smartphone makers see their work mainly as a matter of wrapping an ordinary device in upscale materials, maybe adding a concierge service and calling it a day. Gionee, however, is taking a different approach: it’s giving you one huge feature that gives you a clear reason to pay a premium. It just launched the M2017, a metal-and-leather 5.7-inch phone whose centerpiece is its enormous 7,000mAh battery. Yes, there’s a real chance that it has a larger power pack than your tablet. The company estimates that it’ll last for nearly 32 hours of talk time and 26 hours of non-stop video, or enough to get you through a few days of moderate use. If you’re a jetsetting business type (Gionee’s target market), you might never need to plug in during that all-important day trip.
Thankfully, the M2017 is (mostly) above-average beyond its epic longevity. It packs a curved quad HD AMOLED screen that’s bound to be noticed, a hefty 6GB of RAM, at least 128GB of storage, a front 8-megapixel camera and two rear cameras (12MP and 13MP) that promise an iPhone 7 Plus-style 2X optical zoom. You get a front-facing fingerprint reader, too. About the only major head-scratcher is the use of a mid-range Snapdragon 653 processor. While that’s not a slow part by any stretch, it probably wouldn’t have killed Gionee to include a Snapdragon 821 and deliver performance that matches the battery life.
When the M2017 goes on sale in China on January 6th (an international release isn’t likely), it’ll start at RMB 6,999 (about $1,007) for a 128GB version and jump to RMB 16,999 ($2,446) for a 256GB model. This isn’t the most expensive phone on the market by any means — it’s closer to mainstream devices than the several thousand dollars you typically pay for posh handsets from the likes of Vertu and Lamborghini. It’s far from a trivial purchase, however, and Gionee is clearly betting that you’re willing to spend a lot to both flaunt your success and use your phone non-stop.
Via: Engadget Chinese (translated)
ASUS’ Chrome OS efforts are currently headlined by the cheap-and-cheerful Chromebook Flip, which mainly stands out for combination of a 2-in-1 design with a bargain basement price. However, the PC maker is about to shake things up in a big way. In the culmination of a series of leaks, Newegg has listed a $499 C302CA laptop that appears to be an upscale sibling to (but not replacement for) the Flip. It touts a larger 12.5-inch, 1080p screen, and it’s running Intel’s Core m3 processor instead of the budget Rockchip part you saw in the Flip last year. Combine that with 4GB of RAM and 64GB of storage and it’s clear that this is a premium Google-powered system — not at the level of the Chromebook Pixel or HP Chromebook 13, but much nicer than the Celeron-based portables that dominate the Chrome OS world.
Accordingly, the C302CA carries a more refined version of the Flip’s all-metal design that includes two USB-C ports and a microSD card reader. It’s much heavier than the Flip at just under 2.7 pounds, but you might not mind as much given the larger display and 0.5-inch thickness.
Newegg shows the system in stock as we write this, so you might get to buy one before it’s even announced. You might want to hold off until CES in early January, though. There’s a real chance that ASUS will formally unveil the C302CA at the trade show, and it’s likely to confirm specs as well as the possibility of different configurations. You’ll have a better idea of what you’re buying.
Via: ChromeUnboxed, 9to5Google
Apple may introduce a new 5-inch iPhone model that sports a unique vertical dual-camera system that sits alongside the existing 4.7- and 5.5-inch models, according to Japanese blog Mac Okatara. The 5-inch model would act as the medium size in the 2017 lineup.
The report, which comes from a Taiwanese supplier, says that the new models, dubbed the iPhone 7s, would be an updated version of the iPhone 7. The new 5-inch model, however, would rearrange the iPhone 7 Plus’ dual camera into a vertical alignment rather than a horizontal one.
Earlier this month, Mac Okatara reported that the iPhone 7s and 7s Plus would retain the aluminum design of the iPhone 7. However, the report said the new phones would come in an all-new red color. Multiple reports have stated that there will be three new iPhone models in 2017, including updated 4.7- and 5.5-inch models with LCD screens and a premium model with an OLED display and glass casing.
The new report corroborates an earlier Nikkei report that said a new 5-inch iPhone would arrive in 2017. However, Nikkei reports that the three iPhone models in 2017 will have new glass-backed designs. In November, KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo said it’s likely the 2017 iPhones will switch to new glass casings to support wireless charging.
While Mac Okatara was the first to report that Apple would replace the headphone jack in the iPhone 7 and debut a new gloss black color, its track record is not perfect. In November, it reported the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus would get a new “Jet White” color that has not yet materialized.
Related Roundup: iPhone 8 (2017)
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