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Updated: 2 days 26 min ago

Wireless carriers are fighting for your cash, and that’s good news

Sat, 02/18/2017 - 11:32

Over the past week, the four big US wireless carriers have made two things clear: They’re easily spooked, and competition works. From Feb. 12 through Feb. 17, a cascading series of rate cuts and service-plan liberalizations have seen the price of unlimited data plans tumble from a high of infinity to, at worst, $100. The pricing battle started when Verizon (VZ) made a surprise announcement on Feb. 12 saying the company would start selling unlimited data plans for $80 for a single line without the kind of video streaming and hotspot limits T-Mobile (TMUS) imposed on its $70 unlimited plan.

The $450 Analogue Nt mini brings new life to old-school NES games

Fri, 02/17/2017 - 16:32

The Analogue Nt mini lets you play your old Nintendo games, but for a steep price. Nintendo (NTDOY, NTDOF) might be looking to the future with its upcoming Switch console, but its fans can’t get enough of the company’s past. Case in point: the NES Classic Edition, a $60 plug-and-play unit that quickly became the holiday’s must-have gaming toy.

The world's smallest USB-C laptop charger—I'm in love

Fri, 02/17/2017 - 11:56

This might sound a little odd, but my favorite gadget of this young year is a laptop power adapter.

Pogue’s Basics: Bring back Photoshop’s New Document box

Thu, 02/16/2017 - 19:04

This one’s for you, Photoshop fans.

The first look at the Switch’s software comes from a early preorder accident

Thu, 02/16/2017 - 18:06

The Nintendo Switch launches in just two weeks, and today we finally got our first look at what the operating system and menus of the new console look like, thanks to NeoGAF user hiphoptherobot, whose claims that their preorder accidentally shipped early. The three minute long video goes through the initial setup of the device and shows off the new minimalist user interface that Nintendo will be debuting with the Switch. According to a post on NeoGAF, hiphoptherobot isn’t connecting the device to the internet to avoid causing trouble with Nintendo for the store he bought it from.

Samsung chief Lee Jae-yong has been arrested on bribery charges

Thu, 02/16/2017 - 18:03

An arrest warrant for issued for Lee, Samsung's de facto leader, on charges of bribery in connection with the scandal that has led to President Park Geun-hye's impeachment. A court in South Korea has approved the arrest of Samsung Group’s Lee Jae-yong, the heir apparent to the world’s largest smartphone maker, on allegations of bribery, perjury, and embezzlement, reports Bloomberg.

There’s a broken iPhone on eBay right now for $149,999, and here’s why

Thu, 02/16/2017 - 17:56
Want to waste some money? There's an iPhone on eBay right now that will most certainly help you achieve that. It's an iPhone 4s, the glass on both its front and back are completely shattered, but — and this is apparently the thing that makes it worth its $149,999 asking price — the back panel has been replaced with a totally unlicensed one honoring the late Steve Jobs. The seller insists that any potential buyers "do research before purchase," so let's take their advice and figure out what in the hell is going on here. The seller's description sheds very little light on why they believe this particular shattered iPhone is worth as much as a high-end sports car, but it's clear it all comes back to that fancy Steve Jobs tribute on the back. The seller boldly claims that the phone is "1 of only 56 phones made to honor the late Steve Jobs." The back panel of the iPhone reads "Steve Jobs 1955 - 2011" and replaces the official Apple logo with a version using Jobs' likeness as the cutout. That particular logo was designed by Jonathan Mak, a design student in Hong Kong who created it shortly after Jobs' death as a tribute to the tech guru. It quickly went viral and was ripped off for all kinds of unlicensed accessories, from phone cases to posters. The modified logo was also used by a company called Goldgenie , which has become fairly well known for producing absurdly expensive versions of the iPhone, Apple Watch, and other Apple devices. The company modifies them by adding lots of gold and sometimes gems, and often replaces parts of Apple's devices with gold plated versions. After Jobs passed away in 2011, Goldgenie decided to roll out a special edition iPhone 4s paying tribute to him. The phone had its rear panel replaced with a gold version using Mak's logo, and Goldgenie made only — wait for it — 56 of them. Unfortunately for the eBay seller in question, the phone in the listing is not one of these cherished tributes. Okay, so if it's not one of these limited edition phones, how did it end up with the Steve Jobs treatment? Like I said above, that altered logo made it to all corners of the grey market, and one iPhone replacement parts maker decided to use it to create replacement panels for the iPhone 4s. You could buy them (on eBay, ironically) for about $10 to $15, and countless were sold in the months following Jobs' death. What the seller is trying to claim is an extremely limited edition, gold-plated tribute iPhone is really just a busted iPhone 4s with a busted $10 grey market replacement panel on the back. Try not to sprain your wrist as you pull your credit card out at mach speed.

Samsung Group says will do best to ensure truth revealed in court

Thu, 02/16/2017 - 17:49
SEOUL (Reuters) - Samsung Group said on Friday it will do its best to ensure that the truth is revealed in future court proceedings, after the arrest of its chief, Jay Y. Lee.

One of the best email apps on iOS comes to Android

Thu, 02/16/2017 - 17:48

Email by EasilyDo — currently my favorite email application on iOS — is now on Android. Like its iOS cousin, EasilyDo’s Email app promises the same lightning speed, simple one-tap unsubscribing to junk mail, smart sorting for things like package tracking and flights, and swipe-based inbox triage tools that the sadly deceased Mailbox made popular. While Android doesn’t have quite the same issue with email apps that iOS does with Apple’s lackluster Gmail support in the bundled Mail app, Email by EasilyDo is still a great app if you’re looking for a change from Google’s own email app.

New mosquito trap smart enough to keep just the bad bugs

Thu, 02/16/2017 - 17:44

A smart trap for mosquitoes? A new high-tech version is promising to catch the bloodsuckers while letting friendlier insects escape — and even record the exact weather conditions when different species ...

The Zuckerberg manifesto: How he plans to debug the world

Thu, 02/16/2017 - 17:43

NEW YORK (AP) — Mark Zuckerberg's long-term vision for Facebook, laid out in a sweeping manifesto , sometimes sounds more like a utopian social guide than a business plan. Are we, he asks, "building the world we all want?"

‘Key ingredients for life’ found on dwarf planet Ceres

Thu, 02/16/2017 - 17:42

Researchers have detected organic compounds on the dwarf planet Ceres, the largest object in the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter. Organic compounds are the building blocks of life on Earth, and the discovery could mean "that primitive life could have developed on Ceres," Michael Küppers, a planetary scientist with the European Space Agency, writes in a commentary piece published today in Science. The organic compounds were detected by the Visible and InfraRed Mapping Spectrometer on the Dawn spacecraft, which was launched by NASA in 2007 and has been orbiting Ceres since 2015.

Samsung chief Lee arrested in corruption investigation

Thu, 02/16/2017 - 17:41

By Hyunjoo Jin SEOUL (Reuters) - Samsung Group chief Jay Y. Lee was arrested early on Friday over his alleged role in a corruption scandal that led parliament to impeach President Park Geun-hye, in a blow to the world's biggest maker of smartphones. The 48-year-old Lee, vice chairman of Samsung Electronics Co Ltd , was taken into custody at the Seoul Detention Centre, where he had awaited the court's decision following a day-long closed-door hearing that ended on Thursday evening. The judge's decision was announced at about 5:30 a.m. (2030 GMT) on Friday, more than 10 hours after Lee, the conglomerate's third-generation leader, had left the court.

A device that helps blind people see

Thu, 02/16/2017 - 17:36

These high-tech eSight 3 glasses are helping legally blind people see. The visor-like headset uses high-speed, high-definition cameras to capture what the user is looking at.The device uses algorithms to enhance the video feed, and displays the video through eSight 3’s OLED screens in front of the users’ eyes.

Surprise, surprise. AT&T trumpets its own new unlimited plan

Thu, 02/16/2017 - 17:25

NEW YORK (AP) — AT&T says any cellphone customer can sign up for unlimited data plans starting Friday. That option had been limited to customers of AT&T-owned DirecTV.

August suggests unlocking its voice-controlled lock when you're chopping onions and expecting guests

Thu, 02/16/2017 - 17:25

August announced today that its smart lock can now be locked and unlocked through Alexa-enabled devices. Now, obviously, there’s a risk involved with anyone being able to tell Alexa to unlock a door, so to avoid that, each lock requires a user-created voice PIN to issue a command. Smart lock owners will also have to connect their lock to the internet through either the August Connect Wi-Fi Bridge or August Doorbell Cam.

Trump and PewDiePie are using the same playbook

Thu, 02/16/2017 - 17:22

The most powerful posture for a modern media figure is to play the martyr. Just after noon today, PewDiePie, the biggest star on YouTube, released a video in which he half-heartedly apologized for his use of Nazi imagery and anti-Semitic language, blamed the media for unfairly targeting him, and teared up as he thanked his fans for their support. The media is unpopular, and demonizing them can rally supporters, but playing the victim can be an equally effective tactic.

Watch the first leaked video of the Nintendo Switch out in the wild

Thu, 02/16/2017 - 17:18
If you thought the Nintendo Switch leak we shared earlier today was big, just wait until you see this. On Thursday afternoon, a member of the NeoGAF forum claimed that he had received his Switch early, and posted a photo of the system to prove it . As you'd expect, the rest of the forum immediately lit up, telling him to share details about where he got it and asking him to post a video of it in action. He followed through on the second request, slapping together a 3-minute video with him booting the Switch up, connecting to Wi-Fi, setting up the Joy-Con controllers,  and navigating through a few menus: There are plenty of interesting (albeit small) reveals throughout the video. For example, we now know that only 25.9GB of the console's internal storage will actually be usable. In other words, you're going to need an SD card if you plan on buying a Switch, so you might as well check out our guide for Switch SD cards . Unfortunately, our leaker didn't get his hands on any games, so we'll have to live with video of the user interface for now. Thankfully, our own Nintendo Switch should be arriving very soon, and we'll have a full review of the console, some launch games and more coverage in the coming days and weeks.

SpaceX and Boeing probably won’t be flying astronauts to the station until 2019, report suggests

Thu, 02/16/2017 - 17:12

Since its inception, NASA’s Commercial Crew Program has been hampered by setback after setback, and it looks like even more delays are on the horizon for the fledgling initiative. The program — which tasks US private companies with building spacecraft that can transport NASA astronauts to and from the International Space Station — was originally supposed to get off the ground in 2017.

Facebook just changed its mission, because the old one was broken

Thu, 02/16/2017 - 17:11

Facebook used to repeat its mission statement so often that most tech reporters could recite it from memory: “to give people the power to share and make the world more open and connected.” And it’s still the mission you see when you visit the company’s Facebook page. Over 5,800 words, Zuckerberg mentions “social infrastructure” 14 times — without ever quite describing what it is.