Google Pixelbook leaks on reseller site alongside Clips accessory

first_imgThe Google Pixelbook, a rumored premium Chromebook, has leaked once again, this time on an inventory page from a reseller. The page has since been taken down, but not before details were harvested from it. Among those details is the revelation of another Google device supposedly called Clips, a computer accessory of some sort, but one we know nothing about. The inventory page was spotted on Synnex’s website by 9to5Google, which reports that the Pixelbook will (at least according to that page) have a 12.3-inch display. Assuming that is accurate, this will represent a decrease in size when compared to the Google Pixel models released in previous years; both of those were 12.85-inches.The inventory page also details 128GB, 256GB, and 512GB capacities, which is the same as what was leaked by Droid-Life last month. An Intel Core i5 will supposedly be powering these models, though RAM wasn’t detailed. It doesn’t seem any other Pixelbook details were leaked through the reseller.Last month we heard through Droid-Life that the Google Pixelbook will be sold alongside a $99 stylus called the Pixelbook Pen, which will reportedly have pressure-sensitive and tilt support. The Pixelbook itself is rumored to have a huge price tag that starts at $1,199 and ranges up to $1,749 for the 512GB model.It is unclear what may be different about these three models, storage capacity aside. Previous leaks about this laptop, which is codenamed Eve, indicate it will have a fingerprint sensor, Google Assistant support, and a tweaked keyboard layout. Google will likely reveal all the details about this model tomorrow at its big event.SOURCE: 9to5Googlelast_img read more

Instagram wants you to stop endangering animals for selfies

first_imgWhile the world has begrudgingly accepted selfies as something that isn’t completely going away, that doesn’t mean it has become an acceptable behavior in all circumstances. People have done so many things in the name of selfies, resulting in the destruction of irreplaceable objects, harm to living creatures, and sometimes even death. Instagram, one of the biggest havens for selfies, wants to put a stop to at least one of those by discouraging selfies that encourage putting animals in danger. People will do anything and everything for selfies, and some people will do anything and everything to encourage that. Especially if it means earning thousands. Never mind the idiotic stunts people try to pull off near dangerous animals. There is a subtler, often unknown exploitation of animals going on.A cute selfie with some exotic or wild animal is usually anything but cute. In most cases, these animals are captured and caged just so that tourists, who may or may not know better, can take selfies with the animals. And when there no such animals to be captured, there will always be people who will be willing to illegally acquire them for the right sum. In a rather twisted way, selfies encourage illegal animal trade.Instagram wants you to know that it won’t stand for such things. When users search for a hashtag that may be related to endangering animals, it will pop up a warning and encourage users to learn more, redirecting them to its Wildlife Exploitation page. It also encourages users to report photos and videos that display such behavior.That said, Instagram won’t completely block the search and you can still continue viewing those selfies. It also won’t say which hashtags are on its blacklist. The social network hopes that disrupting users’ flow would be enough to give them pause to think whether those selfies are worth anyone’s life, theirs or other animals.SOURCE: Instagramlast_img read more

Google closes HTC deal welcomes smartphone innovators

first_imgEveryone expected HTC’s mobile business to fold. Everyone expected Google to buy up HTC. Neither and both happened. September last year, Google and HTC announced a $1.1 billion deal that, among other things, would see a large chunk of the Taiwanese smartphone maker’s mobile team transfer to the mothership. Google has now announced that deal has finally completed and it is welcoming the people who helped HTC rise to fame. Hopefully, they aren’t the same people responsible for its fall from grace. Google lists HTC’s firsts in the industry, the first to make a 3G phone, the first with a touch screen phone, the first with an all-metal unibody phone, and probably others it didn’t mention. Market observers, not to mention old-time fans, will definitely recall HTC’s early phones with fondness.Sadly, that’s a matter of history now. Year after year, HTC fails to make a profit out of its smartphones despite putting out commendable devices. It would have probably been only a matter of time if Google hadn’t come swooping in to save it. Somewhat.Google didn’t buy the entire company. It didn’t even buy HTC’s mobile business entirely. It only entered into a deal that included the transfer of human resources, among other things. Analysts suspect this is a strategy by both companies to avoid the costly and time-consuming process of acquiring a company, not to mention the scrutiny Google would face.The question now is “what’s next” for Google. It is entering into its third year in making its own smartphones and the pressure is only going to get stronger. Especially after the questionable performance of the Pixel 2 XL, which, coincidentally, wasn’t done by HTC. Now that Google has its own dedicated team of phone makers and designers, the expectations for the Pixel 3 will probably rise even higher.SOURCE: Googlelast_img read more

Apple HomePod Review

first_imgApple’s HomePod may be late to the party, but the Siri-powered smart speaker isn’t arriving quietly in any sense of the word. HomePod’s biggest strength is that, in a segment where ease of use is yet to catch up with functionality, it makes navigating a great-sounding Apple Music experience by voice a joy. How it does that, though, feels like classic Apple at its most demanding. Apple HomePod Gallery It’s a perfect example of how streamlined you can make a product – but also how restrictive – if you control the experience from top to bottom. From out of the box, plugged in, connected and streaming music, I had HomePod working in about four minutes. Hold your iOS device near, tap through a few screens from the pop-up dialog that appears, and your iPhone teaches the speaker all about your Apple ID, Siri, Apple Music, and WiFi network settings. Even more clever, HomePod doesn’t just learn the current WiFi network your iPhone is connected to, it remembers all that the phone knows. At one point I rebooted my Google Wifi system, and HomePod automatically switched over to the cable router’s WiFi in the interim. A Sonos One, in contrast, has a more convoluted setup process, requiring the company’s app and many more steps. On the flip-side, of course, that Sonos speaker will work with iOS, Android, macOS, and Windows machines, multiple different audio sources – including Apple Music – and, eventually, multiple smart assistants. Sound QualityOn the “smart speaker” strata it’s clear that HomePod errs closer to the “speaker” than the “smart” end of the scale. I’m of the opinion that that’s not necessarily a bad thing, more simply something you should be aware of. Particularly if you’re looking for out-of-the-box great sound. To say Apple has put a great deal of thought into the audio components of HomePod is to flirt with understatement. Inside the barrel-shaped body are seven tweeters, each with its own amplifier, arranged into an outward-firing ring. Above them sits a second ring, this time of six microphones to pick up your Siri commands. Atop it all is a high-excursion woofer, again with its own amplifier: the name refers to the unusually long throw of its diaphragm, a full 20mm, which helps give HomePod its heapings of bass.You can spend a small fortune on high-end audio equipment but, if you don’t set it up correctly, still get a lackluster listening experience. In traditional terms that usually means at least a few hours of configuration and tuning. In HomePod’s case, it’s a few seconds of fully-automated spatial awareness. As soon as you start playing music, HomePod begins figuring out what the room is like and whereabouts it’s placed. Using its microphones, it listens out for how the song you’re listening to reflects off the walls and other surfaces in the room, tuning itself accordingly. Put it in the middle of an open space and it’ll fire out audio 360-degrees around itself; put it on a sideboard or shelf, and HomePod will process the different elements of whatever’s playing in real-time, then uses its precise control of each tweeter to make sure the vocals end up central in the room while the backing track is more dispersed, or whatever sounds right for the music at hand. Apple isn’t the only company doing this sort of tuning – Sonos has something similar, involving you walking around the room with your iPhone while their speakers play a series of tones – but it’s certainly come up with the easiest process for the end-user. Not only does HomePod do it initially all of its own accord but, courtesy of an accelerometer, it’ll repeat that tuning all over again if you reposition the speaker somewhere else. In typical Apple fashion, you don’t get any say in the process. There’s no way, for example, to turn this spatial awareness tuning off and hear the unprocessed result. Nor, indeed, are there any EQ or manual tuning controls: you can adjust the volume up or down, yes, but there’s not so much as a treble/bass slider in the settings. Apple’s argument is that, because HomePod is constantly adjusting itself based on what you’re playing, traditional manual EQ modifications would be pointless. Fair, though small consolation if you simply prefer a little less thump in your music but can’t actually tweak your HomePod overall to reflect that. You either like Apple’s taste in tuning, or you buy a different speaker. Happily, then, Apple’s taste is pretty damn good. Given the focus on the tweeters and woofer, it comes as little surprise that the high and low end particularly shine. Vocals get a brightness that stays on the crisp side of harshness, while there’s an unexpected rumbling richness to the low-mids and bass. As you crank up the volume, meanwhile, HomePod keeps a constant eye on the bass to make sure it’s not distorting. Depending on the track you’re listening to, that can actually end up robbing the low-end of some of its thump, as HomePod’s DSP trims the levels to prioritize clarity over raw power. Ironically, therefore, the maximum volume from the speaker can sound less impressive when it comes to room-filling. A regular Google Home or Amazon Echo – even the Echo Plus – can’t hold a candle to HomePod’s sound. They’re tinny, underpowered, and sound generally muffled. I’ve not spent sufficient time with Google Home Max to make a clear comparison, but as a long-time Sonos user I was mighty intrigued to hear how Apple’s speaker compared. The $349 HomePod slides into the gap between Sonos’ $249 PLAY:3 and $499 PLAY:5. Arguably its most obvious comparison, however, is the $199 Sonos One; that offers native Alexa voice control, though the company’s other speakers can wirelessly connect to an Echo to be similarly controlled by spoken command, albeit not for Apple Music. A current bundle offer, meanwhile, includes two Sonos One units for a HomePod-matching $349.Against a single Sonos One, the HomePod was the clear victor. Apple’s speaker was unsurprisingly more full-throated, overpowering its rival handily. With two Sonos One in stereo configuration, however, the comparison got tighter. HomePod still had more bass, but the Sonos’ setup’s mids were clearer. Pushed to their upper volume limits, Apple’s speaker avoided the tendency to shrillness that became noticeable on the twinned Sonos One with some tracks. Yet the clean stereo separation from using two individual speakers can’t be understated, with Sonos offering a wider soundstage. Compared with the well-esteemed PLAY:5, meanwhile, each speaker showed its advantages. The PLAY:5 is far more directional: it has a sweet spot – or, more accurately, a sweet cone – within which it sounds its best. Sit me in that prize position and I prefer how the Sonos speaker sounds.Stray outside of that zone, though, and the clarity drops off noticeably. In contrast, wander around the HomePod while it does its thing, and the consistence of the sound quality is frankly astonishing. I was able to walk across the room, passing the HomePod in the process, and songs sounded effectively the same continuously. With the PLAY:5, there was a stark change in how the music sounded depending on where I was in relation to the speaker. Apple Music, AirPlay, and nothing elseIn a sea of connected speakers each trying to be as flexible as possible with what they’ll play, HomePod is an outlier. The concept of owning it but not being an Apple Music subscriber is so outlandish as to be ridiculous. If you have a vast iTunes library to stream that would, I suppose, be one reason. All the same, users of other streaming services should know that they’ll be treated as a second-class citizen. HomePod can play your Spotify music, or your Pandora stream, or your favorite iHeartRadio station. If there was a way for the speaker to grimace as it did so, though, it would. Whereas Apple Music gets native support, including voice searches for artists, tracks, albums, and playlist genres – down to “upbeat 80s pop” or “dinner party music” – if you want any other source you’re going to have to use AirPlay. That, while it works, just isn’t as elegant. Just about anything audio-wise you can play on your iOS or macOS device, you can stream to HomePod via AirPlay. It’s 16-bit 44.1Khz, so it’s not like it sounds inherently bad or anything, either, and if whatever source you’re playing has EQ controls you can adjust those in advance of HomePod getting its hands on the signal. But, while Apple Music is self-contained within HomePod, the experience of using Spotify or any other thirty-party source feels much more akin to an old, simple Bluetooth speaker. There are the basics of play/pause and track skipping by voice, but everything else you control from your phone – complete with a little lag as the system catches up to your commands. If you’re an Apple Music user, you probably won’t care. If though, like me, you’ve historically been a Spotify user, the HomePod experience won’t be so fun. I can ask for my Spotify Discover playlist by name with a Sonos One, or an Amazon Echo, or a Google Home; with Apple’s speaker, I have to go old-school and choose it manually from the app. Apple doesn’t even make it easy to import your Spotify playlists and recreate them in Apple Music. The other big use for AirPlay is pairing HomePod with an Apple TV. That way, rather than relying on your – typically weedy – TV’s speakers, you can use HomePod’s audio instead. Unfortunately you can’t switch to Apple TV audio on HomePod via a Siri voice command – you’ll need to select it manually each time. Smart, sortaWith all those microphones, it should come as no surprise that Siri is an excellent listener on HomePod. Even so, just how much background noise – or, indeed, loud music playing on the speaker itself – Apple’s assistant can ignore to pick out the “Hey Siri” trigger phrase is impressive. Considering how much you’ll be using it, that’s only a good thing. HomePod’s top panel caters for the basics. Tap the center briefly, and it toggles play/pause; double-tap, and HomePod skips forward a track, while a triple-tap skips back one. Plus and minus buttons handle volume, while a long-press in the middle starts Siri listening. When you do the latter – or, indeed, when you say “Hey Siri” – you get a ripple of colors that glow through the panel, courtesy of a cluster of LEDs underneath. Siri runs on the same Apple A8 chipset that launched inside the iPhone 6 back in late 2014. It’s powerful enough that HomePod can do local processing of the “Hey Siri” trigger phrase without constantly streaming audio to the cloud. The rest of your commands are processed remotely, though Apple does so with an anonymized Siri ID through an encrypted channel. The upshot is that, while the servers may know what’s been asked for, Apple can’t connect that request with your HomePod specifically. For musical purposes, and with the aforementioned Apple Music proviso, Siri works well. You can either go for specifics, asking for a particular artist, album, or song, or play things fast and loose by genre or just a general mood. “Hey Siri, turn it down” controls volume just as well as the more precise “Hey Siri, set the volume to 50-percent.” Apple’s assistant can give track, artist, and album information too.Currently, HomePod only supports a single Apple Music account. That’s not a problem if you’re the only person using the speaker but, if you live in a household with eclectic tastes, you’ll probably want to turn off the “Use Listening History” option in the settings. Otherwise, whatever is played will shape your song recommendations, even if someone else asked for it. That single person relationship gets more frustrating outside of music, meanwhile. HomePod can send messages and read out incoming messages, as well as set reminders and tasks, and create or add to notes, but only to a single account – and only if your iPhone is on the same WiFi network at the time. Unlike the Google Assistant, Siri on HomePod can’t differentiate between voices and thus switch to the appropriate profile.It means that, not only is message support and the rest only useful for one person in the household, but anybody talking to Siri can send a message under that person’s name. Sure, you can turn it off, but then nobody gets to use it. It’s an oddly awkward system, just like not being able to start hands-free speakerphone calls from HomePod, but instead having to dial them on your iPhone first and then manually transfer the audio to the speaker.It’s not my only frustration with how HomePod and my iPhone interact. Ask Siri to find a coffee shop or store, for example, and HomePod can read out not only the opening times but Yelp ratings and distance. Unfortunately you can’t then say “Send that to my iPhone” to pull up directions and, unlike Amazon’s Alexa app, there’s no on-phone record of recent HomePod questions and answers. Controlling HomePod playback from your iPhone is oddly awkward, too. Play music on a Sonos speaker from your phone and you’ll get lock screen controls for it, yet if you want to control HomePod you need to open the Control Center, tap AirPlay, and then scroll down to the speaker’s widget underneath the local playback buttons. The biggest shortcoming, though, is the fact that Siri simply doesn’t seem to handle general knowledge questions and other queries as smoothly as the Google Assistant or Alexa do. Part of that is by design: Apple specifically limited what Siri can do on HomePod versus what it can manage on an iPhone or Apple Watch. There’s no calendar support, for example, and you can only set a single timer; while you can set multiple reminders as a workaround, that’s only the case if you’ve enabled personal requests and thus opened up your messages and to-do list to everyone else within HomePod’s earshot. Eventually, Apple promises, we’ll see more third-party integration. That relies on SiriKit, and right now there are a small handful of services which you can interact with through the speaker: Evernote, OmniFocus 2, and Remember The Milk, among others. Nonetheless it’s clear that HomePod has a long way to go if it wants to catch up with Alexa’s lengthy list of third-party skills and integrations. A speaker that’s a smart home hubIf you’ve already got smart home devices like connected lights, thermostats, switches, or other gadgets set up on your iPhone, HomePod will automatically add the ability to control them by voice. Just like an Apple TV, meanwhile, it’ll also act as a hub for Apple’s HomeKit system, allowing you to remotely control those connected devices even while you’re away. You can access individual accessories specifically, or group them into scenes so that by saying “Hey Siri, good morning” your blinds open, the kitchen lights turn on, the coffee maker starts brewing, and the foghorn you use to lure sailors onto the rocks starts its baleful moan. Assuming, that is, you’ve got them all wired up to begin with. I have a mixture of HomeKit-compliant and non-compatible devices set up, and some work was involved pruning the collection to work smoothly with HomePod. Device names that I recognize on-screen, for example, don’t necessarily make the same amount of sense when you’re asking for them to be triggered out loud. Apple’s strict stance on smart home security has proved a double-edged sword. On the one hand, HomeKit is arguably far safer in its architecture than other home automation platforms out there. The flip side to that, though, is that HomeKit adoption has been slower than rival systems. That ought to change come iOS 11.3, which among other things will add software-based HomeKit authentication. For connected home device-makers, building in HomeKit support should become a lot more straightforward at that point. Hopefully, that will mean the market for accessories will flourish. A work in progressThere’s no denying that Apple came late to the smart speaker market. Sonos has been making connected, multi-room speakers for years now. Amazon’s Echo has several years’ head-start on HomePod, as does Google Home. And, even with a few months delay to its launch, Apple’s speaker arrives with a few key features still on the roadmap. Later this year, an update will allow two HomePod speakers to be linked together into a stereo pair. I had a brief demo of how that will sound and, though it wasn’t enough to make any sort of final judgement, it did nothing to shake my expectation that it will leave HomePod sounding louder and with much improved stereo separation. Of course, it’ll also cost you $700 all-in. At the same time, Apple will also release AirPlay 2 for HomePod. At that point you’ll be able to do multi-room audio, synchronizing a single track over HomePod speakers in different rooms. Notable, Apple isn’t the only company promising AirPlay 2 compatibility: in theory, you’ll be able to link select connected speakers from Sonos and others into the same multi-room configuration with your HomePod. They’re the obvious omissions, but there are others too. It’s unclear if you’ll be able to use multiple HomePod speakers as a surround sound system with your TV; assuming, that is, you could stomach the combined price tag for so equipping a single room. More mundane, there are no provisions for mounting the speakers on a wall, since Apple didn’t see fit to include standard screw fittings. Finally, if voice is to be the route to content discovery in future, then I can’t help but feel like podcasts have been left out. Apple Music has curated playlists for songs, but if you don’t have a specific podcast in mind that you want to listen to, you’re basically on your own when it comes to researching what’s out there. Being able to ask “Hey Siri, find me a podcast on classic cars” and get some top-rated suggestions would be a useful addition to the assistant’s talents. Wrap-upApple has made an astonishingly good speaker. They’ve made a great voice-controlled speaker, too. Question is, have they made a great smart speaker? There I’m not so convinced, at least as HomePod exists today. If you’re looking for a fantastic Apple Music speaker with clean, easy to use voice control, your $349 gets you a much slicker experience than anything else out there on the market, and great sound too. Yet beyond navigating Apple’s own streaming service, Siri pales in comparison to what Alexa or the Google Assistant can do. Here’s the thing, though. HomePod’s failings, or shortcomings, are all software, and if there’s one thing the smart speaker segment has demonstrated it’s that you can do vast amounts to improve things – either remotely in the cloud or via firmware updates – if you’re of a mind to do so. It took Apple seven years to design the HomePod’s hardware; in one year, if it felt so motivated, it could be unrecognizable in terms of the speaker’s functionality. Right now, only those fully committed to the Apple ecosystem should consider HomePod. It sounds much better than it looks like it should, and its ease of use at music playback are unparalleled among smart speakers. Apple achieves that, though, with the tightest integration with its own services that we’ve seen in a while from the company, to the effective exclusion of everything else. Only time will tell if it has any interest in changing that. Design and SetupThe 7-inch tall HomePod is both smaller than it looks in photos and, more oddly, denser than you’d expect. The fabric cover – available in White or Space Gray – is pleasingly textured, like an expensive air filter for a performance engine. I feel weird praising a cable, but Apple’s fabric-covered cord is far nicer than the rubbery snakes that emerge from the rump of most home electronics, too. If there’s a downside, it’s that the glossy plastic top panel is a glutton for fingerprints and smudges, at least in Space Gray form. Bar the power cable, everything else is handled wirelessly, for better or worse. Not only do you not get an aux-in port for wired sources, you don’t even have the option of pairing a smartphone or other device via Bluetooth; while the HomePod has the radio for it, currently Apple only really uses it for the proximity-based setup process. In short, if you’re not an iOS or macOS user, the HomePod really isn’t the speaker for you. last_img read more

Prime Book Box is a return to Amazons roots

first_imgAmazon is adding yet another Prime service for subscribers, and this time it’s all centered around getting kids to read more. Dubbed Prime Book Box, this monthly subscription will send a box to your door with age-appropriate books for your child, as curated by Amazon’s staff. Prime Book Box is scheduled to launch later this year, but interested Prime subscribers can sign up for an invite starting today. What actually comes in Prime Book Box depends on the age range you’re buying for. For boxes put together for babies through kids who are two years old, you’ll receive four board books in each box, while children over three will receive two hardcover books. Those can be picture books or novels depending on the age range you’ve selected, which breaks down to children ages 3-5, 6-8, and 9-12.Though Amazon editors curate the books that will ship in each box, parents do have the option of swapping out Amazon’s selections with others of their choosing. More information about Prime Book Box and how Amazon determines which books you receive can be found in Amazon’s FAQ. You can request an invite to join Prime Book Box over on Amazon, and though the company hasn’t announced when it will roll out to all Prime users, we can expect an official launch later this year. The announcement of Prime Book Box is interesting, because in a way, it brings Amazon back to its roots as a physical book seller. Amazon’s focus in recent years has been on eBooks that are purchased and read through its Kindle platform, so to see it launch Prime Book Box will be a refreshing call back to its early days in the late 1990s.In any case, Prime Book Box is different from some other Prime services in that it costs an additional fee. For $22.99 per box, Amazon will send you a Prime Book Box every month, two months, or three months. The company claims that parents can save up to 35% off list price, which definitely isn’t a bad sell.center_img Story TimelineAmazon’s new Echo Dot Kids Edition is already seeing dealsThis Amazon PC gaming sale is a one-day wallet openerGoogle Assistant is more accurate than Amazon Alexa: studylast_img read more

Instagram users are falling victim to a strange hack

first_imgAccording to a new write up over at Mashable, some Instagram users are finding that their accounts have been compromised. Mashable spoke to a few of these Instagram users, who all say that whoever got into their account changed their contact information, including their associated phone number and email address, making it difficult for those users to recover their accounts.Mashable says that the people it talked to are just a few of “hundreds” of users who have reported similarly hacked accounts on Twitter and Reddit. The strange thing about these hackers is that they don’t seem to be making new posts or deleting old ones – aside from changing contact information, they also change account names and profile pictures, typically to something Disney or Pixar-themed.Beyond that, though, they don’t seem to be doing anything malicious with the accounts, though what they are doing is definitely bad enough. Many people report that their contact email has been changed to one with a Russian domain, which further adds to the general weirdness of this story. In some cases, the hackers seem to be getting around to two-factor authentication as well, which is particularly troubling.Users who have been hacked told Mashable that the process of recovering an account once the phone number and email have been changed is an arduous one, so if you use Instagram regularly, it’s probably best to make sure that your account doesn’t share a password with any other online login you may have. Two-factor authentication is never a bad idea either, even though in this instance it doesn’t seem to be entirely secure. We’ll see if Instagram addresses this issue in any official capacity, so stay tuned. If you have an Instagram account, you may want to take some extra precautions and do what you can to lock it down. That, of course, is always good advice, but at the moment it might be particularly important. Reports of hackers taking over Instagram accounts are starting to circulate, but this story is a fair bit more strange than you would initially expect. Story TimelineInstagram may soon let public accounts remove followersInstagram’s new status indicators are yet another thing to turn offFacebook and Instagram launch new activity dashboardslast_img read more

Google Pixel headphone dongle is faster less of battery hog

first_imgIt’s not that the original Pixel headphone dongle was a massive battery hog, but the second edition is better. When you’ve got a device with which you’re wanting to play audio, and you’re not a fan of Bluetooth audio, you need a way to connect with hardware. If you’ve got a Google Pixel 2, that means you need a USB-C-cord-toting speaker system or headphones, OR that you’ve got the correct dongle. Not every USB-C to headphone jack dongle works with every phone – and Google’s Pixel is notoriously finicky. Because Google didn’t include a digital-to-analog amplifier in their Google Pixel 2, and there’s no headphone jack, a special dongle is required. Required if you want non-wireless audio, that is to say. Google includes said dongle in with every Pixel 2 purchase. The original Pixel 2 USB-C to headphone jack dongle isn’t perfect. It’s got a lot of room for improvement, especially where sound quality and battery drain come into play. As such, Google made a new dongle. The original dongle was available in the Google Store for $9, this new dongle costs $12.This new dongle has what Google claims is 53-percent lower latency as well as 38-percent longer playback time. Those percentages are comparing the new dongle to the original Pixel 2 dongle when used with the Pixel 2 or Pixel 2 XL. This dongle could potentially be used with other devices, but Google mentions “Android P or higher” as a requirement. Now we’re interested in what’s inside this mystery dongle. What could possibly be within this piece of equipment that’d make it require the newest version of Android for it to function? Or perhaps that requirement is only in place to make certain the improvement percentages are qualified accurately. We shall see!UPDATE: The listing in the Google Store SPECIFICALLY states “Works best on Pixel and other devices running Android P or higher.” Not quite a requirement, but a suggestion for compatibility.last_img read more

Oculus Rift Core 20 rolls out to everyone next month

first_imgWhile the Oculus Quest may have been the big-ticket item during today’s Oculus Connect 5 keynote, Facebook still took a little time to cover the software side of things. More specifically, the company gave us a launch window for the next version of the Rift’s system software. Dubbed Oculus Rift Core 2.0, this new system software is exiting beta today and launching to all Rift owners at some point next month. There’s a fair amount more coming along with Core 2.0, such as Oculus’s new (and somewhat creepy) expressive avatars. We’ll be keeping an ear to the ground for a specific release date for Core 2.0, so stay tuned for that. Story TimelineOculus TV on Oculus Go lets you binge anywhereOculus Quest detailed: Freedom between Go and RiftYouTube VR released to Oculus GOcenter_img With this exit from beta, Rift Core 2.0 is going live on the Oculus Public Test Channel today, so those of you who want to get an early look at it can do so. Core 2.0 was first detailed almost a year ago, and today, Facebook ran us through some of the new features that are coming along with this update.One of the biggest updates is reserved for Oculus Home, which is no longer just a static storefront. Instead, it’s now described as a personal space that you’ll be able to decorate and share with your friends. Facebook promises hundreds of decorations for your slice of Home, along with the ability to import your own custom 3D models. On top of that, developers will be able to release assets from their games for use in Home, and you’ll be able to unlock them by completing achievements in those games. As of today, eight titles support support achievement objects, and you can see them in the list below:Arizona Sunshine Dead Man DLCBrass TacticsEcho VRJob Simulator – The 2050 ArchivesLone EchoMossOrbus VRSuperhot VRAnother major component of Core 2.0 is Dash, which is a new system interface that allows you to place your desktop apps and your PC’s display into your virtual space. Today, Facebook announced that Dash will support hybrid apps, which aim to make the transition between desktop and VR versions of the same app more seamless. The feature is still in its early stages, but you can get a glimpse of it in action below.last_img read more

Mini Takes The States 2016 – Las Vegas to Palm Springs in

first_imgMini Takes The States (or #MTTS as the ubiquitous hashtag shortens it to) is far from a one-off deal. The event itself has been running since 2006, plotting various routes across the continent in a bid to not only raise money for charity – this year’s cause is Feeding America – but also to tap into the overwhelming fervor that Mini owners feel for their automobiles. The very fact that on any given day there were roughly 1,500 Mini fanatics participating in #MTTS provides stunning proof of just how deep the love runs for a brand that is far from being a volume seller on this side of the Atlantic.AdChoices广告It’s not just the number of Mini owners taking part in the event that makes it so unique amongst company-led engagement efforts. It’s also the way in which those who participate choose to schedule their holidays around the road trip’s summer dates, wrap their cars in the most colorful of liveries, designs, and tributes to everything from cartoons to racing heroes, and then sticker-bomb them into oblivion to show their loyalty not just to #MTTS itself, but also to each other. Unlike other some car cultures where the originality of an automobile is fetishized to the point of uniformity, pervasive customization is the order of the day for Mini moguls, as even from the factory almost two-thirds of models sold feature a unique set of options.If there was ever any doubt that Mini driver are pack animals, that’s dispelled the instant you witness any encounter between two respective Cooper pilots out on the road. A shared wave is the minimum – a conversation is likely should they meet on the walk to the car – and once gathered in numbers sufficient enough to blot out the UNLV parking lot in Vegas, it’s a veritable convention of non-conformists, each an individual actor, never a cog, in the gears that keep the Mini machine churning forward. We also rarely see a gas station. On the last stretch, towards the end of the day, our attempt to fuel up and avoid having our bleached bones picked clean by heat-resistant vultures are thwarted twice: first, when the plaza we pull up to is locked up and serves only 87-octane fuel (that would be suicide for our hardworking turbocharged four-cylinder mule), and again when a supposed fuel stop turns out to have been reclaimed by the desert, with only a desiccated awning and fence draped with hundreds of pairs of sneakers there to witness our disappointment at being tricked by Google Maps. “22 miles…now 19. Scratch that – down to 18.” I ask my co-driver, Automobile’s Eric Weiner, to repeat that last number and he does, a note of concern creeping into his normally relaxed voice, augmented by rivulets of sweat crisscrossing his brow. It’s not the tension of the moment that’s got the two of us soaking both our shirts and the front seats of the Mini John Cooper Works convertible we’re riding in across the California desert. It’s the fact that, with just a sniff of fuel left in the tank, we’ve got the air conditioning switched off and the windows rolled down in the 118-degree heat, sacrificing comfort in the name of please, please, please just let us make it to the fuel station that both the navigation system and my fuzzy memory of visits to 29 Palms past say should be just 10 miles away. And this sudden incline is killing us. Sixty-five hot and sweaty miles later, however, and we’re saved. As we roll into the wrap-up gala at the Palm Springs Air Museum that evening, its clear that the party’s coda is merely a prelude to the next #MTTS, as owners buzz about under the wingtips of B-17 bombers and the drooping rotors of UH-1 Hueys. New friendships have been forged and old bonds renewed, and the energy in the room underscores Mini’s most impressive achievement: making people pour their hearts and souls into metal and glass until it’s transformed into something more. Until it’s family. How did I end up surrounded by shimmering sand, wild burros, and 600 Mini Coopers of every possible description? My quest began earlier than morning in Las Vegas, Nevada, where I joined the final leg of Mini Takes The States 2016, a two-week rally that began in Atlanta, Georgia, and traversed the entire country in one long, almost-unbroken caravan of cars built by the British-cum-BMW brand.center_img Weiner is a pro, hovering the John Cooper Works drop-top just a few feet behind the 18-wheeled hauler in front of us, an older hyper-miler’s trick to take advantage of about as much aerodynamic draft as you’d find on the inside row at Daytona. Our low-tech range-extending plan sounds stupid, but it works: once we crest the hill that had been sapping miles from the tank, the Mini’s trip computer begins a slow, but steady climb back towards a less frightening, not quite as sunburned depiction of our final moments on earth. The Chevron sign looms in the distance, and by the time we roll up to the fuel pump we’ve built a 28-mile cushion between laughter and disaster. We’re not the only ones taking advantage of this rare oasis of gasoline and Slim Jims, as almost every parking spot and fuel pump features a Mini of its own, dusty from the Mohave’s heat. Although Mini Takes The States is a huge undertaking, in keeping with the individualistic inclinations of its participants the organization of the route itself is largely broad strokes. Weiner and I received the keys to the convertible John Cooper Works along a single sheet of paper containing one of the more confusing sets of directions in recent memory, and were sent out in the direction of Palm Springs, the final destination both for us and for the entire event that evening.In many ways, the provision of but a few points of interest along the way to the #MTTS finish line is inspired, as it allows us to explore some of the more unusual highlights along the way. Eric’s ability to bloodhound twisty roads and avoid the tedium of highway travel takes us not just down the desolately beautiful remnants of Route 66 as marked on our official instructions, but also off-menu and into the mountains that ring southern Arizona’s flat plains. Along the way we pass through distant, single-street outposts such as Oatman, AZ, where we lunch in a bar whose walls are covered with over $100,000 in single dollar bills, and where I witness a feral donkey successfully attack and snack on a too-friendly tourist’s leather purse. Story TimelineLEGO MINI Cooper release summons the classic Mk VII2016 MINI convertible gets longer and widerMini Rumored to Launch AWD Clubmanlast_img read more

Elio Motors 3wheeled minicar priced at 7000 for preorders

first_imgYou might remember hearing about Elio Motors before. The company is known for crowdfunding its small, three-wheeled car that gets 84 mpg from a 3-cylinder engine, promising a price “around $6,800,” and remaining noncommittal on a release date. Well, Elio Motors has announced a new pricing scheme that somewhat overshoots that original price, but will still allow customers to pre-order the vehicle for a guaranteed price of $7,000, as long as they make a binding commitment to purchase one. Story TimelineElio Motors plans to launch efficient three-wheeled car in 2015Elio Motors raises $25M in “non-binding” crowdfundingElio Motors P5 prototype boasts 84mpg efficiency from a 0.9L 3-cylinder The complicated pricing scheme revealed in Elio Motors’ announcement details that they need to meet the requirements for the Department of Energy’s Advanced Technology Vehicles Manufacturing (ATVM) loan program. The fact that they already have 56,000 non-refundable reservations still isn’t enough to meet those requirements, so Elio Motors has made two pricing tiers.Customers who have already placed a non-refundable pre-order will have a final price of $7,300 for the car. However, if they choose to agree to a binding commitment, which means they must pay the full price of the vehicle no matter when it goes on sale, they can get a reduced price of $7,000.Elio Motors adds that the two price tiers are available until they reach a total of 65,000 reservations, so there’s still time for 9,000 additional customers to make a pre-order. Also, any existing reservations can be moved up to the binding commitment before the company reaches that 65,000.The fact that the original price goal of $6,800 has been increased to $7,300 isn’t that big of a deal when compared to the binding commitment. Those who have made reservations already have only been asked to pay between $400 and $900. Being required to pay $7,000 whenever this car goes on sale is a huge risk to take just to save $300 in the end. SOURCE Elio Motorslast_img read more

This jumbo LEGO Porsche 911 Turbo 30 is the perfect sort of

first_imgMaking full-sized models out of regular sized LEGO bricks isn’t new, but Porsche has gone a little wild and made a super-sized LEGO set to recreate its 911 Turbo 3.0 model. Found at the Porsche Museum in Stuttgart, Germany, the jumbo 911 is a scaled up replica of the LEGO version you can buy. That meant taking all of the individual LEGO pieces for the bodywork, bumpers, hood, and lights, and making far larger versions of them. These have been assembled into something that’s the same size as a production Porsche. It’s hardly an aerodynamic car, mind. What looks fairly blocky in regular LEGO model size gets seriously chunky and lumpy when the size of a regular 911. Factor in the bright green finish, and you have a German sports car you can’t miss. Sadly there’s not much in the way of detail around the car’s creation. The regular-sized model is part of the LEGO Speed Champions set we reviewed back in late March, and which includes a Porsche 911 RSR along with the Turbo 3.0. They’re a lot less complex than the LEGO Technic Porsche 911 GT3 RS set, meanwhile, which came in at a whopping 2,704 pieces. The Speed Champions models are a whole lot smaller and use far fewer pieces. However, they do get some appealing accessories, including race position boards and more. They’ll fit a single LEGO minifig, too, though you need to remove the roof and windshield to get them in and out as the doors don’t open. Porsche’s full-sized LEGO Big Brick 911 Turbo 3.0 doesn’t look like it’s designed to be opened up in the same way – probably a good thing, as you’d need some sort of winch rig to get the top off in one piece. Usually with full-size LEGO models the makers end up building a metal frame which acts as structural support, around which the blocks are assembled. They’re also typically glued, since the last thing you want is a model coming apart when someone leans against it. The big 911 Turbo 3.0 is on show at the Porsche Museum in Stuttgart, alongside some more road-capable models from the automaker’s history books. According to Porsche, it’ll be there until April 19, after which it’ll move to the Porsche Tennis Grand Prix in Stuttgart from Apple 21 to April 29. Story TimelinePorsche: Don’t hold your breath for an electric 911 (992)Porsche sales chief says it could build flying taxisPorsche unshackled its 919 Hybrid and beat an F1 carlast_img read more

Dyson wants gas cars banned by 2030 in UK

first_imgIn the United Kingdom, James Dyson spoke with associates of Theresa May this week about a plan to ban the sale of “petrol and diesel cars” in the country. At the same time – to the shock of absolutely no person whatsoever – Dyson’s revealed the first patents related to his future range of electric cars. This is James Dyson, of Dyson Ltd, the Dyson you’re familiar with.It was all the way back in September of 2017 that Dyson first announced he (and they) would be revealing their first electric vehicle in the year 2020, with a release by 2021. Fast forward to now, and 2020 is less than a year away. And Dyson wants to be sure he’s got a wide open market (in the UK, at least) with which to supply EVs as soon as possible. “My own amateur view of the electric-car market is that it has been underestimated,” said Dyson with FT this week. “I believe it’s driven not so much by subsidies as by genuine desire of the public to have silent and non-polluting vehicles.”The UK government in 2017 announced they’d be cutting off sales of new petrol or diesel vehicles by 2040. That’s petrol or diesel that do not specifically allow hybrid technology – both gasoline and electric power. If what Dyson’s been hinting at this week is true, he’ll have his public-pleasing EV fleet ready just in time. Critics of gasoline vehicles have been ramping up toward suggestions of an outright ban of gas-guzzling vehicles around the world for decades. For most, it didn’t seem realistic until very recently. The idea that any government would be able to ban the use of a certain sort of fuel didn’t seem possible when there was no realistic alternative, but with the rise of the electric car, a no-gas law might well be in the making. Story TimelineA Dyson EV is coming in 2020Dyson electric auto plant announced for Singaporelast_img read more

CNN Poll Half Of Americans Say Obamacare Has Helped Their Families Or

first_imgCNN Poll: Half Of Americans Say Obamacare Has Helped Their Families Or Others A CNN poll finds that more than half the public says the health law helped their families or others, but fewer than one in five say they have personally benefited. Meanwhile, election-year politics in Ohio may lead to the release of 2015 premiums on Oct. 1, and business and consumer groups seek to influence benefits.CNN: Is Obamacare Working?More than half the public says Obamacare has helped either their families or others across the country, although less than one in five Americans say they have personally benefited from the health care law, according to a new national poll. A CNN/ORC International survey also indicates that a majority of Americans oppose the Affordable Care Act, but that some of that opposition is from people who don’t think the measure goes far enough (7/23).The Star Tribune: Dayton Wants Health Insurers To Reveal 2015 Rates On Oct. 1Election-year politics are shining a spotlight on health insurance rates, with Gov. Mark Dayton now asking the state’s insurance plans to voluntarily agree to release them on Oct. 1. Republicans have pressed for release of the 2015 health insurance rates before the November election, even though there’s no requirement that insurers do so until open enrollment starts on Nov. 15. Minnesota had the lowest insurance rates in the nation in the first year under the federal health law, but some Republicans suspect that rates will go up (Crosby, 7/22). Kaiser Health News: Capsules: Business Groups, Consumer Advocates Draw Lines In The Sand About Essential BenefitsDuring a July 21 Capitol Hill briefing, members of the Affordable Health Benefits Coalition, a business interest group including the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the National Retail Federation, said they would push to reshape essential benefits, arguing that current regulations have led to unaffordable hikes in insurance premiums (Luthra, 7/23). This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.last_img read more

State Highlights Medicaid Remains Tough Challenge For State Budgets Vt Advocates Continue

first_imgState Highlights: Medicaid Remains Tough Challenge For State Budgets; Vt. Advocates Continue Single-Payer Push News outlets also examine other health policy issues in Ohio, Texas, Iowa, California, Florida and Louisiana. Texas and the federal government tentatively resolved a high-stakes health care funding inquiry on Monday, averting a major disruption to hospital funding. The Texas Health and Human Services Commission and the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services reached the tentative agreement Monday. They expect a formal, written agreement during the next two weeks. After requesting records over the summer, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services deferred a $74.9 million payment to the Health and Human Services Commission in September. The payment covered uncompensated care provided by hospital systems in Dallas County, Tarrant County and Nueces County — where the local Hospital District works with the Christus Spohn Health System to provide health care to the county’s poorest residents. Driscoll Children’s Hospital and Corpus Christi Medical Center also benefit from payments through the federal program. (Hendricks, 12/2) Supporters of a plan to make Vermont the first state in the country to enact a single-payer health care system urged Gov. Peter Shumlin and the Legislature on Tuesday to move forward with the overhaul, despite Shumlin’s narrow victory in the November election. Sixteen groups, including the state employees and teachers unions, held a Statehouse press conference to rebut critics of Green Mountain Care who say the election was a referendum on the publicly funded system. They say the election was so close because of property taxes and other issues. (Rathke, 12/2) Doctors talking privately to patients or families after a medical mishap could acknowledge responsibility or even admit a mistake without that conversation being used against them later in court, according to a proposal in the Ohio General Assembly pushed by physicians. (12/2) The Associated Press: Ohio Bill Would Shield Doctors Who Say ‘My Fault’ Los Angeles Times: Hospitals Grapple With Challenge In Caring For Homeless The Associated Press: Advocates Continue Push For Single-Payer Health Florida lawmakers appear ready to reignite talks on the future of telemedicine. The issue of how to handle doctors who treat patients remotely was jumbled into a larger health-related bill, which contributed to its defeat last session. Florida TaxWatch’s Tamara Demko says lawmakers need to pare down their goals for addressing telemedicine in the state. (Hatter, 12/2) This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription. More disabled Iowans are being added to waiting lists for state assistance, despite $6 million that legislators earmarked last spring to reduce the number of those waiting for help. More than 9,000 Iowans are waiting, often for more than two years, for therapies and services to help them deal with mental or physical disabilities. Patient advocates say they’ve been told that the Iowa Department of Human Services has spent little of the $6 million that was supposed to speed up access to the services, starting July 1. A department spokeswoman said Tuesday that the agency will soon ramp up the effort. (Leys, 12/2) center_img Health News Florida: Telemedicine To Be Revisted Next Session In Florida Louisiana’s Medicaid spending rose about $950 million while the state privatized public hospitals and much of Medicaid, a legislative audit found. Medicaid annual spending stayed about $6.6 billion to $6.8 billion from 2010 through 2012 but hit $7.6 billion by June 30, when fiscal 2014 ended, according to the report released Monday. (12/2) The Washington Post: The 2015 Outlook For States Is Stable, Fitch Finds Biederman’s study, published in the Journal of Community Health Nursing, found that homeless patients were more likely to be readmitted to “safety net” hospitals when they had no safe place to recover from illnesses. Sending them to a homeless shelter, a boardinghouse or back to the street did not provide the security and medical attention they needed. The patients in the study complained of developing infections in shelters. Their pain medications would be stolen. They couldn’t handle stairs or had other impediments. (Jacobson, 12/2) The toughest challenge ahead for states in the coming year is Medicaid, “the area of state budgets that is usually the most difficult to control.” While states have been able to contain Medicaid costs in recent years, the introduction of the president’s health-care reform law and its Medicaid expansion introduces new variables for budget managers to grapple with, [credit rating agency] Fitch finds. (Chokshi, 12/2) The Corpus Christi Caller Times: Texas, Feds Reach Agreement On Health Care Funding The Des Moines Register: Disabled Iowans Still Waiting For Care, Despite New Money The Associated Press: Medicaid Costs Up $950M As Hospitals Privatize last_img read more

Perspectives Despite Drugmakers BlameGame Tactics They Really Could Control SkyHigh Prices

first_img Cleveland Plain Dealer: Congress Must Pass Bill Limiting Drug Price Hikes The Santa Fe New Mexican: Controlling Drug Prices — It’s Possible One of the fairest and most effective ways for the nation to reduce its health care costs is for the federal government to use its massive purchasing power to negotiate more affordable prices for prescription drugs. That long-recognized reality is a key finding of a recent report by the National Academy of Sciences that makes practical recommendations for reducing drug costs while protecting the role pharmaceuticals play in the modern health care system. The report, Making Medicines Affordable, is notable for the 32 findings that address the challenge of curbing drug costs in both economic and political terms. To its credit, the academy balanced the debate by drawing attention at the outset to the contribution that the drug industry has made in delivering products that have been “very successful” in improving health and fighting disease. (12/25) This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription. Scott Gottlieb seems like the pharmaceutical industry’s idea of a dream FDA Commissioner, with pharma ties and an ideological bent toward deregulation. But he has also been the only member of the Trump administration to follow through on the president’s fiery rhetoric about rising drug prices. Pharma claims to like the free market. But in the year ahead, Gottlieb is set to prove how the free market can cut both ways for drugmakers. (Max Nisen, 1/2) Imagine this: A patient shows up in the emergency room after suffering a seizure. You discover she had stopped taking her medication because it became too expensive. You switch her to a cheaper medication, but the side effects are more severe, making it harder for her to go to work. This is the reality that doctors in Cleveland see every day. (Malavika Kesavan, 12/28) The Hill: When Your Medication Costs More Than Your Mortgage Perspectives: Despite Drugmakers’ Blame-Game Tactics, They Really Could Control Sky-High Prices Read recent commentaries about drug-cost issues.center_img A great success of modern America is the development of medicines to treat so much of what ails us. The United States knows how to develop and deliver drugs to fight disease and improve health — but success hardly comes cheap. Spending on prescription drugs is rising, with many people unable to purchase the medicines they or relatives need. The country cannot be healthy if people can’t afford prescriptions, especially ones to manage long-term conditions or ones that mean the difference between life and death. The situation has become so bad, in fact, that the prestigious National Academies of Sciences reported late last month that “consumer access to affordable medicines is a public health imperative.” (12/26) Tampa Bay Times: Let Federal Government Negotiate Prescription Drug Prices Prescription drug prices are out of control: The average annual cost for one specialty medication to treat a chronic condition is now more than what most families earn in a year. Big Pharma could solve the problem by committing to more rational and sustainable pricing models. Instead, for the last year, Big Pharma has chosen to point the finger at everyone else, and their decision to engage in a blame game is a tacit admission that drug prices are, in fact, too high. Since this is the road they’ve chosen to go down, let’s lay out some facts about the root causes of outrageous drug prices. (Rick Pollack and Marilyn Tavenner, 12/31) Pay attention only to politics and you might think 2017 was a parade of horribles, yet most Americans saw their living standards rise and business innovations are happening apace. Consider the lifesaving medical breakthroughs greenlighted this year by the Food and Drug Administration. (12/29) Bloomberg: Trump FDA Chief Scott Gottlieb Isn’t Pharma’s BFF After All The Wall Street Journal: Biotech’s Breakthrough Year last_img read more

OnePlus 7 Pro 5G price sets up war with Galaxy S10e and

first_img5G When it emerged OnePlus was going to launch a super high-end OnePlus 7 Pro smartphone with 5G, many feared it would bring an end to the company’s longstanding commitment to undercutting the prices of its flagship competitors.However, a new report suggests that fears of a OnePlus phone costing the same as a high-end iPhone or Galaxy S10 may have been unfounded.Android Central reports the phone will retail for €749 in Europe, complete with 8GB of RAM. That’s around £649 at the current exchange rate. The site says there’ll be another version with a stunning 12GB of RAM and 256GB of storage for €819 (around £710).Interestingly, the site says a base model with 6GB of RAM (not so long ago, that would have been unheard of!) and 128GB of storage will be available at a later point in the release cycle. No price is known as yet, but the report does say Mirror Grey, Almond, and Nebula Blue will be the colour offerings.The current OnePlus 6T starts at €549 in Europe, meaning an increase of €200 for this top-end version, but considering there’s likely to have a 5G modem, a new all-screen display with a pop-up selfie camera that could still be seen as decent value.Related: OnePlus 6T reviewWhile some will see the price tag as a betrayal of the firm’s principles, it might be an increase OnePlus fans are happy to pay for the phone, which is likely to boast improved cameras, an in-display fingerprint sensor and the latest Snapdragon 855 processor.It’s also around the same price as the entry-level Samsung Galaxy S10e and the iPhone XR, neither of which offer a 5G option.The phones will be revealed at a launch event taking place on May 14, which is three weeks from now. We’ll have full coverage from what’s become one of the highlights of the tech calendar.Does an extra 200 notes sound like a reasonable increase for a phone rocking 5G and bleeding edge features? Let us know @TrustedReviews on Twitter. Show More Unlike other sites, we thoroughly review everything we recommend, using industry standard tests to evaluate products. We’ll always tell you what we find. We may get a commission if you buy via our price links.Tell us what you think – email the Editor Sign up for the Mobile NewsletterSign Up Please keep me up to date with special offers and news from Goodtoknow and other brands operated by TI Media Limited via email. You can unsubscribe at any time.center_img We’d also like to send you special offers and news just by email from other carefully selected companies we think you might like. Your personal details will not be shared with those companies – we send the emails and you can unsubscribe at any time. Please tick here if you are happy to receive these messages.By submitting your information, you agree to the Terms & Conditions and Privacy & Cookies Policy. This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.last_img read more

Love it or loathe it the PlayStation Classic is now at its

first_img We’d also like to send you special offers and news just by email from other carefully selected companies we think you might like. Your personal details will not be shared with those companies – we send the emails and you can unsubscribe at any time. Please tick here if you are happy to receive these messages.By submitting your information, you agree to the Terms & Conditions and Privacy & Cookies Policy. At this price, the PlayStation Classic can also be a solid inexpensive gift for someone who reared their gaming skills in the nineties (best decade by far, am I right?). After all, hitting the power button and hearing that almighty PlayStation chime feels like a trip through time in itself.Here’s the full list of games that are pre-loaded onto the PlayStation Classic:Battle Arena ToshindenCool Boarders 2Destruction DerbyFinal Fantasy VIIGrand Theft AutoIntelligent QubeJumping FlashMetal Gear SolidMr DrillerOddworld: Abe’s OddyseeRaymanRevelations: PersonaResident Evil Director’s CutR4 Ridge Racer Type 4Super Puzzle Fighter II TurboSyphon FilterTekken 3Tom Clancy’s Rainbow SixTwisted MetalWild ArmsIn addition to the aforementioned Metal Gear Solid and Tekken 3, there are some true standouts including Final Fantasy VII, Resident Evil and Oddworld: Abe’s Odyssey. PlayStation Classic Deal – Lowest Price YetPlayStation Classic – 20 Games IncludedFancy some classic gaming fun for the weekend? The PlayStation Classic – which includes titles like Metal Gear Solid and Final Fantasy VII – is now at its lowest price yet (while stocks last).Argos|Save £20|Now £29.99View DealNow £29.99|Save £20|Argos You could just fork out for digital versions of these games but at least with the PlayStation Classic, you’re getting a mini-piece of gaming history and two stellar controllers to boot.At just £29.99 (while stocks last), this is a steal of a price for countless hours of classic gaming fun. Sure, it won’t be for everyone, but at the lowest it’s ever been it’s a perfect shout for the weekend.For more amazing offers, follow us @TrustedDealsUK Sign up for the Mobile NewsletterSign Up Please keep me up to date with special offers and news from Goodtoknow and other brands operated by TI Media Limited via email. You can unsubscribe at any time. This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.center_img Deals Fancy a weekend trip into some great nineties gaming? The PlayStation Classic has just had a huge price reduction, bringing it down to the sub £30 mark – the perfect time to buy if you’ve been holding out.It should be no secret at this point that the PlayStation Classic isn’t everyone’s cup of tea. Originally launching for £89.99 and with a few notably absent titles, the retro gaming console was a tough sell. Now at a third of its initial price point however, the PlayStation Classic is a much better shout for playing great titles like Metal Gear Solid and Tekken 3 with smooth emulation and an original PlayStation controller. PlayStation Classic Deal – Lowest Price YetPlayStation Classic – 20 Games IncludedFancy some classic gaming fun for the weekend? The PlayStation Classic – which includes titles like Metal Gear Solid and Final Fantasy VII – is now at its lowest price yet (while stocks last).Argos|Save £20|Now £29.99View DealNow £29.99|Save £20|Argos Show More Unlike other sites, we thoroughly review everything we recommend, using industry standard tests to evaluate products. We’ll always tell you what we find. We may get a commission if you buy via our price links.Tell us what you think – email the Editorlast_img read more

Tesla Readies Australia For Model 3 New Service Delivery Centers

Source: Electric Vehicle News 10 photos 33 photos Tesla Model 3 Arrives For Display Purposes In Australia TESLA MODEL 3 PERFORMANCE Tesla has made a big impact in Oz as of late, mostly due to the success of its colossal Powerpack installation. However, the Model 3 has already proven wildly popular in the land down under. As we recently reported, huge lines formed when the car officially debuted there just last week.Now, Tesla has announced that it will open a new service and delivery center in Alexandria. The new center will be the second in Sydney, an area where many Tesla owners reside. It seems the automaker is trying to get ahead of delivery logistics hell overseas before it becomes a problem. On top of the new facility, Tesla is also now offering mobile service for owners in  Sydney, Brisbane, and Melbourne. A Tesla spokesperson told The Driven:The launch of mobile servicing, the new Service and Delivery centre in Alexandria and our expanding Supercharger network are all essential as Tesla moves towards the release of Model 3 in 2019.The introduction of mobile servicing in Australia is part of Tesla’s efforts to double our global mobile service fleet throughout 2018.The Model 3 was previously revealed in Australia and customers were told that it will arrive in mid-to-late 2019 with an approximate starting price of $57,000 USD ($77,500 Australian), which after taxes would be in the mid-$80,000 price range in Australia.Source: The DrivenTESLA MODEL 3 This 70-Year-Old Tesla Model S Owner Circles Oz And Shares Story While the Tesla Model 3 is not yet selling overseas, the automaker is getting prepped.The huge popularity of the Tesla Model 3 has seemingly taken the attention off other Tesla efforts and especially the company’s global impact. Though the Silicon Valley automaker has been up against production hell and now delivery hell – and it appears that North American Model 3 deliveries have put a hold on just about everything else – work is still underway abroad, and Australia is surely no exception.More Tesla News From Oz: Massive Lines Form For Tesla Model 3 Debut In Australia Author Liberty Access TechnologiesPosted on September 28, 2018Categories Electric Vehicle News read more

Lutz On Tesla Deliveries Arent Necessarily MoneyGenerating Sales

Author Liberty Access TechnologiesPosted on October 2, 2018Categories Electric Vehicle News Tesla results Source: Electric Vehicle News Humor us some more, Mr. Bob Lutz.Bob Lutz, former vice chairman of GM, in his most recent CNBC discussion on Tesla’s production and delivery results in Q3, surprised us a little bit… by how far off his analysis and understanding of production and deliveries numbers actually are.We are a little sad that Bob Lutz is trying to convince the general public that because Tesla doesn’t have dealers, delivery numbers are not necessarily sales that generate money – “The cars remain in the Tesla system” and on how the company is so different from the rest of the automotive industry. Bob Lutz undermines his own credibility, but well, that will not stop Tesla.Tesla reports deliveries as sales:“Our delivery count should be viewed as slightly conservative, as we only count a car as delivered if it is transferred to the customer and all paperwork is correct. Final numbers could vary by up to 0.5%.” Tesla Model 3 Sales Beyond Expectations: New Record In September Well, Tesla’s sales number are, in fact, different from the automotive industry – simply because they are growing like crazy and the Tesla Model 3 happens to be one of the best-selling cars in North America, at a time when cars are losing popularity.Further into the discussion it gets more reasonable as even Bob Lutz notices it’s improving financially for Tesla (“may not lose as much cash in third quarter” or even achieve some modest profit). However, scepticism about Tesla’s unique battery or other technologies remains unchanged.Lutz expects that soon other manufacturers will be selling long-range electric cars, comparably as good and with the ability to sell them at a loss to fulfill emission requirements (as these EVs will be just a small part of their business). But selling any product at a loss is not a wise business strategy, regardless of volume or percentages. Tesla Sales Surge In The Netherlands In September Tesla Q3 Production Eclipses 80,000: Deliveries Exceed 83,000 read more

Tesla Model 3 Performance Pricing Announced For China

first_img Tesla Model 3 With CCS Combo Inlet, S & X With CCS Adaptor In Europe By moving production to China, Tesla should be able to sell Model 3 Long-range AWD from around $60,000, we believe.Tesla Model 3 Performance ( China ) option pricing breakdown.MP3: 689,000 RMB ($100K)Red exterior (China addition):26,900 RMB ($3.9K)White interior: 10,800 RMB ($1.5K)19inch Wheel: FreeAdvanced autopilot: 54,000 RMB($7.8k)@TeslaPodcast $TSLA #Tesla #Model3 #China pic.twitter.com/XcKLjTTgvf— Vincent (@vincent13031925) November 16, 2018 Tesla Model 3 expansion Tesla Model 3 Arrives In Italy, Plus Long Lines Form To See 3 In Germany Author Liberty Access TechnologiesPosted on November 16, 2018Categories Electric Vehicle News Prices in China are a lot higher than in the U.S., but that’s expected.According to the latest reports from China, the Tesla Model 3 will be quite expensive after adding the 40% import tax duty and other costs.The top of the line Performance version will cost almost $100,000, and that’s without many options. In the U.S., you could get the base Performance M3 for about $65,000 MSRP. The Long-range all-wheel-drive versions will cost around $84,000 in China.Tesla Model 3 prices in China:Model 3 Long-range AWD from 580,000 RMB (about $84,000)Model 3 Performance from 689,000 RMB (almost $100,000)China edition red paint: 26,900 RMB ($3,900)white interior: 10,800 RMB ($1,500)19inch Wheel: FreeEnhanced Autopilot: 54,000 RMB ($7,800) Top Spec Tesla Model 3 Variants Coming To China In Q1 2019 Source: Electric Vehicle News https://t.co/k2683wU9of— Vincent (@vincent13031925) November 16, 2018last_img read more