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Tech News

T-Mobile is buying $3.5 billion worth of 5G gear from Nokia

July 30, 2018 — by Engadget.com0

Yves Herman / Reuters

T-Mobile is gearing up for 5G in a big way: the carrier just announced a $3.5 billion deal with Nokia for 5G equipment. At this point, it’s the biggest arrangement that we’ve seen around next-generation wireless equipment. T-Mobile says it’ll be using Nokia’s gear to build out its 5G network along 600 MHz and 28 GHz millimeter wave spectrum. That covers both broad availability, as well as spectrum needed for dense urban areas.

The deal is a major one for Nokia, as it’s also competing with Ericsson and Huawei in the networking equipment arena. And while most carriers have been hyping up 5G over the years, this moves shows that T-Mobile is ready to do more than just talk about it. As we’ve covered, 5G networks will be much faster than existing 4G LTE, but they’ll also offer lower latency, which makes it more useful for games and applications that demand speedier response times.T-Mobile previously announced that it will start building its 5G network in 30 US cities this year.

“We are all in on 5G,” T-Mobile CTO Neville Ray said in a statement. “Every dollar we spend is a 5G dollar, and our agreement with Nokia underscores the kind of investment we’re making to bring customers a mobile, nationwide 5G network.”

Tech News

Magic Leap offers a sneak peek at its mixed reality OS

July 28, 2018 — by Engadget.com0

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Magic Leap

Magic Leap has been peeling away one layer of secrecy after another now that it’s close to shipping its mixed reality headset. Just recently, it released an AR demo and revealed that it’s working with comics industry veteran Grant Morrison. Now, the company has given us a glimpse of what its operating system an interface will look like through new documents added to its revamped developer guide. TechCrunch has collected a few images and videos circulating on Twitter and Reddit, including a photo of the device’s homescreen and the stock apps that’ll ship with it. Yes, they’re mock-ups, but they can at least give us an idea of what to expect.

Other images show the platform’s gallery and avatar system, both of which take on a flat, 2D look. Magic Leap apparently calls those types of apps “landscape apps,” and you’ll be able to run several at once.

The three-dimensional applications with elements that can interact with your environment, on the other hand, are called “immersive apps.” They’re probably the ones most people are looking forward to, considering they’ll provide the experience Magic Leap has been promising since it first revealed its existence. Remember that whale breaching in a school gym and that tiny elephant that can fit in a person’s palms?

Make your own derpy gravity defying driving game using this #Magicleap developer lesson in #Unity! 🚗😎 https://t.co/P70P4kCtvG pic.twitter.com/H4VGXXVPTN

— Giant Space Turtle (@GST_naomi) July 26, 2018

The company’s new documents also show how in-app hand controls may look like and how you’ll be able to create a multi-user experience by tapping the “Cast” button to share whatever it is you’re viewing with a contact.

Magic Leap recently announced that it will start shipping its mixed reality headsets this summer. The company doesn’t have an exact date yet, but so long as the release doesn’t get delayed, we’re bound to see photos and videos of its actual interface and apps in the near future.

Tech News

Ask Engadget: Do I need a TV for my dorm room?

July 28, 2018 — by Engadget.com0

The support shared among readers in the comments section is one of the things we love most about the Engadget community. Over the years, we’ve known you to offer sage advice on everything from Chromecasts and cameras to drones and smartphones. In fact, our community’s knowledge and insights are a reason why many of you participate in the comments.

We truly value the time and detail you all spend in responding to questions from your fellow tech-obsessed commenters, which is why we’ve decided to bring back the much-missed “Ask Engadget” column. This week’s question asks how necessary it is for students to have televisions in their dorm rooms. Weigh in with your advice in the comments — and feel free to send your own questions along to ask@engadget.com!

Do I really need a TV in my dorm room? And if I do go buy one, which would be good for a student on a budget?

Devindra Hardawar
Senior Editor

Ah, dorm life. The parties, the games, the impromptu movie nights. Your question really comes down to how much space you have. As we’ve reported on Engadget, TVs have gotten much cheaper recently — you could easily find a decent 50-inch set under $500.

But can your dorm handle something that large? If you don’t know what your room is going to look like yet, I’d suggest holding off until you see what you’re working with in the fall. And if you’re a freshman with a roommate, there’s a good chance you won’t have space at all.

As with any major tech purchase, I’d also encourage you to think about what you actually plan to do with your new toy. Do you want to gather people around for movies? Maybe you want to play fighting games with friends, or just get engrossed in a game on your own? The whole point of having a TV is being able to share the screen and enjoy things communally. If you’re just a solitary gamer, you’re better off investing in a decent gaming monitor. You’ll get a much better quality screen than most TVs, though you’ll end up with a smaller display. That’s less of a problem if you’re sitting right in front of it, however.

If you absolutely have to get a TV, you could start with something like TCL’s $150 Roku TV. It’s only 32 inches and supports 720p HD, but that small size and low price makes it ideal for tiny dorm rooms. Stepping your budget, TCL’s $650 55-inch 55R617 is a fantastic 4K set, with all of the modern HDR features you’d want. It’s also Wirecutter‘s recommendation as the best overall TV, which says quite a bit about its quality.

Check out our complete 2018 back-to-school guide and find all of our student-friendly buying advice right here!

Tech News

CBS CEO Les Moonves faces sexual misconduct investigation

July 27, 2018 — by Engadget.com0

Danny Moloshok / Reuters

The CBS board of directors will investigate allegations of sexual misconduct laid against CEO Les Moonves. The New Yorker published an exposé from investigative reporter Ronan Farrow detailing the accusations of six women who say that between the 80s and mid-aughts, the executive sexually harassed them. Four of them, including the actress Illeana Douglas said they were forcibly touched or kissed during business meetings, while two accused him of employing physical intimidation and threats to derail their careers. The report also contains claims of harassment against other men in the CBS and CBS News divisions, including 60 Minutes executive producer Jeff Fager.

The board is hiring an independent company to conduct the investigation. “All allegations of personal misconduct are to be taken seriously. The Independent Directors of CBS have committed to investigating claims that violate the Company’s clear policies in that regard,” the board said in a statement. Once the investigation is complete, the board will weigh the findings, then decide on appropriate measures.

For the time being, Moonves will remain as CEO and “the CBS management team has the full support of the independent board members,” in part due to an ongoing legal dispute with CBS owner National Amusements. Moonves and Shari Redstone, who is National Amusements president as well as vice chairman of CBS and Viacom, have disagreed over the company’s direction. Redstone has attempted to merge the company with Viacom, which National Amusements also owns, but Moonves and CBS have resisted the move. The battle for control will play out in court in October, as CBS seeks to reduce Redstone’s voting power from 80 percent to 20 percent.

Farrow was one of the reporters who broke the news of Harvey Weinstein’s alleged history of sexual assault, leading to the downfall of the movie producer. He now faces rape and sexual assault charges. “A quick reminder that I don’t comment on reporting I haven’t published,” Farrow tweeted. “If you’re reading about my work from secondary sources you’re often not getting the full or correct story — especially in cases where parties have an interest in downplaying or otherwise spinning.”

Moonves helped turn CBS into the most watched television network in the US. He has been credited with helping the company adapt to a more digital-focused media landscape, such as with the launch of the CBS All Access and Showtime streaming services.

Tech News

Idaho inmates hacked prison tablets and stole $225,000

July 27, 2018 — by Engadget.com0

Brendan McDermid / Reuters

Inmates in five Idaho prisons exploited a vulnerability on their JPay tablets to steal almost $225,000 worth of credits, according to officials. The Idaho Department of Correction said 364 prisoners boosted their JPay account balances, according to The Associated Press. The department unearthed the issue earlier this month, and noted taxpayer dollars were not affected.

Prisoners can use credits to buy music, ebooks, stamps (to pay for email and inbound video messages), games and even the JPay tablets themselves. They can use the tablets to catch up on the news, access educational materials and view photos and videos. Inmates’ loved ones can buy the tablets for them, and talk to the prisoners with a video chat visitation.

After prisoners seemingly communicated with each other on how to exploit the vulnerability, one inmate transferred almost $10,000 to their account, while 50 added more than $1,000. JPay has blocked inmates from downloading music and games until they pay back the company, though they can still use email. JPay has recovered over $65,000 worth of credits so far. Officials have disciplined the inmates who were allegedly involved; they may lose privileges and could be deemed a higher security risk.

Tech News

Apple will repair devices damaged by flooding in Japan for free

July 27, 2018 — by Engadget.com0

MARTIN BUREAU via Getty Images

Earlier this month heavy rain caused devastating flooding throughout western and central Japan, resulting in more than 200 deaths and causing millions to evacuate. Now, Apple has announced that it will repair devices damaged in the floods for free. Any repairable iPhones, Macs, iPads, iPods, Apple Watches and Apple displays directly damaged by flooding will be fixed by the company for no charge. Accessories are not included as part of the offer. Apple expressed its sympathy to those affected by the floods and wished for speedy reconstruction.

Residents of Japan that want to request service for damaged devices can call a support line at 0120-27753-5 and devices will be accepted through the end of September. Repaired devices will be returned through delivery, though Apple notes that pickup and delivery services may be suspended or delayed due to flood damage. You can find more information through Apple’s Japanese website.

Tech News

The Morning After: Virgin Galactic's test flight

July 27, 2018 — by Engadget.com0

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TMA

Hey, good morning! You look fabulous.

It’s Friday. Get your day started with a video from Virgin Galactic’s latest test flight and then go for a ride with Roberto Baldwin in Lamborghini’s Huracán Performante Spyder.

One step closer to commercial service.Virgin Galactic breaks Mach 2 in third powered test flight

After being released from the VMS Eve carrier craft, the VSS Unity flew higher than it has previously, reaching a peak altitude of 170,800 feet and entering the mesosphere for the first time. It also reached speeds of Mach 2.47 during its 42-second rocket burn.

All leading to Unpacked on August 9th.Samsung teases improved battery life for the Galaxy Note 9

The first in a series of teasers leading up to the launch of Samsung’s next Galaxy Note, the company highlighted how frustrating it is when your battery is running down. The implication is that this new device will eliminate that, and rumors have suggested it could pack a 4,000mAh battery inside. Sounds great, but remember, the last time Samsung significantly boosted a Galaxy Note’s battery size, it didn’t work out so well.

You can issue commands with a simple ‘Hey, Mercedes!’Mercedes’ new, affordable A-Class sedan is as smart as it is sleek

This is the first vehicle to feature Mercedes’ voice-driven MBUX interface.

There are plenty of other high-end Android options.Sony Xperia XZ2 Premium review

According to Cherlynn Low, the XZ2 Premium’s 5.8-inch 4K HDR display is “quite lovely.” Unfortunately, the phone’s frame is both ugly and slippery, and that sweet display is a part of its high $1,000 price tag.

The first Google Assistant smart display starts shipping this weekend.Lenovo Smart Display review

The Lenovo Smart Display sits somewhere between a smart speaker and a tablet. It’s much more functional than a speaker thanks to the touchscreen — and more useful than rival Amazon products due to the Google factor — but it’s also not quite as functional as a tablet. Still, with Google’s Assistant and services onboard, it’s more than a worthy competitor for Amazon’s Echo Show. The smaller eight-inch HD model will set you back $200, while the 10-inch full-HD one will cost you $250.

Can we borrow $300K?Lamborghini Huracán Performante Spyder hands-on

Come for the in-dash CarPlay and removable roof; stay for the “dirty” forged carbon fiber

More cardboard.Nintendo Labo ‘Vehicle’ kit debuts September 14th

The $70 Toy-Con 03 Vehicle Kit can be configured to control an on-screen car, plane or submarine, and build a key to activate each one.

But wait, there’s more… The best free and inexpensive mobile games In nuclear politics, one size doesn’t fit all Hipchat and Stride will be discontinued after their maker sells the IP to Slack ‘Surgeon Simulator’ arrives on Nintendo Switch this fall Why are Trump and sex workers angry about shadow banning? Congress seeks

Tech News

Nintendo's Vehicle Labo kit builds cardboard controls Sept. 14th

July 27, 2018 — by Engadget.com0

The Nintendo Labo family of cardboard Switch accessories is growing, with a third kit that will arrive September 14th. The Toy-Con 03 Vehicle Kit can be configured to control an on-screen car, plane or submarine, plus a key to activate them. The various pieces and rubber bands put your Joy-Con to work in a steering wheel, pedal or joystick-like configuration, similar to the other Labo kits (Robot and Variety).

Once they’re built you can link them to the switch and go adventuring via land, sea or air in one- or two-player modes. We’ve seen a few expansions arrive already for the existing Labo devices like an update adding support for use as a Mario Kart controller, and anticipate similar enhancements for this one. When it arrives, it will go on sale for $70 just like the existing Variety kit, which is $10 cheaper than the Robot setup.

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Make, Play & Discover new adventures with #NintendoLabo Vehicle Kit! Create & control new Toy-Con projects, including a Car, Plane & Submarine. Explore a world full of challenges solo or with a friend when the Vehicle Kit arrives 9/14 on #NintendoSwitch!https://t.co/y6sAGmiulu pic.twitter.com/eFZpuEXrQM

— Nintendo of America (@NintendoAmerica) July 27, 2018

Tech News

Oddball is a drum machine controller you toss around to make beats

July 26, 2018 — by Engadget.com0

Oddball

Making beats with various drum machines and sequencers can be a fairly sterile affair. Typically, you hit some buttons on a rectangular box or click grid squares in a software interface, looping the pattern again and again until you’ve created a beat you’re happy with. A new Kickstarter project, however, changes the game completely with Oddball, the beat-making ball that you can bounce, hit and toss to create beats kinesthetically.

Oddball is both a bouncy ball with pressure sensitive sensors inside and a mobile app. You use the app to connect to the Oddball and assign different drum-like sounds to it, then bounce. You can build up beats as you change the sound of the Oddball, looping them all together while you record into the app. You can monitor the beat you’re making with headphones, external speakers or even just your phone. The bouncing beat-makers can even connect to each other to make complex, multi-sound beats all at once.

At press time, Oddball has already garnered $43,610 — quite a bit over the original $39,607 Kickstarter goal — so you can assume this thing will get made. You can pledge $65 to the project to get your own Oddball when they ship in January of next year, a 40 percent discount off the eventual retail price of $112 for an Oddball, charging cable and free app download.

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Tech News

Wirecutter's best deals: Save $15 on a Logitech Performance MX mouse

July 26, 2018 — by Engadget.com0

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This post was done in partnership with Wirecutter. When readers choose to buy Wirecutter’s independently chosen editorial picks, it may earn affiliate commissions that support its work. Read their continuously updated list of deals here.

Kingston HyperX Cloud Gaming Headset

Street price: $80; deal price: $65

If you’re seeking a gaming headset at an affordable price, you’re in luck. Down to $65, this is a good drop on this recommended wired option from Kingston. Usually $80, we see periodic drops on this model, which we praise for its build quality and long-term wearability, but we rarely see it lower than this.

The Kingston HyperX Cloud is the top pick in our guide to the best gaming headset. Dennis Burger wrote, “After a combined 200 hours of testing over the course of nearly two-and-a-half years, including listening to 10 new models this year, we still think Kingston’s original HyperX Cloud is the best gaming headset for serious PC gamers. The HyperX Cloud offers the best mix of audio performance and comfort for the money. It’s beautifully built and comfortable on a wide variety of heads, and its sound quality holds up against some of the best dedicated headphones in its price range. You won’t find a more neutral-sounding and versatile gaming headset unless you’re willing to spend at least $40 or $50 more.”

TorGuard VPN

Street price: $60/yr; deal price: $30/yr w/ code FreeResIP

A reliable VPN service is an excellent add-on for your internet security, so this deal on a full-featured option is an opportune one. Use code FreeResIP in cart to drop the regular price of the TorGuard VPN by 50%. This code works for all time periods, so the yearly service, typically $60, is $30. Six months, usually $30, is $15, and shorter periods are also available and work with the code.

TorGuard is the budget pick in our guide to the best VPN service. Mark Smirniotis wrote, “If you don’t mind doing a little extra tinkering in a more complicated app to save some money, we recommend TorGuard because it’s trustworthy, secure, and fast. TorGuard is well-regarded in trust and transparency; it was also the fastest service we tried despite being less expensive than much of the competition, and its server network spans more than 50 locations, more than twice as many as our top pick. But TorGuard’s apps aren’t as easy to use as IVPN’s: TorGuard includes settings and labels that allow extra flexibility but clutter the experience for anyone new to VPNs.”

Logitech Performance Mouse MX

Street price: $55; deal price: $40

At $40, this recurring deal price matches the low we’ve seen for this wireless mouse, a longtime pick in our guide. The Performance Mouse MX, despite its age, is still a great option if you have a legacy (non-C) USB port (or dongle) available for the included unifying receiver.

The Logitech Performance Mouse MX is our larger hands pick