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The Morning After: Tesla made a surfboard

July 30, 2018 — by Engadget.com0

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How’s your Monday morning going? We’ve got news on how long you’ll have to wait for the third part of Stranger Things, and an AI can predict a movie’s audience based on its trailer. Meanwhile, NASA’s picking its favorite looks for Mars habitats — and isn’t even using Pinterest for inspiration.

The Duffer Brothers are taking their time to get things right.
Netflix won’t premiere ‘Stranger Things’ season 3 until summer 2019

That season three teaser is all you’re getting for now. Netflix exec Cindy Holland has revealed that the third installment of the Duffer Brothers’ show is launching sometime in summer 2019 — a longer wait than the 15 months between the first two seasons.

They’ll now have to build a one-third-scale version of their designs.NASA contest finalists show off their Mars-habitat models

We haven’t even sent humans to Mars, but let’s talk houses. NASA launched the 3D-Printed Habitat Challenge back in 2015 to find suitable artificial housing for the first wave of Martian residents, and now the agency has narrowed the contestants down to five after seeing the realistic virtual models they created.

Nope, sold out.Tesla made a $1,500 surfboard

More functional than a flamethrower.

Less eye strain.YouTube’s dark mode reaches Android users

iOS users got the option in March, but YouTube is finally rolling out its “dark theme” to Android phones. If you have it on your phone, you’ll find it your Settings’ General section. It’s not certain how soon everyone will get the feature (we’ve asked Google for comment), though — it may take some days to arrive.

But wait, there’s more… After Math: The price of doing business Fox AI predicts a movie’s audience based on its trailer Netflix launches Riverdale’s Sabrina spin-off on October 26th DJI’s leaked Mavic 2 drone will come in ‘Pro’ and ‘Zoom’ versions

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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

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The Morning After: Samsung's 'unbreakable' smartphone display gets tested

July 26, 2018 — by Engadget.com0

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Hey, good morning! Welcome to Thursday! We’re talking about Samsung’s ‘unbreakable’ phone screen, how Facebook is making money no matter how much bad news comes its way, and those bloody, non-meat burgers from Impossible? They’re safe for consumption. Phew.

Plastic instead of glass.
Samsung’s ‘unbreakable’ smartphone display

Underwriters Laboratories certified an “unbreakable” Samsung panel (not yet pictured) as capable of surviving military-grade durability tests without damage. This included dropping it 26 times from four feet and subjecting it to extreme temperatures. It even survived a drop test at 6 feet without any battle scars. In a video posted by Samsung, the plastic-covered OLED panel survives direct strikes from a hammer. You know you want to watch.

There could be a buried lake underneath the Martian polar ice cap.
Scientists may have found liquid water on Mars

The “lake” detected by MARSIS measures 20 km across and is about 1.5 km below Mars’ southern polar ice cap. If this underground lake does indeed exist, the water must be very briny — a mix of magnesium, calcium and sodium, which are all present in Martian rocks — in order to stay liquid.

Scaled-down software meets cheap hardware
Review: Android Oreo Go edition review

Low-end smartphones often get stuck with old versions of Android, but with Android Oreo Go Edition, Google is trying to make sure even sub-$100 devices get modern software. Sadly, some of the Go apps designed specifically for these phones are pretty lousy, and Google needs to do a better job of flagging non-Go apps that actually run well on Go devices.

Are you even on Oreo yet?
Android P’s final test release is here

Google has released the final preview version of its upcoming mobile OS. Now the big question is when the polished release will reach your devices.

Love lockdown.
Google now has its own hardware security keys

We just told you how Google eliminated phishing problems for its employees by requiring the use of physical two-factor authentication keys, and now the company is ready to sell them. The device its workforce uses is called the Titan Key and includes a secure element, FIDO support and Google-written firmware. Of course, you’ll need to be a business customer using Google Cloud to get one.

‘We need to be willing to pick sides when there are clear moral or humanitarian issues.’
Facebook’s outgoing security chief sent a damning company-wide memo

Facebook’s outgoing security chief, Alex Stamos, sent a damning internal memo just days after the Cambridge Analytica scandal came to light, urging the company to “intentionally not collect data where possible, and to keep it only as long as we are using it to serve people.” He also added that he deserves “as much blame (or more) as any other exec at the company,” and that while “it would be really simple

Tech News

The Morning After: Chrome hates HTTP

July 25, 2018 — by Engadget.com0

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Hey, good morning! You look fabulous.

Apple is busy dealing with a performance-sapping problem on the new MacBook Pro, but we’re getting you ready to go back to school with our latest buyer’s guide update. Also, Nikon is working on a new camera mount and the Chromecast turns five.

Ooops?Apple blames software bug for MacBook Pro CPU throttling, issues fix

After tests showed Core i9 CPUs running slower than expected in new MacBook Pros, Apple has responded. Instead of blaming the slim design for heat issues, the company said a software bug drove down clock speeds severely for extended heavy workloads, affecting all of its new laptops. Apple already pushed out a macOS High Sierra 10.13.6 Supplemental Update that it said would make the 15-inch laptop up to 70 percent faster, and the 13-inch MBP with Touch Bar up to twice as fast.

Now with electric skateboards.Check out Engadget’s 2018 back-to-school guide!

You know the drill: We spend all year reviewing and writing about the latest and greatest in tech, and then twice a year, we drop a ton of buying advice in the form of shopping guides. It’s July, so this one is for all of you who are going to school this fall, or shopping for someone who is. (Don’t worry, we’ll be back later this year with a separate but equally big gift guide for the holiday season. But let’s not get ahead of ourselves.)

Our full guide is live today, and we’ll be following up over the next month with buying guides and advice columns geared toward students.

A device this simple doesn’t need replacing.The Google Chromecast turns 5

Unlike most of the gadgets we’ve seen come and go, Google’s Chromecast dongle has remained blissfully uncluttered. Add WiFi, power and an HDMI input, then choose a video on your phone and press play — it’s like a magic trick. Billy Steele dives into the stories behind a device that still gets daily use five years after its debut.

No pictures please.Nikon confirms new full-frame FX mirrorless cameras and lens mount

Nikon announced that it’s developing a “next-generation full-frame (Nikon FX-format) mirrorless camera and Nikkor lenses, featuring a new mount,” adding that “professional creators around the world have contributed to the development.” However, Nikon has yet to confirm the specs, date and price, or even shown an official image of it yet. As expected, it’s also working on an adapter that will let you use existing full-frame Nikon F-Mount DSLR lenses with the cameras.

Don’t end up in the spotlight for the wrong reasons.How to delete old tweets so you don’t get fired

The episode that resulted in Disney firing director James Gunn from its Guardians of the Galaxy franchise could have been avoided with some basic, and often free, social-media housekeeping. It’s called “deleting your old tweets

Tech News

The Morning After: Lo-fi chill beats study mix

July 24, 2018 — by Engadget.com0

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TMA

Hey, good morning! You look fabulous.

After a busy Monday, we have all of the new Macbook Pro impressions you can stand plus an unexpected peek at Apple’s iPhone repair process. Also, we have a release date for the C64 Mini and can tell why your favorite YouTube channel has just the right studying music. But first, have you seen this high-res image of a complete fruit-fly brain?

It’s like an apology to the Mac faithful.MacBook Pro review (2018): Apple plays catch-up

According to Senior Editor Devindra Hardawar, the 2018 MacBook Pro is precisely the upgrade Mac fans have been waiting for. It’s faster and fixes one of the most common keyboard issues from the last generation, that error-prone keyboard. But the upgrades come a little too late, and Apple is basically just trying to keep up with more innovative and powerful PC laptops.

‘Quad-bayer’ chip delivers both high resolution and low-light sensitivity.Sony unveils a giant 48-megapixel smartphone camera sensor

Sony’s latest smartphone camera sensor has the “industry’s highest pixel count” with 48 megapixels, bettering high-end cameras like its own A7R III — a proper camera. It’s all squeezed into a phone-sized 8.0 mm diagonal component. At the same time, four adjacent pixels can be added together during low-light shooting, yielding a 12-megapixel sensor that delivers “bright, low noise images,” Sony said.

Ooops.Samsung leaked the upcoming Galaxy Watch on its own website

It’s gone now, but CNET grabbed screenshots of a rose-gold 42mm Galaxy Watch on Samsung’s website. Unfortunately, we don’t have much else in the way of details just yet, but we’re expecting to see the new Android Wear device on August 9th along with a new Galaxy Note 9.

The videos have already disappeared.So that’s how Apple fixes its phones!

Eleven official-looking internal training videos leaked on YouTube and showed how repairs are made on iPhone X, iMac Pro and MacBook Pro.

The videos were apparently sourced from tweets by Arman Haji, who uploaded them to YouTube after the Twitter account was suspended. One of the things they showed was how well sites like iFixit have been able to reverse engineer the repair process; Motherboard notes that the process in the iPhone X battery-replacement video is extremely similar to that used in iFixit’s own procedure.

Impressive.Mandatory physical two-factor keys cut successful phishing attacks on Google to zero

Wondering what step you should take next to enhance your security? According to Brian Krebs, since Google forced all of its 85,000+ employees to use physical two-factor authentication keys (like the ones from Yubikey), there have been zero successful phishing attacks. In over a year.

And now it’s coming for us.The Andromeda galaxy ate our sister galaxy

The Andromeda galaxy is our closest galactic neighbor, and it apparently has been hiding a dark past. Scientists from the University of Michigan discovered

Tech News

The Morning After: The end of the world's cheapest car

July 23, 2018 — by Engadget.com0

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Good morning there! The world’s cheapest car is retiring, there’s a Nerf gun for your favorite miserable, masked Overwatch character, and Samsung has its own wireless charging plans for all your gadgets.

Reaper’s favorite weapon starts a new series of game-themed toy guns.
The first ‘Overwatch’ Nerf blaster arrives in 2019

Hasbro is partnering with Blizzard on official Overwatch Nerf guns. The first of the bunch, the lengthily-named Nerf Rival Overwatch Reaper Wight Edition, is due in 2019. It mimics Reaper’s iconic shotgun in looks, though not in functionality. The toy weapon carries eight of Nerf’s Rival rounds and includes both a ready indicator and a safety lock. Naturally, you’ll need two if you’re going to be true to the character (very clever, Hasbro).

European officials apparently decided it was too late.
Google reportedly offered Android changes to EU in 2017

Google reportedly offered to make changes to its Android policies in August 2017, not long after it received an EU antitrust penalty for its product search practices. Although Google didn’t dive into specifics, it had offered to “loosen restrictions” in Android contracts and had considered distributing its apps in “two different ways.”

The EU wasn’t having it, according to the sources. Officials reportedly said only that a settlement was “no longer an option,” and that Google’s offer was “too little too late.” It couldn’t even mention the possibility of paying a fine as part of an agreement — regulators had effectively locked in their course of action.

It focused too much on pure cost and not enough on value.
Tata will stop selling the ‘world’s cheapest car’

Tata’s Nano was supposed to be a revolution in automotive design when it was unveiled in 2008 as the world’s cheapest car — in theory, it opened the door to vehicle ownership for people who’d otherwise have to spring for two-wheeled transport or nothing at all. After winding down production, the Indian car maker has declared that the current Nano “cannot continue beyond 2019.” The final manufacturing numbers helped explain the move. Tata made just one (yes, one) Nano in June versus 275 a year earlier.

The Wireless Charger Duo would power both your phone and your watch.
Samsung may have an answer to Apple’s AirPower wireless charger

When Apple eventually releases its AirPower multi-device charger, it might have some fresh competition. Recently discovered images and listings have revealed Samsung’s Wireless Charger Duo, which (as the name implies) could offer fast charging to two devices at once. It wouldn’t be as flexible as Apple’s device since you’d need to place your devices on specific spots. However, you could top up a phone and the upcoming Galaxy Watch at the same time, or even two phones at once if you’re using it as a family charging station.

But wait, there’s more… Recommended Reading: The accent struggle for Alexa

Tech News

The Morning After: How Android stifles competition

July 20, 2018 — by Engadget.com0

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Steven Universe

Hey, good morning!

You’ve made it to Friday. To reward those efforts, we take the official Tour De France game to task for being, well, rubbish, test out the expensive modular motorcycle of the future, and spell out this summer when it comes to esports schedules.

It’s probably better just to wait for the battery to recharge.Zero motorcycle’s modular battery is one pricey upgrade

Electric motorcycles can be a tough sell. Hybrids and electric cars can save a driver money in the long run, that doesn’t really apply to motorcycles which already get excellent mileage on gas. That said, on bikes like Zero’s, you can silently cruise around without frightening the neighborhood pets with a bombastic exhaust. Oh and there’s also the incredible electric torque. Senior Editor Roberto Baldwin says Zero’s FX is a fun, nimble commuter bike with a modular battery pack that, sadly, most people won’t use.

#CloneWarsSaved.
‘Star Wars: The Clone Wars’ to return on Disney’s streaming service

At Comic-Con, Clone Wars supervising director Dave Filoni made the surprise announcement that a new 12-episode season of the Star Wars show will arrive on Disney’s upcoming streaming service, and showed off a quick teaser trailer.

From ‘League of Legends’ to ‘Fortnite’, esports are in full swing.It’s peak esports season: Here’s how to watch the games

Thinking of watching the best video game players in the world battle it out for millions in prize money? Well, here’s a handy viewing guide for upcoming matches in five major esports titles: Overwatch, League of Legends, Fortnite, Arena of Valor and Call of Duty. It’s nearly championship time for most of these games, so matches are primed to be extra exciting.

Hardware variety does not equal choice in software.
Hey Google, Android actually does stifle competition

Sundar Pichai knows that the choice of mobile OS nowadays boils down to Android or iOS. He published a blog post yesterday in response to the European Commission’s competition decision against Android, which opens saying, “If you buy an Android phone, you’re choosing one of the world’s two most popular mobile platforms.”

In Pichai’s post, he acknowledged that with Android, the company can “offer phone makers the option of pre-loading a suite of popular Google apps…, some of which generate revenue for us.” Cherlynn Low lays out how Google is stifling competition, even while it’s battling with Apple for mobile dominance.

Maybe don’t go for the fully tricked-out model.Apple’s slim MacBook Pro design could be holding back its i9 CPU

The 2018 15-inch MacBook Pro lets you crank up the processor power by swapping in an Intel 2.9GHz six-core Core i9 CPU for an extra $300. But the chip seems to be struggling when it’s handling power-hungry tasks, to the point where the average clock speed is vastly below the advertised performance of the CPU. Some

Tech News

The Morning After: Fines and flying cars

July 19, 2018 — by Engadget.com0

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TMA

Hey, good morning! You look fabulous.

Google got some bad news, but Terrafugia is ready to make the ‘flying car’ a real thing. It must be Thursday.

And it’s required to allow manufacturers to use Android forks.Google fined $5.04 billion for forcing its apps onto Android phones

The EU Commission wrote: “In accordance with the Commission’s 2006 Guidelines … the fine has been calculated on the basis of the value of Google’s revenue from search advertising services on Android devices in the EEA [European Economic Area]. The Commission decision requires Google to bring its illegal conduct to an end in an effective manner within 90 days of the decision.” Google plans to appeal the decision.

Confused about how all this works? Don’t worry, we’ll explain.

Without breaking anything.How ‘Mission: Impossible’ made the leap to 4K and HDR

To prime audiences for the next film, Fallout, Paramount re-released the entire Mission: Impossible series on 4K Blu-ray last month. The new discs are not only a huge upgrade for cinephiles but also a fascinating glimpse at how studios can revive older films for the 4K/HDR era.

Will this be enough?Apple’s MacBook eGPU is a step toward winning back creative pros

Many see the MacBook Pro’s Touch Bar as a dumb consumer gimmick, and worse, Apple’s top-end laptops have failed to keep pace technologically with powerful, well-designed PCs from Microsoft, Dell and others. But this $700 eGPU is a strong sign that Apple hasn’t given up on the creators that are most passionate about its products.

Here we go.You can legally download 3D-printed gun designs next month

Starting August 1st, it will be legal to download the schematics for a 3D-printed gun in the US.

With a few upgrades.Terrafugia’s first flying car should finally go on sale in 2019

The company has announced that the first production models of the Transition will go on sale sometime in 2019.

But wait, there’s more… Fujifilm’s oddball XF10 fixed-lens APS-C camera costs only $500 Pro drone racing confronts its amateur roots WSJ: Samsung will launch a foldable-screen phone in early 2019 The latest ‘BlazBlue’ reminds me how impenetrable fighting games can be Netflix adds a handy navigation bar to its TV UI Corning claims Gorilla Glass 6 gives phones a better shot at surviving multiple drops

The Morning After is a new daily newsletter from Engadget designed to help you fight off FOMO. Who knows what you’ll miss if you don’t Subscribe.

Craving even more? Like us on Facebook or Follow us on Twitter.

Have a suggestion on how we can improve The Morning After? Send us a note.

Tech News

The Morning After: Fines and flying cars

July 19, 2018 — by Engadget.com0

google_640-1.jpg

TMA

Hey, good morning! You look fabulous.

Google got some bad news, but Terrafugia is ready to make the ‘flying car’ a real thing. It must be Thursday.

And it’s required to allow manufacturers to use Android forks.Google fined $5.04 billion for forcing its apps onto Android phones

The EU Commission wrote: “In accordance with the Commission’s 2006 Guidelines … the fine has been calculated on the basis of the value of Google’s revenue from search advertising services on Android devices in the EEA [European Economic Area]. The Commission decision requires Google to bring its illegal conduct to an end in an effective manner within 90 days of the decision.” Google plans to appeal the decision.

Confused about how all this works? Don’t worry, we’ll explain.

Without breaking anything.How ‘Mission: Impossible’ made the leap to 4K and HDR

To prime audiences for the next film, Fallout, Paramount re-released the entire Mission: Impossible series on 4K Blu-ray last month. The new discs are not only a huge upgrade for cinephiles but also a fascinating glimpse at how studios can revive older films for the 4K/HDR era.

Will this be enough?Apple’s MacBook eGPU is a step toward winning back creative pros

Many see the MacBook Pro’s Touch Bar as a dumb consumer gimmick, and worse, Apple’s top-end laptops have failed to keep pace technologically with powerful, well-designed PCs from Microsoft, Dell and others. But this $700 eGPU is a strong sign that Apple hasn’t given up on the creators that are most passionate about its products.

Here we go.You can legally download 3D-printed gun designs next month

Starting August 1st, it will be legal to download the schematics for a 3D-printed gun in the US.

With a few upgrades.Terrafugia’s first flying car should finally go on sale in 2019

The company has announced that the first production models of the Transition will go on sale sometime in 2019.

But wait, there’s more… Fujifilm’s oddball XF10 fixed-lens APS-C camera costs only $500 Pro drone racing confronts its amateur roots WSJ: Samsung will launch a foldable-screen phone in early 2019 The latest ‘BlazBlue’ reminds me how impenetrable fighting games can be Netflix adds a handy navigation bar to its TV UI Corning claims Gorilla Glass 6 gives phones a better shot at surviving multiple drops

The Morning After is a new daily newsletter from Engadget designed to help you fight off FOMO. Who knows what you’ll miss if you don’t Subscribe.

Craving even more? Like us on Facebook or Follow us on Twitter.

Have a suggestion on how we can improve The Morning After? Send us a note.

Tech News

The Morning After: VAR and Roborace

July 18, 2018 — by Engadget.com0

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TMA

Hey, good morning! You look fabulous.

You’ve made it to the middle of the week. We have just enough time to discuss the future of Nest and how VAR impacted the World Cup, along with a significant promise for the future of AI.

Oops?Elon Musk apologizes for calling cave diver a ‘pedo guy’

“My words were spoken in anger after Mr. Unsworth said several untruths and suggested I engage in a sexual act with a mini-sub.”

The ref is still in control.The World Cup showed how VAR will shape soccer’s future

For the first time ever, FIFA used the Video Assistant Referee (VAR) at its flagship competition. And the tech, for better or worse (depending on which team you cheered on), certainly made a mark.

The expanded version comes to PC, PS4 and Xbox One June 24th.‘No Man’s Sky Next’ trailer previews upcoming multiplayer mode

This massive upgrade will introduce plenty of new features to the game, including multiplayer, new playable perspectives (both first person and third person), unlimited base building and command freighters.

A new challenger enters.Sonos Beam is now on sale for $399

When we reviewed Beam, we gave it a score of 85, given its excellent sound quality, solid price point and support for AirPlay 2. Unlike the Playbar and Playbase soundbars, this one has Amazon Alexa built in, which you can use to control your TV with your voice (Google Assistant support should arrive later).

Assimilation complete.Nest CEO steps down as the company joins Google’s home division

In a joint interview with former Nest CEO Marwan Fawaz, Rishi Chandra, vice president of product management for Google’s home and living room products, said that the combination would make it easier for Google to integrate some of its machine learning technology and artificial intelligence into Nest products.

The difficulty is knowing when the car and its underlying software are ready. Roborace is still pursuing its driverless race-car dream

Last week, on Friday the 13th, Roborace chose to run its self-driving Robocar in front of a frenzied crowd at England’s Goodwood Festival of Speed. It was only the second time the team had demonstrated its futuristic vehicle publicly, following an unassisted lap in Paris roughly 13 months ago.

Here we go.Walmart might get into the crowded video-subscription business

A report from The Information suggests Walmart’s war with Amazon could extend to subscription video streaming. That could take the form of an ad-supported option, and/or a paid service priced below the monthly charge for Amazon Prime, Netflix or Hulu.

Suggestions for navigation, itinerary, reminders and reservations.Google Assistant adds a snapshot of your daily agenda

The information you need, available at a glance.

But wait, there’s more… World Cup tweets were viewed 115 billion times Podcast series ‘The Butterfly Effect’ explores tech’s impact on the porn industry Amazon founder