Target is testing its own Prime Pantry-like delivery service

Target is able to offer its quick delivery because it’s filling Restock boxes with items in nearby stores instead from warehouses like Amazon and customers have to put in their ZIP code before they can begin shopping. Walmart also recently began utilizing its many brick-and-mortar stores as a way to compete with Amazon — using them and its employees to cut down on shipping costs.

Restock is currently being tested in the Minneapolis area and it has 10,000 items for shoppers to choose from. To use the service, you need to have a Target REDcard and a Target.com account. The company hasn’t said how long they expect to test the service or when they plan to launch it more widely.

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Source URL:http://www.engadget.com/2017/06/27/target-testing-prime-pantry-like-service/

Pinterest enables two-factor authentication for all users

The most important of these is the rollout of two-factor authentication to all users. You can receive codes via text message or through an authentication app such as Google Authenticator. You can enable 2FA through the Security page on Account Settings after it’s available to you.

Pinterest is also upgrading the Security section by listing all the devices currently logged into your account. If you see a device you don’t recognize, you can remove it from this page. Finally, the service is also emailing users when they log in from a new device.

It’s surprising it’s taken Pinterest so long to enable such basic security options, but it’s also questionable how useful they’ll be. These days, most people use just a few logins — such as Google or Facebook — to set up accounts on multiple sites. Still, it’s nice to see that more social networks are taking online security seriously.

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Source URL:http://www.engadget.com/2017/06/27/pinterest-enables-two-factor-authentication/

The rise of electric cars will kill the gas station

One of the biggest complaints you hear about electric vehicles is that you can’t refuel them the same way as a gas car. That’s true now and will be true for a while. DC fast charging and Tesla’s Superchargers reduce the amount of time it takes to recharge, but the experience is nowhere near as quick as filling your car with gasoline.

The fact remains, though, that other than having a place to pee and pick up some Cool Ranch Doritos, once you go electric, you’re not going to need a corner gas station to charge your future car because you’re going to be “refueling” it everywhere.

For many, their home will be the main source of car charging. Even the slow trickle of a 120-volt standard outlet will add 48 miles to the battery of the Chevy Bolt over 12 hours. Obviously using the 240-volt outlet (the one you typically plug a dryer into) will be quicker. For folks who really want to maximize their at-home charging, companies like Charge Point offer Level 2 stations starting at $450 for the home, while Tesla has its own personal wall chargers starting at $500.

The rise of electric cars will kill the gas station

That may seem pricey, but if you commute every day and your current car doesn’t get the best gas mileage (say, less than 40 mpg) you might come out ahead during the first year of EV ownership according to a handy gas vs. electric calculator offered by GM.

So, in the future, whether you upgrade to a fancy wall charger or just plug your car into the same outlet that keeps your phone topped up, pretty much whenever your car isn’t dragging you around town, (and like your phone) it’ll be charging. That is, if you have a garage or carport or a very nice apartment manager. The paradox of EVs is that they’re great for driving around the city, but many urban dwellers don’t have a designated parking space. That’s where workplaces come in.

More and more employers are offering charging stations for their staff as perks. “It’s very interesting that for basically the price of providing free coffee to your employee you can also offer them electric vehicle charging,” Simon Lonsdale, Charge Point’s vice president of business development, told Engadget. It’s a trend that could continue, too, if workplaces see benefits for EV owners as outweighing the additional cost to their power bill.

Lonsdale did note that at-work charging is becoming an essential piece of a compensation package and a good way to get the word out on EVs. “We see workplaces as a great way of educating consumers about electric vehicles and the benefits of it.” Lonsdale said. “We’ve seen [EV charging at work] rank in the top three benefits that companies are now seeing, as they survey their employees around what are the benefits they like. It’s really surprising.”

The rise of electric cars will kill the gas station

Like at home, charging a vehicle while it sits in a garage for eight hours makes sense. Plus it could also reduce our reliance on fossil fuels. Charge Point, in partnership with northern California utility PG&E, has launched a pilot program to optimize vehicle charging to coincide with when the utility can deploy power from renewable sources like solar and wind.

Charge Point notes that it sees about 80 percent of charging coming from at home or work. But there will be times (i.e., the weekend) when drivers won’t have access to their employer’s sweet sweet free electrons. That’s where retail parking lots come in. Places like Target already offer free charging for customers. For retailers, it’s what’s known in the business as a win-win.

Customers get to top up their vehicles while shopping, and the lure of free charging gets people in the door — and in some cases, gets them to linger because they want to get as much free battery power as possible (thus, ironically end up spending more money in the store).

Tesla has 5,000 Superchargers globally and 9,000 destination chargers at retail locations, restaurants and resorts. Charge Point has 35,000 chargers at 7,000 businesses across the globe. In the near future, it’s not hard to imagine rows and rows of chargers at malls, restaurants and even in national parks. But there is one scenario where the gas station still reigns supreme: road trips.

The rise of electric cars will kill the gas station

While Tesla and Charge Point have made huge inroads getting charge stations along major routes, the ability to quickly refuel and get back on the road still isn’t possible. Instead, you’re going to have to wait. That means actually sitting down in that fast-food joint or restaurant to eat your food.

As more EVs hit the road, the landscape of parking lots will change along with the amount of gas stations. But it’s definitely not going to happen overnight or in the next few years. Gas-powered cars will be sold for decades, and the cars already on the road won’t be going away anytime soon.

But there might be a time in the far future where you explain to your grandchildren about how you had to refuel your car — that wasn’t self-driving — at a special place in town. Maybe they’ll giggle thinking about the ridiculousness of putting a liquid in a car. But when you tell them about the selection of beef jerky at this “gas station” their eyes will grow wide, which will be followed by complete disgust as you describe the filthiest bathroom you’ve ever encountered.

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Source URL:http://www.engadget.com/2017/06/27/the-rise-of-electric-car-will-kill-the-gas-station/

WSJ: Sprint is discussing a new deal with Charter/Comcast

Not that long ago, there was a report that the on again/off again merger talks between T-Mobile and Sprint had resumed, but tonight the Wall Street Journal reports they’re on hold. That’s apparently due to Sprint negotiating exclusively with the combined unit of Charter and Comcast. An unlikely result could be an acquisition of the fourth largest wireless carrier, or the two cable companies could invest in it to help improve the company’s network, which they could then use to offer their wireless services instead of Verizon.

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Source URL:http://www.engadget.com/2017/06/27/sprint-charter-comcast-t-mobile/

HMD’s Nokia 6 will arrive in the US next month for $229

The device is a perfectly reasonable mid-range Android device, packing a 5.5-inch HD display and a body hewn from aluminium, or aluminum, now that it’s being sold in the US. Tucked inside is a Snapdragon 430, 3GB RAM, 32GB storage and space for a microSD card, running Android Nougat. Imaging-wise, there’s a 16-megapixel primary camera and 8-megapixel forward-facer, although we don’t expect either to be as good as those from OG Nokia.

As for pricing, you’ll be able to snag the phone in matte black or silver for $229 at some point next month. Those able to delay their gratification a little longer will be able to pick up the phone in blue or copper at some as-yet unspecified time.

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Source URL:http://www.engadget.com/2017/06/26/hmds-nokia-6-will-arrive-in-the-us-next-month-for-229/

Uber CEO Travis Kalanick steps down

The New York Times reports that, under heavy pressure from a large group of company shareholders, Uber CEO Travis Kalanick is stepping down. Despite a reputation for scandals that appeared to be accelerating — sexual assaults by drivers, “greyballing” regulators, disputes over driver pay and a corporate culture teeming with sexual harassment — Kalanick had remained the company’s leader, and announced a week ago that he would take a leave of absence.

Developing…

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Source URL:http://www.engadget.com/2017/06/21/uber-ceo-travis-kalanick-resigns/

NASA found ten Earth-size planets with conditions ideal for water

Scientists used the famed Kepler Space Telescope to find this particular catalog, bringing the total number of candidates found by the orbiting instrument up to 4,034. But only 50 of those are about the size and appropriate distance from their star where liquid water could pool on the surface. This ideal sliver of area, known as the “habitable zone,” might have the right conditions to foster life — and the latest batch adds ten more of these very rare potential planets.

The Kepler telescope didn’t just spot this new selection: NASA has been analyzing cosmic images captured by the spacecraft from 2009-2013 and periodically released their results in batches. This latest group’s larger occurrence of Earth-size, habitably-zoned planets is a happy accident, and one that illustrates NASA’s ultimate goal in processing all the telescope-collected data: To better categorize planets across the universe and improve the search for more potentials Earths.

“The Kepler data set is unique, as it is the only one containing a population of these near Earth-analogs -– planets with roughly the same size and orbit as Earth,” said Mario Perez, Kepler program scientist in the Astrophysics Division of NASA’s Science Mission Directorate, in a press release. “Understanding their frequency in the galaxy will help inform the design of future NASA missions to directly image another Earth.”

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Source URL:http://www.engadget.com/2017/06/19/nasa-found-ten-earth-size-planets-with-conditions-ideal-for-wate/

Future Moto Mods could offer sticky notes and improved audio

The winning teams include Digiframe, a mod by Andrius Valentukonis and Ilja Laurs that gives you a little widget-based sticky note screen on the back of your phone that shows important info without having to launch specific apps on your Moto Z. You can stick it to your fridge when it’s not attached to your phone, too, so you can leave notes or to-do lists for roommates, family, or yourself.

The MACAY TrueSound HiFi, by Abigain Brown and Yousef Alsayid, puts an audio converter on your Moto Z. This winning hardware mod converts digital-to-analog as well as analog-to-digital signals and promises to give musicians and audiophiles a HiDef audio port for pro audio applications, like connecting to studio equipment or high-end speakers and headphones.

Runner-up projects include a wireless charging mod, a slider keyboard for those hardware-typist holdouts, an edge-notification mod, and a solar charger that attaches to your phone. The solar battery team won the top spot in the San Francisco hackathon last February.

All the Pitch Day participants will participate in the Moto Mods Accelerator Program, which provides engineering and design support. Remaining teams can continue to refine their projects through Motorola’s developer portal and partnership with Indiegogo. The program also offers engineering feedback, design support, and hands-on coaching to help teams get their mods ready for prime-time.

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Source URL:http://www.engadget.com/2017/04/20/future-moto-mods/

Crackle signs up 50 Cent for two original series

With Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee moving to Netflix, Crackle is looking to fill the gaps Jerry Seinfeld left in its lineup. The service is also working on original videos as a partnership with Mashable and A.V. Club publisher Fusion Media Group. But even then, whether or not the new programming can set Crackle apart from other services with seemingly endless pockets is up in the air, despite how many big names may be involved. If it doesn’t end up working out for 50, he always his headphone empire to fall back on. As for Crackle, the Dead Rising universe is ripe for more stories.

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Source URL:http://www.engadget.com/2017/04/20/crackle-50-cent-in-da-streaming-club/

Classic puzzle-platformer ‘Fez’ is coming to iOS

Fez was an important title for the indie game community, promoting the sort of wonder and puzzle design that demands paper, pen and endless pages of forum discussion. At first blush, the game’s allure is in its 2D-but-3D game design. A platform might look out of reach, but flipping the world by 90, 180 or 270 degrees would suddenly reveal a new route. It was smart and imaginative, rewarding players who could visualize and plan ahead. Underneath, however, was a greater set of mysteries involving cyphers and codes. Some of which people are still discussing and theorizing over.

To go any further would spoil the game’s numerous surprises. Fez will also be remembered equally for its controversial designer Phil Fish, who starred in the 2012 documentary Indie Game: The Movie. His portrayal and subsequent comments, which included a takedown of Japanese developers, triggered an internet firestorm, the cancellation of Fez II and Fish’s exit from the video game industry. Despite this drama, Fez is a wonderful title that deserves your attention. How the controls will work on iOS remains a mystery — swiping to change the camera angle seems logical, but how that will play with tap-based platforming remains a concern.

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Source URL:http://www.engadget.com/2017/04/14/fez-polytron-ios-release-2017/