LG V30 leak shows a refined, almost bezel-free phone

The V30, like its V20 and V10 siblings, will have better camera performance, too. LG has already bragged about the f/1.6 aperture, the lowest available on a smartphone, and the glass, rather than plastic lens. Together, those features will allow better low-light performance and reduce edge distortion, LG says. Past V-models have featured strong audio recording and playback, so we’d expect that to remain on the V30.

It will likely have a high-end Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 chip, but LG seems to have sacrificed the removable backplate and battery on the V20. As expected, it has also done away with the gimmicky second screen at the top. Overall, LG has taken everything we liked about the last two models, improved them, and then wrapped them in an elegant, understated body that finally doesn’t scream “awkward.”

LG V30

[tipping for good service is always appreciated: https://t.co/NwZ9Q1RB0N] pic.twitter.com/NxAuLgrpE5

— Evan Blass (@evleaks) August 16, 2017

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Source URL:http://www.engadget.com/2017/08/17/lg-v30-leak-shows-a-refined-almost-bezel-free-phone/

Pandora appoints Sling TV’s Roger Lynch as CEO

While Pandora certainly trails competitors Spotify and Apple Music, Lynch is no stranger to carving out a niche for his company amid colossal rivals. Sling TV launched soon after winning Best of CES 2015, and by the awards ceremony the following year Lynch was still confident his service would disrupt television carriers despite some growing pains.

In short, Lynch knows a bit about how to attract and retain users, which Pandora will desperately need, as its premium subscription service had only secured about 400,000 users total by June, while Spotify claimed 50 million paid subscribers back in March. But Lynch won’t be the only new face at the company: Former Sony Entertainment CEO and current Snap, Inc chairman Michael Lynton will be joining Pandora’s board at the same time.

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Source URL:http://www.engadget.com/2017/08/14/pandora-appoints-sling-tvs-roger-lynch-as-ceo/

YouTube is testing live viewer counts on mobile

This appears to be a server side upgrade, and, like AP notes, this really hasn’t been done anywhere else YouTube operates. We’ve reached out to Google’s video wing for more information and will update this post should it arrive.

YouTube is testing live viewer counts on mobile

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Source URL:http://www.engadget.com/2017/08/14/youtube-live-viewer-counts/

Anker’s Genie is a cheaper Echo Dot

Along with a lower price, Anker is touting better sound with a 2W speaker, but you can also use your own sound setup by plugging it into the Genie’s aux port. And while the Dot has seven microphones built in, the Genie has just two, which could mean that it won’t pick up your voice as well as the Dot. However, ZDNet’s Adrian Kingsley-Hughes has been testing the Genie and reports that the microphone pick up is actually pretty good. Aside from those differences, the two models are largely the same. With the Genie, you’ll still get access to Alexa’s thousands of skills and you’ll be able to use the Genie to control other smart products in your home. The Genie doesn’t have Bluetooth pairing like the Dot does, but Anker says an upcoming $40 version of the Genie will have that capability.

Anker is also planning on launching a handful of other smart Eufy gadgets soon including light bulbs, plugs, switches and another vacuum. The Eufy Genie will be available for purchase on Amazon starting August 16th.

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Source URL:http://www.engadget.com/2017/08/09/anker-genie-cheaper-echo-dot/

The man who put us through password hell regrets everything

Bill Burr, a manager at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), wrote a password primer in 2003 that recommended many of the rules we have now: special characters, capitals and numbers. He also added a recommendation that they be updated regularly (THANKS, BILL). It’s this document that has been the basis for the password policy that’s become prevalent among the government, businesses and other institutions. But now, the 72-year-old password guru tells The Wall Street Journal that, “Much of what I did I now regret.” So do we, Bill. So do we.

But there’s some good news: The NIST is currently overhauling these guidelines and they’ve just been finalized. One revised recommendation is that IT departments should only force a password change when there’s been some kind of security breach. Otherwise the changes we make are often incremental; when forced to switch out our passwords every 90 days, people tend to just swap out one character. That makes the bulk of passwords incredibly ineffective; this practice actually harms security rather than helping it.

Another recommendation is to favor long phrases, rather than short passwords with special characters. There should no longer be a requirement to have a certain mix of special characters, upper case letters and numbers for a password. It turns out that adding in these artificial password restrictions actually produced less secure passwords. Additionally (and unsurprisingly), the guidelines recommend screening passwords against commonly used passwords or ones that have been compromised.

You can read the full set of draft guidelines at NIST’s website, but this news should be music to the ears of anyone who’s struggled with passwords. While no organization is required to adopt these new measures, these types of recommendations are usually implemented as best practices for security.

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Source URL:http://www.engadget.com/2017/08/08/nist-new-password-guidelines/

‘Spelunky’ and ‘Downwell’ creators have 50 games coming this fall

Good news if you and yours have long worn out Sportsfriends‘ appeal — it’s been a few years, so that’s understandable — and you’re hankering for another collection of unique multiplayer games. Next year, the minds behind Spelunky, Downwell, Time Barons, Skorpulac and Madhouse have teamed to bring you UFO 50. “Our goal is to combine a familiar 8-bit aesthetic with new ideas and modern game design sensibilities,” the game’s website reads. That purview includes platformers, puzzle games, RPGs and shooters, for a total of, you guessed it, 50 different games.

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Source URL:http://www.engadget.com/2017/08/07/spelunky-downwell-ufo-50/

YouTube adds in-app direct messaging and sharing features

As noted, it’s not dissimilar to what Instagram has been doing with its own direct messaging features that arrived in December 2013. When users tap the “share” button on a video, they’ll now have the option to send it directly through the YouTube app to their contacts. The share pane shows people you’ve recently chatted with, as well as some suggestions for people to add to your list. When you tap the “add contacts” button, the app asks if you want to pull in people from your phone book or send an invite link.

YouTube adds in-app direct messaging and sharing features

Sadly, the phone book doesn’t actually show whether or not your contacts are using YouTube; it just pulls up a “add me as a contact on YouTube” message and dumps it into an SMS. It would be a lot more elegant if the app could recognize which of your friends are signed into YouTube and just start the conversation there. That’s the challenge with what YouTube is trying to do here: It’s easy enough to just use the standard Android or iOS sharing pane to drop a video into iMessage or your chat app of choice, but it’s beneficial for YouTube to keep the conversation going on its own platform.

YouTube’s suggested contacts feature makes it a little easier to get started sharing things. With those people, you can send and confirm invites within the app itself, no SMS needed. Google says those suggestions take into account which people you interact with on YouTube and other Google services, which is to say, people that you email or chat with in Hangouts will presumably show up here as well. Regardless of whether you invite someone through SMS or in the app itself, once the invite is accepted you can freely share videos back and forth.

Fortunately, this new feature works pretty well once you get past dealing with contacts. Once you share a video (your first conversation with a contact needs to be initiated by sharing a video), you and your friend can just chat about it right in YouTube. Whether just one-on-one or in a group, you can chat just as you would with basically any other chat app. Naturally, there’s a button right in the compose area to drop another video into the conversation. Pressing it pulls up your most recently viewed videos, but you can also tap a search button to find basically anything else you’d want to add to the conversation.

Given YouTube’s focus on video, you can only add other videos to the conversation. Otherwise, you’re limited to text and emoji. There are also limited “reaction” features; users can add a heart to any message or video dropped in their chat. But other than that, YouTube wisely keeps things basic here, as there’s no real need for this to compete with more full-featured chat apps like Facebook Messenger, iMessage or even Google’s own Alto.

Indeed, this new feature will probably be most utilized by heavy YouTube users — probably the kinds of people who frequently upload and create their own videos as well as just watch. But even more casual YouTube users will probably find themselves using this new feature pretty quickly. The in-app option is now the default way to share YouTube videos, so chances are good that you’ll either send or receive a video like this pretty quickly.

And while it’s easy to chide Google for coming up with yet another messaging system, it’s also something the company had to do to keep people sharing video on its platform instead of through other apps. Instagram made in-app sharing and messaging a focus over the years, and it makes sense for YouTube to do the same — it helps control the experience users have and makes it more likely they’ll keep sharing more clips. Fortunately, YouTube implemented this feature in a way that makes sense and is easy to use, my one qualm about SMS invites aside. If it means my friends are more likely to share ridiculous videos with me, so much the better.

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Source URL:http://www.engadget.com/2017/08/07/youtube-direct-sharing-messaging-android-ios-app/

UK issues stricter security guidelines for connected cars

The government has also reiterated its hopes to build a “new framework” for self-driving car insurance, making it clear who pays when an autonomous vehicle crashes.

This doesn’t guarantee that British cars will be significantly safer, or that manufacturers will take the spirit of the guidelines to heart. Between this and advice from American regulators, though, it won’t be surprising if automakers use official recommendations as a starting point. And to some extent, companies already do. Tesla, for instance, encourages researchers to report vulnerabilities and has isolated systems like the brakes and powertrain. In that sense, the UK is merely codifying principles that have already existed for a while.

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Source URL:http://www.engadget.com/2017/08/06/uk-security-guidelines-for-connected-cars/

‘Karate Kid’ reboot no one asked for debuts on YouTube Red in 2018

While offers for the series reportedly came from Netflix, Amazon, Hulu and AMC, YouTube Red was the victor and the series is set to premiere on the streaming service in 2018. YouTube recently announced a slew of new shows for 2017 and a handful of renewals. It also said that its original shows have hit nearly a quarter billion views. As noted by the Hollywood Reporter, YouTube execs have been looking to attract a slightly older audience than what it has been and the reboot seemed like a good way to do that. But I don’t know if true fans of The Karate Kid are going to be into a TV comedy series that will have a hard time standing up to the original.

Cobra Kai will be written and produced by Hot Tub Time Machine’s Josh Heald alongside Jon Hurwitz and Hayden Schlossberg of Harold and Kumar. “Like everyone who grew up in the 1980s, the three of us are enormous fans of The Karate Kid​,” the three said in a statement. “Cobra Kai​ will be a true continuation of the original films — packed with comedy, heart and thrilling fight scenes. We can’t wait to reignite the LaRusso-Lawrence rivalry, and we’re thankful to our partners at YouTube Red, Sony Pictures Television and Overbrook for their shared enthusiasm in making our dream project a reality.”

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Source URL:http://www.engadget.com/2017/08/04/karate-kid-reboot-youtube-red-2018/

RED’s $1,200 holographic phone features snap-on camera accessories

Marques Brownlee of MKBHD channel got handed three prototypes, starting with the fit-and-finish casing that shows off how the Hydrogen One will appear. At first glance, it’s a lot like the render, with a stylish black metal setup, ridges on the sides for finger grips and a dedicated shutter button. The walkthrough showed off off a 5.5-inch display (slightly smaller than the anticipated 5.7 inches) with dual speakers beneath it; On the back, a camera bump sat on top with a stippled grid of contact pins at the bottom, which will hold snap-on additions a la Moto Mods.

Unfortunately, we don’t get to see the phone’s vaunted holographic display: RED wasn’t ready to show it off, so all we have is Brownlee’s expression to go off of when he tinkered with it in the second prototype. (If you’re not looking forward to 3D, it can always be turned off, he said.) Lastly, the third model included a much heftier-looking lens and sensor bolted on the back. RED believes this prosumer setup will be the future of mobile footage, and with gear like that, it’s hard not to believe them.

RED’s $1,200 holographic phone features snap-on camera accessories

But the Hydrogen One still has to prove that it can function as a smartphone, too — which we might find out when the first fully-functional prototypes roll out in 30-45 days.

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Source URL:http://www.engadget.com/2017/08/02/red-s-1-200-holographic-phone-features-snap-on-camera-accessori/