Samsung Galaxy Note 8 might be out as soon as September 15th

If you’re ready to take a chance on the latest Note 8 — and your bank account is ready to take the hit — you may want to reserve one instead of waiting for it to come out. Blass said pre-orders will come with either a 256GB microSD card and a wireless charger or Samsung’s cute Gear 360 camera. It’s unclear what extras other countries and territories are getting, but Blass revealed that Samsung will bundle European pre-orders with the DeX dock instead. That’s the same dock the company released with the Galaxy S8 that can turn your phone into a computer.

Back in late July, evleaks also tweeted out full renders of the device in black and gold, which can give you an idea of what the phone and its dual camera could look like. We can also likely expect a smaller battery than the Note 7’s to prevent the same fiery fiasco. You’ll only have a few more days to find out what makes the phone special anyway… and just a day longer to reserve one for yourself.

CORRECTION: the options are as follows

1. 256GB card + wireless charger
2. 360 cam

Sorry for the confusion. https://t.co/Db42n4kVCf

— Evan Blass (@evleaks) August 19, 2017

(The pre-order gift in Europe is a DeX dock.) https://t.co/Db42n43kKH

— Evan Blass (@evleaks) August 18, 2017

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Source URL:http://www.engadget.com/2017/08/19/samsung-galaxy-note-8-release-pre-order/

Congressmen call for investigation of FCC cyberattack claims

Citing “intense public interest,” the lawmakers say that the attacks, if legitimate, were “meant to inhibit or limit public comment on this important proceeding, raising doubts about the efficacy of the FCC’s public comment process.” The letter also says that a flood of fake comments has also undermined the public process, and that the “FCC’s lack of action in preventing or mitigating this issue is also cause for concern.” The letter urges the GAO to find out how the FCC determined the site was actually a victim of a DDoS attack, including evidence and documentation of the event of the FCC response to it. The legislators also request information on the FCC’s procedures for preventing future attacks, and call the general vulnerability of all of the FCC’s systems into question.

These requests have some power behind them, as well. Senator Schatz is a Democrat from Hawaii and a ranking member of the Senate Commerce Subcommittee on Communications, Technology, Innovation and the Internet. US Representative Frank Pallone Jr., also a Democrat but from New Jersey, is a ranking member of the House Committee on Energy and Commerce. With this kind of direct questioning, via the Accountability Office, it may be that we find out the truth of the matter sooner than expected.

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Source URL:http://www.engadget.com/2017/08/17/congressmen-call-investigation-fcc-cyberattack/

Zooming photos is finally a thing for image-driven Pinterest

Pinterest is adding a couple of new features to help you get more use out of it. First, the app now (finally) allows you to pinch to zoom in on Pins, which it said in a blog post is one of its most requested features. Not surprising as it has been building itself to be a visual search engine and the lack of zooming ability has been noticeably absent. It has also tweaked its visual search tool, which lets you select an object within a Pin and find items that are similar. The visual search button has been moved and made to be more noticeable. Pinterest says that in tests, 70 percent more people used the tool after the changes were made. Finally, those using visual searches through Chrome don’t need to have a Pinterest account to do so any longer.

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Source URL:http://www.engadget.com/2017/08/16/zooming-photos-image-driven-pinterest/

Barack Obama breaks the record for most-liked Tweet

This Tweet from @BarackObama is now the most liked Tweet ever. https://t.co/wEjYaxIHI1

— Twitter (@Twitter) August 16, 2017

Obama tweeted the message shortly after President Trump told a White House press gathering that “both sides” were to blame for the racial violence at Charlottesville. Trump later backpedaled and blamed those groups in a statement, but doubled down on his “both sides” comments at an impromptu press conference yesterday.

That prompted a furious backlash from groups on all sides of the political spectrum, who say the president should have only condemned the actions of KKK members, neo-Nazis and white supremacists. Since the initial comments, Facebook, Reddit and other sites have shut down hate groups, GoFundMe has cut off the defense funds for alleged Charlottesville killer James Alex Fields, and gaming chat app Discord has closed racist accounts.

After surpassing Ellen Degeneres’ 2014 Oscar selfie tweet, Obama’s tweet soared past Grande’s sometime yesterday. With 1.2 million re-tweets, it also sits in fifth place for that record, though still well behind the inane Wendy’s “Nuggs” tweet at 3.65 million and 3.4 million retweets for Degeneres.

“No one is born hating another person because of the color of his skin or his background or his religion…” pic.twitter.com/InZ58zkoAm

— Barack Obama (@BarackObama) August 13, 2017

Obama’s tweet is actually part one of three; the first two have 1.2 and 1.1 million likes, respectively. They complete Mandela’s quote, saying “People must learn to hate, and if they can learn to hate, they can be taught to love. For love comes more naturally to the human heart than its opposite.” With Heather Heyer’s tragic Charlottesville death and the worst US racial strife in a while, it’s obviously a message that resonates.

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Source URL:http://www.engadget.com/2017/08/16/barack-obama-most-liked-tweet-charlottesville/

The Morning After: Monday, August 14th 2017


You won’t need to switch phones to get improved HDR photos.
Google Pixel’s camera trick comes to other phones through a mod

The Morning After: Monday, August 14th 2017

Much of the Google Pixel’s photographic prowess comes from its software — it’s particularly good at high dynamic range photos thanks to its HDR+ mode, which fills in gobs of detail while reducing the blur you sometimes see in HDR shots. But do you have to buy a Pixel phone to see the benefit? Not necessarily, if you’re willing to live life on the edge. Developer B-S-G has modified the Google Camera app to enable HDR+ on any Android phone with a Snapdragon 820, 821 or 835 processor. While your Galaxy S8 or OnePlus 3 won’t perfectly mirror the Pixel’s photo quality, this could lead to improvements when taking photos in situations with bright highlights or dark shadows, where HDR, well, shines.


It doesn’t want customers going blind.
Amazon offers refunds for dodgy solar-eclipse glasses

The Morning After: Monday, August 14th 2017

It cares.


The latest dump includes new ‘Curb Your Enthusiasm.’
HBO refuses to play ball with hackers as more episodes leak

The Morning After: Monday, August 14th 2017

HBO isn’t willing to budge. Despite hackers having already dumped episodes of its shows, plus an archive of emails from HBO VP Leslie Cohen, online, it’s not willing to pay its hacker ransomers. It doesn’t seem like they’re done yet, either. The latest leak includes episodes from the upcoming season of Curb Your Enthusiasm.


Self-driving cars could loosen up if they collide with humans.
Waymo patents cars that soften to safeguard pedestrians

The Alphabet-owned Waymo recently received a patent for technology that would soften a car’s body in the event of a collision with a pedestrian. The feature would change the rigidity of body panels, bumpers and the hood using underlying cables, rods or springs. The moment sensors detect an imminent pedestrian impact, the car would loosen those underpinnings and create a relatively gentle surface to reduce injuries. However, for now, it’s just a patent.

But wait, there’s more…

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Source URL:http://www.engadget.com/2017/08/14/the-morning-after-monday-august-14th-2017/

Amazon’s delivered meals may not require refrigeration

The key is MATS, or microwave assisted thermal sterilization, which involves placing food packets into pressurized water and heating them up using microwaves. Traditionally, MREs (Meal, Ready to Eat) are sterilized using a pressure cooker, which deprives them of nutrients, not to mention flavor and texture. This new method delivers a much tastier final product, and has a shelf life for up to a year. No refrigeration is required.

Officials at 915 Labs, which is trying to bring MATS technology to the retail sector, confirmed that Amazon had expressed interest in selling dishes such as a vegetable frittata and beef stew. They could bring the meals to market as early as 2018.

The question is really whether Amazon’s target market would be interested in this type of prepared food. Amazon’s foray into prepared meal kits, such as their upcoming Blue Apron competitor, is understandable. But do customers really want the equivalent of (tasty) MREs? Clearly Amazon is trying to tackle the frozen dinner market here, which they struggle to be competitive in because of delivery challenges. It will likely all depend on just how good the meals are.

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Source URL:http://www.engadget.com/2017/08/11/amazon-mats-prepared-meals/

Kaspersky and Microsoft reach truce over antivirus software

Now Microsoft has agreed to work more closely with AV vendors before software updates are issued to help mitigate compatibility issues. In a blog post, the company said it planned to implement a number of changes, such as giving AV partners certainty around release dates, allowing them to use their own alerts and notifications, and modifying the way Windows tells users about their installed AV software.

This isn’t the first time Microsoft has found itself in hot water for pushing its own solutions onto users. In 2013 the European Union fined the company $732 million for failing to respect an antitrust settlement. Obviously, another fine of that size would barely make a dent in Microsoft’s coffers, but with cyber security becoming an increasingly mainstream consumer focus, it can’t afford to make any mistakes in this area.

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Source URL:http://www.engadget.com/2017/08/10/kaspersky-and-microsoft-reach-truce-over-antivirus-software/

RuPaul’s biographical series will stream on Hulu

Power executive producer Gary Lennon is slated to write the series, which will be set in 1980s New York. While RuPaul is a San Diego native, he moved to Atlanta for theatrical training before moving to the East Coast to make a name for himself, as recounted in a recent episode of Up/Close with The Hollywood Reporter.

This production also marks the second time Bad Robot and Hulu have worked together. The companies have already collaborated on the television adaptation of Stephen King’s 11.22.63 and are slated to do the same with another King tale, Castle Rock, later this year.

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Source URL:http://www.engadget.com/2017/08/09/rupauls-biographical-series-will-stream-on-hulu/

Amazon Echo Dot 2nd-gen

The Dot is a smaller yet just as powerful version of the Amazon Echo. What it lacks in an internal speaker system it makes up for with an audio-out port and Bluetooth connectivity. While the app and inability to route queries to a single Alexa device within close proximity of each other can be annoying, the $50 price and Alexa’s usefulness make the Dot a solid option for anyone who wants to start building a connected home on the cheap.

Pros
  • Access to thousands of Alexa “Skills”
  • Audio-out port and Bluetooth speaker support
  • At $50, it's $150 cheaper than the full-size Echo
Cons
  • Alexa app can be buggy
  • Two Alexa devices in adjoining rooms will both try to answer queries
  • Anemic sound from the built-in speaker

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Source URL:http://www.engadget.com/products/amazon/echo/dot-2nd-gen/

US trade commission looks into Qualcomm’s patent fight with Apple

We’ve asked Apple for comment.

It’s not surprising that the ITC would move forward, as it it usually does. However, this still ramps up the pressure on Apple to either settle or hope that its own legal action pans out. Companies embroiled in patent disputes often file an ITC complaint alongside a lawsuit knowing that the Commission tends to move far quicker than the court system — the average investigation takes less than a year and a half. That doesn’t give Apple much time to consider its next move, although it at least has the Federal Trade Commission (not to mention Alphabet, Amazon and Microsoft) on its side.

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Source URL:http://www.engadget.com/2017/08/08/us-itc-investigates-qualcomm-complaint-against-apple/