HBO adapting Ray Bradbury’s dystopian classic ‘Fahrenheit 451’

The book portrays a future where books are outlawed and “Firemen” like Guy Montag (Jordan) and his boss Captain Beatty (Shannon) are charged with setting them ablaze — the title refers to the temperature at which paper supposedly catches fire. However, when Montag meets a free-thinking new neighbor, Clarisse, he starts to question the course of his life.

Bradbury published the novel back in 1953, during a time when book burning was actually a thing in the US. It became an instant classic as a meditation on censorship and freedom of expression, much as Orwell’s 1984 is synonymous with pervasive government surveillance. The only adaptation is French director François Truffaut’s 1966 adaption, a film that did become a cult hit but isn’t exactly widely known.

It’s a bit surprising that Fahrenheit 451, one of the best-known and liveliest tales of a potentially bleak future, has yet to be adapted since then. With HBO and Jordan behind it (as star and executive producer), there’s a solid chance we’ll finally see it come to life again and the timing couldn’t be more perfect.

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Source URL:http://www.engadget.com/2017/04/20/hbo-adapting-ray-bradburys-dystopian-classic-fahrenheit-451/

Amazon opens up the voice control technology behind Alexa

Lex, after all, lives in the cloud instead of within the actual apps and software. That means Amazon can make it better and better by continuously feeding it data from people’s interactions with Alexa. While the company’s Echo sales will likely never match Apple’s iPhone sales, Vogels said people use Alexa for various tasks around the house, but they tend to interact with their phones’ voice assistants only when they’re inside their vehicles.

Still, the company needs more sources of data, so it will also feed Lex people’s interactions with third-party developers’ apps that use the service. We’re guessing that data includes whatever it collects from its call center clients. If you’ll recall, Amazon started prepping a software package that includes Lex and another one of its developer services called Polly earlier this year. The package can field questions from customers’ phone calls and texts, giving the retail giant’s software more samples to learn from.

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Source URL:http://www.engadget.com/2017/04/20/amazon-opens-up-voice-control-alexa-tech/

Politiwoops uploads its 1.1 million-tweet collection to the Internet Archive

This move follows the publication earlier this month of an open letter penned by 17 international rights groups — including the EFF, Sunlight Foundation and Human Rights Watch — urging Twitter to reverse its decision. That letter has since been endorsed by more than 50 more rights groups from across the globe. “Social networks should take into account international norms about transparency and the right to information,” Arjan El Fassed, director of Open State Foundation, said in a statement. “When politicians turn to social networks to amplify their views, they are inviting greater scrutiny of their expression.” However, to date, Twitter has refused to review the decision.

[Image Credit: AFP/Getty Images]

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Source URL:http://www.engadget.com/2015/09/16/politiwoops-uploads-its-1-1-million-tweet-collection-to-the-inte/

The Wirecutter’s best deals: Save on an Xbox One Design Lab controller

Grenco Science G Pen Elite Vaporizer

The Wirecutter's best deals: Save on an Xbox One Design Lab controller

Street price: $150; MSRP: $170; Deal price: $127 w/ code THEWIRECUTTER

Here’s a great deal on our top pick for best portable vaporizer. The G Pen Elite recently dropped in price, but by using the code: THEWIRECUTTER you can get an additional 15% off, bringing it down to the lowest price we’ve seen so far. If you’re looking to get the best deal and save a bit more money, there will be a sale on April 20th, increasing the savings to 20 percent off. But if you’re looking to have your portable vaporizer shipped in time to celebrate the 20th, this is a great price to pick it up.

The Grenco Science G Pen Elite is our pick for the best portable vaporizer. Mark Smirniotis said, “This pint-sized vaporizer produces vapor that will convert any smoker and is easy to use thanks to high-end features like precision controls, a clear display, and Micro-USB charging.”

Holmes Lil’ Blizzard Table Fan

The Wirecutter's best deals: Save on an Xbox One Design Lab controller

Street price: $18; MSRP: $20; Deal price: $14

This is a rock bottom price on the Lil’ Blizzard; It’s the lowest we’ve seen. This fan is typically priced around $18-$20, so at $14, this is a very healthy discount on a fan that represents a great value even at full price. With summer looming, this fan is a very nice addition for the price-conscious.

The Holmes Lil’ Blizzard is a budget fan we like in our Best Fan guide. Seamus Bellamy writes, “If you’re looking for a cheap, powerful fan to use at your desk, the $20 Holmes Lil’ Blizzard 8-Inch Oscillating Table Fan is a great choice. When running on its highest setting, the Lil’ Blizzard produces 70 decibels of sound, which admittedly is a little loud. But, as its name suggests, the fan can oscillate or be locked into place. It comes equipped with two different speed settings, is easy to clean and, with its small 8.1 by 8.9 by 11.8-inch footprint, won’t hog all of the space on your desktop or side table. And while it might not be the most powerful personal-sized fan that we tested (we’ll get to that in a minute,) for $20, the Holmes Lil’ Blizzard is a capable fan at a great price.”

Xbox One Design Lab Custom Controller

The Wirecutter's best deals: Save on an Xbox One Design Lab controller

Street price: $80; MSRP: $80; Deal price: $65

While this deal is more expensive than the standard Xbox One controller, the Xbox Design Lab allows you to customize the paint job on nearly every aspect. You can tweak the colors on nearly every part of the controller independently of each other to create whatever color palette you choose. With this $15 off deal, it’s only $5-$10 more expensive than the regular price for a standard Xbox One wireless controller, so it’s a great deal if you’re looking to give yours a custom flair. This deal is only available to customers in the US and ends April 17th, 2017.

The Xbox One S controller is the new, Bluetooth capable version of our runner-up pick in our guide to the best PC gaming controllers. Kimber Streams wrote, “The Microsoft Xbox One controller is a better option if you want a controller that’s easier to set up, if you have large hands, or if you simply prefer Xbox controllers. (Or if you want to play XInput games on a Mac, since the DualShock 4 can’t do that.)”

Coleman 6-Person Instant Tent

The Wirecutter's best deals: Save on an Xbox One Design Lab controller

Street price: $150; MSRP: $180; Deal price: $115

We saw this one at $100 briefly as a Deal of the Day, but even though this $115 price isn’t quite as good as that, it’s substantially below the $150 that this tent usually sells for, and one of the best prices we’ve seen over the past year.

The Coleman 6-Person Instant Cabin is our budget pick in our Best Tent for Family or Car Camping guide. Kalee Thompson writes, “The popular Coleman 6-Person Instant Tent is bulkier when bagged and smaller when standing, and it has fewer appealing features than our favorite Eureka Copper Canyon tent (no mesh roof for stargazing, for one thing). But it goes up and down much faster than any other tent we tested, and it has no fly to bother with. We also didn’t detect any leaking during a moderate rainstorm. The key selling point: Currently it costs about $75 less than our top pick.”

Because great deals don’t just happen on Thursdays, sign up for our daily deals email and we’ll send you the best deals we find every weekday. Also, deals change all the time, and some of these may have expired. To see an updated list of current deals, please go to The Wirecutter.com.

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Source URL:http://www.engadget.com/2017/04/13/the-wirecutters-best-deals-save-on-an-xbox-one-design-lab-cont/

Kim Dotcom asks the Supreme Court to hear him out

In the Supreme Court petition, Dotcom’s lawyers argue US authorities unlawfully labeled him a “fugitive,” allowing them to seize his assets and those of other Megaupload employees, even though they had never traveled to the States. Dotcom has lost this case twice already, once on appeal in the Fourth Circuit court.

“If left undisturbed, the Fourth Circuit’s decision enables the Government to obtain civil forfeiture of every penny of a foreign citizen’s foreign assets based on unproven allegations of the most novel, dubious United States crimes,” the petition reads.

The Supreme Court now has to decide whether to hear the case.


I never lived there
I never traveled there
I had no company there

But all I worked for now belongs to the U.S.https://t.co/l3B0Cuj0tr

— Kim Dotcom (@KimDotcom) March 29, 2015

This is all while Dotcom is fighting extradition in New Zealand (in live-streamed hearings, of course). A lower and appellate court have both ruled against Dotcom, agreeing that he should be shipped to the US to face charges of racketeering, conspiracy and money laundering. The extradition suit next heads to the Court of Appeal of New Zealand.

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Source URL:http://www.engadget.com/2017/04/13/kim-dotcom-supreme-court-75-million-megaupload/

Shield your address from Uber by using cross streets

Uber says it’s making this change at rider request– the company says that many riders have wanted to not share any private information when using Uber, including specific requests. And if you’ve set up a home or work address in Uber to make it quicker to get where you’re going, you can change that to an intersection if you prefer, as well. Uber says this is rolling out to every city in the US that the company operates in, but it also notes that not all combos may immediately show up. In that case, you’re advised to put in your exact address and then drag the pin to where you want to go.

Lyft has supported intersections for a while now — its mapping system is powered by Google Maps, which has long recognized dropping two streets into its search. Regardless, there are still plenty of Uber users out there who can benefit from increased privacy features. The new features is live now in the Uber app for iOS and Android.

Shield your address from Uber by using cross streets

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Source URL:http://www.engadget.com/2017/04/13/uber-cross-streets-for-pickup-and-dropoff/

A Yelp bot will deliver your sushi in San Francisco

Specifically, they’re sending Marble’s robots on trips around SF’s Mission and Potrero Hill districts, so lucky Eat24 patrons might get the option to have their grub delivered via the boxy drones — and their humans. Handlers will “chaperone” the autonomous bots to make sure their initial forays into the world go smoothly.

The robots use NVIDIA’s TX1 Jetson supercomputers to digest environmental data coming from a suite of cameras, LiDAR, and ultrasonic sensors, the same sensors used by autonomous cars. As they expand delivery to more neighborhoods, Marble and Eat24 will use their drones to map the city’s sidewalks and develop optimized routes. Someday, these robots could progress to truly unmanned courier jobs — and then, folks living above ground level will learn a cruel truth about the limits of our wheeled autonomous robo-coolers and their inability to defeat stairs.

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Source URL:http://www.engadget.com/2017/04/12/a-yelp-bot-will-deliver-your-sushi-in-san-francisco/

Boeing uses first FAA-approved 3D-printed parts for the 787

Boeing turned to 3D printing for the 787, because it requires more metal than its other models. Plus, traditionally manufactured titanium alloy can be very expensive, especially since the company makes 144 Dreamliners a year. The aerospace corporation’s partnership is a resounding recommendation for printed metals in the aviation industry and is proof that companies are starting to trust the manufacturing process and its resulting materials.

From early 2016 to February 2017, Boeing worked with Norsk to be able to pass the Federal Aviation Administration’s rigorous testing program for the components. The partners expect to get additional FAA approval for the material’s properties and manufacturing process later this year. That will allow the Norwegian firm to make more 3D-printed titanium parts without having to get each of them approved, leading to even more savings per plane.

Boeing uses first FAA-approved 3D-printed parts for the 787

Boeing uses first FAA-approved 3D-printed parts for the 787

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Source URL:http://www.engadget.com/2017/04/11/boeing-faa-approved-3d-printed-metals-787/

After Math: Flying high

It’s been a big week for aviation achievements. DARPA successfully flew a model of its next VTOL aircraft, Dr. Peggy Whitson is tacking on three more months to her ISS stay (and breaking another record along the way), and SpaceX is saving big on its reusable rocket costs. Numbers, because how else would you join the 1.60934 kilometer-high club?

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Source URL:http://www.engadget.com/2017/04/09/after-math-flying-high/

MGM spends $1 billion to take full control of the Epix channel

The acquisition should close later in April.

In unveiling the deal, Epix chief Mark Greenberg is quick to acknowledge that the “priorities have evolved” for some of its soon-to-be-ex partners. While he doesn’t go into detail, Lionsgate just bought Starz — why would it split its attention between two networks that accomplish similar goals, both online and off? Viacom, meanwhile, is backing away from offering its freshest content on streaming services as it worries about getting its finances back in order. You probably don’t have to worry about Epix’s long-term future, but don’t be surprised if you see a greater emphasis on MGM’s media offerings than before.

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Source URL:http://www.engadget.com/2017/04/06/mgm-spends-1-billion-to-take-full-control-of-the-epix-channel/