The Morning After: Friday, August 18th 2017


Not to mention iOS, Android, Apple Watch, Android Wear…
Newton is the rare email app that works great on both Windows and Mac

The Morning After: Friday, August 18th 2017

Yep, there are plenty of good third-party Windows email apps out there, but not many of them work across all the platforms you might use. If you jump between macOS and Windows, Newton (formerly CloudMagic) might be worth a look. Its app is now available on the Windows Store and with Newton already available on macOS, Android and iOS (not to mention the Apple Watch and Android Wear), it’s now one of only a few email apps that works on pretty much any device.


Gimme.
This Infiniti EV defies all logic, but you will want it anyway

The Morning After: Friday, August 18th 2017

We rarely buy cars based on logic. It’s usually about the emotional reaction to a vehicle: How it looks, how it drives and the way it makes us feel when we’re seen behind the wheel often seal the deal. Sometimes, though, cars are thrust upon us. Our first car might be a hand-me-down, or maybe financial issues limit our choice. Even if we end up with a vehicle that’s more Bondo than burnished metal, we often still form an emotional connection with our wagon. Our most memorable cars (be they low-cost commuters or high-end supercars), make us feel something. And that’s what the Infiniti EV does. Take a peek at the Prototype 9.


Co-founder Jane Rosenthal talks about the inspiration behind the event.
Tribeca’s TV Festival aims to be a curator for television’s golden age

The Morning After: Friday, August 18th 2017

A lot has changed since the Tribeca Film Festival debuted in 2002. Netflix and Amazon, for instance, hadn’t even launched their video-streaming services — and now they’re two of the biggest players in the TV and movies industries. The event, founded by Robert De Niro and producer Jane Rosenthal, welcomed 153,000 attendees to 530 screenings and celebrity-filled panels to its most recent event, in April. Now, inspired by its past successes, Tribeca is launching a new TV Festival that promises to highlight the best projects from the world of television.


The automaker dropped two new concept cars at Pebble Beach.
BMW’s redesigned 8 Series is cleaner, more aggressive

The Morning After: Friday, August 18th 2017

At the Monterey Car Week, BMW unveiled two new concept vehicles. Both are previews of planned production models of the Series 8 and Z4 Roadster. If the versions on the forecourt are even close to these concepts, there are going to be a lot of very happy movie producers and hedge-fund managers (thanks to the probable high price and outstanding-but-aggressive looks).


It’s trying a bit of everything here.
ASUS goes dual-camera crazy, announces a sackful of new phones

The Morning After: Friday, August 18th 2017

ASUS smartphone division was unusually quiet back at Computex a couple of months ago, but now we know why. The Taiwanese company has unveiled its ZenFone 4 smartphone line with not one but five Android Nougat devices: ZenFone 4 Pro, ZenFone 4, ZenFone 4 Selfie Pro, ZenFone 4 Selfie and ZenFone 4 Max Pro (and these will all get updated to Android O). Going along with the event’s “We Love Photo” slogan, all five models have one thing in common: They all have a dual-camera setup, though one model is using it for 2x optical zoom.

But wait, there’s more…

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Source URL:http://www.engadget.com/2017/08/18/the-morning-after-friday-august-18th-2017/

Google adds allergy forecast info to mobile search results

One antihistamine or two? Google is making sure hay fever sufferers can answer that question in double quick time, thanks to the new addition of pollen measurements in search results. Plug an allergy- or pollen-related query into your Android smartphone and search results will now include a simple breakdown of current and predicted pollen levels. The new type of rich card result is populated by data from The Weather Channel, and as always, you can get more detailed info by tapping on the card itself.

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Source URL:http://www.engadget.com/2017/08/16/google-allergy-mobile-search/

Facebook secretly launched a mobile app in China

In a statement to the Times, Facebook doesn’t explicitly confirm or deny its involvement in Colorful Balloons. “We have long said that we are interested in China, and are spending time understanding and learning more about the country in different ways,” a spokesperson says. However, the executive director of the purported developer, Zhang Jingmei, has attended at least one crucial meeting between Facebook and Chinese officials — there’s a real chance that she’s a Facebook adviser or employee.

It’s not certain that China’s regulators were aware of the app, let alone who was behind it, and that could be a problem. While Facebook has bent over backwards to publicly court China, including multiple visits by Mark Zuckerberg (who even learned to speak Mandarin), this is decidedly more secretive. The government might balk at the idea of Facebook going behind its back, even if the app in question abides by local censorship laws. It’s a calculated roll of the dice that might help Facebook understand the Chinese market, but could also jeopardize what little chance it had of regaining its rapidly dwindling influence in the area.

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Source URL:http://www.engadget.com/2017/08/12/facebook-secretly-launched-app-in-china/

Verizon can’t find partners for its Sling-style TV service

Media companies are reluctant to sign on with Verizon, according to Bloomberg‘s unnamed sources, because it still doesn’t have a solid plan for its streaming service, including the pricing, programming mix and technology. Verizon has also lost several key executives doing content strategy and acquisition for the service, including former NBCUniversal exec Chip Canter. Negotiations are reportedly being led by Erin McPherson, formerly of Yahoo and Walt Disney.

Verizon offers a cable TV service but has a relatively small number of cable TV subscribers (under 5 million). However, it has 7 million broadband subscribers, so likely figured it could cash in by offering a cheaper streaming service to cord-cutters. As with AT&T, it would likely offer the service as a bundle it with its mobile plans, too. Verizon already has the Go90 service, but it’s more for YouTube-style short-form clips, and is reportedly doing poorly.

The service will reportedly have pricing around the same as DirecTV, around $35 per month. Verizon is bound to get it together at some point, having made big bets on media of all kinds — including AOL (Engadget’s parent) and Yahoo — in an effort to gain more media content and ad revenue. Comcast is reportedly also looking to launch a streaming service called Xfinity Instant TV by year end. It looked like Verizon would easily enter the market first, but now that’s not so sure. (We’ve reached out to Verizon for comment, but don’t hold your breath.)

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Source URL:http://www.engadget.com/2017/08/11/verizon-broadcasters-streaming-live-tv-service/

Vertu’s fire sale phones are still too expensive

The company is liquidating the contents of its UK factory, which included a Vertu museum. That means that a lot of the company’s older phones (and newer as well) are available for grabs. Personally I think that spending 1,000 GBP (about $1,300, starting bid) for a phone that still has number keys (even if it’s made of 18-karat gold and alligator leather and has a ruby key) is ridiculous, but who knows what people enjoy collecting.

Vertu’s fire sale phones are still too expensive

If you’re in the market for multiple phones, the auction has those as well, with sets of archive collection Vertu phones. If you need to outfit your gang with the most stylish (and probably most outdated) matching phones, you can pick up a set of 37 Vertu Constellation Ayxta flip phones for a starting bid of 2,150 GBP (roughly $3,000).

Vertu’s fire sale phones are still too expensive

It’s not just phones you can grab from this auction though. Have a hankering for a large bronze sculpture of a guy on a horse holding the Vertu logo? How about a wooden letter rack that plays the Vertu signature tune? These can be yours as well.

Vertu’s fire sale phones are still too expensive

Vertu was a respected name in the phone world, even if their phones were ridiculously expensive, so it’s sad to see them come to this. And it’s terrible that so many people lost their jobs. But that doesn’t mean it isn’t fun to poke through the auction catalog and see what exactly you can get from the now-defunct company.

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Source URL:http://www.engadget.com/2017/08/10/vertu-fire-sale-auction/

The FBI hacked an alleged sextortionist with a dummy video

The story begins at the tail end of 2015 after the FBI was contacted by the Brownsburg police department. Hernandez was extorting sexual images from a child in Indiana, images that he subsequently posted on the public Brian Kil Facebook page. Investigators attempted to track down the user behind the account, only to find he used Tor to mask his IP.

Investigators were already aware of Kil, however, in connection with another of his victims, a minor living in Michigan. Similarly, Hernandez used threats of violence to obtain images of the girl that were subsequently classified as child pornography. But in that case, the victim was required to use a Dropbox account and on June 9th of this year, a judge allowed the bureau to use the account against Hernandez.

Officials inserted some code into a (non-pornographic) video that was sent from the Michigan victim’s computer to Hernandez. When the video was viewed, the code inside contacted an FBI server with its real IP address. Agents subsequently wiretapped Hernandez’s computer and installed a camera to watch the property where he lived with his girlfriend.

In this case, the FBI was fortunate to take advantage of Hernandez’s moderate lack of computer literacy, and we must be grateful for that. But it also serves as a warning to us all that we need to be vigilant against such acts.

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Source URL:http://www.engadget.com/2017/08/09/fbi-sextortion-hack/

Google Home plays Deezer tunes at the sound of your voice

Google Home doesn’t have a huge range of on-demand music services on offer (Google’s services and Spotify are your biggest choices), but you can add one to the list today. Deezer has launched Home support for its streaming music service, giving listeners in several countries a hands-free music source if they’re not fans of the larger providers. The stand-out is voice control over Deezer’s semi-automatic Flow playlist — you can tell Home to “play your Flow” and get a highly personalized playlist with very little effort.

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Source URL:http://www.engadget.com/2017/08/08/deezer-google-home-support/

US agriculture agency tells staff not to mention climate change

The director issuing these statements, Bianca Moebius-Clune, stressed that this wouldn’t alter the scientific modeling, just how it’s discussed. Still, some in the organization aren’t happy. One staffer was worried that altering the language would jeopardize the “scientific integrity of the work.” That’s not without merit: shortly after Trump’s inauguration, NRCS deputy chief Jimmy Bramblett warned that air quality research relating to greenhouse gases “could be discontinued.”

That the current US administration would frown on the mere mention of climate change isn’t surprising. Just ask the EPA. And really, this is an extension of what Florida saw when Governor Rick Scott banned official talk of climate change in 2015 — the political leadership is pretending an issue doesn’t exist by refusing to say its name. However, the emails illustrate both how this censorship takes place and the extent to which it’s voluntary. In the USDA’s case, it’s likely a defensive tactic. The department wants to avoid incurring the White House’s wrath, which could put vital science initiatives in jeopardy.

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Source URL:http://www.engadget.com/2017/08/08/usda-censors-climate-change-language/

Leak shows the iPhone 8 is all screen and no home button

iPhone 8 (encased) pic.twitter.com/9LpARCAML2

— Evan Blass (@evleaks) August 8, 2017

The render shows the new iPhone within a neon yellow case, much like the Urban Armor Gear shell for the iPhone 7. Unlike the exclusive leaks Engadget obtained in May, the latest image is just of the front of the phone. It suggests the top of the phone will have a notch for the dual camera sensors and central earpiece — the rest of the front will be taken up by the phone’s display. As usual, it’s best to greet this latest render with a dash of skepticism. For starters, the date on the iPhone is March, which indicates it could be a few months old.

If it does turn out to be accurate, however, that means Apple is following the screen-dominated designs spearheaded by Samsung, LG, and the Essential Phone. Blass also pointed out the similarities with Android co-founder Andy Rubin’s device, going so far as to say he preferred the look of the Essential Phone. Rubin’s former company, on the other hand, doesn’t seem to be following the pack. The latest leaks of Google’s upcoming Pixel phone suggest it won’t cut down on its top and bottom bezels.

The new image should get fans talking as they anticipate the next iPhone’s release. Your feelings will likely betray which camp you reside in: pro-, or anti-bezel.

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Source URL:http://www.engadget.com/2017/08/08/iphone-8-leak-front-render/

Uber co-founder says Kalanick will not return to as CEO

As reported by ReCode, Camp wrote, “Our CEO search is the board’s top priority. It’s time for a new chapter, and the right leader for our next phase o growth. Despite rumors I’m sure you’ve seen in the news, Travis is not returning as CEO. We are committed to hiring a new world-class CEO to lead Uber.” The email continued to assert that Uber must “evolve and mature” as it seeks to improve its corporate culture and business practices. While the email does not directly say that Kalanick will never return to Uber, for now, at least, he will not take the CEO seat anytime soon. We’ve reached out to Uber for comment and will update this post when we hear back.

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Source URL:http://www.engadget.com/2017/08/07/uber-co-founder-says-kalanick-wont-return/