December 11, 2019

Technology

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Porsche Taycan has already netted 30,000 pre-orders and 10,000 purchases
Technology

According to Elon Musk, one of the overarching goals of Tesla is to help spearhead the adoption of electric vehicles across the board. Sure, the company wants to make money and turn a profit, but in terms of big-picture goals, Musk has never been shy about his desire to see an electric vehicle revolution.“If somebody comes and makes a better electric car than Tesla, and it’s so much better than ours that we can’t sell our cars and we go bankrupt, I still think that’s a good thing for the world,” Musk said during an interview last year.With the Porsche Taycan, Musk may have finally gotten his wish.While there are many electric vehicles already on the market, you’d be hard-pressed to find one that can really match what Tesla brings to the table, both in terms of performance and the overall user experience. The Porsche Taycan, however, may actually give Tesla’s Model S a run for its money.
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Samsung Galaxy S11 spotted in the wild, allegedly
Technology

A reliable source says images of Samsung's next big phone are out there, right now, and they show a huge camera bump that's housing a ridiculous camera.
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How to stop spam calls right now
Technology

Spam calls have permeated our daily lives. Despite the increased public awareness and the technical measures implemented by organizations to thwart these unsolicited phone calls, they still manage to come through in droves. But what can we do?  The following tips should help limit your exposure to malvertisers and strengthen the infrastructure put into place to better combat robocalls in the future by helping to identify and expose these scam calls. While these measures aren't foolproof, I hope you find them helpful.  SEE: Top Android security tips (free PDF) (TechRepublic)The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is the governing body in the US that oversees all forms of communication implementations and abuses. In conjunction with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), the National Do Not Call Registry was created as an opt-in service that lets users add their contact numbers to the list so advertisers, robocalls, and spam calls are legally not allowed to contact or harass them. The service works for landlines and mobile numbers.
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Geoscientists Rethink The Calamity That Killed The Dinosaurs
Technology

For those who thought that a nuclear winter triggered by an interplanetary impactor basically wiped Earth clean of its dinosaurs, increasing evidence suggests that there were other factors at play. In a Northwestern University-led study of fossilized Antarctic seashells, researchers confirm that Earth’s climate was already undergoing radical shifts before the impactor struck our planet some 66 million years ago.The study, says Northwestern, is the first to measure the calcium isotope composition of fossilized clam and snail shells, which date back to the Cretaceous-Paleogene mass extinction event. The researchers, notes the university, found that — in the run-up to the extinction event — the shells’ chemistry shifted in response to a surge of carbon in the oceans.This carbon influx was likely due to long-term eruptions from the Deccan Traps, a 200,000-square-mile volcanic province located in modern India which spewed massive amounts of Carbon Dioxide (CO2), says Northwestern. This concentration of CO2 acidified the oceans, they note, directly affecting organisms living there.
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The best Samsung Galaxy Note 10 deals and plans for December 2019
Technology

Samsung has released its latest smartphone, the Galaxy Note 10 and it's available to order now from all major carriers. To help you wade through all the different plans we've listed the best Samsung Galaxy Note 10 deals and prices that are available today. The Samsung Galaxy Note 10 features a 6.3-inch AMOLED display with a Full HD resolution. The Galaxy Note 10 is smaller and thinner than the Note 9 making the phone easier to hold in your hand. The 10MP front-facing camera now sits discreetly in the center of the phone and has been upgraded for better low-light shots. The phone also received an upgraded video recording experience thanks to the Live Focus Video feature which allows you to blur out backgrounds and add special effects. The Galaxy Note 10 packs 8GB of RAM, 256GB of storage and provides an impressive 3,500mAh battery that claims to last all day. The Samsung Galaxy Note 10 has a starting price of $949 and is available from all the major carriers such as AT&T, Verizon, T-Mobile, and Sprint. For a limited time, Samsung is offering a free Galaxy Watch Active2 when you buy an Unlocked Galaxy Note10.
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‘Madden 20’ Patch 1.20 Notes: Latest Update Makes Lamar Jackson Even More Unstoppable
Technology

EA Madden NFL 20 underwent another major update on Wednesday. It is Title Update 1.20, and this time a number of stars saw their Superstar Abilities upgraded to X-Factors, and many have dropped from both of the aforementioned groups. Most notably, the already devastating Lamar Jackson has justifiably been upgraded to an X-Factor player.The Baltimore Ravens star and frontrunner for NFL MVP replaces the Los Angeles Chargers’ Philip Rivers as an X-Factor player. Jackson now has the First One Free X-Factor ability, and he also possesses the Escape Artist, Juke Box and Fast Break Superstar abilities. If you’re familiar with his raw ratings, then you know how these abilities will augment the virtual Jackson’s effectiveness. Here are the other noteworthy changes as it pertains to upgraded and downgraded Superstar and X-Factor abilities.
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2019: Yet Another Year Of Dramatic Ice Loss
Technology

According to NOAA’s 14th Arctic Report Card, which was compiled by 81 scientists from 12 nations, 2019 has been yet one more year of intense ice loss across the entire Arctic region. Increased air and ocean temperatures caused massive melt on the Greenland ice sheet, record low Arctic sea-ice, and major shifts in the distribution of marine species. Researchers observed the Greenland ice sheet with a satellite instrument called a Special Sensor Microwave Imager/Sounder (SSMIS) passive microwave radiometer. They found that the surface melting was unusually widespread with about 95 percent the ice sheet surface melted during the 2019 summer. They also found that the surface melt started around mid-April, which is about six to eight weeks earlier than the long-term average. And the melt season lasted about 20 days longer than average around the northern areas of the island.
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Facebook, Google Drop Off Best Places to Work List
Technology

Dec.11 -- Google and Facebook are no longer among the top 10 “Best Places to Work.” Glassdoor ranks them 11th and 23rd respectively in the U.S.
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Andrew Left Sees Peloton Shares Dropping to $5 in 2020
Technology

Dec.11 -- Peloton shares declined as much a 7.6% after Citron Research said it sees the stock falling to $5 per share in 2020. Citron Research Founder Andrew Left appears on "Bloomberg Technology."
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Bose deals: SoundSport Free true wireless for $169 ($30 off), more from Bose
Technology

AmazonBose offers some of the highest quality audio products on the market. From the Bose QC 35 II wireless headphones to the Bose SoundLink Micro Bluetooth speaker, Bose is a company you can expect great things from. Right now, the company’s true wireless offering — the Bose SoundSport Free — is seeing a considerable discount on Amazon.You can pick up a pair of Bose SoundSport Free earbuds on sale for only $169, which is $30 less than the standard price. That’s a solid deal, all things considered. They provide high-end sound quality and a great fit, though they may be a tad bulky. As far as true wireless offerings are concerned, the SoundSport Free earbuds are a great option.Related:Best Bose headphonesIf you don’t mind a cable connecting your earbuds together, the Bose SoundSport Wireless earbuds are on sale too for less than $100. The SoundSport Wireless earbuds usually come with a $150 price tag, so this is a must-buy if you are in the market for some affordable active earbuds.
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Remarkable iPhone SE Return Is Apple’s Admission Of A Marketing Mistake
Technology

Apple may be preparing six new iPhone 12 models for launch in late 2020, but there is another new phone on the horizon that is going to shake up the cosy iterations championed by Tim Cook. A second iPhone SE, potentially called the iPhone 9. Does the original iPhone SE strategy tell us anything about Apple’s hopes and dreams for this new handset?But first, some history. The iPhone SE was originally launched in a period of reflection for Apple. 18 months before its launch, Apple ha started a new product cycle with the launch of the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus. These two handsets represented both an expansion of Apple’s major handsets to two, and triggered a spike in sales that, looking back, was a rush of users looking for a larger screen.That volume of sales was not matched by the iPhone 6S and 6S Plus launched the year after the 6 and 6 Plus. Following six months of weaker sales, the iPhone SE showed up as the ‘cheaper and smaller’ handset, and Apple’s annual sales figures were solid for 2016, although not as spectacular as 2015 had been.
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The best Samsung Galaxy S10 Plus deals for December 2019
Technology

After plenty of Samsung leaks showing off many details of the Galaxy S10, S10 Plus, and more, we've got finally got the official look on the newest devices from Samsung. The Galaxy S10 Plus is the biggest, highest-specced version you'll be able to get until the Galaxy S10 5G launches.Since the Galaxy S10 5G will have limited-time exclusivity with Verizon, the Galaxy S10 Plus is likely to be a top contender for most shoppers looking to get Samsung's best offering with a big screen.It has a new processor in the Snapdragon 855 (or the Exynos equivalent depending on your region) chipset, dual front-facing cameras for depth effects, and triple rear cameras (wide, ultra-wide and telephoto) for flexibility that will surely improve the Samsung camera experience. Then there's the 6.4-inch Infinity-O display, which offers an incredible 93.1% screen-to-body ratio.
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This gold-and-diamond-encrusted Jesus phone is the absolute most
Technology

I’ve been in this game long enough that I didn’t think anything could surprise me anymore. But I suppose I was a little wrong, because Caviar’s latest blinged-out iPhone definitely got a reaction out of me.The phone is called the *checks notes* Credo Diamond Christmas Star iPhone 11 Pro. It’s part of a whole Credo collection, each marked with religious iconography. The Diamond Christmas star, which is an otherwise normal iPhone 11 Pro covered in 18-karat gold and a 3.05-karat diamond, is one of a kind (though it does come in Pro and Max styles).Underneath that Popsocket of a gemstone is a carved image of the nativity, with Mary and Joseph watching over the baby Jesus. Now, I’m no theologian, but that manger looks an awful lot like a cozy little bed. Also, Jesus appears to be at least five, judging by his size.
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What's coming to Netflix in January: hello 'Sabrina,' goodbye 'Friends'
Technology

It's the start of a new year and a new decade, but for Netflix this will be a bittersweet January -- it's as much about what's going away as what's coming. The company is ready to offer a helping hand, at least. It has released a schedule that not only tells you what to expect at the start of 2020, but what merits a marathon viewing session before it's gone for good.The first big release of 2020 is a textbook example of what to expect next month: it's the third and final season of Anne with an E, Netflix's adaptation of the classic Anne of Green Gables story. The series winds down January 3rd. Grace and Frankie's second-to-last season premieres January 15th. The Ranch bows out on January 24th. And like it or not, the second half of Bojack Horseman's final season brings the animated series to a close on January 31st.
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The best Samsung Galaxy S10e deals for December 2019
Technology

Samsung has officially launched its line of Galaxy S10 phones, and among them is a brand new Samsung Galaxy S10e that seeks to fill the gap for shoppers seeking a budget device from a top name. The phone is now officially available to order so we've listed all of the best Samsung Galaxy S10e deals and plans that are currently available.Samsung Galaxy S10e deals have a starting price of $749.99 - that's $150 less than the Galaxy S10 and $250 less than the S10 Plus. So why does the S10e have a lower price tag? The Galaxy S10e stands for "essential" because it has all the basic features of its bigger brothers just with a smaller screen size. It features a 5.8-inch display, yet still packs in 6GB of RAM and a minimum of 128GB storage. From there the S10e also boasts a powerful double-lens camera on the back and 3,100mAh battery that claims to last all day - fantastic for such an affordable smartphone.
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Forza Horizon 4 becomes the latest game to get a Battle Royale mode
Technology

Starting tomorrow, 12 December, Battle Royale fever hits… Forza Horizon 4? Developer Playground Games today announced the game’s upcoming free update will include a 72-car elimination race mode.And it looks awesome:Ah Battle Royale, the game mode that pits dozens of bloodthirsty maniacs against one another in a fight to the death. It’s become a near-ubiquitous staple of FPS games since Player Unknown’s Battlegrounds brought it to the mainstream and Fortnite made it a world-wide phenomenon. Until now, the closest thing racing fans have had to this kind of action is Rocket League.We don’t have a lot of information to go on as of yet, but the blueprint for The Eliminator – as Playground Games is calling it – was already there in the form of global game events that saw players rushing to complete objectives and enter zones before time ran out.
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Gift This Not That: Brother MFC-J805DW vs. Canon Imageclass MF743Cdw
Technology

It's time for a good ol' holiday face-off! This time, I'm answering the question, once and for all, which is better for your home, an inkjet or laser printer? The Brother MFC-J80DW is a rather capable little multi-function printer. It prints up to 12 pages per minute, has full color, can copy, fax (if you still do that sort of thing)...basically everything you'd expect from a home office printer. Setup is simple. You unbox the printer, install the ink cartridges, and follow the instructions of the onboard LCD to hook it up to your home network. You can also print directly to the device from your phone. Load up the paper tray with 150 pages and you're ready to go. The MFC-J805DW's claim to fame is its INKvestment Tank printer cartridges. They hold up to a year of ink, meaning you won't have to worry about replacing anything for quite a while. And when you do, you can get high capacity XXL cartridges that last even longer.
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Naughty Dog is donating the money from its ‘Jak and Daxter’ reissues
Technology

Early this year, to celebrate its 35th anniversary, game developer Naughty Dog did a physical reissue of its classic PS2-era Jak and Daxtergames for PlayStation 4. Fans apparently loved it. The collector's edition sold out in hours and the standard editions sold out in less than a week. Now, instead of pocketing the cash, Naughty Dog is donating all of the proceeds to a bunch of charities.Money from the games (Jak and Daxter, Jak 2, Jak 3 and Jak X: Combat Racing), which were released with help from Limited Run Games, will support K9 for Warriors, Child's Play, Surfrider Foundation, LGBT Center for Los Angeles, Able Gamers and DAGERS."We're proud to lend our support to these groups advocating and advancing important work for accessibility, environmental conservation, veterans, the LGBTQ+ community, and children's hospitals," Naughty Dog President Evan Wells wrote in a blog post.
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You asked, BMW listened: Android Auto compatibility is coming in 2020
Technology

BMW just dropped off the shrinking list of automakers that continue to resist Android Auto. The Munich-based automaker announced it will make wireless Android Auto available across most of its range of models in July 2020, and Digital Trends has learned that the feature will be free on every compatible car. The news comes shortly after BMW pledged to stop charging its customers an annual fee to use Apple CarPlay, Android Auto’s archnemesis.Android Auto will come standard on BMWs equipped with iDrive 7, the company’s latest infotainment system, and Live Cockpit, a digital instrument cluster that replaces analog gauges. The newest evolution of iDrive is either standard or optional on a long list of models, including the 3 Series, 5 Series, 7 Series, and 8 Series, as well as the X3, X5, X6, and X7. Motorists who want to replace the native infotainment system with an Android interface will need a compatible smartphone
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'The Matrix 4' premieres in theaters on May 21st, 2021
Technology

You didn't have to wait long to find out when the fourth Matrix movie will be ready. Warner Bros. has set the sequel's release date for May 21st, 2021, or right smack in the middle of blockbuster movie season. It clearly has confidence that the revived sci-fi franchise will pan out. Not only that, but the title is scheduled to arrive the same day as John Wick 4 -- if you can't get enough Keanu Reeves, you'll be in paradise.There still isn't much known about the plot of the fourth movie, although its cast is filling out. Reeves and Carrie-Anne Moss are still the only returning actors known to have roles. Neil Patrick Harris, Jessica Henwick (Nymeria from Game of Thrones) and Yahya Abdul-Mateen II (Us and Watchmen) are also slated to appear. Co-creator Lana Wachowski is also involved, although she'll share production and writing duties this time around. If there's any certainty, it's that expectations and anxiety are equally high. This could breathe new life into The Matrix and its visions of robot-controlled virtual worlds, or it could be another flawed attempt to cash in on a beloved classic.
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Best iPhone 11 cases
Technology

The iPhone 11 is a great budget flagship with top specs, so you'll want to keep it shiny and safe from bumps, scrapes and drops. If you want our advice, given all the phones we handle every day, one of the best things you can do with a new iPhone 11 is to secure it in a case.The iPhone 11 is certainly more affordable than most top-tier flagships, but it's still a financial investment - you're going to want to keep it around for years. It's still a quality phone with all-glass front and back, one bad drop could ruin those pristine surfaces - and make your phone harder to use, too.So if you need suggestions for cases, you're in the right place. We've put together a list of the best iPhone 11 cases you can get. Better this than having to tote around a splintered smartphone.We haven't had all of the iPhone 11 cases in our test labs yet, but based on our experts' opinion and knowledge of the most reputable brands around, we think these are worth looking at.
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Google and YouTube team to help protect people’s privacy during 2020 census
Technology

Google and YouTube have announced how they plan to jointly support the new option of completing the 2020 U.S. census online. The April 1, 2020, census will be the first time people will have the option of completing it online. Google and YouTube are trying to combat deceptive practices and the spread of misinformation about the census through new efforts and policies announced on Wednesday. These efforts include expanding YouTube’s deceptive practice policies to cover the census process.  Videos or comments on the platform that are aimed at misinforming viewers about any aspect of the census are not allowed. The U.S. Census Bureau is now a part of the YouTube Trusted Flagger program which encourages people to report any content that violates the new policy. Google touched on other efforts, including stricter ad policies for advertising that contains information about how to participate in the census. The search giant will also work to ensure that only legitimate emails from the Census Bureau are delivered through Gmail. Finally, it will engage with partner organizations and provide people with better transparency regarding census-related apps.
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Canva Uncovered: How A Young Australian Kitesurfer Built A $3.2 Billion (Profitable!) Startup Phenom
Technology

On a steamy May morning in 2013, Canva CEO Melanie Perkins found herself adrift on a kiteboard in the channel between billionaire Richard Branson’s private Necker and Moskito islands.Her 30-foot sail floating deflated and useless beside her in the strong eastern Caribbean current, the 26-year-old entrepreneur waited for hours to be rescued. As she treaded water, her left leg scarred by a past collision with a coral reef, she reminded herself that her dangerous new hobby was worth it. After all, it was key to the fundraising strategy for the design-software startup she’d cofounded with her boyfriend six years before.Canva was based in Australia, thousands of miles from tech’s Silicon Valley power corridor. Getting a meeting—much less funding—was proving tough. Perkins heard “no” from more than 100 investors. So when she met the organizer of a group of kitesurfing venture capitalists at a pitch competition in her native Perth, Perkins got to training. The next time the group met to hear startup pitches and potentially write crucial early-stage funding checks, she’d have a seat at the table—even if it meant having to brave treacherous waters.
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Why Utility Providers Must Invest In Early STEM Education
Technology

New technologies that enable the provision of greener energy to combat climate change are in high demand. Incorporating the best ideas to advance this goal requires inclusion of all voices, especially the voices of people from underrepresented groups. Equipping all people with education ensures that there are STEM professionals who can design and plan the grid of the future. As Vice President of Engineering and Smart Grid for the largest utility in Illinois, and one of the largest utilities in the nation, I know first-hand how important it is for utilities to investigate our role in filling these much-needed STEM positions.Policy makers, researchers, teachers and parents have found that children display readiness and engagement for STEM learning as early as kindergarten. If students are to maximize their STEM potential later in life, they need to be exposed to STEM activities and concepts at the earliest juncture. This exposure is imperative for all children, but is especially poignant for children from underrepresented or underserved communities. This is why the U.S. Department of Education recently announced its commitment to providing more early childhood STEM opportunities to these students.
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T-Mobile 5G Secrets Revealed: Here's Where It Doesn't Work Well
Technology

For people in many major metro areas, T-Mobile's new low-band 5G and its OnePlus 7T Pro McLaren phone will offer little advantage over 4G—unless the T-Mobile/Sprint merger goes through.T-Mobile's low-band 5G launched last week. I've been testing it with the McLaren phone—first in Maui, where it performed very well, and then in New York City, where it hasn't performed as well. T-Mobile's low-band 5G is most likely to benefit people in smaller cities and rural areas. In those places people could see significant speed increases. In 16 of the nation's top metro areas, T-Mobile's 5G will currently bring no benefit. It will bring relatively little benefit in 22 other major metros.This will change dramatically if the T-Mobile/Sprint merger closes. If that happens, the two T-Mobile low-band phones—the McLaren and the Samsung Galaxy Note 10+ 5G—will be able to use all of Sprint's 2.5GHz 5G airwaves as well as Dish's 600MHz airwaves, and that promises faster speeds in many cities within a few months. That said, you should still probably wait for the Samsung Galaxy S11 5G in February. That will be the first phone to handle the full "layer cake" of T-Mobile's 5G frequencies, including very fast, but very limited range millimeter-wave.
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Best iPhone 11 Pro and iPhone 11 Pro Max cases
Technology

If you've been enjoying your iPhone 11 Pro, you likely paid a pretty penny for it. While it's largely similar to last year's Apple phones, there's a conspicuous new camera bump housing three large lenses, which is marvelously part of one uninterrupted sheet of glass making up the rear cover. With a design that leverages so much glass, the last thing you'd want is for your phone to suffer a nasty fall that splinters the precision-smooth surface into a spiderweb of cracks and shards. That's where a case could - and really should - come in. The best iPhone 11 Pro case will protect your phone first and foremost, but great cases can go even further by adding extra functions, complementing the style, or even enhancing the look of your phone. We've sifted through the available options for the iPhone 11 Pro and iPhone 11 Pro Max to find the cases we believe will be the best options. Have a look at our picks to find the iPhone 11 Pro case that's right for you.
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Twitter Wants Social Media to Be More Like Email
Technology

Right now Twitter is controlled and maintained by one company. But imagine it opening up to encompass dozens, if not hundreds, of independent providers all running the social media service together.Twitter is now exploring this very idea. On Wednesday, CEO Jack Dorsey said he's funding a small independent team charged with developing an "open and decentralized standard for social media.""The goal is for Twitter to ultimately be a client of this standard," he said in a tweet thread.The announcement is somewhat stunning; in a sense, Dorsey is proposing killing off the old Twitter for a new open standard. However, the company is indicating that the current model of one company exclusively controlling Twitter may not be sustainable over the long-term.Twitter is funding a small independent team of up to five open source architects, engineers, and designers to develop an open and decentralized standard for social media. The goal is for Twitter to ultimately be a client of this standard. ??
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Spotify Premium users have one more chance to get a free Google Home Mini
Technology

Back in October, Spotify resurrected its free Google Home Mini offer, but expanded its reach by opening the offer up to all Premium Individual subscribers as well as Premium Family master account holders. The offer only lasted a few days, but if you happened to miss out the first time around, Spotify is giving us all one more chance to grab the free Google Home Mini smart speaker. Plus, Student accounts are eligible this time as well. Head to this page on Spotify’s website where you’ll be asked to link up your Google and Spotify accounts. Once you prove that you aren’t a robot, you’ll be redirected to Google’s online store, where you can choose between four colors of Google Home Minis: Coral, Charcoal, Chalk, and Aqua. With Saver shipping, I was able to complete my purchase for a grand total of $0, and my completely free Google Home Mini will arrive in the next two weeks.
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Twitter will no longer downgrade the quality of your JPEGs in tweets
Technology

Our favorite microblogging site is evolving and, from now on, is changing the way it processes JPEG image files that are uploaded to the platform in order to better preserve their quality.Twitter engineer Nolan O'Brien has announced – via a tweet, of course – that from now on, JPEG encoding will be preserved in images that have been uploaded by the web interface.Before this, JPEGs that were transcoded to 85% JFIF quality if the file was of higher quality, thus degrading them, something that has annoyed many creative users. However, there are some caveats still: previews and thumbnails (aka what you see on your Twitter feed) will still be transcoded and compressed. It's only when you click through to the full-size image that you will be able to tell the difference.EXIF data (information about camera settings, geolocation and date of image) will continue to be removed from uncompressed JPEG files, although bitmap encoding (color information stored as binary numbers) will be preserved.
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SoftBank-backed OneConnect slashes IPO by 28%, lowers target valuation
Technology

(Reuters) - Ping An Insurance’s OneConnect Financial Technology on Wednesday downsized its planned U.S. initial public offering by 28% and lowered its target valuation, dealing yet another blow to its investor SoftBank (9984.T), which is still reeling from the fallout of WeWork’s failed listing. OneConnect set a price range of $9 to $10 per share for its initial public offering of 26 million shares, down from the $12 to $14 per share range it had set earlier. The company also downsized the offering from 36 million American depositary shares (ADSs) to 26 million ADSs. OneConnect, a unit of China’s biggest insurer by market value, Ping An Insurance Group Co of China Ltd, counts Japan’s SoftBank and Japanese financial firm SBI Group as some of its main investors.
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AT&T is losing tons of customers, so of course it’s raising its prices again
Technology

Heads up, AT&T customers. We’re just a few weeks away from the start of a new year, which will bring changes to many of your DirecTV and U-verse TV packages, and that, unfortunately, will mean higher bills.In spite of the fact that, as noted by Ars Technica this week, AT&T also implemented a price increase this past January that contributed to a loss of almost 5 million TV customers since the end of 2016, the coming price hikes will include an increase of up to $8/month starting January 19 for DirecTV’s Premier plan that already costs $189/month. “Because our programming costs went up, we have to raise our monthly prices for select packages starting January 19, 2020,” AT&T explains in a notice, which you can read here. Among the changes to look out for, if you’re a DirecTV customer:
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Amazon on-time delivery slip reported after Cyber Monday sales surge
Technology

(Reuters) - On-time delivery rates fell for Amazon.com Inc van drivers in the latest week, consulting firm ShipMatrix said on Wednesday, but the online retailer said its performance was “far better than what’s being reported” even as it dealt with record Cyber Monday orders and regional winter storms. Amazon van drivers delivered 93.7% of U.S. packages on time during the week ending Dec. 7, down from 98.2% during the prior week that included Thanksgiving, ShipMatrix said. Amazon called the ShipMatrix data “inaccurate”. “Some deliveries were briefly impacted by weather but we worked quickly to re-balance capacity across our network,” spokeswoman Rena Lunak said in a statement. This holiday season is a crucial test for Amazon’s in-house delivery operations. Retailers are racing to secure sales with speedier delivery and other promotions. Amazon.com rolled out one-day shipping in April. A few months later, FedEx Corp canceled its air and home delivery agreement with the world’s leading online retailer.
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Hey @Jack Dorsey, decentralizing Twitter won’t solve your hate speech problems
Technology

Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey floated a compelling possibility on Wednesday: He wants to put together a team to explore decentralizing Twitter.The possibility is fascinating. A decentralized system could mean users would be able to define for themselves what they want to see on the platform. It could mean fewer ads and fewer algorithms that are designed to keep your eyes glued to your screen.But it could also mean that Dorsey is simply trying to deflect responsibility for Twitter’s persistent problems with harassment and abuse on the platform. It means that Twitter would no longer have to respond to allegations of proliferating hate speech.“It think this raises a fundamental question of what a decentralized social media experience would look like,” said Emma Llansó, the director of the Center for Democracy and Technology’s Free Expression Project. Llansó told Digital Trends she was glad to see Dorsey’s announcement, but that it was “hard to imagine” what a centralized platform like Twitter would look like after shifting to a decentralized protocol.
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Atomico VCs say that “everybody cares” in Europe about where the startup dollars are coming from
Technology

Today, on stage at TechCrunch Berlin, four of Atomico’s most senior partners took the stage together for the first time, flying into the city from London, Stockholm, and Geneva to talk about a wide range of issues. Among the many things we discussed were direct listings, secondary investments, and the firm’s sweet spot, which, despite its global reach, largely remains on pan-European companies and largely startups needing Series A stage funding, to which Atomico typically writes checks of between $5 million and $15 million in exchange for an ownership stake of between 15 and 20 percent.We also spent some time talking about the changing complexion of investors in Europe, where pension funds contributed just $902 million of the roughly $13 billion that investment firms in Europe raised last year, according to Atomico’s own research — and we discussed why more money came from outside of Europe to fund regional startups than within it.
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Verizon is bringing its 5G service to Newport News Shipbuilding
Technology

Verizon has been in a cutthroat competition with the rest of the major U.S. carriers to be the first to offer 5G service, and it has now claimed that title. The telecom giant has launched its cellular 5G network in select cities, meaning that with the right device and location, you can finally enjoy 5G speeds.According to Verizon CEO Hans Vestberg, 5G “has the potential to be one of the most transformative technologies that we’ve seen in a long time,” and he’s not wrong.But wait, what is 5G, anyway? The fifth generation of wireless networks, or 5G, has been nearly a decade in the making, and it’s finally becoming a reality. Promising dramatically faster speeds, instantaneous communication, and the ability to network everything, 5G has incredible potential. A limited rollout of the service began in select cities in 2018, and mobile 5G has started appearing in cities around the U.S., with much more comprehensive launches expected in 2020. For its part, Verizon began its mobile 5G launch in Chicago and Minneapolis in April.
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Two more Ring devices show up in new FCC filings ahead of CES 2020
Technology

Federal Communications Commission filings from Ring on Wednesday may indicate the imminent refresh of two products in the company’s smart home device lineup, this time a slightly redesigned Stick Up Cam Wired and Video Doorbell Elite. The moves come a little under a month ahead of CES 2020, where the company is expected to debut a wide array of both new and redesigned devices.Since FCC filings focus on the radio frequency aspects of devices, it’s hard to tell much about their functionality. We can say a few things about what we’re seeing, and from the pictures supplied, which we’ve shared below.Both devices will use both the 2.4GHz and 5GHz Wi-Fi bands. The moves fit a pattern of past filings, which have or had added the 5GHz band, such as the current generation Ring Doorbell Elite. While it’s purely speculation, this could be an effort to improve performance and video quality across the line.
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The Pirate Bay is launching an illegal streaming service of its own
Technology

Content creators have been trying to curb piracy for years, but that’s a war they’re not likely to win anytime soon.Services like The Pirate Bay, which are essentially portals to free movies, TV shows, music, games, books, and whatever else can be obtained in a digital format, aren’t dead. They may be taken offline every once in a while, but they still survive, in spite of the increasing popularity of streaming services that offer cheap and even free access to content. In fact, The Pirate Bay is now trialing a brand new type of service that is sure to infuriate copyright holders: High-quality video streaming that lets you watch content for free online. Many titles available on The Pirate Bay for download now feature a new icon, a “B” that lets users stream movies and TV shows directly in the browser. The server is called BayStream, TorrentFreak reports.
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Google Pixel 5: what we want to see
Technology

It's going to be a long wait for the Google Pixel 5 release, but that just means that the search engine giant has time to retool. While Google surprised everyone with the decidedly mid-range Pixel 3a and 3a XL, all eyes were on the Pixel 4 and 4 XL phones. When they launched in late 2019, we unsurprisingly loved their photo capabilities, but found they fell short in other areas. Those shortfalls give us ideas for what we'd like to see in the Google Pixel 5, and since there aren't any concrete leaks or rumors about the upcoming Pixel 5 devices just yet, we've taken this opportunity to make a wish list for Google's next flagship smartphone.The Pixel 4 and 4 XL were popular devices, but didn't get quite the enthusiastic welcome of the Pixel 3 devices, so the upcoming phones could be Google's opportunity to wow buyers who could benefit from what Google does best. Read on to discover where we think the Google Pixel 5 could succeed.
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Apple Releases MacOS Catalina 10.15.2: Remote Control Music, Password Problems Addressed, MacBook Pro Fixes
Technology

Apple has rolled out the second major update to MacOS Catalina, with version 10.15.2 of the operating system. No major new features are Included in the update, but a number of smaller areas have been addressed. including support for remote control of the Music and TV apps from your iPhone, bug fixes for Music, Mail and Photos, layout improvements for Apple News Plus, and more.Although Apple has not confirmed it, a number of users are reporting that this update of MacOS addresses the popping and crackling sounds coming from various MacBook and MacBook Pro speakers, including the new six-speaker configuration found in the 16-Inch MacBook Pro. The change log can be found at Apple’s support pages.How To Update MacOS CatalinaYou can find the update under the Apple Menu > System Preferences > Software Update to start the process. I would alway recommend doing a full backup of your data before any OS update.
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The best Samsung Galaxy S10 deals and plans for December 2019
Technology

The Samsung Galaxy S10 phone is officially here and available to order from a number of carriers. We've put together a list of the best Samsung Galaxy S10 plans and deals that are available now. The Samsung Galaxy S10 features a curved 6.1-inch Super AMOLED display with an HDR10+ certified Infinity screen that delivers a crisp, clear picture with accurate colors. The new S series screen goes edge-to-edge with the front-facing camera situated into a laser-cut hole in the top-right corner. The Galaxy S10's 10MP front camera features dual autofocus and has a triple-lens camera on the back. The powerful S10 packs 8GB of RAM and is available in 128GB or 512GB of storage. The battery also got an upgrade with a 3,400mAh battery that claims to last all day.Samsung Galaxy S10 deals are available now with a starting price of $899 (128GB) and are available from all the major carriers such as T-Mobile, AT&T, Sprint, and Verizon. All of the carriers below are offering different promotions with your purchase of the S10 which we've listed below in detail. Plus, Samsung is offering up to $200 an unlocked Galaxy S10 when you trade in an eligible device. We've listed all of the buying options below, whether you want to buy a Galaxy S10 deal from a mobile carrier on a contract or purchase it unlocked from a retailer, we've listed the best deals and contracts that are currently available.
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My One Big Fat Digital Technology Prediction For 2020
Technology

Yes, it’s that time of year, when we are bombarded with top-10 lists with all manner of technology predictions. Here, I will only bombard you with one single significant development for the year to come. For the year ahead, 2020, after many years of rising expectations, we see technology democratization come to fruition in a big way. That is, users — even those with the minutest technical training — will gain access to tools and data that they will be able to put to work in their daily jobs, without the need to run to their IT departments to set things up. Consider the forces making this democratization possible. There have been cloud solutions, apps and mobile technologies on the scene for some time now. So users have been able to do shadowy IT things, and enterprises have become accepting of that. Now, we also have a generation of so-called low-code and no-code solutions arriving on the scene, which provide a platform for non-tech types to assemble their own solutions — with IT watching the plumbing and security underneath, of course. Lately as well, artificial intelligence has been evolving as well, relieving IT departments from technical tasks and automatically provisioning technologies to those who need it, at the moment they need it.
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Make/receive calls from your PC with the Your Phone app, now available to all
Technology

Update: December 11, 2019 at 5:12 p.m. ET: Microsoft announced Wednesday on Twitter that the Your Phone app calling feature is now available to all supported devices — not just those in the Windows Insiders community.Download the Your Phone app at the link below.One big reason iPhone users stay within Apple’s ecosystem is that all of its devices communicate with one another. Microsoft’s Your Phone app helps bring similar connectivity between Android and Windows devices. And with its latest update, it’s better than ever.Android users can now sync their phone calls with their Windows computers. Right now, the feature is open to the Windows Insider community, but it should be available to everyone else soon.This new functionality allows users to answer, initiate, and decline Android phone calls from their computers. The app can also send a custom text to declined callers or send them directly to voicemail. Users can even transfer calls between their computers and smartphones on the fly.
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Mindset Matters: The Role Of Imagination In The Future Of Work
Technology

As 2019 draws to a close and we enter a new decade it is important to take pause and think about the future of work and how organizations and individual employees need to re-valuate their part in the changing definitions that are revolutionizing the tasks, strategies, and management styles that will define the work of the 21st century. The future of work in many ways is predicated on the vision of imagination. One of the great purveyors of imagination is Hollywood, and being that Hollywood serves as a conduit to help shape culture and imagine invented realities then can it be safely assumed that the entertainment industry should bear a certain responsibility and act as a champion for redefining the world of work of the digital age?Hollywood, in fact has taken an aggressive stance on championing the future of work by embracing inclusion and seeing the inherent value proposition it offers by providing content, building a valued workforce, and cultivating a pipeline of future talent to enhance their brand. Over the past several years Hollywood as an industry has embraced the power of art and commerce by understanding inclusion is not just a theoretical idea but a concept that makes sense across every facet of the industry and provides a foundation that enhances the long term health and value of its product. Hollywood has long understood that perception is reality and there finally catching up to the fact that they can wield that power to shape the future of the world of work and create new realities that enhance the potential opportunities for future workers and offer companies a revolutionary economic engine to be the standard in the business environment of the next century.
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Game Publisher Valve Removes Nazi Imagery From Steam User Profiles After Investigation
Technology

Topline: This week, game publisher Valve removed a number of Steam profiles and groups that featured Nazi imagery, slogans and pseudonyms, following an investigation by Germany's Media Agency Hamburg/Schleswig-Holstein (MA HSH).Key background: Like Facebook, Valve has struggled with its passive approach to regulating its communities. The company infamously changed how it curated games last year with a blog post that read, "We've decided that the right approach is to allow everything onto the Steam Store, except for things that we decide are illegal, or straight up trolling." A few months later, it added an Adults Only filter that requires the developer to write up the reason and context. Steam has 21 volunteer moderators and 13 staffers watching over the entire Steam platform, which has had 7,800 games added to its store this year.
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Japan Aims For An Air Mobility Revolution With Flying Taxis And Mobility As A Service
Technology

In 1893, Japanese entrepreneur Kokichi Mikimoto succeeded in creating the world’s first cultured pearls in the coastal city of Toba, Mie Prefecture. Mikimoto changed the world of jewelry and launched a new industry. Today, steps away from the island where Mikimoto created the pearls, Toba is aiming to launch another new industry: flying taxis to offshore settlements. Earlier this year, NEC showed off its eVTOL flying car concept, which hovered 3 meters off the ground for about a minute. These developments are part of a global push to develop autonomous aircraft that could become a $1.5 trillion market by 2040, according to Morgan Stanley Research.Connecting underserved communitiesKamome Hiroba, or Seagull Square, is a small park and ferry terminal that connects Toba to Toshijima, an island on Ise Bay with a population of about 2,000. It takes about 25 minutes to travel to the island from the port, a journey that could be significantly reduced with the introduction of autonomous air taxis in the next few years. Part of Toba Marine Terminal, Kamome Hiroba is now serving as a test field for drones. Another is Shima City a municipality about 20 kilometers to the south with a number of inlets, bays and inhabited offshore islands. Air taxis could simplify and accelerate transport in Shima, which played host to the Group of Seven (G7) summit in 2016.
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Emsisoft Anti-Malware Home review
Technology

Emsisoft is a New Zealand-based company which has been providing antivirus solutions since 2003, and now has products covering everything from regular home users to demanding business types via its Enterprise Console.Emsisoft's baseline product is Anti-Malware Home, a capable offering which uses two engines (Bitdefender's and Emsisoft's own) to detect and block viruses, ransomware, 'potentially unwanted programs' and more.The package is available in a free (for non-commercial use) version, which gets you on-demand scanning, but no real-time protection, and manual updates only.The commercial edition adds multiple real-time protection layers - anti-ransomware, behavior monitoring, blocking of phishing and other malicious URLs - along with automatic updates, and remote management from a web-based console.
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The Matrix 4: Everything we know about the upcoming Matrix sequel
Technology

Get ready to take the red pill again. Lana Wachowski, who co-wrote and co-directed the groundbreaking action film The Matrix and its two, less-well-received sequels, is currently prepping a fourth entry in the franchise — and yes, both Keanu Reeves and Carrie-Anne Moss are expected to return to play their iconic roles.Details about The Matrix 4 remain scarce, but the film does have an official release date of May 21, 2021, and a few high-profile cast members have been revealed. Here’s everything we know about The Matrix 4 so far.Just a few months after officially confirming the fourth installment of the franchise, Warner Bros. Pictures gave The Matrix 4 (as it’s unofficially being called) a release date of May 21, 2021.In an interesting bit of convergence (or possibly “Keanu-gence”), that date currently has the film premiering on the same weekend as John Wick: Chapter 4, Reeves’ other blockbuster franchise. It’s quite likely that one of the films will eventually be moved, given both franchises’ popularity.
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Blue Origin moves closer to human spaceflight with 12th New Shepard launch
Technology

Jeff Bezos -founded Blue Origin has recorded another successful mission for its New Shepard sub-orbital launch vehicle, which is a key step as it readies the spacecraft for human spaceflight. This is also the sixth flight of this re-used booster, which is a record for Blue Origin in terms of relying on and recovering one of its rocket stages.This is the ninth time that Blue Origin has flown commercial payloads aboard New Shepard, and each launch moves it one step closer to demonstrating the system’s readiness for carrying crew on board. This launch carried experimental payloads that will be used for research, including materials used in student studies. It also had thousands of postcards on board written by students from around the world, which were submitted to the Club for the Future nonprofit set up by Blue Origin earlier this year to provide educational resources about space to schools and students.
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Japan Display in talks for $830 million support from Ichigo: source
Technology

TOKYO (Reuters) - Struggling Japan Display Inc, a supplier to Apple Inc, is in talks to receive up to 90 billion yen ($830 million) in financial support from Ichigo Asset Management, a source with knowledge of the matter said on Thursday. Japan Display, which last month reported its 11th straight quarterly loss, said in a statement it was in talks with Ichigo for investment and planned to discuss reaching a basic agreement on fund procurement from the asset firm at a board meeting on Thursday. It added that the 90 billion yen figure was not something the company had announced. The source requested anonymity because the talks are private. Reporting by Makiko Yamazaki and Chris Gallagher; Editing by Sandra Maler
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8 of the worst open source innovations of the decade
Technology

Over the years, Linux and open source have been a master class on slow burn success. From out of nothing, Linux has become the champion of the cloud, IoT, and containers. And although it hasn't reached the "world domination" status it swore in the early 2000s, Linux desktop is still very much alive and building momentum.But that doesn't mean it's been all success; in fact, there have been a few stumbles along the way. Let's take a look at some of the worst open source failures of the decade. SEE: How to choose between Windows, macOS, and Linux (free PDF) (TechRepublic)The Steam Machine was going to prove gaming on Linux could succeed. They already had Steam running on Linux just fine, but Steam wanted more. To make that "more" happen, they developed the Steam Machine, a Linux-based gaming console with the purpose of transitioning PC gamers to the console. It failed. Even worse, it failed in such a way that no one knows why it failed. What should have been a sure thing faded into memory. 
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The Game Awards will run a 48-hour demo 'festival'
Technology

Public hands-on time at shows like E3 and PAX is great, but it's not much use if you can't be there in person. The Game Awards might have a simple solution for that problem: bring the show to you. It's introducing The Game Festival, an experimental event that will make demos for a dozen-plus indie games available through Steam for 48 hours starting on December 12th at 1PM Eastern. You might recognize some of the selections, including Nightdive's System Shock remake and Glass Bottom's charming-as-hell Skatebird.This won't scratch your itch if you're hoping to play a just-announced blockbuster. If this pilot works out, though, it wouldn't be surprising if larger studios (or at least more studios) used this as a way to provide peeks at games beyond the usual trailers. Think of it as continuing what Konami's P.T. started -- only this time you'll probably get the finished product.
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Netflix’s newest original is a scripted series about Spotify
Technology

Netflix today announced its plan for a scripted series about “Swedish music sensation Spotify.” The series, based on the book Spotify Untold, will focus on the company’s origin story as it rose from European unknown to household name during the heyday of music piracy.“The story of how a small band of Swedish tech industry insiders transformed music — how we listen to it and how it’s made — is truly a tale of our time,” said Berna Levin, executive producer of Yellow Bird, the producers behind the series. “Not only is this a story about the way all our lives have changed in the last decade, it’s about the battle for cultural and financial influence in a globalized, digitized world.”
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DataMatrix Medical review
Technology

DataMatrix Medical provides professional medical transcription services to the healthcare industry, and is US-based in White Plains, NY. It endeavors to provide ‘Virtual scribe’ services, allowing clinicians to increase their productivity, while maintaining a high level of quality in their documentation. It is more of a boutique service, with several hundred employees, and used by more than 250 medical practices and hospitals throughout the country. DataMatrix Medical not only offers medical transcription services, but a whole suite of related services, including billing, coding and document management.DataMatrix Medical makes it their core mission to reduce a major frustration for clinicians- the endless documentation and paperwork required to practice medicine these days. After all, nobody became a physician to sit in front of a computer and type notes all day, yet this is the reality in our current times with reports of physicians staying at their offices long into the night after office hours are done to complete their daily notes. Therefore, the core service of DataMatrix Medical is medical transcription, with the goal of reducing physician burnout.
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iPhone 11 and 11 Pro deals US: get the best prices for December 2019
Technology

The September 10 Apple Event unveiled the highly anticipated iPhone 11 and iPhone 11 Pro smartphones. The latest iPhone is officially available to order today from all major carriers and retailers like Walmart and Best Buy. To help you wade through all the different plans, we've listed the best iPhone 11 and iPhone 11 Pro prices and deals that are available in the US today. The Apple iPhone 11 features a 6.1-inch LCD display, while the iPhone 11 Pro comes with a Super Retina XDR OLED display in either a 5.8-inch or 6.5-inch size. The iPhone 11 and 11 Pro both have updated camera hardware with a Wide and new Ultra-Wide camera on the back of the iPhone 11 and Wide, Ultra Wide and Telephoto cameras on the iPhone 11 Pro. The multi-camera system allows you to capture ultra-wide photos and videos, and even "zoom-out" after a photo is taken to see more of the captured image. The front-facing camera on all new models is now an upgraded 12MP TrueDepth camera that can capture wider angle and even slow-motion selfies. The battery received an upgrade with Apple stating that the iPhone 11 provides a one hour longer battery life compared to the XR, the Pro offering four more hours of battery life when compared to the XS, and the Pro Max offering 5 hours more battery life compared to last year's XS Max. All the new phones feature the A13 Bionic chipset which Apple claims is the fastest processor ever in a smartphone. The iPhone 11 comes in six new color choices which include black, white, yellow, purple, green, Product Red and the 11 Pro and 11 Pro Max is available space gray, silver, and gold, as well as a new midnight green option. The iPhone 11 has a starting price of $699 for the 64GB storage model which is actually $50 cheaper than the iPhone XR was on launch last year. The 64GB iPhone 11 Pro is priced at $999, and the 64GB iPhone 11 Pro Max is priced at $1,099, which is the same price as the XS and XS Max when they launched last year in the US.
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Facebook, Google, Apple Sink In ‘Best Place To Work’ Rankings; Microsoft Rises
Technology

Facebook was seventh, Google was eighth, and Apple rocked number 71 in last year’s Best Places to Work ranking by Glassdoor.But in the current survey, all of them dropped. Facebook is now 23 and Apple dropped an unlucky 13 slots to land at 84. Google survived the big tech shakeup least worst, dropping slightly to eleventh place. Clearly, big tech has had a tough year, with privacy, antitrust, and political controversy issues clinging to all the tech giants.All except one, that is.Microsoft actually jumped 13 places to finish at number 21. In other words, CEO Satya Nadella is doing wonders to not only drive the resurgent software giant’s revenue and stock price ... he’s also significantly enhancing employee morale.The current top 10, according to Glassdoor:Just out of the top 10: Google, of course, as well as LinkedIn. Salesforce hit number 34, while Adobe was ranked 39. Apple, of course, was a somewhat humiliating 84, while Intel rounded out the top 100 in the very last position. But another big tech company that is often in the news, Amazon, didn’t even make the top 100.
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Best wireless chargers 2019
Technology

The best wireless charger you can buy in 2019 is going to be a Qi charger - the de facto standard that can wirelessly charge any modern iPhone, Samsung phones, Pixel 4 and every major smartphone that supports wireless charging. That part is easy.Much harder is deciding which is the best wireless charger of all. We’ve tested the top wireless chargers on the market to give you the pros and cons of each, along with our personal recommendations, to give you final answers - and a variety of choices, too.As anyone who’s bought a Qi-charging-capable phone can attest, you don’t just get a first-party charger in the box – you’ll have to venture out and buy one yourself. Aside from Samsung, none of the major phonemakers even produce their own.Our list is full of names you’ll recognize: Belkin, Anker, Mophie, and other recognizable names - along with a couple you might not have. They won’t juice up your devices as fast as wired chargers, but they’re handy when you don’t want to keep plugging your phone in.
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How Did This Senegalese Scientist Meet Prince William? Turtles!
Technology

In late November, Tomas Diagne a turtle biologist from Senegal received a big surprise in a theater in London – he had just won the 2019 Tusk Award for Conservation in Africa, presented by Prince William.According Diagne says that winning the award and meeting the second-in-line to the British throne was not the crowning achievement of his more than 20 year career working with turtles in Africa. “This recognition shows that we are on the right path, but there is still a lot of work to do.”Diagne says the £20,000 ($US 26,000) prize will go towards African Chelonian Institute, which he founded and is a learning and research center for various turtle species in West Africa. According to Diagne, his journey to turtle science started early on in his life. By 23, he had already founded a non-profit aimed at rescuing Sulcata tortoises. The captive breeding and release program is still going on today in Noflaye, Senegal.
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‘Disney Plus’ was Google’s top US trending search term in 2019
Technology

Google today released its annual “Year in Search” data that takes a look back at some of the most notable searches of 2019. Specifically, Google looked at the biggest trends — meaning, search terms that saw the largest spikes in traffic over a sustained period in 2019 compared to 2018. In the U.S., Disney’s new streaming service “Disney Plus” was the biggest search trend of 2019, followed by Cameron Boyce, Nipsey Hussle, Hurricane Dorian, Antonio Brown, Luke Perry, Avengers: Endgame, Game of Thrones, iPhone 11 and Jussie Smollet.“Game of Thrones” was also the biggest U.S. TV show search trend of the year, followed by Netflix’s “Stranger Things” and “When They See Us,” then HBO’s “Chernobyl” and Disney Plus’s “The Mandalorian.”
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Hack into 2020 with the Ethical Hacking Bundle
Technology

According to Gartner, worldwide cybersecurity spending was due to reach $124 billionin 2019 alone. If you want a piece of this action, the Complete Ethical Hacking Course can be your guide. It’s available for only $12.75 with our holiday promo code.To beat a hacker, you have to learn to think like one. This hands-on learning kit includes 29 hours of instructor-led content on how to diagnose and defeat different types of attacks. You’ll practice the skills and techniques used in real hacking with an in-depth lab scenario.Not only can you use your skills to protect friends and family, but you can also turn them into a job at top companies. Online retailers like Amazon rely on skilled ethical hacking teams every single day to protect their customers, and you’ll have the Python skills to run with the experts.
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Amazon on-time deliveries slip as record Cyber Monday strains system
Technology

(Reuters) - On-time delivery rates fell for Amazon.com Inc van drivers during the week ended Dec. 7, when the world’s top online retailer was slammed with record Cyber Monday orders and regional winter storms, consulting firm ShipMatrix said on Wednesday. Amazon van drivers delivered 93.7% of U.S. packages on time during Cyber Monday week, down from 98.2% during the prior week that included Thanksgiving, ShipMatrix said. This holiday season is a crucial test for Amazon’s in-house delivery operations. The season is the shortest since 2013 and retailers are racing to secure sales with speedier delivery and other promotions. Amazon.com rolled out one-day shipping in April. A few months later, FedEx Corp canceled its air and home delivery agreement with online retailer.
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The Game Awards—Gaming’s Oscars—Will Feature Free Game Demos On Steam
Technology

Topline: The Game Awards, an annual show that's slowly growing into the industry's version of the Oscars, will leverage its growing audience and host an online games festival that will feature over a dozen free game demos on Steam for 48 hours before disappearing.Crucial quote: Game Awards founder Geoff Keighley: "Let’s face it: Not everyone can attend a physical trade show or consumer event. The Game Festival is designed from the ground-up as an event without barriers, extending the benefits of a physical event to the global gaming community that watches the Game Awards.”
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YouTube Bans Insults Based on Race, Gender and Sexual Orientation—But Is Met With Skepticism
Technology

Topline: YouTube tightened its harassment policy on Wednesday to bar “veiled or implied threats” and malicious insults based on someone’s race, gender or sexual orientation—but the move was met with skepticism from prominent creators who doubt the company’s ability to enforce the new rules.Key background: The changes come six months after YouTube faced a firestorm of criticism for how it handled Steven Crowder, a creator who for months targeted Vox journalist Carlos Maza with insults such as “Mr. lispy queer from Vox,” “angry little queer” and “gay Mexican.” YouTube decided that Crowder did not violate its policies against harassment and hate speech, but it did demonetize his channel. At the same time, YouTube has made efforts to combat videos promoting white supremacy and other egregious examples of hate speech, but media reports have found that the company has been inconsistent. Forbes reported in June that videos meant to educate viewers about the Holocaust were swept up in stricter hate speech policies. In August, a group of creators filed a lawsuit against the company for discriminating against LGBTQ creators. And YouTube has been accused of treating high-profile creators more leniently.
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How Can A Liberal Arts Degree Lead To Financial Success?
Technology

How can a liberal arts degree lead to financial success? originally appeared on Quora: the place to gain and share knowledge, empowering people to learn from others and better understand the world. Answer by Kristen Moon, Founder & CEO at Moon Prep, on Quora:Pursuing a liberal arts degree isn’t always a quick path to financial success. Looking at first-job salaries, people with liberal arts degrees tend to earn lowerthan people in fields like nursing, computer science, or accounting. Studies have shown that in the first five years after graduating, someone with a science degree will make about $15,000 more than someone with a degree in the humanities. The gap grows even more at the ten-year mark, with the science grad making $38,000 more. Because of the seemingly bad reputation of humanities degrees in the workforce, some people are mocked and ridiculed for choosing a liberal arts degree over a higher-paying STEM degree.
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Microsoft’s FastSpeech AI speeds up realistic voices generation
AI/ML

State-of-the-art text-to-speech models can produce snippets that sound nearly human-like on first listen. In point of fact, they underpin the neural voices available through Google Assistant, as well as the newscaster voice that recently came to Alexa and Amazon’s Polly service. But because most of the models share the same synthesis approaches in common — this is, they generate a mel-spectrogram (a representation of a sound’s power) from text and then synthesize speech using a vocoder (a codec that analyzes and synthesizes voice signals) — they suffer the same shortcomings, namely slow inference for mel-spectrogram generation and skipped and repeated words in synthesized speech.In an attempt to solve these and other text-to-speech-related challenges, researchers from Microsoft and Zhejiang University developed FastSpeech, a novel machine learning model that they detail in a paper (“FastSpeech: Fast, Robust and Controllable Text to Speech“) accepted to the NeurIPS 2019 conference in Vancouver. It features a unique architecture that not only improves performance in a number of areas compared with other text-to-speech models (its mel-spectrogram generation is 270 times faster than the baseline and its voice generation is 38 times faster), but that eliminates errors like word skipping and affords fine-grained adjustment of speed and word break.
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Report: Palantir took over Project Maven, the military AI program too unethical for Google
Technology

Palantir, the surveillance company founded by Peter Thiel, has unsurprisingly stepped up to fill the void left behind after Google abandoned Project Maven earlier this year over ethical concerns.Project Maven, for those unfamiliar, is a Pentagon program to build an AI-powered surveillance platform for unmanned aerial vehicles. Basically, the job is to build a system for the US military to deploy and monitor autonomous drones.This system would, supposedly, give the government real-time battlefield command and control and the ability to track, tag, and spy on targets without human involvement. The limited, unclassified information available makes it appear as though the project stops just short of functioning as an AI weapons system capable of firing on self-designated targets as they become available in the battle space.
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9 of the biggest open source stories in 2019
Technology

The year is 2019. Although cries of "world domination" still echo in the hallowed halls of Linux land, everyone knows this great event will have to wait for another year, but that doesn't mean all those who are invested in open source need to hang their heads in shame. Failure was never an option, and it wasn't an issue--not in the year of subtle takeover.If I have to give 2019 a title for open source, it is just that--subtle takeover. Why? Because subtle things happened, many of which will have reverberations for years to come. Let's take a look at the some of the moments that defined the year for Linux and open source.SEE: Top five open source Linux server distributions (TechRepublic Premium)
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CEO of GM's Cruise driverless vehicle unit hints at offering low-cost shared rides
Technology

(Reuters) - The chief executive of autonomous vehicle company Cruise signaled on Wednesday the General Motors Co (GM.N) subsidiary intends to offer shared rides “at a radically lower cost” as part of a bid to move eventually “beyond the car.” Dan Ammann, former president of the largest Detroit automaker and now the CEO of Cruise, wrote in a blog post that to “make order-of-magnitude — rather than incremental — improvements in transportation, we need to build alternatives that are superior to the status quo in every way.” The post was headlined “We Need to Move Beyond the Car.” Cruise’s mission, he said, is to “reduce congestion through making shared rides more compelling by providing an awesome experience at a radically lower cost.” Only then, “will we truly move beyond the car to the transportation system that we deserve.”
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iPad sale at Best Buy: the all-new 10.2-inch Apple iPad gets an $80 price cut
Technology

If you're looking for a price cut on the all-new iPad, then you've come to the right place. Just ahead of holidays, Best Buy has the 10.2-inch Apple iPad on sale for $249.99. That's an $80 discount and the best price we've found for the 32GB tablet. The all-new iPad was released in September and includes Apple's powerful A10 Fusion chip and 32GB of storage. The tablet features a 10.2-inch Retina display that is now able to support a full-sized smart keyboard. The updated tablet runs on iPadOS, which allows for seamless multitasking and the use of the Apple Pencil. The iPad also includes a 1.2MP front-facing camera and has the voice-assistant Siri built-in. This Apple tablet would make an excellent gift idea for anyone on your list, and this is a fantastic deal for a recently released iPad. We don't know how long Best Buy will have the tablet on sale, so you should take advantage now before it's too late.
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Gtmhub raises $9M from CRV after posting 400% ARR growth in the last year
Technology

This week Gtmhub announced a $9 million Series A led by CRV. The investment was not a large round, even for an A. But the capital found its way into one of the fastest-growing SaaS companies that we’ve spoken with recently, which made it interesting all the same.And, the firm was willing to talk about its financial performance in some detail. The combination made its Series A impossible to ignore.TechCrunch caught up with Gtmhub’s CMO Seth Elliott this morning to learn more. Let’s start with OKRs. Objectives and key results, better known as OKRs, are a method for organizational planning. They are famous thanks to their roots in Google’s success, but have since broken free of the technology world and become a well-known planning method for corporations of all sizes and types.
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US Mobile debuts all-new unlimited plans, includes free streaming subscriptions
Technology

There is no shortage of prepaid mobile plans out there. Though many of these are quite affordable, some of them don’t offer unlimited talk, text, or data. For those of us that have grown accustomed to using these freely, this can be a hard thing to get used to. Thankfully, one of the best prepaid providers — US Mobile — now offers an unlimited plan, and it comes with some sweet perks.US Mobile’s new unlimited plan costs only $40 a month, which includes 50GB of unhindered 4G LTE goodness. Users who go over that line may see throttled speeds in some cases, but that’s true for nearly all unlimited plans. For only $5 extra per month, users can add hotspot functionality to their plan, and another $5 will increase their data speeds even more.Related:The best prepaid phonesOn top of that, when customers add multiple lines to their plans, US Mobile will throw in some of the best streaming services and subscriptions for free. With each added line, users choose from an increasing list of options for up to three free services.
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BBC iPlayer stops working on some Samsung TVs
Technology

A software glitch is preventing the BBC's iPlayer streaming service from running on many of Samsung's smart TVs.Affected owners are being advised to download a software update.But the patch does not work on some older models, which will have to wait until next year to get a separate fix.The BBC has said that it expects thousands, but not tens of thousands, of screens to be unable to use its catch-up service over Christmas as a consequence.Samsung said the problem had been caused by "security certificates" expiring on Sunday. These are bits of code used to verify that the software on the TVs has permission to access iPlayer's library of content.The BBC said the South Korean firm was supposed to have provided a firmware update to its TVs before this happened.
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Cisco Systems Goes Big On The ‘Next’ Internet
Technology

Cisco Systems launched a strategic initiative today to bring unprecedented scale to next generation networking and the Internet, dubbed the “Internet for the Future.” I would like to provide insights and summarize the three key components of the new strategy: custom silicon, optics and software enhancements. Our principal analyst Patrick Moorhead attended the event in San Francisco and I watched the spectacle on video. He will be doing a deeper drill-down on the new silicon, so stay tuned for that. Silicon supporting programmability, performance, and ease of use Custom silicon is transforming the IT industry and Cisco is no different. In fact, Cisco has a long track record in demonstrating custom silicon leadership. So why is that important? Custom silicon provides the ability to bring programmability into networking infrastructure and unlock future upgradability. Custom also means that it is unique—nobody else has it. From my perspective, “Cisco Silicon One” takes this to the next level. Cisco claims that this is the first networking silicon architecture of its kind, and is initially integrating it into its 8000 series carrier class routers. What’s important to note is that this will serve as the foundation for its product roadmap for the next decade, with its support for 10 Tbps and performance designed to deliver massive bandwidth, power efficiency and scalability. What I find powerful about One is its unified approach, eliminating the traditional use of multiple chips across networks and the infrastructure itself. The benefit to operators is consistency, which should equate to ease of management and accelerate the deployment of new applications and services. The proof is in acceptance, and Cisco reports it is in active trials with its 8000 Series with familiar names such as Comcast, Deutsche Telekom and Microsoft, among others. Google was quoted in its press release as well.
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Two New Breast Cancer Drugs Show Promise In Early Trials
Technology

People with advanced HER2-positive breast cancer may soon have some new treatment options after two experimental drugs performed well in clinical trials. Around 15-20% of people with breast cancer have cells positive for HER2, meaning that they can be treated with drugs which directly target the HER2 protein, most commonly trastuzumab (also known as Herceptin), often in combination with chemotherapy. Around 80% of HER2-positive patients survive for 10 years or more, with most of these people having no signs of disease after this time. However, many people still experience resistance to treatments and the cancer often spreads, meaning new treatment options are urgently required.The new research, featuring separate studies of two novel therapies for HER2-positive breast cancer, trastuzumab deruxtecan (T-DXd) and tucatinib, was presented today at the San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium.
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There’s a secret reason that Waze is so much better than Google Maps
Technology

Google is the owner of not one but two incredibly popular mapping and navigation apps, including Google Maps, which was developed in house, and Waze, which Google acquired for $1 billion in 2013. The two apps could not be more different, with Waze being the preferred navigation system for many drivers who appreciate the app’s brilliant crowd-sourced incident reporting features. Google has been trying to offer the same functionality inside Google Maps, an app that can better harness Google’s search power and actually make more money for the company. But that might not be enough to make you switch to Maps anytime soon. Just the other day, we told you about a brand new type of incident report that’s now supported in Waze, which Google Maps should totally copy, and it’s a feature you’ll only get to appreciate in winter. Waze will now warn you if the road ahead hasn’t been plowed, allowing you to avoid potentially dangerous routes or routes that can slow you down. Moreover, users will be able to provide unplowed road reports in real-time, which could help authorities better deal with snowy days going forward.
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How to tune up your business travel habits to make the journey easier
Technology

I often joke with my wife that until clients are willing to hop on a plane and come to me, I'm likely facing several more years of slogging through airports and hotels. As leaders, we're responsible for teams, partners, and vendors that might span a couple of cities or continents, making travel a significant part of our jobs. Many of us suffer through travel with little thought, but it's worth taking a few moments to examine and optimize travel habits to make it a bit easier. Here are a few tips and practices that help me survive more than 100 flights and associated hotels, trains, and taxis each year.SEE: Build your public speaking skills and advance your career (TechRepublic download)At least once a year, and ideally on a quarterly basis, dump out your travel bags and examine their contents. Those dozen business cards from the 2003 convention and the flattened protein bar that expired two years ago are obvious candidates for the trash bin. But you'll also likely find empty pens, incompatible power adapters, and a small pile of cruft that you've been lugging around for months. You may also find items that you bring on every trip but rarely use. Each item you remove is a few grams less stuff to carry, and your back will thank you.
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iOS 13.3 provides parental control over how kids communicate
Technology

The new iOS 13.3 update brings parental controls to track and limit how much time your child talks on the phone, FaceTimes, or text messages, as well as control your kid’s contact list. Communication Limits lets parents better manage how much time their kids spend on the phone by limiting how long they’re allowed to talk to their friends on the phone on a weeknight, for instance, or banning them from text messaging while they should be studying.The feature also allows you full control over the contact list so you can see who communicates with your child. Parents can use the “Allowed Screen Time” feature to choose “everyone” or “contacts only” when it comes to who can communicate with your child via phone, FaceTime, text message, or iCloud.The new Communication Limits feature is just one of many Screen Time iOS functions meant to limit the amount of time we are spending on our phones and our favorite apps, which also double as a means for parental control. 
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Google groups news results by story to show you relevant articles
Technology

Google is making it a little easier to sift through news stories -- and potentially find more informative stories in the process. It's rolling out a search feature that uses AI to organize news articles by story in carousels. This not only helps you focus on a specific topic, but increases the chances that you'll see stories with different or deeper perspectives. You might be at less risk of trapping yourself in a news bubble.The news reorganization is available now, starting with mobile devices for English speakers in the US. It'll reach other countries and languages in the "coming months."Google's shuffle comes as part of a larger effort to promote quality news and otherwise burnish its search engine's reputation amid mounting concerns about misinformation. This isn't just about improving your experience, in that light. It's also meant to please governments worried about political meddling and publishers who have a less-than-friendly relationship with Google.
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Top Apple insider: Next year’s 5G iPhones won’t see a big price increase
Technology

We’re still almost a year out from the release of Apple’s next iPhone models, and already the 2020 iPhone 12 lineup is shaping up to be the most expansive that Apple has offered yet. Coming on the heels of the release of three new models in 2019, one report has already hinted that Apple might release as many as six distinct iPhone 12 models next year.The reason why that’s the case can be boiled down to one thing: 5G. That’s according to Rosenblatt analyst Jun Zhang, who we noted on Monday is predicting that most iPhone 12 models will come in two variants — one with 4G and one with 5G. Meanwhile, the top Apple insider in the world has followed that up with his own take on what the impact of 5G will be on one specific aspect of Apple’s iPhone 12 lineup, and that aspect is price.
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Chrome Password and Phishing Protection Gets Much Stronger
Technology

If you use Chrome for browsing the web, expect your passwords to come under much closer scrutiny from now on.As the Google Security Blog explains, Chrome has had breached password warnings for a while via a Passowrd Checkup extension, and it has been built into Google Accounts since October. However, Chrome 79 removes the need for the extension and turns it into a core feature of the browser. So now, when you enter any username and password, Chrome can automatically check to see if the credentials have been exposed as part of a past breach.Google stores every breached username and password as a "strongly hashed and encrypted copy of the data" on its servers. Every login performed through Chrome 79 onwards will automatically trigger Password Checkup to send your details, which are also hashed and encrypted, to Google. A check is then carried out to see if they appear in Google's recorded breach data and the user is informed/encouraged to change passwords if their data has been exposed.
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Spotify is the star of Netflix's latest series
Technology

While we wait for Aaron Sorkin to pen a sequel to The Social Network, Netflix hopes to tide people over with a story about another tech startup gone global. On Wednesday, the company announced it's making a new original series based on Spotify and its co-founders Daniel Ek and Martin Lorentzon.There aren't a lot of details about the project just yet. Specifically, Netflix hasn't said whether the end result will be a docu-series or dramatized account. The latter seems more likely given what the company has said about the project and that Yellow Bird UK, the production company that's filming the series, has a pedigree in drama.Netflix did say it will shoot the as of yet untitled series in both English and Swedish. In fact, Netflix has obviously gone out its way to involve a lot of talent from Spotify's home country. The company has tagged Per-Olav Sørensen, who worked with Netflix on Quicksand, to direct the production. The script will also draw inspiration from Spotify Untold, a nonfiction account of the company's rise by Swedish business journalists Sven Carlsson and Jonas Leijonhufvud.
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Why explainable AI is indispensable to Zillow’s business
AI/ML

Zillow, an online marketplace that facilitates the buying, selling, renting, financing, and remodeling of homes, employs lots of AI technologies to do things like estimate home prices. But the output of AI systems like these can be opaque, creating a “black box” problem where practitioners and customers can’t audit the systems properly. Without transparency, serious problems like algorithmic bias can persist undetected, and trust in the models becomes impossible.For obvious ethical reasons, this is why explainable AI (XAI) is so crucial to the creation and deployment of AI systems, but pragmatically, it’s also key to the success of AI-powered products and services from companies like Zillow.
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HBO, Twitch, and other streaming apps may come to Tesla’s dashboard
Technology

Tesla models already have a slew of special infotainment features, but even more in-car streaming services and video game streaming might become available to Tesla owners in the future.  Twitter user @greentheonly, who is a Tesla owner and hacker, tweeted his discovery in the carmaker’s operating system on Tuesday, December 10, according to Teslarati. He found premium streaming apps like HBO Go, HBO Now, and Comedy Central, as well as popular gaming platforms like Twitch and Mixer. These additional video streaming services would join YouTube and Netflix, which are already apart of Tesla’s Premium Connectivity package. The premium package costs Tesla owners $10 a month and includes other features like the satellite view navigation system and live traffic data. The streaming service compatibility debuted with the V10.0 software update in September. Known as Tesla Theater, you can only access Netflix and YouTube videos if the car is in park and is connected to Wi-Fi. This could be to occupy drivers and passengers while waiting for their car to charge at a charging station. Still, Tesla CEO Elon Musk has said that Tesla owners would be able to access these streaming platforms while the vehicle is moving in the coming years based on pending government regulations. 
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Exclusive: ING working on digital assets custody technology - sources
Technology

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Dutch bank ING is working on developing technology to help clients safely store digital assets, according to people familiar with the matter. The custody project, which is being run out of Amsterdam, is still in its early days and is one of the bank’s several initiatives around blockchain, the technology underlying cryptocurrencies, the sources said. ING “sees increasing opportunities with regard to digital assets on both asset backed and native security tokens,” the bank said in a written statement to Reuters. ING is particularly focused on developing the technology behind digital assets to give its clients a compliant way to access the emerging sector, it added. The project comes as established financial companies look into offering custody and other services for both cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin, as well as other types of digital assets.
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Symbolic Egyptian Head Cones Were A Reality, Archaeologists Find
Technology

Depictions of cone-like objects on the heads of ancient Egyptians have been the subject of debate by archaeologists for decades. Interpretations have ranged from perfumed fat for an anointing ritual to a representation of a deceased person’s essence known as their ba. Until now, though, no actual head cones had ever been found in Egyptian cemeteries.Writing in the journal Antiquity, an international group of scholars that includes Anna Stevens (Monash University), Corina Rogge (Museum of Fine Arts Houston), Jolanda Bos (Archaeology & Heritage Consultancy), and Gretchen Dabbs (Southern Illinois University) have published the first ever physical evidence of people wearing these head cones.The city of Akhetaten (modern Amarna) was created around 1350 BC by the ruler Akhenaten, formed specifically to celebrate the sun god Aten. Since 2005, archaeological excavation has focused on the cemeteries which, although looted in places, have provided fascinating glimpses into funerary ritual of the time.
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Many smart home device makers still won’t say if they give your data to the government
Technology

A year ago, we asked some of the most prominent smart home device makers if they have given customer data to governments. The results were mixed.The big three smart home device makers — Amazon, Facebook and Google (which includes Nest) — all disclosed in their transparency reports if and when governments demand customer data. Apple said it didn’t need a report, as the data it collects was anonymized.As for the rest, none had published their government data-demand figures.In the year that’s past, the smart home market has grown rapidly, but the remaining device makers have made little to no progress on disclosing their figures. And in some cases, it got worse.
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WhatsApp will sue businesses for abusing bulk messaging
Technology

Getting a barrage of bulk messages is one of the most annoying parts of modern messaging services, but now WhatsApp says it is taking additional measures to prevent people and businesses from abusing its system with bulk and automated messaging.Though WhatsApp offers a Business app and API to help companies more easily communicate with customers, the company says using these tools to send out bulk or automated messages is against its Terms of Service.WhatsApp messages are end-to-end encrypted, but the company can still identify abuse to some degree using unencrypted information – such as profile photos or user reports – and AI. The company says it’s stopped “millions of abusive accounts” from running on its service.
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Oculus is rolling out its expanded social VR features
Technology

Along with Quest hand tracking, one of Facebook's big announcements at Oculus Connect 6 in September was a batch of social VR features. You'll get to try them over the coming days, as Oculus is starting to roll them out.They include messaging with your Oculus pals, along with photo and video sharing and livestreaming to Facebook. You can create events to set up a time to play games with your buddies or arrange meetups, and form parties that all your Oculus friends can join (parties were invite-only until now). Your Facebook friends will also be able to group up with you in VR when you send them links via Messenger.Oculus says to use these features -- and existing ones such as joining parties, adding friends and visiting people's Homes -- it'll ask you to sign in with Facebook, which powers the social interactions. Facebook has updated the Oculus Privacy Policy to clarify that.
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HubSpot tops Glassdoor's 100 Best Places to Work in 2020 Awards
Technology

  For the first time, Boston-area HubSpot was named the top large company to work at in Glassdoor's 12th annual Employees' Choice Awards, which honors theBest Places to Workin 2020. The social media marketing software firm beat out last year's top-ranked company, the management consultancy Bain & Co. in the job and recruiting site's awards.SEE: Managing Millennials: A guidebook (free PDF) (TechRepublic)There were 31 tech companies named for 2020, up from 29 in 2019, according to Glassdoor Senior Economic Research Analyst Amanda Stansell. Companies that moved down the list from last year included: Google (#11; dropped three spots), Facebook (#23; dropped 16 spots), and Apple (#84; dropped 13 spots).
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Twitter plans to build a 'decentralized standard' for social networks
Technology

(Reuters) - Twitter Inc plans to set up an independent research group to create an “open and decentralized standard” for social media networks, a model which the microblogging platform aspires to follow, Chief Executive Officer Jack Dorsey said on Wednesday. Centralized solutions are struggling to meet many new challenges faced by social networks, including large scale content moderation, Dorsey said, adding that the new standard will not be owned by any single private corporation. "Centralized enforcement of global policy to address abuse and misleading information is unlikely to scale over the long-term without placing far too much burden on people," he tweeted hereTwitter Chief Technology Officer Parag Agrawal will be in charge of hiring a lead for the research team, called Bluesky, Dorsey said, while acknowledging that the project would take many years to complete.
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How Does Aerial Imaging Help Agriculture?
Technology

What can aerial imaging do for agriculture? originally appeared on Quora: the place to gain and share knowledge, empowering people to learn from others and better understand the world.Answer by Rob Newman, CEO & Managing Director at Nearmap, on Quora:The use cases for agriculture are interesting. I’m not an expert in this area but here goes..Since all of our imagery is tied to the date of capture, the historical archive of imagery can be analyzed to detect change over time leading to more effective monitoring of drought conditions, the growth of crops and the need for resources to manage those crops. A lesser known application has to do with laws around when specific crops can and can’t be grown which is especially true in drought prone areas. As a result, government regulatory agencies use Nearmap to identify non-compliance.
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Studio Wishlist: Top Picks for Offbeat Home Recording Gear
Technology

If vinyl's comeback and subsequent staying power is a testament to the allure of analog technology in the home audio world, perhaps the similarly timed resurgence of analog synthesizers is the, well, analog to vinyl's comeback in the recording world.In the 1970s, analog synths from manufacturers like Moog, ARP, and Sequential Circuits had a heyday...and then a May Day. By the 90s, digital synths and effect processors widely replaced analog models, and while there were plenty of solid digital synthesizers made during this time (and there are still plenty being made now), they often lacked the hands-on, joy-of-discovery element that made working with analog synths so much fun—and the analog warmth that also made them sound so fantastic.Thanks in part to the rejuvenation of Moog Music, the manufacturer founded by electronic instrument pioneer Bob Moog, musicians young and old are getting back into analog synths, as well as modular and semi-modular setups, in a way not seen since the 70 and 80s. For those (like me) who yearned for the return of the analog synths instead of having to rely purely on "vintage" synths that cost an arm and a leg (and are often in less-than-stellar condition), it's an incredibly exciting turn of events.
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Sproutt raises $12 million to find your best life insurance policy with AI
AI/ML

Life insurance isn’t as popular as it once was, despite the fact that a majority of people consider it to be important. Over 80% of consumers agreed in a recent survey that people need a life insurance policy, yet just 62% say they have one themselves. In fact, only 44% of U.S. households held individual life insurance as of 2010 — a 50-year low — compared with the 72% of Americans who owned life insurance in 1960.A New York- and Hartford, Connecticut-based startup hopes to reverse the trend with a novel service that rewards policyholders for making smart lifestyle choices. Dubbed Sproutt Insurance, it’s the brainchild of insurance tech company Akitbo CEO Yoav Shaham, who nearly two years ago set out to blend analytics and health insights with AI to match people with life insurance providers.
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Twitter lets you upload iOS Live Photos as GIFs at last
Technology

Twitter is offering iOS users another way to get more out of Live Photos by letting you turn them into GIFs "anywhere you upload photos on Twitter." It's not clear whether this'll work for Pixel motion photos as well. Engadget has asked Twitter for clarification.While it's nice to have another way to use Live Photos, Twitter's a touch behind the curve here. Apple introduced Live Photos on iPhone 6s in 2015. That same year, Tumblr and Facebook started allowing people to share them on their platforms, while Google's iOS app has been able to convert them into GIFs since 2016. In 2017, Apple offered a way to embed Live Photos on any website.Twitter's useful Live Photos feature arrives alongside other changes to how it handles images. It'll also preserve JPEG encoding on photos of up to 16 megapixels you upload via the web, instead of transcoding them (which impacts image quality).
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Education’s Role In Influencing The Next Generation Of Healthcare Models Around The World
Technology

As education continues to evolve and develop its curriculum and programs to prepare students with 21st century skills, the industries that will employ them are also looking to improve their learning and training practices. Social-emotional learning (SEL), problem solving, and other “soft skills” emphasized in today’s classroom environments are now highly sought after in the professional development provided by businesses and organizations. Recent research by Harvard’s David Deming even suggests that soft skills will soon outweigh hard skills in workplace importance. According to Deming, although STEM jobs will continue to hold steady, fields with significant interpersonal interaction will see the most considerable growth.Healthcare is one of the fields with the highest levels of interpersonal demand. As health facilities and institutions look to improve, they find themselves leaning into education models to enhance professional learning, best practices, safety, community, and patient and provider outcomes. The adoption of SEL models made popular in classroom environments may prove helpful in alleviating the increased stress facing healthcare professionals.
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Deal Alert: Amazon Has Apple Airpods Pro Discounted Right Now
Technology

They're the hottest noise-cancelling headphones on the market right now and, if you act fast, you can get $14 off if you buy them today on Amazon. It may not seem like a huge discount, but considering their runaway popularity and the fact that they're brand new and considering Apple is impossibly stingy when it comes to discounts, any deal is a welcome one. AirPods Pro are the newest, hottest Apple accessory right now and for good reason. Despite the fact they cost nearly $100 more than AirPods with a charging case, they're the first Apple earbuds to feature active noise cancellation (ANC). Here are a few of my favorite tips when using them. 1. Flip open the case to check the batteryOne of my favorite things about the AirPods Pro is the deep integration with iOS 13. Along those lines, whenever you flip open your paired AirPods Pro case, and you’re looking at your paired iPhone or iPad, you’ll see a pop-up graphic that lets you know how much battery life is left in the case and the pods themselves. Handy!
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AMD's new Radeon software offers game streaming away from home
Technology

AMD is finishing 2019 with a big software update, particularly for gamers who'd rather not leave their PC games at home. It just released Radeon Software Adrenalin 2020, and the most eye-catching feature is support for game streaming to phones over the internet, not just the local WiFi network. This is far from a new concept, but still helpful if there's a slower-paced game you'd like to play during your commute. The feature is already enabled for Android devices and should come to iOS on December 23rd.If you are playing at home, you'll notice some big differences. It now sports a revamped interface that serves as a central hub for launching games, streaming to social sites, checking for driver updates and other common tasks. You can even browse the web, and the software is context-sensitive to ensure you're getting relevant controls.
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Here are the five Startup Battlefield finalists at Disrupt Berlin
Technology

Fourteen startups presented on-stage today at Disrupt Berlin, giving live demos and rapid-fire presentations on their origin stories and business models, then answering questions from our expert judges.Now, with the help of those judges, we’ve narrowed the group down to five startups working on everything from productivity to air pollution.These finalists will be presenting again tomorrow (at 2pm Berlin time, viewable on the TechCrunch website or in-person at Disrupt) in front of a new set of judges. The winner will receive $50,000 and custody of the storied Disrupt Cup.Here are the finalists:

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