Amazon dreams of putting a giant drone beehive in your city
Jun23

Amazon dreams of putting a giant drone beehive in your city

Share on Facebook.Share on Twitter.Share on Google+Share on StumbleUponShare on Twitter. Patents don’t mean anything right up until the moment that they mean everything, so take it as read that none of this could happen. Amazon has, however, registered a patent for a concept that it’s calling a “Multi-Level Fulfillment Center for Unmanned Aerial Vehicles.” Which is a fancy way of saying that it wants to build enormous cylindrical warehouses at the heart of towns and cities. Rather than delivery folks driving parcels to your home, the building will be jam-packed with drones, which fill fly in and out of the location’s many windows. As much of an eyesore as it would be, Amazon’s idea does solve a few fairly obvious problems with being a logistics company in a city. After all, warehouse space requires plenty of land, which is at a premium in a dense urban environment. A vertical building would eliminate some of that issue, while robots and human pickers roam the floors selecting the right Blu-ray for the drone to collect. Hell, imagine the dystopias, a few generations later, as post-apocalyptic humans worship those shining towers that provide food and clothing with its army of flying robots. Via: CNET, Mercury News Source: USPTO Share on Facebook.Share on Twitter.Share on Google+Share on StumbleUponShare on Twitter.Follow @DailyTechWhip Source: Engadget - Read the full article...

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You'll never play 'Super Mario' like this
Jun23

You'll never play 'Super Mario' like this

Share on Facebook.Share on Twitter.Share on Google+Share on StumbleUponShare on Twitter. You have a lot of Super Mario games to choose from, but you’ll probably never be able to play one of the most fun versions out there. That’s because it was created as an unofficial augmented reality game by developer Abhishek Singh for the Microsoft HoloLens. It’s a first-person AR game, to be exact, so you’ll literally have to walk and jump around to avoid virtual pipes, step on Goombas and chase mushrooms. Singh told CNET that the thought of recreating a whole Super Mario Bros. level struck him while learning the basics of HoloLens development, because why not? Singh used Unity 3D to create the level and recorded the video below entirely through HoloLens without post-production. He said the hardest part of the process was tweaking the game to work in a large outdoor environment, since HoloLens wasn’t exactly designed for physically big games like that. We say all that effort’s worth it, especially if you can find a Mario (or Luigi) costume to complete the experience. Obviously, Singh can’t release the game due to copyright reasons, though CNET says he’s considering giving the code to other gamemakers. As for the rest of us? Well, we at least have Super Mario Odyssey to look forward to. Via: CNET Source: YouTube Share on Facebook.Share on Twitter.Share on Google+Share on StumbleUponShare on Twitter.Follow @DailyTechWhip Source: Engadget - Read the full article...

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The Morning After: Friday, June 23rd 2017
Jun23

The Morning After: Friday, June 23rd 2017

Share on Facebook.Share on Twitter.Share on Google+Share on StumbleUponShare on Twitter. Welcome to your Friday morning. As we prepare to phone in the rest of the day, read about how a lensless camera is possible with math, how car buyers aren’t quite sold on autonomous vehicles, and how one company’s working on a Photoshop for your voice. Math and optical sensors instead of a lens. Caltech’s lensless camera could make our phones truly flat While phones get thinner, there’s one spot that keeps sticking out: the camera lens. Taking good pictures and being able to focus at multiple distances requires a layer of glass that’s a certain size, but there’s really no getting around it — or is there? Researchers at Caltech have devised an “optical phased array” chip that uses math as a substitute for a lens. By adding a time delay — down to a quadrillionth of a second — to the light received at different locations on the chip, it can change focus without a lens. ‘Final Fantasy’, ‘Hyper Light Drifter’ and more are at least half off.The latest Steam summer sale might leave you broke The first of twelve days of discounted titles includes the Final Fantasy franchise and 70 percent off underwater indie charmer Abzu. Hyper Light Drifter has been discounted by half as well, and if you wanted to explore Mafia III‘s world of crime and violence, you can do so for $15. Who needs the outdoors? You’re probably still better off with a Moto G5. Motorola’s new Moto E4 isn’t exactly thrilling, but it’s cheap Motorola is as well known for its budget phones as it is for flagships, so no one was surprised when it revealed its fourth-generation Moto E, earlier this month. Motorola’s E line always felt like a curiosity, as though the company was challenging itself to build a phone for as little as possible without turning it into a smoldering pile of garbage. Its track record speaks for itself: Motorola does fine work on the cheap, and that hasn’t changed. The frills here are few, but after a little hands-on time, the Moto E4 seems to be a strong option for just $130. Facebook’s testing a profile-picture guard in India. It’s trying out a feature that stops profile-photo theft In India, Facebook has begun testing new tools that prevent anyone from sniping your profile picture for who knows what purpose. If you live in the country, you might see an option to turn on “profile-picture guard” next time you visit your News Feed. When you have the guard up, other people will no longer be able to save...

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YouTube's 2017 lineup of Red Originals includes six new shows
Jun23

YouTube's 2017 lineup of Red Originals includes six new shows

Share on Facebook.Share on Twitter.Share on Google+Share on StumbleUponShare on Twitter. Other than its innovated VR180 format and YouTube TV expansion, Google’s video streaming site found time to mention its subscription package during Vidcon 2017. For 2017 the YouTube Red Originals lineup has a mix of new series on the way including an eSports comedy from Dan Harmon (Community) called Good Game starring Game Grumps personalities Dan Avidan and Arin “Egoraptor” Hanson, and its first reality series, Lace Up: The Ultimate Sneaker Challenge. As far as renewals, we knew of a cancellation for PewDiePie’s show, but one of Red’s first shows, Foursome, will return for a third go-round, alongside four other returning series and one movie sequel. YouTube also finally dropped a number showing some of the activity on its service, saying its originals have notched “nearly” a quarter billion views. After the break, check out a quick teaser trailer for the new shows plus more details on all of them. NEW TO YOUTUBE RED: RYAN HANSEN SOLVES CRIMES ON TELEVISION*: ​This action-comedy is set in a world where the LAPD thinks it’s a good idea to form a task force partnering actors with homicide detectives so they can use their “actor skills” to help solve murders. Starring Ryan Hansen (“Veronica Mars,” “Party Down”) who plays himself and guest star Samira Wiley (“The Handmaid’s Tale,” “Orange Is The New Black”) as his no-nonsense partner Detective Mathers, the series features a who’s who of broadcast and cable television stars playing bizarro versions of themselves including, but not limited to, Joel McHale Jon Cryer and Kristen Bell. Rawson Marshall Thurber (“Central Intelligence,” “We’re the Millers,” and “Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story”) serves as the director, writer, creator and executive producer of this super meta half hour comedy procedural which is as much about Hollywood as it is an action-comedy cop show. The series is executive produced by Thurber, Scott Stuber, Beau Bauman, Krysia Plonka and Tracey Baird. DO YOU WANT TO SEE A DEAD BODY?: ​This comedy series follows comedian Rob Huebel (“Childrens Hospital,” “Transparent”) and his celebrity friends who begrudgingly join him on adventures that see them frolicking at the beach, getting tacos, …oh…and seeing a dead body. Celebrity guest stars include Adam Scott, Judy Greer, Terry Crews, Craig Robinson, and John Cho along with many more. Huebel, Owen Burke, Nick Jasenovec, and Jonathan Stern serve as executive producers. ​The series is being produced by Abominable Pictures and Funny or Die. GOOD GAME: ​The worlds of eSports and comedy collide in GOOD GAME, a new scripted series from Starburns Industries, Dan Harmon’s Emmy Award-winning production company. The series follows a...

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Virgin Media: Change your Super Hub 2 password or risk being hacked
Jun23

Virgin Media: Change your Super Hub 2 password or risk being hacked

Share on Facebook.Share on Twitter.Share on Google+Share on StumbleUponShare on Twitter. Typically, internet routers are designed to protect you and your devices from malicious third parties. But when many come with a default username and password, they can leave owners open to attack. That’s the message consumer website Which? is pushing today, after it found that Virgin Media’s Super Hub 2 routers can be hacked if users don’t change the original credentials (normally printed on the back). Virgin Media says the risk is “small” but is urging over 800,000 customers to change the details to protect themselves. The investigation focused on the security of various popular smart home gadgets. Which? created its own smart home and asked ethical security company SureCloud to go to town. As well as targeting the gadgets, researchers used freely available tools to probe the router and obtained its original password within a couple of days. As the Super Hub 2’s administrator pages also ship with a common username and password, SureCloud was able to obtain complete access to the target network. Virgin Media says that the issue isn’t unique to the company’s routers and affects other hubs that are around the same age. A Virgin Media spokesperson said: “The security of our network and of our customers is of paramount importance to us. We continually upgrade our systems and equipment to ensure that we meet all current industry standards. “To the extent that technology allows this to be done, we regularly support our customers through advice, firmware and software updates, and offer them the chance to upgrade to a Hub 3.0 which contains additional security provisions.” Currently, there are around 864,000 Super Hub 2 routers in UK homes, although that number is falling as Virgin Media upgrades customers to the Super Hub 3. The newer router utilises 12 character passwords, which are a mix of cases and numbers. The default Hub 2 offers 8 characters from a standard lowercase A-Z alphabet. Where it took a couple of days to crack the Super Hub 2 password, Which? says doing the same on the current model would take over 250 million years. Source: Which? Share on Facebook.Share on Twitter.Share on Google+Share on StumbleUponShare on Twitter.Follow @DailyTechWhip Source: Engadget - Read the full article...

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Nissan teases self-driving features for the next-gen Leaf
Jun23

Nissan teases self-driving features for the next-gen Leaf

Share on Facebook.Share on Twitter.Share on Google+Share on StumbleUponShare on Twitter. The next generation Leaf EV will be the first with ProPilot driver assist in North American and Europe, and Nissan has just showed how that will look. Activated by a button on the steering wheel, it can control steering, braking and acceleration, but only in a single freeway lane. The driver can see exactly what’s going on with the aid of a fancy animation front and center in the largely digital dashboard. Automakers’ self-driving systems will always be compared to Tesla, whose Autopilot is the most advanced available commercially. In Nissan’s case, the ProPilot will help with boring highway cruising, but is a far cry from the semi-automatic Autopilot. Tesla’s system can change lanes, match traffic speeds, automatically exit a freeway, self-park when near a parking spot and do canny emergency braking. . However, we’ve ridden along with Nissan while it tests a future version of the ProPilot, and seen the potential for autonomous city driving. Nissan wrote that it “will offer increasing levels of autonomy, with the system eventually able to navigate city intersections” and more in the coming years. It didn’t say whether Leafs would automatically be updated to get new self-driving features, like Teslas do. Either way, the demo is a good sign that the EV is on track. Nissan is supposed to show off the production model in September, with shipping starting by the end of the year. It’s expected to have a 60 kilowatt battery that’s good for a 200 mile range, double what the current model can do. Source: Nissan Share on Facebook.Share on Twitter.Share on Google+Share on StumbleUponShare on Twitter.Follow @DailyTechWhip Source: Engadget - Read the full article...

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IBM-powered DNA sequencing could find bacteria in raw milk
Jun23

IBM-powered DNA sequencing could find bacteria in raw milk

Share on Facebook.Share on Twitter.Share on Google+Share on StumbleUponShare on Twitter. Babies love milk. Adults love milk-based products. You know what else loves milk? Good and bad bacteria. It’s the ideal medium for bacteria growth and could cause various food-borne illnesses, especially if consumed in raw, unpasteurized form. Researchers typically just test the milk supply in the US for specific pathogens or harmful bacteria and viruses, but IBM and Cornell University want to take things a step further. They plan to create new analytical tools that can monitor raw milk — that’s milk straight out of the udder — and instantly detect any anomaly that could turn out to be a food safety hazard. To be able to build those tools, they first need to be intimately familiar with the substance and the microorganisms that tend to contaminate it. They’ll sequence and analyze the DNA and RNA of dairy samples from Cornell’s farm, as well as of all the microorganisms in environments milk tends to make contact with, including the cows themselves, from the moment it’s pumped. Their tests will characterize what’s “normal” for raw milk, so the tools they make can easily tell if something’s wrong even if it’s an unknown contaminant we’ve never seen before. This project however, is just the beginning. They plan to apply what they learn to other types of produce and ingredients in the future in order to ensure that they’re safe for consumption, especially if they were imported from abroad. Martin Wiedmann, Gellert Family Professor in Food Safety, from Cornell University said in a statement: “As nature’s most perfect food, milk is an excellent model for studying the genetics of food. As a leader in genomics research, the Department of Food Science expects this research collaboration with IBM will lead to exciting opportunities to apply findings to multiple food products in locations worldwide.” Share on Facebook.Share on Twitter.Share on Google+Share on StumbleUponShare on Twitter.Follow @DailyTechWhip Source: Engadget - Read the full article...

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Tesla is laying the groundwork to build cars in Shanghai
Jun22

Tesla is laying the groundwork to build cars in Shanghai

Share on Facebook.Share on Twitter.Share on Google+Share on StumbleUponShare on Twitter. If you’ve been waiting to pull the trigger on one of Tesla’s electric vehicles, the upcoming Model 3 probably looks pretty appealing. The car promises 215 miles per charge, ample seating, the tech for autopilot and it starts at just $35,000. Well, unless you’re in China — where imported vehicles get slapped with a 25-percent tariff. That fee is potentially disastrous to both customers’ ability to buy Tesla vehicles in china and the company’s bottom line. That’s probably why Elon Musk’s electric vehicle company is now talking with the Shanghai municipal government about opening a local manufacturing facility. It’s a move that the company has been planning for a long time. Musk mentioned building a factory in China as far back as October of 2015, outlining the plan as a way to significantly reduce costs for Chinese buyers. According to Bloomberg, the company has already signed a deal with the city to build facilities in the Lingang development area — but it would need to cut a deal with a local company before it could begin. As a foreign company, Telsa would only be allowed to own 50-percent of any joint venture built in China. Tesla hasn’t hinted at who it might partner with, or when it could start producing vehicles in China — but it seems like a smart and inevitable move for the company. According to Musk, a local factory could cut costs to consumers by as much as a third. That would be a big deal for Chinese customers. Source: Bloomberg, Reuters Share on Facebook.Share on Twitter.Share on Google+Share on StumbleUponShare on Twitter.Follow @DailyTechWhip Source: Engadget - Read the full article...

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Sling TV extends cloud DVR to iOS devices
Jun22

Sling TV extends cloud DVR to iOS devices

Share on Facebook.Share on Twitter.Share on Google+Share on StumbleUponShare on Twitter. Sling TV’s cloud DVR service is now available for iPhone and iPad. The streaming service’s DVR “First Look” option costs an additional $5 per month and gives you 50 hours of DVR storage. The iOS devices now join the growing list of DVR-supported systems, which includes AirTV players, Amazon Fire TVs and tablets, Android TVs and mobile devices, Apple TVs, Roku™ streaming players and TVs, Xbox consoles and Windows 10 devices. Sling TV began beta testing its cloud DVR option last year and started rolling it out to users in April. This month, the feature got an upgrade with an added option to protect recorded shows from being deleted. However, there are still a number of channels that don’t allow DVR recordings. Those channels are ABC, Freeform, Disney Channel, Disney XD, Disney JR, ESPN, ESPN2, ESPN3, ESPN Deportes, ESPN Goal Line, ESPN Buzzer Beater, ESPN Bases Loaded and the SEC Network as well as any on-demand only channel. An app update released today will enable the new service on iOS devices for those with the “First Look” subscription. Source: Sling TV (iTunes) Share on Facebook.Share on Twitter.Share on Google+Share on StumbleUponShare on Twitter.Follow @DailyTechWhip Source: Engadget - Read the full article...

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Tesla is reportedly trying to build its own music streaming service
Jun22

Tesla is reportedly trying to build its own music streaming service

Share on Facebook.Share on Twitter.Share on Google+Share on StumbleUponShare on Twitter. Tesla has continued to one-up its achievements as a successful proprietor of safe, green and increasingly autonomous electric vehicles. But it might venture out from the niche its carved for a much more saturated market: Streaming audio. Music industry sources told Recode that Tesla has been in talks with major labels to create a proprietary service that it would bundle with its cars. However ready Tesla might be to jump headfirst into the plan is unknown, as are any details beyond possibly offering multiple tiers of service beginning with a Pandora-style online radio. Without more than these rumors, though, it’s hard to see why Tesla would jump into a saturated market when it could just license Spotify or Apple Music. Starting a whole new side business seems foolish, especially in a niche where a service like Tidal can have major financial backing and artist exclusives yet still struggle to stay afloat. Or where Pandora, the first huge internet radio service, just launched its streaming on-demand service back in March to tepid applause. As Recode points out, Tesla’s new offering would have an uphill battle against the current titans: last they checked, Spotify claimed to have 50 million subscribers, while Apple Music alleged its userbase at 27 million. Source: Recode Share on Facebook.Share on Twitter.Share on Google+Share on StumbleUponShare on Twitter.Follow @DailyTechWhip Source: Engadget - Read the full article...

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FCC may fine robocall spammer $120 million for illegal spoofing
Jun22

FCC may fine robocall spammer $120 million for illegal spoofing

Share on Facebook.Share on Twitter.Share on Google+Share on StumbleUponShare on Twitter. Everyone hates those robocalls that target our phones to sell things we don’t need. They’re universally reviled, with Republicans backing legislation for ringless voicemail, the FTC offering a $25,000 reward for anti-robocall tech and AT&T and Burner both creating automatic robocall blocking systems for their customers. Now, an individual robocall scammer is facing a $120 million proposed fine from the FCC for his massive caller ID spoofing operation. According to an FCC press release, the scammer, Adrian Abramovich of Miami, is in trouble for allegedly making 96 million illegally-spoofed robocalls across a three-month period to see timeshares. The fine is based on the 80,000 spoofed calls the FCC has been able to verify. It was TripAdvisor that started the investigation as the travel company began to get complaints about robocalls originating from the scammer back in 2016. A medical paging provider, Spōk, also complained to the FCC about similar calls that were also traced back to Abramovich. Apparently, the scammer used a technique called “neighbor spoofing.” The caller ID of such calls matches the area code and the first three digits of the recipient’s phone number, which is more likely to be answered than calls that simply match the area code. This goes against The Truth in Caller ID Act of 2009, which prohibits spoofing to “cause harm, defraud, or wrongfully obtain anything of value,” according to the FCC. So far, Abramovich has only been given a citation, which warns the violator that if the practices continue, they may be subject to additional fines. Source: FCC Share on Facebook.Share on Twitter.Share on Google+Share on StumbleUponShare on Twitter.Follow @DailyTechWhip Source: Engadget - Read the full article...

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Google urges Congress to revise outdated overseas data laws
Jun22

Google urges Congress to revise outdated overseas data laws

Share on Facebook.Share on Twitter.Share on Google+Share on StumbleUponShare on Twitter. Access to data stored overseas has become a contentious issue with tech companies and the US government. Today, in a speech given to the Heritage Foundation, a conservative think tank, Google’s senior vice president and general counsel, Kent Walker, urged Congress to update the laws concerning this topic. On this front, Microsoft scored a major victory last year. A New York court ruled that the company had to release data stored on servers located in Ireland, but that was later overturned by a federal appeals court. In January of this year, the court narrowly decided not to rehear the case and the US Justice Department has until the end of this week to appeal the decision to the Supreme Court. But after the decision in the Microsoft case, other courts reached opposing rulings in similar trials. In February, a US District Court in Pennsylvania ruled that Google had to comply with an FBI warrant to hand over data stored on an overseas server. And additional cases involving Google and Yahoo came to similar conclusions in Wisconsin, Florida and California. After the ruling against Google in Pennsylvania, a brief written in support of the company was filed by Apple, Amazon and Microsoft. In it, they make a statement that speaks to Walker’s announcement today. The document says, “Equally troubling, it invites foreign nations to reciprocate by likewise demanding that local offices of US technology companies turn over US citizens’ private communications stored on US soil,” and adds, “Only Congress can update the Stored Communications Act to reflect the new technological landscape while at the same time appropriately balancing relevant interests. Congress should promptly do so; but until it does, courts may not extend the SCA to reach data stored in another sovereign country.” Similar to those statements, Walker today urged Congress to change relevant laws, making it clear what tech companies are to do when faced with government requests for data. He also proposed that the US should allow countries that commit to privacy and human rights to directly request data from US companies without have to first consult with the US government. Walker added that oppressive regimes should not be eligible. Whether Congress will take action is unclear, but the EU is currently working on a similar legal reboot. Source: Reuters Share on Facebook.Share on Twitter.Share on Google+Share on StumbleUponShare on Twitter.Follow @DailyTechWhip Source: Engadget - Read the full article...

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Airbnb to target wealthy customers who prefer luxury hotels
Jun22

Airbnb to target wealthy customers who prefer luxury hotels

Share on Facebook.Share on Twitter.Share on Google+Share on StumbleUponShare on Twitter. Airbnb keeps expanding its core disruption with new features to help increase its audience. The company has made it easier for business travelers to find a room with the Airbnb app and has tried its hand at tour guiding with a new activity suggestion feature. Now the room-sharing company is reportedly looking at ways to attract customers who would rather book at high-end luxury hotels. According to Bloomberg, the new premium service is expected to launch as a pilot with a “select group of hosts as soon as this week.” The full service could roll out by the end of this year. To qualify for this select status, hosts will need to allow Airbnb inspectors to check and make sure that their rental space meets a specific set of quality standards. If their homes pass muster, they’ll reportedly be eligible for a featured section on Airbnb’s website and mobile apps. A source close to Airbnb confirmed the new pilot program and told Engadget that the company’s internal work has identified consumers who are slightly older and have never used Airbnb as a significant growth opportunity. They said that internal research shows that business and family travelers want more space, kitchens, yards, laundry and want to stay in unique neighborhoods. Airbnb thinks the key to unlocking this type of audience is to focus on quality. The hotel industry has already been feeling the pinch from the home-sharing service, and have been promoting local experiences and pursuing legislation that could limit Airbnb’s expansion. A new high-end service like this one could attract wealthier, older customers who may prefer to stay in guaranteed nicer accommodations. Via: The Independent Source: Bloomberg Share on Facebook.Share on Twitter.Share on Google+Share on StumbleUponShare on Twitter.Follow @DailyTechWhip Source: Engadget - Read the full article...

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Use emoji to search Kayak for travel deals
Jun22

Use emoji to search Kayak for travel deals

Share on Facebook.Share on Twitter.Share on Google+Share on StumbleUponShare on Twitter. The inevitable march to replace words with emoji continues apace, with the world granting more legitimacy to the cartoony mini-images. Last month, an Israeli court ruled that they counted as enough “intent” in a civil case to turn the tide in one side’s favor. But today is for you, travel fiends: Kayak now lets you search for destinations by emoji. Most of the first ten emoji Kayak’s search engine will recognize make sense: The Statue of Liberty translates to New York City, sushi means Tokyo, a three-leaf clover for Dublin, a slot machine for Las Vegas. Others are abstract jokes, with the rabbit emoji surfacing Chicago’s O’Hare Airport (har har) and the red light klaxon bringing up Amsterdam (get it?). Kayak is putting the next batch of 15 emoji-location pairings up to a vote, so head over if you want to elect a city you hate to surface when someone searches with the poop emoji. Or you can wait until T-Rexes and Zombies enter the emoji equation. Source: Kayak Share on Facebook.Share on Twitter.Share on Google+Share on StumbleUponShare on Twitter.Follow @DailyTechWhip Source: Engadget - Read the full article...

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YouTube's 'VR180' format works on screens and in headsets
Jun22

YouTube's 'VR180' format works on screens and in headsets

Share on Facebook.Share on Twitter.Share on Google+Share on StumbleUponShare on Twitter. At today’s Vidcon event, YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki rolled out a new format for videos, called VR180. Intended to split the difference between 360/VR formats and standard videos, it lets creators shoot videos that are immersive when viewed in a virtual reality headset, but still have a normal perspective for anyone watching on their 2D computer screen or phone. The Daydream team is apparently working with Lenovo, LG, and YI Technology to build new cameras that will record in the format, which creators will be able to edit using tools like Adobe Premiere. Source: YouTube Blog Share on Facebook.Share on Twitter.Share on Google+Share on StumbleUponShare on Twitter.Follow @DailyTechWhip Source: Engadget - Read the full article...

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Log off now before today’s Steam’s summer sale leaves you broke
Jun22

Log off now before today’s Steam’s summer sale leaves you broke

Share on Facebook.Share on Twitter.Share on Google+Share on StumbleUponShare on Twitter. Your wallet is about to get a bit lighter. Or, if you lack self-control, a lot lighter. That’s because over the next 13 days games on Steam will be marked down dramatically during this year’s summer sale. The first crop includes up to half off the Final Fantasy franchise and 70 percent off underwater indie charmer Abzu. Hyper Light Drifter has been discounted by half as well, and if you wanted to explore Mafia III‘s version of the Luisiana bayou, now it’ll only cost you around $15. And back on the indie track, Transistor from the team at Supergiant games (Bastion) has been drastically reduced, from $19.99 all the way down to $2.99. And we’d be remiss for not mentioning the Diablo-esque Torchlight 2 is only $5 at the moment. Of course, each of the next 12 days will see different sales, so it’ll be best to keep your browser locked on the Steam homepage. You wouldn’t want to miss the chance to buy a game you’ll never actually play, would you? Source: Steam Share on Facebook.Share on Twitter.Share on Google+Share on StumbleUponShare on Twitter.Follow @DailyTechWhip Source: Engadget - Read the full article...

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You may be jailed for telling someone to ‘die in a fire’
Jun22

You may be jailed for telling someone to ‘die in a fire’

Share on Facebook.Share on Twitter.Share on Google+Share on StumbleUponShare on Twitter. Words can kill, a Massachusetts Juvenile Court judge decided last Friday, when he found 20-year old Michelle Carter guilty of involuntary manslaughter in the 2014 suicide of her then-boyfriend, Conrad Roy III. This decision, with its broad interpretation of the manslaughter statute, could potentially pose long-lasting consequences for how we speak to each other online and how cyberbullying is addressed by social media platforms. According to the prosecution, Carter spent the two weeks before Roy’s suicide texting him encouragement to kill himself. On July 12th, 2014, Roy drove to a remote Target parking lot and filled the cab of his truck with carbon monoxide from an external generator. He reportedly called Carter while the truck filled with fumes. At one point, Roy changed his mind about committing suicide and exited the cab but went back in at Carter’s urging. She then listened to him slowly die without calling emergency medical services for help. What’s more, the prosecution only learned of this phone conversation only from texts sent between Carter and a friend weeks after the incident. While courts have generally treated suicide as an act of free will, Judge Lawrence Moniz decided last week that Carter’s actions (and subsequent inaction) influenced Roy’s thinking enough to warrant her liability in his death. According to Massachusetts state law, involuntary manslaughter is defined as “an unlawful killing that was unintentionally caused as the result of the defendant’s wanton or reckless conduct” and is punishable “by imprisonment in the state prison for not more than 20 years or by a fine of not more than $1,000 and imprisonment in jail or a house of correction for not more than two-and-one-half years.” This ruling is not sitting well with the Massachusetts branch of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU). “It presents a number of problems, both from the criminal-justice standpoint and from a freedom-of-speech standpoint,” ACLU of Massachusetts Legal Director Matthew Segal said. “For criminal justice, this is a very aggressive charge. You don’t have to believe that what Ms. Carter said is appropriate. In fact, you can believe that what she said was awful and still believe that it isn’t manslaughter.” Professor Robert Weisberg, faculty co-director at the Stanford Criminal Justice Center, isn’t so sure. “I think it’s a perfectly plausible interpretation of the involuntary-manslaughter statute,” he said. “The attraction of it for the prosecutor was that, although we now have lots of very specific cyberbullying statutes in various states, there’s nothing in our homicide statutes, generally, which limits the crime to a particular way of causing death. You have to cause...

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FCC proposes ‘Blue Alert’ for threats against law enforcement
Jun22

FCC proposes ‘Blue Alert’ for threats against law enforcement

Share on Facebook.Share on Twitter.Share on Google+Share on StumbleUponShare on Twitter. During their June Open Meeting today, the FCC adopted a proposal to add an alert to the US Emergency Alert System. If enacted, the Blue Alert would notify the public of ongoing threats to law enforcement in their area through broadcast, cable, satellite and wireline video outlets. The new alert was proposed by FCC Chairman Ajit Pai in May and a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) was released for the Commission to consider at today’s meeting. In a press release, the FCC said, “Blue Alerts can be used to warn the public when there is actionable information related to a law enforcement officer who is missing, seriously injured or killed in the line of duty, or when there is an imminent credible threat to an officer. As a result, a Blue Alert could quickly warn you if a violent suspect may be in your community, along with providing instructions on what to do if you spot the suspect and how to stay safe.” There are 27 states that already have their own version of the Blue Alert, but the FCC’s proposal is intended to provide a national system that states can adopt. The new alert is similar to the Amber Alert that has had a fair amount of success since its creation in 1996. According to the Department of Justice, 868 children have been rescued because of the alert. The press release says the NPRM invites the public to comment on the proposal. While the final NPRM hasn’t been released by the FCC yet, once it has been, you can tell them what you think here. Source: FCC Share on Facebook.Share on Twitter.Share on Google+Share on StumbleUponShare on Twitter.Follow @DailyTechWhip Source: Engadget - Read the full article...

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Mars Rover’s AI is really good at selecting rocks to analyze
Jun22

Mars Rover’s AI is really good at selecting rocks to analyze

Share on Facebook.Share on Twitter.Share on Google+Share on StumbleUponShare on Twitter. If we truly want to go to Mars, then we really need to know what it’s made of — it’s hard to bring everything you need from Earth. NASA’s Curiosity Mars rover has been using specialized AI software to zap soil and rocks on the planet this past year to discover what each is made of. The software that guides the rover’s efforts is called AEGIS, or Autonomous Exploration for Gathering Increased Science. AEGIS allows the rover to get more science of this nature done while Curiosity is out of contact with its human controllers, according to a new paper published by NASA in Science Robotics. “Time is precious on Mars,” said lead system engineer Raymond Francis in a statement. “AEGIS allows us to make use of time that otherwise wasn’t available because we were waiting for someone on Earth to make a decision.” The AEGIS software operates in two different ways: autonomous target selection and autonomous pointing refinement. Basically, these two systems allow the rover to select targets and refine its own laser targeting to analyze samples chosen according to the parameters scientists have selected beforehand. The software has performed at a very high level, exceeding 93 percent accuracy when choosing the correct materials to analyze. According to the paper, the AEGIS autonomous system has “substantially reduced lost time on the mission” and increased the speed of data collection. Before AEGIS was implemented last year, the rover carried out blind targeting, just in case it hit something worthwhile. “Half the time it would just hit soil — which was also useful, but rock measurements are much more interesting to our scientists,” Francis said. The system has been so useful that NASA is including AEGIS in its upcoming Mars 2020 mission, with an updated version of the imaging system called SuperCam. This new device will have more advanced analysis capabilities to study the crystal structure of rocks. Source: ScienceRobotics, JPL Share on Facebook.Share on Twitter.Share on Google+Share on StumbleUponShare on Twitter.Follow @DailyTechWhip Source: Engadget - Read the full article...

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Stanford study uses big data to highlight racial biases in policing
Jun22

Stanford study uses big data to highlight racial biases in policing

Share on Facebook.Share on Twitter.Share on Google+Share on StumbleUponShare on Twitter. A group at Stanford University has taken on the issue of racial bias in law enforcement with an ongoing study called the Open Policing Project. The researchers have also created a website that makes not only their findings available, but all of their data and analysis coding as well. The project began a couple of years ago. Interested in figuring out what role racial bias plays in everyday traffic stops, the research team, made up of scientists and journalists, began collecting records of traffic and pedestrian stops from law enforcement agencies in every state. As of now, they’ve analyzed — and made available — data from 31 state police agencies, which includes 130 million records. From this data, the group found that black and Hispanic drivers are stopped more frequently than white drivers. Black and Hispanic drivers are 20 percent and 30 percent more likely to be ticketed than white drivers, respectively. And compared to white drivers, black and Hispanic drivers are searched based on less evidence — a finding calculated from both search rates and how often police actually found contraband during a search. The researchers are continuing to collect data and have begun to look at records from major cities. You can access their findings and all of their data on the project’s website and you can watch the video below for more information on the research. Via: Co.Design Source: Open Policing Project Share on Facebook.Share on Twitter.Share on Google+Share on StumbleUponShare on Twitter.Follow @DailyTechWhip Source: Engadget - Read the full article...

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Amazon's Echo Show displays your smart camera's live video feed
Jun22

Amazon's Echo Show displays your smart camera's live video feed

Share on Facebook.Share on Twitter.Share on Google+Share on StumbleUponShare on Twitter. Amazon’s Echo Show is getting another new trick, err, skill. Now the gizmo will link with the cameras on your home network and display their respective feeds when you say something like, “Alexa, show the front door.” A press release notes that this will work with cameras from Amcrest, Arlo, August, EZViz, IC Realtime, Nest and Vivint. And if you don’t have a Show, saying the command phrase will give you an audio feed on your Dot or Echo. Better yet, Amazon has released the camera control API into the wild so developers can start cracking on even more implementations for it. Of course, Google Home plays nicely with smart home equipment too. Mostly Nest thermostats at this point, but given the device’s lack of a video screen it can’t quite deliver camera feeds. Maybe next year? Source: Amazon Share on Facebook.Share on Twitter.Share on Google+Share on StumbleUponShare on Twitter.Follow @DailyTechWhip Source: Engadget - Read the full article...

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Windows 10 preview delivers new emoji and easy GPU tracking
Jun22

Windows 10 preview delivers new emoji and easy GPU tracking

Share on Facebook.Share on Twitter.Share on Google+Share on StumbleUponShare on Twitter. Windows Insiders have a big day today. Microsoft just released Windows 10 Preview Build 16226 for PCs and it’s got a whole host of new goodies inside. Perhaps the most important update is support for Emoji 5.0. Now you can express yourself with new snacks, characters and even dinosaurs. The build also includes an updated Task Manager with GPU tracking information, improvements to Touch Keyboard and handwriting interactions, tweaks to Storage Sense and shell improvements, including the option to share a file in File Explorer via the right-click context menu. The build also includes improvements for IT professionals, including the removal of SMB1 as part of a multi-year security upgrade. There’s also a new Remote Desktop settings page. Additionally, Windows will finally display plain-text error codes when an update fails so you can troubleshoot what exactly went wrong and how to fix it. The latest release is accessible only to Windows Insiders in the Fast Ring. You can see the full list of improvements, tweaks and add-ons at Microsoft’s website. Source: Microsoft Share on Facebook.Share on Twitter.Share on Google+Share on StumbleUponShare on Twitter.Follow @DailyTechWhip Source: Engadget - Read the full article...

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Facebook seeks to foster community with more group admin tools
Jun22

Facebook seeks to foster community with more group admin tools

Share on Facebook.Share on Twitter.Share on Google+Share on StumbleUponShare on Twitter. At Facebook’s first Communities Summit, co-founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced a new direction for Community pages. Specifically how to run them effectively. The new direction mainly includes mod tools like insights into how and when members are active. There are also features en route for approving and rejecting member requests, scheduled posts and group-to-group linking so similar groups can see one another. When Zuckerberg mentioned that Facebook was making it easier to remove bad actors in groups, removing everything they’ve posted at the same time the member is kicked out, he was met with rapturous applause. Beyond that, Facebook is changing its mission statement. The social network believes it actually has responsibility now, especially given its close to 2 billion user base. “Our mission: Bring the world closer together,” a slide behind Zuckerberg read. There were plenty of other platitudes, but we’ll spare you. Oh, and Facebook’s next big mission is getting half of its users into communities, and will be implementing more AI and other initiatives to make that happen. So, get ready for more News Feed spam. Source: Facebook Share on Facebook.Share on Twitter.Share on Google+Share on StumbleUponShare on Twitter.Follow @DailyTechWhip Source: Engadget - Read the full article...

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Hackers reportedly altered and stole voting data before 2016 election
Jun22

Hackers reportedly altered and stole voting data before 2016 election

Share on Facebook.Share on Twitter.Share on Google+Share on StumbleUponShare on Twitter. As the United States continues to investigate the extent of hacking in the 2016 election, reports continue to emerge that make things sound a lot worse than they did a few months ago. The latest comes from Time, which reports that the attack included “at least one” successful attempt at modifying voter information. It also states that thousands of voter records were stolen by Russian agents, which exposes sensitive information including partial social security numbers. Time was careful to note that this hacking was specifically related to state and local election databases and says its information comes from current and former officials. Specifically, Time’s sources claim that an investigation discovered a county-level election database where voter data had been manipulated. Those alterations were discovered and fixed but Time doesn’t say when that investigation took place. In this case, it’s not clear whether the hackers were Russian agents. As for the data that was stolen, the state of Illinois had almost 90,000 records stolen by Russia — more than 90 percent of which contained driver’s license numbers. About 25 percent of that 90,000 also contained the last four digits of people’s social security numbers. Sources have also said that an ongoing investigation is looking into whether any of this data made its way back to the Trump campaign. This news follows a report claiming that hackers attacked voting databases in 39 states. That reported stated that hackers had tried to alter and delete data in Illinois’ voter database — it appears that attempt wasn’t successful, but hackers were able to make off with some data. The US continues to state that none of the attacks directly election vote counts. “It is true there is no evidence that the tampering with voter machines or tampering with voter registrations or any of like that affected the counting of the votes,” Congressman Adam Schiff (D-CA), who serves on the House Intelligence committee, said back in January. “That’s not the same thing as saying there was no impact on the outcome [of elections].” Meanwhile, Special Counsel Robert Mueller continues to investigate if any laws were broken relating to the hacking attacks last fall. Regardless of what he finds, there’s no doubt that security relating to the 2018 mid-term elections will be a major focus over the next year — and that’ll be doubly true for 2020’s presidential election. Source: Time Share on Facebook.Share on Twitter.Share on Google+Share on StumbleUponShare on Twitter.Follow @DailyTechWhip Source: Engadget - Read the full article...

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Car buyers aren’t thrilled about semi-autonomous features
Jun22

Car buyers aren’t thrilled about semi-autonomous features

Share on Facebook.Share on Twitter.Share on Google+Share on StumbleUponShare on Twitter. JD Power’s latest research into the likes and dislikes of car owners has two big takeaways: people love Kia and are pretty lukewarm about self-driving technology. Or, at least those components that most drivers can gain access to right now, like adaptive cruise control, collision avoidance and blind spot warning systems. Overall, the trend for buyers is to be quite positive about the quality and performance of their new vehicle, especially if it’s a Kia. “Autonomous Technology” was, in fact, the only category where user complaints increased between 2016 and 2017, although only by a tiny amount. The Wall Street Journal points out that of all the issues consumers raised, 34 percent of them were tied in to adaptive cruise control. If left unchecked, users may prefer to opt for cars with fewer autonomous systems, or prefer to drive with them deactivated. Issues with existing smart driving features could also sour the general public’s feeling towards our rapidly-approaching autonomous future. It’s easy for consumers to think that, if manufacturers can’t get lane assistance right, what chance do they have of building a car that can think, and drive, for itself? It’s clear that the auto industry will have to work to tackle this issue on both a technical and perception level before it becomes a problem. Except for those lovely people at Kia, who really do make some lovely vehicles, apparently. Via: WSJ Source: JD Power Share on Facebook.Share on Twitter.Share on Google+Share on StumbleUponShare on Twitter.Follow @DailyTechWhip Source: Engadget - Read the full article...

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Facebook and WSJ owners are working on a 'subscription' deal
Jun22

Facebook and WSJ owners are working on a 'subscription' deal

Share on Facebook.Share on Twitter.Share on Google+Share on StumbleUponShare on Twitter. The publisher of Wall Street Journal is in advanced talks to bring articles to Facebook through a subscription model. News Corp CEO Robert Thomson said that he’d been talking with Mark Zuckerberg about how “the value of content should be recognised”. Thomson said in an interview at a media industry conference on this week in Italy, that News Corp was “in the middle of negotiations with Facebook on a subscription mechanic.” The company, which also owns UK national newspapers The Times and The Sun, is looking to better reap the benefits of articles and reports that appear on the social network. In fact, the CEO had attacked on digital companies like Facebook and Google earlier at the same conference. Thomson’s comments in the past suggest the deal could involve bundling content from its properties based on topic: a dedicated sports subscription, or perhaps business. Subscriptions could offer publishers an extra source of cash, as many of them struggle to pull in digital advertising bucks: an area that’s dominated by Facebook and Google. As Bloomberg notes, the WSJ avoided working with Facebook on live video, and has been reticent to use the social network’s “Instant articles” feature to post fast-loading content that resides inside Facebook’s pages. It looks like the newspaper’s owner had their own plans in mind. Source: Bloomberg Share on Facebook.Share on Twitter.Share on Google+Share on StumbleUponShare on Twitter.Follow @DailyTechWhip Source: Engadget - Read the full article...

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German police raided 36 homes over social media hate speech
Jun22

German police raided 36 homes over social media hate speech

Share on Facebook.Share on Twitter.Share on Google+Share on StumbleUponShare on Twitter. Late last year, Germany proposed a bill that would fine social media providers, such as Facebook and Twitter, for failure to remove hate speech within 24 hours on their respective platforms. Now, Germany has raided the homes of 36 people accused of posting hate speech or other illegal content. German law prohibits hate speech; according to The New York Times, citizens can be imprisoned for inciting racial hatred for up to five years. This campaign was primarily targeted at right-wing hate speech, but also included those who had posted hateful left-wing content and harassment based on sexual orientation. Social media platforms oppose Germany’s proposed law; they worry it may encourage their moderators to remove content that is not strictly illegal in order to avoid the hefty maximum of a $53 million fine. German law experts also question the law’s constitutionality, as it violates some basic tenets of citizens’ right to free speech. It will be interesting to see what happens as this law develops in Germany. It’s clear that social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter have a serious problem with hate speech and fake news. What they can (and should) do about it is a much more difficult question with no easy answers. Via: The Verge Source: The New York Times, BKA Share on Facebook.Share on Twitter.Share on Google+Share on StumbleUponShare on Twitter.Follow @DailyTechWhip Source: Engadget - Read the full article...

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Your next favorite songs are the backbone of 'Metronomicon'
Jun22

Your next favorite songs are the backbone of 'Metronomicon'

Share on Facebook.Share on Twitter.Share on Google+Share on StumbleUponShare on Twitter. Rhythm games live and die by their soundtracks. The problem is, if you’re holding a plastic instrument in your hand, you’ve probably played through the same songs over and over whether it’s in Rock Band or Guitar Hero. Regardless of how advanced the gameplay is, then, at the end of the day, if you’re tapping through Bon Jovi’s “Livin’ on a Prayer” in one game, you might as well be playing it on any of the popular franchises. That’s where The Metronomicon: Slay the Dancefloor makes a bold left turn. Rather than featuring a list of staid genre staples, the rhythm-game/role-playing game hybrid (trust me, it works) features 50 highly curated songs. These aren’t your usual crowd-pleasers, either, with tracks including unreleased music from Shiny Toy Guns, an exclusive from Mindless Self Indulgence singer Jimmy Urine and tunes from synthwave artist Perturbator and rapper Mega Ran (among others). If there’s a common thread connecting the songs here, it’s that everything has a driving beat or a funky groove. Sometimes both. “If any song is in the game, it’s because at least one member of the dev team totally loved it,” Metronomicon‘s programmer and studio lead, Danny Garfield, said. It’s this personal touch that makes the game so easy to buy into. Because most of these songs are unfamiliar, they have an inherent “one more try” quality that makes playing them over and over on different difficulty levels so enticing. As far as gameplay goes, you arrive at a dungeon, play a section of songs in any order you want, unlock more tracks and then take on the boss song/monster. You attack by finishing a perfect run of notes and then switch from one character’s note highway to the next. You’ll level up, earn new abilities and recruit new party members along the way — standard RPG fare — but when was the last time you played a role-playing game with a Rock Band guitar or a dance mat? Much like The Metronomicon‘s gameplay-genre mash-up, using these peripherals is a surprisingly perfect fit. I didn’t try the dance mat, but playing through “Live It Up” by Shiny Toy Guns with a plastic Stratocaster felt incredibly natural. And thankfully it’s simpler than Guitar Hero, as you only need to press the fret buttons in time; you leave the strum bar alone. The game’s narrative is just as silly as its core conceit. Dance parties have materialized throughout the land of Koras. These parties play host to massive amounts of monsters that boogie the night away and trash villages like rock...

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Valve’s ‘Knuckles’ VR controller tracks individual fingers
Jun22

Valve’s ‘Knuckles’ VR controller tracks individual fingers

Share on Facebook.Share on Twitter.Share on Google+Share on StumbleUponShare on Twitter. VR fans have been steadily following the development of Valve’s new controller for SteamVR, called Knuckles. Now the device is being shipped to developers as a prototype, and as a result, Valve has released quite a bit of new information about Knuckles and how it will work. To use Knuckles, users insert their hand between the main part of the controller and a soft strap that helps hold it in place. You can tighten or loosen the fit with an attached cord. This means that you can grab and interact with objects as you normally would without worrying about dropping the controller. Multiple capacitive sensors throughout the device also can help track your hand motions and whether your fingers are pointed straight, tightly curled or somewhere in between. It’s important to note that Knuckles contains individual tracking for each separate finger, a feature VR users have been asking for. All in all, Knuckles appears to be a more ergonomic and natural controller for VR. It’s a pretty straightforward follow-up to controllers such as the Oculus Touch and Vive wand. It’s not clear when Knuckles will be available to the general public, but you can bet a lot of VR fans are itching to get their hands on it. Via: NeoGAF Source: Valve (1), Valve (2) Share on Facebook.Share on Twitter.Share on Google+Share on StumbleUponShare on Twitter.Follow @DailyTechWhip Source: Engadget - Read the full article...

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Amazon is prepping Echo Show for launch with visual Alexa cards
Jun22

Amazon is prepping Echo Show for launch with visual Alexa cards

Share on Facebook.Share on Twitter.Share on Google+Share on StumbleUponShare on Twitter. If you’re a fan of Alexa, then this announcement might be good news for you. Amazon announced that they are adding a Display Cards feature to the voice assistant that will allow Alexa to respond visually to certain queries. Alexa will be able to produce visual responses to questions about the weather, to do and shopping lists, your calendar and show you Now Playing information for music. It’s currently only available to developers, who can use the AVS Developer Console to enable Display Cards, but it gives us a better idea of what apps will look like across screens in Alexa’s new GUI. This announcement goes hand in hand with the announcement of the Amazon Echo Show, an Echo device with a 7-inch touchscreen that’s been criticized for its boxy appearance. It also comes packed with eight microphones, a front-facing camera and a Dolby speaker. You can pre-order the Echo Show now for $230 in the US; it’s scheduled to ship starting June 28. Source: Amazon Share on Facebook.Share on Twitter.Share on Google+Share on StumbleUponShare on Twitter.Follow @DailyTechWhip Source: Engadget - Read the full article...

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