Gadgets



Appeals court allows Facebook facial recognition lawsuit to proceed

Facebook users now have the green light to sue the company over its use of facial recognition tech. The 9th US Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco ruled in the plaintiffs' favor 3-0 after Facebook tried to block a class-action lawsuit which claims it illegally captured and stored millions of users' biometric data without their consent. The court "concluded that the development of a face template using facial-recognition technology without consent (as alleged in this case) invades a

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From indie development to Guerrilla Games: The 'Gravity Ghost' story

Erin Robinson Swink knows when someone has actually finished her game, the hand-painted physics-based adventure called Gravity Ghost. "I can usually tell if they played it until the end based on the way they say that to me," she said. "Like, 'Yeah I played your game.' Or like, 'I played your game,' and then they look off into the distance. OK, that person played to the end." Gravity Ghost is set among the stars, in a prismatic galaxy of light, planets and celestial animals. It features

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Why does the Galaxy Note still exist?

Watching the Galaxy Note 10 keynote, it became clear that the whole Note series has run out of runway. When it first launched, it was a wacky experiment to see if there was a market for an over-sized phone. But times have changed, and what was once transgressive is now the norm, only existing to wring cash out of the faithful. The Galaxy Note is, and was, a great phone, and its diehard users have stuck with it for very good reasons. The bigger screen size, extra utility and the built-in

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Back to school: The mobile gear you'll need on campus

Please enjoy this guide to the best smartphones, tablets and smartwatches for students, just one part of our larger 2019 back-to-school series. In addition to top picks in 11 categories -- everything from laptops to smartphones to gaming and dorm gear -- we went big on tips and buying advice this year. We didn't just want to tell you what to buy, but we wanted to help you choose wisely, and then make the most out of your decision. ENGADGET'S BACK TO SCHOOL GUIDE The best smartphones,

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Facebook tests paid video subscriptions, starting with CollegeHumor

Facebook is testing a new video subscription service in Watch. You'd be forgiven for confusing this news with the announcement of "fan subscriptions," which Facebook made last month, but no, video subscriptions is an entirely separate thing. Fan subscriptions was built for people to support their favorite creators, and to give them access to exclusive content -- according to Facebook, most creators using fan subscriptions are new to the subscription business model. Video subscriptions, o

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Popular indie game 'Dear Esther' is coming to iOS

Journey made a surprise debut on iOS this week and you'll soon be able to play another indie darling on the go. The Chinese Room says its exploration-focused Dear Esther will be available for iPhone and iPad later this year. After starting out as a Half-Life 2 mod, it arrived on PC and Mac in 2012, then PS4 and Xbox One in 2016. It's sold more than a million copies to date. In Dear Esther, you'll listen to a man read fragments of letters to his late wife, Esther, each time you reach a ne

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Wirecutter's best deals: Save $300 on a Google Pixel 3

This post was done in partnership with Wirecutter. When readers choose to buy Wirecutter's independently chosen editorial picks, it may earn affiliate commissions that support its work. Read Wirecutter's continuously updated list of deals here. Google Pixel 3 (64GB) Street price: $800; deal price: $500 The Google Pixel 3 (64GB), our upgrade Android phone pick, has dropped to a new low of $500 in all three available finishes. If you're looking for more memory, the 128GB version of th

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Peer-to-peer 8Chan mirror makes users responsible for its child porn

It's been a few days since Cloudflare stopped providing security protections to 8Chan, which led to the notorious site going offline. While 8Chan's leaders are still trying unsuccessfully to bring the site back, some of its users have found a way to reach it through some rather unusual and potentially problematic methods. An extensive report from The Daily Beast details how some users are accessing the site via ZeroNet, a decentralized, peer-to-peer network for hosting content that's similar to

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Sonos will show off new products at IFA this fall

Between releasing speakers in collaboration with IKEA, adding long-awaited Google Assistant support, updating its most popular speaker and launching a partnership with architectural speaker-maker Sonance, Sonos has had a busy 2019. However, it looks like the company's not done with 2019 just yet. The company is holding a pair of press-only events on August 26th and 27th in New York City, followed by meetings in Berlin on September 4th and 5th, just ahead of IFA 2019. As for what's on th

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UN: Misuse of land and agriculture is driving climate change

Human beings must change the way we eat and grow our food in order to avert climate change, says a new report from the UN released today. The study breaks down how much harm increased agricultural production -- from farms to cattle ranches to plantations -- is doing to our planet. All together, activities like deforestation, raising livestock and overusing fertilizer in croplands is generating about a third of greenhouse gas emissions. Burning fossil fuels -- either through factories, electrici

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How would you rate Apple's newest AirPods?

The original Airpods from 2016 had issues with sound quality and fit, but the second generation packed in a few upgrades, including a H1 chipset that bolstered Bluetooth connection speeds and a wireless charging case. In his review Senior Editor Chris Velazco also approved of the new Airbuds' consistent wireless performance and extended battery life. However, the upgrades were not enough to wow Chris entirely; he still thought the earbuds lacked audio quality and a truly comfortable fit.

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Hand-drawn RPG 'Indivisible' finally arrives October 8th

Cuphead isn't the only hand-drawn game to have a years-long birthing process. Lab Zero and 505 Games have announced that their action RPG Indivisible will reach PCs (via Steam), the PS4 and Xbox One on October 8th. The Switch version is "coming soon," the team added. Whichever version you play, you'll get the same meticulously animated visuals and elaborate backgrounds, plus a fast-paced action RPG mechanic that involves absorbing "Incarnations" that can fight alongside you. The game too

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Uber has more than 100 million users, but is still losing money

Uber might seem ubiquitous, but the ridesharing company is still growing, it reported in its quarterly earnings. In July, more than 100 million people took Ubers or used the company's services. That's the first time it hit that monthly milestone. Trips rose 35 percent in Q2 compared with the previous year, up to 1.67 billion. Revenue is up as well. At $3.17 billion, it rose 14 percent year-over-year, though it was lower than the expected figure of $3.36 billion. UberEats certainly booste

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Human Things' Switch charger is also a portable TV dock

If you're looking for a portable way to play Nintendo Switch games on a big screen, a new Kickstarter project from accessory maker Human Things, creators of a Switch Bluetooth audio dongle, might be just what you need. Described as a "covert dock", the Genki is a charger with a dock hidden inside. The idea is to make the dock and charger small enough that you can take them with you when you travel with your Switch. The charger features include foldable prongs and USB-C charging, with do

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Apple faces anti-trust probe in Russia over rejected parental control app

Apple's removal of a parental control app has now made it the target of an anti-trust probe in Russia. The nation's Federal Anti-Monopoly Service (FAS) is investigating a complaint by Kaspersky Lab over the rejection of its Safe Kids app from the App Store, reported Reuters. The tech giant believes that the Safe Kids app puts "user's safety and privacy at risk", putting it in the same category as a group of other parental control apps it booted from its store earlier this year. The compa

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No Mans Sky Beyond trailer reveals expanded multiplayer and VR

Players can get their first look at the world of No Man's Sky: Beyond, the long-awaited update to the popular space exploration franchise. Hello Games just released the first trailer for Beyond, which will include even more MMO-style gameplay and support for VR. After last summer's Next set the stage for what multiplayer mode and shifting perspectives could bring to the game, expectations have been high. Hello Games founder Sean Murray called Beyond the "biggest update" to the No Man's S

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The best desktops for back-to-school season

Please enjoy this guide to the best desktops for students, just one part of our larger 2019 back-to-school series. In addition to top picks in 11 categories -- everything from laptops to smartphones to gaming and dorm gear -- we went big on tips and buying advice this year. We didn't just want to tell you what to buy, but we wanted to help you choose wisely, and then make the most out of your decision. ENGADGET'S BACK TO SCHOOL GUIDE The best smartphones, tablets and smartwatches for

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Twitch unveils its own desktop broadcasting app

Until now, people who stream their gameplay or lives on Twitch have done so through a PS4, Xbox One, Twitch's mobile app, Twitch Sings or third-party software. As of today, there's another option for those hoping to become the next Ninja, Dr. Disrespect or Pokimane: Twitch Studio. The service's first full desktop broadcasting app is in closed beta for now, though you can apply to join. Twitch released the tool to make it easier for people to get started with streaming from their PC (doin

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DeepMind uses AI to track Serengeti wildlife with photos

DeepMind has joined the ranks of those using AI to save fragile wildlife populations, and it's doing that on a grand scale. The company is partnering with conservationists and ecologists on a project that uses machine learning to speedily detect and count animals in "millions" of photos taken over the past nine years in Tanzania's Serengeti National Park. Where it normally takes up to a year for volunteers to return labeled photos, DeepMind has developed a model that can label most animals at

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Google puts playable podcast episodes in Search

Google continues its push into the world of podcasts, not only through its own podcast app but also by adding a new podcast feature to search. If you enter a search term like "grilling podcasts" into Google, you'll now see playable podcast episodes right in the results page. In the future Google plans to tweak the feature to allow search to include podcast results even if you don't specify "podcast" in the query. In addition, later this year Google Assistant will begin suggesting podc

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Google Flights will refund the difference if prices drop unexpectedly

Just after shutting down its Trips travel-planning app, Google has announced a raft of travel-related features for other products, including a flight price guarantee. For a limited time, when it tells you prices won't drop on a trip you book through Google Flights, it'll refund the difference if it's wrong and the cost does get lower before you take off. Google will keep monitoring prices after you book and it'll let you know if the ticket price dips, then issue the refund automatically.

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Apple extends bug bounty and provides special iPhones for researchers

Apple wants everyone to know that it's taking security seriously, and it's willing to pay for it. The company announced today that it is launching a new bug bounty program that will pay people up to $1 million for discovering and disclosing security flaws in macOS, tvOS, watchOS and iCloud. The company also revealed that it will provide security researchers with special iPhones to help them discover bugs before hackers do, according to Bloomberg. The iPhone program had been rumored earlier this

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iHeartMedia is returning podcasts to their radio roots

If you own a radio network, how do you promote your podcasts? By calling back to the roots of podcass and airing them on the radio, of course. iHeartMedia has unveiled a Sunday Night Podcasts initiative that will air podcasts on 270 of its radio stations at the end of each week, starting with The Ron Burgundy Podcast on August 11th. You can also expect series like Stuff You Should Know, TechStuff and The Ben and Ashley I. Almost Famous Podcast, although just what you'll get and when will var

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Samsung's Galaxy Home smart speaker is still alive, somehow

While Samsung's Unpacked event was mostly about the Galaxy Note 10 and Note 10+, a new S Pen and a Galaxy Book S laptop, plenty of observers expected some news on the fate of Galaxy Home. Samsung announced the smart speaker a year ago, but it's been beset by delays. Most recently, Samsung targeted a release window of the "mid-second half of the year" -- so perhaps sometime this quarter. The latest word is that Samsung is still working on the Bixby-powered device. "We're continuing to ref

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Project Athena gets its own version of the 'Intel Inside' badge

Intel teased Project Athena at CES at the start of this year, then in May the company revealed what the program really hopes to achieve: super long battery life, fast charging and 5G all packaged neatly into ultra slim, lightweight devices aimed at today's "mobile go-getters." Now, the company has unveiled its visual identifier, which will indicate which laptops meet Athena's high specifications. The badge, which brandishes the words "Engineered for Mobile Performance," will appear on th

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