Gadgets



Samsung's lightweight Notebook 9 Pen is aimed at creators

Last year at CES 2018, Samsung unveiled the Note 9 Pen, a lightweight 13.3-inch convertible aimed at artists and anyone else who needed decent power with as little weight as possible. The model is back again in a big way, with an all-new design and features that should fix what we didn't like about it before. Most notably, it comes in both 13-inch and 15-inch versions, has more ports and packs a much bigger battery with fast-charging that lets it run for up to 15 hours. The 9 Pen is sti

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The best tech gifts under $50

It's no secret that the season of goodwill to all is expensive, especially for those with tech-savvy loved ones lusting after the latest kit that comes with eye-watering price tags. But gift-giving doesn't have to break the bank. Our 2018 holiday gift guide comes with a handy price filter that recommends brilliant present ideas for all budgets, including a bunch under $50. From smart home voice assistants and clever TV Bluetooth adapters to the latest games, Blu-rays, toys and apps, our budget

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Serato adds SoundCloud, Tidal and more to your DJ toolbox

Serato DJ's latest Pro 2.1 and Lite 1.1 software updates have been in public beta for a couple of months, but today those final versions go live. Included with these updates are the addition of SoundCloud and Tidal streaming services right from your library, which is a big step forward for expanding your repertoire on-the-fly. The Serato Play expansion pack ($39) is also now an option, which provides controller-like tools on your keyboard, four decks, a row of filter knobs and headphone splitte

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Amazon brings Alexa's Follow-Up Mode to Fire TV Cube

Last week, Amazon updated Fire TV Cube with the Alexa Announcements feature (which lets you dictate a message that the other Echo devices in your home will broadcast) and notifications from your smart doorbell and camera. Now, Amazon's giving the device even more parity with the Echo ecosystem by adding Follow-Up Mode and multiroom audio. With Follow-Up Mode, you can ask Alexa for additional information or to carry out further actions after your initial request. So, when you say somethin

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Streaming shows dominate SAG Awards TV nominations

Streaming shows stand a much better chance of winning SAG Awards in 2019 than they did this year -- in fact, they're guaranteed at least one. The Screen Actors Guild has announced its nominees for the 25th annual awards, and streaming productions are thriving in every series-focused (that is, TV-focused) category. Most of those categories have two or more streaming shows in the running, and the "Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Comedy Series" category has nothing but online show

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Overwatch League events expand beyond LA in 2019

To date, Overwatch League matches have taken place in Blizzard's own venue in Los Angeles. It's a special experience, but likely off-limits if you live on the other side of the continent or another country. For the 2019 season, though, you might not have to travel quite so far... or travel at all. Blizzard has announced that the new season will include home games in the form of Homestand Weekend series. Atlanta Reign, Dallas Fuel and LA Valiant fans can watch their teams play as part of a serie

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FCC offers $67 million more per year for rural broadband programs

The Federal Communications Commission announced today additional funding to its Connect America Fund dedicated to expanding broadband internet service to rural communities. The agency will make available $67 million more per year than originally earmarked for the project. The funds could bring high-speed internet connections to more than 100,000 additional households and businesses, per the FCC. The funds are being made available as part of a program designed to push carriers to ditch le

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Facebook and ZeniMax settle VR copyright lawsuit

John Carmack isn't the only one ending a legal fight with ZeniMax. Facebook and ZeniMax have agreed to settle a lawsuit that had accused Facebook and Oculus of violating copyright for the alleged "unlawful misappropriation" of ZeniMax VR code. The two haven't revealed terms of the deal, but ZeniMax claimed that it was "fully satisfied" with the result. We've asked Facebook if it can comment. A jury had initially awarded ZeniMax $500 million, but also didn't find that Oculus had taken

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'AmalGAN' melds AI imagination with human intuition to create art

Don't worry, they only look like the Pokemon of your nightmares. The images you are about to see are, in fact, at the very bleeding edge of machine-generated imagery, mixed with a collaborative human-AI production by artist Alex Reben and a little help from some anonymous Chinese artists. Reben's latest work, dubbed AmalGAN, is derived from Google's BigGAN image generation engine. Like other GANs (Generative Adversarial Networks), BigGAN uses a pair of competing AI: one to randomly generate im

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Disney+ series 'The Mandalorian' adds Carl Weathers and Werner Herzog

The slow-drip of information about Disney's live-action Star Wars streaming series continues, and now we know who has been cast in The Mandalorian. The series is written and executive produced by Jon Favreau and will rotate through a list of notable directors, and the same goes for additions to previously-revealed names like Pedro Pascal, Gina Carano and Nick Nolte. Giancarlo Esposito (Breaking Bad, School Daze), Emily Swallow (Supernatural) and Omid Abtahi (American Gods) all jump off the pag

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What's coming to Netflix in January: 'Kimmy Schmidt' and Star Wars

Most of us will have a couple of days off at the start of the year before getting back to work after the holidays, and Netflix hopes to keep us occupied with a slew of show and movie additions. January 1st brings the final season of A Series of Unfortunate Events, along with stand-up series Comedians of the World and Tidying Up with Marie Kondo -- perfectly timed to inspire a start-of-year clear out. There are some great non-original flicks arriving on the first day of the year too, incl

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Comixify uses machine learning to turn video into a comics

Tons of comic books have come to life as movies, but researchers at the Warsaw University of Technology have developed a system for turning live-action video into a comic. Comixify picks out the best frames from any video you feed it and turns it into something that looks like it belongs in the pages of a comic. Comixify: Transform video into a comics. They used a 2-stage approach: (a) frame selection and (b) style transfer. The results look pretty cool! paper: https://t.co/cYmCk5YosP w

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The original 'Inspector Gadget' is coming to Twitch December 17th

Inspector Gadget is back on duty. The first season of the 1983 animated series Inspector Gadget will be broadcast in its entirety on Twitch starting December 17th at 10:00 AM PST. The show will air in five-hour sessions on the Twitch Presents channel and will conclude December 24 at 9:00 AM PST. The stream will include all 65 episodes of the cartoon's inaugural season. In addition to tickling the nostalgia bone of '80s babies, Twitch will also offer an interactive experience alongside th

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Nvidia's Shield TV gains Amazon Music streaming

Android set-top box Shield TV has already added Alexa and a fully-featured version of cloud game streaming service GeForce Now, but it's making room for another significant update in the lead up to Christmas. Chief among the new additions is an Amazon Music app, which joins the growing list of music streaming platforms (Spotify, Google Play Music, Tidal, Pandora) already on the streamer. Amazon Music's arrival gives Shield users access to more music than any other streaming media devic

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FCC will allow carriers to block spam text messages

The FCC has rubber-stamped wireless carriers' ongoing efforts to block spam text messages. The regulator voted in favor of a ruling that labels SMS and MMS as information services under the Communications Act, giving telecoms permission to block unwanted messages. It simultaneously rejected bids from "mass-texting companies" and others to label text messaging as telecommunications services that would be subject to common carrier rules and potentially harder to block. On the surface, it's id

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AI reveals hidden objects in the dark

You might not see most objects in near-total darkness, but AI can. MIT scientists have developed a technique that uses a deep neural network to spot objects in extremely low light. The team trained the network to look for transparent patterns in dark images by feeding it 10,000 purposefully dark, grainy and out-of-focus pictures as well as the patterns those pictures are supposed to represent. The strategy not only gave the neural network an idea of what to expect, but highlighted hidden tra

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Lift Aircraft's passenger drone is all about fun flights

While the likes of Uber, Airbus and Porsche tinker away on their respective passenger and transportation drones, a lesser-known startup is taking an altogether different approach. Instead of getting mired in the logistics and regulatory frameworks of city-wide drone rides, Lift Aircraft wants you to use its 18-rotor "Hexa" aircraft for short recreational flights. The large drone -- which weighs 432 pounds and is capable of 10-15 minutes of continuous flight with a single passenger -- could be a

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Police are using fake Amazon boxes with GPS to catch thieves

'Tis the season for tons of Amazon packages arriving at your doorstep, but nothing puts a damper on the holidays like having one stolen. Police in Jersey City have been setting up fake Amazon boxes on doorsteps in order to catch thieves, according to the Associated Press. Law enforcement has installed doorbell cameras at homes where the sting operations are set up and rigged the packages with GPS tracking devices to catch the criminals. The Jersey City police have been working with Amazo

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The Game Awards more than doubled its viewership in 2018

Say what you will about the The Game Awards doubling as a marketing platform for developers -- it's pulling in an audience. The organizers have revealed that online viewership jumped 128 percent for the 2018 awards with 26.2 million total streams. They weren't all watching the entire thing (there were 4 million concurrent viewers at its peak), but there was also significant growth for individual services. The show nearly doubled its simultaneous Twitch streams to 1.13 million, while the YouT

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Apple may relaunch its Netflix for magazines service in the spring

Apple may launch a new version of Texture, a magazine subscription app it bought in March, in the spring. However, publishing executives are reportedly wary of including their products in the service and potentially losing revenue to Apple's all-in-one model. Texture, which provides subscribers with Netflix-esque unlimited access to more than 200 magazines for $10/month, is likely to evolve into a premium feature within Apple News, according to Bloomberg. Apple is reportedly redesigning

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'Alexa, Improvise' is a comedy show that uses AI fails for laughs

It was 7:55 p.m. on a Saturday night, and I had just arrived at a small improv workshop and stage space in San Francisco's Mission district. Mere moments after I sat down, someone placed a stool in front of the stage, draped a red cloth over it and placed what would turn out to be an integral part of the evening's performance: an Amazon Echo. It wasn't there to tell jokes -- it's notably not a very good comedian. Instead, it was both prop and participant in a unique improv show called "Alexa, I

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NVIDIA's $1,100 AI brain for robots goes on sale

NVIDIA's plan to power autonomous robots has kicked off in earnest. The company has released a Jetson AGX Xavier Module that gives robots and other intelligent machines the processing oomph they need for their AI 'brains.' You're not about to buy one yourself -- it costs $1,099 each in batches of 1,000 units. However, it could be important for delivery robots and other automatons that need a lot of specialized performance with relatively little power use. The Jetson Xavier system-on-chip

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Calling Google biased won't alter the truth

We all know how these things play out: A tech CEO is sworn in, and then is railed at for a couple of hours. Some of the representatives will rage against what they see as unfairness, some will scream bias, while others will print out pages from conspiracy theory websites. If we're lucky, we'll get a question about something that's pertinent, although it's rarely followed up. The latest episode featured Google CEO Sundar Pichai at a House Judiciary Committee hearing, answering questions o

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Senate Democrats introduce bill to protect your online data

A group of 15 Democratic senators have unveiled a bill that aims to protect your online data. They noted that banks, doctors and lawyers are all required to protect your personal information, and argue websites, apps and other online services should also have to "take responsible steps to safeguard personal information and stop the misuse of users' data." "People have a basic expectation that the personal information they provide to websites and apps is well-protected and won't be used a

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Algoriddim merges its iOS djay apps, adds new Pro-level features

Algoriddim's djay app has been an Apple favorite for some time, regularly appearing in the company's keynotes to show off incremental updates over the years. There's been djay, djay for iPhone, djay for iPad, vjay (for video), djay 2, djay Pro and djay Pro 2, but the whole thing has gotten a bit fragmented. Today, the company is simplifying its app catalog by releasing the new djay for iOS, spanning all the requisite devices and available as a free download in the App Store. On top of that, dja

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