posted 2 months ago on yahoo! technology news
August announced today that its smart lock can now be locked and unlocked through Alexa-enabled devices. No, instead, August wants us to remember that this feature might work best for people who are too busy chopping onions to answer the door for their visitors. Now, obviously, there’s a risk involved with anyone being able to tell Alexa to unlock a door, so to avoid that, each lock requires a user-created voice PIN to issue a command.

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The most powerful posture for a modern media figure is to play the martyr. Just after noon today, PewDiePie, the biggest star on YouTube, released a video in which he half-heartedly apologized for his use of Nazi imagery and anti-Semitic language, blamed the media for unfairly targeting him, and teared up as he thanked his fans for their support. The media is unpopular, and demonizing them can rally supporters, but playing the victim can be an equally effective tactic.

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posted 2 months ago on yahoo! technology news
If you thought the Nintendo Switch leak we shared earlier today was big, just wait until you see this. On Thursday afternoon, a member of the NeoGAF forum claimed that he had received his Switch early, and posted a photo of the system to prove it . As you'd expect, the rest of the forum immediately lit up, telling him to share details about where he got it and asking him to post a video of it in action. He followed through on the second request, slapping together a 3-minute video with him booting the Switch up, connecting to Wi-Fi, setting up the Joy-Con controllers,  and navigating through a few menus: There are plenty of interesting (albeit small) reveals throughout the video. For example, we now know that only 25.9GB of the console's internal storage will actually be usable. In other words, you're going to need an SD card if you plan on buying a Switch, so you might as well check out our guide for Switch SD cards . Unfortunately, our leaker didn't get his hands on any games, so we'll have to live with video of the user interface for now. Thankfully, our own Nintendo Switch should be arriving very soon, and we'll have a full review of the console, some launch games and more coverage in the coming days and weeks.

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Since its inception, NASA’s Commercial Crew Program has been hampered by setback after setback, and it looks like even more delays are on the horizon for the fledgling initiative. The program — which tasks US private companies with building spacecraft that can transport NASA astronauts to and from the International Space Station — was originally supposed to get off the ground in 2017.

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Facebook used to repeat its mission statement so often that most tech reporters could recite it from memory: “to give people the power to share and make the world more open and connected.” And it’s still the mission you see when you visit the company’s Facebook page. Over 5,800 words, Zuckerberg mentions “social infrastructure” 14 times — without ever quite describing what it is.

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AT&T Inc said on Thursday it would make its unlimited data plan available to all wireless customers who pay a monthly bill, days after rival Verizon Communications Inc announced an unlimited option. Previously, AT&T's plan, which includes unlimited data, talk and text for $100 a month for a single line, only applied to its DirecTV and U-Verse subscribers. On Sunday, Verizon said it would offer an unlimited plan for the first time in more than five years.

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posted 2 months ago on yahoo! technology news
AT&T announced that it’ll be offering a new unlimited data plan starting tomorrow, following in the footsteps of its competitors Verizon, T-Mobile, and Sprint, who all announced new plans with unlimited data earlier this week. The new AT&T Unlimited Plan offers unlimited data, calls, and texting, and includes HD video (although AT&T’s Stream Saver, which reduces data used by forcing standard definition video, is turned on by default). Like the other carriers, the new plan has a soft cap on data — 22GB in AT&T’s case, the same as Verizon — after which customers are subject to their data being deprioritized when towers get congested.

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A South Korean court on Friday ordered the arrest of Jay Y. Lee, the 48-year-old head of the Samsung Group, on suspicion of bribery and other charges in a corruption scandal that led parliament to impeach President Park Geun-hye. Prosecutors accuse Lee in his capacity as head of South Korea's largest conglomerate, or chaebol, of pledging 43 billion won ($37.74 million) to a business and organizations backed by Park's friend, Choi Soon-sil, in exchange for support of a 2015 merger of two Samsung companies. Samsung and Lee have denied wrongdoing in the case.

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posted 2 months ago on yahoo! technology news
Earlier this week, Verizon announced an all-new unlimited data plan that included HD video streaming and mobile tethering. Not to be outdone, T-Mobile followed suite and added those features to its flagship unlimited plan. Today, Sprint announced that it's adding HD video streaming and mobile hotspot to its unlimited data plan, which I am sure is a total coincidence and in no way an attempt to keep up with the competition. The press release doesn't make clear if this is a long-term change to Sprint's plan, or a temporary promotion. The release says that customers will "automatically get a free upgrade to HD-quality video plus 10GB mobile hotspot per line," which doesn't really imply that the changes are sticking around long-term. Offering HD video streaming and mobile hotspot brings Sprint's plan exactly in line with Verizon and T-Mobile's offering. All the "unlimited" plans now guarantee you over 20GB of mobile data, after which you may be "deprioritized" at peak times. That data can be used to stream HD video or do virtually anything, apart from mobile tethering. When it comes to hotspotting, all three carriers offer 10GB of 4G hotspot data, after which those speeds will slow down dramatically. Sprint is also pushing its impressive promotion that offers up to four lines for $90, well under anything any of the other carriers are offering. Sprint is also offering the lease of an iPhone 7 for 18 months to new customers who switch to Sprint.

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posted 2 months ago on yahoo! technology news
AT&T says any cellphone customer can sign up for unlimited data plans starting Friday. That option had been limited to customers of AT&T-owned DirecTV. The change comes just days after Verizon announced ...

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By Hyunjoo Jin SEOUL (Reuters) - Samsung Group chief Jay Y. Lee was arrested on Friday, a South Korean court said, over his alleged role in a corruption scandal that led parliament to impeach President Park Geun-hye. The Seoul Central District Court also rejected a request to issue an arrest warrant for Samsung Electronics Co Ltd President Park Sang-jin, who also heads the Korea Equestrian Federation. The 48-year-old Lee, Samsung's vice chairman, was taken into custody at the Seoul Detention Center, where he had awaited the court's decision following a day-long closed-door hearing that ended on Thursday evening.

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Intel just shipped a new Windows driver for its integrated Iris 500 and 600 GPUs which finally supports the Vulkan graphics API. This is wonderful news for a number of people. Most Vulkan-capable apps right now are high-end or experimental games, so this won't make everything instantly wonderful, but it does mean you're now the low bar of Vulkan desktop performance, and the large install base makes you a highly attractive target for developers if they can optimize their titles for you.

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posted 2 months ago on yahoo! technology news
Pokemon Go developer Niantic revealed on Wednesday that 80 new Pokemon from the Johto region introduced in Pokemon Gold and Pokemon Silver will be added to the game by the end of the week. Along with the new Pokemon, Niantic is also adding new features to the game, such as new berries, new avatar customization items and new gameplay elements to make catching Pokemon more interesting. But as always, the development team has also begun laying the groundwork for more additions and improvements in the weeks and months to come. That's why the Silph Road community has once again dug into the code to see what other secrets are contained with Pokemon Go  version 0.57.2 While Niantic had plenty to share in its blog post on Wednesday, the specifics of many of the new features were left unexplained. For example, Niantic mentions "hats, shirts, pants, and other items" that can be worn by avatars, but the code reveals that shoes, eyes, gloves, socks, belts, necklaces, glasses and even skin will be customizable as well. Additionally, the code seems to indicated that some clothing options will be unlockable by leveling up, while others can be bought via in-app purchase. Niantic also says that trainers will need new evolution items to evolve certain Pokemon, but doesn't specify what those items are. In the code, The Silph Road has discovered several new key items that seem to be relevant to this feature: Sun Stone, King's Rock, Metal Coat and Dragon Scale. All four of these items have been used to evolve Pokemon into their strongest forms in the original games. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R04u9E5INTI Aside from the code that illuminates some of the features mentioned in this week's blog post , there are also segments of code that point to features Niantic hasn't talked about at all. If you're sick of hearing the same tune constantly, Niantic appears to have added new music for day and night, both on the map and during encounters with wild Pokemon. The Silph Road also found more code relating to Shiny Pokemon, including unique animations for when they spawn and how they look when you encounter them. There's no telling whether or not Shiny Pokemon will arrive alongside the Johto Pokemon, but there's plenty of code to support them. Finally, a new event titled "Anniversary" has also been added to the code alongside the recently ended "Holiday_2016" event. This could be referring to a future event to celebrate the app's release date (July 6th), but it's worth noting that Pokemon Red and Blue originally released in Japan on February 27th, 1996. There are some other interesting discoveries within the code of the latest APK release, but you'll have to navigate over to  The Silph Road to see the rest of them .

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posted 2 months ago on yahoo! technology news
In Mark Zuckerberg's vision, Facebook can help build communities, encourage civic engagement, and keep us safer and more informed. That's the long-term plan at least, years, if not decades, down the line.

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posted 2 months ago on yahoo! technology news
Mark Zuckerberg's long-term vision for Facebook, laid out in a sweeping manifesto , sometimes sounds more like a utopian social guide than a business plan. Are we, he asks, "building the world we ...

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The latest rumor for Apple’s next iPhone comes from JPMorgan analyst Rod Hall who claims that Apple will be adding a front-facing 3D laser scanner for facial recognition to unlock the device, as noted by MacRumors. Hall claims that the 3D face scans will replace the fingerprint-based Touch ID system, which has been a part of Apple’s iOS platform since the release of the iPhone 5S in 2013.

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Following on the heels of Sprint , T-Mobile and Verizon , AT&T on Thursday announced a new unlimited data plan that will be available to all consumer and business postpaid customers. The plan launches on Friday, February 17th and will include unlimited talk, text and data on four lines for $180. Previously, qualifying for the AT&T Unlimited Plan required customers to also subscribe to either DirecTV or U-verse TV service, but with the new plan, that restriction has been lifted. It's unclear how exactly this will affect those customers, but we'll be sure to provide an update as soon as details are made available. According to the press release , customers will be able to make and take calls, send and receive text messages and use data on their mobile devices in the United States as well as Mexico and Canada with no roaming charges if they add the Roam North America feature to their plan for no additional charge. In the fine print, AT&T explains that the $180 price is what customers will see after a $40 bill credit is applied to their accounts for the fourth smartphone line. The credit starts after two, which means the price for the unlimited plan will be $220 per month until the credit is applied. AT&T also warns that after 22GB of data usage, it "may slow speeds during periods of network congestion." You're probably wondering how AT&T's unlimited plan compares with the recently announced plans of Verizon, T-Mobile and Sprint. Lucky for you, we put together a detailed piece about that earlier this week .

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posted 2 months ago on yahoo! technology news
Google’s latest artificial intelligence experiment is a music-playing piano bot that digests whatever keyboard melodies you give it and tries to respond in kind. The neat tool is called AI Duet, and it’s part of an ongoing push from Google’s Creative Lab division to help the public familiarize themselves with AI and all the ways it can mimic human behavior — and even create art. A collection of music-focused AI tools were first shown off last fall, but now AI Duet in particular has been made available to the public.

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The US Court of International Trade has ruled that the Snuggie should officially be classified as a blanket. Sorry to anyone who considers a Snuggie their special robe. Bloomberg reported on the ruling, in which the court dismissed the massive wad of fabric as being anything other than a blanket because it lacks “closures.” Were you hoping to wear it as a clerical robe or for some other ceremonious outing?

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posted 2 months ago on yahoo! technology news
You're going to want to sit down before you watch this. What started as a relatively innocuous announcement from President Trump that Alexander Acosta would be the new nominee for the labor secretary following Andrew Puzder decision to withdraw his nomination turned into a knock-down-drag-out brawl with the press. If you expected Trump to ignore the countless damning reports regarding his and his staff's connections to Russia, I have some bad news for you: he didn't. Before taking any questions, Trump rattled off a series of untruthful (and often nonsensical) statements, claiming that his electoral college victory was the largest since Ronald Reagan's ( it wasn't ), that the current administration is running like a "fine-tuned machine" ( it's not ) and that decisions from the 9th Circuit court which continued a stay on his travel ban "are overturned 80% of the time" ( they aren't ). Things only got stranger from there, as Trump opened the floor for questions. When asked about General Michael Flynn's recent resignation/firing , Trump reinforced press secretary Sean Spicer's earlier statements -- that Flynn had not done anything illegal, but rather that Trump was simply uncomfortable with "the way that information was given" to Vice President Mike Pence by Flynn. He then proceeded to repeatedly call the Russia story " fake news ," and things began to go off the rails. As for the recent leaks relating to Russia , Trump said that the leaks are real, but that "the news is fake." When a reporter fact-checked him on his claim about his electoral college victory, Trump said, "I don't know, I was given that information." Trump tried to explain uranium, talked at length about his debates with Hillary Clinton and affected a silly voice while gifting us with this incredible quote: "Tomorrow, they will say, "Donald Trump rants and raves at the press." I'm not ranting and raving. I'm just telling you. You know, you're dishonest people. But -- but I'm not ranting and raving. I love this. I'm having a good time doing it." It was the first of two times he would create a headline on the spot, the second in reference to his attempts to forge a positive relationship with Russia. I genuinely can't explain how weird this is, so watch it yourself: https://youtu.be/ZGqhhx8cxMg?t=1610

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posted 2 months ago on yahoo! technology news
Alphabet is changing the course of Project Loon, its plan to cover the Earth with a “continuous stream” of balloons that beam internet to the ground. Astro Teller, the head of the company’s experimental wing, announced today that the Loon team has learned how to control the navigation of these internet balloons so well that they can now concentrate them in areas of need. The original plan for Loon looked like a reversal of the way our phones connect to cellular towers as we move around in our daily lives.

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posted 2 months ago on yahoo! technology news
If you're looking for a mobile photo printer that's easy to use and offers high-quality printers in no time at all, congratulations because your search is now over. The Kodak Photo Printer Dock PD-450 connects to your iPhone or Android phone in seconds, and it prints gorgeous 4x6" photos in vivid color. The one-touch feature lets you print photos in an instant, and the printer's thermal transfer technology doesn't bleed or fade. It's the #1 new release in Amazon's portable photo printer section, and it's available to ship right now. Here are some highlights from the product page: ONE TOUCH PRINTING – Convenient Printer Dock Lets You Print Photos Direct From Your Smartphone; Includes Android Dock Pin & Free iOS Lightning Adapter HIGH QUALITY PHOTOS – Fast, Easy System Prints Standard 4” x 6” Photos in Brilliant Color & Stunning Detail; D2T2 Thermal Transfer Technology Won’t Bleed or Fade MAXIMUM DEVICE COMPATIBILITY – Dock Features 5-Pin Micro USB for Android & USB Host for Printing from iPhone, iPad, Digital Camera, or USB Memory Stick SIMULTANEOUS CHARGING – Power Up to Two Smart Devices While You Wait; Unique Dock Supplies a Fast Charge for Home, Office, School, or Business FREE COMPANION APP – Download the Kodak Photo Printer App for Filters, Stickers, Card Templates, Collage Maker, Video & SNS Print & Other Features

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It’s not a bite from a brown recluse spider, a bug scientist and skin doctors say in an article aimed at combating misdiagnoses. For starters, brown recluse bites are usually flat, pale at the center, and don’t really ooze — unless they’re on your eyelid or toes, that is. This even happens in states where these spiders don’t live, according to an opinion article published today in the journal JAMA Dermatology.

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It’s a $29 device that has a pen, a stylus, and 1,000 mAh battery pack with a universal Lightning and Micro USB jack. A more expensive $39 ChargeWrite+ lowers the battery size to 650mAh, but adds 16GB of flash storage. The ChargeWrite has a standard ballpoint pen, with what seem to be proprietary replacements (although the ChargeWrite team will be offering those for free, plus shipping, to Indiegogo backers.) So it’s probably not terrible for writing, but there are certainly nicer pens out there.

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posted 2 months ago on yahoo! technology news
Belle from Beauty and the Beast loves books and, although she was birthed in the 19th century, also code. The new Dance Code Belle doll teaches kids the fundamentals of coding all in the name of getting Belle to dance. Kids can program dance routines through Belle’s companion Android / iOS app.

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