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Appwtclck

Image: Lynne Cameron/Associated Press

Owners of an Apple Watch just got another tool to make life easier: a digital door key on their wrists.

The functionality comes via the August Smart Lock thanks to an update of the company's iPhone app that allows you to swipe and tap your Apple Watch to open an August Smart Lock-equipped door.

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Posted by on in Lifehacker

This Week's Top Downloads

Every week, we share a number of downloads for all platforms to help you get things done. Here were the top downloads from this week.

This Week's Top Downloads

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Samsung is set to announce its Galaxy Note 5 and S6 Edge Plus on August 13th, but we're getting a pretty good look at the device two weeks ahead of time. Prolific phone leaker Evan Blass has released what's said to be official press renders of both new devices. For good measure, he's released a set of specifications for the Note 5 as well.

This isn't the first time we've seen these two heavily-rumored devices, but it's certainly our best look yet. The Galaxy S6 Edge Plus looks exactly like what its name suggests — it's a bigger S6 Edge. The Note 5, meanwhile, looks like it shares a similar the Galaxy S6's handsome metal-and-glass design, though it has slightly sharper corners from the looks of it.

According to Evan Blass, the Note 5 will have a 5.66-inch, 2560 x 1440 display, like its predecessor. Its innards are an upgrade from the Galaxy S6, however, with a beefy octa-core Exynos 7420 chip, 4GB of RAM, and 32GB of storage. It will also have a 16-megapixel rear camera paired with a 5-megapixel front shooter, according to the leak. That new metal-and-glass design does come with a loss, however: the removable back and the microSD card slot on the Note 4 are said to be missing this time around.

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Posted by on in Gizmodo

Russia Ponders Banning Same-Sex Emoji

Not content with simply beating the shit out of LGBT people, Russia is now reportedly thinking of banning “gay emoji”, a move that I’m sure will prove instrumental in removing all gay propaganda from technology and the internet.

According to a report in Izvestia newspaper, Russia’s media regulator could ban emoji which depict same-sex couples from social media. The investigation into the emoji (sadly serious) was triggered by a complaint from Russian senator Mikhail Marchenko, who is concerned that the emoji featuring happy, non-assaulted same-sex couples is in violation of Russia’s 2013 law banning promotion of ‘non-traditional’ relationships.

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Hitchhiking Robot Lasts Just Two Weeks in US Because Humans Are Terrible

When hitchBOT the hitchhiking robot started his journey in Boston two weeks ago he wanted to see the entire country. Unfortunately, he never made it out of the Northeast. The researchers who built hitchBOT announced today that they need to stop the experiment because hitchBOT was vandalized in Philadelphia.

From the researchers who built hitchBOT:

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While you look at this 2016 Audi TT, the driver is looking at the 'virtual cockpit, an all-digital instrument cluster powered by an embedded Visual Computing Module (VCM). Nvidia's quad-core Tegra 30 processor brings fast, 60fps response time to the 12.3-inch, 1,440x540-pixel display. That's fast enough to play PC games—but here, that power helps the digital readouts react in real time to how the car is driving.

 It may sound gimmicky to some driving purists, but check out the views on the slides to follow. Everything from the classic tachometer and speedometer to Google Earth 3D maps looks pretty sweet on this display.

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travelblog

 

Making travel plans can be a chore. I know this since a flight attendant girl friend of mine use to laboriously make these plans so we could travel without any hiccups and this was before any apps were available to use. There are lots of things to consider when traveling, from hotel bookings to car rentals, and everything in between.

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There aren’t many smartphone users who are fans of bloatware: The manufacturer-made, own-brand apps that take up storage space and memory without necessarily offering any useful features or functions. Now Samsung has been ordered to give users the option of stripping bloatware off its phones — but only in China.

The move is a result of a lawsuit filed by a consumer rights committee in China, a suit that covered some 20 apps pre-installed on the Galaxy Note 3 (released in September 2013). Samsung lost the legal argument and so next month will release a patch for the Note 3 that lets users dismiss all these apps with a few taps — the company is also likely to tread more carefully when it comes to installing its own apps in the future.

Related: Samsung Galaxy Note 3 review

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image

From something as simple as a door sensor at a store to the new age of “smart” sensors in a rapidly emerging wearables market, the application of sensors has already permeated many parts of our everyday lives.

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Posted by on in Lifehacker

Build a Fully Functional Wooden Mouse

When it comes to mice, you have plenty of options for plastic shells. If you’re looking for something a little more stylish, Make shows you how to build a wood case.

Essentially, you’re making the case from wood then salvaging the electronics from an old USB mouse. As you’d expect, the project requires some woodworking skills, but the end result is a pretty neat looking personalized mouse. Head over to Make for the full guide.

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Posted by on in Tech Deals
$65.00
End Date: Saturday Aug-8-2015 13:44:55 PDT
Buy It Now for only: $65.00
Buy It Now | Add to watch list
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A BMW i3 with ActiveAssist

Apple and BMW may eventually have more in common than just some features in your car's infotainment system. Sources for both Reuters and Manager Magazin understand that the two companies have had "exploratory talks," including a trip by Apple executives to Leipzig to see how BMW builds the i3. Apple reportedly likes that BMW rethought the conventional car manufacturing process for its electric vehicle, and might use what it learned to help make its own EV. While BMW claims that there aren't any active talks about jointly developing a car, a Reuters tipster hears that the firms may revive talks (not necessarily to co-produce a vehicle) later on.

Not surprisingly, BMW is cautious about any deals. Research lead Klaus Froehlich says the doesn't want to "open [its] ecosystems" to a potential rival. However, it's hard to see the two avoiding each other when they could both use each other's help. Apple knows a lot about user interfaces and integrating mobile technology into cars, but it's a newcomer in creating the cars themselves -- that's part of why it's hiring so many auto industry veterans. Meanwhile, BMW knows that it can only do so much to accommodate connected devices without collaborations. You probably won't see an Apple-designed Beemer or an Apple car with loads of BMW-sourced parts, but there's still lots of potential for the corporations to influence each other.

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Technically Incorrect offers a slightly twisted take on the tech that's taken over our lives.

Can any schoolkid live without one? CNET

America needs a new neurosis like Donald Trump needs a new TV interview.

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Posted by on in RE/Code

A version of this essay was originally published at Tech.pinions, a website dedicated to informed opinions, insight and perspective on the tech industry. (Insider Exclusives registration required for this one.)

Not long after the original iPhone came out, I had a friend who was close to a major luxury-brand auto maker. He also knew Steve Jobs well. My friend asked Jobs if he was interested in talking to this company about finding a way to connect an iPhone to its entertainment system. From what I know of this meeting, I understand that, once Jobs talked to this company, a lot of lights went on in his head about how Apple could work with auto makers to integrate Apple’s technology into future cars.

Indeed, I suspect the roots of CarPlay can be traced to this meeting between Jobs and this auto company and, since then, Apple has courted and won support from just about every car maker to connect or integrate an iOS-based device and their services into their current and future models.

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Five Years Ago

The last few weeks have been full of copyright ridiculousness, but this week in 2010 features a lot of exploration into copyright's nuances. First, the Copyright Office and Librarian of Congress finally outlined DMCA exemptions for jailbreaking smartphones and some other situations, while rejecting some other proposed exceptions — and sparking Canada to take a fresh look at its own anti-circumvention proposals, essentially admitting it lets the US heavily influence Canadian copyright law. One US court started to put some limitations on the anti-circumvention clause itself by suggesting that simply using circumvention software is not itself a violation; the British High Court ruled that emulating a piece of software is not infringement; and another ruling let venues deduct from their BMI license deals when they directly license music. This was also hot on the heels of ASCAP's boss refusing Larry Lessig's invitation to debate, and bizarrely claiming that said invitation was an attempt to "silence" ASCAP.

A bunch of other interesting questions arose in the form of copyright concerns over Flipbook, the sale of prints made from long-lost (but recently found) Ansel Adams negatives, attempts to assert new copyrights on work by an artist who had been dead for 71 years, and the highly problematic proposal of a new digital transmission right. Meanwhile, the British Library was concerned about copyright hindering research, and gamers everywhere were worrying about copyright stymying the preservation of video game history.

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If you’re still waiting for your reservation to come up as Microsoft rolls out Windows 10, we can’t blame you for being eager to get your virtual hands on Microsoft’s latest OS. But if you get an email encouraging you upgrade to Windows 10, you’ll want to exercise a little caution, lest you get taken by scammers.

A post published to Cisco Systems’s company blog outlines how scammers are taking advantage of Windows 10’s launch to push ransomware onto unsuspecting PC users.  At first glance, the emails look reasonably legit: Cisco notes that scammers are spoofing the sender’s email address to make it look as if the message is from Microsoft. Also, the blue-and-white color scheme used in the message nearly matches the colors Microsoft is using for Windows 10 marketing materials. So unless you look carefully, you could get fooled into thinking the email is actually from Microsoft.

An attached .zip file purports to be a Windows 10 installer, but according to Cisco, the attachment contains a piece of ransomware called CTB-Locker that encrypts your files and requests payment within 96 hours, lets your files be encrypted forever.

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Ars Technica rides a SoloWheel. Video shot by Will Lemke of Propadata Films, edited by Jennifer Hahn.

SEATTLE—"You know you're in a sandal factory, right?" Luna Sandals founder "Barefoot" Ted McDonald said in a small retail room on a recent sunny day. The room is covered in photos of himself jogging, hiking, and exploring various exotic locales, and from there, he led me around the corner to a modest assembly and boxing room. At that time, the shop had no other customers, which I noticed because McDonald was moving around indoors by gliding on an electric, one-wheeled apparatus known as the SoloWheel.

McDonald has become a bug-eyed advocate—and official salesperson—for the device, and he made a point to ride it around as we talked, presumably to prove just how nimble and precise his motion can be on such hardware. It was effective—he could whip around and stop on a dime in impressive fashion—but in cities like Seattle, however, such advocacy isn't even so necessary. The single-wheeled devices, with no handles and two tiny flaps to stand on, have already started to become fixtures in hilly tech cities where people are buying into their efficient, glide-next-to-pedestrians style of movement.

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Posted by on in CNET

Peter Sweatman, director of the University of Michigan's Transportation Research InstitutePeter Sweatman, director of the University of Michigan's Transportation Research Institute. Stephen Shankland/CNET

ANN ARBOR, Michigan -- Peter Sweatman isn't in charge of the computing revolution that's sweeping the auto industry, but he's at the center of it.

As director of the University of Michigan's Transportation Research Institute (UMTRI) in Ann Arbor, he's 30 miles west of Detroit and in the heart of car country. Ford, General Motors, Fiat's Chrysler and countless suppliers are all nearby, and they're getting even closer: a new project at the University of Michigan called Mcity will help carmakers develop the automated navigation systems of their self-driving vehicles.

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Posted by on in TechCrunch
Gillmor Gang LIVE 08.01.15 | TechCrunch image
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kim-dotcom-ooh

Kim Dotcom’s life has taken a strange turn in recent years. After police raided his lavish New Zealand home in 2012, the MegaUpload founder has been at the center of an international legal battle. The US wants him extradited to face charges for criminal copyright infringement and racketeering charges, but Dotcom has been going about his business in New Zealand founding a new online storage service called Mega. However, Dotcom recently explained why you should stop using the service he founded. He doesn’t think it’s safe anymore.

The statements were made in a Slashdot Q&A session with the Mega founder. According to Dotcom, matters have conspired to wrest control of Mega from him. Because of his ongoing legal difficulties, he has opted to transfer all his shares in Mega to his wife. However, they’re now separated and reportedly heading for divorce.

mega-about_us

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