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Snapchat, buddy, we need to talk. How long have we been best friends now? If I recall correctly, it's been about two years. We've had a lot of good times, and even though I didn’t always understand you, the more we hung out, the more I was able to appreciate you.

I knew we passed a major milestone when, after about six months, I bumped Facebook off my home screen just to see more of you. Your Stories were hilarious, and I loved telling my own.

There was a short period when I couldn't wrap my mind around you. I'd delete all my selfies and craggy doodles shortly after posting them — but then I finally started to embrace your ephemerality. Read more...

More about Snapchat, Snapchat Stories, Tech Column, Tech, and Social Media Companies
Author: Raymond Wong
Posted: July 20, 2017, 11:15 am
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If you love the idea of virtual reality, but hate having to wear a headset, this is going to appeal to you.

Japan's public broadcaster NHK has come up with an ultra high-definition immersive experience, featuring a rounded 8K projection dome screen that wraps around a moving seat.

Riders strap into a chairs that move in sync with the footage, making it feel as though you're moving with the camera. 

Image: AFP/Getty Images

The attraction was first shown at SXSW this year, featuring a five-minute long flyby of Tokyo, taking you through popular spots in the city, like Shibuya, Asakusa and above the Tokyo Sky Tree in different periods. Read more...

More about Vr, Tokyo, Rides, Projector, and 8k Tv
Author: Yi Shu Ng
Posted: July 20, 2017, 10:36 am
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Ethereum has become a top target for hackers. 

The promising cryptocurrency that's also a platform for decentralized applications has skyrocketed in value over the last six months (though it also had a serious drop in price in the last couple of weeks). But hacker attacks and theft of ether have become commonplace, and the last one is one of the worst so far. 

An unknown hacker or a group of hackers exploited a vulnerability in the way in which Parity, an Ethereum wallet, implemented multi-sig wallets, stealing some 153,000 worth of ether, which was valued around $32 million at the time of theft.  Read more...

More about Theft, Ether, Ethereum, Parity, and Gavin Wood
Author: Stan Schroeder
Posted: July 20, 2017, 8:35 am
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Google Home. Amazon Echo. Apple HomePod. Lenovo SmartCast+?

The company that brought you the Yoga Book has big plans for an artificially intelligent smart-device future — plans that it will reveal at the June 20 third annual Lenovo Tech World conference in Shanghai. 

The Chinese company has created a host of concept products that it says demonstrate its "vision for the future of AI."

"We believe an intelligent future makes people’s lives better, and that starts with smart devices," a spokesperson wrote in a press release. "Cloud enabled devices – such as PCs, tablets, smartphones, smart speakers, smart TV and AR/VR – bring you content, services and experiences in a new way." Read more...

More about Tech, China, Lenovo, Artificial Intelligence, and Ai
Author: Jack Morse
Posted: July 20, 2017, 4:00 am
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Hey, fellow humans, I thought we were all on the same page here?

When news broke that a security robot mall-copping its way through the Washington Harbour gave up and drowned itself, we all rightly celebrated the admittedly small victory for mankind. Because, ya know, if drones are going to take our jobs they should at least be miserably toiling their mechanical lives away. 

So why am I now finding out that you went and built this thing a shrine

To make matters worse, you named the bot Steve? Steve?!

This is the memorial for Steve the drowned security robot outside our office on his charging pad. The future is weirdpic.twitter.com/Pb7KLay1VO

— Oliver Griswold (@originalgriz) July 19, 2017 Read more...

More about Security, Robots, Drones, Knightscope, and Autonomous Drones
Author: Jack Morse
Posted: July 20, 2017, 12:01 am
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It's no secret that tech has a diversity problem. 

The big-name Silicon Valley companies that release their staffing figures every year often seem embarrassed to do so, because their workplaces are not inclusive or representative of the larger population — even after those companies vocally commit to changing the status quo.

And every year, we argue over the same question: Why don't firms like Yahoo, Facebook, and Google hire more women and people of color? 

Hadi Partovi, CEO of Code.org, a nonprofit that works to create more diversity in tech, believes there's finally one promising solution within reach.  Read more...

More about Tech, Education, Gender, Social Good, and Stem
Author: Rebecca Ruiz
Posted: July 19, 2017, 10:00 pm
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Suits, countersuits, and everything in between. When Apple and billions of dollars are involved, you know things are going to get messy. 

Well, messy and interesting. Because, in what can only be read as a "don't mess with us" play from Apple CEO Tim Cook, it turns out that the Cupertino-based behemoth is financially backing the legal defense of four iPhone manufacturers in their battle with Qualcomm — a company that just so happens to own the chip technology that allows iPhones to connect to cell data networks. 

More about Apple, Tim Cook, Patents, Lawsuits, and Foxconn
Author: Jack Morse
Posted: July 19, 2017, 9:32 pm
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Just to let you know, if you buy something featured here, Mashable might earn an affiliate commission.

Paying $4 for your daily dose of espresso each morning is fun, but you might want to save your money and purchase one of these bad boys instead. 

Say goodbye to that clunky machine in your kitchen and hello to this portable one instead. Weighing in at under 1lb and measuring about 7” long, it can fit in your bag, the drawer of your desk, and just about anywhere else. 

Image: wacaco company

The Minipresso GR’s innovate design features a semi-automatic piston that injects small quantities of water into the coffee adapter. After a few pushes of the button, a bold espresso shot is extracted. It also has water tanks of different capacities, which makes it possible to enjoy multiple espresso types with any variety of bean or roast.  Read more...

More about Amazon, Amazon Prime, Coffee, Espresso, and On The Go
Author: Molly Levine
Posted: July 19, 2017, 7:31 pm
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Just to let you know, if you buy something featured here, Mashable might earn an affiliate commission.

The InkCase i7 is rising through the ranks as one of the most unique cases on the market – and it’s guaranteed to transform the way you use your phone. Whether you’re a bookworm or someone with lots to do, this case is for you.

What is it? It’s a phone case with an ink screen on the back. It allows you to display photos, eBooks, news posts, and more. It also comes with an inbuilt battery and storage space.

The BubblePro Technology protects your phone with shock absorption and waterproof features. So when you inevitably drop your phone, the energy from the impact spreads across the outer case, leaving it unharmed. The durable plastic prevents shatter, but still feels thin and light. Read more...

More about Iphone, Screen, E Ink, Phone Case, and Mashable Shopping
Author: Bari Blitzer
Posted: July 19, 2017, 6:48 pm
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The all-girl robotics team from Afghanistan that was initially denied entry to the United States for an international competition is taking home the silver medal.

Fittingly, they received a the accolade for "courageous achievement" at the FIRST Global Challenge, an international robotics competition where teams were asked to come up with an idea for providing access clean water.

Rajaa Cherkaoui El Moursli awards for courageous achievement go to Teams #Oman #Afghanistan #SouthSudan #fgc2017 pic.twitter.com/F0VLAdc0z1

— FIRST Global (@F1RSTglobal) July 18, 2017 Read more...

More about Technology, Donald Trump, Middle East, Global, and Afghanistan
Author: Suzanne Ciechalski
Posted: July 19, 2017, 6:08 pm
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When it comes to shaving, guys have historically had only two choices in the realm of hair removal.    

There’s the bulky black electric razor that sounds like a hive of angry bees or the cheap $2 piece of plastic that comes in a pack of 1,000 or so. That’s how it’s always been and — with a few exceptions — that’s how it is now.

However, there are some outliers in the brood giving guys the vital choices they need to conquer that particularly thick hair that somehow manages to elude the run-of-the-mill razor. One of those outliers is the Philips Norelco OneBlade hybrid electric trimmer and shaver — a razor that trims, edges, and shaves. Read more...

More about Facial Hair, Hybrid, Razor, Shaved Hair, and Mashable Shopping
Author: Jeremy Glass
Posted: July 19, 2017, 6:01 pm
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Google added a neat feature for cyclists in Google Maps in 2014. Whenever you asked for directions from point A to point B, Maps would also provide a little map with an estimated elevation for each part of the route. 

Now the same is true for walking directions. For each set of directions, you'll get a little interactive map that shows you elevation changes and the overall climb and descent of the route. 

We're not sure how long the feature has been live (we've asked Google to clarify), but we definitely haven't seen it before. It worked for several people at Mashable in several regions, so we assume it's live for everyone. Read more...

More about Google, Google Maps, Tech, and Big Tech Companies
Author: Stan Schroeder
Posted: July 19, 2017, 5:52 pm
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There have never been more ways to watch Game of Thrones legally, but that hasn't stopped the show from continuing to be the most popular TV show for illegal downloads and streams. 

That's the finding from a report from file sharing news site TorrentFreak, released Monday, which revealed that the show still leads the list of pirated shows. At one point, one day after the show's Season 7 premiere, over 130,000 people were sharing various torrents of the episode, according to TorrentFreak.

But those are just the hardcore users willing to directly download illegal torrent files of the show. As for those watching illegal streams offered on websites, citing an anonymous source at one major illegal streaming portal, the same report revealed that the portal logged up to 20,000 illegal streams per hour of the show's premiere as of Monday morning.  Read more...

More about Streaming, Piracy, Game Of Thrones, Bittorrent, and Tech
Author: Adario Strange
Posted: July 19, 2017, 5:48 pm
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A scooter you can also remote control sounds cool, until you find out it can be hacked. Then it's not cool at all — it's terrifying.

Every Friday, I ride an electric Segway/Ninebot miniPRO around the office. It's my favorite rideable (A.K.A. balance board, A.K.A., hoverboard). It's also the only one that includes a remote control that I can use to send it running around the office on its own. 

The remote control does not work when I'm standing on the Segway miniPRO, which itself is essentially a tiny version of the original self-balancing mobility device introduced 16 years ago by inventor Dean Kamen.  Read more...

More about Hoverboard, Hoverboards, Segway, Minipro, and Rideables
Author: Lance Ulanoff
Posted: July 19, 2017, 5:15 pm
Author: Damon Beres
Posted: July 19, 2017, 4:32 pm
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Anyone flying to the United States from the nation's immediate neighbors — Mexico and Canada — will have to go through a new ream of security measures, as of Wednesday.

Both WestJet and AirCanada have posted travel advisories warning customers to arrive at airports earlier to accommodate more time for security screenings. The advisories come in response to new enhanced screenings for travelers from Mexico and Canada, implemented by the Department of Homeland Security.

"WestJet strongly encourages you to arrive at the airport a minimum of two hours prior to your scheduled departure, to allow for additional screening time and ensure you don’t miss your flight," the airline wrote. Read more...

More about Tech, Business, Security, Canada, and Airlines
Author: Colin Daileda
Posted: July 19, 2017, 4:11 pm
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Just to let you know, if you buy something featured here, Mashable might earn an affiliate commission.

The bathroom can be a dangerous place. In fact, there are roughly 40,000 toilet-related injuries in the U.S. every year. Just ask Wikipedia.

Many of these likely occur in the darkness of night when nature’s call lures you out of bed and onto the perilous porcelain throne. Enter IllumiBowl 2.0, a genius night light that clips onto the rim of your toilet and glows in glorious multi-colored brilliance, allowing you to find steady footing and perfect aim, even when you’re half asleep. 

An instant Kickstarter success and a Shark Tank-backed prospect, the IllumiBowl is a fun and practical addition to any bathroom. Simply snap it onto the rim of the bowl, and set your color preference to one of the eight vibrant choices.  Read more...

More about Toilet Bowl Night Light, Mashable Shopping, Shopping Stackcommerce, Tech, and Consumer Tech
Author: Lindsay Robertson
Posted: July 19, 2017, 3:34 pm
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So many books, so little time. It's the motto of every voracious reader; the kind who keep long lists of works they can’t wait to tackle; the kind who take immense pride in their home libraries, Kindle collections, and Audible lineups; the kind that, if granted one superpower, would want the ability to read at superhuman speed.

Well, here’s some good news for those hungry bibliophiles: you don’t need superpowers in order to read more books. All you need is the Award-Winning Speed Reading Bundle. This one-two punch of acclaimed training programs is designed to elevate your reading speed as well as your comprehension of that surplus of words you’re consuming. This bundle comes with a lifetime license, so you can return to your training again and again to refresh your speed reading skills. Read more...

More about Software, Books, Reading, Bundle, and Mashable Shopping
Author: Lindsay Robertson
Posted: July 19, 2017, 3:18 pm
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In case we needed another reason to get excited for Marvel's upcoming VR title, we now know the identity of a fourth character that will costar in the game: Deadpool.

That's right: everybody's favorite, foul-mouthed antihero will be taking centerstage, along with the Hulk, Captain Marvel, Rocket Raccoon, and several other unannounced characters.

Marvel Powers United VR won't officially release until 2018, but I was able to get an early demo of the game ahead of Comic-Con. I have to say, it was really freaking cool. Seriously. I've done a lot of VR demos and most of the time I'm left somewhere between nauseated and mildly interested.  Read more...

More about Tech, Entertainment, Gaming, Marvel, and Virtual Reality
Author: Karissa Bell
Posted: July 19, 2017, 3:00 pm
Author: Raymond Wong
Posted: July 19, 2017, 2:57 pm
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'Airpaq' is recycling airbags and seat belts from old cars and turning them into sustainable backpacks.  Read more...

More about Kickstarter, Recycling, Sustainable, Backpack, and Sustainable Living
Author: Alex Humphreys
Posted: July 19, 2017, 2:50 pm
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Mozilla is building a massive repository of voice recordings for the voice apps of the future — and it wants you to add yours to the collection. 

The organization behind the Firefox browser is launching Common Voice, a project to crowdsource audio samples from the public. The goal is to collect about 10,000 hours of audio in various accents and make it publicly available for everyone.

Building a database large enough to recognize speech that will power apps like the digital assistants that have become such a big part of our daily lives requires a ton of audio — so the company is asking the public to pitch in, just like Google's, who's AI experiment Quick! Draw uses a fun sketch game to train its computer vision AI. Read more...

More about Voice Commands, Voice Assistants, Crowdsourcing, Mozilla, and Speech Apps
Author: Brett Williams
Posted: July 19, 2017, 2:41 pm
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Money is pretty simple nowadays: A piece of paper or a digital asset that you can exchange for goods and services. Someone else takes care of all the fine print. Some kind of central authority issues the money, calculates its value, and makes sure that that wire transaction you've sent goes to the right recipient. 

But money is changing. First there was Bitcoin, a digital currency that takes care of the issuance and payments parts all by itself — by means of technology instead of authority. And then there was Ethereum, which adds another layer over Bitcoin's underlying technology, the blockchain, by letting anyone run complex commands from within the digital coins themselves.  Read more...

More about Bitcoin, Digital Currency, Blockchain, Ethereum, and Tech Column
Author: Stan Schroeder
Posted: July 19, 2017, 11:15 am
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Ask any Mercedes enthusiast, and they'll tell you that the company's S-Class is the car to beat in the luxury class. It's so far ahead of everything else, that it usually takes other car makers an entire generation of cars to catch up. 

And despite Audi recently wowing us with its new, super-luxurious and near-autonomous Audi A8, Mercedes' new S-Class might actually be even more advanced, albeit in a slightly more subtle way. 

Let's get one thing out of the way: Mercedes' top-of-the-line sedan does not drive itself. You can't watch a movie on your phone while the car drives you around (to be fair, only the A8 can do that, and only in some very specific situations). But it does a lot to subtly alter your driving experience for the better.  Read more...

More about Cars, Transportation, Mercedes, S Class, and Tech
Author: Stan Schroeder
Posted: July 19, 2017, 10:23 am
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Bixby, Samsung's smart voice assistant that was supposed to launch together with the Galaxy S8 and S8+ phones, is now finally available for everyone. 

Bixby was previously available only to a small subset of "early access preview" users who got to test an early version of the software. Starting today, those users can also update their Bixby to the latest version. 

To install Bixby, users can press the dedicated Bixby button on their Galaxy S8 or S8+ devices. Once it's installed, you can invoke it by holding that same button or saying "Hi, Bixby." Read more...

More about Samsung, Bixby, Tech, Smartphones, and Big Tech Companies
Author: Stan Schroeder
Posted: July 19, 2017, 8:59 am
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Google, perhaps more than any other tech giant, knows an astonishing amount about you. 

Your search history alone could be enough to paint a surprisingly vivid portrait of everything, from your current hobbies to your deepest darkest secrets. Not to mention everything you've ever done in Google's many other services, like YouTube and Maps. 

Now, Google is taking everything it's learned about you (and everything it's guessed about you) and using it to create a personalized feed. The feed will appear alongside search on Google's apps and, eventually, in your browser and other platforms.

More about Tech, Google, Highlights, Apps And Software, and Google Search
Author: Karissa Bell
Posted: July 19, 2017, 7:06 am
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Chinese Whatsapp users are fearing that the app is being blocked in the country.

On Tuesday, users found they weren't able to send pictures or videos across. It only worked when they used a VPN server instead, possibly indicating that the issue wasn't with Whatsapp, but with the government's notorious firewall.

If true, the high-profile messaging app would be the latest casualty in China's latest efforts to police online content.

Users took to Twitter to confirm the peculiar outage:

Has #China blocked #whatsapp, or is it just a glitch? Can only access thru vpn since yesterday

— Jeremy Koh (@JeremyKohCNA) July 18, 2017 Read more...

More about Facebook, China, Censorship, Whatsapp, and Messaging Apps
Author: Yi Shu Ng
Posted: July 19, 2017, 4:34 am
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The Internet of Things has shown us time and time again that nothing connected to the internet is safe from hackers, and yet we've mostly written off security-camera fueled botnets as someone else's problem. 

But what if the thing in question happens to be a boat loaded with weapons?

A group of cybersecurity researchers is having a field day online with the discovery that the configuration of certain ships' satellite antenna systems leaves them wide open to attack — and the possible consequences are startling. Read more...

More about Cybersecurity, Hackers, Boats, Hackering, and Shodan
Author: Jack Morse
Posted: July 18, 2017, 10:32 pm
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OnePlus, the startup phone company behind the well-reviewed OnePlus 5, appears to have an issue with another sequence of numbers. Unfortunately, that sequence happens to be 9-1-1.  

A video shared to Reddit shows one of the sleek new phones rebooting immediately after being used to dial the three-digit distress code in a test run, making it impossible for its owner to reach a dispatcher in the event of an actual emergency. 

OnePlus owner Nick Morelli posted about the flaw on the OnePlus subreddit, noting that he was able to replicate the reboot process over multiple test calls. 

More about Reddit, Oneplus, 911, Emergency Calls, and Oneplus 5
Author: Brett Williams
Posted: July 18, 2017, 9:43 pm