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Puls begins offering same-day TV antenna installation

36 min 40 sec ago
This new service can install a TV antenna on your roof on the same day you decide to cut the cable cord.

Is CES a trouble spot for Apple?

1 hour 51 min ago

The reports are in from the 2018 Consumer Electronics Show, and they’re not good if you’re an Apple watcher: The days of CES being a show full of products trumpeting their connections to the App Store are over. This year, it’s all about smart assistants—and that means Alexa and the Google Assistant, not Siri. It’s bad news for Apple—or is it?

I trust the trained eyes of CES observers. Both analyst Ben Bajarin and New York Times tech writer Brian Chen reported the same thing.

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'Hey Siri, give me the news' leaves beta, works with NPR, Fox, CNN, and Washington Post

4 hours 22 min ago

One of those things people expect to be able to do with smart speakers is to get a news briefing in the morning. It was one of Alexa’s first tricks when the Echo launched in 2014, and a core feature of Google Home in 2016. With the HomePod on the way, it simply has to be one of Siri’s powers, too. It’s table stakes.

And so it has come to pass. Previously available only to users running the iOS 11.2.5 beta, the new news feature is now available to everyone in the US, UK, and Australia. 

’Hey Siri, give me the news’

To invoke the new feature, simply say, “Hey Siri, give me the news.” (Other similar phrases like “what’s in the news” will also work.) Siri will begin playing a news digest podcast from NPR by default.

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Cook says 'people weren't paying attention' but vows to let users turn off iPhone throttling

6 hours 32 min ago

In an interview with ABC News to tout Apple’s new jobs strategy, second U.S. campus, and repatriation of some $250 billion in overseas cash, Tim Cook also spoke for the first time about the iPhone battery issue, offering an apology, a little blame, and an upcoming fix.

Apple has already come clean on its practice of slowing down older iPhones to prevent against unnecessary shutdowns, but Cook put a slightly different spin on things, saying “a lot of people weren’t paying attention” when Apple originally released the iOS 10.2.1 update that started throttling chip speeds. At the time, this is what Apple had to say in a statement provided to TechCrunch:

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How Apple can turn the iPhone into an ultra portable MacBook Air

10 hours 6 min ago

Amid the battles over bezels, screens, and battery life, there’s one thing that all iPhones have in common: They’re powerful enough to replace your PC. Now before you start yelling at your screen, I’m not talking about the iMac Pro or the HP Omen. If you use your laptop or desktop to do something you can’t do on your phone, the point is moot. PCs and Macs still have their place in the world, and it’s going to be a long while before our mobile devices can handle the more strenuous tasks we call on our PCs to do.

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Fender Monterey Bluetooth speaker review: Rugged, loud, and fun, but also pricey and only marginally portable

11 hours 6 min ago
The absence of a battery leaves the thumpy Fender Monterey Bluetooth speaker reliant on AC power.

It’s time for cord cutters to embrace the smart TV

11 hours 6 min ago
Smart TVs used to be consistently worse than dedicated streaming players. Not anymore.

iPhone fixation: It’s all on Apple

11 hours 6 min ago

It appears that some of you have an iPhone fixation!

The Macalope is, of course, talking about the members of the tech punditry corps, who only ever look at the iPhone whenever there’s a problem.

Writing for The New York Times, Farhad Manjoo says “It’s Time for Apple to Build a Less Addictive iPhone.” (Tip o’ the antlers to Philip, D_CMills and @JonyIveParody.)

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Meltdown and Spectre, iPhone addiction, CES, and your comments and questions: Macworld Podcast episode 588

Wed, 01/17/2018 - 17:39

How do the Meltdown and Spectre CPU vulnerabilities affect Apple users? Is iPhone addition a problem? And does the recent Consumer Electronics Show mean anything for Apple? We also feature your comments and questions for Michael Simon, Jason Cross, Roman Loyola, and Dan Masaoka in the Macworld Podcast, episode 588.

Here are relevant links to get more info on the stuff discussed on the show.

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How to set up a new iPhone by restoring it from an older device

Wed, 01/17/2018 - 07:00

Macworld readers are likely quite used to restoring their iOS devices. Sometimes, you’ll need to bring your iPhone or iPad in or ship it off for repair, and Apple has to reset or replace it. Other times, you might hit a glitch—a rapidly draining battery is a common one—where the “best” remedy is backing up and restoring.

But Macworld reader Jim writes in with what I think is a common scenario for which there’s an extra step that isn’t exactly obvious: when you want effectively to transfer the contents of an older iOS device with a newer replacement, but the newer iOS hardware is already set up and running, just not with your stuff.

Jim tutors seniors on Apple equipment at the retirement community at which he lives, and he says his comrades often have an older iOS device they use, and have been given a newer hand-me-down from their kids or grandkids. They just want to transfer an iCloud backup. Fortunately, it’s straightforward.

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Nest Secure review: This security offering carries a premium price tag despite missing some key features

Wed, 01/17/2018 - 06:00
Save your pennies if you want to adopt Nest’s sleek—yet limited—security offering.

Amazon's Fire TV boss: We're beating Roku, and we're still doing smart TVs

Wed, 01/17/2018 - 06:00
Amazon says it's winning the streaming device wars and plotting a return to smart TVs.

Steam is selling Papers, Please for $2 today

Tue, 01/16/2018 - 13:31

Yearning to smuggle drugs or participate in other questionable antics on the border of an imaginary Eastern Bloc-esque country? Today's Steam Daily Deal is for you. Right now, the online gaming retailer is selling Lucas Pope's Papers, Please for $2. You've got quite a while to get this deal as Steam's "daily deal" ends just before 9AM on Wednesday Pacific time. The game is usually $10.

Papers, Please is a very engrossing game despite its low-buck graphics (the game only takes up 41MB on your hard drive). Regardless, we were so enthralled with it that we named it our Game of the Year for 2013.

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Toyota to finally offer CarPlay in some 2019 models

Tue, 01/16/2018 - 13:13

If you hop over to Apple's CarPlay site, you'll notice that Toyota is listed among the partner car manufacturers. It's been there for years, in fact.

There's just one problem. Toyota has never produced a CarPlay compatible vehicle. (Nor Android Auto, for that matter.) Instead, the auto maker has stuck steadfastly to its own Entune platform for app integration. 

That's all finally changing with the 2019 Toyota Avalon and and select 2019 Lexus vehicles. Next year's Avalon, with Entune 3.0, will finally support CarPlay, as will select Lexus vehicles with the Enform 2.0 platform. The announcement was part of an overall reveal of the 2019 Avalon at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit. 

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Apple’s iOS 11.2.2 Spectre patch probably won’t slow down your iPhone, but here’s what to do if it does

Tue, 01/16/2018 - 10:46

Last week Apple pushed out iOS 11.2.2, which seeks to mitigate the risks associated with the Spectre chip flaw via a security update to Safari and Webkit. Since a Spectre attacker is most likely to attack your system via a Javascript vulnerability, Apple has addressed the issue in iOS 11.2.2 to make your system more secure.

The patch doesn’t actually fix the issue, however, and it’s unlikely Apple will ever release an iOS update that will. While researchers and programmers are actively working on ways to reduce the likelihood that your iPhone will ever be exploited using the Spectre flaws, Apple and others have made it clear that these are merely mitigations and not outright fixes.

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Yamaha YAS-207 soundbar review: A taste of immersive audio in a spouse-friendly footprint

Tue, 01/16/2018 - 07:00
The first soundbar with DTS Virtual:X technology is impressive, but it's not perfect.

The greatest form of flattery: The copy and pasting of iPhone features

Tue, 01/16/2018 - 07:00

The tea leaves have been read and, once again, it’s a bold brew of Apple doom.

Writing for BGR, Zach Epstein is the latest contestant on the new game show everyone hates: “Just Askin’!”

“Is the era of copying Apple’s every move finally over for Android phone makers?” (Tip o’ the antlers to El Santo.)

[Studio audience chants in unison] JUST! ASKIN’!

For a variety of reasons, Apple shipped the iPhone X with Face ID and not Touch ID.

This is the type of major shift in strategy and technology that Android phone makers in the past would have been scrambling to copy. According to a new report, however, that might not be the case.

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JBL Pulse 3 review: This weatherproof Bluetooth speaker puts on a fun light show

Tue, 01/16/2018 - 06:00
An IPX7 weatherization rating means this speaker can survive a dip in the pool, but it's audio performance left us wanting.

Nest Cam IQ Outdoor review: Nest's upgraded outdoor security camera is a winner

Mon, 01/15/2018 - 07:30
Nest follows the blueprint of the Nest Cam IQ indoor camera with its second outdoor model.

Save 80% On A Lifetime Of Aura Premium's AI Powered Meditation App

Mon, 01/15/2018 - 07:07

2018 is here, and while everyone else stresses over ambitious resolutions, how about you keep things simple and just make this year one of mindfulness and low anxiety? To get you there, Aura Premium uses cutting-edge AI that's designed to provide short, science-backed mindfulness meditation exercises every day, and now you can get lifetime access for $59.99.

With Aura Premium, you can choose 3- or 7- or 10-minute meditation durations depending on your availability and comfort. Once you complete an exercise, rate it, and Aura's AI will curate others like it to optimize your wellness journey. You can track your mood, learn about your mood patterns, and visually see yourself improve. Plus, Aura Premium also gives you daily reminders for mindful breathers to keep you centered.

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