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Microsoft to end production on the Surface 3 by late 2016

Fri, 06/24/2016 - 19:14

Microsoft plans to stop manufacturing its entry-level Surface 3 tablet by year's end, the company announced today. Quite a few sites dedicated to Microsoft and Windows news noticed of late that stock for the device has been running low, and ZDNet confirmed the company would be winding down production over the next six months. "Since launching Surface 3 over a year ago, we have seen strong demand and satisfaction amongst our customers," Microsoft said in a statement.

Watch molten copper destroy a Rubik's Cube and Ping-Pong balls

Fri, 06/24/2016 - 19:09

When classic toys get covered in molten copper, the results are anything but playful.

Apple discontinues the 27-inch Thunderbolt Display. What's next? (Apple Byte Extra Crunchy Podcast, Ep. 43)

Fri, 06/24/2016 - 19:02

Everything points to the next big upgrade coming in 2017 for the 10th anniversary of the iPhone. The Apple Watch is looking at new display tech, and say goodbye to the Thunderbolt Display.

A painfully telling video about Brexit sweeps the web

Fri, 06/24/2016 - 18:57

Technically Incorrect: Within hours of Britons voting, a chief proponent of withdrawing from the EU says one of the Leave campaign's biggest promises was false. The news spreads quickly on Twitter.

Netflix has a secret team of workers paid to watch TV and movies

Fri, 06/24/2016 - 18:10
A pair of recent lawsuits has revealed that Netflix has a secret team of employees tasked with watching thousands of hours of programming from Netflix's library in order to figure out which still images should be used to represent a given program. While seemingly silly on the surface, Netflix famously spares no expense when it comes to keeping users immersed in the Netflix universe for as long as possible. From Netflix's vantage point, every detail, no matter how minute, matters a great deal. So whether it's the recommendations that fill up a user's splash page or the images used to represent movies and TV shows, no detail is too small to be ignored. DON'T MISS:  Leaked photos show off the Tesla Model 3’s beautiful interior Word of the program -- officially dubbed Project Beetlejuice -- were first brought to the surface following two putative class action suits against the streaming giant. Specifically, the lawsuits were filed by two respective members of the Project Bettlejuice team who believe they should be classified as employees rather than contractors. The distinction might seem slight, but the legal implications are significant. As contractors, the viewers are not entitled to overtime pay, a higher wage, health insurance, 401(k) packages and more. Originally reported by The Hollywood Reporter , the secretive program tasks hundreds of individuals called "juicers" to spend untold hours watching endless amounts of programming from Netflix's library. And for all of their time, they're paid $10/hour. Famous for its use of algorithms to help make programming decisions, Netflix apparently requires at least a bit of grunt work computers are incapable of handling. Although the company never has publicly acknowledged "juicers" — who can work from home — it has spoken before about "taggers," who are paid to watch a movie and label it as, for instance, "thriller with strong female lead" to better serve users. In 2014, Netflix even advertised its need for "taggers" in Ireland and the United Kingdom. As each lawsuit makes its way through the court system, it'll be interesting to see if any more of Netflix's secrets make their way into the public eye. When reached for comment, Netflix told a number of outlets that it doesn't comment on pending litigation.

This webcam is actually a PC but you should still put tape over it

Fri, 06/24/2016 - 18:00

At first glance the TVPRO HD6 looks like your standard webcam from 2004, but it's actually a tiny PC complete with a full array of ports and even smaller stereo speakers. The TVPRO HD6 runs on an Intel Atom Z3735F quad-core Bay Trail processor, 2GB of RAM, and 32GB of storage which can be expanded with a microSD card. If you want to get your hands on this very tiny PC, it's being sold on AliExpress (and shipping from China) for $146.


Fri, 06/24/2016 - 18:00

Apple’s 2017 Apple Watch may be the wearable we’ve all been waiting for

Fri, 06/24/2016 - 17:45
A new report from DigiTimes claims that there are some interesting changes in store for the Apple Watch. According to the publication -- which admittedly has a spotty record with Apple rumors -- Apple is planning to replace the OLED panels it currently uses on the Apple Watch with Micro LED technology sometime next year. The report adds that the new display panels will be built on technology Apple acquired when it purchased LuxVue back in 2014, a company well regarded for its power-efficient micro-LED displays. The benefits of switching from OLED to Micro LED are certainly intriguing: not only might it help increase battery life on the Apple Watch, but it may also result in a richer and more vibrant color gamut with higher resolutions. More importantly, because Micro LED panels are thinner and lighter than OLED screens, it stands to reason that the Apple Watch 3 casing will be thinner than its current form, a welcome change for those who find the current design a bit unwieldy. DON'T MISS:  Leaked photos show off the Tesla Model 3’s beautiful interior All told, the future of the Apple Watch is looking rather bright, especially given the recent unveiling of watchOS 3. As we detailed previously , watchOS 3 addresses nearly all of the major complaints that consumers had with the first iteration of the Apple Watch. From welcome performance improvements to a long overdue overhaul of the UI, the Apple Watch as a standalone product is looking more intriguing than ever before. Broadly speaking, the Apple Watch may finally be in a position to become the success many initially assumed it would be. If we go back to April 2015 when the Apple Watch first hit store shelves, many assumed that the device would be a runaway hit. The reality, though, was quite the opposite. Though the Apple Watch has sold reasonably well, sales thus far haven't been high enough to prompt Apple to release official sales figures just yet. And while this has caused some to prematurely label the Apple Watch a flop, it's important to remember that sales of Apple's wearable during its first year of availability were higher than what we saw for both the iPhone and the iPod. In other words, blockbuster hits don't always happen over night. Sometimes, it takes awhile for products to find their footing and truly resonate with mainstream consumers. And with the Apple Watch, it's increasingly starting to look like versions two and three of Apple's wearable will finally transform the device into the ubiquitous success many assumed version one would be.

Goodwood, Le Mans and some cars, too: Our week on Instagram

Fri, 06/24/2016 - 17:26

This is our 10th Instagram recap. Now accepting anniversary presents.

SanDisk iXpand Memory Case can increase your iPhone's storage

Fri, 06/24/2016 - 17:26

Unfortunately, it only works with the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6S.

Watching ‘Game of Thrones’ with Leslie Jones is a trip (that I want to go on)

Fri, 06/24/2016 - 17:20
This weekend's penultimate episode of Game of Thrones season 6 was one of the most exciting and brutal in the history of the series . The Battle of the Bastards lived up to the hype, but until you watch some of the episode's highlights with Ghostbusters star and SNL cast member Leslie Jones, you really haven't experienced it. SEE ALSO:  YouTube is starting a war with Netflix, Facebook and Periscope all at once "My favorite thing about watching Game of Thrones is watching what my friend Leslie Jones live-tweets during an episode," Seth Meyers explained on Late Show last night. "I couldn't watch it on Sunday, so I decided to wait until Leslie could join me and watch it right next to me." Enter: Game of Jones , one of the strangest, yet most compelling bits that Seth Meyers has put on the air in quite some time. Now, there is a chance you will find this extremely irritating, and on top of that, it does feature spoilers for episode 9, but if you aren't worried about being spoiled and think you can find the humor in the bit, it's totally worth watching. Oh, and added bonus: Kenan Thompson stops by for a few fleeting moments! Here's Leslie Jones on Late Night with Seth Meyers , narrating and commentating Game of Thrones as Meyers nearly giggles himself into a coma:  

Tidal to live stream Kanye West music video premier

Fri, 06/24/2016 - 17:09

The official music video for the song "Famous" will debut at an event in Los Angeles that will be live-streamed exclusively via Tidal.

This joy-riding teenager is about to be so grounded

Fri, 06/24/2016 - 16:55
Let's say you're a 16-year-old who took your mom's car on a totally illegal joyride and hit a parked car. Should you A: call the police, report the incident, and face your mother's wrath, or B: hit-and-run, drive to your friend's house, and completely fail to park the car in a garage, messing up the door in the process? I know which is the sensible option, but on the plus side, the footage of the failed parking makes for fantastic viewing. DON'T MISS:  Leaked photos show off the Tesla Model 3's secretive interior   According to  Jalopnik , the Porsche Cayenne belonged to the mother of the unlicensed 16-year-old who is driving it in the video. The hit-and-run happened on June 16th in Vancouver, when the teenager hit a parked car. After doing so (and breaking one of the wheels in the process), he drove to a friend's house, where he was planning on hiding the car. As you can see, that didn't work out too well. The teenager's parking skills were right up there with his not-hitting-parked car skills, and the car just scrapes along the side wall of the garage for a while. I guess a few scuffs aren't a big deal when you've committed a couple felonies and trashed your mom's car. Thanks to the YouTube video, Canadian police have managed to bring the teenager to justice, charging him with hit and run, driving without due care, and driving without a license. If I were this kid, I'd hope to get jail time just to avoid my parent's wrath.

Samsung might be releasing a special Galaxy S7 Edge for the Olympics

Fri, 06/24/2016 - 16:40

Rumors are swirling about an Olympic Edition of the popular Samsung smartphone for the summer games in Rio.

Don’t fall prey to this clever piracy extortion scam

Fri, 06/24/2016 - 16:35
For as detestable as they are, scammers are undeniably clever and resourceful. In the most recent example which highlights the lengths to which scammers will go to swindle people out of the hard-earned money, Torrent Freak directs us to a new phishing scheme where ISPs are the primary target. DON'T MISS:  iPhone 7 will be Apple’s riskiest iPhone release yet According to the report, an individual or group of individuals are masquerading as representatives from IP Echelon, the IP tracking arm of Lionsgate. These malicious actors are reaching out to ISPs with takedown notices which are then passed along to consumers, and bundled with such notices are fines which users are encouraged to pay in order to avoid legal proceedings. And because the consumer sees correspondence from their official ISP, they assume that it is 100% legitimate: TorrentFreak was alerted to a takedown notice Lionsgate purportedly sent to a Cox subscriber, for allegedly downloading a pirated copy of the movie Allegiant. Under threat of a lawsuit, the subscriber was asked to pay a $150 settlement fee. ... For a phishing scam the fake DMCA notice does its job well. At first sight the email appears to be legit, and for Cox Communications it was real enough to forward it to their customers. The report notes that U.S. law enforcement agencies are already looking into the matter. In the meantime, you should independently reach out to the legitimate rightsholder if you receive such a notice, rather than just paying up directly.

Boston Dynamics' robot dog is good enough to show how terrible home robots are right now

Fri, 06/24/2016 - 16:30

One anecdote I like to share about the company is how the next generation Atlas has 3D printed limbs, with embedded "veins" in the structure to route its hydraulics, which keeps the robot strong while making it vastly lighter and in some sense simpler than the original Atlas. Of course, while Boston Dynamics is pretty much at the state of the art when it comes to humanoids, it's probably best known for its terrifying line of dog-inspired, gas-powered robots like BigDog and AlphaDog. Right now the company is owned by Alphabet, but, according to Bloomberg, Alphabet is looking to sell Boston Dynamics because it doesn't have any products that can actually be released in the near term.