Founder of Austin-based Bumble says she received threats after banning gun photos from app

Three months after announcing the decision to ban images of guns on the dating and networking app she created, Bumble founder Whitney Wolfe Herd said she and her employees have received multiple threats relating to the decision. According to Page Six, Herd told a crowd at Cannes Lions that the “polarizing” decision led the Austin-based brand to have police at their office &ldquo...
When the robots come to Austin, we will probably kick them.

When the robots come to Austin, we will probably kick them.

Last year, the Austin City Council approved the use of delivery robots in town. The robot delivery company in question is called Starship Technologies (even though based on their robot design Droid Technoiogies would probably been a better... wait that’s been taken twice, hasn’t it?) Here’s a photo gallery, in fact, of the little guys visiting Austin: So it was interesting ...
CNET: Best sound bars of 2018

CNET: Best sound bars of 2018

If you’ve purchased your first wide-screen TV, you probably discovered that its built-in speakers didn’t sound that good — if it came with any at all. The solution? Get a sound bar system. They can cost anywhere from a couple of hundred bucks up to a thousand or more, but it’s money well spent in any case. These four are some of the best sound bars CNET has reviewed. &mdash...
Start-up imagines a world where EVs are recharged wirelessly

Start-up imagines a world where EVs are recharged wirelessly

MALVERN, Pa. — Imagine a world in which a vehicle is refueled with the ease of E-ZPass: hands free, no credit card swiping, a completely background transaction. Andy Daga envisions such a world. Daga, 61, is chief executive of Momentum Dynamics Corp., a Malvern tech company that has developed a wireless recharging system for electric vehicles in which energy is transferred from a panel embedded...
Ergonomic wireless trackball mouse, great companion

Ergonomic wireless trackball mouse, great companion

Logitech’s MX Ergo is a perfect choice for a wireless trackball mouse. And if you’ve never used a trackball mouse, you need to; don’t be intimidated by its appearance. The ergonomic mouse comfortably sits in your hand, which Logitech states delivers 20 percent less muscular strain than a regular mouse. To help achieve the comfort, the MX Ergo is build with an adjustable hinge for...
Build your own virtual city with this addictive new game

Build your own virtual city with this addictive new game

Sometimes we become so accustomed to our surroundings that we just accept the status quo, no matter how terrible. Street design is a good example. The streets of Dallas, for example, are a prime example: Too often they’re dangerous, unfriendly and just plain ugly. Crossing one of our high-speed avenues on foot can be like playing the old arcade game Frogger, but with real life-or-death stakes...
Forget love, this new matchmaking venture gets tech devices to market

Forget love, this new matchmaking venture gets tech devices to market

There won’t be any seductive music or candlelight. No swiping right, as friendly folks do on the app Tinder. Yet, the endgame of this new matchmaking initiative is about hooking up — in a professional, geeky way. It is a partnership between a Chester County technology incubator/commercialization center and a consortium of seven Pennsylvania universities and research institutions to get...

Computer backup 101: Start with a method that you’ll actually use

This week I got an email from a reader asking for the best and most economical way to back up his computer. That’s a very good question. The best way to back up your computer is to choose a method that’s easy enough that you’ll actually use it. My advice for the most economical way to back up is to buy an external hard drive that’s the same size (or bigger) than your PC&rsquo...
Lara Croft returns in ‘Shadow of the Tomb Raider’ game

Lara Croft returns in ‘Shadow of the Tomb Raider’ game

The third game in the “Tomb Raider” reboot once again stars Camilla Luddington. Square Enix is changing things up with “Tomb Raider,” tapping into resources across Crystal Dynamics and Eidos-Montreal for the third installment of the rebooted franchise. The new game will also launch cross-platform, allowing PC, Steam, PlayStaton 4, and Xbox One gamers to experience the new adventure...
‘God of War,’ growing up, Kratos

‘God of War,’ growing up, Kratos

For adults that may be reading this, it’s safe to say no one was the same person they once were when they were younger. Life changes, things happen, everyone meets people or experiences the kind of events that reshape their perspectives on life, society, and their outlook on existence. In short, people tend to grow up. “God of War” appears to have a reached a crossroads. People remember...
Solid-state drive or traditional drive?

Solid-state drive or traditional drive?

Recently, I wrote about how a solid-state drive can really speed up your computer. I got more than a few emails asking about SSD pricing — solid-state drives are more expensive than traditional spinning hard drives — and about using SSDs and spinning hard drives in the same computer. It is true that SSDs cost more than traditional hard drives. For example, checking prices on Amazon, a...
With ‘revolutionary’ color, new screen tech could be future for theaters

With ‘revolutionary’ color, new screen tech could be future for theaters

Samsung has installed the first LED movie screen in North America at the Pacific Theatres Winnetka in L.A. Revolutionary in and of itself, if could revolutionize the exhibition business if it takes off among theater operators. The solid, black, almost 33.8 ft. wide, 17.7 ft. high screen — the middle of three sizes that will eventually be available to exhibitors under the Samsung Onyx brand &mdash...
It’s time to get in gear for summer

It’s time to get in gear for summer

Stay bug-free with a green lawn while playing some good tunes in the water. That’s just a sampling of what some of the must-have summer gadgets will do for ya. To stop the bugs from biting Thermacell has a few remedies. The Radius Repellent System ($49.99) is a compact solution, with a six-hour rechargeable Lithium-Ion battery creating a 110-square foot mosquito protection zone. The replaceable...
Startup targets salmonella with tech

Startup targets salmonella with tech

If Arjun Ganesan had been accepted to Stanford University, Connecticut would have missed out on a technology company that has grown to 23 workers so far, with ambitious plans. Ganesan, who started his first company 14 years ago while an undergraduate in India, applied to prestigious MBA programs around the United States, intending to become a venture capitalist that would help start-up companies expand...
CNET: Waterproof phones you’ll want right now

CNET: Waterproof phones you’ll want right now

Despite that we’re nearly a month into “spring,” it seems like a lot of the country is still getting some pretty wet weather. And even if you’re not, summer is around the corner, which means you’ll be seeking out a pool or a lake to cool off in. Either way, a waterproof phone may be a good call. These are four of the most splashproof models out there right now. &mdash...
Sports tech firm Stats looks to bring A.I. to the broadcast booth

Sports tech firm Stats looks to bring A.I. to the broadcast booth

CHICAGO — When a baseball announcer rattles off your favorite player’s batting average with two outs and runners on first and third, he’s not pulling that figure from the back of his mind. There’s a good chance that timely information was provided by Stats, a Chicago-based sports data and technology company. Stats, which gathers data from sporting events around the world for...
Stanford, Berkeley boost female computing grads

Stanford, Berkeley boost female computing grads

More and more women are getting computer science and electrical engineering degrees from the Bay Area’s two elite universities, a goal U.S. colleges have been pursuing for decades. But in the midst of the #MeToo era’s focus on sexual misconduct, harassment and gender discrimination in tech, some of these young women say they’re worried about what their future workplace holds. &ldquo...
Healthcare industry turns to video games for help with patient care

Healthcare industry turns to video games for help with patient care

The usually conservative healthcare industry in Central Florida has turned to local video game makers to discover new ways to teach patients about disease and other health-related issues, potentially saving lives in the process. It’s an effort to reach young people where they spend a good portion of their time: on connected devices. “It took the telephone 75 years to get 50 million users...
What’s the best way to speed up your computer?

What’s the best way to speed up your computer?

At the gym recently, a friend asked me for some advice about choosing a new computer. He asked what was the “one thing” he should look for when picking his next computer. Of course, there are dozens of decisions about various features you should pay attention to when computer shopping, but I knew he wasn’t in a position to write down all the suggestions I could offer. After a few...
CNET: Best DSLR cameras for beginners

CNET: Best DSLR cameras for beginners

If you’re passionate about photography, you already know there are better ways to take pictures than with your phone. And if you haven’t yet upgraded to a digital single lens reflex camera, what are you waiting for? The amount of control over your images you’ll gain with a DSLR will be worth it. We’ve got four great DSLRs here for the enthusiast photographer. —&mdash...
Treat your pearly whites to a sonic clean

Treat your pearly whites to a sonic clean

I’ve been brushing my teeth this week with the Swedish made Foreo ISSA 2, which the company touts as the world’s first silicone sonic toothbrush. It takes only an hour to charge, which is said to last for up to 365 uses before another USB charge is needed. Obviously, I haven’t used it that long, but after a few weeks, it’s running fine. I never knew specifications on electric...

Finding the cause of vanishing disk space

Q: My Windows 7 laptop has been steadily losing hard disk space as new data is stored on it from a source that I can’t determine. The amount of stored data has been climbing at a rate of about 270 megabytes per day for nearly five months. I haven’t added anything to the PC but recommended updates and a few spreadsheets and text files. I suspect the extra data has been downloaded, but I...
A look at what’s wrong with the internet

A look at what’s wrong with the internet

On the day Facebook’s CEO was scheduled to testify on Capitol Hill about a privacy breach involving the world’s largest social network, Mozilla released a report about the internet’s health. The nonprofit foundation’s diagnosis? The internet needs help. Mark Zuckerberg was grilled at a joint session of the Senate Commerce and Judiciary committees and at a hearing before the...
CNET: Washing machines to revolutionize your laundry routine

CNET: Washing machines to revolutionize your laundry routine

It’s a whole new era of laundry appliances out there. We’ve seen units with built-in sinks and faucets and even models that can be loaded from the top or the front. These four washers are the top-rated models that we’ve reviewed. ——— Electrolux EFLW417SIW Product Review: https://www.cnet.com/products/electrolux-eflw417siw-washing-machine/review/#ftag=CAD187281f...
The e-scooter revolution is coming to a sidewalk near you

The e-scooter revolution is coming to a sidewalk near you

SAN JOSE, Calif. — When Harman Ghotra woke up late, dashed out the door and realized he had four minutes to get across campus to deliver a paper to his statistics professor, the calculations started spinning through his mind. Walk to class: Eight minutes. Run? Too much trouble. Then there it was, parked at the intersection of 4th Street and San Fernando, an electric scooter, the latest craze...
‘Bard’s Tale IV’ a refreshing return for the series

‘Bard’s Tale IV’ a refreshing return for the series

Although it’s been more than 30 years since its release, I’ve never played a “Bard’ Tale” game. The original was released for the PC in 1985 and after three more sequels, the game lay dormant until a spinoff also called “The Bard’s Tale” came out in 2004. Despite all those opportunities to play, I’ve missed every single chapter. That changed though...
Toyota executive talks self-driving cars

Toyota executive talks self-driving cars

When a woman crossing an Arizona street was struck and killed by a self-driving Uber car late March, it sparked a swift public reckoning over the near-term future of autonomous vehicle testing on public roads. While executives emphasized they didn’t know the particulars of the crash, Toyota quickly announced that it was suspending testing of its “Chauffeur” self-driving vehicle system...
‘Dragon Ball Legends’ brings fighting game to mobile

‘Dragon Ball Legends’ brings fighting game to mobile

Although “Dragon Ball Super” recently wrapped up, the resurgent franchise shows no signs of slowing down. A new movie is in the works for December. “Dragon Ball Fighterz” continues to draw more players in the fighting game community. Now, the series is adding a new entry in the mobile realm with “Dragon Ball Legends.” It’s essentially a fighting game that...
CNET: These devices will boost your garage’s IQ

CNET: These devices will boost your garage’s IQ

Wish your garage door would open to greet you as you pull into the driveway? Or maybe you’d like it to keep an eye on things, or remind you if you forget to close it when you leave? Each of these CNET reviewed devices can do some or all that for you. ——— Chamberlain MyQ Garage Product Review: https://www.cnet.com/products/myq-garage/#ftag=CAD187281f CNET rating: 4.0 stars out...
How much of your data does Facebook really have?

How much of your data does Facebook really have?

Recently I wrote about checking the data you share through Facebook apps. I hope you followed the steps and checked on the apps and pages you’ve given permission to collect personal data. Now I want you to take a minute to see exactly what data Facebook has about you. Did you know you can ask Facebook to send you a copy of everything you’ve ever posted on Facebook? Yep, you can request...
Why the boom in augmented reality toys is here to stay

Why the boom in augmented reality toys is here to stay

From the outside, Parker looks like a soft and huggable teddy bear, just the right size for dragging around the house. But Parker holds secrets in his small frame. When viewing the bear through a smartphone app, kids can treat his ailments, landscape his dreams – and even peer into his guts and bones. Parker is one of dozens of new augmented reality toys hitting the market and blurring the lines...
Multi-option olloclip makes taking pictures fun

Multi-option olloclip makes taking pictures fun

The limited edition olloclip Filmer’s Kit for iPhone (iPhone 8/7 or 8 Plus/7 Plus) lets iPhoneographers reach new potential when capturing images and videos. The ultra-portable kit has all the basics and essentials you’ll need. A core lens set has a fisheye, super-wide, and a macro 15X lens, an active lens set with an ultra-wide and telephoto lenses. You also get a pivot articulating mobile...
You really ought to check who has access to your Facebook data

You really ought to check who has access to your Facebook data

Facebook has been in the news recently, and not for a good reason. The New York Times and The Guardian broke the story that Cambridge Analytica “misused” the data of around 50 million Facebook users. There might not be a whole lot you or I can do to prevent this type of data misuse, but you should take this as a tap on the shoulder to check who is accessing your Facebook data. Over the...
‘The Last Jedi’s’ FX guru talks video games

‘The Last Jedi’s’ FX guru talks video games

Lucasfilm is gearing up for its Memorial Day release, “Solo: A Star Wars Story,” but for fans at home, “Star Wars: The Last Jedi” is out now on 4K, Blu-ray, DVD and Digital HD packed with bonus extras. Episode VII and VIII Special Effects Supervisor and Academy Award Nominee Chris Corbould has been at the forefront of bringing the “Star Wars” saga into the modern...
Easy to install smart lock is a winner

Easy to install smart lock is a winner

I finally tried out the Smart Lock Pro from August Home, and I fully admit that before opening the box, I thought it was going to be a complicated installation. I was wrong. The August website said it would take 10 minutes to install; it took me 8. The smart lock lets you control your existing deadbolt from anywhere. There’s no need for a new or different key, and the installation goes inside...
College gearheads working to build ‘road-hugging rocket’

College gearheads working to build ‘road-hugging rocket’

A couple of first-place finishes last year. A second place the year before that. And another first in 2015. They are the New York Yankees of the collegiate electric race car circuit in North America, dominating competitions with a combination of raw acceleration, handling, and endurance. So what does a team of more than 80 University of Pennsylvania undergraduates do this year? Scrap the winning design...
CNET: Best laptops, tablets and desktops for creative tasks

CNET: Best laptops, tablets and desktops for creative tasks

If you’re in a creative field, you definitely need a machine that has both ample power and performance, with maybe a little style for good measure. CNET has tested these four models, which stand out for their performance, design and features for drawing, painting, designing, rendering, photo and video editing and other creative tasks. ——— Microsoft Surface Studio Product Review...
Drone racing track proposed as a place to train, compete

Drone racing track proposed as a place to train, compete

NAPERVILLE, Ill. — Interest in an indoor track dedicated to drone racing is picking up speed in Naperville as enthusiasts dream of a permanent location to train and compete. Chicago weather can be brutal for the sport, so groups like the Chicago Drone Racers hone their skills during the winter at the White Pines Golf Dome in Bensenville. As the seasons turn warmer, they head outdoors. A place...
Kris Jenner is using this Austin-based app to find her new personal assistant

Kris Jenner is using this Austin-based app to find her new personal assistant

Last year, Austin-based app Bumble (which initially launched as a dating app) announced a new feature called Bumble Bizz, which aims to help its users make business connections.  If you were skeptical about using a dating app to expand your professional network, it’s gotten an endorsement from a pretty big name: Kris Jenner. The Kardashian-Jenner matriarch is using the app to find her new...
How easy is it to #DeleteFacebook? Advice from some who’ve disconnected

How easy is it to #DeleteFacebook? Advice from some who’ve disconnected

SEATTLE — Facebook’s image has taken a beating the past couple of years. First it was the Russians buying ads to try and influence U.S. elections, followed by the news that the political consulting firm Cambridge Analytica harvested the data of 50 million Facebook users without their permission and used it to help Donald Trump become president. The revelation has spurred a #deletefacebook...

Customers want more tech, fewer people

Get out of our way. That’s the message customers have for merchants looking to improve their in-store experience, according to a new study of more than 2,900 adults and children in the U.S. and Canada. The survey, conducted winter by HRC Retail Advisory, found that a majority of buyers prefer to be left alone to browse while shopping and would rather get more of their information independently...
How listening to random sound can unlock a trapped mind

How listening to random sound can unlock a trapped mind

LOS ANGELES – David Tobin took to the stage at a recent technology conference in downtown Los Angeles, asked the 500 attendees to close their eyes, and turned up the sound so they could sample his wares: a textured, layered soundscape that he calls an “audiojack.” A thousand eyes clamped shut as they collectively heard a ball thudding into a glove. A cracking bat. Fans roaring with...
Best AV receivers for 2018

Best AV receivers for 2018

So you’ve got the high-def, wide-screen, 4K video television, multiple surround speakers and a subwoofer the size of a dorm fridge. You’re almost there — but if you want the full home theater experience, you need an AV receiver to ride herd on all of it. These are the four best models CNET has reviewed over the last year. ——— Sony STR-DN1080 Product Review: https...
‘Yakuza 6’ a modern chapter in need of one vital update

‘Yakuza 6’ a modern chapter in need of one vital update

Jumping into the “Yakuza” series right now is a tricky proposition. Sega’s long-running underworld crime saga has been out for more than a decade and has several chapters that follow the exploits of legendary gangster Kazuma Kiryu. The developers have been trying to get both new and longtime fans into the series with a two-pronged approach. They keep adding new chapters with the...
Smart sprinkler systems will save money on your water bills

Smart sprinkler systems will save money on your water bills

I’ve been a fan of the Rachio intelligent sprinkler controller for many reasons. Among them, it’s way smarter than the system I had, and it will save you money on your monthly water bills. Now Rachio has just launched an even smarter system with the Rachio 3 Smart Sprinkler Controller and Rachio 3 Wireless Flow Meter. The sprinkler controller system connects to your existing Wi-Fi network...
Your home’s Wi-Fi signal can improve with better router placement

Your home’s Wi-Fi signal can improve with better router placement

I’ve been writing about Wi-Fi over the last few weeks, and I’ve had a lot of questions about routers and what can be done to make them work better. Let’s talk about Wi-Fi router placement and what you can do to get the best coverage. First, your Wi-Fi router should be placed centrally in your house. Raise your hand if your broadband modem is stuck in a corner in the very back of...
Great finds from the 2018 WPPI trade show

Great finds from the 2018 WPPI trade show

The 2018 WPPI trade show, for veteran or begging wedding and portrait photographers, was held recently in Las Vegas. As usual the trade show portion of the event brought out companies introducing new innovative products to help photographers to do their job. Hahnemühle showed customers their natural white cotton printing canvas Cézanne 430gsm, which contains no OBA’s and features...
The future, where robots make your latte and shopping is like gaming

The future, where robots make your latte and shopping is like gaming

AUSTIN, Texas — At South by Southwest, as entrepreneurs and celebrities mingled to discuss the future of tech, a lot of the hype focused on attention-grabbing projects such as flying cars. But there also were ideas on display with a more practical bent — projects that could get into consumers’ hands sooner. Displayed were prototypes for products that could shape everything from how...
Digital prophet: Big internet firms trample our privacy online

Digital prophet: Big internet firms trample our privacy online

DuckDuckGo founder Gabriel Weinberg is among the digital prophets warning us how Google, the Goliath he’s been challenging for 10 years with his Paoli-based non-tracking search engine, and other giants of information are squeezing personal privacy and independent content: “If people are consuming all the Inquirer’s stuff for free on Facebook or Google, it’s a losing proposition...
Pilotless air taxis now flying openly in New Zealand

Pilotless air taxis now flying openly in New Zealand

Ride in a pilotless flying taxi, anyone? Larry Page’s Kitty Hawk has been testing such a vehicle in New Zealand since late last year and is coming out of stealth mode, the Silicon Valley company announced recently. “The dreamers from California met the visionaries from New Zealand,” Kitty Hawk said in a press release that lauds New Zealand for having “a government and society...
CNET: Top phones that have great cameras

CNET: Top phones that have great cameras

The quality of pictures you can get from your phone and the convenience of having it always at easy reach have rendered standalone cameras all but obsolete. These four phones are among the best of the best CNET has found in phones we’ve reviewed in the last year. ——— Apple iPhone X Product Review: https://www.cnet.com/products/apple-iphone-x/review/#ftag=CAD187281f CNET rating...
The flip phone is the new protest statement

The flip phone is the new protest statement

NEW YORK — Exactly one year ago, Roman Cochet swapped his $500 iPhone 7 for a $30 LG flip phone. Overwhelmed by constant alerts, Cochet felt his time was disrupted, his creativity drained. His flip doesn’t do email, Instagram, Facebook, Uber or news alerts. The 30-year-old Parisian painter, who lives in Brooklyn, said he regrets nothing. “With a smartphone, you spend so much time...
Likes, comments, sometimes sales – how Instagram is shaping art world

Likes, comments, sometimes sales – how Instagram is shaping art world

SAN FRANCISCO — As a member of a millennia-old profession, 28-year-old artist Laura Rokas can do her job — painting, sculpting, drawing, weaving — without the help of most modern technology. But the Bay Area artist makes one exception: Instagram. Since its launch in 2010, the photo and video sharing app has become a mainstay in the art world. Originally an app that used filters to...
The Amazon Treasure Truck is in Austin, offering special items at discounted prices

The Amazon Treasure Truck is in Austin, offering special items at discounted prices

The Amazon Treasure Truck is rolling around Austin.  It’s exactly what it sounds like: a truck full of discounted Amazon goodies with special prices and daily deals. The daily offers range from fresh food to electronics to kitchen appliances and more. RELATED: Here’s your friendly reminder that Jeff Bezos is George Strait’s cousin Here’s how it works: Sign up...
You don’t have to settle for lousy Wi-Fi

You don’t have to settle for lousy Wi-Fi

I was visiting some friends at their home this week, and the topic of Wi-Fi coverage came up in conversation. Their broadband router was in a home office on the far end of the house, and they were having issues surfing the internet from their living room a few rooms away. The Wi-Fi signal had trouble traveling through several walls. As we were looking at a laptop, I showed them how to check the transmission...
Self-driving car crash raises tricky legal question of blame

Self-driving car crash raises tricky legal question of blame

General Motors is in a race to be the first company to mass produce self-driving cars, but a recent crash with a San Francisco motorcyclist has illustrated the challenge of assigning blame when an autonomous vehicle gets in an accident. As self-driving cars take to the roads in increasing numbers, collisions with standard vehicles are inevitable, experts say, as are lawsuits. San Francisco commercial...
Device lets you pour wine without removing the cork

Device lets you pour wine without removing the cork

When you hear about the Coravin wine bottle opener, you might think it’s just another gimmicky gadget. I think it’s something you must see to believe. A few weeks ago, I saw it, I believed it, and I even had a drink out of it to prove it. Here are some sayings the company uses to describe the product; “any wine any amount, savor the glass, preserve the bottle, just insert tip and...
‘Dragon Ball FighterZ’ goes super Saiyan

‘Dragon Ball FighterZ’ goes super Saiyan

Let me take you back to the ‘90s really quick, an era where anime could pretty much only be found at Blockbuster videos and interest in Japanese cartoons was considered a hobby only for the socially inept. This was around the time I had my first exposure to the Dragon Ball franchise in the form of imported Super Famicom fighting games. These 2D brawlers were like nothing I’d seen stateside...
Google Brain founder Andrew Ng creates $175 million AI Fund

Google Brain founder Andrew Ng creates $175 million AI Fund

Silicon Valley is increasingly betting that artificial intelligence will be the next breakthrough technology, and its latest stake is a new venture fund led by a respected AI expert. Andrew Ng is considered a pioneer in AI, having created the Google Brain deep learning AI system while at Mountain View. He also taught AI at Stanford University and recently worked as the chief scientist for Chinese...

Facebook, Pinterest and other tech firms discuss AI’s future

Artificial intelligence might conjure up fears about a doomsday future where machines destroy humans. But Silicon Valley engineers who work with AI have a more optimistic outlook. “I would hope over the next few years that we see a lot more of those use cases where it’s man and machine versus man versus machine,” said Andrew Bolwell, who heads the venture capital arm of HP, at a...
Austin-based dating app Bumble bans photos of guns in user profiles

Austin-based dating app Bumble bans photos of guns in user profiles

The Austin-based dating and networking app Bumble is the latest company to speak out against gun violence following the February shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida that left 17 people dead and 15 others injured. The app announced Monday that it would begin moderating all new and previously uploaded user photos to check for the presence of guns. “As mass shootings...
Are you ready to ride? Tech expert takes on Six Flags’ new VR coaster

Are you ready to ride? Tech expert takes on Six Flags’ new VR coaster

ARLINGTON, Texas — So are you a roller coaster person or not? I go back and forth. Since my youth, I’ve loved roller coasters and ride them when I have the chance, but as I’ve grown older (and wider), I see these new coasters on TV and say, “No, thanks.” I have to admit when I saw the news a year ago that Six Flags Over Texas and Samsung were teaming up to bring a new...
Miami’s airport wants to read your face. You might be happy about that

Miami’s airport wants to read your face. You might be happy about that

Face it, going through airport security is a vital, but time-consuming pain in the you-know-where. Miami International Airport hopes that using new technology that is already familiar to millions of smartphone users could reduce some of the bother. MIA celebrated its newly renovated Concourse E federal inspection facility for international travelers. One of its main features: passport screening via...
Think you’ve got the flu? At-home doctor consultation app might help

Think you’ve got the flu? At-home doctor consultation app might help

HAYWARD, Calif. — Alarmed about the country’s deadly flu epidemic, Lisa Maciel knew she needed to get her 2-year-old daughter to a doctor when the toddler’s eyes began to water and she started to run a fever. A friend suggested another option: an Uber-like app that sends the doctor to you. At first, the working mom of three kids didn’t know what to expect when she booked an...
The smartphone trap (or why it’s time to put your phone down)

The smartphone trap (or why it’s time to put your phone down)

Are we raising digital monsters? Absolutely. And everyone from parents to Facebook and society as a whole is to blame. So instead of playing the blame game, I think the most constructive way forward is to take every opportunity we — not just parents — have to put the phone down. In the bedroom. While driving. During meals and conversations. And, perhaps most importantly, when kids are...
CNET: Best smart home devices of 2018

CNET: Best smart home devices of 2018

Smart home technology promises to make your living space more comfortable, more convenient, and more secure — and they seem to be getting smarter all the time. These four devices are our top picks to keep you comfortable, safe and entertained. ——— Ecobee4 Product Review: https://www.cnet.com/products/ecobee4-smart-thermostat/review/#ftag=CAD187281f CNET rating: 4.5 stars out...
Rupert Murdoch wants Facebook to pay for news

Rupert Murdoch wants Facebook to pay for news

Media mogul Rupert Murdoch has seized the moment and weighed in as Facebook struggles to deal with the aftermath of its role in the spread of fake news that affected the U.S. presidential election: He wants Facebook to pay for news. Murdoch, whose disdain for tech companies and their use of news articles is nothing new, is weighing in as Facebook is announcing new ways it will handle news on its platform...
Virtual reality arcade makes it feel like you’re in the game

Virtual reality arcade makes it feel like you’re in the game

FRESNO, Calif — Coin-operated arcades began to fade years ago. But a new wave of virtual reality arcades could grow into a multibillion-dollar industry. And the first one has arrived in the Fresno area. Imm3rse.in opened in November at 4010 N. Chestnut Diagonal. Its popularity has started to pick up, with children of various ages as well as teens and adults joining the action. The virtual arcade...
Computer backups: I hope you don’t think one is enough

Computer backups: I hope you don’t think one is enough

I was having a talk with a friend recently about computer backups. He asked me about my backup strategy. My wife and I each have a Mac, and I told my friend that we each use Apple’s Time Machine to back up our laptops. He was surprised to hear that we each have more than one backup disk. He didn’t realize Time Machine could back up to more than one disk. He thought that once you set up...
Personal heater safely warms a small or large space

Personal heater safely warms a small or large space

Honeywell has a few solutions to keep you warm in a small personal space, as well as heating up a single room. The Honeywell two position heater (model HHF175W, $29.99), with fan-forced wire heating technology, is 1500 watt AC powered, which is sitting under my desk heating me up as I write this column. A unique feature of this space heater allows it to be used in two different positions, standing...
Visa joins other credit cards in getting rid of signature requirement

Visa joins other credit cards in getting rid of signature requirement

The days of signing the receipt after a credit card purchase are numbered. Visa, the largest U.S. credit card issuer, became the last of the major credit card companies to announce its plan to make signatures optional. Visa announced it will get rid of its signature requirement for cards with EMV chips starting in April. EMV — which stands for Europay, Mastercard and Visa — chips are the...
A sampling of then newest technologies being rolled out for consumers

A sampling of then newest technologies being rolled out for consumers

With 2.754 million square feet of showroom floor space just about everything imaginable was on display at the recent Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. It’s an impossible task to see it all but here’s a sampling of new, useful products of the thousand or so I saw on display, ——— Hanwha Techwin America showed off the Wisenet-SmartCam D1, the world’s first video...
Wearables get smaller and smarter

Wearables get smaller and smarter

First there were fitness wearables. Then the focus turned to fashionable wearables. The latest evolution, seen throughout this year’s CES in Las Vegas: more functional, futuristic — and sometimes far-fetched — wearables. Wrist-worn wearables were a huge hit at the trade show four years ago, as tech makers showed off fitness trackers and smartwatches that monitored steps taken, stairs...
AI programs beat humans in a Stanford reading test

AI programs beat humans in a Stanford reading test

First, they beat us at chess. Then it was Go. Now it’s basic reading comprehension. The robots are coming. Two artificial intelligence programs created by Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba and Microsoft beat humans on a Stanford University reading comprehension test, Alibaba said recently. Alibaba took the honors as creator of the first program to ever beat a human in a reading comprehension...
‘Gorogoa’ is as much a work of art as it is a puzzle game

‘Gorogoa’ is as much a work of art as it is a puzzle game

Part of what makes a good puzzle game is the inevitable “ah-ha” moment, the sense of accomplishment you get as you fit all the pieces together. “Gorogoa” is replete with these satisfying moments, enhanced by gorgeous hand-drawn visuals that pull you into its surreal world. “Gorogoa” is a tile-based puzzle game developed by Buried Signal and published by Annapurna...

CNET: Best TVs of 2018

These days you can get a darn good picture for less money than a few years ago, or you can get an insanely great one for a whole lot. Here are four models that rate tops in CNET’s testing. ——— Vizio M-Series (2017) Product Review: https://www.cnet.com/products/vizio-m65-e0/review/#ftag=CAD187281f CNET rating: 4.5 stars out of 5 (Outstanding) The good: The affordable Vizio M-Series...
Skratch app helps busy teens find jobs in their neighborhoods

Skratch app helps busy teens find jobs in their neighborhoods

Miranda Alfaro said she’s had a difficult time finding a part-time job that fits her busy academic schedule. The 16-year-old plays the viola in Plano West High School’s orchestra and is a member of the school’s color guard, winter guard, National Honor Society chapter, and speech and debate teams. Skratch, a mobile app on her iPhone, has helped her find paid temporary jobs in her...
Otronicon gives Orlando kids glimpse at newest in local tech

Otronicon gives Orlando kids glimpse at newest in local tech

Nehemiah Thomas spent part of the day in his own virtual world along with his friends Woody and Buzz Lightyear. The 8-year-old swayed, raised his arms and smiled as a virtual reality-based roller coaster took him through parts of the Toy Story world. It was one of the first times the boy had tried the technology. “It’s a new way for these kids to experience things,” said Standeline...
Self-driving car may bring your pizza – and cook it, too

Self-driving car may bring your pizza – and cook it, too

Your delivery order from Pizza Hut may eventually arrive in a self-driving car. Pizza Hut and Toyota are working to make pizza delivery more efficient, Business Insider reported, and that could lead to self-driving pizza cars. Toyota revealed a self-driving car that may be used to not only deliver pizza —but possibly cook pizza —at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. Toyota plans...
CNET: Laptops and hybrids with the best battery life

CNET: Laptops and hybrids with the best battery life

The most important feature for many laptop shoppers is battery life, and rightly so. There’s not a lot that’s more frustrating than having your computer die in the middle of a marathon meeting or an intercontinental flight. Based on the extensive battery testing conducted in the CNET Labs, these are the four laptops with the longest battery-life scores that we’ve seen over the previous...
Amazon’s Alexa, Google’s Assistant compete to control the smart home

Amazon’s Alexa, Google’s Assistant compete to control the smart home

Amazon’s Alexa is extending its domain to a whole new set of gadgets. Smoke alarm? Check. A $1,300 smart mirror? Check. Personal computers? Check. Also new this year: Some serious competition. Google is trying to make a splash with its share of new gizmos that can be controlled by its Google Assistant. GBH Insights research chief Daniel Ives attributes the competition to the growing importance...
Auto companies race to get drivers out of self-driving cars

Auto companies race to get drivers out of self-driving cars

LAS VEGAS — Auto and tech companies are racing to get human drivers completely out of their autonomous cars, perhaps as soon as this year. Numerous companies have been testing small fleets of autonomous vehicles on highways and city streets, yet, to date, nearly all of these vehicles have had test drivers or engineers inside, ready to take over should the unexpected happen. One of the hottest...
Device lets you keep your eyes on the road

Device lets you keep your eyes on the road

Now, this is cool and more important, useful. Those were my thoughts when reading about the Hudly, and more so after using it. The Hudly is a heads-up display used while driving that projects your phone’s screen in your direct line of sight. Hudly is the first HUD (heads up display) I’ve tested, and I came away thinking this is something every car should have. Setting up and using the...

Make sure your smartphone apps aren’t spying on you

There have been some rumblings recently about smartphone apps using your phone’s microphone to collect data on your TV- and movie-watching choices. The New York Times wrote about software from a company called Alphonso that collects data to sell to advertisers. The apps in question are mostly games. They seem harmless, but if you grant permission for those apps to use your phone’s microphone...
Investors urge Apple to do something about smartphone addiction

Investors urge Apple to do something about smartphone addiction

A couple of large Apple shareholders are appealing to the company that popularized the smartphone to take responsibility for studying its effects on children — and the co-creator of the iPhone agrees. The California State Teachers’ Retirement System and JANA Partners, which own a combined $2 billion in Apple shares, are urging the world’s most valuable public company to help study...
Report ranks software developer as the best job in the U.S. this year

Report ranks software developer as the best job in the U.S. this year

For several years over the past decade, a day spent examining and fixing teeth was considered to be the “best job” in the United States, according to U.S. News & World Report’s annual survey. This year, a job that requires tech savviness and scientific know-how tops the list. The best job in 2018 is that of a software developer, according to the annual ranking, which uses data from...
Let’s get that new Amazon Echo set up

Let’s get that new Amazon Echo set up

Did you get a new Amazon Echo for Christmas? I think almost everyone did. According to Amazon, their most popular item this Christmas season was the Echo Dot, which had its price lowered to $30. If you’ve never used an Echo before, prepare to be entertained a bit. Talking to Alexa can be fun — especially for kids. I have a great-niece who is 3 years old and she just loves asking Alexa...

HQ Trivia is the addictive app you’re using in the middle of workday

Larry Giuffra raced back to his office Thursday after a mid-afternoon lunch — he had an important 3 p.m. meeting with co-workers, and weaved through traffic to get back with just a minute to spare. But the meeting wasn’t about his work as art director at Artcraft Promotional Concepts. It was to huddle with co-workers in his office to play HQ Trivia, an app that’s become America&rsquo...
Go back in time with this portable turntable

Go back in time with this portable turntable

When you see the unopened Crosley Nomad portable turntable, you could easily think like I did that it’s a throwback briefcase, like my dad used to carry to work. But once it’s opened you’ll see there’s a good reason to take your old records off the shelf, give them a dust off and get them spinning on this self-contained vinyl player. Even if you’re new to the vinyl resurgence...

Apps to help you keep your resolutions

We combined traditional resolutions with popular and highly regarded smartphone apps to create digital accountability partners for you, so can make progress on your goals. These apps are available for both Android and iOS systems and all are rated at least four stars or more on both iTunes and Google Play, with at least 1,000 reviews or more on either site. 1. Get Fit. Who hasn’t made a goal...
Video ‘gaming disorder’ to be officially labeled a disease

Video ‘gaming disorder’ to be officially labeled a disease

It was only a matter of time before health officials diagnosed video game characters such as Mario and Super Mario as addictive, as the World Health Organization basically will do when it adds “gaming disorder” to its disease list this year. The decision is cause for celebration in mental-health circles, with therapist Jeff Reiland saying, “I’m excited about it — not...
CNET: Best phones for 2018

CNET: Best phones for 2018

2017 was a banner year for flagship phones. Nearly every manufacturer debuted at least one marquee handset that wowed our CNET Reviews team, either for photographic gymnastics, a brilliant screen or any number of other features that set them apart — and often several of the above. So without further ado, these are the four top-rated phones that will take you through 2018 and perhaps beyond....
CNET: The best Wi-Fi speakers and music systems

CNET: The best Wi-Fi speakers and music systems

Wireless audio for the home has been around for a long time, but in the past few years, we’ve seen a big spike in systems and products using Wi-Fi as an alternative to Bluetooth. These are our top picks for Wi-Fi-connected speakers, streamers and receivers of the past year (give or take a couple of months). ——— Amazon Echo Dot (2nd Generation) Product Review: https://www.cnet...
A wireless smart thermometer will cook your meat to perfection

A wireless smart thermometer will cook your meat to perfection

Apption Labs calls its Meater the first wireless smart meat thermometer. True or not, I had my wife do the testing on this one since I’ve always been lacking in cooking skills and it now has my household’s seal of approval. You can leave it in your meat choice while cooking in an over, grill, stovetop or rotisserie. The temperature readings are sent to an app, which lets you choose your...
Self-driving vehicle center tests cars before hitting open road

Self-driving vehicle center tests cars before hitting open road

DETROIT — The launch of self-driving vehicle testing at the American Center for Mobility west of Detroit came with something that frequently confounds human drivers in Michigan — snow. But it’s an element that actually boosts the value of the site, which was once the home of the famed Willow Run World War II bomber plant. The proving ground north of I-94 in Ypsilanti Township has...
‘Life is Strange: Before the Storm’ is this real life?

‘Life is Strange: Before the Storm’ is this real life?

What does it mean to be blissfully ignorant versus painfully aware? Ultimately, that’s the main theme of “Life is Strange: Before the Storm.” Beyond working as a love story, the main question that Square Enix and Deck Nine Games put forward is whether it’s better to live a wonderful life built on lies or live in misery knowing the truth. Before the Storm’s final episode...
Scientific research benefits from more rocket launches, companies

Scientific research benefits from more rocket launches, companies

Josh Colwell has experienced rocket launches differently than most others. Sure, he said, he “enjoys the spectacle” that comes with a powerful rocket taking off from a Space Coast launch pad. But in 2014, when he sent an experiment into space aboard a SpaceX rocket, Colwell couldn’t help but be nervous because he knew that any movement or rattle could destroy the project he had worked...
Changing your Apple ID sounds scary; don’t let it intimidate you

Changing your Apple ID sounds scary; don’t let it intimidate you

A reader had a follow-up question to a recent column about getting a permanent email address. She wanted to know how to change her Apple ID, which is currently an old email address from her internet service provider. She’d like to change to a permanent email address and then use that account for her Apple ID, but she’s not sure how to go about it. Luckily Apple has made it easier to change...
Russian-linked Facebook content: How to check if you were duped

Russian-linked Facebook content: How to check if you were duped

Facebook revealed in September that about 470 fake accounts and pages tied to a Russian entity ran roughly 3,000 ads in the United States between 2015 and 2017. Now the tech firm is letting users check if they liked or followed a Facebook page or Instagram account created by that Russian entity — the Internet Research Agency. A link to the tool, which is currently only available on desktop,...
This man bit into an iPhone battery and it exploded in his face

This man bit into an iPhone battery and it exploded in his face

If you needed a reason not to bite your iPhone battery, here it is. According to Taiwan News, a man entered an electronics store in China hoping to purchase a replacement battery for his iPhone. >> Read more trending news  In an attempt to test its authenticity, the customer reportedly bit into the battery and as he removed it from his mouth, the product ruptured, exploding...
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