Sony’s Speaker Looks Like HomePod, Works Like Google Home
Gear

Every smart speaker has its advantages. With Amazon Echo, you get access to tens of thousands of “skills,” the mini-apps that start a game of Jeopardy or help you mix a cocktail. With Google Home, you have the full power of Google search at your beck and call. And when Apple’s HomePod comes out later this year, it’ll be by far the best-sounding voice-enabled speaker of the bunch. Sony doesn’t have a voice assistant, but knows its way around a...

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Thursday, 31 August 2017
Bentley’s New Continental GT Combines Luxury Tech With Classic Looks
Transportation

Whenever it’s time to redesign a classic, automakers, especially those in the luxury business, must tackle a tricky problem. They know buyers will want the latest tech, but they want it in a package that stays true to the heritage into which they’re buying. It’s a quandary that demands a light touch, and where “less is more” may be the best advice. Bentley took that tack when updating the styling of its Continental GT, the third generation of the two-door,...

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23
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Wednesday, 30 August 2017
Samsung Gear Sport Is a Fitness Tracker and Smartwatch in One Device
Gear

You have to credit Samsung for its chutzpah. The company’s tried every way it can think of to make its smartwatches happen, refining its line of Gear products year after year. Still, not even the latest Gear S3—one of the best smartwatches on the market—was enough to put Samsung in the conversation with Apple on the smartwatch side, or Fitbit on the fitness side. Now, Samsung’s hoping to take on both Fitbit and Apple by introducing the only device you...

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17
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Wednesday, 30 August 2017
Review: Sennheiser HD1 Wireless Over-Ear Headphones
Gear

I have a love-hate relationship with wireless headphones. The idea is incredibly appealing, but the added complication of charging multiplied by the notoriously finicky Bluetooth tech still has me clinging to my rats’ nest of cords like a fogie who won’t give up his horse-drawn carriage. So, when the Sennheiser HD1 wireless over-ear headphones landed on my desk, I was hopeful. It’d been a while since I had given a pair of wireless cans a chance, so I reset my...

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24
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Wednesday, 30 August 2017
Fitbit’s First Real Smartwatch Puts Fitness First
Gear

The Ionic can track your heart rate, play music, make mobile payments, and display push notifications. Just don’t call it a wrist...

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11
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Tuesday, 29 August 2017
What the Controlled Chaos of Burning Man Reveals About Cities
Transportation

Every year, for the past 26 years, something truly remarkable happens: an entire city appears out of the desert. I’m speaking, of course, of Black Rock City, in Nevada’s Black Rock Desert, erected for the quasi-ritualistic celebration of art, radical inclusion, and free-to-be-you-and-me-ness known as Burning Man. Burners will come home raving about barter system and the impromptu wedding they attended in not much more than goggles, but the festival’s most impressive feat may be this infrastructural coup. In a...

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Sunday, 27 August 2017
Wanna See How Divided the Country Is? Visit the US-Mexico Border
Photo

The US border with Mexico stretches 2,000 miles from the Pacific Ocean to the Gulf of Mexico. It crosses four states and some of the most inhospitable terrain imaginable. Hundreds of millions of people cross it each year, making it the busiest border in the world. Yet it remains something of an enigma, and a flashpoint in the current political climate. Relatively few people ever see it, yet almost everyone has an opinion on it. This captivates Edoardo Delille and...

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Thursday, 24 August 2017
Step Inside an Electronic Composer’s Studio to See a City of Synths
Gear

The complex work of composer Kaitlyn Aurelia Smith defies expectations. Her technique of blending synthesizers, acoustic instruments, and electronic-­sounding human voices has made the 30-year-old musician a star among the next generation of post–New Age synthesists. This aural alchemy—including the recordings for her upcoming release, The Kid—is composed and created in a tiny 10- by 20-foot garage located outside of LA. Smith calls it her “sound sculpture studio,” but it’s really a construction site: a...

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16
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Thursday, 24 August 2017
How to Get Free Kindle Books With Your Library Card
Gear

Your book club meets next month, but you’re just too busy to run down to Barnes and Noble to pick up Infinite Jest. Sure, you could order it on Amazon, but it’s way too heavy to lug around in your backpack and your bookshelf is looking pretty crammed. That’s OK, though! With a library card, an internet connection, and an e-reader, you can download the book—for free!—without ever leaving your house. First, you’ll need a library card. If you don’t...

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12
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Tuesday, 22 August 2017
Bang & Olufsen’s Beosound Shape Speakers Create a Beautiful Wall of Sound
Gear

Don’t gunk up your artfully appointed living room with artlessly boxy speakers. The Danes at Bang & Olufsen have designed a sonic solution for you. The wall-mounted BeoSound Shape is assembled from three flavors of hexagonal tiles: speakers, amplifiers, and echo-­absorbing noise dampers. Mix and match the modules to build a unique array that’s ideal for your dwelling, then select a color scheme that matches your Mondrian. The modules all connect to a brain called the Core, and its algorithm...

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14
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Saturday, 19 August 2017
Anker’s Genie Is Just Like the Echo Dot, Only Cheaper
Gear

Anker, the China-based accessory maker, blew up on Amazon with a simple plan: make decent-quality versions of everyday gadgets lots of people want, and sell them for less than Apple or Samsung. They don’t have fancy TV ads or cool packaging, but they do have a pile of good reviews and Prime shipping. The company started with portable chargers, but now its Bluetooth headphones, portable speakers, dash cams, and Lightning cables are all among the best-reviewed and most popular products...

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38
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Wednesday, 09 August 2017
From French Montana to Katy Perry, the Meme-First Reality of Today’s Music Promotion Game
Culture

French Montana’s latest single is just the latest in a long line of songs that rode an Instagram dance challenge to the...

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Wednesday, 09 August 2017
James Damore, Fired for Writing the ‘Google Memo,’ Just Might Sue
Business

Google dismissed Damore for “perpetuating gender stereotypes” in a memo he posted to internal forums last...

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111
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Wednesday, 09 August 2017
How Apple Is Putting Voices in Users’ Heads—Literally
Backchannel

By enabling the streaming of calls and music straight to cochlear implants, Apple is empowering those with hearing loss—and maybe, one day,...

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16
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Friday, 04 August 2017
Bluesound Pulse 2 and Pulse Flex Review: Great Audio, But Tough to Set Up
Gear

Audio company Bluesound makes a variety of wireless speakers and stereo components. But the company sees itself more as a music platform for audiophiles than a speaker manufacturer, as it has always proudly focused on hi-res, lossless playback. Rather than solely relying on Bluetooth (which compresses your audio files to ease wireless transmission and can degrade the sound quality of your music), Bluesound emphasizes its ability to transmit high-resolution audio files over Wi-Fi without compressing them. Even in the high-res...

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Wednesday, 02 August 2017
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