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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...

Wednesday, 09 August 2017
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113
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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...

Wednesday, 09 August 2017
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66
0
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...

Wednesday, 09 August 2017
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164
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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,...

Friday, 04 August 2017
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56
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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...

Wednesday, 02 August 2017
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72
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Let Your iPhone Tell You When to Go to Bed
Gear

If you’re seeking a more restful and refreshing night’s sleep, you could take your pick from dozens of products and apps designed to improve your slumber. There are alarm clocks that wake you with an artificial sunrise and apps that listen to you snore, not...

Sunday, 30 July 2017
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173
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Comic-Con 2017: Ending ‘Game of Thrones’ with a Musical Episode? We’ve Got Some Ideas
Culture

Brienne of Tarth wants it. Bran wants it. Even the Onion Knight wants it. Let’s make this happen,...

Saturday, 29 July 2017
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86
0
Goodbye iPod, and Thanks for All the Tunes
Gear

The iPod died slowly, then all at once. After nearly 16 years on the market, more than 400 million units sold, and one Cupertino company launched into the stratosphere on its back, Apple quietly pulled the iPod Nano and Shuffle out of its virtual stores today. The iPod...

Thursday, 27 July 2017
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100
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Soundcloud Isn’t Dead Yet, But Its Greatest Legacy Could Soon Be
Culture

Last year the self-professed “communist farmer” and “saxophone kisser” known as Oedipus uploaded a song to SoundCloud, the artist-first music streaming platform that launched in 2008. Titled “Please B Okay,” it was a bright,...

Thursday, 27 July 2017
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73
0
The First Alexa Phone Gets Amazon Even Closer to Total Domination
Gear

Amazon’s Alexa has plenty going for it. Developers have trained the virtual assistant with over 10,000 “skills”—apps you talk to instead of tap—to do everything from hailing a Lyft to checking your stock portfolio. At home, Alexa can...

Tuesday, 18 July 2017
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81
0
An Amazon Echo Can’t Call the Police—But Maybe It Should
Security

Despite what you may have heard, an Amazon Echo did not call the police earlier this week, when it heard a husband threatening his wife with a gun in New Mexico. On Monday, news reports took Bernalillo County authorities’ version of those events credulously,...

Sunday, 16 July 2017
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89
0
Day of Action: How Facebook, Google, and More Supported for Net Neutrality
Business

Maybe you’ve noticed that today is a day of online protest. Or maybe you haven’t. Whether you realize that today marks a Day of Action in support of net neutrality depends entirely on what websites you visit—and how the companies behind those websites...

Wednesday, 12 July 2017
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51
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Forget the Echo. The Dot Is the Most Important Alexa Device
Gear

People like Alexa. They’ve bought millions of Alexa-powered devices. When you think about Alexa, you’re probably thinking about the Echo, the tall, cylindrical monolith that first introduced Amazon’s chatty assistant to the world. The Echo features...

Wednesday, 12 July 2017
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62
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Volta V Wooden Gaming PC Review: It Looks and Plays Like a Masterpiece
Gear

The Volta V is a gaming computer made out of wood. Many stories have been written about the Volta, and they all talk enthusiastically about its impressive woodiness. This enthusiasm may take the form of nostalgia for the days of console televisions, or commentary on...

Friday, 07 July 2017
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67
0
“Element” Makes It Official: Kendrick Lamar’s Genius Isn’t Just Verbal, It’s Visual Too
Culture

A single black hand rises from a sheet of steel-blue water. Fire enshrouds a house as women and men look on in amazement, or perhaps fear, and a voice tracks the haunting spectacle: “I’m willin’ to die for this shit / I done cried for this shit,...

Friday, 07 July 2017
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74
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Baby Driver Brings Your Badass Playlist Fantasies to Life
Culture

Edgar Wright’s Baby Driver begins the way most capers end: three goons pulling off a bank heist, then their getaway driver leaving the cops in his rearview. Unlike most capers, though, the escapade goes down to the pulse-pounding strains of The Jon Spencer Blues...

Tuesday, 27 June 2017
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125
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T.J. Miller May Hate Silicon Valley, But He Talks Like a Founder
Culture

Silicon Valley (the place) has a long history of big exits: Steve Jobs being forced from Apple, Larry Ellison stepping down at Oracle, and most recently, Travis Kalanick leaving Uber. Yesterday’s episode of Silicon Valley (the show) treated us to another, when...

Monday, 26 June 2017
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107
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The Alien Rocks Dusting the Streets of Your Neighborhood
Photo

Jon Larsen’s idea for a book fell into his lap. Well, his breakfast, actually. The Norwegian jazz musician was dining on his porch one day eight years ago when a rock tumbled out of the sky onto the table. It was shiny, rough, and metallic. Baffled, he did what...

Monday, 26 June 2017
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0
0
Instagram Will Now Tell You Who’s Getting Paid to Post
Business

Of all the social networks, Instagram stands out as the place to show off your most idealized life. But look more closely, and you’ll spot a dissonance present in those pristine posts when you scrutinize them—that low-fat granola bar looks too sumptuous,...

Wednesday, 14 June 2017
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83
0
The Beeping, Gargling History of Gaming’s Most Iconic Sounds
Culture

The bouncy beeps of Pac-Man. The percussive build-up in Legend of Zelda. The effusive gibberish of The Sims. The sounds in videogames tell us to speed up, start over, and of course, to keep playing. But how does one set of beeps so effectively tell you you’ve...

Monday, 12 June 2017
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114
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