PlayStation’s $30 PS4 gamepad for kids is totally adorable


Is this controller cute as hell or what? Sony’s teamed up with hardware accessory maker Hori on its new Mini Wired Gamepad, which is designed for younger PS4 players with smaller hands, and it looks nice enough that I want to try it too – despite my giant paws. The $30 Mini is half the price and 40 percent smaller than the standard DualShock 4, making it easier for little tykes to grip. However, it’s a rather bare-bones accessory as it lacks the touch pad, light bar, headphone jack, and motion sensing and vibration functions. For what it’s worth, Sony…

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Review: Meizu’s M6 Note is a budget phone with a flagship portrait mode


If you live in the US or much of the West, you probably haven’t heard of Meizu. Though it’s occasionally made headlines for some interesting designs – see the rear display on the Meizu 7 Pro – it’s ‘only’ the world’s 11th largest smartphone maker, operating mainly in China and small pockets around the globe. Still, when the company asked me to review its new M6 Note – a budget phone which does not actually have a stylus, despite the name – I thought I’d give it a shot to see what the other side of the world is up to.…

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Facebook’s Explore feed is a missed opportunity for expanding your horizons


Facebook is now rolling out its Explore feed to desktops; the new feature looks just like your existing feed, but surfaces content from pages you don’t yet follow, but might be interested in. The feature has been available on mobile since April, and been in testing for a while on desktop. Facebook’s recommendations are based on your tastes, and also include popular posts from the vasts expanses of the social network. You can find it by visiting facebook.com/explore or clicking on the rocket icon labeled ‘Explore Feed’ in the Explore menu on the left of your news feed. That’s just…

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Apple to US Senator: There’s no need to fear Face ID


Senator Al Franken has some concerns about the iPhone X’s new feature, Face ID. The feature, as Apple displayed on stage — or tried to — during its most recent iPhone event takes an algorithmic approach to unlocking a phone by mapping your face with sophisticated sensors. Unlike previous attempts in facial recognition, Apple’s sensors use multiple reference points, including the distance between facial features and depth readings that map facial contours. It claims the technology is infallible, and can even work when you’ve changed your appearance. In fact, Apple doubles down on the claim by suggesting the chance of…

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Netflix: Nielsen ratings for streaming shows mean nothing


Nielsen, the company which has been monitoring television show views and providing ratings for over ninety years, today announced it was creating a new service casting light on “Subscription-based Streaming Content Consumption” — in other words, Netflix, Hulu, and the like. Nielsen says it’s providing a service for a number of studios who have no idea what kind of streaming numbers Netflix has. As Megan Clarksen, president of Watch at Nielsen, said: The significant growth of SVOD services in entertainment markets across the world has created demand from rights owners to understand the size and composition of audiences relative to…

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Facebook, Google, and Twitter to appear before Congress in election tampering investigation


Representatives for Facebook, Google, and Twitter will appear in front of congress on November 1st to provide testimony on Russian election interference. The congressional hearing is one of many government probes into Russian election interference, this one turns its focus on social media’s involvement. All three tech companies found evidence of ad tampering over the course of internal investigations this year, and subsequently reported those findings to congress. Facebook reported hundreds of Pages and advertisers tied to a Russian troll farm, which had purchased over 3000 advertisements totaling over $100,000. Twitter uncovered at least 200 accounts tied to similar ones…

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Shop owner’s takedown of Google leads to new consumer protection law in Colombia


A Colombian shop owner fought for his rights against Google. The small-scale furniture seller recently won a court battle with Google after failing to silence an anonymous blogger who spread false accusations, shattering his online reputation. The man, who chose to remain unnamed, owns a furniture store in the city of Ibagué, Colombia and decided it was time to take action for protection (acción de tutela) against a blog that published negative comments regarding his small venture. The blog was set up on Blogger, which belongs to Google Inc. The anonymous blogger posted false accusations, including claims that he was…

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Razer’s Blade Stealth now comes with a much faster quad-core processor


Razer has a penchant for rapidly upgrading it’s laptops, so when I reviewed the company’s Blade Stealth laptop a few weeks ago, it was with the reservation that it would likely be upgraded to Intel’s latest processor by the end of the year. Well, surprise, Razer has upgraded the Blade Stealth. This time though, it’s more than the usual small performance bumps between generations. Kaby Lake R, as Intel’s 8th-gen mobile chips are called, is said to provide a 40 percent boost in performance for multi-tasking applications. That’s because rather than two cores, it has four – something normally reserved…

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Giant Robot Duel was a great commercial for STEM


America and Japan squared off in robot combat last night over the course of two fights. In a first-of-its-kind event the Japanese robot, Kuratas, took on America’s Iron Glory in one bout, and Eagle Prime in another. This was an event for the ages, with more than a few surprises in each contest. Before we get into the exciting details, it’s worth pausing to point out that last night’s fights obviously weren’t live. In fact, it may even be a stretch to call them “fights.” The exhibitions were more like quality assurance testers gone wild than an actual gladiator fight.…

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Adobe’s new Lightroom CC feels like a breath of fresh air for my photography


Adobe Lightroom, likely the world’s most popular editing and management app for photographers, is getting a massive overhaul today. The company today announced the release of a totally​ redesigned version of Lightroom CC, complete with an all-new UI, significant speed improvements, and a focus on cloud-based file management. But before you complain about having to relearn your workflow, don’t fret – the traditional version of Lightroom isn’t going away anytime soon either. Lightroom Classic Lightroom is essentially becoming two products now. The version you know and (maybe) love will now be called ‘Lightroom Classic CC,’ and it’s getting some significant…

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