Life with the Moto 360: has Motorola's smartwatch turned a corner?

When the Moto 360 first hit the scene, its reception was... mixed. That round display was eye-catching, but it couldn't make up for the smartwatch's all-too-short battery life and undercooked software. Times have changed, though. Motorola trotted out updates that addressed the 360's early problems, and the Lollipop upgrade gave Android Wear a new lease on life through custom watch faces and a few other useful tweaks. But does that mean it deserves a second chance, especially now that rivals like LG's G Watch R are vying for your wrist?

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The best cheap router (for most people)

This post was done in partnership with The Wirecutter, a list of the best technology to buy. Read the original full article below at

If I wanted the cheapest good WiFi router I could get, I would buy the TP-Link TL-WDR3600. It's a wireless-n router that costs $60 but outperforms some routers that cost twice as much. It took more than 150 hours of research and testing to find our pick. Of the 29 routers we looked at and the seven we tested, the TL-WDR3600 has the best performance for the lowest price.

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Introducing Engadget's newest contributor: The Wirecutter!

Starting today, you're going to notice a very familiar contributor popping up on the pages of Engadget. That would be none other than our friends at The Wirecutter. We've long admired The Wirecutter's ability to review as many products in as many categories as it does, and then whittle its findings down to a few sensible picks. Here at Engadget, we review gadgets too, but we mainly stick to a handful of categories -- you know, phones, tablets, laptops, smartwatches, et cetera. Even then, there aren't nearly enough of us to test all the interesting stuff out there. That's where The Wirecutter comes in. Beginning today, we're going to be pulling in abridged versions of their reviews, particularly in categories Engadget doesn't usually cover. Think: televisions, kitchen gadgets, touchscreen gloves. And in today's case, routers: the first column of theirs we'll be publishing. Check it out at the link below, and stay tuned for new picks next week!


Ten years ago, multiplayer-only games went through a severe identity crisis. More people than ever were gaming together, but they were increasingly playing online only. The small-stakes joy of twitchy experiences like Street Fighter II and Super Off Road, games meant to be played in short sessions preferably in the same room, weren't feasible anymore. Video games have always been expensive to make, so multiplayer modes had to either come packaged with other content -- consider Halo's famed multiplayer tucked alongside its single-player story -- to flesh them out or be custom built to serve hardcore players meeting up on the internet, a la Team Fortress 2, Valve's modern-day equivalent to the easy-access multiplayer of yore.

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The feature phone. Still big in Japan. Still being sold in the millions. Still relevant, though? And does it even matter what a 30-something tech writer at a Western tech site thinks? Japan's large elderly population -- people who haven't even heard of Angry Birds, Gmail or Uber -- they're the ones sticking to their flip phones. Hardy, easy to use and cheaper than an iPhone. (If you need a primer on the phenomenon of gara-kei, you should probably read up on that here, but in short, it's how Japan's mobile phone market sped ahead with early technologies, then faltered when smartphone competition arrived.) So let's try using one. The best and newest feature phone available in Japan, no less. It's pitched as bringing the best smartphone features to the flip form factor. Is it better than a plain, old smartphone? Good lord, no.

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Am I "good" at games? I don't know.

I'm 30 years old: I've been playing video games for 25 of those years, give or take, and covering games professionally for just over six years. I spent two weeks this year completing Mega Man 1 through 4. I've sunk hundreds of hours into Spelunky. Whether I'm "good" at games is up for debate; I love challenging games. Despite this, I've never loved the divisive, feverishly adored/hated Souls games (Demon's Souls, Dark Souls 1 and 2). Their challenges felt too great to overcome, their systems too inscrutable, their technical issues too great in number. They felt frustrating instead of challenging.

Bloodborne -- the latest entry in the series and the first without a "Souls" moniker attached -- changes that. This is a game I love to hate. But I mostly just love it.

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Mars One promises to send humans on a one-way trip to the red planet, with the intent to colonize, by 2027. Once the first four people leave Earth for Mars, there's no turning back, no panic button, no chance to return home. This aspect of the trip isn't just for drama -- it's a core tenet of Mars One's technical feasibility. CEO Bas Lansdorp believes that it's possible, using current technology, to land and sustain human life on Mars.

But the systems that would power a human settlement on an alien planet are ridiculously complex. They're so complicated that Lansdorp isn't yet sure what they will actually be. This lack of ready research has mired Mars One in controversy, thanks to a recent one-two credibility punch: First, a 2014 research paper from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology concludes that the program is not realistic. Second, a series of articles for Matter magazine calls into question the feasibility of Mars One financially, scientifically and ethically. Still, Lansdorp promises to send humans to live on Mars, but he can't yet say how. He wants the world to trust him.

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If you live in the United States, you might've been surprised when Facebook purchased WhatsApp for $19 billion -- or, in other words, thing-you'd-think-you'd-have-heard-of money. Facebook identified what those of us in the US with texting plans and Apple Messages haven't noticed: There are whole ecosystems of social networking and instant messaging separate from those we customarily use.

There are a number of advantages services like Line and WhatsApp have over basic texting: They're cross-platform and international, allowing people to talk to other users in other countries, on other devices and other networks, with no extra cost. Of course, for individual users, there's only one thing that distinguishes one service from others: the presence of their friends.

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"I have drunk cognac in Cognac, port in Oporto, raki in Turkey, tequila in Mexico City, moonshine in Kentucky, not to mention poteen in Fleet Street, bitter and industrial alcohol in Oxford, Yugoslav whisky in Yugoslavia, Japanese whisky in Glasgow and sweet Spanish wine and lemonade in Swansea. Also gin in England." -- Kingsley Amis, Everyday Drinking

While I can't boast a list quite as long or accomplished, I've swilled my fair share of liquids over the past 32 years. Up until two weeks ago, however, I'd never met a bartender who wasn't at least mostly human.

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