Hey, good morning! You look fabulous.
Welcome to Friday! Amazon's fusing together its Echo smartspeaker and Fire TV box -- and the result is a cube. We also report on a new BlackBerry phone and a spinning cat-litter tray. Unrelated.
It's been four years since Amazon first introduced the Echo smart speaker and Alexa, and just over four years since the company first released its Fire TV set-top video box. Now, they're coming together in the form of the Amazon Fire TV Cube.
It runs the expected suite of apps like Netflix, Hulu, PlayStation Vue, HBO Go, Sling and Amazon's Prime Video service. And like the current Fire TV Stick and Fire TV box, you can talk to Alexa to search for movies and shows as well as access thousands of third-party skills.
Yesterday the NTSB released its preliminary investigation report concerning the fatal Tesla Model X crash that occurred on March 23rd, 2018, in Mountain View, California. According to the car's onboard data: "The driver's hands were detected on the steering wheel for a total of 34 seconds, on three separate occasions, in the 60 seconds before impact. The vehicle did not detect the driver's hands on the steering wheel in the six seconds before the crash."
While in Autopilot mode, the vehicle sped up to 70.8 MPH three seconds before its impact with a previously damaged crash attenuator. It had been following a lead vehicle, but then began a left steering movement and stopped following four seconds before the crash. The car did provide multiple alerts for the driver to put his hands back on the wheel during 18 minutes when Autopilot was in use; however, those warnings all came 15 minutes before the crash. Additionally, the car's battery caught fire again, five days after the crash, while sitting in an impound lot. The NTSB closed by saying that major investigations are usually completed within 12 to 24 months.
Confirming an earlier rumor, Microsoft revealed that the next Crackdown game will not arrive in 2018. Instead, Crackdown 3 is now scheduled for release in February 2019; although, the company said we should expect to see an update on the project during E3, which kicks off this weekend. Stay tuned for Microsoft's press conference on Sunday afternoon starting at 4 PM ET.
Anker announced two new battery packs optimized for fast charging the Nintendo Switch. One is a $70, 13400mAh pack that provides up to 10 hours of additional play time. The other allows for 15 additional hours of play time with a 20100mAh battery, retailing for $90. Any Power Delivery-ready USB-C charger should work with the Switch, but these have the console's logo on them.
Last year's BlackBerry KEYone was a love letter to fans, but it wasn't perfect. It was chunky. Performance? Adequate. Now, TCL -- the Chinese company in charge of building BlackBerrys now -- would try to address all those issues. The BlackBerry KEY2 is clearly not for everyone, but this is the best effort at an Android-powered BlackBerry yet.
Stylish gaming rigs aren't hard to find today, but with its Creator PC initiative, Intel is aiming to inspire hardware makers to develop high-end computers for a wider audience. You can think of it like Intel's push for thin and light Ultrabooks years ago (in response to Apple's MacBook Air), though the company isn't planning to spend nearly as much marketing Creator PCs. It's more of a "build it and they will come" approach, with an emphasis on design and cutting-edge hardware like Intel's Optane SSDs and Thunderbolt 3 connectivity. Devindra Hardawar dives in.
This is the forefront of innovation.
US Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross said yesterday that the government has "struck a deal" with ZTE to end trade sanctions. The deal includes a $1 billion penalty and a US-picked compliance department that will embed within the company and monitor it going forward. More than that, within the next 30 days, ZTE will have to install a new board of directors and executive suite, whom the compliance committee will report to directly.
Two front cameras, but just one at the back. A notch. If a purported leak of the Pixel 3 XL is to be believed, there's a few interesting design decisions to muse on. Expect more leaks and rumors before Google's next flagship arrives.
For about 14 million people, Facebook had a bug that made the default privacy setting for their status posts "public." If they changed it, then whatever they set worked, but if they weren't careful they may have accidentally shared posts with more people than they intended. Facebook is notifying those affected and says the problem has been fixed.
But wait, there's more...
- Sprint is offering $15 unlimited 'Kickstart' plans for new customers
- Inside Fox Sports' plan to bring the World Cup to your living room
- IKEA and Sonos show off their first smart speaker prototype
- The best smartphone camera accessories
- The future of Daimler trucking is electrified and autonomous
- MSI's 25-inch gaming display is absurdly fast
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