Big tobacco's new marketing push: Smartphones, style and EDM
A joint Point and Engadget investigation has found that several British American Tobacco brands sponsored music events and created entirely new lifestyle brands that initially seem unrelated to cigarettes. But on closer inspection, they are used to raise awareness of cigarette brands in markets across Europe and Asia where overt tobacco advertisements are forbidden.
The best mobile and computer accessory gifts
We've shortlisted 11 great phone and computer accessories that are sure to brighten up the holiday for burgeoning creators and expert selfie-takers. We mean that literally with the LuMee Duo smartphone case.
Google's Night Sight Pixel camera mode performs imaging miracles
The company's software prowess shows in things like HDR+ and Portrait mode, and according to Cherlynn Low, Night Sight clinches the photography trophy for Google. It's finally available to the masses (if they own a Pixel phone, and preferably a Pixel 3), using automagic processing to pull usable photos out of low-light situations.
'Pokemon Go' creator's Harry Potter game will arrive in 2019
Niantic Labs revealed last November that it was working on a Harry Potter mobile game, focused on location-based and augmented-reality gameplay. Harry Potter: Wizards Unite is now set to appear in 2019, despite expectations that the game would arrive this year.
Expect the usual Potter antics, with spells and wizarding battles taking place in AR.
Dolby made its own headphones to bring home-theater sound to your ears
Dolby has become a household name without actually building its own consumer products. That changes with the introduction of Dolby Dimension, a pair of over-ear wireless headphones designed with a particular set of people in mind: video-streaming binge watchers. They sound great and feel fantastic, but that price tag...
Microsoft resumes Windows 10 update after fixing data-loss bug
Microsoft is again delivering its Windows 10 October update after pulling it over a data-loss bug. The company is confident it's fixed the flaw and has seen "no further evidence" of data loss. Of course, for Insiders living on the edge, it's already testing the next big patch that includes features like a new light mode and an option for "intelligent active hours," which figures out when you usually work on your PC to schedule updates around those times.
NYT: Facebook's crisis response included sneaky redirections
Facebook's rough few years has meant its most senior bosses have scrambled to deal with issues from Russian interference through to leaked data and intense grilling at Capitol Hill. Now, a New York Times report has revealed how the company (and more specifically Mark Zuckerberg and Sheryl Sandberg) went on the attack as it tried to defend itself. The company doesn't come out well, using established political campaigning tools like attacking rivals (like Google) and cheerleading the social-network's own positive initiatives and announcements.
Parts of the report will leave a bad taste in the mouth: Consultant firms like Definers Public Affairs pushed stories and materials suggesting a link between Soros and groups that were anti-Facebook. The deep dive also has some more bizarre vignettes: Zuckerberg asking executive management to use Android after Apple's Tim Cook criticized companies that were collecting and selling user data, or Facebook's need for pollsters to figure out that Zuck didn't come across well during his time in front of Congress. The company has responded to some of the allegations, but the answers aren't all that convincing. Let's see what happens next.
Google improves Assistant with a slew of home-friendly features
At a press event, Google unveiled a whole new set of smart-home features for its Assistant AI that the company hopes will make its ecosystem more compelling. Now you can swipe through recommended recipes, set up a TMNT-voiced alarm or pull in sound effects to go with storybook read-along time. You can even ask it to turn on your phone's do not disturb mode.
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