Magic Leap One AR headset for devs costs more than 2x the iPhone X

It’s been a long and trip-filled wait but mixed reality headgear maker Magic Leap will finally, finally be shipping its first piece of hardware this summer. We were still waiting on the price-tag — but it’s just been officially revealed: The developer-focused Magic Leap One ‘creator edition’ headset will set you back at least $2,295. So a considerable chunk of change — albeit this bit of kit is not intended as a mass market consumer device (although Magic Leap’s founder frothed about it being “at the border of practical for everybody” in an interview with the Verge) but rather an AR headset for developers to create content that could excite future consumers. A ‘Pro’ version of the kit — with an extra hub cable and some kind of rapid replacement service if the kit breaks — costs an additional $495, according to CNET. While certain (possibly necessary) extras such
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Analysis backs claim drones were used to attack Venezuela’s president

Analysis of open source information carried out by the investigative website Bellingcat suggests drones that had been repurposed as flying bombs were indeed used in an attack on the president of Venezuela at the weekend. The Venezuelan government claimed three days ago that an attempt had been made to assassination president Maduro using two drones loaded with explosives. The president had been giving a speech at the time which was being broadcast live on television when the incident occurred. Initial video from a state-owned television network showed the reaction of Maduro, those around him and a parade of soldiers at the event to what appeared to be two blasts somewhere off camera. But the footage did not include shots of any drones or explosions. News organization AP also reported that firefighters at scene had shed doubt on the drone attack claim — suggesting there had instead been a gas explosion
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Autonomous drones could herd birds away from airports

Bird strikes on aircraft may be rare, but not so rare that airports shouldn’t take precautions against them. But keeping birds away is a difficult proposition: how do you control the behavior of flocks of dozens or hundreds of birds? Perhaps with a drone that autonomously picks the best path to do so, like this one developed by CalTech researchers. Right now airports may use manually piloted drones, which are expensive and of course limited by the number of qualified pilots, or trained falcons — which as you might guess is a similarly difficult method to scale. Soon-Jo Chung at CalTech became interested in the field after seeing the near-disaster in 2009 when US Airways 1549 nearly crashed due to a bird strike but was guided to a comparatively safe landing in the Hudson. “It made me think that next time might not have such a happy ending,” he said
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Surprise, no one buys things via Alexa

Some numbers published in a report from The Information reveal that very few owners of Alexa-powered devices use them for shopping. Of about 50 million Alexa users, only about 100,000 reportedly bought something via voice interface more than once. It’s not exactly surprising, but it may still harm the narrative of conversational commerce that Amazon and others are trying to advance. The Amazon Echo and its brethren are mostly used for the expected everyday purposes of listening to music, asking what the weather will be like tomorrow and setting timers. All of these things are obviously things that phones do as well, but there’s something to be said for having a stationary hub for the more domestic tasks. But part of the expectation of seeding the home with these devices has been that users would also make purchases using them: “Alexa, order more Oreos,” or “Alexa, buy a pair
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Google plans to roll out digital wellness features in Pie but Apple’s already got ’em

Google hopes to add a few digital wellness features to its latest desserted update, Pie (out today) but Apple is already on this health track with its latest update for iOS 12. Digital wellness allows users to keep track of time spent on and unplug from your digital device when needed. Google announced the new wellness features coming to Android at I/O in May, including a dashboard for digital wellness, or the ability to track just how much time you spend on your device, an app timer that lets you set time limits on apps, a new Do Not Disturb feature that silences pop-up notifications and Wind Down, a feature to help you switch on Night Light and Do Not Disturb when it’s time to hit the hay. Apple is also making digital wellness a focus. New features in this space were announced during its WWDC conference earlier this summer
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This hack turns your old Kindle into a clock

If you have an old Kindle e-reader lying about then you’d best dig it up. This cool hack can turn your dead e-reader into a living clock that scours hundreds of books for exact times and displays the current time in a quote. It updates once a minute. The project, available on Instrucables, requires a jailbroken Kindle and little else. The app uses quotes collected by the Guardian for an art project and includes writing from Charles Bukowski to Shakespeare. Creator Jaap Meijers writes:
My girlfriend is a *very* avid reader. As a teacher and scholar of English literature, she reads eighty books per year on average. On her wishlist was a clock for our living room. I could have bought a wall clock from the store, but where is the fun in that? Instead, I made her a clock that tells the time by quoting time indications from
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Edifier’s S350DB speakers: modern sound with an old-school style

Let’s be honest, if you use a receiver as the hub of your home entertainment system, you probably only use about a quarter of the buttons, dials and inputs on it, at most. Not everyone needs all the bells and whistles of a receiver-driven surround sound system. For those looking to get their sound with a considerably smaller footprint, 2.1 powered systems consisting of a pair of bookshelf speakers and a subwoofer are just the ticket, and Edifier‘s $300 S350DB is solid option.

Setup is simple: just connect both speakers to the subwoofer and you’re good to go. The sub has a plethora of input options, so you can easily route your entire setup through it. It’s got a pair of 3.5mm AUX inputs, optical and coaxial, along with Bluetooth connectivity. There’s no HDMI, which is fine for my setup but might not be for others’.

The

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Venezuela claims drones loaded with explosives used in failed attack on president

Is the dystopian future of shoestrong budget weaponized drone attacks here already? The BBC and AP are reporting claims by the Venezuela government of an assassination attempt on its president using a couple of drones carrying explosives. President Nicolás Maduro was giving a speech at a military event in Caracas which was being screened live on television when the incident occurred. Footage of the speech on the BBC website shows the president, flanked by military generals and with his wife also standing alongside, being interrupted mid-flow by what appears to be a blast from above them. The people in the shot react by looking startled and looking up. The audio to the video cuts out before the blast can be heard. Footage of the incident from a different camera angle showing a panorama view of a military parade at a standstill during the speech, does include the sound of a blast. Afterwards
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The greedy ways Apple got to $1 trillion

For being the richest company ever with $243 billion in cash, Apple sure cuts corners in the stingiest ways. The hardware giant became the first trillion-dollar company week. Yet it’s tough to reconcile Apple earning $11 billion in profit per quarter with it still screwing us over on cords and keyboards. The “it just works” philosophy has slipped through the cracks of the money-printing machine. It’s not that Apple couldn’t afford to fix the problems, it’s just ensnared in hubris such that it doesn’t see them as important. We still turn to Apple because it makes the best core products. But the edges of the customer experience have frayed like the wires of a Lightning cable. The key to Apple’s fortune is obviously selling high margin iPhones, not these ways it nickels and dimes us. But the company has an opportunity to raise its standards after this milestone, and win
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Here’s how Airstream is updating the classic American travel trailer

Airstream has made travel trailers for generations, and the company is ramping up plans to bring connected technology to the product line. Airstream recently announced several new products that will bring new features expected by today’s consumers including less expensive and more capable trailers. The iconic silver bullet trailers are a mainstay on America’s highways and byways. Trailers made today have the same classic lines as those made for past generations. For the most part, that’s not going to change. While Airstream has new two new trailers that slightly depart from the shiny aluminum exterior, they’re still Airstream trailers. And for the classic models, which can command prices over $150,000, Airstream is now equipping them with smart control technology that will let owners control various functions through a smartphone app. Featured on initially the 2019 Classic models, Airstream’s Smart Technology puts a bevy of controls in a smartphone app. It
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Peloton raises $550M at a valuation of $4 billion

Peloton today announced its Series F funding of $550 million. That brings the total amount raised, according to CrunchBase, to $994.7 million. According to the announcement, this round puts Peloton’s valuation at $4 billion — it was just last May the company hit unicorn status.
TCV led the round with other participation in the round from Tiger Global, True Ventures, Wellington Management, Fidelity, NBCUniversal, and Kleiner Perkin, along with new investors – BlackRock, Franklin and Winslow Capital. “We are truly honored to partner with TCV and with Jay Hoag personally,” said John Foley, founder and CEO of Peloton, in a released statement. “TCV’s reputation, experience, and involvement in businesses like Netflix, Spotify and Facebook will be invaluable as we build Peloton into one of the most unique and influential global consumer product and media companies of our day.” The company previously closed a $325 million Series E, which
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This 3D-printed camp stove is extra-efficient and wind-resistant

I love camping, but there’s always an awkward period when you’ve left the tent but haven’t yet created coffee that I hate camping. It’s hard not to watch the pot not boil and not want to just go back to bed, but since the warm air escaped when I opened the tent it’s pointless! Anyway, the Swiss figured out a great way to boil water faster, and I want one of these sweet stoves now. The PeakBoil stove comes from design students at ETH Zurich, who have clearly faced the same problems as myself. But since they actually camp in inclement weather, they also have to deal with wind blowing out the feeble flame of an ordinary gas burner. Their attempt to improve on the design takes the controversial step of essentially installing a stovepipe inside the vessel and heating it from the inside out rather than from the bottom
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Apple is worth over $1,000,000,000,000

It happened. Apple won the race to $1 trillion in market capitalization. Following this week’s earnings release, Apple shares (NASDAQ:AAPL) briefly traded at $207.05, which values the company sightly over $1 trillion based on the most recent share count of July 20. While the smartphone market is more or less saturated, Apple managed to increase its margins and the average selling price thanks to the iPhone X. iPhone sales grew by 1 percent, but revenue jumped by 20 percent. With $53.3 billion in revenue, the company managed to grow by 17 percent year-over-year. iPad sales are more or less flat while Mac sales are down. For the past few years, Apple has been saying that services are going to become a key part of the company’s bottom line. All various services (Apple Music, iCloud, Apple Pay, etc.) now represent $9.6 billion in revenue.
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UK report highlights changing gadget habits — and our need for an online fix

A look back at the past decade of consumer technology use in the UK has shone a light on changing gadget habits, underlining how Brits have gone from being smartphone dabblers back in 2008 when a top-of-the-range smartphone cost ~£500 to true addicts in today’s £1k+ premium smartphone era. The report also highlights what seems to be, at times, a conflicted relationship between Brits and the Internet. While nine in ten people in the UK have home access to the Internet, here in 2018, some web users report feeling being online is a time-sink or a constraint on their freedom. But even more said they feel lost or bored without it. Over the past decade the Internet looks to have consolidated its grip on the spacetime that boredom occupied for the less connected generations that came before. The overview comes via regulator Ofcom’s 2018 Communications Market report. The full report commenting on
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Apple comes close to reaching $1 trillion

Apple has been performing incredibly well on the stock market for the past few days (NASDAQ:AAPL). While Yahoo Finance says that Apple is now worth over $1 trillion, this hasn’t yet happened. The company sent a filing to the SEC with an updated share count. While everyone thought the magic number was $203.45, it was based on an outdated number. According to the filing, there are 4,829,926,000 Apple shares in circulation. Apple is going to hit $1 trillion when shares are worth $207.043 — so let’s say $207.05. That’s why I posted a post earlier today claiming that Apple already hit $1 trillion — I’m sorry for the confusion. Shares are currently trading at $205.62. So Apple shares still need to jump by 0.7 percentage point to reach the market capitalization of $1 trillion. Public companies don’t always have the same number of
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NASA’s Open Source Rover lets you build your own planetary exploration platform

Got some spare time this weekend? Why not build yourself a working rover from plans provided by NASA? The spaceniks at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory have all the plans, code, and materials for you to peruse and use — just make sure you’ve got $2,500 and a bit of engineering know-how. This thing isn’t made out of Lincoln Logs. The story is this: after Curiosity landed on Mars, JPL wanted to create something a little smaller and less complex that it could use for educational purposes. ROV-E, as they called this new rover, traveled with JPL staff throughout the country. Unsurprisingly, among the many questions asked was often whether a class or group could build one of their own. The answer, unfortunately, was no: though far less expensive and complex than a real Mars rover, ROV-E was still too expensive and complex to be a class project. So JPL engineers
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Fitbit stock jumps as smartwatches fuel growth

Fitbit’s stock price jumped in after-hours trading and is currently trading around $6.00 a share, off its 52-week intraday high of $7.79. The company today announced its latest quarterly numbers, which saw the average selling price of its wearables increase 6 percent year-over-year to $106 a device. New devices introduced within the last year represented 59 percent of the company’s revenue. Smartwatches were a high-point for Fitbit this quarter. The company stated that its higher-priced smartwatch wearables outsold Samsung, Garmin and Fossil smartwatches combined in North America. Smartwatch revenue grew to 55 percent of revenue, up from 30 percent on a sequential basis. “Our performance in Q2 represents the sixth consecutive quarter that we have delivered on our financial commitments, made important progress in transforming our business, and continued to adapt to the changing wearables market. Demand for Versa, our first ‘mass-appeal’ smartwatch, is very strong. Within
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JBL’s $250 Google Assistant smart display is now available for pre-order

It’s been a week since Lenovo’s Google Assistant-powered smart display went on sale. Slowly but surely, its competitors are launching their versions, too. Today, JBL announced that its $249.95 JBL Link View is now available for pre-order, with an expected ship date of September 3, 2018. JBL went for a slightly different design than Lenovo (and the upcoming LG WK9), but in terms of functionality, these devices are pretty much the same. The Link View features an 8-inch HD screen; unlike Lenovo’s Smart Display, JBL is not making a larger 10-inch version. It’s got two 10W speakers and the usual support for Bluetooth, as well as Google’s Chromecast protocol. JBL says the unit is splash proof (IPX4), so you can safely use it to watch YouTube recipe videos in your kitchen. It also offers a 5MP front-facing camera for your video chats and a privacy switch that
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Huawei overtakes Apple in smartphone shipments

Chinese smartphone manufacturer Huawei is now the second biggest smartphone manufacturer in the world according to new reports from IDC and Canalys, as The Verge initially spotted. In IDC’s latest report, the firm says that the overall market has shrunk by 1.8 percent in Q2 2018. But the biggest surprise is that Huawei now has a 15.8 percent market share with 54.2 million smartphones shipped in Q2. It doesn’t mean that Apple is performing poorly. The company is shipping slightly more smartphones this year compared to last year. Apple also has a slightly bigger market share with 12.1 percent of the market. Samsung is shipping 10.4 percent less smartphones but still remains the leader with 20.9 percent market share, or 71.5 million smartphones. In other words, many Samsung buyers are now buying Huawei devices, or other Android devices. Canalys confirms this
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iOS beta hints at dual SIM iPhone

Apple released the fifth beta of iOS 12 a few days ago. 9to5mac discovered strings in configuration files that reference dual SIM devices. You should expect at least one new iPhone model with two SIM trays. Apple is said to unveil three new iPhone models in September. In addition to an updated iPhone X, the company should announce a bigger second generation “iPhone X Plus”. Apple also plans to bring the notch to more devices with a replacement to the iPhone 8. This iPhone will feature a 6.1-inch LCD display with a notch as well as a single camera on the back of the device. It should be as expensive as the iPhone 8 today. There have been rumors in the past that Apple was looking at selling iPhones with two SIM cards. It was unclear if Apple wanted to put a normal SIM tray and a second e-SIM
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