Ikea’s economical range of smart lights continues expanding


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<em>Smart lighting is so much fun.</em>

Ikea’s lineup of low-priced Tradfri smart lights and controllers continues to grow. Ikea is launching a few new products, while also bringing a few items to the US that were already on sale elsewhere. All the devices are compatible with Apple HomeKit, Amazon Alexa, and Google Home ecosystems through the use of a Tradfri gateway. The new products were first spotted by the smart home enthusiasts at Homekit Hero (via Dave Zatz).

Unfortunately, none of the new devices are available to purchase.

First up, new spotlights and a water resistant motion sensor suitable for securing the perimeter of your home were discovered in Ikea’s Home Smart app. No details were provided but a formal announcement can be expected soon.

Next, a new water…

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What happened to the original iPhone’s plastic screen?


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<em>This iPhone had a plastic display. So what happened?</em>

The iPhone Steve Jobs revealed in January 2007 featured a 3.5-inch plastic display. Not many people remember that, because the phone sold that June was covered in glass. The switch from plastic to glass appeared as a footnote in an Apple press release just 11 days before the original iPhone went on sale. What happened in the five months between has mostly remained a mystery, until now, thanks to a video surfaced by Dave Mark at The Loop.

The story is suitably recounted by Jeff Williams, Apple’s Chief Operating Officer, who’ll also be responsible for software and hardware design when Jony Ive leaves Apple later this year.

As Williams tells it, the day after he held up the plastic iPhone on stage, Jobs complained to Williams about…

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Jony Ive ‘dispirited’ by Tim Cook’s lack of interest in product design: WSJ


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To many, Jony Ive’s announced departure from Apple last week felt very sudden. But a narrative is forming to suggest that he’s been slowly exiting for years as the company shifted priorities from product design to operations. The Wall Street Journal’s Tripp Mickle just published a new list of brutalities that paints a picture of discontent inside Apple, that’s responsible for “eroding the product magic” created by the union of Apple’s genius CEO and genius designer.

The WSJ report follows a similar piece published by Bloomberg last week. Both reports describe an Apple design team, led by Jony Ive, increasingly frustrated by his absence after the launch of the Apple Watch in 2015. They tell the story of a company that once put design at…

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Test-riding GM’s first Ariv e-bikes


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<em>GM’s Ariv Merge folding e-bike in Amsterdam.</em>

GM likely isn’t the first name you think of when it comes to bicycles. But America’s largest automaker, which is home to Chevy and Cadillac, is hoping to change that with the launch of its Ariv e-bikes (pronounced like “arrive” and stylized as “ARĪV”) in Europe this week. I was able to meet with the Ariv team in Amsterdam to test-ride both the Ariv Meld and the nearly identical-looking foldable Ariv Merge.

As someone who’s currently testing the first e-bike from Brompton, a name that’s synonymous with compact folding bikes, I have to say I’m highly impressed with GM’s first foray into electric bicycles. But before we get to the accolades, let’s dive into the specs.

GM’s new e-bikes come in two compact flavors: the single-speed, 19kg…

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Resetting a GE light bulb shouldn’t be this stupid


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Anyone that’s ever dabbled in smart home tech knows that part of the experience involves an eventual reset. Having trouble with your C by GE bulbs? No worries, just follow these simple instructions as spotted by Josh Jordan:

  1. Turn on for 8 seconds
  2. Turn off for 2 seconds
  3. Turn on for 8 seconds
  4. Turn off for 2 seconds
  5. Turn on for 8 seconds
  6. Turn off for 2 seconds
  7. Turn on for 8 seconds
  8. Turn off for 2 seconds
  9. Turn on for 8 seconds
  10. Turn off for 2 seconds
  11. Turn on

Did the bulb flash three times? Maybe you mistimed one of the 11 steps. GE recommends counting with “one Mississippi, two Mississippi, three Miss…“

Or maybe you have an older version of the C by GE bulb. You did keep the original packaging for reference? It could also be a case of…

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Google is moving US-bound Nest production out of China, reports Bloomberg


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Google is moving its production of US-bound Nest devices and server hardware out of China in order to avoid tariffs as high as 25 percent, reports Bloomberg. Production of motherboards heading to Google’s US data centers have moved to Taiwan, while Nest devices heading Stateside are now being produced in Taiwan and Malaysia. The moves are a response to increasing tensions created by the US-China trade war.

The shift in geographies is meant to shore up Google’s bottom line. Tariffs have to either be absorbed directly by the companies or passed along to consumers in the form of higher prices. As such, many companies that sell to the USA are now considering moving at least some of their manufacturing out of China, disrupting a complex…

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Walmart employees will soon deliver groceries directly into your fridge


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<em>A Walmart InHome associate delivering groceries as a customer watches the body cam remotely.</em>

Starting this fall in the US, Walmart customers in select cities can choose to have their groceries delivered directly into their refrigerators when away from home. The InHome service will use Walmart vehicles and its own workers equipped with proprietary wearable cameras. Using undisclosed “smart entry technology,” Walmart employees will be able to enter homes to make deliveries, while customers will be able to control access and watch the deliveries remotely.

Walmart takes the order “from food aisle to fridge,” according to a statement issued by the company.

The InHome services will launch this fall and be available to over 1 million customers in three cities: Kansas City, Missouri; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania; and Vero Beach, Florida….

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Sonos speakers are getting a cheap Ikea wireless controller


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<em>The tiny Sound Remote next to the larger TRÅDFRI gateway and Symfonisk table lamp.</em>

Ikea’s Symfonisk speakers will have a dedicated wireless controller when the $179 table lamp and a $99 bookshelf model ship in August. That means that Ikea’s Sonos-compatible speakers will be controllable via the Sonos app, Ikea’s Trådfri smart home app, and the new Symfonisk Sound Remote, which can also control Sonos-branded speakers.

The diminutive Symfonisk Sound Remote is a dedicated wireless remote control unit for any Sonos-compatible speaker, that’s similar in function to Sonos accessories like the $300 Senic Nuimo. It lets you play/pause the audio, change tracks, and control the volume of individual speakers or those already grouped.

Image: Ikea / Sonos

The Symfonisk range.

The Sound Remote requires…

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Oppo shows off working ‘under-display’ camera


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What you’re looking at could be the world’s first under-display camera. The video was posted to Oppo’s official Twitter account without much detail. What we can see, though, is a working front-facing camera that doesn’t need a notch, tear drop, hole punch, or pop-up sliding mechanism to leave that edge-to-edge display uninterrupted.

In May, Ben Geskin first suggested that Oppo would show a smartphone with under-display camera. That prediction just came true.

Engadget reports that the video was first…

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Update WhatsApp now to avoid spyware installation from a single missed call


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A vulnerability discovered in Facebook’s WhatsApp messaging app is being exploited to inject commercial spyware onto Android and iOS phones by simply calling the target, reports The Financial Times. The spyware, developed by Israel’s secretive NSO group, can be installed without trace and without the target answering the call, according to security researchers and confirmed by WhatsApp.

Once installed, the spyware can turn on a phone’s camera and mic, scan emails and messages, and collect the user’s location data. WhatsApp is urging its 1.5 billion global users to update the app immediately to close the security hole.

“WhatsApp encourages people to upgrade to the latest version of our app, as well as keep their mobile operating system…

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Apple to be formally investigated over Spotify’s antitrust complaint, says report


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The EU is preparing to launch a formal antitrust investigation against Apple following Spotify’s official complaint, reports the Financial Times. Spotify claims that Apple uses its App Store to stifle innovation and limit consumer choice in favor of its own Apple Music service.

Following Spotify’s complaint in March, the EU surveyed customers, rivals, and others before deciding to launch a formal investigation “in the next few weeks,” reports the FT.

Spotify CEO Daniel Ek is particularly concerned with the “Apple tax,” whereby Apple takes a 30-percent cut on every Spotify subscription signed up via the App Store during the first year, and then 15 percent each year thereafter. “If we pay this tax, it would force us to artificially inflate…

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Stop what you’re doing and Google ‘Thanos’ for an Avengers Easter egg


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<em>Screengrab while Easter egg is running.</em>

Google Search is home to a new Easter egg celebrating today’s theatrical release of Avengers: Endgame. Just Google “Thanos” on desktop or mobile, and then click the gauntlet. Go ahead, I’ll wait…

In the mean time maybe check out our spoiler-free review.

Welcome back.

As you saw, clicking the gem-studded gauntlet triggers an Easter egg and the power of the Infinity Stones to wipe out half the search results on the page. Did you see the 90,700,000 results drop to 45,350,000 in just 0.44 seconds? Click the glove again to return your world to normal — if only it was that easy.

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Verizon names 20 more 5G cities, starts preorders for $1,300 Galaxy S10 5G


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Verizon said it would deploy 5G in more than 30 cities in 2019. Today it’s naming 20 cities, in addition to Chicago and Minneapolis where the service has already been activated. It’s also opening up preorders for the Samsung Galaxy S10 5G handset with a few incentives tossed in.

The new cities stretch from the east coast to the west, and from the north to south, and will be receiving Verizon’s millimeter wave 5G Ultra Wideband service before the year is done. The 20 cities are:

Atlanta, Boston, Charlotte, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Columbus, Dallas, Des Moines, Denver, Detroit, Houston, Indianapolis, Kansas City, Little Rock, Memphis, Phoenix, Providence, San Diego, Salt Lake City, and Washington DC.

Verizon says additional 5G cities will…

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Nintendo forecasts modest Switch growth as sales overtake the N64


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Nintendo sold 2.47 million Switch consoles in the January to March quarter, or 16.95 million units for the financial year. Nintendo’s original target for the financial year was 20 million Switch consoles, later revised to a more realistic 17 million units. Nintendo also reported strong software sales of 118.55 million units thanks to titles like Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, Pokémon Let’s Go, Pikachu!, Pokémon Let’s Go, Eevee!, Super Mario Party, and Mario Kart 8 Deluxe — an 86.7 percent increase from the year earlier.

Nintendo has sold 34.74 million Switch consoles to date which moves it ahead of the Nintendo 64’s 32.93 million lifetime units. Impressive, but it still pales in comparison to the recent success of the Wii’s 101.63 million…

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