October 20, 2018

HTC’s standalone Vive Focus will soon get 6DoF VR controllers

While Facebook's Oculus Quest won't arrive until the spring of 2019, its seemingly beefier inside-out tracking plus 6DoF controllers may already pose a threat to HTC's Vive Focus, as well as to other Vive Wave-based standalone VR headsets -- includin...
October 20, 2018

Newfound species of ancient piranha-like fish would have made a meal of you, very slowly

It goes without saying that you could find some pretty dangerous animals if you were to travel back in time tens of millions of years ago, but not all of the creatures that lurked in prehistoric times were dramatically different from what we can still find on Earth today. A newly-discovered species of ancient fish that swam Earth's waters roughly 150 million years ago actually doesn't look all that different from some that still exist today, but that doesn't mean you'd ever have wanted to take a swim with them. The species has been named Piranhamesodon pinnatomus, and if you couldn't tell from its name, it was a lot like a piranha. The fish, which was found in German, would have lived during the late Jurassic period. That means it would have been around at roughly the same time as some pretty iconic dinosaurs, like the allosaurus, stegosaurus, and brachiosaurus, but the animal itself was not a dinosaur. What it was, however, was a pretty serious nuisance for fellow fish. The researchers that discovered the species — whose work is published in Current Biology — found what they believe are some of the fish's victims nearby. Rather than being torn apart and feasted on, the prey fish weren't outright killed. Instead, the sharp-toothed predator apparently nibbled away at their fins, allowing them to regrow before biting away once again. "This is an amazing parallel with modern piranhas, which feed predominantly not on flesh but the fins of other fishes," Dr. David Bellwood, a co-author of the research, said. "It's a remarkably smart move as fins re-grow; a neat renewable resource." Piranhas tend to be portrayed as bloodthirsty beasts that swarm to attack anything that comes close, but the reality is that most of the time the carnivorous fish take small meals whenever they can. This new discovery would seem to suggest that the same was true of similar fish going back 150 million years. Maybe time doesn't change that much after all?
October 20, 2018

Netflix cancels ‘Luke Cage’ a week after dropping ‘Iron Fist’

When Marvel and Netflix announced Iron Fist wouldn't return for a third season, there were reports Luke Cage was close to being renewed. That is not the case, however, as they announced tonight that the show will end after two seasons. In a statement...
October 20, 2018

The days of Google letting device makers install its apps for free in Europe are almost over

It looks like Google is going to potentially start making bank by licensing out its app suite to Android handset makers in Europe. That's according to documents obtained by The Verge, which show how in response to a major anti-trust ruling against Google from the European Union this summer, the company is starting to rework the terms of how its Android OS is distributed within the EU. The ruling barred Google from mandating that phone makers bundle Google's Chrome and search applications with the rest of its app suit. Google, according to the documents, is essentially saying, okay -- we'll break out our apps from the OS, license out the app suite and charge as many as $40 per device for the privilege of obtaining that license. The license fee, it should be pointed out, varies from country to country and by phone type, with that $40 representing the top end. It also should be noted that Google might agree to cover at least some of the license cost if the handset makers go on and install Chrome and search as well, along with the rest of the app bundle. The new fees would apply to devices activated on or after February 1 of next year. From The Verge: "The European Commission ruling does not explicitly require Google to charge licensing fees, but Google is required to break apart its traditional bundle of apps. The court ruled that by bundling search and Chrome within Android, Google stifled innovation and cut off opportunities for device makers to sign better deals around preinstalled browsers and search engines ... The commission sees this breakup as a way to increase competition, which could lower costs or add more options for consumers in the long run." That piece goes on to note that Google's Chrome browser and search engine generate hefty profits for the company, so you can see why giving device manufacturers an option to leave them off the device has led to Google feeling like it needs to pursue a per-device fee to fund the distribution of its other apps and services. Most manufacturers may well decide they need Google's Play Store on their device, because customers expect plenty of non-Google apps like Instagram and Snapchat for which the Play Store is the easiest distribution channel on Android. Which may lead those same manufacturers to say fine, we'll pay. Will the extra fees trickle down to consumers in the form of higher device prices? It's likely. Android became so dominant in part because Google gave it away for free to get it onto as many devices as possible. This could slow that pace of adoption down just a tad bit, but Google's well-oiled money-making engine -- well, don't expect that to slow down anytime soon.
October 20, 2018

YouTube TV apologizes for outage with a one-week credit

If you're one of many who experienced the Youtube TV outage on October 16th, check your email. YouTube TV sent its subscribers an apology today which contained a link to a form you can fill out to receive one week's free credit.
October 20, 2018

New study says not exercising is pretty much the worst thing you can possibly do

It's no secret that there are a lot of things that can potentially impact your overall health. What food you eat, what habits you adopt or drop, and even how much sleep you get can have serious impacts on your wellbeing, but a new study by cardiologists reveals that of all the things you can do that might negatively impact your health, a sedentary lifestyle is the most deadly. The research, which was published in JAMA Network Open, surveyed a whopping 122,007 patients between early 1991 and late 2014. The doctors recorded fitness levels of the individuals and then followed up to track mortality rates. The numbers were, as one of the authors of the paper put it, "extremely surprising." According to the data, lack of cardiovascular fitness is a huge risk factor for death. That might not sound shocking, but keep in mind that it's being compared to things like hypertension and even being a smoker. Lack of exercise is, as far as this study is concerned, actually worse than being a current smoker. "Being unfit on a treadmill or in an exercise stress test has a worse prognosis, as far as death, than being hypertensive, being diabetic or being a current smoker," Dr Wael Jaber, a senior author of the research, told CNN. "We've never seen something as pronounced as this and as objective as this." The researchers insist that a sedentary lifestyle should be seen like a disease, with the obvious treatment being exercise. On a related note, the study also looked at the potential risk of being overactive. The researchers looked at the possibility of diehard gym rats and marathoners being at risk from pushing themselves too hard, but found that there's no link between an abundance of exercise and an early grave. Put simply, you can never get too much exercise, but it's definitely possible to get too little.
October 20, 2018

BepiColombo orbiters take off for Mercury tonight

If you've ever wondered what's happening over on Mercury, you'll have an answer soon. Well, soon-ish. BepiColombo, a joint effort between the space agencies of Europe and Japan, will send off a spacecraft Friday night at about 9:45 PM ET with the des...
October 20, 2018

Healthcare.gov security breach leaks info for 75,000 people

Today The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) announced that Healthcare.gov, the federally operated health insurance marketplace, has suffered a data breach. Apparently it detected "anomalous system activity" in a tool that's supposed...
October 20, 2018

The Instant Pot with 23,000 5-star reviews is on sale again

Ladies and gentlemen, this is not a drill. We repeat, this is not a drill. The Instant Pot DUO60 6 Qt 7-in-1 Multi-Use Programmable Pressure Cooker is the most popular Instant Pot on the planet by a very wide margin, and it's back on sale at a discount today on Amazon. It retails for $100 and it's on sale for $81, making this a great time to pick one up if you don't already have one. The larger 8-quart model and smaller 3-quart version are also both on sale today, but only at a $10 discount.

Here's what you need to know from the product page:

  • Duo, the number 1 selling multi-cooker, combines 7 kitchen appliances in 1, Pressure Cooker, Slow Cooker, Rice Cooker, Steamer, Sauté, Yogurt Marker and Warmer, prepares dishes up to 70% faster to support your busy lifestyle
  • Features 14 Smart Programs - Soup, Meat/Stew, Bean/Chili, Poultry, Sauté/Simmer, Rice, Multigrain, Porridge, Steam, Slow Cook, Keep Warm, Yogurt, Manual, and Pressure Cook. Now, your favorite dishes are as easy as pressing a button
  • Healthy, stainless steel (18/8) inner cooking pot made from food grade 304, no chemical coating, 3-ply bottom for even heat distribution, fully sealed environment traps the flavours, nutrients and aromas within the food
  • Built with the latest 3rd generation technology, the microprocessor monitors pressure, temperature, keeps time, and adjusts heating intensity and duration to achieve your desired results every time.Product Dimensions: 14.17 x 14.84 x 13.31 inches
  • UL and ULC certified with 10 safety mechanisms to provide you with added assurance, designed to eliminate many common errors.Accessories include, stainless steel steam rack with handles, rice paddle, soup spoon, measuring cup, condensation collector and recipe booklet
  • Power supply: 120V – 60Hz
October 19, 2018

OnePlus 6T may be the first OnePlus phone to work on Verizon

OnePlus will unveil its second flagship of 2018 in just a few days, although it did have to move the event when Apple rained on its parade. Even so, the OnePlus 6T still remains one of the Android highlights this year. The OnePlus 6T is going to deliver a new design, and it’ll be the first OnePlus phone to sell with a US carrier. T-Mobile is that rumored mobile operator, but a new report says the new phone will also  work on Verizon. So far, US buyers have had no problems connecting OnePlus devices to AT&T or T-Mobile networks, but Verizon support wasn’t available. However, PCMag has learned that the OnePlus 6T might also support Verizon when it launches in the coming weeks. The report notes that up until the Asus ZenFone V, Verizon would not accept unlocked devices on its network, because these devices would not support 2G CDMA. The ZenFone V, meanwhile, is LTE-only, and the OnePlus 6T is also likely to be an LTE-only device. But Verizon’s LTE coverage now exceeds old CDMA coverage, the report adds, and the OnePlus 6T will support LTE Band 13, which is “crucial” for Verizon compatibility. And Veirzon’s labs are apparently working on certifying the phone for Big Red’s network. As we said before, carrier deals will make OnePlus phones seem even cheaper than they are, allowing buyers to pay for them via installment plans. So it’s not surprising to hear that OnePlus may be interested in getting its phones certified for Verizon, even if a partnership won’t be announced anytime soon. A separate report said a few days ago that OnePlus is increasing its presence in other markets, like the UK, where more carriers will stock the OnePlus 6T than previous devices. The OnePlus 6T will be unveiled on October 29th and should hit stores on November 6th, according to recent leaks.