Category Archives: Tech News

Dropbox CTO Aditya Agarwal is leaving

 Aditya Agarwal, who came to Dropbox via its acquisition of Cove way back in 2012 and was given the CTO role last year, will be leaving the company. Agarwal held the CTO role for about 9 months and was previously the VP of engineering. Agarwal is leaving the company as it begins to aggressively tout its success as a business. Read More
Microsoft Office 2010
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We spotted Tesla's Model 3 in the wild a week before its official launch (TSLA)

IMG_6736

Tesla’s new, mass-market priced sedan has been seen in the wild.

We spotted the blue Model 3 driving north in the east San Francisco Bay Area between San Jose and Fremont on Friday morning. The car exited Interstate 680 in South Fremont, taking the exit that leads to Tesla’s factory. 

Although the car had Tesla’s “T” badge on its back, it didn’t appear to have any other badges that indicated what model it was. But by the car’s size and design, it was clearly the Model 3. 

By the license plate number, it appears to be the same Model 3 Electrek spotted in April. That means the vehicle was more than likely what Tesla calls a “release candidate,” or a pre-production version of the finished car. 

Tesla has said that it would begin making deliveries of the car this month and would hand over cars to the first 30 customers on July 28. Earlier this month, Tesla rolled the first production Model 3 out of its factory.

Tesla has a lot riding on the Model 3. The company is hoping the vehicle, which will have a starting price of $35,000 will be the first electric car to appeal to a mass audience. In anticipation of the car’s launch, investors have bid up Tesla’s stock; it’s up more than 50% in the last year.

The early outlook for the car is good; Tesla has received some 400,000 pre-orders for it.IMG_7734

The Model 3 has a very smooth and restrained design, which is the handiwork of Tesla’s chief designer, Franz von Holzhausen. The sedan has a more subtle rear haunch than the Model S and a continuous glass roof that starts at the windshield and run through the rear spoiler. 

Tesla has said the car can drive 215 miles on a single charge.

But the company faces growing competition. Last year, GM released the Chevy Bolt, a similarly priced electric car that gets 238 miles on a single charge. Meanwhile, Volvo announced earlier this month that all of its cars will either be electrics or hybrids by 2019.IMG_3869

SEE ALSO: Tesla will start delivering the Model 3 in July — here’s everything you need to know about the car

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NOW WATCH: The inventor of Roomba has created a weed-slashing robot for your garden

Microsoft Office 2010
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The first trailer for this season's 'The Walking Dead' dropped — and it looks amazing

AMC showed the first trailer for season 8 of “The Walking Dead” at the 2017 San Diego Comic Con. There’s a lot happening in the trailer, and it looks like Rick and everyone else will be taking the war to Negan and his gang.

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10 iconic products that brands brought back from the dead

crystal pepsi

This week, Pepsi announced that it was bringing back Crystal Pepsi, a popular drink from the 1990s, for one last time. But it’s hardly the first brand to bring back a product from the dead.

Appealing to nostalgia — that yearning for yesteryear — has emerged as a strategic and highly effective marketing technique in recent years, with marketers of all stripes rolling out comebacks for classic and retro products.

Here are some of the most welcome branded product comebacks in recent history:

1. Crystal Pepsi

Crystal Pepsi ruled the shelves in the U.S. in the early ‘90s, but by 1994, the proliferation of countless copycats, including Coca-Cola’s Tab Clear, had saturated the colorless soda category.

Pepsi officially renewed the short-lived soda last summer, inspired by “overwhelming fan demand.” The brand had also offered Crystal Pepsi through a sweepstakes it held in 2015, but the 2016 initiative represented a broader retail push, for a limited time.

This summer, the soda will be returning to shelves “for one final time,” according to Pepsi, becoming available widely on August 14.

2. Coca-Cola Surge

Coca-Cola originally introduced Surge in 1996, but took it off the market in 2003. After a successful year-long pilot program on Amazon, the company re-introduced the product — created in the 1990s to compete with Pepsi’s Mountain Dew – across select stores in 2015.

The comeback was in response to a huge fan movement online called the Surge Movement, which lobbied for the company to bring back their favorite drink. The brand eventually listened, using the relaunch as an opportunity to not just appeal to past consumers, but also recruit new fans through the soda’s engaged and passionate Facebook group community.

“Surge superfans have amazing stories to tell and have been so instrumental in bringing back Surge,” said Kimberly Paige, vice president, Sprite and Flavors, Coca-Cola North America. “But younger, variety-seeking consumers are also intrigued by this brand because to them it’s new and different.”

3. MillerCoors Zima

Zima was also a part of the “clear craze” of the 1990s, in the ranks of Crystal Pepsi and Tab Clear – except with an alcoholic kick. The clear malt liquor from MillerCoors hit the market in 1993, enjoyed a swift rise and then faded into eventual oblivion, being pulled off from shelves in 2008. It returned to stores this July 4 weekend for a limited time.

Zima’s return comes on the heels of a resurgence in the alcoholic soda category in recent years,  with brands including Mike’s Hard Lemonade and AB InBev’s Best Damn Cherry Cola leading the charge.

The comeback is an obvious nostalgia play for the brand, with the ad campaign touting its return full of ’90s references — everything from Jnco jeans to frosted tips.

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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The man behind 'Mario Kart' addresses the game's divisive blue shell: 'Sometimes life isn't fair'

Let’s just be upfront: The blue shell in “Mario Kart” is a frustrating, obnoxious item that we all wish would go away. It’s the number one cause of snatching defeat from the jaws of victory in any given race.

Mario Kart 8 (Blue Shell)

There you are, ahead of the pack by a mile, when suddenly a blue shell comes flying out of nowhere. It crashes down on you, explodes, and drains your coins as kart after kart races past you. With the finish line in sight, you’re now in twelfth place. The dreaded blue shell strikes again, and all you’ve got is your frustration.

The man behind the most recent games in the series, “Mario Kart 7” and “Mario Kart 8” (as well as “Mario Kart 8 Deluxe”), understands your frustration. He’s just not going to take out the blue shell because you’re upset. 

“You know, sometimes life isn’t fair. Sometimes in life you have something where you feel that’s not right, and that’s frustrating,” Kosuke Yabuki told Eurogamer in a recent interview. He’s kidding, of course. (But also he’s clearly not and the blue shell isn’t fair.)

Mario Kart 8 (Blue Shell)

Jokes aside, there’s precedent for removing the shell: As “Mario Kart” games have evolved over the years, new items have been added while older ones were taken away. The blue shell was not part of the original “Mario Kart” on the Super Nintendo, for instance. Yabuki said that Nintendo continues to experiment with dropping the blue shell: 

“We have tried — or we are trying — to see what the game’s like without the blue shell. When we’ve experimented without the blue shell, actually it feels like something’s missing.”

Maybe fairness is what’s missing? Sorry, sorry, that’s unnecessary. Anyway, read the full conversation here at Eurogamer.

SEE ALSO: It looks like Nintendo’s making a miniature, inexpensive version of the original Nintendo 64 console

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NOW WATCH: The 11 best games from the ’90s

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Some Verizon users are saying their Netflix streams are being throttled (VZ, NFLX)

Verizon Lowell McAdam

Some Verizon Wireless subscribers are saying their mobile data speeds are being limited whenever they stream videos on Netflix or YouTube.

Users on both Reddit and the mobile-focused Howard Forums say they’ve noticed the speed cap. The Verge reported on the complaints on Thursday.

In both threads, Verizon users are reporting slower-than-advertised speeds whenever they stream Netflix and YouTube. Many report maximum internet speeds around 10 Mbps whenever using these two sites over their mobile data network. (The higher the Mbps, or “Megabits per second,” the faster the internet speeds.)

These same users say they’re getting the normal, faster download speeds Verizon advertises when they connect to other apps and websites.

In Netflix’s case, those who have noticed the change are largely using a internet speed test tool called Fast.com. That connects directly to Netflix’s servers, and thus serves as a barometer for overall Netflix speeds. But the speeds reported there are said to be slower than those found through tools like Ookla’s Speedtest.net, which measures overall internet speeds.

Various users also say their Netflix speeds are faster when they connect through a VPN, which circumvents a direct connection to Verizon itself.

Netflix previously throttled video speeds on certain mobile networks in an attempt to provide acceptable video quality without pushing users over their monthly data caps. Here, though, Netflix said it has nothing to do with the slower speeds some Verizon users are reporting.

“We can confirm we are not capping data on our end and don’t cap data for any mobile network,” a Netflix spokesperson told Business Insider in an email.

Netflix also said it is not experiencing any technical issues with Fast.com.

Verizon, however, acknowledged it has been doing “network testing” in recent days, though it said consumers’ “video experience” shouldn’t have been affected. A Verizon spokesperson said the following to Business Insider in an email:

“We’ve been doing network testing over the past few days to optimize the performance of video applications on our network. The testing should be completed shortly. The customer video experience was not affected.”

When asked about the various similar complaints left on Reddit and the like, the spokesperson clarified, “My understanding is that the customer experience was not impacted by the testing.” 

The spokesperson could not immediately clarify what the network testing consisted of, instead saying, “We are always looking at ways, and doing tests, to enhance the network and optimize the customer experience.”

Verizon also could not immediately clarify if it plans to cap Netflix or YouTube speeds in any manner once the testing is complete. 

netflix ceo reed hastingsIn any case, the complaints arrive as the Republican-led Federal Communications Commission is on the verge of overturning its existing “net-neutrality” rules. Those rules are designed to prevent internet service providers like Verizon from blocking or throttling certain websites indiscriminately, or creating so-called “fast lanes” that allow some services to be delivered faster than others in exchange for payment. 

They do have exceptions in cases of network management, however. And it’s worth noting that any throttling would not be unprecedented on a mobile data network:

  • T-Mobile caps all video on its entry-level “unlimited” plan at a 480p resolution, which is less than HD, and currently charges users $10 more a month to bypass the cap.
  • AT&T similarly throttles all video on its “unlimited” plans by default — a feature it calls “Stream Saver” — but allows users to turn that off for higher quality.
  • Sprint says that video on its “unlimited” plan maxes out at a 1080p resolution.

It’s also worth noting that, in most cases, 10 Mbps is still fast enough to watch Netflix and YouTube videos in HD. Netflix, for instance, recommends that users have speeds of 5 Mbps for “HD quality” video. The cap would not be fast enough to stream videos in 4K, but very few smartphones have screens that sharp in the first place.

Still, Verizon has not advertised any throttling caveat to its data plans thus far. A company spokesperson told Business Insider that its “unlimited” plan doesn’t manipulate video data in any way earlier this year.  

If there is some level of throttling going on, it wouldn’t be a total shock: Maintaining a truly unlimited network is expensive, Netflix and YouTube eat up a ton of data, and all mobile ISPs besides T-Mobile have seen sluggish growth in recent quarters. But that’s unlikely to satisfy customers who may not be getting what they’re told they’re paying for.

SEE ALSO: Verizon and AT&T both launched misleading services — and it points to a larger problem

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NOW WATCH: The iPhone 7 is having connection issues on Verizon — here’s how to fix it

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SoundCloud is stopping people archiving content on its platform

Alex Ljung SoundCloud

SoundCloud is stopping a team of people from downloading and archiving content hosted on its platform, according to Motherboard.

Organisations and individuals have started various archiving projects in the last two weeks amid growing concern that SoundCloud could be about to shut down. SoundCloud cut 40% of staff on July 5 and TechCrunch reported that it could run out of money within 50 days.

Last week, a group that refers to itself as The Archive Project announced that they intended to archive 900 terabytes of SoundCloud, or 123.6 million tracks.

The Archive Project backs up at-risk services with the help of volunteers running its virtual archiving appliance, ArchiveTeam Warrior. Volunteers give up some bandwidth and disk space to help scrape those sites. Other defunct sites preserved by the project include GeoCities, TwitPic, and Google Video.

However, Jason Scott, a member of the Archive Team tweeted on Thursday that SoundCloud had requested that they halt their project.

“Due to a request by Soundcloud, archiving and storage of Soundcloud is ending immediately,” the tweet read.

A SoundCloud spokesperson reportedly provided Motherboard with the following statement:

“SoundCloud is dedicated to protecting the rights and content of the creators who share their work on SoundCloud. We requested the Archive Team halt their efforts as any action to take content from SoundCloud violates our Terms of Use and infringes on our users’ rights.

“Most importantly, everyone’s music and audio is safe on SoundCloud. SoundCloud is not going away—not in 50 days, not in 80 days or anytime in the foreseeable future.”

It’s likely that SoundCloud will also be looking to clamp down on other individuals and groups attempting to archive content on its platform.

Last week, a Reddit user claimed he’s “downloaded the bulk of SoundCloud’s public archive, and that it’s “only” 900 terabytes.

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NOW WATCH: Hackers and governments can see you through your phone’s camera — here’s how to protect yourself

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Windows Template Studio 1.2 released!

We’re extremely excited to announce the Windows Template Studio 1.2. What makes this release even more special is we’ve been accepted into the .NET Foundation! We are thrilled to be accepted in.

In this release, our major new feature is adding content into an existing application with Right-click add. We’ve grown up past only File->New 🙂

What’s new:

Full list of adjustments in the 1.2 release, head over to WTS’s Github.

Improvements to the Wizard:

  • Add new content to existing WTS generated projects in your solution window via right-click

    • We will be working toward seeing how we can enable this for non-WTS generated projects
  • Adjusted ordering of templates based on popularity and logical groupings
  • Under the hood, we’ve done a lot of work toward localization and started some accessibility improvements
  • Simplified descriptions
  • Logo adjustment to help at smaller icon sizes

Feature updates:

  • First-time load prompt
  • What’s New prompt

Template improvements:

Process improvements:

  • Added in pull request template
  • Added in Issue template

How to get the update:

There are two paths to update to the newest build:

  • Already installed: Visual Studio should auto update the extension. To force an update, Go to Tools->Extensions and Updates. Then go to Update expander on the left and you should see Windows Template Studio in there and click “Update”
  • Not installed: Head to https://aka.ms/wtsinstall, click “download” and double click the VSIX installer.

What else is cooking for next versions?

We love all the community support and participation. In addition, here are just a few of the things we are currently building out that will in future builds:

  • Fluent design in the templates
  • Project Rome features as options for your project
  • Ink templates
  • Improved Right-click->add support for existing projects
  • Localization in the wizard
  • Full accessibility supported in both wizard and in the templates
  • Visual Basic support

With partnership with the community, we’ve will continue cranking out and iterating new features and functionality.  We’re always looking for additional people to help out and if you’re interested, please head to our GitHub at https://aka.ms/wts. If you have an idea or feature request, please make the request!

.NET Foundation:

We are happy to say that we’ve been accepted into the .NET Foundation. Such great open source projects like .NET Core, Roslyn and UWP Community Toolkit are just a few of the projects there, and now Windows Template Studio will be there as well!

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Here are the best Pokémon for defeating powerful Legendaries in 'Pokémon Go'

Legendary Lugia Pokemon Go

Legendary Pokémon are finally coming to “Pokémon Go”, more than one year after the game’s release.

Legendaries such as Mewtwo are extremely rare and powerful Pokémon from the original game series. And until now, they’ve been completely absent from “Pokémon Go,” even as the game has added more features and creatures from the second generation of Pokémon.

Now that Legendaries will officially start making their first appearances through collaborative Raid Battles, it’s time to prepare your best Pokémon for battle.

Knowing exactly which Pokémon and moves are best effective against specific Legendaries will be instrumental in taking down the ultra-powerful creatures.

We’ve examined data from The Silph Road and PokeBattler to find the top six fighters for each Legendary:

SEE ALSO: Here is every single Pokémon currently in Pokémon Go

Tyranitar is simply the best all-around attacker for taking down most Legendaries.

No other Pokémon comes close to matching the type and move combination effectiveness of this giant. The only two Legendaries that Tyranitar isn’t super effective against are the beasts Raikou and Suicune.

Best moves: Bite/Stone Edge or Bite/Crunch

You’ll also need assistance from Golem.

Golem is particularly effective against the Legendary birds and the beasts Raikou and Entei.

Best move: Rock Throw/Stone Edge

Now on to Legendaries, starting with Articuno.

  1. Omastar with Rock Throw/Rock Slide
  2. Tyranitar with Bite/Stone Edge
  3. Golem with Rock Throw/Stone Edge
  4. Flareon with Fire Spin/Flamethrower
  5. Arcanine with Fire Fang/Flamethrower
  6. Scizor with Bullet Punch/Iron Head

 

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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Why one Uber driver loves picking up puking passengers

Uber driver Curtis Preston

Uber driver Curtis Preston learned his lesson about inebriated passengers the hard way. The first time someone got sick in his car he wasn’t prepared, and the mess took him off the road and cost him $140 to get his car cleaned. Uber reimbursed him $150, but he lost a night of work. 

After that first experience, he armored his car against anything a passenger with one too many drinks in them could throw at it.

And he had an important realization: The compensation fee Uber gives drivers whose vehicles get sullied by the boozy or the bilious is designed to cover the cost of getting the car cleaned professionally; if he just did the work himself  he’d be able to keep those cleaning fees and make a little extra money. 

Preston now patrols the streets of San Diego in his grey Toyota Prius, equipped with medical gloves, cleaning solution, a portable wet vacuum cleaner, and most importantly, Febreze. Rather than steering clear of the inebriated, he cheerfully welcomes them aboard with the zeal of a Ferris wheel operator.

It’s not that he seeks out drunk passengers, he insists. Rather, it’s the surge pricing typically in effect during bar closing time that brings him out at that time. But he acknowledges that the customers at that hour tend to be the ones with weak stomachs.

“If you’re drunk enough to need a barf bag, you’re too drunk to use it,” he tells Business Insider, recounting one recent horror story involving a woozy passenger and an ill-fated Taco Bell meal.

Pit stops and photographs

Uber used to charge passengers a flat $250 vomit fee, but recently modified its service charge process. Now, the penalties for purging range between $25 and $150. If a passenger makes a noticeable mess, the driver must take multiple photos and email them to Uber, where the company’s experts carefully evaluate the damage. Uber then compensates the driver for whatever they estimate a professional clean up would cost. 

Curtis PrestonHowever, Uber doesn’t take into account the time that drivers have to spend off the road dealing with the mess — a costly pit stop during peak surge pricing hours. Preston estimates that getting taken off the road for even a half hour during surge hours can easily cost him $50 in lost fares. 

With his new self-cleaning system, and the proficiency he’s developed, Preston says his downtime is minimal. If someone does let their stomach loose in his car today he still has to take time off the road, but if he can quickly find a gas station to park at, he can be back driving within 10 minutes.

He sends in pictures of any mess that requires him to take his supplies out of the trunk. In a blog post, he details the fees he’s been given in return: $50 for melted chocolate on his seats, $80 for spilled dip, and $30 for the girl who ate two Taco Bell meals in under two miles. 

His $40 investment in cleaning supplies was well worth it. Curtis the driver says he made $1500 in cleaning fees last year by having Curtis the cleaner do the work instead of paying for a professional service. 

“Whether you’re going for the fees or not, it’s not a way to make extra money,” he cautions any drivers interested in catering to a similar demographic. But for drivers who aren’t afraid to roll up their sleeves, it’s an ideal system. 

 

SEE ALSO: Uber employees are conflicted over Travis Kalanick’s resignation — over 1,000 have petitioned for his return

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NOW WATCH: Uber wants to carry you around in a flying car — here’s what it could look like

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