Best Streaming Music Service

Two new streaming music services are coming, and they might be better than Spotify or Apple Music

Two new streaming music services are coming, and they might be better than Spotify or Apple Music

By on September 12, 2016 at 10:31 AM.

Apple was the latest big company to dive head-first into the streaming music market, shaking things up and reportedly pulling subscribers away from some of its smaller rivals in the process. But Apple Music, Spotify and the rest of the current crop of on demand music services will seemingly soon have some new competition that could pose a serious threat — which, ultimately, is good news for consumers. More →

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SpaceX Rocket Explosion

Elon Musk has ‘not ruled out’ a UFO hitting the SpaceX rocket that exploded

By on September 9, 2016 at 2:15 PM.

Elon Musk has ‘not ruled out’ a UFO hitting the SpaceX rocket that exploded

In early September, one of SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rockets undergoing testing exploded at Cape Canaveral. Thanks to some grainy video that shows birds flying across it, the internet’s conspiracy theorists shifted to top gear and started accusing aliens (or the US military).

As moon-landing as that might sound, SpaceX CEO Elon Musk has said that investigators have “not ruled out” some kind of flying object — an unidentified flying object, you might say — causing the explosion. Tinfoil hat time, everyone.

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Hit List

VW Engineer Pleads Guilty

Volkswagen engineer pleads guilty to cheating emissions tests, could face jail

By on September 9, 2016 at 12:06 PM.

Volkswagen engineer pleads guilty to cheating emissions tests, could face jail

Volkswagen is still dealing with the fallout from Dieselgate, the years-long plot to cheat the EPA’s emission tests. While the company is facing serious financial penalties, one engineer with a crucial role in the plan has pleaded guilty to much more serious charges.

James Robert Liang, a Volkswagen engineer, pleaded guilty today to his role in the Dieselgate scandal. Having been indicted by a grand jury in June, Liang pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to defraud the United States, to commit wire fraud, and to violate the Clean Air Act.

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InnitApp

A look at what companies are cooking up in the most important room of the smart home

A look at what companies are cooking up in the most important room of the smart home

By on September 4, 2016 at 12:00 PM.

The California-based smart kitchen startup Innit has been cooking up an expanded master plan for itself this year that’s brought it millions in new funding as well as major corporate partnerships, the newest being the big appliance maker Whirlpool.

Innit wants to essentially be the software layer that sits on top of a growing assortment of connected appliances and devices. Manufacturers like Whirlpool are increasingly turning to smaller software-focused companies to help bring smart kitchens to life — indeed, it’s why Innit announced a partnership recently with Whirlpool to enable advanced automated cooking on their kitchen appliances, starting with Jenn-Air brand WiFi connected wall ovens.

The Redwood City, Calif.-based startup also recently raised another $18 million in funding, bringing its total funding from private investors to $43 million.

Call it the Internet of Things… That Help You Cook Better Food. Brett Dibkey, vice president and general manager of integrated business units at Whirlpool, told BGR the company is trying to speed up innovation on connectivity and sensors in its kitchen appliances. More →

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Game Changers

Apple EU Tax Appeal

Ireland doesn’t want Apple’s $13.5 billion in back taxes

By on September 2, 2016 at 10:00 PM.

Ireland doesn’t want Apple’s $13.5 billion in back taxes

Earlier this week, the European Commission concluded an enquiry into Apple’s European tax situation, concluding that the company owes Ireland $13.5 billion in unpaid taxes. But the case is anything but closed, as both Apple and Ireland have decided to appeal the ruling.

Why doesn’t Ireland want Apple to give it about $3,000 per person? Because Ireland thinks that Apple paid all the taxes it owes.

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Elon Musk Tesla Stock

Yesterday, Elon Musk lost a rocket and $780 million

By on September 2, 2016 at 2:05 PM.

Yesterday, Elon Musk lost a rocket and $780 million

Thursday started badly for Elon Musk when one of his SpaceX Falcon 9 rockets exploded on the launchpad, days before it was set to take a payload into orbit. Things got worse when Mark Zuckerberg discovered his $95 million satellite was sitting on top of the rocket, and took to Facebook to express his “deep disappointment.”

But as it turns out, blowing up a multi-million-dollar rocket was not Elon’s most expensive mistake yesterday.

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SpaceX's Rockets Exploding

A brief history of SpaceX rockets going boom

By on September 1, 2016 at 12:27 PM.

A brief history of SpaceX rockets going boom

SpaceX is the fastest-innovating space company out there, and also the most public about conducting all of its testing in the public eye. But as a result, when things go wrong, they go wrong publicly.

This morning’s explosion of a Falcon 9 on the pad was an unexpected setback for SpaceX, but it’s hardly the first time one of its rockets has had an unplanned violent disassembly.

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Apple Tax Evasion Tim Cook Interview

Tim Cook calls Europe’s tax accusations against Apple ‘total political crap’

By on September 1, 2016 at 9:21 AM.

Tim Cook calls Europe’s tax accusations against Apple ‘total political crap’

Earlier this week, Apple found itself in the midst of yet another tax scandal. According to the European Commission, Apple owes Ireland $14.5 billion in back taxes after discovering that Apple had been paying a tax rate as low as 0.005%. The only issue? Apple says that the Commission is making things up.

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Tesla Model 3 Supercharging

Owning a Tesla Model 3 will be a little more expensive than we thought

By on August 31, 2016 at 7:30 PM.

Owning a Tesla Model 3 will be a little more expensive than we thought

One of the big perks of Tesla ownership is access to the Supercharger network, a worldwide network of super-fast electric charging stations for Tesla owners. Use of the chargers is free for most Model S and Model X owners, but it won’t be for Model 3 owners. We knew that already, but details of how Tesla will charge for use of Superchargers may have just leaked.

Electrek found code on Tesla’s website that talks about “Supercharger Credits,” an option to use a credit card to buy Supercharger access by the kWh. If this plan works out, owning a Model 3 will be a little less simple and magical than we thought.

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Best Messaging Apps iPhone

Interview: Meet Yubl, the hot new messaging app you’ve never heard of

Interview: Meet Yubl, the hot new messaging app you’ve never heard of

By on August 31, 2016 at 2:05 PM.

Time was, companies big and small were scrambling to launch new social networks. Back when people still talked with a straight face about dislodging Facebook from its spot atop the social food chain, and as a result we got everything from Ello to Google+ that promised us better experiences — better, of course, in comparison to a certain familiar blue app.

Never mind how that did or didn’t work out. The mad dash, these days, is for a much narrower prize. From Facebook to Snapchat to much smaller and lesser known entrants, the latest social gold rush is the battle to own user messaging. “Messaging apps are now bigger than social networks,” announced a Business Insider headline from earlier this summer. That’s the backdrop against which Apple is reportedly going to give social another go via a social app focused around the camera which it may have in the works.

And it’s why Yubl, a startup from the UK which launched earlier this year, is racing to add new features to its messaging app of the same name — and to bring it to a growing number of countries, including the U.S. in 2017. More →

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Tesla Model S Discount

Tesla is reportedly offering big discounts on some of its fastest cars

By on August 30, 2016 at 3:10 PM.

Tesla is reportedly offering big discounts on some of its fastest cars

Tesla’s dealership model relies heavily on a CarMax-style no-haggling policy: you pay list price, and in return you get 0-60 in two and a half seconds. But according to some reports, Tesla is very quietly offering discounts to get older inventory out the door. If you’ve been waiting to pull the trigger on a Model S P90D, a $30,000 discount could be the difference maker.

Electrek reports that since Tesla unveiled the Model S P100D, taking the crown as the “Quickest Production Car in the World” in the process, there are some P90Ds left in inventory surplus to requirements.

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Apple Tax Evasion

Understanding Apple’s tax mess: Why Apple owes $14.5 billion, and why Ireland doesn’t want it

Understanding Apple’s tax mess: Why Apple owes $14.5 billion, and why Ireland doesn’t want it

By on August 30, 2016 at 12:42 PM.

In a ruling handed down this morning, Apple was given a $14.5 billion bill for back taxes by the European Commission, related to its business in Europe and Ireland. Apple’s tax situation, including the hundreds of billions in cash held offshore, has always been a hot topic for the company. But how did it land in this mess, and who does it even owe money to anyway?

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iPhone 6 Plus Touch Disease

Apple is already being sued over iPhone 6 ‘Touch Disease’

By on August 29, 2016 at 4:10 PM.

Apple is already being sued over iPhone 6 ‘Touch Disease’

Well, that didn’t take long. Less than a week after “Touch Disease” became a thing, Apple is already facing a class-action lawsuit over iPhone 6es which have unresponsive touchscreens and Touch ID sensors.

“Touch Disease” is the name coined by iFixit for a recurring problem with iPhone 6 and 6 Plus handsets. Owing to a design defect with the handsets, the touch controller is susceptible to physical damage, which in practice means a whole bunch of iPhones with non-working touchscreens, display problems, and faulty fingerprint readers.

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