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Devin Coldewey

E3 slouches towards irrelevance again as Sony announces it’s skipping the show

By | e3, Gadgets, Gaming, Sony

I like E3. I really do. But it’s also monumentally dumb: game companies spending millions to show off essentially faked content to an increasingly jaded audience. And it’s increasingly out of step with how the gaming industry works. So it should come as no surprise that Sony will be skipping the show more or less altogether this year, joining Nintendo in taking a step back from spectacle.

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FCC approval of Europe’s Galileo satellite signals may give your phone’s GPS a boost

By | FCC, Gadgets, galileo, Government, gps, Mobile, Satellites, Space

The FCC’s space-focused meeting today had actions taken on SpaceX satellites and orbital debris reduction, but the decision most likely to affect users has to do with Galileo. No, not the astronomer — the global positioning satellite constellation put in place by the E.U. over the last few years. It’s now legal for U.S. phones to use, and a simple software update could soon give your GPS signal a major bump.

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Mozilla ranks dozens of popular ‘smart’ gift ideas on creepiness and security

By | Gadgets, Hardware, Mozilla, Security

If you’re planning on picking up some cool new smart device for a loved one this holiday season, it might be worth your while to check whether it’s one of the good ones or not. Not just in the quality of the camera or step tracking, but the security and privacy practices of the companies that will collect (and sell) the data it produces. Mozilla has produced a handy resource ranking 70 of the latest items, from Amazon Echos to smart teddy bears.

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These antique phones are precious, private Alexa vessels

By | Alexa, Amazon, Artificial Intelligence, DIY, Gadgets, Hardware, retro, TC, vintage

Amazon’s Alexa may be in ten thousand different devices now, but they all have one other thing in common: they’re new. So for those of us that prefer old things but still want to be able to set timers and do metric-imperial conversions without pulling out our phones, Grain Design is retrofitting these fabulous old telephones to provide Alexa access with no other hints of modernity. There’s even a privacy angle!

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SpaceX’s Starlink aims to put over a thousand of its communications satellites in super-low orbit

By | Gadgets, Hardware, Satellites, Space, SpaceX

SpaceX’s planned communication satellite constellation, known as Starlink, will now be targeting a much lower orbit than originally planned, at least for over a thousand of the satellites, the company revealed in an FCC filing. The move should help mitigate orbital debris and provide better signal for the company’s terrestrial users as well.

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Samsung’s dual-screen folding phone is very strange and probably doomed

By | foldable, Gadgets, Hardware, Opinion, Samsung

Let me just say that I love the idea of a folding phone/tablet device. I was a Courier fanboy when Microsoft floated that intriguing but abortive concept device, and I’m all for unique form factors and things that bend. But Samsung’s first real shot at a folding device is inexplicable and probably dead on arrival. I’d like to congratulate the company for trying something new, but this one needed a little more time in the oven.

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TWIICE One Exoskeleton furthers the promise of robotic mobility aids

By | EPFL, exoskeleton, Gadgets, Hardware, Robotics, Wearables

Few things in the world of technology can really ever be said to be “done,” and certainly exoskeletons are not among their number. They exist, but they are all works in progress, expensive, heavy, and limited. So it’s great to see this team working continuously on their TWIICE robotic wearable, improving it immensely with the guidance of motivated users.

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