How to Watch Samsung Unpacked 2019: Galaxy Phones and More

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If you’ve been following tech news over the past several weeks, then you’re probably already up to speed on what Samsung’s planning to announce at its Galaxy Unpacked event today. Thanks to a whole lot of leaks online, it’s safe to expect at least two new models of a flagship phone, a new wearable or two, and maybe even a closer look at Samsung’s bendy phone concept.

The show kicks off at 11 AM Pacific (2 PM Eastern) at the Bill Graham Civic Auditorium in San Francisco. You can watch the whole thing on Samsung’s website or in the video player at the top of this page.

Even if you’re over all the phone launch fanfare, there are a few reasons you might want to tune in. For one, it’s the 10th anniversary of Samsung’s Galaxy phone, [...]  read more

Russian Hackers Go From Foothold to Full-On Breach in 19 Minutes

In the hand-wringing post mortem after a hacker breach, the first point of intrusion usually takes the focus: the phishing email that Clinton campaign manager John Podesta’s aide accidentally flagged as legit, or the Apache Struts vulnerability that let hackers get access to an Equifax server. But Dmitri Alperovitch, chief technology officer of security firm CrowdStrike, argues that the crucial moment isn’t necessarily the initial penetration but what happens next—how quickly intruders can move from that beachhead to expand their control. And no one, Alperovitch has found, does it faster than the Russians.

In its annual global threat report, released Tuesday, CrowdStrike introduced a new metric of hacker sophistication: what the firm calls “breakout” speed. Analyzing more than 30,000 attempted breaches in 2018 the company says it detected across its customer base, CrowdStrike measured the time from hackers’ initial intrusion to when they began to expand [...]  read more

Evenflo Gold Smart Convertible Car Seat Review: Safety First

When you made that first drive home from the hospital with your newborn, you probably had the car seat professionally installed. You probably triple-checked each strap and swerved around every crack in the road, quaking with love and paranoia.

It would never occur to you that four years later, you might be the kind of harried parent who would throw your grocery bags in the backseat, turn on the ignition, and hear your toddler squeal, “Mommy! You forgot to buckle me in!” as you prepare to pull away.

Alas, it’s surprisingly easy for even conscientious parents to forget to buckle or unbuckle their kid in their car seat. This can have terrible consequences. Gene Weingarten’s devastating, Pulitzer Prize–winning story on the children who die when their parents leave them in hot cars showed that parents of all income and education levels have done it. If you’re stressed, tired, or coping with changes in the routine, it could happen to you.

As parents, we’ve heard [...]  read more

The Government’s New Weather Model Faces a Storm of Protest

The government’s new weather forecast model has a slight problem: It predicts that outside temperatures will be a few degrees colder than what nature delivers. This “cold bias” means that local meteorologists are abandoning the National Weather Service in favor of forecasts produced by British and European weather agencies.

For the past few weeks, the National Weather Service has been forecasting snowfall that ends up disappearing, according to Doug Kammerer, chief meteorologist at WRC-TV in Washington, DC. “It’s just not performing well,” Kammerer says. “It has continued to show us getting big-time snowstorms in this area, where the European model will not show it.”

The new model, known as GFS-FV3 (Finite Volume on a Cubed Sphere dynamical core), has often overpredicted snow in the Northeast Corridor between Washington and Boston, a region where incorrect forecasts affect the lives of tens of millions of people.

The existing NWS forecast model, called the [...]  read more

Elon Musk Promises a Really Truly Self-Driving Tesla in 2020

Elon Musk is no stranger to bold predictions, and on Tuesday, he lobbed another one at self-driving tech doubters: The Tesla CEO said the electric carmaker’s full self-driving feature will be completed by the end of 2019. And by the end of 2020, he added, it will be so capable, you’ll be able to snooze in the driver seat while it takes you from your parking lot to wherever you’re going.

“I think we will be ‘feature complete’ on full self-driving this year, meaning the car will be able to find you in a parking lot, pick you up, take you all the way to your destination without an intervention this year,” Musk said during a podcast interview with the money management firm ARK Invest, which is a Tesla investor. “I am certain of that. That is not a question mark.”

Today, Tesla customers willing to plunk down an extra $5,000 at purchase can unlock their vehicles’ Enhanced Autopilot feature, [...]  read more

Audi Cars Tell You How Fast to Go to Catch All Green Lights

The challenge is as old as the stoplight itself: How to time your pace through town so you hit green light after green light, nixing any time spent twiddling your thumbs at red lights. Go too slow, and you’re forever lurching forward trying to squeak through yellows. Go too fast, and you soon reach red lights well before they go green. Get it just right, though, and you dodge the aggravation. You save on fuel, and maybe time. And driving becomes a whole lot more pleasant.

Now, Audi is here to help you master the timing. The automaker announced today a feature that will tell drivers of select models, in select cities, exactly how fast to go if they want to catch nothing but green lights.

The Green Light Optimization Speed Advisory system is an expansion of Audi’s vehicle-to-infrastructure communication system: Since 2016, it has offered “time-to-green,” which tells the driver sitting at a red light how long they have to look at their phone before it’s time to go.

The Green Light Optimization Speed Advisory system calculates its speed recommendation by considering the distance to the next light and the signal timing data.


The [...]  read more

Is That Dagobah? No, Just a Real-Life Magical Forest

With its gnarled trees, moss-covered boulders, and misty ambience, Wistman’s Wood—a remnant of an ancient forest near Devon, England—has captured the imaginations of visitors for thousands of years, inspiring legends about druids and supernatural hellhounds. When Neil Burnell visited on a family holiday as a child, he was reminded of Dagobah, the swamp planet where Yoda lives in Star Wars: Episode V—The Empire Strikes Back.

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Now a graphic designer with a sideline in photography, Burnell recently returned to Wistman’s Wood to attempt to capture the forest’s cinematic quality. Over the course of 2018 he made some 20 pilgrimages there to photograph it under different light and weather conditions. “The forecast always calls for fog, but unless the wind is blowing [...]  read more

Would You Pay $6,000 For Vision-Quality VR?

Parked in a Berlin platz at night, the concept car gleams, city lights dancing off its sinuous lines. I crouch down next to its hood to admire its shape, and as the paint twinkles, a word etched faintly on the tire catches my eye. SPEEDGRIPP. Each letter pristine, unbroken, like the tire’s never seen a mile of road, like it’s been airlifted from some secret factory. It’s not like anything I’ve seen before—and certainly not in a VR headset, where print legibility goes to die.

Credit the resuscitation to Varjo. The first time I saw the Helsinki company’s prototype headset, nearly two years ago, it was little more than a kludge: an Oculus Rift that Varjo had rigged to project an ultra-high-resolution micro display into the center of my field of view. Rift or no Rift, it was the most stunning clarity I’d ever seen. It’s better now. It’s also a finished (and Finnish) device.

Varjo bills the VR-1, which goes on sale today, as “the world’s only professional [...]  read more

NATO Group Catfished Soldiers to Prove a Point About Privacy

The phony Facebook pages looked just like the real thing. They were designed to mimic pages that service members use to connect. One appeared to be geared toward a large-scale, military exercise in Europe and was populated by a handful of accounts that appeared to be real service members.

In reality, both the pages and the accounts were created and operated by researchers at NATO’s Strategic Communications Center of Excellence, a research group that’s affiliated with NATO. They were acting as a “red team” on behalf of the military to test just how much they could influence soldiers’ real-world actions through social media manipulation.

The group “attempted to answer three questions,” Nora Biteniece, a software engineer who helped design the project, told WIRED. “The first question is, What can we find out about a military exercise just from open source data? What can we find out about the participants from open source data? And, can we use [...]  read more

10 Best Cheap Headphones and Earbuds for 2019 (Under $100)

Both of Jaybird’s latest sub-$100 headphones, the Tarah and the X4, are excellent, durable, long-lived workout buds with fantastic sound quality. But if you don’t need the X4’s special, squishy Comply foam ear tips, the Tarah has everything you need at a sweet price point—and they’re currently quite affordable. My coworker Adrienne So liked the soft earpieces (with wings!) that fit securely out of the box and stayed put while she went trail running, rock climbing, and weight lifting. They weigh less than a half-ounce. Most wonderfully of all, you can tinker with EQ presets in the Jaybird app or create your own custom sound. I wear them absolutely everywhere, from the bus to the beach, and enjoy the impressive eight hours of battery life to the fullest.
social experiment by Livio Acerbo #greengroundit #wired