Huawei Mate 10 Pro available for pre-order in the US on February 4

Huawei has officially planted its flag in the US at CES 2018. Among its many announcements, the global manufacturer shared the price and availability of the Huawei Mate 10 Pro – finally making it easy to snag a 2017 phone that we have many good things to say about. In fact, we voted it one of the year’s best phones.

This has been a long time coming for the Chinese company, which for years has enjoyed success around the world. Steadily building on the comparatively limited, albeit beloved presence in the US found with its wearable lineup and more recently, some standout laptops, like the Huawei MateBook X, it’s now primed to release a smartphone to the masses. 

The GSM-only (perfect for AT&T, T-Mobile, Cricket, MetroPCS, etc.) Huawei Mate 10 Pro will be available for pre-order in the US on February 4 via its retail partners, which includes Amazon, Newegg, B&H, Best Buy and Microsoft Store (both online and its brick-and-mortar locations – the latter of which could read more

Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi launches $1 billion corporate venture capital fund

The world’s largest automaker, RenaultNissanMitsubishi, has launched a $1 billion corporate venture capital fund to focus on investments in “new mobility” including electrification, autonomous systems, network connectivity and artificial intelligence.

Called Alliance Ventures, the fund has already made its first investment, taking an equity stake for an undisclosed amount in Ionic Materials — a Bill Joy-backed battery technology developer.

The fund said that it will invest up to $200 million in start-ups and “open innovation partnerships” in its first year and expects to invest roughly the same amount over the next five years.

As a strategic investor, the new fund will look to bring technologies developed by its portfolio companies in-house for use across the three-brand alliance that comprises the group. It also intends to incubate entrepreneurs and will make investments across a startup company’s life-cycle.

That its first deal is in a battery technology developer read more

Meet the selfie drone that lives in your phone case

That’s the idea behind Selfly, the drone-in-a-phone-case built by camera and recording company AEE. Selfly is a drone that folds into the back of a phone case, and it includes a camera that can record, live stream and take photos in 1080p and 60fps, using a suite of Sony sensors. The case itself is just under half an inch thick, similar in style to an Otterbox, and it fits recent Apple and Android devices.

The Selfly will be available in the spring for $130, with a separate charging hub available for $30. The Selfly doesn’t charge in the phone case and it lasts about four minutes once it’s fully loaded. It has a hover function that lets users set it up in the air, at the perfect height, and it can take sweeping panoramic photos. Users can control the drone with virtual joysticks or use a point-and-fly method: Point to an area of the screen and the drone will fly there; pinch to zoom and it’ll fly farther out. The Selfly has a range of roughly 45 feet, definitely read more

How the Government Hides Secret Surveillance Programs

In 2013, 18-year-old Tadrae McKenzie robbed a marijuana dealer for $130 worth of pot at a local Taco Bell in Tallahassee, Florida. He and two friends had used BB guns to carry out the crime, which under Florida law constituted robbery with a deadly weapon. McKenzie braced himself to serve the minimum four years in prison.

But in the end, a state judge offered McKenzie a startlingly lenient plea deal: He was ordered to serve only six months’ probation, after pleading guilty to a second-degree misdemeanor. The remarkable deal was related to evidence McKenzie’s defense team uncovered before the trial: Law enforcement had used a secret surveillance tool often called Stingray to investigate his case.

Stingrays are devices that behave like fake cellphone towers, tricking phones into believing they’re pinging genuine towers nearby. By using the device, cops can determine a suspect’s precise location, outgoing and incoming calls, and even listen-in read more

Alexa now comes in soundbar form thanks to Polk Audio Command Bar

Amazon’s mission to get its Alexa voice-activated assistant in any gadget with a speaker continues apace, with CES seeing the AI helper pop up in a relatively unexpected place – within a soundbar.

Polk Audio’s Command Bar has Alexa built directly into it. It’s even got the four-button Alexa hardware buttons that you’d see on top of an Amazon Echo device. You’ll be able to use voice commands to control audio settings such as volume and and mute, but also to make all the requests you’d usually make of an Alexa-enabled device, from streaming songs from your favorite music player to controlling smart home devices.

With Alexa deeply integrated within Amazon’s Fire TV streaming platform, the Command Bar makes specific provision for Amazon’s Fire TV stick device, with a space built specifically to fit Fire TV devices and a USB port to power them.

Audio and visual boxes ticked

As well as featuring Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity, the far-field mic equipped soundbar presents read more

CES 2018’s Best Gadgets, Day One: AR Glasses, Robots, and Smart Home Tech


Gro Smart Garden Irrigation System

Successfully watering your outdoor garden requires processing a huge amount of information: Type of plant, plant hardiness zone, soil quality, and the day’s precipitation (or lack thereof). If you find that poring over this information is a satisfying task, more power to you. But if you’d like to eliminate the guesswork, save water, and optimize your tomato growth, Scott’s smart irrigation system can help. It tailors your watering schedule to satellite weather updates, soil conditions, and plant variety, and can be monitored from your smartphone.

social experiment by Livio Acerbo #greengroundit #wired

Jump will be the first stationless, e-bike-sharing service to launch in SF

Social Bicycles, maker of the Jump pedal assist e-bikes that don’t require docking stations, has received a permit from the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency to launch 250 dockless electric bikes in San Francisco sometime between now and the end of March. This is the first permit the city has issued to an electric, stationless bike-share provider.

“Jump Bikes has demonstrated a commitment to San Francisco’s priorities of providing a safe, equitable and accountable bike share system and is the only company to have fulfilled the requirements of the SFMTA’s stationless bike share permit application,” the SFMTA wrote in a press release.

Jump’s bikes can be legally locked to bike parking racks or the “furniture zone of the sidewalk,” which is where you see things like light poles, benches and utility poles. The bikes also come with integrated locks to secure the bikes.

But since stationless bike-sharing is pretty new, the SFMTA will use this 18-month period to read more

Samsung knows exactly how to sell mobile VR to the public

The most intense though, was clearly the dinosaur flight sim. It was the sort of simulator ride you’d typically see in a big amusement park. The Gear VR floods your vision with beautifully rendered dinos and Jurassic vistas, while the seat itself tilts, banks and — yes — even turns completely upside down. It is not recommended for those easily made nauseous by VR experiences (like yours truly). I spent half the ride with my eyes shut to keep from puking (and trying to ignore the pain of the harness crushing my bathing suit area). UK Bureau Chief Mat Smith seemed to enjoy it though (both the ride and my own suffering).

Click here to catch up on the latest news from CES 2018.

social experiment by Livio Acerbo #greengroundit #engadget

In-display fingerprint sensors are here, but not from Apple or Samsung

The first smartphone with an in-display fingerprint sensor is kinda sorta here, and it’s probably not from whom you’d expect.

It’s not an iPhone, it’s not a Samsung Galaxy device: instead, it’s a Vivo. (In fact, rumors had already predicted that this would be the case last month.)

Image credit: Vivo (Image: © Vivo)

The China-based company’s device works through a “Clear ID” optical sensor from Synaptics that’s hidden below the phone’s OLED display. Scanning between the OLED display’s pixels, it effectively does the same job as the old direct-contact fingerprint displays (if a tad more slowly).

It does require that you put your finger in an exact spot in order to work, but fortunately a fingerprint image pops up on the spot when needed so you’re not fumbling blindly across the display.

Only the beginning

Up until now, discussion of Synaptics’ in-display sensor has mainly revolved around Samsung as it’s widely read more

Huawei’s Mate 10 Pro is coming to the US unlocked next month

As expected, today’s Huawei CES press conference was a strange affair. The company’s US plans were recently thwarted, as per a report in The Wall Street Journal, leaving the company in a bit of a lurch. Consumer CEO Richard Yu went ahead as planned, officially launching the company’s new flagship in here in the States, but as an unlocked option, only.

The Mate 10 Pro goes up for pre-order on February 4th, and will still get a pretty solid retail presence in this country, courtesy of Best Buy, Amazon, Microsoft, Newegg and B&H on the 18th. The handset runs $799 unlocked.

It has a six-inch QHD+ OLED display and a massive 4,000mAh battery. On the back are a pair of Leica-branded lenses, which can do all sorts of fun things like  AI-powered Real-Time Scene and Object Recognition and AI-powered Bokeh Effects (i.e Portrait Mode). That’s powered by the company’s AI-enhanced chip architecture.

It’s a likely good and interesting phone, but AT&T’s read more