Technology

 SoftBank group acquires major stake in Uber
SoftBank group acquires major stake in Uber

In a tender offer that expired Thursday afternoon, SoftBank acquired a 15 percent stake in Uber while the remaining members got about 3 percent, according to a person familiar with the situation who was not authorized to publicly discuss details. Under the deal, the SoftBank group will also buy about $1 billion worth of new Uber stock. SoftBank said it expects to close the overall investment in January.

The SoftBank deal clears the way...

December 29, 2017

 How to keep your smartened-up home safe from hackers
How to keep your smartened-up home safe from hackers

More people are getting voice-activated speakers and other smart devices for convenience and security. But doing so could also be giving hackers a key to their homes.

Many devices from reputable manufacturers have safeguards built in, but those can't guarantee against hacks. Gadgets from startups and no-name brands may offer little or no protection.

Many of these devices are constantly listening for your commands; when they rece...

December 29, 2017

 Postcard from Pyongyang: The airport now has Wi-Fi, sort of
Postcard from Pyongyang: The airport now has Wi-Fi, sort of

North Korea's main internet provider appears to have put up a Wi-Fi trial balloon at the international departure area of Pyongyang's airport. It's a logical place to start. The service is only available, or even visible, to travelers who have already cleared customs, which included me last week. So, noticing the new sign with the familiar Wi-Fi logo in the internet corner of the departures lobby, I decided to give it a whirl.

My flight...

December 29, 2017

 Failed space launches haunt Russia; Kremlin eyes probe
Failed space launches haunt Russia; Kremlin eyes probe

Russia's latest space launch failures have prompted authorities to take a closer look into the nation's struggling space industry, the Kremlin said Thursday.

Asked about the failures, President Vladimir Putin's spokesman, Dmitry Peskov, said Thursday that authorities warrant a thorough analysis of the situation in the space industry.

Amid the failures, Russian officials have engaged in a round of finger-pointing.

Deputy P...

December 29, 2017

 Apple apologizes for secretly slowing older iPhones
Apple apologizes for secretly slowing older iPhones

Apple apologized for secretly slowing down older iPhones, a move it said was necessary to avoid unexpected shutdowns related to battery fatigue.

Apple also said it will cut the price of a battery replacement by $50 to $29 through next year. New batteries had previously cost $79 for those who didn't purchase the Apple Care maintenance plan.

"We apologize," the company said on its website . "We have never — and would never — do an...

December 29, 2017

 Apple slashes iPhone battery replacement cost by $50 amid criticism
Apple slashes iPhone battery replacement cost by $50 amid criticism

In a statement today, the company emphasized that it would never "do anything to intentionally shorten the life of any Apple product." However, in order to address customers' concerns, Apple announced it would be reducing the price of out-of-warranty replacement batteries for certain phones by $50, from $79 to $29.

The reduced price is only for anyone with an iPhone 6 or later and will take effect starting in late January through Dece...

December 29, 2017

Ten genuinely great things the internet gave us in 2017, featuring baby hippos
Ten genuinely great things the internet gave us in 2017, featuring baby hippos

In a year filled with depressing news alerts and Trump tweetstorms, moments of sheer joy online were hard to come by – but there were a few

In a year filled with depressing news alerts and Trump tweetstorms, moments of sheer joy online were hard to come by – but there were a few

Unless you’re a corporation hoarding billions of dollars in offshore tax shelters, 2017 has not been a good year.

From Trump’s Twitter tantrums to th...

December 29, 2017

The most popular trends for New Year's Eve 2017
The most popular trends for New Year's Eve 2017

I’d like to take this moment to applaud each and every one of you—we have officially made it through 2017 (somehow). We owe it to ourselves to participate in some intense New Year’s Eve festivities—celebrating the end of what could only be described as a turbulent year, and ringing in the start of a new year that can’t possibly get much worse.

Here are the top trending New Year’s Eve ideas straight from the “Pinsights” team.

December 29, 2017

10 things that will be on everyone's wedding registry in 2018
10 things that will be on everyone's wedding registry in 2018

A new year means a new wave of weddings among your friends and family, and that means new wedding registries, too. You’re sure to find standard gifts on these lists—you know, dinnerware, linens, pots and pans—but there will undoubtedly be a few trendier items mixed in, as well.

Now, we’re no mind readers, but if we had to guess, we’d say these 10 products are going to be extremely popular on wedding registries in 2018. The following app...

December 29, 2017

The best TVs under $500
The best TVs under $500

Of course, if you'd rather not spend quite so much or want something with different style or features, there's nothing wrong with shopping around. We've personally tested and reviewed every TV on this list, and all of them deliver very good value.

At $499 online, the 55-inch Vizio E Series is for sure the best TV you can get under $500. It's a 4K/HDR smart TV that uses Vizio's newer "SmartCast" system and de...

December 29, 2017

Scientists upgrade robot using one of our grossest habits
Scientists upgrade robot using one of our grossest habits

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When you consider all of the ways that humanoid robots are better than actual humans — they’re stronger, faster and don’t complain when they stub their toes — you probably don’t take heat into account. Robots tend to get pretty hot when they’re doing serious work and cooling them down is a serious challenge for engineers, but researchers from Japan have found a way around tha...

December 29, 2017

Apple faces mounting lawsuits for deliberately slowing down iPhones
Apple faces mounting lawsuits for deliberately slowing down iPhones

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It’s going to be a long winter for Apple’s legal team.

The Silicon Valley titan is now facing at least eight US class-action suits after it admitted it intentionally slows down older iPhone models to prevent excessive wear and tear on their batteries.

Nevertheless, some Apple fanatics saw it as vindication of a long-running conspiracy theory that the Cupertino, Ca...

December 29, 2017

Tesla may still be stuck in Model 3 ‘manufacturing hell’
Tesla may still be stuck in Model 3 ‘manufacturing hell’

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Tesla is likely to deliver about 5,000 Model 3s in the fourth quarter, KeyBanc Capital Markets analysts said Wednesday, far below the brokerage’s estimate of 15,000.

The numbers indicate that the electric carmaker may still not be out of its self-described “manufacturing hell” for the production of the $35,000 Model 3 sedan.

KeyBanc analysts based their projection...

December 29, 2017

Everything we learned about (probable) aliens in 2017
Everything we learned about (probable) aliens in 2017

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The evidence that aliens exist has been slowly mounting for decades and 2017 marks the most convincing year yet for the belief that life must exist beyond our planet.

Here are five stories that prove it’s only a matter of time before we meet our celestial neighbors.

Scientists have long presumed that if we’re going to find life on other planets, we’re going to fin...

December 29, 2017

Why so many women are suddenly leaving OKCupid
Why so many women are suddenly leaving OKCupid

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OKCupid wants people to get real about finding love.

OkCupid justifies the new rules simply with: “it’s time to keep up with the times,” adding: “We want you, BigDaddyFlash916, to go by who you are and not be hidden beneath another layer of mystique. Even if that mystique is crucial to you and your dating life, unicorn__jizz.” OKC also suggested that those who use their...

December 29, 2017

Something totally unexpected happened during 2017’s solar eclipse
Something totally unexpected happened during 2017’s solar eclipse

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The summer of 2017 was pretty special for lots of people living in North America. On Aug. 21, a total solar eclipse was visible across a huge swath of the United States and anticipation of the event was huge not only among the general public but also in the scientific community. Now, researchers are revealing that they observed something that happened during the eclipse that ...

December 29, 2017

Your video game-addicted kid could have a serious health problem
Your video game-addicted kid could have a serious health problem

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International health officials are set to classify excessive video game playing as a mental health disorder — and parents who gave out games as gifts this year may want to take note.

The disorder is marked by “persistent or recurrent gaming behavior” that makes playing games more important than other activities despite the negative repercussions. “The behavior pattern i...

December 29, 2017

Now you can charge your phone from up to 3 feet way
Now you can charge your phone from up to 3 feet way

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Drop the plug and forget the mat — the Federal Communications Commission on Wednesday approved a wireless gizmo that lets people charge their smartphones and other devices from up to 3 feet away.

The company said the device was rigorously tested to make sure it met consumer safety and regulatory requirements prior to the feds’ OK.

Wireless charging devices are alr...

December 29, 2017

‘Netflix of magazines’ could be up for sale
‘Netflix of magazines’ could be up for sale

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The app, which was launched in 2010, allows ­customers unlimited access to a slew of monthly magazines for $9.99 per month or $14.99 for a premium subscription that includes weekly magazines.

Texture is a joint venture among media giants Hearst; Condé Nast; Rogers Communications; Meredith and Time Inc., which recently agreed to merge; ­and News Corp., which owns The Pos...

December 29, 2017

Apple and Amazon in talks to set up in Saudi Arabia
Apple and Amazon in talks to set up in Saudi Arabia

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Both Apple and Amazon are in talks to invest in Saudi Arabia,  sources told Reuters, part of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s push to give the conservative kingdom a high-tech look.

Both companies already sell products in Saudi Arabia via third parties but they and other global tech giants have yet to establish a direct presence.

A licensing agreement for Apple ...

December 29, 2017