Competitors Accuse Google of Using Search to Diminish Apps
In November, Google will start penalizing the search rankings of sites that show "please install our app" ads, a move that rivals say has less to do with providing users with a good experience and more to do with protecting Google's business.
Daily Report: Hotel Chains Get Tough With Travel Websites
For years, hotels have grudgingly let websites make arrangements for their customers. But now they are fighting back with customer perks and outreach to regulators to keep the sites from getting too powerful.
Marketing Clouds and Video: A relationship just beginning to bloom
GUEST: John Koetsier’s recent report, “Marketing Clouds: How the best companies are winning via marketing technology,” was full of great insights into where marketing clouds are headed. It also found that marketing cloud users have barely scratched the surface when it comes to video, revealing that only about 20 percent of the 1,500 marketers surveyed use […]
Salesforce acquires application development consulting firm AKTA
Salesforce has signed an agreement to acquire digital experience and engagement consultancy AKTA. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed. A Salesforce spokesperson confirmed the news but declined to provide any additional information, instead referring us to AKTA’s announcement. Founded by John Roa, Chicago, Ill.-based AKTA has spent the last five years working to help bring […]
Funding Daily: Today’s tech funding news, in one place
Here’s a list of today’s tech funding stories, updated as the day unfolds. Tip us here if you have a deal to share. Tanium raises another $120M and hits $3.5B post-money valuation Enterprise software company Tanium announced today that it took in $120 million more for its latest round from TPG, Institutional Venture Partners (IVP), T. Rowe Price, […]
Amazon launches AWS C++ SDK designed for game developers
Amazon Web Services (AWS), the Amazon-owned public cloud that companies can use to build and run applications, announced today the availability of an open-source software-development kit (SDK) for the popular object-oriented programming language C++. The new SDK is one of several AWS has made available to developers to help them build applications on that cloud. […]
Cortana can now translate words, phrases, and sentences in almost 40 languages
Microsoft today announced that its Cortana personal digital assistant can make instant translations in nearly 40 languages in Windows 10 in the U.S. and China. The capability to translate words and even entire sentences comes courtesy of the Microsoft Translator app. Support for the native translation in Cortana in Windows 10 will arrive in other […]
PlayStation 4 gets YouTube livestreaming, extra cloud storage, and more in system update 3.0
The PlayStation 4 is getting a substantial update that will introduce a number of new features, and Sony is trying them out today with a beta test. PS4’s system firmware version 3 (officially 3.00) is coming in the near future, and it is bringing with it deep support for YouTube Gaming (which you can read […]
VMware launches standalone Identity Manager Advanced Edition, separate from AirWatch
VMware today announced the upcoming release of Identity Manager Advanced Edition, a type of identity management software that companies can use to control and monitor employees’ access to certain applications. Identity Manager, which includes single sign-on and a self-service app store employees can use to find and choose apps, has been bundled with VMware’s Horizon […]
Chrome 45 launches with new developer features, automatically pauses less important Flash content, like ads
Google today launched Chrome 45 for Windows, Mac, Linux, and Android, with some expected changes and new developer tools. You can update to the latest version now using the browser’s built-in silent updater or download it directly from google.com/chrome. Chrome is arguably more than a browser: With over 1 billion users, it’s a major platform that […]
Fresh Meat: 10 new Android apps worth checking out
New apps need lovin’ too, right? Every day there are thousands of additions to the Google Play store, but many go unnoticed and never receive the attention they deserve. We’ve shown in the past that this community can discover great apps and propel them to new heights. Our weekly Fresh Meat column highlights new apps with [...]
Motorola’s new Moto 360 Collection is official with the second-gen 360, available for pre-order today
The Motorola Moto 360 is undoubtedly the smartwatch that put Android Wear in the map. It was the first round, full color smartwatch to hit the mass market, and it showed us just how beautiful a nontraditional watch could be. Today Motorola is announcing the much anticipated followup to the Moto 360 as a [...]
CyanogenMod updated to Android 5.1, Stagefright patch included
CyanogenMod has finally been updated to Android 5.1! The latest versions of the ROM are based on the latest versions of Android, which should make those running CyanogenMod happy. You can update now if your device is supported by CyanogenMod 12.1.
Moto 360′s flat tire isn’t nearly as bad as it seems
People have long complained about the Moto 360′s “flat tire” look. For those of you that haven’t heard of it, it’s the little flat spot at the bottom of the screen keeping it from being perfectly round. The new Moto 360 will also allegedly have the flat tire, and it’s got people talking.
HTC has teased a new device on Sina Weibo, a Chinese social network/microblogging site. The device, due to launch on September 6, is a mystery. There is no detail in the photo that could tell us what the device is, other than the words” Meng Yao,” which mean “superior handsomeness.”
Streaming video service Hulu will start offering subscribers an option to eliminate advertising during programs, the company announced today. The move is significant because Hulu has traditionally thought to be against any business model…
LinkedIn puts Slack in its crosshairs with updated messaging platform
LinkedIn is either suffering a mid-life crisis or experiencing a renaissance. The company has traditionally focused on helping workers further their careers by transforming all of their acquaintances into potential "connections" that…
Intel Is Putting Its Promising Skylake CPUs Inside Smartphones
Intel’s new Skylake processors fit inside practically any computer. Soon, you’ll be able to get one inside a PC-on-a-stick. But it turns out that Core M computers can get even smaller still. Intel says it’s already testing the new processors inside smartphones too.
Turbulence May Help Moths Figure Out Which Way They're Flying
The European silver Y moth (pictured above) can sense delicate shifts in turbulence as they migrate from northern Europe to the Mediterranean and back again, according to a new paper in Current Biology, enabling them to navigate their flight path effectively.
A Hidden Figure in a Famous Rembrandt Has Been Uncovered Using X-Rays
Rembrandt’s An Old Man in Military Costume is a 380-year-old masterpiece with a secret. Beneath the famous figure in the feathered cap hides a much younger man, one that researchers are uncovering in color using advanced x-ray technology.
Comcast's New All-You-Can Internet Fee Sounds Like a Trick
Comcast is trying out a new fee that offers an all-you-can internet upgrade to customers with data caps. The so-called “Unlimited Data Option” allows you to use the internet as much as you want. The fee is $30, in addition to what customers are already paying for service. Wait, what?
Five-Foot-Long Sea Scorpion Proves the Ancient Oceans Were a Terrifying Place
Beach-goers often fret over sharks and jellyfish, but modern day oceans are downright tame compared to Earth’s geologic past. 460 million years ago,a five-foot-long, scorpion-like monster straight out a 1950s science fiction flick ruled the seas.
Intel introduces sixth-generation Intel Core processors based on Skylake
Intel has introduced the sixth-generation Core processor family, supporting a range of device designs - from the ultra-mobile compute stick, to 2-in-1s and high-definition all-in-one desktops, to new mobile workstations.
Asustek Computer will launch Vivo Stick, a Windows computer-on-stick (Intel Compute Stick) equipped with Intel Bay Trail-CR processor, 2GB memory and 32GB storage, in the China market, according to Taiwan-based supply chain makers.
AsiaInfo, a NASDAQ-listed China-based provider of software solutions and IT services for the telecom sector, will acquire antivirus and Internet content security software developer Trend Micro's business operations in the China market, according to AsiaInfo.
Taiwan market: Smartphone sales to remain weak in 3Q15
Sales of smartphones in the Taiwan market remain weak in the third quarter of 2015 due to the maturing local market and slower than expected back-to-school demand, according to sources at local retail channels.
Nichia sues Everlight subsidiary in Germany for patent infringement
Japan-based Nichia has filed a charge with the District Court of Dusseldorf, Germany, against WOFI Leuchten Wortmann & Filz GmbH, a Germany-based residential lighting subsidiary of Taiwan-based LED packaging service provider Everlight Electronics, for infringing its two new YAG phosphoric material (white LED) patents EP 2 276 080 and EP 2 197 053, according to Nichia.
Acer and Asustek looking to raise notebook prices in Taiwan, says paper
Acer is planning to raise pricing of its new PC by 4.5-5% in Taiwan in September as the NT dollar has been depreciating over the past few weeks. Asustek Computer is also planning to follow suit in the fourth quarter, but the company will absorb part of the costs, according to a Chinese-language Apple Daily report.
Andover, MA, September 2 - Morpho (Safran), through its subsidiary Morpho Detection, today announced a contract with Denmark’s Copenhagen Airport for 30 desktop Itemiser® 4DX explosives trace detectors (ETD).
StarNet 2TM Security Management System now available globally
Top Priority Sector:
IFSEC Southeast Asia, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia – September 2 - Senstar, the world’s largest manufacturer of perimeter intrusion detection systems (PIDS) is pleased to announce that StarNet 2, our new full-featured security management system (SMS), is now available across the globe. It was originally launched in the United States and Canada in April.
From elementary school to college - Northrop Grumman devotes summer to help build tomorrow's Cyber Workforce
Top Priority Sector:
Falls Church, VA, September 1 - Recognizing the critical need for experienced cyber professionals requires year-round attention, Northrop Grumman Corporation supported numerous activities this summer aimed at exciting and motivating youth to pursue a career in cybersecurity.
Wilmington, MA, September. 2 - Implant Sciences Corporation, a leading manufacturer of explosives trace detection (ETD) and drugs trace detection solutions for homeland security applications, announced today the appointment of Robert Liscouski to the position of President. Mr. Liscouski, formerly Executive Vice President, will continue to serve on the company's Board of Directors. Dr. Bill McGann will continue to serve as Implant Sciences' CEO and as a member of the company's Board of Directors.
Coast Guard, Homeland Security monitoring U.S.-bound ships and cargo departing from site of deadly Chinese explosions
Top Priority Sector:
By Steve Bittenbender
The U.S. Coast Guard announced in a bulletin earlier this week that it as well as officials from the Department of Homeland Security agencies are monitoring vessels and cargo headed to the country that were in the Tianjin, China port during either or both of the explosions that left hundreds dead or injured.
FAA Administrator Michael Huerta first announced the initiative in May, asking for volunteers to test the app. The FAA has notified those who previously signed up and will be pushing the app to them directly in the coming days.
Many unmanned aircraft users today have little or no aviation experience, and some of them are flying where they could endanger manned aircraft. B4UFLY will give these flyers the tools and knowledge they need to operate safely.
Louisiana parish protects children in schools near rail lines with real-time chemical detection technology
Top Priority Sector:
Senator Rick Ward
By Terry L. Jones
Livonia, LA - Pointe Coupee Parish is arming itself with military-grade technology that will give its local emergency response teams the ability to detect hazardous chemical threats even before many state agencies.
That protection is being made possible through the installation of a $300,000 chemical security network being integrated into the parish’s recently upgraded 911 system.
Curtiss-Wright awarded Air Data Computer technology contract by U.S. Coast Guard
Top Priority Sector:
Ashburn, VA, August 31 – Curtiss-Wright Corporation today announced that its Defense Solutions division has received a contract from the United States Coast Guard to supply its Air Data Computer technology for use on the Coast Guard’s Airbus MH-65 Dolphin helicopter fleet. The MH-65 Dolphin helicopters will be integrated with dual Air Data Computers that provide flight critical altitude and speed information to the cockpit and other important helicopter systems. The initial value of the contract is approximately $3 million.
Motorola DROID Turbo 2 (Bounce) could launch as Moto X Force outside the US
The world of Android devices is a fast one. With the Motorola Moto X Pure Edition and the new Moto 360 (2015) now officially available for pre-order, we’re already turning our sights toward Motorola’s next great smartphone: the Moto X Force.
Trouble buying the new Moto X or 360? It’s not just you [UPDATE]
If you’re having trouble successfully ordering one (or both) of Motorola’s latest devices — the Moto X Pure Edition and Moto 360 (2015) — don’t worry, it’s not just you. It appears Motorola is having technical troubles urging prospective buyers on Twitter to wait while they “sort out technical difficulties.”
Help us pick a new Moto 360 and Moto X Pure – Live on Periscope
LIVE on #Periscope: One more time: we’re building a custom Moto X and 360 LIVE! https://t.co/DFjlf8RsvB — Phandroid (@Phandroid) September 2, 2015 The Moto 360 megabomb just dropped. We’ve discovered the price and availability, memorized the Moto 360 specs, and pretty much learned everything there is to know about the new Moto 360. But there is still ...
Moto 360 Sport or Moto 360 2015: Which to get? [Poll]
If you're dead set on going with a Motorola watch for your 2015 needs, the company has thrown an interesting variable into the equation: there's a Moto 360 "Sport" coming alongside the normal 2nd Gen Moto 360 (2015). But which one should you get?
Sony Xperia Z5, Z5 Compact, and Z5 Premium leaked in new round of high-res photos
We’re only a day away from Sony revealing their refreshed Xperia lineup in Berlin, but already Sony's full device lineup -- the Sony Xperia Z5, Sony Xperia Z5 Compact, and Sony Xperia Z5 Premium -- are now fully exposed in high res photos.
HTC will announce their new smartphone this Sunday, September 6th – Aero/One A9 incoming?
Like LG, HTC hasn't been coy with their plans to launch a new "hero" device toward the end of the year. Originally rumored as the HTC Aero but more recently pegged as the HTC One A9, it appears we can finally mark a date down for the official announcement.
The Samsung Galaxy Note 5 is a beast of a phone. It can do a ton of amazing things, but most of the best features aren't obvious on the surface. We'll help you uncover the best tips and tricks so you can get the most out of this great device.
Motorola’s answer to “flat tire” haters is the Moto 360’s display-to-body ratio vs its rivals
Ever since the Moto 360 first launched last year, there’s been a lot of talk surrounding the watch’s not-so-completely-round display. Because the watch is one of the few to make use of an ambient light sensor, design sacrifices had to be made.
"Extremely Critical" OS X Keychain Vulnerability Steals Passwords Via SMS
Mark Wilson writes: Two security researchers have discovered a serious vulnerability in OS X that could allow an attacker to steal passwords and other credentials in an almost invisible way. Antoine Vincent Jebara and Raja Rahbani — two of the team behind the myki identity management security software — found that a series of terminal commands can be used to extract a range of stored credentials. What is particularly worrying about the vulnerability is that it requires virtually no interaction from the victim; simulated mouse clicks can be used to click on hidden buttons to grant permission to access the keychain. Apple has been informed of the issue, but a fix is yet to be issued. The attack, known as brokenchain, is disturbingly easy to execute. Ars reports that this weakness has been exploited for four years.
You Don't Have To Be Good At Math To Learn To Code
HughPickens.com writes: Olga Khazan writes in The Atlantic that learning to program involves a lot of Googling, logic, and trial-and-error—but almost nothing beyond fourth-grade arithmetic. Victoria Fine explains how she taught herself how to code despite hating math. Her secret? Lots and lots of Googling. "Like any good Google query, a successful answer depended on asking the right question. "How do I make a website red" was not nearly as successful a question as "CSS color values HEX red" combined with "CSS background color." I spent a lot of time learning to Google like a pro. I carefully learned the vocabulary of HTML so I knew what I was talking about when I asked the Internet for answers." According to Khazan while it's true that some types of code look a little like equations, you don't really have to solve them, just know where they go and what they do. "In most cases you can see that the hard maths (the physical and geometry) is either done by a computer or has been done by someone else. While the calculations do happen and are essential to the successful running of the program, the programmer does not need to know how they are done." Khazan says that in order to figure out what your program should say, you're going to need some basic logic skills and you'll need to be skilled at copying and pasting things from online repositories and tweaking them slightly. "But humanities majors, fresh off writing reams of term papers, are probably more talented at that than math majors are."
Second Gen Moto 360 Men's and Women's, Fitness-Oriented Moto 360 Sport Unveiled
MojoKid writes: Motorola's first generation Moto 360 smartwatch was one of the first Android Wear smartwatches to hit the market, and because of its round display, became the immediate flag bearer for the Android Wear platform. As new competition has entered the fray — including entries from Apple with the Apple Watch and Samsung with the Gear S2 — Motorola is announcing a second generation smartwatch that solves most of the complaints of the previous model. Motorola has ditched the archaic Texas Instruments OMAP 3 processor in the original Moto 360. The new second generation Moto 360 brings a more credible 1.2GHz, quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 400 processor and Adreno 305 graphics to the table. You'll also find 512MB of RAM and 4GB of storage. And if you didn't like the largish dimensions of the previous Moto 360, you'll be glad to know that Motorola is offering two sizes this time around. There's a 46mm diameter case that comes with a 360x330 display and a smaller 42mm diameter case that houses a 360x325 display. Motorola has also introduced a dedicated women's model of the Moto 360 which features a 42mm diameter case and accepts smaller 16mm bands. As for battery life, Motorola says that the men's and women's 42mm models comes with a 300 mAh battery which is good for up to 1.5 days of mixed use, while the 46mm watch comes with a larger 400 mAh battery which is good for up to 2 days on charge.
msm1267 writes: Netflix has released a tool it calls Sleepy Puppy. The tool injects cross-site scripting payloads into a target app that may not be vulnerable, but could be stored in a database and tracks the payload if it's reflected to a secondary application that makes use of the data in the same field. "We were looking for a way to provide coverage on applications that come from different origins or may not be publicly accessible," said co-developer Scott Behrens, a senior application security engineer at Netflix. "We also wanted to observe where stored data gets reflected back, and how data that may be stored publicly could also be reflected in a large number of internal applications." Sleepy Puppy is available on Netflix's Github repository and is one of a slew of security tools its engineers have released to open source.
An anonymous reader writes: The torrent-based video streaming software Popcorn Time has been in the news lately as multiple entities have initiated legal action over its use. Now, 16 Oregon-based Comcast subscribers have been targeted for their torrenting of the movie Survivor. The attorney who filed the lawsuit (PDF) says his client, Survivor Productions Inc., doesn't plan to seek any more than the minimum $750 fine, and that their goal is to "deter infringement." The lawsuit against these Popcorn Time users was accompanied by 12 other lawsuits targeting individuals who acquired copies of the movie using more typical torrenting practices.
An anonymous reader writes: LLVM 3.7 was released today as the newest six-month update. LLVM 3.7 has OpenMP 3.1 support via Clang, a new On-Request Compilation JIT API, the Berkeley Packet Filter back-end was added, the AMDGPU back-end now supports OpenGL 4.1 when paired with Mesa 11.0, and many other functional changes. Early benchmarks against GCC show its performance quite competitive with GCC5, even superior in some workloads, and should be more competitive in scientific applications with there now being OpenMP support.
Chrome 45 Launches, Automatically Pauses Less Important Flash Content, Like Ads
An anonymous reader writes: Google today launched Chrome 45 for Windows, Mac, Linux, and Android with some expected changes and new developer tools. First and foremost, Chrome now automatically pauses less important Flash content (rolling out gradually, so be patient). This has been a longtime coming from both Google and Adobe, with the goal to make Flash content more power-efficient in Chrome: In March, a setting was introduced to play less Flash content on the page, but it wasn't turned on by default, and in June, the option was enabled in the browser's beta channel. Now it's being turned on for everyone.
Comcast To Charge $30 For Unlimited Data Over 300GB Cap
For some time, Comcast has been testing 300 GB monthly data caps in certain markets. An anonymous reader notes a policy change unveiled today that gives customers in those markets the ability to switch back to unlimited data for $30 extra. Previously (and currently, for customers who don't pay the extra $30), Comcast would charge $10 per 50GB above the cap. "Comcast's intent on this front has been clear for some time. Comcast lobbyist and VP David Cohen last year strongly suggested that usage caps would be arriving for all Comcast customers sooner or later. The idea of charging users a premium to avoid arbitrary usage restrictions has been a pipe dream of incumbent ISP executives for a decade." The new policy goes into effect on October 1.
Sprint: LG G Flex Will Launch Online on January 31 for $299 on Contract
Starting today, Sprint customers can pre-order the unique LG G Flex smartphone for $299 online with a two year contract. By pre-ordering between now and January 31st, customers will receive a complimentary Quickwindow Folio Case, which is valued at $60. Sprint…
Motorola Announces Moto X Launch in UK, France, and Germany on February 1
Certain European consumers interested in the Moto X smartphone from Motorola will soon have their chance to purchase the excellent handset. Expected to launch on February 1st, Motorola will sell its iconic Moto X device in Black or White in…
Bits Blog: Competitors Accuse Google of Using Search to Diminish Apps
In November, Google will start penalizing the search rankings of sites that show “please install our app” ads, a move that rivals say has less to do with providing users with a good experience and more to do with protecting Google’s business.
Asus's phones and tablet might not be killing it in the style department, but when it comes to the ZenWatch there's reason to sit up and pay attention. In fact, I'd go as far as saying that the ZenWatch 2 is the nicest looking Android Wear watch out there right now - and that's coming from someone who doesn't really like square-faced watched.
As is becoming customary across the range of smartwatch offerings, the ZenWatch 2 comes in two sizes: 45mm and 49mm. No, neither is "small", and unless you're a real chunky watch lover the 45mm will be plenty. Also, it's not entirely square as the edges are nicely rounded off, making it damn more sightly than the original LG G Watch, which was so square that I'm sure you could have done some serious damage with those corners.
The Apple Watch is probably the most comparable smartwatch in terms of design, then, with the Zenwatch 2 just a smidge thicker. But pick it up and you'll notice that it doesn't feel quite as beautifully crafted in the hand, while the back is actually plastic. However the price is significantly lower at 149 Euros (about £110/$168) for the smaller option and 169 Euros (about £125/$190) for the larger one.
Asus has kept much of the watch the same, including the AMOLED screen. One other big change it has made is the physical button on the side, though that's all it is - this isn't like the Apple Watch's digital crown. All you'll be using it for is turning the display on or going back to the watch face if you're in an application.
There are also no biometric sensors on the ZenWatch 2 (there is a pedometer) but considering the half-hearted (badoom tish) fitness features on most smartwatches right now, that might not be such a bad thing.
If the ZenWatch 2 has a USP, it's customisation. Three case colours - silver, gunmetal, rose gold - 18 strap options, and a truckload of possible combinations. Smartwatch makers have quickly caught onto the fact that wearables need to be more personal than a smartphone.
The ZenWatch 2 runs Google's Android Wear, but Asus is also loading it with a bunch of ZenWatch-exclusive watchfaces. We scrolled through a few of them, which ranged from the more classic clock look to slightly more zany styles. They won't all be to your taste, but the sheer range puts Apple's meagre offering to shame.
Asus's personal touches run deeper than watchfaces, though. The ZenWatch 2 also comes with direct watch-to-watch communication feature called ZenWatch Message, which lets you send emojis and doodles to friend.
It also features its own smart assistant app that aims to give you a bit more timely information - but we weren't able to try it in our demo.
This seems like a bit of a snub at Google Now, but it might be because the ZenWatch 2 will be one of the first Android Wear watches to be iOS compatible, opening up a massive new part of the market for Asus.
And battery life? You'll get around two days on average from the ZenWatch 2, but with low power settings you should be able to eek out a little more.
All of this, when you consider the price, makes for one of the most enticing smartwatches around right now. The ZenWatch 2 is launching in October, though we don't have a specific date yet.
All we can say right now is that Asus has hit a good sweet spot between design and price here, along with a focus on customisation which might help the ZenWatch 2 stand out from the many Android Wear watches currently hitting the market.
Mac Tips: Word for Mac 2016: How to use the best new features
Mastering the new Word for Mac
After an extended public beta period earlier this year, Microsoft finally took the wraps off Office 2016 for Mac - including the latest version of Word - in July, making it available first to Office 365 subscribers, with a standalone version set to arrive later this month. In addition to a more streamlined, Retina Display-ready user interface in line with the company's mobile apps, Office 2016 debuts new OS X-friendly options like full-screen view and multitouch gestures. But that's not all: Word 2016 has a few other tricks up its sleeve, and we're here to walk you through seven features you won't want to overlook in the latest edition of this venerable word processor.
Ribbon: Now you see it, now you don't
Office 2016 offers a leaner, meaner Ribbon that consolidates all of your favorite features and options into less screen real estate than ever, but let's face it: All that functionality still consumes a lot of space, even on a spacious desktop display. Thankfully, Word 2016 users can temporarily banish the entire Ribbon to... well, we don't exactly know where it goes when you click the small upward arrow in the right-hand corner, but the Ribbon neatly collapses out of sight until you choose to click the now-inverted arrow once more to bring it back.
Save documents directly to PDF file
This is one of our absolute favorite new features of Office 2016, and one that might be a little less obvious until you go searching for it. With previous versions, saving a Word document required calling up the Print option and using OS X's native Print to PDF service, which never really felt like the way things should work. Now, users can simply select File > Print and choose PDF from the available File Format options to export a lovely portable version of the open document, ready to share with others.
Improved document navigation
If you're the kind of writer who formats larger documents into sections — and really, who doesn't? — the new Navigation pane will come in ridiculously handy. This feature can be summoned from the View > Sidebar > Navigation menu, which will then display a list of sections to the left of the actual document. Click one, and you'll jump straight to that particular section, no mouse or trackpad scrolling required. But don't close the Navigation pane just yet: Word 2016 will highlight whatever section you're currently working on as the document is being edited, which is quite convenient for jumping around to copy and paste between sections, for example.
OneDrive: Baked right in
Earlier versions of Word for Mac have never been particularly great about integrating with Microsoft's cloud storage service OneDrive — at least not in the more natural Windows users have been able to do. Word 2016 finally rights this wrong, with the ability to open and save files directly from local storage as well as personal or business OneDrive accounts. Add one or more OneDrive (or SharePoint, for business users) accounts, and they will be instantly available on all of the Office 365 applications on your Mac from the swanky new Open dialog box, which mimics the UI first introduced on Microsoft's iPad edition. Best of all, this works even if you choose not to install the official OneDrive for Mac client.
I like your style(s)
Word has long offered a quick way to change formatting in a single click by applying various styles that affect typeface, color, and other options, but it's never been particularly easy to create your own or modify existing styles. A click on the Home Ribbon has changed all that: There's quicker access via the Styles Pane, while a click on the "Show style guides" option shows users at a glance which style is currently in use for the open document. The new Style Themes feature under the Design Ribbon is also available to change the document content for a more consistent look and feel.
One-click document sharing
Whether you want to collaborate with another Office user across town or around the globe, attach a document to an outgoing email, or create a public link anyone can use to access your file, Word 2016 is here to oblige with a better way to share. Simply click on the icon in the upper right corner — the one with the little person next to the plus symbol — and you'll be transported into a trio of options for inviting people, copying a link, or the coveted "Email as Attachment" feature. In all three cases, document permissions will be updated to allow the recipient(s) to edit the file, and naturally you'll need to store it in the cloud in order for them to gain access — but Microsoft makes that as easy as a second click of the mouse.
Help improve Word 2016
After years of being viewed as an evil software empire, Microsoft has made great strides to open itself up to criticism and work harder to improve the products being released. This newfound openness extends to the Office 2016 for Mac applications themselves, because users of Word can now click the little smiley-face button in the upper right corner to send the folks in Redmond an encouraging word or complain about something that's driving you nuts. Hey, Microsoft extended the olive branch...now it's your turn to grab it and help make the software even better.
US President Barack Obama is currently in Alaska to highlight the impact of climate change, and he was sure to pack one must-have millennial travel item: a selfie stick.
The @WhiteHouse account posted a 2-plus minute video shot by the POTUS using a GoPro mounted on said stick. He speaks to the camera (at almost perfect selfie distance, we might add) and pans to show the landscape and the glacier behind him.
His message on climate change and what we can do to curb it is completely worth the watch, but you have to admire the Obama's selfie game. This can't be his first one, that's for sure.
Also, he hung out with Bear Grylls, who has less stellar selfie skills.
Hands-on review: IFA 2015: Lenovo IdeaPad Miix 700
If the rumors are true and Microsoft is readying a Surface Pro 4 for October, then Lenovo just beat it to the punch with its own nifty convertible laptop. The Lenovo IdeaPad Miix 700 (starting at $699, £453, AU$979) is a gorgeous 2-in-1 designed for the on-the-go consumer who demands hardware that excels at work and play.
Similar to the Microsoft Surface Pro 3, the Miix 700 features a slim, detachable keyboard cover that can prop itself up via magnets in the tablet's bottom bezel. Although it doesn't come with an Intel Core i processor, the Miix features new sixth-generation Intel Core M (Skylake) processors that pack a lot of battery life into a fully loaded hybrid.
While I wasn't able to run the Miix 700 through our battery of benchmarks, I had a bit of time to touch and feel the new laptop. I'll use this space to run you through the hybrid's exquisite look, feel and specs.
At just 0.35 inches (8.95mm) thick and 11.49 inches (292mm) wide, the Miix 700 is exactly 0.01 inches thinner and slimmer than the Surface Pro 3. Lenovo was also able to best Microsoft's weight, too – the 1.7-pound (780g) laptop is about 0.06 pounds lighter than the Surface Pro 3.
The Miix 700's faux leather detachable keyboard features a silver-colored dual watchband hinge. The hinge is a little creaky to maneuver, though I was viewing a concept model and not a live sample. But it's sturdy enough to give you peace of mind should you grab the device by its open screen rather than as a closed unit.
The keyboard cover is strong enough to protect against minor drops and bumps, but it's light enough that it shouldn't cause you any trouble when attempting to transport it while attached to the tablet. At the device's rear you'll find the kickstand, which tucks away nicely into the device's body. The kickstand spans almost the length of the case and adjusts to allow you to set the height of the display at any angle from 95-135 degrees.
Like the Surface Pro 3, the Miix 700's keyboard cover is super thin and a pleasure to use. It features chiclet style keys, faux leather palm rests and a flat plastic trackpad that are a delight to touch and operate.
The screen is somewhat hampered by a thick border, but it features a full HD+ (FHD+) resolution of 2,160 x 1,440 pixels, the same as the Surface Pro 3. Both laptops feature bright screens that display complex images wonderfully. In a heavily lit room, the Miix 700's screen was able to absorb external light without compromising its own image.
Unlike the Surface Pro 3, the Miix 700, which can be outfitted at 8GB of RAM, won't utilize Intel Core i processors. Instead, Lenovo opted for the new sixth-generation Intel Core M series of processors. The fanless Core M processors, which come in three types (3, 5 and 7, each stronger than the last) allow the unit to operate without a cooling fan, but don't pack as much power as the Core i series.
For example, the Core M3 runs at a max speed of 2.2GHz with Turbo Boost, while the new Core i3 Skylake processor is expected to have a base frequency of 2.3GHz. Unfortunately, we don't know what the Microsoft Surface Pro 4 will have as a CPU, but the entry-level Surface Pro 3 comes with a fifth-generation Broadwell Core i3 processor that clocks in at 1.5GHz. So, at least when it comes to clock speed, the Miix 700 could be a good deal faster than Microsoft's current flagship hybrid.
Along the edges of the Miix 700 you'll find a nice selection of ports and inputs. Lenovo included a USB 3.0, USB 2.0, Micro HDMI-out, Micro Sim and microSD slot. For those of you keeping score: that's one more USB slot than the Surface Pro 3.
You won't need much additional storage with this tablet-meets-laptop, either. The Miix 700 can be outfitted with 256GB of SSD storage. The Surface Pro 3 can hold 512GB at maximum capacity.
Lenovo bested Microsoft by including an optional 4G LTE modem. The Surface Pro 3 doesn't include a mobile broadband modem, so if you crave portable internet, the Miix 700 is a better investment.
Both Lenovo and Microsoft claim their slates can run on one charge for up to 9 hours, so consider this a wash until we're able to run benchmarks. For reference, we were able to run the Surface Pro 3 for 3 hours and 55 minutes with 10 Google Chrome tabs, Spotify streaming high bitrate audio, TweetDeck and HipChat running.
The Surface Pro 3 features a nice little loop alongside the detachable keyboard where you can slide in and store your Stylus. Unfortunately, Lenovo went a bit more high-tech with its Stylus holder, instead opting for a plastic attachment that tucks into one of its ports.
Although this is definitely safer and more permanent than the Surface Pro 3's Stylus holder, it compromises the Miix 700's aesthetics. When you're not using the pen, it juts out from the side of the screen, which ruins the cinematic appeal of the gorgeous FHD+ display.
This is a minor point, and one that should not influence your purchase decision, but it's worth mentioning for those of you who plan to rotate between pen, mouse and touch navigation.
At its $699 starting price, the Miix 700, which is scheduled for a November release, will be a more affordable, capable alternative to the Microsoft Surface Pro 3, which starts at $799 (£639, AU$1,189).
It competes head-to-head with the Surface in almost every spec, and even bests it in some areas, including an additional USB port, included keyboard cover and optional 4G LTE.
Although the aesthetic design of the stylus holder is questionable, there's no doubt that the Miix 700 is a venerable contender for best hybrid laptop.
While it's easy to write this off as a small blow in a much larger arms race, the addition of downloadable content is a win for both consumers and Amazon. The etailer's video content service has stayed in a steady second place behind Netflix for the past few years, and clearly it needed to do something to break out.
Necessity is the mother of all innovation (to paraphrase the old proverb), and innovation is what Amazon desperately needs to close the gap between itself and Netflix.
But is this move enough to overtake the streaming behemoth that is Netflix? Does Netflix need to respond in kind?
To answer those questions, we first have to look back at the storied clash between these two media titans.
A clash of streams
In truth, Amazon has always played second fiddle to Netflix. What's interesting, however, is that Netflix wasn't the first of the two services.
While Netflix was still wrapped up in the world of shipping physical media, Amazon launched an unassuming project called Amazon Unbox on September 7, 2006 as a platform to distribute digital content. It would take five years before the service started to look like what we're familiar with today (the service was rebranded to Amazon Prime Instant Video on February 22, 2011), but by virtue of being first, Amazon had a head start on what would become its biggest competitor.
Unfortunately for Amazon, it's not who can launch first but who can do it better. When Netflix did eventually shift from DVDs to digital content in 2007, it did so with reckless abandon. It charged a paltry sum for access to the still-growing library of movies and TV shows. When Netflix started to explode around 2013 thanks to shows like House of Cards and Orange is the New Black, Amazon had a hard time keeping pace.
Netflix now has 62 million paid subscribers, around double the amount of active Amazon Prime Instant Video users and about 20 million more members than Amazon Prime as a whole, according to USA Today.
That leads us to today's announcement. By allowing users to download and keep content for free on their mobile devices, Amazon has once again done something before Netflix.
This means Amazon will have to fight tooth and nail with movie studios and TV networks to secure downloading rights to movies and TV shows and might not have many wins in the beginning. This opens the door for an even more consumer-friendly environment, and for us, that's great.
But what, if anything, does it mean for the larger battle that Amazon is fighting?
Unfortunately for Amazon, it likely means nothing for now.
One trump card, no matter how much attention it gets today, can't win a whole war. And because the disparity in number of users is so great between the services, there's little reason for Netflix to risk potential partnerships over downloading rights.
That's not to say Netflix won't eventually offer a comparable service. If Amazon's ploy proves successful in retaining users and gaining new ones, then Netflix will likely find a way respond with some free download option. But its content distribution formula has worked, and there's no reason, not yet anyway, for Netflix to mess with it.
And not to disparage Amazon's accomplishment, but doesn't the service have larger issues it should be addressing? Like providing more relevant content instead of relying on HBO shows from the early aughts as its only source of must-watch television. How about being the first service to stream new episodes of Fear the Walking Dead or locking down deals with FX for exclusive streaming rights to Archer?
Amazon has made headway in creating quality original programming, but only a small minority of its shows have captured the public's attention as much as Netflix.
I guess the comparison I'm struggling to draw here is that Amazon is indeed a power player in the world of streaming, but instead of improving on its core infrastructure by adding TV shows and movies that people care about and cause them to stick around, it's trying to develop the figurative equivalent of the atom bomb.
At the end of the day who cares if we can download content if all the content available isn't worth watching?
In Depth: PAX 2015: Everything you missed from Seattle's big gaming show
A packed PAX
Because major names like Microsoft, Sony and Nintendo dominate E3, GamesCom and the Tokyo Game Show, many smaller firms set their sights on the fan-first PAX event to get big news in front of as many eyes as possible.
The news at PAX runs the gamut from eccentric DLC and indie games to quirky announcements for mainstream titles, and the 2015 edition of PAX was no different.
The show wrapped Monday, and before it becomes too distant in the rearview mirror, let's recap the best announcements from PAX 2015.
The first third-party amiibo
A new amiibo reveal is pretty big news in and of itself. With collectors still going crazy for every new figurine, Nintendo has struggled for months with stocking existing figures while simultaneously sending new ones to store shelves and fanning consumer excitement. The venerable company finally introduced a new method of amiibo production that can greatly increase the market. Beginning with Shovel Knight by Yacht Club Games, third-party game creators can now license the figurine technology to produce and distribute their own characters.
While this has the potential to over-saturate the market with amiibo, Nintendo still holds the keys to allowing new licensees. If anything, it may entice indie developers to bring their wares to Wii U in order to take advantage of the potentially lucrative amiibo market.
A powerful new Xbox One bundle
If you're looking for the optimal Xbox One controller and console, Microsoft has a new bundle due this year. Retailing for $500 in the US (sorry, Europe, no news on an Elite system yet), the Xbox One Elite Bundle will include the new professional-grade Elite Controller (which retails for $150/£119 alone) as well as a 1TB hard drive.
In addition to doubling the standard hard drive space, the included storage is a solid state hybrid drive that Microsoft claims will allow the console to boot up "up to 20% faster" than current models. Of course, this being an "Elite" console, the system itself will have a matte finish to showcase the premium nature of the console, too.
Razer Wildcat premium Xbox One controller
Microsoft has touted the high-end features of the Xbox One Elite Controller for some time now; even though it still hasn't landed on store shelves, the improved triggers, new directional pad and customizable thumbsticks have been hyped up so much that it feels like we've had the controller in our hands since E3.
However, come this October, there will be another premium Xbox One controller in the form of the Razer Wildcat. Releasing at the same price point as Microsoft's pad, the Wildcat has high-end features all its own, like four additional buttons (two bumpers and two triggers), as well as the ability to remap any button on the controller to have a different function.
Razer had a bit of a snafu at the EVO fighting game tournament a few months back as its premium fightstick failed during a high-profile match, so hopefully the Wildcat can win back some goodwill as a major-league gaming staple.
A New Hope(fully good headset)
This holiday season is going to be consumed by Star Wars, culminating in the first major motion picture release in the sci-fi franchise due out on December 18.
Before then, however, Star Wars will make a big splash in the gaming realm as Star Wars Battlefront comes to new-gen consoles and PC this November. To complement the major space battles fans will wage online, Turtle Beach is putting out a special edition Sandtrooper headset to match the design of the soldiers in the original Star Wars and will include additional swappable plates on each side of the headset. Due out alongside the game, the headset will sell for $100 in the US, £70 in the UK and $170 in Australia.
Street Fighter V: costumes and collector's edition
With all due respect to fun fighters like Mortal Kombat X and Killer Instinct, the biggest fighting game of the generation (thus far) is just a few months away. To commemorate the occasion, Capcom revealed the contents that will accompany all pre-orders as well as a fanboy-worthy Collector's Edition.
Depending on where you pre-order game, customers will get special "Battle Costumes" for either Ryu, Chun-Li, M. Bison or Cammy. If you choose to pre-purchase a physical version of Capcom's upcoming brawler instead, you might want to consider the Collector's Edition that packs the game disc, a 10-inch Ryu statue, a 48-page hardcover art book, download codes for Street Fighter comics, a soundtrack sampler featuring some of Street Fighter's best songs, and a one-month subscription to Capcom's fighting-focused Twitch channel.
Movies head to the Borderlands
The videogame-to-movie landscape hasn't been pretty between flops like Agent 47 and development-hell mainstays like Peter Jackson's Halo movie. Fortunately, one of the crazier game worlds of late has an actual chance of hitting theaters, thanks to a push from some big names in Hollywood.
Lionsgate Co-chairs Patrick Wachsberger and Rob Friedman announced the acquisition of the Borderlands IP at PAX 2015, and famed superhero movie producer Ari Arad (Iron Man, Spider-Man) has taken on production duties for the film. It's likely to be years before we start to see much of the movie franchise, but with The Hunger Games series wrapping up this year, it's probable that Lionsgate will put a lot of effort into making Borderlands its next future-fantasy (read: potential cash cow) series.
Astro mods modern headsets
What Astro headsets will lack in sci-fi branding this fall they'll make up for with high-end features sure to catch the ear of dedicated online gamers. Astro's new Gaming Mod Kits will add plenty of parts to customize the company's A40 TR headset (and likely many future 'sets) in a variety of ways to match a player's preferences.
The Gaming Mod kit includes a new microphone to isolate the user's voice in noisy environments, ear cushions to block outside noise, speaker tags that enclose the headset and drown out more noise, as well as a leather head strap. Players have long had to decide between closed and open-style headsets, and the new Gaming Mod Kits essentially allow you to switch between the two types with the same headset for about the cost of a new game (though that price is on top of the $150/£119 that the A40 TR commands on its own).
Final Fantasy XV confirmed for '16
It's been a very long wait for Final Fantasy fans who've sought out an all-new single-player epic, but Square Enix assured the world that Final Fantasy XV will come out within the next fifteen months. While the publisher has yet to lock down a date, month or even season for the next mainline Final Fantasy game, Final Fantasy XV is confirmed to release at some point in 2016. With Kingdom Hearts 3 and the Final Fantasy VII remake likely to command the attention of Square Enix and RPG fans beyond next year, knowing that the next new Final Fantasy is at least somewhere on the horizon is nice.
XCOM 2 stays in orbit until 2016
With Microsoft and Sony hyping up 2015 exclusives at every opportunity, PC gamers were hopeful PAX wouldn't leave them wanting. Unfortunately, however, what was the most-anticipated PC-only release of the year won't make contact as originally planned.
Previously slated to release in November this year, XCOM 2 was hit with a slight delay to February 5, 2016. While the 2-3 month push isn't the most severe release date change fans have seen, alien-hunting PC gamers will have a long winter ahead of them. Perhaps it's finally time to try that Ironman run in Enemy Within that you've been putting off for months...
Guild Wars 2 makes the battle free-to-play
While Guild Wars 2 has long eschewed a subscription model in place of selling the core game, NCsoft instituted a major change to the MMORPG's business model to mark GW2's third birthday. If you're curious about Guild Wars 2, there's now no financial barrier to entry as you can download and play the game for free. Those who paid can boast the fact that they have more character slots to explore the breadth of the combat options and have unfettered communication, while new users will have to make do with slightly limited chat options. That is, unless they buy the new Heart of Thorns expansion, which costs more than Guild Wars 2 did. The point, however, is that at least the first taste is free now.
Frankly, LG's first smartwatch didn't offer much. Though, its second, the LG G Watch R, has proved to be far superior despite being a bit plasticky. It seems like the third time's a charm for LG, with the LG Watch Urbane looking the sleekest of the bunch.
However, the Urbane is essentially a dressed up G Watch R with nearly identical dimensions and innards.
With more premium materials, the watch is, of course, going to cost more. Though at $349 (£259, AU$459) - the same price of the cheapest Apple Watch - it doesn't seem like LG is asking for too much. Still, you can pick up its predecessor for $100 less and pretty much have the same smartwatch.
You can now get the Watch Urbane for a little less than the original asking price, I found it online for $300, £230 - making it slightly more acceptable.
Pricing aside, the Urbane has a distinct look that's certainly polished, but it's clearly been tailored for a certain demographic. Despite images of women sporting a variation of the Urbane, it looks like this watch was made for businessmen. This isn't a huge problem, of course, but good luck getting women interested in wearing a chunky piece of metal and leather that won't fit right.
The Urbane has the advantage of being the first Android wearable with the latest Lollipop 5.1.1 software. But again, the other smartwatches will get updated soon, meaning there's really nothing special about the latest LG timepiece save for its style.
The LG Watch Urbane sports a 1.3-inch P-OLED display (320 x 320, 245ppi) which matches the LG G Watch R to a tee. The Urbane is also a bit smaller than its rounded rival, the Moto 360, which comes in at 1.56-inches.
Like the G Watch R, the Urbane's screen is lovely to stare at but sometimes looks pixelated, depending on which watch face you plop on the front. I found the Classic face had the most pixelation on the dial. The moons on the Moonphase face also look a little blotchy.
Put it side by side with the Apple Watch and it's the Cupertino firm's timepiece which has the better screen, but on its own you're unlikely to have an issue with resolution.
Direct sunlight is an issue for the Watch Urbane, as it is for the G Watch R, and I did find myself having to cup my hand round the device a few times to see what was on screen. Viewing angles meanwhile are more than acceptable, something is has over the Pebble Steel and Pebble Time.
Design and comfort
Where the G Watch R looks perfect for runners and outdoor enthusiasts, the LG Watch Urbane fits best in the world of suits and the modern day Mad Men types.
The Urbane has a clean, stainless steel body that allows you to change out its 22mm strap, should you wish to switch out the genuine stitched leather for something made of silicone, metal or even a different leather strap.
You can also choose between a rose gold or silver watch body, likely LG's attempt at drawing in a larger pool of potential female watch buyers. However, the material of the Urbane's body will do nothing to hide the fact that it's still gigantic and bound to dangle on slimmer wrists.
Worn with casual/sporty clothing the Watch Urbane can end up looking overly flash, although depending on your style that might be perfect for you.
The Urbane's bezel has been thinned out and slightly flattened, instead of the sporty G Watch R's detailed dial that dipped slightly inward towards the face.
There are no buttons on the body of the Urbane, but a traditional watch crown has been placed on the right. It doesn't do much other than serve as a back button when pushed.
At 45.5 x 52.2 x 10.9mm, the Urbane's dimensions are nearly the same as the G Watch R's dimensions of 46.4 x 53.6 x 9.7mm. However, the Urbane is noticeably heavier at 66.5g compared the the G Watch R's 62g.
I wouldn't say the Urbane is entirely uncomfortable for everyone. But, as someone with tiny wrists, it just doesn't fit properly.
Even at the last strap hole, the Urbane remained a sad, colossal mess unsure of where to sit on my arm. I imagine it would be comfortable on more average sized wrists with the stock leather strap. Switching out the bands may help, but I can't help but think that the 1.3-inch display on a small wrist will look ridiculous no matter what.
Interface, apps and fitness
The Android 5.1.1 software installed on the LG Watch Urbane put it above the other Android Wear smartwatches when it first launched - but the update has now made its way to all other watches ensuring the Urbane is back on a even playing field.
An always-on screen isn't a new feature, but 5.1.1 allows you to conserve battery life by displaying a partial watch face with less colors and detailing. Holding your wrist up will switch it back to the main watch face.
My personal favorite is the addition of hands-free gestures. You can flick your wrist toward you or away from you to skip through Google Now cards or dismiss them. It doesn't work as a method of reading through emails by scrolling down, though.
Aside from this downside, the process is seamless and satisfying, especially after using the Apple Watch's extremely annoying system of dismissing notifications one by one.
Another big new feature is Wi-Fi support, which means the smartwatches with built-in Wi-Fi can connect to a network and still receive notifications, send messages and use any apps you want, even if your phone isn't nearby.
However, your phone still needs its own Wi-Fi or LTE connection in order for the watch to work. It's been super handy with the Urbane, not having to worry about having my Android phone with me at all times around the house or office.
The previous Android Wear app interface was a huge, confusing mess, but thankfully it has been de-cluttered. With the new update, all you have to do is tap on the watch face screen or swipe left to see a cleaned up version of your app list. The three most recently used apps stay on top, while the rest are listed alphabetically underneath.
Keep swiping left to find your contacts, and another left-swipe will take you to the voice control screen where you can say "OK Google." A series of options are listed below the voice command to help give you ideas.
Lastly, you'll be able to draw out emoticons. Specifically, doodling an outline or random sketch will make the software determine what you were trying to draw, list out a bunch of options and then let you pick the correct one to send. It's not always perfect, but it works well enough. I tried drawing a bird face, and Android Wear thought I meant pizza, where a smiley face pulled up several different smiley emoticons.
I actually don't really see the point of this feature if you can't send the drawing itself, like Apple's sketchable messages. I do, however, like the variety and ability to send multiple emoticons in one message, compared to the Apple Watch's method of allowing only one emoticon message at a time.
Apps and fitness
Despite the majorly upgraded software, there's still nothing particularly ground breaking pre-installed on Android Wear. There's the standard compatibility with Google's apps: Agenda, Gmail, Play Music, Stopwatch Timer and Flashlight along with Amazon, Find My Phone, LG Pulse and checking your recent calls.
You can browse Amazon by vocally searching for an item, scroll through lists one thing at a time and then either purchase via 1-click buys or add to your wishlist.
Find My Phone calls your missing Android phone, which is pretty neat. LG Pulse keeps track of your heart rate by logging metrics and letting you tag them to differentiate between types of activities. Along with the Fit app, Pulse monitors your steps.
That's about it for stock Urbane and Google fitness apps. You can download more, but a few listed in the Android Wear store strangely don't even show up on the Urbane, so it can be a hit and miss situation.
Specs, compatibility, performance and battery life
The LG Watch Urbane is a timepiece that has all the normal specs you'd expect from an Android Wear device.
The 320 x 320p P-OLED 1.3-inch screen sits on top of a Snapdragon 400 chipset, clocked at 1.2GHz and 1GB of RAM. There's 4GB of onboard storage and the ability to install your own music on there as well for tunes without a phone.
The Urbane infuriatingly still doesn't come with GPS - LG's reasoning for this is that it will kill battery life. But given you'll get about 30 hours of use out of this watch between charges anyway, it seems like daily re-powering is the only way forward here. So, a little extra functionality couldn't hurt.
The heart rate monitor on the back, combined with the barometer and accelerometer inside, make it a good watch to use when walking out and about in the wild. Then again, there are many other devices that are equally as stylish and better suited to the task.
This watch is also only IP67 rated, meaning the Urbane is resistant to dust and water. In regards to the latter, the Urbane should remain operational even if gently submerged in a tank of still tap water at room temperature for about 30 minutes, up to a depth of 1 meter.
And, if you hadn't guessed already, the Urbane is only compatible with Android devices running Android 4.3 and later.
Performance and battery life
Interestingly, while switching between the various watch faces, the Urbane crashed and needed to reboot. I was pretty surprised that this little task could completely stop the watch, but it happened again later on when I was trying different apps.
It's quite possible the software has a few kinks to iron out - which is still disconcerting. But hopefully all the bugs will be squashed before the update hits the other smartwatches. For the time being, the Urbane seems stuck with a couple of crashes here and there.
The Urbane's 410mAh battery is the exact same power pack found inside the LG G Watch R. Both can last far longer than the pitiful Moto 360, but unsurprisingly can't make it as long as the Pebble Steel.
With emails, notifications, downloading apps and the usual testing, my Urbane lasted two days on a single charge - much like the G Watch R. This is slightly longer than the day and a half that my Apple Watch offers.
You'll also find the Urbane requires a familiar magnetic charging cradle. It's basically the same one the G Watch R uses. In fact, you'd think they could be interchangeable, but of course, they're not.
Hands on gallery
The LG Watch Urbane is a beautiful timepiece but it's twin, the LG G Watch R is pretty much identical. Knowing this, it's tough to outright recommend the Urbane for anyone other than the fashion obsessed.
The battery life of the Urbane isn't ideal, but it's far better than most other Android Wear smartwatches. The design of the wearable is also a head turner, with its classic circular face and simple timepiece feel.
The on-board Android 5.1.1 software felt like a huge perk at first thanks to its improved interface and new features, but it's since rolled out to the rest of the Android Wear community.
That same elegant design is also a bit irritating on another level - it's far too large. Sure, there are plenty of massive analogue watch faces that we're all used to seeing.
But, if a smartwatch is going to be marketed to both men and women, it would be wise to offer multiple size options, or at least something closer to a middle ground. The Urbane is also the most expensive Android Wear watch to date, but it doesn't exactly stand out from the G Watch R apart from its fancier looks.
The LG Watch Urbane is the watch you should get if you want a premium looking LG G Watch R. You'll basically be breaking out $349 (£259, AU$459) for a smartwatch you could have for $100 less.
Again, there's no doubt that the Urbane is a lovely-looking wearable, but with Lollipop 5.1.1 on all other Android smartwatches, there's not much incentive to pay such a hefty chunk of cash.
That said, if you're looking for a polished equivalent to the Apple Watch, the Urbane isn't a bad Android Wear smartwatch. However, you might be better off waiting for the next LG wearable.
Having made it this far, LG's next could hit the sweet spot with an appealing design, affordable price point and perhaps a killer feature to really stand it out from the wearable crowd.
Bloke clicks GitHub 'commit' button in Visual Studio, gets slapped with $6,500 AWS bill
Oh, did you mean that to be a PRIVATE repository?
A web developer from South Africa said a bug in a tool for using Microsoft's Visual Studio IDE with code-sharing site GitHub inadvertently exposed his sensitive data – and the error cost him more than $6,500 (£4,250) in just a few hours.…
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