Is the Apple HomePod marking its territory with its own ‘spaceship’ symbol?

Not the mark they were hoping to make

Apple’s long awaited HomePod smart speaker is finally landing in homes, and it’s leaving a mark! And… we don’t mean that figuratively. It’s Thursday, February 15, and while the HomePod’s sonic capabilities have come in for rave reviews, the pounding bass response – and the silicon-covered bottom of the speaker designed to keep it from bouncing around – is apparently leaving behind a round mark wherever the speaker sits, especially on some wooden surfaces.

Apple says it is aware of the issue and on their HomePod care page, says that it’s “not unusual for any speaker with a vibration-damping silicone base to leave mild marks when placed on some wooden surfaces,” and that the rings can be caused by oils diffusing from the silicon padding. But don’t worry, says Apple, the marks typically go away with a simple cleaning, or after a few days if the speaker is removed. And you might want to consider putting it… elsewhere.

Still, it’s a bit of a black – or maybe kinda grey – eye for Apple’s launch of the long-awaited Alexa and Google Home competitor, and due to its limited usability outside of Apple’s walled garden of i-Devices, we actually gave it a fairly middling review. Still, it does sound nice and if you’re an Apple ecosystem dweller with metal tables all around, maybe give it a look.

Is the pen mightier than the laptop?

Apple frenemy Samsung recently added a new notebook PC to their lineup, but this time, it’s designed to work with one of their popular mobile accessories: The clever S-Pen. Called the Notebook 9 Pen, appropriately, the 2-in-1 format laptop is on the spendy side at $1,400 as tested, but it does come with fair bit of horsepower – and that fancy pen. And despite being super thin and super light at just over two pounds, it features a full slate of popular ports.

That includes a full-size HDMI connector for video fun, a legacy USB-A port for all your old gear, a micro-SD slot of memory expansion, and the now-popular USB-C superport for everything new. But it’s not all S-pen perfection, so check out Luke Larson’s full review and see if the new S-Pen PC is ready for computing prime time.

Not your ordinary villain

While it is Thursday, we’re already excited for tomorrow because we’re going to be in line early for this one: Black Panther. The latest addition to the Marvel movieverse is racking up rave reviews and a nearly 100-percent score on Rotten Tomatoes, and if you haven’t checked out the Kendrick Lamar-produced soundtrack, that’s a winner as well.

Digital Trends managed to get in an interview Michael B. Jordan, who plays warrior Killmonger in the movie. Jordan is a rising star, with past roles in Creed and Fruitvale Station. He’s currently wrapping up work on the Creed sequel, but his work in Black Panther will likely brighten up his star power by more than a few degrees. Check out our interview with Jordan, and you might want to think about getting those tickets for opening night a bit earlier than usual.

We’ve got more news on our Facebook page and YouTube channel, and be sure to tune in to this week’s DT podcasts: Trends with Benefits (general tech shenanigans)  on Thursdays, and Between the Streams (movie and TV topics) every Friday.

Social Media

Addicted to Instagram? Its new ‘activity dashboard’ is here to help

Ever get that nagging feeling you're spending too much time on Instagram? Well, a new "activity dashboard" has a bunch of features designed to help you better control how you use the addictive photo-sharing app.
Cars

Car parts maker ZF is using drones to deliver components to its factories

ZF recently became the first entity in Germany to receive approval to use drones to deliver spare parts, and the company now uses them to deliver parts from its central warehouses to its workshops.
Cars

Waymo will launch its commercial autonomous ridesharing service in December

Waymo will launch a commercial ridesharing service using self-driving cars in December, according to a new report. As previously discussed by Waymo, the service will operate in specific areas around Phoenix, Arizona.
Cars

VW will use Siri as the designated driver for its connected car party

Volkswagen of America added Apple's Siri to help drivers control and interact with their cars. Owners can customize voice commands to tell Siri to change access settings such as interior climate, vehicle lock status, and fuel checks.
Digital Trends Live

DT Daily: Google Pixel Night Sight, Surface Studio 2, and Netflix at half price

Today on DT Daily, Greg Nibler was joined by Adrian Warner to talk trending topics like the new Google Pixel Night Sight and we got our hands on the $3,500 Microsoft computer that's giving Apple a run for its money.
Digital Trends Live

DT Daily: Global internet, quantum computing prove the future is now

Global internet, quantum computing, and fire-resistant exoskeletons may seem like the stuff of science fiction, but as we learned on today's episode of DT Daily, all these things may soon be reality.
Digital Trends Live

DT Daily: D-Wave wants to help developers make the leap into quantum computing

If you are curious about quantum computing but don't know where to start, you're not alone. D-Wave has a platform for people to learn quantum computing, and the company's Murray Thom appeared on Digital Trends Live to talk about it.
Digital Trends Live

Nerf product designer has his sights set on upcoming ‘Overwatch’ collaboration

Nerf has a new line of Overwatch tie-in guns coming out in 2019, and Product Design Manager Jae Yoo appeared on Digital Trends Live to talk about the collaboration, and how he comes up with designs.
Digital Trends Live

Digital Trends Live: Nissan turmoil, product designer Jae Yoo of Nerf, and more

For today's episode of Digital Trends Live, we turn our attention to the L.A. Auto Show and Lamborghini's race-ready version of the Urus. We also speak with Jae Yoo of Nerf and MLS defender Zarek Valentin about their origins, modern tech…