Why Xiaomi bought Microsoft patents, big magnet vs. big hydraulic press

Here’s a new name to learn in the smartphone world: Xiaomi. The Chinese company is the largest producer of cell phones in China, where they are known to make decent and snappy low-cost phones. But they’re pretty much unknown in Europe and the U.S. That’s about to change. According to Reuters,Xiaomi just inked a deal to buy about 1,500 Microsoft patents needed to bring their phones up to U.S. spec.

The deal includes a licensing agreement to install Skype and Microsoft Office on future phones and tablets, which will run on Google’s Android OS. Other patents include tech for voice communication, cloud computing and multimedia playback. Until now, you could get a Xiaomi phone off, say, eBay, but it wouldn’t work in the U.S. for the most part. We’re looking forward to seeing their first phones stack up against the competition.

_____________

If you’re a participant in the growing wave of “live video” creators that uses Twitter’s Periscope app, you’re probably aware that there are some not-nice people out there who relish in posting nasty, spammy or attacking comments during your stream-of-consciousness masterpiece. You know: trolls. Now, Periscope has introduced real-time comment moderation and fellows viewers get to moderate.

Using a palette of buttons, Periscope lets viewers and live video-ers essentially vote on if a comment is good to go – or isn’t. Also, video makers can restrict comments to known parties and viewers can also opt of out the moderation exercise if they want to. Will this rather democratic approach to squelching trolls work in the long run? Like so many things in tech, this is an interesting social experiment, and we’ll be watching to see how it turns out.

_____________

Admit it, you’ve peeked at a few videos on PressTube, the YouTube channel where some unseen and unspeaking operators of a large and powerful hydraulic press squish stuff – pretty much for the fun of it. The results are typically hilarious – and often unusual. So for, nothing has been able to beat the press – until now. What held up under pressure? A large neodymium magnet, which is apparently made out of spare parts from a black hole or something.

The PressTube team ran the pressure nearly up to the maximum available before backing it off and conceding defeat. What’s neodymium used for? Well, when you use your headphones or earbuds, they’re the magnets behind all the sound you hear.

The most entertaining part of the video is when the press operator tries to remove the magnet from the press – after it’s essentially made every metal part involved highly magnetic. He almost laughs. Almost.

Movies & TV

11 Hollywood heavyweights who jumped from the big screen to the small screen

From Julia Roberts and Meryl Streep to James Franco and Mahershala Ali, lots of Hollywood A-list actors with successful film careers are flocking to television projects during the second Golden Age of Television.
Deals

The best budget-friendly GoPro alternatives that won’t leave you broke

Cold weather is here, and a good action camera is the perfect way to record all your adventures. You don't need to shell out the big bucks for a GoPro: Check out these great GoPro alternatives, including some 4K cameras, that won’t leave…
Movies & TV

No TV? No problem. Here's how to watch the Final Four online

Whether you want to watch the Big Dance on your phone or on your smart TV, we have the lowdown on the ways to watch all the March Madness you can handle. Grab your foam finger and some nachos.
Smart Home

Sonic Soak and its 50,000 cleaning vibrations make a big splash at launch

Cleaning delicate or rare items or finding a decent cleaner can be a big pain but a new portable cleaning device called the Sonic Soak is smaller than an iPhone and cleans using ultrasonic vibrations to knock out stains and odors.
Digital Trends Live

Digital Trends Live: Double-folding phones, the best gaming laptops, and more

AirPod rumors and the latest news about foldable phones highlight Wednesday's episode of Digital Trends Live. We also sat down with Calvin Iverson to talk about how to travel on a budget and how millennials are changing the travel industry.
Digital Trends Live

Digital Trends Live: Amazon Scout, Soraya Darabi, and Joey Ricard

On episode 53 of Digital Trends Live, DT's live morning show, hosts Greg Nibler and Drew Prindle discussed the latest in tech news, including Amazon's new delivery drone, CRISPR babies, and more.
Digital Trends Live

Digital Trends Live: Facebook, flying taxis, and Tesla police car

On episode 54 of Digital Trends Live, DT's live morning show, hosts Greg Nibler and Caleb Denison discussed Facebook's plan to integrate Instagram, Boeing's experimental flying taxi, and more.
Digital Trends Live

DT Live: Super Bowl hangover, crypto disaster, and an electric plane

On episode 58 of Digital Trends Live, DT's live morning show, hosts Greg Nibler and Drew Prindle examined the tech news of the day, including the 2019 Super Bowl commercials, Chip Yates' incredible electric plane, and more.
Digital Trends Live

Digital Trends Live: Facebook Messenger change, GoNation, and more

From new Facebook Messenger features to 5Ge coming to select smartphones, we discussed the latest in tech news on this episode of Digital Trends Live. We also welcomed Chaz Tanase of GoNation and Dan Ferguson of Groove Jones to the show.
Digital Trends Live

Digital Trends Live: Apple versus news industry, Alexa Skills, and the OGarden

On Episode 65 of Digital Trends Live, hosts Greg Nibler and Luke Larsen broke down the biggest new stories from the world of tech, including Apple's feud with news publishers, the OGarden, and more.
Digital Trends Live

Digital Trends Live: Amazon HQ, Guy Kawasaki, and when to buy a streaming stick

On Thursday's episode of Digital Trends Live, we discussed trending headlines like the latest news surrounding Amazon's new HQ plans to the Mars rover Opportunity. We also sat down with author and entrepreneur Guy Kawasaki to talk about his…
Digital Trends Live

Digital Trends Live: Oscar visual effects, digital distractions, and more

On episode 72 of Digital Trends Live, we discussed news including the discovery that Google's Nest Secure has a hidden microphone, and welcomed author Brian Solis to the show to talk about his latest book.
Digital Trends Live

Digital Trends Live: MWC 2019, ezCater, and an Apple streaming service

On this episode of Digital Trends Live, we sat down with John Hall of Calendar.com and Briscoe Rodgers of EzCater. We were also joined by DT's Caleb Denison to discuss how Apple is looking to revolutionize TV streaming.
Digital Trends Live

Digital Trends Live: New Twitter features, Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge, and more

On episode 77 of Digital Trends Live, hosts Greg Nibler and Luke Larsen explored the biggest news stories from the world of tech, including the new Star Wars attraction, Twitter's experimental moderation tools, and more.