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Weekly Rewind: RIP Chuck Berry, the newest iPhone color, Samsung's AI assistant Bixby

top tech stories 03 24 2017 chuck berry head
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A lot can happen in a week when it comes to tech. The constant onslaught of news makes it nigh impossible for mere mortals with real lives to keep track of everything. That’s why we’ve compiled a quick and dirty list of this week’s top 10 tech stories, from Apple’s highly anticipated red iPhone to Lexus’ new luxury yacht — it’s all here.

Apple has finally taken the wraps off the new ruby red ‘iPhone (RED)’

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On Tuesday, in partnership with nonprofit Product (RED), Apple added a brand new, ruby red iPhone model to its roster: the iPhone (RED). Like the company’s (RED) iPod Nano, Beats headphones, and Smart Battery cases, the launch promotes Product (RED)’s ongoing effort to combat HIV and AIDS, which remain among the globe’s worst health problems. More than 35 million people have died of the virus, and 37 million are infected each year, according to Product (RED).

Read the full story here.

Diets are not equal for all people; ancestral homelands can make a difference

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Proponents of specific food class-centric diets such as paleo, vegan, gluten-free, ketogenic, or the Mediterranean diet often tend to prescribe their plans for everyone. Not so fast, says a group from the University of California, Berkeley. Biologists at UC Berkeley and other institutions around the world have published research that shows genetic differences from natural selection based on dietary changes in Europe, Ars Technica reports.

Read the full story here.

Lexus floats a new brand idea: The high-performance Lexus Sports Yacht

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What is it with big-name carmakers and luxury sports yachts? Mercedes-Benz, Aston Martin, and Bugatti have all launched or shown concepts of yachts that are slick, fast, and extremely pricey. Now we can add Lexus to the gang with the Lexus Sports Yacht, which was recently introduced at the Miami International Boat Show.

Read the full story here.

What’s in a Name? Meet Bixby — the smart sidekick who’ll help you use your digital gear

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There’s a new name in artificial assistants, but Samsung argues this one won’t tell you dumb jokes or a weather forecast, nor will it look up facts for you online. This bright assistant is meant to improve your interactions with your digital life — not just with your smartphone, but with your washing machine, thermostat, vacuum cleaner, and more. It’s nothing less than a rethink of how we use our stuff.

“Philosophically, what we’re looking at is revolutionizing the interface,” Injong Rhee, head of research and development at Samsung Mobile Communications Business Group, told Digital Trends.

Read the full story here.

Novel braille smartwatch enables the blind to read notifications

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The Dot is a smartwatch with a unique interface that is able to translate basic notifications for blind users by dynamically reproducing braille on its specialized surface. It has been in development for the past couple of years, but mass production has finally begun, with the first orders set to ship out in April. Although braille has been a useful tool for those with limited vision for close to 200 years, in an age of touchscreens and smart devices, many of the world’s millions of visually impaired can be left out of the loop.

Read the full story here.

Studying brain waves while watching trailers can help predict a film’s success

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As an industry built around making money by guessing what the general population wants to watch, Hollywood has been trying to get into our minds for years. An experiment at Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management may have cracked the best way to do this: by literally reading moviegoers’ brain waves.

Read the full story here.

Five legendary bands whose music wouldn’t sound the same without the late Chuck Berry

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We lost one of popular music’s most important and influential musical architects on Saturday, as Chuck Berry died at the age of 90. Berry’s profound lyrics, melodies, and guitar stylings are the very bedrock of all rock-influenced music made in the past six decades. Without the iconic St. Louis-born musician, the sounds coming out of your radio, streaming service, or record player would be profoundly different.

Read the full story here.

Osprey’s affordable new anti-gravity packs save your back without injuring your wallet

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Osprey set the standard in backpacking comfort when it introduced its cutting-edge Anti-Gravity suspension and back panel in 2015. The Atmos and Aura Backpacks were the first models to be equipped with Osprey’s AG technology, and were lauded for their ability to distribute the weight of the pack and make you feel like you were carrying less weight.

Now this revolutionary suspension system is making its way to other backpacks in Osprey’s lineup — new for the spring 2017 hiking season are AG versions of the popular Aether and Ariel line of long distance backpacks.

Read the full story here.

How Celebrity Cruises is using smartphones to put power in passengers’ hands

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Whether by plane, train, or automobile, our standard modes of travel are getting more connected. As each becomes another “device” within the Internet of Things, they are able to provide real-time information and personalization that wasn’t possible before. We can now add cruises into the mix.

Carnival revealed its connected Medallion technology, which helps passengers tailor experiences to their needs. And now Celebrity Cruises is following suit, and it’s using the smartphone as the starting point. We recently visited Celebrity’s Innovation Lab, in Miami, to look at some of the things the company has in store.

Read the full story here.

Hackers demand Apple pay up or millions of iCloud accounts will be wiped

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A group of hackers is allegedly trying to extort Apple by holding its customers’ data for ransom and threatening to remotely wipe iCloud accounts connected to both iPhones and iPads if the demands are not met. The group self-identifies as the “Turkish Crime Family,” and is demanding either $75,000 in Ethereum or Bitcoin or $100,000 in iTunes gift cards, according to a report from Motherboard. Not only that, but the hackers gave Apple an April 7 deadline to meet the demands — or else they will start wiping both phones and iCloud accounts.

Read the full story here.

Lulu Chang
Former Digital Trends Contributor
Fascinated by the effects of technology on human interaction, Lulu believes that if her parents can use your new app…
The best iPhone 15 screen protectors in 2023: 10 great buys
A view of the USB-C port on the green iPhone 15.

The iPhone 15 lineup has landed, boasting exciting new features like significantly improved cameras and brighter screens on the standard iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Plus and a sleek new titanium frame and powerful Action button for the iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro Max.

As usual, Apple has equipped all of its iPhone 15 models with Ceramic Shield glass, which has proven tough enough to withstand most drops and impacts. This could lead you to believe you don't really need a screen protector, and you may be partially right — at least when it comes to protecting your screen against cracks. However, it's challenging to create glass that's both highly durable against impacts and resistant against scratches, and Apple's Ceramic Shield definitely leans toward the former.

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Over 3,000 iPhone 15 cases are discounted today — from $4
Pacific Blue FineWoven case on a Natural Titanium iPhone 15 Pro on a wooden table.

If you bought the recently released iPhone 15, then you're in luck because Amazon is having a massive sale of thousands of iPhone 15 cases that you can take advantage of. Prices have been slashed across the board, and you can get some things as low as $4 and as high as $20 if you want something a bit fancier that has extra features. While we've done our best to collect some of the best deals we could find, there are too many to count, so be sure to check out the full sale using the button below. And, if you haven't picked up one of the new iPhones yet, be sure to check out these iPhone 15 deals for some great options.

What to buy in Amazon's iPhone 15 case sale
Starting off with a relatively simple and clear case, this 

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How to use iOS 17 FaceTime gestures (and what they look like)
iPhone on stand in FaceTime call with balloon gesture.

Thanks to new features in iOS 17, your FaceTime calls and other online video meetings are about to get much more fun. The powerful new silicon in Apple’s recent iPhone models has made it possible for Apple to create a new feature that not only lets you send cool 3D animations like balloons, confetti, and fireworks to your friends — but it even lets you trigger them with natural physical gestures.

While the new FaceTime gestures, which Apple officially calls “reactions,” are pretty easy to use once you get the hang of it, not all the gestures that trigger these reactions are immediately obvious. Plus, you’ll need to make sure a few other things are ready to go beyond simply updating to iOS 17. Let’s dive in and take a look at how this cool new feature works.
How to make a FaceTime gesture in iOS 17

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