Weekly Rewind: The best Porsches ever, a new Nest security system, Google's HTC acquisition

top tech stories
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 tech stories, from what Nest’s big product announcement to the best Porsches ever made  — it’s all here.

Behold the majesty of our world with the 46 best drone photos

best drone photos update 2
Dronestagram/SKeye

Drone costs have dropped substantially over the past few years, and during this span, we have seen the technology increase exponentially. While early designs were more of a backyard novelty (and often a nuisance) than anything else, the latest drone models are loaded with advanced cameras and stabilization technology that allows for more practical uses. Designed with extended operational range, long gone are the days of simply buzzing — and often caroming — about the backyard or neighborhood. The best drone photos can attest to this.

As the demand for drones has increased, so too has the market, as manufacturers look to cater to each specific industry niche. While pint-sized quadcopters are well-suited for navigating narrow indoor environments, there are hundreds of more powerful brutes on the market designed to handle the gustier conditions often involved with aerial photography. We should know — we have tested dozens of drones over the years and curated a comprehensive roundup of our favorites.

Read: Behold the majesty of our world with the 46 best drone photos

Here’s what HEIF and HEVC are, and why they’ll improve your iPhone with iOS 11

HEIF and HEVC
Apple

Apple’s iOS 11 is officially here, you will notice several new camera and photo features. But one change you may not be aware of is Apple’s adoption of the HEIF and HEVC formats, and you may not be aware of its benefits and limitations immediately. HEIF and HEVC promise to deliver improved resolution and more manageable photo and video file sizes, but those are just the start. You should know that not every hardware and software support these two formats yet. So, as you’re familiarizing yourself with iOS 11, here’s what you need to know about HEIF and HEVC.

Read: Here’s what HEIF and HEVC are, and why they’ll improve your iPhone with iOS 11

How fast? How far? Chips inside the NFL’s new footballs track every last stat

NFL x Zebra Technologies
Keith Nelson/Digital Trends

During Monday night’s showdown between the New York Giants and the Detroit Lions, I looked up from my seat and saw Jamal Agnew maneuver though a sea of Giants ready to take his head off, en route to a stunning 88-yard punt return touchdown at Metlife Stadium. Seconds afterwards, he deflated a stadium full of fans. I looked down at a Microsoft Surface tablet and saw who kicked the ball, how fast it traveled, and even how fast Agnew was running.

Are you ready for some football … tracking? The NFL has placed coin-sized radio-frequency identification (RFID) chips from Zebra Technologies inside footballs for every game this season to provide a deeper dive into statistics — information the league has never effectively captured. The advanced stats the NFL will collect from players and footballs could be used in fantasy football, but the NFL tracking footballs might not be as dramatic as some might hope.

Read: How fast? How far? Chips inside the NFL’s new footballs track every last stat

These are the 15 best Porsches ever made

Best Porsches Porsche 962

Even among the crowded world of German sports car manufacturers, Porsche has legendary status. For almost 100 years, the company has been building some of the most captivating and awe-inspiring performance machines on Earth; so much so that its iconic 911 has become the benchmark by which other supercars are judged. It’s hard to name one model as our favorite, however, so for this list, we’ve compiled 15 of the best Porsches ever assembled. Some are classics of yesteryear and some are hot off the assembly line, but they all have one thing in common: they’re fast as hell.

Read: These are the 15 best Porsches ever made

Amazon reportedly working on Alexa-powered smart glasses and security systems

amazon

Leave it to Amazon, one of the world’s largest retailers, to seek to disrupt augmented reality and home security. The Seattle, Washington-based retailer is actively developing Alexa-enabled “smart glasses,” according to an exclusive report in the Financial Times, alongside a “smart” security camera.

Amazon’s smart glasses, which are said to resemble an off-the-shelf pair of spectacles, pack a microphone, a wireless chip of some kind, and an earbuds-free bone-conduction system that pipes Alexa’s voice straight to your inner ear. It’s reportedly being spearheaded by Babak Parviz, the founder of Google Glass, who joined Amazon in 2014, and could launch as soon as “year-end.”

Read: Amazon reportedly working on Alexa-powered smart glasses and security systems

Nest Secure hands-on review

Nest Secure device
Christian de Looper/Digital Trends

Nest is back, and it’s back with a vengeance. The company recently took the wraps off of the Nest Thermostat E, but that did not mark the end of Nest’s 2017 announcements. Instead, Nest saved its biggest product unveilings for an event in San Francisco, where it revealed a lineup of security-focused products.

The star of the show is the Nest Secure, the company’s new smart alarm system that works in concert with a series of door and window trackers called Nest Detect, a key fob called Nest Tag, and Nest Guard, the brain-center of the whole system. It’s built to be super intuitive, super secure, and relatively easy to install. We were on the ground at the event, and managed to get some hands-on time with the new Nest Secure product lineup.

Read: Nest Secure hands-on review

Budweiser and Lyft want you to get home safely for free

lyft takes on uber in toronto 3

Getting home this weekend is about to get a lot easier, and it’s thanks to a surprising source. While Budweiser isn’t generally in the business of making you a more responsible driver (quite the opposite, in fact), the beer maker is now ensuring that you can have your fun while being safe. For the second year in a row, Budweiser and Lyft are teaming up to stand against drunk driving by giving you a free ride home.

The two companies are offering up to 150,000 total round-trip rides starting today and lasting through the end of the year. So even if you don’t have a designated driver, you can still rest assured that you’re not putting anyone in danger when you make your way home at the end of the night.

Read: Budweiser and Lyft want you to get home safely for free

Why Google bought part of HTC’s smartphone team for $1.1 billion

Google Pixel XL
Julian Chokkattu/Digital Trends

It’s official: Google has agreed to acquire a select team of engineers from HTC’s smartphone division for $1.1 billion in an all-cash deal. Under the terms of the unusual arrangement, the search giant won’t get a direct stake in HTC — instead, it’ll gain “non-exclusive” licensing rights to HTC’s current and future intellectual property. The engineers are people who have already worked with Google to develop its Pixel smartphones, and they will soon become “fellow Googlers.”

Analysts seem confused about the real purpose behind the deal, however.

“It remains a complete mystery to me as to what Google is paying money for,” noted Richard Windsor, a former Nomura Securities analyst and the force behind Radio Free Mobile.

Read: Why Google bought part of HTC’s smartphone team for $1.1 billion

Equifax confirms it suffered a separate data breach in March

equifax headquarters
Smith Collection/Gado/Getty Images

Following the massive data breach that Equifax disclosed to the public in early September, news of a second, earlier attack at the credit agency has emerged. Although originally just a rumor from anonymous sources, Equifax confirmed the secondary hack on September 19, which took place in March, though the firm denied it had anything to do with the larger hack. Adding insult to injury, Equifax has now inadvertently contributed to a phishing campaign by sending its customers to phishing site rather than its own breach notification portal.

Read: Equifax confirms it suffered a separate data breach in March

Emerging Tech

Awesome Tech You Can’t Buy Yet: 1-handed drone control, a pot that stirs itself

Check out our roundup of the best new crowdfunding projects and product announcements that hit the web this week. You may not be able to buy this stuff yet, but it sure is fun to gawk!
Smart Home

Wynd’s new air-purifying bundle lets smart home owners breathe easier

Wynd is already well known in the tech industry for its popular Kickstarter-backed air purifier and now the company is launching two new products designed to improve air quality to inform smart home owners.
Deals

Here are the best Amazon Echo and Google Home deals for Black Friday

Google Home and Amazon Echo smart speakers compete head to head when it comes to smart home tech. Whether you're a fan of Alexa or Google Home, we've found the best prices on your favorite smart home devices.
Mobile

We tried all the latest and greatest smartphones to find the best of 2018

Smartphones are perhaps the most important and personal piece of tech on the planet. That’s why it’s important to pick the best phone for your individual needs. Here are the best smartphones you can buy.
Mobile

Master your new Nokia 7.1 with our favorite tips and tricks

At $350, the Nokia 7.1 is a nearly perfect budget phone. It has a gorgeous body, good hardware, and a capable camera. Recently purchased the Nokia 7.1? Here are a few of our favorite tips and tricks to get you started with your new phone.
Photography

Get up close and personal with this telephoto lens for your phone

Moment is replacing its aging 60mm telephoto lens with a new 58mm tele lens, redesigned from the ground up for the latest iPhone, Pixel, and Galaxy phones. Mount it onto the phone via a case and get closer with 2x optical zoom.
Mobile

Android will finally get a faster sharing menu, but it might take a while

The Android sharing menu has gotten a whole lot better over the years, but it's also gotten slower. Thankfully, however, it seems as though Google is working on a better, faster sharing menu but, unfortunately, it may take a while.
Mobile

Samsung Galaxy S10 could nix the notch in favor of a "punch hole" cutout

While we still may be months away from an announcement, there's no doubt about it: Samsung is working hard on its successor to the Galaxy S9. Here's everything we know about the upcoming Samsung Galaxy S10.
Wearables

Check out 25 of the best Wear OS apps for your smartwatch

Looking for some ways to spruce up that new Android smartwatch of yours? Here are the best Wear OS apps to download and use with any Android smartwatch, including a few specially enhanced for Wear OS 2.0.
Mobile

The best iPhone XR cases to keep your phone shiny and new

Apple's new iPhone range is the toast of 2018, with beautiful style and more power than you can shake a stick at. But beauty can often be fragile -- keep the damage to a minimum with the best iPhone XR cases.
Computing

A dead pixel doesn't mean a dead display. Here's how to repair it

Dead pixel got you down? We don't blame you. Check out our guide on how to fix a dead pixel and save yourself that costly screen replacement, or an unwanted trip to your local repair shop.
Mobile

The 100 best Android apps turn your phone into a jack-of-all-trades

Choosing which apps to download is tricky, especially given how enormous and cluttered the Google Play Store has become. We rounded up 100 of the best Android apps and divided them neatly, with each suited for a different occasion.
Cars

Lime’s first carsharing service motors into Seattle this week

Lime may be better known for its app-based bike and scooter rental services, but in Seattle, Washington this week it's launching its very first carsharing service, similar to Car2go and Zipcar.
Photography

Golf ball-sized Lume Cube Air is a pocketable LED for photos and video

Off-camera lighting for smartphones and GoPros just got even smaller. Meet the Lume Cube Air, a smaller portable LED light designed for photos and videos that weighs only about two ounces.