Weekly Rewind: Best products of 2017, Google vs. Amazon, Facebook’s top issues

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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 tech stories, from the best products of 2017 to the latest in the Amazon vs. YouTube battle — it’s all here.

Digital Trends Best Products of 2017

best products of 2017 Digital Trends feature

In 2017, the future was looking up. Literally. From Elon Musk’s feverish Mars talk to Cassini’s kamikaze dive into Saturn, to the sun-swallowing eclipse that enraptured half the United States, humans spent 2017 looking skyward for inspiration. But life back on Earth yielded plenty of impressive marvels of the technological variety, if you were paying attention.

Read: Digital Trends Best Products of 2017

IBM’s new A.I. predicts chemical reactions, could revolutionize drug development

worlds first 3d printed drug hits market today the world s  fda approved
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From building the Deep Blue computer that beat Garry Kasparov at chess to the Watson artificial intelligence (A.I.) that won Jeopardy, IBM has been responsible for some high-profile public demonstrations of A.I. in action. Its latest showcase is less high concept, but potentially far more transformative — applying machine learning technology to the subject of organic chemistry.

As described in a new research paper, the A.I. chemist is able to predict chemical reactions in a way that could be incredibly important for fields like drug discovery. To do this, it uses a highly detailed data set of knowledge on 395,496 different reactions taken from thousands of research papers published over the years.

Read: IBM’s new A.I. predicts chemical reactions, could revolutionize drug development

Google is yanking YouTube from Amazon Fire TV and Echo Show

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If you wanted to watch the trailer for Natalie Portman’s upcoming sci-fi movie Annihilation, you would probably go to YouTube. You might even ask Alexa to pull it up on your Amazon Echo Show. But not so fast — Google and Amazon aren’t playing together, as playing YouTube videos on the Echo Show apparently violates Google’s terms of service.

Despite a recent workaround that allowed Echo Show users to continue accessing YouTube by going to the web browser, it looks like Google is now pulling its video service for good. And more importantly, the platform is also disappearing from Amazon’s Fire TV.

Read: Google is yanking YouTube from Amazon Fire TV and Echo Show

 Women’s issues and natural disasters top Facebook’s list of top posts from 2017

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Facebook may be social media, but in 2017, the network was also a place for support. On Tuesday, December 5, Facebook released its annual year in review report, where women’s issues, tragedies, and natural disasters were among the most popular topics on the social network over the last year. Unlike previous years that generated a top 10 list of topics, Facebook divided the 2017 report into three categories for posts, Crisis Response, and events.

The moments over the last year that generated the most Facebook discussion was topped off by International Women’s Day. For Facebook users, this day generated the most discussion in 2017.

Read: Women’s issues and natural disasters top Facebook’s list of top posts from 2017

Here is everything we know so far about ‘Westworld’ season 2

Westworld season 2
John P. Johnson/HBO

The shock and awe of Westworld has only just begun. With season 1 of the hit sci-fi series behind us and season 2 on the way, there is so much more that’s sure to play out beyond the show’s Western-themed adventure park. We’re ready to head back now, but the upcoming 10 episodes won’t start airing until spring 2018, with an official premiere date still pending.

The second season will continue the often-twisted, always-intriguing story inspired by novelist Michael Crichton’s 1973 film of the same name. Season 2 will return viewers to the complex fantasy sci-fi world that features artificially intelligent robots who, as it turns out, don’t always do their job of letting the human guests fulfill their fantasies.

Read: Here is everything we know so far about ‘Westworld’ season 2

6 stunning rides we couldn’t take our eyes off at the LA Auto Show

BMW i8 Roadster
Andrew Hard/Digital Trends

As a whole, the 2017 LA Auto Show felt risk-averse. The show floor was largely populated with mild refreshes, crossovers, and SUVs, none of which raised our pulse above the level of a brisk walk. What’s more, most of the eye-catching stuff had already been revealed at previous events, but just seeing the Mercedes-AMG Project One in metal made it a trip worth taking.

Despite the show’s tepid atmosphere, there were more than a few highlights to take away. Here are our favorites.

Read: 6 stunning rides we couldn’t take our eyes off at the LA Auto Show

Comcast claims new gateway can reach wireless speeds of 1.5 gigabits per second

comcast xfi advanced gateway one gigabit per second wireless

Comcast’s new xFi Advanced Gateway is now available to all Xfinity broadband markets, the company announced on Wednesday. According to a blog written by Comcast’s Fraser Stirling, this new all-in-one device reportedly supports wireless speeds of more than 1.5 gigabits per second in the Comcast labs. It also includes an 8×8 antenna setup, meaning your connected device must have eight incoming and eight outgoing antennas to support the reported 1.5Gbps speeds.

In reality, promoted wireless speeds which are theoretical in nature, never translate into real-world speeds. Many factors come into play, including the channel width, local radio interference, neighboring networks, and more. Stirling says the new gateway sports an additional 160MHz channel width, which means there’s more air space for sending data back and forth from devices. Modern routers and gateways typically include 20MHz, 40MHz, and 80MHz channel widths.

Read: Comcast claims new gateway can reach wireless speeds of 1.5 gigabits per second

 10 things you could buy with $200,000 instead of the new Lamborghini Urus

things you could buy instead of lamborghini urus

After months of anticipation, luxury sports car manufacturer Lamborghini finally unveiled its Urus SUV. Packed with the company’s first production turbocharged engine — a twin-turbo 4.0-liter V8 that puts down 650 horsepower and 627 pound-feet of torque — the Lamborghini Urus is nothing short of an automotive monster. Unsurprisingly, all of this engineering comes at a cost — $200,000, to be exact.

This ungodly sum of cash got us to thinking, instead of buying this big car how could one just as easily, irrationally, and conspicuously blow this much cash? Here are the most investment-savvy ways to burn nearly a quarter of a million clams. Period.

Read: 10 things you could buy with $200,000 instead of the new Lamborghini Urus

Want to reduce your electric bill? Here’s how to go solar-powered in your home

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As recently as the 2000s, solar-powered homes were a rare thing to see. But with tax incentives motivating homeowners and increasing fears about climate change, more people have gone solar, and solar panels have become a common sight on the tops of homes around the country. Installing solar panels is a great way to live a little greener, as they can decrease the carbon footprint of your household by about 35,000 pounds of carbon dioxide a year.

In addition to going green, there are also many other benefits of solar panels, such as reducing your energy bill and earning tax credits. But the prospect can be a little daunting, what with all the technical jargon, the installation process, and the different panel types to choose from. But once you break the whole thing down into steps, it will feel a lot more manageable. Here’s a guide on how to go solar-powered in your home.

Read: Want to reduce your electric bill? Here’s how to go solar-powered in your home

Emerging Tech

Awesome Tech You Can’t Buy Yet: camera with A.I. director, robot arm assistant

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!
Gaming

Get your pilot skills up to snuff for this week's 'Fortnite' challenge guide

The Fortnite season 7, week 7 challenges are now available. The major challenge this week requires you to visit all the Fortnite expedition outposts in the game and we walk you through how to get to each.
Mobile

We tried all the latest and greatest smartphones to find the best of 2019

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.
Movies & TV

Best new shows and movies to stream: ‘Annihilation,’ ‘True Detective’ and more

Need something to watch this weekend? Check out our list of the best new shows and movies to stream right now. On the list this week: Annihilation, the start of a new season of True Detective, and more.
Home Theater

Dolby’s secret recording studio app may soon exit stealth mode

In secret testing since June, Dolby's stealth recording and social network app may soon be ready to make an appearance. Dolby 234 blends unique noise-canceling tech with Instagram-like audio filters.
Business

Google is buying mysterious smartwatch tech from The Fossil Group for $40 million

Google is about to step up its smartwatch game. The company has agreed to buy an unnamed smartwatch technology from The Fossil Group for a hefty $40 million. Considering the acquisition, it's clear Google is serious about smartwatches.
Mobile

5G phones make a lot of promises. Here’s what to really expect

There has been a lot of marketing copy expounding the potential benefits of 5G networks, but a lot less on the practical implications of 5G smartphones. There's a reason for that.
Mobile

Here’s how to take a screenshot on an iPad, step by step

The ability to capture screenshots may not be the iPad's most glamorous feature, but it's one of its most useful. Here's a step-by-step guide on how to take a screenshot on an iPad, whether it's an iPad Pro from 2018 or an older iPad model.
Home Theater

Here are some common AirPods problems, and how to fix them

Apple’s AirPods are among the best fully wireless earbuds we’ve seen, but they’re not perfect. If you’re having trouble, take a look at our guide to the most common problems and what you can do to fix them.
Social Media

Here’s how to save someone’s Instagram Story to your phone

Curious about how to save someone's Instagram Story to your phone? Lucky for you, it can be done -- but it does take a few extra steps. Here's what you need to know to save Instagram Stories on both iOS and Android.
Wearables

Lack of regulation means wearables aren’t held accountable for health claims

As fitness trackers become more like health monitors, some physicians are concerned they can lead to over-diagnosis of non-existent problems. It’s already happening with wearable baby monitors.
Mobile

Here’s how to download podcasts and listen to them on Android or iOS

Podcasts have become a cultural staple. Here's how to download podcasts and listen to them on your Android or iOS device, and which apps to use if you're looking to get the most out of the format.
Business

Apple banned from distributing some iPhone models in Germany

Apple is following the FTC's lead and has sued Qualcomm for a massive $1 billion in the U.S., $145 million in China, and also in the U.K., claiming the company charged onerous royalties for its patented tech.
Mobile

Windows 10 Mobile support ending: Switch to iOS or Android, Microsoft says

A Microsoft support page detailed the company's plans to end support for Windows 10 Mobile in less than a year. Users with devices powered by the platform are suggested to switch to iOS or Android devices.