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Weekly Rewind: Huawei's Mate 9, offline viewing for Netflix, personalized wine

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In the tech world, a lot happens in a week. So much news goes on that it’s almost impossible for mere mortals with real lives to keep track of everything. That’s why we’ve compiled a quick and dirty list of the top 10 tech stories from this week. Everything from what we know about Huawei’s Mate 9 to a first drive of the 2017 Audi S3, it’s all here.

Huawei’s Mate 9 is what high-end smartphone dreams are made of


It’s that time of year again. Huawei is known for its wide range of phones that run from the very big and powerful to the elegant and small. Now, Huawei is taking on the phablet market with the Mate 9. It is the follow-up to last year’s Mate 8, which packed a super-fast fingerprint sensor, gorgeous all-metal build, and great battery life. It’s a tough act to follow, needless to say, but the Mate 9 and Mate 9 Pro make impressive strides in those areas and others.

Read the full story here.

This tiny device can produce clean drinking water for 200 people a day


According to, more than 884 million people around the world currently lack access to safe drinking water, with over 840,000 of them dying of waterborne diseases each year. Worse yet, it is estimated that by 2025, 1.8 billion of us will live in places where water sources are scarce. In other words, clean drinking water is a serious concern both now and for the future, which is why the latest product from Mountain Safety Research — better known as MSR — is so intriguing.

Read the full story here.

Offline viewing could be coming to Netflix soon, but not for everyone


Streaming has certainly made a boatload of content viewable in our homes, but if you frequently find yourself on the road or in areas with less-than-perfect internet service (e.g., airplanes), it can’t always be counted on. While some companies like Amazon offer temporary downloads for offline viewing, Netflix has not made the jump — so far. According to a recent interview with Netflix’s chief content officer, Ted Sarandos, that could be set to change.

Read the full story here.

2017 Audi S3 first drive


American automotive enthusiasts (whose company I keep) go to the well pretty often with our new vehicle complaints. If we aren’t bemoaning the absence of a manual transmission option, we’re crying aloud for a wagon or hatchback variant. Meanwhile, Europe and its proliferation of models with both specifications, mocks us from afar. Then, finally, a gift from heaven: one brand yields, ignoring years of admonishing sales data, to give us what we demand. Through tears of joy, we praise our hero manufacturer and jibe its holdout competitors.

Read the full story here.

Want to capture 360 video wherever you go? Wear these sunglasses


A new start-up is rethinking hands-free video — with a pair of sunglasses. While the industry is dotted with camera glasses with mixed reception from Google Glass to Blincam, the Orbi Prime takes more design hints from action cameras than previous options as the first pair of glasses capable of recording in 360. The Orbi Prime, now on Indiegogo, is more GoPro than Google Glass in terms of usability — the camera glasses uses two physical buttons and an app for controlling the camera without the awkwardness of the blink-to-shoot controls.

Dell preps its own Surface Studio-inspired creativity workstation


Microsoft’s Surface initiative has been fairly successful in pointing out to its Windows partners just how to make a great mobile PC. The breadth and depth of the Windows 10 2-in-1 market is a testament to Microsoft’s strategy, and the company has broadened its efforts to desktops with the new Surface Studio. While normally these kinds of efforts take some time to starting showing an impact, it appears that Surface has already inspired Dell, to devise its own innovative and creativity-focused desktop solution, as The Verge reports.

Read the full story here.

Uber’s redesigned app is more about the journey than the destination


Uber, the internet startup worth tens of billions of dollars, has its fingers in countless pies. It’s developing a fleet of self-driving cars in Pittsburgh, a few of which have already hit public roads and driven Uber users. But Uber is a ridesharing service first and foremost and it holds in special reverence the Uber app. Case in point: On Wednesday, it announced a drastic redesign of its app that promises to remake the “Uber experience” from top to bottom.

Read the full story here.

Can’t find your perfect wine? Blend it yourself with the Vinfusion system


Your palette is unlike anyone else’s, so your wine ought to be just as unique. Along those lines, product design and development firm Cambridge Consultants has found a way to personalize and customize your vino like never before by way of a new product known as the Vinfusion system. Branded as a “wine-blending experience, where the consumer can adjust the composition on demand,” the Vinfusion system purports to have the capacity to “deliver hundreds of different flavors.”

Read the full story here.

Amazon wants police officers to have a tiny ‘assistant drone’ on their shoulder


As Amazon presses on with its plan to one day send package-carrying drones on delivery runs to customers, a recently awarded patent has revealed it also has an idea to utilize its UAV technology in other ways. Described as an “unmanned aerial vehicle assistant,” the miniature quadcopter dreamed up by Amazon engineers would sit on the shoulders of law enforcers until called into action. You read that right, we’re talking shoulder drones for cops.

Read the full story here.

Smart oven wants to do for cookies what Nespresso did for coffee


You know those world-changing breakthroughs that make you glad that technology exists? Well, CHiP — also known as SideChef’s new “smart cookie oven,” currently raising funds on Kickstarter — may just be one. For our tastebuds’ sake, at least! Promising to let us create fresh-baked cookies with no mess, it’s a smart tabletop kitchen device that will “intelligently bake” everyone’s favorite chocolate chip-filled snacks — courtesy of a Wi-Fi connection to your mobile device, and a range of smart sensors.

Read the full story here.

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