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Weekly Rewind: New cars in Cuba, pot in a box, a watch powered by body heat

weekly rewind top tech stories 12 09 2016 wr feat
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 the arrival of Bluetooth 5 to how you can bring the movie theater to your home theater, it’s all here.

Faster, longer, and more capacious: Bluetooth 5 is here

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After being announced in June 2016, Bluetooth 5 is ready for release to developers and manufacturers, for use in future devices. It’s the latest version of the wireless technology that links a host of different products together, but the days of it being used solely for a speaker or smartwatch are gone. Bluetooth 5 focuses on range, bandwidth, and speed; making it more suitable for controlling and managing smart home devices and systems, and our growing smart cities.

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Read the full story here.

Apple is looking into USA manufacturing, and Trump wants to make it happen

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Restoring thousands of manufacturing jobs to the United States’ struggling Rust Belt communities was one of President-elect Donald Trump’s biggest campaign promises, and at least one major technology company is considering following through. According to The New York Times and Nikkei Asian Review, iPhone maker Apple has begun exploring the possibility of moving smartphone production to the United States.

Read the full story here.

You are your own charger — the Matrix PowerWatch powered solely by body heat

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If there’s one incontrovertible shortcoming all smartwatches share, it’s a finite battery life. Even the most robust fitness trackers and wearables run out of juice eventually, and few chores are more annoying than unstrapping your watch, getting it to fit a magnetic charger, and waiting for the darn thing to power up. But a new class of smartwatch, the Matrix PowerWatch, promises to remedy that problem once and for all. It’s the world’s first to harnesses natural body heat to maintain a charge.

Read the full story here.

This Infiniti Q60 is the first car brought from the U.S. to Cuba in 58 years

INFINITI brings first U.S. vehicle to Cuba in 58 years

For nearly 60 years, Cuba has been in an automotive time warp. The antagonism between the U.S. government and recently deceased dictator Fidel Castro means the majority of cars on Cuban roads are American throwbacks to the 1950s, left over from before trade embargoes and communism. So a brand new Infiniti Q60 on the streets of Havana is sure to turn a few heads.

Read the full story here.

Home Hub, Microsoft’s answer to Alexa and Google Home, could be PC-driven

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In 2014, Amazon’s Alexa kicked off the craze of putting stand-alone digital assistants in the home with its Echo device. Google Home followed suit in 2016, offering a similar device that responds to voice commands, but powered by Google Assistant and the company various other digital properties. Recent information suggests that while Microsoft does indeed have plans for a “Home Hub” product, it might be entirely PC-based, as Windows Central reports.

Crime wave: Crash-and-grab at California Apple Store latest in string of robberies

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A team of brazen robbers smashed a car through the main window at the Apple Store in Palo Alto, California, over the weekend, gaining entry and stealing many of the products on display. It’s the latest in a rash of crimes reported at Apple retail stores in the area. Police have already arrested four people involved, but say they haven’t found any connection with the other cases.

Read the full story here.

More original shows coming to Snapchat courtesy of expanded Turner partnership

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Snapchat parent company Snap is expanding its partnership with Turner Broadcasting Inc. to bring even more original programming to its app. Alongside a number of Snapchat-exclusive shows based on its existing brands, Turner is also increasing its sports coverage via the app’s Live Stories feature, and ramping up its advertising. As part of the deal, Turner is working with Snap to develop original shows from its series and brands

Read the full story here.

Samsung steps to Dyson with a $1,200 robovac it claims can outsuck anything

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Samsung’s Powerbot line of vacuums set a high standard for the world of robotic cleaners when it debuted in 2014. Now, after just two years on the market, it appears the giant electronics company is ready to raise the bar even further. The successor to Samsung’s first go-round with autonomous vacuums, dubbed the Powerbot Turbo, was officially unveiled this week and is now available — just in time to tackle all those holiday cleanup nightmares. It’s being touted as having “the world’s most powerful suction among robot vacuums.”

Read the full story here.

Medical marijuana made easy: Leaf is an all-in-one at-home grow box for pot

Marijuana is moving from illicit to accepted across much of America, with states from Florida to Alaska having legalized the drug for medical and recreational use. While there are still some pretty strict regulations on who can grow, possess, and ingest the buds, many personal growing operations are moving out of the closet and into the open. Case in point: a small refrigerator-sized box called Leaf, which is designed to help growers grow healthy plants — from kale to cannabis — with minimal effort.

Read the full story here.

Not a fan of crowds? Apple could offer iTunes rentals of movies still in theaters

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Most of us are familiar with the process of seeing a movie advertised, thinking “I’ll wait for the rental,” and waiting for what seems like forever until it’s available to watch at home. Apple is reportedly in talks with a number of Hollywood studios that are looking to change that by offering rentals for movies that are still in theaters, according to a report by Bloomberg.

Read the full story here.

Editors' Recommendations

Watch the Galaxy S23 Ultra and iPhone 14 Pro Max face off in brutal drop test
samsung galaxy s23 ultra iphone 14 pro max drop test watch phonebuff

Samsung’s latest flagship, the Galaxy S23 Ultra, is one of the year's best phones. It comes equipped with the powerful new, purpose-build Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 for Galaxy chip, a 200MP main camera, and Corning’s Gorilla Glass Victus 2 on the front and back of the device (which means heavy durability).

But there’s another question — how does Gorilla Glass Victus 2 hold up against Apple’s confidently-named 'Ceramic Shield' on the iPhone 14 Pro Max? YouTuber PhoneBuff did a drop test to find that very answer.

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New 260-watt battery charge tech goes from 0% to 25% in just 1 minute
how to make your phone last months or years longer close up of hand holding smart in car

The race to make the fastest-charging smartphone continues. In the wake of Realme’s announcement of a 240W wired charging system, Infinix has announced its 260W All-Round FastCharge system, which promises to charge a smartphone battery from zero to 25% in a single minute, and on to 100% in seven minutes and 30 seconds.

What’s more, it has a fancy new wireless charging system to go along with it, called the 110W Wireless All-Round FastCharge, and it’ll pump enough power into a phone battery to reach 100% in just 16 minutes. For reference, the OnePlus 11’s 100W wired fast charging takes the cell to 100% in about 25 minutes, and even Xiaomi’s 120W charger with the Xiaomi 13 Pro takes about 20 minutes to reach the maximum.

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A new Android 14 update is here — but you still shouldn’t download it
The Android 14 logo.

Google has released the second developer preview of Android 14, as the next major version of the operating system takes another step toward a full release. Like the first Android 14 developer preview, the clue as to who it’s for is in the name.

This early version is designed for developers to test new features and designs in their apps, and to explore how new tools in the software could help improve them. It’s not designed for everyday use by consumers -- that version will come later.

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