Weekly Rewind: Driverless Ubers, longer tweets coming, Bud will drive you home

uber may open facility in detroit self driving feat
Self-Driving Uber Uber
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 rumors about the iPhone 8 (yes, already) to the latest in exploding Samsung devices, it’s all here.

Galaxy Note 7 recall: Samsung owners, here’s what you need to know

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For the past few weeks, the internet has been awash with reports that some users’ Samsung Galaxy Note 7 phones have been exploding due to a battery malfunction. Samsung started an initial recall, but now the Consumer Product Safety Commission has issued an official recall. Galaxy Note 7 owners should follow procedure and return their devices immediately as per the CSPC’s instructions. You can read all about the debacle and weigh your options here in our handy guide.

Read the full story here.

Early adopters! Here’s how you can catch a ride in Uber’s first self-driving car

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Ridesharing giant Uber has reached a major milestone by deploying a handful of self-driving cars on the streets of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Based on a regular-production Ford Fusion Energi, the self-driving prototype was designed and built by the Advanced Technologies Center (ATC) that Uber founded about a year and a half ago in the Steel City. The sedan is equipped with an array of sensors, lasers, cameras, and radar on the roof.

Read the full story here.

Test out new features before the public in Google’s Chromecast Preview Program

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Have a penchant for bleeding-edge software of indeterminable stability? Well, if you happen to have a Chromecast lying around, Google’s new program has your name written all over it. It is called the Chromecast Preview Program which is an ongoing, opt-in feature that lets you test new software ahead of public release. Not only does it afford you the opportunity to “test drive [new] features,” but it provides enrollees the chance to “give early feedback” and “stay up to date” with the latest software.

Read the full story here.

How big is the universe? Attempting to answer one of astronomy’s most complex questions

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The universe is a big place, and it’s hard to fathom the immense size given our finite ideas of distance here on Earth. Because of this, determining an answer for exactly “how big” is difficult. Attempting to figure out the universe’s immense size does involve a few key factors, however. One is understanding a few key facts about how space behaves while also realizing that what we see is just the “observable universe.” We may not actually truly know the true size of the actual universe because, quite frankly, we just can’t see it.

Read the full story here.

Twitter likely to start allowing longer tweets from September 19

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If Twitter’s 140-character limit sometimes has you swearing under your breath as you endeavor to express that grand idea or provocative opinion in just a couple of lines, we have some good news for you. The microblogging service is reportedly about to make a major alteration to the way it counts those characters, giving you the chance to add an extra word or three when formulating your profound thoughts for your army, or perhaps handful, of followers.

Read the full story here.

Cars

Uber is about to restart self-driving car tests but on a reduced scale

Uber is reported to be on the verge of restarting its autonomous-car test program. The company halted it in March 2018 following a fatal accident involving one of its vehicles, but its cars could be back on the road within weeks.
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.
Web

Google’s updated Santa Tracker entertains and teaches coding throughout December

Google's Santa Tracker is in its fifteenth year and is back again with even more features. You can have fun with more than 20 games, learn about different holiday traditions around the world, and enjoy some festive animations.
Wearables

The $200 TicWatch C2 smartwatch is now being sold in the U.S. and U.K.

Digital well-being and disconnecting from your phone is one of 2018's big trends. Mobvoi wants you to think about its TicWatch C2 smartwatch as a great way to help you use your phone less.
Mobile

The Palm has been revived, and is now available in the U.S. and U.K.

A reboot of the classic Palm is finally here and it's tiny. It syncs to your phone and acts as a secondary device -- with a feature to help you disconnect from technology. The Palm will be available exclusively through Verizon for $350.
Mobile

Yes, we really are getting a special McLaren edition of the OnePlus 6T

OnePlus has announced a partnership with McLaren F1, emphasizing a shared interest in speed. The phone company is known for producing special edition devices. Here's what we know about the OnePlus 6T Mclaren Edition.
Mobile

Car-branded phones need to make a U-turn if they ever want to impress

Your car and your smartphone are becoming one, yet smartphones branded or co-created by car companies are a problem. We look at the history, some examples of the best and worst, then share hopes for the future.
Deals

Simplify your life with one of these wireless smartphone charger deals

Banish nightly cable fumbling with a wireless smartphone charger. If your smartphone is compatible with wireless charging, the simplicity of placing it on a pad is a beautiful thing. Wireless chargers are also excellent gifts for coworkers.
Mobile

Microsoft Outlook for iOS gets big redesign, with Dark Mode coming soon

Microsoft has deployed a huge redesign for its Outlook for iOS app, which includes new blue branding and some quality-of-life improvements. Dark Mode isn't included, but it's coming soon.
Computing

Our favorite Windows apps will help you get the most out of your new PC

Not sure what apps you should be downloading for your newfangled Windows device? Here are the best Windows apps, whether you need something to speed up your machine or access your Netflix queue. Check out our categories and favorite picks.
Mobile

5G’s arrival is transforming tech. Here’s everything you need to know to keep up

It has been years in the making, but 5G is finally becoming a reality. While 5G coverage is still extremely limited, expect to see it expand in 2019. Not sure what 5G even is? Here's everything you need to know.
Mobile

Vanquish lag for good with the best routers for gaming

Finding the best routers for gaming is no easy task. With so many out there, how do you know which to pick? We've looked at the many options available and put together a list of our lag-free favorites.
Mobile

Beddit Sleep Monitor 3.5 now available on the Apple Store

The Beddit Sleep Monitor 3.5 is now available on the Apple Store for $150. The sensor strip, which is only 2 millimeters thin, automatically tracks a wide array of sleep data when placed under the user's sheets.
Deals

Save up to $750 with the best smartphone deals for December 2018

Need a better phone but don't want to spend a fortune? It's never a bad time to score a new smartphone and save some cash. We rounded up the best smartphone deals available that can save you as much as $750.
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