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Latest by Lulu Chang


The Google Play store hosted malware meant to steal from North Korean defectors

McAfee researchers have discovered that hackers with links to the North Korean regime managed to make Google complicit in stealing information. As per a recently published blog post, the Google Play store has apparently been playing host to at least three apps designed to collect data from certain people.
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Apple removes apps with CallKit framework from the app store in China

Following the enforcement of new regulation from the Chinese Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, Apple is removing apps that use the CallKit framework. Just last year, Apple removed VPN apps from China.

Snapchat has undone its controversial redesign for a majority of iOS users

Snapchat is listening to users and making changes in response to complaints on the new design. Snapchat was previously testing moving friends' Stories into the Discover tab, but still separated from subscriptions and suggested Stories. Now, that test has become more permanent for a majority of iOS users.
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Samsung and Apple’s lawsuit may finally be drawing to a close

The gigantic Apple vs. Samsung legal lawsuit is still ongoing, and although Samsung has been found liable for damages, it's still refusing to back down. With potentially $1 billion on the line, Samsung is now arguing that it should only pay damages for components, not the phones themselves.
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Meet Google Duplex, AI that sounds human when it calls to book appointments

Calling a doctor's office, hair salon, or plumber for an appointment is often necessary when no online booking system is available. Google Assistant, using Google Duplex technology, may soon be able to do it for you and still sound like a human on the phone.
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Alexa will automatically boot up personal app preferences based on your voice

Back in October, Amazon Alexa announced that it could recognize individual voices and provide tailored responses. Developers can use this functionality too. And now, when customers in the U.S. address Alexa, the smart assistant will recognize their voices automatically. Really, she just keeps getting smarter.
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Oval 2.0 transforms your house into a smart home, one object at a time

The new Oval 2.0 is an all-in-one smart sensor that monitors light, temperature, and humidity, and send its users instant alerts if anything feels out of place. If you want to turn an object or an area smart, OVAL can help. It's currently seeking funding on Kickstarter, where early bird pricing is $99.
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Virginia, North Carolina could be tech hub as Amazon, Apple consider campuses

Apple and Amazon are both said to be considering new facilities in North Virginia to expand their operations. Amazon's second headquarters would house some 50,000 employees, while Apple's would house 20,000. However, Apple is also considering North Carolina, especially if tax incentives are right.
Sun Basket

Seeking a paleo, gluten-free, or diabetes-friendly meal kit? Sun Basket delivers

Like Blue Apron, Plated, and HelloFresh, Sun Basket is a meal-kit delivery service. The difference, the company says, is that its ingredients are organic, with “grass-fed, antibiotic-free pastured meats and sustainable seafood.” Sun Basket also caters to specific diets with diabetes-friendly and other meal plans.
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Abode Systems wants to make home security simpler and more affordable

Abode has announced a new configuration for its security starter kit meant to make it easier for anyone and everyone to protect themselves and their loved ones. Now, to make things simpler still, Abode has brought Alexa to its security offerings, enabling Unlock by Voice and Unlock by App functionality.
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Autopsy confirms exploding vape pen caused Florida man’s death

An autopsy has confirmed that a vape pen was to blame in the tragic death of a Florida man. This incident marks the first confirmed case in which an e-cigarette explosion resulted in a fatality. The 38-year-old was killed when his vape pen exploded, which sent projectiles into his head and started a fire.
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For $25K, you can have this Indominus rex head replica from ‘Jurassic World’

The Prop Shop comes from Fandango's existing Fanshop store, and it's already fully-stocked with some ... interesting paraphernalia. And perhaps the most eye-catching is the merchandise related to the Jurassic World franchise -- namely, a giant Indominus Rex replica for $25,000.
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The Arbor Video Doorbell gives a full-HD view of your front porch

Now seeking funding via an Indiegogo campaign, the Arbor video doorbell claims to have the best and fastest picture, most reliable Wi-Fi connection on the market, and perhaps most importantly, a quick installation time. Because when you’re saving yourself from doing extra work, time is of the essence.
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Apple expands autonomous car fleet as major Chinese player comes to town

Apple now has the second-largest fleet of self-driving cars on the streets of California. It's just added 10 more, so it's now licensed to test 55 of its high-tech vehicles in the state. The news comes as Chinese ridesharing giant Didi Chuxing received a license to start testing its own autonomous cars in California.
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Google addresses problem caused by Chrome’s new block of autoplay videos

Your days of being startled by a video that seems to begin playing out of nowhere on  your browser are soon coming to an end. Google Chrome has begun to automatically block autoplay videos based on your preferences, cutting down on noise. However, this feature may be working too well on games, and has been rolled back.
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The Brush Monster makes an augmented reality game out of oral hygiene

Launching soon on Kickstarter, the Brush Monster AR-enabled toothbrush comes from Samsung spinoff Kitten Planet, and promises to encourage and educate kids on healthy brushing habits. Better still, it gives parents the opportunity to analyze brushing data via the partner mobile app. 
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Facebook removed 583 million fake accounts in the first quarter of 2018

Facebook's vice president of product management, Guy Rosen, revealed that Facebook disabled around 583 million fake accounts in the first three months of 2018 alone. For context, that's about a quarter of the social network's entire user base. The company is also coming down hard on third-party apps.
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Apple Music hits 50 million users, doubles down on original content

Apple Music is growing, and growing fast. In a recent appearance on Bloomberg, Apple CEO Tim Cook revealed the service's latest subscriber numbers. In total, Apple Music now boasts 50 million users, a figure that includes both paid members and trials. In April, Apple said it had 40 million paid subscribers. 
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Amazon Fresh says goodbye to its local third-party vendors

Participating in Amazon Fresh just got a lot harder -- at least, from the vendor side. Amazon will stop allowing local third-party sellers to offer their goods on the platform. Previously, these vendors were given  the opportunity to take part of Amazon Fresh's Local Market Seller initiative.

Oracle persuades Australia to examine Google’s data-tracking practices

Google and Oracle have long been engaged in a variety of legal battles, and now, the latest round of their ongoing battle is playing out in Australia, where Oracle has successfully convinced competition and privacy regulators to look into how Google allegedly tracks its Android phone users.
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Look ma, no wires! Google and Levi’s smart jean jacket is finally here

Two years after first teasing us with its line of connected clothing, Google and Levi's have put us out of our misery with the Commuter.
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You can now unlock your Yale smart lock with your voice via Alexa

Your voice is quickly becoming the only key you need. The latest smart lock to unveil Amazon Alexa integration is Yale Locks & Hardware, who on Monday, May 14 announced support for the smart assistant and the ability to unlock the smart deadbolts with nothing more than a spoken command.

Alexa may one day be more than a smart assistant — she wants to be your doctor

A visit to the doctor may one day be a visit to your living room, where you can have a conversation with your Amazon Echo -- or more specifically, Amazon Alexa. According to an internal document seen by CNBC, Amazon is creating a team within its Alexa division called "health and wellness."
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LG gets smart and steamy to make your dishwashing experience easier

You don't have to like doing the dishes -- your LG dishwasher will do them for you. With the latest innovations from the home appliance maker, you won't have to worry about water spots or a shoddy wash job. Rather, LG is bringing its LG TrueSteam technology to its new line of LG QuadWash dishwashers.
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This popular food service just shut down in several cities. Are you affected?

Your options for food delivery tonight just got a little bit slimmer. Munchery, one of the many on-demand food delivery services offering quick and easy re-heatable meals to folks who would prefer to use a microwave rather than a stove, has ceased operations in Los Angeles, New York, and Seattle.
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iPhone explodes, catches fire in terrifying Las Vegas security footage

Samsung might not be the only smartphone maker with exploding handsets in its portfolio -- chief rival Apple may be feeling the heat as well. In a rather alarming surveillance video taken on May 11, an iPhone can be seen exploding and subsequently catching fire in a store in Las Vegas.
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Xiaomi’s F8 cordless vacuum cleaner is coming to the US

A subsidiary of Chinese technology giant Xiaomi, Roidmi recently debuted its new cordless vacuum cleaner, known simply as the F8. The cordless vacuum cleaner promises a similar performance to the Dyson V8 vacuum, but with a significantly lower price tag of $259. It's soon coming to Indiegogo in the U.S.
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Facebook suspends 200 apps following audit as Cambridge Analytica scandal grows

Facebook is sharing several changes to how third-party apps access data as the platform ups the estimate of users impacted by Cambridge Analytica. As a result of an app audit begun on March 21, Facebook has now banned 200 apps from its platform, and will continue to audit thousands more.
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This $200 toothbrush eliminates the need for flossing with a clever new feature

As much as you’d like to tell your dentist the truth, it’s difficult to meet the withering stare that accompanies your admission that in fact, you don’t always (read: ever) floss your teeth. Luckily, there’s now a solution for even the laziest of us oral hygienists. It’s called the Waterpik Sonic-Fusion.
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Startup Bird is looking to roll up the emerging escooter-sharing space

Bird is an e-scooter company based in Santa Monica. It's already done well, but now, in perhaps its boldest move yet, Bird says that it has signed agreements with Ninebot, the parent company of Segway, and Chinese giant Xiaomi, to have exclusive rights to their supply of ride-sharing scooters in the U.S.
Ring Wi-Fi Enabled Video Doorbell smart home devices

A Ring doorbell vulnerability lets people snoop even after a password change

Video doorbells may be cutting down on the amount of time you have to spend running to and from your front door, but they could also be cutting down on the amount of privacy you have in your home. A security flaw in Ring video doorbells means users don't have to re-log into the doorbell app after a password change.
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Boston Dynamics’ SpotMini robot is slated to go on sale in 2019

Boston Dynamics has unveiled another version of its dog-like SpotMini robot, which once again features a rather terrifying appendage. And now, we're a step closer to being able to see the action of this robot up close and personal.The SpotMini is slated to go on sale to the public in 2019.
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The Natede is an Alexa-connected plant holder that is a serious air purifier

Is it a plant? Is it a smart home hub? Is it Alexa in different clothing? The Natede, the latest product from air purifier maker Clairy may just be all of the above. Heralded as a "smart and natural air purifier," the Natede promises to help circulate cleaner air within your home while doubling as a sleek plant holder.
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The Fitrus Plus wants to give you a holistic view of your health using BIA

Meet the Fitrus Plus, a hand-held gadget that leverages Bioelectrical Impedance Analysis (BIA) in order to provide its user with a number of body metrics. It's currently seeking funding on Kickstarter, where it has already surpassed its fundraising goal and is looking to deliver units in September of this year.