The EU is considering major fines for Google over alleged Android antitrust violations

See the original posting on The Verge

European antitrust regulators are set to order Google’s parent company Alphabet to stop incentivizing Android phone makers to pre-install Google Search on their phones, according to Reuters and are are also considering imposing a substantial fines on the company.

Last year, European Union regulators lodged a formal antitrust complaint against Google for how the company prominently installed search and other proprietary apps on Android phones. Reuters cited a document that was sent to the company earlier this year, which listed off the specific concerns that regulators had, and which also states that regulators intend “to set the fine at a level which will be sufficient to ensure deterrence.”

This appears to be separate from massive…

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How would sex work in space?

See the original posting on The Verge

Elon Musk doesn’t want to simply send humans to Mars. The SpaceX CEO has bigger ambitions. He wants us to be an “interplanetary species,” which means creating a self-sustaining civilization on Mars, which means living and dying on Mars — which at some point might mean sex and pregnancy on Mars.

So how would that work?

Given that Musk hasn’t figured out how to keep people alive on the trip to the Red Planet, it’s unlikely he has details on how people will make more people once they’re there. We don’t have any data on how human bodies will work on Mars specifically, but we have enough information to know that sex in space could be a real hassle.

No one has had sex in space yet (as far as we know), though there are astronauts married to…

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You can try Android 7.1’s launcher features right now through Action Launcher

See the original posting on The Verge

Android 7.1 is expected to come with some new Launcher features, including Launcher Shortcuts and a sliding All Apps drawer as soon as next week. If you don’t want to wait until then, or you don’t have a device that will get a quick update to the latest version of Android, you can check them out now through a third-party app called Action Launcher. Chris Lacy, the developer of Action Launcher, was inspired by Android Police’s breakdown of the Launcher update and integrated the features the website previewed into his own app.

In addition to a new Google search and date widget, Action Launcher 3 has “Launcher Shortcuts”, which function similarly to the 3D touch shortcuts in iOS. It also has the circular icon design Google is rumored to…

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19 science fiction and fantasy books to pick up this October

See the original posting on The Verge

It’s October, which means that it’s time to take a look at the next crop of books that are slated to hit your favorite local bookstore in the days ahead.

Here’s 19 books to pick up this month:

October 4th

Rise of Io, Wesley Chu

Wesley Chu is returning to the world where he started his career: Tao. Rise of Io is the start of a new trilogy that will follow Ella Patel, a thief, con-artist, and smuggler. She comes across an assault late at night and is soon inhabited by Io, an alien trying to complete a mission on Earth. She’s to help him out, and the fate of the world depends on her success.

Feedback, Mira Grant

Mira Grant’s Newsflesh series was a fast-paced horror thriller that took place decades after a zombie outbreak that was caused…

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New trailers: Fantastic Beasts, Ava DuVernay’s new documentary, and more

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Hi everyone, I’m back to writing about trailers again after taking a couple days off last week. I haven’t been watching all that many things lately — I’m trying to watch Atlanta, but my (parents’) cable account won’t authenticate… — but over the weekend I caught up on Gone Girl, which I’d missed despite how insanely buzzy it was two years ago.

And, um, I have a lot of thoughts that probably cannot be contained in the brief paragraph or so I allot myself here. Searching around, I see there’s been plenty of backandforth on the “cool girl” monologue, which talks at length about how men demand that women act like impossibly “cool” and completely fictional people, at the midpoint of the movie. And rightfully so, it’s probably the most…

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How to start a racing series with Teslas — an interview with the CEO of Electric GT World Series

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The Electric GT World Series is an all-Tesla racing series that was announced back in March. But the announcement was accompanied by very little detail: the series was being started by a new company called Electric GT Holdings, it was supposedly going to run its races on famous circuits like the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya and the Nürburgring, and the entire field would be made up of Tesla Model S sedans. That was it.

The series’ creators have remained mostly mum since then. Pirelli was announced as a title sponsor in August, and the first two drivers — Vittoria Piria and Stefan Wilson — were unveiled earlier this month. This week, though, the series finally revealed one of its race-ready P85+ Teslas at an event in Spain, offering the…

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SurveyMonkey CEO Zander Lurie: IPO, yes; 2017, not likely

See the original posting on TechCrunch

screen-shot-2016-09-30-at-8-44-03-pm On Thursday night, at a StrictlyVC event at SurveyMonkey in Palo Alto, we sat down with CEO Zander Lurie to learn more about the direction of the 17-year-old company, known for the roughly 90 million surveys that the outfit and its customers create for the constituents each month (and whose average order volume is $300, says Lurie). We were particularly interested in Lurie, a former… Read More

Moto Z Play review: the best battery life

See the original posting on The Verge

The Moto Z Play from Lenovo has the best battery life of any smartphone I’ve ever used. It’s so good and so superior to the competition that this — the third member of the Moto Z family — just became my top recommendation if battery life is your most important criteria in choosing a smartphone. Smartphone makers have claimed again and again that their devices can last for “up to two days” on a single charge. It’s almost always braggadocio and overpromising. Inevitably you find yourself reaching for a charger by 6PM or, in the case of phablets, at the end of the night. But not this time.

Lenovo found an approach that allowed the company to make a phone you can charge up overnight, unplug the next morning, and use for two days straight….

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I want to hear NASA’s Golden Record so badly I’ll even give money to a Kickstarter

See the original posting on The Verge

Call it Human Civilization 101 — a record that contains sounds, music, and images from Earth to teach extraterrestrials everything they needed to know about us. That’s NASA’s Golden Record, a precious album that was printed onto gold-plated copper disks and launched into space aboard the Voyager 1 and 2 spacecraft in 1977.

The two original records are still attached to the probes, which are traveling through space billions of miles from our planet. Only a dozen copies were made by NASA back then, but not even Carl Sagan, the Cornell astrophysicist who led the creation of the record, was able to get one. (NASA refused, saying that no record had been given to an individual who could resell it for big profit. President Jimmy Carter was the…

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Argentina’s startup scene is primed, but not yet firing on all cylinders

See the original posting on TechCrunch

2705599276_758282c49e_b Over the last decade, Argentina’s public profile has been far from flattering. With a steady feed of headlines that have included, “Inflation”, “Corruption”, and “Political Instability”, the country has been shut off from most international tech investment since the “dot com” bubble. Since then, Argentina has had to overcome severe… Read More

Start listening to audiobooks with 60 days of free Audible

See the original posting on Boing Boing

Amazon’s Audible is hands-down the most popular place to find audiobooks. With its library of over 180,000 books, Audible has the biggest audiobook selection in the world, and a membership gets you a free book each month. You can sync Audible across multiple devices, so you’ll never lose your spot whether you’re on your computer or your phone.

This limited time offer lets you try Audible for a fully 60 days, free of charge. You’ll get two free audiobooks of your choice—to keep for life, whether you continue with your subscription or not. You’ll also get discounts on unlimited audiobooks.

After the 60 day trial, you’ll pay $14.95 per month, and you can cancel your subscription anytime. Don’t miss this amazing opportunity to try out a great new way to read books.

[Mark here: I highly recommend The Wayward Pines trilogy. I’m listening to the series on Audible now!]

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