Microsoft offering free Surface Dock with Surface Laptop or Surface Book 2 today

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Microsoft is throwing in its Surface Dock (normally $199) for free with the purchase of either a Surface Laptop or Surface Book 2 at the Microsoft Store until 2:59AM ET, July 18th.

Designed to expand upon the built-in ports on either machine, the Surface Dock is hugely useful if you want to connect to a display (or two) with its mini DisplayPorts, get online via Ethernet, or plug in numerous USB accessories. It connects via the Surface Connector, powering the computer and drawing data from the port simultaneously. Of course, if you want HDMI or VGA connectivity, you’ll need to buy a dongle.

The Surface Dock is rather expensive for what it is, but getting one for free changes that proposition a bit. This is certainly an appealing offer if…

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Nathan Fillion stars as Nathan Drake in what might be film’s only good video game adaptation

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Nathan Drake has finally made it to the big(ish) screen, compliments of the Canadian director Allan Ungar and Nathan Fillion. UNCHARTED – Live Action Fan Film is an unauthorized short that stars Fillion as Drake, the roguish, intellectual treasure hunter in the mold of Indiana Jones who anchors Naughty Dog’s Uncharted video game franchise, in what looks like the beginning of one of his trademark epic adventures. (Plus: Stephen Lang plays Sully and Mircea Monroe stars as Elena.)

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Chrome and Firefox gain Windows 10 Timeline support with a new extension

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Microsoft’s new Timeline feature in Windows 10 is designed to let you pick up where you left off on multiple devices. While Timeline supports Microsoft Edge for web browsing history, Chrome and Firefox have not yet been updated to officially support the new feature. A third-party developer has now created a Chrome and Firefox extension to bring Windows Timeline support to both browsers.

The new extension is free and works exactly how you’d expect. Browsing history will be synced to the Windows 10 Timeline feature, so you can pick up old tabs across other PCs. Timeline in its current form is only really useful if you’re using multiple Windows 10 machines with the same account, so perhaps a desktop at home and a laptop on the go (or a work…

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The Verge guide to Amazon Prime Day 2018

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Amazon Prime Day 2018 is well underway, with deals from Amazon and other retailers attempting to bank in on the new shopping holiday. It may not be November yet, but if you’re looking for deals on headphones, TVs, and, of course, any slew of Amazon devices, now is a good time to bust out your wallet rather than wait for Black Friday sales later this year. Here’s a look at all the deals worth your time through this week and beyond.

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Skype is getting a call recording feature nearly 15 years after it launched

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Microsoft is finally adding call recording to Skype. Later this month, Skype will be updated to include built-in call recording. The new feature will be cloud-based, allowing you to access Skype call recordings across devices including Windows, Mac, iOS, Android, and even Linux. “Call recording is completely cloud-based, and as soon as you start recording, everyone in the call is notified that the call is being recorded,” explains Microsoft’s Skype team. “Call recordings combine everyone’s video as well as any screens shared during the call.”

The new call recording feature is the first time Skype has had built-in call recording since its original release nearly 15 years ago. Skype users have had to rely on a number of third-party apps to…

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Skype’s desktop app is getting a new mobile-like design today

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Microsoft is once again redesigning its Skype app for Windows today. While the software giant released a universal app for Windows 10 users previously, the Skype classic desktop app is getting updated today with a new design that’s similar to the mobile version of Skype. Microsoft has been testing the new design over the past year, and it’s now planning to force all Skype classic desktop users to upgrade to the 8.0 version by September 1st.

The new classic desktop app for Skype includes many of the features from the Windows 10 or mobile versions. Microsoft has tweaked group chats to make it easier to share photos or screen sharing during calls. The new @ mentions, message reactions, notification panel features are also included, and…

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Emporio Armani’s latest generation of Android smartwatches are available for preorder

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Emporio Armani makes Android-based smartwatches, which are all priced around the Apple Watch’s range. While Armani smartwatches lack a touchscreen and a variety of apps, they function like luxury Fitbits, connecting back to a health and exercise Armani app on iOS and Android.

Now, Armani is coming out with a new generation of Connected watches with touchscreens, the company announced today, as spotted by Android Police. Each of the watches will have a 1.19-inch AMOLED display and will be powered by the dated Snapdragon 2100 chip that’s been around since 2016. Even though they look somewhat analog with stainless steel bands, they have several smart features like Google Assistant and Google Pay capabilities, heart rate tracking, water…

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This adorable robot wants to make air travel less stressful

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Finding your way through an airport can be an infuriating task. With cancellations, delays, and gate switches, you could find yourself running in circles forever before you board. KLM Royal Dutch Airlines wants to help make that jaunt from security to your gate a little less hectic with a little blue robot.

The robot, Care-E, will meet you at the security checkpoint and take you wherever you need to go with your carry-on luggage on its back. To start your trip with the robot, it will prompt you to scan your boarding pass through nonverbal sounds and cues on its screen. KLM will launch the device at New York’s JFK and San Francisco’s International airports before the company decides if it will provide the service elsewhere.

Care-E moves…

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Roku wants to make your smart TV sound better with its new Wireless Speakers

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Roku has long been known for its set-top boxes and Roku TVs, but now, the entertainment company is introducing the Roku TV Wireless Speakers. They’re the Roku’s first pair of wireless speakers that will harness the Roku Connect platform that was announced at CES to link up with your Roku-powered smart TV over Wi-Fi.

The goal of the Roku TV Wireless Speakers isn’t necessarily to compete with ultra high-end home theater setups but with the built-in speakers on your smart TV that tend to be the default option for most users. If you’re the kind of person who obsesses over your sound system, the Roku TV Wireless Speakers probably aren’t for you. They’re more for the sort of person who wishes their movies and music sounded better without…

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The GameCube controller’s A button subtly taught us how to play

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In today’s digital age, it can sometimes feel like hardware has taken a back seat to the software that drives devices. Button of the Month is a new column that will look at some of these buttons and switches on devices both old and new to appreciate how we interact with our devices on a physical, tactile level.

There has never been a controller quite like the one for Nintendo’s GameCube. An asymmetrical, colorful mash of shapes and buttons, the GameCube controller threw caution (and years of conventional logic on how to build a video game controller) to the wind, resulting in a bizarre looking creation that somehow all came together to work.

But the key to it working, at least for me, is the giant, oversized A button that dominated the…

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The Amazon Fire TV and Echo Look are 50 percent cheaper for Prime Day

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Amazon’s annual Prime Day is here a little earlier than promised. The tech giant kicked off several Echo and Kindle sales this morning, hours before the supposed start time of 12PM PT (3PM ET). As always, the sale is exclusive to those who have an Amazon Prime membership.

Prime Day is a chance to grab products as varied as DNA kits and Instant Pots at significant discounts, but the more well-known draw of Prime Day is discounted Alexa-powered devices and Kindle e-readers.

Certain items like the Fire TV, the Fire TV Stick, and the Echo Look haven’t been 50 percent off before. For those who are looking to buy several Alexa-powered devices and pair them throughout your home for more coverage, there are also several bundles and deals for…

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Motorola is launching an Android Oreo Go version of its E5 Play phone

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Motorola only announced its new Moto E5 Play and E5 Plus in April, but this week the company unveiled a new version of that E5 Play that’ll run Android Oreo Go edition. It’ll include fewer pre-installed apps, as well as apps that are optimized to run on devices with less storage. It’s only available in the UK starting on July 14th and starts at £69 for pre-pay or £89 for SIM-only. (That’s between $91 and $117.) This is similar pricing to the E5 Play in the US currently.

The E5 Play is still one of the first Go devices. The first Go phone, the Alcatel 1X, launched in February. Nokia and ZTE also developed Go phones. All these phones are designed to create a more pleasant budget phone experience. The E5 includes some more premium features,…

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The company that designs Ferraris is making a $2 million electric hypercar

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It’s not a rational or responsible desire to dream of expensive looking sports cars. But still, the 20th century image of a curvaceous four-wheeled form continues to foster a culture of envy. The high price tag attached to these cars that made them a symbol of aspiration, greed, and everything in between, has endured, as the performance numbers and prices on supercar reach astronomical seven-figure levels. What has been lacking in the rare European supercar category are cars powered by electric powertrains. But the days of the rude gasoline-inhaling performance car may be dwindling.

Pininfarina is the newest Italiano brand to attach itself to the fast-growing list of luxury EV makers, but among the cult of Ferrari enthusiasts,…

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Watch the first teaser for Doctor Who’s next season

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During today’s World Cup march, the BBC released its first teaser for its upcoming 11th season of its science fiction show Doctor Who, which will feature actress Jodie Whittaker as the Thirteenth Doctor.

The trailer shows off only a brief glimpse of Whittaker’s Doctor, who appears right at the end of the teaser. She is the first woman to play the role of Doctor, taking over for Peter Capaldi, who portrayed the Twelfth Doctor from 2014 to 2017. Fans of the show got their first glimpse of her during last year’s Christmas special, and her casting represents a new era for the show as Chris Chibnall (creator of the acclaimed crime drama Broadchurch) took over for Steven Moffat, the show’s long-time showrunner. The season is expected to…

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Nintendo Labo contest winners include a Zelda piano and a solar-powered accordion

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Last month, Nintendo announced a contest that tasked fans with creating musical instruments and games out of its Labo kit. Today, the Japanese developer revealed the winners of the contest, and, naturally, Nintendo fans went all out.

Released in April 2018, the Nintendo Labo is aimed at children to teach concepts such as programming and engineering. Players take kits to build things such as cardboard robots and toy fishing rods, though the Labo can also be used for experiments and new creations.

Take the Labo piano decked out with Zelda decorations up top, for example. Not only do the decorations include a Master Sword, but there are also tiny Koroks hiding in the landscape as well. Its creator, Chris Brazzell, says that various pieces…

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Ninebot built a kit that converts Segways into go-karts

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Now that hoverboards are quickly becoming toys of the past, it seems like Segway-Ninebot is busy reinventing the wheel on rideables. After Segway introduced e-skates last month, Ninebot (Segway’s parent company) is reportedly preparing to show off a new kit that attaches to its scooters to convert them into drivable go-karts.

According to a report by Abacus News, Ninebot teased the promotional photos on Weibo this week. The kit appears to add seating, brakes, front bumper, steering wheel, and rear wheels to a Segway miniPRO. The seat can apparently be adjusted to fit the driver’s height, with photos showing both an adult and a child driving the retrofitted Segway. The company hasn’t offered any further information on price and…

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The key to creating gorgeous, glitchy YouTube images: anticipation and deletion

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When I was younger, I had a soccer coach who stressed the importance of anticipation. “An-tiiii-ciiiiiii-PAY-shun,” he’d yell at us, while we were diving around for the ball. If we did it right, he promised, we’d be able to do in soccer what Neo does in The Matrix — not, like, stop bullets, but be in the right place at the right time to stop an attack on our goal. I wasn’t too great at it, at least not at first.

But the lesson stuck. I can hear coach’s voice even now, when I navigate the crush of travelers during New York City’s all-too-frequent rush hours. This is all to say that prediction is key; it’s the difference between getting the ball in the back of the net and whiffing entirely, the gap between getting a seat on a crowded…

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Zombieland 2 is officially happening

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Ruben Fleischer’s 2009 zombie film Zombieland is officially getting a sequel, with the director and original cast set to return, according to The Hollywood Reporter. The movie is expected to begin production in January, and hit theaters in October 2019.

Zombieland 2 will reunite Emma Stone, Woody Harrelson, Jesse Eisenberg, and Abigail Breslin, and will reportedly take the group “from the White House to the American heartland as they face off against new kinds of zombies that have evolved since the first movie, as well as some new human survivors.”

The 2009 film was Fleischer’s first, following Columbus (played by Jesse Eisenberg) — the survivors have taken on the names of cities to avoid becoming attached to one another — as he…

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Darren Aronofsky’s Pi day: this week in tech, 20 years ago

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There is surprisingly little news about technology and the 1998 World Cup.

The 2018 World Cup wraps up this weekend, and we’ve had lots to say about it — from how streaming video has made watching the games more convenient (unless it completely screws up) to how World Cup memes have made it all the way into Amazon’s Alexa. But in 1998… well, apparently it was the first year that officials used electronic displays during games. There were also a number of World Cup video games, including a ridiculous-looking Japanese arcade game and the first FIFA World Cup game from EA Sports — but these came out during the pre-Cup hype period, not the event itself.

Fortunately, the World Cup wasn’t the only thing people were writing about this week in…

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