tHiS aPp lEtS yOu tYpE liKe tHiS

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[The following Slack log has been lighted edited for content]

Chaim Gartenberg: god i have no idea where to put this but https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/id1448272668?mt=8

[Ed. note: The app in question lets iOS users easily type in nearly any text field using the alternating case format, made popular by the “Mocking SpongeBob” meme that made its way around the internet a few months ago.]

Micah Singleton: Promoting this app should be a crime

Russell Brandom: pRoMoTiNg tHiS aPp sHoUlD bE a cRiMe

Chaim: pRoMoTiNg tHiS ApP ShOuLd bE A CrImE

Micah: I fucking knew it

Micah: ughhh this is awful but probably a good hit

Chaim: it installs as an actual iPhone keyboard too!

Chaim: #5 in Social Networking

Chaim: popular app

Micah: This app will let…

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Amazon has made its own autonomous six-wheeled delivery robot

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Amazon is entering the robot delivery game with an electric hamper on wheels it’s calling the Amazon Scout. The e-commerce giant is the latest company to try its hand at this sort of automated, last-mile delivery solution, following a crop of startups, as well as experiments by larger firms like Domino’s Pizza and PepsiCo.

Details about the Scout are thin on the ground, but the design looks similar to existing robots. In fact, the Scout looks almost identical to devices from Starship Technologies, an Estonian startup that was an early entrant to the field.

The Scout has six wheels, is powered by an electric battery, and moves at a walking pace. Just six devices are currently being trialed in a single neighborhood in Snohomish County,…

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Star Trek: Discovery’s mansplaining takedown returns to the series’ roots

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Warning: spoilers ahead for season 1 of Star Trek: Discovery, and for the season 2 premiere episode, “Brother.”

When Star Trek: Discovery returned for its second season last week, it came with an insurance plan and a risk.

First, the premiere episode, “Brother,” welcomed Christopher Pike (Anson Mount), the captain who helmed the original series’ USS Enterprise in its rejected initial 1965 pilot, before Trek creator Gene Roddenberry was asked to create a new pilot with the now-iconic James T. Kirk in the chair. Whatever grumblings Trekkies may have had about the bald fan-service decision to bring Pike and his first officer, the also-iconic Vulcan Spock, into the picture at the end of season 1, it was an inevitability. As the first new T…

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Upgrade your home theater setup with these deals for the 2019 Super Bowl

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Black Friday is the annual opportunity to pick up nearly everything on your wishlist at a deep discount. But if you’re looking for a TV and home audio equipment upgrade, the best deals of the year can be had just before the Super Bowl every February.

The biggest retailers are slashing prices on TVs from brands like LG, TCL, Samsung, and more, and you’ll also be able to save on audio equipment from Vizio, Sonos, Samsung, and others. At least speaking to the TVs that are seeing the steepest discounts, note that newer and better models might be on the horizon. The Super Bowl rush presents a convenient way for retailers to offload stock to make room for the 2019 models, so if a deal seems too good to be true, there’s no need to be alarmed —…

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The Meizu Zero takes phone trends to the natural conclusion of no ports or buttons

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Phones have been shedding ports and buttons for a while now. Headphone jacks are going extinct on most devices, and home and back buttons have been replaced on nearly every iOS and Android phone with software UIs. The new Meizu Zero is the first to take that trend to its natural endpoint: it has no ports, buttons, or holes that mar the exterior of the device.

According to Meizu, the Zero has “no buttons, no speakers holes, no SIM card slot, [and] no charging port.” Most of the exterior of the device is a seamless slab of ceramic (an effect that’s only slightly ruined by a protruding camera bump on the back and what appear to be microphone holes on the bottom).

The Zero is proudly advertised as “the world’s first holeless…

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Farming Simulator is getting its own e-sports league with more than $280,000 in prizes

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When you think of competitive gaming and e-sports, your mind probably drifts toward massively popular online games like Fortnite or Overwatch. But there are plenty of less-heralded games making their way in the space, including games about farming. Today, developer Giants Software announced a new Farming Simulator League, which is exactly what it sounds like: a competitive tournament for the enduringly popular PC series Farming Simulator.

It will consist of 10 tournaments across Europe, including big events like Gamescom and Paris Games Week, culminating in a grand final at FarmCon 2020. The developer is putting up €250,000 in prize money (around $280,000), and it has lured big-name sponsors like Logitech and Intel. The new league will…

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This $780 leather-covered wireless charger isn’t meant for you

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If your phone supports wireless charging, then you might want to buy a wireless charger. It won’t be any quicker, but it’s a nice way of making your bedside table look a little less cluttered with wires. We have a guide right here where we recommend a $30 model from RavPower. It’s great, you should buy it.

What you shouldn’t do is buy Native Union’s latest wireless charger, which it produced in partnership with the French fashion house Berluti. It’s a leather-covered version of the 10W Qi Drop Wireless Charger, but it costs $780 rather than the regular $60. It doesn’t even come with a power adaptor, you just get a (leather-covered) USB-C to USB-A cable.

I’m not here to shame anyone who wants a nice leather finish for their tech…

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Xiaomi’s folding phone is the best we’ve seen so far

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Xiaomi’s folding phone has been revealed in a teaser video from the company. Xiaomi co-founder and president Lin Bin has posted a nearly minute-long video to Weibo today, detailing the double folding phone. Both sides of the device can be folded backwards to transform it from a tablet form factor into more of a compact phone. Unlike other foldable phones we’ve seen recently, this certainly looks a more practical use for the technology.

Xiaomi doesn’t provide many details about its foldable phone, but Bin reveals the device in the video is simply an engineering model. Bin does note Xiaomi has conquered “a series of technical problems such as flexible folding screen technology, four-wheel drive folding shaft technology, flexible cover…

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AOC’s latest curved gaming monitors offer the important features at an appealing price

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The <a class="ql-link" href="https://agon.aocmonitorap.com/au/product_ag273qcg.php" target="_blank">AG273QCG</a>.

AOC launched two new 27-inch curved gaming monitors today as additions to its premium line. Curved monitors might still be an added expense that makes gaming more immersive for some and seems pointless for others, but AOC’s new offerings today expand the market a bit. More importantly, they deliver fast refresh rates, quick response times, and other gaming-centric features.

The AG273QCG is a gaming monitor with a 2560×1440 Quad HD screen boasting a refresh rate of 165Hz, 1ms response time, and support for Nvidia’s G-Sync. It costs $650 and is available from Amazon and Newegg. The other monitor, the AG273QCX, has a VA panel and shares the same screen resolution with a slightly lower max refresh rate of 144Hz. (The response time is still…

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Twitter is rolling out a new web interface, including an emoji button

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Twitter has started to roll out a new interface for its web users that includes several key features, like a newly designed emoji button.

The most important changes are tiny shortcuts to make tweeting easier. A large, dedicated button in the tweet box makes it easier to add an emoji, an updated trending section appears on the right-hand side of the page, and little aesthetic updates make it easier to see who’s involved in a conversation. These changes, alongside the way Twitter’s desktop version has condensed from three columns into two, should make it easier to both read and send tweets.

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‘Flexgate’ might be Apple’s next MacBook Pro problem

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Apple might be in for another MacBook Pro hardware controversy. A report from iFixit highlights an issue with the laptop’s backlights failing, causing the lighting at the bottom of the screen to appear spotted and uneven. An enterprising user has already dubbed the problem “flexgate

The issue seems to arise because of a cable that is used to connect the MacBook’s display to a control board in the base of the computer, iFixit explains. Starting with the 2016 MacBook Pro, Apple has used a pair of flexible ribbon cables that are pulled tight every time you open the lid on the computer. That may be damaging them over time.

As the cable breaks down, it can cause an odd “stage light” effect at the bottom of the display when…

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Netflix now lets you share what you’re binge-watching as an Instagram Story

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What if you want to update your Instagram Story but all you did this weekend was binge Netflix? You can now basically become an ad for your favorite show with a new integration that lets you post artwork from Netflix titles to your Instagram Story, as spotted by TechCrunch.

The Netflix app will now allow you to share a show or movie’s artwork to your Instagram Story after tapping the “share” button. When other Netflix users view your story, they’ll also see a “watch on Netflix” link that takes them directly to the app. The integration is first coming to iOS, while an Android version is still being worked on.

The new integration is a win both for Netflix, which essentially gets to freely advertise its shows to more viewers, and Instagram,…

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Acer announces two new educational 12-inch Chromebooks

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The Acer Chromebook 512

Acer announced two 12-inch Chromebook devices today at the annual Bett conference for educators: the Chromebook 512 and the Chromebook Spin 512. Both feature 1366 x 912 resolution on 3:2 aspect ratio screens — a ratio which, according to Acer, falls between that of books and mobile media.

Compared to the Chromebook 512 — which starts at $329.99 and is equipped with a dual-core Celeron N4000 chip — the Chromebook Spin 512, which starts at $449.99, features a more powerful quad-core Intel Pentium Silver N5000 or Celeron N4100 processor. The Spin 512 also has a 360-degree hinge, a 8MP back-facing webcam on the cover, and an HD webcam above the display, while the 512 has an optional 5MP webcam. The Spin 512 also supports a Wacom EMR stylus…

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This synth module overdrives your music using actual lightning

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Electronic music can occasionally sound a little too pristine and digital, and some of the best electronic musicians stand out for the way they dirty their productions up to give them an organic edge. To aid with that quest, Latvia’s Erica Synths is launching a new eurorack synth module called the Plasma Drive — whose job it is to add distortion to your music via the novel approach of turning it into lightning.

Devised by the mad scientists at another Latvian company, Gamechanger Audio, this approach works by boosting your audio signal up to 3,000V and transforming it into a series of high-voltage discharges in a xenon-filled tube. That makes for a stunning show of literal lightning in a bottle and, after applying some user-adjustable…

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Match Group and Betches’ new dating app lets you swipe for your friends

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Match Group and the media brand Betches are partnering to launch an iOS dating app that allows users to help their friends pick out potential dates. The app is called Ship, and it lets users swipe for their friends and chat about profiles, so even if your best friend is in a relationship, he or she can download the app and look around for you. (Your mom could, too.)

Ship could stand out by creating a different behavior than we’re used to on most dating apps. More importantly, it comes from the popular, female-oriented content machine Betches, which produces a website, Instagram account, and podcast, among other things. It has a massive following across various platforms.

The app, which launches today, allows a single user to create a…

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Apple’s new iOS 12.1.3 update fixes annoying Messages and CarPlay bugs

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Apple is today releasing iOS 12.1.3 for the iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch. The update doesn’t contain any new features, but it does fix a few frustrating bugs that you might have experienced lately.

For me, the most noticeable among them has been “an issue in Messages that could impact scrolling through photos in the Details view.” See, if you tap on a contact’s name in a Messages conversation and then choose “info,” you’ll be taken to the Details page. The bottom half of this screen shows you any photos or videos you’ve exchanged with that person, which is a convenient way of finding a certain image or just scrolling back though memories.

But in iOS 12.1.2, scrolling down beyond the first few images would result in a glitchy mess with…

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Microsoft’s latest Chromebook competitors are budget laptops and a stylus for schools

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Microsoft unveiled a big education push exactly a year ago today, and for 2019, the software maker is equally committed to challenging Chromebooks in a variety of ways. Like last year, Microsoft is introducing a range of Windows 10 devices for education, with one priced at $189. There are seven devices in total, including two new 2-in-1 devices from Acer and Lenovo that start at less than $300. Acer, Dell, and Lenovo are also offering more affordable 13- and 15-inch laptops in the $300 range.

One of the more interesting devices is Lenovo’s 300e 2-in-1. Priced at $289, it includes stylus support and even the ability to work with a No. 2 pencil. That means if the stylus goes missing in a busy classroom, anyone can just pick up a pencil and…

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Microsoft is helping visually impaired children learn to code with physical blocks

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Microsoft has been working on a physical programming language for children who are blind or visually impaired. Dubbed Code Jumper, it allows children to learn coding by connecting physical blocks together. Each block is around the size of a softball, and brightly colored. There are different sizes for different commands, and children can connect them together to build a program.

It’s designed to offer students a basic understanding of coding between the ages of seven and eleven, and Microsoft originally developed Code Jumper as Project Torino in its research labs a couple of years ago. It started as an improved version of block coding for the visually impaired, to address issues where traditional screen readers or magnifiers weren’t…

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Avoid dongle hell with this 5-in-1 charging cable

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As I will likely continue repeating until the heat death of the universe, life would be great if everything used USB-C. Sadly, everything doesn’t use USB-C, which is why I have to carry around a separate pouch of dongles and cables to make sure I can charge all of my gadgets. But the High Five — a crowdfunded mini-cable that claims to be the “world‘s first 5-in-1 charging cable” — might be able to help with that.

The High Five is being made from Vonmählen, a new smartphone accessory company. The cable is actually two cables in one: a USB-C jack with a hybrid Lightning / Micro USB jack, and a regular USB-A jack that has both USB-C and Micro USB inputs on the other.

Need a USB-C to Lightning or USB-C to Micro USB cable? Just use the first…

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