Apple’s new Mac ads show that even Grimes uses dongles

Apple has launched a new advertising campaign for the Mac called “behind the Mac”. In this campaign, the company is sharing user stories of people using Mac for work, creative projects and accessibility reasons. The Mac is a versatile platform. People use it for boring tasks, such as checking emails and browsing the web. But you can also use it for countless of other things. Apple wants to show you what you can do with a Mac beyond Word and Excel. Apple has shared 4 videos today. The first is…

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Purdue’s PHADE technology lets cameras ‘talk’ to you

It’s become almost second nature to accept that cameras everywhere — from streets, to museums and shops — are watching you, but now they may be able to communicate with you, as well. New technology from Purdue University computer science researchers has made this dystopian prospect a reality in a new paper published today. But, they argue, it’s safer than you might think. The system is called PHADE, which allows for something called “private human addressing,” where camera systems and individual cell phones can communicate without transmitting any personal data,…

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Samsung announces a push for renewable energy

Samsung has announced that it will use 100 percent renewable energy for all its factories and offices in the U.S., Europe and China. This is the first time Samsung has announced a public commitment for renewable energy. Greenpeace and environmental activists have been calling out Samsung for months as many tech companies have already started switching to renewable energy. Samsung is starting by the parts of its organization that it can control more easily — its own buildings, factories and offices. According to Greenpeace’s press release, 17 of its 38…

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Juul tightens up social media to focus on former smokers switching to e-cigs

Juul Labs, the company behind the ever-popular Juul e-cig, has today announced a new policy around social media. This comes in the midst of Juul’s effort to get FDA approval, which has been made more arduous by the fact that the FDA has cracked down on Juul after learning how popular the device is with underage users. As part of the new policy, Juul will no longer feature models in pictures posted on Instagram, Twitter, or Facebook. FWIW, Juul doesn’t even have a Snapchat. Instead of using models to market…

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AssistENT offers an anti-snoring device you stick in your nose

If you sleep next to someone who snores you know that the endless horking and honking isn’t very fun… and it makes the snorer’s life even worse. Some students and doctors in Baltimore, Maryland, however, have created something that acts like an internal breathing strip to help you breathe better and snore less. Called assistENT, the company uses small, reusable rings that fit into the nostril and open the septum. You insert and remove them yourself with a little pair of forceps and they can survive sneezing and, one would…

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Back Market raises $48 million for its refurbished device marketplace

If you’ve tried selling your old smartphone on a refurbishment website, chances are you ended up with a dozen browser tabs comparing prices. French startup Back Market is taking advantage of this fragmented industry to create a marketplace and aggregate all refurbishers on a single online platform. The startup just raised $48 million (€41 million). Groupe Arnault, Eurazeo, Aglaé Ventures and Daphni participated in today’s funding round. Back in May, the company told me that it was working with over 270 factories. Back Market has generated over $110 million in…

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Ring’s $199 security system will finally ship next month

Way back in October of last year, Ring announced “Ring Protect” — a modular, no contract, DIY home security system. After a few delays, a bit of legal drama and Ring being acquired for a billion dollars by Amazon, the alarm is finally about to ship — albeit with a slightly different (better!) name. Ring Protect has been redubbed as the more intuitive Ring Alarm — a better name if only because competitor Nest has both a security product and a totally different product (a smoke detector) called Nest Protect.…

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Build your own L3-37 droid complete with voice interaction

Robot maker Patrick Stefanski has created a 3D-printed – and animated – model of L3-37, the droid in the recent Solo movie. L3-37 is one of the funnest – and woks – droids in recent memory and this recreation is fun and ingenious. Stefanski used Alexa voice controls to let the robot head respond to voice commands and he set the wake word to “Hey L3” to which the robot responds with a grumpy “What!” The version you see above is painted and weathered but you can 3D print your…

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LifeDoor crowdfunds the production version of its fire-thwarting door-closer

At CES in January I was pleasantly surprised by the LifeDoor, a smart home gadget that’s actually worth having. These little boxes automatically close doors when smoke detectors go off, inhibiting the spread of fire and smoke. The company is heading to KickStarter to fund the production version of the device, which has several improvements over the prototype I saw. The simplicity and practicality of the device made it a standout at a show flooded with useless junk; the small team essentially made a gadget that automatically does what firefighters…

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