Electric car charging interoperability is the next big thing in mobility


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Electric car charging interoperability is the next big thing in mobility

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Last week, we reported that Electrify America and ChargePoint had just inked a roaming agreement allowing their customers to use each other’s electric car charging networks. On Tuesday, another major network, EVgo, announced it has also signed agreements, this time with ChargePoint and EV Connect. In a press release, EVgo says that the agreements will mean EVgo customers will have access to 400 new fast charging stations in addition to the 750 DC fast chargers the company currently operates in the US.

“EVgo’s two new bilateral interoperability agreements will make charging for EVgo customers even more convenient through our strengthened commitment to open standards, collaboration, and innovation,” said Cathy Zoi, EVgo’s CEO.

As Zoi’s statement points out, this deal—like the Electrify America/ChargePoint one before it—is a bilateral agreement between individual networks. That’s great if you’re an EVgo customer who wants to use a ChargePoint charger

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How to update iPhone and iPad to iOS 13 developer beta 2


This post is by Michael Potuck from 9to5Mac


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After requiring an installation via iTunes for the first iOS 13 and iPadOS 13 beta, Apple has released the second developer beta as an OTA yesterday. However, you won’t automatically see it appear under software updates in Settings. Follow along for how to update to the second iOS 13 and iPadOS 13 developer betas.

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Google’s ninth attempt at a messaging service will be based on RCS


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Google's "Messages" app.

Enlarge / Google’s “Messages” app.

It’s time for the annual reshuffling of Google’s messaging strategy! The latest news comes to us via The Verge, which has a big feature detailing Google Messaging Strategy 2019: taking RCS back from the carriers. Google now wants to run an RCS service (an upgrade to the aging SMS system) itself, with the service first launching in France and the UK later this month. RCS will be something like Google’s ninth instant messaging platform, after Google Talk, Google Voice, Google Buzz, Google+ Messenger, Hangouts, Spaces, Allo, and Hangouts Chat.

Last year’s Google messaging reshuffling saw the company kill Google Allo (AKA Google Messaging Platform 2016) and focus on Google Messages (the company’s SMS client) in an effort to promote RCS. RCS, or Rich Communication Services, is a planned upgrade of the carrier-owned SMS service, and it has been around as a GSMA (the worldwide mobile network trade

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Google Calendar is down for some users across the globe [u]


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Google is enduring an outage for Calendar, the search company’s widely-used scheduling tool, with users unable to access the web-based organizational aid for multiple hours on Tuesday, an issue that is likely to disrupt work for many businesses around the world.

Apple Stores Showing Signs of Change Under Deirdre O’Brien’s Leadership


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Michael Steeber reports for 9to5Mac on some interesting developments he’s observed in certain Apple Stores recently:

Apple is evolving its in-store shopping experience with signage and display fixtures that remove ambiguity and encourage increased hands-on interaction with products. New designs that have been spotted in multiple locations reflect the changing requirements of busy stores and appear to address common customer needs.

He mentions things like signs indicating checkout zones, a new table guide spelling out differences between iPhone XR, XS, and XS Max, and more customer-friendly Watch displays.

The new retail design language Apple began rolling out in 2015 brought visual simplicity by deemphasizing signage, logos, and extraneous store fixtures. While more aesthetically pleasing, some customers have found contemporary stores challenging to navigate. These new fixtures and signs show that Apple is willing to fine-tune the balance between appearance and function.

Normally these changes might go overlooked, particularly since they’re Continue reading “Apple Stores Showing Signs of Change Under Deirdre O’Brien’s Leadership”

iPad mini 5 deals, SanDisk storage sale, and elago’s AirPods case are in Tuesday’s best offers


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Headlining Tuesday’s 9to5Toys Lunch Break is the return of iPad mini 5 deals, plus a notable SanDisk 1-day storage sale, and elago’s latest AirPods case. Hit the jump for more of today’s best offers.

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Ars on your lunch break: the fate we might be making for ourselves


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Suck it, Skynet.

Enlarge / Suck it, Skynet.

Today we’re presenting the second installment of my conversation with Naval Ravikant about existential risks. Naval is one of tech’s most successful angel investors, and the founder of multiple startups—including seed-stage investment platform AngelList. Part one of our conversation ran yesterday. If you missed it, click right here. Otherwise, you can press play on the embedded audio player or pull up the transcript—both of which are below.

This interview first appeared in March, as two back-to-back episodes of the After On Podcast (which offers a 50-episode archive of unhurried conversations with world-class thinkers, founders, and scientists). As I mentioned in yesterday’s article, my conversation with Naval led to a last-minute invite to give a related talk at April’s TED conference. TED posted that talk to their site this morning, and if you

Continue reading “Ars on your lunch break: the fate we might be making for ourselves”

In the not-so-distant future, “synbio” could lead to global catastrophe—maybe


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Artist's impression of a post-superbug world.

Enlarge / Artist’s impression of a post-superbug world. (credit: John Cayea / Doubleday)

We’re running a series of companion posts this week to accompany our special edition Ars Lunch Break podcast. This is the first of three guest posts centered around Rob’s TED talk below. Tomorrow we’ll have a post continuing the discussion from geneticist George Church, and Thusday we’ll have one from microbiologist Andrew Hessel.

The H5N1 flu strain makes SARS and swine flu look almost cuddly. But though it kills higher percentages of infected patients than even Ebola, this ghastly flu variant claimed just five human lives over the past three years. Happily, it’s barely contagious amongst humans.

In 2011, two separate research teams—one in Holland, the other in Wisconsin—set out to repair this “defect” in H5N1. By carefully manipulating the bug’s genome, they soon had something just as lethal as the classic edition, but also wildly contagious.

Continue reading “In the not-so-distant future, “synbio” could lead to global catastrophe—maybe”

Facebook launches cryptocurrency with Visa, MasterCard, Uber, and others


This post is by Timothy B. Lee from Ars Technica


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Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg in 2017.

Enlarge / Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg in 2017. (credit: Mark Zuckerberg)

Facebook is leading a broad coalition of companies and organizations launching a new cryptocurrency, the company announced on Tuesday. The cryptocurrency, called Libra, will be backed by a basket of conventional currencies and other stable assets, preventing the wild price swings that have plagued bitcoin and most other cryptocurrencies.

The new cryptocurrency will serve as the foundation for a new payment feature for Facebook Messenger and the Facebook-owned Whatsapp. Facebook says it is creating a new subsidiary called Calibra to oversee its payment initiatives. This is partly to reassure people who are concerned about Facebook’s privacy record.

“Aside from limited cases, Calibra will not share account information or financial data with Facebook or any third party without customer consent,” Facebook says. “This means Calibra customers’ account information and financial data will not be used to improve ad targeting

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Nintendo Announces Dr. Mario World Coming to iOS July 10


This post is by Ryan Christoffel from MacStories


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Today Nintendo announced its latest mobile venture coming to iPhone and iPad: Dr. Mario World, which is available to pre-order now and will launch July 10th.

Dr. Mario World is a match 3-style game in the vein of Candy Crush, whereby you try to match your limited quantity of colored capsules with the various virus creatures on-screen to clear the game board. Fitting the Mario theme, the board in each stage will feature not just viruses, but also fan favorite power-ups such as a red shell or bomb that can knock out more viruses at once when activated. Based on early details, the game appears to stray very little from the classic match 3 formula, complete with hearts that determine whether you can start a stage, and diamonds that enable things like extending your turns. Match 3 games are a guilty pleasure for me, and I love Nintendo, so Continue reading “Nintendo Announces Dr. Mario World Coming to iOS July 10”

watchOS 6 should support direct-to-Apple Watch software updates


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Further signalling that the Apple Watch may become independent from iPhones later this year, current watchOS 6 betas appear to support direct OS updates — with one catch.

Connect all the things with this 9-port USB 3.0 hub for just $25


This post is by Alexandria Haslam from Macworld


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No matter how many ports your laptop has, it never hurts to have more—especially if you’re using a connection-sparse MacBook. A USB hub can help with that, and today you can get one with a whopping nine ports on the cheap with an Amazon discount on a second-gen nine-port TP-Link USB 3.0 hub. The sale brings it down to $25 from a list price of $50.

This hub comes with seven USB 3.0 ports for data transfer and two smart charging ports to charge up your devices. A built-in on/off button allows you to easily control the hub, while a plug-and-play setup makes it easy to get going. In addition, the USB 3.0 ports support transfer speeds up to 5Gbps.

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Apple Watch Gets Over-the-Air Software Update Mechanism, But iPhone Still Required For Now


This post is by Joe Rossignol from MacRumors: Mac News and Rumors - Front Page


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Apple appears to be in the process of decoupling the iPhone from the watchOS update process on the Apple Watch.



In the first beta of watchOS 6, the Apple Watch gained its own over-the-air software update mechanism under Settings > General > Software Update. As on the iPhone, the mechanism checks for any available watchOS update and, if prompted, downloads the update directly to the Apple Watch.

The mechanism became functional on Monday when Apple seeded the second beta of watchOS 6 to developers.

As noted by Jeremy Horwitz, however, users still must review and accept the watchOS terms and conditions using an iPhone. Hopefully this is a temporary step that Apple removes before watchOS 6 is publicly released in September.

App Store continues to vastly outpace Google Play in consumer spending


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Publishers behind the biggest apps in the App Store are earning considerably more from Apple’s virtual storefront than from Google Play, Sensor Tower estimates suggest, with iOS apps bringing in 64% more revenue than Android counterparts.

Here are 40+ changes in iOS 13 beta 2


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As expected, the second beta of iOS 13 and iPadOS contains a number of new features and changes. Here are over 40 that we’ve pinpointed so far.

CalDigit’s Connect 10G joins Thunderbolt 3 Macs to 10-gigabit Ethernet networks


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CalDigit on Tuesday launched the Connect 10G, an adapter bridging Thunderbolt 3 Mac and Windows PCs with 10-gigabit Ethernet networks.

Satechi now sells a HomeKit plug that turns one dumb outlet into two smart outlets [30% off]


This post is by Zac Hall from 9to5Mac


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Smart outlets that work with Apple HomeKit are super common these days, so how does a new entry stand out in the market? Satechi may have the answer with its brand new Dual Smart Outlet, a two-in-one design HomeKit smart outlet that doesn’t block other outlets.

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Satechi releases HomeKit-capable Dual Smart Outlet


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Satechi is entering the smart home market with the new HomeKit-equipped Dual Smart Outlet, which is available to order starting today.

Tips for Travelers 2019: Staying Connected on the Road


This post is by Steve Sande from Other World Computing Blog


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Beautiful Lake Louise, Alberta, Canada. Photo ©2019, Steven Sande

Beautiful Lake Louise, Alberta, Canada. Photo ©2019, Steven Sande

If there’s one part of traveling that remains a “pain point”, it’s staying connected to those at home or back at the office without either running up a horrendous mobile data bill or exposing personal data to dubious Wi-Fi access points. In today’s installment of our Tips for Travelers 2019 series, I’ll talk about how to stay connected at the least possible cost as well as how to keep yourself safe while using the mobile Internet. This article is one of a series we’re running this summer to make your travel with technology as smooth as possible. Posts so far include:

The Current Situation

We’re almost into the 2020s, so you’d think that ubiquitous, fast and cheap Internet service would be available everywhere you go. Sadly, that’s not the case. On

Swapping a SIM card on an iPhone
Disney Wonder docked in Ketchikan, Alaska. Photo ©2019, Steven Sande
SpaceX Starlink Satellites. Image via SpaceX

Continue reading “Tips for Travelers 2019: Staying Connected on the Road”

Eagle Creek’s iPhone-savvy NFC bags stick with you


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The chip inside Caldera luggage

The chip inside Caldera luggage

Eagle Creek has introduced its new Caldera Collection of luggage with built-in NFC chips that track where you travel, track the luggage and lets you play travel-related games.

Bags you can’t lose

The smart thing about smart luggage is that if you do happen to lose it a quick swipe with a smartphone is all it will take to identify who the bag belongs to – and potentially return it.

Maybe.

It’s a tough world – which is why smart luggage is becoming so popular.

Eagle Creek’s bags carry a VerifiR NFC chip inside, which works with an iOS or Android device using apps. The apps can also integrate with a user’s social media account to make them easier to find.

The NFC chip also gives the bag maker access to details about users – and I’m not entirely clear to what extent this

A Caldera bag
Luggage Tracker Device with App, Bluetooth Trackers Tag for Suitcase Baggage - Anti-Lost Smart Wireless Locator Tags Item Finder with Alarm

Continue reading “Eagle Creek’s iPhone-savvy NFC bags stick with you”