Author Archives: Nate Swanner


New True Detective season 2 trailer teases depths of depravity

New True Detective season 2 trailer teases depths of depravity

When we got our first glimpse at season two of True Detective, it offered a moody, tense glimpse into who we’d see struggling between right and wrong on-screen. For fans, it was also confirmation that the teasers laid out ahead of the teaser were at least mainly accurate. Now, we’re getting a second look at the second season, and can glean a bit more about the narrative. Still moody, still tense, and still edgy from the first scene, we now know there are also dead bodies.

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Long Beach cabs get makeover, now have an Uber-like app

Long Beach cabs get makeover, now have an Uber-like app

If you’ve got access to Uber and Lyft, there’s a good conversation to be had about why you’d choose those services over a traditional cab. It’s probably not about cleanliness; Uber and Lyft have standards, but it’s still somebody’s car. The city of Long Beach thinks you’re choosing those services because they’re cool, and convenient. They’re probably right, too. Uber and Lyft are winning out because hailing one is easier, and the city is trying to emulate that with fresh paint and a new app.

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Reddit’s anti-harassment policies protect users, ideas still fair game

Reddit’s anti-harassment policies protect users, ideas still fair game

Reddit, the so-called ‘front page of the Internet’, has a bit of a bad rap. Most of that reputation is earned; trolls would take to Reddit to harass or belittle others, and it became a dumping ground for all kinds of unsavory content. Largely unregulated since inception, Reddit has announced some anti-harassment policies — their first official stance on behavior that kept so many users away for so long. Now, attacking a person via Reddit will land you in hot water.

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Rhino Slider & Motion review; a must-have movement in photography

Rhino Slider & Motion review; a must-have movement in photography

I have a confession: I love House of Cards. Part of the reason for my obsession is the opening sequence (and probably Kevin Spacey’s oddly passable/terrible accent). The time-lapse, gently rolling through various points of Washington D.C., is just magical. I’ve always wanted to do something like that, but it seemed like an investment beyond the scope of what I was willing to spend (HoC uses a RED Camera!). Rhino isn’t asking much of me, though. Motion pairs a slider with a simple motor for fine-tuned live motion time-lapse, and — spoiler alert — it’s awesome.

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Apple denies HomeKit launch delay [Updated]

Apple denies HomeKit launch delay [Updated]

This might not be much of a surprise when you consider the back story, but a new report says Apple is delaying the release of their HomeKit framework. HomeKit is poised to take on the likes of Nest and SmartThings in providing a framework for devices to be built for, which connect to each other via a loose network of connectivity. According to Fortune, Apple is pushing HomeKit’s official launch into the Fall, which will leave us wanting at WWDC. Update: Apple has denied the report; check out the full statement after the cut.

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Sunrise ‘Meet’ is the smartest iOS keyboard around

Sunrise ‘Meet’ is the smartest iOS keyboard around

We’ve all been there — you’re trying to schedule a meeting, but the back-and-forth of finding a time can be maddening. To help make the process easier, Sunrise is introducing Meet, a keyboard that brings up your calendar and lets you choose open times for getting together with someone else. Not only do you get a quick glance at your Calendar, but you can select open time slots and offer them up as times you can meet with someone on the other end of your chat or email.

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Starbucks blames poor passwords for app hack

Starbucks blames poor passwords for app hack

I’ve ordered coffee via the Starbucks app — even paid for it without so much as showing the barista my phone. Some unlucky souls are buying more coffee than they bargained for, as the Starbucks app has been outed as vulnerable to hackers. Starbucks has confirmed some users of their mobile app had funds from a linked card taken without their knowledge, which were then sent to a mystery recipient in the form of a gift card. Starbucks has yet to issue a fix for the problem.

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Apple, A123 settle battery-powered talent poaching lawsuit

Apple, A123 settle battery-powered talent poaching lawsuit

Speculation surrounding Apple’s automotive initiative has quieted, but we’ve got new reason to think something is afoot. Today, Apple has agreed to settle a lawsuit with A123, an electric car battery maker who accused Apple of poaching talent. Specifically, Apple is said to have enticed engineers at A123 away to build some type of large scale battery lab. The suit, filed in February, has been routinely rebuffed by Apple. Terms of the deal were not disclosed, and both parties are said to be hammering out the details of a settlement.

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Ilumi Smart LED Bulbs review; Bluetooth brains

Ilumi Smart LED Bulbs review; Bluetooth brains

In the connected home space, lighting has become rather dull. Several lightbulbs change color, and can react to an app; it’s all fairly mundane at this point. Philips Hue is widely pointed to as the first domino in the rally, but it has limitations, like the need for a WiFi hub. Ilumi thinks it can change our minds about lighting, with their connected bulbs that also change colors and react to an app. In the face of big-name players, Ilumi may have got lighting right.

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Wunderlist intros public API, will weave through your apps soon

Wunderlist intros public API, will weave through your apps soon

Like most consumers, there are probably several apps that are central to your day-to-day existence. Again, like most, those apps likely operate independently of one another, existing in their own contained environment. Wunderlist, the popular to-do list app, is among the more popular choices for those who want to get things done via their smartphone or tablet (or smartwatch). After re-imagining their app as a platform, Wunderlist is taking the next big step in that process in releasing an API for all.

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Chase Bank now issuing microchip debit cards

Chase Bank now issuing microchip debit cards

Chase Bank is about to replace your debit card with something from the near future. Starting today, Chase customers can opt for a debit card with microchips, a technology domestic banks have been slow to adopt. Those card-enabled chips are expected to one day replace plastic with magnetic stripes, which are often the target of hackers who want your info. Cards with magnetic stripes are also easily copied. If you’re wondering how you’ll end up paying for things, it won’t change much just yet.

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Ring Doorbell hits retail, gains ‘Chime’ accessory

Ring Doorbell hits retail, gains ‘Chime’ accessory

Ring, your connected doorbell and two-way intercom, is going off the grid. You can still use all the features you know Ring offers, like smartphone notifications when someone wants to come inside and the two-way voice chat (and one-way video feature), but a new accompaniment lets you tune your smartphone out. No, not an Apple Watch app — an actual doorbell chime. Ring now has a connected doorbell chime, and you can hook up as many of them around your home as you like.

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