Author Archives: Brittany A. Roston


ZTE Blade Spark: this $99 phone has a fingerprint sensor

ZTE Blade Spark: this $99 phone has a fingerprint sensor

ZTE has introduced the ZTE Blade Spark, a budget-tier smartphone that offers a fingerprint sensor for added security. The handset is set to launch at AT&T for $99.99 USD, putting it next to the Moto E4 in terms of price and fingerprint sensor inclusion. There are some other things to like about this handset, too, including a large display and Dolby Audio.

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Blame coal mining for Appalachia’s salty rivers

Blame coal mining for Appalachia’s salty rivers

Forget sipping fresh mountain spring water -- Appalachia has a salty river problem and coal mining is to blame. The salt leaches into the streams and rivers from crushed rock and coal that gets deposited in valleys from mountaintop-removal mining. The leeching then causes consistently higher levels of salt in the water, damaging the ecosystems that lie downstream.

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Samsung Galaxy Note Fan Edition teardown reveals new battery

Samsung Galaxy Note Fan Edition teardown reveals new battery

The ill-fated Galaxy Note 7 was reborn, after undergoing major surgery, as the Galaxy Note 'Fan Edition.' Though this phone isn't being sold in all regions, it is still making its way into many hands, and it begs the question: what, exactly, did Samsung change? We know the faulty batteries were swapped out with safe batteries, and now that the model is out in the wild, we've gotten our first detailed look at its innards.

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Google Play Music’s New Release Radio arrives for everyone

Google Play Music’s New Release Radio arrives for everyone

Last month, a new radio station on Google Play Music called 'New Release Radio' arrived for Samsung's latest flagship smartphones. It was a Samsung exclusive, apparently, but that exclusivity didn't last long. The feature was at first available to some non-S8 owners via a couple tweaks, and now it is officially available for all Google Play Music users. What does it have to offer? Everything you want to hear.

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Deadpool and Logan soundtracks are heading to vinyl (at Comic-Con)

Deadpool and Logan soundtracks are heading to vinyl (at Comic-Con)

Fox Home Entertainment plans to create special vinyl versions of five of its movies, all of them notable and including things like 'Deadpool' and 'Logan.' These vinyl releases will feature fancy cover art, but there's a big catch: you can only buy one if you go to Comic-Con, since they'll only be available to purchase through Fox's Fanfare booth.

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PSA: US Border Patrol can’t search your phone’s cloud data

PSA: US Border Patrol can’t search your phone’s cloud data

The issue of electronic device searches at the border is a hot one, and though US Border Patrol can (and at times will) search your phone, it isn't allowed to search your cloud data accessible through the handset. The Customs and Border Patrol recently acknowledged that it does not have the authority to search cloud-only data found on phones, and that it doesn't search this data as a result. This includes your social media data.

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Amazon Echo successor tipped to take on Apple HomePod

Amazon Echo successor tipped to take on Apple HomePod

Amazon has a successor to its Echo smart speaker in the pipeline and it'll be designed to take on Apple's HomePod, according to a new report. The new not-yet-officially-revealed version of the Amazon Echo will slim down compared to the first one, assuming the source is to be believed, and it'll also be shorter. Despite the shrunken size, the updated model will see many improvements, not the least of which is better microphone tech, more tweeters, and a new chassis material.

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DirecTV NOW teases features arriving in 2018: 4K HDR and (much) more

DirecTV NOW teases features arriving in 2018: 4K HDR and (much) more

AT&T is finally adding the DirecTV NOW features we all want and arguably need from a modern television service, and chief among them all is cloud DVR. Yes, the entire existence of DVR on a streaming platform is a bit odd, but it's the only way you're able to skip commercials (unlike on-demand), and it'll soon be available to DirecTV NOW subscribers via a beta. Joining the cloud DVR feature are 4K HDR video options and more.

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15 classic retro games you can play on Android right now

15 classic retro games you can play on Android right now

There's no shortage of great modern games, but sometimes you need something to stoke the fires of nostalgia. Unfortunately, many old games have not been recreated for smartphones, the reasons for which are vast and, at times, baffling. You can download an emulator and ROMs, of course, but quality is spotty. While some games aren't (legally) available on your phone, others are, and we've compiled them into this handy list.

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This DNA data storage study will make you reconsider the digital future

This DNA data storage study will make you reconsider the digital future

If you have data to archive, there are many current options available: HDDs, SSDs, CDs and DVDs to name a few. In the future, though, data storage may look considerably different, and instead involve the careful use of encoded DNA. Though the idea to use DNA for data storage isn't new, the technology is still in its infancy. A new study sheds light on what is currently possible, and details a couple of astounding breakthroughs, not the least of which is encoding a movie in DNA.

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LG invite teases V30 unveiling at IFA next month

LG invite teases V30 unveiling at IFA next month

LG is gearing up to announce a new phone next month at IFA in Berlin, and all signs point toward that phone being the anticipated V30 handset. The invite is vague, minimalist but clever enough, presenting the date and time -- August 31 at 0900, to be precise -- on the home screen of a phone...or, at least, the silhouette of a phone.

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Google Backup and Sync tool arrives for Windows and Mac

Google Backup and Sync tool arrives for Windows and Mac

Google's Backup and Sync, the desktop tool that was introduced last month but then delayed briefly, is now available for Mac and Windows. The tool replaces the current Google Photos desktop uploader as well as Drive for Mac and PC, according to Google; it is faster, easier to use, and more reliable, all important things for an equally important task.

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