Gadgets 

After rebranding to Puls and raising new cash, CellSavers wants to help set up your smart gadgets

After rebranding to Puls and raising new cash, CellSavers wants to help set up your smart gadgets CellSavers, the on-demand smartphone and tablet repair service, is rebranding its business to Puls and expanding its suite of services to include most smart devices in a home. The San Francisco-based company also rounded up $25 million in new financing to help support its new marketing push and services. In all, the company has raised $43 million in financing; that cash will help the company in its efforts to expand beyond cell phone…

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Gadgets 

Update bricks smart locks preferred by Airbnb

Update bricks smart locks preferred by Airbnb A subset of smart locks made by Lockstate have been bricked after an update. The smart lock vendor is part of Airbnb’s Host Assist program, and integrates with the accommodation rental platform so, for instance, hosts can automatically generate and email one-time codes for their guests to use during check-in. TechCrunch was alerted to the problem by a Lockstate customer, Ruffin Prevost, who forwarded us the email he had received from the company informing him of the “fatal error” following a software update. Two…

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Gadgets 

DJI adds an offline mode to its drones for clients with ‘sensitive operations’

DJI adds an offline mode to its drones for clients with ‘sensitive operations’ DJI is working on a “local data mode” for its apps that prevents any data from being sent to or received from the internet. The feature will be welcomed by many, but it’s hard not to attribute the timing and urgency of the announcement to the recent ban of DJI gear by the U.S. Army over unspecified “cyber vulnerabilities.” “We are creating local data mode to address the needs of our enterprise customers, including public and private…

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Gadgets 

Mighty fills an iPod shuffle-sized hole for Spotify subscribers

Mighty fills an iPod shuffle-sized hole for Spotify subscribers Everything that’s old is new again. That’s how the tech game is played. Products evolve and leave vacuums for new startups to rush in and fill. For Mighty, the long, slow death of the MP3 player presented just such an opening. The company launched a Kickstarter last year with the promise of “streaming music without your phone,” delivering the still-tangible benefits of devoted music hardware for the Spotify generation. The startup built up enough excitement to hit $300k on the crowdfunding…

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Gadgets 

The Minifree Libreboot T400 is free as in freedom

The Minifree Libreboot T400 is free as in freedom The Libreboot T400 doesn’t look like much. It’s basically a refurbished Lenovo Thinkpad with the traditional Lenovo/IBM pointer nubbin and a small touchpad. It’s a plain black laptop, as familiar as any luggable assigned to a cubicle warrior on the road. But, under the hood, you have a machine that fights for freedom. The T400 runs Libreboot, a free and open BIOS and the Trisquel GNU/Linux OS. Both of these tools should render the Libreboot T400 as secure from tampering as…

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Gadgets 

Machine learning can tell if you’re wearing swap-meet Louie

Machine learning can tell if you’re wearing swap-meet Louie A wise man once said “The hat mighta had a L V on the back but at the swap meet that ain’t jack,” and now researchers can ensure that the Louis Vuitton or Prada or Coach you bought is the real deal. The system, which essentially learns the difference between real and fake products over time, uses a small microscope connected to a phone. “The underlying principle of our system stems from the idea that microscopic characteristics in a genuine product…

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Gadgets 

Ikea smart lightbulbs get HomeKit, Alexa and Google Home support

Ikea smart lightbulbs get HomeKit, Alexa and Google Home support Ikea’s smart lighting system has received an update that makes its wireless hub compatible with Apple’s HomeKit, as well as with Amazon Alexa, and Google Home. This means if you have the hub and bulbs, you should be able to control them with your voice using any of those devices, as well as control them in Apple’s iOS Home app. The update also makes it possible to discover and add Ikea’s bulbs to Philips Hue’s HomeKit-compatible hub, which is perhaps…

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Gadgets 

8bitdo’s NES30 Arcade Stick is a big, beautiful fighter companion

8bitdo’s NES30 Arcade Stick is a big, beautiful fighter companion If you’re looking for a little more arcade feel for your Nintendo Switch, look no further than 8Bitdo’s NES30 Arcade Stick. The Bluetooth controller accessory is compatible with a range of platforms besides the Switch, and it’s a well-made gadget with careful attention paid to how buttons and the joysticks feel, giving an authentic arcade cabinet experience. It’s also very big, which is not necessarily a bad thing – just something to be aware of. The NES30 Arcade Stick is…

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Gadgets 

Essential confirms $300M funding, Amazon and Best Buy retail availability

Essential confirms $300M funding, Amazon and Best Buy retail availability Smartphone company Essential, which is founded by Android co-creator Andy Rubin, has finally made official a $300 million funding round first reported in June. The funding round comes from investors including Tencent, as well as Amazon’s Alexa Fund, among others. Essential also revealed new information about its retail launch, including retail partners Amazon and Best Buy who will be carrying the phone in the U.S. The release date itself is still somewhat mysterious, however: Essential President Niccolo De Masi told…

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Gadgets 

Malicous code written into DNA infects the computer that reads it

Malicous code written into DNA infects the computer that reads it In a mind-boggling world first, a team of biologists and security researchers have successfully infected a computer with a malicious program coded into a strand of DNA. It sounds like science fiction, but I assure you it’s quite real — although you probably don’t have to worry about this particular threat vector any time soon. That said, the possibilities suggested by this project are equally fascinating and terrifying to contemplate. The multidisciplinary team at the University of Washington isn’t…

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