How to Understand Apple Watch Heart Rate Data

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Beth Skwarecki wrote a helpful article explaining how to understand Apple Watch heart rate data and what all the numbers mean.

Some major caveats on everything we’re about to say: first, everybody is different, so if your numbers are higher or lower than you’d expect, there isn’t necessarily anything wrong with you. There’s a wide range of normal.

Capture Stunningly Smooth 360° 4K Footage with Insta360 ONE 4K Camera for iPhone: $239.99

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Insta360 ONE 4K Action Camera

Check out today’s deal for the Insta360 ONE 4K Action Camera, a 360 degree camera for your iPhone or iPad. It plugs into your Lightning port, though it can also be controlled via Bluetooth for Android, if that’s your thing. It boosts a 24 megapixel camera, and it supports video up to 4K. The promo video below has a good look at the device, and our deal listing has all the specs and details. It’s $239.99 through us.

Nike Launches Line of Self-Adjusting Basketball Shoes

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Nike launched a line of self-adjusting basketball shoes that you can control with your iPhone. They’re based on the company’s FitAdapt technology.

When a player steps into the Nike Adapt BB, a custom motor and gear train senses the tension needed by the foot and adjusts accordingly to keep the foot snug. The tensile strength of the underfoot lacing is able to pull 32 pounds of force (roughly equal to that of a standard parachute cord) to secure the foot throughout a range of movement.

These basketball shoes look slick.

Huawei CEO Said Firm Not a Spy for China

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huawei logo

Huawei CEO Ren Zhengfei insisted his company does not spy on behalf of China. In a rare public appearance, reported by the Wall Street Journal, Mr. Ren said: “I personally would never harm the interest of my customers and me and my company would not answer to such requests.” It comes as his daughter, the company’s CFO Meng Wanzhou, is fighting extradition to the U.S. after being arrested in Canada.

“No law requires any company in China to install mandatory back doors,” Ren Zhengfei said Tuesday. “I personally would never harm the interest of my customers and me and my company would not answer to such requests.” Mr. Ren’s public comments at Huawei’s campus are his first in years and come as the telecom giant faces challenges on multiple fronts.

 

Facebook to Invest $300 Million in Local News Initiatives

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Facebook announced that it will invest $300 million in local news organizations and initiatives over the next three years. It will put $20 of million of this towards its Facebook Accelerator program that helps publishers develop membership and subscription models. It will also invest $6 million for the UK based Community News Project, $5 million to the Pulitzer Center for its “Bringing Stories Home”  initiative, and $2 million for the Report in America initiative that aims to place journalists in local newsrooms. Techcrunch looked at what the money means both for Facebook and the media industry.

As for why Facebook is focusing on local news specifically, Vice President of Global News Partnerships Campbell Brown said in a blog post that after examining “what kind of news people want to see on Facebook” and talking to industry partners, “We heard one consistent answer: people want more local news, and local newsrooms are looking for more support.”

 

Weed Influencers Online are Helping Firms Get Around Advertising Regulations

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Weed firms are using online influencers to get around rules that prohibit the marketing of cannabis, even in U.S. states where the drug is legal. These influencers tend to be young women, who post on Instagram and YouTube, according to a report in Wired. Content can range from confessional videos to product reviews. Even though YouTube said it prohibits content around regulated substances like marijuana and removes the videos when it discovers them, firms marketing the products are benefiting from the influencers’ work.

For marketing agencies and companies selling cannabis products, influencers have been a boon – a creative way to get around regulations, with the added impression of authenticity. Typically, the more people that are looking at your product, or your posts, the better. But as public and legal attitudes to cannabis have shifted, the subcultures immersed in it are being subject to more scrutiny than before.

Verizon Unlimited Customers Get Free Apple Music

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Customers of Verizon Unlimited plans will get free, full Apple Music as a perk. This is for the Beyond Unlimited and Above Unlimited plans.

The bonus Apple Music should be launched in the next couple of days, according to the information that we received. Verizon is yet to make the announcement publicly, but the information comes from a source that has proved reliable in the past.

10 Influential Science Photos That Changed Us

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Earthrise - via NASA

In a terrific photo collection, Big Think presents “10 science photos that made history and changed minds.” The power of these photos expanded our consciousness, created new conversations, and changed our way of thinking. I particularly like the “Pale Blue Dot” photo, made famous by Dr. Carl Sagan with one of the most poignant commentaries ever made about our planet and its inhabitants. Check out all the photos. (Earthrise photo credit: NASA.)

Cops Can't Force You to Unlock an iPhone via Face ID, Touch ID

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A U.S. federal judge has ruled that law enforcement can’t force you to unlock an iPhone or iPad via Face ID or Touch ID.

In the United States, a suspect’s property has the potential to be searched by law enforcement officials as part of an investigation, but some items are typically left alone. While people are protected from having to unlock their devices via a passcode, biometric security has been considered fair game for use by investigators, bypassing the passcode rules.

This will certainly set a precedent for the future. Although it doesn’t completely stop the investigation, it does give people a bit more freedom.

Arduino Hacker eBook Bundle: $19.99

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The Make Arduino Hacker Ebook Bundle

We have a big  bundle of ebooks for you on Arduino today from The Make called the Arduino Hacker eBook Bundle. With 15 different titles in the bundle, topics range from getting started to project-specific books, to more advanced topics, too. You can see the full list (with descriptions) in the deal listing. This bundle is $19.99 through our deal.

How to Prepare Your Digital Life for When you Die

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Whitson Gordon wrote a helpful guide on how to prepare your digital for your death. Although no one wants to think about their mortality, it’s an extremely helpful guide.

It’s impressive to me how many times people don’t recognize the extent of digital assets that they own, says Mark Parthemer, Managing Director and Senior Fiduciary Counsel at Bessemer Trust. With many clients, they’re concerned about financial things, but they need to protect the sentimental assets too, like photographs.

I didn’t know Whitson wrote for Popular Science, but good for him because he’s perfect for that site. Anyway, getting your digital life in order is a must. Many people write out wills but often forget about things like social media accounts.

Alexa - Stop Listening To Me

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Alexa Calling uses your Echo or Alexa app for voice calls

As ever more people buy smart speaker devices likes the Amazon Echo, the privacy concerns around such devices increase too. I’ve always been somewhat wary of them. Not that I’d be discussing much of any interest, but the idea of a device sitting in my home listening out attentively for a keyword, rather freaked me out. For Tom Hoggins, those concerns got too much. He explains in the Telegraph why he unplugged his Amazon Echo Dot.

I am not usually one for tin-hat conspiracies, but with the examples mounting and the increased scrutiny on companies like Google, Amazon and Facebook (among many others) for excessive data gathering, I did start to eye Alexa with some suspicion. It then showed an increased propensity for piping up over the dinner table, playing music without being asked or blurting out random facts when the ‘Alexa’ wake word had not been uttered in earnest. By that point, it was time for Alexa to go unplugged.

Blackmagic eGPU Pro Available This Week

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The Blackmagic eGPU Pro will be available this week for delivery and in-store pickup, a month after it became available to order.

Delivery of the Apple Store-exclusive Blackmagic eGPU Pro is scheduled for as early as Tuesday, January 15th. In-store pickup is also available for most regions, and we’re seeing Wednesday availability for that.

Like its predecessor, the $1199 Blackmagic eGPU Pro is aimed at customers looking for a set-it-and-forget-it solution, and don’t mind paying a large premium for the privilege.

U.S. Businessman still Missing Despite Payment of Large Bitcoin Ransom

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Bitcoin Logo on physical gold coin

An American businessman who was kidnapped in Costa Rica remains missing, despite the payment of an approximately $950,000 ransom in Bitcoin. William Sean Creighton Kopko, who owns an online gambling platform, was taken in September. Three suspects were arrested in Zaragoza, Spain in November 2018, The Next Web reported. In total, 12 people suspected of involvement in the kidnapping have been arrested by police in Spain and Costa Rica.

After Kopko’s family paid the Bitcoin ransom, the kidnappers stopped communicating with them, went dark, and fled to Cuba. In early November 2018 three suspects returned to Spain which alerted the authorities. The three suspects were later arrested in Zaragoza, Spain after renting an apartment in the city.

A CES 2014 Flashback: The Folly of Curved TV Screens

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Curved TV display

At one time, five years ago, curved TV screens were all the rage. Every TV manufacturer jumped on the bandwagon, fearful of being left out. Today, we know it was a fad. A folly. A technical dead end. Recently, ars technica took us back in time, via Twitter, to their prescient analysis. After a good technical roundup, “The flat-out truth on curved TVs” ars concluded:

The mishmash of arguments for a curved TV isn’t necessarily an indictment of the value of curved TV. This would not be the first time that manufacturers obscured the technical or scientific reasons for a decision because they think it’s too hard to explain to consumers. It may be easier to latch onto words like “immersive” and “theatrical” and hope no one asks the hard questions.

But, it would also not be the first time that manufacturers assigned value to some spec based on the idea that it qualitatively improved a viewing experience in some way, only for consumers to find the end result is underwhelming and, more importantly, not worth paying for.

2019 iPhone Could Still Have Liquid Retina LCD Display

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One of the 2019 iPhone models could stick with the Liquid Retina LCD display, although in 2020 a rumor suggests Apple may drop the LCD model.

The plan to stick with LCD comes as Apple grapples with sluggish sales of the iPhone XR, which has cut into its most recent revenue projection. That is partly because the planned LCD handset has been in the product pipeline for months and the plan can’t be altered easily, they said.

Charlotte Henry also wrote that one or more of the new phones may come with three cameras.

Here's an Apple Infographic of Product Made So Far

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The folks at TitleMax shared a cool Apple infographic that lists every (or most) Apple product made so far.

We’ve created this innovative look back at all Apple products to list off each incredible marvel by year, from super-successful, like the company-saving iPod, to the duds like the Apple Bandai Pippin. In our Apple timeline, you can see how much the company changed and how a few pivotal moments have revolutionized the entire technological world.

Your Privacy Can't be Left up to Others

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Doc Searls argues that if your privacy is in the hands of others alone, you don’t have any privacy.

If you think regulations are going to protect your privacy, you’re wrong. In fact they can make things worse, especially if they start with the assumption that your privacy is provided only by other parties, most of whom are incentivized to violate it.

I think Mr. Searls makes some good points. I’m in favor of privacy regulations, but I also agree that individuals need to manage their privacy better. Privacy should also be the default, and not a feature you have to pay for.

Amount Ad-Buyers Spend on Instagram Digital Video to Double

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Instagram Stories on the Web

The share of ad-buyers’ digital video budgets that is spent on Instagram will double from 2018 to 2020. Bloomberg News reported on a new survey by financial services firm Cowen. It found that 61% of the respondents, who collectively represented approximately $14 billion in ad spend, consider the photo-sharing app the go-to platform for launching a campaign targetting 13 to 34 year-olds.

“Stories” — a relatively new Instagram feature — are helping to grow the app into a campaign favorite. Instagram Stories appear “poised for greater adoption” as more ad buyers allocated some portion of their spend to the feature in 2018 than the year prior, said Cowen’s John Blackledge in a note. Instagram even beat out TV in this younger target group, a medium only 3 percent of respondents said was a primary platform.