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The Morning After: Weekend Edition

Letter from the Editor

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Welcome to the very first edition of The Morning After, Engadget’s revamped newsletter. First, I’d like to congratulate you for subscribing to what is undoubtedly the greatest newsletter you’ll ever read. Thanks are also in order for giving us some of your precious inbox real estate each day. You’re hearing from me, Editor in Chief Michael Gorman, because this is the Weekend Edition — in which I’ll be putting context around the most interesting and important stories we published over the past week. Come Monday at 6 AM ET, and every weekday after, the daily version will hit your inbox with summaries of the biggest stories from the previous day, delivered with Engadget’s trademark wit and insight. Now that we have that out of the way, let’s dive into the week that was…

Odds are you woke up to many of your favorite websites being nonfunctional on Friday, and you can thank the Internet of Things for the inconvenience. We’ve been sounding the alarm about the inadequate (and nonexistent) security of the IoT for some time now, and yesterday’s attacks — using a bunch of hijacked connected things to shut down one of the internet’s biggest domain name servers — shows just how dangerous that lack of security can be. It’s not hard to imagine a day when the entire internet is brought to its knees by a bunch of smart bulbs, DVRs and security cameras. While the perpetrator in this isn’t believed to be governmental, you may be surprised at who’s doing the hacking next time. In her latest column, Violet Blue says we’re in a new cold war with Russia, only now it’s about the threat of cyber war, not nuclear — and our sitting president can be counted among its victims after Putin’s people hacked Obama’s personal email account.

Of course, it’s not all doom and gloom this week, as gamers got some great news. Nintendo finally revealed its next console, the Switch, and the Engadget team has some strong (mostly positive) feelings about it. As is Nintendo’s way, when the rest of the industry zigs, it zags, and the Switch is no exception. While Sony and Microsoft’s recent efforts focus on more graphically powerful yet mostly traditional hardware, Nintendo’s newest offers something completely different: a home console that turns into a mobile one. We won’t know how good it is until its release in March, but as a child of the ’80s and ’90s within whom powerful Nintendo nostalgia resides, my interest is piqued. Nintendo could have another Wii-esque hit on its hands.

What happens when Google entirely designs its own smartphone?Review: Google Pixel and Pixel XL smartphones

After years of Nexus-themed experiments, Google’s made two great smartphones that — sadly — look a little dull. Both Pixels work as showcases for Google’s software and online service chops, and that’s where they truly shine, with an excellent camera and snappy performance thrown in for good measure. If only they were a little cheaper — and water-resistant.

‘sWiitch’ was right there for the takingNintendo’s new video-game system is here: Meet Switch

The console/handheld’s first trailer shows off some grown-up-looking hardware with no lack of peripherals and play use cases. What games are coming at launch? Well, there will be a Zelda game. How much? No idea. When? March 2017.

An Autopilot in every TeslaTesla doesn’t build cars without self-driving hardware

Thursday, Tesla said every new car it builds will be capable of driving itself without human intervention, and a new demo video shows what that looks like. With only the lightest touch to the steering wheel from its human “driver,” a Model X goes from home to office, then parks itself. Other than a few odd gaffes in the parking lot, it’s pretty impressive stuff, but even without any more hysteria-inducing accidents, it could be a while before regulations catch up with the technology.

No more keyboardsReview: Lenovo’s Yoga Book swaps the keyboard for a huge digitizer

You can’t fault Lenovo for trying something very different. Its Yoga Book does away with the keyboard altogether, swapping it for a touch-sensitive surface that pulls double duty as both keyboard and digital sketchpad. It’ll even magically pull your real-paper scribbles into the digital world. As you might guess, however, the typing experience is atrocious on the flat slate. It’s novel, but the Yoga Book isn’t reliable enough to be the go-to productivity machine.

Have you tried turning it off and on again?Your security camera is screwing up the internet

For much of Friday, internet services like Twitter, Spotify and Reddit were inaccessible, because of a DDoS attack on their DNS provider, Dyn. Not sure what those words mean? Allow us to explain the day the internet fell apart, and why the real culprit is the Internet of Things.

Not-quite-4K is still OK?Mark Cerny explains the strategy behind the PS4 Pro

If you still need to be sold on Sony’s upgraded PlayStation 4, take a look at our talk with its architect. Mark Cerny explains how the PS4 Pro will use its extra memory (to hold background tasks), and why software tricks like checkerboard rendering will help games look better even if you don’t have a brand-new 4K TV.

It’s about timeDon’t buy a new Mac in the next two weeks

Apple finally sent out invites for an event where we expect to see some new computers. At this point, everything from the MacBook Pro to the MacBook Air is painfully out of date and in need of a refresh, if not a rethinking. Rumors suggest we’ll even see some touch-sensitive OLED strips on new MBPs, so stay tuned, and remember: Don’t buy a new computer yet!

But wait, there’s more…

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About Ms. A. C. Kennedy

Ms. A. C. Kennedy
My name is Ms A C Kennedy and I am a Health practitioner and Consultant by day and a serial blogger by night. I luv family, life and learning new things. I especially luv learning how to improve my business. I also luv helping and sharing my information with others. Don't forget to ask me anything!

Check Also

Existing EV batteries could be recharged five times faster

Lithium-ion batteries have massively improved in the last half-decade, but there are still issues. The biggest, especially for EVs, is that charging takes too long to make them as useful as regular cars for highway driving. Researchers from the University of Warwick (WMG) have discovered that we may not need to be so patient, though. They developed a new type of sensor that measures internal battery temperatures and discovered that we can probably recharge them up to five times quicker without overheating problems.

Overcharging a lithium-ion battery anode can lead to lithium buildup, which can break through a battery's separator, create a short-circuit and cause catastrophic failure. That can cause the electrolyte to emit gases and literally blow up the battery, so manufacturers impose strict charging power limits to prevent it.

Those limits are based on hard-to-measure internal temperatures, however, which is where the WMG probe comes in. It's a fiber optic sensor, protected by a chemical layer that can be directly inserted into a lithium-ion cell to give highly precise thermal measurements without affecting its performance.

The team tested the sensor on standard 18650 li-ion cells, used in Tesla's Model S and X, among other EVs. They discovered that they can be charged five times faster than previously thought without damage. Such speeds would reduce battery life, but if used judiciously, the impact would be minimized, said lead researcher Dr. Tazdin Amietszajew.

Faster charging as always comes at the expense of overall battery life but many consumers would welcome the ability to charge a vehicle battery quickly when short journey times are required and then to switch to standard charge periods at other times.

There's still some work to do. While the research showed the li-ion cells can support higher temperatures, EVs and charging systems would have to have "precisely tuned profiles/limits" to prevent problems. It's also not clear how battery makers would install the sensors in the cells.

Nevertheless, it shows a lot of promise for much faster charging speeds in the near future. Even if battery capacities stayed the same, charging in 5 minutes instead of 25 could flip a lot of drivers over to the green side.

Via: Clean Technica

Source: University of Warwick