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Microsoft Surface Laptop 3 15-inch review: it’s a bigger Surface Lap

The new 15-inch Surface Laptop is a familiar package with new dimensions

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HTC now has an entry-level blockchain phone

Image: HTC

HTC has announced a new entry-level phone aimed at cryptocurrency users called the HTC Exodus 1S, a followup to the $699 Exodus 1 that was originally released last year. The Exodus 1S is a much cheaper device at €219 (around $244), and offers much less powerful hardware built around a Qualcomm Snapdragon 435 processor.

The Exodus 1S’s big new cryptocurrency feature is that it’s able to run a full bitcoin node, which HTC says is a first for a smartphone. It’s something the company has been talking about wanting to do since the announcement of the original Exodus 1. Speaking to Forbes, HTC’s Phil Chen said that being able to run a full node means that the phone can relay, confirm, and validate bitcoin transactions, which offers more...

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Google to update Pixel 4 face unlock with eye detection ‘in the comi

Photo by Vjeran Pavic / The Verge

One of the headline features for the Google Pixel 4 is that it adds a new, secure face unlock feature in lieu of a fingerprint sensor. Only it turns out that “secure” is a relative term, as the phone will unlock even if your eyes are closed. Google has given us a statement promising that it will issue a software update that will fix that problem up, but unfortunately the timeline for it is longer than users might like. Google says that it has “been working on an option for users to require their eyes to be open to unlock the phone, which will be delivered in a software update in the coming months.”

The Pixel 4’s face unlock feature is very similar to the iPhone’s system, utilizing infrared projectors and cameras to create and read an...

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How Pebble smartwatches are getting a second life

Pebble Time

The crowdfunded Pebble smartwatch officially died last June, but a group of dedicated Pebble fans are giving Pebbles second lives, as detailed in this great article on iFixit that you should go read.

The Pebble launched to a record-breaking Kickstarter in 2012 because it looked like it had the potential to be the first good smartwatch. Part of the appeal was that it seemed ahead of its time — it could do things like show you notifications and help you control your phone’s music, which would become table stakes for smartwatches made by other companies in the years to come.

But once the Apple Watch entered the market in 2015, it was game over for Pebble. The company was acquired by Fitbit in late...

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11 new trailers you should watch this week

Photo: David Lee / Netflix

I always thought Jesse was slighted by the end of Breaking Bad. Not the last episode — it sent him off on the right note, as far as things were going — but the final season as a whole. Jesse’s humanity ultimately became more important than the wreck that was Walter White, but the show didn’t care to recenter our interest around the one flawed character who still deserved sympathy. (At least, as far as I remember from watching this in 2013.)

El Camino is something of an attempt to fix that. It’s a totally unnecessary, but entirely fun return to Breaking Bad’s world. It’s hardly a movie in the traditional sense; and even if you remember Breaking Bad reasonably well, you may (as I did) find yourself looking stuff up afterward. But it’s...

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Salesforce CEO hates Section 230, but his lawyers sure don’t

TechCrunch Disrupt San Francisco 2019 - Day 2 Photo by Steve Jennings/Getty Images for TechCrunch

Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff, an outspoken tech industry figure who is apparently not afraid to criticize other business leaders, spent all week bashing Facebook over the company’s refusal to moderate certain content on its platform, like political ads that contain lies. He’s on tour promoting his book, Trailblazer, and is understandably generating headlines and free promotion as a result. But one peculiar call to action that Benioff voiced two days ago on Twitter, in favor of abolishing the oft-misunderstood Section 230, may not have been all that well thought out.

That’s because, according to BuzzFeed News, Salesforce lawyers are using Section 230 as a defense in not one, but seven lawsuits involving the website Backpage, to which...

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Motorola may add flashy Moto E6 Play to its budget lineup, according t

Image: Mobielkopen

Motorola’s Moto E6 line is all about compromises for the sake of affordability. As a budget Android handset, you’re sacrificing high-end features, build quality, and oftentimes aesthetics for something cheap and functional. But according to new renders acquired by German website Mobielkopen, the E6 line may be getting a slick visual update in the form of a proper E6 Play variant of the phone.

The $149 standard E6 came out this summer as a budget Android phone on the cheaper end, just below the Moto G7 Play. But unlike last year’s E5, which came in a standard E5 and then Play and Plus variants, the E6 was the only model available until the addition of the E6 Plus back in September, which was only made available for European and South...

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Kik Messenger will live on after Kik sells it to focus on cryptocurren

Image: Kik

Last month, Kik announced that it would be shutting down the once-popular Kik Messenger app to focus on selling its Kin cryptocurrency, and fighting an SEC battle about the Kin cryptocurrency. But today, in a surprise, it was announced on the Kik blog that Kik Messenger will apparently live on, as it has been purchased by MediaLab, a holding company that owns companies like anonymous-messaging app Whisper and mixtape-sharing service DatPiff.

In the blog post, MediaLab committed to continuing to develop Kik Messenger, saying that it will spend “the next few months” on making the app “faster, more reliable, [and] less buggy.” However, MediaLab also said that, to help pay for the expenses of maintaining the messaging service, it will be...

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