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22Jan/190

Apple Pay is now accepted at Target and Taco Bell

Some of the last holdouts on tap-to-pay services are finally hopping aboard. Target, Taco Bell, Jack in the Box, Hy-Vee and Speedway have all introduced support for Apple Pay (and services like Google Pay by extension), making it trivially easy to check out when you need to run an errand or crave a Taco Supreme. The rollout will be gradual in some cases. Target expects all its 1,850 locations to support the technology in the "coming weeks," while Taco Bell and Jack in the Box expect to complete their deployments in the "next few months."

Article source: https://www.engadget.com/2019/01/22/apple-pay-available-at-target-taco-bell/

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22Jan/190

Starbucks expands Uber Eats deliveries across the US

Following a pilot in Miami, deliveries are rolling out in San Francisco today and will be available in Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles, New York and Washington, DC within the next several weeks. Starbucks aims to offer the deliveries at more than 2,000 stores, or around a quarter of those it operates in the US.

You can choose from about 95 percent of the core Starbucks menu through Uber Eats, and you can customize your order in the app. There's a $2.49 booking fee for deliveries and, as with any other Uber Eats order, you can track the delivery status and check where your driver is from that app.

Starbucks seems to be heavily investing resources into app-based deliveries. It started the Delivers program in China in August, and it has already expanded to 2,000 locations across the nation. The deliveries are now available in 11 countries across Asia and the Americas. Later this month, Starbucks will bring the service to Europe with an Uber Eats pilot program in London.

Article source: https://www.engadget.com/2019/01/22/starbucks-uber-eats/

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22Jan/190

Mobvoi’s swim-ready TicWatches are now available starting at $160

According to Mobvoi, TicMotion is an attempt at creating a proactive fitness tracker. Instead of needing to open up an app to record a certain activity, the company is relying on AI algorithms that monitor what the wearer is doing an automatically pick up on activities like running or sleeping. Mobvoi is also promising much better swim monitoring and analysis. The company says it is using machine learning algorithms that can differentiate between different stroke types, count laps, and record speeds without user input.

In addition to the fitness tracking features, both the S2 and E2 will come with a 415mAh battery, a Qualcomm Snapdragon Wear 2100 processor and will run Wear OS by Google. While both of the smartwatches are waterproof to 5 ATM that will allow continued use in depths of up to 40 meters (130 feet) of water, the S2 features US military­-grade durability that can better withstand extreme temperatures and the elements.

Article source: https://www.engadget.com/2019/01/22/ticwatch-e2-s2-ticmotion-features-pricing/

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22Jan/190

Porsche claims its EV factory will be as green as the cars it builds

The inaugural Porsche EV is expected to launch in late 2019.

The company's ultimate aim is to eliminate the "ecological footprint" for its car production, and it wants Taycan production to be CO2-neutral in addition to reducing pollution. This helps burnish the company's public image in the wake of emissions scandals and opposition to diesels, of course, but it may also represent a survival tactic. Germany and the European Union at large are cracking down on emissions and pollution, and Porsche doesn't want to be seen as a contributor to those problems.

Article source: https://www.engadget.com/2019/01/22/porsche-taycan-factory-reduces-pollution/

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22Jan/190

Microsoft’s Classroom Pen is a smaller Surface Go stylus for kids

It makes sense for the company to double down on stylus support in classrooms, as that's something Google is also trying to bring over to Chromebooks. Using a stylus is a more natural way for jotting down things like math equations, and it could also help students retain notes better than typing them out.

Schools can snag the Classroom Pen in packs of 20 for $799.80, or around $40 per pen. For it to truly take off, though, I hope Microsoft offers more purchasing options for different class sizes. And I'm sure some parents would like the option to buy one for their kids. Microsoft says the Classroom Pen will be available in 36 Surface Go markets around the world, and it'll start shipping early next month.

Article source: https://www.engadget.com/2019/01/22/microsoft-classroom-pen-surface-go/

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22Jan/190

Microsoft expands its programming language for visually impaired kids

Torino and Code Jumper give visually impaired students an experience similar to block coding, a drag and drop interface for introducing young children to coding. Instead of manipulating things on a screen, Microsoft's physical language involves connecting large plastic pods together to create programs. Similar to the XBOX Adaptive Controller, Code Jumper is a way to bridge the technology gap for visually impaired and blind children.

"It is very specifically about building up concepts that will enable them to become computer scientists, programmers, software engineers, computational thinkers," said Cecily Morrison, one of the Microsoft Researchers behind Project Torino, when it launched in 2017. "It gives them that computational base to whatever direction they go, and a shared vocabulary about what computing is."

Article source: https://www.engadget.com/2019/01/22/microsoft-expands-its-programming-language-for-visually-impaired/

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22Jan/190

Waymo will build self-driving cars in Michigan

It may be a while before the first vehicles roll off the line. Waymo first plans to "identify a facility" somewhere in southeastern Michigan, and it's not clear when that factory might be ready. The company hopes to create "hundreds" of local jobs over the space of a few years.

The state is an obvious choice for manufacturing self-driving cars. On top of its close association with the car industry and the sheer number of qualified workers, it's a good testing environment. This gives Waymo a better opportunity to prove that its cars can handle snow and other less-than-forgiving weather conditions. Many self-driving projects in the US, including Waymo's own work in Arizona, tend to favor southern states where conditions are favorable year-round.

It's not certain just what mix of vehicles Waymo will produce. However, it suggests the planned factory is mainly meant for integrating autonomy into existing vehicles, as it does with Fiat Chrysler and Jaguar. You might not see it produce driverless cars made completely from scratch as a result. It's nonetheless a start, and it's no secret that many established brands see autonomous car production as the future.

Article source: https://www.engadget.com/2019/01/22/waymo-to-build-self-driving-cars-in-michigan/

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22Jan/190

Scientists name ancient shark species after arcade classic ‘Galaga’

While Galagadon lived alongside T. rex and Triceratops around 67 million years ago, it's not exactly the kind of colossal beast you'd find Jason Statham battling in a big-budget movie. This shark was about 30-45 cm long, and its distinctive teeth measure less than a millimeter across. It's actually related to modern-day carpet sharks.

North Carolina State University lecturer Terry Gates and volunteer Karen Nordquist (after whom the creature is also named) meticulously sifted through two tons of sediment left after the discovery of famous T. rex specimen Sue in South Dakota. They found more than two dozen Galagadon teeth.

"It amazes me that we can find microscopic shark teeth sitting right beside the bones of the largest predators of all time," said Gates, a co-author of a paper on the shark that was published this week in the Journal of Paleontology. "These teeth are the size of a sand grain. Without a microscope you'd just throw them away."

Article source: https://www.engadget.com/2019/01/22/galaga-shark-fossil/

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22Jan/190

‘The Expanse’ season three streams on Amazon Prime Video February 8th

Season three of The Expanse is the last of the show's run on Syfy. The show based series of novels by James S. A. Corey was cancelled in May of last year. Word of the cancellation caused an uproar among the show's loyal viewership, which sparked the #SaveTheExpanse campaign on social media. Amazon quickly answered the call, and CEO Jeff Bezos announced the company would pick up The Expanse and continue producing it as a Prime Original series.

While Amazon is planning to drop season four of the show before the year ends, the company hasn't announced an official release date for the next installment in the series. The show should pick up right where it left off, though, seeing as the writer's room and cast from the Syfy version of The Expanse appears to be intact for the upcoming Amazon run.

Article source: https://www.engadget.com/2019/01/22/the-expanse-season-three-streaming-february-8/

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22Jan/190

iRig Micro Amp delivers classic guitar tones with your phone

IK Multimedia is making it easier to bring a mini music studio on the road, especially if you have a newer iPhone. It just introduced an iRig Micro Amp that produces 15W while touting a USB interface, giving you a reasonably powerful yet portable amplifier with tone processing on iOS devices, Macs and PCs of all stripes. You don't need a headphone jack here, folks. It's larger than the company's earlier Nano Amp, but still compact enough that you can toss it in your backpack for impromptu practice sessions.

Article source: https://www.engadget.com/2019/01/22/ik-multimedia-irig-micro-amp/

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