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MIT’s AI can tell if you’re depressed from the way you talk

According to the project's lead researcher, Tuka Alhanai, "The first hints we have that a person is happy, excited, sad, or has some serious cognitive condition, such as depression, is through their speech. If you want to deploy [depression-detection] models in scalable way ... you want to minimize the amount of constraints you have on the data you're using. You want to deploy it in any regular conversation and have the model pick up, from the natural interaction, the state of the individual."

The researchers call the model "context-free", because there are no constraints in the types of questions that can be asked, or the type of responses that will be looked for. Using a technique called sequence modelling, the researchers fed the model text and audio from conversations with both depressed and non-depressed individuals. As the sequences accumulated, patterns emerged, such as the natural use of words such as "sad" or "down", and audio signals that are flatter and more monotone.

"The model sees sequences of words or speaking style, and determines that these patterns are more likely to be seen in people who are depressed or not depressed," Alhanai says. "Then, if it sees the same sequences in new subjects, it can predict if they're depressed too." In tests, the model demonstrated a 77 percent success rate in identifying depression, outperforming nearly all other models – most of which rely on heavily structured questions and answers.

The team says the model is intended to be a helpful tool to clinicians, since every patient speaks differently. "If the model sees changes maybe it will be a flag to the doctors," says co-researcher James Glass. In the future, the model could also power mobile apps that monitor a user's text and voice for mental distress and send alerts. This could be especially useful for those who can't get to a clinician for an initial diagnosis, due to distance, cost, or a lack of awareness that something may be wrong.

The researchers also aim to test these methods on additional data from many more subjects with other cognitive conditions, such as dementia. "It's not so much detecting depression, but it's a similar concept of evaluating, from an everyday signal in speech, if someone has cognitive impairment or not," Alhanai says.

Article source: https://www.engadget.com/2018/08/31/mits-ai-can-tell-if-youre-depressed-from-the-way-you-talk/

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Cannabis infusions are the latest evolution in beer’s 10,000 year history

It's not that surprising, really. With the rise of recreational weed in more than half of American states -- and legalization at the national level in Canada coming October 17th -- interest in novel uses for the plant are at an all-time high. What's more, cannabis and hops are genetic cousins. "They're the most closely related plants in the family cannabaceae, genetically speaking," Elan Walsky, co-owner of Oregon's Coalition Brewing told The Ringer in July. "So from a practical standpoint, it means they're producing a lot of the same terpenes, or flavor and aromatic compounds."

This natural synergy has led a number of brewers to experiment with mixing beer with weed. New Belgium recently released the Hemperor IPA, for example, while Lagunitas now offers SuperCritical. Neither of these drinks actually includes THC (which is prohibited by federal law), only the terpenes, but they mark some of the latest innovations in the current trend towards infused craft beers. And they're certainly not alone. Strange Days Brewing in Kansas is famous for its unique infusions including rice, ginger and coffee, while Mad Science Brewing in Maryland offers beers infused with fruits and vegetables. Nevada-based startup Cannabiniers plans to release its own infused brew this month.

Even Molson Coors is getting in on the action. The company recently announced that it is "entering a joint venture with The Hydropothecary Corporation" to develop a line of non-alcoholic weed beers.

Keith Villa, who developed Blue Moon Belgian Wheat, recently left MillerCoors after 32 years to start CERIA Beverages in Colorado. "I'm ready to introduce another high-impact brand to the industry again, this time with a new line of custom cannabis-infused craft beers," Villa writes on the CERIA website. "Today, the opportunity and the demand are here, inviting Americans to enjoy a more social way of consuming cannabis – by drinking rather than by smoking it or through ingestion of edibles."

But unlike the Hemperor IPA or Supercritical, CERIA's offerings will contain THC but not alcohol. The company plans to release three varieties -- a light beer, a wheat beer, and a stout -- this fall.

Whether they contain THC or alcohol, all of these beers share a common characteristic: they're not actually brewed with cannabis. Most often, the beer is simply infused with cannabis oil after the fermentation process. Province Brands, a Toronto-based startup, is working to change that by being the first company to involve cannabis in the brewing process itself, from the plants roots to its flowers. The company is doing so with a little bit of help from student researchers at Loyalist College in Belleville and a $300,000 research grant from the Ontario government.

"Everybody basically laughed at us. They said it couldn't be done," Province Brands CEO Dooma Wendschuh told Global News in May. And at the outset, there were plenty of doubts that they could.

"The things that we would come up with just tasted horrible," Wendschuh told The Guardian. "They tasted like rotten broccoli." The company eventually hired a chemist to help dial in the ideal mixture of hops, cannabis, yeast and enzymes to make a more palatable brew with 6.5 mg of THC per 12 ounce serving. Cannacraft, a California-based cannabis grower and distributor, is taking an even more radical approach to brewing drinkable weed by forgoing the beer part entirely. The company has teamed with Lagunitas Brewing Company out of Petaluma to develop and release Hi-Fi Hops, a sparkling water infused with up to 10mg of THC per serving.

"We've been working with Lagunitas for a little over a year now," Cannacraft co-founder Dennis Hunter told Engadget. The collaboration started after Cannacraft researchers managed to extract some hop terpenes using their CO2 supercritical extractors.

"They were playing around with their beers, doing a really concentrated hops in their beers," Hunter continued. "We played around and put some in some vape cartridges, and it went really well. We gave them some cannabis terpenes to play around with the beer at the time, and that went pretty well." However, creating the drink itself was easier said than done since, as the saying goes "(cannabis) oil and (hop) water don't mix."

"Any time you're trying to get oil into a water it's a little bit difficult, so we had to make the oil with a certain emulsifier to be able to get it to suspend," Hunter explained. "Then we micronized it down to very, very small particles, so it suspends evenly throughout the hop water."

Interestingly, the effects one feels from drinking a Hi-Fi don't generally come from the cannabis oil itself. "[The cannabis oil] is coming from a distillate so there's not a lot of terpenes in the cannabis," Hunter continued. "So, we're letting the terpenes that are actually in the hops water, from the hops, kind of dictate the feel and the sensation you are going to get when you're drinking it."

The company hopes to expand the Hi-Fi lineup with higher dosage drinks, though the regulations for doing so are rather strict. "When you do higher dosage, you have to be able to have it be resealable, child resistant, resealable, and you have to be able to be divvied out in ten milligram increments, and you can't go over a 100 milligrams," he said.

Despite the current regulatory challenges, Hunter remains confident that common sense will prevail. "Someday in the future," he concluded "people will realize that it's no more dangerous than alcohol."

Article source: https://www.engadget.com/2018/08/31/drink-weed-beer-its-delicious/

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What to expect from Apple’s 2018 iPhone event

Three new iPhones

If Apple was cautious in releasing just one redesigned phone in 2017, it's throwing that caution to the wind this year. According to analyst reports and leaks, the company will make the iPhone X's design commonplace by introducing three models that replace both the X and the 8, relegating traditional iPhone design to the low end.

The top of the line would center around two models. One would be a direct evolution of the iPhone X (possibly called the iPhone XS) with a 5.8-inch OLED screen, depth-sensing front camera, dual rear cameras and other familiar traits. The other, however, would be a completely new "iPhone X Plus" with a gargantuan 6.5-inch OLED panel. It would tout the same core features as its smaller counterpart, but its larger display (and presumably larger battery) would court power users and video enthusiasts. You'll reportedly have the option to run apps side-by-side in landscape mode like you can on the iPhone 8 Plus.

Otherwise, these should be iterative upgrades focused more on refining the iPhone X's formula. You can expect a speed boost through an A12 processor that might be built with a faster, more efficient 7-nanometer manufacturing process. Kuo also predicted that both new OLED models would carry 4GB of RAM instead of the 3GB from last year's X and 8 Plus. Camera upgrades are probable, too. Subtler improvements could include faster LTE data through newer Intel chips (no Qualcomm this year) and speedier charging out of the box through an 18W USB-C power adapter.

Other changes are less than certain. We'd take rumors of Apple Pencil support and faster wireless charging with a large grain of salt. But iOS 12 code has hinted at the possibility of an iPhone with dual SIMs, whether it's two physical cards or an eSIM to complement the usual one-card approach. This could be massive for countries where dual-SIM phones are common, such as China and India.

The star of the show, however, may be a lower-cost 6.1-inch iPhone that would borrow the notched display, depth-sensing camera and A12 chip of high-end models while scaling back other features. An LCD in place of an OLED screen would be the most obvious concession, but it might also carry a single rear camera, 3GB of RAM and aluminum trim in place of stainless steel. It might also drop pressure-sensitive 3D Touch and wireless charging, although you might get a bevy of color options like blue, red and orange. Think of it as this year's iPhone 8 -- it's what you get when you insist on high-end performance but can't quite stomach the premium prices of the OLED line.

Pricing and availability are the one major unknown for the new iPhone lineup. The 6.1-inch LCD iPhone will probably slot into the $699-799 price slot of the iPhone 8 and 8 Plus. But will Apple cut the price of the 5.8-inch OLED iPhone to make room for the 6.5-inch variant, or just charge more for the giant model? And you may have to wait a while to get the phone of your dreams. Current rumors have Apple shipping the OLED phones later in September (likely the 21st if history is any indicator), but the LCD model might be pushed back due to a late start on production.

Apple Watch Series 4

If there's another near-certain hardware announcement at the event, it's a next-generation Apple Watch. Series 4 (we'll assume that's the name for convenience's sake) is poised to be more than just a straightforward refresh. It might not be a complete remake, but it could appeal to early Watch buyers who've been waiting for a better-than-usual reason to upgrade.

The most conspicuous change would stare you in the face: a larger display. Recent 9to5Macleaks, backed up by claims from analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, have the Series 4 sporting a roughly 15 percent bigger screen. It's not certain that this will lead to a larger case (Apple may use smaller bezels), although Kuo has claimed that Apple might increase the sizes from today's 38mm and 42mm to 40mm and 45mm respectively. A larger battery is a distinct possibility regardless of the case size. You may not get the four-plus days of life that you do from Samsung's Galaxy Watch, but you might not scramble for a charger at the end of the night.

You might also feel some differences. Fast Company sources have said that future Apple Watch models would drop conventional buttons (both for the crown and side button) in favor of solid-state components that, like the home button on the iPhone 7 and 8, would use haptic feedback to indicate presses instead of physical movement. The lack of moving parts would eliminate some of the tactile feel and might be finicky (just ask HTC U12+ owners). However, it could make room for larger batteries, improve reliability and even enable touch-sensitive heart rhythm sensors.

Other improvements aren't quite so clear. It's reasonable to presume that Apple will include a more powerful S-series processor, though, and Bluetooth 5 support would be a logical fit now that newer iPhones and Macs support it. We wouldn't rule out faster LTE data or more than 16GB of storage, but don't count on EKG monitoring or other major health tracking changes. Those are just experiments that might not come to fruition for a while, if at all.

You might also have to deal with a narrower selection of Watch models. Consomac noticed a European filing that only listed six Series 4 variants instead of Series 3's eight. This suggests that Apple may cut at least one of its existing options from the lineup to focus on its most popular models.

A new iPad Pro?

We'll be blunt: while a new iPad Pro appears to be in the cards, there's a chance it won't show up at the September event. It might arrive at a follow-up presentation later in the fall alongside new Macs.

If it does make a debut, though, Kuo and iOS 12 beta code have hinted at a near bezel-free tablet that would use the same depth-sensing camera tech as the iPhone X, just without the notch. While the 10.5- and 12.9-inch screen sizes may not change much, you could see more compact devices that are slightly easier to handle. Just don't expect to see an OLED screen -- it's difficult to make large panels at the prices and quantities Apple would want.

There isn't much known about other potential changes. It's reasonable to expect Apple would use a speedier variant of whatever processor sits inside the new iPhones (A12X, perhaps?), and it's entirely possible that you'll see more storage or a new rear camera. Mac Otakara claims that Apple might drop the headphone jack like it did with iPhones, but it's not as likely given the iPad's roomier chassis.

AirPower and AirPods

You might stand a better chance of seeing what Apple promised at its last iPhone event. After months of grappling with technical challenges, the company could finally release its promised AirPower wireless charging mat and AirPod wireless charging case this September. We're not expecting any significant changes in functionality.

Don't expect major upgrades to the AirPods themselves, though. While there is talk of a refreshed model possibly launching this year with an improved wireless chip and hands-free Hey Siri, more substantial improvements like water resistance and noise cancellation aren't poised to arrive until 2019. If you're happy with the original earbuds, there probably won't be a compelling reason to upgrade this year.

Wildcards: New Macs, a next-gen iPhone SE and beyond

More than a few Mac fans are champing at the bit for computer updates, and you can't blame them. Most of the lineup is over a year old, and a few models (most notably the MacBook Air and Mac mini) have gone largely unchanged for years. But are they in line for an update in September? Not likely.

There are reports of Apple planning to release a Retina Display-equipped MacBook Air equivalent and a pro-oriented Mac mini this fall. The Bloomberg leak didn't say they would appear in September, though. While we certainly wouldn't discount that possibility, it's more probable that Apple will wait to unveil both new systems at an October event alongside the iPad Pro.

There's a chance Apple might update the iPhone SE, but only a slim one. There have been whispers of an SE redesign, but they've been sketchy and inconsistent. Some envision an iPhone X-style overhaul, while others point to a purely iterative upgrade. And when Ming-Chi Kuo doubts that a new iPhone SE will be ready in time, a 2019 release seems more probable.

We're not expecting much else, since most other Apple product rumors target 2019 or later. Not that there's much room to complain. Apple already has a lot on its plate -- it's just a question of whether the tech giant has room for anything more.

Apple Watch image: 9to5Mac

Article source: https://www.engadget.com/2018/08/31/what-to-expect-from-apple-gather-round-iphone-event/

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The best USB-C hubs and docks

Our picks' ports compared

Why you should trust me

I was the accessories editor at iLounge for a little more than three years and have been covering accessories at Wirecutter for a little longer than that. During that time, I've reviewed more than 1,000 iOS and Mac products, including numerous docking stations. I've also been responsible for most of Wirecutter's USB-C coverage from the start, researching and testing everything from chargers to adapters to cables.

Who this is for

USB-C hubs and docks let you hook your old stuff up to your new stuff. If you have a new, USB-C–based computer—whether it includes a USB-C port among its other ports or, like Apple's MacBook models or the newest Dell XPS 13, it has nothing but USB-C ports—and you still need to connect flash drives, printers, Ethernet, a display, or any other accessories you already own, a USB-C hub or dock will let you hook up multiple peripherals to a single USB-C port at once. Some models are ideal for tossing in your bag, while others are better for leaving plugged into everything at your desk.

If you're looking for a more-powerful desktop docking option and your computer's USB-C ports also support Thunderbolt 3, you might consider a Thunderbolt 3 dock, which can connect to more monitors and transfer data faster. If you're just looking for a way to get more USB-C ports, well, unfortunately you're out of luck; we have yet to find any USB-C hubs that add extra USB-C ports.

How we picked and tested

The terms hub and dock are often used interchangeably and don't have exact definitions. For this guide, we treated anything designed to be portable as a hub; some hubs can pass power to a laptop when connected to a charger, but they don't come with one. Docks are designed to sit on a desk, equipped with their own power bricks, and capable of charging your laptop without your needing to provide a separate charger.

We researched and tested hubs with a number of different port layouts, ranging from models with just USB-A ports to those including USB-A plus power passthrough, video output, Ethernet connectors, and SD card slots.

For docks, we limited our search to units that were compatible with both PCs and Macs, cost less than $200, had at least four USB-A ports and a USB-C output port, and could power a computer and peripherals.

We tested each hub and dock with both a MacBook Pro (13-inch, 2016, Four Thunderbolt 3 Ports) and the early-2018 USB-C–only version of the Dell XPS 13, running the following tests:

  • USB-A: We ran AJA System Test speed tests using Samsung's Portable SSD T3. To measure how fast each hub could charge other devices, we connected a 10.5-inch iPad Pro and read the power draw with PortaPow's USB Power Monitor.
  • HDMI: We connected each of the docks via HDMI to a Dell Ultra HD 4K Monitor P2715Q with the resolution set to 4K. Mac computers support only a 30 Hz refresh rate at 4K resolution, but the Dell XPS 13 pushes out a full 60 Hz.
  • Ethernet: We verified the connection speed in Network Utility on a Mac, which displays the link speed.
  • Heat: Because hubs and adapters can get quite hot during use—especially, in our experience, when using Ethernet—we also measured the temperatures of our picks with an infrared thermometer after 15 minutes of continuous data and Ethernet use to make sure they weren't dangerously hot. As a Satechi representative explained to us, "All the bandwidth that goes to Ethernet, HDMI, USB and SD card ports requires energy consumption and that's transferred to heat. Operating temperatures between 86-122 degrees Fahrenheit ... are normal."
  • SD card: We ran AJA System Test on a 64 GB SanDisk Extreme Pro.
  • microSD card: We ran the same test as above using the Samsung Evo Select 64 GB.
  • Power passthrough: macOS reports the incoming power in its System Report. We used the MacBook Pro's 61 W charger and the included USB-C cable, and we recorded what the computer was reporting.

The best USB-C hub: Vava VA-UC006 USB-C Hub

Photo: Michael Hession

Vava's VA-UC006 USB-C Hub is the best way to add the widest array and greatest number of ports to your USB-C–based computer in a highly portable and durable package. It has all the right connections—three USB-A ports, USB-C power passthrough, Gigabit Ethernet, HDMI, and microSD and SD card slots—to be handy on the go, or even to act as a semipermanent desk accessory. Nothing else comes close to offering the same combination of performance, design, and price.

The aluminum hub measures 4 inches long, 2 inches wide—similar in size to an old iPod nano—and less than half an inch at its thickest point. Its 6-inch USB-C cable is long enough that you should be able to position it as needed, and the cable itself feels sturdy but not so stiff that it'll be hard to keep it where you want it. At less than 2.5 ounces, the hub is easy to pack and doesn't weigh you down.

There are some ports all hubs need to have, and some that are nice but not necessary; the Vava hub has all of the above. You get three USB 3.0 Type-A ports, and in our testing each of them passed data to a portable SSD at average read speeds of 414 MB/s and write speeds of 366 MB/s (these figures were consistent across almost all of the hubs and docks we tested). Next to that line of ports is an HDMI port that in our testing pushed out 4K video at 60 Hz from the XPS 13 as expected (Macs don't support 60 Hz 4K over HDMI).

The Vava hub's microSD and SD card slots. Photo: Michael Hession

The Vava also has SD and microSD card slots on the opposite edge for photo transfers. The full-size SD card slot averaged 87 MB/s read and 76 MB/s write in our tests. Those speeds are a little slower than what our standalone USB-C SD card reader pick produced, but not by much, and they're as fast as the results from the slot on any other hub we tested. The microSD card speeds were slower at 86 MB/s read and 58 MB/s write, but again, with those speeds the Vava matched or beat the competition.

Finally, the Vava has a USB-C port for power passthrough and a Gigabit Ethernet port. Our 13-inch MacBook Pro reported receiving 49 watts when we connected Apple's 61 W charger to the hub. That figure is lower than with some of the competition, but still fast enough to charge your 13-inch computer at a reasonable speed (15-inch machines will still charge but at a slower rate). The Ethernet port is the most clever element of the whole hub: Rather than increasing the thickness of the entire device to accommodate an Ethernet plug, the Vava design uses a flip-open door to expand the full port as needed.

Flaws but not dealbreakers

The Ethernet port expands easily, but there's a little more friction when you close it. Video: Michael Hession

That clever Ethernet port is one of the Vava hub's few potential flaws. Because it's a moving part, there's a chance it could break. We didn't see anything in our short-term tests to suggest it would, but no other hub or dock we tested had a comparable potential point of failure.

The Vava's three USB-A ports are tightly arranged side by side, so you likely won't be able to connect three flash drives or thicker plugs at a time.

Vava promises up to a 100-watt passthrough charge rate, but in our tests the hub limited the power coming from our 61 W power adapter to 49 watts.

Like many USB-C hubs we've tested, the Vava gets hot during use. We measured it at 110 °F after 15 minutes with the USB-C power cable and an Ethernet cord plugged in. That's hot enough to be noticeable when you touch it, but not so much that it's dangerous—as we noted above, that's within the normal operating temperature for this kind of accessory.

Cheaper but less flexible: Dodocool 6-in-1 Multifunction USB-C Hub

Photo: Michael Hession

Dodocool's 6-in-1 Multifunction USB-C Hub isn't as full-featured, well-built, or compact as Vava's hub, but it offers many of the same ports for about half the price. Providing four USB-A ports, HDMI output, and USB-C power passthrough, it's a good option if you want to be able to use wired accessories and hook up to an external display but aren't concerned about using a wired network connection or transferring data from a photo card.

In our tests, all the ports worked as expected. USB read and write speeds were comparable to those of every other hub we tested. We also recorded a 60 Hz refresh rate at 4K resolution from the Dell XPS 13, and the MacBook Pro reported a power draw of 55 W (a little higher than, but similar to, the Vava's result).

One side of the Dodocool hub has the USB-C power-passthrough port plus one HDMI port and one USB-A port. The metal body scratches easily. Photo: Michael Hession

Although the Dodocool hub works well and has a good number of features, it doesn't feel quite as nice as the Vava hub. The squat aluminum and plastic rectangle is larger than the Vava hub—a bit smaller than a deck of cards—and doesn't feel nearly as solid, and the body scratches easily when tossed in a bag. The Dodocool's cable is also a bit thicker than the Vava's, so this hub is less likely to stay where you want it to. If you're willing to accept these compromises and don't need the Vava hub's extra features, the Dodocool hub is a good choice, but we think the Vava hub's versatility, build, and size make it worth the extra money.

The Dodocool hub has had stock issues recently; even the company's own site links to an out-of-stock Amazon listing, so its availability is uncertain. Check the review on our site for updates.

A cheap way to add more USB-A ports: Aukey CB-C64

Photo: Michael Hession

Aukey's USB C to 4-Port USB 3.1 Gen 1 Hub (CB-C64) is the best choice for adding a handful of USB 3.0 ports to your USB-C computer, and it's cheap. Equipped with four USB-A ports, the hub will let you connect any combination of a keyboard, mouse, printer, flash drive, or another low-power-draw device such as a webcam, gamepad, or portable hard drive. (Aukey says that "for best performance, the power demand of connected devices shouldn't exceed the total USB output of 5V 0.9A.") In our tests, all of the ports transferred data as quickly as anything else we tried. The 3.9-by-1.3-inch black plastic rectangle is less than half an inch thick and weighs a little over an ounce. You can throw it in a bag without even noticing it's there.

The best USB-C–to–Ethernet adapter: Cable Matters USB Type-C to Gigabit Ethernet Adapter

Photo: Michael Hession

We think most people will be better off with a hub that provides an array of ports, but if you need only an Ethernet connection, we recommend the Cable Matters USB Type-C to Gigabit Ethernet Adapter. This simple plastic adapter works as expected, delivering full Gigabit speed, and it comes from a company we know and trust. As a bonus, it's inexpensive. USB-C Ethernet adapters are known to get hot; this one reached only about 100 °F after 15 minutes of use, the same as a more expensive metal-bodied model from Anker. That does feel warm to the touch, but not uncomfortably hot, and it's expected behavior.

The best USB-C dock: Dell D6000 Universal Dock

Photo: Michael Hession

Most people are best served by a portable hub because hubs are more affordable and do many of the same tasks as docks. But if you're looking for a stationary option (for example, if you like to hook your laptop up to a display and accessories at your desk) that doesn't require an additional laptop charger, we suggest Dell's D6000 Universal Dock. (If your PC or Mac supports Thunderbolt 3 and you plan to connect your computer to high-speed external hard drives or multiple high-resolution displays, a Thunderbolt 3 dock is a better choice than a USB-C dock.)

Compared with a portable hub, the D6000 offers more video-output options (one HDMI port and two DisplayPorts), more USB ports (four USB-A, one USB-C), 3.5 mm audio-in and -out jacks, and charging, all over a single USB-C cable. (It comes with its own power adapter, so you can keep the charger that came with your laptop in your travel bag.) It's less expensive than other docks we tested and works reliably with both Macs and PCs—although the DisplayPort ports won't work with Macs because of a recent software limitation—and it provides more power to a laptop than similarly priced options (65 watts, versus 39 watts from other models).

The rear of the D6000, including its video, Ethernet, USB-A, and 3.5 mm audio ports. Photo: Michael Hession

The D6000 is a utilitarian 6.5-by-3-inch black plastic rectangle with a rubber antislip base. Its permanently connected, 3-foot USB-C cable comes out the left side, and a USB-A 3.0 adapter on the cord lets you connect to an older computer. From left to right along the front, you'll find a combined audio-in and -out jack, two USB 3.0 ports, and a USB-C port that you can use for data or to provide up to 12 W of power to a device. Flip the dock around to the back, and you see an HDMI port, two DisplayPort outputs, Gigabit Ethernet, another pair of USB-A ports, and a 3.5 mm audio-out jack.

All of the Dell dock's data ports transferred data at rates comparable to what we saw from every other dock and hub we tested. We measured full 4K, 60 Hz videos from the DisplayPort connectors using the Dell dock, although that dropped to a 1080p resolution over HDMI. (DisplayPort doesn't work at all with Macs running up-to-date software because the dock uses DisplayLink, software that was broken by the macOS 10.13.4 update and remains broken in the current version of macOS.) The HDMI port puts out 4K video at 30 Hz, though, as expected.

Look at the size of that power brick! Photo: Michael Hession

One thing to keep in mind with this dock is the huge power brick: It's almost exactly the same size as the dock itself. But because the dock is meant to stay on a desk rather than tossed in a bag, this isn't a dealbreaker. The cable running from the charger to the dock is about 6 feet long, so you should be able to position the power brick in a convenient place without it getting in the way.

The competition

USB-C hubs

Satechi's Aluminum Multi-Port Adapter V2 has identical ports and performance to our Vava pick, but is larger and more expensive. However, it has a regular Ethernet port that is less fragile than the Vava's fold-up port. In our tests it stayed cooler than the Vava hub at 96 °F. We don't think that's worth paying more for, but the Satechi dock is a decent backup option if it goes on sale or if our top pick is unavailable.

Dodocool's 8-in-1 Multifunction USB-C Hub worked just as well as our pick, with the exact same selection of ports. But it's bigger and feels cheaper, and we didn't like the port layout as much. We think spending a few dollars more on our pick is worth it for a more compact metal design and a better layout.

Aukey's CB-C55 Multiport USB-C Adapter and Anker's Premium USB-C Mini-Dock each have one fewer USB-A port than our pick, at a similar or higher price. Additionally, the Aukey hub had the slowest SD and microSD read and write speeds we tested by a wide margin, and the Anker lacks a microSD slot.

Sanho's HyperDrive USB-C Hub and Satechi's Slim Aluminum Type-C Multi-Port Adapter are identical units with identical performance. Both have only two USB-A ports and cost more than our pick, but we like the streamlined design.

Vava's VA-UC003 USB Type-C Hub plugs directly into a computer's USB-C port rather than using a cable; this means it can block surrounding ports. And it has only two USB-A ports itself.

USB-A hubs

The AmazonBasics USB 3.1 Type-C to 4 Port USB Hub and the Monoprice SuperSpeed 4-Port USB-C Hub work just as well as our pick but are larger.

HooToo's HT-UC006 and Monoprice's Select Series USB-C to 4x USB-A 3.0 Adapter were also just as fast in our tests, but their layouts prevent two flash drives from being connected in adjacent ports.

In owner reviews of Anker's USB-C to 4-Port USB 3.0 Hub, we saw too many complaints about Wi-Fi interference for us to recommend it, although we didn't see this problem in our testing.

Other hubs

After testing USB-A/Ethernet hubs, including Anker's Premium USB-C Hub with Ethernet and Power Delivery and Monoprice's Select Series USB-C to 3x USB-A 3.0, Gigabit Ethernet, and USB-C (F) Adapter, we decided that their value and usefulness weren't good enough for us to recommend any of them over similarly priced hubs with more types of ports. Dodocool's USB-C 3.1 to 3-Port USB 3.0 Hub with Gigabit Ethernet Adapter and Power Delivery was the least expensive model in this category, but it offered the lowest power draw from its ports, and the Ethernet connector simply didn't work on our Mac, although it did on our Dell.

We applied the same reasoning to hubs that had only USB-A ports and power passthrough, such as Dodocool's USB-C to 4-Port USB 3.0 Hub with PD or Monoprice's Select Series USB-C to 4x USB-A 3.0 and USB-C (F) Adapter.

USB-C docks

Plugable's USB-C Triple Display Docking Station worked well in our tests. Compared with our picks, however, it's more expensive, with identical data performance and a lower power output of 39 watts.

The inputs and outputs on the HP Elite USB-C Docking Station simply didn't work with our MacBook Pro. No video, no data, nothing. It did work with our Dell XPS 13, but even so only one of the four USB-A ports is 3.0 speed; the rest are all 2.0.

OWC says not to use its USB-C Dock (Mini DisplayPort) or USB-C Dock (HDMI) with 2017 or later Macs. That restriction, combined with the fact that neither version was able to deliver video from our Dell XPS 13 to our monitor, means you really shouldn't pick either one.

We decided not to test Henge Docks's Stone, Belkin's USB-C 3.1 Express Dock HD, and StarTech's MST30C2DPPD USB-C Dock, DK30CHDDPPD Dual Monitor USB-C Dock, DKWG30DPHPD Wireless USB-C Docking Station, MST30C2HDPPD Dual Monitor USB-C Dock, and DK30CH2DPPD USB-C Triple Monitor Dock due to their high prices at the time we were researching this guide. We also declined to test Plugable's UD-CA1A USB-C Docking Station, CalDigit's USB-C Dock, Kensington's SD4600P USB-C Docking Station, Kensington's SD4500 USB-C Docking Station, and Dell's WD15 Monitor Dock based on factors including their port selection and power output.

This guide may have been updated by Wirecutter. To see the current recommendation, please go here.

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Article source: https://www.engadget.com/2018/08/31/the-best-usb-c-hubs-and-docks/

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Motorola launches two notched Android One phones

The Motorola One, on the other hand, is powered by the two-year-old Snapdragon 625 2.0 GHz octa-core processor. It has a 5.9-inch HD screen, as well as a 13-megapixel dual smart camera system and an 8-megapixel selfie camera. As you can see, neither phone will be able to compete with pricey flagships, but Motorola said they'll be among the first phones to get Android Pie.

The Motorola One will be available in the coming months for €299 (US$350) in Europe, Latin America and Asia Pacific. Motorola didn't mention a price for the One Power, but it sounds like it would cost more than its sibling when it comes out in India in October. Unfortunately, it's not quite clear if the device will make its way to other markets.

Motorola One

Article source: https://www.engadget.com/2018/08/31/motorola-android-one-power/

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Netflix is bringing the latest Coen brothers movie to theaters

Today, the Coen brothers confirmed to Variety that their new film The Ballad of Buster Scruggs will receive a theatrical release. Netflix has done this before, but very selectively. "Theatrical release was important to us, and they were happy to accommodate us," said Ethan Coen at the Venice Film Festival.

Article source: https://www.engadget.com/2018/08/31/netflix-coen-brothers-ballad-of-buster-scruggs-theatrical-release/

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Huawei’s new P20 Pro color options add some sophistication

There's something for everyone, though and if you're into bright gradients, there's now two more options: "Morpho Aurora", which has black to turquoise shading, and "Pearl White" which has touches of yellow and pink, but looks much nicer than that combination sounds. The Genuine Leather variants will be available from September 5th for €999, and come with 8GB of RAM and 256GB of storage, while the new gradient options will cost the same as the existing versions. That means there's just a few days to go before you can get your hands on the device, so while you wait, test your patience by gawking at our gallery.

Cherlynn Low contributed reporting.

Follow all the latest news from IFA 2018 here!

Article source: https://www.engadget.com/2018/08/31/huawei-p20-pro-new-colors-leather-finish/

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Apple requires a privacy policy for everything in the App Store

To be clear, this isn't exactly a new provision — Apple already required apps that offered subscriptions or interacted with Apple Pay to have privacy policies. As of 10/3, though, that requirement will apply to all iOS, macOS, watchOS and tvOS apps, regardless of whether they actually use or store your personal information. (Whether anyone actually makes it a point to read those privacy policies is another question entirely.)

Greater transparency in this case is a good thing, and we as users will be able to make better judgments about the apps and services we choose to use. For now, though, we're not sure whether Apple will try to actively police these privacy policies — after all, the company certainly has the power to pull apps or otherwise take developers to task if and when privacy violations occur. (We've reached out to Apple for comment, and will update this story should they respond.) Given the company's generally hands-off approach to managing the App Store — not to mention the amount of work needed for this kind of policing process — that seems unlikely.

Still, we now in an age where our data and the way it's used is subject to significant scrutiny. We wouldn't be surprised at all if Apple -- and the rest of the industry -- starts coming down harder on companies and developers that can't live up to their own promises.

Article source: https://www.engadget.com/2018/08/31/apple-requires-a-privacy-policy-for-everything-in-the-app-store/

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Get a fridge that helps you sous vide

The company believes the method can extend the longevity of meat and dairy by up to eight times, and a spokesperson confirmed that the sealed bags are ideal for sous vide-style preparation, ensuring perfect edge-to-edge cooking, retaining the juices, nutrients and other good things. There's also a fast-chill function for wine and some other tepid fridge specs that you can read all about on Sharp's website. The sad news is that it's currently only bound for the UK and other European countries, and there's no price yet. Still, the sous vide dream lives on... if you have space for a new fridge.

Follow all the latest news from IFA 2018 here!

Article source: https://www.engadget.com/2018/08/31/sharp-fridge-sous-vide-hands-on-ifa-2018/

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China targets gaming to save children’s eyesight

The goal is to reduce the myopia rate in kids and teens by 0.5 percent overall per year by 2023, and by over one percent per year in provinces where near-sightedness is a bigger issue. By 2030, the ministry hopes to control the myopia rate in six-year-olds at 3 percent, 38 percent for all primary school-age students, under 60 percent for junior high students and below 70 percent for high schoolers.

The ministry wants parents to cut down kids' screen time; ensure they have healthy sleep schedules and adequate nutrition; and encourage them to play outdoors and form sturdy exercise habits. It also demands that schools conduct eye exercises for students every day, and limit use of electronics to 30 percent of total teaching time.

The gaming aspect of the plan could spell some trouble for the likes of Epic Games, whose megahit Fortnite is available in China. The ultrapopular battle royale mode is free-to-play but has microtransactions for cosmetic items -- if fewer people are playing or they're doing so less often, Epic's revenue could take a hit.

Article source: https://www.engadget.com/2018/08/31/china-gaming-time-myopia-eyesight-education-ministry/

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