All posts in “Tech”

Ugh, Elon Musk attacks British diver who called his submarine ‘just a PR stunt’

Image: Kiichiro Sato/AP/REX/Shutterstock

After Vern Unsworth, a British diver who helped rescue the trapped Thai soccer team, called Elon Musk’s attempt at a submarine rescue “just a PR stunt” that had ‘absolutely no chance of working,” Musk has chosen to be angry online. 

Surprise!

In a series of tweets Sunday morning, Musk referred to Unsworth as a “pedo,” requested video of the cave rescue, retracted that request, then promised proof that his submarine could have, in fact, performed the rescue.

It’s a lot.

The tweetstorm was in response to a tweet from professor and New York Times writer Zeynep Tufekci, who wrote an op-ed arguing that Musk could learn a lesson about Silicon Valley hubris from the incident. (Her thread on celebrity intervention in rescue efforts is a great read.)

Never has a man so desperately needed to log off.

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What it’s like to type on the new MacBook Pro keyboard

Image: Pete Pachal/Mashable

I’ve been using Apple’s new MacBook Pro for two days, and so far the most noticeable change is the keyboard.

The 2018 MacBook Pro is the first laptop from Apple to brandish the third generation of the company’s “butterfly” keyboard design that replaced the chiclet-style keyboards of the silver MacBooks that came before. Apple says the only improvement is that the keyboard is quieter to type on.

From teardowns, we know that there’s likely more to that story. A new layer of silicone appears to both act as a cushion the keys as well as protect them from dust and other particles. That could in turn improve the reliability of the keyboards, which has been a source of major concern. Apple is facing multiple lawsuits over the issue, and this upgrade could in fact be a “secret” way to address it while not admitting there was a problem in the first place.

But for users, Apple’s legal side-step is totally beside the point — they just want to know how the keyboard feels. Well, it feels… better. 

It definitely still feels like a butterfly keyboard. If my eyes were closed, and you put this keyboard in front of me, I’d call it as a MacBook Pro butterfly right away (and clearly not a skinny MacBook keyboard, since the shake of the machine itself is different as you type). But it’s not quite like before.

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For most of the rest of this article, you’ll need to forgive my frequent use of minimizing language like “slightly” and “a bit” because the change is really subtle.

The “give” on each key feels just a hair stronger. The keys — at least the letter keys — are a little more ready for your fingertips than the previous generation butterfly. The bounce makes the overall feel just slightly closer to the old-style chiclet keys, but not so much that you’d mistake it for one.

Are they quieter? Yes. Certainly, the volume of your keyboarding is as much dependent on your typing style as they keyboard itself, but after switching back and forth from the previous-gen MacBook Pro, typing various sentences again and again, I can safely say the new keys will be a bit more forgiving.

Average typing noise is a difficult thing to quantify (although we’ll give it a go in our upcoming review), but it feels as if the extra silicone layer is doing its job as a cushion as well as stabilizing the horizontal travel of the keys a bit. On the previous Pro, it always felt as if there wasn’t much holding the keys in place besides the aluminum casing itself; as a consequence, if you would hit a key off-center, you could kind of feel that part of the key hitting bottom at a slight angle, which tended to be a “noisier” tap.

Image: Pete Pachal/Mashable

Again, these are the subtlest of details in a typing experience, and I by no means mean to say that typing was bad or unbearable on the previous Pro. But subtleties add up, and, for me, the sum was a lesser experience on the butterfly MacBook Pro than that of my workhorse machine: a silver 2015 MacBook Pro with chiclet keys.

Typing on that keyboard is an absolute joy — the kind of attention-to-every-detail experience Apple stakes its brand on. Although the new MacBook Pro hasn’t quite matched it, it has moved a step closer. Yeah, it’s kind of insane that Apple moved away from what many considered perfection in the first place, but if you’ve been holding out from upgrading because of an aversion to the butterfly, the Pro’s new keyboard is reason to pop out of your cocoon and give it a try.

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Keep your eyes peeled for these tech items to go on sale on Prime Day

Disclosure

Every product here is independently selected by Mashable journalists. If you buy something featured, we may earn an affiliate commission which helps support our work.

Image: John Schnobrich/Unsplash

Prime Day is almost here! It only comes once a year. And for many of us, it’s the time to scoop up that special product you’ve been hoping will go on sale.

In the past, deep cuts have been offered on memory cards, external hard drives, and even gaming computers. Products ranging from dongles to TVs are likely to get lightning deals. 

Here’s a list of 10 tech items you’ll want to snag immediately if you see their prices drop on Prime Day.

Image: raymond wong/mashable

Spending $1,100 on a display that doesn’t have built-in speakers might be a little over the top. However, if the Samsung CHG90 gets a price cut on Prime Day, it’s worth a buy. Coworkers, friends, and family members will react with jealous stares and jaw drops. The display features a 3,840 x 1,080 resolution paired with a 144Hz refresh rate — ideal whether you’re using it to play Fortnite or simply for browsing the web. 

Image: LILI SAMS/MASHABLE

The Sonos One was unveiled late last year, adding Amazon Alexa to the excellent audio quality the brand has become known for. In our review, we found that the One married great sound and Alexa’s smarts, all in a sweet package. The high-end audio company just filed for an IPO and has added AirPlay 2 support to its first “smart” speaker. It’s $199 regularly, so grab it if it goes on sale.

Image: Hyper/amazon

USB-C is counting on being the i/o port of choice for manufacturers, especially Apple. The HyperDrive USB-C Hub is designed for the MacBook Pro and turns two USB-C ports into 7. It adds an HDMI, a microSD card and SD card slot, two USB 3.0 ports, and two USB-C ports to make up for the ones it occupies. The HyperDrive USB-C Hub is usually $99. If you want one that works with any USB-C laptop, look for the HyperDrive Ultimate 11-in-1 USB-C Hub; that’s normally $129.99.

Image: raymond wong/mashable

There are a plethora of Alexa-enabled devices, but the Echo line of products showcases the smart assistant in its purest form. The Echo Spot has a sleek circular design that’s just destined for your night table. It can replace your alarm clock in  futuristic fashion. Since it’s an Amazon device, expect a deep discount for Prime Day.

Image: jake krol/mashable

Smart lighting is one of the best purchases to make (alongside a new Echo), as it gives you something to control. The Philips Hue Starter Kit provides you with two standard bulbs and a hub — everything you need to get started. You’ll get access to a rainbow of lighting choices if you get the color bulbs, or several shades of white with the standard pack. These bulbs can be controlled through Alexa, but they also work on their own, with Apple HomeKit, and with the Google Assistant.

Image: Nanoleaf

These unique LED panels allow you to create a truly unique lighting setup. Rather than traditional bulbs packed with customizable LEDs and connectivity, Nanoleaf gives you panels that attach to the wall and can be arranged in a variety of layouts. You can control them via a companion app to put on an epic light show. 

Image: raymond wong/mashable

Samsung’s Galaxy S9 and Galaxy S9+ are both Mashable Choice Winners and still stand as great Android phones. Both models feature a terrific main camera that can handle low light photos in a snap. They have an Infinity Display and mostly glass build, and some nice color options, like lilac. 

Image: LANCE ULANOFF/MASHABLE

Prime Day is not just for adults! There’s a good chance toys will go on sale. (Toys are also not just for kids.) You’ve probably used Lego sets, but did you know they’ve gotten a technological upgrade with Lego Boost? The code-training kits allow you to build robots, and they fit in with the STEM model, teaching kids to code through a compatible app.

Image: jake krol/mashable

The latest noise-canceling headphones from Bose aren’t too different from previous iterations. A $349 price tag is still there (for now); so is the great sound. The Quiet Comfort 35 IIs offer more control over the level of noise cancellation and also come with the Google Assistant. Bose has also promised that Amazon Alexa will be added in, giving you easy access to new purchases at some point in the future.

Image: raymond wong/mashable

You should be backing up your data. You really should. And while you can back up in the Cloud through Google Photos and iCloud Drive, a physical drive is an excellent investment. The Samsung Portable T5 SSD is a top-rate external drive offering ample storage that can be accessed at 450 megabytes per second.

Happy Prime Day purchasing!

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Sorc’d helps you digitally highlight and save relevant content on the fly

Just to let you know, if you buy something featured here, Mashable might earn an affiliate commission.
Highlight any document with Sorc'd.
Highlight any document with Sorc’d.

Image: pexels

Thanks to the multitudes of emails, articles, tweets, and digital content you consume every day, there are times where you cannot for the life of you name the source of a particular quote or fact you’re trying to remember. 

And so you either have to exhaust your browser history to find it, or go through the whole process of going down the pits of Google to retrieve that piece of content. 

Sorc’d is a digital highlighter that helps keep you on top of online clutter by letting you slice essential details from your reads and transfer them to a cloud-based vault that you can quickly access and share. 

So the next time you’re reading an article and come across a chunk of text you’d like to save, use Sorc’d to highlight it, and the text — along with the link of the source — will automatically be stored to a cloud-based repository you can revisit later. The app lets you organize all your snippets via categories and tags for easy recall.

Sorc’d also allows for real-time collaboration. This feature is especially useful for researchers, students, and marketers who work together to curate content. You can all have a shared receptacle of sources, and build a comprehensive collection from the ground up.

Regularly $899.40, you can get a lifetime subscription to the service today for only $49.99.

How to send spam calls straight to voicemail with Google’s phone app

PSA: Enable Google's new spam prevention feature now.
PSA: Enable Google’s new spam prevention feature now.

Image: Getty Images.justin sullivan

Google just gave us another good reason to use its phone app: better protection from spam callers. 

The company’s phone app for Android has a new setting that can automatically detect spam calls and send them straight to voicemail so your phone never even rings.

The app now has a “filter suspected spam call” option in its settings. When enabled, suspected spam calls will be routed straight to your phone’s voicemail. Your phone won’t ring, and you won’t get a missed call notification.

If the caller does leave a voicemail, you also won’t get a notification, though you’ll have the ability to view missed calls and voicemails that have been “filtered.”

Google’s phone app has had built-in warnings about suspected spam calls for some time, but this change takes things to the next level as these calls can now be muted automatically. To enable the setting, you first need to make sure you have Google’s phone app installed (it comes standard on some phones, like the Pixel, but for some phones you’ll need to download it separately and set it as your default phone app).

Then, simply go to Settings -> Caller ID & spam -> Filter suspected spam calls.

Of course, robocallers are only getting more and more sophisticated, so even Google may not be able to catch all the offenders. 

But the app also provides a way to report phone numbers that may have made it through its systems, so future calls may be easier to block. 

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