👋 Morning! The OnePlus launch of the 7T and its TV happens today, right around three hours or so after this newsletter goes out. It’s India first, for reasons we’ll find out later today.
Amazon’s approach to releasing new hardware is really different. Instead of a hero product or two, like an iPhone or a Pixel or an Xbox, that then breed add-ons and accessories, Amazon’s Alexa ecosystem is the hero, its Echo range is the name, and Amazon releases dozens of hardware devices at each launch.
And they’re all kinds of crazy! From a ring you speak and listen to, to glasses with built-in speakers, to yes, finally, Amazon’s own wireless earbuds, at least nine major Echo products were released. Amazon isn’t saying: this one new Echo product will make or break us. It’s saying, let’s try one of Echo-everything, and surely one of these devices will go from niche to necessity.
However: is an Alexa that’s with you everywhere and anywhere actually useful? Is it valuable? That’s an open question, but Amazon is trying to make it so. You just have to pay to try it.
As for the products...
Here are five new devices you might have expected:
And here are four that go from a little weird to pretty out-there:
Also: Amazon now has new privacy settings for Alexa, including the ability to easily delete specific recordings and automatically delete them after three or 18 months: Here’s all the ways that Amazon is fixing Alexa, from privacy to a more human voice. Oh, and you can get a Samuel L. Jackson voice, including an explicit version (Gizmodo).
And don’t miss: Somewhat hilariously, Amazon’s own executive promoted the company’s new Echo Buds on Bloomberg TV… while wearing Apple AirPods. Oof.
🕶 Facebook and Oculus did some big things: At Oculus Connect 6, Mark Zuckerberg announced Oculus Link (TechCrunch). This turns every Oculus Quest into a Rift via USB-C cable, which means you can play PC games on a VR headset, come November. What that means is the Rift, which fell flat just four months ago, doesn’t really matter. Which is good for Quest owners, but hurts Rift owners a bit.
😎 Also, Zuck announced Facebook Horizon (YouTube). This is a new "social VR world coming to Oculus Quest and the Rift Platform," and it looks something like the Ready Player One Oasis, or perhaps Second Life in VR? I feel this is bigger than the Quest becoming a Rift, but I am not A VR Person, yet.
📂 Ongoing Samsung Galaxy Fold review: Day 2 – Getting familiar with the Fold (Android Authority).
📸 A new Xiaomi phone could be first to support 8K/30fps videos (Android Authority). 8K!
✏ Galaxy Tab S6 review: Can Samsung’s best tablet out-work the iPad? (Android Authority). Price hurts this one, because it’s pretty good otherwise.
🔋 Foldable battery shown off, could power future foldable devices, smart clothing (Android Authority).
💵 Deal: Save up to $200 on a brand new Samsung Galaxy S10 phone (Android Authority).
🎞 Marvel’s MCU genius Kevin Feige is working on a new Star Wars movie, which surprised me at least (Hollywood Reporter).
🏗 What the ‘Crane Index’ says about your changing city (CityLab). (The number of cranes along Australian skylines has long been higher than all of the US combined. That really says something.)
🎧 The best way to clean your AirPods (Lifehacker).
⚛ Something more on Google reaching Quantum Supremacy (Shtetl Optimized).
🐙 Watch this octopus change colors while dreaming (YouTube). Astonishing.
🔋 “What scientific photos are hard to believe but are indeed real?” (r/askscience).
NASA astronaut Christina Koch took this photo of the launch of a Russian Soyuz rocket, with a crew of three, from the International Space Station yesterday. Koch welcomed NASA astronaut Jessica Meir to the ISS, her classmate in astronaut training:
And this is a throwback because Koch arrived in orbit back on March 14, and will complete the longest single spaceflight by a woman, when scheduled to leave in February 2020.
TOGETHER WITH FLASHROUTERS
You connect to a router to access the internet at home or at the office every single day. The action has become as seamless as an automatic door at the entrance of a grocery store. However, like any storefront, a router has the tendency to let anything in and out of its network, and prevent users from accessing certain information.
Setting up a VPN gives users more freedom online, but they can be limited to a single device. Investing in a VPN router solution, such as those provided by FlashRouters, enables the advantages of your VPN across all your devices.
Establish safeguards for all your connected devices
We live in a world surrounded by smart and connected products accessing the Internet to make our lives more convenient. Unfortunately, the sharing of information between these devices can lead to data theft if your network is not properly secured.
Your run-of-the-mill router in between your devices and the Internet provides a minimum amount of security. Therefore, you can still be susceptible to cyber-attacks through exploits that router manufacturers may not ever fix. Utilizing a VPN from your router can prevent this type of malicious behavior by hiding the traffic your devices generate.
Next time you think about protecting your home network, think FlashRouters.
Yours very much from Earth,
Tristan Rayner, Senior Editor.DGiT Daily may see a share of revenue from any purchases made through affiliate links.
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