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LanceList - Issue #128

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iPad Mini Rumor; Smart Home Reality Check; Samsung and Google on TV; Mars Insight Update
 

LanceList

December 21 · Issue #128 · View online
Tech stories that matter, Gadget Quests, nerd pursuits, and other things you ought to know.

iPad Mini Rumor; Smart Home Reality Check; Samsung and Google on TV; Mars Insight Update

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Return of a classic pad. I’ve always had a soft-spot for the iPad Mini. The 7-inch screen seemed like the perfect size for carrying around the home, dropping in the backpack when you didn’t want a whole laptop, and for reading in your quiet place. I’m not sure Apple agreed since it hasn’t upgraded the Mini in three years. Now, perhaps spurred by the success of the affordable 9.7-inch iPad and the emergence of products like the 7-inch-screen sporting Google Home Hub, Apple might be taking another run at the small tablet space. If we do get a new Mini in 2019, I suggest Apple sell it with a stand, which will then make it the perfect home companion.
Fifth-generation iPad mini rumored for revival in early 2019
Get smarter. Next week, a lot of you are going to unwrap new smart gadgets for the home. These devices can help automate everything from your thermostat to your lights and even you microwave. Before you know it, you’ll be living in the home of the future. However, before you get all excited about controlling a dozen home gadgets with a single tap or word, there are some hard truths I want to share about the current state of home automation.
Smart Home Technology Is Still Not Smart Enough – The Upgrade – Medium
Samsung and Google. Did you know that Samsung has its own voice assistant, Bixby? It’s a little different than Alexa, Siri, and Google Assistant, in that it’s more focused on the inner working of its host device than the outside world. No one I know uses it. Perhaps that’s why Samsung may be preparing to add Google Assistant to its TV sets. We’ll know for certain if this is happening next month when the company rolls out its updated lineup at CES in Las Vegas,
Samsung to Add Google Assistant, Better Sound to 2019 TV Sets (EXCLUSIVE)
Testing Mars. The Mars Insight rover landed on the dusty red planet a few weeks back. Now it’s finally placed the first of three test devices on the surface. This first one, a seismometer, is designed to look (or more precisely listen) to activity under the surface of the Red Planet. It’ll be weeks before NASA gets its first readings from the device, but it’s still another exciting development. Maybe we’ll finally discover life under Mars.
News | NASA's InSight Places First Instrument on Mars
Happy Holidays! This is the last LanceList of 2018. It’s been quite a year, full of incredible new technology, mind-boggling tech scandals, the end of net neutrality, Apple going up and down, and one inspiring and nutty entrepreneur. I’m so glad we all got to experience it together.
I’ll be back on January 2 to do it all again and help you all prepare for the big Consumer Electronics Show that kicks off on January 6 in Las Vegas. Until then, Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!
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Podcast Update: 33 Million Miles to Mars is on hiatus. Let me know if you want to help me revive it! You can listen to past episodes here.
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