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LanceList - Issue #135

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Smart Home Wars; Sims Assistant; Netflix Price Bump; iPhone Cases; Back to the Future Sneakers
 

LanceList

January 16 · Issue #135 · View online
Tech stories that matter, Gadget Quests, nerd pursuits, and other things you ought to know.

Smart Home Wars; Sims Assistant; Netflix Price Bump; iPhone Cases; Back to the Future Sneakers

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Home wars. The battle for your smart home dollars bled right out into the halls and parking lots of CES 2019. Google, Amazon, Apple, and, yes, Bixby, were all represented at the show; sometimes by the companies themselves, other times via countless partners. One thing’s for certain, you are going to be speaking to a lot of gadgets in 2019 and beyond. But which name will you call? Alexa? Bixby? Siri? Okay, Google? CES certainly didn’t settle that score.
Google and Amazon Fought a Smart-Home Battle at CES 2019
Too real. If you were hoping to get away from this skirmish by diving into a video game, I have some bad news for you: One of the classics, The Sims, is adding its own voice assistant. I mean, it does make sense; Sims is supposed to be a simulation of our real life. Why shouldn’t it keep up with the times?
The Sims gets its own in-game Alexa-style assistant, Lin-Z – TechCrunch
The price of bingeing. You think shows like the choose your adventure Bandersnatch and the Sandra Bullock vehicle Bird Box come cheap? They don’t. Netflix has spent billions on original content. Now it’s time to pay the piper, or Netflix Studio, as the company starts to raise rates across all tiers. It’s still a good deal, but with Netflix raising prices every couple of years, it soon won’t be or at least it won’t feel like the awesome deal it once was.
Netflix is raising prices across of all of its tiers
Case opened. Sure, there are reports that Apple hasn’t sold as many iPhone Xs, Xs Max, and Xr phones as it would like, but that’s not stopping them from rolling out some very cool accessories. Smart Battery Cases are among my favorite because they protect those gleaming bodies AND virtually double battery life. It’s a win-win.
Apple launches $129 battery cases for iPhone XS, XS Max, and XR - The Verge
Super zoom. I got pretty excited when smartphone manufacturers started adding 2x optical (not digital) zoom to their phones. Getting twice as close to the action with a pocket device is a big deal. However, for anything better, or closer, I switch to a big lensed DSLR. In the future, though, that might not be necessary. Chinese phone company Oppo just announced 10x optical zoom tech for its upcoming smartphones. They promise to show it off next month at Mobile World Congress. I can’t wait.
Oppo confirms 10x zoom camera for smartphones - The Verge
Future shoes. Marty McFly’s self-lacing shoes of Back to the Future are a reality, thanks to Nike. In fact, Nike’s Adapt BB might be even more advanced than the movie versions we remember.
Nike's Adapt BB Shoes Let You Tighten Your Laces Using an iPhone | Digital Trends
Housekeeping
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