technology

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Pokemon Go maker Niantic has caught itself $200 million in funding.
Niantic
The maker of Pokemon Go, the hit augmented-related game about catching cute little monsters, has made a catch of its own: lots of dollars.Niantic confirmed a Wall Street Journal report Friday that it’s raised a whopping $200 million Series B funding round led by Spark Capital. Additional investors include Founders Fund, Meritech, Javelin, You & Mr. Jones and NetEase.”This round enables new strategic opportunities and enhances our ability to make long-term investments in augmented reality and the Niantic real-world platform,” Niantic CEO John Hanke said in a statement.Pokemon Go launched in July 2016 and by many measures was the fastest-growing app of all time. A year later, 65 million people were still playing the game each month, according to Niantic. But industry watchers and gamers have been waiting for Niantic’s next big move. Then, just this month, Niantic announced it’s partnering with Warner Bros. to bring Harry Potter to an augmented-reality phone game called “Harry Potter: Wizard Unite.” We’re still waiting for a release date and more information about the Harry Potter game. But it promises players will learn spells, explore their real-world neighborhoods and cities and “discover & fight …read more

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Was this you while your turkey was cooking?
Alina Bradford
Further confirming the notion that Black Friday may not actually be the start of the holiday shopping season, Thanksgiving Day sales this year jumped by more than 18 percent from last year.US consumers spent a record $2.87 billion at online retailers Thursday, according to Adobe Analytics. In 2016, that number was $1.3 billion. Black Friday was always considered the kickoff of the shopping season and the day retailers offered the season’s best discounts. That hasn’t been the case in recent years, however, due to what analysts call the “graying” of Black Friday. Some Black Friday marketing campaigns kick off as early as Nov. 1. And Thanksgiving Day deals are more and more prevalent. Consumers are apparently finding time for online shopping amid cooking, dining and dealing with relatives. Shoppers even exceeded Adobe’s prediction that Thanksgiving Day spending in 2017 would be $2.79 billion.Here are a few more interesting holiday shopping findings from Adobe:Since Nov. 1, consumers have spent $33.26 billion online, also an 18 percent jump from last year.As of 7 a.m. PT, Black Friday online sales were already at $640 million.More than 60 percent of sales this season have been done …read more

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It could be yours, for $79.99, if you’re willing to work for it on Saturday.
Andrew Hoyle/CNET
Here’s a tip for all of you chomping at the bit for the hard-to-get Super NES Classic, first launched in September.The retro Nintendo gaming console will be available at Best Buy brick-and-mortar stores on Saturday when doors open at 9 a.m. local time.Now Playing:Watch this:
Black Friday 2017 survival guide

2:11 It’ll be sold on a first-come, first-served basis, so be prepared to fight some crowds. Best Buy will be giving out tickets before the stores open for customers waiting in line. (That’s what it does for all Saturday door-buster deals.)There’s a limit of one per customer. And you’ll have to get out of your pajamas. SNES won’t be offered on BestBuy.com.We’ve done a quick look around, and aren’t seeing it available right now at other major retailers. In the meantime, check out our review of the console, which …read more

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Tesla
Tesla unveiled its new Roadster, which can do 0-60mph in an astonishing 1.9 seconds. Drew Stearne joins the show to explain why this is both monumentally exciting and utterly terrifying at the same time. Drew and Andy also discuss Tesla’s new all-electric truck. Also on the chat menu this episode is Andy’s personal verdict on the iPhone X. But will Drew agree that it’s as luxurious as Andy thinks? Hint: no.Finally, Andy goes through the tech investments laid out by Philip Hammond in the UK government’s Autumn budget. CNET UK podcast 532
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Having trouble with the audio player?Try this link.We’re always hungry for your feedback, so pop your thoughts in the comments below or drop us a line at the address above. Oh, and if you’ve enjoyed the show, why not leave us a glowing review on iTunes? If you’re done with our magnificent podcast and your ears are still thirsty, check out the podcasts CNET staffers listen to.Now Playing:Watch this:
How I battled the elements to capture Scotland’s wildlife…

17:20 Subscribe …read more

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Some Google users searching for “Amazon” on Thanksgiving were shown a phony ad that redirected to a scam website, one day before the biggest shopping day of the year. The ad appeared at the top of search results for an unknown number of users for at least part of the day Thursday:A fake ad for Amazon that appeared atop Google search results for some users on Thanksgiving.
CBS News/Screenshot by CNET
When contacted by CBS News, Google said the ad violated its policies and was removed. It’s unknown what proportion of users searching for “Amazon” were shown the ad.”This was an abuse of our platform. We strictly prohibit advertising of illegal activity and have removed these ads and suspended the account,” a Google representative said.While the ad appeared to be a link to Amazon, users who clicked it were instead redirected briefly to a URL of an app running on a Facebook page, CBS affiliate WHP discovered. The redirect could be used to bypass Google’s automated scam detection tools. It’s unclear how the app redirected users outside Facebook. The company could not immediately be reached for comment. The app, which appeared to have been removed or shut down Thursday evening, then redirected …read more

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Technically Incorrect offers a slightly twisted take on the tech that’s taken over our lives.It’s the busiest shopping day of the year. Except when it isn’t.Are you one of those who gets up early on Black Friday morning, desperate to see video of fights at WalMart or BestBuy?Yes, there have been reports of skirmishes — although it’s not clear if they were even related to the buying of discounted goods.I want to raise your expectations, however, Of humanity, that is.I want you to believe that there is hope, amid all our commercialized despair.Here, therefore, is footage taken from inside the Currys PC World electronics store on London’s main shopping thoroughfare, Oxford Street.Posted by the BBC’s Frankie McCamley, it shows the staff ready to open the doors to a stampede on Thursday evening. The cameras were poised. A black-clad staff member, perhaps quaking a little, slid the doors open and then… well, take a look.And the doors are open…. the rush came and went (quickly) #BlackFriday@BBCLondonNews@BBC_HaveYourSaypic.twitter.com/jkUjFnhwMo— Frankie McCamley (@Frankie_Mack) November 24, 2017The lone customer sauntered in with ever-so-British nonchalance, before increasing his stride. He clearly knew what he wanted. He was clearly going to get it, even if there might be an invisible someone following him at speed. In fact behind him was, well, nothing.I contacted Currys PC World to ask its view of this shopping storm and will update, should I hear. However, the company did release a statement on Friday that may have offered a clue.It began: “Today, on the morning of Black Friday, Currys PC World is reporting online traffic via mobile devices is up 14 percent on last year — the highest ever since the retailer’s participation in the Black Friday phenomenon.”Though the US has still enjoyed its Black Friday lines — especially, it seems, …read more

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The absolute best Black Friday dealsSonos One for $175 ($25 off)Xbox One S for $190 ($90 off), or $250 with 3 or more gamesSony PlayStation 4 Slim for $200 ($100 off)PS4 Pro for $350 ($50 off)Amazon Echo Dot (2nd gen) for $30 ($20 off)Amazon Echo (2017) for $80 ($20 off)Google Home Mini for $29 ($20 off), plus $10 gift cardGoogle Home for $80 ($50 off)UE Boom 2 for $80 ($120 off)Fitbit Charge 2 for $100 ($50 off)Fitbit Alta HR for $100 ($50 off)TCL 55-inch S405 4K TV for $380 ($220 off)55- and 65-inch 2017 LG OLED TVs at the lowest prices everDell Inspiron 15 for $670 ($130 off)Lenovo IdeaPad 320 for $650 ($210 off)Apple MacBook Pro models up to $250 offApple MacBook Air for $200 offApple iPad 2017 for $250 ($80 off)Apple iPad Pro 10.5-inch (2017) for $525 ($125 off)Amazon Fire HD 8 for $50 ($30 off)Amazon Fire HD 10 for $100 ($50 off)Amazon Echo Show for $180 ($50 off)Roku Streaming Stick Plus for $48 ($22 off)Google Chromecast for $20 ($15 off)Amazon Fire TV Stick with Alexa Voice Remote for $25 ($15 off)DJI Spark drone for $400 ($100 off)GoPro Hero5 Session 4K bundle for $250 ($90 off)GoPro Hero 5 Black 4K for $350 ($50 off), plus $50 gift cardBose QuietComfort 25 for $180 ($120 off)Philips Hue 4-Bulb + Hub Starter Kit for $60 ($40 off)Eero Wi-Fi System for $50 offBose SoundSport Wired for $50 ($50 off)Nest Learning Thermostat (3rd generation) for $200 ($50 off)BeatsX for $100 ($50 off)Beats Solo 3 Wireless for $200 ($100 off)Beats Studio Wireless for $160 ($220 off)Sony A6000 with 16-50mm and 55-210mm lenses for $700 (typically about $1,000)Sony A7 with 28-70mm lens for $999 (typically about $1,200)Sharp 50-inch 4K Roku TV, $180 ($320 off)Even more Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals to comeLet’s block ads! (Why?) …read more

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Editing a film used to involve exactly that: Cutting up photographic film and sticking it back together. But like most industries, the digital revolution has shaken up movie editing — to the point that editor Kevin Tent cut part of an Oscar-winning movie while sitting on a train.Tent is a regular collaborator with acclaimed director Alexander Payne, working together on films such as “Sideways” and “Nebraska”. The pair huddled over a laptop to do some rough edits on 2011’s “The Descendants”, which would go on to win an Academy Award for its screenplay, while they rode a train through Italy to George Clooney’s Lake Como home.Now they’ve collaborated again on “Downsizing”, a new sci-fi comedy starring Matt Damon, Kirsten Wiig and Christoph Waltz. Out now in the US, “Downsizing” is a comic look at a world in which people solve the ecological issues by miniaturising themselves — only to find that even when they’re teeny-tiny, their problems still loom large.[embedded content]I chatted with Tent on the phone from LA to talk about how movie editing has changed since he began his career working for B-movie king Roger Corman in the 1980s.”I learned on Moviolas,” says Tent, recalling the large editing machines that editors used for much of the twentieth century to fast-forward and rewind physical film through an array of complex reels. Now, Tent does all his editing digitally, using Avid editing software. Does he miss the old-school glamour of real film? “No!” Tent laughs. “I used to be a romantic, but now I’m not.”Compared to film editing, digital editing allows a much greater freedom. Working with physical film meant old school editors had to be decisive in their choices. “It was like a game of chess,” explains Tent. “If you wanted to pull a scene out and change it …read more

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Subscribe to the Extra Crunchy PodcastiTunes MP3 | RSS MP3 | FeedBurner MP3Stitcher | Google Play | TuneIniTunes video | RSS video | FeedBurner videoYouTube | Livestream | PeriscopeExtra Crunchy Podcast, Ep. 111
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Now Playing:Watch this:
Why is Apple’s HomePod 3 years behind the Amazon Echo?…

45:29 [embedded content]THE APPLE BYTE EXTRA CRUNCHY SHOW NOTES:Time’s Top 10 Gadgets of 2017Why Apple’s HomePod Is Three Years Behind Amazon’s EchoiMAC PRO NEWS:iMac Pro Appears to Include A10 Fusion Chip for Always-On ‘Hey Siri’iMac Pro to feature A10 Fusion coprocessor, possibly for always-on ‘Hey Siri’iMac Pro Could Include Mobile Connectivity for ‘Always On’ Theft ProtectionFUTURE IPHONES:2018 iPhones to Feature Upgraded Antenna Design to Boost LTE Transmission SpeedsApple Working With Intel on 5G Hardware for Future iPhonesApple Reportedly Working Towards Mass Production of Thinner and Brighter Micro-LED DisplaysApple Park Visitor’s Center Now Open to the PublicApple’s Tim Cook tweeted a congratulatory message to Australia on its same-sex marriage vote — using a New Zealand flag emojiSOCIAL NETWORKING:Tweet at Brian Tong on TwitterTweet to Stephen Beacham on TwitterWith contribution from Stephen Beacham.Share your voice0TagsApple Byte Extra CrunchyApple ByteAppleCultureGadgetsLet’s block ads! (Why?) …read more

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CNET’s Cheapskate scours the web for great deals on PCs, phones, gadgets and much more. Questions about the Cheapskate blog? Find the answers on our FAQ page. Find more great buys on the CNET Deals page and follow the Cheapskate on Facebook and Twitter!The Verizon Wear24’s few flaws are a lot easier to overlook when it’s priced at just $80.
Verizon
Well, cheeps, here we are: Black Friday! Or, as I like to call it: Friday. You know, because of all the great deals I find all year long?Actually, there are some pretty sweet bargains to be had today, starting with this collection of 35 great tech buys and ending with my hand-picked selection, below.Before I hit that, a quick reminder: Join me on Monday for the CNET Holiday Buyer’s Guide Live, in which yours truly will be slinging some exclusive deals! It kicks off at 10 a.m. PT/1 p.m. ET.Dip your toe into the dashcam world with this capable model, on sale for $65.
…read more

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JOHANNESBURG, Nov 25 (Reuters) - South Africa will use its annual budget next year to outline “decisive” policy to strengthen its fiscal framework, the...