All Articles by Derek Kessler

Wrist-on with the fancy Withings Activité fitness watch

Smartwatches and fitness watches started out somewhat utilitarian and understated, but watches like the upcoming Withings Activité are bringing real fashion to the party. Unlike the round-faced Moto 360 and LG G Watch R smartwatches running Android Wear, the Withing Activité dials things back to real dials. At first glance it's more watch than fitness tracker, with a simple Swiss-made two-hand watchface dominating the proceedings.

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Samsung Galaxy Alpha and an iPhone 5s: metal, chamfers, and dimples

Say what you will about Samsung, but they're certainly rarely timid, even when brazenly borrowing styling cues from their competitors. While Samsung has certainly set their own design course as of late, they've been mixing things up a bit more recently. We're out at IFA 2014 where Samsung's unveiled their second metal-framed phone, the Samsung Galaxy Note 4. But a few weeks before that saw the unveiling of the smaller and first metal phone in many years from Samsung: the Galaxy Alpha.

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Galaxy Note 4 versus iPhone 5s: Quick Comparison

[custom:ifa2014] We're out at IFA 2014 where Samsung's announced their latest and greatest: the Samsung Galaxy Note 4. And as we're wont to do, we wanted to compare it to some of the most popular devices on the market today, which, of course, includes the iPhone 5s. Sure, the iPhone 6 is due out in a week's time, but that's never stopped us before. By the time the Note 4 hits the market, it will be contending with Apple's latest and likely biggest, but there's still a lot to compare here, and two very different takes on the smartphone.

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T-Mobile's 'personal' Uncarrier 7.0 event to be held at San Francisco store on September 10

T-Mobile's scheduled their next Uncarrier event (this one being Uncarrier 7.0), and they're holding it on September 10th. The tagline for this event? "This time it's personal"… whatever that means. Unlike previous Uncarrier events, which have taken over convention spaces and theaters, this one is being held at the T-Mobile retail store at the corner of Market St and 3rd St in San Francisco. It's a little store. In fact, the sidewalk outside might be bigger than the store inside.

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Apple Online Store shoppers can now get an iPhone 5s for $0 down through AT&T Next

AT&T's Next payment plans are now an option for iPhone buyers using the Apple Online Store. The plans, which allow shoppers to pay for their phone over an installment plan over several months instead of paying part upfront and having the rest subsidized into their monthly payments, were previously not available through the online Apple storefront. With Next now an option, shoppers can pay $200 at purchase for a 16GB iPhone 5s, or nothing at all.

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iWatch reported to see September 9 reveal alongside iPhone 6

Apple's long-rumored wearable — the iWatch — has been pegged for a September 9 launch alongside the long-rumored iPhone 6. The device is expected to be more than just a "smartwatch", however, with significant health and fitness integration with HealthKit.

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Quotebook, a digital book for all your favorite quotes

We all have our favorite quotes, and the newly overhauled Quotebook app aims to help us store and organize them all. The app, with the kind of clean design we expect from Lickability, makes it easy to keep all of your favorite quotes in one place, with ratings, sources, tagging, and more.

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You can now text money with Square Cash

Square Cash, the app from retail point-of-sale developer Square that lets you email money directly to your friends, has been update to let you text money directly to your friends. As before, Square Cash does this free of charge, and you can send a Square Cash text to any phone number to transfer fund from your debit card to theirs.

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Archos launches a connected weather station, light bulbs and beanies that will play your tunes

In addition to today's announcement of new Android phones and tablets and new Windows Phones from Archos, the company is expanding their connected home line with a new home weather station. The spherical pair of devices, due to be announced at IFA 2014 is designed to work with both Android and iOS devices.

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Instagram's bringing stabilized time-lapse video to iPhone with Hyperlapse

Instagram's second app is coming, and it's called Hyperlapse. The app combines some really intelligent video stabilization with time lapse techniques. It's not unlike the hyperlapse stabilization demoed by Microsoft earlier this month, except that it's coming as an app for your iPhone. Unlike Instagram, which has long-featured filters as a premiere element of the experience, Hyperlapse's only filters are stabilization and speed.

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T-Mobile doubles iPad data plan, expands family plan

If you add an iPad to your T-Mobile Simple Choice plan, starting September 3rd T-Mobile will charge you $10-a-month for the privilege and will double your data allotment in the process. The plan creates a duplicate bucket of data reserved for that iPad, up to 5 GB per month.

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Second OS X Yosemite public beta released

Good news for users of the OS X Yosemite public beta: beta 2 is now available. The fresh update brings the public beta inline with the latest version of the Yosemite Developer Preview. The first edition of the Yosemite Public Beta was released late last month, bringing a taste of the next generation of OS X to the masses. We're likely quite close to an official release for Yosemite, so the updated public beta should be more stable with fewer bugs and the like that the previous edition. An update version of the redesigned iTunes 12 beta is also included for beta testers.

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Sony's $200 Smart Tennis Sensor will tell you everything that's wrong with your swing

If you've been wondering why you're just so bad at tennis, or hoping to improve on your already awesome game, Sony's new Smart Tennis Sensor might be just the gadget you've been looking for. The gadget, which will screw into the lower end of compatible "select tennis racket models by top manufacturers such as Wilson, Prince and Yonex" will log shot counts, impact location, swing and call speed, and even spin, all through some crazy advanced vibration mechanics analysis.

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Sprint fires back at T-Mobile's prices with new $60 Unlimited Plan

Sprint's not leaving the single-line users out of the party — they're offering a new $60/month unlimited talk, text, and data plan. There's just one catch: You have to bring your own device, pay for one up front, or sign up for Sprint's Easy Pay monthly payments and upgrade plan. That said, if you're a Sprint customer (or are considering being one), that's still some substantial potential savings you're looking at.

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QBracelet wrist battery is stylish, gives you half a charge for $100

There's something to be said for convenience and fashion in one, though we might have to question just how convenient the battery-as-a-bracelet QBracelet really is. The band splits in the middle, with a hinge on one side and your choice of a microUSB plug or Apple Lightning connector on the other. Simply pop it off your wrist and plug into the charge port on your phone to juice up. But how much juice are you looking at? Not enough, especially not for the $99 asking price. It's not a smartwatch — it's just a battery, for your wrist.

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Emberlight will turn your lightbulbs into smart connected lightbulbs

While smart wireless lightbulbs like Philips Hue are all the rage, a new Kickstarter project is aiming to make any lightbulb a smart one. It's called Emberlight, and it's a simple intermediary device that you screw into the E26/27 socket and then screw your lightbulb into. From there, merely leave your switch in the on position and you'll be able to control your lights wirelessly from your phone.

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Yes, Facebook was down, you're not alone

Update: It appears that access to Facebook is back up for both the web and the iPhone and iPad apps. You are now free to carry on with your day.

It appears that Facebook's newest feature is "being offline". Attempts to visit the social network right now are being thwarted by a lack of stuff to load, from a "network error" alert with no new content in the iPhone and iPad apps to a failure to an apology of "Sorry, something went wrong" in browsers. Let us know, is Facebook down for you too?

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HP, Gilt, and Michael Bastian partner for stylish new smartwatch

HP's rushing to pre-empt the iWatch with a smartwatch partnership with designer Michael Bastian and online luxury retailer Gilt. Details of this smartwatch will do are slim, but we do know that they're aiming to have it work with iOS and Android — nope, it's not Android Wear — and that there will be companion apps for both platforms that allow users to customize the watch's interface.

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'BadUSB' malware highlights the danger of plugging random mystery drives into your computer

Another day, another apocalyptic prognostication of computer security doom, this time focusing on the omnipresent USB connection. It's called 'BadUSB', and it's a malware proof-of-concept created by security researchers Karsten Nohl and Jakob Lell that exploits a flaw in and resides in the firmware that controls the basic function of USB devices. The researchers claim that it's not a problem that can be patched, saying that they're "exploiting the very way that USB is designed," but in the end all they've done is highlight that you shouldn't go around plugging USB drives, devices, or whatnot that you don't trust into your computer.

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Apple's $100M content delivery network will mean better downloads when updates hit

Long rumored, Apple's custom content delivery network (CDN) is now apparently live. The Apple CDN, which provides a more direct route from Apple's servers to customers' devices, enables Apple to provide significantly faster downloads of their products, as well as greatly increasing the available capacity for when mass downloads (OS X and iOS updates) hit.

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