I’m so Excited About Wider Unlocked Google Pixel Availability

I’m so Excited About Wider Unlocked Google Pixel Availability


When Google announced the Pixel 3a and Pixel 3a XL during Google I/O, they also announced wider availability of the Pixel 3 line. There were new carrier partners to highlight, and those are certainly a big deal, but I’m more excited about the fact that the unlocked models are now available for purchase at a number of new retailers.

We’ve always been big fans of unlocked phones, especially when they work on all carriers like Google’s do. Buying an unlocked Pixel 3, 3 XL, 3a, or 3a XL and then deciding which of the major US carriers you want to take it to rather than being forced by a exclusive partnership is the dream. It’s what we’ve been complaining to Google about for 3 years.

These unlocked units get updates just as quick as you expect Pixel phones to. Unlike Samsung’s unlocked phones that are the last of any Read the rest

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Spotify Stations Allows You to Sit Back and Let Algorithms Decide What You Listen to

Spotify Stations Allows You to Sit Back and Let Algorithms Decide What You Listen to


An entirely new app from Spotify is available this week in the US for Android users called Spotify Stations. With it, users can simply tell the app what genre of music or certain artists they want to listen to, then the app curates a collection of music (essentially a radio station like on Pandora) for listening.

As Spotify explains, “With the world’s music at your fingertips, finding the right thing to play can feel like a challenge. Stations gets you to music instantly — no searching or typing needed. As Stations learns more about what you like, it creates stations packed with the music you love, made just for you.”

This app is labeled as an experiment, so if you run into issues or have feedback for Spotify, you should let them know. In the meantime, go listen to some jams.

Google Play Link

// Billboard

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Verizon avoided a decade’s worth of taxes—a new law could make it pay up

Verizon avoided a decade’s worth of taxes—a new law could make it pay up

Enlarge / A Verizon logo at GSMA Mobile World Congress 2019 on February 26, 2019 in Barcelona, Spain. (credit: Getty Images | David Ramos)

Verizon has avoided paying local taxes on telecom equipment in many New Jersey municipalities over the past decade, but a proposed state law would force the company to pay back taxes for all the payments it didn’t make.

The bill, filed on May 23 by Assemblyman John Burzichelli (D–Paulsboro), “would force Verizon to pay local taxes on telephone poles, lines, land, and other equipment that the telecom giant has refused to fork over in an increasing number of New Jersey municipalities, starving them of tens of millions of dollars a year in tax revenue,” The Philadelphia Inquirer reported. As of 2015, Verizon had reportedly stopped paying the tax in more than 150 of the 565 municipalities in New Jersey.

The tax Verizon has

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238 Google Play apps with >440 million installs made phones nearly unusable

238 Google Play apps with >440 million installs made phones nearly unusable

Enlarge (credit: NurPhoto | Getty Images)

If the prevalence of abusive Google Play apps has left you numb, this latest report is for you. Carefully concealed adware installed in Google-approved apps with more than 440 million installations was so aggressive that it rendered mobile devices nearly unusable, researchers from mobile security provider Lookout said Tuesday.

BeiTaAd, as the adware is known, is a plugin that Lookout says it found hidden in emojis keyboard TouchPal and 237 other applications, all of which were published by Shanghai, China-based CooTek. Together, the 238 unique apps had a combined 440 million installs. Once installed, the apps initially behaved normally. Then, after a delay of anywhere between 24 hours and 14 days, the obfuscated BeiTaAd plugin would begin delivering what are known as out-of-app ads. These ads appeared on users’ lock screens and triggered audio and video at seemingly random times or even when

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Dealmaster: Take $50 off Sony’s excellent 1000XM3 noise-cancelling headphones

Dealmaster: Take $50 off Sony’s excellent 1000XM3 noise-cancelling headphones

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Greetings, Arsians! The Dealmaster is back with another round of deals to share. Today’s list is headlined by a $50 discount on Sony’s WH-1000XM3 noise-cancelling headphones, which brings them down to $298 at Amazon and other retailers.

While not a huge savings, this is the cheapest we’ve seen the highly regarded headphones on Amazon to date. A good pair of noise-canceling headphones is still one of those purchases where you generally have to pay up to get high quality, and as we’ve noted before, the WH-1000XM3 can compete with anything else on the market when it comes to pure noise-cancelling strength. They’re comfortable, they have an ample 21 hours of battery life per charge in our testing, and they sound great, with an emphasis on rich bass and good separation for a Bluetooth headphone.

Bose’s soon-to-be-supplanted QuietComfort 35 II are very close to the 1000XM3 on the

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T-Mobile Customers, Don’t Forget Your Free E-Copy of John Legere’s Slow Cooker Cookbook

T-Mobile Customers, Don’t Forget Your Free E-Copy of John Legere’s Slow Cooker Cookbook


If you’re a customer of T-Mobile, you may be aware that the company’s CEO fancies himself a pretty decent slow cooker chef. He even has his own slow cooker cookbook titled #SlowCookerSunday. Well, if you’re into slow cooking, you can grab a digital copy of the book for completely free through the T-Mobile Tuesdays app.

I’ve gone ahead and looked over the contents for you, just in case you’re curious what Legere has cooking up. The forward is by Martha Stewart and there are solid recipes for lamb shanks, vegetarian Sloppy Joes, beer brats, corned beef, plus plenty of more tasty sounding dishes.

Keep in mind, this isn’t only a cookbook. Throughout the book are stories that John shares about being a CEO, and of course, even knocks on AT&T and Verizon make quick appearances.

It’s free, so you can’t really go wrong. Head into the T-Mobile Tuesdays app … Read the rest

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More mangroves? Economies recover faster after tropical cyclones

More mangroves? Economies recover faster after tropical cyclones

Enlarge / Dark green mangroves along Senegal’s Casamance River as it meets the sea. (credit: NASA Earth Observatory)

Where humans have the money, we sometimes build storm defenses like seawalls to protect our coastal cities. But coastal development can often destroy natural defenses like coastal marshes or mangrove swamps. These ecosystems dampen waves and reduce storm surge flooding, and mangroves can even reduce wind speeds.

The protections provided by coastal ecosystem services are typically estimated by carefully looking at a single area or event. A new study led by East Carolina University’s Jacob Hochard took another tack, comparing the economic impacts of tropical cyclones around the world with satellite data.

Into the swamps

Mangrove swamps are ecosystems that develop thanks to a number of species of salt-tolerant trees, collectively termed mangroves, that flourish in the tropics. Their dense root systems trap sediments brought in on the tides and

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$10/Month Device Protection Now Available for AT&T Prepaid Customers

$10/Month Device Protection Now Available for AT&T Prepaid Customers


AT&T Prepaid has launched Mobile Device Protection from Asurion for customers, priced at $9.99/month.

Normally, AT&T Prepaid customers would have 30 days after activating their new or BYOD phone to sign up for the Mobile Protection plan. However, now through June 30, the carrier is allowing existing customers to add Mobile Protection to their existing phone.

According to AT&T, these are the benefits of MDP.

Benefits of Device Protection

  • Comprehensive phone coverage that protects you against loss, theft, physical and liquid damage, and out-of-warranty malfunction.
  • Fast and convenient replacement process to get a working phone back in your hand, and in most cases, delivered the next day.
  • As soon as same-day cracked screen repair.
  • ProTech support that connects customers with a friendly, knowledgeable ProTech expert for help with device set-up, troubleshooting, and more.

If you’d like to add Device Protection for your device, you can head into any local AT&T … Read the rest

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Congressional hearings signal growing antitrust problems for big tech

Congressional hearings signal growing antitrust problems for big tech

Enlarge / The European Commission is investigating potentially false claims that Facebook cannot merge user information from the messaging network WhatsApp, which it acquired in 2014. Warsaw, Poland, on December 21, 2016. (Photo by Jaap Arriens/NurPhoto via Getty Images) (credit: NurPhoto | Getty Images)

The House Antitrust Subcommittee will conduct a series of hearings on the growing power of big technology companies, Chairman David Cicilline (D-R.I.) announced on Monday. It’s the latest sign of growing interest in antitrust action against the largest technology companies—especially Google, Facebook, Amazon, and Apple.

“After four decades of weak antitrust enforcement and judicial hostility to antitrust cases, it is critical that Congress step in to determine whether existing laws are adequate to tackle abusive conduct by platform gatekeepers or whether we need new legislation to respond to this challenge,” Cicilline said in a press release.

The announcement came shortly after news about a deal between

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Baltimore ransomware nightmare could last weeks more, with big consequences

Baltimore ransomware perp pinky-swears he didn’t use NSA exploit

Enlarge / Oh, Baltimore. (credit: Alex Wroblewski/Getty Images)

Over the past few weeks, a Twitter account that has since been confirmed by researchers to be that of the operator of the ransomware that took down Baltimore City’s networks May 4 has posted taunts of Baltimore City officials and documents demonstrating that at least some data was stolen from a city server. Those documents were posted in response to interactions I had with the ransomware operator in an attempt to confirm that the account was not a prank.

In their last post before the account was suspended by Twitter yesterday, the operator of the Robbinhood account (@robihkjn) answered my question, “Hey, so did you use EternalBlue or not?”:

absolutely not my friend

The account was shut down after its operator posted a profanity and racist-tinged final warning to Baltimore City Mayor Bernard “Jack” Young that he had until June 7 to

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