The Mark of the HomePod: The Internet's funniest jabs at Apple's furniture-staining smart speaker

In case you’ve missed it, numerous HomePod users report that their wooden furniture has been stained by the oils of the sound-dampening silicon base of the smart speaker. Yes, no kidding here, here’s an excerpt lifted straight from Apple’s support page.

It is not unusual for any speaker with a vibration-damping silicone base to leave mild marks when placed on some wooden surfaces. The marks can be caused by oils diffusing between the silicone base and the table surface, and will often go away after several days when the speaker is removed from the wooden surface. If not, wiping the surface …


Phone shipments mark 'the biggest annual fall' on record, expensive flagships to blame

Buried in the latest industry reports that witnessed quite a few movers and shakers, is the fact that Q4 actually saw the largest quarterly drop on record in smartphone shipments. That’s right, research firm Strategy Analytics showed that shipments were 9% down in Q4 2017, compared to 2016, or “the biggest annual fall in smartphone history.”
The culprits? Longer upgrade cycles, particularly in China, due to midrangers becoming “good enough,” while average selling prices for flagships are getting ever higher with no “wow” factors attached to their ballooning costs. …

Mark Wahlberg donated his $1.5 million 'All The Money' fee to Time's Up

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In the wake of an uproar over the $1.5 million Mark Wahlberg was paid for his All The Money In The World reshoots, the actor announced Saturday that he will donate the money in his costar Michelle Williams’ name to the Time’s Up legal defense fund.

Wahlberg’s hefty reshoot fee made headlines earlier this week after it was reported that Williams earned just $1,000 for her time. 

The cast of All The Money In The World reshot multiple scenes after director Ridley Scott cut actor Kevin Spacey from the film following multiple sexual assault allegations. Christopher Plummer replaced himUSA Today first reported the massive pay discrepancy on Tuesday. Read more…

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Would the OnePlus 5T be a bargain if it hits the $550 mark?

OK, folks, so the OnePlus 5T is getting announced tomorrow, but thanks to a steady stream of leaks and even an unboxing video, which went live before it should’ve, we’ve got a hefty bit of the details out in the light. Nothing is sacred anymore.

Anyway, the hardware is not surprising — a Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 SoC, 6 GB or 8 GB of RAM, 64 GB or 128 GB of storate, and a 3,300 mAh battery. What’s different? Well, there’s the 6-inch display with an 18:9 aspect ratio, putting the OnePlus 5T in the same league as other heavy-hitting flagships that came out this year. And there’s also no longer …

iPhone X pre-orders might break the 50 million mark

Of the three new iPhones that Apple revealed on September 12, the most interesting model – the iPhone X – isn’t available to buy yet, and won’t be launched before early November. The completely new design of the iPhone X seems to be making many customers pass on the iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus (both available to buy since September 22). Ultimately, this should be a good thing for Apple.

According to well connected analyst Ming-Chi Kuo of KGI Securities, pre-orders for the iPhone X could reach over 50 million units, despite the handset’s high prices – $999 for the …

Mark your calendars: Sony's IFA 2017 keynote will be held on August 31

Berlin-held consumer electronics expo IFA’s 2017 edition is still more than two months ahead of us, and yet companies are already starting to announce plans for their own events before and during the exhibition. Case in point: Sony has just given us details about when its IFA press conference is going to be held this year.
Sony’s keynote will be held on Thursday, August 31, at 1 p.m. Central European time, which for all of you Americans out there translates to 7 a.m. Eastern and 4 a.m Pacific time.
Much like its American counterpart …

Mark Hamill remembers 'princess' Carrie Fisher at Tony Awards

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As is the standard at awards shows, there was an “in memoriam” segment at the Tony Awards Sunday night, and yup, there were tears.

“We lost many beloved members of our theatrical family,” Mark Hamill said. “Legends of the stage, artists from behind the scenes, princes of show business… and a princess,” Hamill continued, putting his hand on his heart.

The princess reference is obviously — sob — referring to Carrie Fisher, who passed away in December followed shortly after by her mother, Debbie Reynolds.

Both woman were honored as part of the In Memoriam segment, which this year took the form of five Broadway performers singing “It’s So Hard to Say Goodbye to Yesterday.” Read more…

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Amazon's shares crack the $1,000 mark for the first time

For the first time ever since going public, Amazon’s shares have hit the $1,000 mark. That means that for 2017, the stock is up 33% and had enriched Jeff Bezos and other stockholders to the tune of $120 billion. The company becomes only the second of the current S&P 500 companies to hit the $1,000 mark. The first to do it was Priceline back in 2013. Analysts see another 10% rise in the stock with the Wall Street consensus calling for the shares to hit a target of $1,100.

If you consider Amazon to be a tech stock (more on that below) than all top five U.S. companies by market cap (share …

Twice as many app publishers reach the million-dollar mark on the App Store compared to Google Play

According to a recent report by market intelligence company Sensor Tower, more app publishers are likely to make their first $1 million in annual revenue on Apple’s App Store, rather than Google Play. Sensor Tower’s data shows that 66 iOS app publishers reached this milestone in 2016, while only 39 managed to achieve the same on Google’s online storefront.

Further, the data shows that the number of publishers who made their first million over the last year on the U.S. App Store has nearly doubled over 2015. Tower Sensor’s report takes into account in-app revenues, …

Apple misses the mark, sells 50.8 million iPhone units in fiscal Q2 vs. expectations of 52 million

Apple reported its fiscal second quarter earnings this afternoon. The tech titan said that it fell short of Wall Street expectations pertaining to iPhone sales. With analysts expecting about 52 million iPhone handsets to have been rung up in the three months ended in March, Apple said that 50.8 million units were actually sold. CEO Tim Cook told CNBC that the company is noticing “a delay in purchasing behavior.” That could be due to the 10th anniversary Apple iPhone 8 that is expected to be released later this year with many new features, including an AMOLED screen. As Apple’s CEO points out, Consumers …