Samsung’s 512GB Galaxy Note 9 comes with the Samsung Gear S3 on Amazon

Amazon is following up last week’s Note 9 accessory bundle deal with an even better one. The Note 9 with 512GB of internal storage is $50 off on Amazon, and it comes with a Samsung Gear S3 Frontier smartwatch for free with purchase.

This deal won’t do much to convince people who aren’t already looking to buy a new phone, but this seems to be the best time to buy a Note 9. This the most appealing bundle we’ve seen in terms of savings, and Samsung’s trade-in promotion makes it even better. Until November 3rd, new Note 9 owners can upload their proof of purchase through the Shop Samsung Android app to double the value of phones that are eligible for cash back. If you have a slightly newer phone, like the iPhone X, iPhone 8 Plus, or the…

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This cute stand makes Google’s Home Mini look like Mickey Mouse

Amid all the excitement of the news from the Pixel event today, Google has quietly put up the product page for a Mickey Mouse stand for the Google Home Mini. Made in partnership with Disney and OtterBox, the Mini mount is the first product from OtterBox’s Den Series of Google Home accessories. Hopefully this means that more are on the way, especially a Minnie Mouse stand, which would delight pun-aficionados everywhere.

Google’s partnered with Disney before for various interactive games playable on the Google Home. Mickey Mouse Adventure would be a good one for kids to play with this set, as they help Mickey navigate a city and guide him to his magic show by telling him where to go. The Den series Mickey Mouse stand is listed as “coming…

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Microsoft begins re-releasing Windows 10 October update after fixing file deletion bug

Microsoft is re-releasing its Windows 10 October 2018 Update today, following the company pulling it offline due to data deletion issues over the weekend. The software giant says there were only a few reports of data loss, at a rate of one one-hundredth of one percent. “We have fully investigated all reports of data loss, identified and fixed all known issues in the update, and conducted internal validation,” says Microsoft’s John Cable, director of program management for Windows Servicing and Delivery.

Microsoft is now re-releasing the Windows 10 October 2018 Update to Windows Insiders, before rolling it out more broadly to consumers. “We will carefully study the results, feedback, and diagnostic data from our Insiders before taking…

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The Nier: Automata novel gives fans yet another playthrough

Set on Earth in 11945 AD, the 2017 video game Nier: Automata takes places thousands of years after humanity was forced to escape to the Moon after an alien invasion. Its story follows 2B and 9S, two highly advanced androids sent to Earth by humans to investigate and fight the aliens’ non-sentient combat machines, which have started to exhibit human-like behaviors.

The game’s new novelization, Nier: Automata: Long Story Short, isn’t a substitute for the original game, though it’s about as faithful as a purely textual adaptation could be. That’s not only because of how important interactivity is to the story the game tells — including side quests that offer more context — but the way its multi-ending, perspective-hopping story repeatedly…

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The breach that killed Google+ wasn’t a breach at all

For months, Google has been trying to stay out of the way of the growing tech backlash, but yesterday, the dam finally broke with news of a bug in the rarely used Google+ network that exposed private information for as many as 500,000 users. Google found and fixed the bug back in March, around the same time the Cambridge Analytica story was heating up in earnest. But with the news breaking now, the damage is already spreading. The consumer version of Google+ is shutting down, German privacy regulators in Germany and the US are already looking into possible legal action, and former SEC officials are publicly speculating about what Google may have done wrong.

The vulnerability itself seems to have been relatively small in scope. The heart…

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Google’s Home app gets much better design and can now control smart devices remotely

Google announced the Home Hub today, a Google Assistant-powered Echo Show competitor that, among its various features, also acts as a visual dashboard for all your smart home devices. In designing the Home View dashboard, Google also went ahead and updated its Google Home app for Android and iOS.

The new Home App now does more than just recommend what movies to play through your Chromecast, or act as a vehicle to set up your Home Mini. The app has been revamped to make it easier to control multiple devices quickly, whether they’re in your own home or your parents’, so you can better play tech support from remote locations.

The app can now display all your devices in one view and organizes them by room. You can access Google Assistant…

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Peaceful farming sim Stardew Valley is coming to the iPhone

Stardew Valley is coming to the small screen. Today, Eric Barone, the farming game’s developer, revealed a surprise mobile port that’s launching later this month.

Currently Stardew Valley only has a release date on iOS — Barone says that he expects to have details about an Android release “soon” — but it does come with a number of welcome features. Notably, the game will be $7.99 and include no additional in-app purchases, and those who played the game on PC will even be able to transfer their progress to mobile. “It’s the full game, not a cut-down version, and plays almost identically to all other versions,” Barone says. “The main difference is that it has been rebuilt for touchscreen gameplay on iOS.”

Stardew Valley first launched way…

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Tesla sued by Nevada for failure to pay $650,000 in taxes

Tesla was sued by the state of Nevada earlier this week for its failure to pay nearly $655,000 to the state’s Unemployment Compensation Fund, according to Bloomberg.

According to the liability statement, Tesla is indebted to the Employment Security Division of the state of Nevada. The carmaker didn’t pay enough for the first and second quarters of 2018 when Tesla had $68 million and $55 million in taxable wages, respectively.

Tesla’s giant Gigafactory is located outside of Las Vegas, where it makes battery packs and other parts for its Model 3 electric vehicle. A spokesperson for the company did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Tesla is under enormous pressure to turn a profit, something the carmaker has only done…

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Here’s how indie artists will make money with SoundCloud Premier

Today, SoundCloud announced that it is opening up its direct monetization program to the public, finally giving most artists the ability to make money off of the platform. The program, called SoundCloud Premier, was created four years ago but has been limited to an invite-only beta until now. SoundCloud’s self-monetization move follows Spotify’s recent announcement that it would begin letting indie artists make money off of songs that are self-uploaded to its platform.

In order to qualify for Premier, you must be an independent creator with a Pro or Pro Unlimited account and have at least 5,000 plays in the past month from SoundCloud-monetized countries (which, for now, is limited to the US, UK, Canada, Australia, France, Germany,…

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James Gunn is now writing Suicide Squad 2

James Gunn — the director of the first two Guardians of the Galaxy movies — is moving across the comic store aisle to Marvel’s biggest cinematic superhero rival, DC, to write the script for “the next installment in the Suicide Squad franchise,” according to a report from Polygon.

The news comes after Disney fired Gunn ahead of the production launch for his planned movie, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3, in a controversial series of events that saw a number of offensive jokes that Gunn had made on Twitter in 2009 and 2010 resurfaced by right-wing “Pizzagate” conspiracy theorist Mike Cernovich. Despite considerable backlash from fans and almost the entire Guardians cast asking that Gunn be reinstated to the project, Disney refused to change…

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Copyright Derek T McKinney 2019