Apple Watch 3 Review: 3 Months With the New Apple Watch

Apple Watch 3 Review: 3 Months With the New Apple Watch is a post by Josh Smith from Gotta Be Mobile.
After using the Apple Watch 3 for several months this is the smart watch to buy, and it’s a very worthy upgrade for anyone who already owns an Apple Watch. While you likely don’t need LTE, it can be helpful if you want the freedom to leave your iPhone at home or in a car while working out.
The Apple Watch 3 is noticeably faster than the Apple Watch Series 2, which means I use apps and features that took too long to reliably use on the older model. Siri can now talk to you, which is handy when you want to quickly command the digital assistant and keep doing what you were doing.
Apple Watch 3 battery life blows the previous models out of the water, which means I can go two days without a charge on most days, and even use the Apple Watch to track my sleep. In short this is the Apple Watch that you’ve been waiting for, even if you don’t need LTE.
Is the Apple Watch 3 Worth Buying?
If you want the best smart watch you can buy, the Apple Watch 3 is the one to buy. Don’t waste time with the Apple Watch Series 1. The Series 1 is dramatically slower, doesn’t have the same battery life and you cannot go swimming with it like you can with the Apple Watch 2 or Apple Watch 3.

Apple Watch 3 With LTE

The Apple Watch 3 is a giant leap ahead of the Apple Watch 2, with better battery life, faster apps and an LTE option. This is the Apple Watch to buy.

Pros
Way faster than previous models, making it useful in many more situations.
Long battery life lasts at least two days, including sleep tracking.
Waterproof enough to swim with in the pool or ocean.
LTE is handy for some users, and a nice addition.

Cons
LTE is $10 a month but it doesn’t require much data.
Some apps are still not optimized.
Apple Watch music options are geared to Apple Music.

Buy at Apple
Buy at Best Buy

At $329 for the 38mm and $359 for the 42mm, the Apple Watch 3 is a steal for what you can do with it, and what it can do for you. If you time your Apple Watch purchase with holidays like Valentine’s Day, Mothers Day, Fathers Day and Black Friday you can easily save $50 to $100 off the purchase price of the new model.
Hands down the Apple Watch 3 is the best smart watch you can buy to wear with the iPhone. It’s the model I recommend to friends and family and with an Apple Watch 4 at least six to eight months away it remains an excellent buy. You can choose from a range of Apple Watch bands and between several Apple Watch colors.
How I Use the Apple Watch 3
With a bright and easy to see display, I use the Apple Watch 3 indoors and out, night and day. After tracking my sleep automatically overnight I wake up to an iPhone alarm that also vibrates on my wrist. Since the battery life is so good, I wear the watch overnight with the new mesh sport band that is super comfortable. I’ll put the Apple Watch 3 on the charger while I get a shower, which gives me enough power for the next day and night in most cases.
Notifications are at the core of the Apple Watch experience. While you can get all the same notifications on your wrist as on your iPhone, I limit mine to only the most important notifications; iMessage, Facebook messages, phone calls, Ring alerts, smart home alerts and a few other items. I don’t find any value in getting email, slack, Facebook or Twitter notifications on my wrist all day long. That option is there, but if you are active on all those platforms, the notifications get old.
Apps perform way better on the Apple Watch 3 than on older models.
Now that the Apple Watch is fast enough to reliably use apps I am relying on it more than I did the Series 2. I routinely scroll through Instagram, Tweetbot and reply to texts, iMessages and Facebook Messages on my Apple Watch. The Apple Watch app experience isn’t perfect as some apps still seem to take forever to refresh with information from the web on both WiFi and LTE. The Digital Crown makes scrolling through lists easier than swiping on the screen.
I use the Apple Watch to control my smart home gadgets. This includes turning my Lutron Lights on and off with the app, opening my garage door and using Siri to perform these actions.
Siri can talk on the Apple Watch 3, which makes using the virtual assistant to get conversions in the kitchen is handier since I don’t need to wait and look at the screen to know what the result is. This is also handy when performing other actions with Siri.
I track my activity with the Apple Watch 3 using the built-in Activity app which syncs to Apple Health and a variety of third party apps like Gyroscope to give me a full picture of my daily activity and overall health. I am using this alongside Lose It! as an effort to lose weight. The Apple Watch isn’t a magic bullet to get thin, but with the right motivation and the best weight loss apps it can help you get in shape with gentle nudges throughout the day.
 
Always seeing the Activity Rings and getting a push at the end of the day is helpful in staying active.
Occasionally I will answer a call on the Apple Watch, but more often I use it to reply to a text by choosing a suggested reply, dictating a reply or using the scribble option to “type” a message back. This works on WiFi or LTE so even if you don’t opt for the cellular model you can use this feature with your iPhone in another room as long as you are on WiFi.
The Apple Watch 3 can stream Apple Music to Bluetooth headphones, but it is not a feature I use often. Streaming only works with Apple Music, and I prefer Spotify. I have loaded a playlist of purchased music on the Apple Watch for some runs, and it works very well. If there was a Spotify Apple Watch app this would be way more useful to me.
Apple does not include a camera on the Apple Watch 3, but you can use it as a remote viewfinder for your iPhone. This is really handy if you need to take a group photo and you want to be in it. You can see the photo and then take the photo right from the watch.
Apple Watch 3 Battery Life
The Apple Watch 3 battery life is much better than the Apple Watch 2 for how I use the device. I’ve only run out of battery life in single day twice, and that’s when something weird happened with an app that kept using the GPS.
Battery life is good enough to last at least two days with my use and the Apple Watch charges fast enough that I can charge when I shower and top up occasionally through the week.
Using LTE or GPS more frequently can drain the battery faster, so your results will vary, but the difference between the first Apple Watch and the Apple Watch 2 are night and day for me.
Do You Need an Apple Watch with LTE?
Do you need the Apple Watch 3 with LTE?
I purchased the Apple Watch 3 with LTE on Verizon. It’s $70 more expensive and $10 a month to always have connectivity. This means I can leave my iPhone at home and still be able to make and take calls and send and receive messages on the same phone number as my iPhone. I can also use other apps on the Apple Watch using LTE.
After several months, it’s not really a feature that I need on my Apple Watch. It is convenient, but I’m not without my iPhone as much as I thought I might be. A close friend uses the LTE connection very often, leaving his iPhone at home while playing Ultimate frisbee or while doing other tasks.

Buy at Verizon
Buy at AT&T
Buy at T-Mobile
Buy at Sprint

Even if you opt for no LTE, you can still use the Apple Watch without your iPhone for many features when you are connected to WiFi. Ultimately it’s a very personal decision, but most people will be fine without LTE. Here’s more on which Apple Watch 3 to buy.

43 Exciting Things You Can Do With the Apple Watch
Answer Calls on the Apple Watch

You can answer a call on your Apple Watch using it as a small Bluetooth speaker phone. You only want to use this for shorter calls because the audio quality isn’t as good as when you are talking on speakerphone on your iPhone. 
The Apple Watch only allows you to answer your calls on Speakerphone, so you won’t want to use this all the time. It is very handy when you are working on a project or busy with your hands. Definitely be conscious of where you are taking calls. If you wouldn’t talk on speakerphone, you shouldn’t talk on your Apple Watch.
If you buy the new Apple Watch Series 3 with LTE, you can even make calls on the Apple Watch without your iPhone nearby. This requires adding the watch to your plan for $10 a month. You cannot answer a FaceTime video call on the Apple Watch. 

Apple Watch 3 Review: 3 Months With the New Apple Watch is a post by Josh Smith from Gotta Be Mobile.
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Sigma 14-24mm F2.8 DG HSM Art Lens

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The Sigma 14-24mm F2.8 DG HSM Art is billed as the ultimate ultra-wide-angle zoom for Canon and Nikon 35mm full-frame DSLRs. While minimising distortion, this lens offers outstanding F2.8 brightness throughout the zoom range and delivers top-level image quality at every focal length and every shooting distance. Pricing is still to be confirmed, with delivery for Canon, Nikon and Sigma mounts  due in March.
Sigma UK Press Release
A | Art
SIGMA 14-24mm F2.8 DG HSM
Zero distortion.

The ultimate 14-24mm wide-aperture zoom lens.
1.   Outstanding Art line image quality

2.   Compatible with Canon Lens Aberration Correction

3.   Professional specifications

4.   Introducing the new Front Conversion Service
Launch: March 2018

Accessory: Case, Cover Lens Cap (LC964-01)

Available AF mounts: SIGMA, Nikon, Canon

Note: Appearance and specifications are subject to change without notice.
Welcoming a new ultra-wide-angle lens to the Art line

Leveraging major manufacturing advances at the Aizu factory, SIGMA is now producing ultra-high-precision moulded glass aspherical lens elements as large as φ80mm and incorporating them in new products. This premier optical technology promises to set a new standard for excellence in ultra-wide-angle lenses.
For the Art line, SIGMA began development simultaneously of two ultra-wide-angle lenses offering the key focal length of 14mm: one prime, and one zoom. In 2017, the company launched the SIGMA 14mm F1.8 DG HSM | Art as the ultimate ultra-wide-angle prime lens. This lens offers outstanding image quality in combination with F1.8 brightness.
Now SIGMA is introducing the 14-24mm F2.8 DG HSM | Art as the ultimate ultra-wide-angle zoom. While minimising distortion, this lens offers outstanding F2.8 brightness throughout the zoom range and delivers top-level image quality at every focal length and every shooting distance. For these reasons, it is the definitive wide-aperture ultra-wide-angle zoom lens.
Key features

Outstanding Art line image quality

Compatible with Canon Lens Aberration Correction

Professional specifications

Introducing the new Front Conversion Service

Designed to team up with 50-megapixel-plus cameras and offer top-level optical performance throughout the zoom range, the 14-24mm F2.8 DG HSM | Art incorporates three FLD glass elements, three SLD glass elements, and three aspherical lens elements, including one large-diameter aspherical element. Effective distribution of these high-refractive-index glass elements further enhances the corrective effect of the FLD and SLD glass. This optical system minimises transverse chromatic aberration and other optical aberrations, resulting in outstanding high-resolution image quality.
The first element in the optical system is a large-diameter aspherical lens. Optimising the power distribution of this and the other lens elements minimises distortion to 1% or lower.* As a result, points of light appear as points without streaking from the centre of the image to the edge, and the light volume is also abundant throughout the frame. In addition, simulations performed from the design stage onward have helped minimise flare and ghosting. In combination, these technologies ensure excellent ultra-wide-angle performance.

*At infinity focus
The Canon mount lens is compatible with the Canon Lens Aberration Correction function.* Matching the optical characteristics of the lens, this function performs in-camera correction of peripheral illumination, chromatic aberrations, distortion and more, further enhancing image quality.
*Function not available on all Canon cameras. Further, available corrections may vary by Canon camera model.
Like SIGMA’s Sports line lenses, the 14-24mm F2.8 DG HSM | Art features a highly effective dust- and splash-proof structure with special sealing at the mount connection, manual focus ring, zoom ring, and cover connection, allowing photographers to work in all types of weather. In addition, the front of the lens is protected by a water- and oil-repellent coating that makes cleaning easy. The high-speed, high-accuracy autofocus helps photographers react in an instant to get those special shots.
Today’s virtual reality creators favour multi-camera videography that leverages the capability of ultra-wide-angle lenses. Addressing this trend, SIGMA is offering the new Front Conversion Service, in which SIGMA converts the petal-type hood of the 14-24mm F2.8 DG HSM | Art lens to an exclusive round component. This altered front structure allows the lens to be deployed with greater freedom in multi-camera VR videography. The new front also helps prevent the lens from interfering with other lenses or from casting a visible shadow. The use of this service has no impact on the validity of the product warranty.

Start of service: TBD
Other features

Rounded diaphragm

Fast AF with full-time manual override

Compatible with Mount Converter MC-11

Available SIGMA USB DOCK makes customisation and flexible adjustment possible

Available Mount Conversion Service
Brass bayonet mount

Evaluation with SIGMA’s own MTF measuring system: A1

“Made in Japan” with outstanding craftsmanship

For more information about the SIGMA GLOBAL VISION line-up of fine products, please visit the official SIGMA global website:

SIGMA GLOBAL VISION: http://www.sigma-global.com
Specifications
All figures calculated for SIGMA

Lens Construction: 17 elements in 11 groups | Angle of view (35mm): 114.2°-84.1° | Number of diaphragm blades: 9 (rounded diaphragm) | Minimum aperture: F22 | Minimum focusing distance: 26-28cm/10.2-11.0in. | Maximum magnification ratio: 1:5.4 | Dimensions (diameter x length): ø96.4mm x 135.1mm/3.8in. x 5.3in. | Weight: 1,150g/40.6oz.
Product information
SIGMA GLOBAL VISION: http://www.sigma-global.com

Introducing the new Front Conversion Service for SIGMA 14-24mm F2.8 DG HSM | Art
To support the needs of virtual reality creators engaged in multi-camera videography, SIGMA is offering the new Front Conversion Service for the SIGMA 14-24mm F2.8 DG HSM | Art lens. With this service, SIGMA converts the petal-type hood of the lens to an exclusive round component that lacks a light-blocking function. The new front helps prevent the lens from interfering with other lenses or from casting a visible shadow during multi-camera work. This chargeable service is performed exclusively by SIGMA. Use of the service has no impact on the validity of the product warranty.
Note 1: Includes exclusive cap (LC964-02)

Note 2: Start of service: TBD

Note 3: Replacement components provided under the Front Conversion Service are covered by a six-month warranty.

Note 4: For further information, please contact Sigma Imaging (UK) Ltd on 01707 329 999 or sales@sigma-imaging-uk.com.

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Kjus BT 2.0 Glove review: ski gloves with Bluetooth and OLED display – Hardware reviews

Gloves have a simple, yet critical mission: to protect and warm your hands. But the Kjus BT 2.0 Gloves do more. These smart gloves with an OLED display serve as an extension of the smartphone, so that you can always be connected while skiing without having to dig out the smartphone. We tested the Bluetooth gloves to see how useful they could really be.

Good

✓Long battery life, fast charging
✓Efficient communication
✓Good workmanship, very warm

Bad

✕High price
✕Awkward placement of earpiece and microphone

Release date and price
The Bluetooth gloves from Kjus aren’t exactly a bargain. The recommended retail price is $399, though some retailers might also offer them at a slightly lower price, usually not from stock, but only on request. However, really good ski gloves are not necessarily cheap even without Bluetooth technology.
KJUS BT 2.0 Gloves
 

Design and build quality
Lasse Kjus, the former Olympic champion and part of a golden generation of skiers from Scandinavia, has long since unstrapped his competition skis. Meanwhile, the retired champion sells a collection of ski clothing under his own name. These include the Kjus BT 2.0 gloves, which are available in different versions for men and women. But the gloves have more to offer than warm materials and a chic cut. They also pack modern technology: in the thumb we find loudspeaker at the top, and further down, a microphone. Both are waterproof and serve as a telephone handset.
Anyone who has ever skied before can guess why this makes sense: it’s cold and wet, you’re encumbered by layers, the smartphone is somewhere in a bag or backpack. When the bell rings, you never manage to dry your hands and dig into your pockets in time to answer the call. With the Bluetooth gloves, all you have to do is press the LED-illuminated button on the top of the glove to answer the call. In addition, the glove vibrates for incoming calls.

The illuminated button is striking. / © AndroidPIT

The workmanship is pleasing, only the component that houses the display and the battery is loosely seated in the glove and is not sewn tightly to the upper fabric layer. The cut of the Kjus gloves is sporty and tight, in my normal glove size 10 they fit me just so. The straps on the wrists are removable, the wrist area is lightly padded – practical for slalom skiers or for après-skiing. A Velcro fastener ensures a pleasant fit.
The material mix of leather and textile is convincing, not only because all surfaces look high-quality and are sufficiently resistant to snow and ice. The leather surfaces, which also cover the fingertips, are touch-ready, so you can also operate your smartphone with the gloves in an emergency.

Leather interior, fabric exterior. / © AndroidPIT

Incidentally, the all the technology is in the right glove. However, this is not noticeable when you wear it, because the components are small, the cables are flat and everything put together is quite comfortable. Since the components are all waterproof, no one needs to be afraid of snow, wetness or ice—but that would always be a no-go for any ski gloves.

Display
On the right glove there is a small display, just three centimeters in size. The manufacturer emphasizes that the mini display is an OLED panel. The resolution is not particularly high, but it doesn’t have to be, since the screen only displays basic data: battery status, Bluetooth connection, the name of the connected smartphone, caller and phone number. This is sufficient, even in the two-color representation. The brightness is good, and the font is always clearly visible.

Such a tiny OLED display is rarely seen. / © AndroidPIT

Software
There is no special app for the Kjus gloves. The Bluetooth connection is established via Android, and more software is neither necessary nor available.

Talk to the glove, please. / © AndroidPIT

Audio
The Kjus gloves are only really unique because of their built-in headphones. You can even listen to music with them theoretically, but nobody will want to do that for many reasons, such as comfort, lack of shielding against ambient noise, restriction to one ear—and also sound quality. It’s just not enough for music, but it doesn’t have to be, as that isn’t the point.

The gloves of Olympic champion Lasse Kjus. / © AndroidPIT

However, pure telephone calls with the glove headphones are anything but pleasant. A telephone call sounds more like a conversation with walkie-talkies and by no means as natural and pleasant as with modern smartphones. The Kjus BT 2.0 also works half-duplex, which means that while one person is talking, he or she no longer hears the other person. The volume is sufficient, but can only be adjusted via the smartphone. So, if the phone is too quiet for the current environment, you have to dig it out again.
It is also clear, however, that these gloves are not necessarily made for hours of conversation. It’s about easy accessibility on the slopes and making quick arrangements, for example to the next meeting point. For this purpose, what is offered is sufficient, but not for more. Nevertheless, it is somewhat mysterious why the manufacturer did not place the microphone in the tip of the pinky finger. This would have made it possible to make phone calls more comfortably and intuitively.

Phone calls with your glove—welcome to the future. / © AndroidPIT

Battery
The battery in the gloves is charged via a Micro USB port near the opening. The connection is housed in a sturdy plastic part. The manufacturer does not mention the exact capacity and running time, but in the test, the battery of the Kjus BT 2.0 lasts for a very long time—especially in standby mode, which is what it will be on most of the time. Charging is done via computer or power supply. This takes less than an hour via PC with a completely empty battery.

Final verdict

Lasse Kjus knows what a ski glove should look like and what it needs to do. In fact, the Kjus BT 2.0 is a really good pair of gloves. All in all, the technology behind it is neither particularly complex nor extraordinary—but nevertheless reasonably suitable for everyday use. The battery lasts a long time, the operation is uncomplicated and the call quality is sufficient for making quick arrangements. The Bluetooth gloves are not necessarily good for more than that, but usually that is enough. Every skier has to decide for themselves whether being relatively easy to reach on the slopes justifies a $399 price tag.

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How Reggie Brown invented Snapchat

Reggie Brown carefully ran his fingers over the blunt, admiring its tightly rolled perfection. It was almost a shame to smoke such a work of art.
He leaned back on the couch in his Kimball Hall dorm room at Stanford University as he discussed the weekend’s social events with two of his former fraternity brothers, David and Zach.
The subject of the conversation moved on to the girls. A dreamy expression appeared on Reggie’s face.
“I wish I could send disappearing photos,” he mused, almost absentmindedly.
David and Zach laughed and agreed that it would be useful if photos disappeared, then turned to who was coming to their party that weekend. Reggie withdrew. He was thinking.
Through the haze of smoke, David and Zach’s chatter faded. Reggie focused on the usefulness of this new idea. A way to send disappearing pictures. He wouldn’t have to worry about sending a hookup a picture of his junk! And girls would be way more likely to send him racy photos if they disappeared.
Suddenly, he jumped up, and rushed down the hall to see if Evan Spiegel was around. Having both recently returned from studying abroad, and with their Kappa Sig lives now over, Evan and Reggie had moved into Kimball Hall, a dorm not far from Donner, where they had lived freshman year. Mulling his disappearing photos idea — how would he best explain it to Evan — Reggie’s topsiders barely touched the worn dark blue carpet as he surged down the hall in a half run/half walk.
Bursting into Evan’s room, Reggie exclaimed, “Dude, I have an awesome idea!” Even before Reggie finished explaining his idea, Evan lit up. He was immediately energized — almost intoxicated. It was just like all those nights of partying together, except they were drinking in Reggie’s idea.
“That’s a million-dollar idea!” Evan finally exclaimed.
Reggie felt relief and validation; more importantly, he felt hope. Even though Future Freshman had failed, Evan hadn’t given up his dream of starting the next transcendent tech company. He was the best operator Reggie knew, capable of taking this stroke of inspiration and making it a reality. And now they had an idea that actually seemed fresh and new. Unique.
The two friends excitedly discussed all of the celebrities whose nude photos had been leaked to the press. Their app would solve this problem! Evan gesticulated quickly and animatedly as he explained to Reggie how he could see people sending disappearing pictures back and forth. Most of us had barely moved past flip phones and BlackBerrys to iPhones at this point. And just as we moved from talking to texting to apps for everything else, people were starting to make the app transition for sex. Tinder would come out a year later, followed by a whole host of copycats. With this early photo-sharing idea, Reggie and Evan imagined a walled garden for couples to share intimate photos.

They would split the company 50/50, vote on everything, and divide equally any losses or gains they might see. Since Evan had more experience from running Future Freshman and other projects, he would be the CEO. Reggie would be the chief marketing officer.
But neither knew how to code well enough to make the app. They would need to recruit one of their friends to join them. They started a list of their fraternity brothers who had taken computer science courses. Most of the seniors that year were still economics majors heading off to Wall Street and the major consulting shops after graduation — it would be a few more years until most sought to make their fortunes in the Valley. But they came up with a couple names and headed off to the fraternity to recruit them.
Evan was a particularly persuasive salesman but he struggled to convince people with the initial pitches. The first two fraternity brothers he invited to join them said no.
Fortunately, Evan was not so easily deterred. And he had the perfect person in mind — his old Future Freshman cofounder, Bobby. Evan was sure he could convince Bobby to work on the app. He called Bobby and explained Reggie’s idea. But Bobby wasn’t convinced. Would people really want to use this? Evan nervously urged him that this idea was different from anything other people were working on. It wasn’t like Future Freshman where they would run into an army of competitors. They had learned a lot from their past two projects, and this was the most unique idea yet. Bobby, at last convinced, agreed to write the code, hoping the third time would be the charm for him and Evan.

Evan, Reggie, and Bobby’s first crack at the idea was dreadful: they created a clunky website where users uploaded a photo then set a timer for when the picture would disappear. They quickly realized it would be much easier and more private for users, and thus more widely used, if they built a mobile app instead of a website; to this day, Snapchat still does not offer a web product.
They sat around in their dorm room, debating how users should interact with their friends and what features would make people tell their friends to download it. Evan ran the group, making sure things were coming together on time and keeping everyone focused, while boisterous Reggie offered up ideas on all the different ways people would use the app. Bobby, much quieter and more reserved than the other two, kept the group grounded and generally agreed with Evan on the app’s direction.
Bobby put in eighteen-hour coding days for the next week to get them to a working prototype. Reggie came up with a name for the app: Picaboo, a riff on the childhood game Peek-a-boo. Evan designed the app’s interface, digitally mocking up what it would look like and how users would interact with it, so that Bobby could turn his visions into reality.
They finished a working prototype of Picaboo just days before final exams. They needed people to download the app, test it out, and hopefully tell their friends about it. Evan decided to approach his former fraternity brothers; despite having been kicked out, he was still friendly with most of the guys from his year, and they were still some of the most social people on campus. Evan needed the popular crowd to use this if it was going to catch on.
Evan quickly typed out a few lines about the app. He had told a lot of the guys about the idea before but not in such a broad, public way. He imagined people forwarding the email, downloading the app, and being instantly addicted. Facebook had launched a mere seven years earlier and ripped through Harvard like wildfire before spreading to other campuses, and then the world. The Stanford Daily wrote at the time about how many students were skipping classes because they were consumed with Facebook. Instagram had been downloaded over forty thousand times on the day of its initial release. Evan used an analytics platform called Flurry to track how many people downloaded the app, how often they used it, and how often they sent pictures to each other. It was time for the world to see Picaboo. Putting the finishing touches on the email, Evan hit send.
And then . . . nothing. It was a dud.
The fraternity brothers who downloaded the app that first week had fun with it, sending each other silly photos of themselves bored in class or pics of themselves partying. Even more so, it was cool because it was one of the first times they could hold something in their palms, on their phones, that one of their friends had built. But it wasn’t serious; it was just Evan’s little toy. A few dozen people had downloaded it and were toying around with it because their friends had created it. But they weren’t totally sure what it was and how they were supposed to use it. It was too early to call Picaboo a failure—the thing had just launched and barely worked. But it was far from the fairy-tale launch Evan had dreamed of.

Stanford Campus. Photo courtesy of Easyturn/istock

Evan was enrolled in a mechanical engineering class called “Design and Business Factors” that encouraged upperclassmen product design majors to create a prototype and business plan for an app or other product. The final project, presenting this prototype and business plan, was a third of the grade for the course. Reggie’s idea was much more intriguing than the ones Evan had been considering, so he adopted it for his class. While most of the other students worked in groups of three to five, Evan worked on his idea alone.
At the end of the class, everyone presented their prototypes to a panel of venture capitalists. There are dozens of entrepreneurship classes like this at Stanford, and while there is the allure of a team making it big, the vast majority of the students are just playing startup. If most startups fail, most of these class projects don’t even reach a stage where they can accurately be called a startup.
Like a school science fair, everyone put together a visual presentation to display on tables in the back. Each group sent a presenter to sell the judges on their project and receive feedback. Evan sat in the back of the classroom and watched his peers pitch their ideas. They ran the usual gamut from overpolished presentations by excited students seeking approval to underprepared undergrads just running out the clock until their turn was over. For the first time, Evan worried what other people would think about his app. The fraternity brothers enjoyed playing   with it –surely Evan’s peers and these venture capitalists would understand the value of what he had been working so hard to build. They had to, right?
Finally, it was Evan’s turn. Showtime. He approached the front of the room like the entrance to a party, strutting confidently to show the crowd what he, Reggie, and Bobby had been working on tirelessly for the past six weeks. Confident and comfortable, Evan enthusiastically explained to the other thirty students, two professors, and half a dozen venture capitalists that not every photograph is meant to last forever. He passionately argued that people would have fun messaging via pictures.
The response? Less than enthusiastic.
Why would anyone use this app? “This is the dumbest thing ever,” seemed to be the sentiment underlying everyone’s tones. One of the venture capitalists suggested that Evan make the photos permanent and work with Best Buy for photos of inventory. The course’s teaching assistant, horrified, pulled Evan aside and asked him if he’d built a sexting app.

Phil Knight in a 1994 appearance on Charlie Rose

The scene was reminiscent of another Stanford student’s class presentation half a century earlier. In 1962, a student in Stanford’s Graduate School of Business named Phil Knight presented a final paper to his class titled “Can Japanese Sports Shoes Do to German Sports Shoes What Japanese Cameras Did to German Cameras?” Knight’s classmates were so bored by the thesis that they didn’t even ask him a single question. That paper was the driving idea behind a company Knight founded called Nike.
The VCs sitting in Evan’s classroom that day likely passed up at least a billion-dollar investment return. But it’s very easy to look at brilliant ideas with the benefit of hindsight and see that they were destined to succeed. Think about it from their perspective — Picaboo’s pitch was basically, “Send self-destructing photos to your significant other.” Impermanence had a creepy vibe to it, belonging only to government spies and perverts. With the benefit of hindsight, we can see that Facebook developed the conditions that allowed Snapchat to flourish. But it wasn’t at all obvious watching Evan’s pitch in 2011 that this was a natural rebellion against Facebook or that it would grow beyond our small Stanford social circle.
If anyone was searching for the next Facebook killer, they were hopefully looking at a little photo-sharing app called Instagram that had just raised Series A funding valuing the company at $25 million; it’s much more likely that they were looking at any number of apps or websites that have since died without your ever hearing of them.
In spite of this third failure to successfully pitch people on the idea, Evan remained undaunted. And as he hoped to keep Reggie and Bobby engaged and driving on the project, he told them that everyone really liked their idea.
Most of their peers were pursuing internships — or, in Bobby’s case, full-time jobs — at prestigious banks and big tech companies. But Evan and Bobby were used to ignoring the norms to chase their startup ideas. And Reggie was committed to it. Most importantly, they really liked the app. While primitive, it was fun to use. And they really believed that people would want to send pictures that deleted themselves, whether for sexting or otherwise.
The trio agreed to move south for the summer, to Evan’s dad’s house in Pacific Palisades. There, they would develop the app, gain users, and take their shot at becoming the next big Stanford startup. As they agreed on the logistics of the summer, Reggie felt his excitement grow. As long as he had Evan, nothing could go wrong.

Come hear more about Snapchat’s early days when TechCrunch’s Josh Constine interviews “How to Turn Down a Billion Dollars” author Billy Gallagher at his book’s release party and signing at San Francisco’s Books Inc. on Monday, February 12th at 7pm.

Excerpted from HOW TO TURN DOWN A BILLION DOLLARS: The Snapchat Story by Billy Gallagher. Copyright © 2018 by William Gallagher and reprinted by permission of St. Martin’s Press, LLC.

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10 teams just signed their highest-ranked recruiting classes yet

Lots of cause for optimism at these programs.
The list of teams who spend Signing Day 2018 finishing up their highest-ranked recruiting classes yet, mostly based on the 247Sports Composite*:
1. Luke Fickell’s Cincinnati quietly had the best Signing Day of any non-power, bringing in 22 three-stars and four-star local TE Leonard Taylor to rank No. 47, well ahead of plenty of Power 5 teams.
2. Clemson has won 10-plus games in seven straight seasons, won a national title, and made the Playoff three years running … and isn’t done leveling up. The Tigers’ No. 6 2018 class, headlined by four of the country’s top 10 prospects, is just their third top-10 class. So yes, things can get scarier.
3. Coastal Carolina has been FBS for all of one year, so it makes sense that No. 107 is the Chanticleers’ new high point.
4. Who led Conference USA this time? Probably Lane Kiffin, right? Nope. Butch Davis, former Miami and North Carolina recruiting ace, has FIU up at No. 71, signing two four-star Mississippi JUCOs.
5. Georgia landed No. 1 with one of the highest-rated classes ever, signing a hilarious seven five-stars. This really isn’t a surprise, though. If you run the numbers all the way back to 2002, UGA has the second highest average ranking, behind only USC. The Dawgs hadn’t had a No. 1 in recruiting (or in the final AP poll in quite a while), but they’d lingered just a step behind for the entire Mark Richt era.

6. Georgia State cracked double digits for the first time, ranking No. 93 overall and No. 3 in the Sun Belt, thanks to an experienced local recruiter in head coach Shawn Elliott and a new stadium formerly known as the home of the Braves.
7. Ohio State has finished No. 2 a few times now, but this class rates the highest. It would’ve been the No. 1 in almost any other year.
8. Penn State had finished in the top 10 just once before. James Franklin got closer and closer every year, then broke through with a No. 5 class led by three five-stars.
9. Toledo hit No. 65 and loaded up with 24 three-stars, at least 10 more than anybody else in the MAC besides Western Michigan. The MAC’s most consistent program waited years for a conference title, and now we might see a string of them.
10. Western Kentucky’s been steadily building for a long time now, topping 2017’s No. 82 class with a No. 81 finish, including 16 Georgia and Florida signees.
* With some exceptions to account for wild outliers. A bunch of old Kentucky, Iowa, and Ohio State classes ranked dozens of spots lower in the Composite than they should’ve based on the individual rankings, for example, so I used Rivals instead for those. I also cut it off at 2002, since things start getting extra janky around then. These numbers also fluctuate over the years, for whatever reason, so an old class might’ve jumped ahead of a newer one by the time you read this.
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Ireland v Italy: Six Nations – live! | Sport

Ireland: Kearney; Earls, Henshaw, Aki, Stockdale; Sexton, Murray; McGrath, Best, Furlong, Henderson, Toner, O’Mahony, Leavy, Conan
Replacements: Cronin, Healy, Porter, Roux, Stander, Marmion, Carbery, Larmour
Italy: Minozzi; Benvenuti, Boni, Castello, Bellini; Allan, Violi; Quaglio, Bigi, Ferrari, Zanni, Budd, Negri, Steyn, Parisse
Replacements: Ghiraldini, Lovotti, Pasquali, Ruzza, Mbanda, Gori, Canna, Hayward

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Phil Mickelson, Rory McIlroy go in opposite directions at 2018 Pebble Beach Pro-Am

Echoes of his beatdown of Tiger 6 years ago: Lefty leaves Rory — 4-putt and all — in his dust at the Pebble Beach Pro-Am.
Phil Mickelson-Rory McIlroy may not have raised the hype level to defcon 1 the way Lefty’s head-to-head matchup with Tiger Woods at the Pebble Beach Pro-Am did six years ago, but this week’s pairing between two of the most popular players on the PGA Tour promised some fireworks.
Much like the highly anticipated Mickelson-Woods showdown, however, Friday’s second day of a potential three-day shootout fizzled like a defective Roman candle as the 47-year-old Mickelson blew by his 28-year-old playing partner by nine strokes.
While it was only the second round and not exactly the 11 shots that separated Tiger from Phil in the finale of the 2012 tourney, it was still quite the thrashing.
Indeed, Phil fired a flawless second-round 6-under 65 to leap into contention and a six-way tie for fifth place, at 9-under for the week, while Rory flailed away on the greens and elsewhere to fall into a share of 87th place after carding a 74 at Monterrey Peninsula Country Club.
McIlroy’s forgettable day included a head-scratching four-putt from within 10 feet on the par-4 fifth hole. The only reason the struggling former world No. 1 did not record an official five-jack was because he made his first jab with the short stick from off the green.

From 1 under to 1 over.
— PGA TOUR (@PGATOUR)

Not surprisingly, including the misadventure on No. 5, McIlroy needed 38 putts to make his way around Monterey. In his defense, the Ulsterman, who’s making his 2018 PGA Tour debut this week, had never played the Pro-Am until this week so he certainly does not have the institutional memory of the three course in rotation in a tournament Mickelson has won four times.
Friday’s mishap, however, was not the first time the two-time major champion has needed more than three putts on a green on the PGA Tour; he’s done the same 10 times in 8,462 holes, according to Golf Channel.
Rory’s unforced errors stood in stark contrast to his remarkable chip-in for birdie on the par-5 seventh hole on Thursday after a wayward drive that went way right followed a brief tongue-lashing to his father, Gerry, his pro-am partner for the week, for distracting him on the tee.
“There’s a few shadows out there,” McIlroy told reporters after a first-round 68 that included that errant tee shot and a subsequent water ball. “I was about to take my driver away … and I saw his shadow move. So, I backed off it … I said, ‘Fine, stand still.’”
All was forgiven after the chip-in and the father-son duo moved into contention at just three shots back of 18-hole co-leaders Kevin Streelman and Beau Hossler.
Then came Friday, and if Mickelson’s post-game comments are any indication, the challenge for McIlroy will only get tougher.
“Monterey Peninsula here, that, it’s probably the easiest to go low on,” Mickelson said after his stellar second round. “I think Pebble’s a little bit tougher because the greens are a little firmer and smaller.”
While McIlroy may have some trepidation about navigating those more difficult putting surfaces, Mickelson could not wait to get out to Pebble for the final two rounds (assuming he makes Saturday’s cut, which he appeared to be well on his way to accomplishing; Rory, at 1-under and T87, maybe not so much).
“I just love the feeling and the ambience of playing Pebble,” gushed Mickelson, who heads into Saturday just three shots back of 36-hole co-leaders Dustin Johnson and Beau Hossler. “I love being in the hunt playing that golf course and I get to play two rounds now it’s fun.”
We’re guessing Rory, who will have the pleasure of Phil’s company again on Saturday, may not share his elder’s opinion about what constitutes fun.

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How To Watch The 2018 Winter Olympics On All Your Devices

Michael Grothaus

09/02/2018 – 2:45pm

From TV to smartphones, you have more options than ever.

The Winter Olympics officially kicks off this week from Pyeongchang in South Korea. The 2018 Winter Olympics starts with the opening ceremony in Pyeongchang at 11am GMT on Friday, 9 February and the games run until February 25th. In years past your only option to catch the games was on broadcast television. But with the advent of streaming internet video, apps, and more you can now catch the 2018 Winter Olympics on virtually any device you own. In this post we’ll detail where to find the 2018 Winter Olympics on every device you have.
How To Watch The 2018 Winter Olympics: On Television In The UK
If you want to watch the Olympics in the UK on television you have two options: the BBC and Eurosport. The BBC will be broadcasting thousands of hours of the games across all mediums, including good old telly, as well as via iPlayer online and in their BBC sport apps. BBC One and BBC Four will be the primary channels the games will run on.
Eurosport also has the rights to air the games. Eurosport 1 and 2 they will show 794 hours of the games, with 290 hours of them live from midnight to 2pm each day (due to the time difference between South Korea and the UK).
How To Watch The 2018 Winter Olympics: On The Web In The UK
If you want to watch the games on the web in the UK you have even more choices. BBC will be streaming HD streams of 2018 Olympics coverage across its websites. Simply go to the BBC Sport website to see where you can catch all the live streams. Radio 5 Live and Radio 5 Live Sports Extra will also be streaming radio coverage online.
If you prefer waiting until events are over for the day to catch up and see highlights, turn to the official Olympics YouTube channel. This channel will have daily roundups of all the action, you just won’t be able to watch events live as they happen.
Alternately, if you just want to catch quick stats and highlights, doing a simple Google search will show medal tables, key events, and video highlights of the games.

How To Watch The 2018 Winter Olympics: On The Web Outside The UK
While the BBC’s and Eurosport’s streaming coverage will probably be second to none, if you do prefer to watch the games via an international source, simply log into a VPN and then set your country’s location to whichever you prefer. This will allow you to access the streaming websites of the media outlets who can show the games in their respective countries.
How To Watch The 2018 Winter Olympics: On Your iOS or Android Device
When it comes to watching the games on your mobile phone, you’re really spoilt for choice. There are several dedicated apps you could use. The most important one will be the BBC iPlayer app for iOS and Android. While you can’t live stream most events with it, the PyeongChang 2018 Official App for iOS and Android are good places to catch highlights and the latest stats from the games.
How To Watch The 2018 Winter Olympics: In Virtual Reality
Portions of the Olympic games will be broadcast in virtual reality. The place you’ll need to go to view the games in VR is US broadcaster NBC Sports. But in order to access the actual content, you’ll need to use a VPN to make it look like you are in the US. Once you’ve down that grab your VR device (such as the Samsung Gear VR or Oculus) and you are off to watching the games in an “almost like being there” format.

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LG G7: Rumours of a delay rebuffed by LG

What is happening to the LG G7? In the immediate wake of CES, rumours were circling that CEO Jo Seong-jin had sent the phone back to the drawing board, ensuring a delayed launch further along the year. 
That, according to the South Korean giants, is not the case. They issued a firm rebuttal of the story to Android Central, saying: “The successor to the G6 is on schedule and the official name will be announced when the time is right. Until then, reports of a decision being made on the timing and name are all speculative.”
Wait a second… the name is up for grabs? Yes, apparently LG is considering ditching the G plus number formula it has had in place for the last few years, for a brand refresh. It’s rumoured to contain two numbers, rather than starting back at “1” so as not to appear outdated compared to the Samsung Galaxy S9 or iPhone X.
For the purposes of this article, we’ll continue to call it the LG G7, but know that it’s far from set in stone.
We’ll hopefully know more soon. Hot on the heels of CES is Mobile World Congress, running from 26 February 2018. Given LG’s annual propensity for releasing its first flagship smartphone the day before the show starts, we’re also keeping a close eye on February 25 just in case. 
In the meantime, there have been some exciting rumours regarding the LG G7’s specs and features, not least of all that the handset may sport an advanced iris scanner, in a futuristic upgrade. Similarly, the phone is rumoured to come equipped with the next generation Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 chip, although this expectation has been slightly tempered by the fact that, as mentioned above, LG is likely to release the G7 a tad earlier that competitors, so might just miss out on the top-of-the-range chipset. Failure to procure the Snapdragon 845 would mean using the Snapdragon 835 – which, having missed out on this with the LG G6, would still constitute an upgrade. 
What more can we expect to see with the LG G7? Below are the latest rumours ahead of the expected January reveal. 
LG G7: Rumours
Rumours and leaks of the LG G7 have been pretty hard to come by, but three have popped up in recent months.
The first is a fingerprint sensor built into the screen, rather than on the back (like the LG G6) or built into the home button (like most other phones out there). LG announced the technology last year, but it looks like we’ve missed out on it for this year’s flagships. The LG G7 is a very good bet on the first handset to incorporate the technology – unless, for some reason, it proves to be less useful in testing than it sounds as a press release.
The second is that your internet access is about to get much faster. According to a report in Business Korea, the LG G7 and Samsung Galaxy S9 will be the first handsets to contain the Qualcomm Snapdragon X50 5G modem, when it becomes available in early 2018. That theoretically means speeds of up to 5Gbits/sec – significantly faster than the 4G we have now. Although, of course, that depends on the country’s infrastructure… so view that as strictly theoretical for now. Especially in the UK.
Thirdly, rumours abound that 2018 will be the year when LG finally switches to OLED panels for the company’s phone screens. The company has been experimenting with some pretty loopy screen technology of late – including a 77in flexible OLED screen. Given LG’s history of phone innovation, you wonder if any technology might make the leap to the small screen. 
You’d imagine the latest Snapdragon processor – the 845 – will be running the show, and we’ve heard rumours that wireless charging will be included too. Android Oreo – the latest version of Google’s operating system – is, of course, a given, but unfortunately, it does look like the days when LG let you change the battery are well and truly behind us. It’s all sealed glass and metal now: the market has spoken.
More recently, a concept video of the LG G7 has cropped up on YouTube, appearing to show a bezel-less design mockup of the handset. As per these videos, it’s neither a leak nor an official teaser, but does proffer an exciting foretaste of what might be to come from the famously innovative company (modular phones, anyone?).

Video of LG G7 Concept

LG G7: Price

Naming a price for a handset with no firm details in place is a bit of mug’s game, but here I am anyway, ready to take that challenge.
In the past, LG has undercut its competitors on pricing. The LG G5, for example, was a clear £69 cheaper than the Samsung Galaxy S7. This time around though, the LG G6 is one pricey handset: it started out at £650, just £30 shy of the superior Samsung Galaxy S8. It’s fallen rapidly and can be had for under £450 if you shop around.
My hope is that this rapid price decrease will prompt a rethink from the South Korean company. All the same, the weakened pound makes it hard for too much flexibility, so I’d suggest somewhere between £600 and £650 – but again, for the moment this is just me pulling numbers out of thin air.
LG G7: Release date
LG has, for the past four years, followed a fairly predictable release schedule:

LG Flagship

Release date

LG G

19 September 2012

LG G2

12 September 2013

LG G3

26 June 2014

LG G4

29 April 2015

LG G5

8 April 2016

LG G6

March 2017

…but given the rumours that the LG G7 has been sent back to the drawing board, this year may well be the time it slips back. We’d bet against it going back to September like the good old days, but a spring or summer release date could well be on the cards.

We’ll update this article as more details of the LG G7 emerge.

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Amazon sale: Prices slashed on Fire TV, Echo, tablets and more

Amazon has slashed prices of its best-selling Fire tablets, Fire TV devices and Echo devices by as much as 30% as part of a promotion that launched today. The sale takes the price of the retailer’s hugely popular Amazon Fire TV Stick down to just £29.99.
The discounts are valid across a range of Amazon’s already affordable Fire TV Sticks, Fire TVs, e-readers and Alexa-enabled tablets as well as Kids Edition tablets and Echo Dots.
Here are the best deals on offer right now:
Fire TV Stick (was £39.99)… £29.99
Fire 7 Tablet with Alexa (was £49.99)… £34.99
Echo Dot 2nd generation (was £49.99)… £39.99
Fire TV with 4K Ultra HD (was £69.99)… £59.99
Fire HD 8 with Alexa (was £79.99)… £59.99
Echo 2nd generation (was £89.99)… £74.99
Fire 7 Kids Edition Tablet (was £99.99)… £79.99
Kindle Paperwhite (was £109.99)… £89.99
Fire HD 8 Kids Edition Tablet (was £129.99)… £99.99
The promotion launched this morning, and we’d recommend acting quickly to take advantage of the price reductions, as it isn’t clear when the offers will end. There’s no need to enter a promotional code as the discounts have already been applied to each product and you don’t need to have an Amazon Prime account to be eligible for the savings.
Although we’ve seen the prices of these products drop more often than a DFS sale, we can’t be sure when they’ll be discounted again. It most likely won’t be until Amazon Prime Day rolls around, a one-day-only shopping event reserved for those with an active Amazon Prime account that usually launches around early to mid-July.
Check out our five-star reviews of the Amazon Fire TV Stick, Amazon Echo Dot and the Amazon Kindle Paperwhite.

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