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2017 North American Car, Truck and Utility Vehicle of the Year Award semifinalists announced – Roadshow


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North American Car Of The Year

This year’s semifinalists for some of the auto industry’s most prestigious awards have been revealed, and there are a few surprises — but not all of them are among the vehicular nominees, some are with the awards themselves.

The North American Car, Truck And Utility Awards are particularly sought-after honors in the auto industry because they are voted on not by an individual publication or show, but by a self-funded, non-profit group of independent, full-time automotive journalists who work for all manner of media outlets, including print, online, television and radio. This will be the awards’ 24th year.

Outlets represented on the jury include publications like Car and Driver, MotorWeek, Kelley Blue Book, The Detroit News, and yes, Roadshow by CNET. Full Disclosure: I am a longtime member of the jury.

About those surprises: If you’ve been paying attention to the NACTOY awards in years past, you may be surprised to learn that a third category has sprouted up. In recent years, trucks and utility vehicles have been lumped into a single award category, Truck/Utility Of The Year. In recognition of the diversifying vehicle market, true trucks (pickups, cargo vans, etc.), will no longer do battle with sport- and crossover-utility vehicles and minivans. There will be two awards: Truck Of The Year and Utility Of The Year. Passenger automobiles including sedans and sports cars will continue to vie for their own award, the North American Car Of The Year.

These semifinalists (previously known as “short list”) have been voted on from a longer list of nominees that essentially included all new vehicles expected to launch for the 2017 model year. The jurors — including me — have been testing new vehicles all year, and whittled the “long list” down to these deserving candidates:

Car Of The Year Nominees:

Utility Vehicle Of The Year Nominees:

Truck Of The Year Nominees:

You may note that some new vehicles you expected to make the list aren’t present. That may be because they jury wasn’t impressed enough to vote them onto the list of semifinalists. In other cases, some models may not be on sale in time for consideration this award season, while in other cases, automakers have advised NACTOY that they won’t be able to make a vehicle available to the entire 60-member jury.

Jurors will now focus on evaluating these semifinalists, including in a group drive setting where jurors can drive all of the nominees back to back. Later this fall, another vote will whittle each category down to three finalists. A final period of testing will commence, and after a final round of voting, the winners will be announced January 9 at a press conference at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit.



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'The Simpsons' pays tribute to 'Adventure Time' in couch gag – CNET


“The Simpsons” couch gags often pay homage to other beloved TV series, whether it be “Futurama” or even “Breaking Bad.”

To kick off Season 28 of “The Simpsons,” Homer, Bart, Marge, Lisa and Maggie, and the rest of Springfield transform into fantastical characters that look like the Cartoon Network animated series, “Adventure Time.”

In the video “Simpsons Time,” Bart is Finn, Homer is Jake, Lisa is Marceline (playing her saxophone instead of Marceline’s guitar) and Maggie is Princess Bubblegum. Marge, her sisters, Chief Wiggum and other Springfield residents also play various citizens of the Candy Kingdom.

Mr. Burns is perfectly cast as the Ice King, while Smithers plays the odd role of Tree Trunks. Even the Simpsons’ pet dog Santa’s Little Helper gets to be Lady Rainicorn.

The couch gag has plenty of Easter Eggs including the sword in the “Adventure Time” logo, which is replaced by the glowing carbon rod Homer always seems to be dropping on the job.

“Adventure Time” creator Pendleton Ward also lends his voice to the couch gag by singing the theme song about Bart the Human and a Dog named Homer, rounding out this delightful tribute.



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iPhone 7 Plus 'portrait' mode does background blur better – CNET


With two rear cameras that can blend images into one, the iPhone 7 Plus can take shots that other phones can’t. iOS 10.1 will unlock the so-called depth-of-field feature that allows the phone to blur the background while keeping the foreground subject in focus. It’s not unlike the “bokeh” effect found on higher-end mirrorless cameras. (We used the 10.1 public beta for these photos; quality on the final version may differ.)

Depth effect take photos from looking like a simple snapshot, to a portrait. This one would look good on the wall or the desk at work.


Read full review



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Facebook or Twitter for the presidential debate? You want to agree or argue? – CNET


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Depending on where you watch the debates, you could be setting yourself up to trolls.

John Gurzinski/AFP/Getty Images

It’s a debate on where to stream the presidential debate.

When Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton duke it out in a war of words for the first time on Monday, you’ll be able to pick between Facebook and Twitter to get your live stream of the presidential debate.

While the face-off between Clinton and Trump will be virtually identical on both networks, your experience will vary dramatically. So which social network should you tune into? That’s going to depend on how much you want to throw down.

“Facebook is more akin to being [in] a living room where you have your friends and you have your relatives, it’s personal,” said Omar Akhtar, an analyst at research firm Altimeter. “Twitter is like the town square. Everyone is loudly proclaiming their opinions, it’s out to the public.”

Twitter’s open platform makes it possible for you to see reactions in real time and search for top comments. Facebook’s privacy settings make it hard for public conversations, but friends and family will likely weigh in.

All the way Live

While their approaches may differ, both social networks are using live video to hook users and gain relevancy during marquee moments. Twitter has been packing on shows for its growing network of live streams, including games from Major League Baseball, the National Basketball Association and the National Football League. Facebook has signed deals with hundreds of celebrities and publishers to stream through its Live platform.

Twitter and Facebook both hope to hook political junkies during Trump and Clinton’s first presidential debate. The two social networks first faced off at the Democratic and Republican national conventions with competing stream.

Facebook has the advantage on reach, with 1.7 billion active monthly users versus Twitter’s 313 million. In their first match-up from the conventions, Facebook, which partnered with ABC News, received 28 million video views. Twitter did not release viewership numbers for its convention streams, part of a partnership with CBS News. (Disclosure: CBS is the parent company of CNET.)

But where Twitter lacks in reach, it makes up for in speed. The social network is known for its live, quick reactions from users during mass media events.

“Twitter may have an advantage here because they have been marketing themselves as a real-time news and information service for many years,” said Gartner analyst Brian Blau. “They are in tune with real-time events, I would say a bit more than Facebook.”

Bird’s eye-view

This year’s series of debates could sway undecided voters. Most of the convincing will likely be done on Twitter, where there’s more of a free-flow exchange of ideas — many conflicting.

Facebook users tend to shut out dissenting opinions by surrounding themselves with like-minded voices, Local Search Association analyst Greg Sterling said.

Hillary Clinton

Your opinions on Hillary Clinton are less likely to be swayed on Facebook than Twitter.

David Becker, Getty Images

So while Facebook will likely win in terms of reach, Twitter has a better chance at influencing viewers.

“In terms of raw numbers, Facebook wins. But in terms of quality, Twitter offers a more interesting experience,” Sterling said.

Content from the streams could be also be a major factor to attract viewers on both social networks.

Facebook will team up with ABC News again, while Twitter will partner with Bloomberg for the debates. Twitter users will be able to watch live either through debates.twitter.com, Twitter Moments or Bloomberg’s account @bpolitics.

“As we move further into the election cycle, there continues to be a voracious appetite for live content and we know many users turn to Facebook to engage and participate in the conversation,” ABC News’s Vice President of Digital Colby Smith said in a statement.

ABC News will be using viewers’ comments and questions as part of its coverage on Facebook Live. Bloomberg has also said it would use Twitter’s reactions and analysis as part of its broadcast.

“Twitter is where the 2016 presidential election is happening every single day,” Anthony Noto, Twitter’s chief financial officer said in a statement.

The debates are scheduled for September 26, October 9 and October 19. The vice presidential candidates will also face off on October 4. Where will you be watching?



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Trim your wireless bill — skip that phone upgrade – CNET


It’s hard to teach an old dog new tricks.

Wireless subscribers have been conditioned to get a new phone every two years. That made sense back in the day, when wireless subsidies from mobile operators let you upgrade to the latest iPhone or Samsung Galaxy for only $200.

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Those days are over. Today consumers are expected to pay full price for their devices. The carriers have tried to make the hefty $650 price tag of high-end devices more palatable by offering payment plans. But wireless subscribers shouldn’t confuse these plans with the old device subsidies.

In this edition of Ask Maggie, I explain why, in this new era of wireless, you’ll spend considerably more if you continue your device-upgrade-every-two-years habit.

Dear Maggie,

I’m a Verizon customer and I just got a text saying I’m eligible for an “upgrade.” I’m on a device-financing plan, so I didn’t think I got an upgrade anymore. What are they talking about? Should I take this upgrade?

Thanks,
Bring on the free upgrade

Dear Bring,

If you’re on Verizon’s Edge payment program, there’s no such thing as a free upgrade. You’ve been making monthly payments on your device. Those payments are separate from the service charge you pay Verizon every month for voice, data and text messaging.

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What Verizon’s message is likely telling you is that you’ve paid off your old device. If you’d like to get a new device, you can turn in your old one and start making payments on a new one.

If you want a new phone, you have the option of either buying one at full price upfront or paying for it over 24 monthly installments. In either case, you’re paying the same amount for your phone.

This new way of paying for a device is different from the device subsidy model of yesteryear. Previously, carriers like Verizon would require you to sign a contract for two years. In exchange, they’d subsidize the cost of the device, so you’d only pay $100 or $200 for a new phone.

Every two years after your contract expired, Verizon would give you an “upgrade” for a new phone. Under this old model, it was a smart idea to get a new phone every two years because the monthly price you paid Verizon didn’t change regardless of whether you had “paid off” your device. In other words, you paid the same price whether you were two months into your contract or your contract had expired and Verizon had already recouped the subsidy of the device from you.

But now that subsidies are gone, your monthly bill can actually be reduced by $20 or $30 a month once you’ve paid off your phone.

One more big difference is that some of these installment plans ask you to trade in your old phone in order to get the best monthly price for your new phone. Another thing to keep in mind is that when you upgrade to a new device, Verizon charges you a $20 upgrade fee. I’m not exactly sure why it needs to charge you a fee to activate a new device on an existing line, but that’s the new reality.

What should you do?

It’s nice that Verizon is reminding customers when they’re close to paying off their old devices. But these messages shouldn’t be confused with the old subsidy model under which you were eligible for an upgrade every couple of years. The question you need to ask yourself is whether you want to spend more money each month to get a new phone or would prefer to save that cash by holding onto your old phone.

It’s similar to deciding whether to buy a new car. Some people buy a new car every couple of years, and that’s fine. But recognize that over time, you’ll spend more money than if you’d just kept your old car.

With phones, you still have the option to upgrade to the latest and greatest device, but just remember that you’ll be paying the full retail price for it. Keep in mind that the latest Apple iPhone or Samsung Galaxy device will start at around $650.

The bottom line

My advice is that unless your phone is damaged, keep it and use it until it dies. That’s the best way to get the most value out of your purchase.

Ask Maggie is an advice column that answers readers’ wireless and broadband questions. If you have a question, I’d love to hear from you. Please send me an e-mail at maggie dot reardon at cbs dot com. And please put “Ask Maggie” in the subject header. You can also follow me on Facebook on my Ask Maggie page.



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Which smart bulbs should you use with Alexa? – CNET


Alexa, the voice-activated virtual assistant housed within the Amazon Echo smart speaker, knows a ton of cool tricks, but she’s especially good at controlling smart lights. Turning them on and off and dimming them up and down whenever you ask her to was one of the first smart-home skills she ever mastered, and by now, there are a lot of options that’ll do the job.

So which ones are best? Well, let’s take a look:

Let’s look at your options

The Osram Lightify LED.

Tyler Lizenby/CNET

Standard A-shaped smart bulbs

The Stack LED floodlight.

Tyler Lizenby/CNET

Floodlights

How to pick

The bulb you go with is going to depend on a couple of different factors, including your budget, your home’s design, and what sort of extra features you’re willing to pony up for. Here are our picks for a variety of different scenarios.

“I just want the cheapest option, and I only need a few bulbs.”

The TP-Link LB100.

Ry Crist/CNET

Go with the TP-Link LB100. It’s a $20 Wi-Fi bulb that connects directly with your router, so it doesn’t require a hub, and offers plug-and-play simplicity. It’s not as bright as some of its competitors, though — if that’s a problem, you can spend $5 more to upgrade to the TP-Link LB110. It’s the same bulb, but with some extra oomph in the brightness department.

The Philips Hue White LED.

Tyler Lizenby/CNET

“I just want the cheapest option, and I need a bunch of bulbs.”

If you need a lot of lights, then it makes sense to tie them all to a dedicated lighting platform that won’t interfere with your Wi-Fi network. Philips Hue is far and away the best-developed platform out there, and its white-light-only bulbs are the cheapest way in.

The two-bulb starter kit costs $70, with additional bulbs selling for $15 each. You can also add other Hue bulbs, including the more expensive color-changing ones, or even third-party ZigBee bulbs like the Cree Connected and GE Link LEDs. Both of those cost $15, too.

The Haiku Light.

Ry Crist/CNET

“I want something really fancy, and money is no object.”

The Haiku Light from Big Ass Solutions (best known for their Big Ass Fans) is the obvious pick here. It’s a classy, recessed fixture that’s darned expensive, with models starting at $149 apiece and going as high as $299, depending on which finish you select.

Still, the Haiku Light is a very good product, offering tons of brightness, full-color tunability, and built-in motion sensors that can turn the light on as soon as you walk into the room. It’s our high-end Alexa light of choice.

The Philips Hue White and Color Ambiance LED.

Tyler Lizenby/CNET

“I want something I can control with Siri, too.”

Philips Hue is the way to go here, as it’s the only choice in this roundup that works with both Alexa and Siri. Any Hue bulb will do the trick, so long as you’ve got the current-gen Hue Bridge plugged into your router, but if your focus is on Siri, I say go big with the full color-changing capabilities of the Hue White and Color Ambiance LEDs. Unlike Alexa, Siri can change the color of Hue bulbs (not that anyone’s keeping score or anything).

The Lifx Color 1000 LED.

Chris Monroe/CNET

“I want the best color-changing bulb.”

Speaking of keeping score, Philips Hue and Lifx are neck-and-neck in terms of value. But if it’s the colors you care about, I say go with the Lifx Color 1000 LED. Its colors look a lot better than Hue’s, particularly the green and blue shades. The reason? Hue’s blue diodes aren’t as strong or as plentiful as the ones inside the Lifx LED. Another key factor: you can change the color of Lifx bulbs using Alexa commands. You can’t do that with Philips Hue.

The Lifx White 800 LED.

Ry Crist/CNET

“I want to be able to change the color temperature”

You’ve got a couple of options if you like being able to dial between warm, yellowy tones and hotter, more bluish-white ones. The $30 Osram Lightify LED will work, though you’ll also need the Osram plug-in gateway that translates its ZigBee signal into Wi-Fi that your router (and Alexa) can understand.

If you’d rather connect directly, go with the Lifx White 800 LED. At $40, it costs a little more per bulb than Osram does, but it doesn’t need a hub, making it a little easier to get started with. Just know that Alexa isn’t able to change color temperatures yet — you’ll need to use the bulb’s app, or run a preprogrammed scene.

The Stack LED.

Chris Monroe/CNET

“I want lights that turn on automatically when I enter the room.”

The Haiku Lights mentioned above do a great job with motion-activated lighting, but if you’re looking for something less expensive, go with the Stack LED floodlights. They look down on you with built-in presence detectors, and will turn on as soon as they spot movement. They’re also designed to detect the amount of ambient light in your home — they’ll dim down if there’s sunlight pouring in, then turn back up when it gets dark. They’ll also automatically shift color temperature between warm and cool as the day progresses.

The Lifx White 900 LED.

Chris Monroe/CNET

“I want the best floodlights that Alexa can control.”

You don’t have as many floodlight options as you do classic A-shaped bulbs, but you’ve got a couple of good ones. For my money, the best overall balance between features, performance, and value is the Lifx White 900 LED floodlight. It works just like that Lifx White 800 bulb mentioned above, with full access to the entire white light spectrum, but it costs a little less at $30 each. It’s bright and efficient, and since it uses a built-in Wi-Fi radio, it doesn’t need a hub.

Alexa can control smart light switches, too.

Tyler Lizenby/CNET

One last thing: Consider the switch

Bulbs are all well and good, but don’t forget that Alexa can control smart switches, too. If you’ve got several lights that are all tied to one switch, there’s no need to buy several expensive new smart bulbs. Just swap that switch out with a smart one that works with Alexa, and she’ll be able to control all of them at the same time, regardless of what bulbs you’re using. We’ve had good results in the CNET Smart Home with the Belkin WeMo Light Switch and with Lutron Caseta switches, though the soon-to-be-released iDevices Light Switch might be worth waiting for, since it adds dimming capabilities, multiswitch support and the option of syncing up with Alexa.

Another option for Alexa-powered light control: smart plugs. Plug one in and plug a lamp in behind it, and you’ll be able to tell Alexa to turn it on and off. Like with the smart switch approach, that means you can use whatever bulb you like. Options include the Belkin WeMo Insight Switch, the iDevices Switch, and a wide range of plugs that work with Alexa-compatible smart-home hubs like Wink, SmartThings and Insteon.



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Snapchat Spectacles, glasses with a camera, coming this fall – CNET


Video screenshot by Leslie Katz/CNET

Like to view the world through Snapchat-colored glasses? You’ll soon be able to do that for real.

Following a leaked ad Friday hinting at a pair of Snapchat smart glasses that shoot first-person video, CEO Evan Spiegel confirmed the upcoming product, called Spectales, in an interview with the Wall Street Journal.

The glasses can record up to 10 seconds of video from the wearer’s perspective using a 115-degree-angle lens that resembles the human eye’s natural field of view. Each new tap of a button mounted on the upper edge of the left lens records another clip.

The one-size-fits-all glasses will be available on a limited basis in the fall. They will come in three colors — black, teal or coral — and will cost $129.99 (roughly £100, AU$170).

“We’re going to take a slow approach to rolling them out,” Spiegel told the Wall Street Journal. “It’s about us figuring out if it fits into people’s lives and seeing how they like it.”

A leaked commercial, obtained by Business Insider from a YouTube tipster and posted Friday, starts out showing a pair of glasses that appear to have a camera, a la Google Glass, A light seems to indicate the camera is recording. The video goes on to show images of kids playing in a sunny backyard and ends with a couple, presumably grandparents, watching the footage on a phone.

Snapchat took the video down after Business Insider reached out to the company, Business Insider reported Friday. The end of the video features the tagline “Spectacles by Snap Inc.” Spiegel confirmed in his Wall Street Journal interview that Snapchat will be newly named Snap Inc. as the social-media company expands its purview.

The video captures the view from the wearer’s eyes.

Video screenshot by Leslie Katz/CNET

Snapchat did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

That Snapchat is making glasses isn’t surprising.

In 2014, Snapchat bought Vergence Labs, a startup that makes Google Glass-like eyewear that records video of what the wearer sees. In 2015, Snapchat began building Snapchat Research, a team composed of scientists and software engineers specializing in computer vision and machine learning.

Then in March, my CNET colleague Sean Hollister reported that Snapchat was recruiting hardware experts for a stealthy new project. The social-media firm has never produced physical gear, unless you count merchandise like beach towels and backpacks. It does, however, already count nearly a dozen wearable-technology vets among its ranks.

In addition, Spiegel has been spotted in public wearing prototypes specs.

On any given day, Snapchat reaches 41 percent of all 18- to 34-year-olds in the United States, according to the company. That’s a lot of eyes that could be sporting new specs.

This story originally published at 5:45 p.m. PT. Update 8:15 p.m: Snapchat Spectacles have been confirmed.



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Oculus founder Palmer Luckey admits to funding Clinton smear group – CNET


The man who’s become the face of virtual reality is apologizing — but not for his decision to fund a Hillary Clinton smear organization.

On Thursday, The Daily Beast reported that Oculus founder Palmer Luckey, 24, was the mysterious “NimbleRichMan” funneling money to a pro-Trump organization called Nimble America. The Beast’s source: Palmer Luckey himself. “I thought it sounded like a real jolly good time,” Luckey, who sold Oculus to Facebook for $2 billion in 2014, told the online news site.

But Luckey on Friday said the Daily Beast’s story wasn’t quite accurate. Though he admits sending $10,000 to Nimble America — and apologizes for any damage he may have done to Facebook’s reputation — the Oculus founder says he’s not the same NimbleRichMan whose comments further angered VR developers and fans.

While Luckey’s statement clears up part of the original controversy, it doesn’t answer all the questions. For instance, why one Daily Beast author has screenshots of emails where, allegedly, Luckey claims to be NimbleRichMan. Luckey’s statement didn’t confirm or deny that he told the Daily Beast that, and Luckey didn’t immediately reply to a request for comment.

What we do know is that on September 17, a Reddit user by that name reached out to r/The_Donald — a pro-Donald Trump community on Reddit with over 200,000 members — offering to match donations to Nimble America.

Nimble America describes itself as a charity promising to erect real-life billboards plastered with anti-Hillary Clinton memes. NimbleRichMan’s Reddit post has been deleted, but you can access an archive here.

One of Nimble America's alleged attack ads.

One of Nimble America’s alleged attack ads.

Nimble America

Two Reddit moderators and right-wing political journalist Milo Yiannopoulos vouched for the mysterious “billionaire,” but the Reddit community was skeptical, with many members questioning NimbleRichMan’s identity and whether Nimble America was the legitimate 501(c)4 nonprofit entity it claimed to be. (According to IRS regulations, 501(c)4 nonprofits can’t primarily engage in political activity.)

Luckey stepped forward, according to the Daily Beast, to defuse the controversy.

Palmer Luckey’s infamous Time Magazine cover from August 2015.

Time

But when tech enthusiasts heard VR’s boy genius was secretly using his Oculus money to fund so-called “shitposts,” the fallout was swift. (Forbes estimates Luckey’s personal fortune at $700 million.)

On social media, goofy memes of Luckey prancing about in a VR headset became serious, with a happy-go-lucky Time Magazine cover from August 2015 twisted to explain Luckey’s seeming lack of touch with reality.

It’s an unfortunate time for Oculus to attract controversy. On October 5, the company will host its annual Oculus Connect developer conference, and this year’s event was meant to be a reset for the $599 VR headset. It went on sale to a lot of fanfare in March, but Oculus delayed release of the game controllers that let users reach out and touch things in games. News about when the controllers will finally be released is expected at next month’s conference in San Jose, California.

But the day after the Daily Beast’s story, two indie VR developers threatened to stop supporting Oculus unless Luckey steps down. And the developer of SuperHyperCube, which comes out first on the rival PlayStation VR game system, tweeted that it won’t support the Oculus platform.

Insomniac Games, the major game studio behind the Oculus-published Edge of Nowhere game, defended its association with Oculus in a statement to video game news site Kotaku. “This behavior and sentiment does not reflect the values of the many Oculus employees we work with on a daily basis,” Insomniac Games wrote.

In the rush to figure out how VR’s poster boy could be a secret Trump supporter, some journalists delved into the various things Luckey has “liked” on Twitter to try to determine his political stance. Gizmodo went further, saying Luckey’s longtime girlfriend is an avid supporter of the Republican presidential nominee.

The since-deleted text of NimbleRichMan’s original post. Click to enlarge.

Screenshot by Sean Hollister/CNET

Many prominent tech executives have voiced their personal support for a candidate. Palmer’s secretive support might in part be attributable to Silicon Valley’s vocal opposition to Trump’s candidacy.

In July, for example, more than 140 tech leaders — including internet pioneer Vint Cerf, Box CEO Aaron Levie, eBay founder Pierre Omidyar and Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak — signed an open letter saying Trump “would be a disaster for innovation.” PayPal co-founder Peter Thiel, who endorsed Trump onstage at the Republican National Convention in July, is one the few tech titans to openly support Trump.

Going against the Valley’s mindset can have consequences. Two years ago, Mozilla co-founder Brendan Eich was forced to step down as CEO — after just nine days in the role — because he opposed gay marriage. Most of the Valley supported it.

However, in Luckey’s statement Friday, he says he’s a libertarian who plans to vote for Gary Johnson, not Trump, in this next election.

“Still, my actions were my own and do not represent Oculus,” said Luckey. “I’m sorry for the impact my actions are having on the community.”

We still don’t know who NimbleRichMan is, though, if not Luckey.

In the wake of the Daily Beast story, other alleged Nimble America supporters are distancing themselves from the organization. The Reddit moderators who originally promoted the org to members of r/The_Donald have both submitted their resignations, and Yiannopoulos told CNET on Friday, “I have no interest or role in it or any opinion about it.”

“All I did was confirm that NimbleRichMan was a billionaire I knew,” Yiannopoulos said.

Yiannopoulos didn’t respond to two follow-up requests about whether Luckey was that billionaire.

Full disclosure: My wife works at Facebook, owner of Oculus VR, as a business-to-business video project coordinator.



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Possible Snapchat glasses with camera emerge in leaked video – CNET


Video screenshot by Leslie Katz/CNET

Like to view the world through Snapchat-colored glasses? You might soon be able to do that for real.

A leaked ad hints you may one day be able to shoot video to post on the social-media service using a pair of Snapchat smart glasses.

The brief video, obtained by Business Insider from a YouTube tipster, starts out showing a pair of glasses that appear to have a camera, a la Google Glass, mounted on the upper edge of the left lens. A light seems to indicate the camera is recording.

The video goes on to show images of kids playing in a sunny backyard, the kind of spontaneous scenes that would make for cheerful footage. The video ends with a couple, presumably the grandparents, watching the footage on a phone.

Snapchat took the video down after Business Insider reached out to the company, Business Insider reported Friday. The word features the tagline “Spectacles by Snap Inc.”

The video captures the view from the wearer’s eyes.

Video screenshot by Leslie Katz/CNET

Snapchat did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The notion of Snapchat making glasses isn’t far-fetched.

In 2014, Snapchat bought Vergence Labs, a startup that makes Google Glass-like eyewear that records video of what the wearer sees. In 2015, Snapchat began building Snapchat Research, a team composed of scientists and software engineers specializing in computer vision and machine learning.

Then in March, my CNET colleague Sean Hollister reported that Snapchat was recruiting hardware experts for a stealthy new project. The social-media firm has never produced physical gear, unless you count merchandise like beach towels and backpacks. It does, however, already count nearly a dozen wearable-technology vets among its ranks.

In addition, CEO Evan Spiegel has been spotted in public wearing prototypes specs.

On any given day, Snapchat reaches 41 percent of all 18- to 34-year-olds in the United States, according to the company. That’s a lot of eyes that could be sporting new specs.



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Possible Snapchat glasses surface in leaked video – CNET


Video screenshot by Leslie Katz/CNET

Like to view the world through Snapchat-colored glasses? You might soon be able to do that for real.

A leaked ad hints you may one day be able to shoot video to post on the social-media service using a pair of Snapchat smart glasses.

The brief video, obtained by Business Insider from a YouTube tipster, starts out showing a pair of glasses that appear to have a camera, a la Google Glass, mounted on the upper edge of the left lens. A light seems to indicate the camera is recording.

The video goes on to show images of kids playing in a sunny backyard, the kind of spontaneous scenes that would make for cheerful footage. The video ends with a couple, presumably the grandparents, watching the footage on a phone.

Snapchat took the video down after Business Insider reached out to the company, Business Insider reported Friday. The word features the tagline “Spectacles by Snap Inc.”

The video captures the view from the wearer’s eyes.

Video screenshot by Leslie Katz/CNET

Snapchat did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The notion of Snapchat making glasses isn’t far-fetched.

In 2014, Snapchat bought Vergence Labs, a startup that makes Google Glass-like eyewear that records video of what the wearer sees. In 2015, Snapchat began building Snapchat Research, a team composed of scientists and software engineers specializing in computer vision and machine learning.

Then in March, my CNET colleague Sean Hollister reported that Snapchat was recruiting hardware experts for a stealthy new project. The social-media firm has never produced physical gear, unless you count merchandise like beach towels and backpacks. It does, however, already count nearly a dozen wearable-technology vets among its ranks.

In addition, CEO Evan Spiegel has been spotted in public wearing prototypes specs.

On any given day, Snapchat reaches 41 percent of all 18- to 34-year-olds in the United States, according to the company. That’s a lot of eyes that could be sporting new specs.



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