On Mike's Radar

By Mike Doeff | Tech News, Analytics, Big Data, Product Management, Design, Mobile, Healthcare, Bay Area

Stan Smith Knows You Think He’s Just a Sneaker

The island of Hilton Head in South Carolina is shaped like a sneaker,and Stan Smith lives on the laces, right off the river. Inside his house, the …

Sneakers

How Sonos will take on Alexa and Google: by integrating them

A conversation with Patrick Spence<p>It’s a weird time for Sonos — and not because it recently got a new CEO. That transition seems to have happened without much drama, with Patrick Spence taking over a company he’d already been with for some time. But there is <i>plenty</i> of drama in the wireless speaker …

Virtual nurse app Sense.ly raises $8 million from investors including the Mayo Clinic

San Francisco startup Sense.ly has raised $8 million in a Series B round of venture funding to bring its virtual nurse technology to clinics and patients of every kind. The company’s app helps physicians stay in touch with patients, and prevent readmission to the hospital. Chief Executive Officer …

A personal story: Did the Apple Watch save my life?

Data from the Apple Watch alerted me to a serious health problem with no symptoms whatsoever. Here's what happened and why it matters.<p>Last November, …

Smartwatches

Pinterest introduces Lens, a Shazam for objects in the real world

New, more visual search<p>Pinterest today introduced Lens, a new visual search tool that uses machine vision to detect objects in the real world and suggest related items on the service. Lens, which is now in beta, is a tool inside the Pinterest mobile app that functions as a kind of Shazam for …

Instagram Stories launches overlaid Stickers for locations, emoji, and seasons

Instagram is launching its answer to Snapchat geofilters, offering a way to spice up your photos and videos with Stickers that display basic location names, time, weather, and emoji. There’s also limited-time seasonal graphics like Christmas trees and Hanukkah menorahs, and a holiday candy cane …

The Man in the High Castle: Fake News in Nazi America

In season two, the Amazon series suddenly has new contemporary relevance.<p>In our reality, Fritz Julius Kuhn died in 1951 in Munich, Germany, “a poor and obscure chemist, unheralded and unsung.” The former leader of an American organization that promoted Nazism within the United States, Kuhn was …

TV

Uber’s self-driving cars start picking up passengers in San Francisco

Uber’s self-driving cars are making the move to San Francisco, in a new expansion of its pilot project with autonomous vehicles that will see Volvo SUVs outfitted with sensors and supercomputers begin picking up passengers in the city.<p>The autonomous cars won’t operate completely driverless, for the …

Apple’s wireless AirPods are now on sale

Apple’s AirPods are now on sale, after being delayed from their original October launch. The $159 wireless earbuds are currently listed as shipping later in December, and can be ordered here, as spotted by <i>MacRumors</i>. Apple previously said it needed “a little more time before AirPods are ready for …

'Once in a lifetime find': Dinosaur tail discovered trapped in amber

<b>(CNN) —</b> The tail of a 99-million-year-old dinosaur has been found entombed in amber, an unprecedented discovery that has blown away scientists.<p>Xing Lida, a Chinese paleontologist found the specimen, the size of a dried apricot, at an amber market in northern Myanmar near the Chinese border.<p>The …

Dinosaurs

Amazon launches a beta of Go, a cashier-free, app-based food shopping experience

The straight-forwardly named “Just Walk Out” technology ought to give you a pretty good idea of what Amazon Go is all about. Launching in beta this year to Amazon employees at a single 1,800 square foot location in its native Seattle, Go is a “new kind of store with no checkout required.”<p>Customers …

Instagram launches disappearing Live video and messages

Instagram is combining the best of Snapchat and Periscope to help you get comfortable on camera. Rather than overlap with Facebook Live and Messenger, Instagram is putting an ephemeral spin on video streaming and private messaging.<p>Today, two big new features begin rolling out to Instagram Stories …

Twitter Rolls Out New And Long-Awaited Anti-Harassment Tools

At a pivotal moment, the company is introducing a mute filter, muted conversation threads, and user report infrastructure in an effort to win back its platform from the trolls.<p>Today, after months of criticism from users, activist groups, and former employees, Twitter is rolling out new product and …

Twitter

Google's new PhotoScan app makes it easy to digitize old prints

On the surface, Google Photos has a simple mission: to store all your pictures. Specifically, Google says it wants the service to be a home for all of your photos, and today that mission expanded to encompass the old photos you took on a point-and-shoot back in the '90s. The company just released …

Google

Mossberg: How Google’s bold moves shake up the tech industry

Intelligent, integrated hardware and software are powerful weapons.<p><i>Welcome to Mossberg, a weekly commentary and</i> <i>reviews column on The Verge</i> <i>and</i> <i>Recode</i> <i>by veteran tech journalist Walt Mossberg, executive editor at The Verge and editor at large of</i> <i>Recode</i><i>.</i><p>Google’s decision to become a full-fledged, …

Google

Mossberg: Apple's new watchOS 3 shows the virtue of starting over

There’s new hardware, but the software may be the bigger leap<p>The tech industry loves to extol its ability to recover from failure. It regularly brags that, in contrast to older, more staid sectors of the economy, tech sees failure as a learning experience and bounces back with something different …

As Pokémon Go Craze Cools, Beach Chalet Emerges From Months Of Chaos

It was a unusual summer for the Beach Chalet, which found itself on the receiving end of the Pokémon Go craze that kicked off with the game's release …

iPhone 7 and 7 Plus review: Great annual upgrades with one major catch

In-depth with the new phones, the AirPods, A10 Fusion, the cameras, and more.<p>Up until now, every one of Apple’s iPhone hardware updates has been …

Apple launches $20/mo 2TB iCloud storage plan ahead of iPhone 7 event

Apple has launched a new 2TB iCloud storage tier a little over a week out from the iPhone 7 launch event. The new 2TB plan, which is its largest plan available, will set users back $19.99 a month.<p>The timing for such a plan is interesting given the rumors of a potential 256GB version of the iPhone 7 …

iCloud

Spotify Partners with Sonos to Unveil New Era of Connected Home Listening

Spotify today announced a first-of-its-kind integration with Sonos that will allow Spotify Premium music lovers to control their Sonos home sound …

Snapchat's biggest threat is its own design

Why Snapchat needs to start stealing from Instagram<p>With the introduction of Instagram stories this week, the internet had a collective conniption fit over the cloning of one of Snapchat’s most popular features. Now, in addition to posting a pristine filtered photo to your Instagram timeline, you …

How to use Instagram Stories – a step by step walkthrough

With the launch of its new Stories feature, Instagram is positioning itself to not only capture the interest of current Snapchat users, but it’s also likely seeking a way to keep existing users firmly locked into its service.<p>Yes, as you’ve likely heard, Instagram Stories is similar to Snapchat …

Snapchat

Spotify's Release Radar is a personalized playlist of brand-new music

The latest recordings to suit your taste<p>Over the last year the tech product that has brought the most joy into my life has undoubtedly been Discover Weekly, Spotify's playlist of tracks personalized for my taste. Today the company is rolling out another feature along the same lines: Release Radar …

Meet Apple's new Remote app, not quite the same as the old Remote app

<b>by Dan Moren</b>When Apple initially introduced the fourth-generation Apple TV last year, it did so without updating its iOS Remote app, which lets you …

Smart TV

The Audacity of Copying Well

One of the more eye-rolling sentiments in tech — thankfully fading — is that every rectangular device with a touchscreen is a rip-off of the iPhone. …

Social Media

Instagram’s Snapchat is brilliant — and might even be better

It’s all about the network.<p>I, too, rolled my eyes when I first saw that Facebook’s Instagram was cloning Stories, the best feature of Snapchat. But then I tried it, and now I’m convinced: This was a smart move on Instagram’s part, and it might even work.<p>Why? The same reason Instagram is still …

Instagram

Instagram launches “Stories,” a Snapchatty feature for imperfect sharing

People only post the highlights of their life on Instagram, so today the app adds its own version of “Stories” to poach goofy, off-the-cuff, everyday content from Snapchat. It works exactly like Snapchat Stories, allowing you to post 24-hour ephemeral photo and video slideshows that disappear. But …

Western U.S. Saw An Amazing Light Show Last Night, Courtesy Of China

Maybe it was a meteor? Or space junk? People on the West Coast weren't sure what the bright object was that streaked across the sky Wednesday night, but they knew it was spectacular. Now comes word that the object — which separated into bright fragments — was a stage of China's large new …

China