Last week in tech: Bad smartphone habits, new DJI drones, and Facebook bans
Read this and then put the phone down.
How much time did you spend looking at your smartphone this weekend? Too much, right? You’re not alone. In fact, recent research found that our constant smartphone use is having an effect on our kids. Don’t worry because this roundup of last week’s tech news will get you all caught up with plenty of time left to get outside and enjoy the summer sun. Your children will thank you for reading it. (Disclaimer: they probably won’t).
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This week, we’re talking about the latest round of fake accounts banned from Facebook (and what you can do about them), our increasingly complicated relationship with digital assistants, and whether or not ergonomic gadgets can actually fix the damage from years of sitting and staring at screens.
DJI introduced two new drones
DJI Mavic 2 Drone
The DJI Mavic Pro was already the best consumer drone on the market (at least if you’re willing to shell out more than $1,000) and now the company has updated its line of foldable flying machines. The Mavic 2 Pro and Mavic 2 Zoom are covered in sensors to help them avoid collisions and have seriously upgraded cameras for aerial photography and video. Look for our review in the coming days.
We tried out Nikon’s highly-anticipated new pro-grade mirrorless cameras
Nikon Z7 camera
Last week was pretty momentus for camera nerds like me. Nikon introduced its first pro-grade mirrorless camera, a big departure from its decades-long heritage of traditional DSLRs. Our pals at PopPhoto got a chance to shoot with the 45-megapixel Z7 and share some samples and impressions.
Scientists can make it look like you have Bruno Mars dance skills
Deep fake videos are one of the most worrying things on the web right now. They use editing tricks to place surprisingly convincing digital versions of people—usually celebrities—into situations that have nothing to do with reality. This video demonstration from UC Berkeley shows AI applying sick dance moves from Bruno Mars to everyday subjects.
Get ready for more unskippable ads from YouTube
Now that we’re all hopelessly addicted to web videos, the advertising cash train needs to keep rolling. YouTube recently announced that more channels will get access to unskippable ads during their videos, a program that initially started in January. The ads make more money for the creators and are capped at 20 seconds each, but as with anything advertising-related, it has some viewers upset.
Sony is bringing its Aibo dog robot to the U.S. and you almost certainly shouldn’t buy it
Sony revived its robotic dog companion back at the Consumer Electronics Show earlier this year after years out of production. It was only for the international markets back then, but now it’s coming stateside and it brings a price tag of $2,899. It requires cloud connectivity and even a data connection. It’s cute and will never pee on your floor! But it’s also crazy expensive.
Xbox now has an all-inclusive subscription that lets you lease a console
For $22 per month, Microsoft will now lease you an Xbox One S console that comes with an Xbox Gold account and access to the company’s game subscription service, Game Pass. The Xbox One S costs $229, while the Game Pass subscription costs $10 per month and Xbox Live Gold costs $5 per month (if you subscribe annually.) It’s a surefire way for Microsoft to get more consoles into the hands of users who can’t swing the up-front cost of a system and the required services.