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Jim Rossman: Free streaming content is getting harder to find

A reader wrote me recently about trying to navigate the free TV streaming jungle.

He has a Roku for streaming content with a login for PBS' Passport streaming service provided through his contributions to PBS.

He'd like to explore other shows and networks, noting that many of them tout "streaming the following day."

He tried to watch the CW...Read more

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Police partnerships with Amazon Ring raise alarms about racial bias, privacy

SACRAMENTO, Calif. - As nationwide protests force a deep examination of police tactics and funding, technology companies say they are re-evaluating their relationship with law enforcement as well. Amazon has halted police use of its facial recognition technology for one year and the website Nextdoor has stopped forwarding tips to police.

Now,...Read more

Dreamstime/Dreamstime/TNS

'Pokemon Go': Gastly Community Day added to packed July schedule

Niantic is adding to an already packed July schedule with Gastly Community Day that is being held from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. July 19.

Although the shiny version of the Gas Pokemon has been around a while, it has been relatively rare for players. With the Community Day, they have a chance to get one of the best-looking shiny Pokemon in the game. ...Read more

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CNET: Best gas grills of 2020

If you're new to outdoor cooking or just need to replace an old grill, the abundance of options out there can make picking the best grill feel overwhelming - it's hard to know whether to go for a gas grill (fueled by propane or natural gas), kamado grill, charcoal grill, pellet grill or perhaps a portable model.

Gas grills are a great place ...Read more

Gadgets: Extend your Wi-Fi range

To the list of all the home improvements people have generated in the past few months, add an easy setup of extending the range of some of your home Wi-Fi smart products. The idea of doing this is great and a company called Lutron makes it a do-it-yourself easy project with a new Case´ta Wireless Repeater and Motion Sensor added to Lutron's ...Read more

As body cameras gain more attention, their uses are expanding well beyond law enforcement

Weeks of protests in the wake of the killing of George Floyd have placed renewed attention on police body-worn cameras.

Axon and Motorola Solutions recently branched out to commercial sales even before Floyd's filmed killing in Minneapolis. Cellphone footage from bystanders put the case in the spotlight, but recordings from police body cameras ...Read more

Internet speeds were awful, so these rural Pennsylvanians put up their own wireless tower

Big Valley is a living postcard of Pennsylvania. Jet-black buggies hug the shoulders of its long, straight roads and knobby-kneed foals prance in fields so green they look electrified. Most signs there urge motorists to repent and rejoice, or to buy fresh strawberries from the Amish children sitting in the shade.

But one Pennsylvania tradition ...Read more

Dreamstime/Dreamstime/TNS

Jim Rossman: How can you boost a poor cell signal?

I got this question from a reader recently: "I would like to know if you have any suggestions for boosting cellphone reception inside your home. There are areas in my house that drop my calls. It gets very frustrating."

This is a good question.

One method she could try is to switch to a different cell carrier that might cover her home with a...Read more

Dreamstime/Dreamstime/TNS

Michigan voters to decide whether to ban police use of electronic data without warrant

DETROIT - Voters in November will decide whether police should have access to an individual's electronic data and communications without a warrant.

The Michigan House and Senate passed a resolution that would place on the November ballot a constitutional amendment barring the search and seizure of private electronic data without a warrant. ...Read more

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CNET: The best smart home devices of 2020: Google and Amazon lead the way

If you've already started connecting the various devices and fixtures around your home - perhaps more of you are thinking about this now that many of us are quarantined - you'll know that there are a lot of ways to tackle the problem. You might just want one device to solve a particular issue, like a smart plug to put a lamp on a regular ...Read more

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Gadgets: A hearing aid you'll want to show off

I've never seen anyone go around showing off their new hearing aid. But often I see people bragging about their new earbuds. The Olive Smart Ear has the appearance and style of a single earbud in but does the job of a hearing aid.

I'll start off with some information supplied by the parent company, Olive Union, which caught my attention ...Read more

Dreamstime/Dreamstime/TNS

List of big names fleeing Facebook skyrockets as more companies yank ads

Facebook's friends are fleeing in droves.

From Habitat for Humanity to Russian Mail Order Brides, the advertiser exodus escalated from Facebook on Monday as dozens signed on to the "Stop Hate for Profit" campaign designed to purge hate speech from the platform.

So far, more than 150 big-name brands, representing hundreds of millions of ...Read more

Battling 'flawed' facial recognition software

DETROIT - Robert Williams says he was mistakenly tagged by facial recognition software as a suspected shoplifter in Detroit in 2018, a move that dumped him into the criminal justice system that he says was humiliating and frightening.

Williams, who is Black, now wants police to abandon the controversial use of facial recognition to find ...Read more

Apple, Facebook, Amazon, Google Chiefs to Testify in Congress

The chief executive officers of Facebook Inc., Alphabet Inc., Amazon.com Inc. and Apple Inc. have agreed to testify before a congressional panel investigating competition issues in the technology industry, according to a spokeswoman for the U.S. House Judiciary Committee overseeing the probe.

Mark Zuckerberg, Sundar Pichai, Jeff Bezos and Tim ...Read more

Tesla battery cooling system is subject of federal safety probe

Federal safety officials are probing allegations of defective cooling systems installed in early-model Tesla vehicles.

Tesla installed cooling tubes prone to leaks in Model S vehicles beginning in 2012, according to internal emails cited by Business Insider last week. The Times reviewed copies of the emails and other documentation that show the...Read more

Red Hat to remove contentious terms like 'master' and 'slave' from its source code

RALEIGH, N.C. -- The technology company Red Hat said Tuesday that it would take measures to remove contentious terms like "master/slave" from its source code and other areas, in an effort to make its products more inclusive.

The world of coding and software, in which Red Hat is an influential institution, is rife with industry jargon and terms ...Read more

Tech Q&A: Windows 10 expired free upgrade offer still works

Q: I converted my Windows 7 PC to Windows 10 in 2016, when Microsoft was offering the upgrade for free. But I didn't like Windows 10, so I chose to undo the upgrade. Now that Windows 7 no longer gets security updates, I want to install Windows 10 again. An IT guy told me I might still be able to get it for free, even though the free upgrade ...Read more

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Jim Rossman: How to leave — or silence — an annoying group chat

I'm not sure how things work in your family, but my extended family likes to text.

Every so often, I find myself in the middle of a big old group conversation.

You know the kind, where someone has something to share and lets 15 people know all at once via text.

Then, the inevitable happens - the replies.

Ding.

Ding.

Ding.

Ding.

...Read more

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CNET: Best Android tablets for 2020

With many tablet buyers opting for Apple iPads, the Android tablet market isn't necessarily the first place people look when they're in the market or a new tablet. Fewer and fewer manufacturers even make them now. But that doesn't mean there aren't a few good Android tablets available that try their best to rival the Apple iPad.

While some ...Read more

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Gadgets: Smart lock loaded with features

A door lock has two main features: opening and closing. Lockly, a leader in manufacturing the world's most advanced smart lock, let me give the Secure Pro Latch Edition a try.

There's a lot to say about the lock; it has great features, looks, and performs perfectly upon completion. And the instructions Lockly supplied are written in a clear ...Read more