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Kevin Tofel
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Attended LaSalle University
Lives in Salford Township, PA
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It's getting difficult to keep up with the new feature additions!
Don't want to hear the kid's hip-hop on your Echo? Just add another Amazon account and tell Alexa to use it for music and audiobooks.
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My understanding is that the Echo doesn't work with Google Play Music or with Pocket Casts. I'll probably buy one when/if that changes.
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Book. Contract. Signed!

Looks like all of my free time is gone for the next several months as I'm writing an Amazon Echo user guide / reference book for Apress.

More deets to follow about pre-orders and such. I'd love to see this in print for the holidays.

"Alexa, make me a Martini!" :)
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+Kevin Tofel​ I'm so glad you're writing a guide. I have both the Wink and Alexa and I feel like I'm not taking advantage of everything they offer. Looking forward to buying it as soon as it's available. 
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This really doesn't surprise me. It's a hugely smart profit play.
Hoping for at least 32 GB of storage on the base iPhone 6s? You might be disappointed based on a picture of the reported packaging unless Apple offers four storage variations.
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Given your rationale is 100 per cent in line with how Apple operate, there's no chance of them upping the base from 16GB. TBH, I'm surprised it's not still 8...
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For you programmer types (and people like me who are morbidly curious). 
The company is showing developers how easy it is to ask for app permissions when running an app. Don't get too excited yet: It will take time to update apps and get Android 6.0 on your device.
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"Don't get too excited yet: It will take time to update apps and get Android 6.0 on your device."

I already run android 6.0 on my N6, and some apps already request permissions in run time. Next to that, when you dive into settings, apps, you can set these permissions on apps that don't support run time permissions yet. For WhatsApp for instance, I unchecked all permissions I thought it doesn't need.

All not yet updated apps have all permissions checked, and when you uncheck one you get a warning that the app may start acting unpredictable because of the disabled permission. 
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I'm going with "secret Jedi Temple" here.
 
'Stunning New Images Of Ceres Show A Lonely Pyramid-like Mountain ... Jonathan O'Callaghan -- "ASA’s Dawn spacecraft has taken its closest images yet of the dwarf planet Ceres. Sadly, they don’t reveal any more about the mysterious bright spots on the surface – but they do show a stunning new view of a pyramid-like structure, seen above.
The mountain in the image towers about six kilometers (four miles) above the surface. Its slopes are brightly streaked while its perimeter on the surface has a sharp definition. Interestingly there is no debris around the base of the mountain, and it also seems to stand alone, rather than being part of a mountain range.

In the other images, the spacecraft revealed a mountain ridge on Ceres, and also a large crater named for the Germanic goddess Gaue. Dawn has also been using its visible and infrared mapping spectrometer to gather data on the minerals that can be found on the surface of Ceres.

Dawn, which arrived in orbit around Ceres in March this year after visiting the protoplanet Vesta in 2011 and 2012, is currently orbiting 1,470 kilometers (915 miles) above the surface. Over the next few months, it will get closer and closer, reaching its lowest altitude – 375 kilometers (230 miles) – in October. At this height, we can expect even more stunning images.

In its current orbit, it takes Dawn 11 days to capture images of the whole surface of Ceres over the course of 14 orbits. In the next two months, the entire surface will be mapped six times. Images at this height have a resolution of 140 meters (460 feet) per pixel, and each covers less than one percent of the surface.

"Dawn is performing flawlessly in this new orbit as it conducts its ambitious exploration," said Marc Rayman, Dawn's chief engineer and mission director, based at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, California, in a statement. "The spacecraft's view is now three times as sharp as in its previous mapping orbit, revealing exciting new details of this intriguing dwarf planet."

But while these images are all well and good, let’s be honest: we all want to know what caused the mysterious bright spots on the surface. Are they caused by ice, salt flats, or something else? We’ll have to wait to find out. ...

MORE: http://www.iflscience.com/space/dawn-returns-stunning-new-images-ceres-including-pyramid-mountain
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You sure that isn't Asgard?
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It's a Tootsie Roll AND a keyboard! ;)
A full-sized plastic keyboard that folds up like a Tootsie Roll? Say hello to the LG Rolly for tablets and smartphones.
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Kinda want too like this but not sure really i bet its crap really but kinda cool as well.
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Don't think this will boost Android Wear sales in a meaningful way. Still, helpful for those that use both iOS & Android phones.
Earlier reports that an Android Wear companion app for iPhones are looking good: Huawei says its new Google-powered watch will work with iOS 8.2 or better.
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Its a positive for Google to have an iOS option for android wear based watches, our data is what they want and need. 

I think the thing that strikes me more about the new watches is that they are mostly all trying to ape the traditional idea of a watch, in other words looking backwards rather than forwards. Nothing wrong with that, but in order to actually compete with a good quality watch they have a long long way to go. Neither iOS and Wear are good enough yet, though both have some good features in play they lack depth. For Google that seems to be a problem, for Apple its a bit early to say.

Personally I see the market segment becoming less interesting, I think Apple has stolen the lead very easily with almost no resistance from Google and that gap is only likely to widen now. That, plus the ongoing poor hardware and software support for actual fitness tracking beyond basic step counting and not so great HRM etc leads me to think my new watch with be a Garmin Fenix 3 and not a Apple or Google watch at all.

The next big milestone will be the determination of the hardware lifespan, Google is likely to break first and I doubt that newer versions of Wear will be much fun on older hardware in 2016, too early to say for Apple but I know its a big concern for a lot of iWatch owners.

#disappointed 
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I'm not sure what I'm more afraid of: Drones further reducing our privacy or that this guy thinks it's OK to sunbathe atop a wind turbine. ;)
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apparently a benedictine monk, who maintains it
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I think we'll unofficially call the title of this week's IoT Podcast "Don't make a scene!"

You'll get it once you listen. ;)
We connected our lights and locks to the Internet and frankly, we don't seem to be much better off. In this week's podcast I talk to Claire Rowland a user experience consultant and lead author of D...
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I don't think any hubs have API's, or I'd be writing my own software. For now my DIY lights just use light switches and sensors. I don't want to control lights with my phone.
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Here. We. Go.
It's nearly time for new iPhones: Apple is holding a special event at the Bill Graham Auditorium where it will likely debut the new iPhone 6s and 6s Plus.
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Limited number of banks supported but then again, this is beta. You'll also need (of course) a Galaxy S6, S6 Edge, S6 Edge+ or Note 5.
Samsung Pay launches next month but you can get in early if you meet the requirements and sign up for the beta program.
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Not sure if I want to be a beta tester for something that involves my money. Ill leave this one to the early adopters.
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We might overlook Yahoo in the shadow of Apple, Google, Microsoft, Amazon and others but I have to say: It's been interesting to watch the company reinvent itself.
Yahoo's reinvention as a mobile app platform continues as U.S. consumers now spend 90 percent of their mobile device time in apps, and not in the browser.
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Of course they'd say that. They've lost the Web battle, and they're grasping at proprietary advantages. It reminds me of the early days of the Internet, when publishers were trying to get people to buy proprietary apps for desktop PCs to reach their content.
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Work
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Contributing Writer at ZDNet & independent podcaster
Employment
  • ZDNet
    Contributing Writer, 2015 - present
    Kevin C. Tofel offers news and views on various mobile platforms, apps and services, helping you understand and choose the right tools for your tasks on phones, tablets, wearables and other devices.
  • GigaOm
    Mobile tech writer & podcaster, 2008 - 2015
  • EDS
  • GMAC
  • Aetna
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Map of the places this user has livedMap of the places this user has livedMap of the places this user has lived
Currently
Salford Township, PA
Previously
Somerset County, NJ - Philadelphia, PA - Ambler, PA - Rahway, NJ - Harleysville, PA
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I'm a contributing writer at ZDNet where I help people understand smartphones, tablets and the mobile web.
Introduction

Kevin C. Tofel has written and podcasted about the mobile industry and wearable devices since 2003 when he left his 15 year I.T. career to write. His work has appeared on various websites and in print, including PC World and The New York Times, and he has spoken to TV audiences on Fox Business and NBC News. When not testing the latest gadget or software, Kevin is typically reading, running or taking computer science and programming classes at his local community college. Kevin is a self-proclaimed fanboy of using whatever tools, devices or software are best suited for the task at hand, regardless of the platform or brand.

Bragging rights
Was a 2 minute half-miler in HS track, ran 3 marathons in the 1990's and once ran at least a mile every day for 425 consecutive days.
Education
  • LaSalle University
  • Temple University
  • Penn State University
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Male
Birthday
August 5
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Married
Kevin Tofel's +1's are the things they like, agree with, or want to recommend.
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