Disney+ ad-free streaming price increases to $11 per month in December

Disney+ isn't done raising prices. As part of its third quarter earnings report, Disney revealed that it's hiking the price of the ad-free service in the US to $11 per month, $3 more than today, on December 8th. If you want to keep the same price, you'll have to subscribe to the ad-supported tier launching the same day. In other words, the ad-backed plan won't really be cheaper — you'll just have to pay more to keep the uninterrupted experience you already have.

The media giant also said it would raise the price of ad-free Hulu by $2 to $15 per month on October 10th. If you can accept ads, you'll also pay $8 per month instead of today's $7. A $10 monthly outlay provides both Disney+ and Hulu with ads. A bundle offering ad-free Disney+, ad-supported ESPN+ and its Hulu counterpart is climbing by a dollar to $15 per month, but you'll dip to $13 per month if you're willing to tolerate commercials across all three. You'll have to pay $20 per month to get the trio without any sales pitches.

Disney wasn't shy about the reason for the price hikes. Although it added 14.4 million Disney+ subscribers during the quarter (for a total of 221 million across all services), the operating losses for its streaming-oriented division surged from $293 million a year ago to nearly $1.1 billion. The production costs for Disney+ and Hulu are soaring, and Disney wants to make that money back.

The performance contrasts sharply with a key rival. While Netflix is prepping its own ad-driven plan, it's currently losing customers — it's counting on advertising to return growth where Disney is simply hoping to make a profit. As rough as its finances might be, Disney+ is in a stronger position.

This Bluetooth keyboard with cushion palm rest intends to eliminate population with swollen, painful wrists

I have been using the keyboard for the most part of my work life, which is just a short 15 years now. During this time there have been a range of keyboards I have used and have experienced swollen wrists, tired forearms and sleepless nights. Thankful there’s never been an episode of Carpal tunnel syndrome. It’s a common condition among many workaholics of the modern era; keyboard is one of the biggest contributors to the problem. Addressing the issue at its heart, a designer has conceived a mechanical keyboard with a cushioned armrest.

It’s little denying the fact that the time people use their keyboards has increased a great deal in the last decade. This dependence has also given rise to tunnel syndrome that causes tingling, numbness and at times severe pain in the forearm and the hand. Carpal tunnel syndrome can worsen over time, if left untreated. To prevent the next generation from reaching a point where they have to deal with swollen and painful wrists due to extensive time typing on the keyboard, the mechanical, Bluetooth keyboard HUE_ is provided with a cushion palm rest.

Designer: HYUNGWOO SEO

There are many keyboards out there that come with a secondary palm rest or one with an embedded option. However, they are inconvenient to travel with. This is the second big problem the HUE_ intends to address. For this, the cushion palm rest folds over the keyboard like a tablet cover, to render it extremely portable and protect it from accidental falls and spills. Being mechanical, the keyboard also allows the user to change the keys like any other variant currently on the market.

Designed with the idea of comfort and safety, the cushiony extension of the keyboard ensures the forearm and wrist are comfortably positioned while typing. This leaves the median nerve, which runs from the forearm into the palm of the hand, relaxed. The median never if compressed at the wrist can lead to Carpal tunnel syndrome. Adding to user convenience, the palm rest is detachable; it can be easily removed for washing or if you don’t want to use it for some reason.

The post This Bluetooth keyboard with cushion palm rest intends to eliminate population with swollen, painful wrists first appeared on Yanko Design.

FCC rejects Starlink request for nearly $900 million in broadband subsidies

Starlink can't count on a flood of government subsidies to help expand its satellite internet service. The FCC has rejected the SpaceX unit's bid to receive $885.5 million in aid through the Rural Digital Opportunity Fund. The broadband provider "failed to demonstrate" that it could deliver the claimed service, according to a statement.

FCC chair Jessica Rosenworcel said Starlink had "real promise," but suggested her agency couldn't justify 10 years of subsidies for "developing technology" that requires a $600 satellite dish. She added that the FCC needed to make the most of "scarce" funding for broadband expansion.

SpaceX won its bid in December 2020 through an auction. At the time, it said it would use the subsidies to serve 35 locations. It also promised prices in sync with terrestrial broadband, and that it would meet "periodic" service buildout requirements.

LTD Broadband, a fixed wireless provider, netted over $1.3 billion in that auction and also lost its bid today. That company was not "reasonably capable" of deploying the required internet service after it lost qualifying statuses in seven states, the FCC said.

We've asked SpaceX for comment. The denial isn't a fatal blow to the company's plans, but it makes clear that Starlink will have to rely on its own funding if it's going to expand as outlined in 2020. The FCC's move might also serve as a warning to other would-be fund recipients. While the Commission is eager to improve rural broadband, it won't grant money to internet providers without some close scrutiny.

Planta lets you “converse” with your plants virtually

There are a lot of devices, furniture, and accessories created for plant parents especially since the pandemic. These products help first-time and expert caretakers to maintain their green pets even when they are doing other things at home. Even though I know I probably will never have need for these things since plants die on me no matter what I do (or don’t do), I know a lot of people around me who would like to have additional help when taking care of their plants.

Designer: Doyeon Lee

Planta is a product concept for a planter that will let owners “interact” with their greens through virtual means. It will let you know the status or health condition of your plants through a “conversation” with the shadows from a beam projector. Of course, you can always just look at the plants themselves but if you’re new to taking care of plants then you may not recognize these things by sight. The device will help you know through other, virtual means.

The projector shows shadows that indicate your plant’s health. If there’s a low shadow then it means you need to water them. Then you’ll see the shadows become “vibrant” and even sway around to let you know they’re healthy. There is also an automatic motion sensor that will illuminate the plant side if it detects you’re there and then the projection plate slide when there’s no motion around it. You’ll also receive the remaining cultivation and harvest time through a graphic user interface.

There is of course a lamp in the device that can automatically turn on when it needs a light source. Underneath that is the space where you put your plants. There are six holes where you can plant them in and then harvest them later on. There is a wall at the back where the virtual shadows will be projected on and which will show you if your plants are happy with the way you’re taking care of them. This seems to be a pretty useful device for those who are new to being plant parents although this black thumb of mine will most likely still kill anything green that passes my way.

The post Planta lets you “converse” with your plants virtually first appeared on Yanko Design.

Facebook still has trouble removing white supremacists, study says

Facebook's crackdown on hate speech apparently has room for improvement. As The Washington Postexplains, the non-profit watchdog Tech Transparency Project (TTP) has published a study indicating that white supremacist groups still have a significant presence on the social network. Over 80 of these racist organizations have a presence on Facebook, some of which the company has already labeled as "dangerous organizations" it normally bans. Researchers found 119 pages and 20 groups, including 24 pages Facebook auto-generated when users listed white supremacist groups as employers or interests.

Searches were also problematic, according to the watchdog. Facebook displayed ads next to searches for white supremacist groups, even when those outfits were on the social site's blocklist. Recommendations steered visitors to other hate pages, and Facebook's tactic of redirecting users to pro-tolerance groups was only effective for 14 percent out of 226 searches. Some searches for supremacists displayed ads for Black churches. This could effectively identify targets for extremists, TTP said.

In a statement to Engadget, Meta said it "immediately" began removing ads from searches linked to banned groups. It also said it was fixing the issue with a "small number" of auto-generated pages. The company further vowed to keep working with outside experts to "stay ahead" of hate and other extremist content. You can read the full statement below.

The survival of these groups on Facebook isn't completely surprising. University of Michigan associate professor Libby Hemphill told The Post that hate groups are increasingly aware of how to dodge content restrictions. Online platforms are frequently scrambling to adapt, and the TTP study suggests they're not always successful.

Even so, the findings add to Meta's headaches. They come just weeks after GLAAD accused Meta brands of doing too little to protect LGBTQ users, and relatively soon after whistleblower Frances Haugen said Facebook's algorithmic content filtering only caught a "tiny minority" of hate speech. There's plenty of pressure to ramp up anti-hate measures, and it's not yet clear how well the latest fixes will help.

"All 270 groups that Meta has designated as white supremacist organizations are banned from our platform. We invest extensively in technology, people, and research to keep our platforms safe. We immediately resolved an issue where ads were appearing in searches for terms related to banned organizations and we are also working to fix an auto generation issue, which incorrectly impacted a small number of pages. We will continue to work with outside experts and organizations in an effort to stay ahead of violent, hateful, and terrorism-related content and remove such content from our platforms."

Amazon’s Echo Show 5 is back on sale for $40

Amazon has reduced the price of the Echo Show 5 by $45. With the 53 percent discount, you can buy the smart display for $40, or just $5 more than it was during Prime Day. Released in 2021, the second-generation Echo Show 8 features a 960 x 480 resolution display and a 2-megapixel camera. Amazon offers the device in a trio of colors – Charcoal, Deep Sea Blue and Glacier White. All three models are currently on sale. Like its bigger sibling, the Echo Show 5 includes a sunrise alarm feature, allowing the display to slowly brighten as a way to wake you gently during dark winter mornings. It also comes with all the usual features found on Amazon Echo devices, including Alexa voice control and Ring integration.

Buy Echo Show 5 at Amazon - $40Buy Echo Show 5 Kids at Amazon - $50

Amazon has also discounted the Echo Show 5 Kids. The kid-friendly version is currently $50 after a $45 price drop. Paying the extra $10, you get a smart display with a two-year guarantee and a trial to Amazon Kids+. The service provides access to child-appropriate ebooks, games, videos and apps. Of course, it wouldn’t be an Echo sale if Amazon didn’t include the 4th-generation Dot. The company’s most affordable smart speaker is currently $40, down from $50. You can get the Kids version on sale too. The Echo Dot is a good option for adding Alexa to one of the rooms in your home.

Buy Echo Dot at Amazon - $40 Buy Echo Dot Kids at Amazon - $45

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These stunning accessories and decorations are 3D printed from factory wood waste

Many product designers and furniture makers love using wood. It has natural beauty, whether finished or not, and is significantly more sustainable than other materials, even if it means cutting down trees. Wood is, of course, biodegradable, especially if not treated with harmful chemicals, but it can also be recycled and reused for other purposes. That’s not to say that there is no waste involved when using wood to create things, especially the sawdust and chips that fly off during the manufacturing process. These tiny pieces of wood are often taken for granted, but one company has figured out how to use this material to create beautiful products that won’t make you believe they were 3D printed from sawdust.

Designer: Forust x fuseproject

Just like typical dust or dirt, sawdust is considered to be something to clean out and throw away as a byproduct of cutting down pieces of wood. Considering their tiny sizes, no one worries about their impact on the environment. Collectively, however, they make up a good portion of the waste that we produce, and that number will only grow higher the more we produce wooden furniture, decorations, and products.

As it turns out, sawdust can actually be used as a material for creating other things, thanks to the almost magical technology of 3D printing. 3D printers can now use almost any kind of source material, from metal to chocolate to PET bottles, so it was only a matter of time before someone had the bright idea to use sawdust as well. And as a test of the usefulness of this proprietary process, a line of beautiful home accessories was made to showcase the flexibility and quality of 3D printed sawdust products.

The Vine collection includes a vase-like vessel, a dish tray, a basket, and a bowl that look like a series of wooden rods twisted to create pleasing curves and shapes. No adhesives or extra connecting parts were used to finish their forms, ensuring that the products were sustainable and recyclable from start to finish. The twisting shapes are a testament to the capabilities of Forust’s 3D printer, but they also serve as metaphors for the organic nature of trees that eventually end up as source materials for these products.

While these 3D printed containers are designed to show none of the natural grains that wood is known for, the technology does actually support recreating the appearance of different wood grains, including those from endangered trees. It can also add colors to different grainless surfaces, expanding the kinds of designs that it can support.

3D printing is a truly amazing technology that has opened the doors to new designs and new materials. It still needs plenty of design thinking, experimentation, and even courage to try out new things, especially ones that could revolutionize the industry and help save the planet in the long run. It’s only too easy to take for granted tiny pieces of sawdust because of their size, but they do add up to form mountains of waste that are also wasted opportunities. Thankfully, there are indeed a few enterprising and responsible minds out there that prove how even dust can become beautiful, sustainable products that can improve the quality of our lives as well as that of the planet.

The post These stunning accessories and decorations are 3D printed from factory wood waste first appeared on Yanko Design.

A fifth of US teens use YouTube ‘almost constantly,’ with TikTok not far behind

Pew Research has published a new report that examines social media usage trends among US teens. The organization found that a whopping 95 percent of them use YouTube, while 19 percent are on the platform "almost constantly."

Perhaps unsurprisingly, two-thirds (67 percent) said they used TikTok, with 16 percent claiming they are on the app "almost constantly." The third most-popular social media platform among teens is Instagram, per Pew, with 62 percent using it. A tenth say they use it almost all the time — despite the app occasionally telling them to take a break. A previous poll conducted in 2014-15 found that 52 percent were using Instagram (Pew didn't ask about YouTube usage for that survey and TikTok didn't exist at the time).

Snapchat also rose among teens, with 59 percent using it in 2022, compared with 41 percent in the previous poll. Facebook was the top social media app among teens seven years ago, with 71 percent of them using it, but that figure has dropped to 32 percent. Teen adoption of Twitter (down from 33 percent to 23 percent) and Tumblr (14 percent to five percent) has fallen over the same period too.

The 2014-15 poll didn't ask about Twitch, WhatsApp or Reddit. These days, a fifth of teens use Twitch, 17 percent are on WhatsApp and 14 percent are accessing Reddit. For what it's worth, the earlier poll suggested 33 percent of teens used Google+, while a quarter used Vine. This time around, Pew did not ask teens about their use of Discord or social gaming spaces such as Fortnite.

Pew surveyed 1,316 teens aged 13 to 17 (as well as one of their parents) in April and May. It found that boys were more likely to use YouTube, Twitch and Reddit and girls were more likely to say they access TikTok, Instagram and Snapchat. More Black and Hispanic teens said they used TikTok, Instagram, Twitter and WhatsApp than white teens.

Even though over half (54 percent) of teens said they'd find it hard to give up social media, 36 percent admitted they spent too much time on the platforms. Around 55 percent said their usage levels were "about right." Meanwhile, 97 percent of teens now use the internet every day, with 46 percent saying they're online almost all the time.

The poll found that 95 percent of teens have access to a smartphone (up from 73 percent in 2014-15), while 90 percent can access a desktop or laptop computer, up from 87 percent in the previous survey. Curiously, the percentage of teens who say they have access to a gaming console has fallen slightly, from 81 percent to 80 percent.

Duet Display’s second screen app is now available for Meta Portal devices

Meta is making its Portal smart displays more useful to remote workers. Starting today, you can use the Portal Go and second-generation Portal Plus as a second screen for your Mac or Windows PC. The new functionality comes courtesy of Duet Display, the app that inspired Apple’s Sidecar feature in macOS Catalina. Normally, you would need to either buy a copy of the software or subscribe to use Duet Display, but CEO Rahul Dewan told Engadget the company is making both wired and local wireless second display functionality free for Portal users.

One thing to note is you can’t use the app while video calling with the Portal Go or Portal Plus. Duet Display is available to download on Portal Plus in the US, Canada, UK, France, Spain, Italy, Australia and New Zealand, and Portal Go in the US, Canada, UK, France, Spain and Italy.

Meta is also releasing the Portal Companion app on macOS. The software allows you to share your screen while on call. You can also use the app to send links to the device and more easily access controls like the mute toggle. The Portal Companion app is available to download in the US and UK.

The arrival of Duet Display on Portal devices comes after Meta reportedly decided to reposition them as enterprise products. In June, The Information and Variety said the company would not announce any new consumer versions of the smart display line.

Boeing delivers its first 787 Dreamliner after pausing for over a year

Boeing is starting to overcome one of its larger hurdles in recent memory. CNBCnotes the aircraft maker has delivered its first 787 Dreamliner in over a year, supplying American Airlines with one out of the nine vehicles it expects to receive in 2022. Boeing paused manufacturing in May 2021 as the Federal Aviation Administration reviewed how the company inspected planes following a string of manufacturing problems.

The company had to halt deliveries multiple times in less than a year after detecting potentially dangerous production problems, such as fuselage spacing. The FAA only cleared Boeing to resume deliveries on Monday. Dreamliner handovers have been on hold for most of the past two years between the manufacturing defects and a pandemic that dramatically curbed passenger flights.

There's a strong incentive to put the 787 Dreamliner into customers' hands. The flaws and ensuing production cuts will cost Boeing $5.5 billion, and that's on top of serious 737 Max issues that led to crashes killing 346 people. Boeing has a tarnished reputation, and these deliveries could help it (slowly) mend its image while capitalizing on an air travel revival.