New Pastport Trim in 2019 Honda Passport Lineup Throws Back to Simpler Times and Nineties Nostalgia

Honda Pastport Marketing Campaign

To introduce the Pastport, Honda is launching an integrated marketing campaign that fully embraces ’90s aesthetic with a new TV spot shot in a 4:3 format and standard definition (https://honda.us/Pastport).

Honda Pastport Marketing Campaign
To introduce the Pastport, Honda is launching an integrated marketing campaign that fully embraces ’90s aesthetic with a new TV spot shot in a 4:3 format and standard definition (https://honda.us/Pastport). The :60 commercial debuts on Honda’s YouTube channel today with additional versions of the spot featured on Honda social media channels, including Twitter (@Honda), Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/Honda/), and Instagram (@Honda).

Fans of the Honda Pastport can dial 1-833-PASTPORT to listen to a very special message from Fred Savage, who also happens to be the official voice of the Honda brand. Callers are encouraged to leave a detailed message on the Company’s microcassette answering machine explaining why they’d like to own a Pastport. The Pastport hotline will be promoted throughout the marketing campaign and is featured during the commercials.

The 2019 Honda Passport
The 2019 Passport is the newest addition to Honda’s award-winning SUV lineup and delivers a unique combination of on-road driving refinement and off-road capability, along with best-in-class interior space. Designed for adventure-seekers who want the exceptional on- and off-road capability of Honda’s available i-VTM4™ torque-vectoring all-wheel drive system, the power and towing capability of its 280-horsepower 3.5-liter i-VTEC® V6, and the more personal and rugged character of a five-passenger SUV, Passport fits between the refined and compact CR-V and the larger, family-focused three-row Pilot.

The all-new 2019 Honda Passport comes standard with 20-inch wheels, a blackout grille, the Honda Sensing® suite of advanced safety and driver-assistive technologies, as well as higher ground clearance and wider track than the three-row Pilot. Along with Passport’s best-in-class interior passenger space and total interior volume, the SUV features a large “basement” cargo area ideal for storing dirty gear or keeping valuables out of sight. Key premium technologies available on Passport include in-vehicle 4G LTE Wi-Fi, Apple CarPlay® and Android Auto™ integration, a high-resolution 8-inch Display Audio system, heated and ventilated front seats, wireless phone charging and more.

About Honda
Honda offers a full line of reliable, fuel-efficient and fun-to-drive vehicles with advanced safety technologies sold through over 1,000 independent U.S. Honda dealers. The Honda lineup includes the Fit, Civic, Insight, Accord and Clarity series passenger cars, along with the HR-V, CR-V, Passport and Pilot sport utility vehicles, the Ridgeline pickup and the Odyssey minivan.

Honda has been producing automobiles in America for more than 35 years and currently operates 19 major manufacturing facilities in North America. In 2018, more than 90 percent of all Honda brand vehicles sold in the U.S. were made in North America, using domestic and globally sourced parts.

This partially non-factual press release is an acknowledged spoof press release for April Fools’ Day.

SOURCE American Honda Motor Co., Inc.

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The best cheap smart home device deals in April 2019

Upgrade your living space into a smart home without breaking the bank with our hand-picked smart home devices that include speakers, security cameras, light bulbs and more. Create a smart home hub with these gadgets that work with Amazon Alexa and the Google Assistant to simplify your technology and help make your day-to-day life even easier.

Upgrade your living space into a smart home without breaking the bank with our hand-picked smart home devices that include speakers, security cameras, light bulbs and more. Create a smart home hub with these gadgets that work with Amazon Alexa and the Google Assistant to simplify your technology and help make your day-to-day life even easier.

Whether you want to personalize and control your lighting, stream music and videos or secure your home, we’ve found a variety of top-rated smart home gadgets to help you get started building your smart home. Most of your products work with Alexa or the Google Assistant so that you can control the devices with the command of your voice. We’ve also included the Aukey Smart Plug-in our list which gives any device you plug into smart capabilities.

Read on for our list of the best smart home gadgets that include the best prices and deals that are currently available. We have a variety of devices that will fit all smart home needs and budgets.

The best smart home device deals

The best-selling Echo Dot is a voice-controlled smart speaker that works with Alexa to make calls, answer questions, set alarms, check the weather and so much more. The compact smart speaker can also control your compatible smart home devices with the command of your voice. Just ask Alexa to find TV shows, turn on lights, adjust the temperature and more. You can use your voice to play a song or artist through Amazon Music, Apple Music, Spotify, Pandora, and others. Alexa has over 50,000 skills so you can discover new skills that will help you with everyday tasks.

The Amazon Echo smart speaker can play music, answer questions, set alarms and more all with the command of your voice. You can also control your other smart home devices with the Alexa-enabled speaker just ask Alexa to turn off the lights, adjust your thermostat, lock your door and more. The Echo can make calls and send and receive messages through the hands-free speaker. The smart speaker features a better audio experience than the Echo Dot offering a powerful audio with Dolby technology built in to the speaker.

Control your lighting from anywhere with the TP-Link Alexa-enabled light bulb. You can turn your lights on and off and adjust brightness with your tablet or smartphone using the Kasa app. You can connect the smart bulb with Alexa or Google Assistant devices and use your voice to control your lights. The easy-to-install light bulb can transform into any color to set the mood and personalize your lighting by adjusting brightness as well as light appearance from soft white to daylight. The TP-Link bulbs will also help you out with your energy costs by reducing energy use up to 80% without brightness or quality loss.

Turn your electronics and appliances into voice and app-controlled devices with the Kasa Smart WiFi plug by TP-Link. The smart plug works with Alexa and the Google Assistant so you can turn your devices into a hands-free experience. You can turn on lamps, appliances and more from anywhere on your smartphone using the Kasa app. You can also schedule the smart plug to automatically turn on and off when you’re away and reduce your energy by managing devices that use the most power.

Help secure your home with the Ring Video Doorbell Pro that allows you to answer your door from anywhere. The Ring Pro works with Alexa and will send alerts to Echo devices which allows you to hear and speak to visitors entirely hands-free. The Ring Video Doorbell Pro also sends alerts to your smartphone when motion is detected or when someone presses the doorbell so you can monitor your home from anywhere. The Pro features advanced motion detection with a camera view that generates motion alerts within user-set motion zones. The Ring doorbell connects to your existing doorbell wiring so you don’t have to worry about re-charging the battery and features four different faceplate options.

Control your thermostat from anywhere with the 3rd generation Nest Learning Thermostat. The smart thermostat uses technology to learn your habits and adjust automatically to help save you energy. On average the Nest thermostat saves 10-12% on heating bills and 15% on cooling bills so the Nest will pay for itself in no time. You’re able to control your thermostat from anywhere with Nest app using your phone, tablet or laptop. The smart thermostat also works with Alexa so you can adjust and control the temperature with the command of your voice. The Nest thermostat features a thinner and sleeker design than previous models and comes in four different colors.

Clean your floors with the command of your voice and completely hands-free with the Wi-Fi connected iRobot Roomba Robot Vacuum. You can use the iRobot home app to clean and schedule your vacuum from anywhere and receive notifications when the job is complete. The Roomba 960 can continuously clean for up to 75 minutes and will automatically recharge. The robot vacuum features a three-stage cleaning system and a high-efficiency filter that captures 99% of allergens, pollen, and dust. The Roomba is also compatible with Amazon Alexa and the Google Assistant so you can control the vacuum with your voice.

Keep your home secure with the Arlo Pro two camera security system. The top rated security system includes two cameras, rechargeable batteries, power adapter and cable, wall mount, and a base station. The Arlo Pro cameras are weatherproof so they can be used indoors or outdoors and can operate in up to 122-degree temperature. The 100% wireless Arlo Pro records video in 1080p HD resolution and offers advanced motion detection to catch every angle so no moment goes unnoticed. The security system also has a smart siren that can be controlled remotely, or when motion or sound is detected. The security camera works with Alexa, and has a compatible app which allows you to monitor your home from anywhere.

The top-selling Anova Sous Vide lets you master the hottest cooking trend, sous vide. Just fill a pot with water, set the desired temperature and time, and cook everything (meat, souffle, carrots) to perfection. The Anova Sous Vide allows you to prepare restaurant quality meals by cooking your food at the precise temperature and not ever having to worrying about over-cooking. You can set the time and temperature manually on the device or through the Anova app. The app allows you to cook remotely, so you don’t have to wait around in the kitchen waiting for your food to cook. The app also gives you access to over 1,000+ creative recipes and guides you through each recommended meal.

Build your smart lighting hub for your home with the Philips Hue White and Color Ambiance Starter Kit. The Philips starter kit includes three 60W white and color ambiance A19 bulbs, one Hue bridge, ethernet cable, and power adapter. The Hue hub is compatible with Amazon Alexa and the Google Assistant so you can control your lighting with your voice. The Hue color bulbs allow you to choose from sixteen million colors in the Hue app to set the perfect mood and create a unique and personalized lighting experience. The Hue app also lets you sync your lighting with movies and music and allows you to control everything remotely. The Hue hub will enable you to add on to your smart lighting system with the bridge accommodating up to fifty Hue lights.

Secure your home the smart way with the Schlage Connect Touchscreen Deadbolt. The Schlage connect features a touch screen keypad which allows for keyless entry. This lets every member in your family have their own 4-digit code that will be easy to remember. You can also create temporary codes for visitors and never have to worry about replacing locks or exchanging keys. The Schlage Connect is Z-Wave compatible and connects to your home automation system which allows you to lock or unlock your door remotely. You can also use your voice to control the lock with any Amazon Alexa compatible device. The deadbolt features a built-in alarm that comes in three different modes that will alert you when someone is coming or going and communicate any potential security threats.

The Logitech Harmony Elite Remote is the ultimate universal remote that not only controls your TV but can also control other smart home devices. The Harmony remote works with Alexa so you can use your voice to control your TV and other connected devices. The remote features one-touch automation so you can touch one button to trigger everyday activities like turning on the lights and TV. The Harmony Elite also works with other smart home devices, offering single-touch control with smart lights, locks, thermostats and more. The universal remote lets you combine up to fifteen remotes and several apps into one easy-to-use remote so you can control all of your electronics and gadgets with one device.

See more of the best Amazon Echo prices, deals and salesSee more of the best Ring Doorbell deals currently going onInternet provider deals (USA) | Broadband deals (UK)

Choice Hotels Grows European Footprint with Three New Hotels

These latest additions add more than 300 rooms to the company’s European portfolio of more than 426 hotels across 19 countries.

  • V8 Hotel Köln @Motorworld (Cologne, Germany) – V8 Hotel Köln @Motorworld opened its doors to guests in March 2019 and is Germany’s second hotel to join the Ascend Hotel Collection brand.

These latest additions add more than 300 rooms to the company’s European portfolio of more than 426 hotels across 19 countries.

V8 Hotel Köln @Motorworld (Cologne, Germany) – V8 Hotel Köln @Motorworld opened its doors to guests in March 2019 and is Germany’s second hotel to join the Ascend Hotel Collection brand. Distinguished by its unique, automotive-themed interior design and features 112 tastefully designed rooms, each equipped with top-of-the-line amenities and infused with unique automotive artwork and furnishings. The hotel is part of MOTORWORLD Cologne Rhineland, a famous motor sport exhibition which is home of the private collection of the seven-time Formula 1 world champion Michael Schumacher. Visitors have convenient access to the city’s top historical and modern attractions. Quality Hotel Ostrava City (Czech Republic) – The eight-story, 185-room Quality Hotel Ostrava City is the first hotel under the Quality brand to open in the Czech Republic and the twelfth Choice-branded property to open in the region as part of the company’s longstanding alliance with CPI Hotels, whose portfolio also includes Clarion and Comfort hotels. Ideally located in the center of downtown Ostrava, the Quality Hotel Ostrava features spacious rooms with modern fixtures and offers guests several unique amenities, including a Swedish sauna, wellness center, and electric automobile charging stations. Hotel Aquarius Venice (Venice, Italy) – Located in the heart of historic Venice between the Santa Lucia railway station and the Rialto, the Hotel Aquarius Venice will be the first Ascend hotel to debut in Italy when it opens later this year. Each of the hotel’s 28 rooms reflect the city’s aquatic surroundings and rich tradition with warm colors, gilded-metal accents, contemporary furnishings, and locally sourced art and furniture. The hotel also features two lobby aquariums, a courtyard, a garden, and bar.

For more information on Choice Hotels international development opportunities, visit choicehotelsdevelopment.com/international.

Ascend Hotel Collection: Let the Destination Reach You.
The Ascend Hotel Collection® global portfolio of unique, boutique, and historic independent hotels and resorts is part of Choice Hotels International, one of the world’s largest leading hotel companies. Recognized as the hotel industry’s first “soft brand” concept, the Ascend Hotel Collection has more than 250 properties open and operating worldwide, including in France, the United Kingdom, Denmark, Finland, Ireland, Norway, Spain, Sweden, Turkey, Australia, Canada, Ecuador, and the Caribbean region. Membership with the Ascend Hotel Collection enables distinctive, independent properties to gain a global presence while maintaining their local charm. For more information, visit www.choicehotels.com/Ascend.

Clarion®: Get Together Here
Clarion believes life is better when you get together. The brand provides convenient and affordable accommodations to make all business and social gatherings possible. Clarion hotels feature meeting and event space, on-site dining, catering, and a bar in a social atmosphere to help guests make the most of their time with friends, family and colleagues. In addition to comfortable rooms with premium bedding, Clarion properties offer free Wi-Fi, 24-hour business centers, and fitness centers or pools. As of March 31, 2018, there are more than 300 Clarion hotels open or under development worldwide. For more information visit www.ClarionHotel.com.

Quality Inn® Get Your Money’s Worth
Choice Hotels International was originally founded on the Quality® brand. As the company’s legacy brand, Quality Inn continues to deliver on its original commitment of providing guests with an affordable and enjoyable stay. The brand’s signature “Value Qs,” which include premium bedding, hot and healthy breakfast, friendly service and free Wi-Fi, help guests focus on the people and travel memories that matter most. Quality Inn is one of the largest and most recognized brands in the midscale segment with more than 1,800 properties open worldwide as of December 31, 2019. For more information, visit www.choicehotels.com/quality-inn.

About Choice Hotels
Choice Hotels International, Inc. (NYSE: CHH) is one of the largest and most successful lodging franchisors in the world. With more than 7,000 hotels, representing nearly 570,000 rooms, in over 40 countries and territories as of December 31, 2018, the Choice® family of hotel brands provides business and leisure travelers with a range of high-quality lodging options from limited service to full-service hotels in the upscale, midscale, extended-stay and economy segments. The award-winning Choice Privileges® loyalty program offers members benefits ranging from everyday rewards to exceptional experiences. For more information, visit www.choicehotels.com.

Forward-Looking Statement
This communication includes “forward-looking statements” about future events, including anticipated development and hotel openings. Such statements are subject to numerous risks and uncertainties, including construction delays, availability and cost of financing and the other “Risk Factors” described in our Annual Report on Form 10-K, any of which could cause actual results to be materially different from our expectations.

Addendum
This advertisement is not an offering. For New York: an offering can only be made by a prospectus filed first with the Department of Law in the State of New York. Such filing does not constitute approval by the Department of Law. For Minnesota: Ascend Collection #F-5980, Quality Inn #F-48, and Clarion #F-1673. A copy of the Franchise Disclosure Document may be obtained through contacting Choice Hotels International at 1 Choice Hotels Circle, Suite 400, Rockville, MD 20850 or at Development@ChoiceHotels.com.

© 2019 Choice Hotels International, Inc. All rights reserved.

SOURCE Choice Hotels International, Inc.

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Save $100 on the Bose SoundTouch 10 Wi-Fi speaker – CNET

Bluetooth speakers are all well and good, but they have limited range and employ audio-compression technology that many audiophiles don’t appreciate. They’re also harder to configure for multi-room setups.

Bluetooth speakers are all well and good, but they have limited range and employ audio-compression technology that many audiophiles don’t appreciate. They’re also harder to configure for multi-room setups.

Enter Wi-Fi speakers, which hit the scene years ago but never really caught on, for reasons I don’t fully understand. Well, actually, I do: Most of them were premium products with price tags to match.

Read more:The best speakers for 2019

Here’s a premium product with a much more affordable price: For a limited time, and while supplies last, Bose (via eBay) has the factory-renewed Bose SoundTouch 10 Wireless Speaker for $99.95. It originally sold for $200 and still runs about $160 elsewhere.

See it at eBay

A straight-up Sonos Play:1 competitor, the SoundTouch 10 is a compact but powerful speaker that leverages Wi-Fi for easy multi-room setups, but also supports Bluetooth if you need to use it somewhere there’s no Wi-Fi.

There’s also an Alexa skill for Bose, so if you own an Echo, Fire Tablet or other compatible device, you can listen to music without having to pick up your phone or tablet. However, it’s a bit limited: You can’t ask for a specific song or playlist, but you can request presets, skip songs, modify the volume and so on.

I haven’t tried the SoundTouch 10 myself, so I’ll turn you over to David Carnoy’s thorough review from 2016. Yeah, this is an older product, and while it still sounds just as good, it’s probably not quite as tech-savvy as the latest from Sonos.

On the other hand, the Play:1 runs $149. And although the SoundTouch 10 is factory-renewed, it’s literally good as new, right down to the original retail packaging and 1-year warranty.

If you happen to own one already, hit the comments and share your thoughts!

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1:54
TCL 43-inch Roku TV: $170 (save $70)

Welcome to 2019 TV Deal No. 4,783. I mean, not to sound jaded or anything, but at the rate things are going, TVs will be free by late summer.

In the meantime, today only, and while supplies last, Amazon has the TCL 43S305 43-inch Roku TV for $169.99, the lowest price to date. It normally sells for $240.

See it at Amazon

This 2017 model earned high marks across the board, from users and CNET alike. Indeed, David Katzmaier said the Roku-powered 43S305 should be “your first choice” if you’re looking for an affordable TV. Read his review to learn more.

Just for clarification, this is “only” a 1080p screen; it doesn’t do 4K. But at this size, 4K is wholly unnecessary. Bottom line: This is an incredibly good deal on a mid-size smart TV.

CNET’s Cheapskate scours the web for great deals on PCs, phones, gadgets and much more. Note that CNET may get a share of revenue from the sale of the products featured on this page. Questions about the Cheapskate blog? Find the answers on our FAQ page. Find more great buys on the CNET Deals page and follow the Cheapskate on Facebook and Twitter!

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Bose SoundTouch 10
Review
Bose SoundTouch 10 review: Mini wireless speaker packs some surprising punch
Preview
SoundTouch 10 (hands-on): Bose adds Bluetooth to its Wi-Fi wireless speaker

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Aibo’s dark side: Why Illinois bans Sony’s robot dog – CNET

I’m watching Aibo, Sony’s robo-dog, scuttle around the office. Its mechanical joints make slow, noisy work of it on the concrete floor, but I can’t help but be mildly heart-warmed.

I’m watching Aibo, Sony’s robo-dog, scuttle around the office. Its mechanical joints make slow, noisy work of it on the concrete floor, but I can’t help but be mildly heart-warmed. I’d rather have a real dog here, but there’s something charming about Aibo.

The $2,900 pup is a companion robot, one Sony claims “learns its environment and develops relationships with people.” Aibo even enlists a camera in its nose to scan faces and determine who’s who so it can react to them differently.

Because of our office pet’s face-detecting capabilities, Sony doesn’t sell Aibo in Illinois. The state’s Biometric Information Privacy Act (BIPA) regulates the collection of biometric data, including face scans.

So Aibo’s out in the land of Lincoln, but the story doesn’t stop with Sony’s quirky robot. Illinois also limits access to facial recognition in home security cameras, a feature that’s becoming increasingly prevalent in the consumer security market. Let’s take a closer look at BIPA, the growth of biometric tech in consumer products — and how other states in the US treat your biometric info.


Security cameras with facial recognition tech inside
8 Photos

Illinois law

The Biometric Information PrivacyAct was established in 2008 to regulate “the collection, use, safeguarding, handling, storage, retention, and destruction of biometric identifiers and information.” BIPA defines “biometric identifiers” as retina scans, iris scans, fingerprints, hand scans, face scans and voiceprints.

Basically, an individual or a company needs “informed written consent” to use another individual’s biometric info.

State senator Terry Link for Illinois’ 30th district introduced Senate Bill 2400 on Feb. 14, 2008 to protect the biometric privacy of Illinois residents. State senators Christine Radogno, Iris Y. Martinez, David Koehler and Heather Steans served as co-sponsors of the bill. It was approved as the Biometric Information Privacy Act on Oct. 3, 2008.

Senator Link filed an amendment to BIPA on May 26, 2016 to redefine “biometric identifier,” to make it easier to collect certain biometric data, but later withdrew the amendment.

A Sony support page titled “Why Is Aibo Not for Sale in Illinois?” simply says:

Due to state regulations and policies, the Aibo™ robotic companion is not for sale or use in Illinois.

In order to mimic the behavior of an actual pet, an Aibo device will learn to behave differently around familiar people. To enable this recognition, Aibo conducts a facial analysis of those it observes through its cameras. This facial-recognition data may constitute “biometric information” under the law of Illinois, which places specific obligations on parties collecting biometric information. Thus, we decided to prohibit purchase and use of Aibo by residents of Illinois.

While Sony simply opted out of selling the face-detecting Aibo in Illinois, other companies, like Nest, sell their facial recognition-enabled cams in Illinois, with the facial recognition feature disabled.

In other facial recognition newsFacial recognition 101: Your face is your new fingerprintAmazon’s Ring takes heat for considering facial recognition for its video doorbellsMicrosoft calls for regulation of facial-recognition technology

A quick visit to the Nest Cam IQ Indoor page says “Familiar face alerts require a Nest Aware subscription. Not available on Nest Cams used in Illinois.”

The Nest Cam IQ Indoor has an optional feature called familiar face alerts that you pay a monthly (or yearly) fee to access via the Nest Aware service. Like many other home security cameras with facial recognition, the IQ Indoor allows you to create a database with the faces of friends, family members, caregivers and any other people that regularly visit your home. That way, when you get a motion alert, the Nest app tells you it sees “Molly” or “Tyler.”

That feature won’t work in Illinois, even if you pay for Nest Aware. Google disables Nest’s facial recognition capabilities in the state: “We use a variety of factors to determine a user’s location, including IP address of their devices and the physical address associated with their account,” a Google spokesperson told me over email.

Privacy talk

Although BIPA remains the strictest state privacy law, Texas and Washington also regulate biometric information. A Texas law, established in 2009, similarly defines biometric identifiers as “a retina or iris scan, fingerprint, voiceprint, or record of hand or face geometry.”

A section of the law states: “A person may not capture a biometric identifier of an individual for a commercial purpose unless the person: informs the individual before capturing the biometric identifier; and receives the individual’s consent to capture the biometric identifier.”

Washington’s 2017 House Bill 493 doesn’t specifically reference face or hand scans in its definition of biometric identifier. The definition also doesn’t include “a physical or digital photograph, video or audio recording or data generated therefrom, or information collected, used, or stored for health care treatment, payment, or operations under the federal health insurance portability and accountability act of 1996.”

The Electronic Frontier Foundation, a nonprofit advocacy group for digital privacy, supports state regulation of biometric data.

“When you start to capture biometrics from people it turns a corner to where we think that shouldn’t be happening without the consent of the person who’s biometrics are being taken,” EFF senior staff attorney Adam Schwartz says during a phone interview while referencing Illinois’ Biometric Information Privacy Act.

“What it says [BIPA] is that, one private person can’t take biometrics from another private person without their consent. And that’s where we [the EFF] would draw the line,” Schwartz adds.

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The facial recognition landscape

At the same time that states are implementing biometric privacy laws, we’re seeing more consumer devices with facial recognition. Here’s a list of home security cameras you can buy today with facial recognition capabilities.

Honeywell Smart Home Security
Nest Cam IQ Indoor
Nest Cam IQ OutdoorNest HelloNetatmo Welcome
Tend Secure Lynx
Tend Secure Lynx Pro
Wisenet SmartCam N1

Not only is facial recognition more prevalent, we’re also seeing more products that enlist fingerprints or hand scans. The iPhone and other smartphones have fingerprint-scanning capabilities so you can quickly unlock your phone. I saw a smart lock at CES 2019 called the Elecpro US:E that relies on a face scan and a hand scan to unlock.

Airports are increasingly adding tech that scans faces or fingerprints to determine who you are, too. Schwartz refers to the growing popularity of biometric tech as a “normalization of biometrics,” something the EFF finds concerning, he says.

“If you start using biometrics to board your airplane because it’s convenient, other forms of biometrics seem more normal. We’re very concerned about that,” explains Schwartz.

Whether or not you’re personally concerned about your biometric data, expect to see more regulations around it in the coming years. Alaska, Michigan, Montana and New Hampshire are already working on their own biometric laws. And, given the influx of devices that use biometric information both for consumer and commercial purposes, more are probably on the way.

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Aibo’s dark side: Why Illinois bans Sony’s robot dog
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Hubitat welcomes Lowe’s Iris orphans
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This Wi-Fi deadbolt delivers simple smarts

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You don’t have long to claim these ‘buy one month, get the next free’ SIM only deals

Smarty Mobile’s superb BOGOF deal is doing exactly that this Wednesday. One of our favourite ways to get cheap SIM only deals is set to come to an end, so be sure to get it while you still can.

Smarty Mobile’s superb BOGOF deal is doing exactly that this Wednesday. One of our favourite ways to get cheap SIM only deals is set to come to an end, so be sure to get it while you still can.

On top of Smarty Mobile’s standard offer to give bill credit back for unused data (more on which at the bottom of this page), and dishing out commitment-free unlimited data SIMs for a very reasonable £25 per month, its current promotion gives you something for absolutely nothing.

Sign up for one month of a Smarty SIMO, and it will give you the second month absolutely free. It’s a brilliant offer, and one that’s especially eye-catching if you’re somebody that’s looking for a stopgap SIM for just a couple of months.

The offer, which is available until midnight on Wednesday, April 3, comes with all five of Smarty’s SIM only plans. So that includes its so-called ‘X Small’ plan that ordinarily gets you 1GB of data for £6.25 per month. If you decide only to hang around for 60 days, that’s the equivalent of £3.12 a month! And the value gets even better as the data increases – so you could go for its £25 unlimited data SIM, now costing an average of only £12.50 for each of the first two months.

Smarty’s SIM only deals in full:1GB data, unlimited calls and texts – £6.25 per month2GB data, unlimited calls and texts – £7.50 per month4GB data, unlimited calls and texts – £10 per month8GB data, unlimited calls and texts – £15 per monthUnlimited data, calls and texts – £25 per month

Or check out all of today’s best SIM only deals in the UK

Credit back for unused data on your SIMO plan

On the merits of the above promotion alone, Smarty is looking like a clever SIMO option at the moment for new and old SIM-free phones alike. But its other USP is really worth reminding you about, too.

It will give you money off for any data allowance that you don’t use in a month. So if you have a month where you hardly use your phone away from the Wi-Fi at all, you may be eligible for money off your next phone bill.

The tariffs include a base price of £5 per month which is non-refundable. So whichever plan you go for (other than the basic 1GB or unlimited data options, of course) if you use no data you’ll only pay £5 per month and you’ll still get unlimited calls and texts to play with.

Worried about reception? Again there’s nothing to be afraid of – Smarty piggybacks on the Three network which covers 97% of the UK.

Check out this deal at Smarty.co.ukWhat is Smarty? Find out more

The best cheap Amazon Kindle sale prices and deals in April 2019

A cheap Kindle sale is never that far away in these parts as Amazon is keen to stay atop of the ereader pile. Kindle prices on most of the devices are already great value given the high quality you get in your hands.

A cheap Kindle sale is never that far away in these parts as Amazon is keen to stay atop of the ereader pile. Kindle prices on most of the devices are already great value given the high quality you get in your hands.

We’re rounding up all the cheapest Kindle deals as various retailers throw down to try to offer your the best bargains. We’ve covered every readily-available model including the basic Kindles, the excellent all-rounder Paperwhites and the super fancy Kindle Oasis luxury ereader. If you’re interested in more than just reading ebooks, the Fire tablet range is covered too – they’re a much cheaper alternative to those pricey iPad deals.

Naturally, we’ll explain the differences between the devices too so you can make the most informed decision about which one suits you best. We provided a quick overview directly below, keep scrolling though and you’ll see an extensive list of Kindle prices for each model.

What makes a good Kindle price?

These ereaders don’t have LCD screens or powerful internal components. So you’ll find Kindle sale prices are far cheaper than tablets and phones. The screens are fantastic for glare-free reading and an immediate improvement over using the Kindle app on your phone or tablet too.

If you can find the Kindle Paperwhite for under US$129/£120/AU$199 you’re getting a good price. The new entry-level Kindle 2019 model will surely see some discounts soon on its $89.99/£69/AU$139 price. The top of the line Kindle Oasis model prices start at $269/£229/AU$389 and rarely drops lower.

What do ‘Special Offers’ mean on the Kindle listings?

When looking at a Kindle ereader listing, whether it’s on Amazon’s website, or on a different retailer’s site, you’ll often see ‘includes special offers’ in the title or item description. Choose without special offers and the price will jump up £10/US$20.

Essentially, these Special Offers act as Amazon-based screensaver-style advertisements on your Kindle device. So when you pop your Kindle on from sleep mode you’ll see an ad for a book on Amazon’s Kindle store, or maybe a third party ad.

Annoying right? Actually, I opted for with Special Offers (I do love a cheap deal), and it’s not bothered me one bit. You can swipe the ad away easily (no trying to find the tiny X icon here) and get on with your reading straight away. When in sleep mode, the ads cycle on the screen, but they’re not illuminated and they don’t seem to consume any power. They don’t slow anything down when powering on the device after shutdown either.

Seeing as they don’t interfere with the experience at all, I’m glad I didn’t spend the extra money to block them. Hey, some of them (sales ads etc) have been worth clicking through to. If you really don’t like them though, you can always pay the difference at a later date to get them removed. So we’d opt for the cheaper ‘includes special offers’ option first.

Here are the best cheap Kindle prices currently available…

Kindle Paperwhite 2018 prices

The best value Kindle is now even better

Amazon has an updated version of the excellent Kindle Paperwhite and it’s just been released. And this is no mere by-the-numbers update with a deep dive on internal spec sheet required to spot the differences (let’s leave that to the MacBooks right?). The 2018 version of the Paperwhite is so good you might be tempted to ditch the previous version, which we still love very much.

The backlit screen is now flush with the bezel, meaning no more places for dust or hair to get stuck. And part of the reasoning behind this upgrade is to ensure the Kindle Paperwhite is now a waterproof ereader, just like the far more expensive (but absolutely beautiful) Kindle Oasis. The cheapest model now has double the storage capacity at 8GB which is handy if you you’re reading image-heavy books like graphic novels/comics. And it’s 20 grams lighter. That extra space is also handy for audiobooks, a new addition to the Paperwhite that you can take advantage of via bluetooth speakers/headphones.

We expect prices to drop on the older model to clear stock out, so you could get a decent discount there (see further down this page for the older Paperwhite prices). As for the new Kindle Paperwhite 2018, prices start at $129.99/£119.99/AU$199. The 2018 Kindle Paperwhite is well on its way to surpassing the previous model, which was already the best value ereader on the planet.

Amazon’s latest take on the entry-level Kindle was given a boost for 2019 by including a built-in light, meaning you don’t have to get the Kindle Paperwhite if you want to read your Kindle at night without any extra lighting in the room. It’s a neat upgrade, but it has pushed the starting price up a little compared to the 2016 starting Kindle. The Amazon Kindle with a built-in light starts at $89.99 / £69.99 / AU$139.

The screen itself though is still only 167 ppi, opposed to the Paperwhite’s higher resolution of 300 ppi. The Paperwhite (which is now waterproof and designed with a flush screen against the bezel) does get some chunky discounts at multiple points of the year, so if you time it right, you may not have to pay much more to get that instead of this basic (if improved) Kindle.

Kindle Oasis deals

The luxury waterproof ereader you’ve been waiting for?

The reinvigorated all-new Kindle Oasis costs US$249/£229/AU$389 for the cheapest Wi-Fi version. This is an upgrade over the older Oasis (which is no longer available) and a huge improvement. It’s 15% cheaper, bigger and also the first waterproof kindle, arguably justifying the top end price-tag. The Kindle Oasis is also the first kindle to support Aubidle audio books, although you’ll need a pair of bluetooth wireless headphones to use this feature as there’s no built-in speaker or 3.5mm headphone port. This new Kindle ereader’s 7-inch screen makes it the largest in the current Kindle range and tempting for readers wanting to view a larger page, meaning you won’t have to turn pages as often. The page turn buttons are given a wider bezel on the side than the Kindle Voyage, making it easier to hold one-handed – the screen will flip over to accommodate left-handed readers too. The considerably cheaper Voyage and Paperwhite models are excellent alternatives and feature the same screen resolution. That larger screen and waterproofing for peace of mind are pretty tempting though.

Kindle Paperwhite deals

Still a fantastic ereader, with potentially low prices on remaining stock

The 6th generation Kindle Paperwhite was the best value Kindle around until the newer version landed, easily beating the likes of the Kobo Aura on performance and design. This model comes with screen lighting which was new to the series at such a low price before, although it’s becoming increasingly standard now, even on the entry-level Kindle. Amazon managed to create a fast electronic ink tablet with inventive reading apps. You can lookup words in the dictionary without leaving your page, or even flick through any relevant Wikipedia entries for most words or terms. The latest version’s 300 ppi screen is now just as good as the more expensive Kindle Oasis. Unless you see a super cheap price in the comparison chart below though, we’d opt for the newer version mentioned earlier.

Amazon Kindle (2016) deals

The new 2016 Kindle (also known as the ‘All-New Kindle’ and ‘Kindle Touch 2016’ in Australia) is the updated version of the entry level Kindle last released in 2014. If you want the cheapest option, this is the one you should go for as the 2014 version has been discontinued and any deals you see are probably for preowned or refurbished units. With prices starting around £60/US$80/AU$109 you’re getting a bargain. The 2016 model is also available in white (the 2014 was black only), it’s lighter, thinner, has double the RAM speed and double the storage capacity at 4GB. The lack of a lit screen is the only thing holding it back really.

Amazon tablet deals

Want something a bit more advanced than a Kindle ereader? If your needs are a bit more media-intensive as you want a handheld device for gaming, viewing movies (especially on Amazon Prime) and browsing the web, an Amazon tablet could be for you. Naturally, there’s a Kindle app, but the glass screen can be a hindrance for extended reading sessions.

Australian readers should note that these Fire tablets aren’t available Down Under.

Amazon Fire 7 deals

Amazon’s most popular Fire tablet

Sitting at the budget end of Amazon’s Kindle tablet range, the Fire 7 is generally the cheapest of the lot as it doesn’t have a HD screen. Amazon has just refreshed the Fire 7 range though and it now comes with Alexa, the virtual assistant from the Amazon Echo devices. You can also have different profiles – some for the kids – through Amazon FreeTime.

Amazon Fire HD 8 deals

The All-New Amazon Fire HD 8 is an improved beast

For this low price, the Amazon Fire HD 8 is one of the best tablets around, especially if you’re happy to jump into Amazon’s ecosystem. Mobile gamers will appreciate the improved tech inside the more recent versions as it comes with more storage, 50% more RAM and a 1.3GHz processor. Better yet, the 2018 edition seen below now comes with integrated hands-free Alexa – the excellent virtual assistant from the Amazon Echo range. You’re not paying any more for the privilege either, so we’d only recommend the latest version.

Amazon Fire HD 10 deals

The All-New Amazon Fire HD 10 is a much-needed upgraded

The new and improved Fire HD 10-inch tablet finally joins Amazon’s other Fire tablets with the ‘All-New’ treatment. This is good news for buyers as this replacement is cheaper than the scant few deals available for the old Fire HD 10.

The cheapest model now comes with 32GB of storage instead of 16GB, has a clear full HD 1080p screen and has twice as much RAM to run even faster than before. All this and the RRP comes in at just £149/$149. The headline feature though is the introduction of the voice-controlled Alexa app (one and the same as the Echo devices) to the tablet.

We’re a bit sad to see the old aluminium body go, as it looks a little less premium with the plastic finishes (black, red and blue available at launch so far). But seeing as we’d be putting a protective cover on it anyways, it doesn’t really make any difference when we think about it.

Amazon Fire 7 Kids Edition

Got tech-hungry children, but don’t want them to get their grubby mitts on your tablet or phone all the time? The Amazon Fire Kids Edition tablet could be the answer. In addition to enhanced durability (look at the size of that housing), it also comes with a two-year guarantee, which covers the tablet -even if the kids break it- no questions asked. There are plenty of software safeguards too, such as making sure they can only watch appropriate content online, adjustable screen-time limits and access to loads of age-appropriate games.

Amazon Fire HD 8 Kids Edition

Bigger and better than the Fire 7 Kids. You’re getting a larger screen with HD visuals. The sound is better too as the mono speaker has been banished for Dolby Atmos and dual stereo speakers. The battery has been boosted up to around 12 hours, compared to the eight offered by the smaller model and you get 32GB of storage instead of 16GB. You’re still getting that same tough build quality and two year guarantee too. Come on, don’t make your child grow up with SD visuals. Doesn’t everyone deserve HD, even if they are going to smear jam all over it and throw it around a bit?

We check our Kindle deals every day to make sure they’re always up to date and available!

April 1 Alert: Swoop brings lie-flat seats to its single class cabin

An industry leader in innovation, Swoop breaks the mould on the ultra-low-cost model with its Recline-for-a-Dime product

CALGARY, April 1, 2019 /PRNewswire/ – Swoop has set a new bar in ultra-low-cost unbundling with the introduction of its Recline-for-a-Dime™ product.

An industry leader in innovation, Swoop breaks the mould on the ultra-low-cost model with its Recline-for-a-Dime™ product

CALGARY, April 1, 2019 /PRNewswire/ – Swoop has set a new bar in ultra-low-cost unbundling with the introduction of its Recline-for-a-Dime™ product. The feature, expected to be configured across the fleet by the end of April 2019, allows travellers to insert a dime into the armrest of their seat in exchange for two-inches of 30-minute timed recline. Credit card tap is also enabled for even more convenience.

The cost to lie completely flat is $0.90, though travellers can fully customize the amount of time and the degree of recline they prefer, in $0.10 increments. When the time is up, the seat gently returns to its upright position. Swoop’s Flatter-than-Flat feature is offered for an additional $0.10, allowing travellers who have purchased the lie-flat option to further stretch their spine.

“Lie-flat luxury seating seems to be all the rage these days,” said Steven Greenway, President of Swoop. “Our travellers now have the option for a premium experience without breaking the bank. It’s a pivotal moment in the world of ultra-low-cost travel and only the beginning for product innovation at Swoop.”

Staying true to the ultra-low-cost model, Swoop cut the cost of reclining from the fare so travellers are only paying for what they use. Swoop is the only airline in the world to have the patent-pending air-worthy automated seat-recline technology.

“An innovation that truly has your back….”

For years, ULCC’s have been targeted for having cramped, unfriendly seats. Wanting to dispel this stereotype, Swoop conceived Recline-for-a-Dime™ while inadvertently discovering a few added benefits. Studies have shown that reclining at least six inches every 20 minutes on flights over 1.5 hours increases circulation and prevents thrombosis and swelling. Studies have also concluded a relationship between reclining and a reduction in jet lag. All the more reason to recline for a dime.

“It’s about dime! Recline.”

The standard degree of recline on most airlines that offer a premium economy option is eight inches. Market research has shown potential dissatisfaction from those seated behind a seat that is reclined more than this. In these cases, the non-reclining traveller can purchase Swoop’s 5-degrees-of-freedom option, which prevents the seat in front from reclining past the eight-inch satisfaction threshold.

The feedback from the cabin crew has been overwhelmingly positive. With the automated seat technology in place, gone are the days of monitoring that all seats have been returned to their upright position for take-off and landing.

Swoop expects to further develop the offering by introducing dynamic lumbar support, massage, motion-sync to streaming music and discounted recline-credits for the frequent traveller.

To learn more about Swoop’s product innovations, destinations, schedule and ultra-low-cost model visit FlySwoop.comor connect with Swoop on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

About Swoop

Established in 2018, Swoop is Canada’s leading ultra-low-cost airline, independently operated as part of the WestJet Group of companies, offering point-to-point scheduled service to 16 destinations in Canada, the U.S., Mexico and the Caribbean. Swoop offers completely unbundled products and services, creating the unique opportunity for travellers to control their costs and customize their experience by purchasing only the extras they desire.

Swoop operates a modern fleet of six Boeing 737-800 NG aircraft, equipped with in-seat power and Wi-Fi connectivity. A total of ten aircraft are expected in operation by the end of 2019.

Swoop’s mobile app allows travellers to quickly and easily book flights, manage bookings, check-in, view boarding passes, track flights and access Wi-Fi service in-flight.

For more details on Swoop, including employment opportunities, visit FlySwoop.com.

SOURCE Swoop

DFW Airport Welcomes Air France Service to Paris

DFW AIRPORT, Texas, March 31, 2019 /PRNewswire/ — Air France has launched new non-stop flights between Dallas Fort Worth International (DFW) Airport and Paris Charles de Gaulle (CDG) Airport, strengthening the strong ties between North Texas and one of its biggest trading partners.

DFW AIRPORT, Texas, March 31, 2019 /PRNewswire/ — Air France has launched new non-stop flights between Dallas Fort Worth International (DFW) Airport and Paris Charles de Gaulle (CDG) Airport, strengthening the strong ties between North Texas and one of its biggest trading partners. Air France will operate up to five weekly flights on the Airbus A330, equipped with its new Business, Premium Economy and Economy cabins.

“DFW Airport is growing faster than ever, and we’re pleased to welcome Air France, offering more choices for our customers to reach key European destinations,” said Sean Donohue, CEO of DFW Airport. “We met with Air France last summer and strengthened our relationship with Groupe ADP, operator of Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport, with a new cargo partnership. This route will continue to build on the ties between Dallas-Fort Worth and France.”

Air France announced the new service just months after DFW Airport representatives, Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings and Fort Worth Mayor Betsy Price took part in a trade mission to France. Meetings were held with Air France executives and Groupe ADP.

“I am delighted to inaugurate this new non-stop service to Dallas-Fort Worth, Air France’s 13th destination in the US,” said Anne Rigail, CEO of Air France. “The American market is of prime importance for the Air France-KLM group, which alongside its transatlantic joint venture partners, operates more than 270 daily flights between Europe and North America. On flights to Dallas-Fort Worth, we are offering our customers a new travel experience on board our fully renovated Airbus A330s equipped with Wi-Fi, throughout the summer season.”

Air France is the national flag carrier of France and has become the 13th international passenger carrier serving DFW Airport. It is a founding member of the SkyTeam alliance.

The new non-stop service to Paris means DFW will offer 17 daily flights to nine European cities this summer, almost doubling service to this vital region from nine flights to five destinations just five years ago. This summer will also mark the addition of two additional destinations, Munich and Dublin.

About Dallas Fort Worth International Airport:
Dallas Fort Worth International (DFW) Airport warmly welcomes more than 69 million customers along their journey every year, elevating DFW to a status as one of the most frequently visited superhub airports in the world. Customers can choose among 187 domestic and 62 international nonstop destinations worldwide. DFW is elevating the customer experience with modernized facilities and updated amenities. Centered between its owner cities of Dallas and Fort Worth, Texas, DFW Airport also serves as a major economic generator for the North Texas region, producing over $37 billion in economic impact each year by connecting people through business and leisure travel. In 2019, DFW Airport earned the prestigious Airport of the Year award from Air Transport World. For more information, visit the DFW website or download the DFW Mobile App for iOS and Android devices.

Follow @dfwairport on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn

SOURCE DFW International Airport

Related Links

www.dfwairport.com

Home WiFi is the new connectivity battleground between broadband giants

Over the last year, internet service providers have moved the goal post from delivering high speed broadband to your properties to delivering high speed internet to your devices.

Whether it is a deliberate attempt to differentiate themselves from the competition or a move to increase the average revenue per user, making your home the new battleground for wireless connectivity has attracted a swath of newcomers.

Over the last year, internet service providers have moved the goal post from delivering high speed broadband to your properties to delivering high speed internet to your devices.

Whether it is a deliberate attempt to differentiate themselves from the competition or a move to increase the average revenue per user, making your home the new battleground for wireless connectivity has attracted a swath of newcomers.

Plume is one of them – having just announced a partnership with Talktalk – and we chatted with its CEO to find out more about the company’s plan to expand internationally with the UK being its first port of call.

Why are you partnering together with TalkTalk?

Plume has announced the launch of its smart home services bundle in the UK in partnership with TalkTalk. Available through an invitation-only offering, the partnership will deliver a new level of WiFi personalisation, connectivity and security in the home to TalkTalk subscribers.

With Plume’s comprehensive membership and service bundle, selected TalkTalk customers will benefit from faster, safer and more reliable home WiFi. TalkTalk and Plume together will reach a wider audience and deliver new, high quality services for the connected home.

This is the first of its kind consumer launch from Plume in the UK and will be available by invitation to TalkTalk customers.

What’s included as part of the Plume membership?

The Plume membership offered specifically for TalkTalk customers includes Adaptive WiFi, HomePass guest access, parental controls, and the Plume app for £9 per month. This monthly fee includes a two-SuperPod starter pack. Additional SuperPods are £69 each for expansion of the home WiFi coverage area.

What are some of the challenges that consumers face in terms of WiFi connectivity in the home?

With a rapidly increasing number of connected devices being used in the home, consumer demand for connectivity is higher than ever. However, getting WiFi to fill every inch of consumers’ homes with a strong and reliable signal across all devices, can often be a challenge.

Plume is always learning about how consumers use WiFi in the home, so it can allocate more capacity to the devices that need it most and bring out the best in all digital experiences at home, in addition to accommodating the needs of individual users.

How does this partnership enhance TalkTalk’s existing products and what are the benefits to subscribers?

Plume works seamlessly with existing TalkTalk broadband services and adds a layer of connectivity and personalisation to the home. Its security features enhance TalkTalk’s existing range of internet security and filtering products. Plume’s self-optimising network can be set up in minutes via the Plume mobile app, using high-performance SuperPods – tri-band WiFi devices that plug directly into the wall.

Plume enhances TalkTalk’s existing products by constantly analysing and adapting to each member’s unique environment, which enhances WiFi signal and streaming capabilities. Its adaptive WiFi fills every inch of the home with a strong, reliable signal, ensuring a consistent experience across every device.

How are you providing/ensuring security from Plume through to TalkTalk’s network?

Plume’s HomePass feature allows members to personalise guest access, create unique passwords, and control who gets on their network, for how long, and what they can do.

Its advanced parental controls also offer further personalisation by enabling parents to precisely control when and what services their children have access to. The ability to freeze Internet, block access to adult sites, or set access schedules makes for ultimate peace of mind.

Are similar telecom partnerships in the works for other regions? How many other partners does Plume work with currently?

We’re unable to go into specific customers at this stage, however, what we can say is that Plume is witnessing great demand for its solutions, both in Europe and around the globe. A high volume of service providers now appreciate the benefits that a cloud-driven strategy brings in enabling the rapid deployment and scalability of services built on the home Wi-Fi infrastructure. This coupled with our rapid expansion plans means that we’ll be bringing you news of more launches very soon!

What are your future plans for Plume?

In addition to expanding into other markets we will continue to develop services for the rapidly evolving smart home which include greater levels of personalisation and security in the home. We’re working extremely hard to add further services to our portfolio to ensure that our partners can offer their subscribers the safest, most secure, most reliable and most comprehensive in-home Wi-Fi services package available.