Samsung Connect gets new life as SmartThings Wifi – CNET

Samsung’s mesh Wi-Fi system debuted last year as Samsung Connect. Today, Samsung announced the release of its second-generation mesh system, rebranded under the SmartThings umbrella as SmartThings Wifi.

Samsung’s mesh Wi-Fi system debuted last year as Samsung Connect. Today, Samsung announced the release of its second-generation mesh system, rebranded under the SmartThings umbrella as SmartThings Wifi. Along with new hardware, the company is partnering with Plume, a cloud-based Wi-Fi management system.

Plume technology

Plume works in the background to manage bandwidth, monitoring how much data each device is using and sending, then selecting the most effective band and frequency channel, depending on your needs. You’ll also be able to set parental controls, manage device screen time, and set up special passwords for guests.

Plume has its own app, where you can view a detailed analysis in real time and diagnostics for your network. The app isn’t necessary, though. Users with the SmartThings app will still have the benefit of a Plume-managed network. Plume is transitioning into a membership-based service, but customers who purchase SmartThings Wifi won’t need to worry about membership fees.

Networking specs

Technical specs for processing, memory and speed in the SmartThings Wifi mesh system are identical to the last generation, save for the addition of Plume as a network manager. Here’s a look at the numbers:

Dimensions (D x W x H)

4.72 x 4.72 x 1.16 inches

Processor

Qualcomm (Quad 710MHz)

Memory

512MB (RAM) + 8GB (Flash)

Wi-Fi standards

2 x 2 MU-MIMO, 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac – Wave2

Speed

AC1300 (866 Mbps at 5GHz, 400 Mbps at 2.4GHz)

Antennae

7 (5GHz: 2 ea., 2.4GHz: 2 ea., BT: 1, Z-Wave: 1, Zigbee: 1)

Connectivity

Bluetooth 4.1, Zigbee, Z-Wave

Ports

RJ45 x 2, Power x 1

Operating temperatures

0-104 degrees Fahrenheit

Power source

AC100-240V, 50-60Hz

Like the previous mesh Wi-Fi system from Samsung, SmartThings Wifi comes with a SmartThings hub built in, so you’ll save money there, if you’re planning to go all-in with a Samsung smart home. SmartThings Wifi is managed by the Android- and iOS-compatible SmartThings app.

Each SmartThings Wifi router has a range of 1,500 square feet, and you can expand or customize coverage by purchasing individual routers. The system, available today on Samsung’s website and at retailers, comes in a one-pack for $120 and a three-pack (enough to support 4,500 square feet) for $280. That’s a significant price cut from the original system’s three-pack MSRP of $380. Those prices convert to roughly AU$163 and £94 for the one-pack and AU$380 and £218 for the three-pack.

Wi-Fi isn’t the only SmartThings product Samsung is updating. Today’s announcement also included a new line of SmartThings products, including a wireless SmartThings hub. Last week, Samsung announced the Galaxy Home, a Bixby-powered smart speaker. Can Bixby and the SmartThings ecosystem play catch-up with Google, Alexa and Siri? Only time will tell.

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Samsung’s next generation of SmartThings gear is here – CNET

It seems, after last week’s Galaxy Note 9 Unpacked event, that Samsung is turning its attention to the smart home. Today, Samsung announced a second generation of SmartThings products, including upgrades to the SmartThings hub, a water leak sensor, motion sensor, multipurpose sensor and smart outlet.

It seems, after last week’s Galaxy Note 9 Unpacked event, that Samsung is turning its attention to the smart home. Today, Samsung announced a second generation of SmartThings products, including upgrades to the SmartThings hub, a water leak sensor, motion sensor, multipurpose sensor and smart outlet.

Let’s start with the hub. The new SmartThings Hub is smaller. It’s upgraded with the most recent Zigbee, Z-Wave and Bluetooth 4.1 protocols.

What’s really notable here is that SmartThings finally got wise to the idea that people might want to keep their hub somewhere other than where their router resides. The new SmartThings Hub connects to your Wi-Fi network wirelessly, so you’ll no longer have to tether it to your router via an Ethernet cable. That’s a great upgrade, but SmartThings isn’t first here. The Wink Hub 2 is also wireless.

While it’s nice that Samsung is improving its hub, it’s worth nothing that there are now several options for SmartThings hub hardware. The recently announced Galaxy Home smart speaker has a built-in SmartThings Hub, and so does the new SmartThings mesh Wi-Fi system announced alongside SmartThings updates today.

SmartThings is also upgrading its sensors. The motion sensor has a new design with a magnetic ball mount. That allows you to adjust the tilt angle of the sensor for a wider and more customizable motion detection range. The new smart outlet, multipurpose sensor and water leak sensor got a slight redesign but remain otherwise unchanged.

What is new, is a SmartThings button. This programmable device lets your trigger routines like setting a “Movie Mode” to dim lights and turn on the TV without opening up the SmartThings app.

Buttons have been around for a while. Fibaro, Amazon and even Philips Hue have dabbles in smart remote controls with routine presets. The SmartThings Button (like all SmartThings sensors) also measures the temperature of the area it’s in and can communicate with your Ecobee or Honeywell smart thermostat.

The new SmartThings Hub will cost $70 and the sensors range from $20 to $25, along with a $15 Button and a Smart Outlet priced at $35. Each device is now available on Samsung.com and at retailers in the US.


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Aug 10
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Why you can’t buy every phone you want from AT&T, Verizon, T-Mobile and Sprint – CNET

There are good — even great — phones you can’t buy from Verizon, AT&T, T-Mobile and Sprint, no matter how hard you beg. The excellent OnePlus 6, which costs about half the price of the iPhone X, is one example.

There are good — even great — phones you can’t buy from Verizon, AT&T, T-Mobile and Sprint, no matter how hard you beg. The excellent OnePlus 6, which costs about half the price of the iPhone X, is one example. There’s also the Huawei P20 Pro with three rear cameras, and the all-screen Oppo Find X and its astounding slide-up camera.

And while there’s a larger online marketplace for phones than ever before, the truth of the matter is that most people in the US buy an iPhone, Samsung Galaxy or LG device directly from their carrier.

This mobile trinity is frustrating for adventurous types, especially when phone reviewers like me point out models that are worthy of your time and attention, but aren’t available on a carrier. So, what gives? Why can’t you get any Google, Motorola, Huawei, Xiaomi or Sony phone you want from any carrier you’d like?

The reasons are many, but it all boils down to the unique condition of the wireless industry in the US. Here’s the simplified low-down on how it all works and where you can buy phones outside your carrier that will still play nice with your SIM card.

First thing you need to know: Buying from a carrier versus buying a phone for a carrier

When you buy a phone from a carrier, you’re getting a guarantee that your device meets a certain standard of quality across the board — the data and cellular network connection, and also the hardware itself.

A carrier also provides services, like Wi-Fi calling and HD Voice, and shoulders the responsibility of customer support. If something’s wrong with your phone, that’s their problem. The phone you buy from a carrier is usually “locked” to their network, and in exchange, you can access all its services.


16
Best phones you can’t buy from a US carrier

But an unlocked phone you buy from Amazon, Best Buy, NewEgg or Target doesn’t hold those same guarantees. The same goes for buying directly from Apple, Google and Samsung’s sites. You can still insert your own carrier’s SIM card and be able to make calls and data services, as long as the wireless bands are compatible.

Just don’t count on being able to use Wi-Fi calling or get grandfathered in to a cheaper service plan you’ve had for 10 years. And if something happens to the phone, that’s your problem (or your manufacturer’s, assuming the warranty holds), not Verizon’s or AT&T’s.

And now…

Five reasons you can’t buy any phone you want from your carrier

Now Playing:Watch this: ZTE gets a lifeline to resurrect its business
1:01
1. The government doesn’t want you to use that phone

The Huawei P20 Pro is one of the best phones you can buy anywhere. It’s just not available in the US. At the heart of it is the government’s concern that China-based Huawei could spy on US citizens through Huawei’s networking equipment.

In February, the heads of the FBI, CIA and NSA cautioned that Huawei and fellow Chinese company ZTE, which also makes telecommunications equipment and phones, pose risks to national security.

Although Huawei and ZTE’s phones had never been singled out before, it’s speculated that this political pressure detonated AT&T’s plan to carry an earlier phone, the Huawei Mate 10 Pro, and propelled Best Buy to stop selling new Huawei devices, which CNET was first to report.

You can still buy some, including the Mate 10 Pro, from sites like Amazon, but Huawei’s future in the US is looking dead in the water, unless something changes on at least one side of the Pacific.

ZTE, meanwhile, is also in a strange limbo. In May, the US government banned ZTE for seven years after learning that company employees were involved with illegally shipping US equipment to North Korea and Iran. President Trump intervened, and now ZTE must pay $1.7 billion in penalties.

2. The phonemaker doesn’t make enough to go around

Not every company can sell 52 million units of a single phone in three months like Apple can, or make them fast enough even if they could.

One strategy for companies like OnePlus is to build a limited number of devices. If the phone sells out, no problem. That creates a spike in demand.

But carriers aren’t interested in whipping up buyers’ angst by depriving them of the object of their cellular desire. Carriers want to sell phones — lots of them — so they can keep customers hooked on monthly services. And if the brand in question can’t produce enough volume to support that demand, that device isn’t one that the network can promise to its millions of customers.

3. The phone won’t work with your carrier bands

Carrier banding is one of those pain points you never have to think about when you buy your phone through a network.

Cell phones work because the cellular signal travels to and from the device and the networking equipment over radio waves. Each carrier has the right to use certain slices, or “bands” of the wireless spectrum.

Some bands are better at reaching indoors; and some are better at covering large territories. Regardless, if the phone you’re trying to buy works with bands that are common in, say, China, but not with the US carrier you want to use, the phone won’t work here.

To make matters more confusing, every phone in the US relies on one of two incompatible cellular technologies: GSM, which most of the rest of the world also uses, and CDMA, which you do find in select countries. Verizon, Sprint and their subsidiary networks (like Boost Mobile) use CDMA technology and bands, where AT&T, T-Mobile and their prepaid branches (like Cricket Wireless), use GSM.

While most modern 4G LTE phones — even GSM versus CDMA — have enough shared bands that they’ll probably get some reception when traveling across networks, reliability will be anyone’s guess. Further, other services — such as voice calls — could be unavailable in any given location.

So that flashy Vivo Nex that sells in Asia doesn’t perfectly align with any carrier’s 3G and 4G bands. For it to work here reliably, Vivo would have to make a new version to support the US market.

4. The carriers don’t want a particular model, or don’t have a relationship

Every carrier, from AT&T to Verizon, cares about the variety of phones it sells.

“We don’t want to just flood the market with a ton of devices,” Sprint’s Director of Product Procurement, John Tudhope, told CNET over the phone. We need to make sure we’re doing smart things around inventory control and cost.”

That means wireless networks decide in advance how many phones it wants to sell at each pricing level and gives phonemakers a chance to bid on getting their devices into the carrier’s portfolio.

The networks might go with one over another if it’s got an innovative or interesting feature (the wild card), or if they’ve got a good track record with the partner. In the US, Tudhope says, Apple, Samsung and LG phones rise to the top because they’re household names.

“Other OEMs [the phonemakers] are like, ‘I don’t care how little you sell of this, just give me a chance,'” Tudhope said. “It’s literally different every time.”

5. Certification is a big, expensive hurdle

Certification is the long, involved testing process that’s designed to make sure the phone will play nice with the network. It’s one every phone has to go through before getting T-Mobile, Sprint, AT&T or Verizon’s seal of approval.

Remember, certification is your guarantee that the phone you buy works with every carrier band, including roaming bands. It also ensures that your phone connects to the network quickly — and stays connected — so you’re not getting a lot of dropped calls or slow upload and download speeds.

There’s a long list of lab tests that a phone has to pass, it takes a long time, and certification is expensive. Some brands opt to bypass carrier certification and go for a lighter touch approach — standard FCC certification and limited carrier tests — which costs far less and places the onus of quality control and support on the devicemaker.

Where to buy a phone on the open market

If you do want more choices than your favorite network allows, buying a phone on the open market — that is, directly from the manufacturer or from a retailer — is the way to branch out.

Use your judgment. Buying a Pixel from the Google Store or phones from Motorola’s and OnePlus’ sites is a safe bet. (Note that Verizon also sells a version of the Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL certified for its network.) Getting that refurb from Phonez4Cheap123 on eBay, less so.

You can also go through reputable online stores like Amazon, Best Buy, NewEgg, B&H and so on. Sites like Sony Mobile link to its authorized retailer partners when you’re ready to buy. Amazon’s deals for Amazon Prime members usually sheds up to $50 off the asking price. Target and Walmart often sell entry-level and midrange models, too.

Just don’t expect the same level of customer service that you’d get from a carrier-blessed phone.

How to choose a phone in 2018: So you think you’re ready for a new phone? Read this first.

The best phones on this market: There are tons of phones out there. These are the best ones.

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All-new Google Photos albums now available on Nixplay Wi-Fi Cloud Frames

Nixplay owners can now connect their Google Photos library to their Nixplay frame via a one-time authorization step and view an album from their Google Photos library on their Nixplay frame.

Nixplay owners can now connect their Google Photos library to their Nixplay frame via a one-time authorization step and view an album from their Google Photos library on their Nixplay frame. Each time a customer adds photos to their Google Photos album, their Nixplay frame will reflect the photos, too.

In addition, Google Photos’ machine learning organization, which groups photos into specific categories (such as places and subjects, like birthdays and cityscapes), can also be displayed as unique playlists on any Nixplay frame.

In this first release, up to 1,000 photos from each selected Google Photos album will be viewable on a customer’s Nixplay frame.

“Nixplay customers now have more choice and convenience in how they manage and view their memories from Google Photos,” says Mark Palfreeman, CEO of Creedon Technologies, parent company of Nixplay. “The Nixplay mobile app supports a fully dynamic connection with Google Photos. Alternatively, for those who prefer to manually curate each photo that appears on their frame, a standard connection is still possible.”

Nixplay is one of the first digital photo frame brands to join the Google Photos partner program.

Notes

(1) Applicable to Nixplay Iris, Nixplay Seed, Nixplay Edge and Nixplay Original.

More:

http://blog.nixplay.com/2018/05/google-photos-best-photo-organization-tool

https://blog.nixplay.com/2018/08/5-reasons-why-you-should-start-using-google-photos-right-now

About Creedon Technologies

Mark Palfreeman founded Creedon Technologies in 2007 with a vision to connect people with technology in a meaningful way. As the parent company to NIX, Nixplay and Nixplay Signage, innovation, insight and human connection were the foundations of everything he set out to achieve.

Creedon Technologies harnessed the best in cloud storage, service technology and security to display photos in a sophisticated way that shows the power of sharing memories. Since 2007, the company has sold close to 2 million units, with more than a third of these consisting of Wi-Fi Cloud frames marketed under the Nixplay brand since December 2013. With many thousands of positive reviews on Amazon.com today Creedon Technologies is the global leader in design, manufacturing and sales of connected digital photo frames.

Contact:

Ryan Ducie

Head of Marketing

Mobile: +852 9627 5206

Email: ryan.ducie@nix-digital.com

SOURCE Creedon Technologies USA LLC

Related Links

http://www.nixplay.com

Coober Pedy: The mining town where people live under the earth – CNET

This is part of our Road Trip 2018 summer series “Taking It to Extremes,” which looks at what happens when people mix everyday tech with insane situations.


After spending a night in an underground rock cave in the middle of the Australian desert, I learned three things: The silence is deafening.

This is part of our Road Trip 2018 summer series “Taking It to Extremes,” which looks at what happens when people mix everyday tech with insane situations.

After spending a night in an underground rock cave in the middle of the Australian desert, I learned three things: The silence is deafening. Your eyes never adjust to the darkness. And if nobody brushes the ceiling before you arrive, that clump of dirt is going to scare the living hell out of you when it drops on your face at 2 a.m.

I’ve flown 1,200 miles for the privilege of sleeping in a hole in Coober Pedy. There’s no Wi-Fi down here. The glare of my MacBook feels obnoxious in the subterranean stillness. The TV plays ads for a “local” cleaning service from the next town over, but that just happens to be 400 miles away.

Australia is a country defined by “the tyranny of distance,” but traveling to the underground opal mining town of Coober Pedy feels like taking a holiday on Mars.

In the middle of the South Australian desert and an eight hour drive in either direction from the nearest capital city (Adelaide to the south or Alice Springs to the north), Coober Pedy is off the grid and mostly hidden underground. More than half the residents live buried in the bedrock in cavelike homes called “dugouts” in order to escape freezing winters, scorching summers and the occasional cyclone. Often, the only sign you’re walking on someone’s roof is the air vent that’s sprouted up next to your boots.

While first nation peoples have lived in the central Australian desert for thousands of years, the Coober Pedy we know today wouldn’t exist without opals. Miners rushed here in the 1920s, enduring extreme conditions to hunt for the multicolored gems, digging, bulldozing and eventually blasting out earth in a bid to find the elusive seam that would make them rich.

Living in Coober Pedy is not just about surviving. It’s about carving out a way of life in one of the harshest environments on the planet. For locals, that means being resourceful, jury-rigging solutions to everyday problems that combine advanced 21st century tech with the low-tech reality of life on the frontier.

But with miners picking up their lives and leaving, the biggest story of survival might be that of Coober Pedy itself.

As a kidin Australia, I’d grown up hearing about Coober Pedy: the town where everyone lives in a hole! Where dusty men in Crocodile Hunter hats mine rainbow-colored opals (Australia’s national gemstone) and where they filmed Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome in 1985. The town where some unlucky sod in your fifth-grade class drove on school holidays, stuck to the scalding pleather back seat of a Datsun for three days of road-tripping through endless Australian Outback.

Even flying to Coober Pedy is epic. After departing Sydney and touching down in Adelaide two hours later, I faced another two-hour flight to Coober Pedy. For that, I boarded a 34-seat Saab 340 plane operated by Australia’s regional airline, Rex (how appropriate for the bush).

We have internet when the generator’s on.”
Sam Nagy

After reading the in-flight safety card (the fact that our plane was fitted with a “survival kit” was ominous), I spent much of the flight mentally positioning a pith helmet and safari suit on the refined elderly gentleman next to me.

Minutes before touching down on the landing strip, I was still craning my neck to spot the town. From my seat in our still-miraculously-airborne plane, all I could see was an endless stretch of Martian-red dirt, pockmarked by countless mining holes — row after row of shafts dug into the earth, each partnered with a mound of dusty white soil alongside it.

The marks of the opal rush are etched all over this landscape. I’d later hear that the rush to find opals here gave Coober Pedy its name. According to folklore, “kupa piti” in the local indigenous language means “white man’s hole.”

And then I see Coober Pedy itself. A cluster of roads and tiny buildings clinging to the edge of the Stuart Highway, like a town that had terraformed out of the dust. I had the sensation I was in some alternate reality, about to touch down on the moon to visit humanity’s last outpost.

Still, I thought, it was going to look pretty good on Instagram.

Driving from the airport in my rental car — a ludicrously large mining vehicle with spinning lights on the roof that I would later accidentally turn on while taking a scenic drive — I see signs erected along the barren roadside warning about Coober Pedy’s deep mine shafts: Don’t run! Watch out for unmarked holes! And never, never walk backward when you’re trying to take a photo.

I’m off to meet Andy Sheils, a local who’s lived here for more than four decades and who runs the Underground Art Gallery as well as the local State Emergency Service and Mine Rescue volunteer group. A few weeks before my visit, Sheils and his team rescued a man from the bottom of a 50-foot-deep mine shaft who’d been blacklighting for opals (using UV lights at night to find opals left behind near mine shafts). He somehow survived, only sustaining an ankle injury. He clearly didn’t read the signs around town with the same panicked fear I did.

I drive to Sheils’ gallery — marked by a massive boomerang sign over what looks like a bomb shelter entrance. At the bottom of the stairs is Andy, wearing a Coober Pedy Mine Rescue cap over his white hair and turning the lights on around the big sandstone cavern, illuminating art from local indigenous artists and rows of glittering opals in cabinets.

It occurs to me that it’s the first gallery I’ve been to with an excavator parked in the corner.

Unlike conventional buildings, dugouts like this gallery and the homes around town are a bit of a free-for-all, architecturally speaking.

The local council guidelines stipulate that all dugouts must have ventilation (often as simple as a pipe through to the ground above), emergency lighting, safe egress and a roof thickness no less than 2.5 meters (just over 8 feet). From there, you’re pretty much free to take your dugout where you want. When there’s no need for square rooms, corridors or windows, the world is your hobbit hole.

Sheils has owned his place since 1975, slowly growing it from family home into an art gallery, blasting out walls and excavating new rooms in a process I come to lovingly think of as “renovation by gelignite.”

Conveniently, the same process used to dig out new rooms is also used for finding opals. Hunting for that telltale seam of rainbow in the sandstone involves drilling holes into the rock and setting explosives. If you get lucky, you’ll find a stratum where water has seeped down through the sandstone and mixed with silica over millions of years to create luminous seams of opal. Though not as expensive as other rare gems like diamonds, opals are brilliant to look at and can fetch a hefty sum — especially in overseas markets like China.

For many miners and locals, mining is quite a low-tech, almost domestic pursuit. Searching for opals on the weekend can be as simple as sticking some explosives in the living room wall and blasting out a cavity in search of an opal seam to pick out. Even if you don’t strike a seam, you still get an extension for the dining room.

“When you blast, it shakes the place like hell,” Sheils tells me. “You light 11 fuses in succession and put your fingers in your ears, [then] go around the corner and find a safe place. When they go off, it lifts your bum off the ground if you’re close enough.”

Sheils isn’t the only local to dig his own home. A few blocks away from the Underground Art Gallery I visit Faye’s Underground Home — a dugout built by local pub cook turned opal miner, Faye Nayler. Alongside her friends Ettie Hall and Sue Bernard, Faye dug out this underground home by hand between 1962 and 1972, searching for opals as she went. The house is still in its original condition, from the tidy master bedroom eight meters (26 feet) below ground to the underground pool. The women opened the dugout to the public in 1972.

“They wired the house themselves, and there was no Googling back in those days,” says volunteer guide Grant Steele, walking us through the house. “That was fair dinkum women’s power.”

Back at the gallery, Sheils shows me his efforts to connect his underground abode. For a hole in the ground, it’s surprisingly high-tech — in a low-tech sort of way. He wired the whole place himself, blasting out holes for electrical cables using ammonium nitrate before filling in the holes with cement and reinforced steel bar. When he whips out his phone to show me photos of his recent mine rescue training, he says he’s always connected underground, thanks to a portable Wi-Fi hotspot.

“We took on computers before virtually anyone else,” he tells me. “It was our only link to the outside world.”

But while Coober Pedy locals have welcomed the arrival of technology, it was often slow to arrive on the frontier.

Television was first transmitted to Coober Pedy in 1980, long after the rest of Australia had it. Before that, entertainment consisted of movies at the drive-in, built back in ’65. Fixed telephone services came in the ’70s, giving townspeople a way to stay connected underground, but interstate calls still had to be sent through an operator at an exchange 200 miles away until the mid-’80s. Before phones, locals had to send messages via pedal wireless — an Aussie invention that let radio operators send Morse code messages using power generated by their feet.

But things have gradually improved. Mobile coverage came in the ’90s and now the whole center of town has 4G coverage. Plenty of people use mobile broadband at home, using hotspots they take on the go or with a rooftop antenna that picks up a mobile signal and runs it via cable into a home router (though you may want a Wi-Fi extender with all those rock walls).

We took on computers before virtually anyone else. It was our only link to the outside world.”
Andy Sheils

Now, thanks to Australia’s new National Broadband Network (NBN), three quarters of the town are set to be connected to a mix of copper and fiber-optic cable to bring fixed-line broadband to people’s homes by next January.

For those outside of town, the NBN is connecting homes with satellite technology. That means families can finally say goodbye to getting on the internet from one SIM card on their mobile phones. And because the government mandates that NBN provides equal internet access to all Australians, people in Coober Pedy won’t have to pay any more than Aussies anywhere else.

Back in the ’60s and ’70s, when miners of more than 100 different nationalities came to try their luck in Coober Pedy, life here was decidedly more low-tech.

One of those immigrants was Jim Theodorou, who arrived from Greece in 1966 with his brother. Back then, miners dug by hand, working all day (and often through the night) to eke out a living. At the door to Jim’s workshop, his wife Litsa shows me a photo of a young Jim, peering into the sunlight from a deep hole, his pick perched on the edge.

Theodorou tells me he spent his first five years here living in a tent in the desert. I almost choke. I brought 43 jackets and a pair of silver glitter shoes for my two-day winter trip here, and he survived five winters and five summers in a tent, getting supplies from town once a week and picking mold off his bread. He tells me about buying water allotments — in the early days 44 gallons of water cost 1 shilling and had to last you 15 days. Showers were scarce. When Litsa moved to join him in Coober Pedy, one of the first things things she did was wash 110 pairs of socks for Jim and his mining mates.


30
Living on the edge: Life off the grid in Australia’s most extreme town

Theodorou has given up mining but he still cuts, polishes and sets every opal he sells in the family shop. Sitting in his workshop in the house he and his brother built with their bare hands, I feel like a sheltered city slicker. This man lugged all the rocks I can see in the walls. My shoes are made of silver glitter.

But speaking to him gives me the sense that the low-tech days were easier for miners — all you needed was a pick and a place to peg your claim. These days, mining has turned into a technological arms race.

In the commercial mines at nearby Prominent Hill (“nearby” meaning a two-hours’ drive from Coober Pedy), massive mining company Oz Minerals uses spectrometry to analyze samples drilled from the earth to detect valuable minerals. The company has even kitted out its dump trucks with sensors so technicians can monitor trucks from an office in Adelaide.

But back in Coober Pedy, small-time miners still have to rely on bulldozers and expensive fuel.

“It doesn’t matter what you do, you can have electronic lights and electronic dials, but the engine needs diesel. You can’t escape from that,” says Theodorou. “You used to buy one barrel of petrol for $7 or $10. Now it’s $400.”

Diesel is the lifeblood that runs through this town. All the caravans and four-wheel drives passing through fill up on it. At one point, the entire town was fueled by it.

Because of its remote location, Coober Pedy has always been off the South Australian electric grid. Until recently, the entire town drew its power from generators running on expensive diesel fuel trucked in from the coast. But that changed last year with the Coober Pedy Renewable Hybrid Project — a solar and wind-generation installation on the outskirts of town that now provides the town with approximately 70 percent renewable energy. On some days, that figure goes as high as 100 percent.

But despite the push into renewable energy, some of the locals still rely on diesel to get by every day, with jury-rigged setups that power their underground homes.

And to see one of them, I had to take a trip out toward the Breakaways.

There’s no real way to describe Crocodile Harry’s Underground Nest. Part abandoned home, part relic of the Coober Pedy heyday, it’s best summed up as the graffiti-filled underground lair of a crocodile-hunting Latvian sex god.

Crocodile Harry’s is an institution. It was once the home of Arvid Blumenthal, who came to Coober Pedy to mine for opals and who ultimately built a mythology out of his love for women, hunting and the persistent claim that he was a baron in hiding since World War II.

Regardless of who he was, he wrestled a mean croc judging by the photos I saw on the walls. Thousands now flock to his nest to see the weird tchotchkes left on dusty shelves, the underwear pinned to the ceiling, and the rooms where the wild pilot Jedediah lived in Beyond Thunderdome.

But it’s also where I find what feels like the last relic of the big city hiding in Bartertown — a kid more concerned with coding than mining.

Sam Nagy’s parents run Crocodile Harry’s and he’s here manning the front desk for tourists during the school holidays. He’s studying programming and wants to get into game development. So how the hell does an 18-year-old programmer survive in the desert with sketchy phone reception and no electricity?

“It’s not like we’re living thousands of kilometers under the ground,” he tells me. “It’s pretty similar to living in a normal house.”

Sam’s family, who live in a dugout close to Crocodile Harry’s, have solar panels for power — but those generate only enough electricity for a few hours a day. Diesel handles the rest, he says.

“We have to rely on tourists to pay for our fuel,” he says. “Gasoline is valuable out here. Fuel is really expensive.”

That means no fridge running all day and night — they keep nonperishable food and get the rest from town every day. Otherwise, life is pretty similar to what other 18-year-olds in the city experience. Sam says he can still charge his phone and use the TV “for a bit.”

“We have internet when the generator’s on. Dad’s got an Xbox but we don’t even try to use the solar for that.”

I never thought visiting a crocodile hunter’s rock cave would pay for someone’s next game of Halo.

Sam’s story shows me how the people of Coober Pedy are used to doing a lot with the limited tech they have.

But it makes me question the town’s future.

“There’s not that many miners left anymore,” Andy Sheils tells me. “It’s too mined out, and our kids won’t do it because they’re not nutcases.”


26
The strange underground homes in the middle of the Australian desert

The locals who have stayed are largely building a living on tourism. But those tourist destinations still look to the past, whether it’s the Old Timer’s Mine, which re-creates mining life from the early 20th century, or Crocodile Harry’s, where the ’70s heyday is a dusty memory on the walls.

Now the old miners have been replaced with “FIFOs” — fly-in, fly-out miners, who work a week at a time on projects like the one at Prominent Hill then fly back to Adelaide when they’re done.

Is the extreme life of Coober Pedy sustainable? Are humans really designed to eke out an existence in the toughest conditions imaginable?

“We do what we want to do, when we want,” says Sheils. “I’m not bloody selling. This is home, and it’s the lifestyle we want. You can keep your traffic lights.”

Leaving Coober Pedy and getting back to the city takes me a full day — it’s like I’m decompressing after a visit to outer space. I crawl into bed, exhausted, thankful that there’s no dirt falling on my head, and start lazily flicking through photos on my phone choosing what to post on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram before I go to bed.

But lying in my room in the center of the city, lit by the dim blue light of my smartphone and hearing the noisy traffic outside my apartment, I’m almost sad to be back in civilization.

I’ve found my favorite shot — a photo of me standing on the edge of the Breakaways, wearing my 1980s Ken Done “Australia” jumper and my silver shoes. On Instagram it’s pure #AussieDesertInspo, the picture of a city sheila trying to look legit. But it will always remind me of the time I met Aussies who were the real deal.

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iSIGN Media Announces a Change of Auditor

TORONTO, Aug. 10, 2018 /PRNewswire/ – iSIGN Media Solutions Inc. (“iSIGN” or “Company”) (TSX-V: ISD) (OTC: ISDSF), a leading provider of interactive mobile messaging solutions for commercial and security purposes announces that it has changed its auditors from Scarrow Yurman & Co.

TORONTO, Aug. 10, 2018 /PRNewswire/ – iSIGN Media Solutions Inc. (“iSIGN” or “Company”) (TSX-V: ISD) (OTC: ISDSF), a leading provider of interactive mobile messaging solutions for commercial and security purposes announces that it has changed its auditors from Scarrow Yurman & Co. (the “Former Auditors”) to UHY McGovern Hurley LLP (the “Successor Auditors “) effective August 8, 2018.

The Former Auditor resigned as auditors of the Company effective August 10, 2018 as a result of their business decision to withdraw their membership in the Canadian Public Accountability Board (“CPAB”). The Board of Directors of the Company on the recommendation of the Company’s Audit Committee has appointed the Successor Auditors as the Company’s auditors effective August 10, 2018, until the close of the next annual general meeting of the Company.

The Company would like to thank Scarrow Yurman & Co. for their services during the past four years.

There were no reservations in the Former Auditors’ reports for the two most recently completed fiscal years or for any period subsequent to the most recently completed period for which an audit report was issued and preceding the date of the Former Auditors’ resignation. There are no reportable events between the Company and the Former Auditors.

The Notice of Change of Auditors, together with the letter from the Former Auditors and the letter from the Successor Auditors, have been reviewed by the Company’s Audit Committee and its Board of Directors.

The Company has sent a Notice of Change of Auditor (the “Notice”) to the Former Auditor and to the Successor Auditor and has received a letter from each, addressed to the securities commissions in each of Alberta, British Columbia and Ontario stating that they agree with the information contained in the Notice. The Notice, together with the letters from the Former Auditor and the Successor Auditor are available on www.sedar.com.

About iSIGN Media

iSIGN, a Canadian company based in Toronto, Ontario is a data-focused, software-as-a-service (SaaS) company that is a pioneering leader in the areas of location-based security alert messaging and proximity marketing utilizing Bluetooth® and Wi-Fi connectivity in complete privacy. Creators of the Smart suite of products, a patented interactive proximity marketing technology, iSIGN enables the delivery of messages to mobile devices in proximity, with real-time reporting and analytics on a variety of metrics. Partners include: IBM, Keyser Retail Solutions, Baylor University, Verizon Wireless, TELUS and AOpen America Inc. www.isignmedia.com

© 2018 iSIGN Media Solutions Inc. All Rights Reserved. All other trademarks and trade names are the property of their respective owners.

Neither the TSX Venture Exchange nor Its Regulation Services Provider (as that term is defined in the policies of the TSX Venture Exchange) accepts responsibility or accuracy of this release.

SOURCE iSIGN Media Solutions Inc.

These popular Android phones came with vulnerabilities pre-installed – CNET

Keeping your phone safe from malicious apps is hard enough, with Google stamping out hundreds of thousands of bad apps every year.

Your phone makes for an attractive target.

Keeping your phone safe from malicious apps is hard enough, with Google stamping out hundreds of thousands of bad apps every year.

Your phone makes for an attractive target. Apps open up a lot of access to your devices, reaching into your contacts, your location, your data usage, among the many private details you share with your phone.

So you can imagine how challenging it becomes when there’s apps with security vulnerabilities that come pre-installed on multiple Android phones.

Security researchers from Kryptowire, a security firm, found 38 different vulnerabilities that can allow for spying and factory resets loaded onto 25 Android phones — 11 of them sold by major US carriers. That includes devices from Asus, ZTE, LG and the Essential Phone, which are distributed by carriers like Verizon or AT&T.

The vulnerabilities are just the latest blow to Android, which suffers from the perception that it’s a less secure mobile platform than Apple’s iOS. Google has worked to repair its image, forcing security updates for vendors and pushing out malicious apps, but these kinds of revelations don’t help. It’s also a reminder that consumers need to be more vigilant when it comes to protecting the info on their mobile devices.

Angelos Stavrou, Kryptowire’s CEO, and Ryan Johnson, the firm’s director of research, disclosed their findings at the DEFCON hacker conference on Friday.

“All of these are vulnerabilities that are prepositioned. They come as you get the phone out the box,” Stavrou said. “That’s important because consumers think they’re only exposed if they download something that’s bad.”

An Essential spokeswoman said the company fixed these issues once Kryptowire reached out to them. An LG spokesman said the company has been introducing security patches to fix the vulnerabilities.

“ASUS is aware of the recent ZenFone security concerns raised and is working diligently and swiftly to resolve them with software updates that will be distributed over-the-air to our ZenFone users, ” an ASUS spokesman said in a statement.

AT&T said it’s deployed patches to address the issue.

ZTE did not respond to a request for comment. Verizon also did not respond to a request for comment.

“The issues they have outlined do not affect the Android operating system itself, but rather, third party code and applications on devices. Together with Kryptowire, we have reached out to affected Android partners to address these issues,” a Google spokesperson said in a statement.

Defect on Arrival

Hackers could potentially exploit the pre-installed vulnerabilities, to record screens, take screenshots, brick or factory reset a device, or steal private information by getting a victim to download a malicious app, Johnson said. They could also potentially get logs of what a person was typing, reading and who they’re in touch with.

Considering that thousands of people fall for malicious apps that pose as harmless tools like a flashlight or popular games like Fortnite, getting people to download the right kind of malicious app isn’t difficult, he noted.

While most apps can’t get access to protected files, they can use these pre-installed apps’ flaws as openings to get in, Johnson said in an interview prior to DEFCON.

Part of the problem is that phone makers have free reign to put whatever apps they’d like on the devices they’re selling. While Google is able to patrol its Play Store and block malware or apps with security flaws, they don’t have much control on what comes packaged on devices, the researchers said.

“Any vendor can create an Android build,” Johnson said. “Some of those pre-installed apps may not get the scrutiny of something that Google creates with their own apps.”

Variety of vulnerabilities

Because there’s so many different phone makers out there for Android devices, it’s hard for Google and researchers to keep track of all of the pre-installed apps, Johnson said. Some vendors do better jobs than others by making sure its pre-installed apps are secure.

The vulnerabilities are different across phones, because they all have different pre-installed apps, Kryptowire’s researchers said.

Some are severe, like the Essential Phone, which had a vulnerability allowing an attacker to pull off a factory reset. The flaw comes thanks to a pre-installed app with a file name “com.ts.android.hiddenmenu.” Any app on the device could access that pre-installed app, and use it to reach the Essential Phone’s system and wipe out all the data stored on it, Stavrou said.

Other vulnerabilities, like the ones on ASUS’s ZenFone 3 Max, allow for apps to install any other app over the internet, obtain Wi-Fi passwords, set up keyloggers, intercept text messages and make phone calls. This was also on the ZenFone V and ZenFone 4 Max and Max Pro, according to the researchers.

There could be more out there, the researchers noted, considering that they haven’t looked at every single Android device available. With more than 24,000 different types of Android devices logged in 2015, it’d be a monumental task to run vulnerability scans on every single one.

“As an end user, there’s not much you can do,” Stavrou said. “Someone would have to scan and analyze your firmware and find the vulnerabilities.”

Black Hat Defcon 2018
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Facebook, still on a mission to bring people online, announces Connectivity – CNET

If Facebook’s founding mission was to make the world “more open and connected,” CEO Mark Zuckerberg seemed hell-bent on doing it in more ways than one.

“Connected” not only meant letting people post photos or articles, but getting them online — and on Facebook — to see all that stuff in the first place.

If Facebook’s founding mission was to make the world “more open and connected,” CEO Mark Zuckerberg seemed hell-bent on doing it in more ways than one.

“Connected” not only meant letting people post photos or articles, but getting them online — and on Facebook — to see all that stuff in the first place. “I’m focused on this because I believe it is one of the greatest challenges of our generation,” Zuckerberg wrote in a 10-page manifesto in August 2013, almost exactly five years ago. “We believe everyone deserves to be connected.”

Now, a half decade after launching Internet.org, seen by many as the coming-out party for Facebook’s connectivity programs, the company said it’s shaking up its efforts to bring internet access to the 4 billion people who still don’t have it. On Friday, Facebook rounded up all its disparate broadband and infrastructure projects and housed them under a new umbrella organization called Facebook Connectivity.

“There’s no silver bullet for connecting the world,” Yael Maguire, vice president of engineering for Facebook Connectivity, said in an interview Thursday. “There isn’t going to be a magic technology or business plan or single regulatory policy change that’s going to change this. We really believe that it is a wide and diverse set of efforts that’s required to do this.”

Facebook also said it’s hired Dan Rabinovitsj, former president of wireless networking company Ruckus Networks, as a vice president to lead Connectivity after he gets acclimated with the company. He reports to Facebook engineering and infrastructure chief Jay Parikh. (Currently, Maguire leads connectivity projects, which Facebook says has already brought the internet to 100 million people.)

The company declined to make Rabinovitsj, Parikh and Zuckerberg available for interviews.

The Connectivity group houses projects including Terragraph, which aims to connect high-density urban areas; OpenCellular, an open-source platform working on rural connectivity; and the Telecom Infra Project, a joint initiative with the wireless industry for creating faster networks.

Facebook said the umbrella will also include Internet.org, which drew controversy with its Free Basics product that offered a pared-down version of the internet in emerging markets. While Internet.org has been synonymous with Facebook’s connectivity efforts for the past five years, the new Connectivity brand may signal the company trying to distance itself from the backlashes surrounding Internet.org. Facebook’s new Connectivity website contains only one mention of Internet.org.

The umbrella group is also the home of Facebook’s “high-altitude platform” projects for beaming down Wi-Fi lasers to unconnected populations. Facebook said in June it will no longer build and design aircraft like Aquila, a giant drone with the wingspan of a Boeing 737, but that it will continue to work with partner companies like the aerospace manufacturer Airbus to invest in that kind of technology.

“We believe everyone deserves to be connected.”
Mark Zuckerberg

The company on Friday also announced new analytics tools that tap into even more user data to aid wireless operators and mobile device makers. One of them is Advanced Network Planning, which aims to help mobile operators plan how they’ll build out future networks. For example, using Facebook’s population density and network performance maps, which gather by data by tracking users on Facebook’s mobile app, companies might have better insight about where to lay down fiber-optic cables.

Another tool is called Actionable Insights. It collects information about network coverage and download speeds from Facebook users. With that info, wireless companies might be better able to understand where a spotty network might need improvement, or if a cell tower with a poor connection needs attention, said Jon Paris, Facebook’s director of Connectivity products. Another tool for device makers tracks how Facebook users do things like switch out the SIM cards on their phones to give manufacturers more insight into how people use their devices.


29
Facebook, Elon Musk, net neutrality and more: Top tech stories in pictures

All of that is another reminder that Facebook, which is already under scrutiny for the amount of data it collects, gathers details on its 2 billion monthly users even beyond its platform. It’s collecting that information from people who’ve turned the Location Services setting on for the Facebook app. The company said the data is aggregated and de-identified, and no individual’s personal information is shared with its partners. But there’s no way to keep Location Services on — say, if you want to keep geotagging enabled — and opt out of that kind of data collection.

Maguire minimized the privacy concerns, likening the data collection to that of mapping tools for tracking traffic congestion, which is also aggregated.

Twists and turns

The change in Facebook’s playbook comes after twists and turns with some of its connectivity initiatives. In March, the headline for a 4,400-word Wired feature asked, “What Happened to Facebook’s Grand Plan to Wire the World?” When the company said in June it would stop making drones like Aquila, critics took it as a sign Zuckerberg was backing away from the connectivity challenge.

“I don’t think of it as a retreat,” Maguire said when asked about the decision. “If I wear the ‘I’m an engineer’ hat and I love to focus on the things that I build, yeah, maybe it’s a little disappointing what’s happening in the market. But if I take a step back as the person who’s focused on these efforts … it’s fantastic what’s happening globally with companies like Airbus and others who are focused on this as a potential market.”

Facebook’s connectivity ambitions hit another setback in 2016 when a SpaceX rocket, carrying an Internet.org satellite, exploded on the launchpad. But Facebook said last month it’s already working on another satellite, called Athena, to beam down Wi-Fi. It’s scheduled to launch next year.

Meanwhile, the world’s biggest social network continues to face scrutiny for some of its negative impact on the world, including allowing its platform to be used to spread fake news and for failing to stop election interference by the Russians. In March, Zuckerberg was slammed by lawmakers for not preventing the Cambridge Analytica scandal, in which the data of 87 million Facebook users was co-opted after a failure in the company’s oversight of data collection and sharing practices by third parties.

Facebook’s effects can get even uglier when you look at some of the impact of misinformation in emerging markets, where it’s been accused of spurring violence in Myanmar, India and Sri Lanka.

When it comes to Internet.org, the biggest black eye was the rejection of Free Basics in India. The social network began offering the service, which includes limited internet access to a suite of websites and services including Facebook, in 2016. Locals protested. They saw it as an affront to net neutrality, the principle that all web traffic should be treated equally. Regulators eventually banned Free Basics.

“The veneer of altruism is pretty thin there,” said Nani Jansen Reventlow, director of the Digital Freedom Fund, and former fellow at Harvard’s Berkman Klein Center for Internet & Society. “You can’t just barge in with a US-created product and expect the rest of the world to be really happy to get access to that.”

On Thursday, Maguire said Free Basics was meant to be an “on-ramp to the broader internet, not a substitute.” Facebook said it has nothing new to announce regarding Free Basics in India.

Internet.org seemed to have personal meaning for Zuckerberg. He poured a lot of time into the initiative, delivering multiple keynotes at Barcelona’s Mobile World Congress trade show to talk about connectivity efforts, giving a speech at the United Nations, and taking a trip to India for a Time magazine cover story in December 2014 under the banner “Mark Zuckerberg’s plan to get every human online.”

But then Facebook seemed to distance itself from the Internet.org brand. As Wired noted in March, there wasn’t any mention of it in Parikh’s Mobile World Congress blog post this year.

The Internet.org website has also been dormant. In the weeks before today’s news — and possibly longer — the press section of the website was empty. The careers section redirects to the front door of Facebook’s career site. And on Internet.org’s Facebook page, the last post was in March 2017.

And in the years since Internet.org’s launch, Zuckerberg’s personal brand of humanitarianism has become less linked to beaming the internet across the globe and more tied to projects around education, medicine and disease eradication. Those efforts are being overseen by the Chan-Zuckerberg Initiative, a philanthropic organization Zuckerberg and his wife, Priscilla Chan, announced in 2015 after the birth of their first daughter, Max.

As for connecting the world, Zuckerberg knew from the jump it wouldn’t be easy. When he put together his manifesto five years ago, under the headline “Is Connectivity a Human Right?,” he set expectations.

“We’ve put together a rough vision for what we believe is possible and a rough plan to work together as an industry to get there,” he wrote. “It may be possible to achieve more than we lay out here, but it may also be more challenging than we predict.”

Security: Stay up-to-date on the latest in breaches, hacks, fixes and all those cybersecurity issues that keep you up at night.

Blockchain Decoded: CNET looks at the tech powering bitcoin — and soon, too, a myriad services that will change your life.

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Lenovo Yoga C930 leaks ahead of IFA, revealing little to no upgrades

Lenovo is reportedly releasing an upgrade to its flagship Yoga 2-in-1 laptop during the IFA technology show in Berlin, Germany later this August currently called the ‘Yoga C930.’

German technology news outlet WinFuture reports to have discovered the name and nearly complete spec sheet of the Yoga follow-up ahead of its scheduled reveal.

Lenovo is reportedly releasing an upgrade to its flagship Yoga 2-in-1 laptop during the IFA technology show in Berlin, Germany later this August currently called the ‘Yoga C930.’

German technology news outlet WinFuture reports to have discovered the name and nearly complete spec sheet of the Yoga follow-up ahead of its scheduled reveal. The ‘C’ in the name reportedly marks a new product naming methodology for Lenovo, which stands for ‘consumer’.

However, according to WinFuture’s findings, not much is changing about the flagship Yoga design coming from the Lenovo Yoga 920 (seen above). Specifically, this new model will come with either an Intel Core i5-8250U or the Intel Core i7-8550U processor, both of which are 8th-generation Kaby Lake parts and already available within the Yoga 920.

Where’s the beef(ier hardware)?

The leak obtained by WinFuture details all other configuration specs, including the same 8GB-to-16GB of memory and 256GB-to-512GB of storage behind a 13.9-inch 4K UHD (3,840 x 2,160) touchscreen. Again, the screen is bendable to 360 degrees using Lenovo’s trademark watchband hinge, and it supports Lenovo’s Active Pen stylus.

This model will even reportedly include the same hardwired and wireless connectivity options, including two Thunderbolt 3 ports, a USB 3.1 port, a headphone jack, 802.11ac Gigabit Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 4.1 support. Even the 720p webcam returns to the top of the display, as does the fingerprint reader.

Despite nothing else changing, WinFuture reports that the laptop’s battery may be smaller than before, and so to expect possibly shorter battery life figures than before. The outlet does assume the laptop will cost around €1,600 (about $1,880, £1,418, AU$2,519), but we’ll have to wait for an official announcement before talking price.

It’s possible that the leaked materials WinFuture has uncovered are early – too early to include updated hardware details. Otherwise, this is simply a rebranding of the current Lenovo Yoga flagship laptop.

Of course, this leak doesn’t reveal anything that Lenovo may have done with the Yoga flagship design to improve upon the previous. Keep it locked here for more about this possible Lenovo Yoga C930 as we draw closer to IFA 2018.

These are the best laptops we’ve tested this past year

Via MSPowerUser

Trailways of New York to debut new luxury brand, LINE

Beginning on Thursday August 16th, 2018, LINE will launch its first business class route connecting Midtown Manhattan with the Hudson Valley, and Catskill Mountains.

Guests will be greeted by an onboard attendant, to whom they’ll present a mobile boarding pass that replaces the old-fashioned, easy to misplace paper ticket.

Beginning on Thursday August 16th, 2018, LINE will launch its first business class route connecting Midtown Manhattan with the Hudson Valley, and Catskill Mountains.

Guests will be greeted by an onboard attendant, to whom they’ll present a mobile boarding pass that replaces the old-fashioned, easy to misplace paper ticket. Once onboard, guests will have the opportunity to sample complimentary, sustainably sourced, healthy snack and beverage options kindly provided by Harney & Sons Fine Teas, Boxed Water is Better, LOLA Snacks, Nespresso, and more. Boasting a complimentary, industry leading, onboard entertainment system, LINE, features premium Wi-Fi giving guests access to streaming entertainment such as music, movies and TV shows.

“We realized that customers wanted a better way to travel,” said Alexander Berardi, Director of Marketing and Business Development. “We were inspired by what companies such as the Hampton Jitney Ambassador service currently offer, and we identified an opportunity for us to do even better for the modern-day traveler vacationing or on a day trip. More than ever, Americans are embracing European views toward travel, and they’re eager to do their part to reduce their carbon footprint. We believe that LINE could be the answer to making mass transit a more appealing way for folks to do that. It’s arguable proof from an industry leader, that when it comes to transportation, responsibility to the environment, and innovation must meet in the middle in order to achieve cleaner air, a healthier planet, and a better perception of travel by bus.”

LINE’s chic trailer was shot on site in New York City and in the Catskills. The soundtrack features recording artists HAERTS®, and their hit song, “Wings,” most recently featured in the movie Love, Simon. The film can be accessed by visiting the following link: https://ridewithline.com/journal/

With prices as low as just $25, guests can book their seat on the inaugural trip North aboard LINE by visiting, RideWithLine.com today.

Contact: Joshua Queen at (845) 443-0084 or JQueen@RideWithLine.com

About LINE

Working to create a better way to get away, Trailways of New York developed the LINE brand during the summer of 2018. Born of the desire to experience the relaxing part of a trip right from the very beginning, LINE was created to do just that. Making getting away easier, LINE is an exciting coming of age story for a company with nearly a century in transportation. Allowing passengers to spend more time planning adventures at their destination, LINE will operate more than a dozen stress-free trips per week, to 5 quiet, serene, and bucolic destinations in upstate New York. Connect with LINE on Instagram and Twitter @RideWithLine.

YouTube: https://youtu.be/4JuuM2eGLAQ

Logos, digital assets, and press kit: Click Here

About Trailways of New York

Trailways of New York (Adirondack, Pine Hill, and New York Trailways) operates over 150 trips per day to more than 140 destinations in New York, New Jersey, and Canada. The largest, and longest continuously operating, privately held, intercity bus carrier in New York State, Trailways of New York boasts an unmatched legacy of service in the region. As an interline partner with Greyhound, and member of the National Trailways Network, Trailways of New York is able to connect millions of passengers to thousands of destinations throughout North America each year. Connect with Trailways of New York on Instagram, and Twitter @TrailwaysNY and at Facebook.com/TrailwaysNY.

SOURCE Trailways of New York

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