The Best of Gizmodo This Week

Guys, Windows 10 is out, and we played with it alllll week. Tl;dr? We like. We also tested out two hotly anticipated smartphones (that we also like) and the redesigned Chuck Taylors, which made for some great shoe porn. Here are the highlights from this week.


I Installed Windows 10 and Now I’m Talking to My Computer

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Unless you’re one of the handful of people rocking a Windows Phone, you won’t have much experience with Cortana, Microsoft’s personal digital assistant. With the roll-out of Windows 10, Cortana is about to make a lot of new friends very quickly—and like me, they might soon find themselves shouting instructions at their computer on a regular basis.

Windows 10: The Gizmodo Review

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Windows 10 defies review. It’s not a finished product. It will never be a finished product, if you believe Microsoft. Like Apple with Mac OS X, Microsoft has decided that the tenth version of their operating system will be the final one—it’ll just get updated, year after year.

Is Earth’s Closest Cousin a Dying Planet?

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Last week, the human race met its very first Earth-like planet orbiting a Sun-like star in the habitable zone. Kepler-452b’s discovery was met with resounding excitement, but the news was bittersweet. Because life on this distant world — if it exists at all — could be facing imminent extinction.

Give the Olympics to Los Angeles

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The news that Boston no longer wants to host the 2024 Summer Olympics isn’t really a shock. Few cities these days do. But the Olympics don’t have to be bad for the host city—and done right, they can actually benefit it. Nowhere is that clearer than Los Angeles, the new frontrunner for 2024. The Olympics would be good for LA, and even more importantly—LA will be good for the Olympics.

OnePlus 2 Hands-On: So Good, It Makes Me Want To Leave Verizon

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One year ago, the OnePlus One became the best off-contract smartphone you could buy. An unheard of Chinese company managed to deliver a high-quality Android handset for a crazy-low $300 price. Now, it looks like that awesomeness wasn’t a fluke. Behold: the OnePlus 2.

What It’s Like to Have the Oldest Phone in San Francisco

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I live in the world’s most famous tech city, surrounded by the most advanced personal electronic devices. None of them, however, grab quite as much attention as my own phone does.

What It’s Like to Wear the New Converse Chuck II

The new Chuck Taylors are here. The first new design in 98 years. I’m wearing them right now.

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Moto X Style Hands-On: A Great Smartphone With a Price To Match

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The Moto X Style is in every way a successor to last year’s Moto X. It’s got all the requisite upgrades you’d expect: the better quad HD display, the better 21 megapixel rear camera with a front-facing selfie flash, and just an all around better look and feel. And somehow, it only costs $400.

Lion Murderer Walt Palmer Has Done More For Conservation Than You Have

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Lion murderer Walt Palmer is an asshole. But, he’s also an asshole who’s contributed more money to animal conservation in Africa than pretty much anyone else. In fact, trophy hunters like him are a large part of the reason we still have animals like lions at all.

LA’s #100days100nights Gang Murder Bet Is Probably Bullshit

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You don’t need to pray for LA.

The Little-Known Robot Taxi That Could Outrun Google and Uber

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By 2020, visitors landing in Tokyo for the Summer Olympics could be greeted by a fleet of self-driving taxis.

The Hustler Origins of Wearable Computers

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Be healthier! Be less distracted! Be more efficient! The wearable tech market is gripped by the idea of quantifying positive change. Fitbits and Apple Watches are shilled as objects that will make us the best versions of ourselves.

Meanwhile in the Future: Cross the Border Using Only Your Face as ID

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xThis week, we go to a world where facial recognition is so good that any company can grab an image of your face while you’re walking down the street, and link it to everything from your social media profiles, to your credit score, to your workplace.

Why Buffalo’s Dirty Snow Pile Still Hasn’t Melted Yet

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Over the winter, the Eastern US was blanketed in blizzard after blizzard. As a stark reminder of Mother Nature’s bitchiness, two snow-plowed piles of that record snowfall in two different cities lingered well into summer. One of them is still frozen—a mud-caked sno-cone slowly oozing in the sun.

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