Fitbit Charge 3; Tesla Roadster Preview; EU Targets Terror Content; Pepsi Buying SodaStream

Fitbit has unveiled the Charge 3…and the new device seems to blur the line between full smartwatches (including their own Ionic and Versa models) and fitness trackers. Theverge.com says the overall shape and size are pretty much identical to the Charge 2, but the new device has an aluminum body and Gorilla Glass 3 display (like the Versa). More notably, it has a real touchscreen, and supports grayscale colors instead of just black and white. It’s water resistant to 50 meters, has a better heart rate sensor, and the same oxygen saturation sensor as Fitbit’s smartwatches. Fitbit says it will run up to 7 days on a charge.You can also get app notifications, like from calls, calendar reminders, and the like…Android users can even use canned responses for a quick reply right from their wrist. The base model is $149.95, with a Special Edition at $169.95 offering NFC and Fitbit Pay. It comes in a graphite color or rose gold. Preorders are open today, it should hit stores in October.

The Tesla Roadster is supposed to be out in 2020, but you can get a preview of it on the Jay Leno’s Garage show on CNBC August 23rd. Engadget.com reports that Leno will talk to Tesla design chief Franz von Holzhausen about the hot offering. The Roadster is reported to use TV cams instead of outside mirrors to reduce drag, and have a yoke style steering ‘wheel’, much like aircraft have had for decades.

The European Union is cracking down on tech companies after trying to let them voluntarily delete terrorist propaganda and extremist violence. Now, according to cnet.com, the EU will be imposing tough new rules, including one requiring social medial companies to remove terrorist content within one hour. In response, Facebook says it has now set up programs that identified 99% of terrorist propaganda before anyone has a chance to report it to the company…but has struggled more with hate speech.

Pepsi has announced that it’s snapping up SodaStream for 3.2 million. TechCrunch.com says Pepsi sees the move to online grocery buying and delivery, and wants to have the in-home presence. Of course, the SodaStream also appeals to the sustainability crowd, who abhor disposable plastic bottles and straws. The deal should close in January.


Apple Car in 5+ Years; OneDrive Auto Backup for All; Fitbit Charge 3-Touchscreen; MoviePass Zombie Accounts

A VP of engineering recently left Tesla to go back to Apple. He had previously worked at Ford. This seemed to point to Apple shifting Project Titan back to building an Apple car, not just software they could sell to auto makers. Now, Ming-Chi Kuo, who has one of the most accurate records when it comes to Apple predictions, says Apple will launch an Apple Car between 2023 and 2025, and calls it ‘the next star product.’ According to macrumors.com, Kuo thinks Apple will revolutionize the auto business the way they did the phone market with the iPhone in 2007. Apple’s work in AR could help ‘differentiate the Apple Car from peers’ products.’

If you are on Windows 10 and use Microsoft’s OneDrive, MS has added a great new feature…OneDrive can now automatically back up documents, pictures, and desktop folders. Theverge.com reports that if you use multiple Win 10 PCs, OneDrive folder protection will automatically keep all these folders in sync, too! Business users saw this feature appear available in June, but now it’s coming out for all users. Just hit OneDrive Settings, and go to the Auto Save tab, then click the update folders button.

The upcoming Fitbit Charge 3 will have a full touchscreen, unlike the present Charge 2 with its quasi-touchscreen. TechCrunch.com says that, in addition, Android Authority has discovered that it will be swim-proof down to 50 meters, and have notification reply capability, but on the down side…it won’t have built-in GPS….so you’ll still have to schlep your smartphone along for a jog if you want GPS data. No pricing has leaked out, but the fitness tracker should be out in plenty of time for the holiday season.

MoviePass may be only 3 months from ‘passing away,’ but in the meantime, has a new issue for subscribers…or former subscribers…to deal with. According to engadget.com, people who had cancelled their accounts, then later either checked the app about their account or just to see what movies were available (there were TWO last weekend) got a splash screen with ‘Updates to Your MoviePass Plan’. If you clicked the ‘agree’ button to make it go away, MoviePass reactivated your account! There’s an X in the upper right corner…best to click that and close the screen. Meanwhile, MoviePass will run out of money in 90 days if some movie angel doesn’t show up with lots of cash.