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.

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Apple Folding Phone Patent; SodaStream Water into Wine; Paid Comcast Fast Lane; SoftBank Uber Share Offer

While Samsung has teased about a folding phone, and we just recently reported that they may actually put one out in a couple years, now Apple may be eyeing something similar. Thenextweb.com reports that Apple has applied fora patent on a foldable electronic device with a flexible display. Granted, ‘electronic device’ could also mean a laptop, tablet, or even watch, but considering Samsung’s rumblings, a phone is a good bet. As with Samsung, it could be in a couple years or even not at all…we’ll just have to stay tuned.

Before you start typing in the web address to buy one, this next gadget is reportedly only available in Germany and only for a limited time. That said, SodaStream has announced ‘Sparkling Gold’ drink mix. According to theverge.com, German users will be able to turn water into wine…basically sparkling Riesling. It’s designed to be 10% alcohol by volume at the 1 to 5 recommended ratio…but you know some people will double up! SodaStream says an independent test found that three quarters of the participants found it comparable to real French Champagnes like Moet and Chardon. One bottle can make 12 glasses of wine…again it will only be on the German SodaStream online shop…awwww!

Comcast has promised for years that they wouldn’t charge for fast lanes, or throttle or block internet content. With the FCC about to vote to drop net neutrality, the company has been running Twitter ads saying they won’t block or throttle content…but they have quietly dropped their promise about not charging extra for fast lanes. Arstechnica.com says with then NBCUniversal purchase in 2011, the company agreed to limit paid prioritization…but that condition expires in September 2018.

SoftBank and a group of investors are looking to buy a good-sized chunk of Uber…and do it for 30% less than the company presently values itself. According to bloomberg.com, if the deal flies, they would have at least 14% of Uber. Besides buying the stock for 6 billion and letting shareholders cash out, SoftBank would inject a billion of fresh cash into the ride hailing service. The tender offer is expected to start today, and the process could take some 20 business days to complete.