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Samsung Galaxy Home Mini throws pre-launch shade at Siri

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The Samsung smart speaker called Galaxy Home Mini leaked in a release-ready configuration today tossing a jab at Apple’s smart assistant Siri (unofficially, of course). The video comes courtesy of an unnamed source* who would appear to have been at a location where several new Samsung products were being shown. This new smart speaker will apparently allow you, the user to “make it say literally anything you want” – like what we see in the video below: “At least I’m better than Siri.”

A big leak of the Samsung Galaxy Home Mini today (in its latest configuration, after an early showing last year) shows that the smart speaker would appear to be ready to take on the biggest names in smart home speaker technology. That’d be the Amazon Echo with Alexa, the Apple HomePod with Siri, and the Google Home (or Google Nest Mini, if you prefer) with Google Assistant. This speaker looks to be about the size of a Google Home (the base part), or an Amazon Echo Spot.

This little speaker is capable of some interesting things, if these leaks prove entirely accurate. One feature that’ll set this speaker aside from the competition is an IR blaster. Found in screenshots shared by *the same source as the video above with XDA Developers writer Max Weinbach, we see “IR Remote” functionality – with a blaster emanating from the head of the speaker – with a 40-foot range for blasting.

This system would allow the user to make commands of the speaker – with “SmartThings and Bixby voice commands”, of course – to control devices within 40 feet of the speaker. This system works best, says the leaked screenshot, when the Galaxy Home Mini is “in an open area with a direct line of sight to all the devices you want to control.”

Right out the gate this speaker appears to have two voice styles for English (United States) – one Stephanie, the other Lisa. There’s no hardware line out – no wired headphone jack – but you can connect out with Bluetooth, so you can use this as a non-smart speaker as well. Because the device has speakers and microphones, you can connect to your phone to use the Galaxy Home Mini as a speakerphone.

It would seem that multiple Galaxy Home Mini speakers can be connected to the same “location” with Samsung’s SmartThings (smart devices system) and connected to the same Wi-Fi network… so they can work together. They appear in this leak to be ready to work in three modes: Stand-alone, Stereo, and Multi-room.

The Samsung Galaxy Home Mini will quite likely cost right around $99 USD. We’ll likely see this device appear during Samsung’s event on February 11, 2020 – that’s tomorrow. That event will also quite likely play host to devices like the Samsung Galaxy S20 and friends – complete with 5G action and so forth. We’ll be there with bells on, so stick around!

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Today’s Wordle Answer #413 – August 6, 2022 Solution And Hints

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The answer to today’s Wordle puzzle (#413 – August 6, 2022) is alien, which means to be strange or exotic, or to come from a foreign land (via Merriam-Webster). Unlike yesterday’s word, alien has a rich etymology. It comes from Latin “aliēnus”, which means not one’s own, foreign, or strange. It’s also derivative of “alius”, which also means “other”. It also has roots in Middle English “alienen”, which means to transfer or surrender property rights, or to exclude.

Here’s a fun fact: Scottish church minister and science teacher, Thomas Dick, set out in 1848 to calculate the number of aliens living inside the Solar System. According to his predictions, if the population density of outer space matched that of England, with 280 people per square mile, then the Solar System might be home to 22 trillion inhabitants (via BBC). Now that’s a very chilling thought.

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Domestic Car Sales Have Gone Through A Steep Decline Since COVID

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Sales statistics compiled by DataHerald for SlashGear show a strong decline in the number of vehicle sales over the last few years. Some sales traditions, like a January dip followed by a strong spring sales period as tax returns hit people’s bank accounts, are apparent in the data we received. An interesting thing to note is how the annual January drop seemed to be more severe in 2021. January 2020 saw a drop of around 60,000 sales when compared to the previous month, and sales declined by roughly the same number between December 2020 and January 2021. However, due to the lower sales volume overall, the dip appears to be more severe on the chart and is drastically larger if you look at it as a percentage of sales instead of raw sales numbers.

As you may expect, the biggest dip in sales occurred at the height of the April 2020 lockdown. During this period, sales figures dipped below 125,000. This is likely because many showrooms and dealerships were closed, which meant there were fewer locations where you could actually purchase a car. Unfortunately, despite a brief recovery throughout the second half of 2020 and the first half of 2021, sales numbers never got back to pre-pandemic figures. Since May 2021 we’ve witnessed a steep decline that threatens to drop sales figures as low as they were at the height of the pandemic. In May 2022, sales were below 180,000 again, with no signs of the downward trend reversing.

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Tesla Is Finally Adding This Common Feature To Its Steering Wheels

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“All cars made since November also have push center for horn – just waiting on firmware update,” Elon Musk confirmed on Twitter about the horn placement issue. This was after a Twitter user asked if it was possible to “remap the horn on the steering yoke.” In other words, if you drive a Tesla car with a steering yoke, you can use a regular horn after a software update. In addition, the update will allow you to activate the horn if you press your palm against the right side of the steering yoke. 

Another user on Reddit spotted a Tesla Model S with a sticker on the steering yoke that says “Airbag horn enabled in SW-352573.” The photo suggests that Tesla is testing a different type of steering yoke that features a regular horn on the airbag location.

This isn’t the first time Tesla has made a U-turn after it tried to re-write the rules of the traditional horn –- it was forced to recall about 500,000 vehicles that made fart noises and bleating goat sounds instead of the usual beeping horn sound, thanks to a feature Tesla called Boombox (according to CNN).

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