Posted Sep. 1, 2017 at 5:27 a.m.

Tech wrap: new iPhone near; Star Wars drones (+ video); Facebook fights fake news; Macy's, Best Buy same-day delivery

Published: 2017-09-01 05:27:38
Updated: 2017-09-01 05:27:38


In today's Bulldog wrapup of tech news:

  • Apple expected to unveil next iPhones at Sept. 12 showcase
  • Not droids: "Star Wars" fighting drones hitting the air
  • Facebook adds more protection against fake news
  • Macy's, Best Buy expanding same-day delivery service

The details:

  • Apple expected to unveil next iPhones at Sept. 12 showcase

Apple's faithful fans and investors won't have to wait much longer to see what the iPhone maker has in store next.

The company sent out invitations Thursday to set Sept. 12 as the date for an annual post-Labor Day showcase.

As usual, the famously secretive Apple didn't say what's on tap, but this is typically when the company unveils new iPhones.

Much of the anticipation is swirling around whether Apple will show off a dramatically different type of iPhone with a sleeker and even bigger screen to celebrate the device's 10th anniversary. Even if a fancier version is unveiled, Apple will also likely announce upgrades to last year's iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus.

It's Apple's first event at the Steve Jobs Theater at its new headquarters in Cupertino, California.

Apple's invitation seemed to hint that something colorful is in store as it presented a multi-hued depiction of the company's famous logo. That choice will likely spur speculation that Apple's new phone will feature a screen with organic light-emitting diode, or OLED, which will display more vivid colors than previous models. Rival phones from Samsung already use OLED.

There have also been reports that the company intends to show off an upgrade to its Apple TV streaming box that will be capable of handling ultra-high definition, or 4K, video.

  • Not droids: "Star Wars" fighting drones hitting the air

Are these the drones you're looking for? Three "Star Wars" devices are combining drones and online games.

Manufacturer Propel plans to sell three models based on the original movies. They are the X-wing Starfighter made popular by Luke Skywalker, the Imperial TIE fighter he battled and the Speeder Bike that zoomed through the forests of Endor.

[VIDEO: Watch a report with the drones in action at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fAXGH0M0SKk ]

The $179 drones fly up to 35 miles an hour and can make corkscrew turns. The remote control plays the John Williams score, and can hold a smartphone to run a linked app. Up to twelve can battle each other.

CEO Darren Matloff said Propel was working on drones that could race and battle when it got the "Star Wars" license from Disney.

The latest movie, "The Last Jedi," will be released Dec. 15.

  • Facebook adds more protection against fake news

Facebook is adding another layer of protection in the fight against fake news.

The social media giant on Monday said it will remove a page's ability to advertise on Facebook if it repeatedly shares stories that have been marked as fake by third party fact checkers. Facebook officials the change in a blog.

"This update will help to reduce the distribution of false news which will keep Pages that spread false news from making money," the post read. "We’ve found instances of Pages using Facebook ads to build their audiences in order to distribute false news more broadly."

The move is part of the company's push to fight fake news stories. Facebook said it has a three-pronged approach to fighting the spread of false information by disrupting economic incentives, building new products to limit the spread and helping users make informed decisions when presented with fake stories.

Facebook previously banned advertisers from running ads that link to fake stories.

  • Macy's, Best Buy expanding same-day delivery service

Macy's and Best Buy are expanding their same-day delivery as they aim to become more competitive with online leader Amazon.

In separate announcements, Best Buy says it will be expanding to 27 metropolitan markets from 13 starting next week. That number should reach nearly 40 cities by the winter holidays. Macy's Inc. says it will be offering same-day delivery to 15 additional markets for a total of 33 markets.

Macy's is working with startup Deliv, backed by United Parcel Service, while Best Buy is working with two partners including its original partner Deliv to handle the deliveries. Macy's fee for the service is $8, while Best Buy has lowered its fee to $5.99 per order from $14.99.

Amazon offers members of its $99-a-year Prime program same-day and faster shipping options.

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