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OnePlus pulls Facebook bloatware from the OnePlus 8T

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OnePlus is removing Facebook bloatware from the OnePlus 8T after the company was criticized for pre-installing Facebook’s apps and services on the OnePlus Nord and 8-series. OnePlus confirmed the news to Input, meaning the new phone will only come with Google, OnePlus, and Netflix software pre-installed.

Part of the reason for the outcry was that although the Facebook, Messenger, and Instagram apps could be uninstalled from the 8-series and Nord phones, background services like Facebook’s App Installer and App Manager couldn’t be removed completely, as AndroidPolice reported at the time.

OnePlus justified this by saying that including these services allowed it to offer “higher battery efficiency.” But users objected to them on the grounds that they cluttered up OnePlus’s streamlined OxygenOS software, and there were reports that they would also use small quantities of data in the background.

For those wondering, OnePlus says that Netflix comes preinstalled on the OnePlus 8T to allow for HDR optimizations. The company stopped short of confirming to Input that it would never preinstall Facebook’s apps and services again, and it declined to comment on how existing Nord and OnePlus 8-series owners could uninstall them from their devices.

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Lyft will soon let riders pay for rides with Venmo

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Lyft riders will soon have the option for paying and splitting fares using Venmo, the company said in a blog posting this morning. Venmo joins Lyft’s other payment methods of PayPal, credit cards, debit cards, Lyft Cash and more.

To enable the payment method, users need to authorize Venmo in the Lyft app.

Lyft says this feature is rolling out this month and will be available across its network in the coming weeks.

This feature comes to Lyft several years after first hitting Uber in 2018. Through Venmo users are able to create a financial social network of sorts where users share transactions including ridesharing charges. For services like Uber and Lyft, this unlocks a new form of marketing where users note their ridesharing service of choice. And, in theory, if your closest friends use a particular service for rides, you’re more likely to follow in kind.

Splitting fares happens in the Venmo app. After the ride is complete, users need to find and select the Lyft transaction in their Venmo payment feed. From there the Venmo user can select the person they want to split the charge. However, Lyft offers a native fare splitting service that does not require Venmo.

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How to Quickly Research All Your Local Elections

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Mercifully, Election Day 2020 is only a dozen days away. (Ugh, that’s so long.) But it will be one like no other: Due to a combination of the pandemic and an unusually motivated public, more than 35 million people, a staggering number representing more than 25% of the total number of votes cast in 2016, according to CNN, have voted by mail or at early voting sites around the country. Nevertheless, tens of millions of us will head to our local polling stations on Nov. 3, and while we’re there, we won’t only be voting for who we want to be our president, or senator, or represent us in congress. We’ll also be voting for judging, local government, referendums, and other ballot initiatives, so even if you think you know how you’re voting, it’s a good idea to do some research beforehand—and there are a few tools that can simplify the research process so you don’t need a law degree to make an educated vote.

Get a quick overview of your congressional options

Illustration for article titled How to Quickly Research All Your Local Electionsem/em

Screenshot: Joel Cunningham

After the presidential election, which you’ve probably already decided on, the next section of your ballot asks for your vote on congressional candidates. This means you’ll be voting members into the House of Representatives and the Senate.

One of the simplest tools to figure out which candidates match your interests is Vote Smart’s Vote Easy quiz. Here, you’ll answer a series of questions about your views on topics ranging from abortion to social security. As you answer each question, Vote Smart gives you a best match for both the House and Senate based on your views. When you click a candidate’s profile, you can get a closer look at how they’ve voted (if they’re already in office) or how they responded to the same questions you answered. While the Vote Smart’s a little basic in its design, this is the simplest starting point for most of us.

While Vote Smart is easy, you might want to do a little more research beyond a quiz.

If you want to know more

  • Propublica’s Represent: ProPublica tracks congressional votes, which means you can go through and see how a candidate has voted in everything they’ve ever voted on. It’s a great tool, but it’s only useful for candidates up for reelection.
  • Ballotpedia: Ballotpedia is a solid resource for finding out more info about all your candidates (and initiatives, for that matter, but more on that below). Candidates’ pages detail the endorsements they’ve received, provide links to their commercials, outlines their election history, and include a handful of other minor details. Ballotpedia doesn’t dig deep, but it’s a solid rundown.
  • Your local paper and news channels: Even if you’ve had no excuse to pick up a local newspaper or watch the local news in years, both are useful resources during election season. Local news channels will often host debates between state or local candidates, and while they’re a far cry from the production levels of the presidential debates, they are arguably more useful. Your best bet is to do a Google search for “[your congressional district] debates.”

Finding the right people is just part of the battle. In several states, you’ll also be voting on tons of different ballot measures, amendments, and questions.

Learn about your state’s ballot measures

Illustration for article titled How to Quickly Research All Your Local Electionsem/em

Screenshot: Joel Cunningham

Depending on what state you live in, you might have special measures on your ballot in the form of amendments, propositions, or initiatives. While these often seem like simple Yes or No questions, there’s a lot more going on than meets the eye, so it’s worth researching before you cast your vote.

The best place for an overview of all your state ballot measures in one place is Ballotpedia. Just type in your address and zip code, and it displays your sample ballot. You can then click on any initiative to learn more about it. Ballot Ready is a similar web app that distills the information a little further, but is worth a look as well.

Your ballot frames an initiative as a Yes or No vote, but it’s important to read between the lines. Ballotpedia will typically give you a breakdown of the entire text of a measure, as well as arguments for and against it. Remember, when you’re reading about these measures, it’s not just about whether you agree with the idea of a measure, it’s also about whether you agree with how the measure will be implemented. For example, marijuana legalization measures, which are on ballots in several states this year, often fail not because people don’t agree with the issue as a whole, but because the initiatives themselves are not terribly well thought-out, leaving loopholes or providing unclear uses of revenue.

It’s also worth pointing out that 11 states and two territories, including Washington, Indiana, and West Virginia, also have gubernatorial elections this year. Many states also have races for Secretary of State, Attorney General, and other local offices. Again, Ballotpedia will give you an overview for many of these, but with smaller elections you have to do your own research because it’s generally light on information, particularly for local candidates and county or regional offices.

If you can’t decide how you feel or you think there’s not enough information about a ballot measure, you do not have to vote on every measure. Feel free to leave any section blank.

If you want to know more

Your local newspaper or TV station has likely hosted debates and gone through the pros and cons of almost every ballot measure and local race in your area. Your mileage will vary here, but it’s worth a look regardless. Ballotpedia has a link under each measure to the full text, though in most cases you’ll need a firm understanding of the law and a couple cups of coffee to get through it.

Learn about your county initiatives and candidates

Ballotpedia is great for statewide ballot measures but it doesn’t do a great job pulling up your city or county initiatives. Typically, these measures deal with local issues like affordable housing, park funding, or transportation infrastructure.

You’ll need to saddle up and dig into local newspapers and community blogs for this one. You can also contact your local election authority for more information. If you’re not sure how to get a hold of them, Vote Smart has a list with web sites and phone numbers. Once you do, they’ll typically have more information about the candidates and initiatives.

Local newspapers will usually run a pro/con article on your local issues before the election (if they haven’t already), so you should be able to find plenty of information with a quick search on your local paper’s web site, or by looking for smaller sites of interest managed by people in your community. If the initiative is controversial, you’ll also find op-eds in newspapers and on local blogs. In bigger cities, larger newspapers will also usually take a side and list their recommendations, which are worth at least considering when you make your decision.

Of course, newspapers are a dying breed, but that doesn’t mean you don’t have options. Vote411 often has details about local elections and your local country web site should have everything else you need, even if it’s very small.

Aside from the initiatives, you might also see board member elections on your ballot. These are usually for a variety of local positions, ranging from water departments to school school districts. Thankfully, Ballotpedia also tends to pick these up in its sample ballots, so you can at least get an overview of each candidate. If it doesn’t, a quick Google search should bring up all the information you need.

What to do about all those judges

Illustration for article titled How to Quickly Research All Your Local Electionsem/em

Screenshot: Joel Cunningham

Finally, there’s a good chance your ballot has a bunch of judges listed on it. This is probably the most confusing part.

In many states, you can vote to remove a judge in what’s called Retention elections. These happen in 21 states, including Arizona, California, Oklahoma, and South Dakota. This means that you’re voting to remove a judge from office. That’s it. If you see only one judge listed on your ballot, it’s likely a retention election. Generally speaking, the only reason you’d bother to vote to remove a judge is if their voting record is so unpopular that it actually made the news in some form or another. Several states, including Ohio and Utah, provide breakdowns of each judge’s performance over their career. This is a good place to start your research. The Bar Association is some counties, including King County in Washington, even provide a rating system based on clearly stated qualifications, so that’s worth seeking out as well.

If you’re voting between two people, that means you’re voting for who will become a judge. Your best bet here is to search Google for both candidates’ names. There’s a reasonable chance a local paper, law blog, or legal magazine will have prepared a comparison between them that details their experience, priorities, endorsements, and education. Do your research and read up on their judgement record on cases that may interest or matter to you, and consider how their decisions have influenced your community.

If you want to know more

You’re usually starting out in the weeds for a judicial election, but you can always dig deeper. Ballotpedia has a page that details many of the elections. You can also often find more information from your state’s Bar Association.

With that, you’ll have a brain full of ideas and opinions. It might sound like a lot of work, but it’s worth spending a half-hour or so doing it now, so you won’t end up panicking when your reach the front of the line at the voting booth.

This story was originally published in 2016 and updated on October 22, 2020 to include information, links and screenshots pertinent to the November 2020 election, and to align the content with current Lifehacker style.

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This Breakfast Sandwich ‘Hack’ Is Bad, Actually

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Illustration for article titled This Breakfast Sandwich Hack Is Bad, Actually

Photo: Claire Lower

I live on the west coast, which means that by the time I rise and shimmer, most of my co-workers are already hours ahead of me, and I often have a few messages waiting for me. Yesterday morning, one of them was a link to this Daily Mail article, sent to me by our deputy editor Jordan Calhoun.

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The article boasted a “secret bacon and egg roll cooking trick” that would “change the way you eat them forever.” The trick? Dig out a hole in a crusty roll, lay down some bacon, crack an egg on top of the bacon, sprinkle cheese on top of the bacon, then close it up and bake it all together. Daily Mail claimed that this configuration would “stop the runny yolk from oozing out of the bread.”

“Is this actually good?,” Jordan asked. “I could see this working,” I replied, barely awake, “though if you cut it [the sandwich] in half [the yolk] still oozes out lol.” But then I had coffee, and thought about it some more, and actually read the article. Then the doubt set in.

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For starters, I’m pretty sure the only way you can stop yolk from oozing is to cook it until it’s no longer runny—it’s a matter of physics!—but the Mail seemed convinced that this was the neatest possible solution. “The simple trick will stop the yolk from oozing out all over the roll, or running down your hands while eating,” they explained. “Instead, the bread will soak up all the yolk.”

This was not my experience.

I built the sandwich as instructed. I cut a very thin slice of bread from of the top of the roll, dug a little hole in the bottom, and lined it with salty pork. (I used prosciutto because that’s what I had and because it seemed like it would do a better job keeping the raw white from seeping into the bread.) Then, I cracked an egg into the meat nest, topped it with cheese, closed it, and baked it for 25 minutes at 355℉. (The Mail article suggests a cooking temp of 190℃, but the video instructs one to go with 180℃; I went with the video.)

Illustration for article titled This Breakfast Sandwich Hack Is Bad, Actually

Photo: Claire Lower

It looked very nice, and I would have been quite happy eating it with a fork and knife (with some hot sauce), just as I would an egg-in-a-hole (because that’s basically what it is—a baked egg-in-a-hole). I usually cut my breakfast sandwiches in half, but that would have defeated the whole point of the will-the-yolk-run experiment, so I kept the sandwich whole and took a cautious bite.

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It was very hot. I took another (very hot) bite, then another. It took me about five bites to get to the (also kind of hot) yolk, which squirted out of the sandwich and onto my face, which I did not love. I do not have a photo of that for you, because I don’t want to share a photo of me with literal egg on my face with the internet. The bread didn’t really have a chance to absorb the yolk, because the yolk shot out, but also because both pieces of bread were covered with either prosciutto or cheese, two fatty ingredients that keep moisture (and liquid yolk) out.

Beyond it being messy, it just wasn’t a good ratio of yolk to other sandwich ingredients. My first five bites were devoid of yolk, and I didn’t like that. The whole point of a runny yolk is that it oozes when you cut into the sandwich, allowing one to dip the sandwich in it as they eat and enjoy yolky goodness in every bite.

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Illustration for article titled This Breakfast Sandwich Hack Is Bad, Actually

Photo: Claire Lower

I decided to make another one, to see if I liked it better cut in half. It was fine, I guess, but just as messy as any other egg sandwich, if not messier. Half of the yolk actually popped out from one side of the sandwich, probably due to being encased by greasy, slippery meat and cheese.

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Illustration for article titled This Breakfast Sandwich Hack Is Bad, Actually

Photo: Claire Lower

Again, I could see it working quite elegantly as a fork-and-knife affair, but it’s not an improvement on the normal breakfast sandwich configuration. My advice is to embrace the inherently messy nature of the yolk. Or, if you don’t want a messy sandwich, try a scrambled egg. Scrambled eggs don’t ooze.

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