Samsung Galaxy Watch 3 leak reveals every feature just before launch

Just before the Samsung Galaxy Watch 3 debuts tomorrow, here’s another huge two-part leak.

Thanks to Evan Blass, we’re able to have a look at a series of videos, made by AT&T for new Galaxy Watch 3 owners. And we also get a look at the entire user manual, which explains the smartwatch’s features and essential functions.

The watch comes in a choice of three colors, all with leather bands. One model will feature LTE compatibility, meaning you can make phone calls through the watch and connect to the internet independently. The other is a Bluetooth-only version that will require a connection to a smartphone to work fully.

Samsung Galaxy Watch 3

(Image credit: Evan Blass)

If you take the LTE version, then you’ll have access to AT&T’s NumberSync feature, which lets you use your smartphone remotely via the watch, including streaming music and taking calls.

Samsung Galaxy Watch 3

(Image credit: Evan Blass)

The thread of videos that follows this also explains how to use voicemail, navigate via the watch’s rotating bezel, use Bixby Voice and gesture controls, the functions of the Samsung Health app, and tracking options for sleep and women’s health. It also details the Galaxy Watch 3’s fall detection function.

Samsung Galaxy Watch 3

(Image credit: Evan Blass)

There are also more mundane instructional videos too, which show how to charge the watch, customize its home screen, remove and attach its wristband and reset the device.

Blass also has what looks to be the entire user manual for the Galaxy Watch 3 on his subscriber-only Patreon, some screenshots of which you can see below. These detail the Galaxy Watch 3’s features, such as its GPS antenna and an atmospheric pressure sensor.

Samsung Galaxy Watch 3

(Image credit: Evan Blass)

The physical features of the watch also include its unique navigational bezel and sensors for light and heart rate, along with more common features like a speaker, a microphone, a touchscreen and dual-button navigation.

Samsung Galaxy Watch 3

(Image credit: Evan Blass)

The watch will also work with Samsung’s Wireless PowerShare function, letting you charge it from the back of a Samsung smartphone. This could be a neat feature if you suddenly find your Watch 3 is without charge and you’re already on your way to the gym, 

Samsung Galaxy Watch 3

(Image credit: Evan Blass)

Within the manual, there’s proof of many returning functions for Samsung’s latest wearables OS, Tizen OS 5.5. They’re not headlining features, but being able to manage connections and sound, change a watch face design, or begin voice recording among other things are still important smartwatch functions.

There’s also PowerPoint control and Microsoft Outlook integration. The second is more notable since it’s not Samsung’s own email app, a decision that marks an increasingly close alliance between the two companies. So the Watch 3 looks set to aid productivity tasks as well as track fitness and serve up useful day-to-day notifications. 

It may feel unnecessary after reading all these leaks, but you can watch Samsung reveal the Galaxy Watch 3 officially on August 5 during its Galaxy Unpacked 2020 event. If you need more motivation to tune in, this will also be the first time we get to see the Samsung Galaxy Note 20, Galaxy Z Fold 2 and Samsung Galaxy Tab S7 as well.

Donald Trump on the ropes in interview over US Covid-19 death toll

Donald Trump visibly floundered in an interview when pressed on a range of issues, including the number of coronavirus cases and deaths in the US, his claims that mail-in voting is fraudulent, and his inaction over the “Russian bounty” scandal.

The US president also repeatedly cast doubt on the cause of death of Jeffrey Epstein, and said of Ghislaine Maxwell, the British socialite who has pleaded not guilty to allegedly participating in the sex-trafficking of girls by Epstein, that he wished her well.

In the interview, broadcast on HBO on Monday and conducted by Axios’s national political correspondent, Jonathan Swan, Trump again asserted that his administration is doing an “incredible job” responding to the coronavirus.

Claiming that the pandemic was unique, Trump said: “This has never happened before. 1917, but it was totally different, it was a flu in that case. If you watch the fake news on television, they don’t even talk about it, but there are 188 other countries right now that are suffering. Some, proportionately, far greater than we are.”

Swan pressed the president on which countries were doing worse. Trump brandished several pieces of paper with graphs and charts on them that he referred to as he attempted to suggest the US figures compared well internationally.

“Right here, United States is lowest in numerous categories. We’re lower than the world. Lower than Europe.”

“In what?” asks Swan. As it becomes apparent that Trump is talking about the number of deaths as a proportion of cases, Swan says said: “Oh, you’re doing death as a proportion of cases. I’m talking about death as a proportion of population. That’s where the US is really bad. Much worse than Germany, South Korea.”

Trump then says: “You can’t do that.”

According to figures from the Johns Hopkins University, the US has had over 4.7m confirmed Covid-19 cases, with 155,471 deaths. The US accounts for more than a quarter of all global confirmed infections.

In another section of the interview, Trump repeats his false assertion that the reason the US has a significantly higher number of cases is because it tests more than anyone else, saying: “You know, there are those that say you can test too much. You do know that.”

Asked who says that, Trump replies: “Oh, just read the manuals. Read the books.”

Trump also appears, without evidence, to assert that children are receiving positive Covid-19 test results for having a runny nose – which is not generally listed among the symptoms of coronavirus, which are a high temperature and a new continuous cough.

“You test, some kid has even just a little runny nose, it’s a case. And then you report many cases,” Trump says.

The president attempts to shift blame for the outbreaks of coronavirus on to state governors, saying: “We have done a great job. We’ve got the governors everything they needed. They didn’t do their job – many of them didn’t, some of them did.”

Related: Why Trump cannot delay the election – plus the truth about mail-in voting

Trump was also asked about his previous baseless assertion that due to mail-in voting, the forthcoming US election would be “the most inaccurate and fraudulent election in history”.

In the interview, Trump says: “So we have a new phenomena, it’s called mail-in voting.” Swan then clarifies that mail-in voting has existed since the US civil war.

Further attempting to cast doubt on the process, Trump says: “So they’re going to send tens of millions of ballots to California, all over the place. Who’s going to get them? Somebody got a ballot for a dog. Somebody got a ballot for something else. You got millions of ballots going. Nobody even knows where they’re going.”

The interview took place last Tuesday, before the president’s tweet that falsely floated the idea that November’s election could be delayed.

On Maxwell and Epstein, the president appeared to cast doubt on the official account of the cause of Epstein’s death, which has been a repeated source of conspiracy theories.

Of Maxwell, Trump says “Her friend or boyfriend Epstein was either killed or committed suicide in jail. She’s now in jail. Yeah, I wish her well.” Trump goes on twice more to say of Epstein: “Was it suicide or was he killed?”

In another part of the interview, he dismissed again as “fake news” intelligence reports that Russia had been offering bounties to the Taliban for attacks on US forces in Afghanistan. Asked specifically by Swan whether he had ever discussed the issue with the Russian president, Vladimir Putin, Trump confirms he has never mentioned it to him.

When Swan asks Trump about Russia supplying weapons to the Taliban, the president asserts: “I have heard that, but it has never reached my desk.”

Lorraine Complains: You’ll have to pry my stick-shift from my cold, dead hand

I found the easiest way to become a one-per-center. I bought a car with a manual transmission.

“#SaveTheManuals” is a popular hashtag on social media, as it usurps saving the children, the whales and the planet, it seems. The fact is, it’s a few loud voices doing the yelling, and most of them are people like my colleagues.

We like driving; we like manuals. Yes, we know manuals no longer get better fuel economy, and we know that electronic wizardry has dampened the edges of the experience. We don’t care.

For a dying number of people, your right hand isn’t for holding a coffee or a cell phone; it’s for shifting. My 2020 Hyundai Elantra GT N Line is a hoot.

Manufacturers follow the money, though. Consider the rather sobering news from a J.D. Power study late last year that in the U.S., electric vehicles had surpassed – and nearly doubled – the sales of manuals. Didn’t see that coming. At least I didn’t.

It’s so easy to beat up on electric vehicle sales I failed to notice the demise of my favourite child next to the (tiny) surge of what’s-his-name. Sure, it’s a one per cent versus two per cent discussion, but still. While Canadians are a little more likely to opt for a stick, our offerings are based on what the American market decides, and it is overwhelmingly deciding we can take our cry for a manual, and shift it.

It’s not that manual transmissions got worse (though some would argue even that). It’s that automatic transmissions got better. Much, much better. They beat up every argument for keeping the manuals around.

Fuel consumption? An automatic can slip through more gears faster to get the best. Price? Buying a manual once meant a significant saving on the price tag. Rarely is that the case anymore, and when it is, it’s in the hundreds, not the thousands. No, in a classic debate, all I really have is this: I like it better.

The ongoing demise of the manual transmission is more noticeable in some places than others. Genesis discontinuing the option on their G70 for 2022 didn’t strike my radar as particularly sad, but the Jaguar F-Type? That car was born to be a manual, even if it wasn’t born as one. And no, paddle-shifting isn’t a compromise, it’s a consolation prize. Three pedals or bust.

I consider knowing what to do with a clutch a useful skill, even if you don’t get to exercise it very often. When I was a teenager, it was so “if you’re stuck with an idiot who gets drunk on a date and his car is a stick, you can drive yourself home” — quote courtesy of the late Alfred Sommerfeld. 

I taught both of my sons, wishing to instill the glorious feel of engaging with a vehicle instead of just mastering the point-and-shoot vanilla of an automatic. Both worked at car dealerships in their teens, and both could move cars most of their workmates couldn’t. As much as they complained and got exasperated in the learning – remember stalling in traffic, or on a hill, or (gasp!) in front of a girl? – both became proficient, and more importantly, I could get back to purchasing manual cars. 

Your right hand isn’t for holding a coffee or a cell phone — it’s for shifting

I encourage parents of new drivers to teach them on a manual. There are too many distractions in today’s cars, both those built-in and those we bring with us.

For a new driver, winnowing down what they must concentrate on begins in connection with the engine, finding the gears, anticipating changes in speed, and overcoming the hiccups.

The upsides are many. If you travel in most European and Asian countries and you rent a car, it’s likely to be a stick-shift. It’s a drag to land after a long flight in a strange place and find a car with three pedals you don’t know how to work. If you ever plan on owning a motorcycle, for off-road or on-road use, it’s likely to have a clutch, though even that arena is offering more automatics every year. If you think some of the #SaveTheManuals crowd is passionate, talk to the motorcyclists.

A hand holding a stickshift in a manual transmission car
A hand holding a stickshift in a manual transmission car Getty

I recently spent a few days with a 16-year-old girl and the conversation turned to driving. If you want to know how much the world has changed, my usual spiel about the importance of learning to drive stick was feeble; the conversation was about the importance of getting her licence — like, at all.

She’s not alone. Fewer kids are bothering, and the reasons are all around you. Rideshare apps, transit, and the escalating costs of vehicle ownership are all contributors to car culture losing its allure. And just like cigarettes, if you don’t snare them early, you’re unlikely to get them at all.

The times, they are a-changin’. 

Endangered: The decline of manual transmissions

Standard on most cars up until recently, the humble manual gearbox is now only for bargain hunters and enthusiasts.

It wasn’t so long ago an automatic transmission was considered upmarket.

While an automatic is taken for granted by most people buying a new car today, the option to buy a new car with a manual transmission is becoming more difficult as manufacturers quietly phase-out the gearbox.

In figures provided to CarAdvice, the past five years of sales data shows the Toyota Corolla – Australia’s best-selling small car – has seen a marked decline in the demand for manual transmissions by consumers.

With a manual now only available in the entry-level Ascent within the current Corolla range (introduced in 2018), just 1.5 per cent of Corolla hatch buyers optioned a manual transmission in the first half of 2020, compared with 7.4 per cent for 2015. However, in 2015, a manual was also available in three of the four Corolla variants.

The transmission is even less popular among those buying Corolla sedans, with just 1.1 per cent optioning a manual, versus 3.6 per cent only five years ago.

Interestingly, the numbers reflect a slight uptake this year. In 2019, only 1.5 per cent of Corolla hatches sold were manual, and half a per cent of Corolla sedans sold over twelve months had a clutch.

In the four year period from 2015 to 2019, the demand for manual Corolla hatches dropped by 80 per cent, and 86 per cent for the sedan variant.

One reason is our current generation of new drivers. An increasing proportion of younger people are choosing not even get their driver’s license – and those who do are sitting their test in an automatic.

A spokesperson for the Royal Automobile Club of Victoria (RACV) told CarAdvice the downtrend has been noticeable over the past decade.

“In the last 10 years we’ve seen a steady decline in people requesting manual RACV Drive School lessons. Requests for manual Drive School cars have been trending down from 38 per cent of requests in 2010 to just 12 per cent of requests in 2019,” the spokesperson said.

“We’re also seeing more regional Learner drivers making the shift to automatic vehicles. This is partly due to more farm and heavy vehicles having an automatic gearbox, which has meant there is less need for a manual licence in those areas.”

Aidan Russell, a teenager from regional Victoria, is one learner driver going against the trend: “I wanted to learn manual because it allows me to drive a wider range of cars in the future”.

Mr Russell told CarAdvice he’s one of few learner drivers he knows who has access to a manual car, with the majority opting to learn on an auto.

When asked about whether he plans to switch to an automatic after he gets his driver’s licence, Mr Russell said, “I own my own manual so i will probably continue [to drive] that”.

But for the most part, manuals seem to still hold appeal for two main groups: those wanting to buy new vehicles at rock-bottom prices, and driving enthusiasts.

Despite the number of new cars with an H-pattern gear knob shrinking every year, manual options are still out there for bargain hunters and enthusiasts alike.

Of those available, there are some standouts. The cheapest manual new car for sale in Australia today is the Kia Picanto at $14,390 plus on-road costs, while the Aston Martin Vantage coupe is the most expensive manual at $299,950 plus on-road costs.

Enthusiasts who can’t quite stretch to a Vantage might consider a Toyota 86 GT, the cheapest rear-wheel-drive manual car (that isn’t a ute) on sale locally at $31,440 plus on-road costs.

For those needing off-road capabilities, the cheapest four-wheel-drive is the Great Wall Steed at $21,990 plus on-road costs, or $17,990 plus on-road costs for a rear-wheel-drive version. Interestingly, the Steed is also the most powerful manual under $20,000 plus on-road costs, with 110kW/310Nm from its 2.0-litre diesel.

While there’s no denying that manuals are on the endangered list, as of today there are still more than 300 different makes, models, and variants for sale in Australia today with a clutch pedal.

Here’s a list of new-cars you can get with a manual transmission:

Worries build over Trump’s ability to manage a vaccination program

When it comes to spearheading the management of a massive and complex federal project to beat back the coronavirus in real time, this White House inspires little confidence.

Last week, President Donald Trump sat for another news interview in which nobody could quite be sure what he was talking about. 

“You know there are those that say you can test too much,” Trump told Axios reporter Jonathan Swan. “You do know that?”

“Who says that?” Swan asked.

“Oh, just read the manuals,” the president said. “Read the books.”

“Manuals?” Swan asked. “What manuals.”

“Read the books, read the books,” Trump repeated.

Distribution of COVID-19 tests and timely return of their results continued to pose a problem both in states that are now considered hot spots and those where the spread has been suppressed.

With a vaccine hopefully approved in the next few months, discussion is underway about how the government will distribute needed supplies and galvanize the public to accept it — especially when simple masks are controversial in Trump circles.

Health officials and lawmakers are warning that without thorough planning and cooperation with states, the administration could oversee the kind of disruptions that led to shortages of coronavirus diagnostic tests, Reuters reports.

Trump aides have been talking about his coronavirus task force taking the lead on the project when it comes. But Sen. Roy Blunt (R-Missouri), who heads a panel on health funding, said “this is really the prime responsibility” of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The CDC at times has been contradicted by the White House

“They are the only federal agency with a proven track record of vaccine distribution and long-standing agreements with health departments across the country,” Blunt said earlier this month.

Dr. Anthony Fauci testified before a House committee on Friday that he is “cautiously optimistic” for a safe and effective vaccine by the “’end of this year and as we go into 2021.” Distribution may have to be phased in, he said.

Topping the priority list could be critical workers, such as medical personnel, or vulnerable patients such as older adults with other underlying health problems. “But ultimately, within a reasonable period of time, the plans now allow for any American who needs a vaccine to get it within the year 2021,” Fauci said.

Earlier this year, a team working under presidential adviser and son-in-law Jared Kushner outlined a national virus response that was abandoned for some reason in favor of a piecemeal and chaotic state-by-state response, as Vanity Fair describes.

Kushner’s team carried out what the magazine describes as a secretive procurement of Chinese-made test kits through a United Arab Emirates company. The multimillion-dollar purchase reportedly ended up a fiasco.

Nearly two-thirds of Americans disapprove of Trump’s handling of the pandemic, protests over policing, and relations with Russia, according to the latest ABC News/Ipsos poll released last week.

Looking ahead, educating some people about the necessity of getting vaccinated could prove challenging — if the president chooses as he has before to undermine or cloud the messages of scientific professionals. But we’re not there yet.

New vehicles are bringing fun and 3 pedals back to drivers

a car parked on a city street: The majority of MX-5 Miatas sold are manuals. © Mazda The majority of MX-5 Miatas sold are manuals.

Car enthusiasts had a lot to get excited about when Ford released images and details of its hotly anticipated 4X4 Bronco last month. For many, the best part of the serious off-roader, which was last on sale 24 years ago, was the SUV’s seven-speed manual transmission.

“Customers have been asking for a long time to bring back the Bronco and a lot of them will spec the manual,” Dave Pericak, director of Ford Icons, told ABC News. “A lot of people still love to control the gears especially when rock crawling. I am all for saving the manuals.”

Three pedal driving took a hit when automatic transmissions started to offer better gas mileage, faster acceleration and the advanced driver assistance technology motorists have become dependent on.

But that didn’t stop a small but growing number of gearheads to actively campaign for their return. The staff at Car and Driver magazine launched a “Save the Manuals” campaign in July 2010, urging drivers to join the crusade.

Eddie Alterman, the magazine’s former editor-in-chief who now serves as chief brand officer at Hearst Autos, pleaded to readers that summer: “If folks learned to operate the entire car, not just the steering wheel and occasionally the brakes, I’d bet they’d like driving better. If they knew the excitement that accompanied a perfectly timed heel-toe downshift, I can guarantee they’d be hooked.”

Today, manuals account for a tiny fraction of the automobile market — a paltry 1.2% this year, according to data from Edmunds. In 2006, 143 out of 305 models in the U.S. were manuals. By 2016 the total was 63. This year? 41 out of 327 vehicles.

a car parked on pavement near a forest: Ford's seven-speed manual transmission makes its debut on the new Bronco. © Ford Ford’s seven-speed manual transmission makes its debut on the new Bronco.

Chevrolet stunned enthusiasts when it opted for an automatic-only version of its 2020 Stingray Corvette. About 27% of sales of the previous generation Corvette were manuals.

MORE: Is the new Corvette as good as its European rivals?

In July, Genesis said it would discontinue its manual G70 starting with model year 2022. Honda announced last December it would no longer offer a manual transmission Accord. Supercars from Ferrari, Lamborghini and McLaren are only built with automatic transmissions.

Even as the number of manuals dwindle, a resurgence has taken hold among motorists who want a more engaging, fun and distraction-free driving experience.

MINI, the British automaker, pioneered its own movement in 2012 to boost popularity of manual transmission vehicles. There was the “Manualhood” spoof video and catchy slogans like “Buy Two Pedals, Get One Free,” “Get Your Shift Together” and “Exhilaration on a Stick.”

Patrick McKenna, MINI’s head of product planning, said 20% of current customers choose manuals over automatics.

“Manuals have come a long way — they’re much more user friendly,” he told ABC News. “We are super proud to offer a manual. There’s no discussion in the company to cease manual production at this time.”

a motorcycle parked on the side of a car: Seven MINI models will come with a standard manual transmission for 2021. © MINI Seven MINI models will come with a standard manual transmission for 2021.

Luxury carmaker Aston Martin answered customer calls to build a manual sports car with its Vantage AMR. All 200 units sold out and interest was so high that Aston will now offer a manual gearbox for the Vantage going forward.

“It was our aim to have manuals as part of the Aston Martin sports car range, which we are happy to have achieved,” Matt Bender, Aston’s chief engineer, told ABC News. “It’s important to build a car with a manual transmission because it offers an additional level of driver engagement.”

a close up of a car: All 200 units of the Aston Martin Vantage AMR have been sold. © Aston Martin All 200 units of the Aston Martin Vantage AMR have been sold.

Porsche’s 718 Boxster and 718 Cayman models come standard with a six-speed manual transmission. A seven-speed manual is available as a no-cost option on the 2021 911 Carrera S, 4S and Targa 4S, according to Frank Weissman, a product spokesperson at Porsche.

The German automaker sees a 20% take rate for its 2-door sports cars. That number jumps to 30% for Porsche’s high-performance GTS models, Weissman noted.

a wheel of a car: Porsche's 718 models are equipped with a 6-speed manual transmission. © Porsche Porsche’s 718 models are equipped with a 6-speed manual transmission.

BMW’s upcoming M3 car will be available with a manual transmission, adding to the current list of nine models. A decade ago BMW had 30 models with a manual transmission. By 2015 that number slipped to 14. Manuals, however, are still a core part of the brand, according to Oleg Satanovsky, a product spokesperson at BMW.

“Enthusiasts, especially BMW M customers, are vocal in their support of the continued availability of manual transmissions and back it up when it comes time to buy,” Satanovsky told ABC News. “Approximately half of BMW M2 customers choose manual transmissions.”

a car parked on the side of a road: BMW offers nine models with manual transmissions for 2020 including the M2 Competition. © BMW BMW offers nine models with manual transmissions for 2020 including the M2 Competition.

Honda’s Civic Type R, which debuted three years ago and is only available with a manual transmission, has the highest percentage of millennial buyers of any Honda vehicle, according to James Jenkins, a spokesperson for the Japanese marque.

Jenkins drives the sporty hatchback with two children’s car seats strapped in the back as his daily ride. The Type R, which is designed for the track and local roads, has helped boost Honda’s market share of manuals, which also includes the Civic Si. One in four manuals sold in the U.S. are Hondas, he said.

“The Civic brand is super strong for Honda, especially in a world of SUVs,” he told ABC News. “It’s bringing a young buyer to the company. Honda is committed to manuals.”

Jenkins pointed out that recent technology has removed the No. 1 fear for skilled and novice manual drivers alike: starting from first gear on a hill.

“Driving a manual has never been easier in its history, now with the help of hill hold assist,” he said. “When you pump the brake — even on San Francisco’s Lombard Street — and keep your foot on the clutch, you won’t roll backwards.”

a car parked on the side of a road: The Type R brings in the youngest buyer to the Honda brand © Honda The Type R brings in the youngest buyer to the Honda brand

Toyota received its fair share of criticism by fans and automotive journalists alike when it decided against a manual transmission Supra.

“There’s a lot of people who talk about [manuals] but don’t buy them,” Ben Haushalter, a senior manager of product planning at Toyota, told ABC News. “Manuals have been on the decline in the industry for the last 12 years.”

MORE: Supra, Defender, Bronco: Automakers tap into nostalgia to boost sales

Toyota does offer four models with a manual — the Corolla, Corolla Hatchback, Tacoma pickup and 86, a sports car that’s been around since 2012 and has an impressive take rate of 45% for the manual version.

Rory Carroll, editor-in-chief of Jalopnik, has taught 35 people and counting how to drive a stick shift, including his wife, his wife’s friends, coworkers and interns. Access to a manual transmission vehicle may be the biggest factor squelching sales, he argued.

“I know a lot of people who are in their 30s who want to learn but never had an opportunity,” he told ABC News. “The interest in manual transmissions and the driving experience is really strong.”

Carroll acknowledged that the learning curve for driving a manual can be steep.

“It takes time. There’s no immediate gratification,” he said. “I won’t say you won’t screw up and stall or have an embarrassing moment … but it’s more rewarding because it’s slightly more complex set of skills you’re mastering.”

MORE: NASCAR champion Joey Logano taught me how to drive stick

Older manual cars in particular are experiencing a revival from enthusiasts.

“Buyers want the cars that are rarer and more fun to drive — the ones with the manual,” Eric Minoff, a specialist in the motoring department at Bonhams, told ABC News. “This is especially true in Ferraris. In any model where an automatic (or clutchless manual) was an option, the manual transmission has become much more desirable.”

Doug Demuro, a car aficionado whose YouTube channel has 3.56 million subscribers, said manuals are increasingly becoming a hard sell with new drivers. Knowing how to drive a manual was useful when renting a car in Europe. That’s no longer the case, he noted.

“Yes, you can exploit the whole engine range [in a manual] and there’s certainly an enjoyment aspect that people miss out on,” he told ABC News. “I try to be a realist. This may be it for manuals. No young person will want a manual when they can have an automatic that’s relatively inexpensive.”

He went on, “I live in the land of traffic in Southern California and I don’t want to drive a manual car.”

a car parked on a city street: The majority of MX-5 Miatas sold are manuals. © Mazda The majority of MX-5 Miatas sold are manuals.

Of course, not being able to drive a manual begs the question: Can someone call themselves a true car enthusiast?

“I am not for being exclusionary,” Sharon Carty, the current editor-in-chief of Car and Driver, told ABC News. “The umbrella for who can be a car enthusiast can be very large.”

She said her magazine’s campaign failed to lure drivers to manuals though she encourages those who are eager to learn to still take on the challenge.

“The industry is looking for places to save money and mass production is cheaper,” she said. “It does not make financial sense to build manual transmissions.”

Manuals still have one important advantage over automatic transmissions: control and awareness of the road.

“You can’t eat a burger or text driving stick — it’s much safer and you’re far more engaged,” said Ivan Drury, senior manager of insights at Edmunds. “They will always exist but not everyone will know how to drive one.”

And the odds of having your manual vehicle stolen is slim to none, he added.

Carroll said he gets to test-drive some of the most exotic supercars in the world on racetracks. Yet driving a $23,000 manual Miata can offer the same kind of fun, he said.

“It’s something I’d recommend to anyone,” he said. “Manuals are an entirely different dimension of fun. There’s a satisfaction in mastering and working a clutch.”

Gallery: I’ve driven 7 different Porsches in the past year — and ranked them in order of how much I liked them (Business Insider)

Matthew DeBord standing in front of a car: I've driven seven Porsche models since last year: the Panamera GTS Sport Turismo, the Cayenne Turbo, Coupé, and GTS; the 911 4S and Turbo S; and the Spyder.The range of vehicles I've driven covers a lot of ground, including a wagon, SUVs, and of course, sports cars.Porsche is making tremendous cars these days, and its lineup is among the best in the businessBut I can still come up with a ranking! And the top Porsche is the remarkable 718 Spyder.Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.Porsche is simply crushing it these days. Its lineup of vehicles is basically second to none, ranging from classic sports cars, such as the 911 and Cayman/Boxster/Spyder, to SUVs like the legendary Cayenne and popular Macan, to executive four-door versions of the Panamera.I've been on a Porsche run since late last year, starting by driving the Cayenne Turbo and culminating with the 718 Spyder.Each of these machines has been stupendously impressive. Porsche engineers continue to improve already great vehicles — a difficult job they make look easy.Obviously, we have a roster drawn from different segments here — sedan, SUV, 2+2 sports cars, and a two-seat convertible — and it's not like many shoppers are choosing between a car for hauling the family and one to explore the coast. So, take my ranking with a grain of salt. But I did it anyway, and here's how these seven Porsches stacked up:Read the original article on Business Insider

Galaxy Watch 3 user manual leaks, confirms pretty much every detail

Just as the weekend is beginning, the official Galaxy Watch 3 user manual leaked in its entirety, courtesy of known industry insider Evan Blass. The document confirms pretty much every remaining detail about Samsung’s upcoming wearable lineup, including its overall model structure. More specifically, Samsung will be offering 41mm and 45mm models, with each of those being available in both a Bluetooth 5.0-only and LTE-ready configurations.As was previously reported, 5G is definitely a no-go this year, primarily due to how power-hungry initial applications of this technology are. Both case sizes will be available in Mystic Silver, whereas Mystic Black and Mystic Bronze will be exclusive to the 45mm and 41mm versions, respectively. Stainless steel is once again Samsung’s build material of choice, though a titanium variant is expected to arrive at some point.

An evolutionary upgrade to Samsung’s wearablesUltimately, this will be a largely iterative refresh of Samsung’s wearable portfolio; one prioritizing refinement over experimental tech. Tizen OS 5.5, 1GB of RAM, 8GB of storage space, and a rotating bezel accompanied by two customizable buttons will be the front and center of both models. The larger one will feature a 1.4-inch circular display and a 340mAh battery, whereas its smaller peer will offer a 1.2-inch screen fueled by a 247mAh cell. Both displays are of the Super AMOLED variety, protected by Corning’s Gorilla Glass DX.The Galaxy Watch 3 series should be as durable as Samsung’s previous wearables seeing how all of the new models have been certified in accordance with the MIL-STD-810G specification, thus boasting military-grade resistance to the elements and mechanical damage. 5ATM and IP68 certifications are making a return as well. Basically, all of the Galaxy Watch Active 2 features will be a part of the package, now with a physical bezel ring for navigation.Samsung is expected to officially announce the Galaxy Watch 3 family on Wednesday, August 5th, alongside the Galaxy Note 20 and Galaxy Tab S7 ranges. Expect the new smartwatches to hit the store shelves by the end of the month. As for their pricing details and specific configuration combos, the same source already leaked those last month.

Galaxy Watch 3 (45mm)

Barr Makes It Official—He’s Trump’s New “Fixer”

a man wearing a suit and tie: U.S. Attorney General William Barr listens as President Donald Trump addresses reporters in the Oval Office on July 15, 2020. © Anna Moneymaker-Pool/Getty Images U.S. Attorney General William Barr listens as President Donald Trump addresses reporters in the Oval Office on July 15, 2020.

Of President Donald Trump’s many career skills, perhaps the least appreciated is his lifelong and uncanny ability to sniff out lawyers who will serve his will.

In slightly more than 500 days in office, Barr has pivoted from establishment D.C. attorney—sworn to protect and defend the Constitution of the United States—into Trump’s family lawyer. The office of the attorney general is one of the oldest in our constitutional system, and the department is pledged “to ensure fair and impartial administration of justice for all Americans.” But Barr, instead, displays a tendency to use all the department’s levers—and with a $32 billion budget there are a lot of them—not to protect “all Americans” but to protect the president, personally and politically.

Is Election Day set by law? “I’ve never looked into it,” Barr demurred in his testimony this week. Is it appropriate for the president to solicit or accept foreign assistance in an election? Barr’s first answer: “It depends what kind of assistance.” These are the answers of a man who has turned the once-proud Department of Justice into the president’s personal law firm. That is contrary to every tradition of the Justice Department, but consistent with how Trump has operated for his entire professional life.

For decades, Trump found his family lawyers on the mean streets of New York and New Jersey, tapping the corrupt Roy Cohn and his successors, like Michael Cohen and Marc Kasowitz, to protect his interests. They quickly earned the title of “fixer” for a man whose personal and professional legal needs ultimately swelled to more than 4,000 lawsuits — bankruptcies, divorces, libel, unpaid debts, condo fees, wage disputes, and fraud, to name a few.

Above all, there was Cohn, who gave Trump his first taste of how an unscrupulous and savage lawyer could advance his cause. The two met in 1973 when Trump was looking for someone to help defend him and the family business from one of the nation’s highest profile charges of housing discrimination at the time. That case established a symbiotic MO between Trump and his lawyers—abuse of the law, and then covering it up—that continues to this day. Trump’s latter-day lawyers, Cohen and Kasowitz, both had their ethics problems: Cohen landed in prison for his role in covering up hush money payments in violation of campaign finance laws and for lying to Congress. Kasowitz faced allegations of violating legal ethics when he briefly represented Trump in D.C. but was best known for aggressive (some might say excessive) lawsuits against Trump’s adversaries.

Now Trump has Barr, who has become the president’s most prominent and prized fixer yet.

Barr’s testimony demonstrated a singular blend of real pugnacity and feigned world-weariness as he defended his 18 months in office. Barr has tried to muzzle Trump’s critics, protect his friends, hide information from Congress and investigate those who investigated the president. He has also—much like Cohn and Cohen—worked as a PR agent, spinning negative information in Trump’s favor, and even using federal agents to violently clear a path through protesters before a presidential photo op.

Above all, he has followed his boss’s lead in lying incessantly about every major scandal afflicting Trump, from Russia to Ukraine, and now about the current racial justice protests. Barr has is even begun lying preemptively about the coming election, claiming that the widespread use of mail-in ballots could lead to fraud. He continued also with a barrage of falsehoods large and small at this week’s House Judiciary Committee hearing, ranging from doubling down on his commitment to alternative facts about the Russia investigation to his insistence that no tear gas was used on protesters outside the White House, when the evidence is clear that it was.

It is tempting to think that everything will be set to rights when (or if) Barr leaves his post. But he is not a one-man show. He found and exploited structural and internal cultural weaknesses in the department that had been growing for years.

What that means is that the Department of Justice is going to have to come to a larger reckoning at some point, instituting or welcoming stronger safeguards against manipulation and misuse and shoring up ethical standards. It is going to have to find a way to stand up to all presidents who would intrude upon its independence, not just those named Trump. And as part of that, Congress also needs to figure out a way to conduct more effective oversight of the department.

Within the Justice Department, one important first step would be to rework the Office of Legal Counsel, a division that has systematically provided Barr with a cloak of legal respectability and has served as a legal rapid response team running personal errands for the Trump presidency. For example, it was OLC that wrote a much-derided snap memo to rationalize withholding the Ukraine whistleblower’s complaint from Congress; OLC and DOJ’s effort failed only because the House of Representatives successfully forced the document to light. OLC also has provided legal rationales for refusing to provide a House committee the president’s tax returns despite a clear statute saying they must be turned over. It has backed novel and extreme interpretations of executive privilege and absolute immunity for the president’s closest advisers, and it has done much more that is deeply destructive.

For decades, OLC opinions carried a presumption that they were based on scrupulous and thorough consideration of the law, even if some felt the office tended to go too far to serve the president’s will. But its reputation is now badly frayed. Step one in building back its repute would be greater discipline in how and when it issues opinions—and in when it refuses to issue opinions. For example, snap analyses should be strongly disfavored. In addition, OLC should also be more open about releasing its opinions to the public. Today, OLC selectively decides when to release opinions, and often withholds some that are crucial for understanding exactly what the government is up to. Taking these steps is something a new Attorney General could do immediately in order to help restore OLC to its former luster.

In addition to tackling the decay at OLC, the department’s watchdogs and ethical advisers need to be further empowered. One proposal backed by several Republican senators, for example, would allow the department’s respected and well-funded inspector general to look into allegations of professional misconduct of the sort Barr has been accused of. Currently such allegations are reviewed by another office within the department that is supervised by the attorney general—virtually ensuring that his behavior will escape scrutiny. Inspectors general, on the other hand, are singularly independent and tough; they certainly have not hesitated to investigate the heads of other Cabinet agencies in the current and previous administration, and given the number of prominent Republicans already backing this idea, passing a law strengthening ethics investigations seems doable.

Meanwhile, the department’s ethics program can be swathed in mystery and exude a whiff of ad hoc decision-making. While there are manuals and regulations aplenty, there is very little clarity or openness about how Department of Justice attorneys are held to account. To this day, for instance, no one has seen a full explanation of why former Attorney General Jeff Sessions recused himself from the Russian interference investigation and why Barr, who was involved in some matters that were part of the probe, did not. Transparency about that could help rebuild public confidence and all it would require is an attorney general committed to transparency about ethics enforcement.

Finally, Congress needs to reboot its powers to conduct meaningful oversight. If it was not already obvious, the system for appointing and confirming an attorney general and the top personnel to the Department of Justice has broken down. Nominees have memorized the necessary formula: the promise, when asked, that they will resist illegal and unconstitutional requests. They swear they will say no to an overweening president or resign if need be. Then they get confirmed, and all bets are off.

Ongoing and systematic oversight by Congress is the only way to fix this problem. Earlier this year, the House Judiciary Committee used special counsel in addition to members to lead off questioning of some high-profile witnesses during its impeachment inquiry. The system allowed for focused and complex lines of inquiry, with the opening round of extended counsel questioning nicely setting up more focused five-minute rounds of questioning by members. But that exception required a special resolution of the full House. Why not change the standing rules of the House to allow that option more broadly? That would allow deeper oversight from Congress.

In the case of Barr, Trump’s instinct for finding fixers has served his agenda well. But it has devastated the once-proud Department of Justice. Restoring the department’s reputation will take sustained work long after Barr departs and Trump is once more cruising the back streets of the Tri-State area for representation.

Video: Attorney General Bill Barr to testify before House Judiciary Committee today (MSNBC)

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Trump says to ‘read the manuals’ when asked who told him that you can ‘test too much’ for COVID-19

a man wearing a suit and tie: Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post via Getty Images © Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post via Getty Images Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post via Getty Images

  • President Donald Trump said in a new interview that there’s such a thing as too much testing for coronavirus.
  • When asked where he got his information from, Trump told Axios reporter Jonathan Swan to “read the manuals” and “read the books.”
  • The president frequently alternates between praising himself for the US’s expanding testing capability and claiming that testing is “overrated” and makes the country “look bad.”
  • He’s also falsely said that the US has the world’s worst coronavirus outbreak because it does more testing than any other country.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

President Donald Trump said in a new interview that there’s such a thing as too much testing for coronavirus. When asked where he got his information from, the president said to “read the manuals” and “read the books.”

“You know there are those that say you can test too much,” Trump told Axios reporter Jonathan Swan in an interview set to air on Monday evening. “You do know that?”

“Who says that?” Swan asked.

“Oh, just read the manuals,” the president replied. “Read the books.”

“Manuals?” Swan pressed. “What manuals.”

“Read the books, read the books,” Trump repeated.

Watch a preview of the exchange below:

The president has repeatedly alternated between praising himself for the US expanding testing for coronavirus and claiming that testing is “overrated” and makes the country “look bad.

He’s also falsely claimed that the US has the worst outbreak in the world because it does more testing and contact tracing than any other country.

“Somebody please tell Congressman Clyburn, who doesn’t have a clue, that the chart he put up indicating more CASES for the U.S. than Europe, is because we do MUCH MORE testing than any other country in the World,” Trump tweeted on Friday morning, during a House subcommittee hearing on the spread of COVID-19.

Trump’s tweet came after South Carolina Rep. Jim Clyburn, who chairs the subcommittee, displayed a chart showing the spike in new cases in the US versus new cases in Europe.

The president repeated that claim during a roundtable event for seniors last month, saying, “If we stop testing right now, we’d have very few cases.”

And in May, he said during a meeting with Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds that “if we did very little testing, we wouldn’t have the most cases. So, in a way, by doing all of this testing, we make ourselves look bad.”

Public-health officials and scientific experts have pointed out that while the US has rapidly expanded its testing and contact-tracing ability, that alone doesn’t account for the increase in new cases.

“That states are finding more cases relative to the amount of tests they are conducting provides the strongest rebuttal to the administration’s assertion that case numbers are rising because we’re getting better at finding cases through increased testing,” Jennifer Nuzzo, an epidemiologist at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, wrote in The Washington Post last month.

“They tell us the opposite — that each of these states needs to do even more testing to find infections — followed by more rigorous contact tracing and isolation,” Nuzzo added.

As of Friday afternoon, nearly 4.5 million people in the US had been infected with COVID-19 and over 152,000 had died as a result.

Video: Biden questions whether coronavirus vaccine will be ‘real,’ despite experts’ assurances (FOX News)

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‘Read the books!’ Trump tells baffled reporter of ‘manuals’ that advise against testing ‘too much’ for COVID-19

President Donald Trump left a reporter baffled recently when he told him about unspecified medical “manuals” that advise against excessive testing for the novel coronavirus.

In a set of brief preview clips of an upcoming interview set to air on HBO Sunday, Trump can be seen telling Axios reporter Jonathan Swan about the perils of mass testing for the disease.

“You know, there are those that say you can test too much, you do know that,” the president told Swan, who had a look of bewilderment on his face.

“Who says that?” Swan asks.

“Well, just read the manuals,” the president replies.