| |1. Microsoft Confirms Xbox Games With Gold For March 2018Вт., 20 февр.[−]
Microsoft has confirmed the new Games with Gold lineup for the month of March 2018. The company reveals the lineup for the following month about a week before the fact so that Xbox Live Gold members know ahead of time if they want to make space on their consoles for any of the free titles. It’s going to offer two games each for Xbox One and Xbox 360.
Xbox Live Gold subscribers on Xbox One get Trials of the Blood Dragon for free from March 1 to March 30. It will have players powering their way through 30 missions across seven different worlds for an action-packed gaming experience.
Superhot will be available for free starting March 16th through April 15th on the Xbox One. The FPS is unique in that the time stands still in the game if the player does, so they can’t run away from the action. They have to plan their moves and dodge bullets to win the battle.
|↑|2. Burnout Paradise Remastered For PS4 And Xbox One AnnouncedВт., 20 февр.[−]
Electronic Arts’ studio Criterion Games has announced today that it’s going to launch Burnout Paradise Remastered for the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One next month. The title will invite players to “wreak havoc and unleash automotive anarchy once more,” many of us certainly have fond memories of the title from years gone by so it will surely be entertaining to take it for a spin yet again, with some improvements this time around.
Burnout Paradise is an open-world arcade racer that provides players with the trill of racing with their friends in a manner that’s both immersive and seamless. The remastered version promises the same level of speed and destruction with spectacular crashes and amazing stunts.
Burnout Paradise Remastered includes the original title and the eight add-on game packs that were released during the Year of Paradise. This also includes the extension to the drivable world with Big Surf Island.
Some technical improvements have also been made for an enhanced visual experience. This includes high-resolution textures for players to explore Paradise City in 4K at 60fps on the Playstation 4 Pro and Xbox One X.
|↑|3. Fox News To Launch Its Own Streaming Service Called Fox NationВт., 20 февр.[−]
With over-the-top streaming services gaining traction, it’s no longer surprising to see more networks jump on this bandwagon. The Fox News Channel has officially announced that it’s also going to launch an over-the-top online streaming service called Fox Nation. The service will provide access to live exclusive daily programming in addition to long-form content that will be available only to subscribers.
Fox Nation subscribers will also receive access to more than 20 years of Fox News Channel programming as well as access to exclusive events. The service has only been announced so far, it’s not going to be launched before Q4 this year, which means there’s still a considerable amount of waiting involved before Fox News actually launches Fox Nation.
To be clear, the streaming service’s content isn’t going to overlap with content aired on the broadcast channel. It will instead provide access to new content that’s produced daily by commentators and anchors.
John Finley, Senior Vice President of Development and Production at Fox News, says that Fox Nation is meant for the Fox News “super fan,” viewers who represent the most loyal audience in cable. This initiative will help Fox News capitalize on that viewer by providing them with highly specialized content that they can consume on any platform at any time from anywhere.
|↑|4. Nokia Sees No Place At Home For ‘Struggling’ Digital Health BusinessВт., 20 февр.[−]
Nokia recently announced that it has put its digital health business under strategic review. That means Nokia is considering its options which may or may not include the division being shut down or being sold to another company. A leaked memo from the company reveals that Nokia doesn’t see a place at home for its “struggling” digital health business.
Nokia’s chief strategy officer Kathrin Buvac told employees in a memo that Nokia’s digital health business has “struggled to scale and meet its growth expectations.”
Nokia’s digital health business comprised of the French startup Withings that the company acquired for $190 million in 2016. It rebranded some of Withings products and launched them as Nokia products later but they don’t seem to have done as well as the company might have hoped.
Buvac adds that instead of falling in love with its technology, the company has to be honest with itself. “Currently, we don’t see a path for [the digital health business] to become a meaningful part of a company as large as Nokia,” writes Buvac.
|↑|5. Samsung Pay Rewards Points Cut In HalfВт., 20 февр.[−]
Samsung wanted people who tried out its mobile payments service to continue using Samsung Pay which is why the company launched a rewards program in 2016. It has since expanded the rewards program and a change that the company has made recently is going to irk those who seriously use it to rack up points. The company has cut Samsung Pay rewards points in half, meaning that users now earn half as many points for the same qualifying transactions as they did before.
Samsung Pay rewards points are offered through a tiered system. Users get points for each transaction depending on how many times they use the service in a month. The member, silver, gold, and platinum tiers used to offer 10, 20, 30, and 40 points respectively.
Samsung now offers 5, 10, 15, and 20 points respectively for every tier. That’s half as much as before even though users will keep using the service just as much. The gained points can then be used for gift cards, entries in giveaways, and Samsung products.
|↑|6. New Google Pay App For Android ReleasedВт., 20 февр.[−]
It was reported not too long ago that Google is going to unify both Android Pay and Google Wallet under a single brand and that’s precisely what it has done today. The company today announced the launch of Google Pay which brings all of the features that Android Pay and Google Wallet users have become accustomed to. The company has now started rolling out the new Google Pay app for Android.
The company also says that it’s working to bring Google Pay to all of its products, so regardless of whether customers are shopping on Chrome or Assistant, they will have a consistent checkout experience with the cards they’ve saved to their Google Account. Google is also working with online and in-store partners to bring Google Pay checkout to websites, in apps, and at brick-and-mortar locations across the globe.
The new Home tab in the Google Pay app will give users all of the information that they need, such as recent purchases, nearby stores, easy access to rewards, tips, and more. The Cards tab makes it easier to keep everything organized during checkout. Its where all credit and debit cards, loyalty programs, gift cards, and offers are displayed.
Android Pay fans can rest assured as they will get all of their bank’s perks and protections with an additional layer of security because Google Pay doesn’t share the actual card number when paying in stores. More features will be added to Google Pay in the coming months, such as the ability to send and request money, this feature will go live for customers in the United States and the United Kingdom in the next few months.
|↑|7. ‘Mr. Steven’ Net Boat To Catch SpaceX’s Next Rocket FairingВт., 20 февр.[−]
SpaceX’s aim is to reduce the cost of going into space and reusing components plays a major role in making that happen. The company has successfully demonstrated multiple times that it can land rocket boosters and even send them up to space for the second time. It has landed these boosters on both land and at sea. It now wants to reuse the rocket fairing which it’s going to capture with a net boat called “Mr. Steven.”
For those who are unaware, a rocket fairing is the shell you see at the top of the rocket which protects the cargo that’s being launched. It serves a simple purpose but it’s not exactly cheap. A single fairing costs $6 million so reusing it multiple times will significantly reduce the cost of each launch for the company and subsequently for its clients.
SpaceX has previously recovered a nose cone last year during a launch but it will now attempt to capture the fairing using the net boat called Mr. Steven. It’s basically a platform ship that can be navigated with a net in between its extended “arms.”
|↑|8. CEO: Uber’s Flying Taxis Could Be Launched In 5-10 YearsВт., 20 февр.[−]
Uber has been working on a “flying taxi” project which will see electric-powered vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) aircraft servicing passengers in busy cities. The company is hopeful that it will get the service up and running over the next decade. Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi has said today that he sees the flying taxi service from Uber being commercialized in the next 5-10 years.
Speaking at an investor forum in Tokyo, Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi said that flying vehicles will eventually become a method of mass transportation. He expects the company to launch a commercial service powered by a fleet of small electric VTOL aircraft within 10 years.
Uber first floated the idea of a flying taxi service back in 2016. It even published a 99 page white paper on the project called “Uber Elevate” and detailed its vision for on-demand air transportation in urban markets.
|↑|9. Galaxy S9 To Include Bixby Vision AR Live Translation FeatureВт., 20 февр.[−]
There have been quite a few reports so far about the many new software features that the Galaxy S9 and the Galaxy S9+ will offer. Samsung hasn’t confirmed any of those reports as yet but has hinted to some of the reported features in its official teasers for the Galaxy S9. According to a new report, Bixby Vision is going to up its translation game by offering AR live translation in real-time to users on the new flagship.
The report comes from a retail employee who claims to have played with the Galaxy S9 and the Galaxy S9+ for almost two hours during a training session. A Samsung trainer walked them through many of the new features of the handset so that they’re ready to sell the flagship to customers when it’s made available for pre-order.
The employee in question took to Reddit and reiterated many details about the Galaxy S9 that we’ve already heard, such as the identical screen and battery sizes to the Galaxy S8 as well as the 3D emoji feature.
Bixby has always been capable of recognizing text and translating it by it doesn’t do it in real-time right now. You first have to take a picture before it recognizes the text and translates it.
Bixby Vision on the Galaxy S9 will offer text translation in real-time, according to the retail employee, which means that users will just have to point it at the foreign text and Bixby Vision will translate it in real-time. The translated text will be laid on top of the original using augmented reality.
|↑|10. Android P May Not Let Idle Apps Access Your Phone’s CameraВт., 20 февр.[−]
The next major Android platform update is currently referred to as “Android P” since the dessert name hasn’t been revealed as yet, Google hasn’t even detailed Android P officially but that could happen in the not too distant future. However, given the open source nature of Android, some hints about the features this version of Android will offer have surfaced. The latest suggests that Android P will improve security by not allowing idle apps to access your device’s camera.
An Android Open Source Project commit has been spotted with the new rule-sets in Android P preventing apps idling in the background from accessing the camera. This will prevent malicious apps running in the background from making use of the camera to capture victims in a compromising position by accessing the camera without their knowledge.
This will be enforced by tracking the apps’ User IDs. It’s an identifier that’s assigned by Android to each app when it’s installed and the UID remains the same as long as the app is installed on the device.
If the camera service in Android P detects that a UID is “idle,” meaning that the device is in Doze state, it will generate an error and prevent access to the camera. If the inactive UID makes subsequent camera requests an error will be immediately generated thus not allowing it to tap into the camera.
|↑|11. Asus Windows Mixed Reality Headset Launched For $429Вт., 20 февр.[−]
Microsoft announced the partners that are building Windows Mixed Reality headsets last year and Asus was one of them. The company unveiled its Windows Mixed Reality headset at the IFA 2017 convention in Berlin and it has now confirmed how much the headset costs and when it will be available for purchase in the United States.
Asus has set its new Windows Mixed Reality headset apart from the rest with a unique design that’s made up of hundreds of 3D polygons with a glossy tone-on-tone effect. The headset itself weighs 400g with premium antibacterial cushioned materials.
The specifications aren’t that different from some of the other Windows Mixed Reality headsets that have been launched so far. It has a 105 degree field of view, 1440×1440 resolution per eye, a headphone jack and integrated sensors which means it doesn’t need external sensors to function.
The headset’s flippable hinge makes it easier for users to switch between the virtual and real world in seconds. They can easily lift the visor to quickly see what’s happening in the real world before getting immersed into the virtual experience once again.
|↑|12. South Korea May Not Ban Cryptocurrency Trading At AllВт., 20 февр.[−]
The price of bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies has fallen down significantly over the past few weeks due to several factors, one of them being rumors about South Korea placing a blanket ban on cryptocurrency trading. That, coupled with news of increasing regulation and government oversight, hammed cryptocurrency prices. However, they’ve staged a brief rally today amid reports that South Korea might not ban cryptocurrency trading at all.
Bloomberg reports that South Korean regulators have signaled that they will actively back “normal” cryptocurrency trading. This is a slight change from previous statements which suggested that they were considering a complete ban on all cryptocurrency exchanges in the country.
South Korea’s Financial Supervisory Service governor Choe Heungsik has said that he would like to see normalized trading of digital assets and that the FSS is taking steps to make that a reality. The efforts to normalize cryptocurrency trading will include making it mandatory for people to create a real-name account and for exchanges to follow strict anti-money laundering guidelines.
The news has been well received by the cryptocurrency community with bitcoin surging almost 4 percent in value earlier today. It’s well on its way to post a one-month high after what has been a dramatic fall to under $10,000 after touching a peak of $20,000 last year.
|↑|13. Spotify Smart Speaker Mentioned In New Job ListingsВт., 20 февр.[−]
Spotify is the world’s most popular music streaming service and one that most users want their smart speakers to support. Therefore, it would make sense for the company to offer its own smart speaker. While there have been rumors in the past that the c ompany could offer its own hardware, new job listings posted by the company suggest that a Spotify smart speaker could very well be a possibility.
Spotify is seeking candidates for the positions of Project Manager, Senior Project Manager, and Operations Manager. One of the job descriptions mentions that Spotify is “on its way to creating its first physical products” and that it’s in the process of putting together its operational organization for “manufacturing, supply chain, sales, and marketing.”
There isn’t a lot of information available right now about the first Spotify hardware product but previous reports suggest that the company wants to create a product that defines a category, like the Pebble Watch did for smartwatches and the Amazon Echo did for smart speakers. The product may even have voice control which means that it could have some kind of digital assistant built-in.
|↑|14. Samsung Mass Producing World’s Largest SSD With 30TB StorageВт., 20 февр.[−]
Samsung is a world leader in advanced memory technology and the company has shown off its capabilities today in a big way by announcing the world’s largest SSD that offers a staggering 30TB of storage. The company today announced that it has started mass producing the Serial Attached SCSI solid state drive called PM1643 and that it offers the industry’s largest storage capacity at 30.72TB.
Samsung was able to achieve this level of storage capacity by using its latest V-NAND technology with 64 layer 3-bit 512GB chips. The new SSD thus delivers twice the capacity and performance of this previous high-capcity lineup with 15.36TB storage that Samsung launched in March 2016. The new SSD will be used in next-generation enterprise storage systems so don’t expect to find it in your next desktop or notebook just yet.
The super-dense 1TB packages in the PM1643 SSD allow for nearly 5,700 5GB full HD movie files to be stored in a storage device that comes in at a mere 2.5 inches. Aside from the doubled storage capacity, the performance is now nearly twice that of the previous high-capacity SAS SSD. It promises random read and write speeds of up to 400,000 IOPS and 50,000 IOPS with sequential read and write speeds of up to 2,100MB/s and 1,700MB/s respectively.
|↑|15. Alleged Xiaomi Gaming Smartphone Benchmarked With Snapdragon 845Вт., 20 февр.[−]
A recent rumor claimed that Xiaomi could be working on a gaming smartphone and now the alleged device has been benchmarked with Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 845 processor. This isn’t surprising given that one would expect a high-end gaming-focused device to be powered by Qualcomm’s latest smartphone processor in 2018. “Blackshark” is the rumored codename of this device and it has been spotted on AnTuTu.
The device, codenamed Blackshark, has been spotted on the AnTuTu benchmarks running Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 845 processor with Android 8.0 Oreo. The specs also list a whopping 8GB of RAM and 32GB of onboard storage. It may even have a 2160×1080 pixel resolution display.
No further information about this device is available at this point in time. It’s unclear what gaming-focused features it’s going to offer because going by the specs in this listing, it doesn’t appear to be all that different from a high-end smartphone for 2018, with the 8GB RAM being the only exception.
|↑|16. Amazon Rewards Prime Members Who Shop At Whole FoodsВт., 20 февр.[−]
Following Amazon’s acquisition of Whole Foods, it is clear that Amazon wants to integrate Whole Foods into their shopping experience and are probably also looking for more ways to encourage Amazon customers to shop at the grocery stores as well. Now it looks like they might have come up with a way.
Amazon has announced that its Rewards Visa cardmembers will be receiving rewards for shopping at Whole Foods. These rewards will be the same as if they were to shop on Amazon, which means that eligible Prime members will receive a flat 5% bonus on all purchases made at Whole Foods.
Note that the 5% bonus is only for Prime members, and for everyone else it will be at 3%, so clearly this is Amazon trying to encourage customers to sign up for Prime membership, and for Prime customers to start shopping more at Whole Foods. If anything this does make it a compelling reason to sign up for Prime, because in addition to these perks, a Prime subscription will also give users access to a bunch of different services, free shipping, and more.
|↑|17. Sicario 2’s Director Could Direct Activision’s ‘Call Of Duty’ MovieВт., 20 февр.[−]
Despite the majority of video game movie adaptations flopping spectacularly in movies, it is understandable that it is still tempting to draw from video game source material. Activision’s Call of Duty franchise is one of those games that is rumored to be adapted into a movie, and a report from Variety has revealed a potential director.
According to their sources, it seems that Sicario 2: Soldado’s director Stefano Sollima has been tapped to direct the adaptation of the video game. Activision has since declined to comment on the rumors, but if true it seems that Activision Blizzard Studios’ presidents Stacey Sher and Nick van Dyk will be producing the movie, alongside the company’s CEO Bobby Kotick. It has also been reported that Kieran Fitzgerald has written the script and will develop it with Sollima.
At this point in time it’s anyone’s guess as to what the movie could be about, but some potential stars have been named. In a report from Metro who spoke to Sollima, it seems that the director really likes actors Tom Hardy and Chris Pine (who coincidentally have starred together in the film “This Means War”).
Speaking of Hardy, Sollima was quoted as saying, “I mean, I like almost everything [he’s been in]. I’m waiting for his Venom. Even in Mad Max, he was great.” He also had good things to say about Pine, “He’s tough, but he’s smart and he can have a sense of humour but he can [also] be in such a dramatic role. I like when you feel that an actor can play with different nuances and tone because this means they’re a good actor.”
|↑|18. Stardew Valley Multiplayer Beta Expected For Spring 2018Вт., 20 февр.[−]
Last year developer ConcernedApe announced that its indie darling Stardew Valley would be getting a multiplayer feature, with a beta expected to launch by the end of 2017. The beta was then delayed to 2018 but there was no mention of when it will be taking place, save for a rough time frame of Q1.
However the good news is that we are narrowing down those dates because in an update on the Stardew Valley blog, Eric Barone a.k.a. ConcernedApe has confirmed that the multiplayer beta is scheduled to be released in the spring of 2018. According to Barone, he claims that work on the new features is done and that the text has been sent off to be translated.
He also claims that once they have received the translated text and integrated it into the game and it has gone through QA, the public beta should begin, which he claims that they are shooting for spring 2018. However as is the case with game development, delays are normal and to be expected since sometimes developers feel like it isn’t quite polished yet, but hopefully there won’t be delays in this case.
|↑|19. Retailer Lists Crash Bandicoot N Sane Trilogy For Nintendo SwitchВт., 20 февр.[−]
After what felt like months of teasing, it was officially announced that Crash Bandicoot would be making a return in the form of the Crash Bandicoot N Sane Trilogy. However it seemed that the release would be exclusive to Sony’s PS4, but later it was suggested that it might only be a timed exclusive.
Now thanks to a recent sighting on Spanish retailer XtraLife’s website, it appears that the game could be arriving onto the Nintendo Switch in the near future. This is actually not the first time that the game has been listed for the Switch, but the new listing certainly does lend some credence to the rumors and fuels speculation that the game could indeed arrive for the Switch at some point in time.
While some have pointed out that XtraLife might not be the most reliable of sources as they have mistakenly listed games before, there was a report from earlier this month that revealed that Activision has a five-year plan for the Crash Bandicoot franchise, and that part of the plan is to bring the game onto the Switch and PC, with a brand new Crash Bandicoot title planned for 2019.
|↑|20. Nintendo Updates Its Requirements For Its Nintendo Creators ProgramВт., 20 февр.[−]
You would think that most companies and developers would be thrilled when their fans and gamers create videos about their games. After all this is free marketing, especially if they love it which in turn makes it great PR, but Nintendo’s approach is slightly different as they require gamers to be part of the Nintendo Creators Program.
For those unfamiliar, this means that you need to be officially approved and be part of the program before you’re allowed to upload videos of Nintendo’s games on platforms like YouTube, and now it appears that Nintendo is making an update to the requirements to be part of the Nintendo Creators Program.
This is based on an email that the company has been sending out in which they basically state that participants need to meet YouTube’s own requirements first, in which failing to do so they can’t be part of the program. This is in response to some changes YouTube has made in which they are making it harder for creators to monetize their videos.
|↑|21. Alleged HTC Desire 12 Retail Box Confirms Some Of Its SpecsВт., 20 февр.[−]
We have been hearing the rumors that HTC could be a mid-level handset in the works known as the HTC Desire 12, and its alleged specs have leaked a couple of times. Now thanks to an image of a retail box obtained by the folks at Android Authority, it looks like some of those details might have been confirmed.
As you can see in the image above, it “confirms” that the phone will be powered by a 64-bit quad-core MediaTek chipset and will be accompanied by 3GB of RAM and a 5.5-inch 1440×720 display. It will also feature a 12MP rear-facing camera with phase detection autofocus, a 5MP front-facing camera, support for dual SIM, a 2,730mAh battery, and support for microSD up to 2TB in storage.
Unfortunately it does not show the design of the phone, nor does it mention which version of Android it will come with, but given how long Android 8.0 Oreo has been out, we can only hope that HTC will give us that. As for pricing, it’s really anyone’s guess but HTC’s Desire lineup has typically been somewhat affordable, so we doubt that it will be too crazily priced.
|↑|22. Samsung Could Bring Its Infinity Edge Display To Mid-Range PhonesВт., 20 февр.[−]
Seeing manufacturers keep the best specs and designs for its flagship phones isn’t uncommon, although sometimes this results in the company’s more budget-conscious shoppers feeling a bit left out. The good news is that Samsung might bring some high-end features to its mid-range lineup, namely the infinity edge display.
This is according to a report from The Investor in which they claim that they will be bringing its full-screen display design to some of its mid-range phones. The report does not mention which mid-range phones will be getting the full-screen treatment, so we guess we’ll just have to keep an eye out for it in the future.
This is obviously good news for those who tend to gravitate towards mid-range offerings, but there could be a reason behind this. The report claims that this is part of Samsung’s efforts to “further improve profitability”, but you might recall a recent report which suggested that Apple halving iPhone X production has left Samsung with a ton of unused OLEDs.
|↑|23. Samsung Trade-In Deal For Galaxy S9, S9+ Rumored To Be Worth $350Вт., 20 февр.[−]
If the rumors of the Samsung Galaxy S9 and S9+’s prices are true, it seems that Samsung’s upcoming flagship smartphones will be pricier than ever. However the good news is that it looks like Samsung might have a way to make things cheaper through a trade-in program that could knock as much as $350 off the price of the phones.
This is according to a post on Reddit by user Wan997 who conducted an AMA about the Galaxy S9 and S9+. Wan997 claims to work in retail and was recently given a training session with both phones and has fielded some questions with regards to things like pricing and where he/she also revealed that Samsung will be pushing a trade-in program.
Details about the program are unclear as this point in time, meaning that we don’t know if all customers are eligible to get the $350 trade-in value, or if it will only be applicable to certain handsets, like more recent phones versus phones from 2-3 years ago. It is also unclear if it will be limited to Samsung devices or if all handsets are applicable.
|↑|24. Nintendo Switch Hacked To Run LinuxВт., 20 февр.[−]
We’re sure that hackers and modders are pretty curious about how hackable the Nintendo Switch is. There are many reasons for this, such as piracy, or the ability to run mods on the system, or just for fun. Recently it looks like hackers were successful because in a tweet by fail0verflow\, they posted a photo of the Switch appearing to run on Linux.
They later followed up with another tweet which showed the Switch running on Linux with a GUI on top of it, and it appears that the interface can be interacted with using the Switch’s touchscreen display. Ultimately what this has resulted in is a Linux-based tablet. The group has not disclosed how they went about the hack, despite many asking for instructions or some information. The group even claims that their Switch coldboot exploit cannot be patched.
It is unclear what the group plans to do with their hack, and whether or not it was done just to prove a point or if there are bigger plans. That being said, admittedly there haven’t been that many successful attempts we’ve seen so far, which means that in terms of piracy Nintendo doesn’t really have to worry too much for now.
|↑|25. Android Users Can Restore Snapchat’s Old Design If They WishВт., 20 февр.[−]
When Snap announced that Snapchat would be undergoing a design update, it sounded like a good thing. Unfortunately reality proved otherwise as more than 1 million users have since petitioned the company to revert back to the original design. The bad news is that according to Snap’s CEO, that won’t be happening anytime soon.
The good news is that it looks like there could be a way, according to the folks at 9to5Google who have laid out all the steps you’ll need to get back the old Snapchat on your Android device. Firstly it will require users to delete the latest version of Snapchat off their Android phones. Secondly users will need to disable auto-updates to prevent the old version of Snapchat to automatically update to the new version, in which case you’ll have to start from scratch again.
Once that’s done, you’ll have to download the old version of Snapchat which is available as an APK via APKMirror. This is obviously not an official install and as usual there will be some risks involved with sideloading and unofficial installs, so proceed at your own risk. However if you’re not too fussed about sideloading, then once you’ve sideloaded the old Snapchat you should be able to use the old design again.
|↑|26. Swype For Android Has Been Officially DiscontinuedВт., 20 февр.[−]
When Android was still in the relatively early stages of adoption, one of the apps that helped Android stand out against the iPhone was a keyboard app called Swype. For those who don’t remember or did not know about it, Swype was a keyboard app for Android that lets users compose messages by swiping from letter to letter, as opposed to tapping them one by one.
However over time as more keyboard apps introduced similar features, Swype slowly faded into the background and it looks like it has since been officially discontinued. This is according to a post on Reddit in which Redditor dancedar emailed Nuance regarding support for the app, in which they received a replying stating that the app has been discontinued.
The statement from Nuance reads, “Nuance will no longer be updating the Swype+Dragon keyboard for Android. We’re sorry to leave the direct-to-consumer keyboard business, but this change is necessary to allow us to concentrate on developing our AI solutions for sale directly to businesses.”
|↑|27. Sony Could Be Looking To Launch AI Taxi Hailing SystemВт., 20 февр.[−]
When you think of ride-hailing systems, we’re pretty sure that Sony doesn’t come to mind, but apparently that’s a perception the company wants to change. In a report from Nikkei (paywall; via Engadget), it seems that Sony could be looking to launch an AI taxi hailing system in Japan while teaming up with a bunch of different taxi companies.
So what is an AI taxi hailing system? Basically instead of taxis being dispatched manually via a main center, this AI hailing system will use algorithms to determine where to send taxis most efficiently. This will take into consideration factors like the traffic, the weather, events, and so on. For example towards the end of a particular event, the system could dispatch taxis to the venue so that there will enough taxis for those who are looking to go home.
It is unclear as to why Sony suddenly wants to get into the taxi/transportation business, but it could be an interesting approach. Plus it has also been suggested that this model could potentially be applied to self-driving taxis in the future, where based on the algorithm they will know where are the “best” places to go based on demand.
|↑|28. Industrial Designers Claim HomePod’s ‘White Ring’ Should Be An Easy FixВт., 20 февр.[−]
One of the problems that some noticed with regards to Apple’s HomePod is the fact that placing it on a wooden surface could result in a white ring staining their furniture. Apple claims that this is due to the oils from the silicone interacting with the wood and have since advised customers to avoid placing the HomePod on such surfaces.
However could Apple fix the issue in future releases? We suppose it’s possible, and according to industrial designers, it shouldn’t be too hard either. Speaking to Business Insider, several industrial designers offered their thoughts and opinions on the issue, claiming that it shouldn’t be too big of a problem to fix and that Apple will most likely correct it in their next round of manufacturing.
According to Cesar Viramontes, a Senior Industrial Designer at Y Studios, “It’s an issue, but I think it’s probably going to be one that’ll be corrected in the next round of manufacturing. I think it will be a minor issue, and people will probably forget about it in the next couple of months when it goes away.”
|↑|29. Leaked Xiaomi Mi Mix 2S Video Shows iPhone X-Like GesturesВт., 20 февр.[−]
When Apple introduced the iPhone X and took away the physical home button, it meant that iPhone users would have to learn how to use their phones again, where certain functions involving the home button would have to be relearnt through new swipes and gestures, which some reviews claim actually makes the phone feel more intuitive.
Now it looks like Xiaomi could be doing the same thing for their upcoming Mi Mix 2S. In a video leaked online and published onto YouTube by OnPhones, it shows the alleged Mi Mix 2S in action in a brief hands-on video. The video seemingly confirms the design rumors of the upcoming phone, and also shows off various gestures that users can use to interact with the phone.
For iPhone X users, some of these gestures might actually seem a bit familiar. We wouldn’t exactly say that Xiaomi “copied” Apple, since removing the home button also means that Xiaomi would need to find a new way for users to interact with the device, and for now these gestures seem like they would make the most sense.
|↑|30. MyLiFi Uses An LED Lamp To Beam Internet To Your ComputerВт., 20 февр.[−]
At the moment there are pretty much only two ways that internet can be delivered to your computer. One is through WiFi, and the other is through a cabled connection direct to your computer. There are pros and cons of either connectivity method, but the folks at Oledcomm are suggesting another way – through the use of light.
The company has developed a table lamp called MyLiFi which transmits internet through light beams. Oledcomm unveiled the technology at CES 2018 earlier this year and have recently launched their project on Kickstarter where they’re hoping to raise enough money to make MyLiFi a reality.
The idea of using light does seem a bit novel, but on paper it does sound like a pretty good idea. It has also been suggested that it is more secure than traditional WiFi, simply because unless the hacker has direct line of sight to the light bulb, they won’t be able to hack onto your network. It also means that it does away with the limitations of WiFi, namely range, where as long as there is light, there will be internet.