Chrome 70 Adopts New Design and Adds Fresh Features - [briefly]
12:07 PM EDT - Oct,18 2018 - post a comment
Google is distributing Chrome 70 to Android devices via the Google Play Store
. This new build of Google's browser introduces a number of changes and updates. To start, Chrome more thoroughly adopts Google's Material Design so it is cohesive across devices. Google redesigned the Chrome search widget to better match the onmibox. The app now includes a quick and easy way to find file downloads via the settings menu, and allows web sites to access the phone's fingerprint sensor for authentication purposes. Chrome for Android is free to download.
Spotify Premium Gains A More Personal Touch - [internet]
12:07 PM EDT - Oct,18 2018 - post a comment
is giving its paying subscribers a better app. The company has released an updated version of its mobile application for Android and iOS with streamlined navigation meant to help people find music faster. The app provides more recommendations on the home screen, adds more results to search, and surfaces favorites in users' libraries. Spotify says the search page has been overhauled with better browsing, calling out top genres, artists, albums, and podcasts. Last, the app adopts a tool called Endless Artist Radio, allowing people to search for a musician or song and then listen to an endless playlist of music by that artist. Spotify says these endless playlists are updated regularly and are downloadable for offline listening. Spotify Premium requires a $10-per-month subscription.
T-Mobile Debuts 3-Year Device Payment Plan - [briefly]
06:45 PM EDT - Oct,17 2018 - post a comment
today announced new handset and service promotions that offer new phones for low monthly payments with one big catch: the equipment installment plan runs for 36 months. That means it will be three years before customers pay off their device, rather than the customary two years. The basics are these. Beginning October 19, customers can trade in an eligible phone for a new Samsung Galaxy S8, S9, Note9, LG G7, LG V40 ThinQ, and others for payments as low as $10 per month. T-Mobile hopes customers taking advantage of this promo will jump on the T-Mobile Essentials plan, which provides a family of four new phones with unlimited service for $40 per line per month, or $160 total. This breaks down to $30 per month per line for service and $10 per month for device payments. The actual device payment may be different. Customers who want the T-Mobile One plan will need to pay another $10 per month per line, or $50. This deal requires auto-pay. Eligible phone trade-ins will be credited to customer accounts monthly over a period of 36 months. The maximum trade-in value is $360 per device, but that will depend on the trade and its condition. T-Mobile didn't immediately list a set of devices eligible for trade-in. The trade can be applied to the purchase price of most phones LG sells, including the forthcoming iPhone Xr.
IFIXIT Google Pixel 3 XL Teardown Guide - [briefly]
05:49 AM EDT - Oct,17 2018 - post a comment
IFIXIT has written a guide on how to teardown the Google Pixel 3 XL.
In this guide there is lots of hardware pron shown like glued screens, dual selfie cameras, torx wrenches and a tool called the Halberd Spudger; so cover the eyes of the tech uninitiated.
Let's take a look at the tech that lies under the Pixel 3 XL's newly-notched exterior: 6.3" OLED display with QHD+ 1440 x 2960 resolution (523 ppi) and Gorilla Glass 5. Octa-core, 64-bit Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 processor (2.5 GHz + 1.6 GHz) with 4 GB LPDDR4x RAM. 12.2 MP, f/1.8, OIS main camera with dual-pixel phase detection autofocus; dual 8.1 MP selfie cameras. 64 GB or 128 GB built-in storage. Qi wireless charging. IP68 water resistance. Android 9.0 Pie.
Google releases Chrome 70, letting you install PWAs on Windows 10 - [briefly]
03:03 AM EDT - Oct,17 2018 - post a comment
Progressive Web Apps are a big priority for Google right now, and have also been seen as one of the ways for Microsoft to combat the shortage of apps on its store. With its newest release of Chrome, Google is bringing progressive web apps to the desktop.
As the company's Pete LePage explains in a video introducing Chrome 70 to developers, progressive web apps can now be installed on Windows directly. This means that if you are using a PWA on Chrome, as long as the app meets certain basic criteria for PWAs, you should start seeing a prompt that allows you to install it on Windows. The app will then show up in the Start Menu and pretty much work like you'd expect a native app made for Windows to function. It can also serve up notifications using the Action Centre now that Google has added support for native Windows 10 notifications in Chrome. The apps will run in their own Chrome window, but won't feature an address bar or any of the normal UI for Chrome, meaning they will visually look very similar to a native app, and not at all like a browser window. Windows is not the only OS slated to receive PWA support via Chrome; Linux and macOS will get the same functionality in Chrome 72.
21-year-old who created powerful RAT software sentenced - [crime-law]
05:27 PM EDT - Oct,16 2018 - post a comment
A 21-year-old Kentucky man who previously admitted to creating and selling a "remote access trojan" (RAT) known as LuminosityLink has been sentenced
to 30 months in federal prison. Colton Grubbs had previously pleaded guilty to conspiracy to unlawfully accessing computers in the furtherance of a criminal act, among other crimes.
When Grubbs was first charged, he claimed LuminosityLink was a legitimate tool for system administrators, and he never intended for it to be used maliciously. He reversed course in a plea agreement he signed in July 2017. In that document, he admitted for the first time that he knew some customers were using the software to control computers without owners' knowledge or permission. Grubbs also admitted emphasizing a wealth of malicious features in marketing materials that promoted the software.
The malicious features included the ability for LuminosityLink to be installed without notification, record key presses, surveil targets using their computer cameras and microphones, view and download computer files, steal names and passwords used to access websites, use infected computers to mine digital currencies, use victim computers to launch DDoS attacks, and prevent anti-malware software from detecting and removing the software.
He sold this software for $40 a pop to more than 6,000 people globally.
"Our modern society is dependent on computers, mobile devices, and the use of the Internet," Robert M. Duncan Jr., United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Kentucky, said in a Monday statement. "People simply have to have confidence in their ability to use these modern instruments to transact their business, privately communicate, and securely maintain their information."
Grubbs was also ordered to forfeit the money he made from his crimes, including 114 bitcoins, currently worth approximately $725,000
Huawei's Mate 20 and Mate 20 Pro Take Aim at Galaxy Note9 - [mobile]
10:48 AM EDT - Oct,16 2018 - post a comment
Huawei today announced it flagship series for the year, the Mate 20 and Mate 20 Pro. The phones share a number of features, but have their own identity thanks to differences in the screen and chassis. The most distinctive feature is the camera module on the rear, which is square-shaped and contains three cameras and the LED flash. Both the Mate 20 and Mate 20 Pro are powered by Huawei's Kirin 980 processor, which it says delivers even more AI-based smarts than its last-generation chip. The Kirin 980 features dual neural processing units to improve image recognition, Master AI for processing 1,500 different scenes, and predictive focus for tracking subjects in real time. Other shared features include Cat 21 LTE with dual SIM cards, Bluetooth 5.0, WiFi, GPS, and support for 256 GB memory cards. Both include a 24-megapixel selfie camera at f/2.4, and come in five colors, including green, blue, twilight, pink gold, and black. The devices run Android 9 Pie with Huawei's EMUI 9.0 skin on top. EMUI 9.0 is pared back a bit when compared to EMIO 8.0, and features business software as well as the ability to project a desktop mode to wireless displays.
- Mate 20 Pro: The Mate 20 Pro is the higher-end version of the two phones. It boasts a notched 6.39-inch curved OLED display with quad HD+ resolution and support for HDR. The Mate 20 Pro includes a fingerprint reader buried under the display, as well as 3D facial recognition for security. The phone features three rear cameras contained in a square module on the rear. The main camera has a 40-megapixel sensor at f/1.8, and it is joined by an ultra wide-angle 20-megapixel sensor at f/2.2, and an 8-megapixel 3x telephoto sensor at f/2.0. The phone supports wireless charging and can even act as a charger for other devices. The battery is rated at 4,200mAh. It comes with 6 GB of RAM and 128 GB of storage.
- Mate 20: This device has a "teardrop" notched screen that measures 6.53 inches across the diagonal with full HD+ resolution. The Mate 20 also features a three-camera array on the back with a main sensor of 12 megapixels at f/1.8, a wide-angle sensor of 16-megapixel at f/2.2, and an 8-megapixel 2x telephoto sensor at f/2.4. The phone supports wireless charging and the battery is rated at 4000mAh. It comes with either 4 or 6 GB of RAM and 128 GB of storage and a rear-mounted fingerprint reader for security.
The Huawei Mate 20 and Mate 20 Pro are expected to ship starting today. The Mate 20 costs 799 and the Mate 20 Pro costs 1049.
Huawei Created Its Own Memory Card Shaped Like a Nano SIM - [hardware]
10:47 AM EDT - Oct,16 2018 - post a comment
Huawei today showed off a new memory card format to accompany its flagship Mate 20 Pro smartphone. The Mate 20 Pro supports two SIM cards, but not a traditional microSD memory card. In order to give people the option to add storage to the Mate 20 Pro, Huawei made a memory card that's shaped and sized like a nano SIM card. Huawei didn't say what storage allotments the card will come in, though it did show a 256 GB card on stage. There's no word on pricing or availability, and Huawei didn't say how the memory card interfaces with the SIM connector.
Battlefield V - Official Single Player Trailer - [briefly]
10:45 AM EDT - Oct,16 2018 - post a comment
Electronic Arts has released the official single-player trailer for Battlefield 5. In Nordlys, players will resist German occupation in Norway, sabotage behind enemy lines as an unlikely English soldier in Under No Flag, fight for a home they've never seen in Tirailleur, and in The Last Tiger (available in December) join the crew of a Tiger I as they question why they fight. This basically means that the game will launch with three single-player War Stories, and the fourth one will be added in December (presumably as a free DLC content). Battlefield V is due out worldwide for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC via Origin on November 20.
Facebook Wants to Put Video Cameras in Your Private Spaces - [gadgets]
11:49 AM EDT - Oct,14 2018 - post a comment
Like the Echo, the Portal is powered by Amazon, so advanced features we are used to accessing on our digital assistants are accessed with "Hey Alexa". Facebook's hand in the Portal lies in its main feature: video calls. Available in two sizes, the Portal acts as a centrepiece of connectivity in our homes, enabling users to connect with friends and family seamlessly with great ease. Video-wise, the Portal has plenty of features that justify the purchase of a separate device. The intelligent assistant is able to track subjects as they move within the frame, which is great for video chatting while going about errands and chores. This works for multiple subjects, so the camera will zoom out to accommodate new participants in the conversation. Background noise will also be reduced, so users do not have to stand close to the device to be heard.
To address privacy concerns, Facebook has made it a point to constantly reiterate the privacy-centric features of their new Portal. For example, the Portal has been deliberately designed to lack a video recording feature, instead, it can only facilitate live video transmission. Facebook claims that they do not listen, view or record any call data. The smart video features are, instead, provided by on-chip, in-device AI technology and does not interact with Facebook data servers. Despite the ability to recognise when new subjects enter the field of view, there is no facial recognition technology involved on the Portal. If any doubt remains, Facebook has included a physical plastic camera cover that ensures an opaque hardware privacy solution.
When not in use, the Facebook Portal can display your Facebook photos and videos and can prompt users when closest friends are available for chat. The hi-fi speakers on board are also powerful, allowing for an immersive listening experience. The larger Portal+ has two tweeters and a large 4-inch diameter bass driver, while the smaller Portal has two 10-watt full-range speakers on board.
The 15.6-inch Portal+ has a 90-degree rotatable 1080p display for both portrait and landscape screen orientations. The smaller Portal has a 10.1-inch 720p display that is fixed in a landscape orientation.
Both devices have a four-microphone array with 360-degree beamforming input for clear voice transmission even in noisy environments, and 12-megapixel 140-degree angle of view cameras with 8x zoom.
The Facebook Portal is available in Black and White finishes, and in Portal and Portal+ variants. The Portal retails at USD 199 (SGD 272), and as a pair with US$100 savings at USD 298 (SGD 487). The Portal+ retails at USD 349 (SGD 477). Preorders in the US begin today, though pricing and availability outside of the US have yet to be announced.
Apple Plans to Give Away Original Content for Free to Device Owners - [briefly]
11:45 AM EDT - Oct,14 2018 - post a comment
Apple has revealed that iPhone, iPad, and Apple TV owners will be getting original content on its upcoming digital video service
for free. Subscription options, such as HBO and Starz, will be available for those wanting premium channels for a fee.
Apple is preparing a new digital video service that will marry original content and subscription services from legacy media companies, according to people familiar with the matter. Owners of Apple devices, such as the iPhone, iPad and Apple TV will find the still-in-the-works service in the pre-installed "TV" application, said the people, who asked not to be named because the details of the project are private.
The product will include Apple-owned content, which will be free to Apple device owners, and subscription "channels," which will allow customers to sign up for online-only services, such as those from HBO and Starz.
Apple plans to debut the revamped app early next year, the people said. An Apple spokesman declined to comment.
Netflix cancels Marvel's Iron Fist - [briefly]
07:13 AM EDT - Oct,14 2018 - post a comment
In a shocking move, Netflix cancels Marvel's Iron Fist after two seasons. The series was poised for a strong season 3 after a much-improved second season. Here is the joint statement from Netflix and Marvel in full:
Marvel's Iron Fist will not return for a third season on Netflix. Everyone at Marvel Television and Netflix is proud of the series and grateful for all of the hard work from our incredible cast, crew and showrunners. We're thankful to the fans who have watched these two seasons, and for the partnership we've shared on this series. While the series on Netflix has ended, the immortal Iron Fist will live on.
Intel Core i9 9900K vs AMD Ryzen 7 2700X - [hardware]
12:06 PM EDT - Oct,13 2018 - post a comment
Principled Technologies tested 19 games
which are Total War: WARHAMMER II, Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, Gears of War 4, War Thunder, Ashes of the Singularity, Forza Motorsport 7, Assassin's Creed: Origins, Far Cry 5, World of Warcraft: Battle for Azeroth, Sid Meier's Civilization VI, Fortnite, World of Tanks, Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six Siege, PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds, Rise of the Tomb Raider, Middle-earth: Shadow of War, Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon: Wildlands, Grand Theft Auto V and Final Fantasy XV. Now there is no question that the Intel Core i9 9900K will be the fastest CPU for video-games. However, the gap between the AMD Ryzen 7 2700X and Intel's brand new CPU has been noticeably reduced. As we can see, the Intel Core i9 9900K will be around 10-22% faster than the AMD Ryzen 7 2700X in most games. The enormous performance gap in Ashes of the Singularity, Gears of War 4, Forza Horizon 4 and Assassin's Creed Origins has been reduced to more realistic numbers. In other titles, however, the performance gap remained the same. These titles, like Counter-Strike: GO, World of Warcraft and World of Tanks, seem to not be scaling well on multiple CPU cores.
Samsung Says Foldable Phone to Act Like Tablet - [mobile]
06:46 PM EDT - Oct,12 2018 - post a comment
Samsung's forthcoming foldable phone will perform like a tablet when unfolded, and like a phone when folded, according to Samsung mobile chief D.J. Koh. When in tablet configuration, the device will support side-by-side multitasking for power users. "When we deliver a foldable phone, it has to be really meaningful to our customer," said Koh to CNET
at the recent launch of the Samsung Galaxy A9. "If the user experience is not up to my standard, I don't want to deliver those kind of products." Koh went on to say he believes the product has staying power and won't be a gimmick that vanishes just months after it reaches the market. The phone will be made available globally.
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