Friday, 29 June 2018

Instagram in testing phase of a persistent Stories bar that scrolls down the feed

When I opened Instagram on my Pixel 2 XL moments ago, I noticed something different: the Stories bar remained visible as I scrolled down my main feed. Usually it stays at the top and doesn’t follow you down, but clearly the company is testing a more persistent, sticky approach to keeping Stories in front of you at all times. That seems awfully annoying to me, but some might find it convenient.
To this point, I think Instagram has developed and built onto Stories very well. They’re fun. I post and watch often. But between the obnoxious neon-orange IGTV notifications in the main app that I can’t turn off and now this, I’m not thrilled. Let people use the app how they want. I understand there’s a constant push for greater usage and better...
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Sunday, 24 June 2018

God of War’s awesome world reborn in these stunning art prints

This year’s reboot of God of War on the PlayStation 4 was a wonderful surprise. It imbued the long-running series with an emotional core, turned Kratos into a likable character, and still managed to include some very satisfying action. It also looked gorgeous, as the series made the shift from Greek to Norse mythology with plenty of style. Now that style can live on your walls thanks to a new series of art prints from Cook & Becker.
If the Cook & Becker name sounds familiar, it’s because the art studio has slowly built up a reputation for offering some of the best game art around. In the past, that has included series for FalloutSkyrimNi No Kuni, and even an absurdly large Final Fantasy XV art tome. The God of War collection...
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Sphero acquires crowdfunded music tech company to boost its unlicensed toys

Sphero, the maker of connected toys like BB-8, announced this week that it’s acquired Specdrums, a company that makes rings that produce music through taps on different colors. We don’t know how much Sphero spent to acquire the company’s technology, but Specdrums raised over $175,000 on Kickstarter last year and just finished shipping to all its backers. It’s clear that Sphero plans on integrating the ring and color system into its proprietary toys.
Sphero CEO Paul Berberian tells The Verge that the company wants to “get back to its roots,” through toys that won’t have as much branded, character-focused play.
We can already get an idea of what these future toys could do because Specdrums integrated its technology with Sphero’s open SDK...
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Tom Holland lets slip the title for Spider-Man: Homecoming’s sequel

The sequel to Spider-Man: Homecoming is just over a year out from hitting theaters, but its star Tom Holland seems to have revealed the title in an Instagram post: Spider-Man: Far From Home.
Holland is at Ace Comic-Con in Seattle this weekend, appearing alongside other Marvel actors Tom Hiddleston, Anthony Mackie, and Elizabeth Olsen. While there, he posted a video to Instagram, and said that while there wasn’t any announcements for the upcoming sequel, he did just get the script, and held it up on an iPad, revealing the title.
Spoilers for Avengers: Infinity War ahead. 
Sorry for no announcements, but I love you guys ♥️
A post shared by ✌️ (@tomholland2013) on 
Spider-Man: Far From Home is an apt...
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Thursday, 21 June 2018

BlackBerry Key2 gets released on July 13th preorders start on June 29th

TCL’s BlackBerry Key2 now has a release date: it’ll be available on July 13th in the United States starting at $649.99 ($100 more than the KeyOne cost at launch), with preorders set to start at Amazon and Best Buy on June 29th.
The Key2 is an upgraded version of the KeyOne. TCL has updated the design a bit, slimming down the bezels and making the iconic physical keyboard slightly larger. But this isn’t a radical redesign. Specs have also been boosted since the KeyOne: there’s a more powerful Qualcomm Snapdragon 660 chip (versus the 625 from the KeyOne), and both RAM and internal storage have been doubled from the previous model to 6GB of memory and either 64GB or 128GB of space.
The front-facing camera is still an 8-megapixel shooter,...
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Microsoft Says Xbox One Will Not Be Getting VR, at Least Not For Now

Fans of virtual or mixed reality who have been clinging to the hope of a headset for Xbox One will need to keep holding out -- Microsoft has confirmed it isn't focusing on either technology for the console -- for the time being, anyway.

Apple’s AirPower charging mat due to make an appearance in September rumours say

Apple first announced its AirPower wireless charging mat 282 days ago back in September, with a 2018 release promise. Previous rumors had suggested it would launch in March, but an iPad education event and WWDC keynote have both came and passed without any mention of the AirPower mat. Bloomberg reportsthat Apple is now aiming to start selling its AirPower wireless charging mat before or in September.
Apple has reportedly hit “technical hurdles” developing AirPower, thanks to the complexity of the circuitry involved and engineers having to ensure the mat doesn’t overheat. Apple is creating AirPower so it can charge three devices at the same time: a modern iPhone, Apple Watch, and AirPods (thanks to a special case). Bloomberg reports that...
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Google improves the system on how to manage your account on Android

For all the features Google has revamped in recent years, it hasn't done much to change your account controls. That's a bit overdue when privacy is much more of a priority, don't you think? Google agrees. It's launching a reworked Google Account i... read more

Leica releases first in series of watches

<em>Leica L2.</em>

Germany’s Leica, a company that enjoys global renown for its high-quality cameras, is not shy about licensing its name out to lesser products. As of today, you can buy Leica headphones, Leica bags, smartphones with dubious Leica co-engineering claims, and Panasonic cameras rebadged as Leicas. But now Leica is getting into the watchmaking business, and it’s doing so by actually designing and engineering its own timepieces.
Announced this month, and covered in depth by Hodinkee, the Leica L1 and L2 watches have a stark and minimalist look, with black dials, contrasting white hands and indices, and subtle red rubies embedded in the crown. It wouldn’t be a Leica without a red dot somewhere, of course. Both watches have a manual-winding...
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Wednesday, 20 June 2018

Apple's iPhone X takes punishing Extreme OLED test and beats the Galaxy Note 8 for image burn-in

OLED technology is prone to image burn-in -- something that Apple worked hard to compensate for in designing the hardware and software of the iPhone X. A new and extreme stress test puts the iPhone X anti-burn-in capabilities to the test, discovering Apple's efforts have, in fact, put it ahead of the competition under the most difficult conditions.

Pitting the iPhone X, Samsung Galaxy Note 8, and Galaxy 7 Edge against one another, South Korean site Cetizen ran a 510-hour marathon test to see how long it takes to burn in an image on a modern OLED smartphone.
Interestingly, the iPhone X began showing very faint, nearly invisible signs of burn-in at the 17-hour mark, but to the surprise of the tester, after that the situation did not worsen. The burned-in images were said to be so light that they would not be seen in average daily use.
By the 62-hour mark, the Note 8 began showing a sudden and noticeable signs of burn-in, despite not having significant signs prior. The tester asked people to identify burned in parts of the screen while displaying a white image, and while they had no trouble identifying it on the Note 8, it was not visible to users on the iPhone X.
The test, first spotted by BGR, eventually ran for a whopping 510 hours, or more than 21 days -- well beyond the amount of time that any smartphone OLED display would ever show a static image in normal daily usage. Read More

Sunday, 17 June 2018

Fortnite’s celebrity gig felt like a tryout for Epic’s grand e-sports plans

Under the scorching California sun last Tuesday, 50 celebrities and 50 professional video game players gathered near the north end of a soccer stadium in Los Angeles to play Fortnite for $3 million in prize money. It was the very first officially sanctioned tournament for developer Epic Games’ mega-hit battle royale game, organized by the company itself and geared toward raising money for charity. And it was a monumental success by most metrics: It handily eclipsed the first official day of the game industry’s E3 expo, which was happening just two miles north at the city’s convention center, and drew more than 1.1 million viewers live on Twitch.
The line to get in sprawled across every available stretch of sidewalk around the Banc of...
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The Rubik’s Cube is set to get a Bluetooth connection?

The Rubik’s Cube was invented back in 1974, and in that time, there have been many variants on the classic puzzle, with new shapes, sizes, dimensions, and basically every other twist (pun intended) that you could think of on the classic puzzle.
Of course, that’s never stopped Kickstarter before, which has once again risen to the challenge of making a smart device out of something that probably didn’t need to be a smart device with the GoCube, a Rubik’s Cube with Bluetooth.
And while the GoCube might not be necessary, here’s what to like about the idea. The connected app can tell exactly how the cube is configured at any given point, so it can help you learn how to unscramble the cube on your own. And once you’ve learned the finer points...
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Leak shows Project V the Samsung folding phone that could have been

Samsung has been talking about making folding phones for years with little to show for it, but it might have come closer to doing that than you think. A leaker has claimed to have photos of "Project V," a dual-screen phone that would have been in dev... read more

The Witch Who Came in From the Cold is the latest magical podcast

There are a ton of podcasts out there, but finding the right one can be difficult. In our new column Pod Hunters, we cover what we’ve been listening to that we can’t stop thinking about.
During the 1970s, the Cold War was in full swing and Eastern Europe was a hotbed of agents and spies of both the Soviet Union and the United States. During this time, Czechoslovakia was a quiet battleground as both sides attempted to gain intelligence from one another. But in Serial Box’s podcast series The Witch Who Came in From the Cold, there’s another war brewing: one between ancient magical factions, Ice and The Flame, each of which have battled for millennia over control of the world. Prague in particular is home to several intersecting Ley lines...
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Microsoft and Amazon behind campaign against California privacy act

Amazon, Microsoft and even Uber have joined Google and other tech titans in actively opposing the California Consumer Privacy Act. As The Verge saw in the state's disclosure records, the three giants contributed a significant amount of money to a cam... read more

'Fortnite' celebrates the World Cup with stadium and goal scoring challenges

You didn't think Epic Games would let a sporting event as momentous as the World Cup go by without a Fortnite tie-in, did you? Sure enough, the developer has made a slew of updates to mark the beautiful game's most important tournament. There's now... read more