Author Archives: JC Torres


Opera Apps Club lets users rent paid Android apps ala Netflix

Opera Apps Club lets users rent paid Android apps ala Netflix

Although the idea isn't really original or new, Netflix is nowadays credited for having popularized an old/new business model to the point that any new subscription-based content providing service is labeled as "Netflix-like". And that's not just for the usual culprits like movies and music but even books, games, and, soon, Android apps as well. Opera, the web browser maker who also dabbles in VPNs and smart TVs, has announced the global launch of Opera Apps Club, which lets users "rent" premium Android apps. In other words, like Netflix.

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Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 GFX benchmarked against Tegra, Apple

Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 GFX benchmarked against Tegra, Apple

A lot is hinging on the Snapdragon 820 this year. After a dismal, almost embarrassing outcome for the Snapdragon 810 last year, the newest chip is the salvation that the mobile chip maker Qualcomm desperately needs. Interestingly, even rival Samsung is betting on it, because its 14 nm FinFET process was used in making the latest Snapdragon. That only means that the performance of this processor will be put under a microscope, which has already begun with this GFXBench sighting which pits the chip against the likes of NVIDIA's Tegra X1 and, of course, Apple's A9.

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Sparkle app updater exposes many Mac apps to hacking

Sparkle app updater exposes many Mac apps to hacking

In the age before app stores, at least on Windows PCs and Macs, people got their software directly from vendors or third party download sites. App markets, however, gave birth to the idea of a single canonical repository where people can get not only their apps but also updates for said apps. However, not every single software on the planet has jumped aboard, even on Macs. Now those developers and users maybe be given a stronger reason to do so, thanks to a gaping security hole in the Sparkle update framework recently discovered.

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LG G5 might also have an Always On display but with LCD

LG G5 might also have an Always On display but with LCD

Yesterday we saw Samsung trying to trademark the phrase "Always On Display" in Korea, which was a strange move considering how that phrase has been used in smartphone features already. Now we're seeing part of its motive for doing so. It's compatriot and rival LG apparently is doing something similar with its own upcoming flagship. An animated GIF now hints that the LG G5 will also have an Always On feature like that rumored for the Galaxy S7. The difference is that LG might be sticking to LCD instead of OLED for this feature.

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Microsoft finally spills some beans on Windows 10 updates

Microsoft finally spills some beans on Windows 10 updates

Microsoft has been traditional dreadful when it came to system-related error messages and notifications that it has become somewhat of a running joke in the tech community (Error 0x8020002b anyone?). It's no laughing matter, however, when Windows 10's continuously flowing stream of updates are concerned. Microsoft has been chided for its near secrecy of these system updates, that could, and sometimes have, make important changes without the user's knowledge. While not completely reversing course, Microsoft has now come up with a compromise, a website that lists Windows 10's update history and details.

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NHTSA will consider Google’s self-driving car AI as “driver”

NHTSA will consider Google’s self-driving car AI as “driver”

It seems that President Obama's declared push to make the US a haven for self-driving cars is already starting to bear fruit. In what may be a significant milestone, the National Hightway Traffic Safety Administration or NHTSA has just given Google the break it needs to move forward. In a letter sent to the company, the traffic agency agreed to one of Google's proposal to have its Self-Driving System (SDS) AI to be considered as the legal "driver" of the car, opening the doors for more legal opportunities for Google's self-driving car.

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Sonos Apple Music support launches February 10, for real

Sonos Apple Music support launches February 10, for real

This is the news Apple Music subscribers and Sonos speaker owners may have been waiting for for months now. It was way back in December when Sonos finally kicked off the beta testing period for Apple Music integrations, which was actually announced a month before that. Now finally the real deal is here. Or at least in a few more hours. Sonos has announced that Apple Music will finally, fully, and truly launch on its connected speakers on February 10, mixing Apple's specially curated music selection with the unique features that Sonos' speakers offer.

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France orders Facebook to stop tracking non-users, shipping data to US

France orders Facebook to stop tracking non-users, shipping data to US

Slowly and bit by bit, Facebook is losing legal ground in Europe over what many member states are now calling illegal practices that violate the privacy of users and non-users alike. The case it faces in France, however, is significant because of its timing and its root cause. The French privacy regulator CNIL has ordered Facebook to stop tracking the web activities of non-Facebook users, among other things, or face hefty fines. But in addition, it has called out Facebook for transferring European data to the US, which has basically been declared illegal in the EU.

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Huawei GX8 now available from GetHuawei.com and Amazon

Huawei GX8 now available from GetHuawei.com and Amazon

Huawei is really pushing its smartphones hard in the US, despite not yet having a flagship-level device that everyone can get behind. Its latest entry is the Huawei GX8, a version of the G8 fit for the US market and its network bands. Practically a mid-range phablet that, strangely enough, might compete with the Honor 5x in the US, from Huawei's own sub-brand. Regardless, Huawei has expanded the availability of the GX8, which was formerly only on Amazon, to Best Buy, Newegg, as well as its own GetHuawei.com website.

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Pagare smartstraps turn Pebble Time into payment machines

Pagare smartstraps turn Pebble Time into payment machines

Despite the now ubiquitous Android Wear smartwatches and Apple Watch timepieces, Pebble still has a strong and loyal following, thanks to its simplicity, battery life, and being so far one of the few truly cross-platform smartwatches in the market. Simplicity, however, sometimes has a price to pay, like in the form of features that are also becoming more prevalent on more mainstream smartwatches. Like contactless mobile payment systems. Pagare, however, has found a way around that, to deliver the same convenience as Android Pay or Apple Pay on Pebble Time, without having to swap out smartwatches.

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Samsung Galaxy S7 could have Always On screen

Samsung Galaxy S7 could have Always On screen

This latest speculation is both technologically possible but might also be a bit too much, both in its goal and Samsung's legal action. In South Korea at least, it has tried to obtain the trademark for "Always On Display", a phrase that has already been used quite a lot in the tech industry, from ebook readers, to smartwatches and even to some smartphones. If so, what is Samsung's purpose for an almost unreasonable claim? With the unveiling of the Galaxy S7 nearing, it could very well be a feature that the Samsung flagship will advertise greatly,

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Dickies, Michelin make an anti-slip footwear for workers

Dickies, Michelin make an anti-slip footwear for workers

What do you get when you cross a popular clothing brand with a world-renowned tire maker? If you're guessing some sort of sports apparel, you'd actually be wrong. Shocked? That might be the sentiment upon reading this headline but that's exactly what's going down. Dickies, famed for its line of clothing and footwear, and MICHELIN, the iconic tire maker brand, have teamed up to deliver what they say is the most groundbreaking anti-slip shoes, not for sporty types, but for those working in the service and hospitality industry.

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