Author Archives: JC Torres


HP goes back to school with convertibles, Chromebook

HP goes back to school with convertibles, Chromebook

School may just be ending but it's never too early to prepare for the next academic year, especially when it comes to purchasing a new laptop. To make things easier, or perhaps even more difficult, HP is announcing its own batch of PCs designed with students and teachers in mind. Or maybe "re-labeled" might be a better term, as the HP Spectre Pro x360 G1, the HP Pro x360 310 G2, and the HP Chromebook 11 G4 are practically minor updates or even rehashes of existing HP products.

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Android app secretly mines for Dogecoin, FTC not amused

Android app secretly mines for Dogecoin, FTC not amused

When you say your app is free of malware but does exactly the opposite, you aren't just lying, you could also be committing a crime. That is exactly what Prized app developers Equiliv Investments and Ryan Ramminger learned the hard way when they were slapped with an FTC complaint because their app actually used infected smartphones to help the developers mine for cryptocurrency like Dogecoin. The defendants wisely decided to settle out of court, which included a monetary judgment of $50,000, which is no small amount for someone desperately hunting for digital currency.

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Mojang to close down Scrolls server July 2016

Mojang to close down Scrolls server July 2016

It has only been half a year since Minecraft creators Mojang unleashed its second big game to the public, and now it is announcing that it will no longer be actively developing the collectible card battle game Scrolls. To some extent, it isn't that surprising given how Scrolls paled in comparison to Mojang's real cash cow, Minecraft. But the announcement does call into question the profitability of such card games in general and perhaps even sparks some speculation regarding Mojang's future direction inside its new Microsoft mothership.

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Study says Google degrades search results to prefer its own

Study says Google degrades search results to prefer its own

It probably doesn't come as a surprise that Google's promotion of search results would promote those coming from its own services, like Google+. The search giant has always justified its manipulation of results to give users a better experience, but that excuse might no longer fly if a recent study is to believed. Yelp commissioned a research headed by Tim Wu, credited for coining the term "Net Neutrality", and their conclusion minces no words. Google, they claim, is intentionally degrading search results in order to push content from its services, inevitably harming users along the way.

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Acer XR341CK QHD monitor puts curves and FreeSync together

Acer XR341CK QHD monitor puts curves and FreeSync together

There are monitors that are curved and there are monitors with AMD's FreeSync technology. And never twain shall meet. Not unless Acer has something to say about it. Following up on its promise last April, the manufacturer has released a new 34-inch XR341CK gaming monitor which is like the XR341CKA it announced back then, with one crucial difference. This monitor, which is also curved, hides within it AMD's FreeSync technology instead of NVIDIA's G-SYNC. In other words, it tries to deliver the best of all worlds to PC gamers.

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New Samsung Tizen smartphones coming later this year

New Samsung Tizen smartphones coming later this year

Surprise, surprise! Despite lack of word or whisper, Samsung isn't about to give up on its Tizen plans for world domination, especially when its one and only smartphone so far is reportedly selling well in the one and only region it's available. Insider sources even claim that the Korean OEM has plans to put out more, which means not just one, handsets running this less known mobile platform sometime later this year. Those devices will supposedly embrace a wide range of prices, which could mean we will finally get to see a high end Tizen smartphone, if such a thing even exists.

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OnePlus confirms fingerprint scanner for the OnePlus 2

OnePlus confirms fingerprint scanner for the OnePlus 2

There is little doubt that Chinese startup OnePlus really wants to bring on the heat, figuratively and literally. It has already revealed that it will be using the highly contentious Snapdragon 810, v2.1, come what may. Now it is confirming that the OnePlus 2 will also have a fingerprint sensor. Of course, it's not enough for OnePlus to say that. It is also claiming that this particular sensor is a "fingerprint sensor done right", which will undoubtedly raise a few eyebrows from fans of Apple's Touch ID tech, so far considered to be the best implementation there is.

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Google TouchBot: testing touch lag so you don’t have to

Google TouchBot: testing touch lag so you don’t have to

Everyone hates a laggy interface, but not everyone has the capability to scientifically quantify and measure lag in order to fix it. Google, however, isn't like everyone and has the resources, not to mention the need, to measure the lag between a touch gesture and the interface or program's response. It looked to Finland for answers, where OptoFidelity, a company specializing in test automation, gave birth to Chrome TouchBot, a robot that does exactly what its name says: run a series of touch-based tests on Android and Chrome OS devices.

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Facebook tries to outdo Snapchat with new photo uploader

Facebook tries to outdo Snapchat with new photo uploader

You know what they say when in Rome. In this case, though, it's "when in photo sharing land, do as Snapchat does." Facebook has silently started to roll out a new version of its photo uploader and with it came a batch of new features that puts it on par with Snapchat. That means swipeable filters, text overlays, and, of course, stickers, making it possible to produce almost every form of whimsy and hilarity using nothing but some regular-looking photos and a sense of humor.

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Apple Watch patent lets you fist bump to share files

Apple Watch patent lets you fist bump to share files

Apple may have invented AirDrop to make wireless sharing of files a breeze, easier than NFC even, but that same convenience doesn't exactly translate to the Apple Watch, where screen space and taps are at a premium. Luckily, Apple has a few things in mind. It has recently filed a patent that details the use of gestures, from handshakes to high fives and even to respectful bows, to initiate and exchange of information. Sometimes, it can even do all of those automatically with very little or no user intervention.

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