Author Archives: JC Torres


Facebook Messenger video calling now rolling out to all

Facebook Messenger video calling now rolling out to all

It's time to freshen up, comb that hair, exercise that jaw, and maybe bring out the dictionary or translation guide. Facebook Messenger's new video calling feature, which was announced barely a month ago, is now starting to roll out everywhere and on every platform. Messenger is shaping up to be one distinct and, more importantly, distinguishable product apart from Facebook's main app, giving users the convenience of expressing themselves better, more immediately, and perhaps more creatively than they could with text, emoji, stickers, or even memes.

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Bose soups up Mazda MX-5 Miata for better open-air acoustics

Bose soups up Mazda MX-5 Miata for better open-air acoustics

The 2016 MX-5 Miata was slowly but surely turning out to be Mazda's return to glory as far as the Miata line was concerned, delivering the unique experience that only open-air driving can deliver. But while the 2016 Miata's top-down mode lets you enjoy the breeze on your face, physics tells us that it may come a price of a sub par audio experience. Worry not, however, because sound experts Bose are on the scene, tweaking the MX-5 Miata's sound system to ensure clear audio, whether the top is up or down.

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Tone Chrome extension shares URLs via audible beeps

Tone Chrome extension shares URLs via audible beeps

E-mail, instant messaging, social networks. Advancements in these technologies and services have made it super easy to share things like web pages to someone half way around the world. But for sharing the same things with people in the same room, things have sometimes become more complicated. That is the motivation, or the justification, for Google's newest Chrome extension simply named Tone. What Tone does is to share a web page to other Chrome browsers within hearing distance. That last bit is essential, because Tone conveys its message through sound.

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Windows 10 upgrade paths get more detailed

Windows 10 upgrade paths get more detailed

It seems that Microsoft has settled on a new strategy involving Windows 10 announcements, leaving them in tiny bits and pieces all over the place, like breadcrumbs we have to follow, pick up and piece together ourselves. Of course, until we finally get the full picture, there will always be holes in our knowledge, questions left unanswered. The latest crumbs seem to be the upgrade path for existing Windows users, courtesy of Microsoft's Australia Partner Network. But while it does clarify some scenarios, it still leaves us scratching our heads in others, especially when Windows 10 Mobile is concerned.

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Retro Freak can play old console games if you have cartridges

Retro Freak can play old console games if you have cartridges

There is no shortage of devices and software that will let you relive your youth's gaming days by letting you play that generation's console titles. But this retro console, appropriately named Retro Freak, is admittedly and curiously different. It makes a boast no other custom-made console has so far been able to make. It claims to be able to play any and all old console games, from Famicom all up to the more recent Game Boy Advance. That, however, seems only possible if you actually have the game cartridge at hand.

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Phree digital pen wants to turn everything into paper

Phree digital pen wants to turn everything into paper

Despite the strong beliefs of the late Steve Jobs, the stylus refuses to die. Just ask Samsung, Livescribe, Adonit, Wacom, and a whole host of other manufacturers that bridge the divide between the digital and the analog. Productivity experts will also testify to the psychological and mental benefits of writing by hand. But existing solutions so far have one critical limitation: they work only on screens or on special paper. Phree, the latest wonder Kickstarter campaign, wants to set you completely free, by turning the whole world into a writing surface.

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Google+ Photos spinoff tipped to be ready for I/O 2015

Google+ Photos spinoff tipped to be ready for I/O 2015

No matter how you look at it, no matter how Google wants to spin it, things aren't looking good for Google+. The tech giant's attempt to take a bite out of Facebook is slowly but surely getting dismantled, with the Photos part now said to be ready to break out on its own as early as late May, in time for Google's annual developers conference. Officially, it's a way for the social platform to slim down and focus on what it does best. Unofficially, it is also a sign of a lack of vision, direction, and confidence.

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MixRadio’s personalized music streaming lands on Android, iOS

MixRadio’s personalized music streaming lands on Android, iOS

MixRadio has officially outgrown its roots. The music streaming service that prides itself with its personalized and local-aware curated playlists has just announced its expansion to cover almost all of the mobile world. That means, for all intents and purposes, Android, iOS, and its original Windows Phone base. It is also announcing a new partnership with HTC. Now owned by one of the most popular messaging services, MixRadio is set to compete in an already crowded turf headed by the likes of Spotify, Rdio, Apple, and now, Tidal.

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YotaPhone 2 enters the US via Indiegogo

YotaPhone 2 enters the US via Indiegogo

After months of waiting, years if you count the first YotaPhone, the two-faced, and we mean that kindly, smartphone is ready to enter the US market. But now, you won't be able to get the YotaPhone 2 off your favorite carrier or from a retailer. At least not yet. Russian company Yota is perhaps still testing the North American waters and will be coursing the dual display AMOLED and e-ink smartphone via an Indiegogo campaign instead. Which should probably give them a more or less accurate assessment for the YotaPhone 2's demand.

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MediaTek Pump Express Plus takes on Qualcomm’s Quick Charge

MediaTek Pump Express Plus takes on Qualcomm’s Quick Charge

Cue inappropriate jokes. MediaTek is really putting the heat on Qualcomm, more so after seeing a chink in its armor courtesy of Samsung. Just recently it tried selling the idea of a three-tier deca-core mobile processor even while Qualcomm has just gotten started with 8 cores. Now with its own "Pump Express Plus", it is taking aim at Qualcomm's fast charging technology, Quick Charge 2.0, that is slowly snaking its way into the latest flagships and quickly becoming a much wanted feature in smartphones.

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