Columns

It’s time to stop thinking about smartphones as being ‘just phones’

It’s time to stop thinking about smartphones as being ‘just phones’

I've seen some articles floating around social media again in which someone proclaims that smartphones are expensive luxuries used by mindless people to entertain themselves with mindless games while truly smart and savvy people continue to use their old flip phones. These articles are nothing new; they resurface regularly, enjoy brief popularity as cynical people bat them back and forth with thinly veiled comments about their own superiority, and then they fizzle back into dormancy for a while. What none of them seem to realize is that smartphones are so much more than just 'fancy phones.'

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What smartwatches are still getting wrong

What smartwatches are still getting wrong

It's been more than three years since the first modern commercial smartwatches, the Pebble and the Sony SmartWatch, hit the market and this wearable device category still hasn't taken the industry by storm. In the meantime, less powerful and less featured smart fitness bands are flooding the market and is giving some well-deserved and long overdue attention to healthier lifestyles (at least hopefully). These two device categories sometimes share some features, like notifications and activity tracking. Sometimes they even share in price tags. And yet smarwatches aren't regarded with the same esteem and market share as their health-centric cousins. The issue might not just be because smartwatches answer the problems wrong. They might also be answering the wrong problems.

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Overwatch’s Super Bans are great news for (non-cheating) gamers

Overwatch’s Super Bans are great news for (non-cheating) gamers

Nothing takes the fun out of an online game like cheaters. It's one thing to take on opponents that are simply much better than you at the game. That gives you incentive to work hard, practice, and get better. But if you run into players that don't take damage, seem to headshot from across the map, and can see through walls, you aren't going to have any fun. Blizzard knows this, and that's why they're making sure that cheaters don't ruin Overwatch.

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Why I refuse to believe iPhone is forever

Why I refuse to believe iPhone is forever

Over the past several years, I've seen attitudes change when it comes to the iPhone and the mobile world in general. I refer mainly to two groups of people whose understanding of the world tends to reflect society at large, especially when it comes to technology. People who I meet at gas stations on long trips are part of one group - the other is my extended family. According to them, things are changing. Or they have the potential to change.

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Chromecast in Google Home should come as no surprise

Chromecast in Google Home should come as no surprise

It's suddenly become newsworthy that Google Home, the company's "first" smart home product, uses the brain of Chromecast to function. But why? We've already showed you the source of that information - not that it matters all that much. Google has been working on this same project for years - it's just had a different name at its different levels of inception. It was (and is) part of the Google On community, which runs Weave connections to other Brillo devices, which are related to Chromecast, which was originally called Nexus Q. It's all part of the same initiative.

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Social networks should not need EU hate speech rules (but they do)

Social networks should not need EU hate speech rules (but they do)

Internet mega-brands Facebook, Twitter, Microsoft, and YouTube agree on a "code of conduct" with the European Commission to remove "hate speech" from their networks in less than 24 hours. This update does not necessarily hold these companies accountable the same way a hard-and-fast written law would in any one individual country. Instead, this would be more of an agreement - a hand-shake - between the companies to combat hate speech. According to this code of conduct, they'll be "developing counter-narratives promoting non-discrimination, tolerance and respect, including through awareness-raising activities."

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Three’s ad-blocking initiative could kill the internet

Three’s ad-blocking initiative could kill the internet

We've known since February that the UK wireless carrier Three has had plans to block advertising on mobile devices. Today the company outlined their strategy by announcing that they would offer 500,000 of their customers the opportunity to opt-in to a test of this service, which will happen sometime next month.

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Blizzard CEO discusses Vanilla WoW server options

Blizzard CEO discusses Vanilla WoW server options

It's been less than two months since Blizzard announced that they would be taking legal action against the popular Vanilla World of Warcraft server, Nostalrius. Private MMO servers have been shut down plenty of times, and they usually close down with little fanfare. However, this case is very different, and just yesterday, Blizzard CEO Mike Morhaime sat down to discuss it with a former WoW developer.

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My iPhone 7 Wishlist in 3 parts (Not Just Android)

My iPhone 7 Wishlist in 3 parts (Not Just Android)

Today in light of the surprising lack of iPhone leaks and relative deluge of details we've seen unofficially so far, I'd like to share what I'm hopeful for in a new iPhone. The next iPhone, one we'll safely assume will be called iPhone 7, will be a device - I hope - of unparalleled processing power and battery life. It'll have a better camera and a slightly modified body, and of course it'll have a display that's better than before. But what's more than that, most important to me - it'll have a little more freedom.

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You will upgrade to Windows 10, whether you like it or not (if Microsoft has their way)

You will upgrade to Windows 10, whether you like it or not (if Microsoft has their way)

Did you know that Microsoft is offering a free upgrade to Windows 10? If you use Windows 7 or 8, you definitely know about this. I'm confident in saying that, because Microsoft has made it nearly impossible to not notice this, thanks to any number of different pop-ups asking you to upgrade. Their latest attempt to trick users into upgrading has received a lot of backlash, but the company is standing by it.

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Google’s secret war on native apps, Android tablets

Google’s secret war on native apps, Android tablets

At Google I/O last week, Google dumped some rather big news, at least one of them expected. Android apps are come full force to Chrome OS, with Google Play Store even. Instant Apps were quite the unexpected surprise, but in retrospect Google had already sown the seeds as far back as 2013. But in the midst of the applause and hopeful cheers, there were also some murmuring and the raising of eyebrows. Is all of these just a subtle, cunning ploy by the Web search giant to make Android tablets obsolete, or, in the long run, even phase out native Android apps?

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Samsung’s Rollable Screen demo is not just a dream for Android

Samsung’s Rollable Screen demo is not just a dream for Android

This week at the SID Display Week 2016 trade show we've gotten up close and personal with Samsung's new rollable screen, just one of several next-gen inventions in display technology. But this is just another in a long line of demos of such "transforming" or "curved display" tech from Samsung, LG, and the rest, right? Not so fast. Now that Samsung has proven their ability to deliver the goods with devices like the Galaxy Edge, the company is expected by the public to deliver on concepts like these with more speed. The time is now!

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