Author Archives: Ewdison Then

I’m the founder of GiXiO, the publisher of SlashGear - An open source advocate, Linux geek, high performance computing engineer and consumer technology journalist based in Japan.

8BitDo N30 2.4g is a wireless mouse in NES Controller clothing

8BitDo N30 2.4g is a wireless mouse in NES Controller clothing

What is old is new again, or something like that. The past years have seen the proliferation of retro gaming consoles, shrunk down to the size of your hand (or hands) as well as designs that try to appeal to the powerful and apparently profitable sentiment of nostalgia. Most of them try to bring back the past to the present as they were, prioritizing design fidelity over modern utility. To that extent, this new 8BitDo N30 2.4g wireless mouse is different, bringing the aesthetic of an age long gone to a tool few people can't live without these days.

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Pixel 4 Motion Sense gestures can be remapped but you need root access

Pixel 4 Motion Sense gestures can be remapped but you need root access

The radar-based Motion Sense is in danger of becoming the Pixel 4's Bixby Button, unwanted and unused. Or to be more precise, it's unused because it's actually unavailable in most markets, at least officially. Perhaps that's the reason why Google is in no hurry to make any Motion Sense API available to app developers to use outside of Google's official list. Fortunately, just like Motion Sense itself, some developers have developed ways to work around those limitations but it won't be an easy task.

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Pixel 4 compact Google Assistant UI rolls out to some Pixel 3 and 3 XL phones

Pixel 4 compact Google Assistant UI rolls out to some Pixel 3 and 3 XL phones

Google seems to be pushing Assistant as its one interface to rule them all, connecting users to its services no matter what device they're on. That, however, doesn't mean Google Assistant needs to be "in your face", especially during the brief moments you interact with it. That kind of "ambient computing" is what Google is now trying to push, starting with the more compact Google Assistant in the Pixel 4 that has now started to land on the Pixel 3 as well.

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Google Assistant Android Auto bug keeps the AI helper silent

Google Assistant Android Auto bug keeps the AI helper silent

If recent developments, or lack thereof, with Android Auto is any indicator, Google's thrust in the in-vehicle infotainment market might be on the decline. It promised an upgraded Android Auto experience last I/O 2019 in May but missed the deadline to roll Assistant on Android Auto properly with Android 10. If that weren't bad enough, users have started experiencing problems not only with the app itself but now with Google Assistant running on Android Auto as well.

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OnePlus 8 seen in the wild, hints at upcoming features

OnePlus 8 seen in the wild, hints at upcoming features

The OnePlus 7T has just launched last month to some amount of success but it seems that the company may actually be done with its next flagship. Unless OnePlus suddenly changes its schedule, it won't be another 6 or so months before the OnePlus 8 actually breaks cover but, unsurprisingly, leaks are already popping up. What is surprising, however, is that what could be the OnePlus 8 has already been spotted in the real world, providing clues on what it may have in store for 2020.

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QooCam 8K 360 Camera is small enough to fit in your pocket

QooCam 8K 360 Camera is small enough to fit in your pocket

Smartphone cameras are getting more capable but they're still limited in at least two ways. For one, most are able to do only 4K video recording max. But even those that may be able to do 8K are, by design, unable to capture 360-degree content on the fly. For that, you usually need dedicated 360-degree cameras and the new QooCam 8K from Chinese manufacturer Kandao could be the smallest, cheapest, and most capable consumer product in the market right now.

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Lenovo Tab M7 now available with an even lower price tag

Lenovo Tab M7 now available with an even lower price tag

Android tablets have nearly died out with only a few big names supporting them. These slates now usually come only in two variants, the expensive high-end tablets like Samsung's Galaxy Tab S series and ultra-cheap options, including Amazon's Fire tablets. A few months ago, Lenovo announced two new tablets to join the ranks though on the lower end of that range. Now one of those, the Lenovo Tab M7, is finally available in the US and is even cheaper than what the company announced back in August.

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Steam Cloud Gaming could challenge Google Stadia, Microsoft xCloud

Steam Cloud Gaming could challenge Google Stadia, Microsoft xCloud

Cloud-powered game streaming is really nothing new but Google's announcement of its Stadia service put the technology back in the headlines. It won't be alone, though as Microsoft is gearing up to launch its own Project xCloud service and you can bet Sony's PlayStation won't be far behind. With some big names getting their feet wet in this still tiny game streaming market, it might not be surprising to hear that Valve may soon make its own play with something called Steam Cloud Gaming.

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Windows Mobile failure a result of US antitrust lawsuit says Bill Gates

Windows Mobile failure a result of US antitrust lawsuit says Bill Gates

Just as former Microsoft exec and former Nokia CEO Stephen Elop feared, the mobile market has become a two-horse race between Android and iOS. More than that, however, Android has overtaken Windows as the most Internet-connected platform and iOS, particular iPadOS, threatens to displace Windows on some fronts. In some alternate reality, however, Windows Mobile could have been the dominant mobile platform, a possibility that, at least according to Microsoft founder and ex-CEO Bill Gates, was destroyed by the US government's antitrust lawsuit in 1998.

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Nest Hub, Nest Hub Max ultrasonic sensor changes the UI as you get closer

Nest Hub, Nest Hub Max ultrasonic sensor changes the UI as you get closer

The Google Hub, along with the Amazon Echo Show, kicked off a new breed of smart home devices that basically combined a smart speaker and a tablet. These smart displays offered visual information and controls but, by nature, really only worked when you touch them or speak to them. It seems that Google is now mixing it up a bit by giving the Nest Hub and the Nest Hub Max some very basic presence detection thanks to the ultrasonic sensors in the devices.

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Surface Pro X available now but buyers may want to hold off for now

Surface Pro X available now but buyers may want to hold off for now

The Surface Neo and the Surface Duo may have stolen Microsoft's event last month but those two won't be coming until late 2020 at the earliest. For more practical Surface users, the Surface Pro X is the one that brings the future here and now. That "now" is finally happening as Microsoft announces the availability of the latest ARM-powered Windows PC. Unfortunately, it seems that Microsoft still hasn't addressed the most important shortcoming of its Windows on ARM version.

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Pigeon is a crowdsourced transit app experiment from Google Area 120

Pigeon is a crowdsourced transit app experiment from Google Area 120

If Google Maps is for locating places, Waze is for navigating the roads and highways to get there. Not everyone, however, drives or even use ride-hailing services like Uber or Lyft. While trains and buses are unlikely to stray off the beaten path, they are at the mercy of delays and incidents that could catch riders unawares. That's where the Pigeon app comes in to alert riders of any problem and maybe even prevent them from losing their cool, too. All with a little help from other riders.

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