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.

Microsoft Seeing AI can now understand five more languages

Microsoft Seeing AI can now understand five more languages

Some of us might already be tired of hearing news about this or that AI app or assistant that's able to identify objects or scenes or even read text off signs. We take such advances in computer vision and AI for granted mostly because we can actually see those things. That doesn't come naturally to people with visual impairments, which is why Microsoft developed its Seeing AI app that turns iPhones into people's second pair of eyes. Now that app is finally growing out of its roots to help more people around the world by learning how to read and speak five languages other than English.

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Firefox Private Network accepting new beta testers, new mobile app updated

Firefox Private Network accepting new beta testers, new mobile app updated

Given the number of things they do on the Web and the number of news regarding hacks and scams, you'd think people would be more careful about their online activities. They would if not for the sometimes complicated process of ensuring that no one is watching you. That's why browser makers are bending over backward to make it easier for their users to protect their privacy, sometimes just by flicking a switch. For Mozilla, that goes beyond more powerful Do Not Track features in firefox and right into VPN territory, which is what its Firefox Private Network or FPN wants to offer to the next batch of beta testers.

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Steam Controller orders being refunded as stocks run out completely

Steam Controller orders being refunded as stocks run out completely

If you haven't heard the news yet, Valve has been clearing out its inventory of Steam Controllers by selling at its cheapest possible price (excluding shipping and taxes). But if you were still planning on getting one, perhaps for posterity's sake, you can forget getting it at that low price. Valve has run out of stocks of the controller that wasn't meant to be and since it won't be making any new ones, it is giving buyers their $5 back, hopefully, to put towards buying a proper game controller.

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Galaxy Fold 2 clamshell phone could be a mixed bag

Galaxy Fold 2 clamshell phone could be a mixed bag

News about the first Galaxy Fold has seemingly died down a bit, which is probably good since that means no tragic fate has fallen on the $2,000 phones. That could boost Samsung's confidence in pushing through with its plans to flood the market with such foldable phones with flexible displays. It's next one, however, could be a hard sell, at least if these leaks about the Galaxy Fold 2 are right on the mark.

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Facebook chatbot coaches employees how to answer thorny Facebook questions

Facebook chatbot coaches employees how to answer thorny Facebook questions

In the not so distant past, it was a point of pride to be working at one of those Silicon Valley companies, especially if that company is the hip and young Facebook. After Cambridge Analytica, however, it became almost a liability, especially at family gatherings like Thanksgiving. Whether from family or friends, Facebook employees find themselves at the center of inquiries regarding accusations hurled at their employer. And to make it easier for both them and the company's execs, Facebook created the most appropriate tool to train their workforce on how to answer those questions: a chatbot.

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Xiaomi Mi Watch Apple Watch clone now works with Apple iPhone

Xiaomi Mi Watch Apple Watch clone now works with Apple iPhone

Chinese brands have had the reputation of being copycats. Chinese phone makers have indeed been guilty of that for a time but, for the past years, they have been working hard to change their public image but, last October, Xiaomi single-handedly undid much of that. It's hard not to see the Mi Watch as a ripoff of the Apple Watch except for the fact that it didn't work with iPhones, ironic as that may sound. As of December 3 in China, however, that sweet irony no longer stands as the Mi Watch will now behave a bit like the original, at least as far as iPhone pairing goes.

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MacBook butterfly keyboard lawsuit will proceed after all

MacBook butterfly keyboard lawsuit will proceed after all

Apple may have finally changed back (or changed forward) to a more familiar keyboard mechanism in its new MacBook Pro but that doesn't change the past one bit. It is also not enough, apparently, to save the company from having to fight a class-action suit hurled against it over its previous "butterfly" keyboards. It tried to get that case dismissed but was shot down, effectively giving the green light to move the case forward in court. That is if it isn't settled out of it first.

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Pixel and Pixel XL now receiving their last security update

Pixel and Pixel XL now receiving their last security update

The very first Pixel phone marked and important milestone in Google's history when it formally started making its own phones. The OG Pixel, as they are now called, represented Google's vision of what Android phones should be and, at least for a time, surprised everyone by grabbing the top spot in phone camera reviews. Today, however, marks the end of the Pixel's and Pixel XL's long life as they receive their final security update, for real this time.

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China now requires face scans of anyone signing up for mobile plans

China now requires face scans of anyone signing up for mobile plans

Our face is the most revealing and most telling part of our body, which is why it is the focus of many security systems. It is, however, also the center of controversy when it comes to privacy issues. Face recognition can be a convenient and powerful tool when used properly but it can also be a dangerous weapon depending on who wields it. That may be one of the concerns even among China's citizens now that their government is requiring them to submit face scans when they're simply trying to get a new phone line.

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Huawei Mate 30 Pro, Xiaomi Mi CC9 Pro top camera charts but are widely unavailable

Huawei Mate 30 Pro, Xiaomi Mi CC9 Pro top camera charts but are widely unavailable

These days, one of the most important factors in smartphone purchases, especially among younger consumers, is the camera. More often than not, they would prefer to get the phones that deliver the best photos and videos that fit their budget. But if the sky is the limit in terms of finances, DxOMark is offering a list of the best smartphones for almost every photography need. Although some may dispute the site's findings, it does provide a general overview of how far things have come in the mobile photography landscape.

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OnePlus 6 and 6T Android 10 Beta 2 released after stable rollout paused

OnePlus 6 and 6T Android 10 Beta 2 released after stable rollout paused

OnePlus has just announced the release of an OxygenOS 10, a.k.a. its Android 10 skin, for the OnePlus 6 and OnePlus 6T. You might be scratching your head at this news considering the stable Android 10 update was announced weeks ago. If that's the case, you might have not heard that OnePlus pulled that update out due to showstopping bugs and this beta is practically a return to the drawing board.

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Vivo X30 teasers reveal periscope-style camera, 60x Super Zoom

Vivo X30 teasers reveal periscope-style camera, 60x Super Zoom

Vivo may now be famous for the first popup camera and, more recently, the first all-glass seamless smartphone but when it comes to mobile photography, its cousin and rival OPPO has most of the accolades. That's especially true when it comes to the area of telephoto cameras, where OPPO was one of the first to flaunt the periscope lens design. Vivo, however, isn't going to take things sitting down and will show off its own camera prowess with the Vivo X30 and its 60x Super Zoom.

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