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 Launcher 6.0 Preview gives a glimpse of the Surface Duo

Microsoft Launcher 6.0 Preview gives a glimpse of the Surface Duo

Microsoft's strategy when it comes to the mobile market has flip-flopped over the years but it has resulted in a few pleasant surprises. One of those is the Microsoft Launcher, previously known as the Arrow Launcher, hailed by some as one of the few good launchers available on Android. Just as surprising is how Microsoft has just released a preview version of the launcher which includes a few elements that we expect to see in the dual-screen Surface Duo later this year.

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Harry Potter RPG built entirely in Minecraft is years in the making

Harry Potter RPG built entirely in Minecraft is years in the making

Minecraft is one of those strokes of genius that may have left you wondering what took so long for someone to make it. Its open-world platform has become the home for many virtual worlds, including those that tie into some existing franchise. Sometimes that becomes an official promo but, most of the time, it takes the collective effort of fans to recreate a familiar universe in the blocky world. That's exactly what is now about to burst to the public with an unofficial Harry Potter RPG that puts all the iconic places and objects of the fictional world in Minecraft.

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PlayStation is skipping E3 2020, throws subtle shade at the event

PlayStation is skipping E3 2020, throws subtle shade at the event

With the upcoming launch of the Xbox Series X and the PlayStation 5, the console wars are back again in full swing. Depending on who you ask, one or the other is the console to beat this year. It is arguable, though, that Microsoft's gaming platform may be enjoying the lion's share of the media attention while Sony seems to be biding its time. That perception may have just been reinforced now that Sony has said, somewhat still unofficially, that it will be skipping the E3 show for the second time in a row.

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Surface Neo 3D emulator could help developers prepare for dual screens

Surface Neo 3D emulator could help developers prepare for dual screens

Even if it isn't due until the end of 2020, Microsoft uncharacteristically revealed its dual-screen devices as early as October last year. Its purpose was to give developers ample time to prepare for that future and modify their apps or create new ones for the Surface Neo (and the Android-based Surface Duo). Adopting new designs and APIs is one thing but actually testing how it works on a dual-screen device is a different thing. Since developers are unlikely to have access to a Surface Neo or even a prototype, Microsoft's new patent may provide a solution everyone might be able to use.

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Skype calls no longer transcribed in China, security concerns remain

Skype calls no longer transcribed in China, security concerns remain

After its acquisition, Microsoft has tried to reinvent Skype's image as something not just for businesses anymore but as a communication tool for groups as well as personal chats well. In other words, Microsoft wants people to know they can use Skype for any and all chats, be it text, audio, or its original video functionality. Unfortunately, it seems that putting all your communication eggs in one Microsoft basket may have repercussions in terms of privacy, especially after the latest report that exposes the company's rather lax security standards for the service.

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Nintendo Switch GameCube Controller Mod is awesome but grueling work

Nintendo Switch GameCube Controller Mod is awesome but grueling work

Unlike towering desktops, gaming consoles are often less conducive to the crazy mods that PC gamers often put their rig through. That only means that mods for consoles and controllers tend to be even crazier, just like this one that recreates an iconic GameCube controller as a Switch Joy-Con. Forget a simple paint job or even 3D printing, this mod is months' work that also represents the collaborative nature of the modding community.

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Galaxy S20+ photos confirm the name, brings some bad news

Galaxy S20+ photos confirm the name, brings some bad news

Given that there's barely a month before Samsung's Unpacked 2020 event, it's highly likely that mobile news will be filled with last-minute tips and leaks about the Galaxy S20. Yes, that will apparently be the name that Samsung will be going with, for better or worse, and there is now at least one unofficial real-world photo that confirms that. Unfortunately, the leaks also bring some bad news for those hoping for the best of the best components in at least the Galaxy S20+.

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Galaxy Z Flip is the foldable Galaxy Bloom’s real name

Galaxy Z Flip is the foldable Galaxy Bloom’s real name

With CES 2020 over, those in the mobile industry are most likely looking toward the next big conference of the year, one that is more directly geared towards smartphones, tablets, and more. But even before MWC 2020 takes place, Samsung will be stealing the spotlight to reveal its two big bets in the first half of 2020. One of those is, of course, its second foldable phone, what was revealed to a select CES crowd as the Galaxy Bloom. It turns out, that isn't its commercial name after all.

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Apple sued again over Apple Watch for trade secrets theft

Apple sued again over Apple Watch for trade secrets theft

Given how the Apple Watch has been making headlines for saving lives, it's no surprise that it is, pardon the pun, apple picking for those who want to capitalize on its fame or, in this case, have gotten hurt by it. Just before the year ended, Apple was hit by a lawsuit over its unlicensed use of a patent for its atrial fibrillation detection. Now it is getting slapped by an even bigger complaint for stealing trade secrets related to health monitoring on its Apple Watch.

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US-funded Android phone comes with free malware you can’t remove

US-funded Android phone comes with free malware you can’t remove

The US government has painted the image of a Chinese government that will use every trick in the book to spy both on its own citizens as well as other countries. The latter can come in the form of smartphones with spyware, which is one of the accusations it hurled at Huawei. It is almost ironic, then, that smartphones that the US government itself has funded to sell at an affordable price do exactly that and, unfortunately, there is no way to get rid of these malware.

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Samsung apps and services now at the center of a privacy controversy

Samsung apps and services now at the center of a privacy controversy

Despite all of the privacy issues that have hounded major tech companies including Facebook, Google, Huawei, and even Apple, Samsung has so far remained out of that kind of news. That wasn't going to last forever, though, and as they say, when it rains, it pours. Samsung now finds itself with not one but three separate pieces of news that may make some think twice about using Samsung's mobile apps and cloud services, even if they may not be avoidable in some cases.

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Windows 10 20H2 could be another minor, cleanup release

Windows 10 20H2 could be another minor, cleanup release

Windows 10 19H2, a.k.a. version 1909 a.k.a. the November 2019 update, was a small yet significant one. It was, for the first time since Windows 10 launched in 2015, an update dedicated solely to bug fixing and polish. It wasn't without its own set of showstopping bugs but, admittedly, nothing as nefarious as with other releases. It seems that the strategy has gotten positive feedback, enough for Microsoft to reportedly do the same this year with what will be the Windows 10 20H2 release.

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