Author Archives: JC Torres

An open source contributor and holds doubly lethal degrees in Philosophy and Computer Science. When not working, he spends his time lurking and helping out in KDE Project.

Amazon Echo smart speakers’ sales surpass Google Home by a wide margin

Amazon Echo smart speakers’ sales surpass Google Home by a wide margin

Smart speakers were, at a time, the hot thing in the tech market but they've become so common now that you almost don't hear much about them in between product launches and privacy scandals. You might be surprised then, that they have apparently grown by almost 45% since the third quarter last year. And, depending on which team you're rooting for, you might be surprised or not that Google is the biggest loser in that market.

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Final Fantasy comes to Xbox Game Pass, Final Fantasy XIV promised

Final Fantasy comes to Xbox Game Pass, Final Fantasy XIV promised

At its X019 event, Microsoft practically tried to steal Google's thunder just as the latter is about to launch its Stadia game streaming service. Not only did Microsoft confirm 50 games for Project xCloud, a stark contrast to Stadia's starting 12, it also revealed that xCloud will also dip its toes into the Xbox Game Pass subscription service. That opens the doors to dozens more game, including the newly announced arrival of most of the Final Fantasy series, with a big one still promised to come.

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Huawei P30 and P30 Pro Android 10 update rolls out in Europe

Huawei P30 and P30 Pro Android 10 update rolls out in Europe

Huawei's uncertain future in the Android market has some wondering if it will be able to continue supporting the devices it already has in the market. Huawei has already promised it will be updating not a few models to Android 10, though that hasn't happened at a fast pace, naturally. That, however, also raises questions of whether such an update would affect Google Play services already on international phones. Fortunately for owners of such phones in Europe, it seems to be all good news for them.

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Niantic Wayfarer now available globally for level 40 Pokemon GO Trainers

Niantic Wayfarer now available globally for level 40 Pokemon GO Trainers

Trainers all over the world rejoice! If you've been itching to have one of your country's famous locations turned into a Gym or PokeStop, your chance may have just arrived. Provided, of course, you meet the minimum requirements Niantic has laid out. The mobile AR company has finally launched its Wayfarer program, admittedly a few days later than anticipated, to players worldwide to give eligible Trainers the opportunity to change the shape of the Pokemon GO world, hopefully for the better.

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Surface Pro 7 is extremely difficult to repair based on iFixit teardown

Surface Pro 7 is extremely difficult to repair based on iFixit teardown

Microsoft unveiled quite a number of notable Surface devices last month but there is always an odd one out. The Surface Pro 7 seems to have gotten the short end of the stick this year, being seen as an almost forgettable upgrade. But more than just the meager step up in specs and features, the device is criticized for sporting an already very outdated design. It turns out, that's true inside as well.

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Fitbit OS 4.1 update brings improved health features – and uncertainty of its future

Fitbit OS 4.1 update brings improved health features – and uncertainty of its future

Fitbit was one of the remaining bastions of the independent wearable market. Emphasis on "was" after it was acquired by Google (pending regulatory approval) which puts its future in question. There have been very few concrete statements, let alone actions, that would assure Fitbit users that things will go either way, which is what makes this rather unexpected update to Fitbit OS feel a bit ominous.

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DJI mobile app will let anyone identify drones in flight

DJI mobile app will let anyone identify drones in flight

Drones have become more common these days especially in the consumer market. All sorts and sizes of flying robots, controlled by phones or dedicated controllers can be found in any toy store and hobby store. The use of drones extends to business and even military which has naturally raised red flags when it comes to privacy. But while most groups are calling for stricter drone regulations, DJI is offering an alternative that would allow anyone with a smartphone to identify registered drones flying as far as 1 kilometer away.

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Apple Music Replay will remind you of your top track of 2019

Apple Music Replay will remind you of your top track of 2019

It's almost that time of the year when we take stock of the past months to see how far we've come along. These days, we have all these social networks and apps that help take a load off our brains and use the data they already collected on us to help us reminisce. For the first time since it launched, Apple Music is offering a new Replay service to let you reminisce or cringe about your music tastes in the past 11 months and beyond.

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Gaming legend John Carmack moving away from Oculus and into AI

Gaming legend John Carmack moving away from Oculus and into AI

There are few game developers who have achieved rockstar fame as much as the two Johns of the former id Software. And of the two, one is moving on from games or at least from working on games directly. John Carmack will always be remembered for his pioneering work not only iconic franchises such as Doom and Wolfenstein 3D but also for pushing the computer gaming industry as a whole. At 49, however, he wants to be remembered for something else as well: making an impact in the field of Artificial Intelligence.

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Google Pay erases transit passes and tickets when you uninstall the app

Google Pay erases transit passes and tickets when you uninstall the app

Digital wallets and mobile payment systems all promise the convenience of nothing having to worry about paper bills and plastic cards. That goes for both having to carry them around in your pocket or bag as well as worrying about losing these separate pieces. You can lose your phone, though, or even lose the app that holds then. And when it comes to the latter, Google Pay offers the exact same assurance as physical transit passes and tickets: nothing.

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Netflix ending support for some devices blamed on DRM

Netflix ending support for some devices blamed on DRM

It has been a while since the class of technologies known as DRM or Digital Rights Management has been the focus on contention but the news surrounding Netflix's sudden withdrawal from some devices could put it back in the spotlight. It's only semi-official, considering Netflix has not yet issued a formal explanation, but it seems that affected devices are unable to keep up with such DRM systems, practically locking them out of the streaming service for good.

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YouTube new Terms of Service causes concern over Google account termination

YouTube new Terms of Service causes concern over Google account termination

It's not unusual to wake up to an email informing you about upcoming changes to a service's terms of use. But when that service involves or is owned by Google, it's also not unusual for some feathers to be ruffled more than just slightly. Most have probably focused on the potential privacy ramifications of YouTube's new Terms of Service, which Google is trying to quickly respond to. One user, however, is raising questions about one particular clause that could provide fatal for Google account holders.

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