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.

Opinion: Facebook voice assistant is a joke, it can barely protect its users

Opinion: Facebook voice assistant is a joke, it can barely protect its users

Fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice, shame on me. Fool me thrice, you're probably Facebook. The social media giant has rapidly overtaken Google as the poster child for privacy violations and it seems that the there is no end yet in sight to the revelations of either the company's ineptitude to practice good security or its talent at skirting around policies and laws. Yet in the midst of all the accusations that rock its massive ship, Facebook is eyeing launching its own voice assistant, as if it wasn't enough to make users "unintentionally" give it the data it needs.

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SEGA Genesis Mini pre-orders kickoff with 10 more titles revealed

SEGA Genesis Mini pre-orders kickoff with 10 more titles revealed

The mini retro console craze apparently hasn't died just yet. The latest to jump on that train is SEGA who announced last month that it was making a Genesis Mini launching later this year. Like other console makers before it, like Nintendo and Sony, it's revealing the console's titles in waves of ten. Now it has dumped the second batch of classic titles along with the green light for pre-ordering the mini console today.

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Galaxy S10 Night Mode could give Samsung a small photography leg up

Galaxy S10 Night Mode could give Samsung a small photography leg up

One of the most talked about trends in mobile photography is the so-called Night Mode. More than just low-light photography, this special mode often employed tricks to truly bring out details in the dark without increasing the noise. Samsung has recently jumped on that bandwagon but not yet in full. It is now taking one small step forward with an update that brings a dedicated Night Mode to the Galaxy S10 that could start its journey towards snatching Huawei's crown.

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Google starts asking Android users in Europe which browser they want

Google starts asking Android users in Europe which browser they want

Android has always given users choice, Google says. To some extent that is true but most users seldom change the defaults that came with their phones. That's the issue that the European Commission had with Google pre-installing its apps and services on Android phones. After losing that legal battle, Google is now rolling out an update that will give users a chance to install their web browser or search app of choice. Presuming they haven't already or aren't hooked into Google's ecosystem anyway.

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Facebook has been uploading users’ email contacts since 2016

Facebook has been uploading users’ email contacts since 2016

One of Britney Spears' earliest hit is almost comically appropriate here with some modification. Oops, Facebook did it again and, this time, it probably wouldn't have admitted to it if it weren't caught red-handed. Apparently, the social networking titan has been asking new users to enter not only their email address but also the password to said email address for the sake of verification. What it did, however, was actually getting the user's email contacts and uploading them to its own servers without warning them or asking their permission.

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bsnes HD Mode 7 mod brings pixelated classics to the hi-def world

bsnes HD Mode 7 mod brings pixelated classics to the hi-def world

Putting aside legal considerations, gaming console emulators do a wonderful job of making old games accessible and playable on modern computers. Unfortunately, the game themselves weren't designed with the future in mind and there's only so much emulators can do to make their pixelated graphics work well with hi-res screens. That's why this new mod for the bsnes SNES emulator is almost magical in its ability to almost make these games almost HD-compatible.

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Galaxy Fold protective film critical to keeping screen intact

Galaxy Fold protective film critical to keeping screen intact

Some have been warning against going out to buy first-gen experimental devices because of potential problems that may surprise early adopters. But if you're offered a free review unit, why not, right? That was definitely the case with some select personalities Samsung has chosen to become the first recipients of its Galaxy Fold foldable smartphone. Unfortunately for both Samsung and the proud new owners, they are also the first ones to encounter a glaring problem with a rather simple cause: a protective film.

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Razer Phone 2 in Satin Black available as an online store exclusive

Razer Phone 2 in Satin Black available as an online store exclusive

The future of the Razer Phone 3 may be in question but the future of the Razer Phone 2 still seems to be strong. In fact, Razer has just put out a new edition of the current gen phone. Don't worry if you already have a Razer Phone 2 because not much has changed. All you'll be missing out from this online exclusive Satin Black is the reduced risk of sliding off surfaces and reduced fingerprint smudges.

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Huawei P30 Pro iFixit teardown reveals interesting design choices

Huawei P30 Pro iFixit teardown reveals interesting design choices

Smartphones today, especially the expensive flagships, have become more powerful and sophisticated but the literal price to pay is increased cost and difficulty in repairs. While authorized service centers have official tools and processes, they will also take the same journey that iFixit takes. The Huawei P30 Pro is one of the latest destinations of that journey and while the overall result is still disappointing, the teardown did reveal some surprising and pleasant nuggets.

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Pixel 3 Photobooth uses AI to automatically take selfies

Pixel 3 Photobooth uses AI to automatically take selfies

Despite their popularity, taking selfies is hard work. You have to position the phone right. You have to position your head or heads right. And then, when all that's done, you have to reach for the shutter button without moving your hand too much. Thanks to the Pixel 3 Camera app's new Photobooth mode, however, you can stop worrying about 2 out of 3 of those and let that magical AI take the selfie if and when you're ready with the perfect expression or kiss.

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macOS 10.15 “Sidecar” feature can use iPads as external screens

macOS 10.15 “Sidecar” feature can use iPads as external screens

Apple is praised for many things but it is also criticized for just as many. One of the latter is how the company "adopts" ideas and features from existing third-party apps and services, effectively pushing those out of business. That may happen yet again in the next major macOS release, version 10.15, where a certain "Sidecar" feature will let Mac owners with iPads use the slate as a second display, complete with Apple Pencil support even.

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LG V50 ThinQ launch delay blamed on 5G

LG V50 ThinQ launch delay blamed on 5G

For the first time in its history, LG unveiled both a G series and a V series phone on the same day at MWC 2019 last February. The point was to differentiate the 5G-capable LG V50 ThinQ from its non-5G cousin, the LG G8 ThinQ. But while the G8 ThinQ has already started its rather quiet rollout, the V50 ThinQ apparently won't be coming anytime soon. That's because LG has opted to delay its April launch in Korea, which will probably offset global dates as well, all to better prepare for 5G.

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