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.

Avast extension removed from Firefox and Opera for tracking users

Avast extension removed from Firefox and Opera for tracking users

Once upon a time, you couldn't go living a normal Internet-connected life without an anti-virus software of some kind. While the threat and effects of malware haven't really gone down, the quality of said security software sadly has. Some of the giants in that industry have been gobbled up by even bigger giants while others have been accused of using their reach for their government or for their own profit. The latest to fall prey to that tactic is Avast, which also owns the free AVG software, and its questionable activities are apparently also at work even on web browsers.

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BMW CarPlay integration now offered for free after backlash

BMW CarPlay integration now offered for free after backlash

New cad models these days are almost expected to have one form of integration with mobile ecosystems or another. That means either letting users hook up to a manufacturer's proprietary system or directly integrating Apple CarPlay or Android Auto. Just because it's expected doesn't mean it has to come for free, which is the rather unpopular position BMW made a few months back. Now it's making a U-turn and will not charge owners of 2019 and 2020 models $80 a year just to use CarPlay in their cars.

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Nintendo Switch Online finally expands SNES roster, includes Star Fox 2

Nintendo Switch Online finally expands SNES roster, includes Star Fox 2

One of the perks of Nintendo's Switch Online service is access to a roster of classic Nintendo titles that were promised to grow every month. That, however, mysteriously stopped after the introduction of SNES titles back in September. Worry not because Nintendo has finally announced the addition of new games to the Switch Online list and it happily does include four games for the SNES, including a long-lost sequel to a less-known but still beloved franchise.

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Galaxy Fold 2 hinge could be almost unnoticeable

Galaxy Fold 2 hinge could be almost unnoticeable

We're near the end of the year so, unsurprisingly, companies and news have started to become more "forward-looking" in preparing for 2020's products. Next year is going to be a busy one for the mobile market not only because of 5G but because of an insistent push by manufacturers to thrust foldable phones into consumers' hands. After an almost catastrophic first attempt, Samsung will seemingly swing the opposite way and make the Galaxy Fold 2 more accessible less conspicuous than its predecessor, starting with the hinge.

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Galaxy S11 8K video recording confirmed by these puzzle pieces

Galaxy S11 8K video recording confirmed by these puzzle pieces

If you haven't noticed it yet, the big news this week is the announcement of Qualcomm's premier mobile platforms for 2020 premium and flagship smartphones. To be honest, there is almost no surprise there as the Snapdragon 865 and Snapdragon 765 showcase the natural evolution of their predecessors based on market trends. That said, Qualcomm may have indirectly helped confirm one detail about Samsung's early 2020 flagship, suggesting that the Galaxy S11 may indeed have 8K video recording capabilities.

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Stadia Controller Google Assistant button now actually works

Stadia Controller Google Assistant button now actually works

Google just loves its staggered releases, delivering features piecemeal and in waves. That's something traditional gamers might not be used to but it at least shows signs of activity for a gaming platform that started off on the wrong foot. The latest feature to drop is not exactly for Stadia itself but for its special Stadia Controller, finally enabling the Google Assistant button to summon Google Assistant, presuming you're not actually doing anything yet.

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Nintendo Switch in China will have only one game at launch next week

Nintendo Switch in China will have only one game at launch next week

At long last, Nintendo's highly-rated gaming console is coming to China. But when the Nintendo Switch does land in stores there next week, it might barely even make a ripple. But while getting approved to officially start sales in the country is newsworthy in itself, it will probably make very little difference in global sales numbers, especially considering there will be only one game available for sale for the console when it launches.

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Ring maker gave police maps of where video doorbells are installed [UPDATED]

Ring maker gave police maps of where video doorbells are installed [UPDATED]

Smart home products and connected appliances can make lives more convenient and at times even safer but consumers should be aware of what they're letting inside their homes. Unlike our phones, which are mobile can and can be easily replaced, putting connected devices in houses pins them down on a map. In the case of video doorbell Ring, there is apparently a very literal digital map that does exactly that and investigations reveal that the Amazon-owned company was only too happy to share that data with law enforcement, contrary to their claims.

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Galaxy A91 renders suggest Samsung has settled on its new design language

Galaxy A91 renders suggest Samsung has settled on its new design language

The past few years have been tumultuous times for Samsung's mobile business and you can pretty much see that reflected in how it has significantly changed its designs in just two years. 2017 saw the much-criticized placement of the new rear fingerprint scanner which was relocated in 2018. This year dawned the age of punch hole cameras that migrated from corner to center in just a few months, not to mention the position and orientation of the cameras on the backs of the Galaxy S10 and Galaxy Note 10. Based on a few leaks of the Galaxy S11, it seems that Samsung is changing its mind yet again but renders of an upcoming Galaxy A91 suggests that it could be something more consistent this time.

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Motorola premium phones in 2020 might not be what you expect them to be

Motorola premium phones in 2020 might not be what you expect them to be

Qualcomm has just teased its new 5G-centric Snapdragon processors and, of course, manufacturers are quick to jump on the bandwagon. But while that's pretty normal as far as the mobile industry goes, one voice seems to have stood out from the rest. On stage, Motorola dropped a piece of rather big news that considering its present situation, might be taken with a bit of healthy skepticism. The company, once the darling of the mobile market, will be making premium phones again but it's not yet clear what it really intends.

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Airport facial scans to include US citizens in proposed DHS rules

Airport facial scans to include US citizens in proposed DHS rules

Facial recognition is slowly but surely becoming the focal point of the next tug-of-war on privacy as more and more companies and governments are embracing the technology for their own needs. While an effective tool in safeguarding phones and computers, it is also feared to be a more subtle but more intrusive way to monitor people without their knowledge. It is against that backdrop of uncertainty that the US Homeland Security is proposing that face recognition checks in all US airports be done on all travelers, including the country's own citizens.

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Galaxy S11 face recognition speculation would be a miracle if true

Galaxy S11 face recognition speculation would be a miracle if true

With every new high-profile successor to a high-profile product, it isn't unusual to get flooded with leaks, rumors, theories, and wishful thinking. That can happen even half a year before the new product's launch all the way up to the very last minute. If you try to combine all of those into one, you're also bound to run into some irreconcilable differences. One of those may relate to Samsung's choice for the Galaxy S11's primary or only biometrics security feature. And no, it's almost next to impossible that it would use face recognition.

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