Author Archives: JC Torres


Google Assistant Continued Conversations: protect your privacy

Google Assistant Continued Conversations: protect your privacy

Talking with smart assistants doesn’t always feel like you talking to someone smart, which probably can be a bit forgiven considering we’re really talking with bots. The experience of dealing with Google Assistant, Amazon Alexa, and Apple Siri, among others, almost feels like talking to someone over a walkie-talkie. Google’s new Continued Conversations feature does make it feel more natural now but beware: you now have to be more careful what you after Google has answered you back.

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Xiaomi Mi Pad 4 will have face unlock feature

Xiaomi Mi Pad 4 will have face unlock feature

Xiaomi is perhaps best known for its very affordable smartphones that have never officially reached US shores. What is less known, however, is that it is one of the few remaining makers of Android tablets, which have never officially reached US shores either. It would seem, however, that Xiaomi will be stirring up the tablet market a bit with its upcoming Mi Pad 4, what is perhaps the first tablet to have a face unlock that some are expecting to debut in the next iPad Pro.

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YouTube Merchandise, Membership tries to recoup YouTubers’ losses

YouTube Merchandise, Membership tries to recoup YouTubers’ losses

YouTube has made many changes of late in response to the scandals that its stars and content filters have brought about. But while many of these changes were made to appease authorities and sponsors, YouTube has also alienated quite a number of its own creators, making it harder for them to monetize their hard work. At VidCon 2018, the video streaming giant has announced new programs that they hope will appease those disgruntled YouTubers, including allowing them to sell without having to go to other third-party (a.k.a. not YouTube) platforms.

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Cheza Chromebook with Snapdragon 845 to rival always-on PCs

Cheza Chromebook with Snapdragon 845 to rival always-on PCs

From Windows S to the new, somewhat disappointing first generation of always-on Windows 10 on ARM PCs, it is clear that Microsoft is worried. Its once unchallenged kingdom in the education and enterprise markets have been chipped away first by Apple and now by Google and its Chromebooks. The Windows maker is fighting back by trying to combine Windows 10 with hardware that makes mobile devices so useful: always-on connectivity and battery life. But even before Redmond can regain its foothold, it seems that Google will be fighting back with a Chromebook codenamed “Cheza”, powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 845.

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Apple seeks to invalidate Qualcomm patents it may have infringed on

Apple seeks to invalidate Qualcomm patents it may have infringed on

When you are slapped with a patent lawsuit, one of the best ways to turn the tables is to have those patents invalidated. It is definitely easier and perhaps cheaper than arguing in court that you didn’t infringe on them anyway. Apple is no stranger to that tactic and is now pulling the same strategy on Qualcomm over four of the chip maker’s patents. Those same patents are, of course, the ones that Qualcomm is suing Apple for.

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Nintendo Switch pirates beware: you could be banned for life

Nintendo Switch pirates beware: you could be banned for life

The Nintendo Switch is one of the most innovative gaming consoles to launch of late but, like any gaming device, it isn’t immune to one of the entertainment industry’s biggest problem: piracy. Many companies have tried different methods of fighting or discouraging piracy, often at the expense of inconveniencing legit users. Nintendo, however, may have come up with a nearly foolproof method that would ban such pirates from playing games online or even ban them from Nintendo Network for good.

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BlackBerry KEY2 US launch: all the details available here

BlackBerry KEY2 US launch: all the details available here

If you’re a hardcore, key-mashing typist who must feel the key travel at each and every press, you really don’t have much choice as far as smartphones go. Fortunately, now you have a new choice, depending on the design, specs, and price that you find most convincing. The BlackBerry KEY2 definitely changes the game a bit and BlackBerry’s third Android QWERTY smartphone will finally be available to US buyers in just a few weeks.

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Top smartphones of Q2 2018: where things stand

Top smartphones of Q2 2018: where things stand

The year is half over and we’ve mostly seen all that year has to offer as far as smartphones go. Except, of course, for Apple new iPhones and Samsung’s last hurrah for the year. We already took a look at the premium phones that landed in the market in the first few months of the year and was admittedly at a loss for which one came out at the top. This quarter has its own roster with seemingly interesting personalities. Will a winner finally stand out? Let’s take a look.

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Westworld: The Maze is an Alexa choose your own adventure game

Westworld: The Maze is an Alexa choose your own adventure game

Did the not so fake Skyrim: Very Special Edition Alexa game tickle your fancy but aren’t too keen on fantasy settings? Don’t worry, there’s another spoken game waiting for you, this time with a match almost made in artificial heaven. After all, what better way to experience an AI-centric world than through an AI chatbot. That’s the kind of unique experience that HBO’s Westworld: The Maze tries to bring and, to turn the tables around, you play as the Host, not the human.

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CCC Digital Key spec turns smartphones into car keys

CCC Digital Key spec turns smartphones into car keys

We put almost everything inside our phones, from our personal data to our money. So why not our car keys as well? After all, smart homes can already be locked or unlocked using our mobile devices anyway. That’s the future, frightening or otherwise, that car manufacturers are already building. Now the Car Connectivity Consortium (CCC) is working together to create an open standard around that, called the Digital Key specification, which is now marking its 1.0 release on the road towards seamless mobile device-to-vehicle connectivity.

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Mojang Scrolls is so dead, long live fan-run Caller’s Bane!

Mojang Scrolls is so dead, long live fan-run Caller’s Bane!

Mojang is best known for Minecraft. The problem with that is that anything after Minecraft has paled in comparison in terms of popularity and profitability. That’s the tragedy that befell the generic-named Scrolls collectible card game that ultimately shut down in 2016. But out from its ashes rises Scrolls, now called Caller’s Bane, but Mojang, now owned by Microsoft, won’t be running the show. Or the servers, apparently.

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Xbox One won’t have VR, mixed reality and this is why

Xbox One won’t have VR, mixed reality and this is why

The Sony PlayStation might be getting a lot of flak lately over its Fortnite cross-play snub, but PS fans can now gloat over the Xbox rivals over one aspect. The PlayStation has its own VR system and, if things continue as they are now, the Xbox won’t. Microsoft is now practically going back on its own marketing that plays up the Xbox One X as being capable of “high-fidelity VR”. And beneath its reason is the simple fact that it doesn’t foresee making money out of console VR.

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