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.

Firefox will deliver an ad-free Internet for a subscription fee

Firefox will deliver an ad-free Internet for a subscription fee

Firefox is one of the biggest and most popular web browsers around, second or equal to Google Chrome and, for Apple users, Safari. What few people probably know is that the Mozilla Foundation that owns and develops the browsers, among other things, is a non-profit organization that doesn't profit from the massive use of Firefox. As such, it has always been looking for revenue sources, some of which ended up in failure. Its latest attempt will probably be just as controversial, practically asking users how much they will be willing to pay for an ad-free Internet experience and a bit more.

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Android Q Back Gesture to fix problems with sensitivity, conflicts

Android Q Back Gesture to fix problems with sensitivity, conflicts

Both Android and iOS have started moving to fully gesture-based user interfaces. While that may make some things more fluid, it also sometimes limits the number of gestures you can use. That's especially true when gestures involve screen edges because you can only have four sides on a phone. Three since the top edge isn't always reachable. That is one of the problems with Android Q's new gestures, particularly the back gesture, a problem that it may be on its way to fixing.

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MacBooks will soon ditch accursed butterfly keyboard according to Kuo

MacBooks will soon ditch accursed butterfly keyboard according to Kuo

Apple has been lauded for its beautiful products but, for some, that design focus has a darker side as well. The company has been accused of sacrificing practicality and even usability for the sake of beauty or thinness and the 2015 MacBook's butterfly mechanism has been used as the prime example of that. At long last, the company is reportedly willing to put that behind it and, according to the famed Ming-chi Kuo, it will be switching to a new scissor switch design that, hopefully, won't have any negative side effects.

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Samsung sued in Australia over misleading water resistance marketing

Samsung sued in Australia over misleading water resistance marketing

Most smartphone users probably presume that their phones are water resistant to some degree. After all, it has become a common feature on most but not all smartphones. However, not all water resistance ratings are created equal and even then there are important caveats to those figures. It's hard enough for regular consumers to remember such things but according to Australia's consumer watchdog Samsung isn't helping at all. In fact, it has accused it of false claims that eventually lead to headache and heartaches for unsuspecting customers.

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One Mix 3 Review – Smaller alternative to Surface Go

One Mix 3 Review – Smaller alternative to Surface Go

Our smartphones have become so powerful these days that it’s almost possible to do everything with them. That includes not only entertainment and web browsing but also “light work”, like emailing or frantically hammering out some text in Google Docs or Microsoft Word mobile.

While it may be possible to do almost everything on a mobile device, some still prefer the traditional form of a laptop or the benefits of a larger screen. At the same time, some of those would concede wanting a smaller device they can carry with them anywhere. That fusion of portability and versatility is what the new breed of Ultra Mobile PCs is promising and the One Mix 3 is one of the first to arrive at the scene. We take it for a thorough run to find out if it delivers on that promise.

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Galaxy Tab A 8.0 (2019) tries to carry the torch for Android tablets

Galaxy Tab A 8.0 (2019) tries to carry the torch for Android tablets

While Apple is revolutionizing its iPads, particularly its iPad Pros, the Android tablet market is almost on life support. Only a few OEMs are still making slates and many of those are pretty much “budget” tablets for basic media consumption and Internet browsing. Samsung remains one of the few stalwart tablet makers and it covers all the tiers and price ranges you can think of. Its latest tablet still isn’t the premium Tab S5 but something for more casual users who need a larger screen than their phones can manage.

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Microsoft has a brighter future in mobile computing with Windows on ARM than x86

Microsoft has a brighter future in mobile computing with Windows on ARM than x86

Rumors about a Surface with an ARM processor has fans both excited and skeptical. That wouldn’t be Microsoft’s first dance with ARM, not even its first ARM-based Surface computer. In almost all cases since the first Surface, Windows on ARM has ended up being a disappointment.

It is almost as if the computing gods were sending Microsoft a not so subtle message to stick with Intel and ARM or, in general, the x86/64 architecture. That may be the easy way out, but it won’t last for long. For better or worse, and Intel certainly won’t like it, Microsoft needs to move heaven and earth to make Windows work perfectly on ARM because its future there will be more promising than on a hardware platform that’s showing its age and limits.

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Galaxy Fold redesign is finished and this is what changed

Galaxy Fold redesign is finished and this is what changed

In a rather unexpected and almost unprecedented move, Samsung’s chief executive put on the record the embarrassment that the Galaxy Fold fiasco caused the company. It isn’t turning a blind eye to the controversy but neither is it backing down from its vision of a foldable future. In fact, anonymous insiders claim that the company has just wrapped up two months of fixing the Galaxy Fold’s design flaws and it has added another precaution to the changes it was already reported to have implemented.

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Honor 9X coming with 7nm Kirin 810 chip

Honor 9X coming with 7nm Kirin 810 chip

Huawei’s problems are, of course, also Honor’s. The latter is even more affected by the US ban considering it happened just as it was launching the Honor 20 and Honor 20 Pro. But just like Huawei, Honor isn’t backing down and, in fact, will be launching a new phone in a matter of weeks. The Honor 9X will be a rather ambitious phone as it will be the company’s first phone to run on Huawei’s shiny new 7nm Kirin 810.

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Samsung NPU promises on-device AI with lower power consumption

Samsung NPU promises on-device AI with lower power consumption

AI is the big thing in tech these days, permeating everything from the Web to homes to mobile devices. Much of that commercial AI, however, lives in the cloud, which has security, privacy, and performance impacts. In the mobile industry, there is a movement to relocate some of that AI processing inside smartphones and Samsung is one of those pushing that trend. Its latest efforts focus on delivering that on-device AI processing with a smaller power footprint, ironically by shrinking the grouping of data compared to conventional deep learning models.

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Sony RX100 III Video Creation Kit bundles everything beginners need

Sony RX100 III Video Creation Kit bundles everything beginners need

Even with the rise of smartphones and their increasingly sophisticated cameras, digital cameras haven’t completely gone out fashion. In fact, some would say it has encouraged avid mobile photographers to “graduated” to dedicated cameras. The transition, however, isn’t always smooth. Not only is the operation different, it is often the case that you will need more than just a camera to survive as a photographer. That’s why Sony has launched the RX100 III Video Creation Kit to bundle all the parts budding vloggers and video creators to get started.

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Linux’s success in servers could pose problems for the Linux desktop

Linux’s success in servers could pose problems for the Linux desktop

The cat is out of the bag and Steve Ballmer’s worst nightmare has just come true. Microsoft, once the most outspoken enemy of Linux and open source software, not only loves it but may have just become dependent on it. Its cloud computing platform Azure has long offered customers the choice between Linux and Windows virtual machines.

Now a Microsoft engineer has just admitted that Azure customers have preferred using Linux instead of Windows servers. But what is a clear win for Linux in this market could also negatively affect other aspects of the operating system, most especially “The Linux Desktop” everyone loves talking about.

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