Author Archives: JC Torres


Schiaparelli lander’s mysterious crash partially solved

Schiaparelli lander’s mysterious crash partially solved

On 19th October, the European Space Agency rejoiced as its first ExoMars mission successfully completed one of two initial goals. The Trace Gas Orbiter was finally in orbit around its red planet target. However, rejoicing gave way to scratched heads and furrowed brows as the second part of that phase remained in question. The Schiaparelli lander had mysteriously vanished after it detached from the orbiter to land on the surface. Its remains were found three days later and now the ESA has released its initial findings on what may have caused its premature demise.

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Xiaomi Mi Mix Nano debunked by company exec

Xiaomi Mi Mix Nano debunked by company exec

Just as Xiaomi knows how to make dreams come true, it also knows how to kill them. The Mi Mix that was launched just last month is perhaps the closest we’ve gotten so far to a near bezel-free smartphone. It wasn’t perfect, however, especially when it came to its gigantic size. Hopes were raised when sightings of a smaller Mi Mix Nano came to light. Now those hopes are officially dashed when Xiaomi marketing director Zang Zhiyuan took to Weibo to confirm what fans were dreading to hear: it doesn’t exist.

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Galaxy S7 with Android 7.0 Nougat might default to 1080p

Galaxy S7 with Android 7.0 Nougat might default to 1080p

Samsung has been notoriously slow in providing new Android versions even for its flagships devices but, in some cases like this, there might be an advantage to that. It allows users to get word of upcoming changes beforehand so they won’t be caught off-guard. Like this latest to hit Galaxy Beta Program testers with Galaxy S7 and S7 edge phones. Apparently, Samsung has quietly switched the default screen resolution from 1440p QHD to 1080p FHD. But, according to Android Central, who broke the news, it really doesn’t matter much.

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OnePlus 3T AMA sheds some light on controversial phone

OnePlus 3T AMA sheds some light on controversial phone

It seems that every OnePlus smartphone launch after the One is involved in one controversy or another. The OnePlus 2 was criticized for lacking certain hardware features while asking for a higher price. The OnePlus 3’s rollout was beset by supply problems. And now, the OnePlus 3T is receiving flak for being a “OnePlus 3 refresh” just months after the original. In its Reddit AMA, the Chinese startup attempted to clarify some of the burning questions about the new smartphone, while mysteriously remaining silent on some equally pressing matters.

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8 Best Health or Fitness Apps for Android and iOS

8 Best Health or Fitness Apps for Android and iOS

Ever wondered why there is usually a surge of interest and sales in health-related products and apps around February. By now it’s probably obvious that it’s usually a guilt-induced urge brought about by months of binging on holiday treats. Of course, staying healthy is a year-round commitment and you don’t have to wait for next year to get started. Heck, you don’t even have to enroll in a gym. To help get the ball rolling, here are 8 apps, available on both Android and iOS that are not just meant to keep you healthy, they can be pretty fun too.

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Minecraft introduces flying Elytras, cartoon textures

Minecraft introduces flying Elytras, cartoon textures

Holiday season isn’t just shopping season. It’s also gaming season. Which is why game makers usually go all out during this time to ensnare bored or willing victims into their choice of escape from reality. And nothing says “escape from reality” more than Minecraft. Appropriately, Mojang has just announced some holiday treats for everyone, both on consoles and mobile, though not everyone is getting the exact same gifts. Console gamers will have adventures and misadventures in the air, while those on mobile can make goofy faces instead.

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Lenovo Miix 520 leaked, still looks like a Surface tablet

Lenovo Miix 520 leaked, still looks like a Surface tablet

Microsoft’s Surface line of tablets definitely inspired not a few of its hardware partners to follow its trail, not just in concept but, in some cases, even in design. WinFuture has just gotten word of such a 2-in-1 tablet coming from Lenovo, said to be the Miix 520. If that looks familiar, aside from a Surface Pro deja vu, of course, you might have caught a glimpse of the Lenovo Miix 510 unveiled not long ago. You wouldn’t be off the mark, as this Miix 520 is practically a refresh, with beefier specs and presumably higher price tag.

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New Google Sites now ready to build websites for everyone

New Google Sites now ready to build websites for everyone

Building websites is as much an art as it is (computer) science. And, let’s face it, not everyone has what it takes to craft beautiful, not to mention engaging, websites, nor do we always have a web designer on call. Don’t worry, though, because Google has you covered, again. After a period of dormancy, the Google Sites website builder is jumping back into action, newer, fresher, and more responsive than ever before, to help you and your team make websites that are just as fresh and responsive.

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Xbox One Oculus Rift streaming coming next month

Xbox One Oculus Rift streaming coming next month

By their nature, or perhaps through decades of established conventions, gaming console display their output on big, distant screens. There is nothing, however, that says that screen needs to be physical. In case you have an Xbox One but no large screen but you do have Oculus Rift lying around, soon you’ll be able to hook up the two together. OK, so it’s probably an unlikely “last resort” scenario, but the end result is the same. You’ll be able to see and play your Xbox One game right inside the realm of virtual reality.

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Pebble update brings faster workflow, iOS voice reminders

Pebble update brings faster workflow, iOS voice reminders

One thing you can say about Pebble is that it isn’t fazed, or perhaps even affected, by the global slump in smartwatch sales. As if to show signs of life and ongoing improvement, the smartwatch maker has just announced a major 4.3 update to the firmware and mobile apps, revolving around a theme of “built for speed”. Although there are probably under the hood speed improvements, it’s really more about getting to functionality and actions faster, with a new Kickstart watchface and support for voice reminders, on iOS only sadly.

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Android 7.1.1 inbound, last dev preview adds the Nexus 9

Android 7.1.1 inbound, last dev preview adds the Nexus 9

Android 7.0 Nougat is barely on anyone’s devices, and we’re already getting Android 7.1.1, not just 7.1, in just a few weeks! Of course, such is the fast-paced development of Android, though it’s probably not going to matter much to anyone other than those already using a Google Pixel or a still supported Nexus device. Google has just announced the rollout of the second and final developer preview for Android 7.1.1 and, in addition to the already supported devices from the last preview, Google has finally added the Nexus 9 tablet to is supported list.

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Pokemon Go Nearby testing expands, Ditto sighted and caught

Pokemon Go Nearby testing expands, Ditto sighted and caught

It’s been a pretty busy month for Niantic Labs and it’s really no mystery. The holiday and travel season is upon us, which makes it a lucrative opportunity to get Pokemon Go up to snuff ASAP. Quickly following its rebalancing update that nudged CPs a bit, Niantic has announced that the “Nearby” feature it has been testing can now be tested in more locations around the world. But perhaps more exciting is the still not officially announced addition of Ditto to the first gen Pokemon Go roster.

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