Author Archives: JC Torres


MasterCard now has a fingerprint-protected card

MasterCard now has a fingerprint-protected card

Fingerprint sensors are now everywhere. Once the stuff of science fiction and spy movies, the biometric system now unlocks smartphones, laptops, and credit cards. Yes, credit cards. That is, if MasterCard’s pilot test is successful. The financial services giant has just announced that it has kicked off test in South Africa for a “next generation” card that combines the usual chips you find in cards today with a biometric sensor that promises more secure transactions and less opportunities for fraud.

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Microsoft To-Do set to replace Wunderlist, preview now out

Microsoft To-Do set to replace Wunderlist, preview now out

When Microsoft sunsetted the popular Sunrise calendar app that it acquired, there were fears that it would do likewise when it acquired popular list app Wunderlist. Consider those fears well-founded as Microsoft releases the preview version of the generic-sounding Microsoft To-Do. It's too early to say if To-Do will be able to match up to the standards set by Wunderlist, but Microsoft made it unambiguously clear. Wunderlist is on its way out.

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This is how much Samsung’s Galaxy Books will cost

This is how much Samsung’s Galaxy Books will cost

While Microsoft may have a new Surface Pro 5 coming next month, leaks paint a rather disappointing picture of a slightly refreshed 2-in-1. That gives its partners and competitors plenty of opportunities to grab the market for themselves. That is, if the price is right. Judging by the price and availability details that Samsung just put out, its new Galaxy Book 2-in-1 Windows 10 tablets might indeed just offer the market a stop-gap solution until the next Microsoft Surface innovation. If and when that happens.

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Razer Hammerhead line gets Bluetooth, Lightning in-ear headsets

Razer Hammerhead line gets Bluetooth, Lightning in-ear headsets

Gamers, especially hardcore ones, are a very picky bunch. Everything has to be absolutely or at least near perfect. And that isn't limited to graphics only. It also extends to the audio experience, something that Razer knows only too well. Now the gaming brand is bringing some of that audio expertise to mobile. With the new wireless Hammerhead BT and the wired Hammerhead for iOS, smartphone users of any platform will be able to enjoy Razer's brand of audio quality, be it for gaming, music, or even just phone calls.

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Fujifilm instax SQUARE SQ10 hybrid delivers your Instagram fix

Fujifilm instax SQUARE SQ10 hybrid delivers your Instagram fix

Despite the ubiquity of smartphones with competitive cameras, instant cameras have come back in fashion. That said, its users still wish they had the flexibility of digital as well. Pocket photo printers can deliver that but they just don't "feel" right. Sensing a potential market, Fujifilm is launching its new instax SQUARE SQ10 that hits two birds with one stone. It is the first instax camera with a digital sensor and image processor. At the same time, it is also the first instax to use Fujifilm's new square format film.

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Windows 10 will be getting a Power throttling feature

Windows 10 will be getting a Power throttling feature

The Windows 10 Creators Update introduced a Game Mode that would, in theory, hand over most of the hardware resources and processing power to games. Now it seems that Microsoft has plans to go the other way and introduce a feature that would reduce programs' use of resources in order to prolong battery life. "Power throttling" isn't going to be its final name, but that pretty much explains what it does. The feature will allocate just enough processing power to background processes to keep them running while keeping power consumption to a minimum.

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Ming-Chi Kuo chimes in on Galaxy S8 sales, Galaxy Note 8 features

Ming-Chi Kuo chimes in on Galaxy S8 sales, Galaxy Note 8 features

KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo is best known for his insights on Apple's devices, particularly iPhones, that hit the mark most of the time. So when he does make the rare Android forecast, it's probably a good thing to listen. With the Galaxy S8 already well into its first week in the market, Kuo is making some predictions on the Galaxy Note 8's features. Particularly, its dual cameras. At the same time, he is revising KGI's expectations for the Galaxy S8 because of its "better than expected" reception.

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Cabana video watch and chat is Tumblr’s attempt to remain relevant

Cabana video watch and chat is Tumblr’s attempt to remain relevant

Yahoo, once a giant and a darling of the Internet, has a reverse Midas touch these days. Anything it touches seem to be in danger of dying, one way or another. And, yes, that includes Yahoo itself. Although Tumblr still has a massive following, it has recently fallen out of favor among netizens and has even gained a questionable reputation. In order to adapt to the the latest trends, most of which revolve around video chats and live streaming, Tumblr has launched Cabana, which, in a nutshell, lets you watch a video with friends while also having a video chat with them.

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Moto Z video ad is beyond weird

Moto Z video ad is beyond weird

We're no stranger to smartphone ads. Some are joyfully entertaining, while some are woefully abhorrent. Some, however, defy description. Like this latest ad to come from the creative minds at Motorola and Lenovo. It is, at the end of the day, an advertisement for the Moto Mods system that takes a not so subtle shot at Apple. But, as some would say, delivery is key, and in this case, you'll completely forget about the message because of the out of this world delivery.

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Sharp AQUOS R comes with high-end specs, rotating dock

Sharp AQUOS R comes with high-end specs, rotating dock

While we're looking to either Sony or OnePlus to bring the next smartphone powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 835, we might have overlooked one potential candidate. Granted, Sharp isn't exactly a common name in the smartphone market outside of Japan. So when it comes out with something like the AQUOS R, it's hard not to take notice. While not as glamorous as an LG G6 or Samsung Galaxy S8, the Sharp AQUOS R still packs top-tier hardware and throws in its own AI-assistant and a rather strange charging dock to go along with it.

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Galaxy S8+ iFixit teardown could reignite battery fears

Galaxy S8+ iFixit teardown could reignite battery fears

Given the scathing experience Samsung suffered over the Galaxy Note 7's battery, you'd think they'd have learned their lesson by now. That might actually be true but, based on iFixit's surprising discovery, that might also not be the case completely. Doing a teardown of both the Gaalxy S8 and the larger Galaxy S8+, the team discovered that the Galaxy S8+ virtually has the same battery as the Galaxy Note 7. Although Samsung might be confident that it has sufficiently addressed the QA issues that led to the explosive batteries, consumers might not be completely convinced.

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StarCraft gets its first patch in 8 years, finally goes free

StarCraft gets its first patch in 8 years, finally goes free

It isn't that uncommon for software to stop receiving updates years after it has been launched. After all, even Microsoft just recently did that with Vista. That is even truer for games, whose lifespans are a lot shorter than operating systems. Unless you're talking about StarCraft, which many loved and still love to play. While the game, which launched in 1998, formally stopped getting updates more than 8 years ago, Blizzard has restarted the development machine as it re-launches the real-time strategy game, this time for free.

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