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ARCore and ARKit: what AR on your phone can do for you

ARCore and ARKit: what AR on your phone can do for you

Mobile augmented reality isn’t really new. Even before Oculus, Vive, and HoloLens, there were already traces of the use of AR on our phones, from the AR-powered Layar map app to the not so AR Pokemon GO game. With the arrival of Apple’s ARKit and Google’s ARCore, AR has the potential to become even more widespread than it has ever been before. But what can augmented reality on a tiny screen really do? And does it have the potential to have use beyond stickers and games? We take a look at some of the practical applications of ARCore and ARKit apps to find out.

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Facebook needs to have that talk with Ben Parker

Facebook needs to have that talk with Ben Parker

Comics, and the franchises that grow from them, are often waved away as fantasies, sometimes violent ones even, that do not reflect reality. In a way, those people are right, because in comics, characters take responsibility for their actions or are taught to do so. They are often face the consequences of their actions, even wrong ones done in the name of right. In the real world, people with great power often get away with their antics and plots and have basically forgotten that now cliche advice about responsibility.

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You need to do this personal Facebook audit

You need to do this personal Facebook audit

Facebook is under fire for how carefully it treats your personal data, but you don't need to wait for regulators to wade in before doing an audit on how socially exposed you are. The social network doesn't make it too obvious how you can limit the visibility on things like third-party apps and what Facebook games can see about you, but it's not impossible. Indeed, it's worth taking a few minutes to go through and make sure you're comfortable with just how your Facebook account is set up.

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Rihanna’s right: Snapchat isn’t innocent (or immune to damage)

Rihanna’s right: Snapchat isn’t innocent (or immune to damage)

Rihanna just proved that once social networks went public, they put themselves on the same wobbly pedestal they themselves created. The way Snapchat was updated recently, it's fairly insulated from criticism from within its own network. But when a major influencer like Rihanna wants to take a shot at the company from another network, outside Snapchat's echo chamber, stockholders listen.

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Future Tech: what’s coming based on what’s already here

Future Tech: what’s coming based on what’s already here

It’s fun to think of what the future holds, especially in tech. Presuming you don’t have apocalyptic visions or homicidal computers in your mind. But technology, unlike fiction, doesn’t just spring up out of ideas and minds fully-formed and ready to use. They will always have roots in reality and history. Here are just some of the cool things we expect to see in the future, both near and not so near, based on what’s already in development today.

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Cool things you can make with a Raspberry Pi

Cool things you can make with a Raspberry Pi

Just in time for Pi Day (March 14, a.k.a. 3.14, for the less mathematically inclined), the Raspberry Pi foundation released a new Raspberry Pi board. Of course it’s not the Raspberry Pi 4 but simply a Model B+ for the existing RPi 3. Like almost any other Pi before it, it’s a step up, though small, in performance without changing the price one bit. Being Pi Day and all, it’s perhaps the perfect time to remember, or see for the first time, some of the coolest Raspberry Pi projects around.

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Siri needs these features to catch up with the competition

Siri needs these features to catch up with the competition

The smart speaker market is heating up and it’s being driven not just by the “speaker” part but, more importantly, the “smart” part as well. Apple can sing all it wants about the quality of the HomePod’s audio experience, but it will only be a matter of time before high-quality Amazon or Google speakers pop up. Siri, in contrast, might have a harder time catching up with its AI rivals. Here are just five features where Siri has clearly lagged behind Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, and maybe even Samsung Bixby.

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Smart Home benefits and risks: look before you connect

Smart Home benefits and risks: look before you connect

There’s no escaping the future. Sooner or later, most of our home appliances will be connected, to each other, to our phones, and to the Internet at large. It has never been so easy to get started. A smart bulb here, a smart plug there, a smart speaker in the living room. But just because something is easy or inevitable doesn’t mean you should go rushing in. Considering what’s at stake, it’s even more necessary for us to take stock of the situation and get a better sense of what you gain and what you lose when you make your home smart, sometimes smarter than you even.

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Smartwatches: why they’ve failed and what they need to do

Smartwatches: why they’ve failed and what they need to do

Fitbit just announced not just one but two wearables, a smartwatch and a fitness tracker for kids. Google is expected to do a rebranding, and maybe even a re-envisioning, of its Android Wear platform. Amidst all of these announcements, one can't help but wonder what has become of what should have been the next phase in our mobile evolution.

Smartwatches still exist, no mistake about that, probably as long as Apple is still playing the game. But smartwatches need to do some heavy thinking, maybe even a U-turn if it's to remain relevant, even if Apple suddenly decides to throw in the towel.

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Android Wear to Wear OS: more than just a name change

Android Wear to Wear OS: more than just a name change

This is one of those pebbles that could send ripples in all directions. Or have no effect at all. It seems that Google is on the verge of giving its Android Wear smartwatch, technically wearable, platform a new name and a new logo. Most rebranding doesn’t exactly mean much, especially when you’re like Google who switches logos and names with no discernible pattern or pace. But considering what has been happening so far, or not happening rather, there might be some bigger changes in Android Wear, er Wear OS, afoot. And it’s probably high time that something did.

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Smart speakers are music streaming’s new battleground

Smart speakers are music streaming’s new battleground

Music streaming no longer seems to be the prized cow it once was but that doesn’t mean the battle has let up in the slightest. It has just changed arenas. While mobile users are still a top priority, service providers, like much of the tech market, have shifted their eyes towards the unstoppable onslaught of smart speakers. And the way things in that market are going, it’s going to be a battle of which music streaming service has a smart speaker or can be on one, leaving the smaller players out in the cold to wither and die.

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Is Super Smash Bros for Switch a new game or a port?

Is Super Smash Bros for Switch a new game or a port?

Unquestionably, the biggest announcement from yesterday's Nintendo Direct is that Super Smash Bros is coming to the Switch. Switch owners have been hoping for a Super Smash Bros announcement ever since launch, with many of them assuming that Nintendo would port Super Smash Bros for Wii U over to its new console. This begs the question, though: Is the Super Smash Bros heading for the Switch a port, or is it a new game entirely?

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