Internet

Zoom Focus Mode hides distracting participants

Zoom Focus Mode hides distracting participants

It seems that society has been trying to adapt to a new mode of communicating with groups of people during this pandemic. From office meetings to social gatherings to classes, video conferencing platforms have thrived during the drastic changes that the past year and a half have imposed. That's not to say the new communication channels didn't come with their own set of problems, from privacy, distraction, and the so-called "Zoom fatigue." Zoom's latest feature tries to address at least one of those by making sure students are distracted by their classmates.

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Twitter’s latest redesign brings new font, high contrast, and less clutter

Twitter’s latest redesign brings new font, high contrast, and less clutter

Twitter is rolling out its latest redesign on mobile and the web, tweaking the familiar appearance so that it offers greater accessibility and less clutter. If you spend enough time on the platform, you'll likely immediately notice the font change. More subtle adjustments include adding greater contrast to some colors, getting rid of visual clutter, and more.

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T-Mobile fiber-optic home broadband rollout begins in New York

T-Mobile fiber-optic home broadband rollout begins in New York

It's never been more apparent that people need faster Internet connectivity in their homes than it has been during the coronavirus pandemic. With parents working from home while kids were learning from home, strains on typical Internet connections resulted in choppy video meetings and dropped Internet-based calls for many users. As a result, many people began looking for faster Internet connections, and when shopping, more options is always better.

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Amazon will pay buyers who get injured by defective products

Amazon will pay buyers who get injured by defective products

E-commerce and online shopping platforms have opened a whole new world of products for buyers that would have never been available to them previously, but that power doesn't come without some drawbacks. Although items sold through Amazon carry more weight than those on custom or smaller online shipping sites, it isn't an assurance that those products actually work as advertised. Taking an important step forward to assure its users, Amazon is making the bold announcement that it is willing to compensate buyers who experience harm or damage from defective products sold through its platform.

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Google reveals new tools and big changes to help protect kids online

Google reveals new tools and big changes to help protect kids online

Google has announced a variety of new digital tools and changes to products designed to better protect young users while they're online. The announcement comes only days after Apple revealed its controversial decision to proactively check images on users' devices to detect harmful content and help prevent the exploitation of minors.

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New TCL smart TV sets released with Google TV (as Android TV heads out)

New TCL smart TV sets released with Google TV (as Android TV heads out)

TCL revealed a line of Google TV devices this week to add to their already-significant collection of smart TV units with Roku or Android TV. They've revealed both pricing and availability for their first Google TV smart TV units across both "premium and award-winning 5- and 6-Series" lines. There are TCL 5-Series models with Google TV out on "presale" now, including 50, 55, 65, and 75-inch models. TCL 6-Series models with Google TV were put on presale today in 55 and 65-inch models, with a 75-inch model coming soon.

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SpaceX is buying a startup that could fit Elon Musk’s Starlink plans perfectly

SpaceX is buying a startup that could fit Elon Musk’s Starlink plans perfectly

Elon Musk's SpaceX has acquired satellite startup Swarm Technologies, adding the company's micro-satellites - and its coveted FCC licenses - to its portfolio. SpaceX is currently partway through rolling out its ambitious Starlink network, a constellation of low Earth orbit satellites with which it hopes to blanket the globe with affordable wireless internet connectivity.

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TikTok Stories tests posts that disappear after 24 hours

TikTok Stories tests posts that disappear after 24 hours

It seems that TikTok is finally ready to turn the tables on big rivals like Instagram, Twitter, and even YouTube. After having been copied repeatedly by those competitors, the once-embattled short video platform is now returning the favor by copying a feature that has become a staple for at least one of those social networks. TikTok is apparently testing out its own ephemeral Stories in an attempt to diversify its features and attract even more users to its platform.

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Amazon returned products landfill no longer: FBA Liquidate, Grade and Resell

Amazon returned products landfill no longer: FBA Liquidate, Grade and Resell

This week Amazon announced two new Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA) programs meant to improve the dirty business of unsold and returned products. One is an "FBA Liquidations" program, the other is the "FBA Grade and Resell" program. Amazon is still a long way away from solving issues created by the immense amount of waste created by their shipping programs*, but making moves to acknowledge and deal with returned and unsold products is a step in the right direction.

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Time to trash your old Android phones

Time to trash your old Android phones

Google sent out a note this week about some of the oldest Android devices, saying they'll cut off service soon. If you have an Android device that's a certain age or older - or more specifically, running a very old version of Android - it may finally be time to accept that it's no longer worth keeping in your dresser drawer. Unless, of course, you're just using the device like a virtual photo album. That'll still work.

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Apple Store website redesign puts touchscreen users first

Apple Store website redesign puts touchscreen users first

The latest update to Apple's website adds a dedicated "Store" tab to the top of the page. The title of the page is "Store", with a description on the first page: "Store. The best way to buy the products you love." Apple is identifying their store in the same way they identify Apple Watch as "Watch" - they making it clear that the user is already in the Apple universe, so there's little need to further differentiate this "Store" from any other.

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Spotify Plus to offer low-cost perks with ads

Spotify Plus to offer low-cost perks with ads

It seems that Internet services are starting to adjust their subscription plans to cater to more users without actually changing their premium prices. YouTube, for example, is testing a cheaper YouTube Premium Lite that removes only ads but keeps all other restrictions in place. On the other hand, Spotify seems to be coming from the opposite direction and is testing an even cheaper subscription tier that removes most of the restrictions but keeps the ads intact.

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