opinion

I’ve given smart speakers as gifts before – I won’t do it again

I’ve given smart speakers as gifts before – I won’t do it again

Black Friday is coming but the holiday shopping season isn't waiting for its traditional kick-off, though while tech deals may be everywhere you look, there are some gadgets I won't be putting into my cart. Smart speakers and, more recently, smart displays have become a go-to gift for many over the past few years, but in 2019 they may not be quite so warmly received.

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Pokemon Sword and Shield have a problem and The Pokemon Company isn’t helping

Pokemon Sword and Shield have a problem and The Pokemon Company isn’t helping

Pokemon Sword and Shield have been going through a rough patch for these past few months. Though The Pokemon Company's marketing machine is in full gear, Pokemon fans keep coming back to one topic in particular: the national Pokedex, or the lack thereof. During E3 2019, Game Freak confirmed that the Pokedex in Pokemon Sword and Shield won't include all previously-released Pokemon, making them the first mainline games in the series to do something like that.

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How does Bethesda keep screwing up so badly with Fallout 76?

How does Bethesda keep screwing up so badly with Fallout 76?

Almost a year out from launch, the odyssey of Fallout 76 keeps getting stranger. Today, Bethesda announced that it's implementing a new monthly subscription service for Fallout 76 called Fallout 1st. Subscriptions in a pay-to-play title generally aren't a great idea to start with, but given all of the blowback Fallout 76 has received over the past year, this was a particularly harebrained move on the part of Bethesda.

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3 Stress-reducing Facebook habits I once feared

3 Stress-reducing Facebook habits I once feared

Over the past 3 years, my relationship with Facebook changed in several drastic ways. In the year 2015, I discovered the "Unfollow" button, and my journey away from Facebook reliance began. I was a Facebook addict for longer than I care to think about. I lived in fear of getting away from the social network, my former primary source of stress in life. I thought I'd never be able to stop - how could I?

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Smart assistants may have made us more lax about privacy

Smart assistants may have made us more lax about privacy

There's probably little debate that AI-powered smart assistants have become very useful. They started out as good fun but without much utility and have sometimes even become the butt of jokes thanks to misheard commands. These days however, the likes of Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, and Apple Siri have become a normal part of modern tech life, with or without smart speakers involved. But for all their usefulness and help, these services may have made people less vigilant about what they say and do and, it turns out, those secret utterances might not be so secret at all.

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How EA can rebuild its reputation

How EA can rebuild its reputation

They might not want to admit it, but it’s no secret EA desperately have a reputation to rebuild. The video game publisher has been repeatedly caught in controversies that have infuriated gamers and employees alike. From complaints about its excessive pay-to-play mechanics, mass layoffs and rushed deadlines that have led to poorly developed games, there is plenty to fix at EA.

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The best games aren’t being made by big studios anymore

The best games aren’t being made by big studios anymore

I'm not sure if you've noticed, but the AAA games industry is in a pretty sorry state at the moment. Big publishers spend months hyping their games up only to launch titles that feel designed to squeeze as much money as possible out of players. Then, when forced to defend these practices, they have the audacity to suggest that their "surprise mechanics" are ethical and fun for everyone involved.

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Where does Huawei go from here?

Where does Huawei go from here?

Things were looking up for Huawei just a couple of weeks before. Plenty of well-reviewed products from sleek MateBook laptops to powerful phones gave it a winning streak. But everything seems to be going south now that Google and a list of other U.S. companies have cut ties with the Chinese tech company. Technology from China has been under great scrutiny in the U.S., with suspicions of spying that has led to the Trump administration blacklisting the company.

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Five things the new iPod touch (2019) got me thinking

Five things the new iPod touch (2019) got me thinking

Apple likes a surprise and so, just a week before WWDC 2019, we have a new iPod touch to marvel at. The iOS-based media player had seemed like the afterthought of Apple's range, going untouched in 6th Generation form since 2015. Now, with a new 7th Generation iPod touch arriving, it's hard not to read some key messages into Apple's decision not to put the iPod out to pasture.

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The foldable screen RAZR reboot has a rare opportunity

The foldable screen RAZR reboot has a rare opportunity

The Motorola RAZR is reportedly returning, the iconic flip-phone rebooted as a cutting-edge foldable screen smartphone, but there's the potential for something far more interesting than just a cynical branding revival. It's fair to say that Motorola has never returned to the dizzying heights it attained on the success of the RAZR and its successors. What better way to pay homage to its innovation by bucking the trend in foldable phones today?

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Apple has problems and there’s no easy fix

Apple has problems and there’s no easy fix

More and more expensive iPhones which last longer, an increasingly competitive smartphone segment, and shakiness in the Chinese market have helped sent Apple's stock price plummeting today. The Cupertino firm issued a rare warning yesterday that its profits for Q1 2019 would be lower than expected, blaming fewer than expected sales of its star product as one of the key reasons.

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Apple AirPower needs a rethink

Apple AirPower needs a rethink

We may have reached 2019, but Apple's AirPower certainly hasn't, with the much-anticipated wireless charging pad failing to hit shelves by the end of the company's self-imposed deadline. Announced alongside not 2018's iPhone range, but the iPhone X, iPhone 8, and iPhone 8 Plus the year before, AirPower was to be one of the most sophisticated - and flexible - wireless charging pads on the market.

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