Tech

Zoom gets fun new filters, plus lighting, smoothing and audio tweaks

Zoom gets fun new filters, plus lighting, smoothing and audio tweaks

Many people are still working remotely as a result of the coronavirus pandemic and there's no sign of that changing any time soon. Though a number of software applications make it possible for coworkers to see each other face-to-face, they don't quite offer the personality of an office setting. Here to change that is Zoom with an update that adds amusing filters, among other things.

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Android TV gets big UI change and simplified service subscriptions

Android TV gets big UI change and simplified service subscriptions

Google has announced an Android TV update that, among other things, brings a home screen UI redesign that helps users find the content they're most likely to watch. As well, Google is making it easier for Android TV users to quickly sign up for services like EPIX NOW and Starz, offering a system similar to the way Fire TV users can subscribe to a new 'channel.'

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Huawei Mate 40 will be the last model packing a Kirin processor

Huawei Mate 40 will be the last model packing a Kirin processor

The anticipated Huawei Mate 40 smartphone will be the last model to feature the maker's own high-end Kirin processor, the company has confirmed, something that has resulted from the Trump administration's ban on trade with the Chinese phone maker. As a result of that ban, Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC) ended its business with Huawei and, as a result, the HiSilicon subsidiary behind its Kirin chips.

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iPhone 12 release dates may split for Pro cameras

iPhone 12 release dates may split for Pro cameras

The iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro will likely split down the middle, with release dates for the 12 coming first, then the Pro at a later date. A note came from analyst Ming-Chi Kuo on the subject, with a focus on camera quality. The issue seems to have been with the lenses used a few models when put under heat pressure - but they only seem to have failed from one supplier.

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This Sony WF-1000XM3 deal is an ANC earbud no-brainer

This Sony WF-1000XM3 deal is an ANC earbud no-brainer

Sony may have just updated its well-regarded WH-1000XM4 headphones, but if noise-canceling earbuds are more your style then there's a new deal there today. The Sony WF-1000XM3 active noise-canceling earbuds launched last year to rave reviews, and now you can get them with $60 off the sticker price.

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Galaxy Tab S7+ still lags behind the iPad Pro in these ways

Galaxy Tab S7+ still lags behind the iPad Pro in these ways

For the longest time, Samsung has been accused of being an Apple copycat. In fact, there was a years-long court case revolving exactly around that. It's not a one-way street, though, and there are definitely ways in which Samsung paved the road that Apple would later tread. Large screens and the S Pen immediately come to mind, with something like the iPad Pro combining both in the most extreme way. Unfortunately, Apple has since surpassed Samsung and the latter's newest Galaxy Tab S7+, while an impressive upgrade, still fails to regain its lost ground.

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Galaxy Note 20 is a missed opportunity

Galaxy Note 20 is a missed opportunity

Samsung just dumped a number of new mobile products this week, all of them premium, which you can easily tell by their price tag. That Galaxy Note 20 Ultra alone carries some of the best specs you'll see in the smartphone market, along with one of the highest prices as well. There is probably no doubt that these features, on their own, will deliver as advertised, perhaps save for the still questionable performance of Samsung's camera systems, but smartphones and their specs cannot and do not exist in isolation. For all the high-end and exceptional features its boasts of, the Galaxy Note 20 and especially the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra might come off as a bit tone-deaf to the world they've been born into.

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Trump to ban TikTok, WeChat if they don’t sell to US companies in 45 days

Trump to ban TikTok, WeChat if they don’t sell to US companies in 45 days

After successfully kicking out tech giants like Huawei and ZTE, the US government has apparently set its eyes on smaller fish. That said, the user bases of short-video platform TikTok and instant messaging service WeChat are so large that one can't take for granted the immediate disruption a ban would have on both the companies owning them as well as unsuspecting users. That, however, is exactly what will happen to both TikTok and WeChat if they don't give in to the new Executive Order from US President Donald Trump and sell their US operations to an American company within 45 days.

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Intel and Canon are the latest to suffer a massive security breach

Intel and Canon are the latest to suffer a massive security breach

It's open season again on large tech companies as hackers take advantage of reduced working hours, especially on-site. Garmin recently suffered a major outage due to a ransomware attack and while that news is still fresh, other companies have apparently fallen victim so security breaches as well. That said, camera maker Canon has yet to publicly acknowledge that it has indeed been hit by ransomware while Intel claims that the alleged security breach is actually just a case of an authorized person leaking confidential company data.

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Android 11 final Beta brings an important Exposure Notification change

Android 11 final Beta brings an important Exposure Notification change

Amidst the flood of Samsung-related news and some bits and pieces of information about Google's own Pixel phones, Google almost silently announced the availability of Android 11 Beta 3. That near-silence belies the importance of this release as it is the final beta release before Android 11 finally goes gold this quarter. More importantly, this final beta also brings an important change to Android's Exposure Notification system that might raise some red flags about user privacy.

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Android’s new In-App Review system could become annoying quickly

Android’s new In-App Review system could become annoying quickly

It's easy to take for granted the power of word-of-mouth advertising but many people rely on customer or user reviews when deciding about a product or even an app purchase. Unfortunately, review systems have proven to be easily gamed or even inconvenient for people who do actually want to leave legit feedback. Google is rolling out a new In-App Review API for Android to fix the latter problem but it remains to be seen if it won't worsen the former in turn.

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Starbucks Japan transforms cafe into a public co-working space

Starbucks Japan transforms cafe into a public co-working space

Coffee shops, and Starbucks in particular, are associated with relaxing and getting work done, depending on your mission for the day. To help facilitate that, Starbucks offers coffee, laptops bars, and a large number of power outlets, but it is taking things a step farther in Japan with the introduction of a full and proper co-working space...that exists within a Starbucks store.

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