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Jul 19, 2019
Helping military men on the battlefield has been the focus for many tech developers and they have come up with an arsenal of drones called Squad X. The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) created robots and drones meant to help foot soldiers on battlefield operations where they can't see their immediate surroundings. The technology can map out the area, detect potential threats and most of them can be remotely controlled by trained soldiers. DARPA performed a test run in California that lasted a week and resulted in major progress where soldiers were greatly aided by the robots. The military is expecting to build more of the drones.
Jul 19, 2019
In an effort to better tackle site violations, Instagram will now show an alert to users who are about to have their account banned from the site. The alarm will show all of the comments or posts that have been taken down by the app as well as informing why they were taken down; the user will have a chance to appeal the action directly instead of going to the help page as it was previously done. The update will also help to clarify why some posts weren't supposed to be taken down, according to Instagram's policies; pictures breastfeeding or showing period blood are not supposed to be deleted.
Jul 19, 2019
People who were expecting the full experience when first playing with Google's Stadia controller might not get it right away. Stadia spokespeople informed that their controllers will have the Bluetooth feature turned off when launched, making users have to resort to their wired headphones in order to listen privately the sounds from the games. Owners of Pixel phones will have an advantage since the phones will be able to connect with the controller, enabling the feature for Bluetooth headphones; the company hasn't announced when the feature will be available for users worldwide. People who bought the Founder's Edition for the system will be the most affected by the event.
Jul 19, 2019
After a three-week beta test, Orta Therox has made Flappy Royale available for Android and iOS users. The game came from the idea of joining the worldwide-played Flappy Bird game and the battle royale mode that has become popular this year. In the game, the goal is to last longer than the other 99 players, going through pipes without hitting them, a feat that made Flappy Bird massively addictive. The other players are shown in real time as ghost-like shadow; the user's bird can be customized for differentiation, much like Fortnite. According to the developers team, the game was played more than 30 million times during beta testing, and over 30 games were being played simultaneously every second.
Jul 19, 2019
Comcast announced that specific phones from Android can be used for Xfinity Mobile as an alternative for the standard remote control. In the lineup, there are only Samsung smartphones available right now; the S8, S8 Plus, S9, S9 Plus, Note 8 and Note 9. Since Comcast works with phone carrier Verizon, only smartphones that work with it are able to have the Xfinity compatibility. Comcast is hoping to add more carriers and phones along the way but it is currently overseeing how well the first batch goes. Previously, only iPhones were able to have the Xfinity feature.
Jul 19, 2019
Youtube Music has updated its Premium accounts by adding a feature that lets a user listen to a song and switch to that song's music video and vice versa without interrupting the stream. Mediaplay will now have two buttons to make the switch, but it can be deactivated if needed. Youtube has made the feature available for over than 5 million songs so far. Most current videos are now specifically made for Youtube, making the website's job of licensing the videos easier and providing all the information necessary for users without having to do external research. Other features like Offline Mixtape has had success with users who wish to download hundreds of songs to later stream them.
Jul 19, 2019
The Chinese company had previously announced they were working on including Huawei's own operating system called Hongmeng, meant to replace Android after Google suspended its license earlier this year. But according to their SVP, Hongmeng is not ready to replace the original OS as the company hopes to still be part of the Android family. Hongmeng was originally designed to cover some of Android's functions on devices and has been only used on industrial equipment. The US is currently debating whether to take China out of the trading blacklist, first emitted after Trump stated the country was manipulating country matters through technology.
Jul 19, 2019
The site announced the resetting of at least 65,000 accounts that might have been hacked in an attack against the site in 2015. Hackers gained entry to the accounts and passwords to manipulate their content via software codes. All accounts that were made before 2015 and have not changed their password since are subject to Slack's password modification to prevent any further manipulation. According to spokespeople, the amount represents 1% of total current accounts. The company is advising for all users to use the two-factor authentication in order to have a better safety protection. Slack is providing downloads of accounts on their website to save all existing data.
Jul 19, 2019
During a keynote in Las Vegas, Microsoft's HoloLens copied the body of an Azure executive and replicated it into speaking Japanese. The company is showing some of the progress from its project with Azure, and many are wondering what else Microsoft is hiding. The hologram was the result of capturing the image of the body and voice to make it look like she was speaking another language. It was done in a Mixed Reality studio which has sensors that better capture all angles from any object or person. This new exhibition shows the multiple things that can be achieved with HoloLens and the many more that can be created from them.
Jul 19, 2019
French self-driving vehicle company Navya has placed its self-driving fleet of buses on hold after a pedestrian collided with a bus going at 7.5mph in Vienna, Austria. The specific details of the accident haven't been disclosed but bypassers said the woman was looking at her cellphone and wearing headphones when her knee touched the vehicle. The company decided to keep the buses at its headquarters in order to prevent similar accidents. Navya has been working with self-driving vehicles for a few years now in over 15 cities around the world and so far hasn't had a dangerous incident.
Jul 18, 2019
Netflix announced the upcoming launch of a mobile-only streaming plan set at a lower price than previous basic plans. India will be the first country to have it as the country shows a decline on regular TV streaming, possibly caused by a recent spike in plan prices. Netflix analyzed the different demographics that used the device more and found that mobile streaming is rising. The usual basic plan consists of standard 480p streaming, which means the new mobile plan will have the same specs. The company hasn't clarified what counts as 'mobile' for them; many are wondering if the new plan can be streamed in an Android tablet or an iPad, or just simply on a smartphone.
Jul 18, 2019
Among the new submissions sent to The Unicode Consortium, Ford introduced one for a pickup emoji to make the cut on next year's batch of emojis. The car company secretly submitted a proposal for the pickup emoji to closely resemble Ford's own pickup truck designs, in this case, a blue one that would join the transportation section of emojis. The company also released an ad addressing the submission, showing the design that could end up in most people's phones. The Unicode Consortium stated that the pickup emoji has not yet been selected for next year, as many others are being considered.
Jul 18, 2019
In a letter to the FBI and FTC, the Democratic National Committee has demanded the current viral app FaceApp to be investigated after discovering it comes from Russian developers. For the past few weeks, users from the web have uploaded pictures to the app to have their faces digitally altered to predict how they are going to look 40 years from now; it seems Democrat politicians are more wary of the use of the pictures. While the developers of the app state that all uploaded images are deleted 48 hours after upload time, politicians are worried that the photos could be stored in a Russian database for other purposes.
Jul 18, 2019
Following May's test in Canada, Instagram is expanding the test where the like count on posts is hidden, to six more countries, including Brazil and New Zealand. The company first tested the feature as a way for users to focus on what content they want to post instead of the likes they get; a higher like count is perceived as being more well-liked than a low one. In the test, the like count on a post can only be seen by the poster while the rest of the public will not see it on the feed; the same goes for profiles and videos on the Search section. Whoever still wants their like count to be seen can choose not to.
Jul 18, 2019
Spotify's latest update lets iPad users have the app working simultaneously through the Split View feature on the tablet, a function that has been present on iPads since 2015. Previously, users had to open a widescreen of the app to interact with it, having to ditch other apps that were in use; with the new update, users can control the app by dragging it to the top of the screen, splitting the display with another app. The Slide Over feature is now also available where the app can be momentarily shown to skip or play a song; Spotify can then be reduced and brought back. To know more about the update, the 'About' section gives more information.
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