Photo by Dieter Bohn / Dami LeeGboard, Google’s iOS and Android keyboard app, has quietly updated its design by moving its GIF-making button up next to the word suggestion bar.The GIF-making feature has been around since last September, but it was hidden behind the emoji button on the bottom.With its shiny new placement, the button allows for GIFs to be recorded from the front and back camera, and it lets you record in two modes: “Loop,” which is basically a Boomerang you can record for three seconds, and “Fast-Forward,” which lets you record up to one minute and speeds up the result.When you’re done recording, you can copy and paste the GIF into your message, and send it off to your friends.Recording and making your own GIFs isn’t new — you can easily turn your live photos into GIFs through Google’s excellent Motion Stills app — but placing the feature so prominently on the keyboard means you might be seeing your friends’ moving faces way more often.
Back to drawing board on £14bn pensions deficitPlans by BT to cut its huge pension deficit have been thrown out by the High Court.The UK's incumbent telco had wanted to shift the rate used to calculate final salary pension payments.In December 2017, the telco sought a decision from the High Court to change the index used to calculate pension increases paid in the future to members of Section C of the BT Pension Scheme (BTPS) from the Retail Price Index (RPI).The proposed move to another index would have meant a cut in pension for 83,000 current and former staff who joined the company before it was privatised in 1984.The BT scheme's other sections, "A" and "B", are for staff who joined the company before 1984.
In 2013, then-Federal Reserve Chair Ben Bernanke wrote a letter to Congress in which he said, “Virtual currencies may hold long-term promise, particularly if the innovations promote a faster, more secure and more efficient payment system.” 2017 gave rise to an entire ecosystem of companies doing exactly that, and the result has been exponential growth in the sector.The excitement around Bitcoin’s price escalation and futures trading has generated significant interest amongst new users; people who knew nothing about cryptocurrency a month ago are scrambling to learn everything they can to begin investing, but the learning curve can be daunting.Whether you’re a complete newbie to the crypto scene or a veteran investor seeking to maximize your returns, there are several things you need to know about cryptocurrency moving into the new year.There have been numerous, costly hacks in virtually every market, and users are becoming increasingly aware of the importance of securing their personal data and assets.“The cutting-edge of security is defined by companies that return control to users and eliminate costly security incidents,” explains Paul Puey, founder and CEO of Edge.Security is especially critical when selecting your wallet; the key is to securely store your funds while keeping them available for trading, selling, and using for transactions.
Mobile data services outfit BICS has published its data for 2017 and it reveals some interesting trends in LTE consumption.The most dramatic data point is an 800% year-on-year increase in LTE data roaming traffic in the EU, apparently driven by the ‘roam like at home’ abolition of roaming charges between EU countries.Furthermore BICS reckons a significant minority of people still haven’t taken advantage of this opportunity so it expects a further increase this year.The bigger picture revealed an annual doubling of global LTE traffic thanks partly to more operators getting the LTE memo, but presumably also to the underlying trends of mobile video streaming, more generous tariffs, etc.Africa seems to be getting up to speed with LTE too.“As infrastructure improves and populations and workforces become more globalised, we’ll see an even greater number of operators across the world offering LTE roaming to ensure they stay relevant and competitive,” said Mikaël Schachne, VP of Mobility Solutions at BICS.
MUBI, a one of its kind film streaming service has set foot in India with Times Bridge as its strategic partner.The global investment arm of The Times Group will help MUBI expand its reach in India and cater to the ever-growing movie market.MUBI, in the last 10 years has created a community of film enthusiasts which is rapidly developing into a robust social media platform for independent cinema where users watch, share and discuss films.MUBI’s foray into India comes at a time when the country is consuming more and more OTT content and is well on its way to become one of the fastest growing internet movie markets.The streaming service will be on the lookout for potential collaboration with film festivals, producers and talents who are passionate about telling new stories to a global viewership.Unlike other streaming services, MUBI’s specialty dwells in a carefully curated set of 30 movies which they will release in the duration of a month.
OnePlus has now made a name for itself in the smartphone industry.The issue of user-data mining on OnePlus phones is the latest one that comes to mind.However, another big controversy has been unearthed, and this one involves people’s pockets instead of their privacy.This weekend, customers of OnePlus.net started reporting seeing unauthorized transactions on their credit cards.Some complained that it happened to them even when their cards were used on just OnePlus Store.As serious as the issue is, OnePlus did respond to it quickly.
The Guangzhou-based firm is developing autonomous vehicle tech and is undertaking road tests in California.Morningside Venture Capital and Legend Capital co-led the round, with IDG Capital, Sequoia Capital, DCM Ventures, Polaris Capital, and Comcast among the others to participate.Xiaomi partner Huami files for US IPO (China/US).The Hefei-based startup is aiming to raise US$150 million by listing its shares on the Nasdaq.Huami is the world’s leading maker of wearables by units shipped last year, and is Xiaomi’s exclusive design and manufacturing partner for smart watches and fitness trackers.WeChat plans separate app for brands (China).
Boeing just revealed a prototype drone capable of carrying much more than a camera.The company tasked engineers with designing and building a cargo drone and the prototype they came up with is able to haul 500 lbs of goods.The vehicle is huge and much larger than anything DJI sells.It weighs 747 pounds and is 15 feet long, 18 feet wide and 4 feet tall.Four arms hold two props each.It took Boeing engineers three months to design and construct the prototype, which just completed a test run in Boeing’s research lab in Missouri.
You’ve explored the Tomb of Annihilation and spat in the face of Acererak’s death curse.Now you’re ready to look for some good ol’ adventure in Chult, the tropical jungle island of dinosaurs and undead (and sometimes zombie dinos that vomit more zombies).And the Lost City of Omu is ready for you.Cryptic Studios announced that its The Lost City of Omu expansion hits the PC version of its Dungeons & Dragons online role-playing game Neverwinter on February 27.This comes on the heels of the MMO adding its most recent update, Sword of Chult, to the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One versions on Tuesday.Neverwinter has more than 15 million registered players, and it’s the biggest D video game in a market in which the tabletop game is thriving, with a New York Times best-seller in Xanathar’s Guide to Everything, soaring ratings of live D streaming on Twitch, and stellar board games like the D Adventure System, a line of co-op adventures.
Yesterday, camera manufacturer Kodak—whose stock was previously hovering around $3.10 a share—announced that it was forming its own cryptocurrency, an ambiguously blockchain-based project called “KodakCoin.” As has happened with a number of smaller stocks, Kodak’s stock immediately skyrocketed as soon as the words “blockchain” left its lips.Apparently KodakCoin, which the company pitched as a form of token “inside the new blockchain-powered KodakOne rights management platform,” is not the only component of the company’s dubious pivot to blockchain.In the CES shuffle we missed that Kodak, which again is ostensibly a camera manufacturer, also announced on Tuesday that it will be leasing out Bitcoin miners called the “KashMiner.”Here’s a photo of Kodak’s magic money making machine.— Chris Hoffman (@chrisbhoffman) 9 January 2018Per CES brochures, Kodak plans on renting out KashMiners for an astonishing $3,400 (£2,500) upfront payment and then taking half of whatever the machines produce over the course of a two-year contract.
With an APS-C format image sensor, the 1.5x crop factor enables lens designs to be relatively compact and lightweight, compared with their FX (full-frame) counterparts, yet with the potential for excellent all-round performance and image quality.However, while a kit zoom lens should prove sufficient for many photographic scenarios, it’ll come up short in terms of telephoto reach for shooting action sports and wildlife.The biggest bonus of any interchangeable lens camera is that you can fit the ideal glass for the job at hand, from ultra-wide zooms to super-telephoto lenses, and fast primes in between.We’ve included outright winners in all popular categories, as well as best-value alternatives to suit a tighter budget.Wide-angle zoom: Tamron 10-24mm f/3.5-4.5 Di II VC HLDA lens that lets you get a broader perspective
Shares of Kodak spiked after the photo company announced it would launch its own form of blockchain technology dubbed "KodakCoin."Kodak's stock is up 66.91% at $11.40 in pre-market trading on Wednesday.Shares soared as much as 136% on Tuesday, the day the news was initially announced.In partnership with WENN Digital, the new digital currency is intended to help photographers with image rights management.Several companies from iced tea to poker to cannabis have pivoted to blockchain and watched their shares skyrocket.The photo company's stock is up 117.46% this year.
Secrets dealer may be nearing end of asylum stay, on humane groundsThe Ecuadorian government has reportedly sought a plan to end Julian Assange's world's longest couch surfing stint record attempt at its London embassy.Ecuador's foreign minister Maria Fernanda Espinosa told the AFP news agency her country would look to bring in a mediator to help settle the legal dispute that has lead to Assange spending the last five years claiming asylum in its embassy."From a human point of view, [it] is not sustainable," Espinosa said of Assange's current arrangement."A person cannot live forever in these conditions, and we are searching in a very respectful way with the United Kingdom ... for a solution."She added that a third country might help out by offering Assange a new couch.
Blocks’ modular smartwatch had a been of a leg up, in that the company had an actual working product to show to people — but even so, the device always felt like a bit of a long shot.Now finally, a few years after that initial launch, the startup is finally ready to put its money where its mouth is.The swappable watches have begun shipping to Kickstarter backers and the company is using CES this week to let the world know that it’s finally ready to start selling the product to everyone else.We’re going to be playing with the product in a few days here at the show — in the meantime, I can’t really speak much to the build quality or execution of the wearables.But hell, even shipping the damn thing feels like a victory after numerous setbacks and delays.If you want to chance it and pick up one before the final reviews are in, the Core product is going to cost you $259.
For 50 years, CES has been a mecca for the tech industry, showcasing the latest products and advances in consumer technology.From its humble beginnings (the first instance of the Consumer Electronics Show had 14 exhibitors in a space of about 100,000 square feet), CES has grown to colossal proportions.CES 2017 had 4,000 exhibitors spread out over 2.6 million square feet of space (that’s roughly 45 football fields), and CES 2018, the latest installment of the trade show, should be similarly large.Digital Trends has covered CES for years now, witnessing some of that growth firsthand, and exploring the latest gadgets and concepts on display.Last year, Amazon’s Alexa was an overwhelming presence, and that trend has not abated.Many companies are exploring new ways to incorporate Alexa’s voice recognition into their products, and other digital assistants, such Google Assistant and Siri, are also showing up in various gadgets.
Misfit’s latest addition to its line of watches is the Misfit Path, which the company announced at CES 2018, and it’s unique because the timepiece is the company’s smallest hybrid smartwatch yet.Using a 3-axis accelerometer, the Misfit Path tracks steps taken, calories burned, the distance traveled, and sleep duration.With its connected app, you’re also able to receive calls, texts, emails, and various app notifications straight to the watch.Similar to the Skagen Signatur T-Bar hybrid smartwatch we had a chance to test out, you can set each number on the watch to a specific contact or app.When you receive a notification, your watch alerts you by vibrating and the watch hands go to the specific number — between 1 and 12 — that you assigned.Other features include the ability to set a second time zone, customize vibration alarms, create movement reminders, and update the date and time.
Facebook will try to "get a billion people in virtual reality," by appealing to a company in the world's most populated country: China.In the middle of a Qualcomm press conference where tech jargon flew at a rat-a-tat rate, up jumped a familiar face in the tech world to announce the surprise: Facebook VR brand Oculus will partner with up-and-coming devicemaker Xiaomi to build a standalone VR headset for China.The face in question belongs to Hugo Barra, Oculus' VP of VR, himself a former Xiaomi executive who brought the brand some recognition by leaving his executive position within Google's Android team.The Xiaomi Mi VR stand-alone headset will be built exclusively for China, using a Qualcomm chip and Oculus' mobile software bundle for developers.Xiaomi's Vice President of the Mi ecosystem, Thomas Tang, also known as Mu Tang (pictured above), teased the product.Xiaomi, a Chinese company that brands everything from inexpensive rice cookers and air purifiers to high-end smartphones like the Mi Mix 2, will leverage its brand recognition in its homeland to help spread Oculus' platform, as well as Qualcomm's Snapdragon 821 processor, a chipset most often found in smartphones.
Wireless gaming peripherals, once bemoaned for adding latency, are now the prized by all PC gamers for the mobility they add.Last year, we saw one of the first wireless gaming keyboards from Logitech, and now Corsair is getting into the game with the Corsair K63 Wireless at CES 2018.This ten-keyless (meaning without a number pad) model is the company’s first wireless keyboard.While it might look late to the game, Corsair is offering lighting that the Logitech G613 doesn’t offer.As with its other keyboards, this one is equipped with 100% Cherry MX Red keys with a blue-colored backlight that’s customizable through Corsair's CUE software.Of course, you can plug in the keyboard through an old-school USB connection, too.
The startup Starry is teaming up with Wi-Fi chip maker Marvell to offer internet service providers access to its next generation 5G wireless technology and the latest generation of Wi-Fi in hopes that consumers will soon have more broadband choices.The companies announced a partnership Monday at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas that will offer service providers looking to compete against big cable and phone companies in the broadband market a"blueprint" or reference design to combine Starry's pre-standard 5G fixed wireless technology with Marvell's 802.11ax Wi-Fi technology.Starry's technology, announced two years ago at CES, uses millimeter frequencies to create point-to-point wireless connections that can deliver gigabit speed internet connections to homes and buildings.The company has already been delivering a low-cost broadband service in Boston, where it's headquartered, and plans to expand the service to other cities like Washington, DC and Los Angeles.Through its partnership with Marvell, which is making chips using the latest generation of Wi-Fi known as 802.11ax, it now plans to offer its technology to other service providers looking to build their own networks to compete against big broadband companies like Comcast, AT and Verizon.The new 802.11ax Wi-Fi standard offers internet speeds that are four to 10 times faster than existing Wi-Fi.
A necassary step to ensure adequate security or a strangulation of productivity?Employees working within the UK financial services are being prohibited from using their own devices for work or external communication after the FCA inverted a MIFID II rule.The arrival of MIFID II was intended to enforce a banning of the bring your own device (BYOD) rule within investment firms only, but the FCA action has given the rule a much wider reach.As reported by The Register, the BYOD ban was widely unanticipated across the financial services, leaving organisations with plans intended to comply with a MIFID II that allowed for the use of personal devices.Our increasingly connected world is on the one hand enhancing business processes, but it is also presenting new and dangerous security challenges.This ruling is likely to spark debate regarding the balance between productivity and security.