When the original BB-8 toy hit the market, it seemed like a match made in tech heaven.In fact, the use of Sphero’s remote-controlled robotics to bring Poe Dameron’s lovable astromech droid to life was so good, it had many wondering if Sphero’s tech was the inspiration behind the droid all along.Then, The Force Awakens came out, and propelled along by massive box office numbers, Sphero’s BB-8 toy became one of the biggest hits of 2015.Fast forward a couple years, and it seems the 2017 holiday season has not been as kind.According to TechCrunch, after lacklustre Q4 sales, Sphero was recently forced to lay off 45 staff members across the globe.But maybe more importantly, in addition to the layoffs, Sphero has announced a change in focus as the company looks to get away from toys and concentrate more on its growing educational business.
Android users have it easy compared to iOS when it comes to notifications.It is worlds easier to get rid of notifications, including all notifications.Unfortunately, it’s also too easy to get rid of a notification accidentally with a misplaced swipe.If you find yourself doing that a lot, then this simple and free Unnotification app for Android might be for you.Sorry, still no luck for iOS users.You see an interesting, sometimes even important notification and because of the human frailty, you accidentally swipe instead of simply tapping on the notification.
Nintendo is a company which is famous for swimming against the tide, confounding expectations and doing precisely the opposite of what everyone anticipates.While rivals such as Sony and Microsoft pour millions into developing Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality for applications within the world of gaming, Nintendo seems to delight in pushing in the opposite direction.Even earlier than that, it created a monochrome handheld in the form of the Game Boy and bested colour-screen rivals from the likes of Sega and Atari without breaking a sweat.In its most basic form Labo is a series of cardboard kits which come flat-packed and have to be assembled by the player, with assistance from interactive 3D instructions which play out on the Switch's screen.These kits include a remote control car (it's more like a bug really), a fishing rod and even a functioning piano.Upon opening the box you're presented with the game itself, which has to be inserted into your Switch.
A quarter of a century ago Rupert Murdoch shocked his UK news publishing rivals by slashing the price of the Times to 30p and initiating a brutal price war.It was 1993 and the damage caused by this instant devaluation of British broadsheet journalism on the eve of the internet revolution and the onset of free online news is impossible to gauge.But for the past generation the two great upmarket titles of the political right, the Times and the Telegraph, have continued in an unforgiving struggle, their eyes bulging and their hands at each other’s throats.“We are still the number one selling quality newspaper.”Just seven months into the top job at this 163-year-old British media institution, Hugh is insistent that this most traditional of news brands is not retrenching but is in a growth phase as it focuses on building closer and more lucrative relationships with readers both in print and on digital platforms.“I am talking in the narrowest possible definition; they have to be registered and active within the last 12 months,” Hugh says.
The appointment fills a key post within the games group after Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella promoted Spencer to executive vice president in a strategic role overseeing all games, game hardware, and game platform strategy at Microsoft.In an interview with GamesBeat, Spencer said that he will be in charge of the grand strategy for games, while Booty would be in charge of executing that strategy in games publishing.“I wanted to make sure we had the right organization in place to deliver on our content goals.I’ve asked Matt Booty to step up into the role of leading Microsoft Studios.”Booty’s previous role was as the head of the global teams responsible for developing Minecraft.He oversaw Mojang, the Swedish game company that developed Minecraft and that Microsoft acquired for $2.5 billion in 2014.
It’s bad enough that North Korea continues to pursue its nuclear weapons program and the country is developing missiles capable of delivering those weapons to the United States.Adding fuel to the fire by scaring people to death doesn’t help, which is exactly what Hawaii Emergency Management Agency did when it issued an erroneous warning of impending ballistic missile attack.And apparently, it was a poorly designed system that was behind the faux pas — including passwords stored on Post-it Notes.As Business Insider reports, the terrifying false alarm was the result of “an employee (pushing) the wrong button,” as Hawaii Governor David Ige attested.But with so many cyberattacks over the last few years, it’s natural to suspect that a hacker was at fault.As a picture posted in an Associated Press story published in July 2017 demonstrates, that suspicion is justified — the Post-it Note stuck on the lower left-hand display contains the system’s password, a real security risk.
Introducing a minimum performance guarantee comes as a surprise, but it is a refreshing approach to customer service which could prove to be a very attractive proposition for BT.BT is launching two new broadband packages with speeds of up to 152 Mbps and up to 314 Mbps, but the interesting bit is the minimum speed guarantee; 100 Mbps.We can’t think of any other deal which guarantees performance for the consumer, but we do hope this idea kick-starts a new trend in the broadband arena.“Ultrafast technology is going to be a vital part of a transformation in the speed that our customers receive,” said Marc Allera, CEO of BT Consumer.“Whether it is six in the evening or six in the morning, with Ultrafast Fibre everyone can be online at the same time, streaming, downloading and gaming.“Rather than spending hours downloading TV shows or films to their smartphone or tablet, they’ll be able to do it in minutes.
Airbnb is introducing a new way for users to pay for rentals, letting them reserve accommodation by paying 50 percent upfront and 50 percent before they arrive.The feature, called Pay Less Up Front, effectively lets customers stagger the cost of accommodation — perfect if you’re managing a budget but want to make sure you don’t lose the rental for your upcoming holiday.Before this feature was introduced, rentals had to be paid for 100 percent upfront.Airbnb says it hopes the feature will encourage customers to pick pricier accommodation.There are some requirements though: the rental has to be booked 14 days before check-in, and must cost at least $250.Airbnb also notes that the split between paying now and paying later is usually 50/50, but might sometimes vary.
Havas chief executive Xavier Rees has kicked off the new year with a significantly expanded remit after being elevated to the role of Helia chief executive, which will see him assume responsibility for the customer engagement and data agency while continuing to lead the helm of Havas.Rees will carry out these additional duties from 31 January following the departure of incumbent Tash Whitmey to Tesco with the intention of engendering greater collaboration between both arms of the business, which already collaborate on shared clients such as Heathrow, Unilever and GSK.Havas chairman Chris Hirst commented: “Havas London has seen a huge upturn in its trajectory since Xav and his team took over.Combined with his experience across a number of different specialisms, and the fact this appointment will encourage even greater integration between our agencies, I honestly can’t think of anyone better for the Helia job.”Rees added: “The Havas Helia story is a special one and I’m excited to help write its next chapter.We have entered a golden period for the discipline of customer engagement and no other agency has a better pedigree to help brands capitalise on this opportunity."
In 2016, the Scribblenauts series appeared to have died for good.Publisher Warner Bros. canceled the mobile title Scribblenauts: Fighting Words, which resulted in developer 5th Cell laying off almost all employees.Though it appeared the series had been erased from existence, that didn’t turn out to be the case.Scribblenauts Showdown arrives to consoles this March, and it looks like it will be your next party’s big hit.Scribblenauts Showdown is a multiplayer party game which tasks players with outsmarting each other through the use of objects and characters in the series’ dictionary, which is now more than 30,000 words.The main mode is the titular “Showdown,” designed for four people, and the the minigames are quick challenges with rewards going to the first person able to complete them.
Henry Bolton’s stint as Ukip leader looks to be coming to an end within days, with the party’s ruling committee set to turf him out at a meeting on Sunday.The Ukip NEC will meet this weekend and HuffPost UK has learned the committee will seek to remove Bolton as party leader after further controversy around his private life.Revelations Bolton left his wife for a Ukip activist almost 30 years his junior provoked anger in the party, with many feeling he had presented a false image of himself during last summer’s leadership campaign.Those feelings have grown stronger since a series of text messages from his girlfriend Jo Marney were released which showed her making racist comments about Prince Harry’s fiancée Meghan Markle.Bolton today revealed he had ended the “romantic part” of his relationship with Marney, who has been suspended by the party for her derogatory comments.Watch the full interview: https://t.co/Ek7I7FkTCa@firstname.lastname@example.org/WWmLHUjEni
Sharp’s Aquos S3 has raised quite a few eyebrows since it popped up on the rumoursphere.Especially because of that “top-notch” display.Well, it’s supposed to follow the iPhone X design and come with a notch at the top of the display.Also, rumours say it will have the highest screen-to-body ratio on any smartphone.That ought to get quite a few people pumped.The Sharp Aquos S3 with model number FS-8032 bagged NCC certification in Taiwan some days back and we’ve got some images of the certified device here.
Some months ago, Taiwanese manufacturer, HTC, confirmed that three of its devices HTC 10, U11, and U Ultra will be upgraded to Android Oreo.Now, the approximately two years old HTC 10 has started receiving the Oreo update which arrives as software version 3.16.617.2.When this device was released in April 2016, it came with Android 6.0.1 (Marshmallow).Subsequently, it was upgraded to Android 7.0 (Nougat) and now the Oreo.Presently, some unlocked units in the US have received this update.Go to settings and check “system update” to confirm if your unit has received it.
Western Digital introduced new SanDisk-branded products during the 2018 Consumer Electronics Show, including the world’s smallest USB-C external storage stick, which has a not-so-small capacity of 1TB.But given that Dell’s just-revealed Thunderbolt 3-based storage stick with a 1TB capacity will set you back $799, this tiny USB-C drive could cost a pretty penny, too.The drive will be compatible with mobile devices, laptops, and desktops that are now adopting USB-C connectivity.The prototype’s eventual retail pricing will likely depend on the type of flash technology used in the stick.There are plenty of external SSDs sold on the market with 1TB of storage for around $350, such as the Samsung T5 Portable SSD with read and write speeds of up to 540MB/s.It measures 2.3 x 0.4 x 3.0 inches, which isn’t exactly monstrous in your pocket, but nowhere near as slim as the SanDisk prototype.
IBM announced that it has signed a ten-year, approximately US$85 million managed services agreement with Emirates airline.The agreement will allow IBM to handle day-to-day management of the airline’s IT infrastructure, allowing Emirates to benefit from improved business application performance.IBM will also manage Emirates’ backup environment, and will be implementing a private cloud solution at the airline’s two data centers in Dubai, UAE.The company will also provide data center networking services to enable remote access for Emirates’ core IT environment and business-critical applications.“Under the new agreement, Emirates will benefit from a resilient, scalable and agile service, as well as operational savings,” said Amr Refaat, General Manager, IBM Middle East and Pakistan.“With its expanding global footprint, it is imperative that Emirates’ IT operations are streamlined and accessible to its employees anywhere and anytime, and this is where our expertise comes into play to achieve this.”
Dell’s XPS 15 is one of the best laptops available, but it does have one flaw.Asus, Lenovo, HP, and Microsoft all threw their weight behind 15-inch 2-in-1s in 2017, and they show no sign of pulling back.It looks a lot like the notebook, but Dell has done more than slap a new hinge on its existing design.More commonly used for lightweight athletic apparel, Gore is an excellent insulator, yet also light and thin.That apparently makes it a good fit for directing heat through a notebook chassis.You can’t feel the fabric when you touch the machine, but it’s there, keeping heat where it should be.
Samsung's Galaxy A8 phones make midrange look goodAll the cool new gadgets at CES 2018Samsung reinvented the whiteboard with the FlipXeros replaces the water in your washer with dirt-sucking beadsSmacircle's folding e-bike has crazy transformative designNavya's Cab could be your first self-driving car experience
Shortly before CES kicked off, Dell unveiled its new XPS 13 refresh.Now that the show is underway, Dell is showing off that new notebook the floor, but it also had another, arguably bigger, reveal in store.Today, the company announced the new XPS 15, which will be a 2-in-1 convertible machine, a first for the line.With the XPS 13 adopting a 2-in-1 design a couple of iterations back, it seemed like only a matter of time before the XPS 15 followed suit.Dell says that this is the “smallest, thinnest” 2-in-1 in its class (that being 15-inch notebooks), with a thickness that clocks in at just 16mm.We have the presence of GORE thermal insulation to than for that, which allows for a decent compromise between cooling and size.
Alongside the bigger news that there will be “smart display” Google Assistant speakers, Google is also announcing that Assistant is going to work in Android Auto.That might be a little confusing to people who have been using Android Auto, because they’ve been saying “OK Google” and issuing commands for directions and music for over a year now.The difference, you see, is that before it was simply a Google Voice search.Going forward, it will be the actual Google Assistant.Functionally, the difference is that a bunch of stuff that only Google Assistant can do will be possible in your car now.It can support actions like controlling your home lights, it will respect your music preferences (like defaulting to Spotify for music), and so on.
Making payments is about to get a whole lot easier for Android users.Google announced that all of its payments solutions, including Android Pay and Google Wallet, will be integrated into a single payment solution called Google Pay.Google Pay allows users to make payments online and in-store.Users will be able to make purchases from their Android enabled devices as well as Google Chrome with the touch of a button.Any card information you save in Google Pay will be available across all of your devices, so you won’t need to constantly enter or scan cards for different apps.While a handful of companies have signed on with Google Pay at its launch, expect to see more in the coming weeks and months.