Whether you’re hitting the road or just find replying to your friends too much effort, you can save your fingers a little bit of typing by automating your text messages—or at least the SMS replies you need to send out.Text auto-respond is part of the driving mode in Android too, but you still need to tap to confirm the SMS gets sent.It works just like an out-of-office message on your email, and you can set up different profiles too (one response for meetings, one for vacations, one for driving, and so on).Google Photos is available on Android and iOS: You get 15GB free (across all Google services), with more costing a couple of quid a month.If you don’t mind your photos being resized down to 16MP and your videos down to 1080p, or you own a Pixel phone, you can have unlimited storage for free.For those of you on Android, head to Settings then choose System, Languages & input, Virtual keyboard, Gboard, Dictionary, and finally Personal dictionary.
Facebook’s Portal and Portal+ smart displays weren’t particularly well received when they launched a couple of months back.Digital Trends, for example, could only muster a single star out of a possible five in its less-than-lukewarm review of the larger of the two devices.With that being the case, any 5-star reviews of the Portal tend to stand out.In fact, glowing recommendations of the device by Amazon shoppers prompted New York Times reporter Kevin Roose to take a closer look.His diligence paid off when he discovered this week that at least three of the reviews had been written by folks with “the same name as Facebook employees.”Some might suggest that those behind the posts may merely have been non-employees who just happen to have the same name as the Facebook folks — or that the reviews were perhaps the work of miscreants out to make trouble for the social networking company — but a Facebook executive appeared to confirm the misdemeanor on Thursday after announcing that the writers of the reviews will be ordered to remove them.
Chinese giant NetEase Games has for the first time moved to limit the amount of time China’s youth spend playing its games, highlighting the increased scrutiny of the country’s gaming sector.Gaming companies have faced greater oversight for their alleged involvement in childhood gaming addiction.Last year, state mouthpiece the People’s Daily called Tencent’s online multiplayer title “Honour of Kings” poison, saying greater regulation of social games is needed.NetEase will limit users 12-years-old and under to one hour of gameplay a day from Monday to Fridays, and two hours on Saturdays and Sundays, the company said in a statement.Gamers between the ages of 13 and 18 will be permitted to play two hours on weekdays and three hours on weekends.NetEase will also ban underage players from logging on between 9:30 p.m. to 8:30 a.m every day.
It will now be even tougher for the four big streaming services scheduled to debut in the next year—from Disney, AT, Apple and NBCUniversal—to catch up with Netflix.The streaming giant now has 139 million subscribers worldwide, 58.5 million of which are U.S. subscribers, it said today in a shareholders letter.That’s up from 110 million a year ago.Netflix estimates it commands 10 percent of all U.S. TV screen time.“Our focus is not on Disney+, Amazon or others, but on how we can improve our experience for our members,” said the shareholders letter.Furthermore, “We compete with (and lose to) Fornite more than HBO.”
If LG is planning to wow the crowd at MWC 2019, it will probably not be with the LG G8, most likely called the LG G8 ThinQ.That is if LG is still going to stick with the G naming.Its titular flagship, the G8, codenamed “Alpha”, is probably going to be positioned as the smartphone “for everyone else” that’s not interested in fancy foldable screens, sliders, or other gimmicks.But if the details that arrived together with these 3D renders are the real deal, consumers might have little reason to prefer the LG G8 over last year’s LG V40 ThinQ.For one, the design hasn’t changed that much actually.You still have a notched screen in front with what seems to actually be an even thicker forehead.
Over the past 15 years, Benny Gold became one of the premier streetwear designers in San Francisco by parlaying his fame as a skateboarder into his own eponymous brand of shirts, hats and outerwear.His flagship Valenica Street shop became a tourist destination and mainstay of the city’s historic Mission District.But this week, Gold surprised the Bay Area skate community and his thousands of social media followers with the news that he would be closing the store and ending most production on the brand.From designing party flyers, sticker bombing the streets of SF, and producing T-shirts for myself and friends, I would have never guessed that years later my eponymous brand would grow into what it is today.Thank you all for the support and love!A post shared by Benny Gold (@bennygold) on Jan 15, 2019 at 11:07am PST
In 2017, Go-Jek made it to Fortune’s Change the World List, the only company in Southeast Asia to do so.According to World Bank’s Global Findex, only 19.6 percent of Indonesians over the age of 15 had a bank account in 2011.By 2017, that number had reached nearly 50 percent.In 2017, it cleared 943 million e-money transactions worth over 12.37 trillion rupiah (US$877 million).This in turn drives massive growth in the country’s digital ecosystem and creates abundant market opportunities.A duopoly like this often results in lower prices for consumers, as the two rivals compete for customers.
Oracle admins, here's your first critical patch advisory for 2019, and it's a doozy: a total of 284 vulnerabilities patched across Big Red's product range, and 33 of them are rated “critical”.Oracle Communications Applications (OCA) is home to nine of the vulnerabilities in various components:You might be familiar with CVE-2016-1000031 – it's the Apache Commons FileUpload remote code execution (RCE) bug disclosed in November last year.OCA's Diameter Signalling Router component inherited the bug, as did its Communications Services Gatekeeper.Other systems affected by this bug include its Financial Services Analytical Applications Infrastructure, the Fusion Middleware MapViewer, and four three Oracle Retail components.Another 2016 bug, this time in Codehaus versions of Groovy (CVE-2016-6814) affected OCA Unified Inventory Management.
If you get the feeling that everyone you know has a Netflix subscription, there’s a good chance you’re right - Netflix just announced that it has 139 million paying subscribers around the world.That number doesn’t take into consideration all the folks who use Netflix either through a shared account or are on a free trial account - which likely explains why that number isn’t even higher - but that means there are more people paying for Netflix than there are people living in Tokyo, Delhi, Shanghai, Sao Paulo and Mumbai, combined.Netflix’s latest report to shareholders, which is where that data originates, claims the company has gained nearly 9 million of these paying subscribers in the last three months of 2018 - closing out the year with 29 million more paying subscribers than it started with.If analysts’ predictions are right, that would put Netflix on par with the number of Amazon Prime subscribers worldwide (around 100 million at last count), and vastly ahead of the largest streaming music service, Spotify, which is sitting somewhere around 40 million paying subscribers.Will Disney cause Netflix some dismay?In an earnings call that accompanied the report, Netflix’s executive team claimed that the streaming service owns around 10% of the 1 billion hours Americans spend watching TV per day, a number that they say also includes live cable television and video games as well.
The American Civil Liberties Union has sued multiple US government agencies in a bid to learn more about its social media surveillance practices.The lawsuit follows a string of Freedom of Information Act requests that sought info on the surveillance, requests that ultimately went nowhere.The ACLU sued a total of seven government agencies, including the FBI, which had responded to the FOIA request with a general “can neither confirm nor deny” statement.The ACLU submitted FOIA requests to the Justice Department, FBI, Customs & Border Protection, the Privacy Office, Immigration Services, ICE, and the State Department in May.As part of its request, the organization sought records related to “social media surveillance, including the monitoring and retention of immigrants’ and visa applicants’ social media information for the purpose of conducting ‘extreme vetting.The ACLU previously acquired documents from Homeland Security in 2015 that revealed it was, in some cases, “collecting, analyzing, retaining, and disseminating social media information” that it considered related to its “Standing Information Needs.” A couple years later, the Department of Homeland Security confirmed that it was monitoring social media — including with automated technologies — in relation to visa applicants and immigrants.
Detective Pikachu is on the horizon, and while we’re still trying to figure out just what makes Ryan Reynolds the perfect fit for the voice of Pikachu, The Pokemon Company has gone along and announced a bunch of merchandise for the movie.Of course, with any movie aimed primarily at children, toy sales are going to be a major focus for studios, and The Pokemon Company is definitely no exception to that age-old rule.In fact, the company is even going so far as to launch a mini-expansion for the Pokemon Trading Card Game.This Detective Pikachu set will feature 24 cards and will be available in four different box sets.There are three sets that include two four-card Detective Pikachu booster packs and oversized cards featuring Pikachu, Charizard, and Greninja.There’s also a collectors set that packs eight Detective Pikachu packs into a metal case with various extras, such as a notepad and a sticker sheet.
Amazon has rolled out its own backup service for AWS apps and data, a move that will inevitably hit independent suppliers of backup for the cloud computing service right in the wallet.AWS Backup protects storage volumes, databases, and file systems across Amazon's DynamoDB, Elastic Block Store (EBS), Elastic File System (Amazon EFS), Amazon Relational Database Service (Amazon RDS), and AWS Storage Gateway, with support for additional services planned for the future.Customers will also be able to back up on-premises application data through the AWS Backup integration with the firm's own Storage Gateway.Bill Vass, AWS VP for Storage, Automation, and Management Service spoke of the type of customers the firm plans to poach from backup businesses:Some are tinkerers who want to tweak and fine tune the full range of AWS services into a desired architecture, and other builders are drawn to the same breadth and depth of functionality in AWS, but are willing to trade some of the service granularity to start at a higher abstraction layer, so they can build even faster.We designed AWS Backup for this second type of builder who has told us that they want one place to go for backups versus having to do it across multiple, individual services.
TenX, a Singapore-based blockchain business that enables the spending of popular cryptocurrencies on day-to-day items, announced its plan to take the company forward into 2019, titled TenX 2.0.As a first step, TenX has re-launched the TenX card today.The TenX prepaid cards will be made available to everyone living in Singapore.The company will also eventually open applications to Asia Pacific-based travelers visiting the country.“Powered by Visa, cardholders can make payments and withdraw money from supported ATMs around the world, provided their TenX Wallet is topped up,” it said in a statement.TenX will not be the only one to offer a “traveler-focused” cash card that’s paired with a mobile wallet in Singapore.
Instead of looking ahead to zombies, haunted houses and serial killers, we'll get horror movies with refreshing, out-of-the-box twists.From the Mexican urban legend La Llorona to chilling children's book Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark, many films in this year's lineup have plots that escape the traditional horror movie frameworks (you know, a family moves to a new house and realizes it's haunted).Starring Yahya Abdul-Mateen, Lupita Nyong'o and Elisabeth Moss, the film follows a family of four looking to enjoy summer with friends at their beach house.But their vacation turns into a nightmare when another family of four -- that looks exactly like them -- attacks them.This film will show on opening night at the South by Southwest film festival (SXSW) on March 8, and then opens March 15 in the US and UK and March 28 in Australia.In this Australian zombie-comedy film, a musician, a kindergarten teacher and a kids' show host have to protect the children from zombies.
He was at a nursing home in Norwalk, Connecticut, last year, demoing a virtual reality platform he co-founded called Rendever.Mickey, an older woman who suffers from dementia and hadn't talked much or smiled in weeks, gave it a try.She smiled and called out to the puppies and sent them kisses.Several of these technologies were on display last week at CES, the mega tech show held in Las Vegas.For some aging adults, especially those in nursing homes, VR platforms like Rendever could help address isolation, lack of mobility and depression, says Neumann, who also serves as Rendever's chief technology officer.Using an Oculus Go headset and a Samsung Galaxy Tab A10, patients and caregivers can choose nearly any location in the world -- say, Machu Picchu, someone's childhood home or the top of the Eiffel Tower -- and take a virtual visit.
Microsoft has sent out invitations to a press event at MWC 2019 next month, and judging from the executives present, we will be treated to some kind of reveal concerning the HoloLens 2.As The Verge spotted, the invite for a press event to be held on Sunday, February 24, specifies that Microsoft’s chief executive Satya Nadella will be there, along with technical fellow for AI perception and mixed reality, Alex Kipman.Kipman is the brains behind HoloLens (and previous to that, Kinect), so the obvious conclusion is that he’ll impart some fresh details on the HoloLens 2, particularly seeing as it’s expected to be released this year, plus the rumor mill has been churning again of late regarding the headset sequel.Most recently, we’ve heard that Microsoft could be aiming to make the headset more wallet-friendly, as well as lighter and less bulky overall (at least according to a patent).That would go a long way to boosting the appeal of the AR headset, particularly if the price comes down, which could make the device more palatable to a mainstream audience.Rumor also has it that the HoloLens 2 will be a good deal more powerful, with some speculation suggesting it will be driven by Qualcomm’s XR1 chipset, which is specifically aimed at AR and VR devices, though another theory points to the use of the Snapdragon 850 chip (as seen in ARM-based ‘always connected’ Windows 10 laptops).
Scientists are trying to revolutionise potatoes and, in the process, cure the tubers’ depression, the result of generations of inbreeding.Potato depression is obviously nothing like human depression, of course.A team of Chinese scientists looked for a better way to make potatoes reproduce, and along the way learned more about the genetics behind spuds’ “inbreeding depression.”You probably have seen sprouts, or eyes, grow out of potatoes.That’s how farmers plant new potatoes – by cutting up old ones and letting those eyes germinate into new plants.Generations of cloning means that harmful genetic mutations remain in the genome, but the plants have a buffer against that – most varieties are “tetraploid,” meaning they have four sets of chromosomes.
The stars may have some competition.A Russian startup by the name of StartRocket is planning to launch glowing billboards into the night sky, in order to help advertise the big-name companies and brands that already dominate our lives on Earth.The billboards comprise of small, light-emitting satellites - CubeSats, to be precise - which connect together in low orbit in order to spell out shapes, names, and logos for corporate customers.StartRocket has released a promo video that shows the technology in action, which you can despair over in the video below.It's just an animation at this point, but StartRocket plans to officially launch its product in 2020, with its first billboards primed to hit the night sky the following year.The space billboards would hang in low orbit and display certain messages or logos for a duration of six minutes each.
Megan Barton Hanson has hit out at viewers of ‘Dancing On Ice’, claiming she feels “attacked” by them.The ‘Love Island’ star became the subject of conversation among some fans of the ITV skating competition after sitting in the audience to support boyfriend Wes Nelson on Sunday night, where she was seen looking less than enthralled at certain points.After some viewers attributed this to jealousy at Megan having to watch her boyfriend skate with partner Vanessa Bauer, she has insisted her expressions were not a reaction to their performance.Speaking to The Sun, Megan said: “I woke up Monday morning and it felt like I was being attacked.I sat there during the show and I was so happy for him and it must have been 0.2 seconds that my face was relaxed and I wasn’t smiling – and now I’m bitter and a sour ex?“I felt backed into a corner.
But what if that customer later signs up for another account using a new phone number?Didi Chuxing is China’s largest ride-sharing platform, offering taxi, carpooling and other transport services.Having driven Uber out of China in 2016, Didi is actively growing its international footprint through various partnerships.The Chinese ride-hailing giant is currently running an online poll about the idea: Should passengers be required to register with their real names and national ID?At least two female riders on its Hitch service (a carpooling function similar to UberPool and Lyft’s Share Rides) were raped and killed.It looks like many of those who responded to the poll support introducing real-name registration.