No Screenshot Notifications For Your Instagram Stories

Instagram has stopped testing the screenshot notification for when users take a screenshot of your Story.

Back in February, the world got spooked. Not because of some natural disaster or a violent war. It was because Instagram started testing screenshot notifications for stories. The photo-sharing social network didn’t specify who and which part of the world were being tested either. Only that it was a “small group of people”.

“We are always testing ways to improve the experience on Instagram and make it easier to share any moment with the people who matter to you,” Instagram said at the time.

Users who tried to take screenshot got a warning the first time they did the “the deed”. “Next time you take a screenshot or screen recording, the person who posted the story will be able to see it.” 

It then showed a unique symbol in the viewer list for those friends who took a snap of your story. This is unlike Snapchat who actually sends out a notification when a screenshot is taken on a public or a private story.

But now, we all can breath again. The Facebook-owned service has released a statement to Buzzfeed News about its decision to terminate the test. This ends the months-long speculation of whether your snooping days are over.

The company however, did not elaborate on why it decided not to roll out the feature. But it likely had to do with user engagement. Care to make some guesses?

 

The 2009 iPhone 3GS Is Back and Its Only $40!

At least is South Korea, that is.

The iPhone 3GS was first unveiled in June 2009 (I feel so old now) and was discontinued in 2012. Now, it will be made available in South Korea for 44,000 won or about $40 without contract.

According to ETNews, the phones were found still in their boxes stored in a warehouse. And no, they are not refurbished phones. These were part of the original stock and are still untouched. But because they were left there for almost a decade, SK Telink will check the devices one by one to make sure the batteries are working. They will then be repackaged and sold.

According to the company, “the iPhone 3GS has been launched to celebrate the opening of the SK Seven mobile online mall while expanding the selection of consumer smartphones.”

It did not specify how many units are going to be available for sale.

It is important to note that the iPhone 3GS only supports up to iOS 6. This means a lot of the new features will not be available and some apps will not be supported. This includes iMessages (gasp!).

For those who are used to the current phones, the 2009 iPhone will definitely be slow in comparison. If the phone breaks, having it repaired may not be as easy as it was before too.

But still, for $40, it’s quite a steal for something you can use for phone calls and the occasional light browsing. At least if you happen to be in South Korea.

Will Nintendo Switch Soon Have Loot Boxes?

Nintendo US boss Reggie Fils-Aime thinks loot boxes aren’t that bad.

At the recent E3, Nintendo US boss Reggie Fils-Aime discussed several topics including loot boxes. These micro-transactions are recently being seen in a not-so-favourable manner where players pay without knowing what they’re getting.

He thinks loot boxes have a “bad rap” and other developers have “made some mistakes” when it comes to paid digital content.

“The game mechanic of buying something that you’re not sure what’s inside is as old as baseball cards,” he told Bloomberg.

“What we believe at Nintendo is that a gameplay mechanic that offers the consumer something to buy that they’re not sure what’s inside can be interesting as long as that’s not the only way you can get those items.

“And that’s where some developers have made some mistakes. For us, its one of many mechanics we can use to drive on-going engagement in the game.”

We’re not sure if this means the Switch will have loot boxes or something similar in the future. But with its stance on the subject, it’s clear that the company isn’t averse to the idea.

In other news, when asked about Netflix and YouTube coming to Nintendo Switch, he confirmed that they will “come in due time”.

“When we launched the Switch, we were very clear we wanted to position the device as a game-playing device. We’ve done that, and so you’ve seen Hulu for example come on to the platform. In terms of other services, the conversations are on-going. We’ve got nothing to announce right now. But certainly those opportunities will come in due time.”

 

Microsoft Takes On Amazon With Its Own Cashier-less Stores

Amazon may soon be facing some competition from Microsoft who’s reportedly developing tech for cashier-less shopping.

Image Credit: ABC News

Microsoft is reportedly developing a technology that track what items people pick up while shopping. Sound’s familiar? Does Amazon Go ring any bell?

Reuters reports that the tech giant has already presented a sample technology to retailers around the world. It is also apparently in talks with Walmart about a potential collaboration.

Another source claims that Redmond-based AVA Retail, which develops technology to collect data about shoppers in stores, says it is working with Microsoft.

Microsoft’s interest on this kind of technology is not really a secret.

The company already runs what it calls the Retail Experience Center near its Redmond office. The place is meant to showcase its products and serve as a testing environment for its business-sales groups. A tour in the facility in 2016 showed Bluetooth beacons that allows it to track customers’ movements. A year earlier, Microsoft also showed how a store can keep track of what customers pick up using tech from its Kinect motion sensor.

Amazon Go, Amazon’s first cashier-less shop which opened in Seattle this year, works similarly. Customers use an app and combined technologies like computer vision, sensor fusion, deep learning and cameras to keep track of their movements.

Forrester analyst Sucharita Kodali noted that Walmart working with Microsoft is definitely a possibility. “Will they be able to actually offer something that works?  Who knows … too early to tell. But it’s a great idea and what Walmart cannot ignore.”

 

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How to Watch the 2018 Fifa World Cup Online For Free

Here’s a quick roundup of where you can watch the 2018 Fifa World Cup online without paying.

The 2018 FIFA World Cup kicked off today in Russia. The world’s biggest soccer tournament will run over the course of the next month and will culminate on July 15th.

There will be 32 teams from around the world competing for the championship. The first match featured Russia versus Saudi Arabia with the latter winning 5-0. Russia’s victory makes them the second biggest win ever by a host country in an opening match.

Are you a fan? Here’s a list of on how to watch the 2018 FIFA World Cup:

On TV

If you have satellite or cable TV, look for your local Fox station or Fox Sports. As long as you have a digital antenna, you are able to watch over-the-air broadcasts of networks like ABC and Fox. Fox is dividing the matches between the two channels, 38 major games will air on Fox while the rest will broadcast on Fox Sports.

Telemundo also shows Spanish broadcasts of the games for free.

Online Streaming

All the World Cup games are available for streaming at Fox Sports website or Fox Sports Go app. Its free to download and watch through the app. However, you need to be logged in with a pay TV provider to access it.

Telemundo announced that everybody are watch the games online for free until the 25th of June. Just visit  TelemundoDeportes.com or with the Telemundo Deportes En Vivo.

And of course, we have the live-streaming TV services which lets you watch the World Cup online. These include YouTube TV, Hulu Live, Playstation Vue, DirectTV Now, Fubo TV and Sling TV. These services offer a free trial period of around one week, so now is the best time to sign up. Just remember to cancel the service before your trial runs out! 😉

 

A Google Podcasts App May Soon Be Launched

A dedicated app for podcasts may soon be available on the Google PlayStore.

According to the folks in 9to5Google, the search giant is planning to have its own Google Podcasts app.

In the last few months, Google has really been pushing for more presence in the podcast universe. And this move will definitely help them gain more traction. In 2009, it launched an app called Listen, which was its first attempt at a podcast player. However, it did not live long enough and was completely shutdown in three years later.

Currently, Google has been building out a podcast client within the standard Google app. However, it is not easy to access. The company is apparently trying to change that with an actual Android app.

9to5Google spotted a snipped of code in the latest Google app which shows an inactive prompt which asks users to “Get the Google Podcasts app.”

Currently the app is not live yet but the folks at 9to5Google thinks you will be able to access the app HERE once it does.

Besides the code, they also saw a logo for the Google Podcasts app made of the iconic Google colours.

Image Source: 9to5Google

Pretty cool eh?

 

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Toyota To Acquire $1 Billion Stake in Ride-Hailing Service Grab

This is by far the largest deal a by a carmaker in a ride-hailing provider.

This move by Toyota definitely marks the transition of traditional carmakers from manufacturing to services.

The Japanese company just agreed to acquire a $1 Billion stake in Grab, Southeast Asia’s biggest ride-hailing company. The announcement was made in a statement by Toyota earlier this week. The company did not disclose what percentage of Grab it will own.

According to a person familiar with the deal, the value of six-year-old Grab will be just over $10 billion after the investment.

“We will work with partners like Toyota to continue to transform transportation in Southeast Asia,” Grab said in an email to Reuters. “We want to be the one-stop mobility platform for users.”

“Going forward, together with Grab, we will develop services that are more attractive, safe and secure for our customers in Southeast Asia,” Toyota executive Shigeki Tomoyama said in a statement.

This is not the first time that the Japan-based company has invested in Grab. Last year, it also pumped in an undisclosed amount to the latter. Toyota also invested in San Francisco-based Uber as well as in Japan Taxi Co. Ltd, an Uber rival.

The car industry is really racing with tech companies to gain a level footing on mobility services. With the rise of ride-hailing and vehicle sharing companies, there is a lesser need for car ownership. Honda and General Motors are the two other big names who have also invested in ride-hailing applications.

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The Vivo Nex Phone Has No Notch, No Bezels And A Pop Up Camera

Apple, Google, LG, ASUS all other phone manufacturers have been beaten to the punch by Vivo.

Vivo may have just announced the first ever true all-screen smartphone. Called the Nex, the company claims it “fulfills the bezel-less dream.”

For those who remember, an impressive concept phone called Apex was unveiled back at the MWC 2018 in February. It had a 98% screen-to-body ratio and the Nex phone comes close to that.

The Vivo Nex was unveiled in China and features a good amount of high-end specs. It sports a 6.59-inch bezeless AMOLED display. It has a screen-to-body ratio of 91.24%, which means it still has a tiny bit of bezel on the sides.

So how did they manage to do it? The China-based company added three new pieces of technology, that’s how.

First is the 8MP front-facing camera that pops up from the from the top of the phone’s body for selfies. Second, is the Screen SoundCasting tech that takes the place of traditional earpiece speakers. The tech turns the display itself into a loudspeaker so you can hear your friend talking on the phone.

Lastly, they have slimmed down the bezels by putting an in-display fingerprint scanner. This is actually the company’s third attempt to use the technology after the X20UD and X21.

Specs-wise, the Vivo Nex runs on a Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 chipset and has 8GB of RAM. It comes with 256GB of internal storage and a heavy-duty 4,000mAh battery. The back sports a dual sensor camera, with a main 12MP f/1.8 sensor and  a secondary 5MP f/2.4 offering. A LED flash rounds up the camera setup.

Oh, did we mention there’s a headphone jack?

Fortnite 2019 World Cup Announced with $100 Million in Prize Money

The Fortnite 2019 World Cup, which will take place late next year, is open to all Fortnite players.

Image Credit: The Next Playground

“Grab your gear, drop in and start training.”

That’s how Epic Games announced the first year competitions on their blog post last month. And that’s what every gamer will be doing to prepare for the upcoming Fortnight World Cup.

At the Fortnite Celebrity Pro-Am during this year’s E3, the game developer revealed more details about the upcoming major event. It has formally given the e-sport event a name: Fortnite 2019 World Cup.

Qualifiers will start in the fall of this year and will take place across the world. The $100,000,000 will be split between many events at different levels of competitions. All 125 million players of the game are qualified to join and win in the different events.

The World Cup will culminate in the first Fortnite World Cup in late 2019.

According to Epic Games, the World Cup itself will focus on Solos and Duos. However, they also promise plenty of opportunities to squad-up in competition as well.

Community and E-sports Operations Manager at Epic Games K.L. Smith says the money will not only for competitive play. Epic will also be “supporting community run events, online events, and major competitions all over the world.”

Additionally, Epic insists that qualifications for the Fortnite World Cup will be based on merit. It will not be selling franchises or teams and won’t be allowing third-parties to do so.

Are you excited?

Watch Netflix and YouTube On Your Nintendo Switch

Playing games might not be the only thing you’ll be doing in your Nintendo Switch soon.

This secret but not-so-secret news came as a surprise since there was no mention of it at the E3. But it seems like the Nintendo Switch may soon have support for Netflix and Youtube.

While the Switch comes with WiFi capabilities and a web browser, it doesn’t support streaming applications. Hulu is the only streamer available in the console and has been since last year. However, this is only available for users in the US and Japan.

But that might soon change. Spotted by Reddit user DevCakes, new Switch listings for Netflix, YouTube and Hulu, have appeared on Best Buy’s website. The information has since been removed but not before a screenshot was done.

Under the heading “Smart Enabled”, BestBuy promises access to “a world of instant entertainment” with Nintendo Switch.

“Just connect to the Internet and stream movies, listen to music, and access a wide variety of other content.”

Below the description were the three logos of Netflix, Hulu and Youtube as examples.

BestBuy has since responded to the leak saying that it was an error. Do you believe them?

 

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