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5
Aug

Google Keep gets easy exporting to Docs in new update, Google Slides now lets you present to Hangouts


keepgif-3

Google Keep and Google Slides for Android are both getting updated today, bringing a few handy features to the productivity applications.

First up is Keep, which will now let you easily export notes directly to Google Docs with just a few taps. To do so, all you need to do is press the overflow menu at the top of the note you’d like to export, select “Copy to Google Doc”, and that’s about it. As you can see from the screenshot below, you’ll be able to open the Doc right away by tapping the open button on the bottom of the screen.

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You won’t be able to choose where this document is saved in Docs, so keep that in mind if you go searching for a document at a later date.

Google Slides is also getting a pretty interesting update today, now giving you the ability to easily present from any Android phone or tablet to a Hangouts video call. From your Slides application, all you need to do is tap the present button and you’ll then see the option to present to a video call. Meetings that are already scheduled in your calendar will be listed automatically, allowing you to start presenting right away.

Before you start your meeting, you’ll be able to see who is on the call at that moment. Once you’re ready, you can use your device to advance slides, view speaker notes and use a built-in timer.

Google Slides Hangouts AA

These handy updates are now rolling out in the Google Play Store, so head to the links below to grab the latest versions.

Download Google Keep from Google Play
Download Google Slides from Google Play

5
Aug

6 technologies that protect endangered animals from poachers


6 technologies that protect endangered animals from poachers

By Cat DiStasio

Just about everyone with internet access spent last week reading about crimes against animals happening in far-flung places on the globe. If that sort of news moves you, it might leave you feeling a bit small and helpless. Luckily, there are a number of organizations doing fantastic work to protect wild animals from poachers — and they could use your help. You can do something as simple as donating your old cellphone to turn it into an anti-poaching detection system. Most solutions designed to conserve wildlife focus on tracking the movements of protected animals and vigilantly warding off potential dangers. However, intrepid conservationists are also using everything from 3D printing to poisonous pink dyes to ward off hunters. Read on for six technologies that protect endangered animals — and help support the organizations working on the ground to protect these majestic creatures.Slideshow-309506

Filed under:
Misc, Science

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Tags: anti-poaching, EndangeredSpecies, inhabitat, partner, poachers, syndicated

5
Aug

Fly among beautiful floating islands hiding ancient secrets in ‘Aer’


Aer is more gorgeous every time I see it. I first ran across it by accident: While waiting in a line at Gamescom 2013, I noticed Robin Hjelte, the game’s creator, showing off a video on his tablet to a small, excited crowd. I peeked over his shoulder to see a beautiful pastel landscape with rolling green grass, adorable animals, and, at the center of it all, a young woman — who suddenly transformed into a bird and soared off the land’s edge, aiming for another tranquil island floating high in the sky. I gave Hjelte my card and told him to hit me up if he wanted to talk about the game. The following year at Gamescom, we sat down for a lovely chat. This year at E3, I finally got to play Aer (now with support from renowned German publisher Daedalic Entertainment), and the game sang in my hands as I flawlessly swapped between land and sky, and I wandered through dark, mysterious passageways with even darker secrets. Today, Daedalic and Hjelte’s studio, Forgotten Key, released a brand new, infintely more gorgeous trailer for Aer, alongside confirmation that the game is coming to Xbox One, PlayStation 4, PC, Mac and Linux in 2016.Slideshow-309675

Flash back to E3 2015: With a DualShock 4 controller and an alpha version of the game, Aer plays like the quiet cousin to both Ico and Secrets of Raetikon. The islands, floating among the clouds, appear small as the young girl, Auk, winds through the sky in bird form, but once she lands it’s clear there’s plenty to explore in the grasses, mountains, ancient structures and caverns of each mass. Flying in the game is exhilarating and natural on the gamepad, while walking allows Auk a chance to slow down and truly explore the worlds beneath her.

I enter a dark cavern and find the remains of an expansive temple. As I solve a light puzzle, Hjelte explains that while Aer isn’t a horror game, it features massive beasts hiding in the shadows and dark secrets buried in the temples. He compares it to a Zelda adventure: Thrilling yet peaceful. Running around the stones in this giant cave, exploring the nooks and crannies of a lost civilization, I can’t help agreeing.


We’re live from Cologne, Germany for Gamescom 2015. Click here to catch up with all the news from the show.

Filed under:
Gaming, HD

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Tags: aer, daedalic, DaedalicEntertainment, forgottenkey, gamescom2015, hdpostcross, Indie, Linux, Mac, pc, ps4, XboxOne

5
Aug

YouTube is getting rid of ‘301+ Views’


YouTube webpage.

When a video posted to YouTube starts to really rack up hits, the view counter has always frozen at “301+” for a while as the system checked for any robotic view count inflating shenanigans. It’s become something of an institution at the site, acting as a flag for videos that were on the verge of going viral. But that’s no longer the case. YouTube announced today that it is forgoing the 301+ freeze for a system that only counts views that they’re “confident only come from real people.” The new system is expected to provide more accurate and up-to-date numbers.

Filed under:
Internet, Google

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Source:
Google (Twitter)

Tags: 301, counter, google, machine intelligence, videos, views, youtube

5
Aug

Epson’s new printers ease refill woes with ink tanks


We’ve all been there. It’s late, and you have a final project or presentation due first thing in the morning. You’ve been awake for days and you’ve finally finished. Only when you go to print, there’s no ink. Epson’s latest printers offer a simple solution that should go a long way to remedying the issue: they hold more ink. The company’s line of EcoTank all-in-one printers house so-called Supertanks instead of individual cartridges that are refilled with bottles of ink. What’s more, each of the five models has a reservoir that holds the equivalent of around 20 sets of traditional cartridges (depending on the model, of course) and two support WiFi printing via a mobile device. Slideshow-309682

Even the most affordable options, the Epson Expression ET-2500 EcoTank and Expression ET-2550 EcoTank, can print up to 4,000 black and white pages and 6,500 color pages before needing a refill. When the time comes, those refill bottles will set you back as little as $13 each or $52 for a complete set. We’d surmise the refills for the larger machines cost a bit more. The EcoTank line is due to arrive in September, with prices ranging from $379 (the ET-2500) on up to $1,199 for the heavy-duty business model (WorkForce Pro WF-R4640 EcoTank).

Filed under:
Peripherals

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Source:
Epson

Tags: ecotank, epson, ink, printer, printers, refills

5
Aug

Apple Updates TestFlight App With Support for iOS 9, watchOS 2 Features


testflightApple today updated its TestFlight beta testing platform and app for iOS to add support for upcoming iOS 9 and watchOS 2 features, letting developers begin internal testing on beta features through Apple’s official app testing platform.

iOS 9 and watchOS 2 introduce a range of new features that will improve apps on both the Apple Watch and the iPhone. With iOS 9 support for TestFlight, developers can now begin experimenting with features like App Thinning, which optimizes apps for specific devices to cut down on install size.

With App Thinning enabled, apps will install faster, launch faster, and will take up less space on a device. An iPhone app, for example, won’t need to download unnecessary content designed for the iPad.

watchOS 2 support in TestFlight means developers can begin installing and working with the first native apps for the Apple Watch. Native apps are run entirely on the Apple Watch and should speed up app launch times and performance.

Today’s update does not include support for the external testing of iOS 9 and watchOS 2 apps, which means developers cannot yet provide apps with iOS 9 and watchOS 2 features to external beta test groups.

This update adds support for testing upcoming iOS 9 features — including watchOS 2 apps and App Thinning.

Testers can now choose how to receive update notifications for each app they are testing. Also, watchOS 2 beta apps will install automatically when the “Automatic Downloads” setting is turned on in the Apple Watch app.

For those unfamiliar with TestFlight, it’s Apple’s iOS beta testing platform, designed to let developers recruit beta testers for their apps to work out bugs ahead of releasing apps to the public. Apple acquired TestFlight from Burstly in February of 2014 and relaunched the service alongside iOS 8 as an iOS-integrated testing platform.

TestFlight can be downloaded from the App Store for free. [Direct Link]


5
Aug

Nexus 5 and Nexus 6 receiving Stagefright fixes


Google Nexus 6Sprint is pushing an update to its Nexus 5 and 6 devices to fix the Stagefright vulnerability. There is no specific SKU for Sprint on either phone, so the update should apply to all of them.

The new update will be build LMY48I. Sprint and AT&T have also updated many Samsung phones to fix the Stagefright bug as well.

Source: Sprint (1), (2)

Come comment on this article: Nexus 5 and Nexus 6 receiving Stagefright fixes

5
Aug

Why I won’t be picking up the OnePlus 2


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On Monday, July 27, OnePlus took to the stage to unveil its eagerly-awaited flagship smartphone of 2015, the OnePlus 2. At first, the handset looked very promising with its Snapdragon 810 chipset, 4GB of RAM and $389 price tag. However, once the event had finished and we had time to mull over what we’d just witnessed, it instantly became apparent that the device isn’t a “flagship killer” after all.

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The OnePlus 2’s most noticeable downfall is its specifications. There are set to be two variants up for grabs when the handset launches on August 13 — one with 3GB of RAM and 16GB of internal storage and the other with 64GB of space and 4GB of RAM. They both pack a 5.5-inch Full HD display, a Snapdragon 810 processor and an Adreno 430 GPU.

Now whilst these internals may prove to be somewhat impressive today, they certainly won’t be in two weeks time when Samsung takes the wraps off the Galaxy Note 5 and S6 Edge+ — leaving the OnePlus 2 to strive for the “ 2016 flagship killer” slot it so fervently boasted, but has no real possibility of ascertaining. In actual fact, I’d go as far as to say that the OnePlus 2 will be overtaken before the year is out and almost definitely won’t be able to compete with any of next year’s flagships.

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To be completely honest, the over-exaggerated internals weren’t that much of a big deal for me as OnePlus smartphones do deliver one of the smoothest Android experiences on the market. However, something that is a big deal for me, is the lack of support for NFC, which I’m pretty sure will drive potential OnePlus 2 customers in their droves towards the hordes of competitors offerings that are sure to be out there.

Apple and Samsung have only just recently launched their respective mobile payment platforms (with Google’s Android Pay coming soon) and it’s fairly safe to say that they’ve been a huge success, but these services depend on the Near Field Communication chips that have been integrated into smartphones to operate, and from what we’ve seen so far from a collection of teardown images, the OnePlus 2 does not carry this specific piece of hardware.

So how can a smartphone aimed at the 2016 market be expected to compete with devices that feature better specifications and support for an emerging technology that’s already taking the world by storm? The simple answer is it can’t.

It’s not as if the OnePlus 2 excels in the display department, either. Although it features a Full HD screen, it’s hugely disappointing to see that the company didn’t opt for a 2K panel, which would enable it at least to compete with the likes of the LG G4 which features one of the best monitors available to date with its 1440 x 2560 resolution and 538 ppi pixel density.

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Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying that the OnePlus 2 isn’t a good device. It’s a fantastic smartphone, but it’s not the “2016 flagship killer” I expected it to be. For that reason, I won’t be picking one up. I’d rather invest my money in a device that will see me through the next two years and be able to compete with the latest flagships as opposed to lagging behind before 2015 expires. That’s why I’ll be bagging myself the brand new Moto X Style when it hits the shelves. In my eyes, it’s much more bang for your buck.

Come comment on this article: Why I won’t be picking up the OnePlus 2

5
Aug

Google commits to monthly security updates for Nexus devices


Security.  We all worry about it, and we all leave our security in the hands of Google when we use Android devices.  Our smartphones are continually gathering more information about us, from passwords to pictures and geotagging, to financial information such as credit card numbers and bank account numbers.

Security is absolutely crucial, and Google released an announcement today to make security a monthly update to Nexus devices after feeling the pressure from vulnerabilities in regards to libStageFright where malicious code could take over your device with just a text message.

Starting today, the Nexus 4, Nexus 5, Nexus 6, Nexus 7, Nexus 9, Nexus 10, and Nexus Player will receive OTA updates each month with security as the key focus in addition to platform updates. This week’s update does contain fixes for the libStageFright issues, and the fixes have been released to the public via the Android Open Source Project.

Nexus devices will continue to receive major updates for at least two years and security patches for the longer of three years from initial availability or 18 months from last sale of the device via the Google Store.

I have a couple concerns I have about this commitment.

1. I use a Samsung Galaxy Note Edge.  I am vulnerable to the libStageFright issue until Samsung decides to update their devices.  Google needs to commit to reduce fragmentation to ZERO when it comes to security.  Also, considering that Google is only committing the monthly updates to their devices, my next phone HAS to be a Nexus device because I do not know the commitment Motorola, Samsung(although Samsung did respond with a new process, but they will need to prove themselves considering their poor reputation for updating their devices), LG, HTC, etc. have to fixing their devices as well.  It makes me rather disturbed knowing my Note Edge is vulnerable to libStageFright when I know there is a fix for Nexus devices.

2. Google just announced a lifespan of three years for Nexus devices.  I can’t imagine one single person who would want a device that is vulnerable to security threats.  If Google will not commit to security beyond 3 years, or 18 months after the device is last sold in the Play Store, they are basically telling us to buy a new device every three years.  No one can store anything personal on a device that is susceptible to malware.

I seriously hope Google rethinks this commitment to security patches, because I know plenty of people who use phones and tablets beyond three years.  Security is one area where users are not forgiving.  Mess up once, and users will probably jump ship to another mobile platform.

Source

If you’re interested in a security review from Google, check it out at this link.

The post Google commits to monthly security updates for Nexus devices appeared first on AndroidGuys.

5
Aug

Hands-on with Agar.io: what the heck is it? Why is it so popular?


agar.io review
Agar.io is a new game in the Google Play Store that seems to be gaining a lot of steam very quickly. At first glance, the game doesn’t appear to be too much. Yet, the download counts keep rising and people are talking about the game everywhere. Let’s check it out.


agar.io review

Mechanics

Agar.io is amazingly easy to play. You start as a little cell and you must float around a game board collecting miniature cells. As you collect more, you grow in size and as you grow in size, you grow in power. The game play is strikingly similar to Osmos HD, and those who have played that game already know how this one works.

Each game board is populated by a certain number players. As you get bigger, your goal is to either absorb your opponents if they’re smaller, or avoid being absorbed by your larger opponents. Despite its simplicity, Agar.io requires quite a bit of patience as you roam around trying not to get trapped by the larger entities. Speed is determined by your size. You move slower as you grow larger and move faster as you get smaller.

Inside the game, there are various mechanics to either give you an advantage or put you at a disadvantage. There are green NPC cells that will split you off into many smaller cells. This can be detrimental if you’re trying to make yourself larger but potentially a lifesaver if you’re being chased by opponents as the smaller size lets you get away more quickly.

The controls are also fairly simple to grasp. It’s a touch-based joystick that controls your direction that works well about 98% of the time. Along with that you get two buttons. The first allows you to split into two cells, the second of which shoots off of your body like a weapon and can be used to absorb smaller players. The second button allows you to drop your size when tapped repeatedly to help you escape sticky situations.

The last thing we’ll mention in this section are the names. You can give yourself a name and you’ll be a random cell with a random color. However, there are a metric ton of Easter eggs that allow you to alter your cell. For instance, naming yourself “doge” gives you a meme-inspired cell. During my testing, I played against a guy named Obama and wouldn’t you know it, there I was being chased down by the President of the United States.


agar.io review

The premise

The premise of the game is to survive and become the biggest cell on the game board. This is much easier said than done. You start off pretty small and the room you’re in has generally matured to include players of massive sizes. There are right around 100 players per room and they range from being super small cells just trying to survive to gigantic cells that you try like hell to avoid. No matter where you’re dropped in, you have people to chase and to run from.

A unique aspect to the game comes when you play in the same room long enough. You start to get to know the other players in the room. For instance, during my game play, I ran into a player named Mars who was actually quite smaller than I was. 15 minutes later, I ran into Mars again and s/he swallowed me whole because s/he took up the entire game board. Players grow, shrink, quit, and join fairly frequently but those who are really into the game seem to be there a while.

Outside of that, there’s really not much to Agar.io. You start, you collect cells, you take out rival players, and you get really big. That’s really all that you do.


Agar.io screenshot 5

The good

Here’s what we liked about the game:

  • The entire game is online multiplayer which means you always have someone else to play with. Leaders can be easily displayed using the leaderboard button on the top right of the game screen.
  • The mechanics are easy enough for virtually anyone to understand. It’s not one of those games that’s easy to learn and difficult to master. It’s easy to master pretty much right out of the gate.
  • The game is lightweight. It’s not a large game and doesn’t consume a lot of resources. That makes it a great title for people that have old, midrange, or low-range devices.
  • The challenge comes from being in a room with a ton of other players who have just as quickly and easily mastered the controls. It is surprisingly difficult to play and requires a decent amount of focus and attention to do well.
  • The hidden Easter eggs add a little fun and humor to the proceedings. There are a lot of them and include things like Qing Dynasty, Doge, Obama, Mars, 8-Ball, and many others. It’s not hard to find them but we have no idea how many there are in total.
  • It’s free to play with advertising. It does state that there are in-app purchases but aside from removing advertising, we couldn’t find evidence that they affected gameplay whatsoever. In fact, we couldn’t even find the one that removes advertising. They likely haven’t been fully implemented yet so we’ll see how that goes when they are.
  • It’s easy to pick up and put down. There are also no timers, energy bars, or other nonsense to prevent you from playing when you want to.

agar.io review

The bad

And here’s what we didn’t like so much.

  • It really is just a simple time waster game. It’s a lot of fun and it’s very challenging, but there’s no actual content. Just gameplay.
  • Some of the mechanics can be finicky sometimes. The ability to split and shoot yourself at opposing players doesn’t work sometimes and the controls are a bit wonky, especially if you’re on a wall.
  • The game relies totally on an Internet connection. That means bad connection and lagging can happen sometimes.
  • While not necessary for a good experience, some Google Play Games achievements and leaderboards would have been a nice touch.

agar.io review

Wrap up

At the end of the day, this is a time waster game that’s flying off the hinges with how popular it is. In terms of viral value, it’s not too dissimilar from Flappy Bird or Threes! were when they were smash hits that everyone wanted to play. Thankfully, the mechanics are solid and the always-on multiplayer actually gives the game the kind of challenge that doesn’t want to make you break things. It’s free to download and not the worst way to spend a few minutes while you’re on the toilet or waiting in line somewhere. Click the button blow to give it a shot!

Download Agar.io from Google Play!

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