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29
Feb

Xiaomi Mi 5 has already been pre-ordered by more than 16 million people


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The Xiaomi Mi 5 has been pre-ordered by more than 16 million people according to an announcement on the company’s official forum. The smartphone is set to launch in China on March 1, and with more than 16 million pre-orders it’s turning out to be quite the popular choice.

Priced from just $300, the regular model has 32GB or 64GB of internal storage, a Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 processor with Adreno 530 GPU, 3GB of RAM and a 5.15-inch 1080p display. It’s a remarkable device for the price tag.

  • See our hands-on with the Xiaomi Mi 5

There’s no word on whether or not we’ll see the Mi 5 hit other markets post-launch.

Source: MIUI

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29
Feb

Android Pay looks set to launch in the UK next month


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Android Pay is set to launch in the UK as Google steps up to compete against Apple’s own contactless mobile payments platform. According to Industry sources, the company is expected to roll out Android Pay next month.

With the roll out hitting your device, Android Pay will enable you to add your credit and debit cards to the app, which in turn will allow you to quickly tap to make payments with NFC readers. Think contactless payments but without needing to pull out your credit or debit card.

The launch of Android Pay will be a massive boost for the UK due to just how popular smartphones are running Google’s mobile OS.

Source: The Telegraph

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29
Feb

Chromecast Audio can be yours for just £14 today in the UK


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Currys PC World currently has the Chromecast Audio available for just £14, saving £16 on the original listing price. The promotion is for today only, so you’ll need to hurry before it ends this evening.

Those of you who may be unfamiliar with the Chromecast Audio, it allows you to stream audio from your Android device to nearly any 3.5mm-capable speaker (RCA and optical devices are supported as well via an additional cable).

The unit features a 3.5mm cable that connects to a speaker, letting you stream audio from your Android, iOS, Windows, OSX or Chromebook device via the Chromecast app. Hit the store link below for more details and to place an order.

See at Currys PC World

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29
Feb

You can now pre-order the HTC Vive


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No more standing in line for a 15 minute demo of the future.

If you’ve been waiting for the right moment to get into VR, today is your day. HTC has opened up pre-orders for their Vive headset, and all of the accessories that make a full-room VR experience work. That includes a pair of wireless lightboxes, a pair of wireless controllers, and all the wires and boxes needed to plug your face into the back of your computer. You also get three games, one of which is Google’s incredible 3D-painting Tilt Brush experience.

All you need now is a steady index finger for clicking and $800 if you’re in the US. The HTC Vive pre-order system is now live.

HTC has opened up a special website for the order system, but as this is a collaboration with Valve you will also find pre-order information through the Steam app. Whichever choice you make, all you need to do now is shell out the cash and make sure your PC can handle the headset. If you haven’t checked it yet, Valve has a Vive readiness test you can check out in Steam that will tell you what kind of experience you can expect from your current hardware.

More at HTCVive.com

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29
Feb

Sprint teams with Dixons Carphone to open 500 stores in the U.S.


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Sprint has announced a partnership with UK retailer Dixons Carphone to open 500 new Sprint retail stores in the United States. The two launched a pilot program last summer, which seems to have been successful. Each company will have an equal stake in the stores, which will operate similarly to existing Sprint-branded stores run by third-party retailers.

From Sprint:

Under the agreement, Sprint and Dixons Carphone Connected World Services (CWS) division will build and operate new Sprint stores in multiple U.S. markets. The two companies will fund the startup costs of the joint venture equally and will each have 50 percent ownership interest.

At this time, Sprint has not announced a time frame for the opening of these stores. Though locations are also yet to be announced, with 500 stores planned, it’s likely that they’ll pop up in several parts of the country.

Source: Sprint

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29
Feb

HoloLens’ official PC app streams live video from your headset


You know that Microsoft’s HoloLens will do a fair amount on its own, but what can it do in harmony with your PC? Quite a bit, actually. Fans have noticed that Hololens’ official companion app for Windows 10 lets you download media, remotely launch apps and even watch a live stream from the augmented reality headset. The app is free to grab if you’re curious, although it clearly won’t be very useful unless you’re willing to plunk down $3,000 for the developer headset — think of this more as a peek at what you’ll get when the eventual mainstream model hits shelves.

Via: WalkingCat (Twitter), Windows Central

Source: Microsoft Store

29
Feb

You can now pre-order HTC’s Vive VR headset for $799


If you passed on the Oculus Rift because you’re dead set on owning HTC’s Vive VR headset, your time has now come. The company has just opened pre-orders for the $799 bundle (€899 in Europe and £689 in the UK), which includes the Vive headset, two wand controllers, a couple of room scale movement sensors and three VR titles.

What are the three titles, exactly? The first is Fantastic Contraption, a colorful interactive game that has you building unique structures to reach different points on a map. Next is Job Simulator, a title that will also be available on Oculus Rift and PlayStation VR, which has you messing around in a cartoony office cubicle, kitchen and convenience store. Google’s Tilt Brush is the final piece of the pre-order bundle and comes free for a limited time. If you’ve ever wanted to paint with light in a 3D space, this will be right up your street.

To keep some order, HTC is limiting bundles to one per customer with the intention of shipping them from April 5th. Regarding delivery, expect to pay extra: UK orders are incurring a £57.60 charge alone. The company says that for credit card payments, a hold will be placed on the card when you make the order, but PayPal transactions will be charged in full at the time of pre-order. Facebook-owned Oculus will get its headset to consumers first, depending on when orders were made, but the Taiwanese company is ensuring it won’t be too far behind.

To use the Vive as intended, you will need a capable PC. HTC hasn’t taken the same approach as Oculus, where it allows customers to order a VR-ready rig alongside their headset, but it does recommend that your PC runs a Intel i5-4590 / AMD FX 8350 or greater, has at least NVIDIA GeForce GTX 970 or AMD Radeon R9 290 graphics and 4GB of RAM. However, you can always order an “Oculus-ready” PC if you don’t feel up to building your own and it’ll work just fine.

Source: HTC Vive

29
Feb

DAB radio gets 12 extra stations in the UK


If you have a shiny DAB radio sitting in your car or living room, now’s the time to walk on over, turn it on and retune. Why? Well, a second “multiplex” has gone live in the UK today, opening up some much-needed airwaves so that a bunch of new stations can be broadcast. Once the process is complete, you should have access to the following: Share Radio, Premier Christian Radio, Fun Kids, Kisstory, Planet Rock, Absolute 80s, Sunrise Radio, Jazz FM, Awesome Radio, UCB2, Panjab Radio, and Heat.

They’ll be joined by Mellow Magic and TalkSport 2 on March 15th, followed by talkRadio on March 21st and Premier Praise on March 27th. Magic Chilled will arrive a day later before Virgin Radio appears on March 30th.

DAB radio was always intended as a natural successor to AM and FM radio, promising better audio quality, easier tuning and extra station information. The technology has never quite delivered though, with countless reports of poor coverage in rural areas. The UK government is trying its best to fix the problem, but in the meantime other forms of delivery are taking hold — streaming over the web, for instance, is becoming increasingly viable both on the move and in the home. Traditional analogue radio has also proven to be surprisingly resilient over the years, due to the fact that, well, most of the time it just works.

But if you’ve adopted DAB and intend to stick with it, today’s expansion should be a boon. We all have our favourite radio stations, but it’s nice to know there are other options for when you fancy something different.

Source: Ofcom, RadioToday

29
Feb

Brita’s smart water pitcher orders its filters from Amazon


Amazon’s automatic Dash refills are reaching all kinds of devices… and now, that includes the gadgets in your fridge. Brita has launched the Infinity water pitcher, a WiFi-equipped container that automatically orders replacement filters whenever your current purifier is near its limit. It’s not cheap at $45, and that’s not including the $6 you’ll pay every time you need a new filter. However, it might be just the ticket if you can’t imagine drinking from the tap (or heading to the store) for even a brief moment.

Via: BusinessWire

Source: Amazon

29
Feb

US and Europe reveal how they’ll protect your personal data


The US and EU have published a big pile of documents that spill the beans on the pair’s replacement for Safe Harbor. The new provision is known as the EU-US Privacy Shield and is designed to limit how much personal data the NSA (amongst others) can access. The files also call for the creation of an independent regulator that’ll handle complaints from users which will be funded by contributions from internet companies. The most interesting factoid we’ve spotted so far is that firms like Facebook can choose if it wants to be subject to American or European data protection law — although it’ll default to the former.

If you’re not caught up, Safe Harbor was (essentially) a deal that made life easy for tech companies that operated in the US and Europe. It meant that outfits like Facebook could treat data about its users as movable, bouncing it between servers when it had to. So, for instance, it could take information about a German user, stored in a data center in Ireland, and push it to California for long-term storage. Except, when that data crossed the Atlantic, it became fair game for pushy surveillance agencies like the NSA.

Privacy campaigner Max Schrems was so annoyed at the idea that he launched a lawsuit in Ireland to force a decision. Unfortunately, the courts batted away his claim, so he took the case to the European Court which examined both the decision and Schrems’ claim. Shortly afterward, courts ruled that the Safe Harbor provisions did not protect local citizens, and declared them to be invalid. These new rules are expected to be formalized across the next few months, ending the potential headaches for almost every social network in the country.

Via: The Verge, NYT

Source: Department of Commerce, European Union

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